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Fluffy Strawberry Muffins + My Writing Process Blog Tour

I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to the lovely Brandi from The Vegan 8 blog for nominating me to be part of the “My Writing Process Blog” tour. Thank you for your kindest words.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I’m honored to be a part of the Writing Process Blog tour. Every once in a while it’s nice to skew away from writing recipes and travel posts and share a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at Vegan Miam. This type of tour is a way for bloggers to get to know one another and share some background on their writing process and motivations. After being nominated by a blogger that loves your blog, you’ll answer the four questions below. Then, in turn, nominate three bloggers – bloggers you’re curious to know more about, bloggers you already know and love and want to have their story shared with the rest of the blogosphere, or just anyone that’s piqued your interest lately – to answer the same four questions next week.

I have nothing but lovely things to say about the amazing woman that nominated me. Even just her blog name sends good vibes. In Chinese culture the number 8 is associated with prosperity and wealth. This wasn’t intentional on her part, but it’s just another good sign for the remarkably lovely and talented Brandi at The Vegan 8. Her decadent tofu-free Cinnamon Coconut New York Style ‘Cheesecake’ is still on my list of desserts to make, and boy does it look utterly mouthwatering! Her focus is on simple and wholesome vegan recipes using 8 ingredients or less, and her recipes are often gluten free and oil free. Brandi’s also a kind-hearted, genuine and down-to-earth spirit who comes across as someone who would be a pleasure to meet. As a side note, she is also currently working on her first E-Book, so keep an eye on her blog and be sure to follow her on Instagram & Facebook. Thank you dearest Brandi for including me in this blog tour!

What am I working on?

I work as a creative designer and developer by day and night. I work in different time zones depending on where we are. In my spare time, I devote my time to the kitchen where I create and photograph inspirational dishes inspired by our travels with my partner Doni.

I have loads of upcoming recipes and travel posts to share, specifically Buenos Aires, Paris, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I’m a little bit behind right now. Travel posts are pretty difficult to do because I have so much to cover. I have to look back through my notes for details on the food and addresses of the places we’ve been(usually in different languages), along with sharing an overall perspective and summary of the places we’ve been.

In addition to the backlog of travel posts, I also have a project of passion that I’m working on. I’m working on developing a vegan Asian cookbook with a focus on Taiwanese cuisine. This is an area of great personal interest to me and a project a lot of people have been pushing me to pursue. I’m taking my time with this project though because it is so dear to me and I feel a great responsibility to do it exceptionally well.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

While I enjoy writing a recipe and sharing a dish we’ve brought back from our travels, we also love to talk about our travels as vegans and that includes airlines, hotels, and everything in between our vegan meals while abroad. This aspect makes me feel like we can offer something a bit different for vegans, not just in the kitchen but also out there in the world as travelers.

I’ve been a vegan for almost eight years now, but I really got interested in cooking in the last two or so years. Prior to that, I never really liked cooking and I loathed baking. When Doni and I started living together, he did most of the cooking. But as time has passed our roles have shifted, and now I cook almost every day. In fact, it was the travel that propelled me to cook more. A few years ago I initially started a travel blog to share our experiences as vegan travelers, but quickly found that our experiences abroad motivated us to craft dishes inspired by our travels. That was when Vegan Miam is born, actually our 2nd blogiversary is coming up soon!

Why do I write what I do?

As stated in my other interview with VeggieFocus, there is nothing more rewarding than bringing food back, both figuratively and literally, from our travels. While traveling, Doni and I love to craft local dishes using locally sourced ingredients but we also enjoy bringing flavors, concepts and dishes back from our travels to recreate or veganize at home. I want my readers and everyone to get to know the variety of flavors that the world has to offer, along with how they can bring those flavors into their own kitchens.

How does your writing process work?

I like having order in my writing process. When it comes to a recipe post, I take and edit photographs of the dish while finalizing the details from my recipe journal. Once I have a recipe established, I’ll write an intro about the dish in Evernote (my go to note-taking application). Writing posts in WordPress can be distracting and risky since I’ve had issues with WP not always saving properly in the past, so I finalize my content on Evernote before constructing a post on WordPress. Recipes are pretty fun to write; From working in an organic chemistry lab, I have a huge obsession with descriptive lab reports.

But writing content isn’t always so easy, unless I’m writing about dishes that were inspired by my travels. Sometimes my writing process gets sidelined by photo processing, I can be a perfectionist when it comes to processing photos and the smallest detail in a picture can end up being the most time consuming.

When it comes to travel posts, I always carry a pocket reporter’s notebook with me and do my best to take pictures of menus and locations, even if it’s just on my phone for my own reference later. Afterwards I try and collate them on Evernote into different categories to make things easier to find later. Travel posts can take me hours to write and edit photographs for, longer than recipe posts. We take a lot of photos when we travel since we never know if we will get a chance to return. All the information, and the glut of photos, makes these travel posts a longer process that evokes memories of all the aromas, flavors and emotions of somewhere far away. Getting lost in these photos and sensory memories is just another reason why I have a bit of a backlog of travel posts.

Who’s up next on the June 30th’s Writing Process Blog Tour?

Angela | Canned Time

Angela from Canned Time is a sweet and kind-hearted lady. She is the VIP blogger and Pinterest ambassador behind the Virtual Vegan Potluck, a popular biannual event that brings together food bloggers to share a feast of vegan recipes. She discovered Vegan Miam by way of Kristy’s Keepin’ It Kind blog and proceeded to try my vegan dulce de leche sauce and we’ve been following one another ever since. Her warm and compassionate personality is evident in the enthusiasm she shows toward animals, food and her readers. Losing 75 pounds few years ago, she is now dedicated to educating others on animal suffering and how to eat satisfyingly well. Her blog serves as a motivational platform for those who want to learn about veganism or develop a delicious relationship with vegan food. Her recipe archive is loaded with tasty plant-based meals, canned jams & sauces, soups and even more.

Holly | Veganadian

Originally from Montreal, Holly is the Atlanta based vegan food, lifestyle and travel blogger behind Veganadian. Along with her passion for all things vegan she is also a Wookie loving Star Wars fanatic, Chinese food junkie and loves to speak French. When she’s not devoting her free time to animal sanctuaries, Holly is traveling and taking mouthwatering (iPhone) photos of the food she loves to eat (oh yes, fries, pizza, burgers, apple pies and smoothies, to name a few). Holly is also the founder of #PlantBasedATL, a monthly meet-up for vegans in Atlanta to get together and share their vegan eats. So if you are on your way to Atlanta or based in Atlanta, give her a holler.

Katrin | Land of Candy Canes

An ethical German vegan and passionate traveler, Katrin’s blog is different than other blogs I have found. Her engaging and inspiring posts touch upon a variety of topics including novels, animal rights, fashion, travel and food. Her beloved family includes a pair of cats and a pair of bunnies, and they all mean the world to her. She and I have loads in common – Including our love of Scandinavian crime novels, salt & vinegar chips, anything Stella McCartney and shoes shoes and more shoes, what more can I say? She’s undeniably genuine and a sweetheart who has a total respect for animals.

Strawberry Muffins

Along with taking a moment to share a bit about myself, I am also revealing a summery muffin recipe with local strawberries from our Farmers’ Market. When it comes to muffins, I don’t want something dense and heavy and I also don’t want anything glazed or overly sweet. My muffins are light, airy, mildly-sweet and a perfect dessert/breakfast/snack to go! I recently featured my vegan Fluffy Strawberry Muffins on my Instagram and received recipe requests…so here it is!

Fluffy Strawberry Muffins

Yield: 12 medium-size muffins

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large over-ripe banana, mashed
¾ cup dairy-free milk, at room temperature (175mL)
⅔ cup virgin coconut oil, melted (160mL)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (150g)

Method

  1. Line muffin cups with paper muffin cases. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and whisk to combine together. Add ½ cup and 2 tablespoons sugar. Reserve remaining coconut sugar for topping. Working quickly, add mashed banana, milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, and then fold in the strawberries. Using a big spoon, gently stir well for about few seconds, but be careful not to mix the batter too much. Make sure there isn’t any flour left in the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Using a spoon, fill each muffin cup about &frac;34 full since they will expand. Sprinkle the tops with remaining sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, or for at least 20 minutes before storing in an air-tight container.

Notes

For sugar, you can use coconut sugar instead of organic turbinado raw cane sugar. However, the muffins will look darker and browner due to the coconut sugar. You might have to add a little bit more since the sweetness level is slightly different.

These keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2-3 days or for an additional week in the refrigerator. Make sure you line the bottom of the container with paper towel , line your muffins and then top with another layer of paper towel before sealing the lid.


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