Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's already time to start planning for Christmas!?!

Today I will be out and about. I have to work this morning and this evening and in between I am meeting up with some wonderful vegan folks for lunch for the first time. It's always exciting to meet new people, and this is a group I am excited to meet with. I was introduced to Wanda by telephone about a month and a half ago. She is a wonderful woman (I believe she is now in her 70's) who has been a vegan and passionate animal right's activist since the 70's. Longer than I have been alive, folks! She was given a copy of my cookbook as a gift, and called me to invite me to join her and some other like minded folks for a monthly vegan luncheon. My first one is today. We are going to Mother's Market and Cafe in Huntington Beach. I will report back later on which of the delicious offerings made it into my belly.

Edited to add: So, I went to Mother's, and don't get me wrong, I am thankful that they have a restaurant with vegan offerings, and the market is superb, but every time I eat there I leave feeling a bit underwhelmed. The coffee was good, but I ordered the Thai Peanut Tofu with Udon, broccoli, sugar snap peas, peppers and onions. Sounds awesome, right? Meh. In addition to the coffee and lunch at Mother's other things I put into my belly Sunday included, more coffee in the morning with a touch of soy vanilla creamer, a Scarborough fair burger with 2 slices of whole wheat bread for breakfast, a alte afternoon cup of coffee with chocolate added and a Mushroom Zucchini burger with 2 slices of whole wheat bread for a late dinner. I also had a couple of lemon creme cookies (think Oreos, but lemon.)

But, now, I am asking for your help. It is already November, and time to start planning for holiday gift giving. Each year, my business partner and I put together a basket of goodies for all of our current and past clients (I am a Real Estate Agent by day.) We make everything from scratch and bundle it all up in a cute little basket, or tin or bag and hand deliver them to each doorstep. In addition, I also make a bigger and better basket for all of my friends and family. All in all I usually end up putting together about 65 baskets! 2 full weeks of morning to night baking, packaging and delivering.

What are your favorite "giftable" treats? Last year's baskets included Kittee's peanut butter fudge, Orangeluna's soft sugar cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, Modified VwaV chocolate thumbprints (aka peanut butter fudge bombs), Sarah's Cracker Candy (AKA Skor Bars) and Sneaky's microwave peanut brittle. All of these recipes came from the lovelies over on the ppk forums.

What should I put in this year's baskets?
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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni