Plethora of Pie (Vegan MoFo #10)

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Thief of Always was the first book I read that was written by Clive Barker, so it holds a special place in my heart (and personal library). It is an enchanting story of a regular ten-year-old boy, bored from school and a dull home life, being swept away to a magical place called the Holiday House where he can have fun all day long.

Harvey loves this new place and enjoys the special treatment. Mrs. Griffin, the House’s care taker, explains that this is a get-away for unique children like him. There are only two other kids there with him, Lulu and Wendell. Wendell is near Harvey’s age and gives him a big tour of the House and explains that every day is full of holidays. Every morning is spring (which usually consists of playing in the tree fort), followed by afternoon summertime (full of naps and exploring), fall in the evening (Halloween and trick-or-treating), and lastly Christmas (with any toys you desire magically appearing under the tree). Other than Mrs. Griffin, there are other strange adults there who don’t seem to be normal humans. But Harvey is willing to look past this oddity since the Holiday House is so wonderful.

Harvey would like to spend the rest of forever here, until things start becoming weird. Lulu, though never particularly friendly, starts acting oddly secretive. And when Mrs. Griffin and the other adults refuse to answer his questions, he becomes suspicious. Then any attempts to leave the House are thwarted by mysterious powers. Now all Harvey wants is his dull life back, but he might not survive another attempt at escaping the Holiday House.

Harvey set himself down at the kitchen table, and within sixty seconds Mrs. Griffin had set a dozen plates of food in front of him: hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken; mounds of buttered potatoes; apple, cherry and mud pies, ice cream and whipped cream; grapes, tangerines and a plate of fruits he couldn’t even name.” – Thief of Always (paperback) page 20

I always imagined Mrs. Griffin being the perfect grandmother prototype with her elderly age and love of cooking pies. I didn’t want to choose a more ordinary pie (like the aforementioned apple or cherry), so the recipe below is for a rich and creamy mud pie!

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Mud Pie

Ingredients:

2 cups chocolate pudding (homemade or Jell-O brand is accidentally vegan)

1 graham cracker crust (either store-bought or homemade)

1/2 cup Smuckers marshmallow topping (it’s accidentally vegan and is found in the ice cream topping area)

1 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons original soymilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup raw pecans

Directions:

Set oven to 375 degrees. Bake the graham cracker crust for 3-5 minutes, just enough to let it brown and bake together (especially for looser homemade recipes). After baking, set the crust aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the marshmallow topping, cream cheese, soymilk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.

Next layer the pudding and cream cheese mixture into the pie crust. Put down a layer of pudding, then cream cheese mix, rest of the pudding, then drizzle the last of the cream cheese on top. Sprinkle with pecans and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then slice and serve! It’s quite messy, but very delicious.

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Cookies and Cream Fudge

Okay, so I lied in my last post. I couldn’t resist posting before September because I needed to share this wonderful recipe with everyone! When I saw Stewartship’s recipe for cashew fudge I was inspired to make a version based on my favorite ice cream flavor, cookies and cream. This stuff is creamy, rich, and beyond delicious.

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Cookies and Cream Cashew Fudge

Based on Stewartship’s Cashew Fudge

Makes 16 small pieces or 9 large pieces

Ingredients:

2 cups raw unsalted cashews

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

3.5 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup to 1 cup crushed chocolate creme cookies (Oreos, Newman-O’s, etc.)

Directions:

In a food processor blend the cashews, water, salt, and vanilla until smooth. This will take a long time (my tiny food processor actually started smoking because it took several minute), but it will become smooth and creamy eventually.

Heat the coconut oil in large saucepan until melted, then whisk in the cashew mixture. Once thoroughly mixed, add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. After the mixture becomes smooth, fold in the cookie bits and pour into a 8×8 pan that has either been sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper.

Set the fudge in the refrigerator for several hours until set, cut into squares, then enjoy!

Post of the S – Spaghetti, Sandwich, and Soup

Okay, so I have a hard time coming up with cute titles for these posts. So there are others meals in here that don’t start with S, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as yummy as the food included in the titles. 😛

I am way behind on posting regular food pictures, so don’t be too surprised when I mention Halloween in this post.

Tomato herb couscous (recipe coming soon!) and barbecue  Morningstar chick’n strips

Mushroom spaghetti and salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

The glorious thing you are about to see below is an artichoke-bacon chicken salad sandwich. This is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s not very healthy, so it will have to be only made on occasion, but anyone who likes chick’n salad should try this.

Peter’s family made a wonderful dinner the other day. I had a Boca burger patty with A1, roasted sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and fried green tomatoes.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Student Group at UM had a Halloween bake sale and so of course I had to make lots of vegan treats!

Carrot cake cupcakes with cheez cream frosting
Peanut butter cereal “bars”, which fell apart so I just mooshed them into balls

Cookie dough bites (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) dipped in chocolate

Soy-Tan Dream Cutlets (which are amazing!) with buttery pasta
Potato soup with bacon bits

Culinary Camp

This summer on June 13th-18th I went to a culinary camp at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. It was really fun and I learned a lot. Though being vegan limited the amount of things I could eat, I still got to try new foods and cooking techniques while keeping my stand on animal rights.

We did a lot of cool classes like knife skills, taffy pulling, plate painting, and napkin folding.

In the afternoon we would cook in the professional kitchen on campus and in the evenings we’d have fun activites to keep us entertained like going to a local baseball game, an outdoor challenge course and a huge arcade on the last day.

In the middle of the week we went to the Metropolitan Community College Institute of the Culinary Arts for a tour of their facilities and a special three-course lunch prepared for the campers by the head chefs and their students. Much to my surprise and delight, before the lunch started one of the head chefs came out and told me he had prepared me a special lunch of my own because I’m vegan. He said he had fun cooking it all because of the challenge my dietary restrictions caused.

Here’s what all my lunch consisted of:

The first course was spicy fresh vegetable gazpacho with a sprinkling of fresh herbs on top.

The second course was roasted beets topped with sea salt, a micro greens salad with tomatoes and red wine vinaigrette, roasted almonds, and a bit of candied orange peel.

The third course was a nicely arrainged bowl of fresh mango, strawberries, and blackberries.

It was a great lunch! The gazpacho was fresh tasting, but had a spicy kick. I must admit, at first when the beets course came out I was skeptical because I’m not much of a beet fan but I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. The fruit was sweet and the perfect ending to a good meal.

Mr. and Mrs. Toast Face

Forget Wheaties, this is the breakfast of champions:

That was my breakfast this morning. It’s two pieces of toast covered with Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese and peanut butter, then topped with fruit and one lonely pecan. I can’t take the credit for these awesome faces though, I found a picture of them on the cover of “Healthy Snacks for Kids” by Penny Warner. I stumbled across this book in the library and had to make this for breakfast. I named them Mr. and Mrs. Toast Face, and actually felt a little guilty for eating them after they were named. They were quite tasty though.