Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
As I mentioned yesterday, the first day of Vegan Mofo, my project is decadent Vegan desserts.
A little more background on why I'm diving in to recreate the tastes, mouthfeel and bliss I found in a good dessert...
As much as I love a good plate of veggies, veggies were not always a love of mine. Adopting Vegan meat substitutes like seitan and tofu were a bit of a challenge to my palette but have grown on me. And on that note, I was never a meat lover to begin with, so the loss of animal products in the form of meat was really no loss at all.
But desserts, oh there are very few desserts I didn’t like. Chocolate? Fruit? Simple? Decadent? Pretty much THE food group I’d gravitate toward. Now, I have to admit that BV (before Vegan) I did not like coconut. Love it now, proof that your taste buds can conform to your chosen diet eventually, and mine are fully on board. I’m also not a fan of pumpkin pie or pie crust in general. However, coconut oil pie crust is a different story and pumpkin and I are exploring a relationship. But I digress as I tend to do, so often.
Back in the day, before understanding the connection to what I put in my body and my body's response, and the cost to the environment and critters, if it was sweet and creamy and chocolatey I was in. The desserts that didn’t fall in that category were, more likely than not, in as well. I WAS the girl who belonged to the DQ Blizzard club so I could get a BOGO Blizzard six times a year.
My Vegan journey has involved lots of relearning and attempting to create the flavors, mouthfeel and satisfaction in the foods I loved pre-Veg. And it's been an interesting journey with many fails and many experts kind enough to share their own journey's on the WWW and through cookbooks. Some of my favorite teachers have been PPK, CCK, Peas and Thank You and Forks and Beans.
But there are food re-creations that intimidate me. Some standard restaurant desserts seem impossible to tweak to Vegan, and to go toward healthier Vegan seems like super human skills would be necessary. Village Inn/Baker’s Square pies were a treat we indulged in, as were those tricky Applebee’s shooters especially on ½ price appetizer Wednesdays. Once, on a visit to Cheeseburger’s in Paradise I shared a plate of dessert nachos with friends. And the white chocolate raspberry mousse at a local French restaurant was to die for. Yeah. Dessert is a passion. And those truly decadent, really bad for everyone desserts especially. Sigh.
This public attempt at re-creating, re-thinking, re-vitalizing inspiring desserts made out of all those rotten, GMO or animal product based ingredients is truly a challenge. I have failed a few times, but I am determined to nail a high percentage of these bad boy's on my list.
Of note I.E a disclaimer: When I use the words chocolate chips or sugar etc. It is always implied that these are VEGAN versions but for my sanity and to pacify my inner lazy girl, I'm not typing a brand or the word vegan. Check your ingredients and know which items are a good fit. My flour is whole wheat pastry flour unless otherwise specified. I lean toward organic to avoid GMO ingredients, and fair trade when I can.
The following list is the dessert menu for the month. Won’t you join me for a slice of pie, a gooey treat, or a melt-in-your-mouth dessert?
Carrot Cake (Oh yes, she's delicious little dahling and will be posting very soon.)
Make You Cry Fudgy Truffle Pie (Percolating in my brain, soon to be created)
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake (Ditto the above)
Strawberry Cheesecake Dyno-Mites (Another ditto)
Tiramisu (Round one was an UTTER FAIL. So sad - edible, but NOT what I wanted...back to the drawing board)
Caramel Pecan Fudge Truffle Pie (Percolating in my mind)
Key Lime Dyno-Mites (Ditto)
Black Forest Cherry Supreme Pie (Ditto)
Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake Crepes (Ditto) (Is it just me or are these DITTOS kind of scary???? YIKES! )
Peppermint Pie (Oooh Baby. Come to Mama. Oh. Oh. Oh. So Good Coming to a Blog Near You Very Soon)
Tropical Supreme Pie (FAIL, but with every fail comes an opportunity to grow and learn)
Oreo Pie (Oh (Weeping) so good. Made it three times on request. You'll be able to make it soon, too.)
Cream Cake (Percolating and clueless as to what I'm going for....hmmmm)
Peanut Butter Pie (Turned into Amazing Snicker's Pie...and it's Amazing. And it's coming tomorrow. Cara. Sit down. It hurts so good and it's gluten free, too.)
Triple Chocolate Strata (Well, percolating, of course)
Strawberry Pie (Fresh Strawberry Fudge Pie. Yup.)
Dessert Nachos (Oh so good, every dip, every, chip, every bite. 4 picky omnivores inhaled it.)
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (Another percolating idea. I have the French restaurant vision of loveliness in my mind's eye and I've got to recreate this one, can I do it? Without butter and cream? I have an idea and I'm going to go for it.)
Chocolate Mousse Dyno-Mites (another percolator - hey I've got a month, right?)
Pear Tart was the plan, the result was Maple Caramel Pear Tart with Almond Biscotti Crumble...also known as MORE!