Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pie

I live in Louisville, Kentucky, which is home to the original Derby Pie, a rich tart-like pie with walnuts, chocolate chips and, of course, bourbon. As you might expect, in its original form, it’s not vegan at all.

While reading the latest issue of VegNews, my husband came across a recipe for a Chocolate Bourbon Pie from Chef Chloe Coscarelli. It’s a veganized version of the trademarked classic. I left the house to go to yoga and came back to smell this pie baking in the oven. I love my husband very much.

He said the pie came together easily, especially with the help of a ready-made piecrust. It bakes for a total of 55 minutes, but, thankfully, you don’t have to wait for it to cool to eat it; it’s best served warm.

Banana Pudding with a Twist

Banana Pudding

I had a hankerin’ over the weekend for banana pudding and was excited to find a recipe in “Vegan Pie In The Sky.” I had most of the ingredients on hand already (a well-stocked pantry always helps). The problem? I could not find vegan vanilla wafer cookies at the supermarket up the street, and I didn’t want to have to drive across town to find some. But just as I was about to give up on my craving, my husband picked up a bag of ginger snaps that happened to be vegan. “What about these?” he said. I wasn’t sure how well the ginger would go with the bananas, but I thought, “Sure, why not?”

After all was said and done (and by “done,” I mean we finished off the entire 9 x 13 pan in less than two days), I have to say that ginger snaps may be my new, go-to banana pudding cookie. I was worried the cookies would be too hard for the dessert, but they soften just enough in the pudding and the crumbled cookies on top added just the right amount of crunch for texture. As for the rest of the recipe, it was extremely easy to put together and sets up fairly quickly (I really didn’t want to have to wait overnight to indulge my sweet tooth).

And, of course, while walking back from the grocery store, my husband and I couldn’t help but reference this sketch from “The State” (I think I’m showing my age here):

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart

Our downstairs neighbors and friends have a Thanksgiving potluck every year, which is always a lot of fun. This year, I decided to bring my family’s Sweet Potato Balls in vegan form, which are practically a dessert. I also decided to bring this Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from “Vegan Pie In The Sky.” The tart is incredibly easy to make; you just need to allow a few hours to make the crust and then let the whole thing set up in the fridge. The authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, warn in the recipe’s introduction that the tart is extremely rich, and, man, they weren’t joking. Granted I was really full from dinner, but I could not finish my slice even though it was really, really delicious.

Also, on a side note, because of family obligations, we’ve decided to have our vegan Thanksgiving feast on Friday, but I will post pictures from the meal soon after. I hope you all are well!

Strawberry Loaf Cake

We’ve been getting regular deliveries of strawberries in our CSA, which has been a nice surprise. I honestly didn’t expect to get any fruit in any of our produce boxes. The past few weeks, I’ve just been slicing the strawberries on top of pancakes or just eating them whole. But this past week, I wanted to incorporate the strawberries into a recipe and decided to use a strawberry cake recipe from “The Joy of Vegan Baking” that was ridiculously easy.

My cake batter looked a bit dry after I mixed all of the ingredients together, so I splashed in some almond milk to moisten it a bit. Also, I opted to bake the cake in a loaf pan rather than as cupcakes and to forgo the icing. The result was a mix between a cake and a quick bread that is perfect for dessert or breakfast.

Strawberry Loaf Cake (adapted from “The Joy of Vegan Baking”)

Makes one, 9-inch loaf


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or a little less if your batter is moist
8 ounces fresh, ripe strawberries, crushed with the back of a fork
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan with cooking spray.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together all of the wet ingredients, including the crushed strawberries, in a separate bowl. Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir just to combine. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center comes clean.