While you know me, Linda Voorhis, as Veganification, the name of my company I formed which is the umbrella for all that I do is called “Ahimsa Wellness, LLC”. It is on all of my documents; so I am frequently asked, “What does ‘Ahimsa’ mean?”
Here in the Southwest, prickly pears are everywhere. Each year, I wait in anticipation of the ripening of their red fruit, juicy and sweet on the inside but protected on the outside with those spiny needles, some large, and some near invisible,
Before I start telling you about my recent culinary demonstration, I must clarify a frequent misnomer about the event which we have come to refer to as ‘High Tea’. It actually isn’t a true ‘High Tea’ at all. In fact, High Tea is something quite different from the regal British tea, properly referred to as ‘Afternoon Tea’.
This time of year always make me think, “PUMPKIN”. I adore that amazing vegetable. This summer, our garden gifted up with two absolutely beautiful pumpkins, both volunteers as we did not plant them. What a lovely surprise. So, the question remained, what to do with them?
Well, there’s always the ubiquitous pumpkin pie but you probably already have a plethora of recipes for one. And, at least for me, one can never have too much chocolate.
My answer to the question became a Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Magic Bar….one spring form pan, a couple of quick recipes put into one pan, and viola! you have a multi-tiered dessert that is as impressive as it is luscious.
I absolutely adore entertaining and feeding people. But I also want to enjoy their company when they arrive rather than being held captive in the kitchen, thus missing out on all the lively conversation.
If you’re like me, I have just the answer for you! A vegan charcuterie platter and a make-ahead entrée.
Looking for a quick and easy dessert? It really doesn’t get much simplier than this one, especially with the wonderful fruits that are in season. A fresh fruit tart with a cookie crumb crust and a custard filling is just the thing to whip up when you need a dessert with only a couple hours notice.
I have been craving mushrooms for the past two months. I cannot seem, no matter how much I try, to get enough of them. All kinds, from the everyday button mushroom to the more exotic—such as lobster, enoki, chanterelles, hen of the woods, etc. Whatever I can find, I’m in. I’ve roasted them in the oven, sautéed them on the stovetop, relished ones done in the air fryer, all to my sheer and utter delight.
My friend, Terri, passed away more than several years ago. Like me, she had a love for vegan cooking and an equitable adoration for kitchen gadgets/equipment/tools. One of the beautiful items she left to me was this 9’x13’ metal cake pan with a green lid, with “Vegan Goodies” and pinecones/leaves etched into the top. It’s beautiful; and whenever I pull it out to bake in it, I am immediately brought back to fond memories of Terry.
As a sidenote, I’ll share one of my favorites with you. In 2010, we took the 7 hour drive up to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York for their July 4 Pignic. It was an idyllic weekend communing with all the beautiful farm animals that have been given a second chance and the ability to live out the remainder of their lives in peace, knowing love and compassion and no terror…a very different life from whence they came, factory farming. The weather was warm with a cooling breeze. We spent two full days on the farm and enjoyed their vegan barbeque and a couple of talks given by their more-than-adept staff.
What can be better than coming home from a successful trek from the local farmer’s market and scoring the absolute best produce? Well, coming home and preparing a simple, yet elegantly delicious dinner with what I scored!
Walking up and down Duval Street, live music abounds, pouring out of restaurants, clubs, and dives onto the streets. The joint that we seemed most drawn to, however, was Willie T’s. It was an open-air, outdoor patio with some of the tables under an overhang. The genre seemed to be predominantly, if not exclusively, solo guitar rock / sometimes margaritaville-like male singers. Each evening, we’d stop and stand on the sidewalk, taking in the sights and sounds. We quickly came to a consensus regarding our favorite—John LaMere. His shtick was classic rock band covers. Geez, could he ever pull of a Mellencamp (as in John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, now John Mellencamp)! It was not uncommon for me to break out in dance right there on the sidewalk! So, after our nightly sidewalk voyeuring, we decided that we would eat our final dinner at Willie T’s and arrive at the beginning of John LaMere’s set that evening.
We awoke one morning, ravenous and deciding that we wanted to forego the vacation-standard, go-to, made in the room, smoothie. What to eat became the question. It was the only rainy day, at least it started out as such, so we decided to take a trek over to the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, located in the Historic Seaport neighborhood. We fell into Two Friends Patio, one of the few remaining original Old Towne restaurants, established in 1967 and still family run. The place was hustling and bustling. Cutting straight down the middle of the restaurant, however, is an open walkway, so they had to close off some of the tables because of the rain. No one seemed to care, even those patrons who were graced with the occasional spray of rain. It really didn’t matter to us because, even though we had our all-weather jackets on, we were fairly damp already from the walk. We were hungry, that’s what mattered. And, they had a table with only about a 15 minute wait. Worked for us.