Copyright (c) 2011 Wendee Holtcamp
Hi sweet potatoes! It has been a busy month so far. I have another blog post coming soon on my visit to Occupy Houston at Tranquility Park but I haven't had time to upload the photos. I have been finishing a big feature on obesogens (chemicals that make you fat) that will be published very soon! Meanwhile another story I wrote is in limbo and I am going nuts...so say an extra prayer to clear the pipeline because I really want that one to see the light of day (not to mention, get the money in my bank account...). I have been working on a couple of shorter articles and have another big one due in early January but - knock on wood - I'm hoping that is far enough out that I don't totally freak out and panic when it comes time to write! With Christmas coming up I'm not so sure!
I spent the first half of this month not really feeling in the spirit of the holidays, but I've finally started to get excited about Christmas! I've done almost all of my shopping (not a lot, mind you) and am making some gifts - like the truffle recipe below. I've been listening to some Christmas music even! The kids are now off school and this year they will be with me for the holiday so I'm excited to have them home every day and to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
Tonight me and the kiddos finally decorated the tree (a Douglas fir from Oregon --which I bought earlier this week - I spent a lot of time around Oregon Douglas firs as a kid!!), and we put out Christmas decorations around the house. Then we watched a movie. Savi and I had gone to Blockbuster and she wanted to see something funny so we got It's Kind of a Funny Story but as soon as we popped it in, Sam and I realized we had already seen it. Doh! I am known to do that, totally forget that I've already seen a movie!! So fortunately I happened to have another movie here, Larry Crowne. I didn't have high hopes for it, but it was actually really good! And Savi laughed a lot so that is good. I love to see my girl happy. Poor girl has been stressed over school and life and you know being a teenager isn't easy! She's an amazing girl and has no idea what a gem she is...
One of the things I'm giving out for Christmas is home made vegan truffles! The people who are getting them do not read my blog - so I can say this! I have made 3 different recipes so far, and have one more to make that has 3 different flavors (rum, mocha, and peanut butter) but I wanted to share this one because it's sooooo divinely decadent and delicious! And here's the recipe, which I modified from The Culinary Life to make them vegan:
8 ounces Baker's German chocolate, chopped fine (two bars)
2 ounces Baker's bittersweet chocolate (2 chunks within 1 package)
3/4 cup So Delicious coconut creamer (you could also try coconut milk...)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (this reads one and a half teaspoons!)
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
Put chopped chocolate on top of a double boiler, already filled with water, and boil. If you don't have a double boiler, you can create one by putting a bowl of the chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water. The point is not to let the chocolate burn.
In another saucepan, bring the coconut creamer just to a boil, then pour it over chocolate. Gently mix the two and set them over the heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Stir in vanilla and cayenne, then cover and refrigerate until set(~four hours).
After your truffle mixture has set, it's time to make balls! Get out either wax or parchment paper. This bit is tricky because even though chilled, this particular truffle mix gets really melty when you ball it. So you have to wipe off your hands regularly while making the balls. But take a teaspoon or melon baller and scoop out a bit, plop several bits on the parchment, and then roll each bit one by one between your palms to make a ball. They will be sticky. Then wipe your hands and do it again....
Next mix 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp cinnamon together, maybe with a little whisk - you want the spices mixed together. Then drop the balls one by one, coating each and then putting it back onto the parchment paper (or in these cute little cups like below). Chill in fridge. They are sooooo good! Enjoy the season pumpkins!
This last photo is actually from a different recipe - this very simple one from Vegetarian Times magazine - this chocolate was a little bit firmer and easier to ball. I rolled it in cocoa. I also added a smidgen of instant coffee and vanilla since the recipe seemed a bit simple. I used regular soy milk not chocolate soy milk. They are also very good!