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The Charmery

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I love my neighborhood.  Since having moved into Hampden proper, I’ve really been trying to take advantage of everything it has to offer.  One of the most amazing parts is “The Avenue“.  While touristy, it’s also really fun for locals as well.  There are plenty of shops and really amazing restaurants.  But one thing that has been missing in the neighborhood has been icy treats.  Well, now there is a new shop in town.

The Charmery

The Charmery


The Charmery opened up this past weekend.  If the crowds on Sunday at 5pm were any indication about how much the residents in Hampden were excited, I’d say that The Charmery will have no issues.  All the ice cream is made in store.  The dairy is locally sourced as is most of the other ingredients.  They definitely do a nod to Baltimore style flavors including an Old Bay caramel flavor and a Berger cookie flavor.  But what I found MOST exciting is that the store is offering vegan options!  After having some regular ice cream for the first time in a very long time two weeks ago and having a violent reaction (SORRY!), I was really happy for this option.  The option(s) could be a sorbet, a home made soda, or even coconut milk ice cream.  Luckily for me they had the coconut milk ice cream!

Toasted Coconut ice cream

Toasted Coconut ice cream

The flavor was toasted coconut, and it was DELICIOUS.  The texture is not as solid and creamy as what traditional milk ice cream would be, but it’s still so good.  The single scoop was for sure enough for one person to eat.  The ice cream was still so rich due to the fat content of coconut milk, plus the toasted coconut adds an interesting texture and deeper flavor to the cream.  I was told that the cones are currently not egg free, but they are working on getting a vegan option, plus they are working on creating their own vegan chocolate sauce.  I’m SUPER stoked to see this place grow.


Coconut Curry Tofu

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Canned tomatoes

Sometimes you want a REALLY flavorful dinner that’s not difficult to make.  Yes you can make a baked potato (my favorite easy meal) or microwave a frozen dinner, but other times you want REAL food and fast.  This recipe is surprisingly easy and requires very little work.  I got the recipe from this AWESOME cookbook that my mother-in-law got for me for Christmas/Hanukkah last year.  It’s called “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman.  If you’ve never heard about Mark Bittman, he’s a champion of REAL food.  He promotes healthy food that tastes great and the use of meat sparingly.  I agree with his philosophy whole-heartedly.  While I may not eat meat, I appreciate others that limit their intake and know where their meat comes from.

Cubed tofu and chopped carrots


  • 2 medium onions quartered

    Coconut milk and curry powder

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 28 0z canned tomatoes (puree or anything without spices added)
  • 2 tsp oil (I used coconut)
  • 2 Tbsp curry or garam masala (use curry if you want spicier)
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs extra firm tofu (pressed to remove water)
  • 1.5 cups vegetables (I used carrots and peas and closer to 2.5 cups)
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
  • Chopped cilantro, salt, pepper to taste

Pureed onions

Combine the onions, garlic, and tomatoes in a food processor and puree.  I used tomatoes that I had canned during my crazy canning period.  Again, to make things easiest, you can used canned pureed tomatoes and just puree the onions and garlic.  This may have to be done in batches depending on size of your food processor.

Puree with spices simmering

Add oil to pan and heat over medium heat.  When hot add the puree to the pan.  Add salt, pepper, and curry to the mix.  Stir occasionally until the mixture looks like a sauce.  Should be about 10 minutes.

Stew getting going…

Add the cubed tofu and vegetables to the pot.  Allow the mixture to simmer for about five to 10 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and taste.  Add more salt and pepper if need be and add cilantro if you like at this time.

Serve with brown rice.

Finished stew