Sugar Plum Vegan

Sweetly Humane musings from a vegan bakeress

Enter the Dragon. January 14, 2012

Filed under: blessings,musings,vegan — Jivana @ 7:05 am

Breathe…  Slow Down….  Listen…  My mantra for 2012.

Three things I have not been doing for awhile–the listening probably longer than the rest since I seem to have a problem doing that; but hey I’m working on it. Anyway, its been two years since I last posted. I’ve had no time to muse and that does not make for a complete vegan bakeress.  Honestly, I haven’t felt whole in a while; just overworked and tired.  And let me just tell you that opening a cafe on my own with little money and a small child to raise alone wasn’t one of my better ideas.  I’ve got battle scars both on my arms and in my heart from Sugar Plum.  I seem to have this love/hate relationship with my cafe like a boy you just can’t get rid of because you love him so much, but he just continuously knocks you down and makes you cry.”He’s the one,” I say.  “This is my path…”   Am I a glutton for punishment?  Can I not even have a stable and healthy relationship with the cafe I created?  My abused little girl self would think so. As strong as I am that wavering hurt child inside can really take over if you let it–and she’s been for the past two years. I’ve made poor decisions, trusted the wrong people and brought myself to the point where I teeter-totter every month on whether to keep the place open. It has to stop!

I was born the year of the Dragon–the Lunar year we are about to enter and I can already feel its effects. My energy feels different, more calm and open. I see that as much passion as I have it hasn’t been used wisely. My fire inside has been burning me, but purifying me at the same time. Getting me ready for this moment.

Breathe….
Closing my eyes and focusing on my inhale and exhale.  Releasing the fear, pain, frustration inside.  Taking in love, patience and more love.

Slow Down…..
I am not a machine.  I need a break.  I deserve a break.  Don’t want to miss the beauty of my son as he grows and learns.  Ready to savor and truly enjoy the  amazing love I found.

Listen…..
Strength is building and I am nurturing my creative side rather than just pushing it to its limits.  I’ve recognized my weaknesses and have asked for help. I need help.  I will listen. Not just to those around me that I know I can trust but to the universe as it whispers sweet nothings in my ear about abundance.

I can not continue to let the past rule me.  It’s time to embrace the goddess that lives inside itching to escape and release her shakti energy. My dragon is rising like the Kundalini serpent we all hold inside. I am the only person that can heal myself.  I feel it.  It makes me smile.

I’ve vowed to do no harm to all earthlings, including myself.

Join me.

 

 

sugar plum vegan cafe update December 30, 2009

Filed under: baking,blessings,musings,vegan — Jivana @ 2:10 pm
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Well I got the keys for the Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe on December 1st and honestly it’s been a slow month for progress due to the personal problems I have been having.

I am in the midst of a beak up with my partner and it has taken up a lot of my time along with maintaining the wholesale accounts I have.  It has not been an easy month but I am finding the power and strength within myself to continue on in this venture.  And know that it is not alone.  I have found some amazing helpers these past few weeks and have had so much support from family, friends and those invested in the cafe.  Thank you all as well as my current accounts that have endure some changes due to all of this.  And I also apologize to those who may have missed out on getting some SPV goodies due to my scatter brain these past few weeks.  I have taken on many roles: mother and father, baker, marketer, accountant, business owner and more and some things may have fallen through the cracks.

I have dedicated 2010 to be the year of the vegan.  So many good things are going to happen to our community both locally and nationally.  This is not a trend folks, this is a lifestyle that stands for all things good in this world.  Our heart, minds and hands are pure and free from the blood of another being.  And as we enter this new decade, others will come to see that our way of living is the only way we are going to be able to endure without killing our Mother Earth.  Let 2010 and beyond be an awakening to all of us that life is sacred and beautiful.  Cherish it and those around you.

I am not much of a resolution person but I will try my hardest to post to this blog on a regular basis.  Whether it be a journal entry, update, recipe, review, I will get something up here at least once a week. I encourage you all to follow my blog, comment and let me know what you think.

Bright Blessings to all of you for 2010.

Melissa Sugar

And in case you don’t know where the cafe will be:

Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe

2315 K Street, Sacramento, Ca 95816

Call me for orders or to chat at: 916-706-8100

 

Holiday Menu 2008 November 5, 2008

We have listed our Holiday Menu below.

Please call to order.  Wholesale inquires contact us for pricing 916-706-8101.

Blessings!!

Winter Holiday Menu

All items are wheat, dairy, casein, egg and animal free (gluten free where noted)

Traditional Pumpkin Pie $14

Custardy and Delicious with a Spelt Crust or Crustless for Gluten Free

Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Pie $14
Exotic Spices make this Delectable with a Spelt Crust or Crustless for Gluten Free

Double Crust Apple Pie $18
Local Apples piled high in a Spelt Crust

Pumpkin Cheezecake 9-inch $24 4-inch $7.50
Vegan Cream Cheese/Tofu/Agave Filling With a Gluten Free Cinnamon Pecan Crust

Orange Scented Chocolate Mousse Pie $16

Chocolate Agave Mousse with Gran Marnier and Local Oranges in a Spelt Crust or Gluten Free Curst

Jelly Donut Cupcakes $2.50 each

A Hanukkah Favorite in a Cupcake

Gluten Free Vanilla or Chocolate Cupcakes $2.75 each

With choice of Cream Cheez, Vanilla or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Raspberry Walnut Rugelach $1.90 each

A Traditional Jewish Recipe Veganized

Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Agave Macaroons $1.50 each

Delicate Haystacks kissed with the Food of the Gods

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Sandwich Cookies $2.75 each

with Cinnamon Spice Cream Filling

Gluten Free Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins $2.50

Moist, Delicious and Perfect Anytime

Sweet Potato Layer Cake 9 inch–$32 6 inch –$22

With Candied Walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting-A Kwanzaa Delight

Assorted Cookie & Bar Platters Available

Contact our Sales Manager for More Information

Sugar Plum Vegan Sweetly Humane™

Call Khy’em To Order: 706-8101


 

Daring Bakers Challenge: Gluten Free Vegan Lavash September 28, 2008

Filed under: baking,gluten free,vegan — Jivana @ 1:16 am
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A first in Daring Bakers history: every post from this group will be vegan!  Victory for us Alternative Daring Bakers thanks to this month’s hosts Natalie from Gluten A Go Go and Shelly from Musing From the Fish Bowl.  We were give a vegan lavash recipe that could also be made gluten free.  Lavash is a crisp flatbread that goes excellent with dip and part of our challenge was to make a vegan dip to accompany this delightful cracker.

I made gluten free lavash as well using a blend of sorghum and brown rice flours along with tapioca and potato starches and a touch of xanthan gum to bind it all together.  I sprinkled poppy and sesame seeds, Hungarian paprika and dried oregano, thyme and basil from our garden on top of the crackers.  Our house smelled heavenly while the lavash cooked and we could not wait to try them.

For the dip I used white beans and house made sundried tomatoes that were reconstitued in warm water.  I added a little lemon juice, roasted garlic cloves, olive oil and cumin.  I sprinkled the dip with coarse sea salt, lemon zest and dill.  It was a great accompaniment to the lavash and me and Sugar Plum Vegan Man gobbled it up in a matter of minutes.

I really hoped all of the Daring Bakers out there enjoyed baking vegan and will do it again some day soon.

 

The Perfect Balance-Kyanite and Moonstone September 11, 2008

Filed under: vegan — Jivana @ 7:38 pm
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My harmonious balance of Kyanite and Moonstone

My harmonious balance Kyanite and Moonstone

I have had a moonstone pendant for as long as I can remember.  I bought it while in college in Boston but at that time I did not know the healing properties it would bring me.  I just thought it was pretty and I would put it on every once in a while when it matched an outfit I was wearing.

Years have passed and my man found it in my jewelry box and insisted that I start wearing it again. He says it would help balance me and my emotions.  I had just had Jasper, our son, and was feeling a bit “crazy” I guess you could say.  My emotions were overwhelming me and I didn’t know which way was up.  This period was very trying on our relationship and the outcome did not look good.

I had already started taking “happy pills” as we call them.  They are a natural blend of St. John’s Wart, Kava Kava, Passionflower, Schizandra Berry, Siberian Ginseng and Wild Oats.  The pill did help but I felt like there was something missing so I happily agreed to wear the moonstone on a regular basis.

Minutes after I put the pendant on I did feel a slight shift of calmness overtaking me.  It was like a light went on inside me that softened all my feelings of stress and anxiety.  I felt less overwhelmed and depressed.  I felt like the fire had lit inside me again and I was shining.

But if I skipped a happy pill, I was pulled back into the darkness.  It saddened me to think I could only function with my ultra does of mood balancing herbs.  The moonstone just seemed to be one ingredient to my well being and without the rest it did not make me a happy cupcake.

So I stuck with this combination until one day my man gave me a Kyanite pendant and that is when everything changed…

Kyanite is a gemstone that does not accumulate negative energies, and it therefore never need to be cleansed or cleared.  As the energy of kyanite is all but unlimited, it is said to be one of the best gemstones for use as an atonement stone.  And that is exactly what I need right now to find my inner peace!

Ever since I put the kyanite on along with the moonstone I have felt an amazing transformation.  I feel more at peace and I find myself to be able to express my self in a positive way.  I have also found that it has helped with my meditation.  I have been able to clear my mind and meditate on my mantra much easier than before.  And the dreams I have been having are intese, vibrant and releasing a lot of my hidden feelings and emotions.

And guess what?  No more happy pills!!  As wonderful and natural as they are, I had a problem with taking them.  Now I am feeling the energy of the world so intensely but not holding on to any negative vibes.  Some call kyanite a shield.  I would tend to agree.

I encourage everyone to get kyanite and moonstone.  Where them as jewerly or just hold the stones in your hand for a bit to feel their energies.  It will change you.

Light and love to you!

 

Daring Bakers Challenge–Eclair–Making it Vegan August 31, 2008

A vegan puff--gooey and delicious

A vegan puff--gooey and delicious

This is my second Daring Bakers challenge and boy what a challenge it was this month for a vegan! The recipe was from a cookbook written by Dorie Greenspan: Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme.

Pierre Herme is a world-renowned French pastry chef who Vogue called, “The Picasso of Pastry”. His website demonstrates his beautiful creations that can be found in at his jewel box pastry shop in France.

We were given his eclair recipe to replicate. I’ve made eclairs before in my past non-vegan life and they are quite delightful to make and eat. Pate a choux is the dough that is used to make this puffy babies. One of the key ingredients is the eggs to help them rise. I thought about this for some time and tried to figure out how this was going to work for a vegan. I surfed the web to find any inspiration for this recipe and found a lot of chefs saying it’s just not possible. Well, I did not want to give up so I daring took this challenge on not sure of my success.

Eclair and a Cream Puff--Twice as nice!

Eclair and a Cream Puff--Twice as nice!

So I used Ener-G Egg Replace and whipped the heck out of it with my mixer. My pate a choux did not turn out as puffy as it should be but I kind of expected that. I filled them with a coconut pastry cream and dipped them in a delicious dark vegan chocolate ganache and drizzle some homemade white chocolate on the tops.

Homemade White Chocolate is so yummy!

Homemade White Chocolate is so yummy!

If I had more time in my life I would spend hours and hours perfecting the recipe but I have to run a business and be a mom.   Maybe when I retire and Sugar Plum Vegan is so successful that I have other people doing my job for me I will tackle the vegan eclair again.  Until them I am satisfied with my outcome, they are good enough for me to eat and sometimes that’s just all you need.

 

Gluten Free Vegan Latkes! August 14, 2008

Filed under: gluten free,vegan — Jivana @ 5:48 pm
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Are you excited?  You will be once you try these!  My man grew up Jewish and latkes were a big part of their family during the holidays.  Once becoming a vegan, he stopped eating them because of the eggs in the recipe.  Since moving to Sacramento, I have embraced his Jewish side and have undertaken the fine art of vegan Jewish cooking.  Our favorite item to eat any time of the year is latkes.  We are crazy about potatoes and latkes bring out the yummy flavor of them.  I started out veganizing them by using spelt as the flour but then I moved on to making them gluten free due to his allergy to gluten.

I chose garbanzo bean flour for this recipe because I think it pairs nicely with the other flavors and gives it a Mediterranean aspect and delicious flavor.  Besides, every body loves ‘banzos, right?  Just kidding.  If you can’t find it, use brown rice flour to keep it gluten free or spelt to just make it wheat free.

We go for the traditional sour cream and apple sauce method of enjoying our latkes.  For the sour cream, we absolutely love the vegan sour cream by Follow Your Heart – it tastes just like the real thing when you add a latke and a little apple sauce.  You can also add a little bit of hot sauce if you like it spicy.

If you can make it to the farmer’s market, get some fresh zucchini and carrots – I’ve also added them to the original latke repertoire which makes them subtly delicious.   Our whole family has given Huge Mazel Tov’s on this recipe and I hope you will enjoy it too.

Gluten Free Latkes

6 starchy white potatoes, peeled if you don’t like the skins

1 medium onion (we like the sweet red ones)

1 large or 2 smaller zucchini

2 carrots, peeled

½ tsp sea salt, or to taste

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup of organic non-GMO corn starch or potato starch

1 ½ -2 cups Garbanzo bean flour

Safflower oil or your favorite oil for frying

If using a food processor:
Use the grating blade to shred the potatoes, onion, zucchini and carrots.

If shredding by hand, use a grater to shred all the potatoes, zucchini and carrots. Dice the onion as finely as possible.

Put all vegetables in a large mixing bowl and blend.Add the starch of your choice and mix.Allow it to dissolve for a couple minutes and get sticky from the moisture of the potatoes.

Add the salt, pepper and flour combining well.The mixture should get sticky and be able to hold together and form well.Use more or less flour to get to this consistency.Let mixture sit while heating up the oil.

In a non-stick skillet, add the oil for frying and heat on medium-high heat.Do not let the oil smoke—it too hot!Turn me down!You want to have a good amount of oil in your pan because these babies love to suck up the oil and get crispy good.

While the oil is heating up, set your oven to warm to keep the latkes warm until you’re ready to serve.Also have a plate with paper towels ready to soak up their oil when you first bring them out of the pan.

When the oil is hot and ready, take a large cookie scooper and scoop the latke mixture into the pan and press them flat with a spatula.If you don’t have a scooper, just use your wet hands and roll into medium balls and flatten with spatula.Fry the latkes on one side for about 4-5 minutes, or until they are golden brow.Flip and fry for another 4 minutes.We like ours a bit crispy here so reduce the frying time by a minute if you want them less crisp.

Transfer to the paper towel plate and to dry and them place in warm oven on baking sheet.Continue the process until you’re out of mixture. Munch on a latke while completing, it takes some time.

Serve warm with applesauce and our favorite Follow Your Heart Sour Cream, which we tossed some fresh parsley and chives into.