My day of cookery started out very promising. I made a tofu scramble with red bell peppers and onions, and served it in corn tortillas with hot sauce and a side of roasted herbed potatoes. All courtesy of Happy Herbivore again (amazing book, I’m telling ya).
After breakfast I had eaten a piece of the gluten-free brownies I made last night. It. Was. Awesome!!! I think it benefited from being wrapped up and in the fridge. I noticed that last night it was a bit crumbly, and today it wasn’t.
I will tell you that those breakfast tacos and potatoes kept me filled up for at least 5 hours! Which was good since I spent most of the day grocery shopping.
I had ordered two new allergy-free cookbooks right after I got home from Vida Vegan Con. Both were recommended during the specialty diet session. One is called Cookies for Everyone and one is The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. Over the past few days I’ve either shopped for or ordered the major ingredients in the books so I can replicate gluten-free goodness.
Today. I failed.
I earmarked (with my stickies) about a dozen cookie recipes that I had the ingredients for. I started with the thumbprint cookies – I hadn’t made those since I was a very little girl (and our version had Hersey Kisses in them, not jam). So I popped in my iPod, poured a glass of wine, and got baking!
My desire to bake was fueled by a few different things. First, my kids go back to school next week, and I’d be a bad mom if I didn’t put something fun in their lunches! Also, I really want to get good at allergy-free baking. I’m good at nut-free baking because that’s what is important to my family…but after VVC, I started thinking more about food allergies in general. I want to send treats to school with my kids that are safe for everyone! My child with a food allergy isn’t the only one on the planet – and there are 8 major food allergies. I feel sorry for R when she can’t participate in another kids’ treats, but I never gave another thought to the kids who can’t eat wheat or soy, etc. My treats will not exclude those kids either. My third motivator was a wish to give cookies to my next door neighbor. They rebuilt the Irene destroyed fence (it faced them, but still…they did it within days and without question). The least I could do is bring them some homemade goodness. And since I don’t know if they have any allergies in their family, I wanted to provide something awesome for all.
All was going very well. I followed the recipe exactly and the dough came out as expected. I put it in the oven, and started on the next batch, happily listening to my audiobook.
D came into the kitchen to give me a kiss and to check on the cookies. They had spread out so much they had turned into some strange jelly pancake thing. Ugh. I let them cook and cool through – even trying another batch. On a positive note – they tasted amazing (the bits I could scrape together). Unfortunately, they weren’t really edible much less giftable.
I then made the pumpkin harvest cookies. They looked awesome. They even stayed looking like cookies while they cooked! Much better than my hot mess of jelly thumbprints. I thought it was due to my genius of using wax paper. Alas..the cookies won’t come OFF the wax paper. Another cookie fail.
The highlight of my day today was being a guest blogger on Veggin Out with Christa! It was my first ever time as writing as a guest blogger on someone else’s blog! I was so thrilled and touched. I wrote about how I became a vegan – which was full of starts and stops along the way. Click on the link to learn more!
A quick bit about Christa. I actually met her because I started talking to her Mom! It was the end of the cupcake and champagne reception, and I noticed her sitting at a table and yawning. I mentioned that she must be an East Coaster too…to be yawning that early in the evening. Sure enough, she’s a close neighbor in Northern VA (I’m in Southeastern), and we soon started chatting it up. She came from VA to see her daughter Christa (who lives in L.A. now) speak at the conference (and to see Portland and get her shopping on). She was hilarious and sweet, and we talked a lot about our love of the East Coast. She was heading to Chicago after Portland (my old stomping ground) to see a good friend. I think meeting Christa’s mom helped make my night!
The next morning after dishing up my yummy buffet breakfast, I was searching out a table to sit at. I saw Christa’s mom, and bee-lined right there. It was the first time I really got to talk to Christa too (we all shared stories at the table about how we became vegans) and it was a great morning. I also got to meet Kathy from Healthy Slow Cooking (a fellow East Coaster from NC), and Andrea from Easy Vegan Cooking.
Anyway, Christa was hilarious and sweet and gracious and smart and beautiful. We hit it off right away, and I talked to her throughout the weekend whenever I could. She laughed at me when I told her I was really shy when first getting to know people. I have a tendency to not shut up once I meet someone, but that initial “hello” can be tough.
Anyway – check out her blog. You’ll see what I mean 🙂
Back to my day…
I spent most of it hitting up grocery stores in Virginia Beach, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and attempting to make cookies. At least the wine was good.
I also have to show a picture of my yellow lab, Sammie. She has a bizarre desire to block all walkways within the house. I’m guessing she figures if she blocks everything, you have to stop and rub her belly. It obviously works well for her since she’s 9 and still blocks all the doorways.
The other highlight of my night was R making a turtle suit with a box. She made the correct (almost) 8-year-old assumption that Kiko didn’t scamper off of her rock because she “was in turtle form”. I can’t even express how cool this is.