Vanillabrite's Delights

December 16, 2009

Shiksa Cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 4:23 pm

I was raised Catholic which while I found hauntingly beautiful, left me with three main skills. Background choral singing talent for an off-key organist. Kneeling. Daydreaming. It wasn’t for my parents’ lack of effort, I might add. My parents LOVED Jesus. This love was so passionate that you better believe that if I fooled around in church, I would be sitting in a chair with my hands folded in my lap for an hour in my living room when we returned home. Religion class at church was followed by religious instruction at home. I made my First Communion while battling Scarlet Fever. One year, I was even a stand-in Joseph in the Nativity play. Oh the woes of the nickname “Joesica” for a sensitive 8 year old girl!

With such a strict Catholic background, I’m not exactly sure when my fascination with Judaism began. Maybe it was college, as a religion minor I fell in love with my Old Testament course. Creation, Eden, Noah’s Arc and then it got really interesting…Sodom and Gomorrah and The Lion’s Den. Fire, hell and brimstone…oh my! I also worked as a secretary at a sports camp in the Berkshires for a few summers and was absolutely enmeshed in Jewish culture. It came to my attention that summer camps may be an outlet particularly intended for Jewish parents. Names like Silverstein, Berkowitz and Perlman dominated my files and they rolled off of my lips in the most satisfying manner.

I remember telling my sister, a free-spirited photography student in NYC that I felt I was born into the wrong religion and wished to learn more about Judaism and particularly those mysteriously delicious Jewish men. My sister said that the Hasidic Jews who worked at the store in which she bought her film were ever interested in getting to know her better, and pretty persistent. She felt my chances were good at landing my own. Yet, I felt intimidated…like I had been branded with the symbol of the trinity on my forehead.

It wasn’t until years later that I happened upon a dangerously sexy Jew. He was older, very mysterious and as religiously conflicted as I. Although our entanglement was short it was a sweet punctuated moment in time that satiated my dark Jewish desires. One night while out for drinks he informed me that I was a shiksa, a woman that he could never have. And so he took me to his mother’s house, to torment her I suppose.

The Urban Dictionary, which I find equally enlightening and entertaining, has whole lists of terms that make me giggle. From this I learned that a “shiksa” is a Gentile (any person who is not a Jew or often specifically a Christian) and often typecast as a blonde woman who has especially attracted a Jewish man. This is NOT a term of endearment I might add. Rather, a derogatory term used by Jewish women to insult non-Jewish women. I kind of like it.

So when Hannukah arrives, it rekindles the mystery for me and I can’t help but feel a little jealous that I am without a menorah of my own. This year I was invited to my first Hanukkah party and although I’d love to run out and bedazzle the Star of David on a blue and white sweatshirt I figure I’d just make dessert instead. My recipe for Chocolate Ginger Cake can be found at the left, fondly referred to as Shiksa Cake.


December 13, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 8:25 pm

It’s that time of year…for delicious holiday treats! This year I decided on star-shaped gingerbread cookies with vanilla icing and green sprinkles, dark chocolate cakeballs with a white chocolate coating, rocky road sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. The rocky road sugar cookies are pictured above. All of my recipes can be found on the left.

Vegans do not eat marshmallows as they contain gelatin, derived from the bones, cartilage, organs, and skins of animals. There are vegan substitutes available and one such product can be purchased here: Sweet & Sara.

December 11, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 10:46 pm

I just returned from Las Vegas from a magical mini break. After searching high and low in EVERY gift shop in Oldtown and on the strip I finally located a cookie cutter at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. I can’t think of a better souvenir than the gift of vacation-shaped cookies to share! In this case, the Eiffel Tower.

Oh, and I met Elvis too ;0)

November 29, 2009

Gingerbread Season

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 10:10 am

Every Veteran’s Day, my boyfriend and I celebrate by making a gingerbread house. Since he forbids an actual tree before December 1st (the injustice!) this is his way of compromising with my absolute adoration for all things Christmas. Our friends mock us relentlessly but last year it stood until APRIL, which I find both amazing and a little disturbing. This year I used the Gingerbread Recipe found on the left.



Naughty and Nice

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 9:13 am

The FOOD section of the Albany Times Union offered up a “Naughty and Nice” recipe collection on November 26th. I meant to include these recipes in time for Thanksgiving but was distracted by…well, life’s many responsibilities ;0). I do think that they will carry over well through the holiday season. Ladies and gentlemen, draw your attention to the left for two “Nice” recipes: Vegan Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Cookies and Gluten-Free Chex Nut Clusters. BRAVO local newspaper!

November 5, 2009

More Gluten-Free Recipes

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 5:12 pm

Welcome to the MOTHERLOAD of Gluten-Free Recipes!


Sweet Potato Truffles

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 5:08 pm

Sweet Potato Truffle

Can sweet potatoes get any more amazing than they already are? Why yes, just add CHOCOLATE. (Noticing a theme in my posts? Eek! Obsessed much?)

My mother’s childhood friend Sue sends me the BEST recipe sites.
She says, “Not sure if you’ve come across these sites or not..check out the sweet potato truffle. OMG.”


Sue knows what she’s talking about.

October 22, 2009

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 9:55 am

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
DELICIOUS!!!! Looks so complicated…definitely is NOT. Sweet and full of flavor…the marriage of coffee, Kahlua and vegan cream cheese…yummy. Find the recipe at the left.

October 10, 2009

Bridal Shower Cake Balls

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 10:18 am


It’s been a busy baking week, my favorite kind. I’m attempting to restrain myself from the blueberry banana muffins cooling on the stove right now as they belong to a client. My eyes dart to the stove every few minutes and I know it’s only a matter of seconds before I forgo my own stale cheerios and break down and attack those dishes so I can make another batch for myself…

Yesterday I made Cake Ball favors, or rather Cake Pumpkins for my roommate Zuzana. I used my new favorite tool, my new Wilton mini pumpkin mold. I was unsure if the flexibility of the silicone would warp the pumpkin shape but it worked beautifully. I highly recommend using silicone products. They are so user friendly and easy to clean.

The cake filling was my first experience with a “Vegan Cupcake Take over the World” recipe. DELICIOUS! I can only imagine how may holidays I am going to invent to celebrate with new Vegan cake recipes. Look to the left for the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes recipe and at my blogroll for the Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World wordpress blog.

September 27, 2009

I have business cards! So So So So So Exciting!

Filed under: Uncategorized — vanillabrite @ 4:07 pm


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