The Jolly Fox Returns.

A warm hello, to whoever out there might still be reading!

I have been away for a long while and was away for a while before that it seems as well. I’ve come back to tell you all some tales of new adventures and turns my life has taken. There will still be vegan food, good vegan food, but more too.

Where and how do I begin to tell you? I was browsing through my last couple of posts, which date about a year ago around this time. I’m not sure if I included in any of those posts that I was recovering from a thyroidectomy and thyroid cancer.

I will save the details of my thyroid and health journey for another post, but I finally do feel ready to talk about it. An emotional rollercoaster, equipped with weight loss and gain, crises in energy, not wanting to cook, and so much more in between. It became hard to blog.

For this post however, I’d like to tell you a story about the last time I was on Maui.

It starts in May, 2016. It began with nothing unusual, other than I was still trying to get my wits and health about me after surgery (Feb 10, 2016). It had been a few months and I had remained mostly inactive during that time, trying to adjust to new doses of levothyroxine and my new life, post-cancer.

There I am on Maui. Enjoying the warm, but not-too-hot west Maui sun. Taking in morning and early evening rains of Kapalua and swooning over the white-blue glow of the Maui moon….untouched by light pollution, so bright that street lights and flashlights and other forms of artificial light have no place because the light of the moon is enough to guide you through the night. A true, blue beauty.

All shots from this trip are cell phone shots, I've left my camera behind a lot of in the last year, but it's making a come back soon.
All shots from this trip are cell phone shots, I’ve left my camera behind a lot of in the last year, but it’s making a come back soon.

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Vegan Coconut-Key Lime Sheet Cake w/ So Delicious Coconut Whip Topping.

It’s not often that I will work with key limes. I find them tedious to juice, but ultimately am always glad that I took the time to work with them because dang….. they are the best limes. This cake came into my life by a friend’s Facebook “like” of a non-vegan Epicurious recipe. After looking the recipe over and having a pretty good stock of Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg, I decided that the great Coconut-Key Lime Sheet Cake test of 2016 should commence immediately.

First, you should know that this recipe will give you life. It is a rich, dense, flavorful and unique cake, but you should be warned that this recipe is time consuming. If you decide to take it on, read through the recipe and make sure you have everything set up the way you like. If you love cake, coconut and key lime, you won’t be sorry. 🙂

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Vegan “Gouda” Mac and Cheese w/ Peaches & Veggie Pancetta.

Every year, I always dread the arrival of summer because it gets so hot in Los Angeles. I am lucky enough to have air conditioning and a covered carport, which means my apartment stays comfy enough to cook inside with the oven on and my car doesn’t become an oven itself sitting out in the sun. It’s a good life.

When summer finally does roll around, I find that instead of lamenting how hot it is, I am totally and completely inspired because all of our California produce is so incredible. We have tomatoes in almost every color of the rainbow and stone fruit that outshines even the rarest of gems. While I love all stone fruit, peaches edge out cherries as my favorite. There is nothing better than a plump, juicy, sweet summer peach and there is nothing worse than a hard, dry, out of season peach. They are perfect for eating on their own, lend themselves beautifully to baking up sweet treats and are surprisingly complimentary to many savory dishes.

M&M Peach Ranch a couple of years back.
M&M Peach Ranch a couple of years back.

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Plums, Pluots, Pie & Farewell to Yingst Ranch.

Last year, news broke that the beloved Yingst Ranch would be closing after the 2014 season. The news was a huge bummer, considering what a beautiful and wonderful farm Yingst was. They were a U-Pick operation in Littlerock, sorta out in the middle of nowhere near Palmdale. They grew the most gorgeous, juicy-delicious heirloom plums and peaches as well as apples and pears.

Before they closed, a friend and I drove up last summer to bid them farewell and pick/buy as much fruit as we could handle. It was bittersweet–we got some stunning 49er peaches and a large bounty of fresh heirloom plums and pluots to take home. DSC_3569

 

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Nasturtium “Bleu Cheese” Biscuits.

It’s been almost three months since my last post. I thought I’d come back with more biscuits.

Nasturtiums (or tropaelum) are a common garden plant with pretty flowering blossoms, which range in color from bright yellows to rich oranges and reds. The plants are beautiful and great for filling gardens–they are low maintenance, but they do spread some if you give them the space. Most of the plant is edible. The flowers have a kind of spiciness to them and are great on salads or minced and mixed into some Earth Balance buttery spread for a fancy and pretty vegan butter. The buds can be pickled and used in place of capers (there’s a jar in my fridge from the last canning swap I attended!!). The leaves taste like spinach to me. So when I saw this recipe from a favorite of mine, Joy the Baker, I thought I had to do a vegan version with this yummy plant.

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All of the foods. All of them.

Aloha from Maui! I sit here looking out into some stormy weather, which has been making its presence known all week. It can’t get me down though, you know? Because Maui and it’s hard work being down when you’re here, no matter what the weather is like.

Since I have been blogging so irregularly for so long, I have a big collection of food photos (and recipes) that I have yet to share here. And without further rambling, here are some things I’ve been keeping since last year. 🙂DSC_3132

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