Sunday, December 14, 2014

Easy Vegan Fudge Recipe and Coming to Terms With Inevitabily Saying Goodbye to a Feline Friend

Meet Othello - 15 year old, intelligent single Black and White male, a ruler over his four adopted feline siblings, all rescued from the mean streets of Wherever. Othello is a former New Yorker, born in Brooklyn yo! Now Othello is a Bostonian, although his beer choices are questionable (see picture above) for a Bostonian. Sam Adams anyone? Othello's main talents include throwing down often valuable and very breakable objects and shredding important paperwork, in the middle of the night and when seeking attention. Additionally, Othello is capable of opening closed doors using his paws. More importantly, Othello is LOVED immensely and I hope he knows it.

I did not plan on returning to blogging evoking feelings of sadness. Yet, I was compelled to to do so in effort to share Othello's life, seek comfort in distraction and to encourage others to rescue a friend from the streets of Wherever to save a life. Reasons for adopting a furry companion may differ to us, but as long as we are able to provide physical, emotional and medical care, our reasons are not that relevant to the furry friend in need. Othello was found few weeks after being born in a dirty basement of a grocery store in Bedford-Stuyvesant, also known as Bed-sty, Brooklyn. He was the weakest of the litter evidenced by his size and being beaten up by his litter mates. This is of course the reason why I fell in love with this little guy. Take a look below at baby Othello. 

Othello and Blue, my other feline friend who is currently 16 years old and still very feisty, hanging out. 
Othello has struggled with health issues since young adulthood including chronic asthma and urinary crystals. His conditions were/are managed with diet and surprisingly infrequent veterinary care and without ongoing medications.

Othello grew into this handsome adult depicted below. He always exudes confidence and does not take any crap. I said it! I love Othello's personality. He is above the immature feline shenanigans Othello's adopted feline siblings continue to engage in, yet he seeks the company of both humans and felines alike whenever possible. 
Othello's humble beginnings may have had something to do with his past and current health issues. However, Othello is lucky for being chosen for his perfect imperfections (smallest of the litter). I encourage all to do the same when rescuing a furry friend. Imperfections are awesome and sometimes very expensive. In spite of that, Othello is worth it. Who cares about obtaining more possessions, right? 

Othello is currently home after his three day hospitalization. He does not want me to discuss his current medical issues because there is fudge to make and he is a bit embarrassed about it all. Othello is looking forward to spending time ruling over his kingdom and continuing to be loved for as a long as he will let me. 

Othello Update: December 15, 2014
My beautiful kitty passed away today....I am heartbroken. He fought and was loved until the end. I miss my sweet smart little boy.   

Now onto the recipe. As a form of distraction and to commemorate this holiday season, which blows thus far - SORRY! - I tried my hand at making vegan fudge using pantry ingredients. I dedicate this recipe to Othello and call it Othello's Fudge. It is delicious and even smells good. 
Take a look at Othello's Fudge and make it immediately. This type of fudge is one I do not mind cleaning up after if you know what I mean. 

Othello's Fudge Ingredients
1 cup unsalted smooth peanut butter or any nut butter, refrigerated or at room temperature 
3/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature 
1/3 cup agave nectar (I used light agave nectar)
1 and 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup rolled oats, blended 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt (optional)
Place the oats in a blender or a food processor. Blend until the oats have powder like consistency, but be sure to leave some texture. This should take a second or two. Now, in a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except sea salt. Use a wooden spoon to incorporate all the ingredients well, until the coconut oil has become smooth. Be sure not to leave any white coconut oil lumps. The process of incorporating all the ingredients, specifically the coconut oil, took me about 10 minutes. To avoid this 10 minute arm workout, you can use melted coconut oil instead of solid state coconut oil, but it will take longer for the batter to solidify. 

Now, place the fudge batter in a small loaf pan lined with plastic wrap leaving enough wrap on the sides. Be sure to coat the plastic wrap lined loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray before placing the fudge batter inside. Smooth out the fudge batter evenly with a spoon in the loaf pan, sprinkle the sea salt on top if using, and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about two hours. 

The removal of the fudge from the pan is quite easy. Pull on the sides of the plastic wrap and gently remove the fudge. Now remove the plastic wrap and place the fudge on the cutting board and slice it to as many or as few pieces as you desire. Be sure not to touch the fudge with your hands too much as the temperature of your hands will bring down the temperature of the fudge evoking a melt down effect. We do not want that. 

Store the fudge in a refrigerator in a closed container for up to one week. 

Be sure not to give Othello's Fudge to your furry companions. It is all for you! Be selfish for once.