Monday, November 24, 2014

Cafe Vero in Lake George

This place is adorable! 

First, a little background. Cafe Vero used to be located in the village. It was a small storefront with a counter where you would order and tables in the back. It was a great place to grab a cup of coffee, pastry or breakfast sandwich to go. I never really stayed and ate. 

Now, they have relocated to the former OTB location on Canada Street near the Adirondack Brewery. You can either go to the counter and grab somerthing or, there is an area where you can sit and get table serve. 

It was packed when we went there for Sunday breakfast. 


Their breakfast menu has a variety of options including a giant breakfast burrito that I got without the meat, cheese and egg. 


But, don't worry, they also have favorites like regular and cinnamon raisin French toast, various egg breakfast options and more. 

If you are looking for something sweet, their pastries, like this cinnamon roll, are made by their in-house baker. 



When it comes to coffee, they are obvious experts. I had a decaf cappuccino with soy milk. 

 
They have a little outside patio, which I am hoping willbe dog-friendly, because it would be great to be able to take the pups for a walk and then stop there for breakfast in coffee on Saturday mornings. 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Creamy Vegan, Gluten-Free Mac'n Cheese

You guys! I make a variety of vegan and gluten-free mac'n cheese recipes, but this one is by far the fastest, and the one that most tastes like my "regular" mac'n cheese. And, actually my favorite. 

Here is a little secret, it is because it is almost the same recipe as the "regular" mac'n cheese I used to make, but with all vegan and gluten-free ingredients! 

I like to use shells most of the time, but feel free to use elbow macaroni.

One key here is the "butter" and flour mixture. I have an electric stove and it is sometimes hard to turn down the heat when making something that sensitive. Be super careful to not let it burn. If it does, dump it out and start over. 

Also, another important piece to this recipe is mixing cheese in really well. What I have learned is that you have to be patient, but quick. I wisk the cheese very fast and continue to do so until it is all melted.

Again, pay attention to your heat, this step is where you get all your creamy goodness. So, take your time and don't rush the process by turning the heat up too fast, thinking it will make the cheese melt faster. 

Trust me, it may take a few times of making this, but comes out fabulous when done correctly. It took me several times to get the heat exactly right. I also think the actual brand of ingredients make a difference with this recipe, too, as I have made it with several different types of brands, and it comes best when using the ones I list below. Note, that I am in no way sponsored by or have been given any of these products. I just happen to like the way this particular dish tastes with these particular brands, compared to others that I have used for this recipe. 




Vegan, Gluten-Free Mac'n Cheese
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

8 ounces gluten-free pasta (shells, or elbows)
3 cups Blue Diamond Almond Milk Beverage 
1 package Diaya Cheddar Style Shreds 
4 tablespoons Earth Balance soy-free spread 
4 tablespoons King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
Nutritional yeast 
fresh cracked pepper 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot cook the macaroni for 2 minutes less than what it calls for on the package. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. 

In the same pot melt the Earth Balance. Add in the flour and whisk until a paste like substance starts to form. Be very careful not to burn it.

Add in the nut milk and whisk for about a minute till it gets warm. Then, add in the cheddar and whisk until it is melted and there is a creamy consistency. While doing this, whisk in about three tablespoons of nutritional yeast. 



Once you have reached the creamy, desired consistency, stir in the macaroni using using a wooden spoon. Pour into a greased baking pan. Sprinkle the top with a bit more nutritional yeast and fresh cracked pepper. 


Cook uncovered in the oven for about 25 minutes.



Enjoy! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Vegan Gluten-Free Brussels Sprout Ricotta Pizza

Lately, I am super obsessed with Brussels Sprouts. I think it is because when I grow them, they are not ready until between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the Fall makes me crave them. 

In many recipes, like this one, the pre-packaged, shredded Brussels from Trader Joe's comes in handy. If you don't have pre-shredded ones, you can just shred them yourself. I love the crispiness from the smaller pieces of Brussels Sprouts.

This is also another recipe that really depends on your taste and how large your pizza crust it. So, adjust everything based on that. For example, I only used about three slices of red onion. You may want to use more or less. If you are making a larger pizza, you may use more than the two cups I used. 

Play around and have fun with it! 

 
Vegan Gluten-Free Brussels Sprouts and Ricotta Pizza
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 


Your favorite gluten-free, vegan pizza crust 
vegan ricotta
2 cups shredded Brussels Sprouts 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 small cloves of garlic sliced very thin
red onion sliced very thin
sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
hot pepper flakes

Preheat the oven according to the pizza crust directions. 

In a bowl combine the shredded brussels sprouts, oilve oil, salt, pepper and red pepper. Miss and set aside.



Spread a generous amount of the ricotta across the the pizza crust. Top with the garlic slices and red onion. 






Give the brussels sprouts one last mix and then pour it evenly across the pizza. 



Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and teh brussels sprouts are browned.


Enjoy! 





Monday, October 27, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Italian Baked Tomatoes

Baked and stuffed. Two words I like to see used together. Maybe it is because 
I used to look forward to my Mom's stuffed peppers, but there is something comforting to a food that has been stuffed. 

Of course, I like to stuff my foods with healthy items. And, as you know, I like to use leftovers to make new dishes. This not only wastes less food, but it also makes food prep easy when you are busy and planning for the week. If I can make one batch of quinoa and use it in three different meals, it saves both time and money. 

This is another one of those dishes that is more about the technique than the actual measurements, because those are going to vary depending on how many tomatoes you are using, as well as their size. Part of this food adventure is being creative and learning what flavorings and seasonings you like. So have fun and play around with it

I will supply you with the basic idea and ingredient list, you come up with how much you want what flavor to stand out. For example, I like basil and spice, so I made the basil and fresh cracked pepper the dominate flavor. Likewise, I made one tomato with more nutritional yeast on top than the others, because I wanted to try one with a little more "cheese" flavor.

Oh, and this is both vegan and gluten free! 



Quinoa Stuffed Italian Baked Tomates 
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

2 vine ripe tomatoes 
1 cup cooked quinoa (you may need more or less depending on the size of the tomatoes
2-3 tablespoon olive oil 
basil 
oregano
parsley 
sea salt 
fresh cracked pepper
nutritional  yeast 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, basil, oregano, parsley, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Set aside. 

Slice each tomato in half and scoop out the flesh and seeds. Place in a greased baking dish cut-side up. 

Liberally brush the insides with the oil and herb mixture. 




Stuff each tomato with the cooked quinoa. 

Brush the of the stuffed tomato with the remaining herb and oil mixture, making sure the herbs are piled on top. 




Generously sprinkle with nutritional yeast and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the quinoa is slightly browned on top. 



Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vegan, Gluten Free Taco Mix: The Spice Hunter

I find it hard sometimes to find items that are both gluten free and vegan. Although not surprising, it does fascinate me that so many spices have some form of dairy or milk in them. 

For example, I got a free, full-sized sample of Penzy's taco seasoning a while back. I was excited to finally try it yesterday, until I looked at the ingredients.



Yup, lactose. Ugh. I was so disappointed! 

So, the search started to make sure I could find a vegan, gluten-free taco mix. I found several widely-available commercial brands that fit both these categories. But, then while in Hannaford, my Dad found  this by The Spice Hunter  -- 



Organic, gluten-free and vegan taco mix! It was a little less than a dollar more expensive than the other brand I had in my hand, but I still decided to try it. 

It definately had a more mild taste, and I added a little sea salt to my taco, but overall it was pretty good. We also split the packge, me using half for my black beans and my Dad using hald for his ground meat. I think that sometimes messes with flavors, too. 

They also have a fajita mix, that I bought and am excited to try soon. 

I mean, look at this taco ...  it looked and tasted, awesome. 


  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vegan, Gluten-Free Eggplant Fries

Ahhhhh!!! I am so excited. Like super, super expcited! I finally nailed it, vegan, gluten-free eggplant fries straight from my garden that taste amazing. 

The first time I had eggplant fries was at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery, and I was immediately hooked. The probelm is that they are normally not gluten free or vegan when you get them out. So, to enjoy them this way, I wanted to make them at home from scratch. 

After researching various recipes and techniques, as well as experimenting a bit in the kitchen, I came up with a vegan, gluten-free recipe that tastes amazing. Even my non-vegan/gluten-free Dad, who loves the ones at the brewery, enjoyed them.

Unlike my eggplant cutlets, I am not sure if these can be frozen and then just put in the oven to reheat. I am eperimenting with that and will update this post when I know. 

I think they taste best individually battered, but if you are making a large amount, you can do it as a large batch, just make sure to tap off the excess batter before putting them in the fryer. They will stick together, but when you get them at the restaurant, they are this way, too sometimes. 

These are perfect for a party. I used two medium eggplants, and had some batter left over. 



Vegan, Gluten-Free Eggplant Fries 
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

2 eggplants
3/4 cup (plus more) gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur) 
1 cup almond milk 
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon basil 
1/4 teaspoon oregano 
1/4 teaspoon parsley 
sea salt 
fresh cracked pepper


Peel the eggplant. Starting from one side, begin slicing it length-wise from top to bottom. Then slice those into sticks. Finally slice the sticks in half, depending on the size of the eggplant. Make sure none of the pieces are too big.

Remember, these are fries, pieces are going to be uneven. Don't fret about it, because they don't have to be perfect. 


 
In a shallow bowl, whisk togehter the 3/4 cup flour, apple cider vinegar, oregano, basil, parsley, fresh cracked pepper, salt and milk. In another, medium-sized bowl dump some gluten-free flour. 

*Tip: I like to start with a little flour and then keep adding more to the bowl as I need it. Two reasons. First, you don'lt waste as much flour and second, because sometimes the flour gets a little lumps depending on how carefull you are before putting it in the liquid mix. 

Prepare you fryer to the appropriate temperature according to their directions. 

Once that is ready, create an assembly line of sorts. In batches, take the eggplant sticks and toss them in the four. Shake off the excess flour and then dip into the milk mixture. Place neatly with room between them into the frying basket. 









Then place them in ther fyer and cook until golden brown. Remove from the fryer, drain and transfer to a paper towel-covered plate. 

 



They shouldn't be greasy. In fact, I used two paper towels for the whole batch. 

Serve with hot tomato sauce.

If you want an added flavor, which my Dad loves, but I am not particularly a fan of, drizzle with thick, balsamic vinegar reduction sauce. 

Enjoy!! 














Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Kayaking on Lake Placid

There are really no words to describe how beautiful Lake Placid is.  That is why the bulk of this post is going to be photos from our day kayaking there yesterday. 

It was absolutely gorgeous! The water was perfect, and not too rough. And, the weather, it was amazing! It wasn't too hot and wasnt too cold. 

Fall in the Adirondacks is just beautiful. 












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