Poking around in websites, hunting for clues to the identity and make up of a blogger is one of my pass times. People watching, but indoors, without a glass or cup of something in hand, and actually without any ‘real’ people. Well, of course they are real but a high percentage don’t have a profile picture…just proud pictures of supper, donuts with pink frosting, or a close up of a blender, mid-blend. So I try and build stories about people via their recipe listings or their ‘blog roll’ (does only a British person get the irony in that title?). Mostly, the ‘about me’ tab gives a line or two about the food they like, who they eat it with or make it for, and a bit of back story – pet dog, food persuasion, geographical location. I’ve been spying on Janes Adventures In Dinner she’s Canadian, a mom. She’s about food, she’s about photography, she’s about creative crafting, she’s about ‘giving it a go’ and making life a party. It was my mission to steal (borrow) from her. I had to make sure she didn’t suspect a thing.
The brainchild of this assignment is Amanda Formaro. Amanda from Amandas’ Cookin set up The Secret Recipe Club so she could have some fun and connect with fellow bloggers, and it was 1 year old this month. The number of members have shot up. I love the randomness of of it all. Each month you get assigned (secretly) a food blogger to be your target. It’s very random. Last month I made a Swedish Cake. It is ALWAYS an inspiration. It is usually a challenge….being a vegan n’all! But a welcome one. I spied some great looking onion and feta pizza on Jane’s blog. She was waxing lyrical about it. Here is what I did with it. It’s vegan and, as I’ve just taken delivery of a humming (huge) dehydrator…RAW.
1 large (tennis ball size or a teensy bit bigger) white onion
4 dates (soft ‘Jasmine’ are perfect, if not soak them for 10 mins in a little hot water)
5 tablespoons Tamari (or coconut amino’s or Braggs liquid amino’s if you are soy free)
1. slice onion into rings (about 1/4 cm thick). Pop into a mixing bowl
2. put the dates (drain them if soaked) in a blender with the amino’s and blend to a paste
3. spoon the paste into the bowl and use your hands to mix the paste into the onion rings so they are all gooey and sticky and covered well. It smells good already at this point!
4. spoon onto a paraflex sheet or baking paper and put into the dehydrator for about 6 hours, until soft.
You will not believe how good these taste. So many uses for them. A big spoon of the sweet and sticky ribbons of onion on top of some mash would be spoonable nirvana (not the band).
2 sticks celery
1/2 c flax seeds – soak in water for 10 mins
1/2 teaspoon pink salt or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1. blend all ingredients but keep back 2 T of the soaked flax seeds and add after the mixture is blended. This makes the chips have another dimension and texture with the bite of the flax seeds dotted around.
2. use a teaspoon to spoon little blobs onto a paraflex sheet, about 1/4 cm thick. Don’t overfill the spoon, it makes for very unruly shapes. Though, admittedly, mine came out in an assortment of sizes and more oval than round. If you have a better way please share it.
3. dehydrate on 115 for 2-3 hours. This is very random and seems to depend on the humidity in your house , if it is raining, if there is cloud cover or if there is an eclipse (exaggerating!), and how much water was in the mix. And I thought using a dehydrator would be an exacting science! When you can lift them off the sheet without squidging them to a brown mess, gently lift them off the paraflex sheet and put them straight onto the mesh for approx 4 hours or until as crispy as a potato chip.
Serve in a bowl. Pile the crackers into the bowl and nestle in a ramekin, spilling over with the gooey, onions. You can also make a little h’ orderves stack with an oily, flavoursome sun-dried tomato and a spoon of the sweet onions between two crackers. The crackers will keep for weeks in an airtight container but let’s face it that would only happen if you forgot you had them. Great for snacking, and AMAZING used as little scoops for cheeszy vegan nacho dip. I like to build a little scoop and then stand up, pop them in my mouth whilst twirling on the spot. Try it. I am sure it improves digestion or something. Probably not best to do this in the office though, unless you get everyone to join in. The Twirling H ‘ordervishes!