New dairy-free finds

This past week I made my trek out to Whole Foods, and boy, did I ever find some cool dairy-free foods. For whatever reason, desserts are sometimes the hardest foods for me to find. Unlike main courses, cheese is not my enemy here. Cream is. If I were to spontaneously be able to eat dairy again, cheesecake is the first thing I would go for. But in the unlikelihood of that happening, I’ve thankfully got some good options now.

The in-house bakery at the store makes a killer vegan chocolate mouse. It’s smooth, but also very rich. I can only handle a few bites at a time. What I really like about it is that it’s also made with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. They aren’t an overwhelming presence but they add nicely to the flavor profile. My mom, who shies away from most of my dairy alternative foods, even said it tasted great.

My other great find was a carrot cake with a dairy alternative cream cheese frosting. This time I enlisted my grandmother to try the frosting to confirm that I was not crazy to think the frosting was indistinguishable from the real, dairy-full thing. Again, a thumbs up. Yay!

I also got a small stock going to eggnog and mint chocolate milk. Yes, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Trust me when I say that I am the LAST person you need to remind of that. I regularly refuse to engage in any holiday related things until at least a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But this year I have run into a snag. Usually this time of year I stock up on So Delicious’s Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk. It is hands down the most delicious drink (more so than even my beloved Pumpkin Spice Lattes). But for some reason, Whole Foods hasn’t ordered it! I know it’s still being made because it’s still listed on the company’s website. And I know other people are still interested in it because the checker I asked about it said that they had gotten a good number of calls from people looking for it. I have been checking the store every few weeks since mid-September when I make the trek to restock my usual things. There’s no space for it. There are other pumpkin drinks, but they are either dairy or have caffeine (which I can’t have), so I’m left out so far. In its absence, I have turned to the nog and the mint. Don’t judge.

But, dear readers, this may be an opportunity for you to lend a helping hand to a fellow foodie: do you know of any trusty recipe to make a Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk drink? Or do you know of a way to order it online? I would be very, very grateful!

It is (again) officially fall

I unabashedly love pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t care if they are “white girl” drinks. I don’t care if the are overpriced. I don’t care if they are seen as a ridiculous marketing ploy by a giant corporation. I don’t care. They are delicious, and I wait for most of the year for them to come back.

Yes, I could make them myself anytime I wanted. There are a number of recipes online (most of which rely heavily on cream and milk). But there is something special for me about getting them (decaf, with soy milk, and no whip) made by a barista. Maybe it’s the cup with the sleeve and the little hole in the lid. I don’t know.

I say it’s (again) officially fall because I had my first pumpkin spice latte recently. It was, and I am sure will remain to be, the best way to warm up on a cold rainy day. It’s got the spice and the creaminess balanced perfectly. I am also a sucker for anything fall-esque. It is my favorite season (can’t you tell?) and I want to soak up every bit of it. With biscotti.

As a good writer, though, I know I need to acknowledge the opposing arguments. So here’s John Oliver, knocking my favorite part of fall. To each their own.

Where has the time gone?

One minute it’s early October and I’m pleading with the weather gods to make it rain, and the next thing I know it’s pouring outside and Halloween is next week! Well, looks like I have a lot to catch you up on. There’s been a lot of work going on in the kitchen lately, though not really the food-making kind. My mom, grandma, and I sorted through boxes of my grandmother’s pots, pans, utensils, and other items to stock the island we added to the kitchen a few weeks back. For one little woman, she had a lot of kitchen stuff. Quite a bit of it is going back into storage for me to take when I move out (I will have the best stocked first kitchen!). We also pulled out some things for donation. I made a point to stay out of as much of it as possible because when you get three strongly opinionated women in a confined space, the heat can turn up quickly.

Other things to catch you up on in posts coming soon will include my trip to William Sonoma (kitchen Mecca, in my book), a family dinner at a really good Mexican restaurant, and a recipe for peppers and sausage with cornbread. Also, pumpkin spice lattes. Because they are delicious.