Friday, December 14, 2012

Molasses Raisin Almond Balls (Sugar Plums)

Hey All,

I made this variation of sugar plums (the kind that dance in  your head) last night in about 5 minutes and they were gone almost as quickly (by myself). Neil took a half bite and well, he didn't appreciate them. I am a bit of a sucker for molasses, which seems to be something people either love or hate. I got this recipe from Vegan Crunk ( (no i'm not vegan, nor do I intend to be) but I like to dabble. There are lots of varations of this recipe, as sugar plums are a general term. These kind of remind me of Larabars, the energy bar made from dates + spices + some kind of nut + whatever chocolate/peanut butter/flavor combo etc it's labeled as. I'm not really a date fan when they're on their own and I'm also not a fan of paying for energy bars when I can make them in tasty ball form. The next version of these that I'm going to make is with oats pulverized to a powder, but for this version my MIL gave me some almond meal to use. Thus I didn't put everything in a food processor, I just mashed with my hands. If you're going to go that route (so you don't have to clean your food processor), chop up the raisins first.

Also of note, the original recipe calls for Blackstrap Molasses, which is much more bitter and since I only had regular molasses on hand, that is what I used.

Raisin Almond Molasses Balls
makes about 15-18 balls
raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free

1 1/4 cup raw almonds
generous pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup raisins
4 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
dash cloves/dash allspice ( I skipped these)

Grind almonds & sea salt into food processor until finely ground. Add raisins, molasses and spices. Grind until mixture sticks together and is uniform looking. Shape into balls (or press into a baking pan). Eat.

Store in the fridge, they should last a week....*should if you don't share

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pickle Soup

Neil and I love dill pickles and we go through them pretty quickly. One day I was mulling over what a waste it is to throw out that pickle juice. So I googled things to make with pickle juice and let me tell you, there are a LOT of pickle juice advocate out there. I made this soup tonight and it was AMAZING. I bet this would be something fun to serve to kids if they like pickles. It's just a fun word to without further silliness:

Pickle Soup (zupa ogorkowa)
 I made a half recipe and used an immersion blender to make it smooth, but still thick because I like thick soups.

6 cups stock
1 medium carrot, diced very small
1 big potato, diced smallish
1/2 onion minced
6 big pickled cucumbers, grated or finely chopped.
pickle juice from jar - i used 3/4 cup for a half recipe
2 tsp sour cream and more to serve.
2 tsp little flour
  1. Heat the stock up and add the potato and carrot. Leave it to simmer while you saute the onion slowly in some butter.
  2. When the potatoes are almost tender add the onion and pickles to the pot. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft
  3. Mix two teaspoons of flour with the sour cream then slowly stir into the soup to thicken it.-if you don't have sour cream, equal amounts of flour & milk will work just fine. Apparently using sour cream with the flour is a Polish thing? I've always only ever used cornstarch and water to thicken.
  4. Taste the soup and add some of the pickle juice to taste - the sour taste should be distinctive but not out of control.
  5. Serve with masses of chopped dill, rye toast and more sour cream