cupcakes and raspberries

My blog is turning one in August, and I’m having a party.

Will you come?

Over the last year, you’ve sent me awfully nice e-mails, telling me something about why you like this site or giving me the recipe for a similar dish or asking for clarification on something. I really like the notes about how your cookies looked when they came out of the oven, all puffed and golden, and especially the ones about how something you read here got you to think about things—even ones having nothing to do with food—in a new way.

So I was thinking, for the one-year anniversary of Food Loves Writing, why not have a real-life party? There will be cake and there will be cookies, August 8, at a park in the Chicago suburbs:

gilbert park

Maybe all who comes will be me, the two friends who’ve already promised to appear, and no one else. If so, we’ll eat a lot, and that will be lovely. But if any of the rest of you come, too, well, I hope you know how much I’ll love to meet you.

coconut cupcakes

Maybe we could have a cookie-decorating contest? Or a frost-your-own-cupcakes table? In that case, we should really have these: coconut cupcakes, as seen at Everybody Likes Sandwiches. They’re good (and, bonus: vegan! which seems to be the theme this week).

These are the exact opposite of my droopy gray coconut cake—the one I botched by grabbing coconut flavoring instead of extract? They’re moist and sweet, with flecks of coconut throughout. They’d have been wonderful with coconut frosting, too, but, well, did you know you can over-beat whipping cream? Let’s just say lesson learned, and, um, these aren’t half bad with spoonfuls of raspberries on the side.

vegan coconut cupcakes

Anyway, back to the party.

I really don’t have much nailed down but the location and time: August 8, between 7 and 8:30 PM, at a gorgeous pavilion walking distance from downtown Downers Grove.

I’ve made a Facebook invite for the event (you have to log in to see it), and, if you’re able, I hope you’ll R.S.V.P. there. I’d love to see you, hear your story and share a glass of lemonade.

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda and salt. Then add everything else, saving the vinegar until last. Mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into cupcake liners, and bake 30 minutes or until centers come clean. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.

(Optional: frost, or eat with fresh berries.)

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Wellheeled

    That sounds amazing – I can only imagine how delicious the food would be. Wish I could go!!

  2. kickpleat

    Oh, a party you say? I have to say that I will be close by-ish (Montreal on Aug. 8), but not close enough. I’m glad you loved these cupcakes because they are great, I know because I make them quite often. Hooray for good cupcakes and future parties.


    Well, sorry I can’t come, I would if I could, but a big happy birthday. My blog’s birthday is Christmas Day. Isn’t that strange, so my blog will expect presents. :)

  4. Jacqui

    I’ll be there! Unless I’m living in the Deep South come August. Which is entirely possible, crazy as it sounds.

  5. Adam

    I’ll be there too! I’m a sucker for free cake…

  6. rachel

    what a fabulous idea Shanna!! I so want to come! :)

  7. Shannalee

    WH – I SO WISH you could come! If I’m ever in California again…

    Kickpleat, I am going to be in Montreal in August, too! But not until three weeks or so after you. :( Tell the city I’m coming, OK?

    Angela – Love that you started your blog on Christmas. Love it.

    Jacqui – My vote’s that you stay because I need more foodie friends. However, you can tell Murdo I’m rooting for the job, too.

    Adam – Yay!

    Rae – Any chance you and Jacob want to head up for a visit??

  8. lo

    What a great idea… we’ll have to check our calendars :) Always great to meet fellow bloggers!

  9. Sues

    Awww I wish I lived in Chicago! (for many reasons, really). This looks like a fabulous time! Congrats on the upcoming anniversary :)

  10. TJ

    Happy Anniversary (Blogversary?) Those cupcakes look really tasty. Some of the parks in Washington State have pavilions like those. They look so sturdy and warm.

  11. Jess

    Congratulations on a wonderful first year of blogging! I wish I could join you in Chicago to celebrate. After party in Boston? Yes?

  12. Jackie @

    Happy bloganniversary. Your idea is so cool. I wish I could come. :)

  13. Jen

    Many congrats on your first blogiversary! Enjoy your fiesta! Such a fun idea :-)

  14. Shannalee

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments! I wish you all were here in Chicago – and to those of you who are: come!!

  15. Susan

    Happy Birthday to your blog! I wish I was in Chicago, I would be there in a heartbeat.

  16. Gemma

    I would love to be able to justify a flight to Chicago in early August but sadly cannot :(

    Have a great party and happy birthday in advance!

    Gemma x

  17. Shannalee

    Susan, I wish you were, too!

    Gemma – What? An intercontinental flight isn’t worth it? Haha I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Boston recently – one of the best places in the country, I believe. Wish you were closer!

  18. Elizabeth

    What a fun idea! If it were one month later, I would totally come because I’m moving from NYC to the Chicago suburbs in Sept! Maybe next year…

  19. Shannalee

    Elizabeth! You’re kidding! Let me know if you want a local blogging friend to show you around, OK? BTW I cannot wait to see your photographs of places I know. So exciting.

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