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I've been a quiet little mouse lately, because my friend, Julie Hasson, and I have been furiously working on a new project! We're starting a new business, Julie & Kittee, which focuses on vegan, gluten-free recipe development, cooking classes, and coaching/consulting.

Our website launch is today!!! Along with our first e-cookbook, Julie & Kittee's Bagel Factory, which is all about beautiful, delicious, boiled bagels! The e-cookbook is a 40MB PDF download, with 10 bagel recipes (plus extras), with lots of color photos, a short video, and tons of instructional information about ingredients, tools and methodology to ensure your kitchen success!

Pictured L to R: Cinnamon Cherry Bagels with Rolled oats and Banana-Nut Bagels.
We are super proud of these bagels! Not only are they delicious, but they have great macros; upwards of 6g protein and 10g fiber per bagel.

Pictured: Not Pumpernickel Bagels with salt, caraway and sesame seeds.
We have lots of information about the book on our new website, but for those who want to know right now, the recipes include: Plain, Not Pumpernickel, Cinnamon Cherry, Banana-Nut, Olive, Jalapeño-Cheese, Matcha Sesame, Peanut Butter & Chia Jam, Pizza, and Pumpkin-Fig Spice. We also include 411 on marbling and turning bagels into pretzels. :))))

Pictured: Olive Bagel with homemade Zaatar Topping

I'll be focusing my blogging brain power over on Julie & Kittee, so be sure to save the link, if you want to see what I'm up to. If any of you miss me, I send you kisses! Actually, I send you all kisses anyway. And BAGELS!
If you love me back, please share this post.
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Mardi Gras' King Cake 2017 Specimen:
Olive Oil | Blueberry | Cream Cheese 

Fat Tuesday 2017 is February 28!

Time's a-wasting! This year's king cake is made using the same dough as last year's quickie king cake, except I thought it'd be fun to give it a go with aquafaba! I simply reduced the water and added aquafaba. I think the dough came out really nice, but I'm not sure it made a huge difference. If you have some, go for it, but I don't think you need to go out of your way to get some, unless you're already making some spicy jalapeno hummus for a Mardi Gras party and have lots hanging about.

I've written so much over the years about my love for Mardi Gras. If you're new to king cakes, please be sure to read my primer before digging in. If you want to see me enjoying my last Mardi Gras in 2011, you can see a few pictures here.

King Cakes of Mardi Gras Past. 
Clockwise from top left = cinnamon, apple praline, an unidentified cake, and peanut butter cup. 
Every year, I try to bake a king cake with something new inside--this can be a little challenging since my diet is a bit restricted this days, and it's hard to be a creative cook when you can't really taste what you're brewing.

❤ Vegan King Cake Kindergarten
❤ Standard Vegan King Cake (gluten-strong) 
❤ Peanut Butter Cup King Cake (gluten-strong)
❤ Peanut Butter Cup King Cake (gluten-free)
❤ Apple-Praline King Cake (gluten-strong)

If you like blueberry, I think I nailed it this year. Plus homemade cultured cream cheese is soOOOo tasty. If you like sweet potato, I think that'd also make an epic filling. In a pinch, you can also use pie filling, or just make a cinnamon cake with a smear of butter topped with cinnamon sugar.

Olive Oil-Blueberry-Cream Cheese King Cake
Makes a large, flashy, party sized blueberry filled ring cake.

❤ If you're unfamiliar with a New Orleans style King Cake, please read the King Cake Primer I wrote a few years ago. 

❤ I use instant yeast because it saves time (no need to proof), and the dough comes together quickly. 

❤ If you don't have or want to use aquafaba, omit the aqua faba and use 3/4 cup warm water.

❤ The directions below are based off of the apple-praline king cake recipe cake I posted last year. King Cake is less of an all day project if you make the dough the evening before and let it rise overnight in the fridge. This year, I made the dough in the afternoon and instead of refrigerating overnight, I let it rise in a proofing oven until it doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours. If you have the time, the advantage to making it all in one day is you do not need to bring the dough to room temperature. The disadvantage is that dough proofed in the fridge overnight has a more complex flavor. It's up to you! I

What You Need:
1/2 cup aquafaba
1/2 cup vegan yogurt (unsweetened or lemon)
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons unbleached, granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
Pinch salt
3 1/2-4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 cups frozen blueberries (do not defrost)
6 tablespoons unbleached granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 cups cream cheese (I made Miyoko's recipe with no added water and increased the yogurt to 1/2 cup) 

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing the dough

Sugar Sprinkles
6 tablespoons unbleached granulated sugar
Purple, gold, and green food coloring paste

2 cups vegan confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vegan milk, water, or liqueur

What You Do:
The evening before, put the aqua faba, yogurt, water, olive oil, instant yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar, lemon zest, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Blend gently to combine. On low speed, slowly add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is slightly tacky, but not sticky. You probably will not need the entire 4 cups of flour. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high, and knead the dough into a firm, cohesive dough for five more minutes. Transfer the dough to a plastic bag with plenty of extra space in it for expansion, tie the end, and refrigerate overnight. (If not refrigerating overnight, put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic film and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours).

While the dough is rising, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the blueberries, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt. Mix to combine and cook, stirring frequently, until the blueberries have softened and are juicy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Quickly add the cornstarch and stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Once cool, transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight along with the dough. (If not refrigerating overnight, set the filling aside).

The Following Morning:
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment. Remove the dough and blueberry filling from the fridge. Gently deflate the dough and allow to rest at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle about 24" X 12" (keep the longest side facing you).

Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, spread a little olive oil evenly over the dough, being careful to leave a clean 1" margin on the sides and top. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the olive oil. With an offset spatula or spoon, spread a layer of cream cheese evenly over the sugar mixture, and keeping the same margins, spread the blueberry filling over the cream cheese.

Starting at the bottom edge, roll the dough up into a tight log, pinching the sides tightly together as you roll, so they are well sealed. When you get close to the top, gently bring the top edge down over the log and pinch well to seal the seam.

Carefully lift the log, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Arrange it seam side down on the sheet and gently form it into an elliptical shaped ring, tucking each end under the cake and sealing them very well. The dough will rise substantially, so be sure to form a larger ring than you desire in the finished cake.

Let the formed cake rise for 30-60 minutes. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through (if the cake is browning too fast, cover it with tin foil).

While the cake bakes, prepare the sprinkles. Divide the 6 tablespoons of sugar into three small containers and add a tiny bit of colored paste to each, mixing well with a spoon, until the dye is well distributed. Set aside.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the icing by mixing the confectioner's sugar with the vanilla and just a tiny amount of milk, water or booze, until you get a very thick, but drizzle-able icing. When the cake is slightly warm to room temperature decorate the cake! Be sure it's not too warm, or the icing will slide right off.

If adding a baby, carefully poke a sharp knife into the side of the cake and stick one in.

Drizzle the icing on top, using a spoon to help spread it evenly (be sure to hide the baby hole with icing, if you inserted one). Let the icing firm up slightly, and then sprinkle the colored sugar on top, alternating the three colors in a pattern around the ring.

Eat and share! Wrap up any lefties, and store in the fridge.

Thanks for visiting my little crumb of the internet! 
Click here to subscribe to my blog and get posts delivered to your email when I update! Come back soon!  

xo kittee
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I haven't had my paws on Kathy Hester's latest, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot, long enough to take it on a proper recipe romp. However, as soon as I noticed it contained a recipe for uttapam, I got straight to work soaking and fermenting. I FREAKING ADORE uttapam.
If you've never had uttapam before, it's a super common savory pancake devoured regularly in South India. When Dazee and I spent three weeks traveling down the west coast of South India in 2007, I literally ate uttapam once or twice a day for three weeks, and never tired of them. In restaurants in India, they're only served during the magickal "dosa hour," so we had to time our meals just right so I could be sure to get them.
Uttapam topped with cilantro and jalapeño.
Traditional uttapam are made from soaked white rice and urad dal, ground into a batter and fermented. They can be eaten plain or cooked with vegetables on top like jalapeno, onion, tomato, cilantro and fresh peas. They're also usually eaten with sambar (a delicious thin, lentil based soup), and coconut chutney.
In Kathy's book, TUVCFYIP, she makes uttapam from brown rice, urad dal, quinoa, and millet and uses the yogurt setting on the Instant Pot to keep the batter very warm, so it ferments lickety split. I was really surprised and delighted to find Kathy's take on uttapam tasted very traditional made completely from whole grains/seeds and dal. 
Eating uttapam in a restaurant on Mahadwar Road in Kerala, South India.
If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe, but you'll need to find a warm spot in your house to ferment the batter. The top of the refrigerator is usually a good spot, and it'll probably take at least 24 hours to get tangy--the Instant Pot speeds this process up by keeping the batter at a sustained temperature over a period of many hours. 

If you're a fan of chickpea flour pancakes, AKA, pudla, or of savory breakfast/brunch, you'll love uttapam. Since uttapam is made from a fermented batter, you can make some up and keep it in your fridge for days to make rilllly fast, delicious, and nutritious meals.

Uttapam with Cilantro Coconut Chutney
Makes about 10 large savory pancakes.

My adaptations on Kathy's recipe:
*I made a couple of pancakes following Kathy's recipe to a tee. I found that after fermenting the batter for 8 hours on the yogurt setting, the batter was not as tangy as I wanted. If you follow me and ferment over the 8 hour mark, watch your batter closely! I let mine go a little too long (about 13 hours), and the batter over fermented and got a bit funky (my house smelled like bleu cheese whenever I cooked up a batch of these).

*I added about a teaspoon of salt to the fermented batter.

*I cooked the uttapam in a little coconut oil, instead of cooking spray and topped them with cilantro, minced onion and thinly sliced jalapeño slices.

What You Need:
♥ 1 cup (151 g) urad dal (skinned split urad)
♥ 1 cup (190 g) brown rice
♥ 1 cup (119 g) millet
♥ 1 cup (170 g) quinoa, washed well to remove the seed coating
♥ 5 cups (1.2 L) water
♥ Spray oil (optional)
♥ Grated carrots
♥ Grated summer squash
♥ Chopped cilantro
♥ Peas
♥ Shredded vegan cheese
♥ Leftover curries
What You Do:
Mix the urad dal, rice, millet, quinoa and water in a large bowl. Cover and let soak to soften for 8 hours.
Next, puree the mixture in your blender in batches and add to your Instant Pot liner. Place the liner in your Instant Pot, cover and press the yogurt setting. Leave it at the default 8 hours for it to ferment.
You can store the fermented mixture in your fridge for up to 1 week or you can cook up all the pancakes at once and freeze them to heat for later.
Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray (if using) and place over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ cup (120 ml) of the batter per pancake and shape into a circle. Cook until bubbles begin to form.
Sprinkle the topping you choose over the top of the pancake and press in a little with your spatula. Flip the pancake and cook until both sides are browned.
Place on a plate and cook the next one. You could also have more than one skillet going at a time.
Cilantro Coconut Chutney
What You Need:
♥ 1 cup (93 g) shredded coconut
♥ ½ cup (120 ml) water
♥ ½ cup (8 g) fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
♥ 1 tbsp (6 g) grated ginger
♥ 1 tbsp (6 g) curry leaves (optional)
♥ 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
♥ 1 tsp salt
♥ ⅛ tsp mustard powder
What You Do:
Place all the ingredients into your blender and pulverize. You will need to scrape down a few times and may need to add an additional tablespoon or two (15 or  30 ml) of water.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Shared with permission from Kathy Hester and Page Street Publishing.

For more Instant Pot recipes from Kathy Hester, visit here!

Thanks for visiting my little crumb of the internet! Click here to subscribe to my blog and get posts delivered to your email when I update! 

Come back soon!  
xo kittee

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on a product link and purchase an item, I'll receive a very small compensation.

I received a free copy of The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot for the purpose of review. No compensation or gift was exchanged for this post, and as always, the rad opinion posted here is my own. 
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