Party Fare

Hello!!  I have carved out 15 minutes in today’s study schedule to blog because 1) I really miss it, and 2) I might actually walk outside and step in front of an oncoming T if I don’t do something to break up the monotony of practice essays.

In case anyone is keeping track, day one of the bar exam is one week from today, and day two is one week from tomorrow.   That means: 1) I have been studying for this test to the exclusion of pretty much everything else for 50 days now, 2) at 4:30 p.m. on July 28 (193 hours from now), I will be freed from my misery, and 3) I will finally be ready to publish posts I have been compiling for the last two months regarding my eating habits during the period, which have been both erratic and ingenious at times.

It seems I am no longer capable of putting thoughts into words without using numbered lists.

Though it’s sort of hard to remember what my life was like before the bar, I have this dim recollection that I was a happy and social being.  In fact, sometimes I even bathed and left the house, occasionally to go to (gasp!) parties, and when I did, I used to like to bring vegan treats along to generously share with those present, as well as to selfishly ensure that I would have something to eat.

Way back in May I went to H’s sister’s confirmation party and made the Mediterranean Cashew Cucumber Dip from Veganomicon.
This stuff is so amazing.  It tastes just like tzatziki but has the texture of hummus, and is perfect for dipping veggies or pita chips in, or for spreading on crackers.  This container got totally eaten up.  Proud Cook.
More pictures from when I made the dip back in 2008.

In June, when I hadn’t yet metamorphosed from well-adjusted human to Gollum, I also went to H’s other sister’s high school graduation party and made a Chocolate Cream Pie.

This pie was super, super simple.  First, you make a graham cracker crust, from whatever recipe you like.  I used this one, because it’s foolproof, and subbed Smart Balance for the butter.

Then, I made the filling.  I used Dr. Oetker’s Organic Chocolate Pudding Mix (which I bought at Whole Foods). I cooked it on the stovetop according to the package directions, using vanilla soy milk.  Next, I poured it in the pie shell and let it chill.

After I took it out, I topped it with Soyatoo. I actually didn’t do the entire thing because I ran out! But I still think it looked kind of nice.

Finally, I dusted it with a little cocoa powder, and shaved part of a dark chocolate bar over it.

Everyone at the party knew me, that I’m vegan, and that I’d brought the pie.  Those who had sampled my cooking or baking before (and there were quite a few) were happy to try it, but the rest steered clear and went for more familiar fare.  Oh well.  You can’t force people to step out of their comfort zones, and on this particular occasion I didn’t try, because it meant there was more pie for me.  Win.

Since I just talked about the chocolate cream pie, I suppose this would be a good opportunity to post pictures of the Banana Cream Pie I made a few months back too.  It’s the same exact thing as above, except I used Dr. Oetker’s Organic Banana Pudding Mix and sliced fresh bananas on top. And photographed it at night in my dim kitchen, so the picture isn’t great.
I made it for dessert for H and me and we ate it for about a week.  It was good!  Next time I definitely want to add pieces of Mi Del Vanilla Snaps (in place of disgusting Nilla wafers) into the filling.

Overall, I recommend this pie method as an easy shortcut to a yummy and not horribly unhealthy dessert, whether you choose to share or not!

Alright, break time is up (and of course it took me 40 minutes instead of 15 to put this together)!  But the next time I post, I will be doing so as a free woman.  Perhaps it will even be coherent.  Stay tuned.


It’s no secret that I love food.  Nor is it a secret that I sometimes find myself totally in awe of the amazing beauty that occurs in nature.  The vibrant colors, the interesting yet somehow perfectly symmetrical shapes…it really is kind of crazy to think about.

However, just like people, not all foods are naturally beautiful.    Today’s post is dedicated to some of the unpretty members of food society, because they should know that I love them anyway.

First, let’s say hello to fava beans.  Being a huge fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, I’ve eaten favas (or “fool” [ha] as they’re sometimes called) many a time.  But I had never actually cooked them myself until yesterday.  Whole Foods had fresh favas in the pod on sale and I just couldn’t resist.  So I bought them and brought them home.  And found myself looking at this:

They look like a witch’s fingers. Unpretty.

And they have a weird, soft texture when you hold them.  Also, I had no idea what to do with them.  So I turned to the trusty interwebs and learned that to prepare favas, you must first take them out of the pods.

Yeah, the inside of the pods is weird and fuzzy.

Then, you parboil them for 3 minutes in a pot of salted water.  After three minutes are up, drain the boiling water and immediately shock the beans by dumping them into a bowl of ice water.  Let them sit for a minute or two.  Then pull them out and slide off their outer coating with ease.  

Here they are with coating still on:

After pulling off the coating, you are left with this:

Beautiful, deep, vibrant spring green.  See?  Inner beauty is a real thing. From this point you can either eat them raw, put in a salad, or saute them up with a little salt and garlic and enjoy that way. A+.

Next up is a cherimoya.  A what?!  So, a little backstory…I saw this on the Vegan Favorites blog two days ago and thought three things: 1) what in God’s name is a cherimoya? 2) How cool is it that there are still so many fruits and vegetables in the world that I’ve never even heard of? and 3) Hot damn, that thing looks weird.  It looks like an apple and an artichoke had a deformed baby.  Anyway, in the VF blogpost they described the cherimoya as tasting like a cross between an apple and a banana.  Huh??  Also, they mentioned that it was only available in the Bay area for a very short time each year.  So I’m thinking, well, if ever I do travel to California, I’d like to try this wacky fruit.

Then yesterday I go into Whole Foods and wouldn’t ya know…they’ve got cherimoyas.  And a little placard description that characterizes the taste as being a cross between a pineapple and a banana.  Now my curiosity was really piqued.  And…they were $8.99 a pound.  Eight friggin ninety-nine a pound!  So that, my friends, was my May Whole Foods splurge.


I brought the fruit home, and took the above photos.  We stared at each other for a few minutes.  Then I went to talk to the interwebs again.  Turns out, this fruit has its own website.  Yup. is a real thing. Unpretty fruit celebrities do exist.

This is the inside:

Unlike the fava beans, the cherimoya is not pretty on the outside or the inside.  Here is the fruit:
Appearance: yech.

Plus, it’s a huge, messy pain to eat because you need to remove the seeds.  This is the refuse left from me extracting the edible pulp of one fruit:
Double yech.

But what does it taste like? you ask.  Let’s just say that after I took my first bite I actually laughed out loud.  It tastes like all of the things the descriptions promised, and I also think it tastes like eggnog.  Or, more specifically, it has a creamy texture and faint nutmeg flavor.  I know, weird.  If, like me, you live in a place that maybe once a year gets a shipment of unusual produce from the west coast or some tropical region (my Whole Foods was also selling fresh starfruit and passionfruit yesterday…I have never seen those here before), my advice is to snatch it up.  Trying new things is so much fun, and so worth your time and a few extra nickels.  Who knows, you might just discover that your outsides are cool and your insides are blue…

Yeah, it’s been in my head since I came up with the idea for this title’s post yesterday:

You’re welcome.