Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes: An Homage to a Blue Ribbon Original

October 23, 2014 in Dairy-Free, Desserts, Vegan Recipes

Raw Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes, and a moment of gratitude for the cheesecake recipe that started it all for Donna and Anne.

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes: vegan, raw and no refined sugar either.

The first page in my battered and spattered recipe binder is a printout of an email sent to me fifteen years ago, kept safe from the ravages of my cooking habits by a plastic sleeve.

“Hey, we wouldn’t be a family unless we exchanged recipes now and then, would we? So, here’s the cheesecake recipe I was telling you about. It’s pretty good, and I have the ribbon to prove it (somewhere in my attic, okay, trust me!). I have changed the recipe a lot over the years to improve it, and so I feel justified in giving it my name!”

The days are long, the years are short, as the parenting saying goes. It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since Donna and I first reunited, but the calendars don’t lie – it was in October of 1999 that I was lucky enough to have a reunion that many adopted children only daydream about. After months of anticipatory email, we met face to face in the San Diego airport, only two years before routinely meeting people at the gate would become a thing of the past. My stomach felt positively carbonated as she emerged from the runway. I watched her looking around for just a moment, searching, and then our eyes met and the moment truly arrived. The mother and child reunion really was only a motion away.

Since that first whirlwind San Diego weekend, we have had one adventure after another, slowly integrating each other into our lives, getting to know each other through out Hotmail accounts, introducing one another to our friends and families, traveling together, sharing holidays, and yes, cooking and eating and cooking some more, making up for at least a little of our lost time. Discovering that we had this passion in common was a revelation; in fact, we inspired each other to delve more deeply into culinary creativity than we ever had individually.  Our collaborations eventually moved on to cookbooks, CIA Boot Camp, and finally this very blog – yet I still look forward to the visits where we whip up a feast for our loved ones, just for the sheer joy of it.

When I made that emailed Blue Ribbon Cheesecake for the first time, I felt as though I was tapping into a tangible part of my own ancestral history, but even beyond that, it was like being able to have a hazy glimpse into an alternate universe where my mom (not my birthmom, but simply my mom) taught me to make it herself, in our kitchen, me licking the beaters, all the clichés that go with halcyon kitchen memories. What would that have been like? But despite occasionally wondering about that universe, I’m deeply grateful to have what we have now.

In honor of the recipe that started it all, I made a “daughter” version of her “mother” recipe, using raw ingredients to make an adaptation that lines up with the way I eat most of the time now, having undergone some valuable dietary changes over the last decade. I already love experimenting with raw/vegan/paleo desserts, but if you’ve never given them a shot, they’re well worth it and, as you can see, really quite simple.

Happy Reunion Anniversary to my first mom. May we spend many, MANY more hours in the kitchen together!

Love and eternal gratitude,

Anne

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Announcing our latest collaboration: Virgin Vegan: Everyday Recipes for Satisfying your Appetite

February 25, 2013 in Desserts, Vegan Recipes

 

Chocolate Decadence Cheesefake from our brand new cookbook!

We have an exciting announcement: our SECOND cookbook is about to come out!

Yes, as we’ve been merrily posting away as per usual, we were also working on another collaboration behind the scenes. Because we both enjoy quite a bit of vegan cooking in the context of our non-vegan lives, we were selected by Gibbs Smith (publisher of “101 Things To Do With Tofu”) to contribute to their new Virgin Vegan series, designed for people new to vegan eating and cooking. Ours is titled “Virgin Vegan: Everyday Recipes for Satisfying Your Appetite”, and will be officially released on March 1st (though you can of course pre-order it now).

CHECK IT OUT:

 

So to celebrate, we’re going to share a different recipe from our new baby every day this week – and at the end of the week, we’ll give away FIVE COPIES. You can enter each and every day, and we’ll tally up ALL the entries from all 5 posts to select our five winners via Random.org. Like so:

1. Any single comment counts as an entry all on its own (one per post)
2. Share that day’s recipe post on Facebook
3. Pin it on Pinterest
4. And of course, Tweet it.

You know, the usual. When you post, please make sure you’re using a valid email address so we can get in touch with you for shipping info.

On to the sample recipe!

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