If there are two things that can improve all Mondays, it's funny cats and dessert. Probably not together, but definitely adjacent.
So, this is how my day has been going so far:
Everyone, meet my cat Bradbury. This is how he wakes me up every morning:
So by the time I get to work, this is usually the look I am giving to the world (or, at least, to LA traffic in general):
So here I am at work. 5:00 in the afternoon, two or three hours of work to go, blithely avoiding reading scripts, writing submissions, changing over the terribly kept database of client work into an easy to use and organized system, and trying to sift through 25,000 emails left by the previous disorganized coordinator (no, that number is NOT an exaggeration. At all). Instead, however, I'm daydreaming about dessert from last night.
In other words, I'm having a Monday.
It's not a bad Monday, don't get me wrong, but I seriously cannot keep my mind on television these days (I know that must sound so odd). I really can't care less about the pilots for next season, although I'd love for some of our clients to staff, but to be honest...
They mostly suck. Especially the comedies. WTF is wrong with comedy writers? I know a lot of them. They're seriously funny people. So why do networks keep buying unfunny crap from people like Chuck Lorre?! For the love of GOD, someone, ANYONE, please break away from the proven, shlocky, tired old brand, and get something NEW on the air. Networks, you're doing it wrong. Cable: you are doing it marginally better (unless you're AMC or HBO, then you're doing it so, SO right).
This is generally when I feel like this:
I cannot wait until staffing seasons ends after Memorial Day. Then Hollywood will go on vacation until production starts the third week of June (I kind of have to love an industry that operates much in the same way as the school year).
Annnnnnd then my brain comes back to food, glorious food. Or, more specifically, this dessert from last night:
Oh. Em. GEE.
This is fresh apple and berry crisp with banana ice cream. Can you say indulgence? Because, WOW.
Oh, but wait. It's VEGAN.
Wait, what? Seriously?!
Let me explain how this delicious witchcraft came to be:
Every Sunday is family dinner at my parents' house. Since my parents, my brother, my husband and I all live in the same town, we get together more often than not (or, as my mom puts it, "Well, it's Sunday and we're eating anyway. Come if you'd like and we'll feed you.") And while I appreciate my parents' devotion to making sure their (nearly) 32 year old daughter, her 35 year old husband, and their 35 year old son are eating, they show a surprising lack of understanding or empathy about my current food situation. Ah well, such is life.
I'd be irritated by it, but then I remember that *I* don't have a huge amount of understanding or empathy about my eating situation either. Honestly, it pisses me off more often than not. It often feels arbitrary and random, it takes almost slavish and fanatical devotion to control, and a towering amount of energy to stay on top of the amount of research and study to keep my nutrition & health in check. It's exhausting. So, I can't really get upset that they're not thinking about the myriad nutrition concerns I have when they plan a meal.
I came up with my own way of dealing with it: winning them over with food so good, they can't HELP but want vegan. It's an insane plan, but I'm willing to roll with it. Especially after I came up with the apple berry crisp and banana ice cream.
It's easy, it's delicious, it's VEGAN! Here's the recipe - go nuts and send me pictures!
APPLE BERRY CRISP WITH BANANA ICE CREAM
For the fruit filling:
3 baking apples (like Fuji or Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and diced
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbsp whole wheat flour (or rice flour, for gluten free)
1 tsp each brown and white sugar
squeeze of lemon
For the crisp
1 heaping cup rolled oats (buy gluten free oats for those with allergies)
1 tbsp whole wheat flour (or rice flour, for gluten free)
2 tbsp vegan spread (I'm a big fan of Earth Balance's coconut spread for desserts)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp honey (yeah, I know, I know - but I love honey too much to cut it out!)
For the banana ice cream
4 large bananas, just ripe
1 tbsp vanilla
1 food processor
The night before:
Peel bananas, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
When you're ready to unleash deliciosity:
Preheat the oven to 325º
Peel, core and dice your apples. Rinse and drain your berries. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the apples, berries, and raisins with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Sprinkle the wheat (or rice) flour and sugar over the fruit mixture and toss to coat. Slide into a 9x9 square or 9" round baking pan.
Dry off the bowl (or use another bowl if you're the kind of lucky person who has someone or something to wash your dishes), and dump in the oats, flour, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Give them a stir until thoroughly combined, then add the spread. Mash the spread and oat/flour/sugar mixture with a fork until it begins to form crumbles. Pour over the berry mixture.
Bake in a 325º oven for 25 minutes. Turn the oven to 350º, open the door and drizzle the honey on top. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Turn off the oven, but let the crumble stay in the warm oven to stay toasty and gooey until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, remove the bananas from the freezer and use a seriously sharp knife to chunk them up before dropping them (ONE AT A TIME - I learned this the HARD way) into the food processor while on high. It's going to shimmy, shake, and probably make a lot of noise, but hey lady, you just put frozen bananas in there. STAY CALM AND PROCESS ON. It'll take about five minutes, but the bananas will break down into something resembling the creamiest, best soft serve you can ever remember having. Drizzle in the vanilla and beat for a further 30 seconds. Using a spatula (because you don't want to lose even an atom of this treat!), spoon the banana ice cream into a sealable container and pop it back into the freezer until just ready to serve. You can scoop it just like regular ice cream.
I got 5 good sized portions out of the crumble (about 2/3 cup each) and 8 servings of the ice cream (about 1/3 cup each).
Sorry, but I have not had a chance to do the nutritional breakdown yet - I will post as soon as I can get it into Spark Recipes!