By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

I am surrounded by food. Good, glorious food. Maybe too much of it.

Veggielicious is happening right now, and the TVA office just happens to be a hop, skip and a jump from several places participating including Free Times Cafe, Superfood Eateries, Vegetarian Haven, Prairie Girl Cupcakes and Urban Herbivore. And there’s plenty more that are either directly along the route of my subway ride home, like One Love Vegetarian and The Steady, or literally around the corner from my home, like Rawlicious, The Beet and Magic Oven. My waistline and wallet are certainly taking a beating, but how can one not take advantage of such an exciting, celebratory event?

When Veggielicious winds up, there’s no slowing down in terms of upcoming vegetarian celebrations full of more food in Toronto.

The TVA’s Annual General Meeting is happening December 1st (ahem: treats care of Bunner’s Bake Shop and RaVe desserts!). Then we’re getting together with some of our fabulous volunteers for a night of movies, more from RaVe Desserts and popcorn on December 6th, and the very next day, December 7th, is our vegan bake sale during our holiday open house at the Resource Centre.

I’m not usually one to complain about having too many fantastic options for vegan food in my life, but here’s the problem: I’ve just received my copy of the new Edible Gifts by Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy! In case you haven’t heard, the second e-book from this duo that have brought you Tiny Treats, cooking demonstrations at the Food Festival, and certainly not the least important, The Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, is a collection of vegan, gluten-free recipes that you can pack up and give to friends and family this holiday season.

When I “opened up” the book for the first time, my mouth was watering at recipes like chai spiced popcorn, chocolate-pecan maple brittle and the one I’m most excited to try, salted caramel cups! So now I have the dilemma of fitting these treats into my already jam-packed feeding schedule at the moment.

Luckily, the holidays are right around the corner so there’s plenty of excuses to dive into these creations without needing to fit it all into my belly and my belly alone. I’ve always been a fan of giving personal, homemade gifts, so I’m really looking forward to surprising my in-laws with jars of goodies like coconut macaroon mix, gingerbread nut butter or happy day chia pudding mix. I’m excited about the prospect of wrapping a pretty ribbon around the top with a little note of instructions.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be able to resist making a little something for myself. I deserve presents too, don’t I?

To pick up your copy of Edible Gifts so you can get a head start on making your own set of personalized, meaningful holiday gifts, visit http://veganculinarycrusade.com/ebook/. 33% of proceeds will be donated to TVA so it’s a holiday gift to us too!