I confess I did not join the sourdough bread trend of 2020, but I did cook and bake a lot — thanks, in part, to the online cooking classes I taught every week! While the recipes I teach are tried and true — I’d never teach something I didn’t feel confident passing along to you — I also challenged myself and learned to make a number of things I hadn’t tried or perfected until 2020.
#1: My biggest food accomplishment? HOMEMADE TOFU — hands down. I had tried many times in the past and failed, but I persisted and finally discovered where I was getting it wrong, and I’ve nailed it ever since! (You can join me in the next Homemade Tofu cooking class, which is the most popular class I teach.)
#2 Mushroom Meringues — If you can believe it, in that photo below…meringue from aquafaba! I’ve made lots of aquafaba cookies in the past but never mushroom meringues! I plan to include them in an upcoming class.
#3 Mozzarella Sticks — Again, cashew cheese is something I make frequently, and taught how to make cashew mozzarella in previous pizza classes (and will do so again), but making mozzarella sticks from scratch? Definitely a proud moment — and also one you can find in the on-demand Air Fryer class.
#4 Buffalo Cauliflower — I had tried many recipes I didn’t love, so I kept working at it, and I’m so glad I did. I promise to teach this in an upcoming class. We didn’t record the previous class I taught it in.
#5 Salted Caramel Sauce — While caramelized popcorn and other caramelized treats were already in my repertoire (and in The Joy of Vegan Baking), I set out to perfect creamy, rich caramel SAUCE, and I’m proud to say I did it. You can enjoy the recipe in the on-demand food gifts class.
#6 Spun Sugar Decorations — After some frustrating fails, it was quite a feat to succeed at dry sugar caramel (versus wet caramel). I talk about this in the class where I make the caramel sauce, but basically it’s just fun to make decorations with sugar work.
#7 Hot Dog Buns — Still working on perfecting these, but it was really fun to have a plastic- and package-free batch of buns for my homemade sausages!
#8 Better-Than-Chicken Nuggets — As much as I love all the vegan companies making commercial products, my goal is to be able to make homemade versions so I can avoid unnecessary packaging. While homemade seitan has been in my repertoire for years, nuggets were new, and I perfected them this year. (Available in the on-demand homemade seitan class.)
9. Falafel — While I’ve made falafel-inspired burgers (and have a recipe for them in The Vegan Table), I really wanted to get traditional falafel right (without deep-frying). Was very happy to do so — and pass it along to others in the Middle Eastern cooking class.
10. Cocktails — OK, this isn’t my accomplishment, but it is my husband’s! David has such a knack for mixology (as many of you will have experienced in his bonus cocktail segments in the cooking classes), and while I’ve mostly just gotten to enjoy his concoctions, I’ve definitely learned more about bitters, shakers, and aperitifs than ever before. Expect more in upcoming classes! 🙂
While much of what else I made was already in my wheelhouse, I still really enjoyed being in the kitchen and making delicious, nutritious, cruelty-free dishes, including:
I’m not sure what 2021 will bring, but I do look forward to more creations and connections. Thanks again to everyone who has joined a class, and I hope to see you in more in the future. Here’s to a healthy, compassionate 2021!