Friday, September 9, 2011

"Sweet" News!

Even though I'm normally a chocolate (or creamy, as in cheesecake) girl when it comes to desserts, I've been craving fruit desserts all summer. We've been making the most of the plentiful supply of organic strawberries at Whole Foods lately and enjoying our favorite new dessert: Fresh Strawberry Pie from Vegalicious.

I like this recipe (which we've made many times) because it is a no-bake pie. (You fill the pie with fresh berries and cover it with a sauce of cooked strawberries, cornstarch, sugar, and water.) Half of the strawberries remain uncooked, so I feel like I'm eating a healthier pie. Also, I always cut the sugar in half (at least), and it tastes great without so much. (I've even tried adding strawberry fruit spread with just a little sugar, and that works, too.) Our only trouble with this pie is being impatient by cutting it too soon (which doesn't affect the taste). If you let it sit in the fridge many hours or overnight, it will form up very well.

We enjoyed some blueberry picking this summer at a local pesticide-free patch...

...and some of those berries ended up in these pies. (The strawberry portion is for my 6 year old who doesn't love blueberries in every capacity.)

That pie turned into this.

And blueberries sometimes find their way into our Vegalicious strawberry pies, too.

strawberry shortcake, using broken up pieces of pie crust and Soyatoo

I actually did a Strawberry Shortcake-themed unit (for homeschooling) with the kids this summer. We cooked and enjoyed as many strawberry recipes as possible like...

...strawberry muffins.

I also made a cherry pie recently (served with almond icecream). I'm tellin' ya; we're a little fruity lately.

Of course, that doesn't mean I've entirely given up my first love: chocolate. I discovered Sarah Kramer's Nanaimo Bars on Shenandoah Vegan's blog. These are insane. As in ridiculously tasty and so rich we couldn't eat more than a few bites at a time. I think next time I'll make the middle layer a little thinner because we're not used to so much sugar. My 6 year old had no problem eating more than a few bites at a time, though. He can't wait until I make these again.

And, for my other "sweet" news...

No, it's not from eating too many desserts! We're expecting #4 in January. My uterus and stomach wasted no time in popping out this time, and I've looked pregnant pretty much since I found out the news. I'm about 22 weeks right now; this picture was taken several weeks ago. And we have already found's a...

BABY BOY!!! To surprise the kids with the news, Ryan took them into the other room while I set the table with the balloons, blue plates & napkins, and the ultrasound pictures. (The kids were verrrrry amused with the pics of the you-know-what. With 3 guys, soon to be 4 guys, in my house, this is obviously a frequent topic of conversation in our family.)

Our celebration meal: tater tots & veggie burgers with all the toppings, including pesto and my favorite - homemade chipotle "mayonnaise" made by using any vegan soymilk/oil mayo recipe online and blending it with a chipotle pepper.

The picture above doesn't really do my size justice.
Maybe this one, taken at 15 weeks, does a better job. People are a little surprised when I tell them I'm not due until January. I always offer a feeble, "Yeah, I know I'm really showing." I don't always go into details about the fact this is my 4th so my uterus is already "broken in." And I'm just one of those women whose body naturally packs it on during pregnancy.

Also, I really do love to eat.


  1. CONGRATULATIONS, Jenny! I'm so happy to hear your news! Another beautiful vegan baby :D

  2. OH MY GOSH! That is such exciting news for all of you! I can't believe you waited so long to tell. I never could have kept that kind of a secret so long. You look GREAT! I don't think you are that big at all. I have made nanimo bars before and they are as rich as you say for sure. I would love your vegan recipe though!
    Pam Rohde

  3. Love strawberries, should have eaten them more during this summer!

    And, congratulations for you baby boy! I'm pregnant too (1st baby, 21 weeks) and it's so amazing to see so many vegan pregnant around :)

  4. Thank you, Amber Shea!!! I appreciate you saying so.

    Pam, Thank you, also!!! I'm usually okay about holding back news/surprises. Thank you for saying I look great. I don't mind accepting compliments (keep 'em comin!), but sadly, I think it must be the angle of the photo. :0

    Glauce, yay!!! So happy for you, too!!!

    Heather, thank you! I almost told you many times over email, ha! But I kept thinking I'd get this blog post done weeks ago!

  5. Gahhhhh!! I am so excited! You're such a fantastic mom, I'm so happy for the new little boy! What a fun way to tell the other kids. And you do look awesome- there's nothin' wrong with a big ol' uterus- the rest of you is tiny!! ;) congratulations to your family!!

  6. How can you even talk about pies at a time like this?? Congratulations!!

  7. Congratulations to you and your family! So wonderful to see vegan families growing! The more vegans, the merrier!

  8. Ryan is so viril!!!!

    Oh, congrats to you too.

    That balloon formation definitely looks like a boy is in the offing.

  9. Congrats momma! How exciting. You really had me, reading halfway down and still wondering about the news. ;)

  10. Congratulations, Jenny. What a blessing to have four, beautiful children. I hope your pregnancy and delivery go well and without any complications. I also love the way you celebrate everything elaborately with food. :-)

  11. Ahhh congrats! That is such exciting news and you look amazing!

  12. Wonderful news! And what a sweet way of breaking the news to the boys! Of course, you've been building up a lovely healthy baby in there, with all that fruit! It all made my mouth water, but now I'm off to check out the recipe for those chocolate bars! Oh! (Though I look like you around the tummy area and I'm NOT pregnant, so I really shouldn't...)

  13. congratulations on baby #4! you are a super cute pregnant lady -- really glowing. i hope you're feeling well! the baby boy party is such a great, fun idea.

  14. congrats!!!! another boy!

    i have heard pregnant people crave fruit. the pies all look amazing, did you can an advance copy of Isa and Terry's new book Pie in the Sky? I am sure that will bring the pie maker side out of me again.

    uterus already broken in, lol.

  15. Congratulations, Jenny. I love the way you celebrated and shared the news with your kids. And the pies! They look fantastic.

  16. Congratulations Jenny!!! I'm so excited for you! You look great! :o)

    I love strawberries, so I am totally drooling over those pies. :o)

    You asked about the fried okra that I posted about te other day....if I bought it or is I made it myself. I actually bought it a small farmers market type grocery store that we have here. I've never tried to make my own, but maybe I should some day. :o)

  17. Kerry, bless your heart for calling me tiny. You can ask my sisters who would literally "LOL" if they thought I was being referred to as tiny. Thank you for the congratulations! Maybe our little guy can play with Baby A sometime!

    Thank you, Maud!!!

    Rose, thank you, and I agree!

    Sarah Lynn, thank you!

    SV, thanks, and how did I know you would take a story about a new baby and pies and turn it into news about my husband and the baby making process?

    Jessica, thank you!

    Blessed Mama, thank you and yes, definitely a blessing. I appreciate it.

    Sarah, thank you!

    Penny, I looked pregnant so soon because my stomach is never really flat. Go enjoy your bars! Thank you for your comment.

    Sara, thanks! You're too kind.

    So are you, Stacy! And, Stacy!!! So glad you're back!

    bitt, I would say it's true that I tend to want things cooler and lighter when I'm pregnant. Heavy, thick, and hearty don't always sound good, especially for supper. That will be a fun cookbook!

    Andrea, thank you for saying so!

    Michelle, thank you, thank you! And it really is a great pie recipe.

  18. Congratulations!!! :D :D :D Definitely a cause for celebration and, my, do you throw the best-looking shindigs. :)

  19. Congratulations! You are all belly, but I know what you mean about showing earlier...I'm 18 weeks now with #3, and I felt like I was huge by about 9 weeks! I just decided to let it all hang out and enjoy :) Thanks for your comment on my blog!

  20. You are definitely in pregnancy... haha the same happen to me when i had my first and unique daughter i wrote to much about cakes and chocolates, i even start to buy and cook many sweet stuff that at the end i make gift with them...