Monday, December 29, 2014

A Few of my Favorite....Blogs!

My day is not complete unless I have visited my essential websites  which include numerous vegan blogs. Unfortunately, I probably spend to much time online and these blogs do not help at all. They have helped me to see veganism as anything but restrictive and dull. Instead, the vibrant recipes and advice that I find encourage me to be more creative.

I feel like I know Bianca, the blog's author. Her posts are so chatty and full of information about everything vegan. I must admit that I have never tried any of her recipes, but love reading about what she ate. I appreciate the fact that she is very forgiving and does not belong to the Vegan Police.

This blog was my first introduction to just how good vegan food can be. Angela is so creative and everything I have ever made from her has been a success. I even have a copy of her cookbook, which is my favorite this year. She doesn't post as often since she had a baby, but this is a great resource.

I discovered this blog through Google when looking for a recipe. It was my greatest find! I spend most of my time baking, so this was perfect for me. The ingredients are simple and easy to find, also perfect for me. 

This was a very recent find for me, recommended by another vegan. So far, I have only used one recipe from this site and we enjoyed it. I plan to try many others.

I hope you check out these blogs and tell me about your favorite. 

On Instagram I started following Vegan Beast Mode. His story is amazing and he inspires me to at least get out of bed and stretch. Check him out!

I have one week left off from school and there is so much cooking left to do. I have three new cookbooks to work from and will be sharing the results with you.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Musings and Christian Book Review

It's almost Christmas!

I am seriously lacking the Christmas Spirit this year, not exactly sure why. Yet, I am not filled with the requisite excitement. Perhaps, it has something to do with me not having an oven and not being able to bake the usual goodies. Hopefully this will be rectified soon, and I will be able to have the joy of taking Christmas goodies from my oven. I did find an amazing no bake recipe at the minimalist baker, so we can have cheer without an oven.

This year there has been so much death and sickness, and the season is marred with the illness of a family member and the death of a fellow church member. It is necessary at times like these to remember the little things that bring joy and gladness. For example, the cheesy Christmas movies that I love so much. Wrapping gifts for family members, envisioning them being opened and the delight of my four year old when we pass a house that is covered in lights.

I am happy to be home from school and able to bury myself in the pages of books. I just completed the Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, years ago I had read and loved The Giver. The other three books in this series were not as good as that one but were still pretty satisfying.

I had the chance to read The Patmos Deception* by Davis Bunn. I find that I need a change in my reading, so I find myself more interested in mysteries and adventures rather than romance. This book had a little romance and lots of mystery and adventure. The story takes place in Greece with the financial collapse as a prominent feature in the story. Carey Mathers loses a job opportunity and meets a family that cares for her as if she were one of them. Nick, an old crush and love interest, offers her a job and a chance to put her expertise (forensic archaeology) to work searching for corrupt people intent on stealing a great treasure. Dimitri, my favorite character, lives on a small Greek island that Carey and Nick travel to. Dimitri shows so much growth as a character, and his inner thoughts revealed so much. I did not like the way the story ended, it seems as if there is more to come. What did the ancient artifact say? Who will Carey end up with? All questions that were unanswered. If you want a break from monotony and want to learn a little about Greece, The Patmos Deception is for you, but if you need a story with no loose threads, you may want to pass on this one.

Well, most of you already know what you are cooking for Christmas dinner. I usually eat with my extended family at our annual party. This will be an adventure, as most of the food will not be vegan. I will prepare Dreena Burton's Festive Chickpea Tart. I plan to do some desserts, so I will be well-fed. I also love when people taste a dessert, then follow that with "This is vegan!!???"

 I hope that your Christmas is filled with joy, peace and lots of delicious food!

*A free copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review- Provence 1970

 This book may not be enjoyable for the average vegan, as it contains considerable food porn that features meat prominently. Yet, I enjoyed it!. Provence, 1970 is written by M.F.K. Fisher's grandnephew. I have heard of M.F. but never read her work, after this book I plan to read her books and the work of James Beard. I was almost tempted to look up Julia Child's cookbooks too, but then I remembered ... Vegan???

The book tells of M.F., Julia and Paul Child, James Beard and Onley (a cookbook author, I had never heard about) meeting up in Provence. The times were changing, attitudes were shifting. French cooking had been seen as the ultimate, and Americans had worshiped at this altar for many years. After being ridiculed by French Chefs (Beck-Child's co-author) and Onley (American living in France), M.F. and Julia decided to turn their attention elsewhere and American cuisine became their focus. 

My favorite parts of the book were the letters traded back and forth by all the key players in the book. It made me want to purchase stationery and dismantle my email account. Luke Barr, did a great job of combining the letters with journal writings and personal stories to deliver a magnificent tribute to M.F. K. Fisher and other American Food Writers.

The book also mentions a shift to local foods, quality and even organic ingredients. Vegetarian cooking is even mentioned. It's a reminder that nothing stays the same, our attitudes towards food will continue to shift. Perhaps one day, the whole world will be vegan!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through Blogging for Books.