I've just rolled into town leading a caravan of misfit foodies (imagine it). We stop in the center of things, and I step out of my stagecoach, slowly, wearing a Tom Ford tuxedo. Perhaps I even have a handlebar mustache. I hold up a small bottle filled with amber liquid.
"Step up!" I exclaim, "I've come as a purveyor of the most fantastic, most aromatic, most exotic substance around! The sweetest, most alluring multi-purpose-all-purpose-gives-you-purpose miracle elixir on the planet!"
The crowd moves closer. They are captivated. I lean forward and whisper, stretching each syllable. Here it is: "Va-nil-la!"
Everyone is abuzz with talk of vanilla. They rush forward, pushing and shoving to secure bottles of the stuff. And they are right to do so. Vanilla! It'll add dimension to your desserts and fragrance to your kitchen! Vanilla! It'll sweep you right off your feet! Vanilla! It'll cure what ails you and increase your vitality!
Clockwise, from left: Italian Cornmeal Cake, Earl Grey Carrot Muffins, Chocolate Chai Cookies, all from Cook, Eat, Thrive.
My cookbook will be released this month, and I want to celebrate with one of my favorite flavors. This sweet, sultry flower from the orchid is at the top of my list. For the love-filled month of February, I'll feature new vanilla concoctions every week, from macaroons to smoothies. I think you'll really enjoy these.
Inebriated Watermelon Salad. Photos by the fantastic Art Heffron.
In other news, I'm launching a new site with the arrival of my book. It'll be full of the same old bloggy goodness, with lots of new goodness. Goodness, all around. You can also purchase signed copies of Cook, Eat, Thrive there, which I'll offer at a special price for the month of February.
Also! Vegan for Lent: A Guide to 40 Days of Plant Based Eating is coming! The response to last year's guide was overwhelming. Can I tell you how it felt to see people eat vegan because of it? It was amazing. Humbling. Exhilarating. This year, it's going to be even better. As always, it's free from costs and obligations. Available February 10.
Update: Vegan for Lent will be available February 12. I'll be traveling on the 10th, and want to be sure I'm around for its launch. My apologies for the delay; I really think it'll be worth waiting for!
And a note to those who served as testers for my cookbook: I want to send you free copies. Quickly, as soon as they arrive. Unfortunately, the Vegan Freak Forums where your information was housed are no longer up and running. This means I've lost your contact info and am unable to do this unless you get in touch with me. If you were a tester or know someone who was, please use the contact form to send me your forum name, first and last name, address, and email. Thank you!