This blog is about living Vegan. It includes Vegan lifestyle, Vegan events, and anything else I find interesting.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Death of a Tree

My aforementioned new neighbor took down the tree that surrounded my back porch. Actually, her 16-year-old son and his friends took it down.

Climbing in the tree:

Pier and I watched in horror/disbelief:

It fell and exposed us to the entire neighborhood, watch for the next installment of "Outside Improvement" for our solution to our newfound privacy issues.

Juggling in the Park

Gian and I went over to Nate and Lakeisha's the other night for dinner. After a delicious dinner we went down to the park to play.

Nate is an amazing performer, his website has some videos of a few of his performances, it's incredible, definitely worth checking out.

Gian juggling:

Nate juggles 4:

The setting:

Outside Improvements - 2nd Installment

On to the back porch...

Some potted annuals:

A new light!

The old light, I think it was from the 1970's:

Not to brag, but Pier and I installed and hung this light all by ourselves. No electrition required!

We first turned off the main circuit breaker, then we took down the old light, then after about 9 attempts to wire the new light (I wish I took a picture of the wiring, it was ridiculously tricky!) we got it right and screwed it all together. The catch was we bought the last model of the light fixture we wanted and it was the display model, so it didn't come with instructions, making it tricky to put together. Regardless, we prevailed and the new light looks SO much better than the crappy old light that was there since the 19070's. We felt a great sense of accomplishment when we finished. We turned the circuit breaker back on, and the light came on and we both screamed with joy. Did I mentioned that we chose to do this at 11:00 at night? That MAY have added to the self-imposed difficulty of the entire project...just maybe...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Outside Improvements - 1st Installment

I realize that this is going to sound petty, but someone I work with moved in next door and I now feel this pressure to have the outside of my house look presentable. Also, several of my employees live within a few blocks and have mentioned to me that they know where I live. Anyway, I generally have a black thumb when it comes to the outside, mostly due to my apathy towards landscaping...but anyway, here are some of my improvements:

Planters on the front porch:

A hanging basket I made:

Rock trim around the front flower bed (I need to fill it with some mulch, but I'll do that later when more bulbs come up):

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

He's leaving...

Gian is headed to Portland tomorrow via jetplane.

I'm insanely jealous!

If you're in the area, stop in to Food Fight on Friday and say hello, he'll be hanging out with Dave while he works. I'm hoping he'll also be bringing home some of the new peanut butter cups!


What American accent do you really have?
Your Result: Mid-Atlantic

You have the accent of Philadelphia, south Jersey, and Baltimore. Everyone around there knows what a Philly accent is but not enough outsiders can ever recognize it.




Northeast New England


North Central


What American accent do you really have?
Make a Quiz

This is so accurate that it's scary!
I saw it on Weibke's blog and I just had to check it out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Accidentally Vegan Raspberry Bars

These bars caught my eye in Wegman's the other day. I checked the ingredients and much to my surprise they were vegan!

I mixed together the ingredients (I think I only had to add oil and water), baked it up and voile! They were moist, sweet, but not too sweet, and crunchy.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sponge Candy

When I ordered the Vege Dog from Vegan Essentials, I also got some "Golden Crunch Sponge Candy." I had never heard of it before, but it was chocolate so I figured it must be delicious...

From the outside, it looked like a chocolate square:

Inside was a crunchy sweet toffee-like filling:

I was right, it was great! I definitely recommend it!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Restaurant Review:Everybody's Cafe

Everybody's Cafe is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. There's an independent movie theater, Pocono Cinema, just a few minutes away, so it's a nice 'date night' destination. Everybody's Cafe is a regular restaurant, but they label each dish as either Vegan or Lacto on the menu which is amazing - they have TONS of Vegan options including Vegan Treats desserts.

The decor isn't my style, but it's still fun...

As an appetizer I had the Potato and Plaintain salad - It's a bed of leafy greens and sprouts topped with German potato salad, fried plaintains, pine nuts, beets, and banana chips - a very odd combination but it was delicious!!

Gian had the basil, tomato, and bean soup - it was really flavorful!

For our entrees, Gian had a sauteed portabello pasta:

I had spinach-stuffed mediteranean tofu, it was amazing:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sea Salt

I've always used sea salts, but never really understood why - until I read about traditional uses of sea salt in Donna Klein's cookbook, Vegan Italiano.

In it, she explains that sea salts are specifically used to enhance flavors and can give dishes a deeper flavor, especially in the absence of strong cheeses. Her pesto recipe calls for 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, and it really makes a difference.

Sea salt actually has a different chemical composition from table salt. Table salt is pure pure sodium chloride, but sea salt is a mixture of sodium chloride, sulfate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Sea salt has a different dissolution rate than table salt and has a noticeably different "mouthfeel" (a product's physical and chemical interaction in the mouth).

However, when dissolved, experts say it is difficult to distinguish between the two.

I was intrigued to learn about the differences between the two salts - for more information check out these sites:

History of Salt
What is Sea Salt?
Q & A on Sea Salt
Types of Salt

*You can purchase the sea salt collection shown above from Salt Works for a mere $140.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chickpea Salad Deja Vue!

Here's some chickpea salad served with multigrain tortilla chips. Check out this ingenious bowl - It has a bowl for your soup/salad and a small tray for your chips/crackers/bread. I got it at a gallery downtown, I don't remember the artist, but I now have a whole set. A perfect receptacle for a perfect light meal. Yum!

Recipe: Chickpea Salad

This is such a simple, fresh recipe, I love it because it's very filling yet light and healthy.

Variations of this recipe contain Nori and taste like tuna-salad - mine isn't fishy, just nutty and crunchy.

Mounded on top of a whole-wheat bun:

Chickpea Salad

1 16 oz can organic chickpeas
3 stalks celery, chopped
10 baby carrots, chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
1 Tbs Veganaise (I prefer the purple lid - Grapeseed oil style)
1/2 tsp crushed coarse sea salt (or to taste)

Mash the rinsed chickpeas slightly with a fork before adding the chopped veggies. Toss with Veganaise and salt to taste. Chill and serve. You can serve this on a bun, on a pita, plain, or with tortilla chips.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Raw Experiment #1

A friend of mine is visiting and he eats a primarily raw diet. Inspired, I decided to make a raw meal for dinner one night.

One of the dishes was originally called "Mock Meat Loaf" but it truly could not be farther from meat-loaf-like so I renamed it "Raw Spring Roll".

The bowl of ingredients mixed together after they had been grated in my food processor.

On my fork...

The beets turned my hands red!

Spring Roll Salad

1 beet, grated
2 sweet potatoes, grated
2 red potatoes, grated and sprinkled with lemon juice
1 red onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
1 pound raw peanuts, ground in the food processor

Put each item in a food processor indivdually. When each item is processed, place in a large bowl. Mix together and refrigerate overnight.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just so weird!

Bus drivers have nicknamed a white cat Macavity after it has started using the No 331 several mornings a week.

The feline, which has a purple collar, gets onto the busy Walsall to Wolverhampton bus at the same stop most mornings - he then jumps off at the next stop 400m down the road, near a fish and chip shop.

The cat was nicknamed Macavity after the mystery cat in T.S Elliot's poem. He gets on the bus in front of a row of 1950s semi-detached houses and jumps off at a row of shops down the road which include a fish and chip shop.

Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, who first saw the cat jumping from the bus in January, said: "It is really odd, the first time I saw the cat jumping off the bus with a group of passengers. I hadn't seen it get on which was a bit confusing.

"The next day I pulled up on Churchill Road to let a couple of passengers on. As soon as I opened the doors the cat ran towards the bus, jumped on and ran under one of the seats, I don't think any of the passengers noticed.

"Because I had seen it jump off the day before I carried on driving and sure enough when I stopped just down the road he jumped off - I don't know why he would catch the bus but he seems to like it. I told some of the other drivers on this route and they have seen him too."

Since January, when the cat first caught the bus he has done it two or three times a week and always gets on and off at the same stops.

Passenger, Paul Brennan, 19, who catches the 331 to work, said: "I first noticed the cat a few weeks ago. At first I thought it had been accompanied by its owner but after the first stop it became quite clear he was on his own.

"He sat at the front of the bus, waited patiently for the next stop and then got off. It was was quite strange at first but now it just seems normal. I suppose he is the perfect passenger really - he sits quietly, minds his own business and then gets off."

Full article here

Great Turtle Race

I'm a huge fan of The Colbert Report and was thrilled with last night's episode - Conservation International is sponsoring a "Turtle Race" in it's efforts to track leatherback turtles in their migration from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands.

Students at Drexel sponsored one of the turtles and named her "Stephanie Colbertle" after Stephen Colbert. I think it's an ingenious way to advertise their cause. Check it out here

Recipe: Lasagna

My lasagna has gotten much better since the advent of Vegan Rella!


1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I prefer Ronzoni brand)
2 jars Belletieri's pasta sauce
1 pkg Vegan Rella

'Ricotta Cheese':
1 pkg firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 container Better than Cream Cheese
4-6 Tbs assorted Italian dried herbs (basil, oregano, etc)
2 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix together ingredients to make the 'Ricotta.' Using a spatula, spread the 'Ricotta' onto the strips of lasagna noodle and layer in a greased 13x9" pan with the sauce. Layer until the pan is filled, the lasagna box should have a diagram. Top off with remaining sauce. Thinly slice the Vegan Rella and place on the top (and between the layers if you like). Cover tightly with Reynolds Release aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until noodles are soft.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Horizons Desserts

Everyone knows of my obsession with Vegan Treats; however, for this post I will set that monkey aside to talk about another one of my obsessions: Horizons.

Horizons is known for it's fabulous seitan, but there are two desserts worth mentioning.

Creme Brulee:

Infused with saffron and coconut with a carmelized top.

Banana Toffee Pudding:

Banana cake topped with Bananas Foster - rich and delicious!

Grip Tape Art Show

The independent skate shop, Homebase, hosted a one day art show at their skate space/dungeon in Allentown, PA.

All of the pieces are created on grip tape, it was unique and interesting to see what everyone chose to do.

I really liked the astronaut (it has a skull face) on the red background. It's by this guy Brett.

It's actually not a dungeon, but it is creepy with vaulted stone ceilings and candles on the ledges.

You can check out Gian's contribution here

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I *heart* Sephora

I just heard that a Sephora is going to open in the mall by my house! I am so thrilled! Right now the closest Sephora is over an hour away - this will be mere minutes!

I cannot wait!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Frannie's Kitchen

Pier refers to her mom (my mother-in-law) as Frannie. Here's a picture of Frannie's kitchen.

She loves antique Italian dinnerware and cobalt blue accessories. She also makes amazing vegan cuisine, mostly her vegan-version of Italian classics, including imported ingredients from the motherland. It's a little extravagent, but definitely delicious!!

Mac N Cheese

This is one of our favorite recipes. The original recipe is in Brad's zine, Please Don't Feed the Bears which is now available in actual cookbook form from Food Fight. It's perfect comfort food.

New Rug

Gian found this rug at Pottery Barn, it was suprisingly hard to find a rug that wasn't made of wool - this one is a cotton/nylon blend. George loves it!


I found this recipe on Get Sconed a few months ago and just got around to trying it. The texture was pretty good and the taste was very good. It even stood up by itself, just like a real quiche!