The Best For Last

Vegan Cinnamon Latte Ice Cream

Vegan Cinnamon Latte Ice Cream

Three months later and I’m finally finishing up blogging about our trip to see Dawn.  Twin is probably thinking something like, “Thank the goddess!  Now write that cookbook review already!”  All in due time.

We spent nearly two weeks in California visiting friends and family, gallivanting around amusement parks, taking in theater and museums, and just being.

Several times Dawn told us to go the vegan ice cream place next to Good Neighbor, the little restaurant we would go have breakfast at least once per visit.  We didn’t go.  I think maybe I was mourning the loss of being able to go to Good Neighbor and have a great breakfast of hash and eggs.  Or pancakes.  Or both.  I’m sure I could have gone to Good Neighbor and figured out something I could have on the menu.  Going out to breakfast just wasn’t appealing with the loss of eggs in my diet during the trip.  Yes, I was mourning eggs in general, too.

All that aside, if you are in the neighborhood, Good Neighbor is a great place to go for breakfast.  Friendly service and when we would go it was never so busy that we had to wait for a table.  Plus, you might have a celebrity sighting.  The last time I was there with Dawn and Mom, Steve Perry held the door open for Mom.  I was a bit awestruck.  It was my first celebrity sighting with all the trips I’ve taken out there to visit Dawn.

Back to vegan ice cream.

Our last full day in Los Angeles we wound up at Poquito Mas for lunch.  We were trying to go to a vegetarian place nearby, but we missed the parking and didn’t feel like trying to go all the way around the block to figure out the parking.  Poquito Mas is in the same little center as Good Neighbor and Kind Kreme.  We were both feeling a bit let down by Poquito Mas and before we left I suggested we finally check out Kind Kreme while we were there.

I’m so glad we did and I’m so mad at myself for waiting until the last day to go.  They have vegan ice cream, shakes, juices, salads, smoothies, sandwiches (on gluten-free bread), and more.  I wanted to try one of everything.  Seriously.  If you are on Instagram, they will share something off-menu they are serving for the day.  Not every day, but some days.

I had the Vegan Cinnamon Latte ice cream.  After seeing that in the case I knew it would take me back in a way to my favorite ice cream place back home and Chocolate Cinnamon ice cream.  While the ice cream was really more latte-ish than chocolate-y, it was still good and still dream worthy.

I’m still kicking myself for waiting so long to try Kind Kreme but I sure know where I will probably be every day the next time I visit Dawn.

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Peaceful Purple Ice Cream

Peaceful Purple Ice Cream

I attempted to do my first SOS Challenge last month with carob.  I wound up with a wicked case of glutening because my carob came into contact with gluten during processing.  Somehow, I missed this important warning on the package when I bought it to use for a recipe test and I didn’t have any outward symptoms when I ate the cookies from the recipe test.  After ingesting a total of 5 tablespoons of the tainted carob chips and feeling like crap by the end of the day, I was done with carob.  I decided to wait it out for the next challenge and it is here.  BLUEBERRIES!

I have to say a big thanks to Ricki (Diet, Dessert and Dogs) and Kim (Affairs of Living) for putting together the SOS Challenge.  I’m hoping as I participate in it more, that it will stretch the limits of my creativity in the kitchen.

I still have ideas for blueberries, but this was the first one I was able to get to do easily.  It was going to just be blueberries.  Then, blueberries with mint.  Then, blueberries with a blueberry sauce swirled in (which can still be done easily with this recipe).  But, I was looking at my spice rack and thought, I haven’t used my lavender in a while.  I know blueberries are the star with the challenge, but if you aren’t using lavender in the kitchen with your food, you are missing out on a great experience.  My first time using lavender was with a Lemon Lavender bundt cake during my gluten-filled days.  It was amazing.

Back to blueberries.  I love ’em.  Blueberry muffins.  Blueberry pancakes.  Blueberries raw and all on their own.  They are definitely my favorite berry.  They are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Proof that good things come in small packages.

Peaceful Purple Ice Cream (raw, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan option)

2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled (I used 365 organic coconut milk, 13.5 ounces each)

1 pint blueberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup raw local honey (vegan option – sub agave syrup, pure local maple syrup, brown rice syrup or another sugar sub of your choice)

1 tablespoon lavender (you can use more or less depending on your preference and comfort level with using lavender in your food)

Place chilled coconut milk, blueberries, and sweetener in a food processor and leave it on until all the ingredients are well blended.  Transfer to a pre-chilled ice cream maker and churn for at least 20 minutes.  Add the lavender the last 5 minutes of churning.  If you choose to make a blueberry sauce or puree to swirl in, add it right after churning and swirl in with a spoon.

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang. 

Raw Experimenting

This isn’t quite the post I was planning on for today.  What I planned was sharing about was being a stand-in parent.  One of the boys I used to work with was supposed to come up with his girlfriend to visit me to today. Of course he’s not really a boy anymore.  He’s almost 25 and since I don’t work with him anymore, he tends to call me Mom.  So, I’ll save that for another day.

The last month or so, I’ve been messing around with raw recipes in preparation for next month’s blog event, April In The Raw, hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance.

I started off by working on a vision Chaz had after I made a raw pie last year and created a raw coconut crust to go with the filling recipe by Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl.  He wanted a pineapple filling using agar agar to thicken the filling.  Well, I did some research and high acidic fruits like pineapple need to be cooked when using agar agar.  So that was out of the question.  Instead I used coconut cream concentrate.  I liked it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for Chaz and he felt the crust was missing something, even though it was the same crust I made before.

Then, Iris (The Daily Dietribe) and Brittany got raw cake into my head after discussing with them on Facebook that I haven’t had cake in over a year.  Gluten-free cake is not new to me at all.  In fact, I found a recipe for a Chocolate Chinchilla years ago that I’ve made a few times for a friend with Celiac.  He loves it.  I turned the raw cake idea  over and over and over again in the noggin before trying it.   My macadamia nut cream turned out a little runny so the cake didn’t set well, but it had a great flavor.  I will have to get more pineapple and macadamia nuts to try it again.

I attempted a mango coconut ice cream the other day.  I loved the flavor of it before I put it in the freezer.  I didn’t add anything to sweeten it, so of course it wasn’t sweet enough for Chaz, again.  While it was in the freezer, I had ideas of cutting into the other mango I had for garnish and soaking it in mango rum or spiced rum and then topping the ice cream with it.  By the time I got home from work the next day, the ice cream was rock solid.  If I had popsicle molds they would have been perfect.  Almost.  From what I could chip off to get a taste, some of the natural sweetness was gone.

Today, I went round two with the ice cream and cake.  The ice cream is still mango coconut, just changed it up a little.  The cake is a Peppermint Mocha Truffle.  Truffle might be stretching it a bit, but that was my initial inspiration.  The batter for the cake was amazingly like real cake batter and I figure if it doesn’t set right, I can always bake it and give you a flourless cake recipe!

That’s not all though.  I still have other things running amok in my head.  Like gluten-free poke, marinated raw fish, a favorite back home.   I can’t find the seaweed I need either in town or online to ship so I’ll be winging it  and hoping for the best.

*looks at the fridge wistfully, waiting for the raw desserts to be ready*  Best thing about the desserts?  I used raw local honey in the ice cream and pure maple syrup in the cake.