I've been bringing in my goodies to work and they are selling like hotcakes (I waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy overuse this phrase but it's the best one I got). It seems my traditional cookies--peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, trail mix (kind of traditional)--sell the best, as opposed to my more *experimental* things like my raw chocolate coconut macaroons, peanut butter explosion bars and cocoa-orange dream cookie sandwiches, but these still do sell, just at a slower rate. Yesterday, for example, I brought in 14 trail mix cookies and 12 sold! One guy bought eight because he wants to freeze them and have them for breakfast! He is one of my best customers :)
In all seriousness, though, it's people like Bill (the guy who bought eight) who make my hard baking work so rewarding. I LOVE getting feedback about how much people love my goodies! It's awesome to see people try a cookie, brownie, or what have you, in front of me and see how much they enjoy it. It makes it all worthwhile.
The other night I got an order for my "Chunky Monkey" cookies on Etsy, which hasn't happened in awhile, so I'm really excited about that! Speaking of Etsy, though, I need to update my site because I've made a lot of things that are not up in my "shop." They're delicious, though, and I need to make them available! I'll get on that! As for the Chunky Monkeys, I'm sure there will be a lot of leftovers from my order--my recipe makes a ton--so I'll probably bring those in to work to sell. People will be so pleased. Those, I think, might be the overall favorite. Seriously, though, with banana, peanut butter, chocolate and walnuts, how can they not be?
Another cookie idea I thought up yesterday (and hope to make today) is a "tropical bliss" cookie. I envision them jumbo, like my peanut butter cookies,* with coconut, macadamia nuts (a splurge but part of my vision) and a hint of orange zest for freshness. I also bought some coconut palm sugar to use in this recipe. It has a low glycemic index, which is great, but really, what I'm most excited about, is that it's something NEW! And food-related! I'm not sure how sweet it is, and if I should maybe use half coconut palm sugar and half cane sugar, so I'll do some Google-ing and Wiki-ing of the stuff.
Now on to the second part of my post--my Ann Arbor visit! It's been far too long since I visited Ann Arbor and it felt so good to be back. As soon as I pulled off the expressway, made a right on Plymouth and began to enter the city, my heart swelled with happiness.
The main purpose of my trip to Ann Arbor was to visit my friend, Chrissy. We went to college together and she is one of my best friends. She moved to Alabama with her fiance shortly after graduation and since moving back to Michigan in January, yesterday was the first time I'd seen her since graduation! Her apartment was so adorable. The walls were decorated with her amaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg artwork (she's a painter/printmaker, by trade) and her finace's photographs, which are also really, really impressive.
We went to Jazzy Veggie for lunch and Oh. My. God. Do I wish I lived in Ann Arbor (well, I do anyway). It was my first time there and I didn't know that they were 100% vegan but they are! I thought they were vegetarian (ie: using cheese, milk, eggs, well...non-vegan ingredients...) because that's how it's advertised but they use things like Daiya, Veganaise and Ener-G egg replacer! I betcha they don't edvertise themselves as "vegan" because it would scare customers. For customers like me, though, who are vegan, we are just pleasantly surprised!
Cute, unassuming Jazzy Veggie, located in Ann Arbor.
I ordered the "Jus' Veggies" sandwich and was blown away. I figured, it's a sandwich. It'll be good. But it was superb. Sprinkled with just enough sesame seeds around the crust, the "artisnal bread" was light, uber fresh, and toasted ever so lightly, enough to make it warm with the slightest crunch (I'm not overly fond of toasted sandwiches but I don't know that this can even be classified as "toasted" because it was done so lightly). The sandwich was piled with squash, zucchini, crimini and shiitake mushrooms (it comes with onions and peppers but I'm not a fan of either so I subbed in 'shrooms!).
The spread--and I love the perfect portion sizes!
The veggies/fungi were sauteed in a yummy (sorry) garlic oil paste and on the bread was the most DIVINE *vegan* chipotle aioli and basil pesto. Let me tell you, the flavors worked together like magic. What I liked, too, and am still somewaht mystified by, was how even though the contents of the sandwich were moist, the bread did not get soggy! I was impressed!
Those are plantain chips. They were the only part of my dish that was kind of meh. They weren't bad, just kind of bland. I tried dousing them in salt to give them some flavor, but all it did was make them really salty. I decided to just not eat them. I sure had enough to eat otherwise!
Another ingredient I neglected to include was Daiya cheese. I've never had Daiya but I know it is revered in the vegan food world. Still, I've been leary of it. Soy cheese? Well, it came on my sandwich yesterday and it was INCREDIBLE! I'm not sure how it would taste cold or at room temp. but melted and mixed with garlic, oil, pesto and aioli? Yes. Please.
I'm drooling just looking at this...
I can't wait to return to Jazzy Veggie and, slowly, make my way through their menu, modifying, of course, along the way ;) As if I need another reason to go to Ann Arbor...
*Note to VeganCarbJunkie: BOTH Whole Foods AND Plum Market did not have Hilary's OR Chicago Diner's Cakes!!! I felt like a sore, pathetic loser driving all around Ann Arbor on a search for food, only to come away with nada :( I had also hoped to pick up some Sweet and Sara Marshmallows too but those were also not to be had.