I dare you to come up with something better than coming home after a long day of work and horrible commute to find cookies on your doorstep. This may be the season of giving, but I equally enjoy the giving AND getting part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This brilliant (global!) blogger party is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Each blogger is assigned three recipients to send cookies to (no communication pre-cookies! Bake a dozen and send them off then one day in the not so far future–*BAM!* cookies on your doorstep. I was super excited to participate in my 2nd cookie swap, though this year was a bit different as it was my first time baking gluten-free.
When I was assigned We Heart Vegan for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I knew I was going to find some great recipes. Brittany started her blog as a way to show everyone that good vegan food can not only be healthy, but appealing to everyone. I naturally cook mostly vegetarian and vegan, meat only a couple of times a week, so am always looking to expand my recipe collection. I figured I’d find some great gluten-free recipes too.
This month has absolutely flown. First we were on vacation in Scotland and Ireland for two weeks. The following two weeks we had back to back weddings, then my birthday (yay!) then family time. Needless to say, I haven’t had nearly as much time in the kitchen or with my blog as I would have liked. The lazy part of me, said it’s okay, just skip a month of the Secret Recipe Club. No one will care… But I would care. The Secret Recipe Club is a wonderful opportunity to explore other blogs. Too often do I find a wonderful recipe on a friend’s blog, thinking I’m going to make that right away! Months go by and the recipe still sits on Pinterest, still to be attempted. But SRC forces me to at least once a month, try something new. This month I was assigned to Heather’s It’s Yummy to My Tummy. Like me, Heather uses the kitchen to escape. There were so many great recipes to try, but again, the time thing.
It’s been some time since I’ve baked. Mostly because I haven’t had a proper occasion. My family trips to NJ over the past few month have meant borrowing my mom’s kitchen to whip up some treats or simply providing the libations. Have you ever tried to carry a cake or pie on the subway, a short walk and two trains? Trust me, it’s not a fun experience. The responsibility of making sure the dessert stays perfectly straight with little bumps or bruises is stressful enough, but add a hot humid day and some whipped topping and it’s a recipe for disaster. Nobody wants to eat a puddled dessert soup. Unless of course it was originally planned that way.
A few weeks back when I made mini tiramisu cups, I bought mascarpone with intentions of bringing the supplies to my mother’s to cook. I can’t remember the exact circumstances but I ended up leaving my ingredients in Brooklyn and buying new ingredients in Jersey, leaving me with two tubs of mascarpone, an ingredient that I’ve purchased very sparingly in my life. Luckily the cream has a long refrigerator life if unopened. As the expiration date pushed closer I knew I had to make something. I canned some bourbon cherries the other week, realizing I still had half a pint left over from last season that we needed to consume. …how those cherries lasted a few year is still a mystery.
Another year and lots of food. The past year of blogging has been very different from the year before, mostly in quantity. As most of you have probably noticed, frequency has tapered off a bit. For a while I was doing a lot of writing that was not here on Brooklyn Locavore. Some for Restaurant Girl and a bit of editing and writing for Just Food. Then I started a new full-time position in December. Work life has been crazy, good crazy, but forced me to scale back a little. I’ve continued with Just Food, took a break from Restaurant Girl but ideally would love to be posting here twice a week. I still cook almost as much and am at the point that I probably have more recipes and ideas to share than I’ll ever be able to write.