Sunday, March 25, 2007

Flippant excuses

I am a bad bad blogger. I can't seem to find anything interesting to blog about lately. Yeah, I have some cool food to share (Jamaican burgers and Caribbean sweet potato salad anyone??), but I am too preoccupied to do much about it. I will get to it soon, I promise.

I am starting Massage Therapy school next month, so I will really be gone a lot...and probably eating a bunch of vegan convenience food for the next year or so. I am still reading everyone's blog (and constantly salivating), but haven't commented much. I apologize, I really do.

Now, to just get rid of this cold I have....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Elephant Cake

No silly, there is no elephant in this cake, but there is lots of chocolate! I earmarked the recipe for this Elephant Chocolate Cake in my Native Foods Restaurant cookbook (pg.279) a long time ago, mainly because I am an advocate for elephants. The recipe is dedicated in the book to Carol Buckley and Tarra at the Elephant Sanctuary, in Hohenwald, Tennessee. This has got to be my favorite animal sanctuary and I love to watch the elecam on their website. I can spend a lot of time staring at the elephants roaming around, playing with each other. It is a truly wonderful place. Please check out the link and see what they are all about.

This cake is very dense, rich and almost fudgy. It uses a LOT of maple syrup, in both the batter and the Peanut Butter Cinnamon Topping, so be prepared to watch half of your bottle glug into the mixing bowl. *sigh* You will need a big glass of vanilla soymilk to drink with a slice of this cake!

Now, in addition to the Elephant Sanctuary, I also wanted to make note of some other favorite animal sanctuaries that I keep tabs on, and I hope you all will also find these places just as fantastic and beautiful as I do:
Equus Sanctuary

Save the Chimps

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

I like to go to these websites when I am feeling sad. When I first got back into animal rights activism a little over a year ago, I went through a depression of sorts. I got involved in a lot of online activism and forums, and I felt like all I saw or read about was animal cruelty and abuse. Every day I saw something new and unfathomable. I cried on a daily basis, and some days I would scream at all the horrific images I came across. I became a wreck, so sad and so downtrodden, and also very angry. I felt that I was always teetering on the edge of breaking down. My husband can attest to the fact that I was very hard to live with. I didn't like those feelings, and I needed to find a way to continue being an activist for animals, but also be a more positive, happier person. I ended up shying away from a lot of the forums and images, and focused on issues that I can handle...and obviously, the animal stories that end happily. Sure, I still deal with animal cruely issues and do what I can with my activism, but I have to set a limit of what I can handle. My heart is a very sensitive one, and I need to know that there is good in the I make sure I take time to see that there are people everywhere that are compassionate, and going to these sanctuary sites helps me get through my week. :-)

Now, here are a few food porn shots:

Lemon scones, from VwaV (the orange scone recipe), with lemon glaze.

Veggie pizza from Papa John's. Once a month my daughter's elementary school has a Pizza Night with Papa John's, where part of the nights proceeds goes to the school, depending on how many families order a pizza. Normally it is just my husband who orders his pepperoni pizza, but I decided to get a cheeseless one with baby portobello mushrooms and banana peppers. I souped it up a bit when I got it home with some spinach, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, garlic and some vegan parmesan. So good! Be sure to only order the Original Crust, as the thin crust has dairy in it.

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushroom. Sorry, this one is not vegan, because I forgot to take pics of mine before I devoured them. That is just a pile of cheese on top of one of the "other" shrooms. :-)

Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding, from VwaV. I really wanted to like this one, but alas, it was not for me. Or anyone else in the house. It is still sitting in the fridge....I wonder what I can do to it to make it better. I just don't think I like my pudding with chunks of anything in it.

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