Birthday S'more Pie + Huge Announcement

Hi there!

It's my birthday today. Such an occasion calls for decadence, and I pull out all the stops! It requires pie. S'more pie! But first a little story, and a put on your big-time underpants because I've got an announcement that I can't keep secret any longer. Nope, not pregnant. Glad we got that out of the way.

Produce On Parade - Birthday S'more Pie + Huge Announcement

You know how kids always say they want to be something crazy like an astronaut or The President or a fairy princess when they grow up? Yeah...that wasn't me. Well, aside from demanding to be addressed as "Little Foot" from The Land Before Time fame or later "Ariel" from The Little aspirations were a bit more...down-to-Earth.

Biologist. That was the profession of choice in my young mind, and it topped the list for quite some time. Probably because both my parents majored in Biology. Moving forward, in third grade my teacher made profession predictions (which was exceptionally exciting as she only did one every two weeks). Due to my compassion for animals, I was prophesied to become a veterinarian. However, it's because of said love for animals that it quickly became clear I would be the most bleeding heart god-awful, veterinarian out there. Scratch.

For a long time, I secretly yearned (or not so secretly by nonchalantly displaying my journals of teen-angst, melancholic poetry strewn about) to become a poet and a published author, as I'd always loved writing. Then, for a time, I knew I'd become a preschool teacher. My Dad was a teacher and I spent my days after school (when I wasn't doing sports) volunteering at our local elementary school.  Finally, at the end of high school we had to research a profession for some big presentation, something we might want to do, and I landed on Diagnostic Medical Ultrasonographer. Hey, I got pretty close with that one seeing as I ultimately ended up becoming a Mammographer! 

Produce On Parade - Birthday S'more Pie + Huge Announcement

Besides entering the radiology field, it seems I've also obtained another one of my childhood dreams. Nope, still not a dinosaur or a mermaid yet. Because it's my birthday, which means I can do as I please (I definitely did not eat pie for breakfast in bed before work this morning), I found it fitting to announce that I'm about to become a published author! Yes my friends, I'm writing a cookbook. For you.

It will be out around April 2016. I know that seems like forever, but I've been working on it since the beginning of this year and you know how these things go. The best things in life take time. Wait no, that's not how it goes. Anyways, I couldn't be more thrilled that it's being published by (drumroll please) a division of Macmillan(!!!), Page Street Publishing. My eyes almost fell out of my head. 

I bet, much like myself, you're wondering how this may have happened to a small-time little Alaskan girl. Well, I'll tell you. For some time now I've been sporadically contacted be several publishers, "If you ever want to write a cookbook, please give us a call!" I would politely write back, thanking them for their offer but at this time I am much too busy to put in the effort necessary. Who has time to write a cookbook when you're building a house? And I mean literally chopping down the trees, goddamner. Is there time to tackle publishing a book when one already has a full-time job as Protector of Boobs? I just came up with that and really like it. Noted. Not to mention, I get frazzled easily, especially with timelines.

Nah, it's not for me. I'd seriously doubted I was talented enough, determined enough, and just plain confident enough to be a genuine author. But then, it struck me...I've been writing and developing recipes this entire time for Produce On Parade! For two years! I could definitely write a cookbook, and soon I wanted to! I really wanted to. Wait though, I thought, aren't there enough vegan cookbooks out there? Trick question. The answer to that is, of course, never. But what did I have to offer?

Well for that, you'll have to check out the book, but I can tell you that it will be filled with beautiful photography and dishes that are accessible and approachable by everyone. Meals you'll be proud to make your family and serve sneakily to your unbeknownst omnivore friends.  My book will feature wholesome recipes with a bit less of the typical vegan substitutes like vegan butter, vegan sour cream, and hard to access ingredients, etc. However, there'll still be some of those recipes so don't fret! Seriously, vegan marshmallows need a place in my life. 

This is an unbelievably exciting opportunity. It wouldn't of happened without Sarah and Will over at Page Street calling me up one day and inviting me to write a cookbook. I must have said yes because four months later here I am! If you've noticed I've been making little more than cameos here on Produce On Parade, it's because I've been recipe developing and photographing for the book. I'm not a risk taker and usually need a lot of prodding to step outside my zone of comfort. I don't like to do things until I've mastered them and I hate feeling vulnerable. That being said, I am I so overjoyed that I decided to take this leap. 

I want to know what kinds recipes YOU want in the book. Please, tell me what recipes you'd look forward to seeing. I want you to be a part of this cookbook. It's for you after all. If it wasn't for my amazing readers, none of this would be possible. I'll keep you posted on all the good details as the year passes. Thank you for supporting and believing in me!

Produce On Parade - Birthday S'more Pie + Huge Announcement

You'll find more recipes, like my birthday Mocha S'more Pie, in the book! It was inspired by the bon fires we've been burning at the property to clear the land...inspiration abounds everywhere.

Produce On Parade - Birthday S'more Pie + Huge Announcement

Cookie Dough Doughnuts

Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.
— Buddy Valastro

Or sometimes, instead of a's birthday doughnuts. Cookie dough doughnuts to be specific. Made from scratch and vegan to boot.

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts - A fluffy, perfectly textured vanilla doughnut layered high with creamy and delicious cookie dough. Super decadent and sure to be a huge hit!

When I asked Todd what he wanted for dessert on his birthday, he told me "cookie dough". Hmmm, okay. I can do that I guess. I know the man also loves doughnuts. He used to consume them on a very regular and not-so-secretive basis, before we went vegan. However, living in Alaska, I can't think of a single place to purchase a vegan doughnut. Even the crappy drugstore kind (he loves those too) aren't vegan. Thus, Todd hasn't had a single doughnut in a very long time. 

Aware of this doughnut famine, a while back I bought an actual doughnut pan. When he told me he wanted only cookie dough for his birthday dessert, I knew instantly what needed to be done. Cookie dough doughnuts. This was the first time I had ever used the pan and it worked perfectly. I was a little afraid that the doughnuts would taste, well, not really like doughnuts specifically. Just because they're in the shape of a doughnut does not mean a doughnut they will be. You feel me? But, doughnuts these most definitely were!

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts

Todd was pretty surprised and extraordinarily happy to have his first doughnut in over a year and a half. Plus, whenever there's cookie dough involved, the happiness aura in life is instantaneously elevated.

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts

Todd might have put himself into a birthday, cookie dough doughnut coma that day. He told me it was absolutely worth it. 

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts

We're puppy sitting this week for a friend. Meet Nala! She is Bailey's mini-me. But...a girl...obviously. They are BFFs...obviously. 

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts

Isn't she the sweetest?

Produce On Parade - Cookie Dough Doughnuts

German Word of The Day

Doughnut --> Krapfen (crahp-fen)

Good Deed of The Day

Cow's milk is so super disturbing. There are so many plant-based alternatives, why on Earth do many Americans still drink it? It's not like the elimination of all dairy products has been found to cure constipation in up to 100% of kids tested, leading to a resolution of rectal inflammation and complications such as anal fissures. Oh wait, yep, it has. The same has been proven in adults as well. Do you or a loved one have anal fissures and/or rectal inflammation? Or just think cow dairy is really scary (a rhyme!)? Switch to non-dairy milk! You heard it here first people, anal fissures. No fun. This guy knows what I'm talking about.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart - Birthday Fun's been a little while. Sorry 'bout that. I was on the East Coast for two weeks! My sister-in-law ran the Boston Marathon and Todd and I went down to surprise her! If you don't follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram you may have been wondering what I could be possibly doing that would warrant abandoning you for two weeks. While I may not have managed to whip out a full-blown blog post, I did do a lot of posting to social media. If you don't follow Produce On Parade on social media already, you definitely should! I think of myself as highly entertaining...maybe.

Anyways, we left on my birthday! Also, the 25th was Todd and my veganniversary and Produce On Parade's one year blogiversary! That's a lot to celebrate and I can't think of a more amazing way, gastronomically speaking, than with this Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart! I've missed you all so much and I'm so excited to be back.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartHere's my gift to you, a creamy coconut caramel poured into a rich, chocolate crust all topped with a luxurious dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled with flake salt. A decadent dessert sure to impress anyone, vegan or not! 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartSalted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Makes 1 9" Tart

  • Crust:
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 10 Tbsp. vegan butter, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Caramel:
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 5 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp. rum extract
  • 6 Tbsp. vegan butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (give the can a good shake first)
  • Ganache:
  • 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet vegan baking chocolate, chopped
  • flake salt (to garnish)


In a food processor, using the dough hook attachment, combine all the dough ingredients. Process, pulsing and scraping down the sides occasionally until well combined and collects on one side of the bowl. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartProduce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Press evenly into a 9" tart pan, ensuring to bring the dough all the way to the top edge of the pan. Poke with a fork several times and place in the refrigerator to cool for one hour. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Meanwhile, place all the caramel ingredients except for the butter and coconut milk in a small bowl. No need to combine. Set aside until ready to use. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

When the tart has 10 minutes left for chilling, preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove from fridge and place pie weights or a sheet of aluminum covered with a thick layer of dried beans on top of the crust to keep it from ballooning while baking. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, and chill until ready to use. 


Now, in a heavy bottomed soup pot add the bowl of caramel ingredients and bring to heat over medium. Continuously stir until combined, then allow to cook until it's reached 350 F and do not stir. It should boil, without stirring, until it's reached a dark amber color.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Remove from heat, and stir in the coconut milk and butter until smooth.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Pour into the chilled tart crust and place in the fridge.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart


In a pyrex measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, heat the coconut milk for 1-2 minutes until very hot. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartPour the ganache over the caramel (careful it doesn't overflow!) and place on a level surface in the fridge to chill, at least 1-3 hours depending on if it was pre-chilled or not.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Remove once chilled and finish with a sprinkling of flake salt. Slice and serve chilled. Store in the fridge as the tart will become oozy if let out of the fridge for too long, but will stay very firm if chilled.

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartProduce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Freeze any leftovers for extended consumption and just place in the fridge to thaw before consuming. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart One human birthday, one blog birthday and two veganniversaries?! Let the celebrating begin! 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartOh...and Easter happened too!

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartWe found a beer in our basket! Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate TartSo here's to being back!

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German Word of The Day: Birthday --> Geburtstag (pronounced: geh-boort-stag)

Good Deed of The Day: Sign this petition to stop gas chamber deaths for dogs and cats in the United States.

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