4th of July Fun – Sangria Recipe

4th of July is my favorite holiday, after Thanksgiving. While I do love America, i love the fireworks, sun and BBQs even more. Let’s be real, summer BBQ food is what really keeps The 4th of July in the top two favorite days to eat all year. I like to make themed dishes like Freedom Fries (over done, i know, but mine were sweet potato, which makes it a bit better), Patriot Act Pies, Recession Rings, Barack Bacon Burgers, you get the idea…In commemoration of this great country, the food is usually fried and abundant.

This year, in solidarity with my friends down there, and the veggie trend that is sweeping the nation, I will be doing a farmers-market-fresh vegan dish, called the Donald Trump Dillies, which are my personal brand of dill pickles. Deep fried of course.  It is America’s birthday after-all.

Took this picture in front of the sausage bar on Traction, great right?

And to drink? We’ll be having my favorite, Save-the-Unions Sangria, which includes a few shots of brandy, a bottle of a red table wine (classy or not), a little less than a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and some of these:

Have a great holiday! And please, let us know, what will you be eating?

– Miranda

June Glee

I wait all year for June to come. It’s one of my favorite months of the year (and my birthday is in November).  It is the beginning of barbeques and beach time and bathing suits. Of long days and gloomy mornings, which are something to relish since they leave as quickly as they come. But one of my absolute favorite things about this early summer season in Los Angeles is, of course, the fruit.

Oh all that delicious fruit that floods the farmers markets and our bellies. I tend to eat the first batch of peaches, cherries, apricots and berries so fast that I forget all the wonderful things I can do with them.  While I am a big fan of juices and salads, I am an even bigger fan of PIES. Especially since they make me feel like I am being healthy with all that fruit in them.  I have found a simple but delicious recipe for a vegan pie crust, compliments of VegFamily, to combine with whatever fruity-filling of your choice.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup margarine
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl with fork, lightly stir together flour and salt.
  2. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Sprinkle in cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork after each addition until pastry just holds together.
  4. With hands, shape pastry into ball (if it’s a hot day you may have to refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or so).
  5. For a two crust pie, divide pastry into 2 pieces, one slightly larger, and then gently shape each piece into a ball.
  6. On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll larger ball into a 1/8 inch thick circle, 2 inches larger all around than pie plate.
  7. Roll half of circle onto rolling pin; transfer pastry to pie plate and unroll, easing into bottom and side of plate. Fill as recipe directs.
  8. For top crust, roll smaller ball as for bottom crust; with sharp knife, cut a few slashes or a design in center of circle; center over filling in the bottom crust.
  9. With scissors or sharp knife, trim the pastry edges, leaving 1 inch overhang all around the pie plate rim.
  10. Fold overhang under; pinch a high edge. Bake pie as recipe directs.

Father’s Day is coming up and what better way to celebrate your father, grandfather, uncle or husband then to make them a pie. My grandpa’s favorite was cherry. And luckily for me, cherries are all the rage at the farmers markets right now.  So in honor of both cherries and my grandpa, my family will be getting a delicious home-made vegan cherry pie this weekend. I try not to tell them about the vegan part until after they tell me how good it is. I found the recipe for the cherry filling on Almost Vegan and use just one cup of sugar and any kind of margarine, as most are vegan and soy can be hard to find. If making pies seems like a daunting task, don’t fret. Word on the street is that Jennie will be hosting a few pie making classes in the upcoming months. So stay tuned, making pies is way more fun with friends anyway.

6 Cups of Fresh Tart Cherries (pitless)
1 1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/4 cup of Corn Starch

Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Soy Margarine, Cut Up

1.) Preheat oven to 425 F. In large bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add cherries and mix with spatula or spoon.

2.) Put in the pie crust that you already made with the recipe above.

3.) Place pie on cookie sheet to catch any overflow during baking. Bake 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375F, bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until filling bubbles in center. If necessary, cover edges loosely with foil to prevent over-browning during baking. Cool on wire rack at least 1 hour to serve warm, but the longer you cool it the less it will run.
miranda