Durin’s Day.

Happy Durin’s Day! Whether it is, in fact today, or later this month, I’m sending everyone reading my very best.

If you’re not familiar with Durin’s Day, let me provide a brief explanation. Durin’s Day is an annual holiday observed by J.R.R. Tolkien’s dwarves “when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together”. It signifies the New Year for the dwarves. If you’ve read The Hobbit or seen the films, you’ll remember that Durin’s Day is of especially significant importance to Thorin’s company as it is the only day of the year when the light will be just right to reveal the keyhole to the secret door to Erebor.

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Quick and Easy Vegan S’Mores Ice Box Cake.

I’m sitting here, trying to figure out how to write this post. I find writing to be the most challenging part of keeping up with this blog because I am not much of a writer. I made a really easy, delicious ice box cake that I want you to try. I’m trying to think of some s’more story or memory… or what to say about s’mores, but what is there to say? I ate them camping while I was growing up. The combination of rich chocolate melted with the fluffy marshmallow on a crunchy graham cracker is pretty much the best. The flavors and textures are all very comforting–eating a good s’more is kinda like getting a good hug from someone you let hug you.

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Vegan Peaches & Cream Pie.

Last year I had the pleasure of acquiring some very sweet, very juicy peaches. My favorite variety ended up being a 49er peach that had a beautiful red starburst on the inside with a yellow-red blush on the outside. They were a revelation. I went a bit overboard and after making a delightful Peach-Vanilla Jam with Bourbon, I knew at least a few pies were also in order. As always, it’s a wonderful day for pie. 😉

First, inspired by one of my local favorite eateries, Good Girl Dinette, came this Licorice Peach Pie. I made this pie with cane sugar only, no brown sugar and then added licorice powder. Licorice powder is made from licorice root, dried and then pulverized into a fine powder. I wouldn’t say it was the best peach pie that I’ve made, but it was unusual and tasty. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to play with flavors and try something new, which I love doing.

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Earl Grey-Taro Pie.

Highland Park is the neighborhood I call home. It’s an eclectic little mix of things and who doesn’t love a little mix of things? I live around the corner from this delicious little Vietnamese-American diner type place called Good Girl Dinette. Go to there. Eat the vegetarian/vegan porridge. And with your porridge also eat everything else. So good. Last Christmas they sold Earl Grey-Taro pies which, sadly, were not vegan. Too good of an idea to pass up, I made this vegan version inspired by those geniuses at Good Girl.

Bonus: Taro/Kalo Hawaii Love! 🙂

Note: I’ll be making this again with better photos and topped with a whipped coconut cream. This pie was meant to be topped with such things and why it escaped me the first go around….Who’s to say?

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Vegan Guava Cake.

I love strawberry guava. Such a beautiful and aromatic fruit with it’s light yellow skin and bright pink flesh. Finding them while hiking is like finding treasure. My lovely friend Ashley is a great tour guide and hiker. She took me through a breathtaking forest. We discussed plant life, ate ice cream beans, sampled a single kukui nut (don’t eat more than one), observed the beauty and had a delightful and refreshing swim.

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Perfect spot for a swim

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Mango Galette w/ Hawaiian Lavender & Vanilla.

I woke up today in California and couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I just returned from the Aloha State and no matter how long I am there, it never feels like enough time. Don’t get me wrong; I love California, but every time I am in Hawaii, I feel more and more at home there. Although I did have a fair amount of business to attend to, this trip, like all of my others was also jam packed with delights.

When I arrived, the sun was shining and hot. I stopped over at Wow Wow Lemonade first thing and picked up an ice cold, perfectly sweet star apple lemonade. From there, I began my journey over to the northwest side of the island. I stopped at one of my favorite grocery spots, Down to Earth, an entirely vegetarian market with a hot bar–similar to Whole Foods. To my delight, they had a pile of mangoes from Yee’s Orchard in Kihei. Yee’s has been growing mangoes for over 60 years. One of their specialties is the Golden Glow, a variety of mango known for its sweet, juicy, string-less flesh. I am not a huge mango person; the mangoes we get in SoCal are very hit and miss. Sometimes they are wonderfully tasty and other times they are chalky, stringy and dry. But with Yee’s, you can always count on the fruits being memorably delicious.

Photo Credit: Wander Melon http://wandermelon.com/2009/07/15/mango-mania-on-maui/
Photo Credit: Wander Melon
http://wandermelon.com/2009/07/15/mango-mania-on-maui/

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