I took really nice photos today (in natural light!) of the toasted sesame & apple cider vinegar hummus I made for the catch-up gab session I had with my BFF of 10+ years, but I forgot to put my the memory card back in my camera for them and because I don’t have a camera cord anymore I have no way of getting them off the internal memory. You’d think there’d be a function for that, but there isn’t. I will try and recreate the look of the lovely platter I put together tomorrow but honestly, I have such a short attention span for that stuff – the moment has passed, you know?

But that’s okay! Because I have some nice pics of tonight’s delicious dinner, which I have just decided to call “Hippy Cake Stacks”, because it is very funny. Maybe only to me.

Hippy Cakes stacked on perfectly crisped roasted potatoes, with layers of rainbow 'slaw

Honestly, though? This recipe is an old standby in our house, that I’ve been making since waaaaay back in the day, back before I was even vegetarian and these patties were in meal rotation simply because they are easy, and cheap (emphasis on cheap), to make. And I was being fed these kinds of Hippy Cakes as a kid in the 70s and 80s, because I was raised by a single mom who was broke a lot of the time and who understood the finer points of feedin’ a kid on the cheap without using a lot of convenience/fast food. I was lucky to have this experience as I grew up because it gave me an appreciation for how relatively simple it is to make wholesome, delicious and filling food even when you work a full time job and go to university full time, and have a very, very limited budget. My mom did that; and she taught me how too.

I bet you are wondering how to make perfectly crisped roasted potatoes. There is a trick to getting them jusssst right. First of all, use organic potatoes and leave the skins on. Then you cut each potato into quarters, and par-boil them for 5 – 7 minutes, until they are just soft on the outside and beginning to get slightly tender in the middle. Drain them, toss them back in the pot you parboiled them in, put the lid on and shake them around over the still-hot burner, just to rough up the edges a big and dry them off some. While they have been boiling you want to have placed a large casserole dish with a generous coating of oil  on the bottom of it into your oven and preheated it all to 425F. The oil should almost be smoking by the time the potatoes are parboiled. Carefully transfer them into the hot oil in the casserole dish, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and pop them in the oven for about an hour, turning them every twenty minutes or so. At the end of that hour, they’ll be absolutely perfect. Crunchy skins, golden and cripsy edges, soft, hot, velvety insides. Mmmm. My family can devour an enormous quantity of these.

The coleslaw was leftover from our Dia de Los Muertos feast, which is why it’s looking a little pale pink all over here. The beets soaked into everything else. It doesn’t pop with colour the way it did two nights ago, but dayum, it still tastes great.

For dessert, I threw together a super easy chocolate chip snackin’ cake. It is kind of wild to me to think that I have been baking so much and for so long that I don’t even really need a recipe for things like this anymore. Luckily for you I remember exactly what I did.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Snackin’ Cake

1982 called, it wants its dessert back.

Dry mix:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I like Cocoa Camino brand)

Wet mix:

1 cup non-dairy milk whisked with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup canola, corn or sunflower oil

Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment, or grease & flour. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Stir the dry into the wet until everything is well combined, but do not overmix. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden around the edges and tests done when you poke a toothpick in the centre. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if it lasts that long; longer if you keep it in the fridge.

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