An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked


Leftovers, Reheated

Creating from dawn to dusk and beyond yields countless new treasures, failures, and everything in between. End products are usually easy to quantify, whether it’s a photo shoot that turned out exactly as planned, or a recipe that is almost, but not quite, ready for the spotlight. But what about the work that doesn’t lead up to one final output? Those are the scraps, the leftovers that get pushed to the back of the fridge where they’re forgotten. Rather than letting them spoil and go to waste, I’m pulling them all out this afternoon to reheat and serve anew!

First up is the main course: I have a number of Vegan a la Mode book signings and samplings coming up! If you’re in the Connecticut area, you won’t want to miss the chance to taste a few featured flavors. Even if you already have the book or don’t even want a copy, stop by for a taste, ask a few questions, and learn about methods for making ice cream without a machine. Those events are as follows…

July 31st: 4 – 6 pm at Health in a Hurry. 1891 Post Rd, Fairfield CT.

August 11th: Noon – 2 pm at Thyme & Season. 3040 Whitney Ave, Hamden CT.

August 18th: Noon – 3 pm at Fairfield University Bookstore. 1499 Post Rd, Fairfield CT

For the next morsel on the plate, I’ve entered my Pomegranate Ice Cream Pops into Ethical Ocean’s vegan recipe contest! Please vote for me, early and often, because you can log your choice up to once per day. The more often you vote, the better your chances of winning a fabulous prize for yourself, too.

Finally, as the gravy over the top, this summer semester’s required class has forced me to face my photographic nemesis: People. Yes, I have little experience actually shooting portraits of my fellow wo/man in any serious manner, so it’s been a learning experience, to say the least. I’ve been sharing some of my favorite shots through twitter, but you can also check in with the photo set I’ve been feeding on Flickr.

There, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? With the icebox cleared out and ready to accept more leftovers, we return you to your regularly scheduled diet of fresh foods and new posts.


The Ultimate Ice-Breaker

You may not yet find the VegNews July/August 2012 issue on newsstands or in your mailbox, but because advance issues are now available online, I see that as free rein to start talking about it. Honestly, I can’t help myself- The summer edition is always a joy to work on, now that fresh fruits and vegetables are flooding back into stores, and every recipe sounds equally compelling. Best of all, it means I can bust out the frozen and chilled treats like there’s no tomorrow, better suited to tempering the summer sun than any blast of artificial air conditioning. Returning triumphantly with my thrice annual column, this sweet idea is one grand finale that will beat the pants off of picnic fruit salads and watery popsicles.

Key Lime Icebox Cake, complete with dozens of crunchy macadamia-flecked cookies and a tropical coconut and citrus creme. A single towering cake feeds a crowd with ease, and is best after sitting in the chill chest for at least a day, so advance prep makes it an ideal party guest. It’s the dessert that friends and family will be talking about long after the crowds go home and the summer sun goes back into hibernation. Yes, it’s that good.

It shouldn’t be long now before the issue officially lands, so you may as well start clearing space for this cake in your fridge right now!


London Calling

Perhaps you’ve noticed, but things have been a bit more quiet than normal around here lately. Final exams have passed, and the photos are coming in fast and furious, but the number of forthcoming posts haven’t reflected that in the least. Truth be told, it’s because no one was home at BitterSweet head quarters. Maybe I failed to mention the fact that I was slipping away to London for a week? A quick jaunt across the pond, I hardly had time to get my feet beneath me before it was time to hop a plane back home again, but the brief break was entirely necessary. A few days to indulge a sense of adventure, explore a new corner of the world, and actually think about something other than food 24/7. It’s a truly refreshing change of pace! Thus, it may not have been a foodie’s dream getaway, but I still have plenty of photos and stories to share…

Continue reading


Winner, Winner, Chickpea Dinner!

You guys- You lovely, lovely people out there, reading and baking your hearts out- I think we need to talk. We’ve been seeing each other for a couple of years now, and suffice to say that things are getting pretty serious. This isn’t a phrase that should be tossed around lightly, so trust that it’s coming from a sincere place: I love you. Honestly, those comments everyone made on my 1000th post were enough to fuel my next 1000 without pausing to come up for air. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the the bigger picture when you’re caked in wet flour and scraping burnt pie filling off the bottom of the oven, but that genuine enthusiasm and encouragement makes it more than worthwhile. It makes me want to wake up every morning and slog through the dozens of disasters, just to come up with one stellar recipe to share in this space. If there was ever one goal I had with this blog, it was to make a positive impact. Whatever that meant, however deeply felt, I just wanted to make someone, somewhere, a little bit happier. Ironic that that someone turned out to be me.

Enough sappy lovey stuff, right? Right. Now, what everyone’s been waiting for… The winners! All were chosen via the mighty, infallible Random Number Generator. If your name is on this list, expect an email with details about your winnings to arrive shortly.


Congrats! While these lucky commenters now have the means to pre-order Vegan À La Mode, it’s with bittersweet feelings that I must announce the retirement of the original À La Mode ebook. You’ll be able to find most of these recipes in the printed version, but revised, improved, and with shiny new accompanying photos. If you can’t wait another two months for the official release, this is your last week to check out this sneak preview of what’s to come.

I would hate to leave anyone empty-handed, so if you didn’t get lucky and want to hold out for the all-inclusive print book, I still have one more trick up my sleeve: New desktop wallpapers!

Don’t you just love misty spring showers?  Click on either photo to view full size. To use it as your new wallpaper, simply right click, select “Set as Desktop Background,” and choose the “Stretch” option to properly fill your screen.


Early Bird Special

Rumor has it that the May/June 2012 issue of VegNews has already been spotted in the wild, so I can’t wait a moment longer to share my photographic contributions. This particular volume has been dubbed the “media issue,” addressing the explosion of veganism in the public eye, but for me, as always, it was all about the food.

Beverly Lynn Bennett shares a fool-proof method for Chocolate Chia Pudding so delicious, you’ll renounce all things tapioca with one spoonful. Okay, so there’s room enough for both treats in a vegan’s life, but this healthy snack is a delightful (and healthier) change of pace. For everyone who became addicted to the stuff at Vegan Vida Con, here’s the magic formula to reinvent this wonder seed in a more chocolaty format.

Another simple yet sublime offering, Allison Rivers Samson pulls out another stunning replica of a typically non-vegan classic, this time being Caesar Salad. I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down at the idea of another leafy green salad, but this one packs in the flavor like none other. For such a basic combination of romaine, croutons, and vinaigrette, this Caesar really knocks it out of the park. I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that I chomped my way through the whole recipe’s worth after this shoot was done.

It seems as though those printing presses never stop rolling over there, which is a good thing! That means it’s almost time to embark yet again on the next set of tempting VegNews recipes, and I can’t wait to share another visual feast when they finally make it on paper, too.


Coming to a Newsstand Near You

A new pair of months means a new VegNews, and for the March/April issue, it also means a new My Sweet Vegan column! After what felt like an inordinately long break, it’s time to break out the sugar and salt shaker, because I’m bringing the sweet and and the salty together for two easy, palate-pleasing candies.

Potato Chip Chocolate Truffles may steal the show, their intense, dark chocolate centers covered in crunchy shards of crushed potato chips, but Buttery Popcorn Brittle is not far behind in the lineup. Like kettle corn in one thick plank, it’s a new way to enjoy that classic theater snack with less muss and fuss. Both could be whipped up on a whim, and let me tell you, they make for excellent gifts… If you can bear to part with either treat.

In addition, I had the pleasure of shooting more savory delights by the lovely and talented Allison Samson. Bringing Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes to the party this time around, these rich spuds are not to be missed. Stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes and smothered in gooey “cheese” sauce, it may be tough to go back to plain baked potatoes after trying these tempting tubers.

Have you gotten your issue yet?  Of course, it’s packed full of other recipes, too, so there are plenty of equally attractive dishes to choose from.  What do you plan on making first?


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