I'm so excited to have Jessica from Jude & Lebe here today. She is truly one of the most beautiful women, both inside & out, that I have ever met!
It is an absolute pleasure to be a guest blogger today. My husband, Joel & I want to congratulate Candace, Dylan & their beautiful girls as they welcome this little prince. I had the privilege of sharing life with Candace while she and her husband lived in Cleveland, OH. Our husbands worked together and we always had each other to sit with at company functions. Their entire family is missed tremendously.
Continually, I am amazed at how rich life becomes when new little ones are added to the mix. Our little family of 4 consists of tall handsome husband, 2 blonde boys who look just like him and then...me: The sassy little Puerto Rican makeup artist, amateur chef & professional boy Mom.
We welcomed our first son, Jude London, by surprise while Joel was still finishing up his degree. We were super young & naive & freaked out. We knew about 2 years later we wanted another one. As an only child, I just knew that having a minimum of 2 would be in the cards for us. The only problem was that it didn't seem to work for us again. Months went by and disappointment set in. I started googling everything and freaking myself out. The phrase "Secondary Infertility" started to rank higher and higher in my searches. After enduring long tests & crying all too many tears, I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis.
I had 2 options of treating this disease, of which there is no cure:
1-Get pregnant as it subsides once your cycle is paused
2-Get on horrible dragon pills that make you gain weight and enter menopause at way too early of an age.
Choice #1 was the obvious one but it just wasn't working.
I started doing some research, learning about the disease and came away with the cold hard facts:
Endometriosis can be kept at bay by eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans & legumes and by avoiding as many animal by-products as possible.
Well, I am pleased to say that with very little medical intervention & and a HUGE change to my diet, we welcomed our son, Leland Ryan on November 2, 2009. I have since kept up with the vegan diet and have seen 90% of my symptoms of endometriosis literally disappear.
We can fight disease with what we eat, my friends. It just takes discipline & will power....and a touch of sparklepower. ;-)
SO - I thought since I'm so passionate about food being healthy & vegan myself, why don't I share a beautiful Fall recipe for a delicious Apple Tart that has all the flavor you would expect without any dairy whatsoever! It couldn't be simpler & your guests will not even notice the difference.
Vegan Apple Tart
1 1/4c flour
1 stick of vegetable shortening, I freeze mine for 30 minutes prior to adding
6 tablespoons ice cold water
4-6 tart apples you love or have lying around
Peel/Core/Sliced thin (save the peels)
1tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4c of sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/4c shortening, melted
Throw flour/salt in the food processor and pulse. Add COLD shortening and pulse until it has become pea-size. Add a tablespoon of ice water and continue to pulse stopping just before it turns into a ball of dough. With floured hands, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. Once set, roll out onto tart pan.
Toss your apples in lemon juice, sugars, & spices. Arrange the slices & fold/crimp up the sides of the dough. Brush with melted shortening along the edges of the crust.
Before sending into the 450 degree oven, boil sugar water & remaining apple peels until it reduces by half. Strain and then add the sugary apple deliciousness to the center of the tart for added flavor and moisture.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.
Thank you for having me, Candace. I wish you happy bonding with your new little man.