Project 365: Days 220-226

Day 220: Starting to go to the orchard and seeing lots of bugs- more than my CSA. Kind-of weird I guess. But I found this huge guy!


Day 221: Working on a new burrito recipe.


Day 222: I got my air plants in the mail


Day 223: Got my first batch of kombucha started in the new home. They are bottled and sitting out getting carbonated.


Day 224: Took photos of my shiro plum cocktail.


Day 225: Apparently Elephant ears bloom and they look like this-


Day 226: Overflowing pot


Sunday Reading 08-16-15 #49


Got an old comforter from the basement, and Toulouse is quick to nap on it.

This week has been pretty busy. Lots of cooking and prepping, and I’ve been working longer hours at the frame shop. Then this weekend I thought I would catch up on posts, but I have a busy k.o. punch- my husband’s birthday. We aren’t the type of people to do lots of things for our birthdays. It is pretty simple, choose a dessert and choose a dinner whether it be eating out or a specific meal. Well, then my in-laws thought it was a good weekend to hand off a bunch of Jon’s stuff they’ve been keeping in their basement. It is helpful, but it feels like taking a step back in the moving process. So we have tons of new stuff to figure out what to do with, and I am not very sentimental so I am looking at half this stuff and thinking “my god this needs to be thrown out.” So this should be interesting to see what Jon doesn’t with half this stuff.

The good news for Alexa is that we have been collecting all the “doubles” of things so she might get some freebies when she moves out her house, like an iron, espresso machine, air conditioner, and maybe a pot or two. Oh and wrestling action figures. Jon apparently kept all his old 90s action figures.

Things at the farm are really going. I think this is the time of the year where I get my biggest bang for my buck. I think I remember last you figuring out that I pay something like $27 each week for my share at the farm. It has gone up since then. But the price of some this produce that’s organic is insane. Jeff, one of the farmers, said he had a friend who sold an organic heirloom tomato that was $15 because it was so big and heavy. Wow. I saw that regular tomatillos were $3 a pound, so that means those tomatillos would of cost me $12 in the supermarket alone! I can’t even begin to think how much I would be paying for all the tomatoes!

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
1 quart sungold tomatoes
1 pint blackberries
2 large cantaloups
1 spaghetti squash
1 lb red plums
1 lb MacIntosh apples
13 lb yellow peaches
oregano, basil, cilanto, mint
4 lbs tomatillos
5 lbs cherry tomatoes
1 quart ground cherries with husks
1 quart green beans
10.5 lbs slicing tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes
2 heads of lettuce
1 eggplant
1 yellow onion
1 bunch of radishes with greens
2 poblano peppers

What I’m cooking:
Tomato Sauce for future cooking
Tomatillo and Berry Crisp
Freezing peaches for storage
Yogurt, granola, and ground cherry/blackberry bowls
Grilled “Cheese” and Tomato Sandwiches
Side salads with sungold tomatoes and radishes
Jungle Curry with Seitan Curry
Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry (using the roma tomatoes) from Vegan Eats World
Spaghetti Squash Yakisoba Style

Reading for the Week:

Apparently the old living cat is 26 years old?!

I am sure many of you have heard about the Animas river turning yellow. Wall Street Journal has more details.

I really want to read this comic, but it isn’t actually released yet!

I like this guide on how to order vegan at any restaurant. There is a really great break down of what to look for and what to ask. From my experience working in the food industry, if you are nice, the servers will be nice back. Also, keep in mind accendents happens. It might not be your waiters fault so don’t flip out on them.

Apparently there is a book written about why millennials so foodies. I liked this interview on The Atlantic, but I think there are some points missing. One is yes, millennials have less money, but I think that is why we spend money on food. It is a short term reward that might not cost a lot right now. And another point that I think is missing is that there is a lot of political statements being said about the food we eat, and in some ways a revolt against the system we are forced to get jobs in (aka big corp America)

And this one is for any tattoo junkies- a 2,500 tattooed Siberian princess is found. Still reading the article, but the tattoo design is amazing!

Sage & Shiro Plum Smash


I find it is a little funny how vegans compassion can vary so much. The other night I was talking to my friend Chrissy who is also a vegan. I asked if she still ate honey, and she said yes. That is a little too extreme for her, while I try not to consume it. But later on in the night she said how she wouldn’t eat food sharing a deep-fryer with meats. Me on the other hand, very cool with shared cooking areas with vegan and omni foods. Everyone has their own boundaries.


Even my recently turned vegan husband and I have totally different views on compassion. A big nasty house fly got stuck in our house and kept bothering us. It bothered me endlessly, and I was waiting till he got old and fat so I could smack it. I mean that fly is a big asshole and had it coming, right? My husband instead says “This fly is annoying as hell, but I don’t want to KILL it. I just want to catch him and release him.” Sure enough he eventually caught the fly and released him back into the wild, making me into a horrible evil person for wanting to hurt a fly.

Roles reverse today. I noticed a few ants on our rug, and told him about it. It suddenly became a battle of the ants for him. He is looking up natural ways to kill the ant and block their passage. And then there is me, feeling a little bit like what is the harm for letting them hangout? Maybe we should just leave bags of sugar outside of the house so they don’t come in ours? Then I would be known in the neighborhood as the crazy ant lady, collecting ants instead of cats.


But enough bug talk- let’s talk about this awesome drink! I’ve been laying off the hard liquor lately or rather making drinks because of the move. Heck, I technically haven’t even unpacked the cocktail mixer yet. But I got a little excited when I found Sage by Art in the Age at my local liquor store since I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile now. I got a little creative and used glass, espresso tamper, and a hand strainer to make this drink.

I also had a bunch of badly bruised shiro plums from the orchard. They are pretty tasty, but not the pretties things to look at. So I thought this would taste pretty good with Sage, so I made a drink by muddling the plum into the drink. Now I am not sure where this drink sits on the cocktail genealogy‎ tree, but as far as I can tell I used fresh seasonal fruit and smashed it. So it’s a smash in my book. If you want to make this drink more “smash-ish” I would use some sage leaves instead of mint to work with the liquor.


If you asking which bourbon we used, well I used Knob Creek’s Rye Whiskey but mostly because that is what we had on hand. I probably would use Bulleit Bourbon next time. And if you can’t find any Sage, then I would use a very mild gin or perhaps a homemade infused sage vodka. But honestly there is a really unique flavor going on with Sage so I wouldn’t try and sub it.

Continue reading

My Vegan Restaurant: Sweet Freedom


Sweet Freedom

1424 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19146
1039 W. Lancaster Ave Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
website | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter

UPDATE: When the post was written there were three locations for Sweet Freedom. Since then they have closed down their Collingwood location. The photos and review talk heavily about this location, but most items are available depending on the day and season at their Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr locations.

I first came to Sweet Freedom because I friend told me about a vegan bakery in Philadelphia. I went in and got a root beer float cupcake and a oatmeal cookie sandwich. My husband and I scarfed down our snacks and as we left I saw a big “yes, all food is gluten-free.” I had no clue at the time! I shouldn’t of been so surprised that the food was going to be so delicious. I knew before hand that they were on the show Cupcake Wars (season 2 episode 8). In fact Sweet Freedom is the most dietary friendly bakery I’ve ever seem. It is soy-free, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, peanut-free, and gluten-free.


I think I would be lying if all the desserts were totally undetectable of being so allergy friendly. Some foods work better than others, and some are kind-of awesome as their own product. For example their “cake balls” are my favorite. They go by many different names, cake truffles, cake pops, whatever you want. From the non-vegan cake pops I’ve eaten in the past, they weren’t that great, in fact they tasted like undercooked cake in my opinion. But Sweet Freedom’s cake balls aren’t too sweet, and much drier (in a good way). I can safely say that I prefer their cake balls over traditional ones.

bigdisplay cookies

Their biggest selling point is their cupcakes but they dapple in lots of other desserts. They have cobbler bars, cookies, cookie sandwiches, bars, sweet breads, donuts, and even eclairs. All of these desserts can be found at all three of their locations. They started out in Philadelphia, and then expanded into Collingswood New Jersey. At the new location they decided to give juices, smoothies, and ice cream a try. Then they opened another location in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania where they seem to carry the same things as the Collingswood location.


So what do I recommend getting? Well, if you want to get a cupcake, I suggest their root beer float. But any of their cupcakes are pretty awesome, though I much prefer their chocolate frosting over their vanilla. I love their facon-bacon topped donuts, and their magic bars. Any of their cake balls are awesome as well.

I would say to skip their juice or smoothie if you go to their Collingswood or Bryn Mawr locations. They have always been hit or miss for me. It isn’t something they make frequently so I found that not all people working there make it with the same consistency. But I do recommend picking up one of their lattes or hot chocolates. They are very rich. I personally ask for half creamer, half coconut milk to make it not too rich.


And let’s talk about their ice cream! I love this stuff. They don’t serve it as plain ice cream you would scoop into a bowl. They instead make them into ice cream sandwiches and ice cream pops. They are both amazing. They ice cream is fairly light, making a great reward for a hot day. You can focus on the ice cream flavors with the pops, like with their fruit flavors such as peach or strawberry. But their ice cream sandwiches are pretty much to die for. I am unsure how many of their locations offer the ice cream, but I know their Collingswood location does.

Their newest addition to the stores are gluten-free and yeast-free breads. I am not too wild about them, but some loafs would make a great bread option for sandwiches. They also carry some breads that are hard to find vegan versions of like Challah bread. And if you aren’t into the sweets, they usually make a tomato pie once a day that is pretty tasty as well.


Which location is the best? Well, the Collingswood duh! It has ice cream! Okay, so each place has their own strong points. The Collingswood location is a little nice since it is slower and you can get a little bit more privacy. As mentioned, they have coffee, smoothies, juices, and ice cream. They will also appear at the Collingswood Farmer’s Market. I have sadly not been to the Bryn Mawr location, but from what I understand carried many of the same foods as the Collingswood location.

The Philadelphia location, from what I understand, mostly just does the baked goods. They may offer coffee, and the last time I checked doesn’t do the juice, smoothies, or ice cream. This location is pretty busy and you will probably see a bunch of people coming in and out. There is more seating as this location compared to their Collingswood location.


Overall I can say this is one of my favorite bakeries. I am aware if I bake a cake at home, it probably will be like more universally accepted as “cake like.” But I am not restricting the type of sugar I use or not excluding gluten. But I think their baked goods are sweet but have something light and addictive about them.

I think overall what I like about their baked goods is that I always feel great afterwards. I never feel “super horrible” after eating a chocolate cake, but I do feel a little sluggish. With Sweet Freedom’s sweets, I barely feel like I ate anything in the same way I feel after eating a piece of fruit. I love buying their agave sodas and a cookie sandwich and sneaking them into the movie theater. Much better than popcorn!

Who would I recommend checking this place out? Health food nuts who want great sweets and people who don’t like things too sweet will love this place! The owner does a great job taking complex flavors from the various flours and making them work with the featured flavor of the dessert. I may love this place, but I know that it isn’t for sugar junkies. If you dream cupcake is light fluffy and half frosting then turn around and bake something at home.

Sunday Reading 08-09-15 #48


Alexa is going a little cray-cray with the little bub app

Yesterday was a really good day. We woke up early, drove to the farm and picked up our share. We also picked up our parent’s share which meant I took some double shares for the food they normally don’t eat- like ground cherries and tomatillos. So that was pretty nice. We also then drove to the orchard and picked up some (okay a lot) of peaches. We also picked up some shiro plums, but they are SUPER ripe. I was so distracted about them being ripe I didn’t even think to make anything fancy with them until I was trying to find a page about them. Well, it looks like I am up to my neck in ripe fruit. Cantaloupe, blackberries, ground cherries, peaches and plums. Mmm…

Then we ended the night by hanging out with my friend Chrissy. She was house sitting for her sister, who lives in the burbs like us. So we made some burritos, she supplied the drinks, and talked for 5-6 hours. It was really nice considering we don’t hang out with people our age that often (at least when they aren’t related to us)

I think the overall crazy thing about keeping track of what I got from my CSA share is that I am very aware I eat it all. I never would of expected that. It also makes sense, I mean I am slashing out usually $30 from our grocery bills every week from all this produce. But we do eat things that don’t use farm produce, like bagels and oatmeal. So I wonder if I can eat everything up this week again. Though the red onion we got just looks too perfect to use.

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
11 tomatoes
1 large spaghetti squash
3 jalapenos
2 green bell peppers
14 beets
1 red onion
1 cantaloupe
1 pint blackberries
1 quarts green beans
1 quart ground cherries w/ husks
2 quarts purple tomatillos
1 quart sungold tomatoes
2 quarts cherry tomatoes
2 eggplants
16 pounds peaches
2 pounds shiro plums

What I’m cooking:
Kung Pao Style Beyond Chicken
Burritos with black beans, brown rice, baked tomatillo tofu, and salsa verde
Veganized spaghetti squash bake
Eggplant “Mac & Cheese”
Spaghetti and homemade cherry tomato sauce
Beet Bistro Burgers aka Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers
Possibly a peach pie or cobbler
Peach Smoothies
Shiro Plum Rye Smash

Reading for the Week:

So I’ve been looking for a fun Ghost Town to check out and found this story of Ong’s Hat. I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE these type of stories, urban legends. Do I believe it? Uh… not really, especially after reading the Wikipedia page about Ong’s Hat.

I tend not to love these “I’m a vegan hear my roar shirts” (should that be made into a shirt?) But I really like this Vegans are Magical Unicorn shirt.

Jezebel teaches us about types of nipples. Puffy winkie nipples represent!

A friend posted this article about a couple who are saving up majority of their income for retirement. I have to say, many things they do we do, and I find the article a nice reminder that we all don’t need so much “stuff.” Granted, they aren’t really “retiring” just saving up to pursue a slower lifestyle.

Speaking of spending money, I recently just bought some air plants for my wedding gift (air plant planters!) They shipped, so I am pumped to get them in the mail!

I love hearing about how different cultures are from each other. I guess it reminds us that we aren’t as globally connected as we like to think, I mean even within small communities age differences even creates cultural gaps. So I found this blog post about raising a baby in Spain really interesting.

Oh resting bitch face

Project 365: Days 213-219

Day 213: Tomatillos are in season, but you would never of guessed with all the weeds in their field! (hint look at the bottom, you can kind-of see the fruit)


Day 214: Went to a cousin’s baby’s first birthday. It was held at a park which was really nice since it wasn’t that popular (yet, it is a fairly new park). At one point Jon and I took a walk around and found these recently hatched caterpillars. I wonder what kind they are.


Day 215: I took a picture of one of my favorite South Jersey sites. My mother made me drive part way to Philadelphia from our hometown (where Alexa is). We pulled off into Martin’s Liquors to switch seats since she was going to drive in the city as I was still pretty new to driving. I couldn’t get over the liquor-store-dunkin-donuts combo! The funny thing is that there is a good amount of people who stop for the donuts! And they have a great selection of liquors, I even got Sage by Art in the Age. I’m going back for Rhubarb!


Day 216: Totally forgot to take a photo this day! Whomp whomp!

Day 217: Came home to find a toilet in front of my house. Nice…. it went away shortly.


Day 218: I didn’t have any cilantro for my salsa verde so I thought I would try putting in some sage. It’s a work in progress but hopefully will be posted on the blog.


Day 219: Love how the light is going through the plant. 


Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #20: B12, Why are you so complicated?!


Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaSo vitamin B12. Sometimes I read it has vegan sources, sometimes I read it is the only “non-vegan” vitamin. Why the heck is vitamin B12 so confusing?

Vitamin B12 is a complicated and confusing vitamin. The vitamin is important for brain and nerve function, and having a deficiency in B12 can result in some serious problems, from tingling in the hands and feet to the more extreme blindness, deafness, and dementia. So clearly you want to make sure you get it.

Most people use vitamin B12 as the example of why we need to eat meat. But when you look closer B12 is in our meats because the animals are almost always given shots of the vitamin. So that means they aren’t actually making it themselves. So where does B12 come from? There aren’t any plants, fungi, or animals that make B12. Instead there are specific bacteria that make the vitamin. It is one of the most complicated vitamin structures out there and is produced commercially using bacteria. 

There is some debate about how we and other animals even got the B12 vitamin naturally. Some make the argument that we as humans have lost the bacteria that produces B12 in our gut over time. But the most common agreement is that we as a society have gotten too good at cleaning our food. B12 is naturally found in streams and soil, where the bacteria live. We filter B12 out of our water as a by product of making our water drinkable. We wash our produce because crunchy dirt in salads suck. This would also explain why domesticated animals lack the B12 vitamin as they are drinking filtered water, and grains that are removed from the ground and brought inside. So basically supplementation of some sort is needed unless you want to drink water from streams and scarfing down dirt, which no one recommends. I also want to say that is is a little bit of an oversimplification, as each animal have their own way of getting vitamin B12 (sometimes poops is involved.)

But here is where it gets complicated. There are some vegan foods that contain B12, usually foods that are made with bacteria. Some kombucha, tempeh, and algae contain vitamin B12, but some people cite these sources as unreliable and doesn’t absorb all the way by the body. Supposedly there can be a pseudovitamin state for vitamin B12, making the whole thing really complicated.

B12 is often broken down when heat is applied to it. So even if you are eating meat, cooking it breaks down some of the B12. This would happen in tempeh or other B12 fortified foods like soy milk or nutritional yeast. This is something you will want to keep in mind when thinking about your B12 intake.

So what can a vegan do? Well, there are lots of different options for B12. Many foods are fortified with it. For example many vegan milks fortify it, and a cup can yield 50% of the B12 requirement. Make sure you check the label, as I found even within brands the levels vary. For example the Wegman’s soy milk has B12 but the almond milk does not. Red Star nutritional yeast is fortified with B12 as well. There is even fortified chewing gum, which I started to take a liking to.

Even with some of these products in my diet, I still take supplements. I take a mental note about what I had that day, and if I didn’t have enough milk, gum, or whatever I take a pill. There are many different supplements on the market, and many are vegan. There are supplements that are in liquid form. Some people prefer this form because it absorbs faster in the blood stream through the tongue, and cuts out the chance of lactose or gelatin being in the supplement. There are sprays and drops that are taken orally.

My Vegan Restaurant: P.S. & Co


P.S. & Co

1706 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
website | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter

I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about P.S. & Co. Many people on The PPK Forums have bashed the establishment for being overpriced and having rude cashiers. But the reviews on yelp seemed generally very good (but there were still complaining about an elitist atmosphere.) What should I think?

When I arrived, the place seemed huge. There is seating on the sidewalk, seating in the front where the cashier is. Then you can walk down the hallway to more seating in the back, which seems perfect for larger crowds. Once you are in the back you can see a hidden garden area. Yes, you can sit there. It is beautiful and secluded, though it is connected to an alley so someone might toss something in a dumpster, which happened at one point while I was sitting back there. (Note, it wasn’t a restaurant staffer, just a random person walking their dog)


The person helping me at the counter seemed nice and well education. She seemed to up to date with prices of the food, and reasons why. For example she was explaining why there was a price raise on the smoothies, as certain ingredients were having trouble with farming. She seemed to know regulars and was quick to help get a puppy some water.


I ordered the avocado nori roll ($6.45) and the salty dog cookie sandwich ($8.00). The wrap was really tasty, but the rice wasn’t quite sticky enough to hold the wrap together. As I was eating it, pieces of rice kept falling out (perhaps they should of had a blend of brown and black rice?). The flavors worked very well with each other. There was some avocado dip off to the side, which helped keep the rice in the wrap.

The cookie was amazing, and super filling. If I knew I probably would of just gotten the cookie as my main lunch. It is, I am faily certain, was a mostly raw cookie-wich. The outside tasted like it was made mostly from peanuts, almond meal, and dates. The filling is a little bit of a mystery to me, but I am guessing it was a caramely date paste with pecans butter.


I know what most of you are thinking- THAT COOKIE IS $8?! Well, I didn’t notice at the time because I probably would of opted for something cheaper like their tiny little macaroons. But this brings a great point. Organic can be cheap, sometimes not so much. And there are reasons why so many places don’t do all organic. Prices on the menu range from reasonable to absurd. No I don’t think the store is jacking up the price, they are pricing according to the cost of food.

So what should you do? I recommend sticking to coffee, tea, and their savory foods. Organic vegetables tend to overall be cheaper than fruits and nuts. I found their nori wrap yummy and comparable to the price of the sushi wraps at whole foods. I would get that wrap again in a heartbeat. Their desserts are on the higher price range, and I have to say that cookie was yummy and probably worth $8 worth of food, it was very filling guys.


So what’s the verdict? It might seem like a hard bullet to swallow for the such a high price for such casual dining, but you aren’t going to save that much more by making the exact same organic meal at home. You are also getting a great environment when you come there to eat. The back has a beautiful garden area, the seating is huge unlike most places in the city.

Yes, the prices might be high sometimes, but you just need to ask how much things are before ordering. I found everything light and refreshing, which is a style I like to eat sometimes. I plan on coming back, and not dine and dash. I plan on sitting down and enjoying myself, because that is the type of place it is. One that is inviting and relaxing. Anyone who claims that the staff is stuck up or elitist have their own problems. I found the place welcoming and comfortable. The food was delicious, I can’t think of many reasons not to come back.


A-Z Survey

So I, Jennifer, moved out to my new house. And we got the “basics” done. We have the kitchen unpacked enough to get dinner on the table without ordering out. I have clothes to change into, and the computer and TV is hooked up. So now I am stuck with all the “little stuff”, mostly needing new furniture…(hello trip to ReStore). Anyways, I needed to do some blogging, and didn’t have much time to do my normal stuff. Sometimes I like reading those mindless about me surveys. I filled it out with Alexa, so maybe you guys will find it fun.


A – Age:

Jen: 28
Alexa: 25

B – Biggest Fear:

Jen: Being up high with steep drops
Alexa: The ocean. Also the idea of “nothing”. Sometimes I think too much about the vastness of space and time and feel extraordinarily tiny, so then I go watch cat videos online to make myself feel better. 

C – Current Time:

Jen: 5:22 pm
Alexa: 1:34 pm

D – Drink You Had Last:

Jen: Green’s Tripel Blonde Ale (vegan & gluten-free btw) or water
Alexa: Water, Fit Aid (post work out), coffee (black, like my soul).

E – Easiest Person To Talk To:

Jen: Sometimes Jon, Sometimes Alexa.
Alexa: Sometimes Ian, Sometimes Jen (but also my *other* main squeeze Vreni). 

F – Favorite Song:

Jen: “Super Sexy Woman” – Sufjan Stevens
Alexa: “We Sink” – CHVRCHES

G – Grossest Memory:

Jen: Stepping into some cat barf right after taking a shower.
Alexa: Cleaning up cat barf, either that or a REALLY bad diaper change when I was babysitting little babies. So bad it’s been blocked from memory…

H – Hometown:

Jen: Fair Haven
Alexa: Rumson


I – In Love With:

Jen: Ma bb Toulouse— and my husband Jon.
Alexa: Miso, my cat, my soul mate. I like Ian too.

J – Jealous Of:

Jen: People who have the time, certain type of job, and perfect hair for dying it crazy colors. 
Alexa: ^ what she said!

K – Kindest Person You Know:

Jen: Hands down Alexa. (Alexa, don’t feel like you HAVE to say me, I know I am a horrible person)
Alexa: 1) I’m so totally flattered right now!! 2) Jen is definitely on my list no matter what she says, Ian is also absolutely on the list. He’s almost too kind for his own good.

L – Longest Relationship:

Jen: Friendship- Justine, Romantic- my husband Jon.
Alexa: Friendship – Morgan, Romantic – Ian


M – Middle Name:

Jen: Christine
Alexa: Helen

N – Number of Siblings:

Jen: Two older sisters
Alexa: 1 Brother, 1 Half-Brother & Half-Sister, 2 Step Siblings (brother and sister, my step-mother’s kids), and 3 MORE Step Sibling (1 sister and 2 brothers, my step father’s kids). 

O – One Wish:

Jen: Magically all my packed boxes would go into the right spots in the house, and furniture would magically appear where I need it.
Alexa: That I could be moved out of my parents’ house and have my own room for making art. 

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last:

Jen: Telemarketer. Lame.
Alexa: Ian!

Q – Question You’re Always Asked:

Jen: “You’ll never ever eat a hot dog again? Ever!?” Feel free to insert bacon, hamburger, turkey, etc.
Alexa: “You really like cats don’t you?” 

R – Reason To Smile:

Jen: Toulouse is getting use to the new house and is hanging out near me.
Alexa: I snuggled with my cat last night and had a delicious vegan breakfast!!!

S – Song You Last Sang:

Jen: “Apa” by 2NE1
Alexa: “Take My Love and Run” by Bad Suns

T – Time You Woke Up:

Jen: 6:30 am
Alexa: 8:00 am

U – Underwear Color:

Jen: Grey with black leopard spots
Alexa: Grey with stars all over them. 

V – Vacation Destination:

Jen: Going back to Bar Harbor for Hiking, or going a tour of Eastern Asian (South Korean, Japan, China, etc)
Alexa: A tropical Island, Japan, Disney

W – Worst Habit:

Jen: Drinking too much before dinner, drunk chopping = bad.
Alexa: Picking at my finger nails and then my fingers.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had

Jen: None, well my teeth.
Alexa: Teeth!

Y – Your Favorite Food

Jen: Beer, Calzones (yey new big kitchen for making vegan calzones!), and Ice Cream.
Alexa: Sushi, Ice Cream, Tacos (veggie friendly of course)…I’m just gunna stop there…

Z – Zodiac Sign:

Jen: Taurus, I don’t really believe all this sort of “when you are born” sort of stuff, though The Secret Language, totally hits me right on the nail. So creepy guise!
Alexa: Astrological: Capricorn   Chinese Zodiac: Border of Snake and Horse

Sunday Reading 08-02-15 #47

This week has kept me unexpectedly busy. I guess I am still trying to get into a certain groove with the new house. I remember it taking awhile for me to get use to the old apartment and find things “natural” to do. I’ve also fallen off my workout routine. My foot was a little tender and I though “I’m running too much, I’ll just take it easy before the move.” Then I found I had no time to work out, anyways. Then while moving a dropped a very heavy duty poster roll on my foot and bruised it pretty badly. But I pretty much moved boxes up and down two flights of stairs the next day, and continued moving things and painting, and I even walked 2-3 miles in the city with a very soar foot. It probably would of been fine by now it I took care of it originally. So because of my foot and moving I haven’t worked out in THREE WEEKS! I did a light workout today and man did it suck. I took lots of breaks but I think I feel better overall.

I am now feeling pretty pooped. I went to a cousin’s first birthday party and it was outside. There was a nice pavilion to provide shade and it wasn’t too humid. But I think the heat was getting to me, and I am now ready for a nap. I hope everyone like the reading material this week.

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 quart sungold tomatoes
1 quart tomatillos
1 pint blackberries
1 quart green beans
2 heads garlic
1/2 bag swiss chard
3 asian eggplants
5 small tomatoes
18 small beets
2 bell peppers
1 small yellow squash
3 jalapenos
1 small cucumber
2 small onions
1 lb carrots
1 bunch of green onions

What I’m cooking:
Cherry Tomato Cobbler
Black Bean Tempeh and Squash Stir-fry
Spicy Dragon Noodle Salad
Roasted Beets as Lunch Side
Black Bean and Salsa Verde Tacos
Swiss Chard and white beans in a tahini dressing
Tofu Mapo from Vegan Eats World

Reading for the Week:

This kick-ass women is going to be the first female assistant coach in the NFL. Other cool stuff about her? She is the first women with a non-kicking position to play in the Indoor Football League.

Guys, I know that it is sad that Cecil the Lion died, but I have to agree with this article, it is time to stop harassing Walter Palmer. Yeah, he did a horrible thing, but he isn’t only guy who has killed a living thing in a dishonorable way. This should bring everyone attention to a terrible hobby that still exists today. There are better ways to use your rage, like signing a petition making it illegal to transport “trophies” on major airlines. Walter Palmer is a dick, but there are lots of other assholes killing innocent animals.

Apparently there is a pizza chain that will be offering daiya cheese! Sadly all the pizza places that offered daiya we moved further away from (Blackbird Pizzeria and Bricco) so I was excited to see that Mod Pizza will be opening a location 10 minutes away from our house!

These waffle photos make me think of dutch still life oils. o___o Can I buy a print?

This art installation is super cray! I would love to see this in person.

Videos of the week:

I am not sure why I found this video so interesting. Maybe it is because most artists know that blue is the hardest color to dye, which is pretty much the reason why you don’t see it often in ancient paintings or clothing. It is also interesting to read about how reptiles and amphibians gets that green color.

I am going to make a very controversial statement on the health food blogging sphere- I don’t think non-organic food and GMOs make us sick. There I said it! But I think what is being said in this is less about whether organic is better than conventionally grown food, and more about the ideas of “clean” and “dirty” foods. I think it is a great thing to be aware of because it can be really damaging psychologically. I also like to point out that some people were saying “isn’t organic food dirtier?” which is kind-of true. But I think people still lean towards the beautiful pristine specimens in supermarkets. There is a huge difference between the organic carrots I buy in the supermarket (just peel and go!) compared to the carrots from my CSA (wash, peel under running water, rinse again, and go- oh wait shit there is still dirt on them, damn it!). This is why I think the organic movement is so much stronger than the local movement.

Going with this theme of organic and GMOs aren’t bad for your health, I share this video from SciShow. I am glad that they address, what I think, is the big issues of GMO farming. Cross contamination, lawsuits, big corporations, environmental impact. Although I don’t like how Hank Green pulls the “BUT WE HAVE BEEN MANIPULATING PLANTS FOREVER!” argument, really very different from selective breeding and DNA guns. I still avoid GMOs, but it is more for ethics than health.

And last is a pick from both Alexa and I. When I tell people I had friends who dumpster dived they always think it is gross, but it kind-of wasn’t. They were pretty much just picking out crackers and such that were individually wrapped from the back of super markets. Sure they did it because it was cheap (but I think technically illegal) but also because many were aware of how much food is wasted in America. I know I am pretty good about eating and buying what I need. Rarely do I throw out old food. But even still, a lot of food gets wasted in grocery stores or on farms.