holiday

Random Catch-uppances

I’ve been more and more neglectful of this blog, it seems. Life continues to go on, and I make food, but there’s so much going on that I’ve not had time or motivation to spend much of my life blogging here about said food. I’ve been doing cookbook testing that I can’t talk about yet, for one, and music has been the centre of my life for two months straight. Priorities!

Here’s some of what I’ve been up to over the year.

  • One of the things I’ve been working through this year is continued growth in the mental/physical health arena. I was having a load of health problems earlier in the year – allergies causing sinus infections over and over again, on top of what I believe was spiritual oppression. I dealt with it for about 4 months, getting worse and worse. In July I hit a point where I could barely walk and then simply couldn’t get out of bed, because I was so exhausted, and then some things happened. First I was ordered back onto my antidepressants by my therapist, about the same time I also requested to be anointed at church. The anointing happened on a Sabbath after church, low-key and quiet in one of the elders’ offices at church, and I am happy to report by the time I got home afterwards that day, I was again able to walk and function like a normal person. It was such a drastic, immediate change after weeks of hardly being able to drag myself out of bed, and I revelled in it, praising the Lord, for several days before going to pick up the prescription that was waiting for me. So I’ve been back on the meds since July, and I have roughly 5 months to go now on this round of the medication before we decide if I try to go off it again. I don’t know where it will go from here, but I am doing so much better, and I’m thankful for friends who have more perception and wisdom than I do, who dragged me kicking and screaming through the fog to the light. It is so wonderful to have energy, to feel creative, to actually be sending out Christmas cards this year for the first time in years without being totally overwhelmed and shutting down.
  • Living in our house, unfinished as it may be, has been wonderful beyond words. If you’ve never spent over two years in a mouldy deathtrap of doom, you simply will not understand. I don’t even care that my house isn’t finished, I’m just so thankful to be in it. Little by little we’re working on it. But we have space, light, indoor plumbing, space, and heat. And space. This is far more than much of the world can hope for in their lifetimes. We are abundantly blessed.
  • I discovered I have Scottish blood in me and have been embracing this discovery with every drop of said blood. My ScottishSpam on Pinterest? I apologise for nothing.
  • I’ve been working on listing stuff in my Etsy shop. Take a look! All the money after fees and tithe from these sales are going towards paying off my harp loan.
  • The most important personal development of this year, by far, has been that I have held out my musician’s heart in trembling hands to the world. I have been mortally afraid of opening my past to my closest friends, let alone strangers, but I have now shared my story via another blog: The Harp in the Closet. It is raw, simple, emotional, my very soul spilled out in words: a side of me that has not ever been on this blog, and indeed few see even in real life. It has actually been published for about 6 months now, and gotten over 1000 hits, but I am only now getting the courage to share about it here with a wider audience rather than with just individuals. Consider taking a little time to read it from start to finish. If it resonates with you in any way, please share it with your friends.
  • Finally, here’s a picture of our pretty tree and a cute cat:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 7.37.34 PMMerry Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re celebrating!) from all of us Pine Nuts.

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Categories: holiday, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, sickness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chickpea Potpie

Way back in the early days of my blog I posted this potpie recipe, which was good, but not great. I loved Marie Callender’s chicken potpies growing up and I really wanted to recreate that texture and flavour.

My father-in-law is allergic to nuts and soy (with the exception of soy oil, such as Crisco), so I wanted to not just make my potpie better, I wanted to make it better and be something he could eat.

Someone suggested an oat-milk-based bechamel sauce. So we’ll start this recipe with how I made the oat milk. Keep in mind the oats soak overnight, so this requires a little bit of planning ahead.

This makes a single 9″ potpie.

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight.

Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain.

I use a really classy nylon strainer. (Don't worry, it's a clean nylon. I think.)

I’m fresh out of cheesecloth, so I used a really classy nylon strainer. (Don’t worry, it’s a clean nylon. I think.)

In a saucepan stir together: 
6 T oil (I used half olive, half canola)
2 small carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the oil about 2 minutes.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 T mock chicken seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme

Sauté 2 more minutes and remove from heat.

Add 3 c oat milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again. Add in:

3 c cooked garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained
3/4 c frozen peas
3/4 c frozen corn

Allow to sit while preparing the pie crust. Preheat oven to 425.

***

Pie Crust
(note: minus the thyme, this pastry can be used for fruit pies)
(note 2: you can really use any pastry recipe, just add the thyme! If you can’t have soy of any stripe, I highly recommend Isa’s olive oil crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky.)

2/3 cup + 2T shortening
1 1/2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
4-5 T cold water

Cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles little peas. Add 1T water at a time, tossing with a fork, just until flour is moistened. Divide pastry evenly in two, shape each lump into a round and roll out on lightly floured board until circle is 2″ larger than pie pan. Press lower crust into pan. Add filling to pie and repeat rolling process with second lump of pastry to cover the pie. Or you can cut out shapes.

 I made wedges out of my top crust.

I made wedges out of my top crust.

Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 20 minutes. It should be golden and bubbling.

This potpie was amazing. Today we had it with mashed potatoes, but it would also be amazing with rice (which is how I grew up eating potpie). And it was so good. I finally nailed the taste and texture I wanted. I definitely want to make this more often now.

Part of today's Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, and  two kinds of apple pie.

Part of today’s Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, gravy, and two kinds of apple pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stay tuned, because in the next week or so I have a holiday giveaway coming up.

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Categories: entrees, holiday, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

German Chocolate Rolls

Two years ago on the 25th of October, I began this blog. I had really only one reason for this. I had a recipe I was burning to share with the world.

Thing was, I hadn’t perfected it yet. I just couldn’t afford to keep buying pecans and cocoanut milk to test it with! Finally I splurged on the ingredients needed, and here it is: German Chocolate Rolls. I am honoured to present these to you at this Virtual Vegan Potluck!

gcr3

Proof in measuring cup:
1.5 T yeast
1/4 c warm water

Cream together in bowl until smooth:
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/3 c vegan margarine
1 tsp salt
3 flax eggs (9T hot water+3T ground flax)
1 c cocoanut milk (the canned stuff, NOT the beverage! Either lite or full fat will work, but I recommend full fat)
1 tsp vanilla

Add yeast mixture and stir together well.

Add, 1 cup at a time:
5-6 c white flour

Knead 5 minutes.

Let rise in bowl 35 minutes, punch down and let rise 30 more minutes.

Form into rolls just like a cinnamon roll: roll the dough into a rectangle and then spread the filling on the rectangle.

gcr2

Fill with:
liberal spreading of vegan margarine
3 T brown sugar
1/2 c pecans (or walnuts if you’re broke)
2/3 c cocoanut (a blend of fine shred and large shred is fun)
1/4 c chocolate chips (optional)
Enough agave / dilute molasses to make it stick together
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Roll up the rectangle, pinch it closed, and slice it into 12 rolls. Place in a lightly oiled or sprayed 13×9 pan.

Bake at 350 20-30 minutes.

Right before the rolls come out of the oven, make the glaze:
1c powdered sugar
2.5 T cocoanut milk (or as needed to make a very thick glaze – the heat of the rolls will melt it!)

Drizzle the glaze (or glop it on) over the hot rolls. And then eat them. Yum.

***

To sample another fantastic vegan dessert, keep going down the potluck line to In Vegetables We Trust!

To go back for more of what you already had, step back to Fitting Into Vegan!

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Categories: dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan, virtual vegan potluck | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Cherry Pine Nut Cookies

By far the most common search term that gets people to my blog involves “cheap pine nuts”. Everyone thinks they can find cheap pine nuts if they just ask Google! So sorry to disappoint you, lovely people. Pine nuts are so labour-intensive to harvest that I can’t really naysay the high cost. But, if you want to help me rack up Amazon Affiliate cash, then go here to buy 8 oz of organic pine nuts. 🙂

The other day, however, there was a search term I hadn’t seen before. Someone came to my blog seeking “vegan cherry pine nut cookies”. It sounded intriguing. I still have my birthday bag of pine nuts and a jar of maraschino cherries. So, today I make you vegan cherry pine nut cookies.

A few notes: If you feel super rich, you could use all pine nuts instead of pine nuts and almonds. If you feel super poor (or just have common financial sense), you could sub sunflower seeds for the pine nuts. I would imagine that fresh cherries in season would be an awesome sub for the maraschino cherries.

I was very pleased with the results. There is a nice crunch to the sugar coating, a juicy burst of cherry flavour tucked inside… what’s not to love?

cherry-pine-nut-cookies

1 c vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c maraschino cherries, well-drained (about 18 cherries)
2 T powdered sugar
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
Pinch salt

More cherries for filling, cut into quarters (optional)
Pine nuts for garnish (optional)

Additional powdered sugar for rolling (roughly a cup)

In a food processor, pulse nuts and cherries to chop. Add margarine and vanilla. Add flour and sugar.

Roll into balls around the quarter-pieces of maraschino cherry. The balls should be roughly walnut to ping-pong sized. After making the ball, roll the ball in powdered sugar until coated. I rolled mine twice in the powdered sugar. Garnish with pine nuts if desired.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 until firm. (I did mine a bit oversized and it probably took 18 minutes.)

Makes roughly 24.

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Categories: cookies, dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vegan Month of Food, Day 16: Nutty Cheezy Bacun Quiche

First of all, my friends, It’s not a kwish. It’s a KEESH.

quiche2

Second of all, I’ve never made a quiche, vegan or non-vegan. (At least not that I recall.) But I have eaten them, and this is what I’ve come up with today. You’ll use the tempeh bacon, the eggy tohu, and the cheezy sauce from yesterday’s post.

quiche1

Heat your oven to 350 and prepare your crust.

In a food processor, process until crumbly:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 c walnuts
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c oats

Add:
1/4 c water

Spray an 8.5″ springform pan, bottom and sides, and press in the crust mixture evenly on the bottom. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while preparing quiche filling. Leave the oven on!

In the food processor, process until smooth:
24 oz eggy tohu
3/4 c plain soy milk
1/2 c garbanzo flour
1/4 c nooch
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black salt

In a pan, sautee:
1/2 c chopped red onion
1 packed cup chopped greens (kale, spinach, whatever – and by packed, I mean overflowing)

Stir sauteed greens and onions into the “egg” mixture and spread in the pan.

Next, layer on the tempeh bacon crumbles and press them lightly into the top.

Lastly, drizzle on the cheezy sauce. Alternatively, you could wait until the end of baking and sprinkle on some Daiya for the last 10 minutes or so.

You’ll bake this 45-60 minutes. I did mine about 50 and it was still quite soft inside. Or maybe use a larger springform so that the quiche layer is not as thick? I’m not sure. At any rate, it did taste really good even if it was on the squooshy side. I also let it sit for 5 minutes or maybe a little longer after I took it out before I released the spring.

But, reheating slices after it had been in the fridge overnight worked really well. I just plopped a wedge in a non-stick saucepan and heated it over low heat on the stovetop until it was warmed through. It wasn’t squooshy any more and I think it tasted even better than fresh!

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Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, holiday, recipes, tempeh, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Literary Post: Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Bake a Cake. THE Cake.

Maj Lindman’s “Flicka, Ricka, Dicka” series (and the corresponding “Snipp, Snapp, Snurr” series) were staples of my childhood reading experience. These girls are industrious, helpful, model little citizens without being preachy about it. They seek to help those less fortunate and the elderly, make sure they right wrongs, and are willing work hard for things they want, and unhesitatingly give up the things they’ve worked for to help someone else.

In Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Bake a Cake, the girls want to give Mother a surprise for her birthday and an aunt helps them to bake her a cake.

flicka ricka dicka cake

I always thought this cake looked so delicious. My mind’s mouth said it should be cherry-flavoured. The book was kind enough to detail what all the girls dumped into the bowl to make the cake:

…butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, cream, and raisins were all mixed together in the big blue bowl.

They frosted it with pink frosting and put small pieces of candied fruit all over the frosting. Here’s the picture of the girls rejoicing over their finished product:

flicka ricka dicka bake a cake

So… where to begin? I decided to use a recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook as a starting off point, and this is what came of it: a cake that tasted like a Pillsbury funfetti cake. In other words, totally a classic birthday cake flavour that is intensely sweet but quite fantastic.

(One note: I used almond milk. If you want a more creamy milk for the “cream” you could skim the cream off canned cocoanut milk and use that, but I don’t think it’d make that much difference in the end.)

The Cake

Sift together:
2 c all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

In separate bowl, mix with a mixer:
1/2 c vegan margarine
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 c non-dairy milk
1 tsp cherry flavour (I used the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries)

In small bowl, whip until frothy:
4 eggs’ worth Ener-G Egg Replacer (1/2 c water+2 T powder)

Combine the margarine and flour mixtures in a bowl. Using a handmixer, beat about 30 seconds at low speed and around 2 minutes on high speed. Fold in egg replacer and thoroughly incorporate. Then fold in 1/2 c golden raisins.

Bake in a bundt pan (I used an angel food cake pan) at 375 for 30-40 minutes and allow to cool. Remove from pan to cake plate when completely cool.

My finished cake

My finished cake

The Frosting

3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c vegan margarine, softened
2 T non-dairy milk
2 T maraschino cherries
A few drops red food colouring

Blend cherries and milk together in a blender until cherries are well pulverised.

In a bowl with a hand mixer, blend margarine and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add milk/cherry blend and beat until smooth and fluffy. You can add more milk if needed. Spread over the cake. Decorate with golden raisins (or, alternately, sliced almonds).

Categories: birthdays, book-inspired food, dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Gingerbread People and Felines and Phantoms, Oh My!

How to turn gingerpeople into gingercats.

These gingerbread cookies were a yearly Christmas tradition at my house for many years. They are very soft and tasty and a great hit with everyone who has tasted them.

Erik, the Phantom of the Opera: This was the first year I went all-out on these, I think, in 1999. My camera was lousy in those days. Sorry.

1 1/2 c light molasses
1 c packed brown sugar
2/3 c cold water
1/3 c shortening
7 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix molasses, brown sugar, water, and shortening.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Roll dough 1/4″ thick on floured board. Cut with floured gingerbread cookie cutter or your favourite shaped cutter. Place about 2″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool.

I made a pattern out of brown paper bag for these angels and cut them out with a sharp knife.

To decorate, use a mixture of icing/powdered sugar and non-dairy milk or water. Usually about 3 c sugar to 2-3 tablespoons of the milk or water. Use a small round tip on an icing bag.

One year the pirates (and one dunce and his duck) took over completely.

This is what I think of being eaten.

Categories: dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan | 5 Comments

Vegan Mofo #21: Savoury Rice Blend

Today it’s raining, sunny, cloudy, and windy. Not usually all at the same time, but with some definite overlap. Fall and its fickle weather is here for sure. We had fun this morning watching a squirrel who apparently has decided to winter underneath our unfinished house. He was stuffing his face with nuts and whatever else he could find and then darting up under our bay window (it’s not closed off yet) to get under the house. I anticipate Mr Pine Nut will be finding nut hoards galore when he goes under there to install our radiant floor heating.

This is a green onion. Not a leek. A green onion. Pretty much all my green onions are about this size or bigger.

At any rate, I decided to try this recipe. I’m getting a little burned out on the Betty Crocker MoFo project, quite honestly. Fortunately, I have made most all of the recipes that I originally planned to do; this one was one I chose after the fact because some of the ones I originally chose seemed blah. So, you may or may not see any further MoFo posts from me this month, now that I’ve done the minimum of 20 that is req’d.

So, the recipe. I was very much pleased with the earthy savouriness of this dish. It seems to whisper “Thanksgiving dinner side dish” to me. It tastes very much like a storebought Rice-a-Roni type deal, just minus all the extra junk or animal-derived ingredients they might throw in. This is definitely something I’m going to make again.

My only beef with the recipe was the length of time it took to cook, because Betty Crocker says to bake it for a total of close to 2 hours. Next time, I’m going to just cook it in a skillet until almost done (maybe 20-30 minutes?) and then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes rather than the other way around, just to add that extra baked dimension. I had it in the oven for at least 50 minutes after cooking it in the electric skillet for 15 minutes or so and it was still chewy: edible, but the wild rice especially was still not fully cooked. (Just by the way, I’ve rewritten the instructions below to reflect these changes that I’ll make next time.) Also, Mr Pine Nut and I demolished the entire pan; if you’re wanting to feed more than two double the recipe. This single recipe really didn’t make very much.

Savoury Rice Blend

I served it with curried zucchini and freshly-made flatbread.

This recipe was originally found on page 228 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1/4 c uncooked wild rice
1/2 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped onion
1 T olive oil
2 1/2 c chickenlike broth
1 T dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
3/4 c uncooked brown rice

Cook and stir wild rice, celery, and onion in oil in a pan (I used my electric skillet) until onion is tender. Add broth and heat to boiling. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, perhaps 20-30 minutes.

Transfer into ungreased 2-qt casserole and bake at 350 until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Categories: challenges, holiday, lunch, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo #13: Chopped/Vegan Challenge Entry!

Judges! I present to you:

Butternut Coffee Cake with Popcorn-Walnut Streusel and Apricot-Rosemary Glaze

Butternut Coffee Cake with Popcorn-Walnut Streusel and Apricot-Rosemary Glaze

***

Isa Chandra Moskowitz has had two Vegan/Chopped competitions before, neither of which I was able to participate in, unfortunately. This time, I decided I’d go for it, because I had two of the ingredients and knew I’d be going shopping to be able to get the other two.

Our mystery ingredients were butternut squash, popcorn, rosemary, and apricot preserves.

Here’s my recipe, adapted from this pumpkin coffee cake recipe.

Before you start mixing the cake or streusel:
First, roast or otherwise cook your butternut squash until soft and puree it. I roasted mine and it took forever, then I just mushed it up with a fork.

Next, strip a sprig of rosemary of its leaves and put the leaves in 1/2 cup apricot preserves to steep. Do this in a small pan of some kind, because you’ll be heating it up later. You’ll leave it there between 30-60 minutes, depending how long it takes to get everything together. Mine was in about an hour.

Apricot-Rosemary Glaze

Apricot-Rosemary Glaze

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 9-inch cake pan.

Next, prepare your streusel.

Take 1 T unpopped popcorn and pop it. I only have an air popper that you have to pop 1/2 cup at a time, so I did this step on the stovetop.

Set aside and mix the following:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cut in:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Stir in:
1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 c popped popcorn, slightly broken up if desired
Set aside.

streusel

Popcorn-Walnut Streusel

Now prepare your cake batter.

With a handmixer, combine:
1 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash
Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (I used Ener-G in this case)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar

Add and combine:
1 stick vegan margarine, softened

Add:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix just until incorporated. The batter will be thick. Spread roughly half the batter into a 9×9″ pan. Sprinkle with roughly half the streusel. Plop the remaining batter on top in drops and spread around a little bit so some of the streusel shows through, then top with remaining streusel.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until a toothpick comes out clean. 40-50 minutes total.
Toward the end of the baking time, heat the preserves and rosemary over low heat until hot, then keep hot until cake comes out of the oven. Drizzle over top.
Butternut Coffee Cake with Popcorn-Walnut Streusel and Apricot-Rosemary Glaze

Hot and Fresh!

My thoughts: It was light, fluffy, and super good. I don’t really like apricots, and the rosemary really threw me for a loop, but the taste of this was really delightful. The popcorn is a fun texture for the streusel. I’m totally making this again.

Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan, vegan/chopped | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Vegan MoFo #11: Optionally Pink Peppermint Pie

TIME FOR A DESSERT.

This recipe was originally found on page 303 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

The original recipe is primarily heavy cream, whipped – and melted marshmallows.

Blech, says I.

I made this pie in my pre-veg days with the cream and marshmallows and thought it was good, albeit the next day it was less appealing because I’ve never been a huge fan of the texture of marshmallows anyway, and it really made me a bit grossed out. It was for some relatives who were coming over to dinner. I served them haystacks, homemade GooGoo Clusters*, and this pie.

But creamy peppermint pie! Surely there must be some way to have it uncorrupted by horse hooves and calf food, and be sort of nutritious as well.

Pink Peppermint Pie

Pink Peppermint Pie, Take 1

So, about a month ago I decided to give it a try, because even I can only eat so many cream pies and I knew it would take some tweaking before I was ready to present it to you today.

I have a millet cheesecake recipe I like to use a lot. Not only is it healthy (millet! cashews! no refined sugar!), it’s super simple to put together and the only expensive part is the cashews – of which you don’t use that many anyway. (By the way, the linked recipe is enough for either one springform cheesecake or two pie pans like I have pictured here. I did half a recipe to get just one pie.)

So that was my springboard. I thought that I could just whip it up, add peppermint flavouring, sub a nutmilk for the lemon juice, tint it with some of the beet juice from the beet-filled Pyrex of my husband’s that was in the fridge, and call it good.

Sadly, that didn’t work out so well. I took it to our Friday night group and the vote was unanimous that it needed improvement. All three of the children present, independent of one another, said it tasted like toothpaste at their very first bite. Notwithstanding that, the oldest-constantly-hungry-teenager-whom-we-shall-call-Train-Boy ate two helpings of the Toothpaste Pie.

The texture was all wrong and the peppermint flavouring was definitely too strong.

I tried again the following Friday, and according to inside sources all the kids, including Train Boy, made Loud Groaning Noises of Sadness and Despair and said, “Is she bringing Toothpaste Pie aGAIN?” when their mom told them I was bringing take 2. We all agreed, however, when we tried it, that the flavour was pretty perfect this time, but the texture just still needed work.

So, behold: Take 3.

not-so-pink peppermint pie

I didn’t have any beet juice on hand, and my red food colouring is MIA. Please use your imaginations to imagine that the pie filling part is pink.

First, you’ll need a graham cracker crust. For takes 1 and 2, I used premade graham cracker crumb crusts, which are totally okay, very yummy, and certainly the easiest way. For take 3, I decided to go all out and I used the graham cracker recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and made a pressed-in cookie-type crust.

Second, you need to do your filling. Here’s how.

Soak:
1/2 c cashews for 8 hours or overnight

Cook together:
1/4 c millet
1 c water

I forgot to time it, but it doesn’t take very long, so keep a close eye on it. When it comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and when the water is mostly gone, turn it off and set aside, covered.

In another saucepan whisk together:
1 1/2 c non-dairy milk (I used oat milk in take 3, but soy, almond, or cocoanut would also work)
1 tsp agar powder
1 T cornstarch
1/4 c sugar

Whisk in pan constantly at medium heat until it gets bubbly; then continue to whisk about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into blender with soaked cashews.

Add the following to the blender:
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
A few drops red food colouring, if desired

When that is blended super-smooth, pour in the millet and blend again until smooth. Spread into pan and refrigerate until firm. You can top with a non-dairy whipped topping if you like, or crushed peppermint candies, or both.

not-so-pink peppermint pie

Sliced and ready to nom

_____

*GOOGOO CLUSTERS**. Surely there must be a way to make these vegan, too.

**My eldest daughter’s prenatal name was GooGoo because of GooGoo Clusters. I was kind of obsessed with them. Also, I tried to freak people out by telling them we were planning to actually name the baby GooGoo Cluster.

Categories: challenges, dessert, holiday, recipes, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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