My Vegan Restaurant: Charlie was a Sinner


Charlie was a Sinner

131 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Located between Walnut Street and Samson
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I am a very big fan of Chalie was a Sinner, but I am aware it isn’t a place that I go to often. It is fairly high end, and your bill can build up pretty fast. My recent trip added up to $90 for two people (not including tip). But on the flip side, if you are just going to drinks with friends, you can enjoy fine cocktails and drinks without it getting too crazy financially. It is also a great bar to go to with a friend who doesn’t drink alcohol, as there are virgin cocktails that put a Shirley Temple to shame.

Charlie was a Sinner is a seasonal tapas bar. So whatever I put into this review may not be on the menu when you go. I’ve been twice, and some drinks have changed, and all their desserts have changed (previously was flan, hot cocoa, and some baked fruit with ice cream if you are wondering). Having seasonal dishes assures that you will get the best tasting food.


The setting really sells the place. The lighting is really low, so that made photography a little hard (hence why there is only photos of drinks and the outside). The room is colored with royal blues and turquoise, and the place is decked in fine wood and upholstered seating. There is seating in the front for more casual drinks, while there is some seating in the back for dining. In the back there are hanging chandeliers and an abstract video projection.

Waiting staff has always been helpful, and generous. The first time I went we were accidentally given the wrong dessert, and started to eat it. They apologized and gave it to us free of charge, along with the correct dessert. When we went the second time, we got lots of feedback about how much to order, which dishes were delicious, and the waiter was very knowledgeable about the liquors.

I don’t go out for drinks often, so I can easily justify the higher prices. And their cocktails are truly exceptional, once you try one, you will get quite fussy about cocktail quality. Even better is that they rotate their drinks for the seasons, so every time I go there’s always something new to try. Of course, it can be hard to pick since there are many mixers that I tend not to know before hand. Try not to let that scare you, and feel free to ask the servers. They will probably know.

That being said, the list below are the drinks and food that we had while there recently. As mentioned I’ve been twice but the first time I was there I wasn’t taking notes about the cocktails I drank or the desserts we ate. Nor were the desserts still available the second time I went. So the reviews below are to help people who will visit soon and give an idea about the quality and style of food and drinks that they offer.

cauliflower panna cotta, apple horseradish vinaigrette
Our server suggested starting with a salad, so we ended up getting the beet salad since it seemed like something we would never do at home. The salad was interesting since there was some greens tossed in a vinaigrette and topped with the cauliflower panna cotta. The beets came in a jar off on the side. The two worked beautifully together, though I would of liked a little more flavor from the panna cotta.

habanero aioli, radish, tarragon, red onion
My husband wanted to try this dish badly. I was skeptical of paying so much for such a simple dish, but we ordered. Let me say it went beyond my expectations. The dish seems simple enough, toast, avocado, onion and aioli. The toast was more like bruschetta by being served on toasted baguette slices. The avocado was perfectly ripe as well, which probably makes or breaks the dish. The aioloi adds a kick of heat without giving a Mexican influenced vibe.

dashi aioli, shiitake, chili relish
The best way to describe this dish is to call it a tofu sushi roll without rice. Although the dish was incredibly tasty, I am not sure if it fits with the other dishes that we picked out. The other ones are very western while this tofu roll had lots eastern flavors with the chili relish and dashi aioli.

garlic truffle aioli, parsley breadcrumb
Perfection is the best way to describe the asparagus. The size of the asparagus was a little thick, which usually results in a stringy dish. But they were cooked perfectly where they could be easily cut into but didn’t have a bitter overcooked taste. The aioli adds a perfect little burst of flavor, while the breadcrumbs add a nice texture.

hazelnut-tomato vinaigrette
The name can be decieving. I was expecting a bean that was like a butter bean or a fava bean. But they were more like green beans. At first I wasn’t a big fan since the beans were very mature and a little woody, reminding me of green beans from my farm when a crop is on their last legs. But the hazelnut-tomato vinaigrette saved the dish. The tomato was in a thick paste, which gave a punch of flavor. Although I would preferred a more tender bean, I might try making a dish that’s similar on my own.


green chartreuse, wheatgrass
When working at Animo I use to try and take wheatgrass shots regularly, but when I got out of the habit I found the smell revolting. So when I saw this drink on the menu I thought it must be amazing, right? Or why would something so gross be on the menu? I asked the server and he seemed to genuinely enjoy the taste. He also raved about the liquor in the drink, 130 different herbs infused for 8 hours by monks. The drink definitely tastes like wheatgrass, but much sweeter. It honestly tastes like the smell of freshly cut grass, flower and all. The chartreuse cuts through the weird earthy flavors in wheatgrass, making a well rounded drink.

tobacco infused johnnie walker black, carpano antica, cherry heering, orange bitters
DUMMY’S GUIDE: tobacco infused scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liquor, and orange bitters
This drink is a strong one. If you like to taste you whiskey in your whiskey sour, you’ll enjoy this drink. It is served in an old fashion glass (the same in the photo above) with a large ice cube. The drink will get most of the sweetness from the carpano antica (sweet vermouth) and cherry heering (cherry liquor) which helps keep the drink strong.


lemongrass infused beefeater, yellow chartreuse, lemon
DUMMY’S GUIDE: gin, yellow chartreuse (no seriously don’t know what to compare this to), and lemon
If I had to describe this to someone who only gets common cocktails, I would say this is a tom collins served like a whiskey sour. Okay so it isn’t served in an old fashioned like a whiskey sour. But it is strong and a little sour like a whiskey sour. There isn’t any added sugar like a tom collins would be, but instead the sweetness comes from the yellow chartreuse. The lemongrass blends perfectly with gin, making a drink the feels light, but packs a lot of booze.

bulleit, tea infused dolin blanc, lillet, fig
DUMMY’S GUIDE: bourbon, vermouth, aperitif wine, and fig
Pretty much this is a variation of a Manhattan. The difference is that there isn’t any bitters, and has a hint of fig flavor. I would probably say this was the most boring of all the cocktails that we had. Not to mention the fig doesn’t photograph well (it kind-of looks pathetic on that glass).

Some of the drinks listed seem to vary in descriptions on older blogs. I can only assume that the cocktails change as liquors are available. I like how they are willing to give rarer, small batch liquors a try and therefore your drink might not be exactly the same as a few months ago. I love the wide range of drinks and aperitifs to choose from (simply put a liquor or wine that is drank before or after a dinner).

My Honeymoon: Portland Maine


On May 18th, 2013 I tied the knot with Jon. I always felt that we were “married” earlier than that, we were committed to each other for some time. In my head we were married, but we thought we would hold off the legal stuff since we were young and poor. We’ve come a long way, having an awesome wedding that was featured on A Practical Wedding, and may be featured in a local eco-friendly magazine called Grid (I am SUPER excited about this!) And now, we are taking the next step and BUYING A HOUSE! Well, we are looking at a townhouse that is part of a development, so in some ways we will be owning a HUGE condo. But we are in the early stages so I am trying hard not to jinx it by looking for furniture on Ikea. (This will be for our deck, dining room table, and this will hold our drinking glasses and cookbooks) I blogged about my wedding last year, so this year on our two year anniversary I thought it would be appropriate to talk about our honeymoon in two parts.

We are starting on our first leg of the trip- Portland Maine. The plan was to drive a most of the trip to Portland Maine, and spend two nights there. Then we would drive a few more hours to Bar Harbor for majority of our trip. I recommend taking a similar plan of action if you want to drive up to Maine from New Jersey. There is so much to do in Portland, and we even went during the “off season” when a lot museums, stores, and sites were closed until Memorial Day. So this my humble “tour guide.”


I made a post about my wedding last year, but I didn’t mention how it rained. The only thing I worried about with the wedding was rain during the ceremony. It was the only thing I dreaded. I really didn’t want the ceremony to be done in a tent, once the reception started, LET IT POUR! And I lucked out- sort of. We got through our ceremony and it started to drizzle as we started our reception line. The rain was light enough for photos which was nice. Then we rocked out the rest of the night in tent. It rained and rained the next day as we spent it with my Nanna and Pappy, and tying up loose ends. So on Monday when we started our honeymoon to Maine we were happy to see bright skies. I mean look at that photo above! SO BRIGHT!

Yeah, it was sunny for the drive. By the time we got to Portland, a light drizzle started. No big deal right? Yeah, it rained everyday during the trip. We still managed to have fun, and it gave us incentive to go back for more hiking. It is also worth noting that my vegan journey was a little bit of a waffling period. I was transitioning to a stricter vegan diet, but I occasionally still had fish, eggs, and didn’t cut out honey yet. So keep that in mind with some of the restaurants and links I share.

Left to right, top to bottom: Flowers in our B&B room; Picture of the B&B we stayed in; View from our room; Funny sign in the designated parking space

Left to right, top to bottom: Flowers in our B&B room; Picture of the B&B we stayed in; View from our room; Funny sign in the designated parking space

Portland was really awesome. I remember going a few times when I was younger, and I kept hearing from the locals about how much it has changed for the better the last few years. It really made me think of Philadelphia since it too has a bustling farm to table scene, lots of vegan grub, and has a recovering downtown. I joked that it was like Philadelphia only with wider roads and less cars (and cars that stop for you… what the heck?!) We stayed at the Inn at Park Spring Portland, and they were very nice and accommodated my dietary restrictions. It was in a great walking distance from everything, which was super nice. The first night I thought to not dress up since it was raining (not knowing it would rain everyday) and accidentally went to a really high end restaurant. They were nice and still served us, and treated us quite well! We went to Five Fifty-Five, which is totally not vegan, but the restaurant we wanted to go to was closed on Mondays. We walked around town, bought beer for the hotel room and called it a night.

The first day started with a house tour of the Victoria Mansion which was ah-may-zing! I loved going on the house tours in Newport, and this Mansion had an amazing history. The houses in Newport were huge but didn’t contain most of it’s original furniture. But the Victoria Mansion had some of the furniture looted when it was not being lived in, but once they made announcements that they were going to open it up as a museum, they found some of the original possessions returned in the middle of the night.

After that tour we went to Green Elephant which is a mostly vegan restaurant. The interior was beautiful but everyone was pretty laid back. The food was light and delicious, a great lunchtime meal. What I really love about the place is that they have lots of different types of Asian inspired foods. It wasn’t like Chinese take out, but you could still get eggrolls, stir-fries, and noodles. But there were big soup bowls or even curries.


We then then walked over the Portland Museum of Art. It was a nice size. I am so use to big museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art of Philadelphia Museum of Art, so visiting a smaller museum was kind-of nice. It was nice to see all the exhibits in one trip, but I know there will be new things to see on the next trip since they have rotating galleries. BONUS TIP: A member of AAA? Show your card and you get a discount… at least we did two years ago. It won’t hurt to try, we only knew about it since the lady at the desk was nice personally asked us.

We had some time to kill so we walked around the town. Even though it was raining, it wasn’t too bad. Sadly we came before Memorial Day so many places were closed, or closed by 5. If you are a thrifty person there were lots of eco-friendly and second hand shops. One place we really liked was Yes Books. It was a used bookshop with LOT and LOTS of books. I mean loads. We spent a good hour or two there, till we thought it would be a good time to grab dinner.

We had dinner at Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company as a friend recommended it. Sadly the beer is not vegan, but they offer other beers by other local breweries. The staff was REALLY nice, and I am sure it might of helped we were not at the height of tourist season. At one point they brought out the wrong appetizer but were hungry so we didn’t mind and didn’t say anything. The waitress notice, and brought out the dish anyways on the house, even though we said we didn’t mind (since we ate majority of the whole dish already) Many people there seemed like locals, which was kind-of nice to see in a very touristy area. There are lots of vegetarian options, and some foods can easily made vegan. I ended up getting the Veggie Reuben with no cheese or ranch. Even without those two components, the sandwich was AMAZING.


The next morning we planned on checking out of our Bed and Breakfast, and heading over to Bar Harbor. Our room had a tacky little cartoon map of Portland. It was one that probably sells ad space to business to be listed and shared around at hotels. On the map I saw Honeymaker– a meadery. I was starting to learn about it from my fermentation book, so I was curious to check it out.

Although honey isn’t vegan, I understand that not everyone who reads my blog isn’t vegan. The only reason why I am still mentioning them for my trip is because they use sustainable practices, use local honey, and had really unique mead. If anyone has tried mead in the past, they probably have tasted something that was thick and insanely sweet. Honeymaker ages their honey, trying to make it dry like a wine. We fell in love with them and bought a box of mead, which we still have one bottle left.

The cool thing about Honeymaker was that it was on the other side of town, making it fairly easy to drive to Whole Foods to pick up some lunch on the go. The location of Whole Foods is great because it is quick to jump on the highway towards Bar Harbor.

Overall, what my husband and I loved about Portland is how walkable it was. It was drizzling on and off the entire time we were there, but the area was so beautiful that it made it okay. Everything is within a mile, and therefore walkable. Some areas were a little rough, and it is obvious that Portland has lots of homeless people. It would be nice to visit again and to see if some the areas have changed.


Green Elephant : 608 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101 : vegetarian/vegan
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company : 396 Fore Street Portland, ME 04101 : vegetarian/vegan friendly
Honeymaker : 51 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04101 : vegetarian drinks
Whole Foods : 2 Somerset St, Portland, ME 04101 : Veg-Vegan Options


Inn at Park Spring Portland : 135 Spring St, Portland, ME 04101 : will accommodate dietary restrictions
Portland Museum of Art : 7 Congress Square Portland, Maine 04101
Victoria Mansion : 109 Danforth Street Portland, ME 04101
Yes Books : 589 Congress St Portland, ME 04101

Sunday Reading 05-24-15 #37


Hey guys. Alexa came down to visit yesterday and we went to Flying Fish Brewery which was a lot of fun. I really like major breweries that have nice tasting rooms to make a cheap day-drinking bar. We will be posting a more in depth review of it, this week.

Alexa’s little brother Trevor James is performing in the Crossfit Games yesterday in the Northeat regionals. He is currently ranked number 10 but ranked first in the fifth event! Trevor snatched a record breaking 279 lbs! Whoo! There is a little article on the Crossfit website here and here

Fun Stuff:

So I saw these cool shades on Dita Von Teese’s instagram account. Loving them.

This dress is just amazing.

These photos are just amazing by Kaylah.

One of the photographers from my wedding keeps a blog where he photographs local restaurants. One of recent posts is about his vegan parents. I love it.

Smart Stuff:

New York Times wrote and interesting article about how lack of exercise can mess up your circadian rhythm. The study made me think of my cat, and I wonder if she get consistent enough exercise. Which gives me more motivation to get a bigger place to more space to run and exercise.

SciShow shares a study where flies were showing signs of fear! It was a really cool study and challenges if bugs have emotions.

Feeling a little blue? Thinking about how hard it is to get a house, pay rent, and so on? Well, I think I mentioned briefly that my husband and I are looking for a house and once crunching the numbers what we could afford has gone down because taxes were so high. Apparently they are much higher than everyone else. The New Jersey average is $8,000 for property tax, only 0.2 homeowners in the whole of the United States pay that much! Not looking for pity, just a good “at least it isn’t that bad” thing to tell yourself.

Project 365: Days 136-142

Day 136: Jon made me a chocolate cake with chocolate icing from the Oh She Glows cookbook. It was pretty darn tasty, but I would have to say just a little bit dry and a little too sweet for the icing.


Day 137: For my actual birthday Jon took me to Charlie is a Sinner for a birthday/wedding anniversary celebration. Man was it pricey but it was super yummy. A review will be coming up!


Day 138: Thought this cute little lawn decoration was cute


Day 139: My bosses bought a tiki light to give their friend who has a little tiki bar in their backyard. They happen to put a bunch of plants in front of him and made it look like a little miniature jungle.


Day 140: A close up of a tin frame from work.


Day 141: We are working on getting our old jewelry up from my work. I had to photograph all the jewelry and will be posting it online, most likely on Amazon or Story Envy. I love how bendy our little earring stand is.


Day 142: My boss was reframing her pastel drawing. She wanted to do a before an after since she was pulling out all the stops with the frame job, bevel accents, fillets everything. So we took some photos, and although they look simple enough we had to do a bunch of modifications to prevent glare and get a good angle of the picture.

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Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #16: Why Should I Give a Fuck About Bees?


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!

asksalexaBy definition honey isn’t vegan, but I honestly have a hard time giving a crap! What are some good reasons to stop consuming honey and beeswax?

Those damned bees, being so damned productive and good at their damned jobs. Before going vegan I didn’t give two shits about honey or beeswax. I’d pass by stands and give a big yawn. For years I never check honey on my no-no list, and honestly I am sure I didn’t consume that much since I never actively bought honey.

Then I learned about mead and fermentation. I suddenly became obsessed about honey and making mead. It was a miracle drink, one could sweeten a cocktail with more booze! It was amazing. Till one day I asked myself, why should I care about bees? Do we really harm them to farm honey? And naturally I wondered about how “domesticated” honeybees and how they shape the environment. Now I am finding myself eliminating honey from my diet, which I am finding to be incredibly hard.

Vegans have very different views and boundaries, which can cause some arguments in the community. Bees, oysters, and many other invertebrates get the short end of the stick. Many people who adopt a vegan diet for health tend to include honey in their diet. Some vegans will eat oysters and other bi-valves since their nervous system is drastically different, and in theory don’t feel pain. Some vegans would argue that by not eating honey or bi-valves we are drawing clear and distinct lines. Some would argue that we truly don’t know how much pain we are causing to these animals. And some will argue that exploitation is still exploitation.

Humans like to think that the smaller the animal the smaller of a life it has. But insects can have incredibly long and complex lives. For example the queen bee can live as long as seven years while other bees live much shorter lives ranging from a few weeks to half of a year. Bees have complex social systems (like humans) and have a precise way of sharing information through dance. Their dance shares sources of pollen, and will calculate the change of the position of the sun.

What makes honey and bees wax a hard sell to stop consuming is that bees aren’t as adorable as puppies. But in many ways we should find bees very relatable. They have a complicated form of communication, they have a complex social structure, and they probably have a range of emotion. Yes, scientific research is showing that bees have emotions. And it makes sense for an animal to form emotions when they have a strict social structure. And if bees do have emotions, then maybe they don’t like having their wings clipped or being artificially inseminated.

Many people rationalize that bees don’t NEED the honey. Surely there is enough to go around, right? Well, the answer is not really. To put into perspective how important honey is to bees, some species die once they sting an enemy to protect their honey. If the hive is destroyed, the bees quickly gobble up their weight in honey so they can build up their reserves again in their new colony. Anyone who has done beekeeping and have collected honey will tell you that you have to feed the bees with a cheap sugar syrup– meaning we need to replace what we took from the bees.


But what about keeping the bees alive? We are constantly hearing about how bees are dying off and it might seem that honey consumption would be a great excuse to help keep bees alive. But this isn’t necessarily true. At least in the United States, our bees used in farming are not native. They have been imported from Europe, and clearly the flowers and fruit that occur naturally in the US have pollenated just fine. In fact some produce cannot be pollenated by domesticated bees (such as early spring blooms like blueberries), and I am sure if you have been at a farm or CSA, you probably haven’t seen a bee hive. Keep in mind that pollination can be done naturally with bees, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, and humans.

There is a difference between bee farming for honey production, and pollination. Honey farming probably isn’t what you are picturing in your mind, it more similar to cows, bees are farmed in different ways according to their purpose. The honey we eat comes from bees that are confined to specific crops. Each plant will effect the taste of honey, so humans pick the food for bees. So when you buy honey it isn’t going to help pollenate almond trees. When bees are raised for pollination, it usually implies that their colony will be shipped long distance to pollenate a crop. Sometimes the bees aren’t coming back. A lot of bees get shipped to pollenate almond trees, and they have had negative effects on bee colonies. The dependence of domesticated bees have actually caused a decline of native bees, which are better for pollination since they are less susceptible to diseases.

TL:DR; Honey isn’t vegan because

  1. It doesn’t fit the definition, it is an animal by product
  2. Bees need the honey to survive, and humans provide alternate foods to keep colonies going
  3. Bees colonies are incredibly complex and intelligent
  4. Bees may have emotions.
  5. Most produce don’t need domesticated bees for pollination
  6. Domesticated bees usually lead to declines to native bees, endangering native plants.

As far as I am concerned there are lots of reasons to reduce consumption of bee products. But it can be hard since we eat honey and use beeswax in many other contexts. We rub beeswax on our hands and on our lips. It can also be used in lost-wax casting, candles, art, bow making, sewing threads, shoe laces, etc, etc. The list is so long that it will be featured in next week’s Alexa Asks.

Sunday Reading 05-17-15 #36


I’ve been in a weird mood lately. I think it is mostly the weather and stress. The weather has been hot and muggy, and I am mentally not getting use to it. Is that weird? It is like my body and brain is just giving a big ol’ nope when it comes to productivity. Shopping around for a house has been weird. We don’t have much money, which means very little to choose from. And then there is the concept of resale value. My god, resale value. It is enough to rip out your soul and personality. I think that concept alone is enough to make me hate house hunting. Seriously.

BUUUUUT…… it is my birthday and I am pumped for that. I was able to go for a run this morning, we went to an open house (which is probably confirming our need for a house over a townhouse), and for dinner we are going into Philadelphia for a dinner at Charlie Was A Sinner. Yesterday, we made a chocolate 2 layer cake and pizza. So life is good in that sense. 


These photos of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by Kaylah are awesome.

Some of these hotel rooms are amazing– I mean some are sleeping in little spheres in the forest!

I heard I’m Sorry by Inflatable Boy Clams on the radio on the way home on Friday and it just made my day.

For real, this bathing suit is art. Ugh, I hate loving one pieces so much. They suck when you have to pee.

For those who are into the culinary arts, and photography, I’m drooling over these Shiitake Bok Choy dumplings.

Kanaho’s Show has posted a bunch of posts with great photography. My two favorite collections are MIZUHO and TOKYO.


I love hearing about new species.

Reading this article that defends coffee is nice and refreshing. So many people and health nuts are quick to dismiss coffee as a bad thing, though I still think it can be bad if you are dependent on it for energy. I never feel “buzzed” when drinking coffee, and I only notice that my hand get jittery because I just keep drinking for the flavor. XD


So it is worth noting that I (Jennifer) am not a huge comic book SUPERHERO fan. It isn’t like I hate it, just never got into American comics in that way. But Alexa on the other hand is very into comics, and reads some of the superheroes. But even still, I don’t watch the new superhero blockbusters, but I knew there were some hubbub about Black Widow. I read a few articles and I think NPR wrote a great article, which sums up how I feel about what I HAVE seen with superhero women. The article made me feel inspired to write a post of one of my favorite comics, Ray. So hopefully that will be up later this week.

Huffington Post wrote a small piece playing off the phrase “gives zero fucks“.

Flashback Summer writes two interesting posts about people of color wearing vintage clothing. I love vintage, and I love vegan food, both are online communities that are associated with white people. Emileigh sets it up by interviewing pinup girls of color and ask them about the issues they face and why they think there are less people of color that are into vintage clothing.

Project 365: Days 129-135

Day 129: Jon and I went house hunting, and I had been forbidden from bringing my camera since that might be a little overboard. So I snapped a quick shot of this cool luna moth with Jon’s iPhone. Apparently they are a common moth, but it is rare to see them in their adult form since they only live for a week!


Day 130: Spent Mother’s Day with my Mother in Law, who recently planted new flowers. This one is a variety of columbine. I also took close up photos of their “junk” bird sculpture by Sugar Post.


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Day 131: Some flowers in my apartment complex, figuring out photography of flowers. It has been surprisingly hard!


Day 132: Some moodly looking tacos after a super hard work out from Orange Theory.


Day 133: Took a photo of one of the gargoyles that my boss collects at work.


Day 134: My boss has been busy gardening and landscaping lately. So far the only flowers that are in bloom was this guy. I am pretty excited to see what grows since he is a certified master gardner.


Day 135: Photographed the flowers in front of my apartment.


Sunday Reading 05-11-15 #35


Hey guys, sorry to the delayed Sunday Reading post. I mentioned how my husband and I are looking for a house right? Well, things have been tense and stressful since this is HUGE FUCKING DEAL! I feel like the typical American steps are to go to college, then buy a car, get a paying job, rent an apartment, then get a house. Sure there are odd steps in between or you might go to one step before the other (both Jon and I got apartments before getting a car) but each time to do it you get a big heavy weight on your chest as you are signing the papers and handing money to strangers.

Well, my point is that yesterday my husband had a panic attack of “OH GOD WE CAN’T AFFORD THIS!” which he never does, so I started to freak out. It isn’t hard for me to freak out since I am usually the first to start to freak out about our income. But luckily we sat down with his father, hashed out our income and found out, yes we couldn’t afford the houses we were looking at, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what we thought. The biggest blow? We COULD afford our dream house if we lived in another state, the taxes in New Jersey are just colossal. 

Speaking of houses, the picture above is from one we were looking at. It was a pretty sweet house, and I just wanted cut off some of it and drop it into a different house. They had a cool sun room that had french doors that led into the kitchen (which was AH-mazing)  and it had this funny mini statue of liberty lamp. But the house was 1) totally out of price range, and 2) not very kid friendly so it was booted from out shopping list.

Well, we got over our “it sucks to be a millennial” freakout and we are happily enjoying ourselves again. Thought I can’t wait till we buy this house and start saving money again… one of the things we aren’t buy to save money is beer. It is driving me a little nuts. But on the plus, I am sober and learning a bunch, and loosing some belly because of less calories consumed. Anyways, here are some fun things on the internet.


Um… these beetroot tartlets look AMAZING! I am thinking about making them when we get our first harvest of beet at my CSA… just three more weeks. Can’t wait till the end of May!

A super short article about how people are trying to preserve the cacao plant.

Jon is making me a cake for my birthday, and I have been craving a good old fashioned layered cake. I don’t know how long it has been since going vegan. I just can’t decide on which cake I want though! Any help guys?


An interesting article about stress and sugar cravings, basically saying that sugar helps reduce the effects of stress. BUT they don’t mean it in a good way. The funny thing is that I know someone who eat LOTS of sugar, and all the symptoms made me think of this person.

A great opinion blog post from Sayward about chilling out about nutrition. I use to work in a healthy based fast food restaurant and I was constantly being bombarded with facts and opinions about health. It became clear pretty fast there was a lot of facts that contradict each other. Or people who would make bad decisions because they wanted the “healthiest” option without weighing their options. So many times I’ve been asked “What is the healthiest drink?” The real answer was “depends on what you body needs” but no one wants to hear that. 

NPR wrote a great article about miscarriages and their stigma in society. I think people need to be more open about it to prevent any misconceptions, and provide emotional help.

Gertie is going to release a body positive sketch book for designing clothing. I am loving it since she is making it possible to add or take for each individual body types!


Any noise fans out there? I know I am in the minority, but I found this article really interesting. As a fan of experimental music, and noise music (which is pretty much just a type of experimental music) I was drawn into this article about Japanese Noizu. Oh boy… it is definitely noizy

I wish I had $140 to drop on these cute Margot and Richie dolls! It makes me think of my engagement shoot.

Don’t want a box of chocolates? Try out these box of succulents!

Kaylah has some great photographs of a bunch of cute little guys. One being a tiny little flying squirrel, so cute!

Jamie is having a fun reading bingo game! I might try it out.

Any cake suggestions for my husband to make for birthday? I can never get sick of a classic two layer cake.

Project 365: Days 122-128

Day 122: It was my nieces “unsleepover” birthday party. Which pretty much meant everything was breakfast themed. People wore PJs, ate scrambled eggs, and played this weird donut on a string game.


Day 123: I have fallen in love with this huge bow from Target


Day 124: So excited to give my Mom-in-law this Vegan Cuts Mother’s Day Box. I am also falling in love with the new wrapping paper I got from Target. 


Day 125: Tummy rubs please?


Day 126: I made some tofu scramble for niece’s birthday and had tons of leftovers. So we made scrambled egg sandwiches with curry mustard spread and lightly pickled cabbage.


Day 127: When my boss goes on vacation to Virginia he lovingly brings back pork brains in milk gravy… yum?


Day 128: Took some photos for my Mother’s Etsy shop of Tobacco silks. Is this just an American sort of thing? It seemed like her knitting/sewing friends from Europe found these super fascinating, but they were kind-of just like Victorian baseball cards for housewives of the time.


Kimchi Lentil Pasta


I am officially pooped today. My work is located in a housing development, which is weird since it is zoned as commercial. Well, the development has a yearly yard sale, and my boss decided to unload all his family inherited stuff. So I went to work an hour early and just spent the days… doing something… I just couldn’t tell you. Oh wait, I remember listen to sexists jerk make comments about those “poor women” who had to use the old irons as they were so heavy that they wouldn’t have energy to make dinner for their men. No. fucking. joke.


Needless to say all my mental energy was used on making sure I didn’t clobber the guy, and now I am ready for a nap. Which this meal would be a perfect dish to make on day like this. A lot of these ingredients I always have on hand, though I can see why people wouldn’t always have kimchi in their fridge. I am always trying to think of ways incorporate kimchi into meals. Most kimchi, pickles, and relishes are great for cooking, but sometimes can be hard to actually find recipes. I am always trying to find ways to save my produce during the summer, and brine-pickling is a easy way to do it.

Other cool things about the recipe? You can pretty much use any type of kimchi, even sauerkraut would be a great substitute. I personally mixed my kolhrabi kimchi and traditional nappa cabbage kimchi together for the recipe. But you can get a little crazy, try out a beet kimchi or daikon radish kimchi, I am drooling just thinking about it.



Like I mentioned it is fast to put together. There are two plans of tackling the dish, one to make the least amount of dishes, or the other is to make it as fast as possible. If you get two pots going, you can have everything done in 30 minutes, easy. Just boil the pasta in one pot, then make the lentils in another, then toss. But if you are like me, you can boil your pasta, drain, then use that pot to make the lentils. It might make the dish take 45-50 minutes, but you get lots of down time to get some things ready or make other sides.

Another time saving trick is to use small red lentils. They cook up in 10 minutes, but if you use larger brown lentils, you’ll have to add more water and cook for longer, which is fine if you have the time. Just don’t skip over the lentils, the added protein makes the dish, and they really work well with the kimchi.


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