Well, I’ve crossed the finish line and boy did I end this challenge with a bang! This week I had the great honor to receive a shout-out from Angela Liddon herself on the Oh She Glows website! Check it out here. Angela wrote;
Hey Ashley, I’ve been following your #osgcookbook challenge, and I’m super impressed by all the dishes you’ve made and shared!
Needless to say, I am still beaming to know that my recipe writing idol has been reading my posts and has taken notice of my blog. Thanks Angela! It means a lot 🙂
Now that I have made every recipe in the book, I plan to write a post about my favorites. Check back soon to hear about the very best this book has to offer. This will be nice to share, as some of my personal favorites are recipes I made before starting this challenge, so I haven’t necessarily written about them yet in this blog. I also am excited to kick off a new challenge that will involve innovating my own recipes and sharing them with you. I have a few ideas kicking around in my head, so you will have to wait and see what I come up with. But for now, I give you the final four #osgcookbook recipes from this week, enjoy!
Creamy Vanilla Almond Milk
Years ago I switched from drinking dairy milk to almond milk and I never looked back. I love the fresh, light flavor of it and also it’s many health benefits. Almond milk is higher in calcium than dairy milk, and also does not have any of the saturated fat or cholesterol. I never would have made my own homemade almond milk if it weren’t for this challenge, and I’m glad I did because it was neat to see how it all comes together, from solid almonds to smooth and creamy ‘milk.’ The flavor is a little nicer than store bought, I’ll admit, but not soooo much better that I would really make this a regular thing. Just like with juicing, I don’t like to have so much wasted pulp. Now, to be fair, the #osgcookbook does have a recipe to use the pulp, but it requires a dehydrator which I do not own, so it will be the ONLY recipe I don’t make. I did save the pulp anyway in the hopes of finding a cookie recipe or something else to use it. We shall see. If I put it to good use, I’l let you know 😉
Long Weekend Grilled Salad
I waited and waited to make this salad on the grill but the opportunity just hasn’t come. I finally had to suck it up and make it in the oven, but I am determined to make it again this summer on the grill as it is meant to be done! With that said, roasting the veggies in the oven worked out just fine. I tossed everything in a little oil, salt and pepper, and spread it on a cookie sheet to roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, flipping it all halfway through. I even included the corn in the roasting process, cutting the kernels off the cob and tossing them with the rest of the veggies. I was a little concerned they may burn since they are so tiny, but I just pushed them toward the center of the pan as much as possible and that was enough to prevent them from getting over cooked. The salad was delicious and I will be turning to it again as the perfect side dish to a summer meal!
Chilled Chocolate-Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Funny how this was the very first dessert recipe I wanted to make from the book, but it turned out being the very last I actually made. Lol, go figure! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find hazelnuts to make the crust, so I used pecans instead. I was informed at the grocery store that hazelnuts are a seasonal item. Really!!?? I think it was the pecan crust that made this torte taste curiously similar to the pumpkin pie in this book! Bit of a strange effect. I cannot wait to try it again around the holidays when hazelnuts become available again. I loved the creamy texture and the sweet taste, but would have liked it to be more chocolaty. I omitted the optional espresso powder, which I know would have enhanced the chocolate flavor, so I guess that will also be on my to-do list when I remake this dish in a few months. It goes great with whipped cream (I’m sure coconut whipped cream will be great as well if you are vegan) and Dhrien and I also discovered that strawberries really bring out the flavors nicely as we devoured the final two slices last night!
Crunch Maple-Cinnamon Roasted Almond Butter
Okay so I kind of cheated on this one. I already have a giant Costco sized jar of almond butter in my fridge, so it just seemed wasteful to make more almond butter in addition to that. There’s little I hate more than wasting food. Since I buy natural almond butter, which is just crushed almonds, I figured I would just use a cup of it and then add all the other ingredients to achieve a similar result. Hehe, I know, it’s a total cheat, but it did work and it’s really yummy! A few months ago Dhiren fell in love with a peanut butter from Trader Joe’s that has chia seeds in it, so I know he will appreciate this chia and hemp studded nut butter. This was the very last recipe I made, hence the graduation cap in the photo 😛 I realized as I dug it out of the basement that it was pretty much this time last year that I received that cap at my Master’s graduation ceremony, and now here I am ‘graduating’ from this challenge I created for myself. Pretty cool. Now, I wonder where I will be this time next year….