Six years ago today, I met my sweetie for coffee for the first time. We had met two months before, seen each other a few times, but hadn’t yet clicked. The last time I saw him was at a holiday party I hosted at my apartment, where he accidentally left his scarf behind. The coffee meetup was meant as a way to return his scarf. I can still remember that timid, getting-to-know-you conversation over steaming cups of chai tea lattes and his cute reaction when I gave him a bag of homemade cookies.
Exactly two years later on that day, we held hands on a private beach in St. Lucia and professed our lifelong commitment to each other.
I still believe it was the cookies that led his heart to mine.
Happy anniversary, darling.
I mentioned briefly in my last Treat of the Month Club post in December that, while Lisa and I were sad to say goodbye to our regular meet ups—in which we delivered six homemade vegan and gluten-free treats to each of our club members each month—we were also excited to share some news.
This year, we will be creating special celebration packages for the holidays, starting with Valentine’s Day next month! This means you can surprise a friend or loved one with a gift box of eight gourmet vegan and gluten-free treats prepared especially for the holiday. Of course, you are also welcome to sign up and keep the treats all for yourself. We won’t judge.
Here’s how it works:
It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone so quickly. It was an amazing 2012. I have met and become friends with a number of awesome people through blogging and my local veg community, and I’m feeling pretty grateful.
I’m also proud of the outreach projects I was able to accomplish this year, including launching the Treat of the Month Club in Toronto, participating in Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Festival and publishing my first ebook with the beautiful and always inspiring Lisa. The support we have received through the sale of Tiny Treats has left my heart bursting with joy. Since September, we have raised enough money to help feed 12 elephants in 2013—but we’d love to continue sending help to those precious animals on an ongoing basis. Let’s hope we can continue the momentum.
Blog-wise, I have a number of favourite recipes I was able to create and share here on ADC, most of which are dessert-inspired creations. This blog is always a work in progress and a means of growth for me, and although I’ve always enjoyed working on my baking and raw dessert-making skills, I recently became inspired to start sharing more savoury recipes and I’m super excited to change things up a bit around here. It’s also better to start the new year with a salad rather than a dessert, right?
When I was young, my grandmother used to make butter tarts at this time every year and it’s safe to say they were a family favourite. If you’re not Canadian, you may not understand the need to find a suitable vegan substitute for butter tarts. Combining flaky pastry shells with a deliciously sweet filling made of butter, brown sugar and eggs, they are considered a quintessential not-so-vegan Canadian dessert. For my family, they were a highlight of special occasions.
If butter tarts are one of your favourite pre-vegan desserts, or a comfort food from your childhood, I think you’ll love this vegan, gluten-free version, which I adapted from this recipe from Tori’s Bakeshop. Tori uses coconut milk and maple syrup but all the flavour comes from the pecans and raisins (and yes, the sugar, too).
Oh, and I have no words to describe the gluten-free pastry, other than it is the best and easiest version I have ever made. This recipe will most definitely be added to my regular repertoire.
With December here, Lisa and I are bidding farewell to our regular Treat of the Month Club as we fill up our to-do lists with exciting new projects for 2013. We have been overjoyed with the response to our monthly sweets over the last nine months and particularly the connections we made with new and old friends in Toronto’s vegan community. There really is nothing more rewarding than sharing homemade food with others and celebrating the deliciousness of a plant-based diet.
Last Sunday, we packed up the final selection of vegan treats to hand out to our club members.
This month, Lisa and I shared: