Site Meter

June 23, 2010

A month in review, a year in review: part 2

Now that we have properly celebrated the 1 year anniversary of my blog, I'd love to fill you in on all of the fun stuff that I have been up to the last month.

The weekend of May 22 was Green Fest at Chicago's Navy Pier. I won a pair of tickets from VegNews, so I grabbed Steve and we went. This was my kind of trade show, and I am so glad that we decided to go!

Natural health, green energy, fair trade and recycled goods, animal rights, vegetarian/vegan/raw food, and more. Here are a few snapshots:

I had many great conversations with various exhibitors that day. I had the opportunity to meet a few of the girls from VegNews, including Savvy Abby. I had a nice long chat about publishing, vegan cooking, and blogging with Thomas Hupp from Book Publishing Co. Here is a shot of us at their booth--check out all of those vegan books!

There were so many cookbooks that I wanted to buy, but I managed to escape with just two: Cooking with PETA and The Chicago Diner Cookbook.

Here is some of the other loot I picked up at the show, some Mary's Gone Crackers samples (YUM) and a coin purse from Global Exchange made from recycled tires.

Steve bought a new hoodie from Organic and Vintage Wear. This sweatshirt is made from recycled plastic bottles! It is so soft and comfy, it's hard to believe that it is made from plastic.

Then of course, we ate! Steve could not resist his favorite restaurant, The Chicago Diner. He ordered the vegan gyros and then the peanut butter puck for dessert.

It was a tough decision, but I opted for Soul Vegetarian (it was the greens that got me!). Check out my plate of "ribs", mac 'n cheese, greens, and cornbread.


 After we ate we left the exhibit hall and went out to enjoy Navy Pier for a bit before heading home.

Moving right along, in my month in review... later that same week my new roommate moved in, meet Meril:

I have been keeping busy in the kitchen cooking for us, trying out all of my favorite recipes on her. Meril is an omnivore, but very open to eating all of my vegan cooking. So far she has really been liking it! In addition to my favorites, I've also tried a few new recipes this month that are worth sharing. This is the New Age Vegan Pasta Carbonara (recipe by Ricki Heller).

I have been wanting to make a mock chicken salad and I finally did. Behold the Tempeh Salad Wrap (recipe by Morgan of Little House of Veggies).

Originally I was going to include my Memorial Day weekend vacation in this post, but this post is already long enough! For now I will leave you with a photo from my trip, and a clue, this was not NYC. :)

June 22, 2010

A month in review, a year in review: part 1

Well, hello there, I believe we have some catching up to do around here! A whole month worth of catching up in fact. They should lock me up and charge me with neglect for ignoring my blog-baby this way. I mean, I didn't even wish her a happy first birthday a few weeks ago!


Well, that's not entirely true. I had a 1-year-of-blogging celebration with one of my favorite things in the world: brunch. And a tasty brunch it was: tofu 'n' greens quiche with millet crust, sage and garlic sweet potato homefries, roasted asparagus, and fresh berries. I recommend this quiche, which is a combination of the crust from Ricki's quiche and the fillings from Lindsay's quiche - perfection!

Looking back on this year o' blogging I am pleased to realize that I have accomplished even more than I had hoped to. I always loved cooking, but being self taught I had limitations. The first year of this blog is largely a documentation of many firsts in my kitchen. Some of my favorite firsts were exploring Indian cuisine (and traveling to India!), making vegan cheese, simmering from-scratch soup (and subsequently many many more soups), discovering my obsession with butternut squash, and cooking with a pressure cooker.

One year later my kitchen is a totally different place. The most unexpected side effect of blogging was my decision to go vegan in January of this year. If you would have asked me a year ago if I ever thought that I would become vegan, I would have said no way. One day it just clicked, and I can no longer make sense of eating any other way. My new cruelty-free diet is so fulfilling and brings me so much happiness!

Looking to the year ahead, you can expect to see a few changes around here. First off, to reflect the big changes in my kitchen the blog title and url will likely be changing as well. I am still thinking this through, but don't worry, you will be the first to know if I decide to make the move. I have been doing a lot of cookbook cooking lately which I feel is worth sharing, so I plan to start including some cookbook reviews from time to time. Other than that, this site will continue to be a place for vegan recipes, and the documentation of many more "firsts" of mine.

I owe a big thanks to all of my fellow food bloggers for the daily inspiration. I have so enjoyed reading all of your lovely blogs and cooking your wonderful recipes. Thanks also to all of my readers, I am so honored that you choose to spend time with me in my kitchen. I should mention that any readers out there that have your own food blog but never chimed in to say hello here, please do, because I would love to read your blog too!

I will be back with part 2 tonight to catch you up on all of the goings-on of the very eventful month I spent away from blogging!