Friday, January 05, 2007

74 More Cupcakes to Go

As promised, i wanted to share with you my menu for the New Year's Eve dinner we hosted. I wanted something i could prepare early, since i was also busy dressing up in my costume, and i wanted to use my new Le Creuset dish that i got from my parents. I decided on lasagne.Yes, the dish is round, so i'm sure you're wondering, round lasagne? Well, why not! It is like a pie after all! So, lasagne seemed like a good fit. And thus, an Italian-inspired dinner was formed!

On the menu was:

* tomato and basil bruschetta
* mixed greens, strawberries and pine nut salad with fresh basil vinegrette
* Vegan lasagne - recipe to follow
* Tiramisu cupcakes for dessert (from the 75 Vegan Cupcake book) - review to follow
Vegan Lasagne

12 lasagne noodles, cooked as directed on box
1 package veggie 'ground meat'
2 onions, diced
3 cups vegan mozzarella
450 g spinach
1 cup fresh basil, cut
2 cups mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1 26 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles as directed, cool in cold water and set aside.
2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to frying pan, over medium-high heat and saute 1 onion to lightly brown. Add veggie ground and cook thoroughly. It may already be seasoned, but add salt and pepper as needed. You may want to add other spices as well, but that's up to you.3. To make tomato sauce from scratch, saute the other onion, add the garlic after a minute or so. Add the herbs and saute until all are incorporated. Add the tomato paste slowly, turning the heat down to medium-low. Stir to incorporate, adding the rest of the paste and tomatoes until all are used. If needed, pour some water in to make it the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. To save on time, you can also use store-bought or ready-made sauce, needing about 3 cups.
4. At this point, you can start assembling the lasagne, in order to save on the plates and pans used. To assemble, pour 1/3 cup of sauce on bottom of pan. You can use a 13 x 9 pan, or anything large enough to fit the lasagne noodles in. Next, lay 4 noodles across, overlaying them slightly. Then add veggie ground mixture, with a couple of spoonfuls of sauce, and the follow with 4 more noodles.
5. Using the same fry pan as the meat, saute the mushrooms in 1 tbsp of olive oil until they start to cook. Add spinach and cook until the spinach is cooked well. Add the basil and cook for 1 more minute.
6. Continue assembling the lasagne by laying this spinach mixture on top of the 4 noodles. Add 1 1/2 cup of cheese on top, and then lay with 4 more noodles.7. Top with rest of sauce and then follow with rest of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, then take off foil and bake for 10 more.

Serves 6 easily and 4 with leftovers

Tiramisu CupcakesI made my first cupcakes from this fabulous book (oh, i'm so glad i got it, thanks again Laural!). Since i made lasagne, i thought it was only fitting to make an Italian dessert. I also wanted to make these because it was my mom's birthday and she makes the Best Tiramisu. That i can't eat. So i wanted to make a substitute that was just as good.
These were so fun to make. I made a basic white cupcake but the best part was the creative way to decorate them. I had to scoop out holes to fill with a coffee/rum liquor. Just like the real deal. Then, instead of making cream cheese icing like the recipe calls for, i made a basic 'buttercream' icing because i wanted this to be as close to my mom's tiramisu as possible. So, i added a heaping spoonful of icing into the crevice i cut out, added the cut-out as a hat, and loaded more icing on to it. Then, i topped it with chocolate and cinnamon shavings and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. Yum.

I'm still licking the icing.

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Anonymous Jodi said...

Those cupcakes look amazing. So very pretty and I'm sure that they tasted fantabulous.
You've convinced me to get the cupcake book even though I'm not a vegan/vegetarian.
Just curious - what's a Le Creuset dish?

12:04 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

What a feast! Round lasagne, sure. Tiramisu vegan cupcakes, rock on!

11:20 PM  
Blogger The Alt Martha said...

Yum! I really wish I wouldn't have come across your blog at 10 p.m. because now I'm going to have a difficult time falling asleep without raiding the fridge first. Perhaps I'll count lasagnas instead of sheep.

We have a ton in common (vegan, crafty, cats, my friend just made some of those cloth trees and some aprons)!! If you ever come to Portland I'll show you around!

1:24 AM  
Blogger michelleknits said...

oh my! it is 10 in the morning and you're making me hungry for lunch! i love lasagna and i love cupcakes! mmm!

something weird is happening with either your blog or my computer: in order for me to read your post, i have to highlight where i think the text is, and then it appears. then it will disappear and it will highlight again. actually, it's fun! especially with the title: it was a mystery and i had to highlight to see!

1:02 PM  
Blogger vania said...

Jodi, i added a link to Le Creuset - they're wonderful cast iron cooking pots and pans. Michelle, let me know if you still can't read my blog - i don't know the cause of it!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...


3:03 PM  

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