Thursday, December 6, 2012

{Swapper Spotlight} - Abi Douglass

I can't quite remember exactly how Abi and became friends. We used to work together.  We sat two cubicles away from each other, but never really spoke.  I'd bring in baked goods.  She'd bring in baked goods.  Her's were always more adventurous than mine (Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, anyone?).  Then one day we started emailing each other about food; restaurants, recipes, blogs to check out, Pinterest...and we've been friends ever since!

Abi has been supporting me in this new swap hobby from Day 1.  She hasn't missed a swap yet.  But more than just showing up to swap, she REALLY SHOWS UP, as in totally blows us all away with the quality of her items.  I overheard someone say to her at our Saturday December 1st swap, "Oh you always have the best stuff!"

Now keep in mind, Abi is pregnant.

Like due-any-day-now pregnant.

And she shows up with 9 different items!

Hot buttered yum chex mix
Romesco sauce
Turkey Stock
Peppermint Oreo Truffles
Earl Grey Macarons with Biscoff
Pumpkin Pie Spice Lara Bars
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake Pops
Bacon Caramel Whiskey Bark
Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

Maybe she's just nesting. Or maybe she's just.that.awesome.  And that's why she's our featured swapper!

Abi with her sweet daughter Raegan

What's your food swap resume like? 
I attended the first swap at The Sweet Life Bakery—and I haven’t missed one since. It felt like Christmas—we had only a few swappers, so almost everything was swapped one-for-one with everyone else, which made it feel exciting and like we really “made out well”. It was very eye-opening for the following swaps, since you got the idea that we bakers and cooks certainly like to “show off” our skills and bring things that increase in complexity and creativity. It’s led to a Pinterest board specifically for me to keep tabs on ideas I have for future swaps.

How did you hear about us? 
I am friends with Lauren Vitagliano, who started the whole South Jersey Swapping movement. I was interested from the beginning, and have really enjoyed supporting her endeavors to bring food swapping to our area.

Do you have any swapping specialties we can look forward to?
I made salted caramel for the first swap, and it has become a staple in our household. It’s easy and something that I like to think people enjoying getting from me. I also have made macarons a few times, and really enjoy the challenge and guesswork of bringing them, since they can be so finicky. I have not really made the same thing twice for any swap, so it’s usually a new experience each time.

Salted Caramel and Macarons

Why do you love food swapping? 
I think swapping is a fun way to build your culinary skill set, make new friends based on the common ground of a love for food, and a chance to try new things. Often, we come home with an exchange of something that we either haven’t had before or made on our own. I’m personally intimidated by canning, and if someone (like Lauren!) brings canned items to a swap, I do my best to make sure I get some!

Lara Bars, Spice Rubs, Produce Spray, Marshmallows

Do you have any advice for first-time swappers?
So many times, we invite people (anyone!) to come to a swap, and they say: “oh I don’t know how to make something to swap”. That’s not true! There are so many things we make and don’t think are “swapper material”. One of my favorite things I’ve gotten was a frozen roll of sugar cookie dough that came with a cardamom-espresso “crust” to add before baking the cookies. Not too difficult, but oh, so tasty! Don’t sell yourself short and miss out on the swapping fun because you don’t think you make anything “fancy”. I brought a type of Chex® mix to the last one, for heaven’s sake. There are so many things you can make that require very little culinary talent; just a Google or Pinterest search can lead you to homemade vanilla (2 ingredients!!) and other simple-to-make DIY, swap-worthy masterpieces. Come join us!


  1. you are way too kind, my dear, dear friend!! swapping has been the coolest thing I've done foodie-wise!! xoxo

  2. Abi is an inspiration to all of us swappers! She keeps us on our toes ;) Great article, Lauren!