(Please hit the jump to recipe button above to head straight for the Vegan Apple Spiced Chia Parfait!)
My intention for this week’s post was to start answering questions in my vegan series. I had a thought all picked out, my facts were checked, my ideas were organized…and then? As usual, things didn’t go quite as planned. (Yeah, I know. I say that all the time now.) I did manage to pull together a tasty vegan spiced apple chia parfait recipe, though, which keeps me somewhat on track and allows me to pretend that I’m still running this whole show. But the blog needed my attention, so my post will have to wait. There’s always next week is fast becoming my favorite motto.
The fact that “the blog needed my attention” comes as no big surprise; I already knew from past experience that jumping into this was going to create its fair share of problems. There are always small (or large) technical issues, design details that I’m never entirely pleased with, and frustrations that come along with the whole endeavor; this time has been no exception. I’m just happy (or maybe incredibly relieved) that I seem able to deal with it much better than in years past. Instead of looking at each obstacle with a “stop holding up my progress,
you stupid problem,” I adjusted my perspective. With a little bit of effort it’s no longer a negative problem, but now an interesting challenge. Okay, sometimes “interesting” is a stretch, but still, it’s now a challenge that I intend to win.
My Tech-Savvy Approach
The real issue here is that I am in no way a computer savvy person. My approach to dealing with technological issues is to groan loudly, look blankly at my device, and then wait until someone notices and swoops in to help “poor, clueless” mom. It generally works like a charm, and I spare myself a lot of headaches. But now, here I am, playing at this whole blogging game again, and there’s no one to groan to. No pity-filled eyes to resolve the problems for me. Which leaves me with no other choice but to pass endless hours lost in one meandering Google search after another. Or even more hours live-chatting with a WordPress Happiness Engineer as we troubleshoot my problems. Or additional hours testing codes and plugins. Don’t get me wrong: I still groan, but now all I get is a sympathetic pat on the head with a, “You’ll figure it out eventually, Mom.”
And you know what? I do. I do.
No Fail Approach
There have been countless things taught to me by my guru (Sri Yoganandaji) that have been invaluable to me as I navigate my way through this life. What he tells me about failure versus success is one of my favorites:
You can only fail if you give up before you succeed.
Because the problem isn’t bigger than I can handle, I’ve just decided that it is. So really, I can only fail if I decide the victory isn’t worth the effort. Or if I just plain quit before I reach my goal (admittedly, sometimes that’s the smartest option). Which makes perfect sense to me because if we’re all made of the same God-stuff, then there can be no real limitations. No limitations other than the ones I (and others) have placed on myself, anyway. So if I decide to remedy these blog troubles, then I only have the option of failure if I believe I do. And I haven’t allowed myself that luxury.
Recently someone asked me how the business was going – Booming? he’d asked, like that was the best case scenario. That’s actually pretty funny because there is absolutely no way we could handle booming right now. In fact, most days we still can’t handle trickling. At this point, it excites me that we’re getting views and visits every day. And it excites me even more that our hits from search engines are increasing. And hearing the notification on my phone for a sale is tons of fun. But when would there be time to process and ship booming orders when I need to spend twelve hours installing and tweaking a whole new blog theme? Or trying to figure out how to make my buttons silver instead of red? Or searching for a code to change my font from (boring) Times New Roman to (my favorite) Raleway?
Booming? Uh-uh. Not right now, thanks.
So I bravely tackled my challenge this weekend and many hours later, I can cross it all off as another success. Follow Us Home has a whole new blog design: one where the shop functions as it should, where the reviews post accurately, and where the categories finally work (for the first time since launching). Several days ago when I eyed the obstacles looming before me, I self-soothed with an, In the end, this’ll probably be much better. At one point, Jordan smiled at me in sympathy and said the very same thing. (Easy for her to say.)
But our optimism was sound, and we’re all in agreement that the simple, minimalist new design suits us much better. And we’re all super relieved that the shop is finally operating smoothly. Because one day? We’ll be booming. (And maybe by then, we’ll be ready for it.)
- 8-10 Medjool dates pitted, soaked
- 2 cups plant-based milk
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup almond (or peanut) butter
- ¼ cup cacao (or cocoa) powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 medium apples peeled and diced
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk full fat
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Add all of the pudding ingredients (except for the dates) to a mixing bowl. Whisk for about 1 minute or until the pudding starts to thicken slightly and is thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.
2. Pit and soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly. When the pudding is fully chilled and thickened, add the dates to the food processor along with 3 teaspoons of plant-based milk. Process until smooth.
3. Add the date paste to the pudding and stir well to combine.
1. Peel and dice the apples small.
2. Add the apples, water, cinnamon, and syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the apples are soft.
1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Turn the can upside-down to open and pour out the liquid on top, saving the thick cream on the bottom. Spoon the cream into a chilled mixing bowl and add the sweetener and vanilla. Using a handheld beater, beat the cream until light and creamy.
Assemble the parfait in layers, beginning with pudding and ending with a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Sprinkle with some vegan chocolate chips if desired. Serve cold.
- Whipped Coconut Cream - A dash of stevia may be used in place of the maple syrup
- Coconut Milk - I use Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk, classic