A Brew-tiful Pudding.

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How cute are these puddings, right?

This is The First Mess' vegan coffee pudding. The recipe calls for espresso or very strong coffee. I don't have an espresso machine but I absolutely adore moka pots and they make some mean coffee.  It is definitely my choice of brewing method, that is, if I have the time. This time we used coffee from our local coffee shop, Black Canary

The pudding turned out pretty well: a strong coffee aroma with a hint of coconut. The sweetness was just right. It was pretty easy to make too! We definitely will experiment and explore different flavours using the same techniques. Any suggestions?

One failure we had was the can of coconut cream, which was not-so creamy. The coconut milk we bought couldn't settle into a thick layer of cream as mentioned in the recipe. What we ended up with was just a slightly thicker layer of coconut milk/cream. We hoped to the tropical gods that it will thicken up as the kitchen-aid did it's hard work but it was to no avail. If you know which brand of coconut milk is high in fat content that will thicken up - please let us know!

Enjoy!

- Ken

Keep Calm and Curry On.

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In the early years of my Instagram life, one of the first food handles and blogs I followed was Love and Lemons.  The food blog had simple, healthy recipes and it used lots of fruits and vegetables.  Through many likes and attempts at the recipes, Love and Lemons published a cook book!  (Woo!) I never bought the cookbook, and when my local library had it, I immediately borrowed it and extended it twice.  From slaws to soups and curries - I love this book and I am buying it.  The book is categorized by specific vegetables and fruits and it encourages the reader to use what they have: if you have a leftover eggplant, flip to the eggplant chapter and see what you want to make.  

With the winter season marching strong, we naturally decided on a warm, homey and hearty meal: butternut squash red curry.  We had all the prep and cook done in under an hour - all ready to welcome our friends over for lunch and enough to pack for an extra meal.  I've made curries with potatoes, chicken, carrots, but never have I used butternut squash, a vegetable I really only use to make soup with.  It felt refreshing and new to use it for not soup.  With that said, let's hope winter ends soon.

- Robyn

Green Beans and Rice

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My brother has been a vegan for two years now and it has inspired me to look for alternative and different ways to tweak recipes to suit his diet.  I remember searching everywhere, concocting tasty vegan meals when he stayed with me for a week, and this recipe was one of the ones I used. 

Previously, when I made the Green Beans from Genius Recipes by Food52, I opted out of butter and used vegan margarine instead.  Shockingly it turned out to be great surprise: it was one of the best green bean dishes I've ever eaten.

Fast forward to now, when I made these Green Beans again, I thought it would be nice to follow the recipe exactly this time thinking it would taste even better without any substitution. WRONG. It ended up being too buttery and it overpowered the entire dish. Don't get me wrong, it was still very tasty but it was better the first time or may I say, sometimes it is better the vegan way. 

Moral of the story:  playing around with recipe or substituting ingredients isn't always a bad thing. Oh and remember to keep a pot lid nearby, unlike us.  We were frantically searching for one for 10 minutes, and ended up using a lid that didn't fit.  See our hack below!

- Ken