Thai Coconut Ice Cream

The title is a bit of a misnomer, as there’s no “cream” (in the dairy sense) involved at all. And before you run away thinking this is some crazy vegan thing…well, it’s vegan, but 1) decadent and delicious, and 2) very traditional.

There are many hybrid recipes for coconut ice cream, such as those adding whip cream and/or eggs. These are meant to appeal to an American palate, and our expectation that ice cream is made from a cream-based custard. Fortunately, this traditional recipe needs neither! That means it’s both easier and healthier.

Machine vs Freezer?
You can make this one of two ways – in an ice cream maker (we have this one), or in a bowl in the freezer. If using an ice cream maker, simply follow the machine directions, noting that this will not be as hard as traditional ice cream. It has more of a soft-serve consistency. For harder ice cream, simply pop it in the freezer for an hour or so after churning, then serve. The consistency is superior from an ice cream maker, as the constant churning will make the ice cream more smooth. However, if you don’t have one, freezing it “by hand” will taste just as good! The no-ice-cream-maker directions follow the ingredient list.

2 cans coconut milk (or one can of coconut milk and one of coconut cream, which is sweetened and contains the thickener carrageenan and will result in a slightly sweeter, creamier end product)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup finely chopped mango, 1/3 cup Thai basil, etc – experiment! My favorite is a combination of coconut and mango, topped with crushed peanuts.
Toppings: Toasted coconut, crushed peanuts, honey, pineapple pieces, etc. Or, eat it plain!

In the microwave or on the stove, boil the water.
2. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
3. Stir in the coconut milk and salt, using a whisk to mix thoroughly.
4. Refrigerate until cool.
5. Process in ice cream maker, OR,
5. Place in the freezer for one hour, then take it out and stir thoroughly.
6) Repeat in one hour increments until it reaches the desired consistency, then serve.

Notes on making it without an ice cream maker: If you have a hand mixer, try using it on low speed. If not, stir very thoroughly – the goal is to prevent large ice crystals from forming, which would make it more of an Italian Ice texture than iced cream-y. When you stir thoroughly, you break up existing ice crystals so they don’t get a chance to get so large.
Overall, this should take three to four hours, depending on the exact texture you want. You can always stir it more frequently (the more the creamier, actually) but don’t let it sit for longer than an hour. Once it’s actually frozen at the desired texture, you can leave it alone for a night or two without any problems 🙂

Orange Zucchini Muffins

1 cup shredded zucchini
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs or 1/3 cup applesauce (not both!)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cooking oil (use nut oil like walnut or hazelnut if you have it – otherwise canola will do just fine)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla (use alcohol-free vanilla if you can, as it imparts a smoother, sweeter, richer flavor)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Squeeze zucchini until dry; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs or applesauce, brown sugar, oil, orange juice, orange peel, and vanilla.
3. Stir wet ingredients into dry mix, taking care not to over mix – stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Over mixing will make for tougher muffins.
4. Fold in cranberries and zucchini.
5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. (TIP: use a cookie scoop for easy, mess-free paper cup filling. I’ve found that the large ones deposit the perfect amount of batter for standard muffin tins)
6. Combine sugar and remaining nutmeg, and sprinkle on top of the batter.
7. Bake at 350 deg F for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Cool for five minutes before removing from the pan, and serve warm.


    Muffins made with apple sauce instead of eggs will have a better flavor, but take longer to bake – keep checking for doneness every two minutes.
    This recipe makes 10-12 muffins, but can easily be doubled.

Franz Wright // On the Death of a Cat

In life, death
was nothing
to you: I am

willing to wager
my soul that it
simply never occurrred

to your nightmareless
mind, while sleep
was everything

(see it raised
to an infinite
power and perfection)–no death

in you then, so now
how even less. Dear stealth
of innocence

licked polished
to an evil
luster, little

milk fang, whiskered



Thanks to the combined influence of Brandon from the Aardvark Kafe and Barry, the carnivore with good taste, I made a raw cheesecake tonight.

Before you run screaming in the opposite direction, WAIT. It’s seriously, seriously good! I used this recipe (via Barry), and tweaked it a bit after reading a few other recipes for similar cheesecakes. In hindsight, I’d do a coulis for the top and drizzle it on after the freezing, because while the topping tasted good, it didn’t have the texture I grew up loving on top of my mother’s cheesecakes. And for berries, I used what was in our back yard – strawberries and raspberries. You could do anything from blackberry to chocolate to key lime, if you wanted, simply by tweaking the ratio of berries to dates to get the right texture.

Let me know if you try it! This was my first raw food “recipe” (usually my raw diet involves a ton of fruits and vegetables, and absolutely zero preparation or forethought) so I’d love to know how it works for you. Michael was raving about it, so I’ll definitely be making this again. I’m thinking of sneaking it into our picnic at work and not telling anyone that it’s raw and vegan…

Vegan & Raw Cheescake

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • 3 cups cashews
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup dried coconut
  • 6 Tbs. coconut oil, melted (gently warmed)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup raw agave nectar
  • ½ sun-dried vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries and raspberries

Place macadamia nuts in large bowl, and cover with cold water. Place cashews in separate bowl, and cover with cold water. The soaking will make the cheesecake smooth. Soak nuts 4 hours, then rinse, drain, and set aside.

Pulse macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup dates in food processor to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle dried coconut on bottom of 8-inch pie pan. Press macadamia nut mixture onto coconut to make crust. You can use a springform cheesecake pan if you have it, but any glass baking dish will do! The coconut on the bottom keeps the crust from sticking to the pan (and tastes good).

Place cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, agave nectar, and 6 Tbs. water in bowl of food processor. Add more water in small amounts, to reach the desired consistency. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into food processor bowl, and purée until smooth. Pour mixture onto crust, and freeze 1 to 2 hours, or until firm.

While that’s freezing, puree 1/2 cup dates and your berries until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake, and return the whole shebang to the freezer – check the consistency after an hour or so. We ate it after one hour, but you can freeze for as long as you want – just thaw it by putting it in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Top it with fresh berries and enjoy!



Evil Cookies

This is a recipe based on a Martha Stewart recipe called “Thousand-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies”. They’re the devilish beginnings of this evil, evil cookie. Rest assured: if you make these, you WILL gain weight.

But alas…some times you just need to indulge in a heartrendingly decadent treat, and these cookies fit the bill. Or stretch it until it needs to go up a size.

So, the basic process is this: you make a batch of standard chocolate-chip cookie dough but without the chocolate or nuts (see recipe below). Then, you make a layered confection that makes some seriously amazing cookies.

Cookie Dough:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
3 tsps salt (original recipe calls for 2 tsps, I added an extra)
4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Combine flour, soda & salt in a bowl and set aside.
Beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until creamy.
Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined.  (DON’T OVERMIX THE COOKIE DOUGH…it makes them tough!)
Now for the yum part:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 4oz bittersweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
1/2 – 1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 – 1 cup Heath’s Toffee Chips
one egg
Sea Salt

Tear off 4 sheets of wax paper.  Lightly flour.

Divide the cookie dough into 4 equal parts, placing one part on each piece of wax paper.

Lightly flour top of dough, and top each with a sheet of wax paper.

Roll dough to about a 1/3 inch thick.

Place rolled dough on cookie sheet and place in freezer for at least 1 hour or more.

When ready to make the cookies, pull back wax paper from one side, lightly flour again, replace wax paper and turn over.  Remove the wax paper that is now on top.

Cover with chopped pecans, then milk chocolate morsels.

Cover with another slab of cookie dough.

On second slab of cookie dough, cover with chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Cover with third layer of cookie dough.  On top of that layer add 1/2 to 1 cup of cranberries and 1/2 to 1 cup of toffee bits.

Top with final layer of cookie dough.

Sprinkle top layer of cookie dough with flour and replace with piece of wax paper. Lightly roll cookie dough.

With pastry cutter cut in half.  Wrap up second half and return to fridge or freezer.

With first half, lightly roll out until about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out cookies with a 2″ cookie/biscuit cutter.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Make an egg wash by beating one egg.  Brush on each cookie.

Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt flakes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 minutes, turning pan after 6 minutes.  Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

With the remaining dough, you can go one of two ways. You can roll it out and make more cookies, or you could be truly shameful and smash all of it together, then make layers again, and then repeat the process. My head is spinning just thinking of the 1) calories, and 2) taste. Let me know if you try it, because that might just make the most decadent and delicious cookie the world has ever known. I’ve never been brave enough to try.

Recovery – Day 2

I’ve discovered that adding ibuprofen to the mix helps keep the swelling down somewhat, and so today I was able to have about 1oz of a banana/cashew butter/coconut milk smoothie, and about 4oz of a Bolthouse Farms protein shake. I’m currently eyeing a cup of vegetable broth with trepidation, as it didn’t go well on my first attempt. We shall see…

Last night I stayed at my parents’ house, in what used to be my room. I think it was good for all of us, because I slept uninterrupted but for the four hour water and medication increments, and apparently Mattie slept through the night. (Which brings up the ask of Night Weaning…which I think I’ll save for when I can eat real food and speak to tackle).

It was comforting to be back at my parents’ house, although strange in ways (primarily that they still don’t knock on doors!). There’s a television in the room, and if there’s one thing TV is good for its nodding off to.

So, I slept until 9am, and then made an appearance at the kitchen table to try and make/choke down aforementioned banana smoothie. (It was actually quite delicious, and when I can chew again I’ll be making it with frozen banana.) My 10am hydrocodone dose sent me back to bed until 1, when I woke up wondering where Michael was. He’d been told to bring Mattie over at noon for a few ours, but when Mattie fell asleep at 11:30 he decided to let him nap and then come over.

Aside from a mostly one-sided conversation with my sister Tara, and my mom trying to do anything she could to make me more comfortable, today has been uneventful.

My mother did manage to get the surgeon on the phone, and convince him to prescribe a viscous lidocaine to use as a mouth wash. Now I just have to get used to not being able to gargle – I’m supposed to hold this gel at the top of my throat for a few seconds so it can numb my surgical sites, but mostly it either slides down my trachea (and I choke and cough) or I start to swallow it (and I gag). Or, it sits on my tongue, and then that’s numb. When I did get it in the right spot, though, it was WONDERFUL. So, I’m going to keep trying.

The regimen is as follows:

Hydrocodone/acetaminophen 7.5/500, 15ml every 4 hours
Ibuprofen, 4tsp every 6 hours
Augmentin, 3ml 3x daily
Lidocaine gel rinse, 15ml every 3 hours
Chloraseptic spray, 4 sprays every 2 hours

That, and ice chips all day, sips of water when I can swallow, and some form of “real” food (pedialyte, protein shake, etc) about an hour after the hydrocodone dose kicks in – just before I fall asleep.

I haven’t figured out what to do about my tongue, which has a big lumpy sore on it from the clamp they used, or how to brush my teeth (not allowed to use toothpaste) without hurting myself but it’ll happen, I’m sure.

I’m definitely feeling more positive today than yesterday – it hurts an equal amount, but the fact that the swelling is down has been a huge help. I think simply having nutrients in my body for the first time since Wednesday, and a good night of sleep, helped immensely.

Here’s hoping progress continues! I’ve heard most people say it gets worse around the sixth or seventh day, when the scabs from cauterization come off, but I’m going to do as Michael always says: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

Big thanks to my mom and dad for letting me sleep there last night, to my mom for checking on me at 2:30am and making sure I always had ice, water, and whatever else I needed, to my dad for driving me there and not trying to make me talk, to Tara for buying the protein shakes and pedialyte freezer pops I could eat, and to Josh for the laughs. Not to mention, thanks to Michael for taking his first night alone with Mattie in stride, and pushing me to eat when I just want to sleep. I don’t know where I’d be without everyone 🙂

Recovery – diagram

Here’s what they took out – tonsils, adenoids, and a lump.