big news!

big news!

 apples

Hello old friends and new readers!

It’s been a good long while since I’ve posted any updates on the happenings in my world.  So, I thought I’d share an overdue post on what I’ve been up to, and let you in on some big, exciting, news that I have been bursting at the seams to share.

For the past year or so, I’ve been hard at work on my Desserts cookbook, and I’m happy to report that it is well on its way to completion! And, what a blast it has been so far. If there was a “dream book” for me to write this would be it. I hope it shows when it finally releases. It’s going to have 250 recipes, 125 color photographs and a ton of info on everything from candy-making to cake baking. I’m tediously working on testing recipes (along with the help of some incredible people), shooting photographs, and drawing illustrations for this ‘big book of dessert’ set to hit stores Fall 2014, published by DaCapo Press. Every square inch of my kitchen has been dusted with various flours, my freezer is overflowing with pies and cheesecakes, and my pants are getting tight-ish.

I’ll be including a lot of tips and tricks for gluten-free & vegan treat-making, and also some helpful info for corn-free, soy-free, and nut-free folks too. Plus, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to refined sugar-free desserts. Something for everyone!

And, my big news: I’ve decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition! If you follow my page on facebook, this probably isn’t really news to you, but I wanted to elaborate a little bit. For those of you not ‘in the know’, my education is in Fine Arts (painting and sculpture). Once I graduated, I began hardcore recipe developing, and then blogging and eventually landed a[n incredible] literary agent who enabled me to author a few cookbooks.

Since I first began blogging, I’ve had a few “moments” where I felt things click together. The most important part of my journey, though, was when I moved to Philadelphia. In this amazing city, I’ve become familiar with inspiring hardcore food professionals and a countless number of restaurants, which have no doubt intensified my love for the culinary-sphere. But, living in a bigger city, I often encounter the flipside of the food world: hunger. I come from a pretty lucky place privilege-wise, and since I was a little girl, a big part of me has wanted to use that to help others–particularly those of us who aren’t so fortunate, or have fallen on hard times.

Call me sheltered, but as a resident of the little town in Ohio where I hail from, I wasn’t in the thick of disparity like I am here in Philly. Living in such a diverse community for the past two years has changed my perspective on food in a powerful way. In fact, it’s made me yearn to get involved on a deeper level with food and nutrition–specifically in urban and low-income communities. My experience working professionally within the culinary sphere has opened my eyes to what a luxury food, and good nutrition, truly is. I want to help, particularly in the areas of nutrition for low-income families and children, and food allergies.

I’ve become increasingly interested in solutions to this heartbreaking problem and will be diving right into research and schoolwork, while allowing my own business (the blogging, bookwriting, recipe development and food photography) to hopefully blossom as I gain more knowledge. I believe research will become a major part of my work, and I’m excited to embark on this food-filled journey. I am also incredibly grateful for this platform (and you, dear readers) to share my experiences.

The planning for this career move has been under way for about 2 years now (ugh, I know, I’m a planning control freak), and I’m psyched that it’s finally coming to fruition. I’m entering into a program of study in Dietetics—to not only get my Masters of Nutrition but also become a Registered Dietitian (RD). Once I finish the program, I’ll be much better suited to speak about nutrition, hunger, and the impact of proper diet on health, as well as write concise, informative books about plant-based nutrition–all while pouring myself into a subject that I am incredibly passionate about.

Anyhow, that all starts in January. That’s only 2 months away!

I haven’t attended college in almost 8 years. Expect random Twitter stressed-outbursts, highly caffeinated blog posts, and sleep deprivation induced Instagrams to come. Also, forgive me if I start posting a lot of chocolate recipes. Only chocolate recipes? I work best under pressure and with a fair amount of chocolate and caffeine.

This will be a long and adventurous ride! Thank you all for being there, and for being a HUGE part of this decision for me and for further cementing my love and interest in food. I couldn’t have done any of this without your support!

 

37 Responses to big news!

  1. Lora says:

    What program will you be going to? I’m beginning down a similar path myself! Congratulations on all the decisions and hard work that lead up to this point, although you’re only getting started, I know what it takes to even get to this point!

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Lora!
      I’m going to be at Drexel University–very excited to get started! Congrats and best wishes to you too!

  2. Michelle says:

    CONGRATS! And allow me to THANK YOU for making many of your recipes (in all your books) gf, soy and nut free, HUGS! I’ll be pre-ordering asap! :)

  3. Christy says:

    Wow, that book sounds truly amazing!!! Holy cow!! Big congrats and so excited to watch your journey in the Master’s program!

    • admin says:

      Aw, thank you, lady! You are always so super supportive and I truly appreciate it. I’m definitely excited to get this journey going!
      I may need your guidance with keeping fit and my energy up throughout the whole thing. You did get me addicted to my little 10 pound dumbbells afterall; and I’m pretty sure that has prepared me for lugging around a backback! ;) xoxo

  4. Woo hoo!
    So excited for the cookbook and congrats on the direction. Enjoy the learning that comes with the masters!

  5. Maria Tadic says:

    Congrats on pursuing your degree! I’m an RD and I love it! And it’s a great field where you can really make a difference. I’ve been a part of a few local hunger initiatives and it’s a wonderful thing to help with! Good luck to you and let me know if you have any questions on the path to becoming an RD!

    • admin says:

      That is so wonderful to hear, Maria! You know, I have yet to meet an RD who doesn’t love what they do–I’m so excited to be on my way. :) Thank you for your well wishes!

  6. That is so exciting, Allyson! Congratulations.

  7. Kristina says:

    YAY! what a natural next step for you, I know you will do good things! big hugs my friend!

  8. bitt says:

    This is so exciting! Congrats! Can’t want to taste them. :-)

  9. Susan says:

    That is really exciting news. :) You are such an amazing advocate for nutrition and compassion. <3
    I can't wait for the dessert book to come out. The gluten free people who come to my bake sales aren't going to know what hit them. :D

    • admin says:

      Yay! Oh, nothing makes me happier than when my recipes go to bake sales! Thank you for always being so kind and so supportive, Susan! Sending big hugs your way. xo

  10. Cara says:

    There is one girl sitting on her couch in L.A. reading this who is SO FREAKING EXCITED for you (hint: that girl is me!) :) Couldn’t think of a better person to whom all this great stuff should be happening to. What an awesome journey you are embarking–we will be cheering you on to graduation every step of the way. Much love! xo

  11. theveganlisa says:

    Allyson! What fantastic news. I am absolutely thrilled for you. Congratulations on continuing to walk your path and find new and amazing ways to contribute to this world. I plan to start sending you chocolate-filled care packages. :)

    • admin says:

      Lisa, thank you so so much! I am thrilled as well, and can’t wait to share all the fun details with you sometime in the near future. And, the fact that you are already scheming up chocolate filled care packages only re-affirms to me how genuinely wonderful you are. Sending you much love!

  12. Yay for you for following your heart in all things! Your superbrilliant blog and cookbook authoring are already so inspiring and benefit so many people. It’s crazycool that you want to use your Masters studies to help better the world too! You clearly have the talent and brains and spirit to achieve your dreams so all the best to you on this new adventure! :)

  13. Vegyogini says:

    Congratulations, Allyson! The world is a better place with you advocating for the wellness of all beings. xoxo

  14. Emma says:

    What an exciting new move! Sounds like you’ll be doing something so valuable.
    Good luck with the prep for school and the rest of the cookbook. I think I need to start saving- so many of my favourite vegan bloggers are releasing cookbooks!

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much, Emma! I know what you mean… my cookbook collection is getting huge! :) xo

  15. A. Cook says:

    Congratulations on your decision! There is a huge need for nutrition outreach and education in low-income communities and I admire you so much for taking this next step toward fulfilling that. Best of luck, it sounds like it will be a very rewarding career path for you!

    • admin says:

      I really appreciate your kind words, A. Cook! There is such a big need for it, and I hope I’ll be able to offer even a little help to such a large problem.

  16. Amanda says:

    Congrats, Allyson! Exciting things all around! :) I think your plan to shift gears a bit with your career to focus on food as it relates to nutrition and hunger is really admirable.
    I can’t wait for your new desserts cookbook!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda! It means a lot to me that you think that. Big hugs to you!

  17. Nicole says:

    Congrats on the new book AND the plans for your new career! I know a very special lady here in Toronto who has been enjoying testing your desserts. Good luck on finishing up the book – it sounds like it’s going to be amazing! And as for school, well, we’re all here to support you, too. :)

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Nicole! I’m very excited for the next chapter. And, it’s so nice to hear as that very special lady has been a total life-saver for me!! xoxo

  18. Amanda says:

    You, my friend, are amazing! I don’t know how you manage it all so perfectly, but I am jealous and in awe. I’m so excited for your schoolin’! My friend just graduated and had a great experience and ended up with a great internship (I’ll put you in touch with her if you’d like).

    So proud of all your accomplishments. Let’s get together before school starts cuz I’m pretty sure our infrequent cocktail hours are going to have to be even less frequent once you start this amazing journey!

    • admin says:

      Aw, Amanda, you’re the best. Thank you. And, just so you know, you are a HUGE inspiration to me. Just ask me how my French is shaping up? ;)

      I agree, it’s been way too long and we need to get together soon!! Soon!

  19. Susan says:

    Dessert Cookbook sounds great! I think I originally found your site from an apple nachos recipe you posted that I love. Excited to see more treats in your cookbook! Good luck on your degree as well.