Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pineapple, Coconut, Vegan, Pumpkin, Pies, Sweet Potatoes, etc.

So, I've been reading multiple food blogs lately: Vegan mostly, healthy, no so healthy, and pretty much everything in between.  I'm thinking about going vegan, meaning I would only eat plant based food.  While I eat a lot of plant based foods anyway, I still love my cheese and yogurt(Chobani Pineapple Greek Yogurt is absolutely AMAZING, better than icecream and like heaven on a spoon.  I've purchased two weeks worth of one flavor which NEVER happens.  I'm a girl who likes her variety!). I have been trying to cook more vegan, because in my mind, it provides me with an excuse to try LOTS of new things.  I made 7 layer bars, you know the graham cracker crusted gooey sweetened condensed milky, chocolately chippy, nutty goodness bars, VEGAN!  While I did find a vegan sweetened condensed milk recipe, and I will be trying it in time, the recipe I found called for coconut milk and sugar to replace the sweetened condensed milk and of course vegan butter to replace the "REAL" stuff.  Reviews: the crust wasn't crusty enough for me and the gooey part was more custardy but all together it was really good and using walnuts instead of pecans was a really good alternative too!  While eating them, my thoughts were, " These are VEGAN and they are REALLY good, totally bad for me still but REALLY good, maybe I can do this vegan thing." Special note: they are AMAZING cold.  Highly recommended by myself and those who they were made for!
Well I have talked to a couple people on this topic.  My dad's take on it was the "Meat is the best protein you can eat, not that plant stuff." Well he might not have said exactly that but the jist of it is true.  I gave up meat almost three years ago, about six months ago I did start eating chicken and fell back into the same food rut that I had gotten out of when I went vegetarian, so alas I went back to being a vegetarian and I like it!  I've also liked being a visiting vegan.  I'm still up in the air but I like the prospects of being vegan.  Let me know your thoughts! If I were to go vegan, it does not mean I wouldn't still cook the same yummy things I do now.  I just wouldn't eat them and I would probably try and make them vegan at some point. A challenge, but I like it!
 I was reading a food blog and they mentioned Pumpkin Beer!  I knew it existed and I've always wanted to try it, 2 hangups thought: 1. I don't drink much anymore or at all and 2. I HATE beer with a passion.  I'll taste it but I really don't like it but its PUMPKIN and that may just overshadow the fact that its beer if given the chance to try it.  I probably won't seek it out but if it happens to find me, I might considered trying it.
If you read my blog, you've probably read the last post about the sad news I got yesterday.  Well I think i was trying so hard not to cry at work more than I already had, I gave myself a migraine.  I couldn't sleep it off because I had set last night as the day to make 5 pies for our churches HogRoast and I had friends coming over to help me.  It was just what the doctor ordered, seriously, THE BEST NIGHT EVER!!!!!  Filled with many faves: friends( whom are amazing and I can't say it and express it enough), sister who provided the commentary, the curious gato named Baily, and cooking!  Well I think we all learned something last night in the small one person kitchen.  We knocked out 5 pies(one failed but more on that later), learned how to put a disposable pie plate together, Liz and Jes learned how to use a grater, I learned how to use a citrus juicer, Jes got sweetened condensed milk in Liz's hair and we all got Pumpkin on our shirts!
First Apple: I bought way too many apples so I think I will be making another apple pie tonight to keep at home, possibly vegan pasty will be tried!  The apples we tasted were amazing, no recipe just by feel and I think everyone will like what we came up with!
The Pumpkin: things got sticky.  So Jes enlightened us with a tidbit of info, there's another pumpkin shortage this year??????????  So that is why I couldn't find Libby's(with the standard lovely recipe on the label) so I bought the kind I could find which also had a recipe on the back, just a bit different than I'm used to but I think it turned out all the same or hopefully maybe even better.  It used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk.  Everything else was the same though.
The tart and sassy Key lime was next: IT ONLY BAKED FOR 15 MINUTES,   we were all a little skeptical about this but it seemed to be fine and Liz got her hands dirty making the crust for us.
The the southern belle, Peach: I couldn't find Rhubarb so instead I made peach.  It was still baking when the girls left but I think it looks like a gem!
Finally French Silk: seemed so simple and looked like it would be amazing to taste.  WELL let me just tell you, we only needed one ounce of chocolate and I went through the entire bar because I messed it up so many times and I have now deemed it a failure and something that I will try some other time.  Simple instructions: make sure all ingredients are room temperature: done.  I set them out as soon as I got home and made that pie last.  Second whip into submission for a LONG time, done.  I needed a break anyway.  Third: REALIZE YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG AND START OVER.    Fine, I am human and fallible so I'll try again.  EPIC FAIL THIS TIME, I conceited defeat for now and will try it again later.  So, now i have an empty pie shell that I need to fill, well not need but I have it, might as well find something to fill it with.  We will see.  And that was my wonderful night!
OH sweet potatoes, I just love them.  They are the humble servant to the regular potato but the true diamond in the rough.

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