It starts with a craving outside of the ordinary

Food, experiences, company we keep, political points of view and ideas, art, travel, personal careers, and education are within my wheelhouse. I plan to share with you small and large adventures, dear ones. Come along.

We start with New Year's Eve, December 31, 2019. After a jam packed year of creating, bucket list traveling and life, I am celebrating the end of the decade with my spouse, Jim, and dog, Bo. Tucked into their home are our three spoiled guinea pigs, Baby, Shirley and Rocket. Out galavanting the Bay Area are our daughters, Kyra and Ginger, and Jim's daughter, Casey.

While most of the time I am trying to tweak things to give psyche thrills, New Year's Eves for us are decidedly boring. We watch Twilight Zone marathons and I spend most of my time tracking things... time-did we miss the New York countdown?, kids-who's where (and I won't sleep until I know my girls are safe for the night), clothing-for trips or parties, and food-what will I create next? do I have the ingredients I need to make it happen?

To celebrate the closing of the decade, I wanted to eat a shrimp cocktail, plant-based lifestyle be damned! Thankfully, it doesn't take me long to reel back in and remember my commitment to give veganism another go. So, I set off to concoct a worthy substitute for the shrimp and cream cheese, for the appetizer (which turned into a meal) I hope will satisfy my cravings. Here is what I came up with: Jackfruit cocktail over Trader Joe's "cream cheese", served with gluten-free crackers. Here is the recipe:

Jackfruit cocktail:

4oz fresh jackfruit (remove from the larger piece of fruit)

2oz chopped celery

1/2 orange, squeeze of the juice

chili lime powder or tajin - to taste

cocktail sauce of your choice - to taste

vegan cream cheese (arranged on a plate)

gluten free crackers or corn chips to serve on the side

1) Remove the jackfruit from the larger piece.

2) Assemble your ingredients.

3) using a medium sized bowl, add the peeled and chopped jackfruit w/ juice of 1/2 orange.

4) Add chopped celery.

5) Add your cocktail sauce to taste. I made sure my cocktail sauce was vegan. This brand has some things I don't like in my food, but sometimes you have to make do.

6) Finally, arrange your cream cheese on the plate, pour your jackfruit cocktail sauce over and add chips or crackers on the side.

Indulge and enjoy! See you in 2020!

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