What the Heck Have I Been Up To?

I have never been accused of bombarding people’s mailboxes with too many newsletters or blog posts. In this day and age when we are supposed to be digitally connected 24/7, I am a social media party pooper. It isn’t that I don’t love seeing what others do on Facebook – in fact,  the connection it brings with people around the world is what I love most about it. But otherwise, I prefer tinkering in my kitchen, teaching, engaging with a live audience, or otherwise doing the real stuff my work involves, rather than reporting to the world about what I’m up to every ten minutes.  On the home front, my kids have berated me over the years for not snapping […]

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Homemade Vanilla

No, I don’t just make cheese. I began my culinary journey long before I was anointed the Queen of Vegan Cheese.  I relish making all sorts of fancy things. And I make everything from scratch. Really from scratch. Even the things you would normally buy at the store, I generally make from scratch. Take vanilla. Why spend $15 for a little bottle when you can make a quart from some leftover vodka and some vanilla beans? Leftover vodka? I don’t know about your house, but at mine there’s always some hanging around after a party. And fear not the price of vanilla beans. Buy grade B in bulk online (on Amazon, or a host of vanilla sites), and you’ll be in the vanilla business […]

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Buche de Noel or Just the Lightest Vegan Chocolate Cake

I can’t wait until next Christmas. With New Year’s around the bend, the holidays are about over, and the most glorious dessert I had all season is all gone. Lucky I took a few photos of it before it disappeared. I have been baking yule logs for years, but this year, I tried a new approach that yielded spectacular results. It’s a challenge to create a vegan spongecake that rolls up beautifully, as it is usually eggs that provide the architectural structure that allows for the rolling while maintaining a lightness and airiness. I’ve been baking vegan meringues all year, and decided to apply that principle to a sponge roll. Likewise, I wanted a filling and frosting that would be light yet […]

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What’s the Pudding?

Last year’s Christmas Pudding (Miniature version) set aflame Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start planning what to eat for Christmas.  Yes, the cookies will be baked, but what I get excited about is pudding.  Good old Christmas pudding.  Not just lore from A Christmas Carol, Christmas Pudding is a rich and indescribably delicious dessert (“pudding” simply means “dessert”  in the British vernacular).  The indescribable part refers to trying to explain it to folks who have never had it — most people envision the dreaded fruitcake of yore when they hear that it’s made from bread crumbs, raisins and other dried fruit. And then you mention the suet.  Yes, lovely suet — rendered beef fat.  Mmm…yum.  “No, thanks,” is the […]

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