Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hey There Pudding

Whenever I am able to leave my two kids home with my husband to do the grocery shopping, it becomes an enjoyable outing, as opposed to a stress-filled rushed one. A reminder, my daughters are four and one.

When I shop with them, its “I want this, I want that”. “She hit me!” I am sure if you have children of your own, you know how the rest goes. While I weave in and out of the tightly woven aisles trying to avoid hitting people as my oldest refuses to stop hanging on the side and almost knocking down products, my youngest cries and tries to kick her sister and begs for food. It becomes a race against the clock.

But, Trader Joe’s is known for its new products. A personal mission of mine to try the Vegetarian newcomers keeps me always on the prowl.

This latest shopping trip, as my children were at home, I was able to take my time and browse the aisles. Indeed, I found something new as usual, instant vanilla and chocolate pudding. The packaging sold me, simple design with a retro vintage style. Though the products are Vegetarian, they claim that the product will not set with use of soy or rice milk.
They didn’t mention almond.

For those who are Vegan and want to try these products, I chose to use almond milk. I placed the 2 cups of cold milk into a saucepan and added 1 Tbsp. of Arrowroot powder. I dissolved the powder in the milk and furthered reduced it to insure it was “milk” consistency. I also think using the soy creamer might work, as it is milk texture. Anyways, after reducing the milk, I allowed it to cool then placed it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. I then followed the remaining directions and found the product set as needed.

If you aren’t able to make your own pudding, and prefer a pudding that is soy free, this is a great alternative. It is simple, shelf stable, and pretty tasty. I think it’d make a great pie, though I just ate mine in a parfait cup with a dollop of Vegan whipped crème. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Delight of Donuts

It had been all too long since I indulged in a donut. The sweet dough, the icing, and the way it crumbled in my mouth, seemed a long ago thought, until recently.

From the end of September through the beginning of October, my family and I hopped a plane to visit my parents in the beautiful state of Washington. They moved about five years ago near the Case Inlet by the Puget Sound. It is absolutely gorgeous, and even more so during this visit with the vibrant colors of Autumn. Amazing red maple trees, variegated firs, and an orchestra of ferns struck a harmonious chord inside me that left my heart aglow. It was difficult to leave behind and return to our urban cement surroundings.

What made it even harder was again visiting Seattle, which has the allure of culture, media, and great restaurants. This time around we had the great delight of partaking in Vegan donuts from “Mighty O’ Donuts”. And how Mighty they were!

Mighty O’ Donuts is nestled among the Wallingford neighborhood area of Seattle. As we strolled down the sidewalks scattered with fall leaves, admiring the vintage Craftsman houses, we became in love with Seattle. An additional treat was the presence of the sweet aroma of freshly baked donuts wafting through the crisp air as we neared our destination. It was divine!

What began as a basement business selling to neighbors and local farmers markets in 2000, turned legitimate business during 2001 when Mighty O’s owners shared a commercial bakery spot with another company. It wasn’t until 2002 that they secured a spot in the historic building of Wallingford and have been selling their tasty treats since.

Growing up my dad would buy Winchell's donuts on Sundays before we headed to church. It was our weekly treat, as my mom did not allow sugary foods in the house during the week. My favorite were the chocolate covered long johns. So scrumptious.

Because of the nature and quality of donuts, I left them behind when I became Vegetarian. Though I have had the option of a refrigerated vegan donut company that used to be sold at my local Health food store, but they long ago discontinued them. Strangely enough, it seems my jobs are always located amongst these sweet little pastries shops with their incredible scent calling my name.

So heck, I indulged. Indeed I did! From Mint/Chocolate- Chocolate glazed, to Peanut butter swirl, and Cinnamon too, I indulged. Sprinkles, Nut covered, and Double Chocolate I tasted; and still wanted more. What started with one taste ended with nine leaving Mighty O’s doors. Had we have spent more time in Seattle; I’d have stopped by again. It’s not often I gorge myself on desserts, but felt the need to take more in!

Organic and all natural, and sweet as can be, Mighty O’ Donuts knocked the socks off of me!

When in Seattle do visit!