Friday, March 09, 2007

My disappearing act...

What can I say? I haven't blogged in a week and a half, and I haven't been commenting much either. At some point recently, I realized that I am registered to take part of the CPA exam on April 10, and I have to be ready by then. And I have to keep up with my classes too. So in the next couple of weeks or so, I may not be blogging a whole lot. I'll be peeking at all your blogs, but forgive me if I don't comment very often--if I start, then I will get sucked in and then never get anything done. I'll try not to vanish completely.

So what have I been cooking these days? Mostly, we have been eating really simple, quick meals--black beans and rice, sloppy lentils, salads, steamed edamame, and such. Nothing too fancy or creative. I did make this baked potato with steamed broccoli and cheesy sauce one night, that I thought was photo-worthy.

Last Saturday, my friends James and Kristina got married. Since James's favorite dessert is apple pie, they decided to have that as the groom's "cake" at their reception, and my friend Mary and I baked the pies. We made nine pies, eight "regular" and one vegan (though the only difference was Earth Balance vs. butter in the sauce), starting at 10:30 on Saturday morning and finally finishing, with cleanup time included, at 5:00 in the afternoon. Wow! Neither of us had anticipated it taking so long! But it was such a fun project, and very rewarding to see our pies displayed beautifully at the reception. All in all, it may have been the loveliest wedding reception I have ever been to, and it wasn't extremely elaborate. Who says you have to go into debt to have a beautiful wedding?

This upcoming week is my spring break. This means that I may have a little bit more time to cook and blog and such. I have some study goals to reach for the week that I am going to do my very best to stick to, but I also have a few cooking projects I want to dive into. Happy weekend, everyone! I hope to catch up with each of you sometime soon.


bazu said...

Hi Laura,
That pie looks fabulous! How cool that you got to help make them for your friends' wedding.

As for the eggplant dish, I just made it up as I went along: I sauteed some onion and garlic, then added the cubed eggplant, some capers, and some olives, then added a can of diced tomatoes. For seasoning, I think I used dried basil and oregano. Oh, and to "kick it up a notch" I added a bit of ketchup and chili sauce. It was really easy and very good!

Good luck with your schoolwork.

Beata said...

That broccoli looks great! What kind of cheesy sauce did you use?

Good luck on the CPA exam! I'm going to start taking it this summer too. I'm so nervous. What review course are you taking? I can't quite decide yet...

theONLYtania said...

That is so neat about the pies.. it looks great! You should have just made them all vegan!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Wishing you good studies for you exam. I have been craving a baked potato and yours takes the cake. Yumo! The pies are beautiful!

Melody said...

What a beautiful pie!

Good luck with your exam!

laura jesser said...

Bazu, thanks for responding to my eggplant question! I will certainly remember that--the dish you made looked so tasty.

Beata, I actually make this "uncheese" mix that I found on If you're interested, I have linked it in my blog before--search my blog for "dragonfly's bulk uncheese" or something like that and it should come up. Ooh, good luck with the CPA exam--I'm using the Gleim self-study books. I'll e-mail you about it! :)

Tania, thanks! I would totally have made them all vegan if it had been up to me! But, understandably, it was up to the bride...

Veg-a-nut and Melody, thanks for your well-wishes--I'm sure I'll use them!

KleoPatra said...

This is weird, i left you a post yesterday that didn't show up!! I came back to see if you updated your blog, though i figured you didn't since i know you're going to be so busy.

I want to wish you much success with the CPA exam! I'm very excited for you!!

And i know i commented as well on the plate (love that plate) with the delish combo i love: a cheezy sauce atop taters and broc! Life is good with this kind of foodstuff, Laura. Very good indeed.

I was thrilled about your creation for your friends' wedding. That pie looks SO good. How nice of you to make that for them. Yours'd be the only one i ate... and i'd surely have two pieces! How nice that you call it the loveliest wedding reception you've been to. That's quite a compliment.

Hope you enjoy your Spring Break, Laura. Do whatever makes you happy!!

Anonymous said...

wishing you the best!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on your CPA exam. That was so nice of you to bake the pies for your friend's wedding. The pie looks great!

Have a great spring break.

Linda said...

a perfect pie. impressive!

aTxVegn said...

Great job on the pies! I don't think I've ever seen pies at a wedding reception before - I love it!

Enjoy your spring break and good luck on the exam!

laura jesser said...

Kleo, crazier things have happened on blogger... Thanks for your comments--I'm glad you came back so I didn't miss out!

Johanna, thanks!

Midwest vegan, making the pies was so exciting--it almost made me want to forget the CPA exam and go into catering. Baking for weddings would be a fun hobby, even if I couldn't make a profession out of it.

Linda, thanks! I was amazed at how easy it was to weave the top crust into such a lovely pattern...

Diann, I love anything I see at a wedding that's "different" from usual, so I thought apple pies was a fabulous idea too.

Kati said...

That pie looks so pretty! Would you believe I've never baked an apple pie in my life? I guess I just don't like rolling pastry out very much, but it's something I'm definitely going to do one of these days. That's really unique that they had pies instead of cake - I fully approve!

Good luck on your exam! We'll all be thinking of you. =)

scottishvegan said...

That was really sweet of you to make all those pies for the wedding . They look really good. I bet the vegan one tasted much better than the rest!! :)

Hope your studying and exam go well :)

springsandwells said...

Hi Laura,
Nice to see a new post from you! I haven't been blogging much this week either... so many things to do!

It's super cool that you made so many pies for your friends' wedding. I always feel so grateful when I am able to contribute something meaningful to a wedding. It helps me feel so connected to the celebration.

Enjoy your spring break - woo hoo!

Urban Vegan said...

Concerning the taters--great minds lcook alike, right?!

That lattice-top pie is simply gorgeous.

Don;'t study too hard, You'll be just fine!

laura jesser said...

Kati, I would definitely believe that--to be honest, this was my first apple pie-making venture! I know what you mean about pastry dough--it's not my favorite thing to work with either.

Scottish vegan, I'm sure us vegans would certainly like the vegan pie better! Not as heavy!

Amey, I'm trying to blog as my "creative outlet" even when I am busy, but sometimes I have to let it go for a little while. I just enjoy reading everyone else's, when that happens! I really love being able to contribute to special occasions--it's a good feeling, as you say, to feel more connected.

Urban vegan, I guess they do! :) Thanks for your comments!

vko said...

Ah, am a bit behind myself in catching up with the blogs.

The pies are so pretty- what a nice thing to do for your friend.

Hope your exams went well!

And it looks like cheesy sauce makes everything better...need to make that for sure.