vegan red velvet ice cream

red_velvet_ice_creamI’ve been kicking around ideas for this recipe in my mind for oh, I don’t know, two years now. It’s sort of ridiculous. The curious thing is that when I finally went to procure the ingredients, I found out that Whole Foods had discontinued carrying Mimicream, my go to base for making ice cream. So I came up with a new plan of making my own cashew cream. The end result was a decadent ice cream that’s very similar to a custard and extremely delicious.


1 1/4 cup cashews *soaked overnight
water for blending
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp arrowroot or corn starch
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp black salt (or sea salt)
red food dye (optional)

Put cashews in a blender and cover with water. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until fully incorporated. If the mixture has heated up in the blender, refrigerate until cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. It will be on the softer side, so you can put in a sealed container in the freezer to firm it up more if you like.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can put the mixture in a sealed container in the freezer. Stir the freezing mixture every half hour until frozen.

I am an angry feminist

sfv CHS-44632 Generally speaking, I try to keep my writing here positive, lighthearted and sometimes a bit esoteric. I don’t like to rock the boat too much, mainly because I dislike arguments and even more than that, I hate internet arguments. At the moment though, I’ve had it up to here with keeping quiet and subdued.

I am a feminist. I wear cardigans. I figured I should just come out and say that. I think more people should come out and say that. While I can remember a time when I might have been nervous about admitting this, nervous about the connotations, I now realize that it is vitally important to claim this title. People are so afraid of this word, afraid of the box it puts them in. This is why I urge you to recognize your own inner feminist, if for some reason you have not already. Caitlin Moran said it best, and I’m paraphrasing here, that if you have a vagina and want to be in charge of it, you are a feminist. Granted, you can also not have a vagina and be a feminist, but for the sake of you ladies that are too afraid to get with the program here, let’s simplify things.

What are the connotations here? It means I care about laws that are passed about women’s health. It means I care about the stories that are told about women, or not told for that matter. It means I care about equal pay and opportunities for women. And because I’m paying attention, because these things matter to me, it means I’m keenly aware of the cultural subtexts that are going on day in and day out about what women are capable of. It means I get angry.

I am an angry feminist. I get angry a lot. This is what happens when others are constantly trying to define you as lesser, repeatedly trying to take away your human rights and perpetuating a culture of male dominance. You have the choice to get angry or risk beginning to believe these lies. I know when I was younger I definitely fell victim to this. Now, every time I hear “women are crazy” a little flame of rage ignites in me. When professional women are defined by their diets and whether they plan to stay home with the kids, how can you not be immeasurably frustrated?

Every day there is something. But I will not let my soul be bled to death by a thousand tiny pin pricks. I’m thankful for this anger, this reminder that there are still bridges to cross and progress to be made. It is a reminder that I haven’t given up, that I haven’t settled with “that’s just the way it is.” This anger gives me power.

Occasionally, all of this is a nuisance. Sometimes I wish I could just watch a movie without taking into account the blatant misogyny. Sometimes I wish I could tune out so many dim-witted comments. In the age of the internet opinion, there are so many stupid comments. But who would I be then? It might be more comfortable in a haze of ignorant bliss but it certainly does me no good in the long run.

The only way out of this mess is for us to join together, for all of us to come out from this fog and defeat that which plagues us, men and women alike. Here is your chance to come into the light. I hope you’ll join me.

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Collection, USC Libraries. To see more photos from early Los Angeles, go here.

Pi Day

cherry pie a la modebanana cream piekey lime piepeanut butter cream pie It’s Pi Day! Let’s make pie. Here are some recipes:

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Cherry Pie

Brainwashed Love is here

Once upon a time Shawn and I made a feature film. If you’ve been around these parts for awhile you’ve surely heard me mention it. We’ve considered many avenues for distribution and came to the conclusion that mostly we just wanted people to be able to see it. So finally we’ve released it online and you can watch it on vimeo.

This is the final director’s cut which is slightly different from what we showed at our previous screenings. I think it’s the best version of course. I’m really excited to hear what you all think.

We made this film before kickstarter and crowdfunding was a thing so it was completely self-funded. If you like what you see, feel free to leave us a tip on vimeo.

So, without further ado, I present BRAINWASHED LOVE for your viewing pleasure.

BRAINWASHED LOVE – Feature Film – 2011 from Shawn Bannon on Vimeo.

Halloween Movie Massacre 5

It’s that time of year again, time for our annual Halloween Movie Marathon. In fact, this was our 5th year (be sure to check out some of the past years), and we clocked in at a full 24 hours straight of horror movies.

While I usually go nuts with food, I tried to keep things simple, preparing desserts the night before, and designing the rest to be easy to make by popping in the oven. For sweets I made my favorite pumpkin spice cake and some bone shaped sugar cookies (and a sad version of the classic ghosts). Our friend Scott made a vegan King Cake which was super exciting for me.

On the savory side, I made buffalo cauliflower and giant pot of macaroni and cashew cheese. Shawn set up a hot dog station with all the trimmings. We also had French bread pizzas at some point and lots of chips and queso and popcorn and even caramel popcorn. Alas, I have no photos as photography is difficult during dark screenings.

In the morning, I made a bunch of breakfast sandwiches modeled after the Badass Breakfast Sandwich from Locali: maple dipped English muffins, vegan sausage, cheddar Daiya and spicy mayo. They were a hit, and will certainly be a staple in our home for weekends to come.

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For decor we opted for lots of creepy lighting and a few key horror elements. I filled terrariums with vegetable specimens and jars of candy were labeled as disturbing fare. We had a handful of skulls and a bunch of pumpkins. One of the most exciting pieces was a drink dispenser held up by boney hands, a Halloween gift given especially for this event. We of course filled it with cold brewed coffee to keep the movie watchers awake. I also painted a few Halloween themed masks just for fun.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but watching endless horror films without sleep does very strange things to your mind. It’s no surprise we found ourselves walking down dark hallways with axes, doing zombie crawls across the floor or drilling holes in someone’s skull. No surprise at all.

Ready for what we watched? Here’s the list:

1. Carrie
2. Near Dark
3. The Descent
4. Triangle
5. Ginger Snaps
6. Poltergeist
7. The Woman in Black
8. Phenomena
9. The Loved Ones
10. Final Destination
11. The Omen
12. We Are the Night

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