Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Chunk, Chocolate Swirl Vegan Ice Cream

...and the award for the longest title ever goes to this post right here!

Anyways, for the past year I've been dying to get an ice cream maker so I could make different types of vegan ice creams and sorbets. For my birthday, Lauren got me a Cuisinart Stainless-Steel Ice Cream Maker and I've been so excited to try my hand at various ice cream concoctions. I found this on Pinterest, so I decided to start my research there.

I learned that fat is needed to achieve the desired creamy texture of real ice cream. As much as I dislike it, coconut milk is the best vegan ingredient for this needed fat. Because I don't really care for the taste of coconut, I added extra vanilla to mask its flavor.

I decided to begin my ice cream adventure with a recipe from Edible Perspective. I did however use store bought peanut butter, and I used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean. I also used regular refined sugar instead of coconut sugar, and left out the coconut oil from the chocolate mixture. I spread out my peanut butter mixture thinner than the recipe called for, so I didn't get true chunks of peanut butter in my ice cream, but it was still really good. If you leave out the chocolate and peanut butter, this recipe also serves as a good vanilla base that I'll be using in the future for different combinations of add-ins. I'm thinking cookie dough!

This recipe made about 1.5 quarts, so I ended up with a lot leftover. I also received an insulated ice cream container for my birthday so that I can freeze the extra ice cream. It's awesome, mainly because it's orange, but also because it allows me to travel with my ice cream. I drove 45 minutes with the ice cream in the container, and it was still frozen by the time I got to my destination. Very cool if you ask me! Did you catch that pun?


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wicked 'Wich

Today I went to lunch at Wicked 'Wich in Sacramento's Downtown Plaza. I've been wanting to try their food as soon as I read their menu and discovered they offer several vegan options (they have omnivore food too). Not only are there multiple vegan choices, but their vegan patties are made from scratch! I always appreciate companies that support veganism and so I was really excited to try their food.

I selected the "Tree Hugger" sandiwch for lunch, with a side of black pepper garlic fries to share. The "Tree Hugger" is served on sourdough bread with a scratch-made vegan patty (tofu and veggies I think), vinaigrette cabbage slaw, hand cut fries, Daiya vegan cheese, and secret vegan "Wich sauce".

The sandwich was so good! The cheese was perfectly melted (I always have problems trying to get vegan cheese to melt all the way), the bread was toasted just right, and the overall flavor of the meal was tasty. I had just finished running 9.5 miles so I had a huge appetite, and I was afraid I'd still be hungry after my sandwich. Boy was I wrong. I couldn't even finish it all; I had like one bite left, but I was stuffed! That's a good thing ;)

Even though my sandwich had fries in it, Lauren wanted to try the black pepper garlic fries. I LOVE garlic, so of course I couldn't pass those up either. I think it's awesome that they cut their own potatoes for the fries and cook all of their food from scratch. You can definitely taste the difference between frozen and fresh food. The garlic fries were really good too, just a little on the oily side.

Their restaurant is located in the downtown mall food court, so it's a little out of the way. They had great customer service and delicious vegan food, so I'll definitely be coming back.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy August!

I'm getting super excited for the next few weeks!

Camping in Guerneville
Making lots of birthday presents
Running, running, and more running
More baking and cooking
Sewing clothes
Knitting colorful cowls
Cross stitching my Summer Sampler
Bunco night 

And I have a new goal: be able to do a round off back handspring. I've got the round off down, now I just need to learn how to do a back hand spring...

...andddd, check out this cool picture I drew...I'm very proud of myself :)