I’ve never been the type to celebrate Valentine’s Day. With all the pressure to buy roses and diamonds for your love, it just seems so over-commercialized, too pricey and too stressful. There is no need for flowers or chocolates or fancy dinners for this lady.
Yet I do still find fun in the tradition of gifting valentines to family, friends and colleagues. Rather than mass-produced, cartoon-embellished cards, creating my own edible gifts always wins me huge points from anyone on the receiving end. Today I’m sharing with you a true winner: the maca mint chocolate truffles recipe from my latest Edible Gifts ebook. Lisa and I created this collection of ebook recipes to inspire you to start the tradition of gifting homemade vegan treats, and I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to put these recipes to use. It’s like your carefree, super fun and—most importantly—insanely delicious guide to gifting. (You can order your copy here.)
Ah, January, the first month of the year is already drawing to a close. As completely amazing as 2013 was, I have big plans and long lists to accomplish this year.
With so much going on, I’m embracing 2014 with simplicity on the food front. I adore one-pot meals that are delicious yet realistic and achievable with busy schedules. Brown rice with colourful stir-fried veggies is a staple in my house, but I’ve recently discovered grated cauliflower to replace rice for a more nutritious and vegetable-packed meal. Have you tried it yet? I have to say, it is incredible and super simple.
Today I’d like to share a beautiful new ebook I recently worked on for Allison Rivers Samson, owner of artisan vegan bakery and chocolaterie Allison’s Gourmet and award-winning food columnist for VegNews. It was a pleasure photographing (and taste-testing) her recipes for this new ebook, Comfortably Yum.
Happy new year! Now that 2014 is here, I’m excited as ever to jump into projects with the fresh perspective and motivation that a new year brings. The past 364 days were a whirlwind of travel wonderment and accomplishments, including trips to Las Vegas and Portland, winning a top spot at Toronto’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, launching a second ebook with Lisa, and photographing recipes for Dreena’s first ebook and upcoming cookbook.
With that said, let’s look back at the top five reader favourites of 2013.
1. Coconut peanut butter—Inspired by Earth Balance coconut & peanut spread, this homemade spread combines the tropical, full-bodied flavour of shredded coconut with the popular, all-natural goodness of peanuts.
Let me just put it out there: I think Fran Costigan is a culinary genius.
I’ve been in awe of her incredible baking knowledge ever since participating in her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive training course in 2010. A classically trained pastry chef who went vegan more than 20 years ago, Fran is a true powerhouse who has dedicated years of her life to tweaking, testing, and analyzing the chemistry that makes a top-notch vegan dessert.
She has worked her way up to become a a sought-after instructor at the Natural Gourmet Institute, consultant, author of More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and the expert of all things (vegan, fair-trade) chocolate.