Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Blog

Cooking and crafting hold a lot of similarities, which is probably why I enjoy doing both. Meticulous assembling, lots of ingredients and tools and a final product you can be proud of (sometimes).

For the new year, you'll see both culinary and crafty pursuits on this blog. My current obsession is knitting, but my short attention span has had me jump from jewelry making to soap-making to crocheting food for hungry animators.

So here's my first combo post: See the beautiful new chopping board my parents gave me for xmas? And on top of that is my first attempt at a cable stitch (thx EK for the needles) on some super easy wristlets I found on Lion Brand's website. The yarn is Lion Brand's "Amazing" wool blend.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lucky Peach Magazine

My husband came back from B&N with a new culinary magazine for me, called Lucky Peach, which is currently on its second issue:

"Lucky Peach is a quarterly journal of food and writing. It is a creation of David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku, writer Peter Meehan, and Zero Point Zero Production—producers of the Emmy Award–winning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations."

Those of you familiar with the New Yorker magazine would appreciate this publication. It's is made for people who like to read and not just look at pretty pictures, although there definitely are some fun bits of illustration of the type you'd find in Juxtapoz magazine.

One idea they discuss which I found intriguing was how the method of killing an animal, such as fish, or crab can affect the flavor of the meat. Makes total sense, when you think of all the chemicals the body releases when it's scared to death.

I still haven't been to the famous Momofuku restaurant, even though it's really close to work. Maybe in 2012.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, with Butter Pecan Tartlets

Recipe from "Land O Lakes, Treasury of Country Recipes"

Makes 3 dozen (I only got 2 dozen, but I wanted to make sure the shells were thick enough and wouldn't break on removal)

Tart Shells:
1/2c butter, softened
1/2c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 c flour

Preheat oven to 400. Combine tart shell ingredients, beat at med speed till crumbly (2-3 min). Press 1 Tbsp of the mixture into mini muffin pans and form shells. Bake for 7-10 min or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reduce temp to 350.

1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. dark corn syrup
1 c. chopped pecans
(I also added 1/4 tsp of vanilla and a dollop of bourbon)

pecan halves to top

Combine everything except the nuts of the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over med heat, stirring occasionally till comes to full boil (4-5 min). Remove from heat, stir in chopped pecans. Spoon into baked shells. Top with pecan half. Bake for 5 min. Cool and remove.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I've written enough about my favorite bread book "Artisan Bread in 5 min a Day" so let's talk about the honey that's in the bread. A while back I had heard that local honey was supposed to help with allergies (at least the pollen and the raw variety). Whether or not that's true, I decided to support some local beekeepers this summer by buying some NYC Rooftop Honey at the greenmarket. Pretty pricey, even for the smallest bottle, but hey, those bees worked hard and it'll take me almost a year to finish this bottle.

On a side note, slathering a slab with Nutella for breakfast is going to make this Monday morning even better.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Butterscotch Apple Cake

This might be my first time using butterscotch chips. Usually I find them too sweet, but they work really well with the apple cake underneath. Found the recipe from Sugar Plum's blog.

I didn't have a 13x9" pan, so as expected, I had to bake it longer for the center to cook through. So if you have it available, use the appropriate size baking dish!

Fiore oils

Got back from Maine yesterday. There was a little store off the main square in Bar Harbor called Fiore that offered olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings. I passed on the vinegar, but the oils were pretty tasty. I made the mistake of trying their special Butternut Squash seed oil first, which blew away anything after it. It smells and tastes like a cross between pumpkin seeds and peanuts. Their flavored olive oils like blood orange and meyer lemon were a little too strong for my taste. Hoping to try the Roasted French Walnut oil which I just spotted on their site.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mini Food Series #1: Slider

A couple of years ago, I had a store on Etsy called Yarnyums where I sold crocheted food. I still have a giant trunk FULL of yarn, so now that the weather's getting cold again, I've decided to get back to some hands-on crafting and make a new line of mini food. Here's my first creation, the mini burger, aka slider.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City Crab Review: Spend your money elsewhere

Ever since college, I had wanted to try this place, so when Restaurant Week came around we made a reservation.

First bad sign, we had a reservation for 7:45, we waited at least 20 minutes and watched people without reservations get seated before us. Not even a "sorry for the inconvenience" from the staff.

We ended up ordering a la carte, but it would have been nice if our waiter had a least mentioned the prix fixe dinner available. It wasn't till after we ordered that we noticed the tiny printed menu off to the side with the $35 three-course special. At first we were happier with our choices.....till they arrived:

Buffalo wing shrimp: according to Bob they were good, but there were FOUR pieces for $16. These weren't jumbo shrimp either. $4 a piece for shrimp in batter and hot sauce?!

North Atlantic Steamers: This was my appetizer. Why serve a side cup of clam broth when the clams are sitting in an inch of it already? And I know steamers are supposed to be simple, but usually there's an attempt at seasoning, maybe a clove of garlic, some herbs.....Nope. This was like clams in dishwater, with a side of dishwater and melted butter. I was also unprepared for the gross neck-like protrusion that these clams had, which reminded me of mini geoduck. I also think leaving crunchy bits of grit = FAIL at a restaurant.

Maryland Crab Louisiana Style Gumbo: Bob described this to me as "muddy." I had a taste, and it was the perfect description. "Bad" would be another suitable term. It tasted like someone had boiled all their leftover vegetables together and added some cajun spice to try to mask the underlying taste. Possibly one of the worst soups I've ever tasted.

At this point, we had to order a second basket of bread, because we were starving.

Maryland Lump Crab Cake: This was actually pretty good. At least, one out of the two were. The second one had a few too many cartilage bits ground into the meat. It was served with a mediocre side salad of argula, corn, lima beans, red peppers and carrots that I pushed around the plate.

Blackened Louisiana Catfish: Bland and boring. Bob usually doesn't add a lot of salt to his food, but he did tonight. 2 pieces came with a mound of unseasoned rice pilaf. Not bad, not good either.

Service was sloooooow.

Somehow, this place was packed. I guess people really think that if you charge a lot for seafood, and it's on Park Ave, it means it's good. We had a similar experience at The Chart House, where the view is nice, but the food is really overpriced and sub par. Our bill came close to what we pay when we go to Nobu, but came nowhere near the standards.

City Crab, you get a D.

Monday, May 30, 2011

White Chocolate Blondies

I'd been looking to try a recipe that used white chocolate for the past few weeks and I settled with one I found on the Ghiradelli wrapper. It uses 2 bars of white chocolate, as well as chocolate chips, but to be honest, you don't really taste the white chocolate. You can definitely smell it, and these blondies are dense, rich and delicious, (so no ones complaining) but I'm not sure I'd have noticed otherwise. But if you're bored of regular blondies/brownies, it's something new to try.

2 bars (8oz) White Chocolate baking bars, broken into 1" pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup Semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, since the whole thing is flavored with white chocolate)

-Preheat oven to 350
-Line a 9" square baking pan with waxed paper, then grease paper
-Melt white choc and butter in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water
-Stir mixture occasionally until smooth. Set aside
-Add sugar, vanilla, melted chocolate and butter slowly
-Fold in flour, salt and choc chips till well combined
-Pour into pan, bake 25 min

Saturday, May 14, 2011

IceBox Strawberry Pie

America's Test Kitchen does it again! I've tried 2 of their recipes so far and been really impressed. This latest recipe was in a sample issue I received of Cook's Country. Imagine a pie that tastes somewhere in between a strawberry smoothie and jam and because it's chilled it's great for warmer weather. It uses 3 lbs of strawberries...

Serves 8

2 lbs frozen strawberries (I froze my own)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 (9") pie shell (I used deep dish) baked and cooled

1. Cook frozen berries in large saucepan over med-low heat till they start to release juice. Increase to med-high and cook till thick and jam-like (about 25 min). Mixture should measure EXACTLY 2 cups. Any more and your filling may be too loose.

2. Combine lemon juice, water and gelatin in a small bowl. Let stand until gelatin has softened and thickened (5 min). Stir this mixture into the cooked berry mix along with the sugar and salt. Return to simmer for 2 min. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temp (about 30 min)

3. Fold fresh berries into the filling. Spread evenly in your already baked pie shell and refrigerate till set (about 4 hours).

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Went out with the ladies on Thursday to a meditarranean restaurant that was new to all of us, called Ilili (between 27th and 28th on 5th Ave). It's a pretty posh place, where we were all completely under-dressed. All the hostesses looked like they were probably models and there were a lot of rich old ladies with face-lifts around. The main dining area is pictured above. There was also a bar/lounge area to the left and a lower-key dining area to the right, both just as long.

If you're going here, expect to eat family style. We all shared the Mezza Royale (the biggest of the sharing menus) @ $139. You first get the cold appetizers:
Hummus, baba ghannouj, chankleesh (lentils/rice/onions), grape leaves, tabbouleh, fattoush (pita salad), falafel and Kibbeh nayeh - a paste of raw lamb mixed with spices, served with raw onions and mint (probably our least favorite),

Then the hot appetizers:
Moujadara (lentil/rice/onion), lahmajeen (middle eastern style pizza with ground beef on a thin crust), makanek, beef fried kibbeh (think meat and bulgur wheat falafel) and phoenician fries (think seasoned fries, really tasty)

We also ordered 2 main entrees and a side to split: their lamb kebab was was simple and delicious and their Citrus Trout, I'd suggest skipping. The brussel sprouts were recommended to us by our waitress as being one of their signature dishes. I passed on it due to the creamy sauce it was mixed with but I'm pretty certain the others enjoyed it.

For dessert we tried the Awaimat (lebanese beignet w/orange blossom syrup). This wasn't anything special and the syrup had too strong of an orange blossom taste for me.

The serving sizes are quite generous. We were definitely stuffed by the time we left. It's a very busy place, so definitely make a reservation before you go.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Marzipan Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Today was the first breakdown meeting of Season 3 of Team Umi Zoomi, where we watch the episode and discuss what needs to be done. I've been looking for an excuse to bake and this was it. I've had my eye on this recipe for a while, and I just happened to have a can of almond paste, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it would come out ok. It came out BETTER than ok. It's super moist and full of flavor. But the raspberry sauce really added the finishing touch, so don't leave it out.

Recipe from Joy of Cooking:

Marzipan Cake (8-10 servings)

7-8 oz almond paste or marzipan
6 Tbsp butter (3/4 stick)

2/3 cup sugar

3 large eggs
1 Tbsp kirsch or brandy (I used amaretto)

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 8x2" round pan, or line with parchment/wax paper (I recommend the latter, because I had trouble getting it out)

1. Beat almond paste and butter till well blended.
2. Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture (2-3 min)
3. Whisk together then gradually beat in for a total of 3 min the eggs, alcohol and extract
4. Add baking powder, be sure to break up any lumps
5. Fold in flour. Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly.
6. Bake 35-40 min until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean
7. Let it cool completely, dust with powdered sugar

Raspberry Coulis

1 pint raspberries, or 12 oz frozen dry pack thawed

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp strained fresh lemon juice

Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Strain through fine mesh sieve, pressing firmly with rubber spatula. Continue to press till you are left with just a heaping tablespoon of seeds. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lavender-Lemon Shortbread

I'd seen a lot of recipes around the internet that included lavender and I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical. Who wants to eat a flower associated with bath and body products? But while wandering around the farmer's market this week, I saw a stall selling locally grown lavender ( They had a small bag specifically meant for baking and tea.

All I can say is, these are delicious. And the fragrance, both when you are making them and baking them is really unique. The taste isn't too "flowery," but it's also distinct enough that you know it's there and compliments the lemon flavor. I now prefer this to regular shortbread.

Recipe from Food and Wine's website, by Allison Attenborough:

Servings (1 was able to make 20, but the recipe claims 1.5 dozen)

Lavender-Lemon Shortbread

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp dried lavender blossoms, chopped (I ground them with a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix the sugar, lavender and lemon zest. Using a mixer, beat in the butter at moderate speed. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for 20 min. Form the dough into a 4 inch log and chill for 45 min longer.
(Note: I made the log right away and chilled it for several hours, wrapped in wax paper).

2. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the shortbread into 1/4" thick rounds and place on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze the rounds for 10 min
(Note: Since my dough had been chilled for several hours, I skipped the freezing)

3. Bake the shortbread for 20-25 min or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw slightly before slicing. The baked shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cinnamon-Sugar Almonds

Recipe altered slightly from, by BJ

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups whole almonds
3/4 cup
sugar (I'd recommend brown sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250 F. Lightly grease a 10x15" jelly roll pan
2. Lightly beat the egg white; add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 45 min-1 hour, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool and store in airtight containers

Note: If you eat them right out of the oven, they will be soft, so definitely allow them to cool

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tip: Keeping Pesto Bright Green

I've started subscribing to Cook's Illustrated. I resisted for the longest time because I loved the big glossy photos in all the other magazines. But after sifting through countless ads and whole pages devoted to one photo, you realize there's almost no useful content. Cook's Illustrated has NO ADS, and is the publication of America's Test Kitchen. They give tons of information and explanations as to why one technique is better than another. They also review kitchen equipment and have beautifully detailed artwork.

The above doodle will hopefully be the start of a series of illustrated tips/recipes I plan on doing, inspired by Cook's Illustrated and the website "They Draw and Cook" . I need to practice drawing, because in 2 weeks time I'll have to keep a regular sketchbook for class.

For any techies out there, I drew it in Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro. They have a free 15-day trial, which I downloaded. I'm liking it so far, because it strips down a program like Photoshop and takes the bare essentials needed for drawing, versus having a clutter of menus and palettes. The full version is actually pretty cheap, $68

Friday, March 11, 2011

Macaroni Salad

I can't stand the white gloppy mayonnaise-y mess that most places call macaroni salad. It wasn't till last year, that I discovered a deli (St Mark's Market) that sold a version that I found edible. Their main flavor was mustard, with very little mayo, but it contained almost nothing other than noodles and a few carrot strips. I went home and tried to recreate the seasoning. Over time I added to it and made it a little more substantial. I also found that dill really helps prevent the taste from being too flat and balances out the mustard.

(Serves 2)
1/2 cup cooked macaroni
1 hard boiled egg
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 Tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp mayo
Salt/Pepper to taste

-Cook your macaroni and boil your egg in advance and let cool. You might want to add a touch of olive oil to the pasta so it won't stick together
-Chop all veggies and herbs. Cut up hard boiled egg
-Combine everything and chill, or serve right away

This recipe works perfectly for potato salad too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Basic Crepes

Today is Mardis Gras! Back in first grade French class this meant making crepes. We all received a photocopied handout with instructions in both English and French with crude drawings of eggs being beaten and batter being poured into a frying pan. Too bad I lost it, or I'd post it here. In my college years, my Swiss roommate brought her crepe pan with her and it became a staple food in our dorm room. That's when I started filling them with whatever was on hand, (pesto-cheese crepes being my favorite). Another version I grew up with has ham, mushrooms and cheese inside, with a bechamel poured over the crepes, which are then baked. And of course, don't forget Nutella!

Recipe from Quick and Delicious, Reader's Digest (Makes 12)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs

2/3 cup flour

2 Tbsp melted butter

1/8 tsp salt

1. Whisk ingredients together
2. Heat skillet, pour and swirl/spread the batter to get a nice thin layer
3. Cook till underside is golden brown.
You can treat it like a pancake and cook both sides, but I've also been told you do NOT flip it.

Note: If you are stuffing the pancake, add the ingredients after the top looks almost cooked, fold the sides over the filling and continue cooking till the inside has time to heat up

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

This is one of my favorite comfort foods, because it's so simple to make and tastes so damn good. And now that I have a great bread book (see previous post) I can have homemade foccacia to go with it.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman

2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 leeks (white part only), sliced into thin rings
salt and pepper
1 quart stock

-Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Add stock, bring to boil then reduce to simmer and cook till vegetables are very tender (about 20 min).
-Use an immersion blender or pour into food processor and puree till smooth.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bread Book

I highly recommend the book: "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day."The name is a little over-simplified as you can guess, but it's definitely faster than most traditional bread baking methods and the results are as good as any bakery I've bought bread at. Nice thick crunchy crust with a soft, dense interior that tastes great. I don't think I'll be using my bread machine much anymore.

The book focuses on the fact that pre-mixed, high moisture dough keeps well in the fridge.

Basically, you mix together the ingredients, no kneading. You let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. Then you can either bake it right away, or refrigerate it for up to 7-10 days. If you make enough, you can have fresh bread daily, with just a brief 40 minute resting period before baking.

They include great tips and tricks and explain the properties of various types of flours, why kneading isn't necessary, why you don't need to "proof" yeast or need a starter dough. Their recipes range from peasant loaves, to rich breakfast dough and flatbreads, all with variations.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops

I miss ice cream and I've gotten a little tired of coconut and soy based ice creams and sorbets, so I'm trying to be creative and find other ways to satisfy my cold sweet tooth, that don't involve dairy.

I don't think these need much explanation, but here's the basic recipe:

Lollipop sticks

-Cut up your bananas into desired size, insert lollipop stick and freeze.
-Melt chocolate and dip/spread over banana. It's best to use a thin coating, otherwise the chocolate will just break off in chunks when you bite it. The chocolate will harden almost immediately, which is good because you won't need to find a way to prop it up while it sets, but you'll also have to work quickly.
-Sprinkle with peanuts.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Brioche" (non-authentic bread machine version)

I always feel like I'm cheating when using my bread machine. In this case, all it's doing is making the dough, but since I'm not doing the physical labor, I feel inferior.

This recipe came with my bread machine. While it's called "brioche," and it's got eggs and tastes great, it's not what I'd call authentic. It's still a great recipe, but if you're expecting the golden yellow of challah inside, or that very distinct texture, this won't have that. This gives you nice dense, soft bread, similar to dinner rolls.

Makes 12
Place the ingredients in the following order in your bread machine (wet to dry):
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2.5 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (I suggest slightly more if you use unsalted butter)
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp active dry yeast

Egg Glaze:
1 egg, beaten
4 tsp water

-Set to dough setting. My machine takes an hour and 45 min.
-Divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and allow to rest for 20 min, covered with plastic wrap
-Place in greased brioche cups, or muffin tins. Brush with egg glaze
-Bake for 15 minute or until till tops are golden brown

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One way to use your Takoyaki pan: Scallion Balls!

I adore scallions, this is one way to honor them....

This is a pretty simple one:

• chop scallions
• mix in some flour and water
• add one egg

(When I asked Yukio "how much of what??" He said "Just make it right")

So here's what it looks like:

Ok got it.

So now heat the pan. He put one burner on top of the other so it's not too direct to the flame.

Throw some water on the pan to know when it's ready. NO OIL

Spoon them in alittle more than half full and wait about 2 min until the edges shrink alittle and turn brown, flip them over to the other side with some kind of poker.

That's it! Quick and easy.

We found that drizzling some Okonomiyaki sauce, Mayo, alittle hot sauce if you like, and sprinkled with this mixture in a shaker you can buy at any Asian mart. This one happened to be seaweed and sesame- there are many different combonations that would work. It DO think the balls need to be dressed with some kind of sauce...

Oh yeah and pink pickled ginger!!!!!!!!

Green Tea Mochi Cake with Red Beans

Matcha is a powerful and tasty finely-milled green tea used in tea ceremonies in Japan.
It boosts energy and metabolism, is an anti-oxidant, and is found in many ice creams, shakes, pastries, also mixed with salt to flavor tempura! (and of course Pocky)

Matcha is what I put into my cake used to celebrate a friend's birthday in New York.

Next time you're at your local Japanese grocery, pick up some Mochiko (gluten-free rice flour), Matcha, (usually in a small can), and some red (azuki) beans. (if you're lazy you can buy a can of sweetened paste, but I'm cheap and I already had some dry ones sitting in the cabinet.

So here we go:

• 16 oz Mochiko rice flour (or can substitute for any brand of glutinous rice flour)
• 1 cup butter
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
• 4 eggs
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder

1. Cream the butter with sugar. It helps to melt the butter a little first.

2. Mix in the evaporated milk to the butter/sugar mixture.

3. Mix eggs into the mixture.

4. Mix in the rice flour, baking powder and vanilla.

5. Mix in the matcha green tea powder.

6. Mix in the red beans.

7. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.

7. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees.

8. Let cake completely cool, allowing the mochi to set, before cutting and serving.

I decided to make my own red bean paste, so soak overnight, leave some beans whole for mixing into batter, reserve some for the paste, (just add sugar to taste)

I chose to put a layer of paste in the middle (after baking)

• 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 teaspoons matcha powder
• 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 4 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• optional, mix in some red beans, I did.

I smothered it with the frosting after cutting and brought half cut skewers for easy access in a dark drunken environment..

I wish it looked prettier, but it had to be portable. No time for nice presentation, but I'm sure you can make some serious art with this recipe!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spinach Tofu Pockets (vegan friendly)

A friend of mine was kind enough to host an event at her apartment in Brooklyn where we learned how to make eco-friendly cleaning products. In return, I made some vegan snacks. I altered my spinach feta pastry recipe, so if you plan to make the non-vegan version, just use feta instead of tofu and ignore the cumin and coriander. The photo above is using regular pie crust dough, which browns, unlike the vegan recipe, which will remain pale.

Makes roughly 16 pastries:

Filling (this can be made a day ahead and kept in fridge):
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 onion,
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cumin

Salt/pepper to taste

1/4 pkg of silken tofu, drained

1/8 tsp nutmeg

oil for sauteeing

-Sautee onion in oil till soft.
-Add spinach and spices. Cook till excess water from spinach has evaporated.
-Add tofu and continue cooking for another 10 min.
-Set aside to cool completely, or refrigerate. The filling MUST be cool, or you'll run into problems when filling and folding.

Pastry (vegan version. Can substitute with regular flaky crust recipe and use water to seal edges)
2.5 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup veg shortening (chilled)

oil for brushing on top

This was quite a bit of trial and error. If you are used to the way regular flaky pastry dough feels, this will feel too wet and smooth. It also lacks the elasticity of regular dough, so when folding it over your filling, there's a good chance it will crack. Just be patient and experiment with the thickness of the dough when rolling it out. You can try to use water to fix cracking.

-Mix shortening with flour till smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet
-Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut 4.5" circles (at this size I was able to make roughly 16 pastries). Fill with a tablespoon of spinach mix. Fold over filling and press edges together.
-Brush pastry with olive oil
-Bake for 30 min. These won't really brown, since they don't have milk or egg wash on them.