Note: I will need to tweak this recipe as the creme it did not turn out as custardy as I'd hoped. It was still exciting to crack it with a spoon though! Stay tuned for the vacherin...comin' right up faster than you can say it with correct pronunciation.
Why hello! Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Things were heating up at work and mix that with lack of sleep and a hectic non-work schedule and you got me cowering at the end of the day, not wanting to do much of anything.
I've been (not very closely) following the Crazy Sexy (non) Diet book for information on how to feel better and not worry about food so much and it has really helped. I am a (almost) changed woman! Love it. I would recommend this book to anyone that really wants to learn how to eat not only better, but saner.
Anyways, hmmmm where have been lately...ah yes. Ecopolitan! If you look up Minneapolis on HappyCow.net, you'll find that there's one completely vegan restaurant here and this is Ecopolitan. It has a completely raw vegan menu and I personally love going here because I can eat and eat and still not be completely full. The food is delicious and presented so artfully and the portions are not too bad either.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. "Sarah, aren't you going to talk about the fucking food?"
Patience, little goat, patience.
I started my meal with a carrot/orange/ginger juice. I fucking loathe carrot to the core, but I really liked this! It was sweet and the ginger and orange overpowered the carrot so I didn't taste much of it at all! Yum. A perfect start to my meal.
Ok, so now I'm all high on delicious juice right? RIGHT. But next came the main dish!
The taco salad! I usually either get this or the living pizza. This salad is huge, has tomatoes and red peppers and a fake spicy lentil meat as well as avocados drenched in a cashew-y spicy dressing. DAMN. This salad was fantastic! I felt awesome after eating this too. High five!
Ok I had to do dessert. I get it every time I go to this place and it is ALWAYS necessary. Always.
You were probably thinking "raw vegan dessert? Bleh. I rather chew on a shoe" but NO! STOP THE NONSENSE.
This is the fruit parfait (I believe they make it from whatever's in season) and it is fucking ginormous. Mine was a strawberry banana ice cream and dates, coconut and nuts for the crust at the bottom. Basically raw vegan heaven in a parfait cup. The ice cream is smooth and sweet and the crust has just enough delicious gooeyness to make me always come back for more. I didn't stop until it was gone, people, and you won't either.
Now I know what you're thinking...Sarah, what's going on with the Vegan French Pastry Challenge?
Didn't I tell you to hold your pants on? Yeesh.
Hokay. The Vacherin! I will be making this next and I think I'd like to make it with berries. It is described as meringue and berries alternated in layers to look like a fancy little cake. Vegan meringue? How am I going to do that, you ask? Ok seriously, enough with the questions today. OFF I GO!
It's time to begin fresh. Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary of my relationship with Manfriend. He has changed so much and I am so proud of how far he's come as a person. I also have done some changing for the better, and it's time to seal the deal for real. Hee.
I don't mean marriage, I mean healing. Manfriend and I have been through very rough times in the past and though we've been working to try and rise above it all, it has been a rough ride up until this last year.
I would say the biggest thing I've learned is to keep in mind that people do change, though it's very hard to do. Not many people would stick it out through a tumultuous rollercoaster like ours, but I'm glad to say that we have. We have seen the best and worst of each other and even if some point in our lives we go separate directions, he will always be a good friend. There's nothing like true forgiveness.
OK! Enough of that crap, I got to get this show on the road, people and I ain't slowing down for anyone. I've got a health/sleep/exercise/attitude overhaul in the works and this time it's going to...work. I'm determined!
Guiding me soundly will be Kris Carr and her Crazy Sexy Diet book that I got for the five year anniversary from Manfriend! I'm ready to rid myself of sugar cravings, mopy-ness and the like and this book definitely has been showing me the way. Kris Carr is a cancer survivor (to clarify, she actually still has it as it is a very rare form of cancer that never goes away but has dramatically improved her health by kicking many bad habits) and she is one powerful case of kickass. I admire her. With lifestyle changes, I need boundaries (which is why calorie counting worked so well for me, but in the end lead to chipped nails, digestive problems, etc. yuck!) and she not only gives very detailed descriptions about how to get your health (not weight! Wahoo!!) back on track, she gives you proof that it works-her! I'm super excited to try the juice cleanse and the 21 day kickstart thingy. I'm really optimistic!
Click here for her website, which has tons of good information about how a mostly vegan, raw/whole food diet really is the best thing you can do foryourself. Move over Skinny Bitch (though I still love you, SB), here comes a healthy smack in the face.
I will still be baking my schtuff-don't think there's not room for that in this diet! Get ready for one of the most decadent of the French desserts in my next update. It's going to be a freaking magical.
I topped it with a lemon syrup that I thought would accentuate the lemon already in the cake. I probably should have done an almond glaze, because that would make sense right? Since it's made from almond meal. It's a crumbly but tender nutty cake with subtle hints of citrus. With the syrup on top, it sweetens the cake A LOT and makes it extra irresistible.
In an attempt to start getting my hands dirty in le patisserie Fraincais (does that even make sense?), I am going to put myself through a 52 vegan pastry challenge. In the coming months, I will make vegan French pastry my bitch, in the midst of the "I need to cook more" goal I just set forth a couple of day ago.
I love desserts. I have a special relationship with sugar. But French pastry requires more of you than to make something tasty. It requires presentation. Eating with the eyes before you eat with the mouth. And they are't your typical desserts you just chow down on because you're PMS'ing. You SAVOR these types of delectable desserts. I'm so excited I could pee, but I won't. I am going to need to work extra hard at maintaining attention to detail, because sometimes get so impatient I botch it.
First up! The "visitandine". This was created by nuns of the Visitandine order an is a staple cake in many kitchens. They basically turn out looking like a flatter yellow cake. It sounds interesting!
So there you have it. This is what I'm going to do first and I am really excited about it! Keep checking for the update!
Is one post a week enough? I have no clue, but I realize that this is what I'm doing. Meh.
SO. Yes. Here we are. *awkward silence*
Ok I swear I'm done foolin'. I'm going to give you all the best, most tasty update EVER in the history of this blog. *rolls up sleeves* AaaannndSHAZAM!
FIRST THING'S FIRST. I made cupcakes tonight for Cupcakes for Their Sake happening at EthiqueNouveau in south Minneapolis tomorrow at noon. On the menu: vegan peanut butter cup cupcakes and vegan strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Have a looksee:
Mmmm. I also felt generous and made Manfriend a vegan chocolate peanut butter cheesecake! What what.
Manfriend and I have been going a little nuts lately, as in we have cabin fever. We lived it up though this last week and as a result, spent waaaay too much money. First! We went to Evergreen Chinese which has by far the BEST vegan Chinese food in Minneapolis. It's family owned and really popular for its deliciousness. I really need to stop using that word.
Anyway, I strayed from my usual this time (kungpao vegan chicken) and went straight for the mock fried peppered pork!
I can see why this is one of my friend's (Ryan) favorites. It's not saucy by any means, but it has a spicy kick that'll knock your socks off and a savory flavor that can't be beat. The breading is extra tender too, if you like breaded mock meats. WHICH I DO. Though I still prefer my kungpao to this (sorry delicious mock pork), this gave that longstanding favorite run for its money, and that's saying something I think.
We then went to the Chinese grocer across the way for some mochi and stocked up on cans of mock meat. If you do not know what mochi is (also can be called diafuku), google it, buy it and thank me. You're welcome, my friend. Hint: it's a sweet treat.
Aaand, look what I found at the uptown the Wedge, on Vegan Pizza Day no less!
Alas, I did not buy it but it's good to know what is new and vegan. The St Paul Whole Foods has vegan take-home pizza with Daiya on it. Sweeet.
I also found (new) vegan mini cookies at the uptown Whole Foods! They had vegan snickerdoodle and vegan chocolate chip. I, of course, got two of the snickerdoodle cookies. YUM.
They were dense and delicious! The perfect little treat.
HEY MINNESOTA VEGANS: You guys really should hit up Hard Times Cafe in Minneapolis. They've been stepping up their vegan baked goods and I saw VEGAN BISMARKS there the other night. What!? YEP. Do as I say. Just a little shout-out to a personal favorite, ya know. ;) Hell yes for increasing the availability of delicious vegan food in Minnesota. I'm personally really proud of how far veganism has come here.
Ok guys, that's my post. Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you on the (delicious) flipside.
For the new year, I wanted to have a list of resolutions, but honestly I have not been keeping up with them. In fact, I'd like to get serious for a moment. I know it's hard to believe that I'm not an awesome badass the way I use profane words and talk about awesome stuff, but there's a couple things I want to improve in my life, and these are strictly personal. Everyone is different and everyone wishes that they were someone else, but EVERYONE has problems in their life and things they'd like to improve.
The most important thing every single person in this world needs to realize and the biggest lesson I've learned thus far in my life is that
1. NO ONE IS PERFECT. No one. I have to constantly remind myself of this when I get bothered about the messy house that I compulsively clean, when I don't feel like working out, when I eat a dessert. Personally, I know I'm way too hard on myself sometimes and I know there's a balance somewhere in between working hard and knowing when to give myself a break, but it's really hard to tell myself to stop once I've started.
So in conclusion, stop being hard yourself, self! You are imperfect and every human being is. You may admire aspects of other people, but that's all you're allowed to do-admire them. Do not idolize, do not put someone up on a pedestal. It's unrealistic and frankly, stupid.
2. I want to take better care of my one and only-my little Bellakins. She has some anxiety issues regarding going to the doctor's office and getting her nails cut. She could also be a little calmer at times. She is a wonderful dog and I know that she's bound to be the best she can be if I could just muster the effort to train her and stick with it.
3. I want to make time for exercise in my life, but I know that I cannot do the gym thing. I have to get my exercise in by either making it essential to getting somewhere (like traveling to work) or by forcing myself to run a couple of times a week.
4. Travel at least three times a year, and I don't mean to Duluth. I mean to other parts of the country or other parts of the world.
5. Find a job I really find rewarding and challenging at the same time. I really think that I love my job right now, but I do stress out over a lot of stuff at my current job that doesn't need to be stressed out about. I know it challenges me now, but what about 5 years down the line? It's something to consider. I've accepted the fact that I'm probably going to be working in an office for the rest of my life to keep myself financially comfortable and doing my baking on the side and violin playing on the side and this is ok. I REALLY need to lose the mindset that working in a lower paying job defines my worth. I need to freaking cut that crap out right this instant.
6. Listen to my body more. This means establishing a sleep pattern that runs from 9pm to 5am, eating only when I'm hungry and stopping eating when I'm full. This also means I'm going to start eating less sugar again. I felt better when I ate less sugar and I know what sugar can do to my insides. I also am (regrettably, and I mean this) going to stop drinking coffee and start drinking green tea instead.
7. I want to do more crafts. Yep.
8. I would like to spend more time with my family. I think that a trip to NYC with my mother and aunt will help this as well as Sunday crafternoons at my parent's house.
Lists always give me piece of mind after a stressful day. Now, to dye my hairs and to bed! Have a fantastic night, everyone!