Sep. 20, 2014
Vegan Wookie Cookies
Is September really almost half way over? Yesterday I was in the car when a Modest Mouse song shuffled on and it hit home in a way songs haven’t spoken to me since I was an unhappy 20-something with a crappy boyfriend. I couldn’t be happier right now if I tried. Our 2nd book is with the copy editor now. One of my favorite Bens came to visit Brooklyn. We bruched, ate vegan ice cream and all was…
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Sep. 20, 2014
This is some good, good cake. It’s definitely a special occasion piece; I made it to celebrate Zakk being vegan for over a full week (he is doing so well, way better than I did when I started out, I’m super proud of him!) but it’d be a great birthday cake or a dessert for a holiday. It took a lot of prep work, but the recipe is simpler than you would think, and the payoff is incredible. When Zakk and I bit into our first piece, we were practically speechless. I was afraid all the different flavors involved might be overwhelming but they turned out just right.
Raspberry Chocolate Dream Cake
For the batter, you need:
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 cup plain almond milk
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dried raspberries (I bet you could use fresh raspberries instead though if you wanted to, I just think dried packs more of a flavor punch)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsps vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling you need:
1 cup blanched raw almonds soaked overnight
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plain almond milk
a dash of sea salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps agave nectar
2 tbsps coconut oil (or other vegan shortening is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping, you need:
About 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or broken down chunks of chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
a wide dash of vanilla (about a teaspoon)
How to do it:
First, preheat your oven to 350 (F) and grease two 9 inch cake pans with canola or coconut oil. Then, mix together in a bowl all of your dry ingredients for the cake batter—flour, sugar, baking powder, and raspberries. Then add your water, oil, almond milk, and vanilla, and stir until combined. Lastly, add your apple cider vinegar—but make sure your oven is done preheating because your cake pans will need to go directly into the oven after you add it into the batter!
Pour an equal amount into both cake pans and insert immediately into the oven on the bottom rack for 30 minutes. When your cakes are done you should be able to insert a toothpick in the middle and have it come out clean.
In the mean time, throw all your ingredients for the cream cheese filling into a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. The cream cheese icing may have a slightly grainy texture, but this is fine, so long as there aren’t any big chunks of almond left. Scoop into a container and store in the fridge until you are ready to dress your cake. Then, use a small saucepan on low to melt your ingredients for the chocolate topping. Once melted and combined, remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool slightly. You can store this in the fridge as well if your cakes aren’t close to being cool yet, and reheat it slightly if it gets too hard to spread (mine did.)
When your cakes are done, allow them to cool in the pan for about ten minutes, then use a method I call the tap method to remove them from their pans and allow them to cool on a cooling rack; turn the pan upside down and gently tap on the bottom of the pan until the cake gently comes out on to the rack. Allow these to cool for another fifteen minutes before you ice them. Then it’s just a matter of stacking ingredients—cake, cream cheese icing, cake, chocolate frosting topping! Decorate the top however you like—more chocolate chips, raspberries, slivered almond, crushed walnuts—whatever your belly desires.
If you store this cake in the fridge (and you probably should) then the icing may get a little hard on the top, which tastes delicious (like a chocolate shell) but makes it a little hard to cut, so allow to come to room temp before serving. This cake is a decadent treat that would make any special occasion even more special—or maybe it’ll just make an ordinary day a little bit more fancy.
This looks AMAZING.
Sep. 19, 2014
I wouldn’t tell my nine-year-old self anything! I’ve seen Back to the Future enough to know that you don’t mess with time. Nice try, bro.
— Chris Pratt, responding to “What if you could tell your nine-year-old self, “One day, you’ll be starring in a film based on these comics you love?” - Rolling Stone, Issue 1215. (via captainsassmerica
Sep. 19, 2014
Whenever you’re going through a bad day just remember, your track record for getting through bad days, so far, is 100%; and that’s pretty damn good.
Sep. 19, 2014
» Idris Elba // Lucy Liu // Hrithik Roshan // Angel Coulby
While I do love that whoever made this did a good job matching actors to characters, the one issue I have is that Hogwarts is in England and what founded several centuries ago. I’m not saying that there wouldn’t have been blacks or asians in England at the time, but it’s still a historical inaccuracy to depict them as anything other than white Englishmen, since the culture of England at the time wouldn’t have had room for blacks and asians as anything other than slaves or traders.
Please don’t take this as me being racist, this is just me with a debilitating and incurable need for historical accuracy.
So let’s see. The Sorting claims it’s origins about a thousand or so years ago in it’s song, which implies the 1000s. JK Rowling described them as “medieval," which is about 500 to 1500, again agreeing with our 1000 date. So let’s work with that. We’ve got a pretty decent timeline to work with here.
There have been black people in Scotland since “classical times,” and black moors present in James IV’s royal court in the 1500s, plus there’s St. Deiniol in Wales in the 500s, implying black people were also in the religious court instead of all just slaves and servants. Therefore, could a strong and fearless future-Gryffindor have ancestry native to the Isles? Hmmm.
Hannibal of Carthage was definitely not white (at least not in the modern sense). As a matter of fact, many Mediterranean descended people are mixed with Central Asians, South Asians, and North Africans so… But anyway, in 1555, black men were learning to be interpreters in London to help with trading in the Ghanian region. Here’s a coat of arms with black people on it dated 1616. Also, literally how do you not know about Dido Elizabeth Belle, an aristocratic lady of Scotland from the 1700s???
The Romani migrated out what is now modern day India and Pakistan in about the 1000s, so add in that they’re wizards who can fly and all that jazz, they could’ve easily gotten there within a year or two and settled in Scotland once they learned white people weren’t treating them very kindly. There you go, that’s how a South Asian Slytherin made it to Scotland just in time to found Hogwarts.
Here’s desi people of color from the Indian subcontinent, called Lascars, who had been sailing in Europe from as early as the 1400s, possibly earlier, still fitting that there could’ve been wizards in the British Isles about a hundred or so years earlier. Art from the 1600s showing brown men in turbans. Here’s an Indian man who in the 1700s ran a successful restaurant in England and taught white people to shampoo their hair lol.
Japanese emissaries came to Europe as early as 1584 and observed there were already Chinese and Japanese slaves among the overwhelmingly black slaves, something blamed on Christianity, which was part of the reason why Japan vehemently became isolated from that point.
Also about East Asia, Mongolian Genghis Khan made it to about Poland-ish in the 1200s, so it’s not a far bet to say the Chinese (who were also conquered by Khan on his way to Europe) could’ve found their way to Scotland around that time or a few hundred years earlier. Along with a smart cookie who would go on to be the founder of Ravenclaw.
Native Americans, of course, have been present in Europe for a while. In the 1500s, Manteo and Wanchese arrived in London. There’s evidence the Vikings and Indigenous Americans were friendly long before when Columbus blah blah, and there’s even evidence of Native Americans in Holland that’s like 2000 years old. Could a kind and loyal future Hufflepuff be one of those mixed race indigenous American-Africans?
ALSO considering the fact that Binns (the history professor at Hogwarts) specifically stated that witches and wizards were being persecuted and Hogwarts was built out of sight of Muggle eyes, it’s completely possible that POC came to Scotland and built the castle happily for other magical humans to have a safe place. Since HP universe is a fantasy anyway, read these article while you’re at it.
So yeah, I understand your implication that you don’t want to be racist or anything like that (bc being called racist is ofc so much worse than actually being ignorant), but POC were not just traders and slaves in the British Isles, they were a fuckton of other things your history books aren’t telling you (or trying to intentionally steer you away from). So me having an all-brown cast for a location in a dominantly-white place I’m sure is irking the fuck out of you, and that makes me so glad to see you confronted with that “incurable” need for historical accuracy you have.
And check out this rad blog: Racebending Harry Potter.
Sep. 19, 2014
Here’s the dirty little secret about this though: there is no such thing as withholding sex because there is no situation in which you owe another human being sex. Ever. Your body is 100% your own and you get to consent or not consent to other people doing things to or with your body for whatever the hell reason you would like. This includes because you’re pissed off at the person, because they did something you didn’t like, because you just don’t fucking feel like it, because you’re tired, because you don’t feel attractive, because you’d rather read a book…any of the above. And not wanting to have sex with someone because you have negative feelings towards them at a given moment is not in fact punishment. It’s actually a very natural human feeling not to want to be physically intimate with someone when you’re annoyed/angry/hurt/sad with them. Oddly enough letting someone be close to your body when you don’t feel emotionally close to them doesn’t always feel great (if that’s your thing then go for it, but for those who don’t like it then there is no fucking reason to apologize).
But the idea that you can pull some sort of power play in a relationship by not giving the other person something which you don’t owe to them in the first place makes no sense. It would be like telling your partner that you’re going to punish them by not baking them chocolate chip cookies every day: sure, maybe they would like those cookies but in no way are you obligated to bake them cookies anyway, so they should probably be just fine getting along without it. The idea that you should feel as if the only way you can express that you’re angry or upset or unhappy in your relationship is by taking ownership over your body in a way that is so basic it should never have been a question is somewhat disgusting. If your partner has you so convinced that you owe them sex, no wonder you feel a little angry or vindictive towards them.
Sep. 19, 2014
My Mom just accidentally prematurely sent an email to an accounting firm… It was supposed to say ‘I am afraid that we will have to postpone our meeting”
but she hit send when all it said was
I am afraid
Sep. 18, 2014
Look at this sexy beast. The movie tie-in edition is out any day now.