Hi guys! First off, my apologies for being MIA for the past couple of weeks. Life got crazy, but I’m back and ready to write. I’ve missed you all!
First order of business, the Sunshine Award…
What’s now probably a couple weeks ago, Ani over at the terrific health and fitness blog Miles for Thought did me the great honor of nominating me for a Sunshine Award. It’s a bit after the fact at this point, but I want to extend my belated congratulations to her for receiving not one, but two simultaneous nominations for the award herself. If you’re not familiar with her blog, I encourage you to pop over there to check out her thoughtful articles on running, a healthy lifestyle, and vegetarian eating.
I was, of course, extremely flattered to even be considered for a “blog award” of any kind, but being new to the blogosphere, I have to confess that I had never even heard of the Sunshine Award. As far as I can tell based on my internet research (see here), the Sunshine Award isn’t quite a formal honor, but rather a fun way for bloggers to recognize, support, and encourage one another– and also to connect their readers to other great blogs. The way it works is that nominees create a post in which they 1) give a shout-out to the person who nominated them, 2) answer a set of questions about themselves, and then 3) nominate 10 bloggers for the award, post links to their sites, and send them 10 of their own questions. So, here goes…..
Here are the questions Ani sent me:
- You can only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? Noodles and vegetables! I don’t care if it’s Asian chow-mein or Italian pasta primavera (or if it’s wheat noodles, rice noodles, or spaghetti squash), as long as there’s long threads to wrap around a fork and some well-seasoned veggies, I’m a happy lady.
- Is there anything you wish you could change about yourself to be healthier? I wish I were a bit more disciplined when it comes to going running during the week. I know intellectually that exercise is good for me and, once I get moving, I love being active, but, after a long day of work, it is really, really, really hard for me to pry myself off the couch.
- If money was no issue, how would you spend your time? There is a part of me that is very conventional and really needs to be engaged in a structured work environment to feel fulfilled, but I would be very happy to work waay less than I do now. If money were no object, I’d work part of the year doing what I do now (family counseling and managing a social service program), but would take months off at a time to travel, eat, cook, and write.
- If you have an hour to kill, what do you do? Call someone I love, usually my mother or my sister.
- What is one superpower that you wish you had? To be able to protect the people I love from harm and to be able to give them whatever they need to be happy.
- Do you have a particular cookbook that you love? I’m actually in the market for a new cookbook, so readers, maybe you can help me out! For me, a great cookbook helps you develop techniques and skills you can easily extend to new cooking challenges, rather than a list of recipes you have to follow step by step. So far, I unfortunately haven’t really found what I’m looking for in a vegan cookbook, so I continue to use and adapt from some of my old (non-vegan) standbys, like Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano, Rick Bayless’s Mexico, One Plate at a Time, The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, or Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
- What is your favorite Thanksgiving food/side dish? [Recipes = bonus points] Mashed potatoes and gravy! I make a killer gravy with a roux, vegetable broth, dried porcinis, and a drop of mustard. I’m also hoping to develop a vegan creamed spinach this year, so will maybe post about that soon!
- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to change their diet (i.e. go vegan, give up a certain food)? Just give it a try. Don’t assume that the change has to be all-or-nothing. Cut out the food little by little, on your own terms, and don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback. Heck, this is basically what my blog is about. See my articles about going vegan here.
- If you got the opportunity to live in another country for the a year, which country would you choose? I was lucky enough to be able to live in Paris, France for a year in college. It was incredible, but I regret that I didn’t take more risks and get to know more people while I was there. If I had it to do over, I think I would live somewhere in Asia, perhaps China or India.
- What is your favorite movie? I adore the Before trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. The views of Europe are incredible, but, more importantly, I love the way they follow the same characters at different stages of their lives and their relationship.
And now, drum roll please, here are my nominees, in no particular order (P.S. I noticed that there’s quite a bit of overlap with Ani’s list, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re part of a blogging community):
1) Hannah over at Gloodie
2) Ting at The Good Life
3) Celeste at Honk if You’re Vegan
4) Ketty at Luminous Vegans
5) Alexander at In Vegetables We Trust
6) Ally at Made of Stars
7) Sarah at The Cozy Vegan
8) Carol at CDeminski’s Blog
9) Becky and Rachel at We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
10) Lorin at Adventures in Vegan Cooking
And, finally, here are my questions for the nominees:
1) Why did you decide to start a blog?
2) What is your go-to quick and easy weeknight meal?
3) What is one dish you like to make when you’re hoping to impress your guests?
4) Is there any food that you absolutely hate and will not eat? (For the vegan bloggers, I mean other than animal products…)
5) What has been your worst kitchen disaster?
6) What is the best meal you’ve ever had and/or made?
7) What is your favorite restaurant?
8) And your favorite cookbook?
9) What advice would you offer someone who is just learning to cook?
10) What advice would you offer someone who is faced with having or wanting to make a major change to their diet?