Author Archives: Jennifer

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I originally started this post two years ago. It was suppose to be for a Vegan MOFO prompt. I am not 100% sure what it was, but it was something like “favorite cookbook” or “show us your cookbook collection.” I figured I would do a quick post about this one. Well, considering this was my very first vegan cookbook and I’ve owned it for over 10 years, it has had a few recipes made from it.

After reading Jenny Marie’s cook-a-long monthly challenge, I thought yeah, I should finish this post. In the spirit of this post I figured I would share some posts reviewing the book as well. If you have a blog with a review, leave a comment and I will add you to the list. And as always I try and share links to recipes. Most of the time I try and only share recipes that are sponsored/approved by the publishers but I went ahead and linked every blog, livejournal, and whatever that had her recipes. It was a different time on the internet back in 1999, and well, I think it is in the spirit of the book to share all the vegan love.

Vegan KindKittens Gone Lentil

Photos

None. A big downfall of the book, I know. There is no photos of the recipes, but there are some retro stock photos at the beginning of the chapters. There are some fun retro styled clipart throughout the book. The green and greyscale design does keep the book visually interesting. This never bothered me much since photoless cookbooks I think were much more common at the time, before the blogalution

Set-up

What I love about this book is that it is very “zine”-y. I might not of known much about zines when I first picked this up, but I loved how personal it was. It didn’t start with a chapter how they were chefs, or their relationship with food, no it was about why they became vegan. I think this was the first time I’d ever actually READ a cookbook. 

After the introduction of why Tanya and Sarah went vegan, the book goes into a quick substitute section, giving readers a rough idea of how to modify non-vegan recipes. The chapters then go into various different food types, breakfast, soups, drinks, entrees, etc etc. Then instead of ending with desserts, the book continues with various little recipes and tips for raising vegan kids, and other hacks that are vegan but aren’t food related. My REAL favorite part of the book was the list of non-vegan ingredients.

Writing

As mentioned the charm and shortcomings of the cookbook can be credited to their zine roots. On Sarah Kramer’s website, she says how she and co-author Tanya made homebound recipe zines for friends and family. After the positive feedback, they decided to try and publish a book. This book reminded me of the cookbook my older sister made to raise money for her sorority. These are recipes made for people who are cooking in regular old kitchens, with budgets, and limited time. The ingredients are practical, instructions are easy, and everything is easy to modify for personal preference.

But since Sarah and Tanya are not chef’s there are some holes. Some recipes are overly simplified, or not as good as what they could be. And some of information is a little vague, or at this point outdated. For example B12 is listed under non-vegan ingredients, when I am 99% sure almost all B12 supplements are vegan (well, the B12 part, the capsules might not).

And then she has the whole breads section saying yeast is bad. It is a little confusing, as they recommend sourdough starters. Spoiler alert- that’s yeast! I get it. There are lots people who think instant yeast isn’t as good as sourdough, but that isn’t communicated in the book. Plus they give recipes soda breads, which doesn’t fix the active yeast problem. This blog post is really good at explaining the theory about why instant yeast isn’t the greatest. She also says kamut is a great wheat replacement. It isn’t. It is just a different STRAIN of wheat. It is easy to give her a pass since the internet wasn’t so expansive as it is today. Answers weren’t as easily a google search away. 

Overview

As I mentioned- I’ve had this book for over 10 years, and we are getting close to their 20th anniversary! I would love to see a big book revamp for the occasion. New photos! Updated information (as mentioned with the bread thing)! Anything really. It looks like their 10th anniversary release didn’t have that much changed other than a pretty little logo on the front.

As much as I love how down to earth and un-intimidating this cookbook is, so much has changed since it’s release. Veganism is much more common, probably thanks to blogs. Oh blogs, you have given us so much in the publication front of cookbooks. They are both a blessing and a curse. 

One thing I am loving about How It All Vegan over most modern vegan cookbooks is how much information this has. Just little bits of stuff in the kids section, lots of homemade toiletries, and cleaning tips. I would love to see this book become more trendy to reach a wider audience. Come on Sarah Kramer! I know you can do this! All that being said, I think this book is still super useful, and every new vegan could learn a lot from this book. It is easy to flip through, and it easy to add your own personal flair to all the recipes.

Recipes

I do warn anyone who wants to see what I made from the book. THERE IS A LOT! I know I’ve made even MORE in the book, and boy I don’t even feel like I scratched the surface. There are LOTS of recipes in the book. I’ve made more than what I wrote about for sure, but I don’t remember the results. I know I’ve made more her desserts, but I’m a little fuzzy on the details.

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I am not a breakfast person. I don’t like sweet breakfast foods, and I have a smoothie every morning. If there isn’t a smoothie, usually breakfast gets skipped and I have an early lunch. But I am warming up to brunch, mostly because of booze. But this list is probably just breakfast foods. *shrugs* Oh well. They are brunch to me. Almost all are sweet things, so don’t get too mad is you are a savory fan. 

One Bowl Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These were super fast to put together, and the result is a super soft and yummy muffin. I subbed spelt flour for all purpose flour since I had it on hand. But as promised, you used only one bowl, making it a quick muffin to make. This is a great dish to make for a super sweet muffin on the weekends.

She suggests adding cream cheese to the middle, and I used whatever I had left for the centers. I wasn’t impressed with the centers as they were too tart in my opinion. She says the sugar is optional, but I think it is a must. I used Tofutti cream cheese, and it cooked up fairly stiff. If anyone else tries as different cream cheese with different results please share! Since I didn’t have enough cream cheese only some of the muffins got the center. I found that they baked up fine without the cream cheese center.

Bottom Line: Super yummy, mix sugar in the cream cheese!

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

I’ve mostly been eating chia pudding for my pre-morning run. It is easy to make and pretty much something to make the night before. This buckwheat porridge ranks up there with easy accessibility. It is simple and easy, and very yummy. My only problem is that you need access to fresh fruit as a topping, which sometimes isn’t as readily available during the winter.

I also found that sometimes buckwheat can be pricey, depending on where you go. And this recipe will use to up a good amount of buckwheat groats fast. But you CAN find buckwheat for cheaper prices, you just need to keep your eyes peeled. 

Bottom Line: Good for weekday OR weekend

Easy Vegan and Gluten-Free Pancakes

What a boring name for these? Banana Buckwheat Pancakes is more interesting. Gluten-free Banana-Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes is even better. But hey, whatever. Doesn’t matter what they are called because these are delicious! I was shocked at how well it all worked together.

Sure they aren’t 100% like normal pancakes, but they don’t really seem “gluten-free” either. They have an earthy-nutty flavor that is welcomed. The bananas add a nice sweetness to the pancakes without it being overwhelming. The only downside is that the batter is thick so I had a hard time getting “pretty” cakes.

I didn’t start with buckwheat groats, but instead had some leftover buckwheat flour from a local Asian food market. I can only imagine that this helped the texture in the end since the store bought flour would have a more consistent texture than home ground flour. I was lazy and didn’t make the homemade whip cream, but these pancakes tasted great with some blueberry syrup.

Bottom Line: Yummy but not too heavy like more “gluten-free” pancakes

Norwegian Cinnamon Buns (Norske Kanelsnurrer)

I am so excited to finally try a recipe from Seitan is my Motor. I love how much thought and planning goes into Constanze’s recipes. I’ve learned quite a lot of European baked goods, and given me a much needed window outside of American sweets. This was the first year having my In Laws over for Christmas morning, so I wanted to include them on our growing tradition of brunch on Christmas.

My overall biggest complaint is that the recipe uses rapid action yeast. So you can’t make it as quickly as regular cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I tried my best to wake up and start the dough right away, but I don’t think they were fully finished until 12:30-ish. You need to proof the dough twice, once for 90 minutes and another for 60 minutes.

Aside from that, the recipe worked wonderfully. I liked how the rolls weren’t too sweet and used healthier flour than just all purpose. Having the spelt and whole wheat makes them more filling, though I am sure a little more tough compared to if I made them with just all purpose flour. I may have also overbaked them slightly working against a fluffy texture.

Bottom Line: Yummy, but wished there was an overnight option

Scramble Tofu Breakfast Bahn Mi

I feel like the dish is the definition of brunch- breakfast and lunch combined into one. Taking a lunch sandwich (Bahn Mi) and mixing it with the classic scrambled tofu for breakfast. This is something I love since I am more of a lunch person than and breakfast person.

I have a confession. I’ve never actually ate Bahn Mi before. I’ve heard about it, but never took the dive before giving up meat. Steak was never my favorite. So I can’t judge it on how authentic it is. I can judge on how tasty it was. The tofu is wonderfully spiced, and does look a lot like eggs. The Star Anise Daikon Pickles were a great add on. They were crisp and probably gave it that Bahn Mi feel. The downside? There was a little bit of leftovers. No big deal. It will just make a Bahn Mi wrap for lunch. This is definitely a something that will grace our table over and over again.

Bottom Line: Great for people who prefer more of the Lunch of Brunch

Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Bars

I always hate when I find vegan recipes that use lots of expensive ingredients. One cookie recipe used teff flour, maple syrup, and almond butter in huge quantities. It made me wonder how much each cookie cost? I was too afraid to find out. This recipe does use some expensive items like maple syrup and almond butter, but uses them in small reasonable amounts. I like that. All the other ingredients are cheap and commonly found in a vegan pantry.

The recipe is easy and fast to make. I made a change with the maple syrup since I ran out of it. I used a little blackstrap molasses and agave to fill in the rest of the syrup needed. I think blackstrap molasses was too strong, and I wish I used the maple syrup since the flavors would of worked really well. I also swapped spelt flour for whole wheat since i had it on hand. The dough was thick, but the end result is very soft and fluffy.

I divided the bars up into 8 pieces not 10 or 12 as suggested to give a hearty breakfast, but dividing them up smaller makes a great side for breakfast. Maybe a tofu scramble? Or sauted veggies? These are drool inducing bars, but they are tasty and not too desserty like some baked breakfast foods.

Bottom Line: Really tasty!

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ALMOST got a gift from the William and Sonoma’s Hater’s Gift Guide. Alas, you can only hate on the monogram old fashion/low balls, not the monogram mugs. ^__~ PS I use this mug all the fucking time.

Hey everyone! Remember my last post talking about how rough things were kind-of financially (ie a new car and a large vet bill?) well our washing machine broke on New Years Day! HORRAY! Also Wolfie definitely has a cold. Great way to start the new year right?!

Well, I use to always make a post making various goals for the new year. 2014 was mostly about getting my butt into gears to work on the blog- back when I kind-of did some fashion posts. While 2015 I actually set some specific goals. So that meant that 2016 I reflected on if I kept those goals, or not. But I never posted anything for 2017 because of being busy with Wolfie, but also because of Post Partum Depression. So in that vain I will reflect on my 2016 goals-

Work out More Often – Not really. I think I had a good string going for awhile, but then I got pregnant and had a baby and well, you will see below

Start Practicing Yoga and Meditating – Nope. Not even close.

Stop Late Night Binge Eating – Not really, mostly because once I started to nurse I would have to cram calories in my mouth so eating a late night snack became common place again.

Read 28 Books – I got close! I read 24 books.

Start trying to get pregnant – accomplished

Buy a second couch – This never happened in part because my husband REALLY wants to get a new one. He has been dragging his feet about getting a second hand couch from the restore. Little does he know this meant that he won’t be getting a second couch until our child(ren) are less disgusting.

Hike More – Aside from the whole baby thing- I think we hiked a little more? I definitely took much more frequent daily walks

Visit a new vegan restaurant with Alexa once a month – This didn’t happen at all.

Watch a Movie Once a Week – This didn’t happen at all either

Start working towards the goal of being a Dietitian or Wellness Coach – Hey look another goal that didn’t happen! As I did more research about becoming a registered dietitian I became more confused if it was something I wanted to do. I am still kind-of confused of what direction I would like to take my career.

Goals for 2018

Workout and Run More Often

Surprise, surprise. This makes the list again. But unlike my previous goals, this one REALLY is essential. I have pretty much cut out exercise from my life and that is bad. I was at one point walking everyday about a mile or two around the neighborhood, but stopped since it has been really cold. Recently I had a few nights where I tossed and turned for hours getting only 3-4 hours of sleep, and I never had that problem. I am fairly certain it has to do with extra energy (a long with other stressors)

Photograph More

I was thinking about doing a Photo a Day challenge again, but I already forgot to take a photo on day one. Oops. But I haven’t been using my SLR camera much, and I would like to start using it again and playing around with the settings. I’ve gotten out of the habit since Wolfie is a little handful. Maybe start a photos of the month post?

Have a Cup of Tea Every Night

This was actually a goal from 2015, and I think it would be nice to bring back. It is nice a relaxing and will help curb my habit of a late night snack. It is important to get rid of the late night snack because I am not nursing a whole lot less. 

Get a New Job

I have been wondering what to do for a living for awhile now. I went to school for Film, thinking I would spend my life working on movies and such. But I decided sitting in front of a computer wasn’t what I was passionate about, and there was a lot of competition in the field. And even now I can’t decide what I want to do. I love food but I know it is market that is hard work. I love my job as a framer but it doesn’t pay the bills, and I can never REALLY work full time there. So I am going to try to either get hired at another place, or find another source of income as self employed.

Try and Lose Weight

This has been a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about. I try and be very body positive and fat positive. I am not fat, but I try and keep negative fat talk out of my language. But I can’t help but want to loose some of the baby weight I’ve gained, and maybe some more. I have so many clothes that I don’t fit into anymore, and that bothers me. I know I am not going to fit into everything, but I would like to try to loose some. I won’t be going crazy with the dieting, and some of my goals are well intentioned. I want to work out more (read above) and eat more healthfully, which I kind-of don’t anymore. These are my two main ways of trying to loose weight, so that’s good right? I am also going to work on not putting myself down if I fall short on this goal.

Read 20 Books

I think I always set book goals because of Goodreads. I like to read but I am a slow reader. I thought I was going to read SOO many books in 2017 because of nursing. But that didn’t happen. Instead of reading while nursing I was more likely to play games and scroll instagram on my iphone. But now that I am sleeping more regularly I am getting in more reading time before bed. So maybe setting the goal of 20 books isn’t so crazy. If you are curious you can check out my reading summaries from previous years.

Goodreads: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Bake at Lest ONE Successful Cake a Month

See not that devoted to the whole diet thing. XD As mentioned I wanted to continue my American Cakes concept for Vegan MOFO (maybe doing some American pies) so I want to get a jump start so I don’t go into a sugar coma when it comes time. I have a few I already have ALMOST ready, just need a few extra tweaks and photos

More Cookbook, Restaurant, and Recipe Reviews

I might not have THAT many new restaurant review since I am a little broke, but I can do more recipe round ups and cookbook reviews. I miss doing them, plus it really helped me make the most of my cookbooks. I have a few I haven’t even TOUCHED since receiving them. Making these reviews help me delve deeper into them.

Be More Patient with Wolfie

I’ve been very quick to get angry lately with Wolfie. It might be because he secretly has been sick for the past two weeks. Regardless he is getting older and how I react will seem normal, and therefore he might grow up to be more short tempered. Ugh. Being a parent sucks, being accountable for your actions. Plus, if I am lucky, we might do potty training this year so… that will need lots of patience.

Update this layout!

My husband and I say it every year- make a new layout- update the blog- do more with it. And we never do. THIS WILL BE THE YEAR! I want a new layout that looks a little more professional. I also want to up my SEO game, because I write posts that I DO WANT PEOPLE TO READ. Sometimes I don’t care about hits and traffic, but then there are few posts that I think can be really helpful to people and I wish they could find them. I don’t want my layout to be 100% cookie cutter, but I would like to have look a little cleaner, plus I never really finished editing this layout to begin with.

So what about you guys? Any plans or goals for 2018?


Gosh talk about Vegan MOFO drop off! Okay so I posted quite a bit RIGHT after Vegan MOFO, but only posted ONCE in December. Yikes. I mean, it was about tacos, everyone loves tacos right? But I figured I would keep people in the loop about what the heck has been going on.

For starters it goes without saying that I’ve been busy this holiday season. Thanksgiving, Wolfie’s Birthday, and a Christmas marathon. And I am sure every parent know this- but once kids in the mix, Christmas ramps up to new levels of crazy. On top of the expected craziness we had two major life blips. Let’s start with the less sad-

THE CAR: We had two cars, one is nice and decent, the other is a disaster. It was never a nice car, it accelerated slowly, braked slowly, and had lots poor design feature. Mainly that when it rained sometimes the water would leak through the inside. We had a bucket to catch said rain water. It was 14 years old, and we were reaching that point of should we or shouldn’t we pay for any sort of repair. Sadly we reached a point where the most recent repair didn’t work, and the check engine light wouldn’t go off. It ran, but there was a scheduled state inspection and if the check engine light is on you don’t pass. This happened two weeks before the deadline. We had no choice but to get a new car.

This cut into our time and finances as we were not ready to buy a new car. Which sucks. And this has been all watered down from all the little details of suckatude. The summary is that we ALMOST could of gotten away with driving our crummy Dodge Neon for a little longer. But we didn’t.

Toulouse sitting on wrapping paper like the good old days- and sporting her new hair cut

TOULOUSE: I don’t post as much about her, but Toulouse is an important member of our family. Like parents do with their children- Jon mixes up Toulouse’s name with Wolfie’s all the time. Instagram followers may have noticed that I posted recently about my cat. She wasn’t eating which is rare because she is normally meowing up a storm and begging non-stop.

We went to the vet and got blood work done. She had INSANELY high levels of a toxins in her body. I can’t remember the specifics but when I first wrote the numbers down they were so far fetched I thought I misheard him. The vet even said he has never seen numbers so high. After much crying and freaking out, we came to the conclusion that we should treat her for kidney inflammation before getting the biopsy results back. We were mentally prepared to put her to sleep.

She almost immediately started to improve. She became a lot more sociable, and slowly gained more and more of her appetite. I didn’t give a big ol’ thumbs up on instagram because I wanted to wait until we got the biopsy to make sure she would be ok. She is. She got pretty much all her blood levels under control. The vet was pretty shocked.

Now, here is the downside. She took a really long time to eat her food last night. We are fearing that her kidney is flaring up again, and that isn’t too far fetched. The vet asked if we had certain medications that she might of eaten that would cause the kidney inflammation. We couldn’t think of a cause, so that left the lingering thought that the trigger would still be around the house. I have a sneaking suspicion it might her Greenies treats. I knew they had recalls in the past, but seeing all the complaints on consumer affairs, it is a little sobering. We always gave her some treats before bed, and didn’t have any troubles. ONCE she vomited from them, we threw the bags out assuming it was a bad batch. I recently got a HUGE tub of them, and I think we got it right when she started to get sick. We just stopped giving them to her. The lack of appetite could just be holiday stress, but we will keep a close eye on her.

THANKSGIVING: I didn’t really talk about Thanksgiving so I will keep a small summary of what we made. We had a low key Thanksgiving at our house with my Mother and Father in Law. We made:

Thanksgiving went well. Wolfie seemed to like all the different Thanksgiving foods, until we gave him the cranberry sauce. Oh boy. I regret that. Afterwards that is all he wanted. He was not happy, and at one point we had to mix the sauce with all the other food and spoon feed it to him. I also remember him going to bed pretty early, and we showed off his sleeping skills to his Grandma and Grandpa by falling asleep on his own in the crib.

Walking between apartments in the snow

CHRISTMAS IN BROOKLYN: This is the second longest trip Wolfie has taken. Much shorter than traveling deep into Long Island to Amityville, but still pretty long. We went into my parent’s car again, and drove through the snow. We had SOOOO much packed! Much more than what I would normally bring. We had lots of food, gifts, but the biggest thing was the stroller. We were going to stop by my sister’s new apartment (which is cute as a fuckin button) for appetizers then walk to my Aunt’s for the main course. That meant walking in the snow with Wolfie. It was both a pain and a little magical. Hopefully in a year or two he will be making a trip up to Brooklyn to visit his Aunt to check out all the fun Christmas stuff in NYC, the mainstream Rockefeller Center and the lesser known Dyker Heights.

It turned out to be a pretty nice trip. It was a nice practice run to see how Wolfie would react to bigger crowds. He was going to have lots of family at his birthday party, on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. He seemed pretty chill with everyone, and I think there were enough people he knew that he felt comfortable. The downside was that on the ride home it took him awhile to fall asleep. My Father is a little foot heavy on the gas and breaks so he would periodically wake up on the ride home- plus the salting vehicles are clearly being driven by mad men.

Early Christmas presents

But let’s be real- what did we eat?! Well I made the Welsh Rarebit casserole from Vegan Casseroles. I have to say I was really surprised by how good it turned out! I was scared it would be terrible because the bread went stale- yikes, and I made the sauce ahead of time and it was super solid. But it all worked out. Some people didn’t like it though, the beer I picked out was VERY hoppy and bitter. I made the Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Grape Quinoa Salad from The Full Helping. If you are going to make a salad for a big party- this is a great one! I can’t remember if I doubled the recipe or not, but we had leftovers. I probably would of spent more time roasting the veggies, they were a little underdone. But the leftovers kept well, and it was easy to mix together the day of to bring up. Then for dessert I slaved away making the Beer Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Tart from Vegan Pie in the Sky. If you are thinking that you’ve never heard of that recipe that is because it is a modified recipe from the Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart. I don’t like to toot my own horn but I think this was the star of the party. Though I am not sure if I’ll be making it again anytime soon. It took a lot of time to make the crust and caramel. Lots of time spent on setting and waiting.

WOLFIE’S BIRTHDAY: I am hoping to write up a long post about the party for the blog. I think it was fun, and it would be nice to talk about hosting an all vegan party with people who might not dig all vegan food. What I can say is that everyone loved the cake! And I am waiting for my Father in Law to go through the photos on his camera. I forgot to put my memory card into mine. Yikes!

ILLNESS: Oh boy. There were a few people who came to Wolfie’s party who were almost over a cold. It wasn’t that big of a deal really. But then Jon got sick. It was a pretty mild cold. No big deal. Then I got sick. Still, no biggie, mild cold right? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got so sick. I later found out that my Mother in Law got the same bad cold as well. And since it was the holiday season it just lingered. I was sick, and so anxious about all the things I had to do, cooking, wrapping, etc that I spent three nights in a row tossing and turning until 2-3 in the morning, and waking up between 5-6 for Wolfie. It was awful. I am just getting over it, so it has been over a week. Now my husband has the cold so, you know. Not fun.

Wolfie gets some cousin time on Christmas Eve. Take note of his hands- he is signing more… I guess more xylophone time plz

CHRISTMAS EVE & DAY: Well, since I was sick I skipped out Christmas Eve get together. Bummer. But I still spent the morning cooking, oddly. I kept it simple and made a Martha Washington Great Cake from American Cakes, but it crumbled out of the cake tin. It tasted awesome, but I need to tweak the recipe I guess. So I scrambled to make a Derby Pie from La Dolce Vegan! Let me tell you- it is a very ugly pie but soooo yummy! I also made the Tempeh Sweet Potato Shepards Pie from Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook. I didn’t try the pies until the next day, but both were amazing. Since I wasn’t there I only heard stories about what went on including a giant cousin bath tub session, Wolfie stealing a pacifier out of someone’s mouth, and kids dropping the f-bomb. 

Christmas Morning my Mother and Father in Law came over. We ended up having a bunch with leftover Tempeh Sweet Potato Pie and Tofu Scramble from Oh She Glows. I made Norske Kanelsnurrer (Norwegian Cinnamon Buns) from Seitan is my Motar. I liked how they weren’t as sweet and sticky as tradional buns, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t let it rise overnight. I can tweak the recipe, I am sure, but otherwise we didn’t get to eat these until past noon, past brunching time.

This was the first year I hosted Christmas dinner with MY side of the family. Usually we would spend Christmas morning with at my sister’s with my immediate family, then dinner with Jon’s parents. But we switched it around this year now that we have lil Wolfie. It occurred to me that Jon’s parents could stay for dinner, so they left so my family can exchange gifts, then came back for the dinner. So, I think we can say my family isn’t too keen on holiday foods. Like we have nothing against it, but we aren’t against straying away from it. So we ended up doing Indian food for dinner. My sister made some chicken dish (like a butter chicken), brought some frozen naan and samosas. My mother made the Makhani cauliflower dish from Vegan Richa and a spiced rice dish with peas. While I made masoor dal tadka via slow cooker and the famous Mango Tofu Curry. We were going to make more but forgot- got lazy- dunno. But we had plenty for 9 adults, and 3 children. It was pretty yummy. Dessert was pretty laid back, just cookies from my sister, and leftover derby pie.


Oh boy are there a million tacos out there! We are just barely scratching the surface with what’s out there. And even though they are all over pinterest, I think this was one of the hardest compilations to get together. Why? I think tacos are just way too easy to stray away from the original recipe. But I did it! So check out the recipes below!

Falafel Tacos with Sriracha-Tahini Sauce

This recipe is actually an amazing weeknight meal. Aside from my kitchen being so small that taking out the food processor is a pain, it is a super meal. All you need to dirty up is really the food processor, a baking tray, and cutting board. And while the falafels bake, you can clean up most of the dishes. Brilliant! The dinner made pretty much spot on what it would make- granted if you eat only two tacos. That can be hard since they are so tasty, but two tacos has 16 grams of protein. Not too bad considering my husband at three- which would be 24 grams of protein. Downside, I think the sriracha-tahini sauce was a little too thick, but then again I was getting to the bottom of tahini where they was very little oil.

Bottom Line: Quick and easy weeknight dinner

Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos

There’s been a lot of hub-bub with Thug Kitchen and if their writing is mocking African Americans. Although I find the juxtaposition of harsh language in a medium that uses flower language funny, I do think they could of done it without singling out a certain culture. I never really intended to check out Thug Kitchen, but I found this really yummy recipe that I just wanted to try badly.

Did the recipe hold up? Umm…no. The salsa was pretty darn spicy. Which to me isn’t too big of a deal except there was a lot of hot sauce in the cauliflower portion. I like it when you divide the heat up within certain ingredients, not piling on everything hot. The cauliflower was very watery from the beer, which makes me wondering if it would of worked better as sort of a “refried” cauliflower filling? And overall there were WAY too much onion flavor. I didn’t even use as much as they recommend since I didn’t have them, like adding more green onions!

There were some great flavor combos, but there should of been more finessing with the cooking process. Maybe saute the onions in the cauliflowers, only spice in the salsa, etc. Overall it isn’t bad though. 

Bottom Line: Alright recipe, needs more streamlining.

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Sweet Potato Pecan Tacos

There is so much flavor going on with these tacos. They are easy to make and great for a more fall based taco when sweet potatoes are in season and when the temperature is going down (to turn the oven on). The great thing about the recipe is that the author is very open to variations so I did and found ways to improve the taco.

One thing I found needed improvement in the recipe is the texture. She has a smooth bean spread and soft sweet potatoes that probably have a nice outside texture from roasting. BUT I felt like it needed a little extra tooth, and adding quick pickled shredded cabbage I think did the trick. Avocados are also a major must as well, if it is in your price range.

I loved the flavor from the coconut cream, but it seemed more like something that would be great as a dressing. The blog post does suggest that this dish makes a great salad, so maybe I missed the memo that the cream was just suppose to be a dressing? Maybe, maybe not. But I wouldn’t bother with it unless you want to make a salad over a taco.

Bottom Line: Super yummy, but needs a lettuce or cabbage paired with it.

Black Bean + Tempeh Tacos with Cashew Cheese Sauce

This recipe is pretty easy and fast to make. What is both nice and disappointing about this recipe is how flexible it is. There aren’t any specifically highlighted flavors, which I tend to like from a taco recipe. But it does give a recipe for a very flexible taco filling that you can pretty much do any day of the week. Don’t have avocado? You’ll be fine. Don’t have cabbage? Just use lettuce. So I could imagine using this recipe as a basic structure to make on a busy weeknight.

I did NOT make the cashew cheese sauce mostly because I had some homemade vegan sour cream that needed to get used up. But the recipe for the cashew cheese sauce looks pretty good, and would of made a great addition to the tacos. Overall I think this is a recipe I might use again, it only took about 15 minutes to make. And as mentioned it is pretty flexible for interpretation, and she makes sure you still get your greens.

Bottom Line: Great recipe for starter vegans.

Tequila Lime Baked Tofu Tacos with Chipotle Crema

This recipe involves a lot of planning, but overall pretty easy. What takes the most amount of time is freezing the tofu, thawing it, pressing, then marinating. None of those steps take particularly long, but you need to think ahead. I think most vegans don’t know how to plan these steps since these are mostly common for meats. But I found that I froze the tofu one day, the next day remove and let thaw in the fridge. Then the day of making I pressed for an hour (it wasn’t fully thawed at the time), and marinated it before heading into work. That way it took a 30 minutes to bake giving lots of prep and clean up time.

BUT I do have a problem with the recipe. Although it was easy to make, there wasn’t nearly enough fat. The overall result was super acidic, but I wish she put a little oil in the marinade, or used cashews for the crema. Aside from that, I was totally happy with the results. There was a little extra of tofu for leftovers (hubs and I had three tacos each) so if you have a big family, you might want to double the tofu.

Bottom Line: Needs a little more fat, but tasty overall

BBQ Eggplant Tacos

Hmm… how do I feel about these tacos. So many emotions. First let me talk about prep work. It is pretty easy. I spent most of the time working on the peach-lime chutney. It wasn’t too hard, but it does involve a lot of fine chopping, so it was probably a total of 30-40 minutes, but worth noting there was lots of time to do other things. In fact I made the fennel slaw while the chutney cooked up. So all I had to do was roast the eggplant and put together the tacos when it came to dinner time. Dividing up the work makes the clean up more manageable.

Flavors have been interesting. I can’t say I hate and I can’t say I love it. My husband summed it up as minty and fruity. I think we both weren’t huge fans of the mix of fennel and peach. I think I might want to “dilute” the fennel by adding a little cabbage next time. Also I didn’t like how the eggplant “shredded.” I mean it kind-of did, but it was mostly just mushy shreds. I would probably just use beans or jackfruit in the future.

And it is worth noting that I had uneven amounts of food. I get it- when your recipe calls for one fennel bulb and mostly nothing else, you are going to have varied amounts. I ended up with a full little jam jar of the chutney. We had NO eggplant leftover, and there was enough slaw for maybe one two extra tacos. Not the worst, but something to keep in mind if you hate leftovers.

Bottom Line: Lots of prep, mixed emotions

What are your favorite taco recipes?

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Circles

8 Powell Lane Collingswood, NJ 08108
812 N 2nd St Philadelphia, PA 19123
1514 Tasker St. Philadelphia, PA 19145
website | facebook | instagram | twitter | youtube

Vegan MOFO is done, but I thought this year I would try and do their minimofos. This month’s theme is lazy. I had this post sitting in my drafts for 8 months. Yup I started it in March and it is probably time I finish it up. XD Fits the lazy bill because I’ve been so lazy about making this post and I was lazy about cooking.

So here you go- a really old post….
It was a dark and stormy night…
Just kidding. Or maybe it was rainy? The details are a little hazy.

Let me paint the picture. Wolfie was only 3 months old. He is starting to sleep through the night, but still sleeping in his little crib. Jon and I wanted to have a baby free night and went on a date. This was the first time leaving the house late at night, and we had our friend Justine watch Wolfie. Sadly, he was starting to do the whole routine thing and falling asleep pretty easily.

It took us awhile to decide where to go, but we finally decided on Circles, a new to us restaurant that offers Thai food. The restaurant has various locations, currently two in Philadelphia and one in Collingswood. They aren’t a vegan restaurant, but offer many different options. We went to the Collingswood location since it was raining out.

Pad Thai with Tofu

The food isn’t just Thai- it is Thai fusion. But in many ways the food has some authenticity. The restaurants are owned by Alex Boonphaya who grew up in Bangkok. His family moved to the US and Alex spent his childhood cooking since his parents would work late. That is what makes Circles so great. There is a wonderful balance between authentic Thai cuisine and little American twists.

As mentioned the shop has vegan options, and if you are vegetarian you will have more options. Everything is well labeled about what is vegan. They serve seitan, so there are few appetizer items that have a meat and seitan alternative (such as vegetarian cheesesteak springrolls, not vegan sadly). There are also things like vegetable dumplings that can be ordered.

The main courses are almost all available as vegan. I would tell the staff up front that you are vegan, as they knew right away to use fish sauce substitutes, and you don’t have to ask about it for each individual meals. You can add seitan or tofu to the meal for an additional cost (they have meat options as well)

Pad Kee Mow with Seitan

Jon got the Pad Thai with tofu (top photo). He really liked it. The sauce had a nice kick to it. I personally found it a little too sweet. If you aren’t really familiar with Pad Thai you might be disappointed. Each family has their own Pad Thai recipe, and in the US many Pad Thai recipes are super peanut heavy. This was not, but I really enjoyed it. Very tangy and sweet.

I ordered the Pad Kee Mow with Seitan, and guys, I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about it. I remember liking it a lot. I remember that it was spicy. And now that I look at the photos, I remember the tomatoes being the best. If you never had the dish before the major flavor notes (that I remember) were fresh thai basil, tomato chunks, fat rice noodles, and spicy flavors.

We loved the place and if we were rolling around in cash money we would be going back more often. The place is BYOB so bring a bottle of wine, or stop by Devil’s Creek Brewery across the street to grab a growler. I recommend parking at the PATCO station and walking to the restaurant. The photo doesn’t give a great representation of where it is, as it is in a small street that doesn’t get much traffic, under the new(ish) Lumberyard Condos. Also, don’t bother with the coffee…. they just use a kurig. There are many coffee shop options in Collingswood.


I did a lot of debating if I should save this recipe till next Vegan MOFO or not. I do want to continue my Vegan MOFO theme of American Cake Off for 2018, but this one I wanted to post this year. Why? THERE ARE STILL ELECTIONS GOING ON IN THE UNITED STATES!

Some of these elections are big deals. In New Jersey we are voting for a new governor (thank god), state legislator, and freeholder. And in my case, I have the questions to vote on, and people who are running locally for the board of education. This election is a pretty big deal as it can get more democrats into the senate, possibly getting the majority.

Part of the reason why there isn’t much coverage about the election is because it really depends on where you live. I am voting for some stuff that no one else is voting on outside of my town. There are lots of important mayor elections, and not every state even has an election going on.

So let’s talk about this election cake! I first read about it in American Cakes, but there isn’t a recipe. Perhaps it is because most people steer away from fruit cakes, or because the author didn’t find it unique enough compared to other recipes? Not sure. But I was very excited about the idea.

Back before women could vote- ladies would slave away in the kitchen baking cakes. They would use this as a way to encourage men to go out and vote. And boy did the original recipes feed many men. An original recipe called for thirty quarts flour, ten pounds butter, fourteen pounds sugar, twelve pounds raisins, and my favorites one pint wine and one quart brandy. This might make your jaw drop but this was intended to feed MANY people. 

For the 2016 presidential election OWL Bakery decided to start a campaign calls #MakeAmericaCakeAgain. The bakery posted a recipe on Google Docs for anyone to make, but sold the cake in their stores. Proceeds went to League of Women Voters, with many other bakeries across the USA contributing. There is already a vegan version of the cake out there by Yum Universe. But I don’t know about it, it is gluten free but uses bourbon to soak the fruit. Then she has the audacity to recommend tequila or gin to soak the fruit to make it 100% gluten free?! 1) not all gin are gluten free, and 2) what about wine based spirits?

The other problem with the OWL and Yum Universe recipes is that the cake needs the starter to go overnight. That is a lot of time. But I found a recipe from Food52 that only has your starter go for 3 hours. That is a lot more manageable, and the recipe looks a lot less scary in comparison. 

This recipe isn’t perfect. I wish I tried using only oil in the recipe, but I had a lot of little bits of shortening and an almost empty butter container in the fridge, so I used a mix of the three. I also didn’t have sherry wine or brandy, so I used amaretto and marsala. You can use whatever you want, but I recommend something sweet. So if you aren’t using booze, maybe a juice, kombucha, sweetened tea, whatever. Think about what flavors will go with figs, raisins, and the spices.

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My goodness it has been a really long time since I’ve done one of these! I always try and write a review with any recipe I try online, make a category and hope they build up enough to be it’s own post. But that doesn’t always happen. Luckily my CSA forces me to try and figure out what to do with all these tomatillos so this post has been in the works for TWO YEARS!

Why did this take so long? Well I wanted to feature recipes that weren’t just salsa verde. I mean I made my own salsa morado, but I mean- it is just a salsa verde XD So I give you quite a round up! I hope you enjoy it, and there is even a sweet treat as well!

Roasted Tomatillo Hummus

I am frequent reader of Fragrant Vanilla Cake and saw this recipe using tomatillos in hummus. I knew I had to give it a try since it is an interesting way to eat the fruit. The recipe is pretty easy, roast tomatillos, blend with the hummus ingredients, serve. I have to admit this is a delicious and tangy hummus. Very different than what most people are use to for their hummus. I could picture myself just eating it as a dip with chips.

But I used it mostly in wraps with breaded green tomatoes, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and avocados. But I could use it in sandwiches, and a bunch of other ways. What makes this hummus so nice is that it is sweet and tangy but has lots of protein, so you get food that is nutritionally sustainable and filling.

Bottom Line: Quick and Easy, great for lunches.

Black Bean, Tomatillo, and Corn Soup

This is pushing the definition soup. It is more like a stew since it is so thick. It is indeed tasty, but I think there should be a little more broth to make it by definition a soup. Overall the dish is super healthy and full of vegetables and fiber. I think the longest part is getting all the vegetables prepared, especially since it calls for fresh corn. Because of this I think I would double the recipe next time so I could have leftovers to eat.

I also would add more tomatillos. Yes, you can taste them in the dish, but I wish there would of been more. I mean if you have tomatillos in the title, I better be tasting them. I think I ended up using more tomatoes in the soup than tomatillos! Aside from that gripe- I would give the dish a thumbs up on making it again.

Bottom Line: Easy and healthy soup. Recommend doubling the recipe for leftovers and adding more tomatillos.

Vegan Enchilada Suizas

I think what I’ve learned about these recipes is that maybe my tomatillos from my CSA are smaller than fresh tomatillos from the supermarket. So I doubled the amount of tomatillos in the sauce.

Looking at the recipe I felt like I probably should have a little more veggies in there, so I took away some of the beans, and added some sauteed sweet peppers. Also I didn’t use the suggested hot peppers in the sauce or any added salt since I was going to feed it to a 10 month old. Even without the salt, the dish carried itself quite well, but something to keep in mind with the spice levels.

Overall I loved the dish. I will make it again since it is easy to make and easy to prep ahead of time. I blended the sauce in the morning while my blender was dirty from smoothies. I set aside the sauce, so when it came to dinner time I just cooked the sauce, and put together the enchiladas.

My biggest complaint is that she doesn’t specify which sized tortilla wraps. I have “taco” and “burrito” sizes wraps, and I didn’t know which size, so I just made four big enchiladas as appose to six. Not the end of the world, but I can’t be the only one out there that didn’t grow up on enchiladas.

Bottom Line: Baby Approved, Just would make more sauce

White Bean Tomatillo Soup

This soup is much more “tomatillo-y” compared to the black bean recipe. This one uses a lot of beans and a lot of tomatillos. This is a simple soup that lets you enjoy the taste of tomatillos. Aside from cooking dried beans, the recipe doesn’t take long to make. All I did was soak the beans overnight, cooked them in the morning, then made the short 30 minute recipe. Though you could soak the beans in the morning and cook the soup for longer if you have the time to wait.

My only complaint is that she calls for 4 cups broth, 2 cups water. I feel like just sticking with 6 cups broth/stock would give a fuller flavored soup. Maybe it is to save people money? Most stocks are sold in 4 cup containers. Who knows. I didn’t read the 2 cups water so at first I had a very thick soup. Oops. But I really liked the recipe. Full of flavor, simple, and easy peasy.

Bottom Line: Super healthy and yummy soup. Would use all 6 cups of stock instead of part water.

Tomatillo Green Apple Sorbet

Sometimes recipes are so simple I find a hard time with them! Enter this recipe for a Green Apple and Tomatillo Sorbet. First what I ended up with was delicious, but there was a lot of last minute changes that I had to make.

The first change I had to make was that the portions on the site didn’t add up for me. It should I should of had about 2 1/2 cups by the end of the cooking process, but I had more like 1 3/4 of a cup. Eek! I quickly doubled the apple and tomatillo, started to cook them again, and got about the right amount. Blended it up and popped it in the fridge. Then when I put the sorbet in the ice cream maker, there didn’t seem to be much. This is something that annoys me with ice cream recipes. It takes a lot of work to make ice cream, and making just enough for two servings is a pain. So I quickly dumped some extra coconut milk into the ice cream maker.

The end result? A SUPER delicious recipe. Since I probably cooked the apples too much, I got a tart but semi caramel-like sorbet. The best part is that the ice cream kept really soft in the freezer, one of my first times doing so! I think adding the coconut milk in the end helped with the tartness. If I make this again, I will totally make some changes to the recipe, and you might find a similar recipe on the blog next year.

Bottom Line: Great inspiration. Overall great results, not sure if I will make this recipe 100% exactly the same

Chunky Tomatillo Tostadas

I took some liberties to switch this recipe up a little. Yeah, I got a little lazy in the tostadas part and was starving. So these got transformed into tacos. Oh well. I tried to keep the toppings in the spirit of the original post and let’s face it, a corn shelled taco isn’t too different from a tostadas. Personally the dish probably would of worked best in tostadas form, so keep that in mind. 

Naturally my main complaint is that recipe calls for x amount of tomatillos, not going by poundage. I added more to the recipe since the tomatillos picked from my CSA were a little smaller than most commercial grocery stores. Aside from the resulting faster cooking time, everything worked out great! The whole recipe will probably take an hour from beginning to end but is very easy to get the prep work done, and has a lot of hands off time. 

I really love how there were bursts of tomatillo flavors hidden in the pinto beans. I think there should be a little bit more tomatillo to bean ratio, but aside from that it is a great mix. As mentioned I made tacos instead and paired them with lettuce, avocado and tomato (no sour cream mix.) I will be adding this to my rotation during the next tomatillo season at my CSA

Bottom Line: Takes some time, but overall very easy and hands off.


It is definetly getting colder out. We survived Halloween, and we are already trying to transition Wolfie for daylight savings time. Or rather the end of it. I never understood the point of it. We also now need to start thinking about Thanksgiving, and I am now knee deep in looking at winter gear. Figuring out mittens and rainboots… and I guess snowboots? Ugh, and an umbrella! I’ve got two raincoats though! You really take for granted all the things you need for different weather patterns until you need to periodically buy them every year or so. XD

Reading I randomly picked up The Book of Other People from the library because of.. well… the cover. It was in he non-fiction section… which I dunno… seems to be the wrong place. It is a collection of short stories by various artists with the common thread of featuring a fictional character. The book was edited by Zadie Smith, and I am pretty sure the proceeds went to a charity, though I can’t remember it right now. It is funny reading reviews for this book because it gets a consistent review of about 3 stars, but everyone’s favorite stories are all over the place! I guess the best way of putting it is the no matter what type of author/story you like, you will probably like at least half of the stories.

Watching As always Jon and I tried to watch as many spooky things for Halloween- sadly horror films were a bad genre for when you are trying to be quiet. Why? The dynamic range in the soundtrack. You have to jack up the volume to hear the characters talk, and then all the sudden there would be a loud thud to creep out the audience. Since I didn’t get to do my normal reviews I’ll try and do the same in a very quick form.

Fright Night

Year: 1985
Directed by: Tom Holland
Rank: 6/10
Spooky Type: Vampire
Watch: Amazon + Netflix
Does anyone remember my review of An American Werewolf in London? Well, this has the same issues. A total sausage fest. There are only two female characters- the mom and a girlfriend who is still a virgin. Something I don’t really understand why it has to even be part of the plot. Just like An American Werewolf, Fright Night mostly focuses on humor, which I liked. The overall story is that a boy finds out that his new next door neighbor is a vampire. He tries to fight him, and even tries to get an old actor who plays a vampire hunter on TV to help him.

Extraordinary Tales

Year: 2013
Directed by: Raul Garcia
Rank: 8/10
Spooky Type: Edgar Allen Poe
Watch: Netflix + Amazon
This is a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories accompanied by CGI animations. Each story has it’s own style, so it isn’t a polished collection. You might like one short, but not the other. I have fairly “meh” feelings about most since they are usually just straight readings of the text with animations to go with it, one using an old recording of Bela Lugosi. But I think my favorite was the short for The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. The animation reminded me of a comic book (still featured above). This story was also done without an overall narration like the others. It is worth checking out, and many people say it is a great way to introduce Poe to kids, but the last story The Masque of the Red Death has some nudity and sexual content. So keep that in mind.

Fright Night

Year: 2011
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Rank: 6/10
Spooky Type: Vampire
Watch: Amazon
Why can’t they get this right?! I think this time around the story has a much better flow. The transition into the neighbor being exposed as a vampire seems better, and they don’t open with the main character whining about not having sex with his girlfriend. The story takes place near Las Vegas, so it makes sense why a vampire would move there. Being up all night won’t be so weird, people move in and out all the time, etc, etc. The old hack vampire killing actor is replaced with David Tennant who is like a Criss Angel type of performer. Turns out he is a major expert of vampires, and unlike the old version, actually believes in it. The downfall of the newer version is that everything is amped up to WAY OVER THE TOP! Car crashes, burning houses, just really ridiculous stuff. I mean David Tennant was pretty awesome!

Worst Witch

Year: 1986
Directed by: Robert Young
Rank: 10/10
Spooky Type: Kids Witches
Watch: Amazon
Before Harry Potter there was The Worst Witch. The story follows Mildred Hubble, who is the biggest fuck up in her class. She can’t get her cat to fly, she messes up her potions, and her cat isn’t even black! This made for TV movie has a star studded cast of Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Clue), Fairuza Balk (The Craft), Charlotte Rae (The Facts of Life), and Diana Rigg (On Her Majesties Secret Service, The Great Muppet Caper). You would think it would be top quality right? WRONG! I mean the special effects were probably pretty good for a made for TV movie at the time, but goodness it is CAMPY. It has the best sequence with Tim Curry, which is probably why the film is a cult classic today.

Return to Oz

Year: 1985
Directed by: Walter Murch
Rank: 9/10
Spooky Type: Kids Fantasy
Watch: Amazon
If you are going to watch a “horror” film with a kid, this is a great place to start. I wouldn’t call it a horror exactly, but it does fit in with Halloween’s spooky environment. This movie takes from two different Wizard of Oz stories and mashes them together. It puts Dorothy in a weird spot, trying to stay true to the books but assumes that the viewer has watched the classic 1939 version. Dorothy has ruby slippers (she has silver in the book), but the Emerald City isn’t really all green (in the book the Wizard had citizens and visitors wear green tinted glasses.) The movie was a box office fail since the series is pretty dark. But it is worth watching. Fairuza Balk plays a great Dorothy, and there are some great stop motion animation.

Get Out

Year: 2017
Directed by: Jordan Peele
Rank: 10/10
Spooky Type: Suspense
Watch: Amazon
Look at me- being on trend! Yes, I watched Get Out in a timely fashion and it was awesome. I could talk about it, but I don’t think there is much to say. If you’ve never heard of the film, the storyline is that Chris is a black man dating Rose, a white girl. He is heading over to her parents for a weekend, meeting them for the first time. Naturally he is nervous meeting them, and seeing how they will react to their daughter’s new relationship. But things are really weird when he gets there, and everything escalades. I strongly recommend watching this film.

Hush

Year: 2016
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Rank: 8/10
Spooky Type: Serial Killer
Watch: Netflix
I usually hate serial killer movies. I find them… boring? I feel like that is the wrong word. Pedestrian? That makes me sound pretentious. Unrelatable? Probably the best term. I wouldn’t say my husband loves them, but some of his favorite movies are 80s slasher films. This movie is more a survivalist thriller, with a twist. Maddie is a deaf writer who moves out into the woods as a way to get over her ex. A serial killer comes to her house, and she has to act quick to survive. This is an interesting movie, as the director and his wife (who plays Maddie) both wrote the film. Like in realist cinema, they acted out the scenario several times to make it as realistic as possible. As a result, my husband and I were constantly saying “why the heck doesn’t she do this?” or “shouldn’t she hide there?” but let’s be real, when your in a panic, you don’t think straight.

We also have been watching the halloween episodes of Bob’s Burger and the Simpsons. Plus watching some R.L.Stine’s Haunting Hour and the Netflix series The Worst Witch. It is funny watching The Worst Witch because at first my husband was pointed it out that it was a rip off of Harry Potter till I said the series was written in the 70s. I wonder how many other books use magical witch schools as a plot?

Crafting So I’ve been trying to work more on the shop, but not much to show for it. XD I’ve been playing around with a bonnet pattern, which I made a sample using a Giants handkerchief. It turned out cuter than what I expected! But I will have to make alterations to the pattern to make it look nicer. Pretty soon there will be some new items on the shop just in time for the holidays.. hopefully there will be bonnets as well!

Podcasts Trying to squeeze in as many spooky themed podcasts as possible. So I’ve been busy downloading spooky themed episodes from Stuff You Missed in History Class. I think the ones that sticks out are the recent ones about Edward Gorey and Carl Tanzler. I thought it was interesting to hear about Gorey’s later life, and his love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I although I like the haunting episodes, Carl Tanzler was just a very different narrative. If you listen, trigger warning of stalker-obsessive behavior.

Traveling We were going to try and check out Jawn of the Dead– a vegan halloween festival but there was a big storm that day. It was in Philadelphia so that would of meant driving in, parking, and walking probably several blocks with Wolfie. We decided it wasn’t worth it, and hope that next year they have the same popup. Wolfie will be older and will enjoy it a little more. Because of that Jon was pretty mad since he took some days off. So we looked at our local library for museum passes and decided to check out Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. I am going to write up a review of the place on the blog because it was really beautiful.

CSA We are getting the end of the share. Just three more weeks left, getting our last share in time for Thanksgiving. Luckily we are dwindling down to the veggies that last longer, the roots and gourds. We got some long pie squash, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, lots of leafy greens, carrots (orange yellow and purple), radishes, and turnips. Since the weather has been crazy, raspberries are JUST dying out, along with tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.

Articles I thought I would share this article about how a bartender is making motherhood work. As someone who loves cocktails, I always wonder if it is something I could pursue as a career. I don’t think I EVER want to be a bartender, but it does make me wonder how people do it.


Okay so this isn’t a scary drink or cake for Halloween. This drink was GOING to be posted last week but I didn’t quite squeeze it in. Which means my last cake post will be tomorrow (or later in the week) as a result. Not quite making it for Vegan MOFO. NOOOO!

But if you want something spooky, might I recommend making the Masala Bloody MaryGreen Mary, Reanimator, Suspira, Spiced Pumpkin Carriage, or the Pumpkin Spice Macaccino for those who don’t partake in alcohol.

I could of named this cocktail something like Spicy Cucumber Lemongrass Spritzer, but cocktails need names damn it! Names that tells you NOTHING about the drink itself. Bloody Mary? Tells you nothing about ingredients (I mean other than something’s red), Tom Collins still nothing, Death in the Afternoon, nope. Manhattan– well you get the point.

So how did I get this name? Well, similarly to the Green Mary, I have a lot plants going into this drink. And for the most part, they are things I don’t use often enough. The lemongrass set forever in my fridge, cucumbers always go bad, and I have to be very careful with jalapenos since they can make the air toxic when cooking. Add in the slightly green color of the cocktail, I thought it was a great name.

I like this cocktail because you muddle the cucumber with a little bit of sugar. That way you don’t need any simple syrup or a juicer. Heck you don’t even need a fancy muddler- I just used the other end of my ice cream scoop.

As usual I am too lazy to actually buy citruses so I used some orange bitters to top it off and some lemon seltzer. I am glad about that choice because it gives the whole drink a nice light and clean taste.

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