Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Resolutions for a New Year

Ahh, the magical time of the New Year is nearly upon us. Although the date of the new year has changed many times throughout history, the tradition of New Year's resolutions has been around for nearly 4,000 years, thanks to the Babylonians. I read one article that claimed "a customary resolution was returning something borrowed from a friend in the previous year." I think they were onto something!

Did you know that January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings? It is said Janus could see into the future and the past,and was often depicted with two faces, one looking ahead and one looking behind.

My resolutions are often the same, such as improving my Spanish vocabulary, travel more, start a new hobby...but this year I'm changing it up a bit and also adding some new goals.

  • I've taken up running and I'd like to continue it and run my first half-marathon in September 2010
  • get more active in the vegan community - check out my new facebook page!
  • more blog posts!
I must admit, I love reading about ancient civilizations, it was my favorite subject in school as long as i can remember and I also studied it in college. So what started out as a whim to find out when New Year's resolutions came about, led to some amazing culinary discoveries that I can't possibly fit into one blog post. I'm really excited about sharing what I've learned with you all, so stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, don't forget to join my facebook page and share your new year's reso's in the comments.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sometimes the perfect serving dish isn't a dish at all

Call me crazy, but I love spending hours in the kitchen, preparing big family dinners.  Although I cook every day for my little Gordita, it's not all that often that we host a big family gathering for dinner at our place.

One of the dilemmas I found myself in when preparing breakfast on Christmas morning was finding the perfect dish to serve the fruit salad in.  I wanted to use something pretty, and decorative, not just any old plastic tub.

And although unconventional, I found the perfect vessel.  In fact, it worked so well, I may never use it for flowers again.

Monday, December 28, 2009

White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of joy and laughter.  For those who don't celebrate this holiday, I still hope you had a chance to enjoy the best the season has to offer - whether it was amazing deals while shopping, or some really good food.

This year I hosted some of my out of town relatives for Christmas.  And being the good hostess that I am, I wanted to bake them a festive treat.  I chose white chocolate Craisin cookies because I like how the color reflects the holiday season.  They turned out crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside.

White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan margerine)
2/3 cup brown sugar
Egg replacer equivilant to 1 egg (ie 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp water)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Craisins
1/4 cup vegan white chocolate chips

Combine flour, sea salt, and baking soda in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  In a seperate mixing bowl, cream together Earth Balance/margerine and brown sugar. Add "egg" and vanilla, and beat until smooth.  Add dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well.  Fold in Craisins and white chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, drop balls of dough on a slightly greased baking pan.  If you don't have a cookie scoop, you can use a regular spoon to scoop the dough out, and then roll the dough in the palm of your hands to form a ball.  Flatten each dough ball slightly before placing them in the oven.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing from pan. Makes about 24 cookies, depending on size.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Corn Chowder for a Cold Day

There's more than a crisp chill in the air here in Vancouver...the first snow of the season will be upon us any day now.  And cold weather definitely calls for a nice hot cup of soup!  After spending Sunday afternoon at the Santa Claus parade, some corn chowder was calling my name. 

Corn Chowder

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion
8 nugget potatoes, washed and diced
1 can creamed corn
1 cup peaches & cream corn
2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 red bell pepper, washed and diced
1/8 tsp cumin
salt, pepper and paprika to taste

In a large saucepan, saute onion and potatoes on medium heat until onions are transluscent - about 6 minutes.  Add both kinds of corn, almond milk and spices.  Bring to low boil on medium heat.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Using a ladle, scoop 1/2 of the soup mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Carefully pour back into the saucepan, add bell pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

* * *

One of my favourite parts of the Santa Claus parade was from the City of Vancouver's garbage collection, which was encouraging people to think about how much garbage we will create this holiday season.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Morning breakfast

On Sunday mornings I try to make a breakfast that involves more than my usual weekday fare of cold cereal and soy milk.  Sometimes it's pancakes or waffles, but today I felt like hash browns.  I love hash browns in any shape or size, especially when they're smothered in salsa.

There's more to making shredded hash browns than meets the eye.  If you don't get enough of the moisture out before you cook them, they'll end up a big soggy mess.  Some people swear by potato ricers to make shredded hash browns, others prefer patting them with paper towels to draw out the moisture. I don't have a ricer so I went the paper towel route today, and I also sauteed a small yellow onion with the potatoes to add some extra flavour. 

I think I might ask Santa for a ricer for Christmas ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Soda you can chew on?!

Tofurky flavoured soda?  Yes, you read that right.  Now I've heard of some strange things before, but this has got to top the list of of all time.  I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried this.  Jones has always been quirky and fun, daring and different - but who has dared to try this concoction - and does it actually taste like tofurky and gravy?  My curiosity is getting the better of me.  I havn't seen this in any stores in my neighborhood yet, otherwise I'd take a swig and let you know myself.

Bon appetite!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spooky Mashed Potatoes

With no artificial colors!  If you come across Blue Russian potatoes at your local farmer's market, then you too can make these spooky mashed potatoes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Home Made Red Pepper Jelly

Firstly, I have to say how deeply honoured I am to have my Strawberry French Toast mentioned on!!! Thank you Erik Marcus.  Aaand, VeganMoFo twittered about the fresh baked bread I made for that same post.  Thank you VeganMoFo. 

I'm still in shock.

Casting my shock aside for the moment, I wanted to share with you this awesome red pepper jelly that I made.

It started out as a pepper plant that I bought at the local organic market for $1.99.  It was a little sad looking droopy plant, but I gave it some TLC and in a few short weeks I had more hot peppers than I knew what to do with.  I've made jam before, so I thought I would be able to pull off making this jelly.  Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of peppers I was using because there's no name on the plant anywhere.  But they are about the size of a small dill pickle and they look like this:

If you have a canning bath rack, by all means, use it, but if you don't have one you can still make this jelly - just be very careful not to scald yourself with the boiling water.

Red Pepper Jelly
4-5 hot peppers
2-3 red bell peppers
6 cups of sugar
1.5 cups white vinegar
1 box (57g) Certo pectin crystals
beet powder (optional, to enhance color)
6 x 1 cup mason jars with lids and rings

First things first, get your largest pot of water boiling.  You need a pretty big pot - one that you can immerse all the jars in and still have 1-2 inches of water above the top of the jars. Don't put the jars in yet, just get the water boiling.  This is called the "bath"

You will also need a small saucepan of boiling water that has your lids in it.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, it's time to sterilize the mason jars.  There's 2 ways to do this:
  • use the dishwasher.  Try to time it so that the jars are still hot from the wash when you're ready to pour the jelly into them. 
  • If you don't have a dishwasher, just wash the jars and then put them in the oven at 225 to dry for at least 15 minutes (and to keep them hot)
Make sure all of your peppers have been washed and are dry.  Cut the stems off the red peppers and remove the membranes from inside.   You can cut the peppers into quarters to get the membranes out.

Cut the stems off the hot peppers, but leave the seeds and membranes intact. (You may want to wear gloves when you do this, especially if you have sensitive skin.)

Place all of the peppers in a food processor and pulse until they are very small pieces.  Not quite pureed, but pretty close.  Should equal about 1 1/3 cups.

In another large saucepan, combine the almost-pureed peppers, sugar, vinegar, and a dash of beet powder if you're going to use it.   Stir constantly over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Do not leave unattended, as it may boil over.

Once it starts to boil, add the Certo pectin crystals and continue to stir constantly for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and pour into hot, dry mason jars.  Fill each jar one at a time, placing the lid (should come straight from the small saucepan of boiling water) and screwing the ring on before filling the next jar.  Using a wide funnel really helps.  Be careful not to overfill or get any jelly on the rim of the jar.  If you do, wipe it off before placing the lid and ring on.  Also, be careful when handling the jars as they are hot!

Once you've filled all your jars and got the lids and rings screwed on, immerse them in the hot water bath for 5 minutes.  Remove from bath very carefully using canning tongs and mitts and place on a wooden cutting board or a tea towel on your countertop. 

It will take 24-48 hours for the jelly to thicken.  At first it will seem very runny but don't worry, it will set. And then you can enjoy it like this, on rice crackers:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Pumpkin Season

When I think autumn, I think pumpkin.  I also think of foods like squash, hearty soup, cranberries, and hot cocoa.  And speaking of pumpkin, VegNews recently posted a Perfect Pumpkin Muffin recipe that I'll no doubt be making in the next few days.  But the first of this season's pumpkin baking for me was a recipe from La Dolce Vegan.  I replaced chocolate chips for the cranberries and made a couple dozen of these:

What are your pumpkin plans this season?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

VeganMoFo Begins!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...Vegan MoFo!   Brace yourself.  October is Vegetarian Awareness month, and the blogosphere is about to be flooded with vegan food porn  from hundreds of bloggers. A full list of this year's participants can be found at Cake Maker to the Stars.

So let's start off World Vegetarian Day by waking up to the aroma of freshly baked bread.  LOVE the breadmaker with the timer so the bread is hot and fresh at the crack of dawn!

This was a simple loaf using all organic ingredients: unbleached flour, olive oil, fresh ground sea salt, fair trade sugar, yeast and water.  It's perfect for french toast.  Cut the bread into nice chubby slices, butter both sides with Earth Balance, dip in vanilla almond (or soy/rice/hemp) milk with a pinch of cinnamon, and fry in a lightly oiled pan for a few minutes on both sides.  Top with strawberry syrup, fresh strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vols-au-Vent - victory or defeat?

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Puff pastry cannot be made in a hurry - the process takes several hours and patience is key.  It was easy enough to substitute Earth Balance instead of butter in Michael Richard's recipe, but I'm not sure if my pastry is missing the visible horizontal layers because of the EB or my lack of skill at rolling the dough!  I'm pretty sure it's the latter ;)

Often in Daring Baker's challenges we are given free range of flavours and this month was no exception.  Savoury or sweet, we were left with the task of filling our Vols-au-Vent's with whatever our hearts desired.  The first thing that came to mind when I saw these was Happy Herbivore's mock tuna.  I've used it to make "tuna" casserole and sandwiches, and I knew it woud be the perfect filling for this recipe. It did not disappoint!  Thank you Steph for hosting this month's challenge, and thank you Happy Herbivore for the "tuna"! 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gordita's lunchbox - a day in the lunchbox of a vegan toddler

What do vegan toddlers eat for lunch?  Well, Vegan Lunchbox is the Queen of healthy vegan lunches that you can send your kids off to school, and it's clear that there is so many other options than a PB&J sandwich.  Gordita isn't in school yet as she's not yet two years old, but she does get cared for while I'm at work, so I pack her breakfast and lunch every day.  I thought it might be a nice change of pace to share with you what's in her lunchbox from time to time.  Here's today's lunch:

Clockwise from top:  Organic apple & cinnamon oatmeal, whole wheat naan bread, peas tossed in olive oil, lunchbox fondue, organic banana, strawberries sprinkled with ground flax, wildberry juice box, Salba crispy rice treat, and peach soy yogurt.  She also had a bottle of soy milk which isn't in the photo.  I kinda wish this was my lunch today!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Get your Chocolate Fix from CCV

If you like Chocolate (and really, who doesn't?) head over to Chocolate Covered Vegan's Chocolate SuperFood Bar Giveaway and enter to win a box of energy bars!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Day at the Farm

I recently took Gordita to Westham Island Herb Farm, when they were hosting thier annual "Day at the Farm."  It was less about animals and more about promoting local agriculture, and there was so much to see and do: A zucchini contest, hayrides, lots of booths full of educational material about agriculture, and more.  Here's Gordita with her biodegradable balloon from one of the vendors:

We sat under the shade of some trees which have just started to shed their golden leaves, and and enjoyed freshly picked corn on the cob and veggie dogs for lunch!

We went on a hayride and got a tour of the farm - they have vast fields of potatoes, strawberry patches and lots and lots of herbs. 

It turned out to be a very hot day, so after the hayride I sipped a refreshing raspberry flavoured organic sparkling green tea made by Steaz.  It was my first time trying this brand, and it really hit the spot.

And lastly, I leave you with a photo of the most curiously shaped squash I have ever seen:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Deeelish Dobos Torte

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

The monthly Daring Baker's Challenges are always challenging, and making a vegan version of the recipes that are selected by the hosts makes it even more so.  Usually I stick to healthy cooking, making low fat and low sugar substitutes whenever I can - but that was all out the window for this confection!  

The Dobos Torte was supposed to be a five-layer sponge cake, and apparently some recipes end up with 12 layers!  That would be quite a tall slice of cake.  I think that the omission of eggs attributed to less batter in general for mine, and alas, I only had a three-layer cake.  

I love how the chopped hazelnuts matched the dark chocolate "buttercream"icing, and the caramel topping was amazing.  As I mentioned, this is an extremely sweet dessert, and just a small slice will satisfy any sweet craving. 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Almost Sugar-Free Blueberry Mint Ice Cream

We've had a hot spell of weather this week and it's the perfect opportunity to get the ice cream maker going.  There are so many endless combinations to try!  I had purchased a huge basket of blueberries and they were begging to be paired up with fresh mint sprigs to make this ultimately refreshing treat.  And who knew coconut milk and agave nectar could make light fluffy ice cream that is the bomb-diggedy? If you don't know, now you know!


Blueberry Mint Ice Cream
2 cups blueberries, rinsed
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1/3 cup agave nectar
1-2 leaves, fresh mint

In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and process until smooth.  Pour into ice cream maker and turn on for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mallows & More

Sorry I have been away for so long.  I just moved to a new apartment and am finally settled in and have an internet connection again.  I haven't been able to find the battery charger for my camera battery though, so lately my photos have been really quick snapshots with my fingers crossed that the battery stays on long enough to let me take the picture!  So I'll apologize in advance for the less than stellar photos you're about to see.

Anyhoo, I am very, very late in posting the July Daring Baker's Challenge.  Better late than never?  I hope they don't kick me out for posting it so late!

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I can't even remember the last time I had marshmallow anything, so I was very excited about this challenge.  These chocolate treats remind me of Viva Puffs with the little strawberry jam suprise in the middle that I used to eat when I was a little girl.

I bought vegan marshmallows called Dandies from Vegan Essentials for this recipe.  I subbed flax meal for the eggs in the yummy lemony Milan cookies and I have to say, this was a fun recipe to make and I really like these mallow cookies.  They are a heavy and hearty cookie and one is definitely enough to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.

Here's one cut in half so you can see all the layers.  YUM!!!!

When I ordered the Dandies from Vegan Essentials, I also ordered a book called "Benji Beansprout Doesn't Eat Meat"  It's about a little boy named Benji who gets teased by kids at school because he's a vegetarian.  I thought it would be a cute book to read to my little vegan Gordita at bedtime.  She is really picking up words quickly now, and just today I taught her how to say "tofu" while we were at the grocery store.  Here she is chomping on some watermelon during a visit with her great-grandparents:

And now for some random food porn:  Kashi Go Lean cereal with vanilla almond milk and chopped apple:

Brown rice elbow pasta with avocado, tomato and cilantro, in a light tossing of nutritional yeast and unsweetened organic soy milk

More brown rice pasta - this time shells with peas and a crumbled veggie patty.  Leftovers make a great lunch the next day which is what you see here:

 And now I'm off to bed.  It's going to be a busy weekend around here, so stay tuned for more vegan delights :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Canada!

 Here's a photo of me & Gordita (see the Canadian flag?)  Trying to be festive...please excuse the rice cracker she's eating.  When Gordita sees one of these galletas (crackers) she goes bananas and cannot even pause for a photo until she's eaten every last crumb.  They are her absolute favorite.

And speaking of favorites, here's my new favorite snack:

I've been drinking Goji berry tea like crazy so I was super excited when I came across this fruit & nut bar. Woo-hoo Goji!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Bakewell Tart & my 101st Post!

Last time I posted I didn't realize it was number 100, so I'm celebrating post #101 with a successful Daring Bakers' Challenge. 
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
I honestly can say I've never heard of a Bakewell tart, so I hope I make all my English ancestors proud that their English heritage lives on through this vegan version of this delicious treat.
Bakewell tarts feature three elements: an eggy custard, frangipane and jam.  Instead of custard, I worked in some mashed very ripe bananas.  Chocolate chips made their way in as they seemed to be a better compliment to bananas than jam.  And who bought all the almonds in the supermarket?  Can't make frangipane without almonds...or can you?  I couldn't bring myself to go to another store with a cranky baby when I did my initial grocery shop, so I opted for cashews instead which worked well and I was very pleased with the way all of the ingredients complimented each other, right down to the cinnamon garnish.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Torrrrrrrrrtilla Soup

I can't say "tortilla" without rolling my r's.  And I can't stop eating this delicious soup!  It's the perfect thing to warm up with during this rainy cold spell we're having.  It's a hearty soup that is a meal all on its own.  I didn't follow a recipe but it tasted pretty close to some tortilla soup I had at a Mexican restaurant recently.

1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can kidney beans (black beans would be great too, but I didn't have any)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup textured soy protein
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a medium or large pot, saute onion in olive oil until transluscent.  Add tomatoes and kidney beans.  Fill the kidney bean can with water and add that to the pot, along with the rest of the vegetables, soy protein and spices.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.  Garnish with sliced avocado, a generous dollop of tofutti sour cream and some torrrrrrrtillas.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The lesser of two evils

In a bold partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation and SeaChoice, the OFG grocery chain in Alberta and British Columbia has committed to ban non-sustainable fish from nearly 100 stores. 

The David Suzuki Foundation works to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, "Jay Ritchlin, the marine conservation specialist for the David Suzuki Foundation, said this is the first time a major retailer has agreed to such a major plan."

SeaChoice is a seafood markets program has the mandate of realizing sustainable fisheries.

Of course, in a perfect vegan world, no one would eat any fish.  This partnership heavily supports farmed fish...when faced with the possibility of extinction of fish like yellowfin tuna or supporting aquaculture to feed the masses, which is the lesser evil?  I don't want any fish to die!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Almost Sugar-Free Sugar Free Mango Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

 How awesome is it that the recipe was already vegan?  Well, except that it called for butter which was easily substituted with Earth Balance.  It was too easy to make! The dough is supposed to be stretched and made very thin but even if it tears a bit, any minor imperfections are hidden when the dough and filling is rolled up into a log.  Love that part!

Linda and Courtney made apple filling for theirs, but as part of the challenge, they gave free reign to us to come up with whatever filling we wished, be it sweet or savoury.

I diced a mango and tossed it in a couple of tbsp's of rum before rolling it up and baking it in the oven. 

I used a baking stone, as I do with pretty much everything that I bake, be it cookies or pizza or whatever.  Here's the finished product before I sliced it up:

I chose not to use sugar and cinnamon, but decided instead to keep it as sugar free as possible.  Mango is so sweet already, so all I did was drizzle on a bit of agave nectar before indulging in this treat - and I had only a teeny bit of guilt about eating it at 10pm right before going to bed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

Breakfast is my least favorite meal when it comes to dining out at traditional restaurants.  There is hardly anything to choose from on the menu, so I usually end up ordering hashbrown potatoes and toast without butter.  How boring!  But I really wanted to go out for a nice Mother's Day brunch so I phoned up the The Boathouse restaurant a few weeks ago and asked what they were serving for Mother's Day, and explained that I am vegan.

What luck that they were not serving their regular menu - which is mainly seafood and not veg-friendly - they were having a brunch buffet, and they assured me that there would be lots of things for me to eat.  So I made the reservation for me and some close friends (and of course l'il Gordita) and waited patiently for today to come.

I tried to make the most of what they offered - which would have been a lot more if I ate eggs, but there really wasn't as many options as I had hoped for to make it worth the $35.00 price.

Here's my eggless, cheeseless omelette from the omelette bar:

Roasted potatoes with cracked peppercorns, mixed greens and watermelon:
 And Gordita with my pink carnation - a gift they were handing out to all the moms:
It looks like she's sniffing it, but in reality she took a bite and tried to eat it!

I did go back for another round of fresh fruit - strawberries, kiwi and pineapple, crackers, more potaoes and more salad but I didn't take another photo because it was practically the same thing again.  Also not pictured, the delicous mimosa.  What's brunch without a mimosa?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz cinco de mayo!!!

Last year I made cornbread with black beans and rice for cinco de mayo.*  This year in keeping with the Mexican theme for the day, I had beans and rice for lunch, and then for dinner we made the same tacos that we had for Easter.  It had to be a quick dinner because Tuesday nights I have Spanish class.

* Cinco de mayo is the celebration of the victorious battle in 1852 where 2,000 Mexican peasants defeated the 6,000 man French army to reclaim their independence. 

Sorry I don't have any pictures of today's meals, but I do have some photos of other recent meals:

A delicious shepherd's pie:

A Thai noodle salad with brown rice noodles:
And my little gordita who is so cute I could just eat her up:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lemon Cheesecake with Mango-Dragonfruit Sauce

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I once made a vegan key lime cheesecake using silken tofu and it turned out pretty good so I gave it a shot again this time, except I used a different recipe.  This one is from Bryanna Clark Grogan via  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  It's a lemon cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, and I made a mango-dragonfruit sauce to go with it.  I was a bit impatient when cooking the the sauce so it wasn't as thick as it could have been, but it tasted so exotic and summer-y who cares what it looks like.  I love tropical fruits, they are so sweet on their own, so in this case I didn't need to add any sugar to the sauce, just steamed the fruit, pureed it and then cooked it some more to thicken it up - but as I mentioned, I didn't quite let it get thick enough.  Ah well, there's always next time!  I can't wait until next month's Daring Bakers challenge :)