Always Be Promoting!

Laura, the HBiC over at Vegansaurus, was the one who told me this catchy phrase - "ABP! Always be promoting!" So here I go.

My posts here have been short. But for good reason! I've been doing longer posts over at Vegansaurus. I'm really proud of them! So read 'em! They take time to write, and in a sense, writing for Vegansaurus can feel like homework once I get home from work. In that way though, it's like the project you are really excited to get home and work on. So read me there! And here!

All my posts, in one link.


I Might Be Afraid of Change

Just went to Chicago! Remember how I was all freaked out last year, when I went back for the first time since I'd moved? And then it was all fine, but I was still pretty weird for awhile? Well, most all that emo-ness has gone away. I went to go see my girl Nora, for her 28th birthday weekend and have some fun in those haunted streets*.

If you are wondering what the same exact meal at The Handlebar looks like, one year later, check it out!

I know you are like, 'hey do a side by side comparison'! But I'm like, 'No way! Just flew round trip to Chicago, and within that trip, hung out with everyone I could manage, in a 48 hour period of time'! I'm tired. In case you missed it above, click this link!
Next time I visit, I'm totally going to try new things. Maybe a new restaurant? No, I'll get brunch instead of the buffalo 'chicken' ranch wrap with collard greens.

*Chicago's streets are emotionally haunted. I'm working it, OKAY?!

Dried Mango! It's Like Candy! (If you are kinda a health nut and also don't like cane sugar)

These are my favorite snack! I get them at Trader Joe's and always make sure to get the unsweetened kind. Fruit has enough sugar in it, as it is!

I haven't had these guys in like, over six months? Maybe because the manager at my last job ate them/introduced me to them, and I have spent this entire time blocking that span of life from my mind.
Anyway, super excited to dive into them tonight, then possibly eat the rest as breakfast instead of just coffee.
If there are any leftovers! I have no self control!

My Mom Owns a Vita-Mix!

It's a mini! I'll take credit for this one! (I totally bought mine from QVC. You know, the home shopping network? You know why? Because I had cable for a second and when I missed my Mom, I'd put QVC on. She watches that channel like NOBODY'S BUSINESS, I'm not even kidding. So while watching it, missin' my Mom, the Vita-Mix showed up as the 'Today's Special Value'! So my ass got onto the website and bought one. It was like, half the price of what it'd be on the Vita-Mix website! Anyway, after talking to my Mom about it, and then her seeing it sold on QVC [cause what I say is exponentially more important when a QVC host says it!] she bought a mini! So far she's only made daiquiris, but I feel safer knowing it's there. Cause then I can make more of my recipes at my parent's house! Cashew cream anyone?)

Need a Little Help in the um...Intestinal Department?

I had an incredibly difficult time pooping when I gave up coffee last winter. (I have since gotten back on the coffee train. But I lasted a good 5 months! That's something. Black tea was my gateway drug.) One of the best pieces of advice I received, was to (orally!) take a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Let me tell you, it works. Anytime you have problems with blockage, you can eat a melted teaspoon of coconut oil! Woo! Even though I am drinking coffee now, and not experiencing problems, I'll still have a teaspoon when the oil is in front of me at work. TMI? Whatevs, coconut oil is really good for you!

Spreading Vegan Queso to the Masses

I never get to see my lil sis, Erin. She lives in Temecula, CA, while I live in San Francisco. However, this weekend she and her husband decided to take a trip up to NorCal, to my parents house in the East Bay/Central Valley suburbs. I came to dinner, as well as both my Grandmas, and it was lovely. I also got to see her about two weeks ago, as we celebrated 2nd Xmas and her birthday (holidays get extended when important people live far away and can’t make it to the observed holiday with everyone). Seeing her this much is very unusual and something I wish I could get used to.
Now I am so far off my original topic, I don’t even know what it was anymore. Just kidding! It’s about queso!
As an Hors d’oeurve, my Mom had set out beef taquitos and Tostitos Queso, both of which I cannot eat. I was yearning for some Food For Lovers Vegan Queso (lol, product placement. Crystal and Chris Tate have been good to me!). But when your parents live in the middle of nowhere, vegan products can be challenging (though not impossible!) to come by. My mom knows where the ‘Boca’ section is in Safeway!
Anyway, I just bought two jars of Food For Lovers for my sister and bro-in-law, from Vegan Essentials, seeing as how they like queso so much. We’ll see how that goes. They are the pickiest fucking eaters I have ever met. But if Tyler (aforementioned bro-in-law) likes it, OMG I’ve WON! I told them if they hate it, give it to Tyler’s sister, I won’t be offended. But I can have hope, can’t I?
 My lil sis and I at Disneyland, early 90's. She looks cute, but you can see that I have always been dorky. I mean, look how high my shorts are! Bambi and Thumper still hung out with us though, nobigdeal.

This is What I Do at Work

It's a Mint Moon Pie. Vegan of course! #VeganPastryChef, yo! Come see me at work, I might sneak you a twinkee. #Bribes

Turtle Trails!

Best night of my life. 
 Obviously, there's not much going on for me. 

Just kidding! Everything is fab. What I can't explain is how I ended up listening to Bright Eyes tonight. The night always has to end with me crying in a corner, doesn't it?

How to Blanch Vegtables

I don't know how to blanch vegetables. There. I said it. It seems like an important skill to know, and also one that I want to try out for a mac'n'cheese with broccoli dinner.

My veggies are always too mushy. Which is kind of how I like them, but not very sophisticated, if you ask me. I found this website and I'm going to do what it says. Well, kinda. I'm going to forgo the ice bath! I'll let you know how everything goes. Obvi.

How to blanch vegetables. It seems easy enough.

Update 1/21/12: I did it! I did end up using an ice bath, but I still may forgo it in the future. Read about the results HERE!!

Red Wine Vs Balsamic Vinegar

I like to make my marinara sauce for pasta from scratch. If I can't use fresh tomatoes, I'll use tomato paste or sauce - obviously I love cooking, and if I have the time, I'd rather whip* something up than use the stuff in a jar. (I do love me some Prego, though. LOVE IT.)

Now, I like to drink red wine. Whoa, I'm sure you didn't know that, right?! GOSSIP! When I'm making marinara sauce, I'm like, 'Oh, I have a bottle of red! I can put it in my sauce for more flavor! Wonderful! But wait...I want to drink all this. What do I do?"
Balsamic Vinegar. It's great. It give sauce a nice bite. When I don't want to use wine, I'll put about a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar in my marinara while it's cooking. Straight edge vegans - I'm looking out for you.

One of these will be for drinking and the other for cooking.

I should invest in like, a HUGE bottle of some cheap shit, like a jug of Carlo Rossi Burgandy. That way I'd always have red wine on hand for cooking, since I def would not drink it. Never say never!

*Hahahahahahaha. I don't 'whip' anything up. I put everything I cook on low heat so in the meantime I can read the entire internet, play with my cat, do laundry....everything I make takes 2 hours.

DinDin. Marinara sauce with soy noodles, kale and spinach salad, plus some sauteed zucchini. I'm on a health kick. Nothing like gorging for two months straight during the holidays, feeling gross and lethargic and then making a whole bunch of resolutions! New year, same story.


Whilst on a break from work today, I decided to check the voicemails that had been piling up in my phone inbox as of late.
I got a call from a woman at Trader Joes, informing me I had won the GRAND PRIZE in their raffle. You know who they give raffle tickets to? People who don't need a bag at checkout because they brought their own.

$25 gift certificate because I'm a bleeding heart liberal  an ecofeminist a tree and cow hugging hippie who went to Humboldt State.

I used to say I was the kind of person who never won anything, but obviously that's not true!

Nothing Changes New Years Day

2012 - The last year of our pathetic existence. Just kidding! No I'm not.

Any resolutions?

I'm thinking about joining a gym. My arms look pitiful. I'm way too narcissistic to have them looking as bad as they have in pictures as of late. I'm only 30 GAWDDAMMIT. I should have some muscle tone.

I want to make more of an effort to buy products (skincare, household cleaners) that are completely vegan. I don't buy any beauty products that are tested on animals, but that just simply is not enough. I'm going to go that extra mile to up my vegan lifestyle. Any pointers?

Stick to my whole, I'm-not-buying-coffe-if-I-don't-have-my-travel-mug promise. I've faltered lately! GASP! Horrible, I know. I also want to work on bringing my own bags with me when I go grocery shopping, as to not take the paper bags. I'd also like to work on buying products with little to no packaging.

What about you? Any resolutions for 2012?

(My friend Jake made this joke years ago, that the reason the Mayan calendar stopped at 2012 was because they knowingly predicted everyone would have iPhones, therefore the need for a calendar would be obsolete.)

I feel like the last person in the first world to not have a smart phone.

Update 12/3 New Resolution! Wear my hair down, all the time. No more phony tails (as in, what one wears when their hair is too short for a pony tail but they insist on fooling themselves).


So, I recently referenced a raw food company, called Navitas Naturals, in a Vegansaurus recipe post (Banana nog! Read it, make it!). They were so stoked they sent me a package of 'samples'!

This was very generous of them. I am so excited to use all of it! Raw food recipes galore!