Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hey Ladies!

Originally uploaded by Scripter81
I usually try and keep this blog exclusively about food. I'm going to break my own rule for a minute and ask for a little assistance from the ladies.

Do you wear makeup? Even just a little bit? Would you mind filling out a short survey for me?

The details are going to be under wraps until certain things are finalized and ready to be public, but for those that don't know, I'm about to start my own line of makeup. That's right, ladies, a completely vegan makeup line that isn't some hippie dippy stuff and actually has great pigment and nice colors.

I'm still in the beginning stages of some of this so any input you could give me would be very helpful. I know what I like and what I look for, but I want to know what you think.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coconut Glen's Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I have a whole bunch of stuff saved up for talking about all of the awesome vegan stuff in Maui, but Coconut Glen's really deserves a post all its own. It's just that neat. In searching the internets before leaving Canada, I kept finding mentions of this place and was quite intrigued. If you're driving on the road to Hana, I highly recommend you stop and sample the ice cream. It's really delicious and so fresh!

Aren't these bowls just the greatest?! You can get ice cream to go in little paper cups as well, but really, why would you pass up the opportunity to eat out of a coconut bowl. That's just silly. The spoons are made from the outer husks of coconuts. You just throw the spoon into the yard when you're done with it. Sadly, you have to return the bowls to the counter when you're done. I'd have loved to have had a few of those.


You'll see this sign between mile markers 27 and 28. If you don't stop, you'll be sorry. If no one is out there, just honk and someone will come out of the house behind the stand.


We saw this sign in the grass near the parking area. It definitely made me giggle.


Such a cute little ice cream stand in the middle of nowhere.


Just to the right of the stand is this bit of coconut carnage. You can't get much fresher than that.


You can buy just a coconut if you want. Someone will grab a fresh one and chop it with a machete right then and there for you. So cool. The outer husk pieces become spoons for the ice cream. Neat!


There are so many flavors, it was hard to decide. I forgot to write them all down or take a photo of the menu board, so from memory, this is what I think you can choose from: original (plain coconut milk flavor), chocolate aloha (chocolate with coconut candy), pineapple banana, chipotle chocolate (spicy!), lilikoi (passionfruit), coffee toffee, and there were a few more that had combinations of papaya, banana, pineapple and other Hawaiian fruits. I really wish I had remembered to take that photo!


I pretty much just remember which flavors we ordered. They were so delicious, I was scraping the bowl with the coconut spoon trying to get every last bit of ice cream out of the bowl. On the left is the lilikoi (passionfruit) and on the right is the pineapple banana. Don't you just love the presentation?!


James loves his lilikoi ice cream. We buy coconut milk ice cream at home all of the time, but it's never like this. Oh man. It's worth the drive to Hana just to have some of this.


When you first roll up, you'll also be offered a sample of the coconut candy. It's quite delicious. It's just coconuts and sugar. We liked it so much we bought a bag of it. Some of the ice cream flavors have bits of this sprinkled on top so you can sort of get two treats in one that way.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Summer From the Crazy Pepper

I've been trying to find the time to write some blog posts all week but the busy keeps getting me. Dang it. Well, it happens to the best of us. I guess this is the perfect time for this, then. I got this crazy siamese pepper at the farmers market a few weeks ago. I almost didn't want to cut it because it was so funny.

I'm leaving for a 2 week vacation tomorrow so if I'm quiet for a bit, that's why. I can thank my friend Suzanne for getting married in Maui for the first week of it all. If she wasn't getting married there, we probably wouldn't have gone to Hawaii. So yay for that! It's going to be extra awesome because it's still pretty cool in Vancouver right now. I'm hoping to find some interesting vegan food to talk about while I'm there. Someone told me about this place that makes coconut milk ice cream from fresh coconuts. Yum!

Happy summer!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gingery Blueberry Peach Crisp

It's been so wonderful since it finally decided to turn into summer in Vancouver lately that I've been everywhere except the internet. Summers here really are spectacular, but some years we only get about 6 weeks to enjoy it. It's one of those things where you try and cram in as much summer fun as you can since it's going to turn back into grey skies soon.

Speaking of cramming in as much as you can, check out how many blueberries I crammed into this crisp! I'm out of control at the farmer's market lately. I really need an intervention or something. We moved this past spring and our new place is only about a block and a half from one of the local farmer's markets. That is super awesome and something that gets me excited to get up early on a Saturday morning but it's sort of like being a kid in a candy store for me. 

There are blueberries everywhere right now. Well, not literally everywhere, it's not like there are blueberries rolling down the sidewalks or anything. We have so many great farms around BC that grow berries that it's so easy to get inexpensive, local and organic berries right now. I might turn into a blueberry soon, actually, I've been eating them so often. I bought a huge basket of them last week, planning to make a pie. Then I didn't feel like making a pie anymore and I realized I hadn't made a crisp in quite a while. I had a few peaches hanging around, too so I decided to add them in with the blueberries. The result was amazing. Okay, so having the oven on when it already felt like a million degrees inside my apartment wasn't so great but it was all worth it.

If you make this, you can really use any fruit you want. Any kind of berry, peaches, apricots, apples, pears or even plums would be great for this. Mix it up if you want. It's hard to go wrong. If you don't want to make as much as I did, just use a little less fruit and use a smaller, square pan or a pie dish. I actually meant to make this just a little square's worth of crisp, but I had way more blueberries and peaches than I realized. Usually I'll dump all of my raw fruit into the pan I want to bake it in and judge how full the pan is. You want a little bit of room at the top so the juices don't bubble over onto the oven bottom when you're cooking. Depending on how much of the yummy crisp topping you like, you can really just use the same amount no matter which size dish you're using.

Make sure to taste a bit of your fruit before you add the sugar for this recipe. Sometimes I skip the sugar altogether if my fruit is sweet enough on its own. I'll usually add about 1/4 cup of sugar for fruit that's sweet and ripe and up to 1/2 cup if it's still not quite as sweet as I wish it was.

I think the crisp was awesome as it was, but if I had some crystalized ginger I would have chopped some up and added it in when I added the pecans to give things a bit more zip. Some freshly grated ginger would have also been fantastic to add in with the fruit.

Now go get some fresh summer fruit and make a crisp! Don't forget to grab some vanilla ice cream to spoon on top. I especially like the vanilla bean flavored coconut milk ice cream that Soy Delicious makes

Gingery Blueberry Peach Crisp

4 large or 6 small peaches, chopped
1 large basket of blueberries or 3-5 small ones
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine like Earth Balance, chopped into pieces
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 375 F. 

Gently stir your fruit together in a bowl until it seems like it's a pretty even mixture of the different fruits. Add in the sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir gently again until things are mixed up uniformly. If you care about this sort of thing, you can also add 1/4 cup flour to thicken the fruit juices. I do that sometimes, but this time I didn't bother. 

Put your fruit mixture in your pan and set it aside while you make the crisp topping.

Stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a bowl until everything is combined evenly. Cut in the Earth Balance with a pastry blender, two table knives or a fork. (You can also freeze the Earth Balance and grate it in which is kind of a cool way to do it if you don't have a pastry blender.) Stir in the oats and pecans. Give everything one last stir to make sure you've incorporated everything things are mixed well. 

Dump the topping on top of your fruit in the pan and spread it around until it's covering most of the fruit. You can use your hand or a spoon or whatever. You just want to make sure every bite has some of the awesome crisp topping in it. 

Put the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crisp cool for at least 10 minutes before you start diving into it.