First off, I made some amazing vegan salted caramel ice cream with roasted cashews yesterday, That I am calling, Caramel By the Sea Ice cream. I wanted something that I could eat this week, that was cold, soft, and had substantial good fats/calories. And I love testing out new recipes for Ice cream. I still need to adjust a few things (the final recipe will be in my future cookbook ) But for now here is what I came up with.
*If you want to view any of my recipes, simple go to the recipe section underneath the title of the blog, and you will find a link listed to a page that has only the recipe on it.
Caramel By The Sea Ice Cream (Makes about 1 1/2 quarts or 6 cups)
|Coconut milk, full fat||4.5 C|
|Arrow Root||4.5 T|
|Granualted Sugar||1 1/8 C|
|Agave||1/4 and 1/8 C|
|Roasted Cashews, Chopped||1 C|
*You will need a candy thermometer or digital thermometer.
Add the sugar and agave into a heavy bottom pot, about medium size. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, only until the sugar is dissolved, so it doesn’t crystalize. Meanwhile, bring the coconut milk, vanilla and salt to a boil, and turn down the heat. You want to warm it, so when it is poured into the hot sugar it won’t seize up. The sugar should be cooked until 165C , or 329F. Once it’s cooked, turn off the heat and let it settle for a moment. Then take the coconut milk mixture and pour it in slowly with one hand, and with the other(It’s a good idea to have an oven mitt on this hand) whisk in the mixture, making sure all the sides are scraped and not sugar is remaining.
Once it is all in the pot, and mixed, add the arrow root. It will be clumpy so you can either immersion blend it(a kitchen tool I highly recommend for soups, salad dressings, ice cream bases)or mix it with a regular blender till smooth and return it to the pot. Turn the heat on medium heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Pour what you can fit into a glass measuring cup(it will be easier to pour into the ice cream maker) and the rest in an refrigerator safe container. Chill for at least 3-4 hours.
Once it is properly chilled, process the ice cream based on the manufacturers instructions. It may take 1 1/2 times to process this, but the ice cream base will be fine in the refrigerator for a few days, while the ice cream insert freezes again. If you want to make less, just simply halve the recipe.
Lastly, Once the ice cream has fully churned, sprinkle on the cashews, and hand stir them in. Place into freezer safe containers and allow to chill for at least 4-6 hours, but you can always eat a few bites soft serve style right out of the ice cream maker. You have to make sure it’s good right?
As for the other things going on…
Day 22-2nd Chemo treatment. Only 4 more to go.
Who really knows what to expect this time around. It could go three ways: Better, the same, or worse. I’m hoping for one of the first two. But the only thing I can really control through all of this is my attitude, so as I have been doing this whole journey, I’m remaining positive and hopeful, but at the same time, preparing for the worst case scenario. The good news is, my mom is here again(Thankfully) and the doctors and nurses, know how I reacted last time so we are better prepared for this go around. We kinda just expect me to not be so good for a few days, and feeling better after that, probably by late Friday/Saturday. I like to give the analogy of feeling like a zombie, as it is Halloween appropriate, and zombies are all the craze. As soon as the chemo drugs enter my body, a fog comes over me. One of the drugs immediately gives me a sinus type headache, which is manageable with some tylenol, but there isn’t anything to fix that fog. Or the feeling of being separate from my body. I’m in no way complaining, I just thought it would be enlightening to know what kinds of things happen during chemo treatments. My sweet leaf tea bottle cap just said “Give it all you got” and that’s what I’m doing.
We went to hoppdoddy’s (an amazing burger place) last night because it was on my list of things to do before my next chemo. I had a great burger, veggie of course, that I managed to get all over the place, my face, shirt and jeans, but it kept Mom and Charles entertained. And it satisfied my veggie burger cravings. This is Charlie and I with shaved heads, he is so sweet to do that for me. Mine hasn’t completely fallen out yet, but it is patchy. And what some people don’t realize is, is that ALL of your hair on your body falls off, not just your head. Some chemos, not all, damage hair follicles, so that is why they fall out. For most it is temporary, but not for all. There is a possibility of some of my hair not growing back, eye brows, eyelashes, etc. and when hair does grow back, it could change texture and color. Even some experience grey hair because the pigment takes a while to adjust. The plus side is, is that I won’t have to shave for probably 6 months. My eyebrows and eye lashes will probably fall out too, but I’m planning on purchasing some on Amazon, and maybe a few pairs of fun halloween ones too, when I need a good laugh and don’t mind feeling like a goof with a uni-brow, or some wacky orange, thick brows.
I so much enjoyed this past week of feeling good, and more normal. I was able to run a few errands, and eat at some of my favorite places and enjoy the company of some wonderful people. I made this cake the other night in celebration of halloween, with vegan chocolate ganache, buttercream and my vegan chocolate cake.
On my adventures this past week, I realized that some interesting things happen when you are a young woman and don’t have any hair. Personally, there were a few moments that I got choked up about it, mainly before, but once we shaved it even shorter, and now that it’s patchy, I really don’t care. It is what it is, and I’m completely okay with it! I’m still my normal self, with the exception of my zombie days or daze. I feel empowered and confident not having hair. Some people definitely look at me funny sometimes, but I just brush it off because maybe they just don’t know and I’m not gonna let one person ruin my day, especially if I’ll never see them again.
One lady in Whole foods was standing in line with me, and turned around to compliment me on my hair, and told me that I was really feminine so I could pull it off. I told her a little blush and earrings can make you feel more like a lady, but thanked her for her sweet comment. We chatted for a little bit, but she was a wonderful lady and it made my day. Now yesterday at Whole Foods, this younger girl(the cashier) asked me why I shaved my head. I don’t really know what she expected me to say. “I just felt like a change”. I’m not Britney Spears going through some identity crisis. I told her I was going through treatment, and then she proceeded to ask me what kind of cancer I had. I thought she was going to ask about the staging, and everything else too, like we go way back. She didn’t , but I just find it interesting and amusing how people are sometimes uncomfortable with things they normally don’t see. And when Charles is with me, no one ever says anything. All and all, This has been an incredible learning experience that has helped me gain more confidence and strength, and to better understand how people are. I continue to be thankful for what I have and appreciate everything and everyone in my life.
On a lighter note, Charles decided to try my wig on the other night, and it cracked me up! We thought he looked like Johnny Depp in the movie “Blow”, hence the shades.
This is my chemo outfit for the day. Comfy, casual, but still cute. Charles got this shirt made for me, Here is a close up. It reads “It’s not a port, It’s an arch light reactor”. For all you non-comic book/movie lovin’ nerds, It is a reference to Iron Man. Tony Stark has an arc light reactor that is saving his heart from shrapnel(slivers of metal) that would otherwise destroy him. It is a fictional thing, but we thought that my port is what is saving my life, and it is implanted in my chest as well. Just call me Tanya Stark.
So as I come up with ideas for my cookbook, I would love to hear about some of your favorite holiday foods that I can make into a vegan recipe! Please post comments and help give me some inspiration for my cookbook, I would greatly appreciate it!
And I leave you with yet another Frank picture. Frank has an addiction to shadows, and created his own game of catching them. My necklace was catching some sun and sparkling the other day while I was capturing some pictures.(That’s what those little specs are on the carpet) And Frank was playing Wack-A-Mole in my craft room.
Ta Ta for now…