August was bonkers – I wrapped up SugarSlam III with a bit of controversy, headed to Portland for the International Food Blogger Conference and then to St. Louis for my cousin’s wedding. As soon as I got back Teno started first grade, and then the Chicago public school teachers went on strike* so I hope you’ll understand why the blog has been a little inactive.

I had a great time on my first trip to Portland in 10 years. At the conference I had the pleasure of meeting Stefani from Cupcake Project and having lunch with Jess from Get Sconed! (Sadly, our conference-provided lunch consisted mainly of cauliflower. Hoping for more veggie options if I attend again next year.) I also sat in on some interesting sessions including one on recipe development led by Just a Taste’s Kelly Senyei.

I’m breaking one of her rules by writing such a long story before getting to the recipe, by the way. But besides that, I learned a lot that will help me as I continue to develop recipes for my book (which you can finally read more about, by the way). Anyway, when I finally got home from Portland and St. Louis I wanted to make something yummy for Teno to pack in his lunch for his first day. It’s a tweak on a Post-Punk Kitchen recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies that has been published online for ages, so I think Kelly would approve of me sharing it with you. 😉

tiger hand tattooAll in all Portland was pretty fantastic. I waited in line way too long at Voodoo Doughnuts, but was rewarded in the end with a huge, cock n’ balls doughnut. I met up with Joy from Lucky Cupcake Hairclips and then later with Agnes from Betty Turbo – I shopped at the mall with one, and toured the famous Vegan Mini-Mall with the latter. And while I was at the mini-mall I stopped into Scapegoat Tattoo and had Silje tattoo a pretty sick tiger on my hand.

I’m back home for a few weeks so Teno and I can get started on his new column Food Puncher and his reviews for The Snackpot and then I’m taking off again in October for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Fest and for the Revelation Records anniversary show. CM Punk’s DVD also comes out in October and I’m on it so you should pre-order it!

*I support the CTU’s decision to strike, and hope that they are offered a fair contract soon so we can all get back into our regular school routines.