Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

Interview with Allyson Kramer

Allyson was so sweet to agree to interview with me! I contacted her last week, and she got back to me today. She got “Sandy-ed” and was apologetic for holding me up, which was clearly okay under the circumstances 🙂
(I am really hoping that these continue. If anyone ever has questions they want me to ask, shoot and I’ll put it in my transcript notes!). 🙂

 

And now.. Me & Allyson!

 

So how long have you been a vegan? What inspired you to be a vegan?

 

I first became vegan 17 years ago, but I had a few instances towards the end of high school and during college where I “fell off the wagon”. I guess it was around 6 years ago when I realized there would be no more slip-ups due to peer pressure, and that veganism was a lifelong commitment for me.

 

 

And the next big question – why Gluten Free as well as vegan?

 

I have celiac disease, so gluten-free unfortunately is a diet I must follow in order to stay healthy. I was diagnosed in 2009, only a few monthsafter I started my blog Manifest Vegan. I like to say I’m a vegan by choice, and gluten-free by necessity.

 

What inspired you to start your blog Manifest Vegan?

 

I had just begun my career in the arts (after graduating with a BFA in both Painting and Sculpture) and once I starting working in the museum and gallery atmosphere fulltime, I realized quickly that the art scene just wasn’t for me. I wanted to choose a career path that would give back a little—to the animals and the environment. I had been enamored with cooking and recipe development since I was a little girl, and I had seriously considered majoring in English (Journalism) in college rather than Fine Arts, so I thought I could use the skills I gained in my art training to launch some sort of career as a cookbook author/food writer. I learned about blogging, and decided that it would be a good thing to do for practice–to more or less develop my own voice with writing. Lauren Ulm of Vegan Yum Yum was a huge inspiration for me. I watched her go from blogger to cookbook author in just a few short years, and I liked her approach. And, I figured if the author thing never took off, I would still be doing something meaningful (and satisfying!) by sharing vegan recipes with others.

 

Why thatname, “Manifest Vegan?”

 

Basically it’s a play on “Manifest Destiny”… sort of my belief that veganism is destined to expand across the world (or at least the United States). It’s certainly a romantic idea, but one I do believe in wholeheartedly. 

 

What prompted you to write your cookbook? Tell us about the process?

 

Honestly, writing a cookbook has been on my bucket list since I was achild. Cookbooks (and poring over them like novels daily/nightly) are such a strong part of my identity; it felt very natural for me to try and create one of my own. Plus, I have always wanted to be a writer… and often I regretted not getting that English degree in college along with my Art degree.

When I got the idea to finally write a vegan cookbook, I started to do my research on what it would take to get a cookbook published. I had hundreds of recipes to share (I’d been cooking daily for years since I was 8 years old, and recipe developing on my own since I was 14), so I just started with a simple list in a Word document. And then it turned into a rough draft …and, my to-do list grew from there.

 

It went a little like this:

Create Book Proposal, Make a Ton of Connections, Query Agents, Get Agent, Sell Book, Secure Cookbook Testers, Sign Contract, Complete and Test Recipes, Write, Write, Write, Take Photos for the Book, Write More, Edit, Turn In Manuscript, and once my editor (and a whole team of wonderful people, honestly) was finished with it, Do Final Edits to the Manuscript. Then I waited a few months for my publishing house to work their magic and eventually the book hit the shelves.

 

It’s pretty fun actually. And a lot of hard work! I wouldn’t trade in the experience for the world.

 

What did you want to accomplish with this book?

 

I want to show skeptics that eating a vegan and gluten-free diet does not have to be restrictive—that you can enjoy many of the same foods that omnivores enjoy, such as cupcakes, pizza, ravioli and donuts! That’s one of the main reasons I include photos with every recipe—more proof of the final product, if you will.

 

This hasdeclared the “The year of the Vegan Cookbook” Why do you think vegan cookbooks are so bountiful now?

 

I think the Internet and the current ease of sharing information has a lot to do with it. Veganism is a powerful movement because much of the time a person’s decision to become vegan is based on compassion—not weight loss or other dietary motives. When the word gets around about how our foodstuffs are produced and the unfortunate realities behind the food industry come to light, it’s sometimes harder to ignore the facts than to simply adopt a more compassionate diet. It’s an easy change that almost anybody can make instantly, and it has a huge impact. I believe the demand for vegan cookbooks (and vegan food in restaurants, etc.) is just echoing the new awareness that people have for how our food is produced.

 

There isalso a big explosion of gluten free cookbooks (both vegan (aka xgfx!) and non-vegan). Why do you think that is?

 

Again, Ithink the sharing of information, and the newfound knowledge of wheat intolerance or celiac disease has a lot to do with it. I believe many doctors nowadays know a lot more about how diet impacts health than they did several years ago.

I had suffered multiple health problems from a lack of diagnosis for over 5 years, even though I had been routinely getting examined by a number of doctors trying to figure out what was causing my issues. At the time, none of them even knew about celiac disease; I was actually diagnosed by a final year med student who was specializing in autoimmune disorders. He recognized it right away, did the bloodtests and shared the info with my physician. So, I think awareness is key.

 

What were your favourite recipes in Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats?

 

The Butterscotch Amaretti and The Spinach Artichoke Dip are my top faves; but, the entire book is a collection of my favorite recipes, so all of them!

(y’all: go to youtube – search the name, and then just make yourself a batch. You’ll love the both of us for it).

 

What’s your inspiration? (to come up with all these yummy things) 

 

Every single cookbook author, chef, home-cook and food writer I’ve ever had the pleasure of either meeting or reading about has been a huge inspiration to me, from my mother to Martha Stewart. In a way, you could say the simple pleasure of eating drives me to do what I do every day. I live for food, and creating recipes is my passion.

 

Whose your favourite chef (vegan or otherwise?)

 

Goodness, that’s a tricky question! I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, per se, but a few chefs who inspire me are Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, David Chang, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton …and countless others.

 

For those who can’t find specific flours. (as of this date Superfine Sorgum, White & Brown Rice flours aren’t available internationally/Canada), would there be a significant difference in some recipes? (Bisquik, Pasta, Strawberry Shortcake comes to mind right away). 

 

I think you could get away with subbing regular sorghum or brown riceflour in a few of the baked goods, but the texture will be different than the recipe intends. Superfine brown rice flour has really changed the game as far as gluten-free vegan baking and cooking goes—it’s really a huge difference from the flour that is regularly milled. For the pasta dishes and pie crust superfine is a must. I do hope that it will be more readily available internationally soon—it’s such a great ingredient for us gluten-free folks!

 

For those reading and wondering if veganism (or at least very strict vegetarian) is for them, what would you suggest for them?

 

I’d say do your research (everywhere from the library to google) and see how a plant based diet compares to the diet you are currently following. I think once people understand where their food is coming from, veganism really doesn’t seem so odd (or unhealthy) compared to the standard diets most people enjoy on a daily basis–especially diets that contain a ton of processed foods that have only been introduced within the past 60 years or so.

 

Would you say your book are for the newly veganist?

 

I’d like to think so, yes. But I also would like to think that anyone could benefit from my book, even if it’s just a place for inspiration or further enlightenment about vegan eating.

 

 You have a new book coming out next year, tell us about it.

 

My next book “Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats Gone Global” is a lot like the first book but instead of featuring my favorite recipes, the recipes in the next book are a celebration of foods from around the world—with traditional recipes as well as recipes I like to call “global fusion”. The chapters are divided by continent and almost every recipe has a corresponding photo. I had a blast creating this book and look forward to its release in the Spring of 2013.

 

Thanks Allyson! 🙂

See? isn’t she so cool and sweet?

She even suggested to me to try milling it in the food processor (which I didn’t do), I just couldn’t be bothered. I tried seeing how much it would cost for me to get a 3lb bag of brown, white and sorgum superfine sent to me, and it was over 100.00. (And Amazon just won’t do it). But I am going to try my bestest to get this, write letters or something!

I really enjoyed cooking with Allyson’s book 🙂 I do stand behind my suggestion of “Try” but this is a darn good book. 🙂 (and if you make the cookies first, y’all know it’s going to be bumped up to buy!).

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Interview with Kelly Peloza. (Cookie Queen).

I should have mentioned… there should have been more brownies. Brownies makes girls happy too. 🙂
Also – you should be thankful. I pressed a button and something happened and my entire review went poof. I may or may not have cursed by accident , and freaked out a lot). But thankfully, the back button had the review that I had done. If not, it would have been.

“Book was good.” (I am not lying).

Anyway.  My relationship with Kelly started like this.

I was looking up her candy Zine (Vegan Candyland.. Which I will have to admit is buried somewhere in my room. Again. Oh found it). I’ve been eyeing it for ages. I am not the biggest candy person, but sometimes when you want a craving, it’s good to have. When you are a vegan/plant-based eater, 98% of your favourite candies are forboddon. (Damn darn butter).

Anyway – I was looking at this for ages. Since I was in collage. And I finally decide, okay – I’m going to get this book. And it was sold out. (My luck). So I email Kelly and go. Pretty much verbatim.

“Please don’t tell me that this has gone out of print, because I might just freak out.”

(with or without a little more melodrama).

Kelly’s first response was LOL (I tend to invoke that in people. A Lot). and said she had a few more copies hanging around and I bought it. And then as I am the kind of person who needs to dissect every single recipe I made (for clarity), we’ve shot the breeze a few times. And I’m testing for her new cookbook.

Yay.

She has cookies in it.

Double yay.

So She and Alicia were my 1-2 first interview punch. I am getting better at this process. 🙂 Here’s the interview.

Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for letting me interview you! How are you doing?

Good, thank you!

So how long have you been a vegan? What inspired you to be a vegan?
I’ve been vegan for about 8 years now. I was vegetarian on and off since age 10, then fully committed to it a few years later. I started reading about veganism, factory farms, nutrition, and all the issues surrounding veganism, and decided to make the switch a few months later.

What prompted you to write your first cookbook? Was it difficult to get started?
I started reading food blogs after becoming vegan and decided to start my own blog (here http://myvegancreations.blogspot.com/ is my very first blog, for some laughs and truly horrendous food photography!) and write recipes for it. I began recipe testing for other cookbook authors and got a feel for the cookbook writing process. Cookies were always my favorite dessert to make, and that winter, I was making gingerbread people and thought about how cool it would be to write a book of all vegan cookies. A few months later and some recipes compiled, I decided to take the plunge. I wouldn’t say it was difficult to get started with all the resources available on the internet, but the whole venture was a huge learning experience and I definitely made a lot of mistakes the first time around.

I have to say – the name is awesome “Vegan Cookie Connoisseur” What prompted that?
I think it just popped into my head one day. I heard the word connoisseur in the context of cooking and baking all the time when I first started blogging, and it stuck with me. That happens often—I’ve always loved reading and becoming obsessed with certain words. I was a weirdo, always reading the dictionary as a kid. (Liv: me too. I swear, I read the encylopaedias and the dictionaries all the time. 😀 I was the smartest kid in the world, until high school. Then I just couldn’t be bothered).
You have a Zine based on Candy! What prompted that?
I wrote it in the time between finishing the cookie book manuscript and before the book came out. There’s a several month period of down time after writing a cookbook before it’s actually released, so I wanted to try something a little different while still writing recipes.

So you have a candy cookbook and a cookie cookbook – why the focus on sweets? 

Baking allows for creativity while still being a precise science, making it necessary to follow certain formulas and take notes for everything. All throughout school, I loved art and math equally (weird, I know!), and took AP Calculus and studio art classes simultaneously in high school. Since fine arts won out career-wise, I keep my creative work in check by being meticulous and organized. Baking is just like my personality. I love cooking, but I either make up dishes as I go (never really writing anything down), or cook from a recipe. I’ve thought about writing zines that involve cooking, but not sure about books at this point. Cooking is just a whole different animal.

What did you want to accomplish with the book (other than you know, giving us a TONNE of delicious cookies!)
I wanted to create a collection of vegan desserts made the way I cook and bake—using accessible ingredients, fewer bowls and utensils, and decadent ingredients. No tofu/flax seed/applesauce/egg replacer health food-y concoctions!
To which I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say: thank you. 

What do you think of the Vegan Cookbook explosion? Why do you think it’s happening now?
It probably has much to do with the media and celebrity attention veganism has received lately. Veganism on Oprah, and movie stars going vegan every other week definitely help push it into the mainstream. Publishers who normally don’t make vegan cookbooks (or cookbooks at all) are publishing vegan cookbooks as a result, and vegan options are popping up at more restaurants, thankfully!

What’s your inspiration? 
There’s so many! Animals, of course. Art! I’m just as much devoted to food photography as making the actual food (perhaps more so). The work of other artists, cookbook authors, and people in the vegan community is always inspiring.

Who’s your favourite chef (vegan or otherwise?)
I love all the vegan chefs I’ve gotten a chance to meet, work with, and get to know at vegfests and conferences over the past few years. I love me some Food Network as well. (Liv: ME TOO. I miss the Food Network. Anna Olson & Giada and Me – good ole times, y’all).

For those reading and wondering if veganism (or at least very strict vegetarian) is for them, what would you suggest for them?
I would suggest picking up some cookbooks, doing some research online, reading blogs, and checking out restaurants and groups in your area. I imagine it’s SO much easier to go vegan right now than 5 or 10 years ago with all the resources available, so there’s no excuse to not go for it if you’re interested. (Liv: none! if you want one to start with Oh She Glows, & The Post Punk Kitchen for fail-proof recipes that are full of yum!)

Would you say your books are for the newly veganist out there?

My first was Vegan with a Vengeance. Veganomicon may be a bit daunting for a beginner, but it depends on the person. I’d recommend both those books for new vegans. 

What are your favourite recipes from VCC? What about Vegan Candyland?
My favorite recipes from VCC are the chocolate peppermint cream bars and the giant double chocolate chip cookies. I love making Kit Kats from Vegan Candyland, and the caramels are a great place to start for other caramel-based recipes.

Do you have any other books coming out? What about Zines?
Details are forthcoming (on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc) for the next book, but it will be released November 2013! I may write another zine early next year after I’ve finished the book I’m working on now. A couple years ago for April Fool’s Day, I “announced” the release of a new cookbook based on vegan bacon desserts. A few people were disappointed that it was just a joke, so I may do a vegan bacon zine…or maybe something else!

Thanks Kelly!

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Interview with Alicia C. Simpson.

A sad note: my camera decided it doesn’t so much like taking pictures, so until it does like doing it, no more. (I am really sorry. There were a couple I managed to snag).

And now – my very first interview (I’ve now done two) Yay!. This one is with Alicia C. Simpson, the writer of Quick & Easy Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food. Yumm. If you remember, out of a Buy, Try or Fry, I gave this book a solid “Buy” rating.

My one tiny complaint, and I am going to pick this up in every book that has a nutritonal serving…. even if it is listed at the back/beginning of the book, I’d like a serving to be weighed out/measured out for the particular recipe. Just don’t say “serving”. Especially when it comes to combination foods. If pasta is 1/2 a cup, veg 1 cup, and beans 2/3rd a cup pers serving, and all of that is in the dish… you see the problem?

But it’s minute.

Anyhoo. Here’s my conversation with Alicia. 🙂

Liv: Hi Alicia, thanks so much for being my interview-y! (My first one!) :), So how long have you been a vegan? What inspired you to be a vegan?

Alicia: First of all I’m super excited to be your first interview!

I’ve been vegan for over 6 years now (vegetarian for 4 1/2 years before that). My road to veganism was a long one that I went down kicking and screaming until I realized that I was just being silly and foolish. I was sitting in a class on fasting with a woman who will always be near and dear to my heart, Arden Zinn, who at the time was in her late 80s and is now in her 90s! I told her I was a vegetarian and gave the typical “I just love cheese soooo much I could never give it up” spiel that everyone says and she, without flinching, looked at me and said “why would you as an adult human drink the milk of a cow that is designed to grow a calf into a 1/2 ton cow or bull?” For some reason, that simple question made everything else come into focus and I realized that drinking milk and consuming milk based products was just about the most unnatural thing I could do. So from that day forth, I was vegan.

(Inside my head: You know. this is a good question. My sociology teacher asked something similar in university to me. Why do people drink things that make huge, honking animals…. makes no sense to me!).
Liv:  What prompted you to write this book in particular (and your first two books?) Was it difficult when you got started?

Alicia: This fall I’ll be graduating with my masters in Nutrition and sitting for the RD exam, so health and wellness are passions of mine. There is so much misinformation out there about what healthy eating is and what healthy eating isn’t that I wanted to write a book that set the record straight without the gimmicks and forcing people to cut out incredibly valuable parts of their diet like fats. The process of writing a book, I find, to be easy and fun – I’m in the kitchen every day anyway so it’s just a matter of writing everything down and organizing it. To that end, so many great recipes are lost forever because I jotted them down on a piece of junk mail that accidentally got thrown in the recycling bin or compost heap. (Liv: heeee. me too! it’s really sad, actually). 


Liv: 
You have three cookbooks now, and two focused on comfort food, why the focus on (Southern-y) based Comfort Food?

AliciaI think when people make a big lifestyle shift, like going vegan, they still need to know that the foods they have always loved will be there. Even though I’m a California girl, born and raised, there’s something about southern comfort food that is just nostalgic and utterly fantastic. In our house southern food was only served on special occasions, like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter so for me it’s synonymous with family, togetherness and home. I think those that buy Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food will find is that it isn’t focused on southern comfort food but comfort foods from around the country and some new twist on old favorites.
Liv: What did you want to accomplish with this book? (You know, other than the low-cal aspect!)

Alicia: As I said before I really wanted to breakdown the stereotypes around what healthy eating is and present a low-calorie book that still had real food – poundcakes, fritters, casseroles, the whole nine.
Liv: What do you think of the Vegan Cookbook explosion? Why do you think it’s happening now?

Alicia: I think it is fantastic! What I also think is amazing about the vegan cookbook explosion is the level of creativity out there. The bar is continually raised and I am a fan of so many vegan cookbook authors. I think that we, as Americans, are in such a horrific place in terms of health that we are finally starting to see that the meat and dairy based diets we have enjoyed for the past couple of generations will ultimately be our demise and to that end people are looking for alternatives. I also think that people are often more compassionate than we give them credit for and when the truth about the horrific practices of the meat and dairy industry are put in front of them it’s hard to deny that the way we eat has to change.

(Note: I didn’t know this during the interivew – but this is actually the year of the Vegan Cookbook. In case you were wondering, last year was the year of the Canning book. Do it yourself is in ya’ll).

Liv: And I’ve got to ask – All those recipes, and not one Pizza recipe? What gives?! 😀

Alicia: There is! There are mini-pizzas in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. (Note: this is Alicia’s first book, which I don’t have). I actually have several pizza recipes (even a few deep dish ones) that are tried, tested, and fantastic that just haven’t made it into the books yet. I usually brainstorm and cook somewhere between 200-250 recipes and then whittle it down to the final 150+ for each book so, unfortunately, not everything makes every book. If I get the chance to continue to write vegan cookbooks then, I promise you, there will be more pizza recipes!

Liv: Out of three books, which one is your favourite?

Alicia: Hands down it’s Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations. It might not be PC to say you love one of your books more than the others, and they are all fantastic and represent a different place in my life and a growth in my cooking and writing but I have to say I just adore the recipes in Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations. It’s the book I cook out of most. It is full of comfort food recipes as well as a really diverse group of recipes from Louisiana style cooking for Mardi Gras like Gumbo, Oyster Po Boys and Beignets to Shepherd’s Pie (St. Patty’s Day) and Homemade Irish Creme Liquer. I literally make the traditional and North African Meatballs from Vegan Celebrations at least 3 times a month and my daughter loves them!

Liv: What’s your inspiration?
Alicia: Helping people wade through all the misinformation out there and get to the root of really great, simple, food that is good for them is my passion. I’m inspired by my readers, their stories, and their experience with each recipe and each book. New vegans excite me and invigorate me and make me want to just keep on creating fantastic recipes that will help people discover how easy and delicious veganism is. My goal is to make veganism as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. Of course, my biggest inspiration now is the little vegan in my life, my daughter. She’s a phenomenal little recipe tester and has really changed the way I cook and eat. Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food was actually written while I was pregnant with her.
Liv: Whose your favourite chef (vegan or otherwise?)
It’s so hard to just name one! There are a lot of great up and coming vegan talents who’s books have made it across my desk. If I had to name one Kelly Peloza brings me immense amounts of joy. I’ve never tasted a recipe of hers that I didn’t love. Her egg nog cookies are reason enough to fall head over heels in love with her.

(In my head: Heck. freaking. yeah. Kelly’s stuff is amazing. Ah. mah. zing. Seriously.).

And I know this seems completely insane but I love Paula Deen, in a sort of ironic way. Her over the top, completely unhealthy, butter on top of butter with cream on the side recipes are what inspired my blog The Lady and Seitan so I have to give props to Paula since she inspired an entire blog of mine and I spend my days veganizing her recipes now (and trying to make them a bit healthier).
Liv: For those reading and wondering if veganism (or at least very strict vegetarian) is for them, what would you suggest for them?

Alicia: Yes it’s for you! Going from being an omnivore to a herbivore is a lifestyle change and you have to treat it as such. As with any lifestyle change you can’t just jump into it without a plan, if you do you won’t make it long-term. If this is truly the way you are going to live for the rest of your life you need to go about it thoughtfully.

Find a few cookbooks that you like, or good recipe blogs to get an arsenal of go-to vegan recipes that you really love. Don’t give up if the first couple recipes you try aren’t great.  Not every recipe is for everybody that’s a universal truth to all cooking not just vegan cooking. Find out where you can eat out, when you’re out at your favorite restaurants look over the vegetarian menu and ask if they can make things without eggs or dairy products, you’ll be surprised how often the answer is yes and how many mainstream convience foods are already vegan. Find like minded people to bounce ideas off of and get inspiration. There’s nothing worse than that isolated vegan who doesn’t go out with friends anymore, doesn’t go to dinner parties, and kind of removes themselves from everything not vegan in life. That’s no way to live!

Vegan Celebrations really talks in depth about how to be a party starter and not a party pooper (that’s literally the name of one of the chapters) and how to be vegan anywhere and everywhere. The more people that see you’re a happy, healthy, vibrant, vegan the more attractive veganism will be to them and you might be the spark that helps someone else make the change to being vegan without even knowing it! Online forums like the PPK are amazing places to bounce ideas off of people, vent frustrations (seriously how many times can you answer “where do you get your protein from?”) and just connect with others.
Liv: Would you say your books are for the newly veganist?<<– yes that’s a word. I made it one.

Alicia: I really believe my books are for everybody. I started writing  Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food during my transition from being a vegetarian to a vegan and it was published after I had been vegan for 3 years. For that reason I think it appeals to new vegans more because it really takes you step by step through my vegan journey, information on vegan nutrition and dispells a lot of vegan myths. Overall, my books are for people who love food, because at the heart of it I’m a foodie who would spend everyday in the kitchen if I could.

Liv: What are your favourite recipes from “Low Cal Comfort Food?”

Alicia: The Corn dogs made with homemade ball park hotdogs, Chili Cheese Fries, Seitan Cheesesteak, Chickpea Cacciatore, Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Butter Rum Poundcake, Strawberry Milkshake, Fried Green Tomatoes… Hmmm…the more I think about it this might be my favorite book afterall! I just want to name every recipe!
Liv: Is there anything else coming down the pipeline?

Alicia: I’m bouncing around several ideas for cookbooks right now and looking for what really fits me best for where I am in life right. Any cookbook author will tell you, that looking back at old cookbooks is like looking at a yearbook – it’s a really good picture of where you were creatively at that time. Beyond cookbooks, now that I’ve finally finished with school I also have the opportunity to write more about my areas of speciality which are maternal and pediatric nutrition and lactation and there’s several projects I’m actively working on in that arena.

Liv: Thanks again!!

See. that was so informative. 🙂 (and Alicia was a real sweetie!). She was super busy, so I didn’t want to expand a lot of the answers which were straightforward enough, but as you can tell with the thoughts in my head, – there are some questions that you ask yourself once you really think  (like the milk thing), why do we do it, other than.. you know, marketing, etc? (Or because you are told to). Not to get too political or anything, just an observation 🙂

And I have another interview coming up (like I mentioned).  Featuring, the lovely, and talented dessert goddess: Kelly Peloza! (honestly, when I saw Alicia name her as one of her favourites, and Kelly had just graciously agreed to interview with me, I was like, see. all of these things work out for the best!). 🙂

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