A Community of Heart Breakers…

Yes, it’s been a long while since I last wrote. I sat down a few times to do this, but there was never enough time to bang out some worthy words.  Finally the time has come!

You wouldn’t think a whole community could break your heart… but it’s true.

When I started this blog, it was in conjunction with my little vegan chocolate business. Now, 2.5 years since my first post, 4 years since I started the business, there is no chocolate business.

My business was special to me in this context because it was something for me to hang on to when my heart was ripped to threads so long ago.

I wanted to start the first vegan fair trade chocolate company in Canada. I did! And I was one of the few in whole of North America as well. I had a wicked design concept that no chocolatier could touch in this country and my recipes were even better. Aside from a strange reveiw on a webpage, everyone who ate them raved about my treats.

I was obsessed about using packaging that was environmental so I actually designed a box and had it cut from 100% recycled board here in Toronto. Standard and cheap truffle boxes are virgin fibre. It’s ridiculous. I also found recyclable sticker stock and compostable bags. It was a tough and frustrating slough dealing with the packaging. But I didn’t want to be just any chocolatier. I really wanted to business to reflect my values.

Problem was, it didn’t seem like customers with values actually wanted to use their money in conjunction with their values.

I went in with a heads up from two great Toronto vegans who had started vegan businesses. Shoes and accessories. Both now long gone. Toronto is the largest city in all of Canada. Their stores were right beside each other in accessible Kensington Market. Why didn’t their businesses succeed?

After a year of spending too much rent in an eco shop that had labour issues I built a kitchen in the basement of the new vegan grocery store Panacea. It was a natural partnership and I still thank Ken and Pam for allowing me to do that and pay the smallest amount of rent any food business could ever hope to spend.

Throughout the years, where we were a mere 2 minute walk from a busy subway stop, both Panacea and my chocolate business struggled. There were ups and downs (“Hey! I got my products into Vegan Essentials!”, “Shit they’ve increased the price of chocolate again.”) But in the end, at the beginning of 2012, Panacea had to close, and I had to close along with them. When the cheap community minded kitchens charge $25 an hour – you know you’re little food business is destined to fail without a huge cash infusion. Not that it might not have happened otherwise. 2 of 3 wholesalers stopped communication and 2 others who had been interested where also quiet. One of these, a vegan online food distro, ended up closing up a few months after me.

Panacea and I both tired to team up with others to stop the inevitable. I was seeing a business coach for 1.5 years (actually I saw 3!). Something should have clicked, something great should have happened with people who were doing similar things.

What went wrong? Honestly in my case the only thing I could be accused of not doing was becoming a vegan superstar. It seems in this day and age of multiple ways of communication and sending tendrils into millions of households, if you are a private quiet shy person – forget it. If you can’t prove daily you are a witty knowledgeable guru your community forgets you exist. I wrote two cookbooks. The first one came out originally in 2003 – it was one of the first vegan dessert cookbooks to come out. I have my email address on all my books. Do people write? No. Do people know the books exists? Not too many. (Certainly no help from the publishers there. But that’s another story) Would I love people to email me and tell me how the recipes turned out? You bet!

Anyway, my point is that I made damn good chocolate. I thought for sure my business would do well because I had such a niche. I was the ONLY vegan chocolatier in Canada for some time (My friend Stacey continues to produce great raw truffles and chocolate – Live On Chocolate) In the summer I came out with interesting soy and coconut free ice creem flavours. I even tried reaching out to non vegans who had allergy issues. I had painfully little media coverage despite all this.

So you can blame my failed business on lack of marketing savvy – but I counter with the fact that these treats should have sold themselves…

So here I am at the end of 2012, having spent a year trying to figure out how to continue to make my awesome creations without going into debt, no partnerships working out, looking at a list of possible future careers. Dental technician? Horticulturalist? Technical Writer? They all make me laugh at their absurdity. Not absurd careers by any stretch, but absurd for a born vegan chocolatier 🙂

The month before my business closed I actually made a profit. My partner was talking up my chocolates at work and through this my business ended in the black, due to supportive meat eaters. Ironic, but proof my sweets were scrumptious and had potential.

I want to of course thank every single person who supported my businesses and books. Especially those of you who got me new customers by word of mouth. Thank you to everyone who signed up for my newsletter and that read this blog. Thank you to those who ate my chocolate and weren’t even vegan. Thank you to those who gave constructive criticism.  Huge thanks to people who gave their time for free or very little.  I wish I could have cloned you all!

If you’re interested in what I’m up to next that has to do with veganism send a message to this yahoo.com email address and ask to be put on the list: whitebearchocolate

Running through all my posts in the past few years I have to apologize for all the music that has been taken off line. I was relying on Youtube to provide me with these awesome songs that have to do with broken hearts. About half are no longer there. One link has strangely become a video of of 90’s hardcore boys pulling a scam on Jerry Springer. Funny for sure, but not what I had in mind music wise! Also I included Jackie Wilson’s Lonely Teardrops twice. OOPS! But you have to admit that song is terribly AWESOME!

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #24 While everyone is celebrating their “in love-ness” why don’t you just go ahead and celebrate your broken heartedness? A few Februarys ago I made a broken heart truffle for Valentine’s day.  It was a Boston Creem chocolate truffle – probably the first ever made. It had Bavarian creem flavoured ganache, a piece of vanilla cake and was enrobed in dark chocolate. Ingenious if I do say so myself! You gotta just let it out sometimes, just like this post. “My heart was broken and someone is to blame!” You’ll feel so much better, you’ll be able to not take yourself too seriously – which is super important when you have a broken heart! If you can emit even the faintest smile about your broken heart you are on the way to recovery. Soon the pain will be gone and you will be able to make a complicated vegan dessert from Lickin’ the Beaters 2 without messing up! 🙂

Broken Heart Song #24 I never really got this guy. What’s with the purple glasses? Why is his voice so high? Why does he look like my dad without a beard? But this is quite the heartbreak song!

November 13, 2012. dessert, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Happy United Cheesecake Holiday!

Yes it’s been a while. That whole Vegan Month of Food thing had me blogging way more than was comfortable. So I became a bad blogger for the month of Dec. Oh well, you can’t expect much from a chocolatier this time of the year.

And what time of year it is? Well… it’s United Cheesecake Holiday! Yes, this is really the only holiday we need to celebrate in December. From the 20 – 27th it’s all about the cheesecake. Even non-vegan cheesecake. (That’s where the UNITED part comes in.) Gifts are frowned upon but homemade or food related are permitted. And… that’s about it. No trees, no candles, no weird dudes in weird suits, no angels… it’s just about the cheesecake. You don’t have to feel bad if you are alone on United Cheesecake Day (December 25) because just as long as you have a piece of delectable cheesecake in front of you you are NOT alone.

This cheesecake recipe is from my new book. Which is apparently out after 3 years. I started writing the thing in 2003, just after the first book was done. You wanna talk broken heart from an inanimate object? Well what happened with this book in all those years has crushed me and dulled my interest in my own creation. It’s a story that tires me out telling it, so you won’t be reading it here… although it would for sure make a teary eyed entry (I’m exaggerating a little here 😉 )

Double Decker Chocolate Mint Cheezecake

Yield: 8 or 9-inch pie

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tub vegan cream
cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup firm tofu
3/4 cup soy yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 tablespoons
crushed candy cane
1/4 teaspoon mint
extract
chocolate cookie  crust (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Melt chocolate in a double boiler
(or a smaller pot on top of a larger pot of simmering water.)
2. Blend all ingredients except candy cane, mint extract and chocolate.
3. Take out 1/3 of this mix. Add the melted chocolate to the 2/3 still in the
blender and blend well.
4. Pour the chocolate into the pie crust. Mix the candy cane and mint
extract into the remaining 1/3 mixture and pour this on top of the chocolate. Bake for 50 min.

chocolate cookie
crust:
1 1/4 cups chocolate
cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons oil
Mix together, press into pie pan.

Hopin’ you like that lovelies…

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #22: If you are alone during these kinds of holidays it is imperative that you either find people to spend it with, or construct a plan to make the day really interesting, weird, or just pamper yourself. Holidays can break your heart, but you have an enough in your arsenal to fight against it. After all – it’s all in your head. All the pressure to have a partner or family during this time of year is mere construction of outside forces. You can be happy being alone. You are awesome!

Broken Heart Song #22

December 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . dessert. 7 comments.

Oh My It’s Pie!

I’ve never been much of a pie eater because I’m not much of a crust eater.  I much prefer the insides to the outsides.

But pie has been playing a major role in my dessert life recently. There’s been a pie cooling on the side table every week for the past two months. Pies are a great way to get your mind off your broken heart because you can make a boat load of crust and freeze or refrigerate the dough when you need it. It’s easy to defrost, roll out and put some tasty sweet goop in the middle. And the insides you choose are endless. It’s a nice thing to think about – all these different kinds of middles available to you.

I haven’t gone for anything too interesting or bizarre… but my pie making time is not over yet!

So far I’ve made:

Sweet Potato  (from Lickin’ the Beaters: Low Fat Vegan Desserts cookbook)

Apple

Apple Crumble

Pumpkin

and the surprisingly not overly sweet Chocolate Marshmallow

The pie crust recipe is from the old book you can see in the back of a couple of the pictures. Every time I purge my cookbook collection I set it aside to give away, but the cover is just such a lovely thing I can’t do it! The Chocolate Marshmallow recipe comes from this book.

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 c soy/rice/almond milk

8 Sweet & Sara Marshmallows

1 1/2 c Mimiccreme whipped creme or any other vegan whipped topping

1 prebaked 8″ pie shell (I used a graham cracker crust)

1/2 c toasted chopped almonds

1. Put chocolate, soy milk and marshmallows in a double boiler (or one pot on top another with simmer water on the bottom). Melt it all. It’ll take a while. Those Sweet & Sara’s are dense little mofos! Cool, stirring frequently.

2. Fold in whipped creme and pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with almonds. Chill.


Broken Heart Vegan Tip #21: I really think that helping others  can make your own troubles melt like soy butter. Maybe it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or going over to a new vegan’s house to help them cook. Hell, maybe it’s doing some Animal Liberation Front work or helping a fellow cyclist who’s been doored. It’s really endless the way you can give a little bit of yourself just to make the world a better, friendlier and compassionate place. And the funny thing is, it ALWAYS comes back to you in some way.

Broken Heart Song #21

November 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . dessert. 2 comments.

…still baking…

I have a couple friends, and this probably goes for a lot of people out there, who think that getting broken hearted is just part of the cycle of love and they would rather have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

I suppose it would be responsible for me to encourage this kind of thinking, but frankly I don’t believe it. At least it doesn’t work for me.

For me, the broken hearts hurt so bad I don’t want the love anymore.

I guess I should halt all this right now and make sure that everyone knows I am a 37 year old woman. Sometimes I re-read my writing and get a little twinge – the twinge that I get when I read heartbroken posts from 18 year old girls. They are in such pain, but I know the pain will go and they will find peace and happiness again – because they are young. Well, I can’t be fit into that category. I have enough “wisdom” by now to know what’s what and who I am.

Anyway, for a few months I have seen flyers on light polls advertising hypnotherapy. I started wondering if I could get hypnotized not to need love. I’m supposing it is possible, but that ethically a hypnotherapist would never do it. It’s probably extremely unethical… and yet  for some of us it would do a world of good.

Now on t the sweet stuff. Baking away. And I LOVE cookies. So of course when Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar finally came to my end of the world I hungrily snatched it up.

There are so many to try (although a lot would probably make me gag. I was never a fan of Pepperidge Farms and that sort of “middle class” lacking – flavour – cookie. And off topic even more – why perpetuate the “Lazy Samoa” racist cookie name? Even the Girl Scouts have at least officially taken the “lazy” part out.) Where to start?

I’ve made three so far: key lime shortbread, Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles and peanut butter blondies. I’ve loved blondies ever since I moved to Toronto. I have this vague memory of a blondie that use to knock my socks off -but I can’t remember what it was. It could have been Glenny’s – but I know their blondies are no longer vegan.

I definitely wasn’t disappointed with the peanut butter added to the blondies. The richness goes through the roof.  For the key lime shortbread I used my authentic key lime juice I got in Key West (although it disturbs me to no end wondering if it really came from Florida or somewhere else!) – tangy little suckers they are!


Peanut Butter Blondies and Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Key Lime Shortbread Rounds

1/2 c vegetable shortening

1/3 c margarine

1 c plus 2 tb powdered sugar, sifted (aka icing sugar)

1/4 c lime juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 rounded teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 2 limes)

2 c all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl use electric beaters and cream together the shortening and margarine until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar. Add lime juice, vanilla, zest and beat about 30 seconds to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

2. In a medium bow, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of this to the other bowl and beat to moisten. Add remaining flour and beat about 1 minute until soft ball of dough forms.

3. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a separate large sheet of wax paper. Roll each into a 7 to 8 inch long by 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch thick log. Wrap each tightly in wax paper and chill for about an hour until very firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp thin knife cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices. Place on baking sheet 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake 10 to 12 min until slightly puffed and edges are turning golden. Cool for 5 min before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #17: Be honest. Just be honest.

Broken Heart Song #17

November 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . dessert. 3 comments.

When you get irritated…

I’m so sensitive to temperatures lately. At first I was just cold all the time, but in the past few years I’ve also been the first to whine “Turn on the air conditioning!!!” 😛 Personally I think a/c is pretty evil, yet when I am friggin cranky and sweat is pouring I am extremely grateful.

The broken heart does not help in trying to not be heat cranky. When it gets unbearably hot the only way I can seem to deal is to frequently step into a cold shower and eat tons of cold things.

My favourite and easiest is popsicles. If I needed to, I would live off them when the temp gets higher than 82 degrees.

To make things a LITTLE more interesting, I do yogurt pops.

Soy Yogurt Creemcycles

Soy yogurt, frozen orange juice concentrate and almond milk. Blend it up!

Look Ma! No Class!

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #14: Even when you are low down, you’ll need to start thinking about the future. How will you eventually mend this broken heart? Sure it will heal on its own with time – but it’s like a broken appendage. You can’t just let it sit there and not nurture it. It might heal the wrong way and give you pain for the rest of your life. Start thinking about the things you will do to help yourself in the near future. Maybe it’s a simple as in two weeks time you will go to an indie movie and gobble up a big bag of popcorn. (But check the ingredients! I was just told that a lot of movie popcorn has EGG PRODUCTS in it! UG!)

Broken Heart Song #14 (This video changed my life. I saw it, at all places, at The Bay [big department store for all you non-Canadians]. I was 14 and I was mesmerized.)

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . dessert, entree, snax. 1 comment.

This place has the Keys to my Heart (har har)

Back to places that HAVEN’T broken my heart… Key West!

I did this road trip from Daytona Beach to the Keys in 2000. It was a little bizarre because it was during the US elections and as I sat in an art deco hotel turned hostel turned cheap ass sex trade hang out (the taxi driver was worried for me) I watched “the day after” coverage. It was weird to be in the state that caused so much trouble.

Any rate, I never actually made in down to Key West. I rented a car and had lots of stops along the way including the Cartoon Museum, some punk record stores and Coral Castle (Coral Castle I will leave for another post as it fits in well with the broken heart theme). This year I decided to make that trip again, only it was going to be a mad dash to the most southern tip of the United States.

Well, I fell in love! Sure it’s a tourist trap, but unlike any other tourist trap the quirky element of this town is BIGGER than the touristy crap. It’s hella frustrating actually getting there by car – because there is only one road in and  out and if you get behind a slow mover – god help you! But once you’re there your stress evaporates. (It’s hot, right? 😉 ) It’s a town that has one main drag where all the tourists hang out and lots of little nooks and crannies which are totally walkable whether you are staying in the action or outside of it.

The architecture was pretty sweet. Lots of old detailed houses. Like all of Florida there was PLENTY of real estate. Lots of people unfortunately lost their homes in this state during the crash of the big scam. Although, I have to wonder if most of the houses in the Keys are vacation houses. At any rate, they were still more expensive than I would have imagined and I don’t think my little day dream of moving there will ever happen 😛

There are wild roosters  that hang out, crow a lot and make mischiefs of themselves. Some locals want to “get rid of them” but so far they have held on. I certainly did not find them ugly, dirty or disease ridden – as the anti-Rooster jerks spout. They are incredibly beautiful and yes, I would probably get really mad if they constantly woke me up at 5am like they tend to do, but I would still love them.

There’s all kinds of weird and wonderful people… and GERMANS. Lots of Germans. They seemed very nice too 🙂 The postal worker, who was delivering mail on the main drag, was super sweet and she went around so contented like she knew she had the best job in the world!

The food…

Yes, that’s why you are here! Well the food was ever better than anything else! I was in Key West for a total of 24 hours and I managed to eat from 3 different places (and I went to one place twice!)

Things were a little more expensive than Toronto or other parts of Florida, but they did it right!

I had lunch at The Cafe, just off the main drag it serves up incredibly tasty food and has good hours. There’s a couple fish dishes on the menu but mostly everything is veg and there’s a decent vegan selection. I had an INCREDIBLE… INCREDIBLE chickn salad sandwich that had grapes and almonds in it! YOWZA! I walked to the beach with it.

Just beyond the sandwich you can see Cuba ha ha ha!

The health food store – Sugar Apple – was stocked ok and they had a nice little juice bar on the side that had a cute boy behind the cash. I bought some nice rice/millet crackers that you can only find in Florida. I love these things.

The same bakery, Sami’s, also does a really great gluten free chocolate chip cookie. Quite possibly the best GF choc cookie I’ve had. The secret ingredients seems to be soy butter? Check em!

Ok so after I scorched myself in the sun eating this amazing sandwich I did some more walking around, quite a bit of it in fact, and then it was dinner time. I had a nice raw dinner and dessert (which I saved for the next day) from Help Yourself although for the life of me I can’t remember exactly what I ate! I remember WHERE I ate it – on the OTHER beach – on the Gulf side – whose handful of inhabitants were very much NOT tourists.

Then I went over to Green Republic to get a sandwich for the drive the next day. I chose Corned Beef and I found out they make the vegan cheese themselves! How great and mysterious! I nearly bought of one their delightful looking cupcakes but I had to resist… because…

I then walked back over to The Cafe because they were serving a key lime cheezecake. How could I be in Key West and not eat Key Lime (although it’s sad to report that most key limes come from Mexico and Central America now because of Free Trade. It’s frustrating to think I was eating the juice of a fruit that I could have picked from a tree in some one’s back yard, but instead came thousands of miles away)? At this point I was extremely stuffed and had walked all day, so I decided to let my dessert wait in the hotel room as I went on a ghost walking tour (which turned out to be 2 hours long!)

Walking off dinner was a good idea because this was sooo rich and delicious I can still taste it:

It was tres fabulous!

What I liked best about Key West was the fact I could be a foodie tourist and STILL see mostly everything I wanted to see that WASN’T related to food. I can not say this of New York City. I’ve been about 6 times and each time I just go from place to place eating. I’ve only been to TWO museums/galleries on ALL my trips combined! Key West was mostly about eating and walking… two things I like very much 🙂

On a worried note – this whole BP oil spill could KILL Key West (OR the rest of the Gulf! Rest of the planet!) THAT would break my heart…

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #12: Living in a city that’s breaking your heart? Take out a map and take a good look at what’s around you. Get on your bike and go for a ride to a place you’ve never been to. I bet you will find a little nook and cranny of a park or neighborhood that heals your heart. Maybe it’s an East Indian grocery store or a park dedicated to roses… maybe it’s even a building that was built in 1910 in a town known for tearing everything old and beautiful down… Make it your own little secret bit of happiness.

Broken Heart Song #12 (No. No freakin Jimmy Buffet for you my friends)

June 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . dessert, entree. 1 comment.

Good Place to Get Some Thinking Done

Cities can break your heart too… not just beings. Ties to places can be so fragile. People, jobs  – they take you from one place to another. You can move around constantly looking for the perfect home. You may never find it.

Two towns have broke my heart. Town A was a refuge from a bad break up. I crossed the border in 1998 and the guard hauled me in to ask a lot of questions – including “You are visiting someone you met on the internet!?” (We had actually met through MaximimRocknRoll, but I wasn’t going to say “classified section in a punk rock fanzine”!) Now I’m sure you’re thinking, in this day and age of dating online, that I  was going to this town because of a boy… but I wasn’t. Or more like it wasn’t for romantic reasons. Although I did fall for the town itself.

Town A was a shockingly small place for my big city roots, where people would walk into your house unannounced. Where punk rock wasn’t quite like the punk rock I knew from the big city. It was a super month. I think it was my best summer ever. Trouble began for me when I didn’t recognize it as being a one night stand. I kept wanting to have a relationship with Town A. I wanted to know how everyone was and what everyone was doing and what was going on with the movie theatres and health food stores. To its credit, Town A didn’t dump me all at once. It happened it stages. We even got together again for a brief period where I was trying to relive that one amazing summer and IT wanted our relationship to grow and become more complex.  11 years is a long time to hold on to something that wants to get away from you…

Eventually it changed so much I no longer considered it my second home. I think it was grateful. “Whew!” it said, “Glad she’s finally out of our hair!” But I am still scared…

Town B was like a colourful holiday brochure that ends up being a poor country that REALLY doesn’t want you and your rich flabby ass there…  Town B broke my heart because I just couldn’t fit in.

Oh the city itself was great – fruit trees everywhere, different bodies of water, culture to entice even the most bored soul, free health clinics… But the inhabitants were so busy being hipsters they didn’t know when to be warm and open. They tried really hard to forget there was an outside word, or that there was a world in the same town just outside their little bubble.

I lived my sad little lonely existence in the town that didn’t know my name and didn’t give two shits when I left.  Who patted my head and said “Oh sure you’re one of us” while turning to a friend and rolling its eyes.

I sometimes dream about going back into its arms… but only if I were to have my own tiny army of friends for support and barrier jumping.

Traveling around, sometimes you get a hankering for a cupcake. But my word! How DO you carry a cupcake with you? I usually avoid products made in China (virtually everything you buy at malls and department stores), because it’s 90% sure there is slave labour involved, but I couldn’t resist this:

Cupcake Carrier!

This cupcake carrier is carrying a Lavender Chocolate cupcake from Sweets from the Earth (Have I mentioned that they make the BEST CHEEZECAKE ever? And yes I’ve had Portland and Eugene vegan cheesecakes!)

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #11:  Get a haircut. No I’m not calling you a dirty long haired hippy – merely suggesting that a haircut and make you feel like a new person and as a new person you will get over your broken heart faster and easier. You are a superstar and everyone will smile and nod as you pass, thinking “Yep. That person has got it together!”

Broken Heart Song #11


June 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . dessert, snax, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Great Canadian Meatout

Yes, you know my posts are wonky when I’m writing about an event that happened in March!

This was my second year attending (it’s been going for 5!) and despite the HUGE line ups I was pleased as punch. I’m not so good with numbers but it seemed like there were 200 people there.

Belinda Morris from Canadians Against Trade in Dog and Cat Fur spoke for a heart wrenching concise 15 minutes.

Goodie bags contained little trial sizes of products (I’m still making my way through LAST years!), coupons and postcards for businesses I didn’t know existed.

Raffles galore and David won TWO! I donated some truffles.

There were Daiya cheese items, which delighted many, and incredible savory pastries, layered dips, healthy greens (even raw Kale Chips! Whoah!) and mock meat items.

I should have lots of photos but my attention ended up being focused on these two:

Nat and B (in the cutest hat ever!), happy to be finally fed!

I REALLY tried not to go crazy with the desserts. I tried. I THINK I did ok. But they had fudge. Yummy blessed fudge. At the end of the night when nearly every one was gone I looked at the bottom of my shoe and found….

Meatout Fudge, on my shoe

It was nice to get out. Honestly I think I hadn’t gone out for a month until that night. It seems like a year ago and yet the dull ache in my heart is still there…

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #6: You need to get out. I’m serious. You need to say “Screw it. I won’t spend another night locked up in my room” reading a “How to Get Over Your Heartbreak” book or, heaven forbid, staring at pictures of the person (or animal) who has exited your life. It’s hard, it’s bloody hard, but I bet my flattened penny collection you will feel a LOT better when you get home. Get some sun, breath the night air…

Broken Heart Song #6

May 21, 2010. dessert, entree. 1 comment.

Creamy Brown Goop

Is it weird that I had a craving for a recipe from my first book  that was written by my ex’s mom?

Yeah Probably. But I really do love pudding and I love rice pudding with lots of cinnamon.

So I made some and garnished with FRESH DATES! I didn’t even know you could get fresh dates in Toronto. I am also ashamed to admit I wasn’t even sure if there was a thing as edible fresh dates ;P But when I went to the farmers market in my neighborhood and saw an interesting package of sort of expensive dates from Iran I thought  “Well I need to try this”. When I got them home I noticed they were not DRIED. And suddenly everything made sense. All those raw desserts I was making using dried dates, that didn’t quite turn out the way they should… I was using the wrong thing!

Fresh dates, by the way, are really really good.

and, er, I guess so are Fresh Dates too… but I’m too broken hearted at this moment 😦

Slow cooked rice pudding and creamy fresh dates.

Creamy Rice Pudding

1/2 c short grain rice (sweet brown stikky rice is great)

1 c boiling water

1/3 c sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

pinch salt

5 c soymilk

1 tb cinnamon

1/4 c raisins (optional. I would never put them in)

1 tsp vanilla

1. Put rice and boiling water in a large pot. Bring to boil and simmer 15 min (or less. Do not let rice soak up all the water as it will stick and burn!)

2. Combine sugar, cornstarch  and salt. Whisk in a cup of soymilk.

3. Add sugar mixture and remaining milk to pot. Add cinnamon and raisins, if using (gross. why?) Bring to a boil.

4. Cover and reduce heat until barely simmering. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in vanilla.

Broken Heart Vegan Tip #4:I haven’t figured out the universe yet. I don’t really know what “exists” and what doesn’t. But I do believe this – everything happens for a reason. The reason might not be apparent as soon as bad things happen. But look back a few months, a year, a decade and you’ll probably either say “Wow. Glad that happened.” or “Gosh. I did ok in that situation. It really gave me confidence to do something I didn’t think I could.” or “Geez. I really was super jerk. I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen ever again.”

Broken Heart Song #4 (Billie Holiday is the obvious version choice, but sometimes, as hard as it might be, you have to step outside yourself Ms./Mr. Broken Hearted. Louis’ version is more light hearted. There’s some hope in it…)

May 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . dessert, snax. Leave a comment.