Vegan Fudge Popsicles

Ready to freeze in five minutes!

What is it about the middle of summer that makes me perfectly happy do nothing but sit outside, reading the same paragraph of a novel five times in a row as I wait for the next delicious breeze to come along?

Living in the northeast, summer is a long-deserved treat in itself. Being a true New Englander though, by August I’m thinking longingly of cool days when my forehead isn’t permanently damp, and I can come back home looking the same way I left (ie not a melted, frizzy puddle of a human being).

When I am feeling that way, however, I crave the coldest thing I can find. I actually don’t even like real ice cream that much. I prefer lighter textures that don’t make me feel like I just ate a frozen stick of butter, but I find that a lot of dairy-free desserts don’t have very rich or complex flavors. The triple-threat of chocolate, coconut, and coffee in this recipe does the trick without adding a lot of fat and calories.

While not vegan, I am health-conscious so I was excited to try and find a delicious summer treat that was both satisfying and guilt-free.

This recipe is adapted from On a Stick!, Smitten Kitchen, and The Wayfaring Teacher.

Vegan Fudge Popsicles

Makes 4 standard-sized popsicles.

Make these sugar-free as well by using stevia, an all-natural plant-derived sweetener.

*optional slightly less healthy addition* {2 tablespoons (21 grams or 3/4 ounce) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate}
1 tsp. Stevia OR agave nectar OR 1/3 cup (67 grams or 2 1/3 ounce) sugar
1 tablespoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tablespoons (8 grams or 1/4 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup of strong coffee

1/2 c. coconut milk (I used light) and 1/2 c. vanilla almond milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla extract

In saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. If not using chocolate chips, mix the cocoa powder (use a little extra) with some water first to make a thick paste. Stir in sweetener, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk, coffee and salt and raise heat to medium. Cook mixture, stirring frequently until it thickens, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and and stir.

Set aside to cool slightly then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze 30 minutes, then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze the rest of the way before serving.

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7 Simple Rules to Follow When You’re Lost: Lessons on Life From the US Forest Service

What To Do When You’re Lost in the Woods: Literal and Figurative Life Advice From The US Forest Service

“A clear head will find itself”

The 1946 U.S. Forest Service safety flyer “What To Do When Lost In The Woods,” originally made for hikers and campers, contains quite a few kernels of wisdom that might be heeded by those who have lost their way in a more figurative or creative sense as well.

This pamphlet was found in a Colorado cabin by Jen Christiansen at Scientific American, who tweeted about it. You can read the full text here.

And remember

6. “A thinking man is never lost for long. He knows that, surviving a night in the forest, he may awake to a clear dawn”

7. “Keep the old brain in commission and the chances are you will come out of the woods on your own two feet.”

Thanks, Forest Service. I feel better already.

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Literary Map of San Francisco

As I prepare to head for San Francisco next month, I was excited to discover this typographic literary map in puzzle form, illustrated by artist Ian Huebert! I think it would look pretty great framed, yes?

Here is a complete list of authors and works:

Thanks to {Brain Pickings} for this one.

Ebay Scoops

What I’ve got my eye on at the moment. LOVE love love the Blondie shirt, and two pairs of vintage Balenciaga sunglasses for under $60 each. Seriously. Someone has to buy that shirt.

1. Vintage Blondie Shirt

2. Swedish Hasbeen Mary Janes

3. Black and white vintage Balenciaga sunglasses

4. Circa 1970’s Bonnie Cashin for Coach saddlebag

What have you found lately?

DIY Brown Sugar Body Scrub

delicious!

Hey, like the idea of smearing food all over yourself?

Well you’re in luck…there are a plethora of scrub recipes out there featuring ingredients normally found in a bowl of oatmeal, which seems to be the rule of food—>scrub acceptability.

There is no room for innovation in this field. Once you start rubbing baked beans on yourself, it just gets weird.

So consequently, there are an absolute ton of brown sugar scrub recipes out there. I filtered through them and they all seem to be a variant of this one, which came out really nicely.

This is a quick and (really) ridiculously easy brown sugar scrub that you can make in 5 minutes. I made a big batch of it last year and gave little jars of it away as Christmas presents. It looks really pretty in pint-sized canning jars. Just tie a ribbon around the top, wrap a piece of craft paper around the bottles, and draw a label on it.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sweetened almond oil
1 tsp vitamin E
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Combine all the liquid ingredients together, then mix in the sugar. Use in the shower, rubbing it into your skin in circular motions. Rinse sugar off (don’t wash the oil off though!) for silky smooove and well-moisturized skin.

Once you’ve made your sugar scrub, store it in a glass container with a lid. You can also substitute other oils (coconut is great too)  in place of the almond oil, if you’d like. In place of vanilla extract, you can use your favorite essential or fragrance oil. I used cinnamon and it smells great! A little lemon juice would also make it smell really fresh.

My scrub has lasted 6 months and is still going strong. You can also  add a few drops of tea tree or rosemary essential oils, which are natural preservatives that might help make the scrub last a bit longer.

Benefits of Brown Sugar:

  • Not only is brown sugar tasty, but it’s great for the skin too
  • Sugar scrubs are gentler than salt scrubs, and they help the exfoliation process and removal of unwanted dead skin
  • Sugar contains natural acids that help to dissolve dead cells
  • Sugars also helps lift away dirt and excess oil and also helps with circulation

Izziyana Suhaimi Embroidered Artwork

I am so impressed by Singaporean artist Izziyana Suhaimi‘s work. She merges  embroidery techniques into her own pencil drawings and watercolors, blurring an absolutely beautiful line between skilled handicraft and fine art.

“I don’t think modern art should be a certain way. The beauty of art is in its variety and diversity,” says the artist in a recent interview. “In everything and not just art, boundaries are getting blurred and limitations are being pushed.”

Izziyana first began developing this technique while doing a school project on medical illustrations and soon began incorporating the craft into the majority of her work.

(images from here) Follow her on Tumblr here,

Market In Full Bloom

Super cute button earrings from Nicole’s Threads. You can find these designs and more in her Etsy store.

Yeah, he’s got a little dirt under his nails. It’s a farmer’s market…

The Burlington Farmer’s market was bursting with color on Saturday. There was locally-made clothing galore, beautiful jewelry from VT artists, flowers everywhere, and sno-cones (made with local organic fruit syrup) from an old-fashioned ice grinder!

Tortilla For One + Veggie Burger (Chickpea and Kale)

I cut the burger in half before actually rolling it up in the tortilla.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m living a pretty spartan existence this month (er, this year…) but that doesn’t mean that I have to live on prepackaged food, and neither do you. Having zero counters, one plate  and one bowl to mix things in just takes it down to the elemental. Come on, you probably have a real table, or at least a counter that’s not just your stove with a cutting board over it. So what’s your excuse not to cook?

You can make the tortilla dough ahead of time and roll them out one at a time, or you can make them individually, which is what I usually do because it really does only take 5 minutes (if that). I don’t use oil in the dough- I just find that it’s not necessary.

Yeah, I know. This does not look or sound good (a green burger?) but I swear, it was delicious!

This is a simple recipe for a veggie burger that uses chick peas, eggs, and bread crumbs as a base. I adapted the recipe quite  a bit, substituting kale for sprouts (only because I didn’t have any sprouts) and adding extra bread crumbs because the burger “batter” was pretty liquidy. I also added lemon juice because I thought they were a bit bland. The kale worked really well and the extra lemon juice really helped bring out the flavor.

I’m not exactly sure how this is different from falafel, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? It was delicious, especially when both are fresh and still warm from the pan.

Maybe you’re on a bit of a budget, you’ve got a bunch of  kids that you want to secretly feed kale to, or are  just trying to save up for a really expensive pair of shoes or an awesome trip somewhere (can I come?)

In any case, both of these recipes should delight your thrifty heart.

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Alone In the Wilderness? Don’t Forget Your Swiss Army Tampon

What CAN’T it do?

I was all set to do a nice little post about my trip to the farmer’s market today, but then I came across this bit of fantastic information about one of our most everyday objects and the subject of, well, nothing usually. People pretty much ignore them but it’s time to celebrate…the tampon!

Men, listen up: the next time your girlfriend asks you to pick up some tampons at the store and you cringe inwardly, remember this and proudly slap that box down on the register. You might be using them as a field dressing! To stuff bullet wounds! To make a blow dart in the jungle! To save a life.

I, like most people, was not aware of this but the tampon (derived from the French word tapon or “little stopper”) is actually classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device. There is quite a bit of evidence suggesting that they were in fact used on the battlefield before being used as a feminine hygiene product and according to my reliable sources, Army Medics still carry them in their kits. Tampons were used in the 19th century as well as during WWI to plug bullet holes, and were even used in the Iraq War. You can plug a bullet hole, stuff a bloody nose, and make a quick and effective bandage- all from one sterile little package.

I also discovered that the tampon has many uses for crazy survivalists, as outlined below. My favorite? The deadfall trap. What the hell would you need to trap with a Macgyvered tampon and then drop a giant log onto? I dunno, guess I’ll have to go ask someone in Utah.

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Buy A Cool Shirt, Help A Kid With Autism

I love the peacock feathers!

Now this is the kind of charity I can really get behind.

These shirts look like something I would buy anyway, but they are made even sweeter by the fact that this company donates $7 from every $22 sale to a different cause every week. This week, they’re providing special emergency kits to the parents of kids with Autism.

According to their site:

“This week your support will protect a child with autism by providing their parents with an emergency kit equipped with critical tools to assist in preventing and responding to emergencies. This kit includes door alarms for their home, an ID tag for the child, visual safety prompts to be displayed on doors and windows, and an emergency plan. ”

Autism can be difficult to deal with, but it doesn’t have to devastate a family.
These limited edition shirts provide support for children dealing with the challenging effects of Autism.

Buy A Shirt, Help A Child  www.sevenly.org/ChooseLove

I just ordered mine!