Happy Holidays, Everyone! I hope the last week has brought you some restful moments and peace. I have been cooking and reading up a storm. I FINALLY got to reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman thanks to my friend Kathleen, and I am literally vibrating with emotions from this one.
Yes, Beartown came out in 2018. Yes, I’m two years late. Yes, I am even LATER to the Fredrik Backman party. I decided to review this because if you aren’t familiar with FB, it’s time! I hope my praise for this book inspires readers to pick up Fredrik Backman’s books.
CW: Sexual Assault
Beartown is a hockey town. A small community that pulses with the game and revolves around its star teenage players. When the news of an extremely violent attack on a young girl spreads like wildfire, every person in town begins to crumble. Amidst the chaos and devastation, the book explores what it means to fight for what you believe in and standing up for others.
Beartown took my breath away. It’s written from the perspective of multiple characters, and every character has relatable traits. Backman’s descriptions in his writing are vivid and alive. I gasped, shouted and cried through this book. I ached for these people and hated some. It evoked a lot of empathy in me. I can’t thank my friend Kathleen enough for putting this into my hands! I can’t wait to read all his other books.
The Cheesiest Vegan Mac Recipe
I chose Vegan Mac and Cheese for this book because snow and the winter months make me think of big, delicious bowls of comfort food. David even says this is better than regular mac and cheese! HA! Take that dairy.
- Serves: 4-6
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 25 minutes
- 2-3 cups of macaroni
- 1 cup of Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (I usually use 2-4 potatoes depending on size)
- 1/3 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup of hot water (easy to use the water from the boiled veggies)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained*
- 1/4 cup of coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika, and more for sprinkling on finished pasta
- Cook macaroni according to box, set aside.
- Bring a few cups of water to boil. Add the potatoes, onions, and carrots. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
- Drain the veggies in a colander, keeping 3/4 of the water. (If you forgot this step, you can always boil more water or quickly microwave a cup!)
- Add the veggies, 3/4 cup of hot water, cashews, nutritional yeast and spices to a food processor or blender. Blend until extremely creamy! Add more spices if you like.
- Pour the sauce over the macaroni and mix well.
- Serve with paprika and cayenne pepper sprinkled on top!
*Soaking the cashews in water will make the sauce even creamier because it softens the nut. For soaking- boil some hot water and let the cashews sit in the water for 15 minutes, then drain. Or you can soak the cashews for a few hours in cold water. The 15 minute option works just as well though! If you are excited about this recipe but are nut-free, let me know and we can talk alternatives.