Tuesday May 24 I was invited by Liza Utter, a restaurateur who happens to be one of the most inspiring women I have ever met, to a private event for bloggers. What I found there was a family. What I found there was motivation. What I found there was love. I met women who have taken their passions, gone online, blogged about them, and as a result, have been able to earn a living, and in my opinion, have created small yet impactful revolutions within their communities. I left feeling not only moved and inspired, but also like I had tapped into something that would leave me forever changed. Please take the time to meet Liza: America’s Host (and in my opinion, America's Sweetheart), Gaby: personal chef and food writer, Andrea: ultimate savvy sassy mom, Heidi: personal chef, Rachael: world traveler and food writer, Liz: owner of Room at the Beach in Malibu, and, in my opinion, director of beautiful things in your home, and Michelle: fabulous mama and host. There are a few lovely ladies I am forgetting, not because they weren’t amazing, but simply because my memory escapes me and I cannot find their business cards! But do yourself a favor and check out the sites of the ladies I did remember below:
http://lizaamericashost.com/ for Liza
www.lifefamilyfood.com for Heidi
www.lafujimama.com for Rachael
http://www.savvysassymoms.com/ for Andrea
www.whatsgabycooking.com for Gaby
http://www.roomatthebeach.com/ for Liz
As if the excitement of Tuesdays' event wasn’t enough, my computer decided it was time to move on to computer heaven on Wednesday, hence my tardy post.
In the absence of my computer, I found myself in the kitchen more than usual. Funny how that happened.
My vegan, gluten free icing is still a work in progress (though I’m so close!) and as I felt my organs shifting around nervously, wondering how many cupcakes they would have to maneuver today, I decided to go savory for a minute. Of course, the fact that I’m having trouble zipping up my jeans was also a contributing factor. Just saying. Here’s a friendly reminder, friends: gluten free and vegan baking does not mean you can have 5 cookies or cupcakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They may not contain as many ‘bad’ ingredients, but they certainly aren’t a replacement for fruits and vegetables either. I know, I know. I’m sad too. Moderation still reigns supreme: only 4 cupcakes a day! Ok fine. 3. And maybe 1 chocolate chip cookie...
...And only after my first trip to Babycakes NYC in L.A.!!! Check it out!
The bag! Very exciting!!
Look what's in the bag!
Chocolate chip cookie, donut, and agave sweetened brownie. Enough said.
I'm sorry, did you ask me if I ate all of those?
The answer, my dear friend, is yes. Yes I did.
Vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. Hello.
Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. At last, we meet.
Up close and personal.
The taste test - mine vs. theirs.
Outcome? Their icing - much better than mine.
Their cupcake - not as moist as mine. Hm...
I seriously could eat their icing with a spoon. So good!
Ok, enough of that excitement!
Onward to savory cooking:
I’ve had a bag of small potatoes sitting on my counter for a week now, staring at me, begging me to get creative and use them (yes, in my world, produce can speak, and can actually be quite demanding). So instead of creating a potato cupcake or donut, I bought some dill, salvaged some yellow onions, and saved the bag of celery that was near death in the crisper in the fridge (why does that always happen with celery? It’s like we know it’s good for us so we buy it, and then once we get it home, we look at it when feeling like a snack, but inevitably move onto something more exciting. Or maybe it’s just me?).
Anyway - Chop, chop, chop, add some dijon (I add this to everything that isn't a donut or cupcake), some apple cider vinegar, a touch of canola oil, some salt and pepper, toss it all together, and you’ve got a potato salad to die for. Check it out!
1 pound small waxy potatoes, washed and skin on (I used yellow dutch)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste (remember: salt brings out the dominate flavor in any dish!)
Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until tender. Strain.
Once cool enough to handle, chop the potatoes into desired sized pieces. Place in a bowl. Add the chopped dill, celery, onions, vinegar, oil, and dijon. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it's not coated enough, add more dijon and vinegar until you get the consistency you are happy with. Don't forget to adjust your salt seasoning if you adjust the dijon and vinegar!
You can enjoy this simple dish right away, or, put in the fridge to chill and enjoy later. This is a great dish to prepare ahead for a party, dinner, or even to take in a hurry for lunch on a busy day!
Happy Sunday :)