Happy Anniversary: Vegan Carrot Cake

Four years has passes since that chilly November morning in Lower Manhattan when we said I do. We have a house, a two-year old daughter and our marriage is legal in all 50 states. Those three things felt like they were so far away from happening in that moment but here we are.

img_2055Our wedding day was as much about food as it was about the whole legally binding contract we were entering. We had lunch at the Cinnamon Snail Food truck, rehearsal dinner at Candle 79, reception at Blossom Cafe in Chelsea, and lunch at Loving Hut NYC to name a few. We hit all of the important NYC vegan food we could possible fit in! As irony would have it, we were married atop the Irish Hunger Memorial. Our amazing friend B.B. made sure we had a delicious vegan cake to celebrate the day from Erin McKenna’s Bakery (formerly Baby Cakes). We chose carrot cake with cinnamon icing.

 

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My awesome wedding cake with our Day of the Dead Dolls. 

This year I decided to attempt to recreate our wedding cake. I had never attempted a carrot cake or a cinnamon icing. I think I have always steered away from a carrot cake because of all of the carrot prep work seems like a lot…the peeling, the shredding…heh. Turns out I am ridiculous and can peel and shred a carrot like a boss.

But….WHY ARE ALL OF THE RECIPES GLUTEN FREE? I am not gluten intolerant (real or imagined). Also, I am not a huge fan of apple sauce in baking so I generally try to find a recipe that doesn’t call for applesauce. But…Minimalist Baker is my go to vegan baking guru so I used their…

1-BOWL VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CARROT CAKE

  • 3 flax eggs (3 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 7 ½ Tbsp water)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) melted coconut oil* (or sub other neutral oil)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 scant cup (~235 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) organic brown sugar* (or sub coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) cane sugar* (or sub coconut sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 – 1 cup (180-240 ml) plain unsweetened almond milk* (or other non-dairy unsweetened milk)
  • 1 1 /2 cups (~165 g) loosely packed grated carrot
  • 3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour (my choice instead of gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup (87 g) chopped raw walnuts* (if preferred, omit, or sub 1/2 cup (70 g) raisins)

You can find the directions here.

For the icing I chose to make a plain cream cheese icing because I had one shot to do this before my wife came home from work…

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick ) vegan butter, softened to room temperature (such as Earth Balance | butter sticks are best, not the spreadable tub)
  • 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese, slightly softened (such as Tofutti or Trader Joe’s brand // out of the fridge for 1 hour)
  • 3 – 5 cups (300-500 g) sifted organic powdered sugar

My icing broke…I think because the vegan cream cheese was too soft and possibly b/c I mixed too long. But a broken icing is still a tasty icing…

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Week 17: Baby Moon

Q. Why was the girl staring at the carton of orange juice?

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A. It said concentrate.

I am not going to apologize for not blogging for two weeks as it is likely to happen again. You would eventually get tired of my half ass reasons for not writing anyway. The truth is…I am a procrastinator of the worst kind, addicted to television, social media and cuddling…so writing takes a back seat a lot of times. I tried to be all organized and carve out time but for some reason when I have PMS writing seems sooooooo HARD.

During Week 17 our little bundle of fetus goodness was the size of a navel orange. There are a ton of delicious things you can make with a navel orange but I totally did not make any of them. We instead took our little orange to the beach!

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Lisa and I headed to Rehoboth Beach the last weekend of September (9/27) for a little …Babymoon…Birthday weekend type getaway. If you’re not familiar with the East Coast of the United States…Voila!

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If you’re not familiar with the concept of a babymoon…don’t worry…I had never heard of one either until someone asked if we were taking one. Having had a destination elopement and a honeymoon less than a year ago… I chuckled an answer of “no”… BUT we decided to take a little trip for my birthday that will in fact be our last getaway for just the two of us before our bundle arrives next year. If you do any research on babymoons, you will notice that most destinations are tropical and/or resort related. I am sure there is some preggers lady who wants to walk, hike, bike or swim something…but I think of relaxation and a general state of zen as babymoon criteria. We’ve been lucky to have lived within a few hours of a beach our entire lives. Carolina beaches, of course, cannot be beat but Rehoboth, Delaware is not too shabby! We took our first trip to Rehoboth last year…for Lisa’s birthday…However, it was a very different kind of trip…one in which we drank a little too much at the Frog Pond and then stayed in bed out of necessity not desire.

Rehoboth is a great little destination…It has a small town vibe…There are a number of gay owned and operated businesses in Rehoboth so that definitely is a draw for people. Plus there are vegan friendly food eateries! And Rehoboth is for everyone – your gay BFF, your kids, your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your favorite vegan…plenty of nice beach, food to eat, arcades, and shopping.

Where to Stay:

We used VRBO.com to make our reservation this time. We stayed in a cute little apartment overlooking Baltimore Ave. On Friday night we fell asleep to the sounds of people have a good time. There is no reason to worry about noise keeping you up in Rehoboth. The bars close pretty early so if you hate the sound of laughter and joy – don’t worry it doesn’t last all night! The apartment has a little bistro table for dining al fresco, a separate bedroom and living room area, and all the comforts of home minus the stove…But who needs a stove when there are so many excellent places to eat! This particular building has two other apartments as well! They guy who manages the property, Michael, was super nice.  He even came to our rescue when we could not open our door…yes, we could not open our door…It wasn’t the door, it was us. Actually, I read the directions a little too literally.

Where to Eat:

One of the exciting features about Rehoboth is that there are a few places known for their vegan dishes.

Breakfast: Greenman Juice Bar & Bistro not only has juices and smoothies for a light breakfast on the go but has a vegan egg scramble and oatmeal! They also have a few vegan sandwiches on the lunch menu which are great!

Lunch: El Dorado serves up awesome tofu tacos (grilled or fried)!  We discovered this place on our way home last year.  It’s off Coastal Hwy so it’s a great place to stop in if you’re out outlet shopping.

Dinner: Hobos Restaurant & Bar serves several vegan dishes including “mac n cheese” and Philly “cheese” steak. The atmosphere is eclectic…sit on the porch! It’s a great place for a relaxed dinner or a romantic night out.

Coffee: Cafe a Go-Go is a great little place on Rehoboth Avenue. They don’t have a website but they serve up a great latte. Lisa says it is the best Chai Tea Latte she has ever had.

What to Do:

The beach – Obviously!

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Eat Ice Cream (TCBY Vegan Soft Serve)

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Walk along the boardwalk then sit on a bench and watch the waves…

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Shop (Responsibly or Ridiculously)

We are going to be amazing parents!

Who has parenting nailed? These moms!

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How awesome is this shirt?!?

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We got jokes!

We had such a great time…the weather ended up being much warmer than we expected so we were able to enjoy the beach and get a little Vitamin D while we watched parents play with their toddlers and daydreamed about our future beach trips. We giggled as we wandered from store to store along Rehoboth Avenue and people watched from our bench. We played skee-ball in the arcades and ate licorice laces before calling it a night. My pedometer said we walked 10 miles on that Saturday…but they weren’t rushed or hurried. It was a wonderful way to start my 36th year and spend some time together!

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On our way home we stopped off for some produce and preserves!  I saw these huge pumpkins and all I could think was…that is not going to fit in my hand.

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