About tahinitoo

I live in Portland, Oregon and have been vegan for seven years. I really enjoy backpacking, snowshoeing, photography, baking, birds, biking and food.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

I have a really nice mail carrier. She always brings bigger packages up three flights of stairs and places them in front of my apartment door. It’s the little things that make my day, you know? This past week I was dog/house-sitting for friends and had to make a quick trip home to pick up a few items. When I reached my apartment, there was a package waiting for me!VC Snack Box 02!

Now I don’t know about you, but I get really giddy when packages arrive in the mail. Really giddy. I could be starving, dehydrated, running from danger… but the only thing on my mind is tearing open said package. It’s a commitment. The package photographed above is the March snack box from Vegan Cuts. Since December I have been freelancing as their copywriter. Jill, one of the owners, offered me the chance to review the snack box on my blog. Yes! Yes, I will do that!

If you aren’t familiar with Vegan Cuts, it’s an online marketplace that offers spectacular deals on food, fashion, and body care – all vegan! They have a monthly subscription box ($19.95/month) that delivers awesome vegan products right to your door (if you’re lucky and have a nice mail carrier!). It’s a great way to discover new vegan products and it’s a super deal.

The March box was filled with an alluring assortment of goodies. Inside my box:

That’s a lot of stuff!! I already devoured the chocolate eggs because I am impatient, have terrible will power, and LOVE sweets. Sjaak’s makes some of the best organic, fair trade chocolate on the market. I also plowed through the bag of Earth Balance Aged White Cheddar Puffs because, well, they sounded incredible (they are) and nobody was around to intervene. Have you tried them yet? The Eli’s Earth Bar is safely stowed in the cupboard for future consumption (one of my faves for sure). I am looking forward to using the Beyond Eggs since cookies are my best friends. I will definitely update you on the status once I bake a batch of cookies… Soon!

If you love trying out new vegan products, I highly suggest signing up for Vegan Cuts monthly subscription box. You can’t really turn down a box of surprise goodies!

Speaking of Vegan Cuts, they just launched a very exciting project and need your support to make it happen! Check out the details here! Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.


It’s officially spring which explains the complex mixture of hail, rain, sunshine, clouds, and blue skies we are experiencing in Portland. I need to walk around with my camera more because a few days ago the aforementioned weather patterns collided and made a massive full double rainbow in the sky. Or maybe, just maybe, I need one of those snazzy smartphones. It was a beautiful rainbow but you’ll have to imagine what it looked like since I have no hard proof.

Life is keeping me busy, but not enough for me to neglect the blog! Here are some fun highlights from the last few weeks:

GF 03

Aaron Ash, the owner of Gorilla Food in Vancouver, B.C., came to Herbivore to do a raw food demo, Q&A, and book signing last weekend. We had a full house and got to sample some delicious food: ginger nori crackers, guacamole, chile almonds, and vegan sushi! I went home that evening and put a batch of the ginger nori crackers in my dehydrator because they were the best crackers I’d ever tasted. And I happen to know a thing or fifty about tasty crackers. Aaron is mighty talented and you should check out his book!

Pasta Dinner 01I’ve been cooking solo recently because Tim is traveling for work. Usually I end up eating a lot of burritos when he’s away because cooking by myself is way less fun. And I have to do the dishes – lame! So my meals are minimal attempts at best. Last night I had a surge of energy, most likely from eating too many of these (make them! they rule!). With boosts of spirit, I made a baked pasta dish consisting of penne, pesto, tomato sauce, cashew cream, sauteed mushrooms, and lots of fresh parsley. It was good. Although, not the best meal to eat while watching Workaholics.

And lastly, I’ve been busy with freelance writing assignments. There’s an exciting one with a recipe/giveaway coming up very soon. Follow the Vegan Cuts blog so you don’t miss it! I’ll give you a hint: it involves carrots and sugar. Hmmmm… !!!

That’s all for now. Hope you’re all well and enjoying the weekend.



Recent Adventures

Can you believe it’s March already? Time is passing too fast! Although I must admit, it never felt like winter in Portland, so the onset of spring isn’t too exciting – except for all the beautiful flowers blooming, of course!

Lately Tim and I have been making time for at least one adventure per week, sometimes more if our schedules allow. Here are a few highlights from our most recent outdoor pursuits.

Hoodie! 02

Snowshoeing along the White River with Mt. Hood looming before us the entire way. We found a lovely ridge to sit on and eat lunch. It was our first snowshoe this season with fluffy, powdery, new snow. Winter has been so mild that our other snowshoe trips were on hard, packed snow – much less fun. But the fluffy stuff? That’s what snowshoes are made for!

View 02

Wahclella Falls 01

Last week we went on a very short (and easy!) hike to massive Wahclella Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. We enjoyed our lunch in solitude unless you count waterfall mist as company. :)

Cape Horn Overlook 01

Yesterday we took advantage of sunshine and warm temperatures and headed into Washington state for new exploration. This was taken near Cape Horn. We found a nice hike just a few miles up the road that offers several viewpoints across the gorge. It was a LOT of climbing, but so worth it!

Cape Horn Trail 01

We are already planning backpacking trips for late spring and summer. It’s going to be awesome! I think I will make a nifty spreadsheet with trails and distances and whatnot. I hope to be back soon with some foodie-inspired posts, promise. Hope you are all well and looking forward to warmer weather. :)


Another Year, Another Birthday

I love the first few months of a new year. The holiday chaos is over and fresh starts are quite welcoming, even if they don’t last very long. What I really enjoy though is birthdays! Tim celebrated his in January and I celebrated mine last week. We definitely get our fair share of sweet treats and full day adventures during birthday time. It’s not uncommon to let our small festivities last longer than a day. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, I turned 36. Even though I am creeping slowly toward the big 4-0, I still feel like a kid. I doubt I will ever feel like an adult – well, except when I have to pay bills and make serious decisions about stuff. But otherwise, I still love swings, cookies, throwing snowballs, and sleeping late.

We set off early on my special day for a hike in the always gorgeous Oregon wilderness. While we didn’t expect to encounter snow, we did. It wasn’t enough to deter our hike. We even brought along birthday cupcakes. Tim was a champ and baked the cupcakes with my gentle supervision (he almost forgot the salt!). I frosted them and we ate the entire dozen over the course of a week. Here are a few highlights from the hike:

Amy Hiking 02

Starting off on our hike in the snow.

Salmon River 02

The Salmon River, which parallels nearly the entire hike.

Nurse Log 02

A nurse log: Nurse logs are fallen trees that provide nutrients for new forest growth! You can see three trees have grown on top of this one. It’s so fascinating!

Cupcakes 02

Birthday cupcakes on a log! These were orange cupcakes with vanilla frosting and they were delicious.

Amy and Cupcake 02

Enjoying a cupcake

Tim and Cupcake 02

I’m not sure who loved the cupcakes more! After our hike we went out to dinner and then home for a relaxing night of watching Cheers and eating more cupcakes. Perfect day.

Celebrating a Birthday

Tim’s birthday was Thursday. We spent a good percentage of the week celebrating because birthday fun should always last at least a few days! The excitement kicked off on Tuesday with a snowshoeing adventure in Mt. Hood National Forest. We took along our friends and enjoyed a day in gorgeous, warming sunshine.

Lower Twin Lake 01

We stopped for lunch (and a hefty dose of much-needed vitamin D!) at the frozen, but beautiful Lower Twin Lake. While we were eating, a curious gray jay landed on my friend’s head – perhaps mistaking her for a mound of snow.

Emiko and a Birdie

When Thursday rolled around, Tim and I headed for the central Oregon coast. The optimal time to visit is during winter because crowds are non-existant and you end up having a massive stretch of beach all to yourself. We spent two hours in pure solitude near Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.

Ocean 04

Tim loves recording nature sounds and took advantage of a low wind day to capture the waves ebbing and flowing.

Tim and the Ocean 03

I goofed around,

Cartwheelin' 02

and wrote messages in the sand.

Happy Birthday 02

We wandered to a different portion of the coast and watched people come and go.

Ocean 03

Once back in Portland, we stopped at the downtown Veggie Grill for Tim’s birthday meal (they have a birthday club and if you join, you get a free entree on your special day!). The food was delicious. The photographs didn’t turn out very well, but… There was homemade birthday cake later in the evening!

Cake 01

Double chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache filling, chocolate frosting, and chocolate curls sprinkled on top. It was… chocolaty! That ends Tim’s birthday celebrations!