This weekend's birthday celebrations were small and simple, yet managed to included quite a bit of yummy food and baking.  I figured it was a good way to kick off my blog- not to mention that I was gifted with a shiny new laptop to help me out (woo!).

First off, my boyfriend's mom has been insisting on us making a food blog for months now, ever since we started experimenting with juicing and vegan baking at the end of last year.  I am and avid food blog reader and I know how much work must go into it, but I figured I'd give it a shot!  Both of us have really enjoyed trying out new recipes and embracing a more (if not entirely) green and animal-friendly way of life, and this is simply a place to share the experience.

So back to my birthday- we started off with a nice little lunch at Sbicca's in Del Mar and then walked through the Farmer's Market in Solana Beach on Cedros.
Spencer with my little bouquet of flowers!

After enjoying fresh coconut water and sampling some delicious fruit, we headed back to my house to start baking macrons and vegan matcha cupcakes for a last minute tea party I decided to throw.  Spencer's mom gave me a macron, cupcake and cake-pop cookbook (if you can't tell, she is very supportive of my love for baking) and we chose a recipe with raspberry ganache for our first attempt.  I have always wanted to try making macrons because they're so pretty and delicate but I never got around to it, so Sunday was finally my day!
I didn't have one myself because of the egg whites, but everyone said they were great despite the obvious fact that the smooth appearance of the was cookie a little off.  I was afraid of over mixing the batter and un-fluffing the egg whites but it needed to be a little runnier and the cookies would have appeared more uniform on the outside.  But it ended up not as difficult a process as I expected and hey, at least they tasted good!  The recipe I used was "Raspberry Macarons" from Mia Orhn's cookbook Macarons, Cupcakes, and Cakepops.

Next were the Vegan Green Tea Cupcakes from a blog called Je Suies Alimentageuse.  I made a few substitutions and left out the cute straws, but in the end they were delicious!! I used chia seeds instead of the flax meal, soy milk for almond (although I prefer almond I was all out), unsalted original Earth Balance for the vegetable shortening in the buttercream frosting, and soymilk again for the coconut milk in the frosting.  I probably would stick with the coconut milk next time because I noticed the soy began to separate inside the frosting a little after it sat for a minute in my piping bag.  Everything was fine once it was on the cupcake though!
Yum! I could live on matcha.  As you can see they didn't last on that plate too long.

Taylor also contributed to our sweets-overload with a pretty chocolate covered berry bouquet.
So that was my birthday! I promise I don't usually eat so many sweets.. so expect some healthier recipes soon! My mom surprised me with the Forks over Knives cookbook which is entirely plant based and I cannot wait to try some recipes out (Portobello mushroom tacos?! Mmmmm).  I need some serious plants in me after that tea party!

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