If you asked me three months ago what I would be doing this summer in my spare time, I definitely would not have told you that I would spend the summer cooking.
I’ve never been very fond of cooking–spending hours grueling away in the kitchen only to have everyone devour whatever you’ve lovingly made in a matter of minutes. All this effort, and you’re left with what? A pile of dishes and maybe–if you’re lucky–a zip-lock bag of leftover rice. The ends have never seemed to justify the means. Yes, I know that people have to eat, but a simple salad or soup from a can provides just as many nutrients.
This is what I’ve always thought of cooking–until now. A little over a month ago, I was surfing around on Pinterest and came across this delightful little blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. She enticed me with her 1-Minute Chocolate Cake, and I’ve been hooked ever since. “The Healthy Dessert Blog” has given me recipes for gingerbread lattes, chocolate pumpkin pies, and–my personal favorite–hot chocolate cookies.
Who knew that cooking could be so fun (or delicious)?
The best part about my discovery is that Katie is vegan. Don’t get me wrong; I love steak and fish and scrambled eggs. But I am allergic to milk– throat-swelling, death kind of allergic–and have never tasted certain delicacies that some of my friends deem essential to life: cheese, milk chocolate, ice cream…the list goes on.
Over the years, I’ve been able to slowly expand my diet as I discover dairy-free substitutes for certain foods. It was a very liberating moment a few years ago to eat dark chocolate (thus, milk-free) M&Ms for the first time in my life. I can see why people like them.
I had never tried a milk shake before I sampled Katie’s Vanilla Chai Breakfast Shake, which tastes like a cold version of the chai tea I love so much.
And this morning, the pinnacle of my Chocolate Covered Katie experience: Vegan Whipped Cream. My mom was telling me an unrelated story when I first tasted it. From the look on my face, she thought I’d had an epiphany about her junior-high years. I hadn’t; I had just died and gone to whipped cream heaven.
I can see why people like this stuff.
There have been a few “first tastes” from my adult life that I’ll always remember distinctly: M&Ms when I was 14, cheese (the soy version) on my 16th birthday, dark chocolate Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and yogurt (dairy-free) my first year of college. Coconut Whipped Cream will definitely be one of those moments.
Mmm. I’m still reveling in it.