Christmas in Texas 2010 [The Best Chocolate Cream Pie]
Wow, I actually took a break from blogging. I guess I do like being around family. Ha ha ha.
Well seeing that I have been away for a while, it has been hard to get to blogging knowing there are alot of pictures of fun events and eats. Where to start? Even though I was away for 2 weeks visiting family and very busy, I still enjoyed some cooking and hanging out with friends and family.
One of the first highlights of my trip to Houston was getting together with Joel from Vegan Good Eats. I had missed him on my last trip there and really made a point to finally meet him when I was in town. He is such a great guy with a wonderful personality! We met at Pepper Tree Veggie Cuisine where they offer a vegan buffet that has so many choices! Spring Rolls and lots of veggies. I was very happy to get in my veggies before the Christmas madness began. We shared stories and got to know each other a litle better. It is wonderful to put a face with a blogger you interact with often. Thanks for a great time Joel!
Three days after I arrived I had a little get-together / cookie exchange, but it was more of an excuse to bake and see friends. I had an old high school friend come which was wonderful since I had not seen her in a LONG time. She is learning to cook gluten-free so I decided to make a gluten-free and vegan cookie recipe I had been eyeing from Spunky Coconut's website calledScandanavian Thumbprint Cookies. Mom did not have the tapioca flour it called for so I risked using quinoa flour instead. A few days later I made them again like the original recipe and there really was not much difference. They tasted DANG good. I used up all my mom's strawberry rhubarb preserves she had in her fridge. I have to say that this cookie recipe was pretty popular! Besides my 3 friends that came over, some neighborhood friends stopped by and I could not help watching these non-vegans enjoying this cookie. Score!
The next few days proved busier than ever. My mom needed a lot of help around the house and I had to catch up on some work too. We planned the menu for Christmas Eve dinner and I set to preparing the meal starting the 23rd.
Since I was the only vegan in the family, my mom still wanted to make meat, so she made a meatloaf type meal filled with veggies and hard-boiled eggs, typically made in Mexico.
I pretty much then made all the salads and desserts. Desserts! Yes, my favorite!
I then prepared the desserts on the 24th and had them ready. We decided to have dinner early since Ryan was in charge of choosing a new church for us to worship on Christmas Eve.
My sister was in charge of decorating the dinner table. She obviously has a great gift for this. I am glad she got to do this. Every year it is a different combination of colors and decorations.
After we came back from our Christmas Eve service at First Presbyterian, we opened gifts and ate dessert. I served a small slice of each dessert so that we could enjoy.
I made anGingerbread Caramel Pineapple Upside Down Cake using the Pear recipe I made back in October. This seriously had to be Ryan's favorite. He remembers the pear dessert and he said he preferred with with pineapples! Just substitute the pears for 6 big slices of pineapple when preparing the dessert.
This Chocolate Cream Pie was a last minute decision. My mom had been asking me to make a pie but since I was short on time I had to figure out a quicker recipe. My mom had purchased 2 gluten-free pie crusts from Whole Foods and she really wanted something special. While I thought, I baked the pie crust in the oven. I then ran across a marvelous recipe fromElana's Pantry.
This was BY FAR the BEST pie recipe I have ever made. It was VERY easy too. Everyone kept on asking if it was vegan and how it tasted gourmet, etc etc. Ryan was even surprised I had prepared it that very morning. It is a decadent dessert but it was worth it. One slice never killed anyone!
Here is my adaption of the recipe. I used a pre-made gluten-free pie crust but feel free to make Elana's gluten-free recipe from the same recipe.
Chocolate Cream Filling 2 cups So Delicious Original Coconut Milk pinch celtic sea salt ¼ cup arrowroot powder ½ cup maple syrup 1 Tablespoons vanilla extract 2 cups dark chocolate chips 73% cacao (Whole Foods brand or Ghiradelli)
Bring coconut milk and salt to a boil in a medium pot.
Sift arrowroot powder into the pot, whisk vigorously by hand or with a hand blender for 2 minutes.
Whisk in maple syrup and vanilla.
Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute.
Add chocolate, stirring vigorously until completely melted.
Chill in refrigerator for ½ hour until cool.
Place in cooled pie crust and serve.
What was your MOST favorite recipe during Christmas?
After this time we spent the last leg of the trip with my in-laws and had a great time watching movies, shopping and enjoying each others company. Hopefully you all had a great Christmas and hope you have a great New Year!