Time for some Pie

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The weekend was so relaxing, and I think that my body was just saying slow down after I went to visit my acupuncturist for a Seasonal Adjustment. My last treatment was in February, so it took a while for my body to just say OK now it is time to relax and stop! So I did and even took time out on the hammock in the sunshine – it felt so good to have a nap.

As the weekend was my hubby’s birthday weekend our weekend began at our friend’s place for Navratri Golu to see the collection of dolls (collected over 11 years since my friend’s daughter was born) reenacting various Hindi stories, watching kids perform and eating a delicious Indian feast. On Saturday we enjoyed pizza at the park with our neighbours and hung out and relaxed on the blanket while the kids were playing and Sunday I made this amazing raw vegan cheesecake (plus two quiches).

I made a vegan fresh mango and strawberry cheesecake to share on Friday night to take to my friend’s place and it disappeared in seconds! The second one I made for my hubby’s birthday cake was mango and passionfruit, was divine and took me to the tropics! I found this recipe and modified it the second time using my Vitamix to make it extra smooth. For the Friday night version, it was the one bowl food processor recipe as I was making it before work and had to get it in the freezer, quick sticks!!

Raw Mango Passionfruit Cheesecake
to fit one Pyrex Pie dish

Crust

1 cup almonds
8 medjool dates
1/2 cup dried coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Filling

1 large mango
1 lime (plus lime zest)
1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight, and drained)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup agave (or maple syrup)
1/2 cup coconut manna
3 passionfruits for mixing
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 passionfruit for swirling through the mix

Instructions

1. Mix all the crust ingredients in a food processor for about 1 minute.
2. Place the crust mixture into a pie dish and flatten evenly with your hands.
3. In the Vitamix (a very smooth mix) or a food processor mix the mango, lime, cashews, coconut oil, agave, coconut manna, 3 x passionfruits and vanilla extract.
4. Swirl the passionfruit insides through the pie to see the black seeds everywhere.
5. Pour the filling into the pie dish and place in the freezer – freeze for at least 5 hours.
6. Remove cheesecake from the freezer and let sit at room temperature to cut into slices.

Enjoy!
This can keep in the freezer well-covered for a couple of weeks or just scoff the whole thing down which is what happened at the party on Friday night.

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Now back to work/school so I have been really enjoying working as a Teacher Assistant at Ventana School, and I love seeing the art around the place especially when it is kiddos painting chickens! These are artworks by the kindergarten kids, and I just love their colours in their observational drawing.

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So more math games and fun with the kids – this time Race to a Flat where the kids cut a strip of paper to record their numbers at each roll of the dice. The aim of the game was to get to 100 or more rolling the dice and adding to the solution each time. The kids were so excited that they wanted to make stip of paper longer and longer – I wish I learnt math this way back in the day. Perhaps I would have loved it like I do now after the course in my Education degree.

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More math resources for the classroom and another fun game I really like is Capture 5 using the 100s chart, and all you need is some objects to be the players, and these kiddos used glass pieces and ones to capture. Check out the video link for info how to play, but it is a super fun game to practice addition and subtraction. These kids were trying to play Capture 25 and were working as a team.

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This is another fun math game using simple things such as a paperclip for the spinner and whatever objects you can find for the players – you can use coins or coloured rocks whatever is small enough to fit in the squares. This cool game is Place Value Munch, and my co-teacher finds all sort of fun math games on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. The kids really enjoy this game and so did I when I was playing it with the kids in the math rotations. I have to say this is the best way to learn math playing games and having fun!

Back to another week of work and life – taking it much slower as the weather is warm again even though it was the first day of Autumn last Friday.

NaBloPoMo – Day 27 – Making Desserts and Fall cleaning the house!

Today was a day of catching up on so many things as the only thing on the schedule was my exercise class and a playdate in the afternoon. I decided to get a start on my Thanksgiving desserts for tomorrow! I completed the vegan chocolate mousse with chopped hazelnuts on top and put them all in little mason jars as we are going to visit our friends in Oakland, perfect for travel! I also prepped the pastry for the pear tart which I will bake tomorow and for the topping I made this very tasty cashew cream that was so easy – dates are such a super ingredient. I see many more in my future especially with  homemade granola bars that taste like Lara Bars – yum!

Hazelnut topped vegan chocolate mousse 

Tofu Chocolate Mousse in Jars

The other night we went out to a friends place for dinner and we were to bring the dessert for the night – I wanted to try a chocolate mousse without cream, butter or gelatin. I looked through a vegan cookbook that I bought ages ago and found a recipe for Chocolate Dream Mousse – I messed with it a little as I had only half the tofu and I used real dark chocolate which was so decadent though still light. Of course this can be vegan by using nondairy chocolate chips. 
Tofu Chocolate Mousse in Mason Jars
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate or your favourite chocolate
Two (12.3-ounce) packages firm silken tofu
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons Maple syrup
6 tablespoons dutch cocoa (or to taste, depending on the richness of  the chocolate used) 

Fresh strawberries
Pomegranate seeds
Puree the cashews and water in a food processor until thick, white and absolutely smooth and creamy. Remove the mixture from the blender, and set it aside in a bowl. Place the chocolate in a dry metallic bowl, and place the bowl over low heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted completely. The chocolate should not be allowed to become too hot, or they can become grainy; they just need to warm to melt. Be sure not to get even a drop of water in the chocolate, as this will also make the melted chocolate grainy. 
Combine the tofu, melted chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup and cocoa to taste in the food processor (no need to wash it out after the cashews), and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Pour this chocolate mixture into the cashew puree, and fold with a whisk until combined thoroughly. Pour into mason jars, add strawberries and pomegranate seeds and chill for several hours before serving. 
Individual dessert treats ready for dinner
Delicious strawberries and pomegranate seeds on top of the chocolate mousse