My 30th Birthday!

I LOVE Birthdays and I turned 30 last week! SO of course a fun reason to celebrate!

On Friday Night we celebrated at Friday Night Yoga Social! FNYS is an AMAZING class I teach with two unbelievable, inspiring and beautiful teachers and friends; Mimi and Angie. It was so perfect to be able to celebrate with many of our students and friends, such a special night as always! If you are ever in NYC on a Friday Night, come to our fun class!!

Saturday was more fun party time 🙂 And of course since this was my party, there had to be yummy vegan food!

Terri’s delivered their SUPER YUMMY sandwiches. Michael and I LOVE all their Vegan sandwiches but seem to never get enough of the Vegan Bacon Cheddar Chicken Ranch sandwiches. See my review here from when they first opened. It was great to see all these non-vegans Loving these scrumptious sandwiches too, always fun of course! Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures. But go there yourself and try these sandwiches out, so good!

I also had a crudité platter from Whole Foods. Of course a crudité platter would not normally get a honorable mention but this one was special because it had a super yummy Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip. The catering guy at Whole Foods Union Square, Mark, was Super awesome and so helpful! We went around the whole store to score the best vegan dip for the platter. Perfection!

I love my sweets and since it was a birthday party, there had to be a cake and then of course some more desserts 😉 I brought the deelish vegan brownie bites, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies from BabyCakes. And the cake, oh the cake…. one of our faves, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bomb Cake from Vegan Treats… we bought it at Atlas since Vegan Treats is in PA, but they sell their AMAZING cakes and treats all over the city so thank goodness not hard to come up with. (pic below)

Then on another night Michael took me to Pure Food & Wine to celebrate just the two of us 🙂 YUM!! And of course this meal had to end with the amazing Mint Sundae. (pic below)

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with me and who sent Birthday Wishes!! Lots of love all around!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bomb Cake

Ugh Oh! This is a dangerous cake to have leftovers of! YUM!!

Mint Sundae from Pure Food & Wine

5 minute Tofu Chocolate Pudding & Whipped Cream Pie

Recently I needed a fast dessert to bring to a party. I didn’t really have time to make something, and not that there is anything wrong with buying something to bring, it just really isn’t me. So I needed to improvise 🙂 My mom had recently sent me a 5 minute recipe for a Tofu Dream Pudding. (Thanks Mom!) I figured why not use this recipe to make a quick pie.

The pudding was incredible!!! We could have just eaten this on its own but it was super deelish as a pie filling as well.

It is easier to slice when frozen, but even more deelish when defrosted!

Tofu chocolate Pudding & Whipped Cream Pie

Pudding
Recipe adapted from food.com

  • 2 boxes of firm silken tofu (the asceptic type…One brand is Mori-Nu…not the water packed kind!)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (good quality)
  1. Simply blend tofu, cocoa, sugar, vanilla in a food processor or blender until smooth and well blended.
  2. Add the almond extract in a little at a time, and adjust to taste. (optional)

Pie

  • vegan pie shell (I chose chocolate…see picture below)
  • vegan whip cream (I used Soyatoo Soy whipped cream and was not so impressed, buy Hip Whip instead)
  • chocolate bar
  1. Pour pudding into pie shell
  2. Decorate with whipped topping and then grate chocolate over it.
  3. Either serve immediately or freeze. (freezing made it perfect for travel! But it tastes best defrosted)

Pie Shell

Just the pudding in the pieshell

The pudding was amazing just on its own!

Channukah Pot-luck Part 3

Ahhh Dessert!

Thank you Shalon and Prema!

Shalon made such a deelish Red Velvet Cake and Prema brought over these adorable and scrumptious Crumbs Channukah Cupcakes. My favorite dessert ever is Icing, and both desserts brought over were covered in it! YUM!

Thanks everyone for coming over! You all made the night so special for us 🙂

We did quite a number on this one 🙂

These cupcakes are so cute!!

So special! Michael and I bought this together in Israel! Happy Channukah!

Here is the recipe Shalon used the the Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake
Recipe from Bon Appétit

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (she used lowfat milk instead)
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
Frosting
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.

For frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over top of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

Cocoa V: New NYC Vegan Chocolate Bar!

OMG!! I am going to be all over this! Thank you NY TIMES!! How fabulous! Stay tuned……

For Vegans, Sweets of Their Own

By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Published: December 1, 2009

Vegans, who avoid all animal products, must read the fine print when it comes to chocolate because even the darkest bittersweet may contain milk solids. Pamela Blackwell, above, an owner of the vegan restaurants Blossom in Chelsea and Blossom Cafe on the Upper West Side, has given them a place, Cocoa V, to ease their concerns: two narrow brick-walled spaces, one a vegan dessert and wine bar and, next door, a shop.

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

The chocolates created by Patrick Coston, her pastry chef, are made with organic cocoa, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and sugar or agave syrup. They are dark, smooth and intense. In the wine bar, which is outfitted with low tables, chocolates, brownies and savories like dairy-free “cheeses,” quiche and tea sandwiches are served with wines, coffee, tea and satisfyingly intense hot chocolate. The store also sells the sweets, including bonbons for $2.75 each, and pastries.

Cocoa V, 174 Ninth Avenue (21st Street), (212) 242-3339.

Fabulous Pot-Luck part 3

After enjoying our deelish apps and my entrée course we were all really full. But after we saw and then tasted Liz’s super amazing Grape and Fig pie we all made room! haha! I love her homage to raw food for me, even though this is a baked pie. The flavors were so bright and luscious. The mascarpone cheese added such a nice finish. Really great flavors!! Thanks Liz and Edo 🙂

Another funny note is both Judith and Liz made food with figs in it. I doubt they knew it was one of my favorite foods, but of course it worked out perfectly! Such a great evening!

Liz’s Grape and Fig Pie
Recipe from Pie;  editor: Haedrich

1 recipe piecrust
Filling:
1 ½ cups stemmed and diced dried Black Mission figs (other figs will work)
4 cups halved seedless black grapes
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons Frangelico or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.
Garnish: sweet mascarpone cheese

1. Prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll (about an hour)
2. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 12 inched circle with a floured rolling pan, Invert the pastry over a nine inched standard pie pan, center and peel off the paper, Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge.  Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
3. Place the figs in a steamer basket set in a saucepan (or directly in the saucepan) and as about ½ inch of water to the pan.  Cover tightly and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat slightly and simmer-steam the figs for five minutes.  Drain in a colander or sleeve.
4. In a large bowl, combine the grapes, figs and all but about 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Frangelico (if using).  Mix well, and then set aside for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Mix the cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and stir to combine. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell and smooth the top.  Dot the filling with the butter.
6. Roll the other half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle on a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, Moisten the outer edge of the pie shell with a pastry brush.  Invert the top pastry over the filling, center and peel off the paper.  Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge.  Using the back of a buttered knife, trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan.  With the back of a fork, press the tines all alone the edge to seal.  Using a fork, poke several seam vents in the top of the pie, including a couple alone the edge so you can check the juices there later.
7. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part of the pie that faced the back of the oven now faces the forwards. Just in case, slide a large aluminum, foiled lined p baking sheet on the rack below to catch any spills.  Continue to bake until the pie is golden brown, about 25 minutes. When done, you may notice thin juices bubbling out of the steam vents alone the edge.
8. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least two hours before serving.  Garnish with sweetened mascarpone.

the Mascarpone Cream 🙂

Smaller journal: Raw Brownie Bites With Vanilla Icing

Picture 1

IMG_2328

So fabulous! I couldn’t be happier to share this article with all of you!

Marisa’s Healthy Kitchen and my Raw Brownie Bites With Vanilla Icing were featured in the Smaller journal, a journal of ideas and inspiration by the editors of Small Magazine. THANKS!!

Check it out here 🙂

Picture 2

Anniversary Wedding Cake

I don’t know how long this tradition has been going on for but I knew that we did not want to miss this one 🙂 After our wedding my mom took the top layer of our cake home to freeze it so we could eat it exactly 1 year later. Thanks Mom! Since we only had that one quick taste at the wedding (the other tradition where you feed each other the cake) we were really looking forward to seeing how it actually tasted, even if it was one year later.

We had gone out to a decadent and delicious and of course over the top anniversary dinner, although skipping dessert, knowing we would have our cake to come home to. So at exactly 12:01 on our anniversary we dug in! It was delicious! If there was ever a reason to dig into a big cake this was the perfect one.

Check out our before and after pictures. The flowers are still on my cake even after the whole year. Preserved in the freezer haha.

Our wedding cake

Our wedding cake

The top layer after 1 year in the freezer :)

The top layer after 1 year in the freezer 🙂

Luscious Peach Cobbler

I was loving all the gorgeous peaches that we picked yesterday so much that I decided to make a Raw Peach Cobbler. I know one of Michael’s favorite desserts is cobbler and I was so happy to make a raw version for us. We thought it tasted amazingly close to the original version! Either way it was so good!! This dish was also beyond fast to make and then to serve. The original recipe called for Pineapple in the glaze over the peaches, but instead I just used more peachy goodness.

IMG_2128

Luscious Peach Cobbler
Recipe adapted from Purely Delicious Magazine
Serves 6-8

Filling:
4 fresh organic peaches, with seeds removed

1/2 C fresh dates, pitted
2 fresh organic peaches, with seeds removed
2 T honey or agave nectar
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Topping:
1 C cashews
1/2 C pecans
1 T coconut butter
1/4 C dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Preparation:
Slice peaches very thin and place them in a medium-sized bowl and set to one side. Process remaining filling ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour over peaches and gently toss to coat well. Place mixture in cobbler dish. To make the topping, place all topping ingredients in a food processor and blend until well-combined, with the nuts finely chopped. Sprinkle over peaches and enjoy!

IMG_2126

Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie

cake top

How fun is this dessert! I have always felt that you eat with your eyes first, so I love the colors and fresh take on this age old dessert. I know that the bottom later has nuts it in, but I love that the rest is nut free! We make banana ice cream all the time in my house as a quick go-to dessert, so this was a great way to mix it up a little. And now that it looks like the temperatures are finally rising, who wouldn’t love a big, delicious ice cream cake in their freezer?!?! The crust tastes like a fudgey cookie; the chocolate and the banana layers are like smooth ice creams and the strawberry layer is like a sweet/tart sorbet to round out the whole cake. mmmmm….

Neopolitan Ice Cream Pie
Recipe from The Raw Table
Serves 8-10

Pie is in four layers:

Bottom Fudge Layer:
3 C almond meal or flour (finely ground raw almonds)
3 T cocoa powder
1/4 C honey
1/2 C dates, pitted and soaked in water for 2 hours
pinch of sea salt

Prep:
Drain dates and combine with other ingredients in food processor. Blend until very smooth. Press into spring form pan and freeze for 30-40 minutes.

Chocolate Ice Cream Layer:
4 frozen bananas
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Prep:
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over fudge layer and smooth out with knife. Freeze for about 30-40 minutes. (I would suggest freezing this layer a little longer, more like an hour. )

Banana Ice Cream Layer:
5 fozen bananas
2 T. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Prep:
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over the Chocolate Ice Cream Layer and smooth out with knife. Freeze for about 30-40 minutes.

Strawberry Layer:
3 C strawberries
1/2 C raspberries
1/2 C peeled black plums
2 frozen bananas

Prep:
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over banana layer and smooth out with knife. Freeze for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Serving: Remove spring form pan sides. Lift off with the wax paper and place on serving tray. Let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes prior to serving.You will need a sharp knife to cut through the berry layer. Return to freezer when you are finished serving as this dish will melt quickly. Seriously!!

cake side

Strawberry Heaven: RAW Strawberry Shortcake & Avocado and Strawberries with Honey Vinaigrette

I am not sure why but Sunday was all about Strawberries!! They are so juicy and good! Plus having such sweets all day was so much fun 🙂

The Cake recipe was not super difficult but it was time consuming since all the layers have to set in the fridge for a while. But it was well worth it! Oh My Goodness it was good! Thank goodness there is still so much in the fridge 🙂 I am sure there are people out there who think that eating Raw means no dessert. Well I can safely say this cake will prove them wrong! It is also nice to know that although it is dessert, these are still ingredients that are healthy and good for you, but still should not be eaten in excess.

RAW Strawberry Shortcake

top of cake

sede of cake

sliced cake

 RAW Strawberry Shortcake
This is a recipe from Carmella of the sunnyrawkitchen.com Inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s I Am RaptureThis recipe is for a 6″ diameter pan or tub. (I increased this to fit an 8″ spring form pan – so I increased the cake recipe by 1/2)
Cake
3/4 cup well packed dates, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup ground almonds or loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk (wet pulp is fine)(I was able to use almond flour which is so perfect for this recipe!!)
1 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews

Whipped Cream
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
1/8 – 1/4 cup honey or agave (depending on how sweet you like it – I like it sweet :))
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut butter
1 tablespoon lecithin*

Strawberry Layer and Decoration
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced (I used close to 2 1/2 cups with all the decoration on top! I wanted every bite to have tons of strawberries!)

*Lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.

To make the Whipped Cream:
Blend all ingredients except lecithin until smooth. Add lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Set in fridge for about 1 hr.(this is super important)

To make the Cake:
Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

Assembly:
Grease a spring form pan with a little coconut butter or line a large margarine tub with plastic film.
Next form an even layer on the bottom with half of the cake mixture.
Top with 1/2 of the strawberries, followed by some of the whipped cream. Set in fridge for 20 mins.
When firm, form another cake layer. Then top with more strawberries. (Remember to save a few for decoration).
Again top with whipped cream and set in fridge 20-30 mins.
When firm, gently remove cake from the pan or margarine tub and place on serving plate. Decorate with strawberry slices and serve.

Avocado and Strawberries with Honey Vinaigrette

I know I had already made dessert, but this salad was so decadent it felt like dessert for dinner!! The texture and taste of this dish is so delightful! This would be a perfect appetizer for a spring or summer party! It is also so simple you could throw it together in 10 minutes!

Recipe from The Daily Green

strawberry avocado salad

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
8 ounces strawberries, halved

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper together.
  2. Arrange the avocados and strawberries on 6 salad plates.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fruit salad. Serve immediately.

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