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I’ve learned something about heating up bentos at work, in the microwave, in the staff lounge that smells of old shoes.

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Let’s have a little conversation about comfort desserts. Apple pie? Sure. Banana cream pie? Ok. How about chocolate pudding.

Oh baby.

I know I’m not the only one to grow up with boxes of instant Jell-o pudding taunting me from a shelf high up in the pantry. Did anything taste better after a dinner you didn’t really like, but ate so you could have some dessert?

Dairy free versions are nothing new- silken tofu anyone? I’m not going to go there. Promise.

Oh my, so many sentences ending with question marks. Sorry.

This dairy free version is rich in fiber, vitamin E, B12 and potassium. Oh, and it tastes DELICIOUS. I swear it. Avocado, honey, cocoa powder and vanilla are vita-mixed into a tizzy and that is it! No creating a custard, bringing to a boil, nada.

I won’t lie to you. I’ve found that about 1/2 cup serving is the most you can get away with before you start to detect avocado. Garnish with chopped pistachios, cocoa nibs and good quality artisan salt, or, fresh berries and dark chocolate shavings. Don’t tell your guests either, it is super fun to have them guess the secret ingredient!

Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Whole Living
Makes 6 4oz servings

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
5 TBSP good quality cocoa powder- I like Dagoba (side note- here is a great article from the New Yorker featuring Dagoba)
1/4 cup good quality honey (substitute agave nectar for a vegan version)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup shelled raw pistachios, chopped
1 TBSP cocoa nibs
High Quality sea salt like Murray River pink salt or Cyprus Flake Salt

In a blender, puree the avocado, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla until smooth. If serving that day, portion out into serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat.

When ready to dig in- you can’t wait, can you? Garnish each serving with some chopped pistachios, a pinch of cocoa nibs and salt.

Photos from the past week. This. Is. My. Life. Literally.

Ella's First Slice of Pizza

Saturday morning craft time

Fall Evening Commute

Touring Loaves and Fishes (the Meals on Wheels People) 5000 meals a day come out of this kitchen. Amazing

Neighborhood Fig Trees Coming into Bloom.

The View From the Top

Ikea Shopping List

Meatballs at Ikea. I Just Can't Quit You.

Work Schmerk. Communicating Our Farmed Seafood Standards

Ella celebrated her first birthday party a couple weeks ago and she (we) were so lucky to have our very talented photographer friends Erin and Mat in town from NYC to capture it all. Erin and Mat run a very successful photography business out of their home in Brooklyn, everything from weddings to fashion week to large events. They have a way of making everything and everyone look good. Not that Ella is a tough subject.

Ella celebrated 365 days of eating, sleeping, and pooping with a little fiesta in our back yard. All her besties were there, Miles, Blake, Gunner, Olivia, Amelia, Lucas, Blake and Andrea, not to mention her BF BG and Adam, and her hommie Anna. Grandma Pam, Papa and Mema, Auntie Jamie.

Adluts and individuals conditioned to handle the sugar content of frosting enjoyed a lovely carrot cake from Whole Foods Market, while Ella had this delicious low sugar, whole wheat apple and sweet potato cake, frosted with a sweet potato cashew cream. She loved it.

 Also a large thank you to Lagunitas, sponsor of Ella’s first birthday, for donating three cases of beer.

I’m just a few days from returning home. Here are some photos from this year. Man, I can’t wait to sip on an americano from Stumptown, hug the man and kiss that bean!

West Moorland Park, cheering dad on!

Fingers crossed for a 2011 Basketball Season!

A rainy evening at my bus stop.

Priorities set!

It is Willamette, Damn it.

Modest Mouse at Edge Field. Ella can't wait for her pair of aviators.

Happy Father’s Day to two amazing men in my life, my dad, and Ella’s dad- my man Matthew.

Yeah, it is late, yeah it isn’t even Father’s Day in some time zones, but, whateves.

Man, when I was a kid I loved my dad big time. Still do. I couldn’t wait to spend time with him. Attending Indian Princesses meeting and camping trips together made me feel like the most loved kid in the world.

I know Ella will feel the same. Matthew is such an amazing dad. He cuddles, coos, sings, and forces, allows Ella to share in his past times, Tigers Baseball and Lions Football (I’m drawing the line at reading her the Detroit Free Press as a bed time story, buddy).

I’m lucky to have, and share you both.

Happy Fathers Day.

xxoo