Sophie came running through the house the other day nearly screaming in excitement “Our cat had a kitten! Our cat had a KITTEN!” At 8-years-old we’ve all learned that it’s not uncommon for her to be a mistaken on matters like this so I wasn’t sure whether or not to take her seriously. How many times has she nearly been eaten alive by a spider that turned out to be a dust bunny?
As it turns out though, our young cat actually did have a kitten and she’s been hiding it very well. Do you remember me telling you when we thought she was pregnant? Well, she went from being fat to looking very thin in just a few days but when we never found any kittens and we assumed she had lost them.
We’re pretty sure she only has one now and oh my goodness, it. is. SO. adorable! Why are miniature things and babies so cute that it’s almost painful? The kitten is a female, she’s tiny, and she’s completely grey just like her mom. We haven’t named her yet because pet names in a house as full as ours are never chosen quickly. Haha, actually no one refers to our older cat by name, she’s just been “the cat” or “the grey one” since we got her. It’s most likely that we’ll end up doing the same thing and calling the kitten exactly that, “the kitten” or maybe “baby cat” even if we do choose a name. Oh, and now our first cat will end up being “mama cat”, super original right? We try.
Okay, so aside from itty bitty animals, something else that I love in this world are raspberries! I could eat them every single day and never get tired of them, not even joking. Truth be told, I do eat them almost every day whether they’re fresh, frozen, freeze-dried or in something. That’s one of the biggest perks of living in the area we are in right now, they grow so many berries that we can have access to the freshest ones almost year-round. Obviously berries won’tgrow in the winter, even in such a mild climate as ours, so our freezer gets jammed full of frozen berries during peak season and I get very happy. In fact that reminds me I’ve got to clear it out forthis season’s fresh ones.
Right now the weather is reaching some warmer temperatures as we’re finally in Summer, but it seems to me that it’s also been raining a lot more than it did last year, bleh. I love the rain but I’m feeling a bit jipped of my necessary heat fix here, where is the hot weather? I mean, if I wanted to be cold right now I’d fly to somewhere that has snow!
But there have been a very few days recently that all the boys were threatening to die of heat strokes or melt on the floor, so I’ve been trying to find some fun and fresh recipes to keep them cooled off. Because I’m a nice person like that, you know? To me, nothing says summertime like lemons and berries together in one delicious treat, and what’s better yet, if that treat includes a little sugar and mountains of whipped cream, agreed?
I know that some of you are trying to clear the snow off your driveways rather than sporting your favorite flip-flops but in that case these are still a delicious sweet to make. You can use frozen berries or replace them with a different type of fruit.
Raspberry Lemon Cream Shortbread Cookie Trifles (Vegan)
Sunny days can get so hot so treat yourself and your loved ones by making these simple and delicious dessert trifles.
- 1/4 cup coconut cream *see note
- 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks vegan "butter", softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup coconut cream *see note
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 medium lemons
- 1 can dairy free whipped cream
- 3 - 4 cups fresh raspberries
- lemon slices and mint leaves for garnish optional
Preheat oven to 325 degree F (160 C) and grease an 8x8 inch or 11x7 inch glass pan with butter. Cream "butter" and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with beater. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and mix until smooth, then add flour and mix in on low speed until combined into a smooth dough. Now press into your prepared pan in an even layer and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Juice and zest the lemons (you should have about 1/3 cup juice and 3 tablespoons zest) Whisk sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in cornstarch until very smooth.
Pour mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the first bubble pops and splutters. Turn off heat and continue stirring rapidly as it will start to get really thick, then remove from heat and stir in coconut cream and vanilla. If lumps have formed pour pudding through a sieve into a clean bowl or if your pudding is smooth you can skip the sieve. Cover with plastic wrap directly on top to prevent it from forming a film.
Allow it to cool until you can handle the bowl comfortably without burning your hands, then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. (If your in a rush you can put in the freezer for aboout an hour to chill it faster.)
Once your pudding has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into small cubes. Layer your pudding, raspberries, whipped cream, and shortbread in individual glasses or one large dish. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate trifles if not serving immediately.
If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.