OK, enough celebrating, now on to the post.
For those of us that have been fortunate in our lives to have found a handful of friends that we are fortunate enough to call our "best friends," we know that we would do ANYTHING for those people that stand by our sides. Leaving Wesleyan, I was petrified to be ripped away, once again, from the close friends I had made and thrown into a new city on my own. I knew how hard it is, and how long it takes, to form those tight bonds like those I have with my home friends and college friends.
However, by some magical stroke of the stars, I found a few close friends at MSPP right off the bat. I met all of them during orientation. One of them was placed in my clinical seminar group, and we sat next to each other at our first meeting during orientation lunch. I had noticed that her plate looked like mine, in that it only had fruit. I asked if she was vegan too, and she just smiled and said, "no, I just have a lot of food allergies." At that moment, I knew we would become best friends.
Nicole has become one of my closest friends at MSPP and Boston in general. She sends me "have a good day" text messages before I go to the internship that stresses me out and goes for walks with me as we complain about grad school and life. She also has almost all the same physical and mental health problems that I do. We are pretty much twins.
I found out yesterday that this girl would literally do anything for me, as she held my hand during an OBGYN appointment that I was particularly anxious about. There are not too many friends that would stand by you and talk about shopping to distract you from passing out while a doctor is doing scary things with metal clamps and brushes to your lady parts, and listen to you tell all your sexual problems. And afterwards, we even took a fun trip to Good Vibrations, where I bought Nicole her birthday present. If that's not close, I don't know what is.
Since Nicole would do anything for me, I decided to return the favor, and bake a crazy cake free of anything that makes her sick for her birthday. I am really not good with weird rice flours, so I decided to forgo the cake route and come up with a fancy tart instead. It took three separate shopping trips to find all the ingredients, and I had to make up my own recipe, but in the end, I made it, and it's beautiful.
It's vegan, dairy-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, soy-free. Make it for that special person with food allergies in your life. Or maybe just for yourself for Valentines Day, because it's beautiful and decorate and of an appropriate color scheme.
Chocolate Tart with Raspberries (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and soy-free)
Recipe: completely made up out of my own head
Yield: 1 9" tart
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup ground organic almonds
1/3 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (soy-free), melted
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs granulated sugar
Grind almonds into a meal.
|Whisk together all dry ingredients.|
|Press into an 8 or 9" pie plate or tart pan.|
|Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.|
10oz Good Life semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips
1 cup coconut milk
Fresh raspberries to garnish
Melt chocolate chips and Earth Balance over a double boiler. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut milk until smooth. Poor into cooled shell. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until chocolate is partially set, then decorate with raspberries. Chill completely before serving.
Happy Birthday, Nicole! Thank you for all you do for me.
Love and cookies,