Esther’s Friendship Cake

My blog has been defunct for quite a while, however, I have discovered a new use for it. Here, I’m sharing a recipe, so that it can be easily pinned. The recipe is from Esther’s Kitchen, and Chef Linda is amazing. They don’t yet have their website set up for sharing recipes, so maybe this will be helpful to us Pinterest fanatics! You can learn more about Esther and her inspirational life at estherthewonderpig.com.
  
Esther’s Friendship Cake – From Chef Linda of Esther’s Kitchen

Cuisine: Esther Approved  

Serves: 8×8 cake

Prep including Cook Time: 1 hour


Cake Ingredients
 

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.  

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spoon. Stir until smooth.

2. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes. While the cake bakes, begin to evaporate your almond milk.

4. Method for frosting the cake-Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the hot frosting over the hot cake. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake. The milk will absorb into the cake. Allow to cool before slicing. Store covered in the refrigerator.


Frosting Ingredients
 

3/4 cup evaporated almond milk(see recipe below)

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread

1. Once your milk has evaporated to half way below the scald line to the bottom of the pot (20 minutes), stir in the granulated sugar and Earth Balance into the milk. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut, almonds and vanilla extract. Turn the heat to warm or low to keep the frosting hot.  

2. Pour the hot frosting evenly over the cake. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the frosting.

Evaporated Almond Milk Ingredients  
1-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1. Pour the almond milk into a medium size pot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The milk will evaporate to a half quantity that will yield 3/4 cup evaporated milk for the frosting recipe.

Maybe later I can figure out how to share a printable!

Thanks!

Plant Manager

The humans in our household (both of us) have been following strictly plant-based nutrition for going on two months now. We are really loving the way we are feeling and even more so, the fact that no animals are harmed in the making of our food. In making the decision to do this, because of limited options where we live, we have essentially eliminated the opportunity to eat out (with very few exceptions). Therefore, I have been cooking and preparing all of our meals at home (making me the “Plant Manager”). This has led to a lot of exploration of new dishes and new ways to prepare old favorites. This past weekend, through Pinterest, I found a recipe from Sonia at The Healthy Foodie, Apple and Almond Salad. As with most recipes I attempt,  I tweaked, bringing this particular one in line with the plant-based guidelines we follow: No animal products and no added oils. (I also omitted the olives as a personal preference).

So, I present to you, my take on Sonia’s original recipe:

Image

Vegan, Zero Cholesterol, Broccoli, Apple and Almond Salad

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 heads broccoli, florets only, chopped
    • 1 large red apple, diced
    • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
    • ½ cup raisins
    • ¼ cup dates, chopped (about 10)
For the vinaigrette
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • the juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • ¼ unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  1. Steam the broccoli until tender. Rinse in icy water to stop cooking and allow to drain in colander while cooling.
  2. When the broccoli is completely cooled and dry, toast the almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a small food processor, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients plus the vinaigrette and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Serve immediately or leave in the fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to develop. This salad will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days in an airtight container.

It was a big hit in our home, served alongside Lentil Burgers on homemade whole wheat buns and oven baked French fries.

Please let me know if you try my version and how you liked it!

You can find the original (non-vegan) version at: Broccoli, Apple & Almond Salad

Thanks for reading!!

Fifteen Minutes

Hello Blogosphere! Since we last updated, life has moved forward with a consistent trajectory. The make-up of our little animal menagerie has shifted some, but we still love, care for, feed, clean up after and dote on eleven precious little souls.

In the space of time in which we haven’t written, we’ve (jointly and individually) dabbled in (experimented with, tested the waters, or completely adopted) running, bodybuilding, veganism, jewelry making, cooking (to an exhaustive degree) and juicing. Through facebook, we have reunited with old friends and kindled new friendships. Yeah, we are some of those old people who ran all the cool kids off facebook and onto Instagram or whatever is the latest phase. We’ve had birthdays, celebrated joys, mourned losses and kept our noses to the grindstone. In other words, we have lived our lives. How lucky we are to be so blessed!

Of late, I have been completely obsessed (? for lack of a better word) with Polyvore. It’s a great app that brings paper dolls into this century. If you like fashion, you should check it out. I have enjoyed building a virtual version of my wardrobe and using it to mix and match and put together outfits.

PolyvoreAnother fun time-waster I’ve discovered is Pinterest. Luckily Polyvore and Pinterest play well together.

Speaking of Pinterest, some time ago, here on the blog, we shared the building of our dog house. I was really shocked today to find out the post has been pinned on Pinterest, and better yet, re-pinned 389 times!

Dog HouseHow special is that? We are Pinterest celebrities! Looks like our “fifteen minutes” of  “fame” has begun!

 

Cuteology

Zeez ees a lesson een Cuteology. Who bett-air to teech about Cuteology zan I?
DSC01777

Here ve vill share viths you some of zee cute zings ve haf seen in zee last few days.

Zees ees me, viths my snuggle buddee, Fu. Zees has become a habeet for us!
Snuggle Buds

Snuggle Buds

I am very comforbuhls. I cannot speak for Fu.

Zees are some ov our neighbors. She ees een love viths zee babee.

Happy family

Hello there!

Soft!

Zees eez A.J. She and He met heem viths hees Mom at Bed, Bath and Beyond. A.J. vas zere shopping for hees own house. You can zee he made hees choice!

A.J. The Pom

Zee lesson to take from all zeez peectures eez zat to qualeefy for Cuteology, zee subject must pozezz cer-tain qualitees. Two ov zee most eemportant appareently are “sveet” and “fluvvy”.

Clazz deesmeesed.

Casanova
**********

Occupy the Dog House

Dog House

He and She have been really busy for the last couple of weekends building a dog house for us. They took special care to make sure it’s nice and warm, so on the long, cold days when they are at work and we can’t be in the house with the kitties, we will at least have a comfy place to nap. That is, between all the watch doggin’ we do!

What we now have is a double-walled, insulated, cedar, duplex apartment with wood floors and central heat. Well, technically, it’s not central heat, it’s a Hound Heater, specially designed for dog houses. The felines don’t mind that He and She put all this effort and expense into the house for us. After all, they get to lounge in the main house 24/7.

Here are some pictures from the construction. The first few were taken with her iPod, so the quality isn’t that great, but you can get an idea of what was done, at least.

First, they started with a sturdy 2×4 frame for the base:
Dog House

Gily was on hand to take care of the Quality Assurance portion of the job:
Gily doing QA

Then, framing was begun. They used treated 2x4s that were ripped down to 2×2:
Dog House

You can see here the beautiful cedar flooring and the care He took to insulate the walls well to keep that winter chill at bay:
Dog House

Here you can see the interior and exterior walls were finished out in cedar:
Dog House

This is the Hound Heater that was mounted inside to help keep us warm on the coldest of days:
Dog House

Here’s the house with a coat of stain, and put in place. There are two entrances, with Gily’s apartment being taller to accomodate his size. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention, each of the roof sections is removable for easy access and cleaning:
Dog House

You can see I am proud and pleased with my sweet new abode:
Dog House

Dog House

Dog House

However, Gily is not as impressed and has pretty much boycotted getting in the dog house. We are thinking of having a march and calling it Occupy the Dog House:
Dog House
Doesn’t he look a little like “you want me to go in what???”

I hope he will come around and join me when it gets really cold. In the meantime, I guess I’ll enjoy my deluxe two room apartment myself!

Dog House

Trix
*****

Two Turkeys and a Harley

Hey You!

There are just so many directions this post could go with a title like that. I’m not actually talking about He and She being the “turkeys”, though that is one direction it could take. I’m not talking about a dish at a new trendy restaurant with cleverly named menu items, either. I’m talking about two actual turkeys. And a Harley Motorcycle.

Ever have one of those stories that is award-winning-hilarious when it’s going on, but you can never seem to re-tell it to do it justice? This is probably one of those times, so bear with us and just know when this happened, it had her laughing like She hasn’t laughed in a quite a while.

The beautiful Autumn weather and crunchy countryside was really calling out to He and She on Saturday, so they fired up the Harley, saddled up and went for a ride. Alabama is really a beautiful state with so much variety in landscape. The vividness of the colors of the leaves as they change to reds and golds and the blueness of the clear sky just epitomizes the Fall season. As we live in a rural area, there is a lot of ambience to soak up.

Thanksgiving Day Ride

After rolling through the leaf-strewn back roads and admiring all the beautiful chrysanthemums and pumpkins that are on display, it was ironic that when they pulled into our driveway, they were greeted by two very large Turkeys that crossed the street from our neighbor’s driveway to get a closer look at the motorcycle. He and She thought it was pretty funny that they seemed so interested in the bike, and after waiting for our gate to open, they proceeded up our driveway. Much to her delight, the turkeys followed. Not only did they follow, but as he sped up, the turkeys did too. They kept up with the bike as it was going 25 mph or so up the long drive.

(Driveway picture shown for reference)
Driveway in the Fall

When they arrived at the second gate, where they had to wait for it to open, the turkeys kept a watchful eye on that motorcycle. She was giggling and laughing the whole time. Because Gily and Trix are in the yard, they were careful to get inside and get the gate closed before the turkeys could follow. She was concerned there might be some altercation, otherwise.

After getting inside, she was able to get these shots with her i-Pod. “Lucy” and “Ethel” continued to hang around for most of the afternoon, up on the hill outside the gate.

photo

photo2

Hey – where’d you put that bike?
photo3

photo4

She couldn’t help wondering if they were attracted to the sound the bike made. It was just the funniest thing. We sure wish we had some video to share with you.

I guess being on a motorcycle, chased by a couple of turkeys is the most exciting thing that happened this weekend. Yeah, life is good, here!

Flirt
*****

Royalty

Kosmo

Oh hai!

Yeah, we’re still here. We haven’t posted in a while because She seems to have lost interest in the this little corner of the blogosphere. But we are all still doing well. We don’t have any new additions (much to Barny’s delight). Though the integration of Trix into the household has gone very well. While his manners aren’t nearly as good as Gily’s, we’ve all come to accept and love him for the heart he has. Let’s just say if Gily and Trix were celebrities from the golden age of Hollywood, Gily would be Cary Grant, and Trix would be more like James Cagney.

 

Grant was and Gily is so debbonaire and cool. While Cagney and Trixter share a “Little Man” complex. Trix has plenty of heart and defends his home as well as any dog four times his size could do. Gily beleives there is strength in numbers.  Trix is also more likely to take what he wants whereas Gily will wait for something to be offered. So, Gily is a gentleman and Trix is a scrapper. Also, just like the two actors we compare them to, Trix & Gil are leading men in the cast of characters around here.

He and She haven’t completed any big projects, and we don’t have any thing of substance to share, but,  She did have one little project worth noting. After searching diligently, to no avail, for a girly motorcycle helmet that would please her, She finally decided to design her own. Using a standard black half helmet, and self-adhesive rhinestones, she produced this protective headgear embellished with a stylized “Tiara”.

My Favorite Tiara

Tiara Helmet

She even found some Harley bling which coordinates nicely!

Harley Bling

She’s had a few occassions to sport her new Tiara Helmet, but not nearly enough. They are hoping the weekend will provide more opportunities for that! Well, we managed to cover some Holywood Royalty and some Harley Royalty in this post. How’s that for a theme?

We hope everyone else has a good weekend and there is no significant damage or any injuries from the hurricane predicted for the East Coast. Go away Irene!!

Kosmo

*****