The other day the Hubs and I stopped inside a local bakery that makes the most delicious bread to see what else they have to offer. I’m the cynic in our little family and I wasn’t going to hold my breath for anything other than bread, so imagine my shock and delight when learning there were several “de post” options.
Now for those of you who don’t know, de post, is a religious designation that means fasting but not fasting how us English speakers think of it. This is a way to note that the food contains no animal products and is therefore suitable for de post times. It’s odd but the good thing is that depending on where you are in the country, you can find plenty of accidentally vegan options.
Yay for us.
The Hubs spotted a vegan version of one of his favorite childhood desserts called Savarina. This was my first time hearing about it or seeing it, but the glazed over look in his eyes was full of memories as he ordered one for us to share.
This post isn’t a vegan recipe post, just me sharing a cool vegan dessert I discovered here in Romania.
When pumpkin season rolls around, I love to grab all different types and experiment with them especially in the form of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin bisque but finding new ways to incorporate pumpkins into different desserts–and watching my non-vegan friends and family to totally fall in love with them–is such a treat!
Today’s pumpkin is just a regular small orange pumpkin known as the Cinderella pumpkin. It is small and bright orange with a noticeable stem and a sweet flavor. This type of pumpkin works well in pie and cake recipes. I always grab whatever I can find and hope for the best. So far I haven’t found a pumpkin that doesn’t translate well into both sweet and savory vegan recipes.
But today, we’re talking CAKE. I used one of my old banana bread recipes and added a bit more vegan plant milk to give it a more cake-like consistency. If you have a better pumpkin cake recipe I would love to see it!
Happy November, my fellow vegans! If you’re inside the United States then you know that sweet potato pie season has officially begun! If you are outside of the U.S. then it’s just regular ol’ autumn for you, which means tons of sweet potatoes and pumpkin and even butternut squash recipes.
The good news is that you can use many of these interchangeably. For example if you have pumpkin or squash in your vegetable box right now, you can use it in place of sweet potato in today’s vegan recipe.
The great news? This vegan sweet potato pie recipe tastes just like the ones grandma makes except it doesn’t require you to:
*Spend all day making a complicated and veganized pie crust *Manually mixing up pie ingredients until they reach the perfect consistency
And best of all? It turns out perfectly every single time.
Every. Single. Time.
SO let’s stop talking about this mouthwatering vegan sweet potato pie and start making it, yeah?
Last week was our 18th wedding anniversary and we decided to do something that we have been avoiding for the past few years. Driving in Bucharest. Well, that’s not entirely true as we did spend some time in 2021 there in order to get some tattoos, but in general it is a huge headache and something that was just…ick.
But there are some tourist attractions that I really wanted to see and figured I could pull the Anniversary Card to make it happen. It worked like a charm.
The plan was simple; spend the morning sightseeing and stop at some kind of cafe for a coffee or a drink and then finish off our day of sightseeing at Ceauşescu Mansion and then a nice vegan dinner. But then we both remembered that this is Romania and things rarely work out the way you planned, especially in Bucharest.
The good news? We did manage to get in some sightseeing so you’ll have some pretty and historic sights as well as some delicious vegan food!
Let’s start with this beautiful tapestry made by an unknown Romanian artist for Ceauşescu Mansion.
You guys know how much I love to find new vegan food items, whether in the grocery store or a restaurant. I feel compelled to try them out and as long as it’s something I like or might reasonably like I will test it out.
Okay, at least once.
Today (or was it yesterday) I was browsing the aisles of my local Lidl and my husband was bored watching me squint to check the ingredients on a tiny package of sun dried tomatoes. Why? To make sure there were no anchovies or crustaceans in the oil or the jar itself. There weren’t.
Anyway he zoomed right through the canned good aisles and went straight to the freezer section and found these babies, Vemondo Coconut & Caramel Ice Cream bars.
One of my favorite things to is travel to new places and explore new cultures, history and art. I love to see how people live all over the world and whenever I can find time I like to go pretty much anywhere that has a few items of interest.
My partner and I had been planning a trip to the Danube Delta and then COVID struck and we postponed it. Twice.
But we finally got there and we took a rather circuitous route, starting with Constanța to see the port and the Black Sea, which is a place my husband and his family often spent summers when he was a kid. The day was nice and warm and we walked around the city before taking in the Museum of History and Archeology which was incredible. There really is a lot of Roman history to be found in Romania, in addition to the Austrian and German influences found throughout their history. It was a wonderful day of sun and history and exploration.
So we started with Constanta and if you don’t know it is the birth place of tennis player Simona Halep and actor Sebastian Stan! Just a little bit of fun trivia for ya.
Who doesn’t love cake? Truthfully? Me. I mean I like cake but it’s not something that I just have to have or can’t live without. If it’s too sweet then I’ll have a bite of my husband’s piece but that’s where it ends.
So I don’t eat a lot of sugary stuff. It’s not because I have some big vendetta against sugar even though it really isn’t great for you, it’s just a matter of taste. I’d rather have popcorn or salt & vinegar potato chips instead of cake or muffins or anything.
And I made a cake because every once in a while I think that I want something sweet, like this Apple Crumble Coffee Cake. The operative word is think because I say I want it and then I go through the whole process of making something baked & sugary only to have a teeny tiny sliver of it. It’s pretty terrible actually and my hubs ends up eating it all and taking some of it to his parents.
But this dessert is different.
Okay, not so much.
One of my favorite cakes in my pre-vegan, fat girl days was Devil’s Food Cake. Now, I don’t mean the healthy version, oh no, I’m talking about the version with cocoa power, lots of oil and coffee and milk. It’s airy and fluffy and chocolatey and delicious.
At least it is until you plug those calories into a food tracker like Cronometer.
I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday because this year I am cooking to celebrate American Thanksgiving for the first time in many, many years. Maybe it’s the lockdown, the lack of traveling or just my insane desire to reconnect with home, but I’m only doing the cooking and celebrating what I am thankful for the past (two) year, not the whole historical context.
Anyway my in-laws are coming by for a vegan Thanksgiving, so wish me luck!
I made a sweet potato pie but I used a cookie and vegan butter crust so I guess it’s more of a sweet potato tart, but it’s beautiful and I am quite proud of it so I wanted to share it with you!
Of all the things that happened in 2020 and 2021, I am most grateful that I have someone I can rely on, lean on if needed, and laugh with through all the crap, the fear, the insanity and the whole damn calendar year. I am also eternally grateful that I have a job that allows me to continue to work–from home–and earn a good living.