Vegetarian Series: Orange Chocolate Cheesecake (Vegan)

We were wrongDSC09404

We were wrong when we pitied vegetarians and ESPECIALLY vegans for not being able to partake in our oh-so-often omnivorous spread of devilishly delectable desserts! We were wrong when we dismissed the thought of going vegetarian or vegan because we simply couldn’t do without dessert!  And we were wrong when we thought that all vegans ever eat are dry, characterless seeds and roots and leaves!

Just when I started thinking that this vegetarian series was going to be boring and personality-less, I googled “vegetarian desserts” on a whim and, as if by kismet, I was led to this picture on this Pinterest page. I followed the trail and eventually came across the recipe here, compliments of fettlevegan (check out her blog and try some of her recipes… such insight, such innovation!).

Anyway, since then, my life  hasn’t been the same!

Somehow, in the blender, DSC09379the individual cashews died and were collectively resurrected as a smooth, creamy, thick, rich ‘batter’, that, with a splash of OJ, orange extract and agave syrup, and just a breath of cocoa powder, attained the gastronomical equivalent of sainthood.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before! Next time I make this -because, there will be a next time- I think I’m gonna replace the cashews with hazelnuts, or at least toss a couple of ’em in there. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up inventing my own vegan ‘nutella’ cheesecake recipe! In fact, you know what, I think I just might do that!

As it turns out, vegans aren’t necessarily missing out on all the fun!

Calling All Tennis Roll Lovers!

A few months ago, my sister and I attempted  to make  traditional Guyanese tennis rolls. The result? Near perfect taste with the texture, density and weight of a rock bun! It was a great learning experience but we know that we’ll need to practice more to get it right.

But here lies the problem : how can one practice without a guide? How can we know where we went wrong and how we need to adjust?

Finding tennis roll recipes and step by step preparation tips are impossible to find in print and sparsely available online. This iconic Guyanese dish is missing from the renowned What’s Cooking in Guyana Cookbook and we were able to find only one tennis roll recipe online (at the Guyana Outpost website) which has inspired several customizations,  like this blogger’s adaptation and this one published by Cynthia Nelson in the Stabroek News. Even Cynthia, an accomplished food writer, admits that making these deliciously unique rolls at home is a special art that goes beyond a mere recipe on a page.

In light of the above frustrations, we’re looking to start a group of men and women who are interested in sharing their tennis roll recipes and expertise with others and learning and carrying on this tradition no matter where we live. So…

Calling all tennis roll makers! Calling all those looking for tennis roll recipes! We know that we are not the only folks who know how rewarding a fresh Guyanese tennis roll can be and are struggling to make it at home.

If you know how to make tennis rolls, want to know how to make tennis rolls or are just curious about why we’re making such a big deal about a roll,  would you consider emailing us at sistersizzle AT gmail.com or commenting on this post? Our goals are to

  1. find more tennis rolls recipes 
  2. learn techniques about how to make them (both in terms of taste and texture)
  3. if possible, find out where tennis rolls came from and why they are native to Guyana (aren’t you curious about where the name ‘tennis’ rolls came from? I know I am)

I have full faith that we can all learn from one another and serve picture perfect (texture and all) tennis rolls at our own breakfast tables in no time. Thanks in advance.

Vegetarian Series: Aloo Jeera

Spicy, aromatic, simple! Manjula was absolutely right! DSC09285

We’ve always been partial to Indian food largely, we think, because we grew up in a country where the majority of the population is East Indian. But to be able to replicate that authentic flavour and even aroma, in our own kitchen, no way! Right? WRONG! With Manjula’s help we were able to do just that!

The kind folks at Manjula’s Kitchen walked us through this recipe step by step.

As usual, there were some substitutions: instead of green chillies, we used Scotch Bonnet peppers (because they’re locally sourced and we’re big on that), we couldn’t find, much less pronounce the asafetida, so we went without it, and as per Manjula’s suggestion, we replaced the mango powder with lemon juice.

And if we can be so bold as to make a suggestion ourselves, we think it would be a superb idea to boil the potatoes in salt water instead of adding it later (it tends to hold the flavour a bit better that way).

Find the recipe here and try it yourselves. If you like spicy, aromatic dishes which couldn’t be simpler to make, we have a feeling you won’t be able to get enough of Aloo Jeera!

Crushed Nuts : The ingredient you’ve been missing from your smoothies

Many of your may already have known about this but for those of you who don’t : crushed nuts are the best kept smoothie ingredient secret on the web! Here is the unassuming banana smoothie recipe I found at FoodRepublic that tipped me off. In short, place some chopped nuts (I used pecans) into the blender and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Then blend in your other smoothie ingredients. The final drink will be just as smooth and tastes like ice cream with nuts on top.