Every time I get one of these emails from Call of Duty I pick up the controller and play. I can’t help myself.
Part of me feels really proud. The rest of me wonders how badly everyone else must suck.
I’ve recently taken up cooking and, surprisingly, I don’t hate it. In fact, it involves many of my existing favorite pastimes: looking at the internet, buying things, measuring things, punching things, setting things on fire. And, at the end of all that, you get to put things in your mouth. Fantastic.
As I level up my cooking skill, I find myself testing the limits of what I’m prepared to eat, which, if you know me at all, is generally restricted to foods of the “animal” and “closely associated with animals” varieties. Needless to say, when I decided I was going to try my hand at some vegan chocolate pudding I suffered a pretty substantial existential crisis. Who am I? What have I become? What is the nature of the universe? Can this be happiness, this terrifying freedom?
Thankfully, almost any question can be answered with chocolate.
Here’s a recipe for vegan chocolate pudding. You’ll need:
- 2 avocados
- 1 cup of chocolate almond milk
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- a pinch of sea salt
- a sprinkling of cocoa nibs, if you’ve got them. (I just happened to have received some for my birthday. Thanks, Melissa!)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The mixture will be thick (it’s pudding), so you may have to whip out a spatula and stir things up a bit manually. Makes about a dozen 1/4-cup servings, depending upon the size of your avocados. Mine lasted about a week in the fridge with no discernible change in flavor before it was consumed entirely. Your mileage may vary.
I’ve also found that the 1/4-cup serving size fits perfectly into those little mason jars you can buy at the hardware store, as pictured above. So fancy.
If you end up making a batch, please let me know how it turns out. I did a taste test at work and the majority of people enjoyed it and didn’t notice the avocado flavor at all.
At work, we’re producing a series of videos profiling local nonprofit organizations. Over the last week, I’ve had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the video shoots, spending some quality time with a few of the featured organizations.
The experience has been incredible. On a day-to-day basis, I’d say my colleagues and I remain largely removed from the organizations and individuals our platform serves. Sure, ostensibly we know quite a bit about the folks on our site. We’ve got data galore, spreadsheets a-poppin’, charts and graphs (line, pie, venn) that show, to the very dollar, the impacts of fundraisers. But, nothing can possibly compare to seeing that impact in the flesh, up close and personal, alive and very eager to show you, say, a really cool painting of Adele he just made.
That was exactly the situation in pretty much every photo above, taken during our visit to Creativity Explored. Creativity Explored is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization and visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art. This year, CE will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Most of the people I know in San Francisco, didn’t even know it existed. Hopefully, they do now.
Anywho, just wanted to share. If you have the time and the inclination, I highly recommend stopping by their gallery and studio. Here’s the relevant info:
Creativity Explored (Where Art Changes Lives)
3245 16th Street (at Guerrero Street)
San Francisco CA 94103
Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm
Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Thursday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Many more pics from our other shoots still to come! Please stay tuned!
…click any image to expand…
San Francisco Animal Care & Control is San Francisco’s “only open door animal shelter that accepts any animal – in any condition – of any temperament. SF ACC is responsible for the City’s stray, injured, abandoned, neglected and mistreated animals – of all species – and wildlife. All varieties of animals are available for adoption daily.”
Having adopted two dogs who were surrendered to shelters (Audrey came from the Pinole shelter, Penelope from SF ACC), I feel as though I owe decades’ worth of happiness and camaraderie to organizations like the SF ACC. They do so much to enrich the lives of both people and animals. I’ve seen that impact first hand.
Please join me in supporting the SF ACC’s latest fundraiser, Bringing Music to Their Ears, which will supply the facility with a state-of-the-art sound system to sooth and calm shelter animals and the people who care for them in an often hectic, loud, and stressful environment.
[all images courtesy of SF ACC]
Penelope likes her new stick so much she prefers to sleep out on the deck with it, rather than come inside where sticks are not allowed.