A few weeks ago my mom was celebrating her birthday. I love birthdays and gift giving. They are two of my favorite things. My mom has been getting into making vegan meals lately, and so I thought a couple of new cookbooks were in order. I picked up two that I’ve enjoyed this past year – Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson and Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I figured these books would offer two sides of plant-based cuisine. One is indulgent comfort food and the other relies heavily on fresh produce for its oomph.
To personalize the books, I visited my favorite local stationery shop and found these sticky notes that were just perfect for the job. On each of them it says, “Make it.” Then I included little notes about the recipes I’ve tried – what I liked, what I changed, what I added, and omitted. I also included ideas about what to serve it with, what I thought my friend might enjoy since I know her palate, and what I thought she could skip. Then I stuck the sticky notes on each of the recipes I’d tried.
- Soy Curls for Smoky Curls from Vegan Diner
- Vital wheat gluten for Vegan Diner’s seitan recipes
- Garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour for AFR’s falafel and Vegan Diner’s seitan recipes
- Nutritional yeast for Vegan Diner’s cheese, gravy, and seitan recipes and AFR’s Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce
- Smoked paprika for Vegan Diner’s Smoky Potato Scramble, Jambalaya, Quick and Hearty Chili, Quinoa Burgers, Great Smoky Mountain Cheeze
I also included a little sauce dish that I made in my pottery class. It’s just the right size for holding dipping sauces.
My mom said she enjoyed reading through the books and checking out my little notes. I like thinking that in a way we’ll be cooking together. She can add her own notes and scribbles, and she can fill me in on some new favorites (since there are still loads of recipes that I haven’t made from each of the books). It’s a gift that’s also a conversation starter.