Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkins, Meal Deliveries, Dinner Parties, & Apple Pie

It's been a long time, dear readers, but I got a few excuses...well maybe it's just been a severe case of writers block...but I just haven't felt like writing. I guess what really got me back on the horse was reading Julie & Julia...yes...I'm embarrassed I'm reading some book that has a movie based off of it starring Meryl Streep & Amy Adams, but I can't pass up a sassy woman who takes a culinary challenge. I stumbled upon the book in the library one day noticing the subtitle "cooking dangerously for one year" and I couldn't help but check it out since I feel like I'm going the same route.

The main reason why I haven't written on this blog is because I've been working on a lot of stuff concerning Mixing Bowl Bakery. Small stuff includes making a yelp page (if you left a nice review it would mean the world to me!), making halloween specials, and constructing a mailing list and newsletter (having some technical difficulties on that one, but no worries, I luckily have a saavy uncle who can help me out with my computer incompetencies). The main project that I have been preparing to launch includes my meal delivery service.

The Mixing Bowl Bakery is expanding to include a meal delivery service to support my passion in cooking & baking, advocating a healthy vegan lifestyle, and increasing accessibility to healthy foods. Meals will be prepared in a commercial kitchen space and delivered to your door, while supporting Midwest farmers through the sourcing of local and sustainably grown produce from Growing Power and the Chicago Women’s Skillshare. Growing Power is “a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities.” The produce received in a weekly CSA share will inspire each meal. During the winter months, produce comes from Growing Power’s greenhouses in Milwaukee, the Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative, and small-scale, locally or family owned wholesalers.

I founded Chicago Women's Skillshare last spring through the desire of forming an intentional community of women. This organization aims to create a women's only space where learning and teaching are used as mutually beneficial and empowering tools. We have hosted three gardening skillshares in the Campbell Co-op Garden where we have planted summer crops and cold crops in our own raised bed. The onions, beans, and leafy greens will be included in the meal delivery.

A special thank you goes out to Adrienne over at Crack the Plates Meal Delivery for inspiring and supporting me to take the next step in expanding my business. With the support of Adrienne, close friends, family, and my Chicago vegan community, I have decided to follow the scary, yet exhilarating process of identifying myself as an entrepreneur. I want to dedicate more time and energy towards feeding my community healthy meals and satisfying sweets. As I commit myself to this mission, I ask for your continuing support throughout the process of this new project!

I thought the perfect launch to my new project would start with throwing a dinner party for my loyal customers and strongest supporters.

First Course:

Roasted blue potatoes with cashew cream garnished with dried parsley.

Second Course:

Mixed baby greens salad topped with 3 varieties of golden beets, daikon, and carrots drizzled with a agave sweetened soy sauce based dressing.

Third Course:

Kabocha & pumpkin soup blended with coconut milk and Indian spices garnished with roasted kabocha seeds.
Paired with a whole wheat mixed grain bread.

Fourth Course:

Breaded seitan cutlets with mushroom gravey matched with heirloom herbed mashed potatoes and red bunched carrots marinated in a sweet & spicy syrup.

Fifth Course:

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheeze frosting.

The party was a HUGE success! Good conversation and amazing company made the days of planning and preparation for the meal well worth it. Mixing Bowl is at its 9 month anniversary and I can't believe all of the amazing people I have met through it.

In other news...I went to the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest today. Sound familiar???

Gaaahhh, just kidding! That's what I found when I googled Uncle Apple half expecting to see my pie as the first hit. Here he is!! Ahhh...what a site for sore eyes. This year they didn't have ONE vegan option. Yea..I was pissed. I guess it's my own damn fault for not entering the contest, but last year there were at least a couple vegan pies. Welp! Uncle Apple is coming back next year with a vengeance so fierce those pie eaters won't know what hit them.

But...we had fun

Stephanie and I didn't want to stand in line for face painting like last year...but we had to document our one year anniversary.