Sweet Solace

I had a very bad week. A job was lost, car parts broke, and one of my favorite plants died from a weird mushroom invasion. I should note that all three of these occurrences actually happened on the same day. And all three were complete shocks. My initial response was to live in a thick haze of mope on the futon. I wasn’t lured by the sunshine, colorful falling leaves, or bike rides. I simply wanted to sit, unbothered, and collect dust. Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, it’s not so simple when you live with a partner whose sweet tooth dominates the entire apartment! Tim graciously demanded a treat nearly every day while I hid my face in books on the oh-so-uncomfortable futon. It wasn’t completely out of greed. Tim knows I love to bake. And once I started, it was hard for me to stop. The baking frenzy helped me forget about my crappy week. Want to know what I made? Here, take a peek (all photo credits go to Tim who insisted on capturing his desserts on camera)!

Chocolate Cream Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

Lemon Layer Cake for my friend Chad’s birthday

Carrot Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

There must be something magical about sweets because I am already starting to feel a bit better and I am no longer on the futon!

A Slice of This, A Slice of That

Is it terrible to admit that Tim and I shared two slices of dessert, plus a whoopie pie today? My lucky penny thinks it’s okay. Besides, I had a coupon from Back to Eden Bakery – Buy Two Treats, Get One Free. Who would pass up that opportunity?  We jumped on our bikes, huffed and puffed up a few hills, arrived at Back to Eden Bakery, and gazed into their display case of beautiful treats (seriously, everything is intricately perfect). It took some time before we decided on a slice of raspberry cheesecake, a slice of chai coconut cream pie, and a pumpkin whoopie pie (our staple favorite). We ate the raspberry cheesecake there and rode home in a downpour with the other two desserts (intended for much later in the day, of course!). I didn’t get a shot of the chai coconut cream pie, but here is the raspberry cheesecake right before Tim prodded his fork through the center:

It was delicious.

Speaking of delicious desserts, my friend Kris wrote a new cookbook – Have Your Cake and Vegan Too! Did you know? It is full of 50 recipes (and lots of accompanying photos taken by Kris) sure to make your tummy smile. The first recipe I made was a chocolate peanut butter layer cake:

Amazing! I am already flipping through the pages deciding what to make next. I might have to limit my slice intake to one every few days though – too much cake cannot be good for my 2011 goal of eating less sugar! Ooooops!

Somewhere in Middle America

Hello, everybody! I hope that springtime is bringing plenty of warmth and sunshine to your part of the world. Right now I am in Omaha, NE and it is neither sunny nor warm. The weather forecast seems promising though, so I might see some blue sky before I head back to Portland later next week. Maybe!

I arrived in Omaha a few days ago to help Isa Moskowitz test dozens of pie recipes for her and Terry Romero’s forthcoming cookbook: Pie in the Sky. So far we have made an amazing variety of delicious pies including little lemon mousse pies, halvah tarts, coconut curry pie, blackberry cheesecake, chai spiced rice pudding pie, and basil peach pie. There are still a lot of pies to be made (and sampled!).

On Saturday we will be baking all day for Vegan Omaha’s Bake Sale for Japan, happening on Sunday, April 3rd. I will be making big batches of brownies and there’s a good chance some pie will make its way to the bake sale too!

I haven’t taken too many pictures, but here are some highlights:

Crunchy Munchee Salad with Hempini Dressing from McFoster’s. This salad was incredibly crunchy!! I enjoyed the dressing, which was a blend of hemp butter, Bragg’s, lemon juice, garlic, and peanut butter. I washed this salad down with a 4-ounce shot of fresh pressed ginger juice. It was strong, but I love how ginger tames my tummy.

A teeny slice of Little Lemon Mousse Pie (recipe will be in the book). Isa and I made these this afternoon and they turned out absolutely perfect!! They remind me of lemon meringue pies, but so much better (and vegan!). Plus, they are so dang cute!

Halvah Tarts! Considering I am a tahini addict, it’s not a surprise that I enjoyed my samplings of this treat. Tahini and chocolate, yes indeed!!!

Kirby. Not a pie obviously, but one of Isa’s three cats. Kirby joined me on the table for breakfast the other morning. He is so soft and cuddly.

Tomorrow brings more pie and perhaps more pictures! Stay tuned…