I’ve never been known for showing up late, or waiting until the last minute of a project deadline. I was once that girl who feared losing marks on a school project if I was late handing it in, or being sent to the principal’s office if I tried to sneak into class after the bell.
Yet here I am, within hours of the midnight cut-off to the SOS Kitchen Challenge, presenting you with my final recipe. Highlighting the flavours of carob, kamut and sunflower seeds, these crispy squares are a quick and easy, no-bake summer treat. I made use of some kamut puffs cereal sitting in my cupboard as well as my homemade sunflower seed butter to create a spin-off of my sunbutter bites with a creamy carob frosting. Dare I say these ones taste better?
Perhaps for some people, the answers to life’s toughest questions seem so obvious. For me, stewing over the simplest decision often takes over my day. My saving grace is in knowing that I can go home to my kitchen, where I delve into the therapeutic process of whisking, mixing, kneading and rolling my worries away.
Finding a new recipe book that coincides with my love for baking always brings a smile to my face. When I discovered Sweet Vegan, a book that offers “a collection of all vegan, some gluten-free and a few raw desserts,” I did a little happy dance. During a particularly difficult week, baking until dawn with a book like this was just what I needed—no difficult decisions or cranky co-workers required.
Author Emily Mainquist has already gained a loyal following through her Baltimore-based, 100% wind-powered, vegan bakery, Emily’s Desserts. For a year and a half, she baked, refined and tweaked more than 60 recipes in anticipation of her first recipe book. The 25-year-old isn’t formally trained, but her culinary interests were honed early in her grandmother’s kitchen.
I flipped through the book as soon as it arrived on my doorstep and I was immediately swooned by the array of full-colour photos and tempting titles. The recipes open the door to decadent desserts for those who make culinary choices based on personal, health and ethical considerations, but who are eager to try new things. If you’re a vegan who is intrigued by raw dessert-making or a baker who wants to try her hand at gluten-free baking, but you don’t want to invest in an entire recipe book in order to experiment, this book is for you.
My journey began with the peanut butter brownies, a creation that is one of the hardest to master as a vegan baker—many attempts seem to come out too cakey or too fudgy. Yet the balance of ingredients in Emily’s recipe yielded moist, rich and flavourful squares of chocolate goodness. Adding peanut butter and chocolate drizzle made for a decadent treat perfect for picnics or family gatherings.
After dealing with a gruelling work week and an endless headache from all the rain, I was grateful for the long weekend to catch up on rest, reading and some much-needed yard work. My husband and I had big plans to revamp the yard and build a vegetable garden—complete with a raised box and chicken wire enclosure to keep the neighbourhood raccoons from eating my precious plants like they did last year.
Better still, I headed out on Saturday evening to spend time with my loveliest of lady friends. I’m convinced there’s no better cure for stress than an evening with friends, food and wine—this particular combination always leaves me glowing with happiness (not just from the wine).
To celebrate, I couldn’t help myself from taking advantage of the strawberries that seem to be invading the produce aisle at the grocery stores. Although I’m still anticipating the local harvest, I created a scrumptious summer tart by combining fresh strawberries and Granny Smith apples and baking them in a lovely pistachio and poppy seed crust. Enjoy!
There was a time when I couldn’t imagine being able to find a coffee shop that catered to my needs and wishes: a chai tea latte with a thick layer of foamy nondairy milk and a squirt of agave, and perhaps a sample of a vegan brownie calling my name from the display case.
But thanks to Toni and Elaine of Mylk Uncookies, my latte dreams have come true.
Located in Toronto’s east end, not far from the first apartment I rented when I was in school, this bright and cheerful cafe is hard to miss among the brownstone buildings that surround it.
Inside, I immediately sensed a comfortable and homey vibe after I spotted a young girl accessing Wi-Fi on her laptop and a shelf of board games and magazines near the back counter. But I was there to meet Lisa and Ashley. We decided that yesterday’s cold, rainy weather was a good excuse to meet for an afternoon chat about careers and cookbooks over a warm cup of joe.
As a new recipe contributor to One Green Planet, I’m ecstatic to announce my debut! This fantastic website is dedicated to spreading ideas and knowledge about the environment and vegan living. If you haven’t already come across this site, I suggest you pay a visit. It has quite a long roster of excellent contributors, including Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary; renowned author and activist Carol J. Adams; author and speaker Brenda Davis, RD; and many other experts, authors and bloggers (including me!), who are supporting the important cause.
My debut featured a recipe for a decadent chocolate torte: a thick layer of chocolate cake makes up the base, and the rest is the creamiest, richest and perhaps most intense little slice of pure chocolate sweetness I’ve ever created. Enjoy!