Chili for Chilly Nights

Do you have your copy of 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen & Joni Marie Newman yet? You don’t? Well you should probably hurry up and get one because all those recipes will be mighty sad if you don’t make them soon. For example, if the weather has you huddled under blankets or planted next to a space heater, you could warm up your insides with a bowl of Cranberry Chili and a side of Sweet Skillet Cornbread:

Or, maybe you are addicted to tahini like I am, and also happen to love chocolate? Well then you should probably make the Chocolate Tahini Quick Bread:

Or maybe you are a cookie addict? Well then, you should without a doubt make the Caraque Pastries (which kind of resemble boobies, but don’t let that deter you):

Or, maybe you are terribly sluggish in the morning and you drag yourself from one room to the next seeking some revitalization? Well goodness, I’d suggest whipping up a batch of Energy Bars!!!

Or, maybe you just want to make sammies for lunch and need some bread? How about the Dijon Thyme Bread?

Or, maybe you just want to cozy up with a good book and read? Well then you better get a copy of 500 Vegan Recipes because it’s a dandy fine novel. Hurry up already before Santa (or your respective holiday-themed dude) gets the last one.

“Q” is for Quiz

Vegan MoFo logo

I suppose my laziness continues because I don’t have a very exciting post for today. I hated quizzes in school, but Vegan MoFo quizzes are fun! I saw this one on Vegan Shizzle’s blog. Here we go:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Almond Breeze Original

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook for Vegan MoFo?

Tamales, Curried Sweet Potato Soup w/ Wild Rice, and Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Gratin

3.Topping(s) of choice for popcorn?

Salt, nutritional yeast, melted Earth Balance, and sometimes curry powder

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

Seitan Piccata

5. Favorite pickled item?

Dill pickles made by myself and my friend

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6. How do you organize your recipes?

I have a huge binder for recipes printed from the internet that I hope to someday make, two shelves of cookbooks ordered by height (looks pretty!), and a small recipe box that rarely gets used.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

Trash, but I am looking into compost options.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Kale, black beans, Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (a breakfast cereal) and hummus (I know that’s 4, but who cares?)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

Making mashed potatoes for my family every holiday dinner

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Coconut Bliss

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Vity, my Vita Mix

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Freshly ground black pepper

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

The New Basics Cookbook – I never use it anymore because it is far from vegan and the photo of the authors on the back cover scares Tim senseless, but it does have useful tips and information

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

Homemade strawberry with hand-picked berries

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Veggie pizza

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16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tempeh

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

Dinner

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Five plants, a watering can, and a sugar pumpkin that will turn into pumpkin butter soon!

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Frozen strawberries, tortillas, lots of beans

20. What’s on your grocery list?

I just went shopping last night, so nothing right now.

21. Favorite grocery store?

Food Fight – they have the best produce and the nicest owners on the planet

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Hmmmmm… I guess a Newman O, which is already vegan, but I’d like to figure out how to make my own.

23. Food blog you read the most

Have Cake Will Travel is my favorite because I love Celine

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

Sjaaks Almond Butter Bites

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Honestly, I can’t think of anything…

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

Agar

27. Favorite food cart?

It’s a tie between Sonny Bowl and Los Gorditos, both in Portland!

One Hundred!

Oooooh! This is my 100th post!!!!! How dandy is that? I’ll show you…

dandies

…This dandy! These are the mighty delicious Dandies marshmallows from Chicago Soy Dairy. I cannot stop eating them! They are light, fluffy, sweet, vanilla-y, addictive, and just plain amazing. My lack of creative motivation has led me to eat these by the handful one at a time  instead of using them in a baked treat, but it simply doesn’t matter – these are ace. Food Fight will have them available to purchase online soon if you don’t have a place near you that sells Dandies.

I also had the pleasure of indulging in a newish vegan ice cream. Yeah, yeah! It is made with hemp milk and was featured briefly in the latest issue of VegNewsLiving Harvest makes a line called Tempt; they named this frozen treat accurately! I tried the Chocolate Fudge variety and it is incredibly creamy, smooth, chocolaty, and yummy. There are ribbons of fudgy goodness laced throughout each serving. I usually have trouble digesting ice cream and Tempt didn’t give me any troubles! Hooray!!!! There are several flavors to choose from and I look forward to sampling the rest.

tempt

Lastly, Tim and I were recently in Seattle to see a concert and we managed to eat at a few places we had never been to on previous visits.

Cyber Dogs Internet Cafe was our choice for a quick lunch. This cafe is located about nine blocks from the famed Pike Place Market. They have an all vegetarian menu with the option to veganize pretty much any item you choose. The space is very tiny, but colorful and comfy. Tim and I sat on a cushy sofa while we waited for the friendly woman working to prepare our food. There are computers with internet for folks to enjoy while they munch happily on their creatively-adorned veggie dogs. The whole space is filled with knick-knacks and dog-themed stuff. We didn’t have to wait long for our order which was a huge bonus since we were hungry and trying to get back to our car before the meter ran out. Another bonus? Takeout orders are placed in biodegradable containers! Here are some photos of the inside of Cyber Dogs, and also our lunch:

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Lots of colorful fun stuff inside Cyber Dogs (see the Pound Puppy? Remember those?)

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The computers

menu

The menu (for a closer look at the menu, click here, and choose a larger size to view)

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Tim’s California Dog

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My Plain Jane Dog with vegan cheese sauce

We also walked around Pike Place Market. We stopped at Cinnamon Works for a vegan cinnamon roll (after we had eaten breakfast and Mighty O’s…). The cinnamon roll was quite good, a bit doughy, but sweet and filling. It had a nice maple glaze (I prefer plain) and the person who served us kindly warmed our roll in the oven! Nice! They also had some vegan cookies and muffins in the display case (although they looked a bit dry). Cinnamon Works is spendy, our cinnamon roll was $3.50! But I guess the market is a bit of a tourist trap and that’s the way stuff rolls sometimes.

cinnamon-roll

We also ate at a lovely place (right next door to where we were staying) called Chaco Canyon Cafe. I didn’t take photos, but the food was very simple and tasty. The space is bright, open, and lined with lots of windows. The staff is incredibly friendly and the menu is mostly vegan (with lots of raw options). Again, this place was spendy, but since Tim and I rarely eat out, it was a nice treat. If you find yourself in Seattle, please head over to Chaco Canyon Cafe. Your tummy will be so happy! I had an interesting juice blend called The Boost which was made of apple, carrot, ginger and wheatgrass. I also had a raw porridge which I really enjoyed, a lot. Tim had The Elvis Smoothie (banana and PB) and a tofu scramble sammie. His smoothie was so very, very, very smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooth! The sammie was perfectly seasoned and served on what we think was a sourdough rye. Good stuff.

Swap Love

I recently participated in a PPK package swap. My swap partner (thanks Aimee!!) sent me a package that was literally bulging at the seams! Thankfully I have a nice mailman who brings bigger/heavier packages to my door. He isn’t the most timely dude (I know it’s not his fault that the package took two weeks to arrive, but you know…), but I’ll still give him some praise.

Onto the package contents!!!!

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-A huge tin full of homemade yummy cookies (brownie bites, chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar)

-Two kinds of herbal teas

-A handmade snowflake apron that pretty much rules my kitchen

-A long-sleeved tee (in my favorite color: brown) that says “Go Green” on the front, and “Go Vegan” on the back. I am pretty sure she had this specially made, how sweet is that?

-Tons of gourmet chocolate bars

-Butterscotch chips (I’ve never found vegan ones around Portland, so I am psyched to have these)

-Pure Ohio maple syrup

-Candy

-Local handmade soap that smells lovely

- Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s (not pictured, I took these to work to share with my co-workers, and they were devoured)

-Snacky-type chips (also not pictured)

This package made my weekend. Aimee put a lot of time, thought, and effort into all the contents. I love how two people with the same name were paired up! Too fun!! Thanks so much, Aimee! You are the queen of package swaps!!!

On a different note, please take the time to send an e-mail to the Oregon Zoo asking them to stop using bullhooks on the elephants. It’s incredibly cruel and painful to the elephants. Even if you don’t live in/near Oregon, taking this simple action (seriously, it will take you a few minutes max) sends out a positive message of compassion for animals. Please help the elephants. Please?

Oh! This past Sunday Tim and I went to a Culinary Activism lecture at Portland State University given by Isa and organized by the Let Live Foundation. We saw a similar talk over the summer at the Let Live Animal Rights Conference, but it was worth going a second time. Isa gave people cookies (chocolatey gingery yummy ones). How cool is that? Plus, there is always something new to learn when you are in a room full of like-minded people. The new video footage isn’t up yet, but you can check out the footage from her first lecture here (along with many other awesome videos). Go take a peak!

100 and Counting…

I was reading Jennifer’s blog over at Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings, and came across this fun list activity. I enjoyed reading hers so much, I thought I’d make proper use of my lunch hour and play along. If you feel the need to do this too, copy and paste the list, bold what you’ve done, and italicize five items you want to do.

1. Started my own blog – Yep, last March was my first post!

2. Slept under the stars – Many times while backpacking.

3. Played in a band – Does grammar school band count? I played the clarinet. Cool, I know…

4. Visited Hawaii – It sure would be nice, but not worth the expense.

5. Watched a meteor shower – Several times growing up, and more recently within the last few years.

6. Given more than I can afford to charity – I do this all the time, and then struggle to pay my own bills, but it makes me feel good.

7. Been to Disneyland/world – Once as a wee tot, and again as a young teen.

8. Climbed a mountain – I’ve climbed lots of mountains, and summitted several too (both in the US and in New Zealand).

9. Held a praying mantis – Once, as a kid.

10. Sung a solo – Sigh, not in public.

11. Bungee jumped – Too scared, but the opportunity did arise.

12. Visited Paris – Blah, not on purpose, I was rerouted there once when traveling to visit my sister in Germany.

13. Watched lightning at sea – I grew up close to Lake Erie, so this was a common activity.

14. Taught myself an art from scratch – Painting, sewing, baking, cooking…

15. Adopted a child – I don’t want kids, but I think this is the best choice considering all the orphaned children in the world.

16. Had food poisoning – Yep, from a Taco Bell when I was in college.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – Nope. I’ve been to NYC, but not to the statue.

18. Grown my own vegetables – If I had the space, I totally would.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France – Nope. I don’t even like the Mona Lisa.

20. Slept on an overnight train – I’ve been on plenty of long train rides, but no overnighters.

21. Had a pillow fight – With my sisters and friends at slumber parties. Oh, and with Tim too.

22. Hitchhiked – I did this twice when I was living in Scotland.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. – More than once, and always totally deserving.

24. Built a snow fort – As a kid, quite often. My dad was good at doing this too!

25. Held a lamb – I wish!!!

26. Gone skinny dipping – Yep.

27. Run a Marathon – It’s a goal of mine, but my knees are already crumbling.

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice – Nope.

29. Seen a total eclipse – I saw a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – Both, many times.

31. Hit a home run – Sports are dumb.

32. Been on a cruise – I’d barf.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person – On several occasions, I grew up pretty much on the other side of the lake.

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors – My mom’s family has Scottish genes, and I’ve been there.

35. Seen an Amish community – Tim’s family lives close by an Amish community, so we’ve seen them for sure.

36. Taught myself a new language – I make up my own words all the time.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – I have enough to live comfortably.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – Nope.

39. Gone rock climbing – I started in college and loved it. I still have my gear, but haven’t gone in quite some time.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David – Nope.

41. Sung karaoke – Nope.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt – Nope.

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – I rarely eat out. But, Tim and I donate money to local homeless shelters, and the money goes toward meals.

44. Visited Africa – Nope.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight – More than once.

46. Been transported in an ambulance – Nope.

47. Had my portrait painted – As a kid, it was a silhouette. I still have it on my shelf.

48. Gone deep sea fishing – Nope.

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person – Nope.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris – Nope.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling – I can’t swim and being under water freaks me out.

52. Kissed in the rain – Yeah.

53. Played in the mud – I don’t like to be dirty, but I’ve definitely played in the mud!!!

54. Gone to a drive-in theater – As a kid, we had one a mile from our house.

55. Been in a movie. – HA. Yeah right. I’d have a bag over my head and I’d be in a dark corner ready to curse at the camera person.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China – Nope.

57. Started a business – I tried to start a vegan cookie company; I had a logo and everything, but the motivation didn’t exist.

58. Taken a martial arts class – I took karate in college. That was fun.

59. Visited Russia – Nope.

60. Served at a soup kitchen – Nope, but I want to, I’m just too shy.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – I hated Girl Scouts, and quit soon after starting, but I did make it through a cookie selling season.

62. Gone whale watching – Yes, it was on accident, and utterly fascinating. Whales are amazing!

63. Got flowers for no reason – Yes, but I hate that kind of crap, and I hope it never happens again.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – I can’t because I don’t weigh enough.

65. Gone sky diving – I like my feet on the floor usually.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp – No.

67. Bounced a check – No.

68. Flown in a helicopter – No.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – I still have my first teddy bear, and some barbies and other random dolls. Remember Rainbow Brite?!

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial – School trip, woo hoo!

71. Eaten caviar – Blarg, never ever.

72. Pieced a quilt – Nope.

73. Stood in Times Square – Yes.

74. Toured the Everglades – No.

75. Been fired from a job – Nope.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London – Yep, funny hats.

77. Broken a bone – Nope!

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – I dated a boy who took me on rides often. He was lame, but I liked the rides.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person – No.

80. Published a book – No, but I started a children’s book last year.

81. Visited the Vatican – Nope.

82. Bought a brand new car – Nope. I had a 1987 Subaru wagon that I loved in college and then she got hit by a tree and that was the end… I miss you Manta!

83. Walked in Jerusalem – Nope

84. Had my picture in the newspaper – Yes, in high school and in college. I had my own column in the college newspaper. In high school, it was because I was student of the month once.

85. Read the entire Bible – No, but my younger sister has. I’m not religious, so it doesn’t appeal to me.

86. Visited the White House  – outside only.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – NO!

88. Had chickenpox – I was young, I still have some scars.

89. Saved someone’s life – Bugs, but not humans.

90. Sat on a jury – Not yet!

91. Met someone famous – Several cookbook authors, some bands, the owners of Food Fight (smooch)!

92. Joined a book club – No, I read too slow and get too confused with plots. I read kid’s books mostly.

93. Lost a loved one – All of my grandparents, my aunt

94. Had a baby – Nope and don’t want to! Ever.

95. Seen the Alamo in person – Nope.

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake – Nope.

97. Been involved in a law suit – Well, some drunk flimsy smashed her car into ours, and Tim had to go to court, but it got canceled because she lied her way out of it. So, kind of.

98. Owned a cell phone – Once, but only to drive across the country with. I am cell phone free and happy about it. I hate them.

99. Been stung by a bee – Too many times to count.

100. Ridden an elephant – Fun! I want to do this!!!