Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

I made this to celebrate the end of finals this week and to satisfy a craving my boyfriend had… That’s all I’m good for.

I love leaving the kitchen window ajar while the wind and rain blow around. The cold air helps my ice cream freeze better as it churns. Later, a hot oven full of baking goodies fills the indoor air with warmth and tasty aromas.

Composition of the ice cream cake:

  • Two layers of chocolate cake. I made One-Bowl Chocolate Cake from Better Homes & Gardens, leaving out the eggs and substituting soymilk for milk.
  • Two layers of mint-chocolate chip ice cream that owes its flavor and color to lots of fresh mint leaves. The method is explained in the recipe from David Lebovitz. I omitted the egg yolks, substituted the whole milk and cream with full-fat coconut milk and vanilla soymilk (I didn’t want it too rich and creamy), and blended the steeped-mint mixture with 1½ Tbsp liquid soy lecithin and ¼ cup tapioca starch before reheating.
  • On top, I drizzled 3 oz. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Mint UFOs melted with 1 Tbsp vegetable shortening. I also used chopped UFOs for the ice cream. Mmmmminty.

Wooowooowooowooo… We are beamink you up. Do not rezist, Earthlink. We are flyink you to galaxy of minty chocolate. Woowooowooowoo…..

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So Happy Chocolate Chili

Chocolate Chili from VegNews (click the link for a much more scrumptious-looking photo) with homemade cornbread biscuits and pepitas. Smile, and the world smiles with you.

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After the Berries of Summer Are Gone

What happened to summer this year? At least I enjoyed a few handfuls of plump little berries. I miss the glistening skin on fresh berries I’ve just rinsed before biting into their juicy pulpy interiors.

Rainier cherries, a favorite of mine this year.

Organic strawberries growing in Moss Landing.

Blueberries over honeydew for a sunny picnic.

Actually, I’m not sure any of the above are “true” berries in a botanical sense (maybe the honeydew). Oh well. It made for a nice title.

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When My Sweetheart Turned 20…

…I refused to bake him a cake!

I swear it’s what he wanted. For his birthday last March, he requested a raw chocolate cake, rich and decadent with no baking involved.

This was based on the Mocha Cake recipe in Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts. I covered it with Chocolate Glaze, Mocha Cashew-Free Frosting, and sliced almonds. I spoil my baby so.

Dates, coconut oil, almonds, cacao, and cold-pressed espresso were blended into a dense fudgy cake. Can food be sinfully nutritious?

And those are normal-sized birthday candles. This was a special tiny cake just for the two of us. And all the leftover Chocolate Glaze was for me. I can drink it like coffee.

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What Didn’t Make the Cut: Rice Meatballs & Vegan Month of Food

I suck at blogging. My perfectionist nature means that the imperfect photos, the underdeveloped recipes, and the just not-too-interesting don’t make it to the blog. And all this means that 90% of my cool food discoveries are not represented here. What a shame, because this past year has been awesome. This blog is supposed to support my idea that life as a vegan can be as fun and crazy as anything.

It’s Vegan MoFo time! This month, hundreds of bloggers will be churning out vegan food posts like there’s no December. Each day of November, I’m going to join them by sharing something I’ve done or eaten this past year. I don’t have time for new ideas and recipes, of course.

My favorite source of recipes is… other blogs. They’re free, unique, modern, and usually accompanied by pretty photos. In August I tried out this Steamed Sweet Rice Meatball from Kitchen M.

When a recipe calls for some kind of ground meat, I usually mix up TVP with wine or beer, broth, soy sauce, onions, garlic, pepper, and other spices, herbs, or vegetable juices. Sometime I’ll form an actual recipe.

I left out the eggs and cooked the “meatballs” inattentively, so they were crumbly and ugly, like my mind on a Friday afternoon. But sweet grains from heaven, they were tasty.

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5 Smashing Pumpkin Recipes from Whole Foods Market

Lover that I am of food and pumpkins, I cannot resist any recipes featuring my favorite cucurbit. While Whole Foods Market’s website has a trove of vegan recipes stressing natural/organic/healthful ingredients, the following do not specifically sport the “vegan” tag. But why let that limit your culinary progress? Here’s how I did these:

  • Turkey Pumpkin Chili—Substitute the turkey with mushrooms, tempeh, or your own choice of vegan “meat substitute.”
  • Pumpkin Bread Pudding—I used Ener-G Egg Replacer for the eggs, coconut milk for the half-and-half, and coconut cream for the cream. I also tossed in two handfuls of golden and dark raisins. Serve warm with love.
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Cake—Just forget the eggs. Sweet and moist and not too high in fat, this cake is a great snack for a fall afternoon.
  • Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice—The aroma of pumpkin cooking into a creamy, risotto-like supper for a drizzly autumn night drives me wild with happiness.
  • Pumpkin Streusel Bread—I actually used crushed Cheerios in the topping since I had no walnuts or chestnuts, doubled the apples, and substituted canola oil and Ener-G Egg Replacer for the butter and eggs. Results were irresistible.

But there are even more pumpkin recipes to explore! I haven’t had the time or money to try them yet, so it’s up to you to make these vegan and delicious:

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Vegan Chocolate Reviewer: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Wedges

TJ's dark chocolate wedges

Life is being a distraction right now. But chocolate is a nice distraction from life.

TJ's dark chocolate wedges 4

Product: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Wedges
Price: $3.49 for 3.5 oz at Trader Joe’s
Type of chocolate: 70% Belgian cacao
My notes: Aroma of cocoa. Shiny, plasticky surface. Very soft and chewy bite, uncomplicated rich chocolate flavor.
Overall rating (out of five stars): ***

TJ's dark chocolate wedges 5

See how my teethmarks sank smoothly into the wedge before it broke? That’s a soft bite.

TJ's dark chocolate wedges 2

TJ's dark chocolate wedges 3

Don’t forget that there’s a second layer of wedges under those, making for 16 per tin.

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