VOTE: Your TOP 3 Favorite Foodie Books

>> Saturday, February 27, 2010


Hey, everyone! The time has come to vote on what book(s) you'd like to read in our Foodie Book Club. We are going 33 members strong at this point, and I'm so happy you're all so excited about getting started in March. I've created a survey (below) where I have input all the books from the list (thanks again for all your suggestions!).

I ask that only the 33 people who signed up for the club vote on these selections. Pretty please. You may pick your top three . . . and from there, we'll choose (in order of most popular) the first three books we'll read in the club. Then I'll take those books out, allow everyone to add more (as we get more members), and we'll vote again sometime at the end of May.

Here's our growing list of members. If you're coming to us late in the game, you have until March 10th to sign up. After that, just shoot us an email at neverhomemaker@gmail.com, and we'll take note that you're all in.



And here is the poll for the books. Again, please only vote if you're planning to participate in the club. And pick your TOP 3 books (hopefully not just the ones you posted). For a full description of these books, see the links on the Foodie Book Club Details post.

NOTE: Your have until Sunday, February 28th at 11:59PM (EST) to vote on the books. So hurry!




And if you'd like a button for your sidebar, just grab the one below!



Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Eat Your Veggies: Brussels Sprouts Soup

>> Friday, February 26, 2010


"Brussels Sprouts are low in fat and sodium, high in dietary fiber and are cholesterol-free. They also contain high levels of naturally occurring vitamin C and specific health-promoting compounds called glucosinolates with antioxidant properties, and proven health benefits in the area of cancer prevention. Brussels Sprouts have three times the level of vitamin C of an orange. Unlike most vegetables, Brussels Sprouts are rather high in protein, accounting for more than a quarter of their calories." (More info here. And here.)

Basically, brussels sprouts a perfect food for vegans and vegetarians (and the rest of you out there -- you're important, too!). And I'm more than happy to share this soup recipe with you all. I invented it myself -- using random ingredients from the freezer and pantry.

As always, adventure is the name of the game.

It's important to taste test everything before you serve to your friends and family. Brussel sprouts are tricky with their bitter flavor, so modifications are most certainly needed. I've provided some suggestions, but to each his/her own taste.

What you'll need . . .
  • 16 ounce bag frozen brussels sprouts
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (we used low sodium because we added salt later)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups rice milk (or soy milk or just milk)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (but I imagine regular would work, too)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter, if you're so inclined)
  • Pepper to taste

Method . . .
  1. Cook brussels sprouts according to the microwave directions (usually, I put them in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water for 7 min). You may also cook them according to the stove top directions on the bag.
  2. Combine the water, soy sauce, oil, ginger, cinnamon, and salt, and cook over medium heat until simmering in a large stock pot.
  3. Once the brussels spouts have cooked, pour them into a blender -- along with the garbanzo beans and water mixture. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour out only half of the mixture into your original pot and add to the blender the coconut flour, 1 1/2 cups of the rice milk. Blend until smooth . . .
  5. Add that mixture along with the sesame seeds to the stock pot and cook on medium heat until warm and well blended.
  6. You may wish to add the additional 1/2 cup of rice milk and the Earth Balance, pepper, more salt, etc. to taste. We found it helps get rid of the bitterness of the brussels sprouts.


Still haven't checked out our Foodie Book Club? If you missed the post with all the details, just click here. We're going 31 members (and counting) strong at this point. And there's still time to join in! Just make sure you do it soon -- you'll have a chance to suggest books until midnight on Friday (2/26 -- that's TODAY!). And we'll vote on Sunday, announce the book on Monday. So mark your calendars and check back.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

READER SPOTLIGHT: Herbivore vs. Carnivore


My name is Alison and I live in Canada. I'm a 20-something who is married to a wonderful man and in my spare time of never being home I enjoy traveling, cooking, and hosting, hence the title of my blog, "Hospitality Haven".  You can find me at: http://alison.blogsome.com.

I know a lot of you are probably vegetarians, but I'm also thinking there are some -- like me -- who are not (or at least have husbands or friends who are not)!  Thus presents the challenge of feeding both herbivores and carnivores!  For that reason, I posted a blog on my site to reflect hosting a meal for both vegetarians and meat-eaters.

There are many different options I offer on my site, but I'd like to share with you this one, in particular.


Option: Middle Eastern Food

Middle Eastern food has a ton of different dishes that incorporate both meat and vegetables. Middle Eastern food makes for a great meal for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I made a meal a couple of weeks ago that consisted of channa masala (a chickpea based dish), masoor daal (a lentil based dish), beef keftas (meat), naan bread, couscous, and fresh veggies. This satisfied the need for starch, protein and vegetables, and gave both vegetarians and non-vegetarians food they could enjoy.

To check out the rest (including Mexican food, pasta, and pizza), visit my blog Hospitality Haven!


Thanks to Alison for sharing with us such great ideas for meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters alike. This has been yet another READER SPOTLIGHT! And if you'd like to be featured, just check out our info post with all the gooey details about the spotlight, as well as guest posting opportunities. And keep an eye out for Sarah's Apple Pie Oatmeal recipe -- which will be featured in next Friday's post.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

THIRSTY THURSDAY: Saranac's Maple Porter

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010


Maybe the 6AM cries of songbirds I heard on my morning run were a bit precocious for February; they were simply no match for the ubiquitous cold, wet snow. Maybe I was too optimistic. Upstate New York is still weeks away from those fifty-five degree, green grassy days beyond recall. Perhaps a long, cold winter can lend itself to enjoying all things cold and wet?

How do I pass the time until warmer, brighter days are within reach? I let go and give in to Office marathons, crusty bread, and cold, dark beer served in a frosted pint glass. Because when you can’t beat the cold, you have to join it.


I’m certainly no stranger to Saranac’s Beers of Winter (check out last week's post on the Rye IPA) and, likewise, their Maple Porter offering has really wet my whistle. I’ve never had predilections for gimmicky flavors and seasonal spices (like in their Winter Wassail), but in the interest in diversifying my palate and moving beyond the ample repertoire of chocolate stouts, I decided to give it a chance.

Poured into a glass, the porter has a mahogany hue and creamy head. It tastes slightly bitter, gives off hints real maple syrup, and interestingly enough, the contrasting flavors battle for my attention. But this isn't a bad thing. I'm in love with them both. And I find myself sharing common ground with Jake from The Bachelor -- Vienna or Tenley? For now, I slip on my long wool socks, place myself beside the forced hot air vent, and pour a cold Maple Porter.

Saranac Brewery Shop and Tour Center
830 Varick Street
Utica, NY 13502
www.saranac.com


Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Treadmill versus Outdoor Running: Which is Better?


I'll start this post by admitting I'm biased. I think outdoor running is awesome, and I try to stay away from the treadmill as much as possible. That being said, this morning I set out on my 5-mile tempo run at the beginning of the snowpacolypse. I don't know if I've ever run a slower workout. (Not that there's anything wrong with that -- no workout is too short or slow.) It was like running on loose sand. Snowflakes were flying up my nose . . . and down my throat. Even my eyelashes had an accumulation when all was said and done.

Today I would have preferred to bust out a tempo run on the treadmill. But our gym membership ran out, and now that we're fully into training for the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon, we figured we'd save money and deal with the weather.


Treadmill Pro/Con List
  • PRO: Run no matter the weather and without having to watch out for cars, potholes, puddles, and dogs. So, safety.
  • CON: It can be incredibly boring. Even when you employ some clever techniques to survive your workout.
  • PRO: You get a dashboard with your distance, calories burned, and other stats like heart rate. You also control your workouts, so -- for example -- if you live in a flat area, you can add mad hills to your weekly schedule.
  • CON: It's easy to either go too easy on yourself. Or too hard. Sometimes when I run on the treadmill, I start thinking everyone's looking at my pace. I feel I have something to prove because I consider myself a runner and not just a gym rat. The too easy part is because if you just stick with flat treadmill running at the same pace, you won't be challenging your body and, therefore, won't increase your fitness over time. It's easy to get stuck in a rut.
  • PRO: The padding -- the give -- that treadmills feature can help keep your joints and muscles safe from too much pounding.
  • CON: However, running on a treadmill changes your stride and general form, which can lead to injury.

Outdoor Pro/Con List
  • PRO: Gradual hills, wind resistance, variety of temperatures and precipitation. Basically, good conditions in which to train for races.
  • CON: Like I mention above, all those weather problems and other issues (like the guys who sometimes follow me in their cars . . . right?). You're out and about. And if you don't pay attention, you could get hit by an oblivious motorist. Etc. 
  • PRO: You can run with a buddy or in a group. Sometimes if you're lacking motivation, that's all you need to get back on track. Yes, you can also chat with a friend beside you on the treadmill, but usually when I'm at the gym, it's crowded and not possible.
  • CON: Also (especially in winter) many of us don't have time in the day to run when it's light outside. And if you don't live somewhere with streetlamps, running outdoors can be nearly impossible and dangerous.
  • PRO: Fresh air and vitamin D. In the winter, it feels good to be outside. It's refreshing, and you get benefit mentally and physically from a little sunshine.
  • CON: Unless you invest in a good sports watch, you likely won't know exactly how far you ran or how many calories you burned. I'm not too hung up on these things -- and I often use Google Maps to chart out courses, but it's definitely more for the Zen runners :)
So, which is better? There's really no universal answer. I prefer outdoor running. However, on days like today -- I'm yearning for a little belt action. We'd love to get your input, too. Are you a treadmill junkie? Run like postal workers through rain, sleet, and snow? Weigh in by leaving a comment or emailing us at neverhomemaker@gmail.com. And be sure to check out these other running-related posts . . .
Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Dinner in a FLASH: Veggie Stuffed Peppers


This is yet another dinner IN A FLASH post where we offer a quick and tasty recipe with HORRIBLE photography to show it off. Our last post taught y'all how to make vegetable dumplings at home! And before that, we posted a hearty vegetable soup with hubbard squash puree for some extra flavor and nutrition.

Today's recipe is one of our favorites because it's super-duper easy, oh-so very cheesy, and about as quick as you can get without simply microwaving a frozen dinner . . .


What you'll need . . . (dinner for two)
  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can corn (low sodium and drained)
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (diced and drained)
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded and optional)


Method . . .
  1. Set your oven to the broil setting and place a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie pan. Cut the green peppers in half and take the seeds out of them. Be careful to keep them as bowl-like as possible.
  2. Place peppers skin-side up (you'll flip them later when you cook everything) under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Until the skins begin to display brown spots to show they're roasted.
  3. While those are in the oven, in a medium saucepan, combine the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Season with the pepper and garlic powder. Cook until bubbling.
  4. Take the peppers out of the oven and flip over carefully. Scoop large scoops of the bean mixture into each pepper until piled high. Top with shredded cheddar.
  5. Return to oven and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Healthy Living? New focus? What's going on . . . ?

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I'm sure by now most of you have seen the site's new look. It isn't anything drastic. Just a new header and background, really. But if you read the fine print, we've also changed our focus. Just slightly. And we put it in writing.

Our old banner: "(never home)maker: good eats and design for those with little time."


But you'll notice the NEW banner says: "good eats and design healthy living for those with little time."


What does healthy living even mean? It's a broad term to describe being healthy in all aspects of you life.
This isn't to say we're dropping the whole design aspect of the blog (and when we say "design" we mean home decor and improvement). But we noticed that you guys and gals really responded to our beginning of the year health quest. Our "detox" of sorts. And our healthy and veggie adaptations of Man versus Food favorites THE LOVER and Juicy Lucy. We want to give you more. And, in return, we hope you'll keep loving us :)

Again, we won't stop sharing our home projects (but there are PLENTY of blogs focused on that where they know much more than we do. Young House Love, anyone?), but we'll keep churning out great posts about everything that makes our lives the healthiest they can be. You can even track my running mileage on the sidebar now. I hope this won't only motivate you all, but also me in the process.




So, that's all I wanted to tell ya. And we'd love your feedback. Does this change thrill you? Make you angry? Are you going to drop us like a hot potato? We hope you won't. Leave a comment with your thoughts or even email us at neverhomemaker@gmail.com.


And if you haven't already (and you're excited about the new focus), why not SUBSCRIBE to (never home)maker or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get all the latest updates and posts? We'll love you forever!

Read more...

Hump Day Yoga: Balance Poses


One often-ignored step you can take toward good running form is balance practice. It makes your foot strikes more precise and efficient . . . and also increases strength and flexibility in your legs and core. Plus, if you've ever played Wii Fit and left feeling like a complete loser because your Wii Fit age is, like, double how old you ACTUALLY are, these poses are for you.

Balance is key to overall health.
And yoga poses, in general, help achieve balance.

Two of my favorite standing poses for balance are Tree (Vrksasana) and King Dancer (Natarajasana). You might want to warm up your legs with a little Warrior II and side stretch action first. If so, check out last week's installment of Hump Day Yoga.


Tree (Vrksasana)
  1. Stand in the middle of your mat (or wherever), feet together.
  2. Bring the sole of your right foot to your inner-left thigh. (Though you're supposed to try to do this without using your hands -- I always use my hands to position my foot.)
  3. Bring your hands into a prayer position at your chest or over your head, as I'm doing above. Feel your center of balance.
  4. Hold here up to 90 seconds if you can. It helps to find a spot on the ground or wall to focus on for balance. Repeat on other side.

King Dancer (Natarajasana)
  1. Stand in the middle of your mat (or wherever), feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keep your left leg straight and slowly lift your right foot (holding the inside of your right foot with your right hand) as you raise your leg behind you.
  3. All while this is going on, bring your upper body almost parallel to the mat. See photo above.
  4. Hold up to 90 seconds. Again, find a spot. And repeat on other side.
Balance poses are difficult. So if you're not exactly able to hold 'em for very long, don't get discouraged. Keep at it, and your ability to hold the pose will increase with time.

Still haven't checked out our Foodie Book Club? If you missed yesterday's post with all the details, go just click here. We're going 23 people (and counting) strong at this point. And there's still time to join in! Just make sure you do it soon -- you'll have a chance to suggest books until midnight on Friday (2/26). And we'll vote on Sunday. So mark your calendars and check back.


Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Crusty Garlic-Tuscan Herb Loaf


I debated whether or not to use the word crusty in the title. Crusty is a good word to describe great bread. But also a creepy word. Whatever. Anyway, I just got back from one of the worst runs of my life. I set out to do 8 because apparently we have a "snowicane" coming. But I didn't drink water or eat anything, so after about a mile, I lost all energy and felt incredibly dehydrated. Let this be a lesson to all of you.

After plodding a slow four on snow-covered sidewalks, I returned home defeated. (Guess that's happening a lot lately. First, the failed fortune cookies, now this run.) I plan to head out again tonight for an additional 2 miles. A good compromise. I'll also do a little yoga. And you should all keep an eye out for the hump day yoga post, to be published sometime today.


Back to the loaf. I like to make bread. But I've never achieved a crust I would consider better than amateur. That's all changed. I won this amazing Tuscan Herb EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) from Fiore -- a shop specializing in artisan olive oils and vinegar in Bar Harbor, Maine -- via Erin's (Domestic Adventure, you may know her from such guest posts as Music to your Feet) generous giveaway. Thanks, Erin!

So, this is one of those no-knead recipes that has circulated the web . . . taken every food blogger by storm, really. You need a cast iron dutch oven (below) . . . and if you don't have one, this recipe is great incentive to make the investment. I've had one since we got married, but only broke it in this week for this recipe. Now I plan to make this bread at least once a week! I'll do variations, too. But I played it safe for my first try. A basic white bread, infused with the taste of Maine (though you can use regular olive oil or another kind), and full of garlicky goodness.

Oh, yeah. You also need patience. This isn't for those of you who need instant gratification. The dough rises for 18 to 24 hours. Then a quick punch-down. Rise again another 2 hours. Then bake 30 minutes. Just FYI.


What you'll need . . .
  • 3 cups unbleached white bread flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
  • 1 cup cool (55 to 65 degrees) water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or herb variety
  • Cornmeal or additional flour for dusting

Method . . . (lots of steps, none of them difficult)
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, garlic powder, and yeast. Make an impression in the middle of the dry ingredients, almost like a little bowl.
  2. Pour the water and olive oil into the impression you just made. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, adding a bit more water if necessary.
  3. Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 18 to 24 hours.
  4. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece.
  5. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make it round.
  6. Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal. Gently place the dough on the cookie sheet, seam side down.
  7. Dust the top lightly with cornmeal. Place another lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap over the loaf-in-progress. Then let rest in a warm, draft-free spot for just about 2 hours.
  8. Position one of your oven racks so that your dutch oven will be centered in the oven, and preheat it to 475 degrees F.
  9. Place a covered 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart cast-iron dutch oven in the center of the rack. Let fully preheat.
  10. Carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the lid and continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color -- but not burned -- 15 to 30 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula to carefully lift the loaf out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before slicing.

After all that anticipation. The rising. The baking. You'll enjoy Wegmans-quality bread AT HOME! It's THAT good. Now onto the Foodie Book Club. If you missed yesterday's post with all the details, go check it out now (just click here). We're going 22 people (and counting) strong at this point. And there's still time to join in! Just make sure you do it soon -- you'll have a chance to suggest books until midnight on Friday (2/26). And we'll vote on Sunday. So mark your calendars and check back.


Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Foodie Book Club Details

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hey, everyone! Those of you who have been reading the site for a while know all about the Foodie Book Club. It's this little group we started to read books related to recipes, cooks, foodie bloggers, etc. You also may know that as the head of this group, I've slacked a lot this summer. In fact, I haven't read a single book. Well, until now. And I'll be posting my review of Julie Powell's Julie and Julia within the week.

I'd like to catch everyone up to speed. Here are the books the club has read/reviewed so far.
When we started the club, we had a TON of interest. We recognize however, that it's hard to keep up. Lives get in the way. As well, we haven't been the best organized, but we're motivated to change. So, if you're new to the blog and you'd like to join, don't be intimidated.


We have MOVED the club from (never home)maker to a new home on Good Reads. If you'd like to OFFICIALLY sign up, just create an account on GR and search for the "foodie book club." You'll see our smiling faces. Or follow this link to find the Foodie Book Club directly.

Here's some more info:
  • Each month, we read a book chosen by majority (or just that sounded interesting to us). If you'd like to suggest books for consideration, please email us or leave a comment on the board. Currently, we have a list set through November.
  • We'll read the book and then post about it starting last Friday of the month. How? We'll post a thread calling for all your reviews. Simply add your link to the reply.
  • With our new home on Good Reads, we're going to allow you to post your reviews at any time, no deadline. But we'd appreciate if you could get it in within one week from the posting date. Just leave a PERMAlink to your post, not the link to your general blog page. Good Reads also allows those of you without a blog to participate. Just link to your Good Reads review.
  • Posts need not only be text and a general summary. You may pick a specific section you particularly enjoyed and tell us why. You could post a video where you talk about your reactions. You could create a recipe that you felt inspired to make by reading. A photo response. I'll say it again: Anything goes.
  • And we know that things come up in life that might make participation in any given month a complete in-possibility. We ask that you try to not miss too many months (but, again, we're all busy -- so, we get it).
  • To sign up, just visit the Foodie Book Club on Good Reads. Follow instructions to join. And join. If you have questions, we'd be happy to help!
Also: If you'd like a button for your sidebar so everyone can know you're in the club, just grab the one below!



Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

The Great Fortune Cookie Fail


I set out not once, but twice this weekend to create a healthy, vegan fortune cookie inspired by the recipe included in Richard's Private Collection of Dazzling Desserts. I failed miserably at both attempts. To review, this is the texture and shape I was trying to achieve . . . you know, your basic fortune cookie.



Stephen made the fortunes, including one of his favorite quotes from Jurassic Park: "Stay perfectly still! Their vision is based on movement." Uh, we're both dorky weirdos. I think it's hilarious, though.

On the first try, I was too bold -- cocky, if we're being completely honest -- with my substitutions. I tried to be a hot-shot and make 'em fancier than ever. I used all wheat pastry flour. Replaced egg replacer with flax egg replacer. I added lavender, agave, and date sugar. I changed the darn thing so incredibly much it definitely wasn't a fortune cookie recipe anymore. What resulted was a moist, spongy cookie that immediately tore apart when I picked it up. Forget about trying to fold it.


This is what I got:


The second try got me much closer to Richard's gorgeous example. I mostly just substituted the flax egg replacer instructions for the egg (I didn't have any Ener-G in the house) -- and that was my only change. But . . . apparently I didn't spread the batter thinly enough on the first couple tries. Mushy cookies. And when I did finally get the hang of it . . . I folded the cookie the wrong way. However, it TASTED like a fortune cookie. I declare try 2 a fail, as well. And I'll definitely need to continue my quest this coming weekend.


And, again, my failure:


Has anyone had success making vegan fortune cookies? I'd so appreciate if you shared your tips and tricks with me. Better yet, has anyone else ever failed so completely in the kitchen that not only once, but twice they've spent hours trying to make something with zero success?

If you'd like to read our other recipes inspired by the Richard Simmons Private Collection of Dazzling Desserts, just click below:
Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Wheat-Sesame Hot Dog Buns


You just can't top those seitan dogs with all those crazy toppings unless you have a good, solid bun foundation. And this one is full of beer, so you just know it's got to be good. We made our own buns because we're not huge fans of the kind you get in grocery stores. And we wanted to do something fun with it. I definitely don't think this is the BEST EVER recipe -- it turned out slightly dry. But, it tastes good . . . and ended up being the perfect base for our purposes.

What made them better in the end was steaming them a bit before placing the dog inside. To do this, we just placed in our microwave, covered with some plastic wrap, and put on high for 20 seconds or so. It helped . . . and, well, you know the rest.


What you'll need . . .
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup beer of choice (we used Ommegang Chocolate Stout)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 2 cups white unbleached bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sesame seeds



Method . . .
  1. Stir together agave, yeast, and water. Let sit for five minutes, until frothy.
  2. Combine yeast mixture with beer and add 1 cup of the white flour. Mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup of the whole wheat flour. Then add the next cup of flour 1 heaping tablespoon at a time. I did end up using almost all the flour, but not all.
  4. Mix together and use your hands, if necessary. Dough is ready when it is elastic -- soft, but not sticky.
  5. Transfer dough to flour surface and knead for two minutes. Shape like a ball and place into lightly oiled bowl covered with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. Punch down dough and divide into six balls. Roll into hot dog bun shaped and flatten slightly.
  7. Put on a prepared cookie sheet (I used some parchment paper), brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Let rise again for approx. 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until buns are golden brown.

If you missed parts 1 and 2 of this street food series, check out Street Food: Veggie-Style for the seitan dog recipe and Seitan Dogs, Part 2: Toppings for -- you guessed it -- topping ideas. And if you have anything to add, recipes or variations to share, be sure to leave us a comment or email us at neverhomemaker@gmail.com.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...

Seitan Dogs, Part 2: Toppings

>> Monday, February 22, 2010


We left you at baking the seitan dogs (Street Food: Veggie Style) . . . and now we're moving on to the toppings. First I think it's worth mentioning that we created two distinct kinds of dogs as a sort of experiment. Instead of the wet ingredients for half of our wheat gluten mixture, we put in some Ommegang Chocolate Stout, which resulted in a way different texture that exploded out of its aluminum foil cover in the oven. It's the darker of the dogs above.

If anyone's interested in creating beer dogs, all you need to do is (for a half batch) mix 3/4 cup wheat gluten, 1/8 cup nutritional yeast, and 1/2 cup beer. It's lighter. Far less dense. And interesting, for sure. If you come up with a better mixture, please let us know! We love cooking and baking with beer.

And though the first part of this series was inspired by Anthony Bourdain, we're shifting focus to what we've learned from Adam Richman (just like in our LOVER and Juicy Lucy posts). He has surely toured the US and all its hot dog variations. Using Wikpedia as our guide, we picked three varieties to make veggie:

(From left to right) Kansas City Sauerkraut Dog, The California Health Nut Dog, and Boston Baked Bean Dog. All generously topped with very special ingredients, comfortably seated in a homemade beer bun (recipe to come tomorrow).


Kansas City Sauerkraut Dog is topped with Stephen's tasty Reuben sauce. Just mix together 1/2 cup mayo (we use the kind with olive oil in it), 1/3 cup ketchup, and 1 tablespoon (or more) horseradish. That'll get you approximately 1 cup of sauce. Then simply slather sauce on the dog, throw on some sliced onions, and top with Swiss cheese. Melt to perfection on the broiler setting in your oven.


California Health Nut Dog is easy. And it features one of our favorite foods: the avocado. Cut the meat out of a nice big avocado, then mash it into submission with a bit of garlic powder until it's guacamole texture. Top with sprouts to the heavens, and enjoy the vegan goodness.


Boston Baked Bean Dog was my favorite. Heat a can of vegetarian baked beans on your stove. Then spoon a generous serving onto your dog. Add cheese of your choice (we used colby-jack) and melt. You can also add sliced onions.


And those are our awesome toppings for three very awesome dogs. If you visit the Wikipedia site with all the variations, you can make new veggie combos for pretty much every dog across the US. In the end, you just need to ask yourself if you'd rather eat this:


OR THIS:


Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, which will reveal the fantastically easy chocolate stout (or whatever kind of beer) bun recipe. I must admit, when we finished the whole seitan dog project, I felt incredibly accomplished. Making EVERYTHING from start to finish. And if you come up with any other variations, be sure to share them with us by either commenting or emailing at neverhomemaker@gmail.com.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

Read more...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About This Blog

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

© 2009-2014 by the (never home)makers
All content on this blog is copyrighted.

Want to publish our pics, tips, or tricks?
Contact us! [neverhomemaker@gmail.com]

We value transparency. Links on this page may contain affiliates. In addition, please see our disclosure policy regarding sponsored posts.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP  

Blogging tips