Spring is here. It’s been sprinkling in the mornings, sunny and a little breezy in the afternoons. On my long walks with Ruby, cherry blossoms float by in their gentle, dreamy way. Though our street is tree-lined, we often walk along Shotwell Street where we are greeted by the smell of jasmine and magnolia and surrounded by tall Edwardians.
Sometimes we stay in our immediate neighborhood, east of the mad hustle that is Mission Street, but sometimes, it’s fun to jump into the mêlée for a while. Ruby’s little nose twitches as we pass the bacon wrapped hot dog vendor and she stops for pets and belly rubs at every outdoor café.
By the time we get home, it’s time to start cooking. This Saturday, I was looking forward to making some chickpea tacos with a little twist. I have been obsessed with harissa for about a year now. I often have a jar of it in the refrigerator, but I had decided to make a green harissa for a bit of a change. I was also excited to pair these spicy vegan tacos with beer from New Belgium Brewing Co.
Most people are very familiar with Fat Tire by New Belgium. The brewery was very generous in providing a stipend for beer and ingredients to develop a recipe for them. What a fun project! While, I often lean towards Belgian-style ales and trippels, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and drink something lighter. Enter spring and … get the recipe
How often is it that doing the dishes is a treat? Not very, right? Well, it’s been a month since my kitchen accident, and my bandages are getting smaller and smaller. Sometimes, when I know I’m going to be very careful, I can just wear a nonstick gauze and a bit of tape! That’s what I was rockin’ when I decided to try and slip my hot pink rubber gloves over the top. To my surprise, it actually worked.
I was in there in my sunny kitchen, chipping away at yesterday’s dishes, listening to a favorite Dharma talk by Jack Kornfield, and looking at a bunch of overripe bananas and I thought, “it’s been way too long since I’ve really cooked something yummy”. You see, most of the dishes were from the take out we’d ordered from Mission Chinese and the rest were from my tofu scramble at lunch.
I finished up the dishes and then Jack Kornfield shares the following quote from Deena Metzger:
Give me everything mangled and bruised
And I will make a light of it to make you weep,
And we will have rain,
And begin again.
The quote stopped me in my tracks. I went to my laptop. I played it again. Mangled, bruised… just like my bananas. Time to make some triple chocolate, coconut banana bread. Vegan of course.
- ½ cup dark brown muscavado sugar
- ½ cups organic cane sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil cut into small pieces, at room temp
… get the recipe
I just want to report a quick piece of fantastic news! The PayPal saga is over and with some (tedious) legwork and lots of patience on the part of Yusuke Wada at Second Harvest Japan and yes, myself, it’s finally solved.
I had a bit of sweet intervention. Someone forwarded my case to the founders of PayPal. I am so incredibly grateful for this. I had the extreme fortune to work with Cami in Executive Escalations over the weekend; she was kind, and warm, and took a genuine interest in this case. She was even a foodie and a member of a CSA from her home in the Midwest. Cami has also offered to work with me on this autumn’s bake sale so that it runs super smoothly. She is a gem.
I am still reeling from the roller coaster of the last five weeks, but I think the peak will be handing a check to Yusuke and telling him just how fortunate I feel to have worked with the generous food bloggers and enthusiastic bidders who made this all possible. Thank you all so much, and happy Tuesday.
The last five weeks have been very full for me, to say the least. If you keep up with this blog, even a little, you’ll know that I hosted The Online Bake Sale for Japan which raised over $8,000 for Second Harvest Japan. You may also know that I had a pretty serious kitchen accident on the 20th of March from which I’m still recovering (hence the lack of recipes posted, Now, I am really excited to officially announce a bit of really exciting news. Ready?
Irvin Lin, of Eat the Love, and I will be leading a panel at Blog Her Food in Atlanta on branding and design for food bloggers. The panel will focus on how to think like a designer, branding expert, and if I have my way, we’ll throw a little web usability in there too. We’ll walk through some of the same branding exercises we’ve used on clients from small nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies. We’ll even cover the basics like- how to choose a color palette for your blog.
Irvin and I met in November at FoodBuzz Fest and we had instant chemistry, we chatted food and design that first day, but it wasn’t until I attended one of his monthly DIY Desserts parties that he had the idea that we should host a panel together. It turns out that our skill sets fit so beautifully together it’s almost like it was meant to be.
Many of you know that I have put some time into the Online Bake Sale for Japan benefiting Second Harvest Japan. I may have told some of you that I had nightmares about spreadsheets during the administrative phase of the project. Now, this project is facing a much worse nightmare than spreadsheets.
Apparently, I didn’t go through the proper channels when I set up the Online Bake Sale for Japan. I cannot say I knew there were proper channels. I chose my nonprofit, one based in Japan, and one that was extremely efficient. I set up a new PayPal account as a personal account and a new bank account- just so things would be very clean. Please bear in mind, I never said I was a nonprofit or that I was asking for any sort of tax deduction. I even called PayPal and asked how to collect money without incurring fees as I was having a bake sale for a Japanese charity.
Now, PayPal is holding the money and will not release it so that I may donate to Second Harvest Japan. I have answered many questions, Second Harvest has provided a letter from their Executive Director stating that I have permission to raise funds for their organization, and many of you have baked and shipped and eaten, tweeted, and posted. This has been a community effort in the largest sense.
The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis has been a tragedy on a global scale, but the community of … get the recipe
If this were a restaurant review blog, I’d have tons of blog posts right now. Since my injury, I have cooked exactly one meal and one batch of cupcakes. For one, it hurts to cook. Even though it is my left hand that tangled with an immersion blender and definitely lost, it is amazing how much we use our hands. Also, I can’t do any dishes, so while I like to clean as I cook, instead, I end up with a big fat disaster of a workspace.
THIS IS THE BROCCOLI SOUP I WAS MAKING WHEN THE BLENDER STRUCK!
I have had some delicious meals at vegan joints and I’ve found that some of my favorite restaurants offer pretty delicious vegan options. I am eating vegan at least six days a week. So far, in the last two months, I have tasted a couple of bites of non vegan recipes that I had committed to creating, I have had sushi twice and eaten soup that I am sure featured a healthy dose of butter even though the waitress claimed it was vegan. Since I am eating vegan for health benefits, and the pretty fantastic green consequences are just a plus, I didn’t freak out about a little butter. Other than my finger, I feel pretty great.
Right before the Online Bake Sale for Japan, I was making outstanding vegan meals. Between the bake sale and the injury, though, I never finished writing them up, so… I’ll share with you, … get the recipe
I am so happy to tell you that we have not only met our goal, we tripled it! Thank you to everyone involved in the Online Bake Sale for Japan. Everyone who baked, bid, and promoted this Bake Sale was an integral part of it’s success. Every single item sold and we raised $8,269 for Second Harvest Japan. If you did not win anything and you would like to donate to this fundraiser, still I have set up a fundraising site, and have some information below.
Now, as I recover, I have a lot of thank you emails to send out and a lot of batches of brownies and cupcakes to bake and a couple of cakes to bake. I will do this all single-handedly- literally. Many of you may know that I had a serious kitchen accident on the 21st of March resulting in many stitches in my index finger and thumb. While it has been healing fairly well, it has been slow going and I am now fighting a bit of an infection. I have not been in the kitchen much at all, and I am looking forward to returning.
Many have also asked if they can still donate if they did not win their bid, so I found a way to do that! Let’s keep the momentum going until we reach $10,000. As a matter of fact, I will bake any of the sweets on my blog or work with you to create something to … get the recipe