Saturday Delights: Vegan Chocolate Soda and a Day of Food

Today’s run: a nice, slow easy few miles with my favorite guy, Shadow. Shadow does so well for an older dog. He used to be able to run 15 miles with me; I’m proud of him for still wanting to run, and being able to do a few miles. He’s my buddy.

I forgot to mention the most delightful part of Friday Delights yesterday: husband accidentally bought a container of chocolate soymilk instead of regular. We didn’t really want to give it to the girls, because we were fearful that this would turn them into chocolate-soymilk-monsters. Alas, what’s a conscientious parent to do but drink it herself? Heh. I love chocolate soymilk. I’m not much on chocolate in general, but chocolate soymilk is a different story. I think because it is sweet and creamy it is somehow better to me than hard, bitter chocolate.

Right after I had both girls and was nursing every 45 minutes (or so it seemed), I treated myself to chocolate soymilk. A lot of nursing books recommend that new moms drink a lot of milk to help produce milk (that’s basically complete nonsense, but that’s what the books say) so I would use that as an excuse to treat myself to chocolate soymilk. It was for the good of the baby, yes? And since I’m still nursing, I’m really doing it now for my toddler’s health, right? Right. ūüėČ

I discovered a new and delicious way to enjoy chocolate soymilk. I’d heard of chocolate sodas for a while now but have never had one. After a busy morning of running, walking to the library/coffee shop/town square with the girls, and cooking a quick lunch of homemade tortillas with refried beans, I was feeling the need for a little refreshment. I had one (okay, more than one) glass of the chocolate soymilk and realized I needed to slow down my consumption of it. I decided to try a chocolate soda, having never had one and knowing nothing about them. I figured it couldn’t be that hard – chocolate milk + fizzy water. The only fizzy water we had in the house was some lemon Perrier leftover from my sister’s last visit. I decided to give it a shot, although I was skeptical about the combination of chocolate and lemon.

Goodness, was I wrong! It was SO GOOD. I had two before I could stop myself, and I really want another right now. Here’s the ‘recipe’:

approximately equal parts of chocolate soymilk and lemon fizzy water (not sweet), both cold

Pour into a glass. Delight in the resulting foamy cream, and the sweet-but-tangy, creamy-yet-sharp drink. Seriously, this stuff is fabulous. It is sweet but not overly so; the lemon is not overpowering  but is definitely present; the combination of the fizziness and soymilk creates a creamy, rich drink that is far better than the sum of its parts. This stuff was good. I will definitely make it again the next time we buy chocolate soymilk by accident. Or maybe on purpose.

I drank it too quickly to get a picture. Whoops. Guess I’ll just have to make more, right?

Today has been a day of cooking and baking. We are hosting coffee hour tomorrow. I have made: mini cupcakes (chocolate and vanilla), my mother-in-law’s strawberry-almond bars, and chocolate chip cookies. Husband is making homemade salsa and hummus.

Then, for dinner, I made an approximate version of an Ethopian stew from Isa’s blog. Here’s the recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2008/10/ethiopian-spicy-tomato-lentil-stew/¬†I didn’t follow it exactly; I used yellow split peas instead of lentils, skipped the paprika because we didn’t have any, and used zucchini instead of peas because I hate peas. Yes, that’s right, I just used the word ‘hate’ with respect to a vegetable, and I don’t take it back. I hate peas. Yup, I just said it again. So there. Anyways, this was a good recipe and pretty quick. It’s worth making.

We grew to love Ethiopian food when we lived in Grand Rapids, MI (of all places!). There were a few Ethiopian places there, and one in particular – Little Africa, in EastTown – was our favorite. It was¬† total hole-in-the wall, run by one guy who worked when he did; you never knew if the place was going to be open. It happened to be 100% vegan (though not advertised as such) and cheap, cheap, cheap. One time we went with my parents and the entire bill came to 9 bucks for all four of us! Crazy. Plus the food was fantastic. Ethiopian food can be hard to make at home because of all of the spices. I have made berbere before but I don’t tend to keep it on hand.

Upcoming recipes: the afore-mentioned mother-in-law’s strawberry almond bars; maybe a mention of those cupcakes; cranberry-cashew bread.

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