Eat Me.

Anything you can do we can do vegan.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Way Out.

I'm looking for a way IN. From this article from the Bangkok Post the situation looks not so good.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This can't be good.

Bangkok's airport has apparently been taken over by anti-government protesters.

Beach It.

I've never tried to book a bungalow on an island that does not have 24 hour electricity but I finally managed to do it! Check it out: http://www.kohjumonline.com/bonhomie.html

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Headaches.

In an attempt to relieve the terrible headache that has been the past seven days or so I'm destroying my brain trying to figure out what tropical paradise to stay in our last week in Thailand.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fur Fashion Contest

Does it seem a bit odd that the Humane Society is running a contest called "Cool vs. Cruel" to highlight how great garments can look without fur but as far as I can tell did not exclude silk, wool or feathers? The pictures are small and the official rules are not posted so maybe numbers 2, 7 and 14 are fake feathers? Number 14 is way way way to fluffy to be fake. At least nothing appeared to have leather on it.

As for my official vegan position on silk - would you ever throw a handful of caterpillars into a pot of boiling water alive? No because this would be too sad. I suppose when they are in their cocoon state maybe they are all hibernating and everything but we just can't go around killing living beings thinking it is o.k. if they are sleeping for Christ's sake.

Besides being shocked of course at the HSUS's total lack of regard for other types of animals other than cute fuzzy things I did learn one useful thing: the United States is the largest world-wide exporter of wild animal fur in the world. Who knew?!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our House Is a Very Very Very Fine House


This is what the inside of our house looks like now....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baby Crib

This made me throw up in my mouth just a little.

Want: Wallpaper


Sketch of bedroom and wallpaper "box" behind bed.

I don't remember if I mentioned this but we bought a house. It is in Logan Square about two blocks west of Palmer Park. Right now the ground floor is being gutted and the second floor is rented. So admidst fights about just exactly where the sink is going to go there have been glimpses of the final product. Like this one below.

I was turned onto Flavor Paper by my co-werker when we were discussing papers for a tapas bar project. Turns out this hand printed wallpaper company was Axis Construction's neighbor (Axis is a woodworking shop down in the bywater that I worked for during a short time my third year of architecture school in New Orleans). I don't know how I missed them but I am glad I know about them now. I love this sort of stuff.

My favorites are Elysian Fields and City Park; both channel the spirit of New Orleans so well... I was thinking of using it in a tight spot behind our bed to construct sort of a wallpaper-headboard-shelf of sorts that acts as art and a nightstand since there won't be room on either side of the bed for nightstands.

Also I am not sure if you can read the text or not but the door opens onto the West-facing back porch so hopefully we rustle up a salvaged door with window, stick some frosted glass in there and add a polycarbonate "transom" above to allow for more light into the bedroom. My co-werker also helped me with the polycarbonate transom idea - there will also hopefully be one above the kitchen cabinets into the bedroom as well.

Resources are Flavor Paper, Peterson Plastics and also recycled gypsum board from Greenmaker.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maze It.

Pancakes is taking a Field Trip!

(There are so many puns we could make with this... "field" trip; corn maize; ha ha ha.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In your dreams.


If you can't read this sign it advertises "Tons of stuff your dreams can't even imagine."


A Mercy For Animals sign on the a blue line CTA train. Definitely my favorite animal welfare group.


Our friend makes the most amazing tofu scramble ever. EVER. It's the best thing on a Sunday morning.

Vegan Map It!


Thank You Thank You Thank You!


I have a customer friend from the market who works across the street from my dad's office down in the loop. While casually mentioning I have had difficulties finding good places for us to go when I meet my Dad for lunch he tells me he has a google map made up with all the places that are great for vegans to go. And that it is o-k for me to share. And all you have to do is scroll in to focus on Chicago since there are other locations marked in India and Denmark and California. So HERE it is. Thanks!

Irazu



Taking pictures with my cellphone is my new thing.
Above: This is only two tacos. Below: My 5$ milkshake. Just like in Pulp Fiction.

We went for the first time today to Irazu - a Costa Rican restaurant not too far from our apartment. I had heard rave reviews about the oatmeal shakes there - and they are pretty great. Not over the top awesome but oddly comforting when made with strawberry and soy. And although the shake ended up being 5$ (I sprung for the soy...) the 2.99$ giant tacos made up for it.

And did I mention there is some sort of freak heat wave going on today? I was wearing my scarf two days ago and now it is 77 outside. Not that I am complaining...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Time It.

I have really fallen off the blogging bandwagon recently. Can it be because I have no time left to do anything? I think in one of my previous posts I mentioned something about it "All working out!" and well... it is, but isn't. I only have 4 bike hats left on my Etsy shop, two at Renegade, and all the while the temperature is dropping and I have only made one trial winter hat so far. (Disaster... anyone know how to sew up old sweaters without them stretching all over the crazy place?) And the other things I have been meaning to do, like buying travel insurance and getting a new pair of shoes, have been on the to-do list for MONTHS now.

Foodwise what I have been up to is eating scads of Honeycrisp apples and have finally almost used up the twenty-odd pounds of apples my grandmother brought from her tree in Iowa. I have about six left for Amos to make into applesauce. Did I mention I ate apple cobbler for breakfast today?

We also went to the Renegade Handmade Craft Fair - which was unfortunately nearly rained out... (As was the Green City Market that weekend - I felt like we were lost at sea...). My new favorite things from the craft fair are:

Jo Clothing (especially the underwear!)
Dearest Inez (why is there nothing on her etsy shop?! I got the cutest re-fashioned t-shirt ever!)
Sofia Masri

Plus I purchased a sticker proclaiming "I have a zombie escape plan." Like a bumper sticker, but for my bike. That I haven't had time to put on yet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fat Mouse


If you can even see this picture it is the cutest picture of a little fat mouse ever.

We ordered pizza last night from Marcello's and it was the best ever. If you are vegan get the vegetarian gourmet thin crust (sans Romano cheese). It has gobs of spinach and tons of mushrooms and tomatoes. And if you have a free coupon for a small pizza with an order of 20$ or more order an artichoke pizza without cheese. These last two go really well together. Do not order a deep dish pizza with the regular sauce as the deep dish sauce contains cheese. Do order a deep dish pizza with regular sauce and lots of veggies and it will be like eating a two inch thick wedge of cooked veggies in a deep dish pizza crust with tomato sauce on top. The only stinky thing about them is they won't substitute the cheese for a different ingredient of your choice - drats.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shoe It

I am searching for a pair of shoes to replace my much beloved faux-spat shoes that have holes eaten through the soles where my bike pedals have worn them too much. I came upon something hopefully blog-worthy when I googled vegan shoes: Natalie Portman released her own line of vegan shoes last February. They are made in limited editions of 100 and are on sale at this website. I of course don't really need a new pair (or any pair) of four inch strappy heels or silver wedge peep toes.... but it is really neat to see a line of higher end shoes eschewing the notion that fancy means leather. I'm thinking about a new pair of sensible slip-ons (I heard slip-ons are indispensible when visiting multiple Buddhist temples) like these. You know what - I'm going to just pick up a pair of these vegan pumps designed by Stella McCartney....

Just for reference my favorite places for vegan shoe shopping are as follows:

Novacas (read no cows en espanol) available at MooShoes
Alternative Outfitters
Simple (Not all vegan... unfortunately because those boots on the upper left kick ass.)
Zappos Vegetarian (I love the little "Thank You" cow logo... but how many leather pairs of shoes does Zappos sell per year? Probably a lot. Ick.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wanted to say...

We had a customer the other day that was really into buying a baguette. Which was great until she said "This will fit my purpose fine. Which is foie gras." To which I almost automatically responded but choked back the words "Why - are you going to shove it down the goose's throat?" Thank god Jeanette was over on that side to take her money and isn't completely un-responsibally crazy like I am otherwise who knows what might have happened. Oh Foodies - cruelty is no limit to what you consider edible!

In other news I just got an email update from my old yoga studio (yes I realize it's been over a year since I have practiced there now) telling us to take a deep breath emphasizing the EXHALE to calm our nerves about hurricane Gustav. I probably don't need the exhale quite as much as my fellow New Orleanian yogis who were living on their second floors for two years while gutting and remodeling the downstairs... let's all keep our finger's crossed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

While you were out...



Someone scrawled "Augtober Lives" on the sidewalk because where the hell did August go? Summer is making up for the horrible winter we had by never venturing above 78 degrees for more than an hour at a time or maybe winter never died....

I have a few things to catch up on:

First I really have to rave about the sweetest vegan ever I met about a month or so ago at the farmer's market. She was visiting from Atlanta and had most of the evening to herself so I invited her to Music in the Park and we had a great conversation about veganism and raw food. Her blog is named raw food passion and mainly documents what she whips up for eats and her reasons behind her diet. In Chicago she was volunteering at a raw restaurant and pretty much taking the vegan culinary tour of the city.

Also I finally have a real job again! With really great people and interesting projects! Four out of five members of my new firm (including me) worked for my previous boss and from what I understand a "detox" period is required after working there. It's funny because my name would not have been passed along had I not mentioned my previous crapaliscious job to a friend in New Orleans... They said they would provide references and boy did they ever - just not how they imagined. I am still going to be at the farmer's markets but am working the rest of the week in the office. And the rest of the time I make bike hats and bento sets. It all works out!

More pictures when I figure out how to bluetooth them from my phone to the computer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Black Bean Brownies

I finally tried the amazing black bean brownies recipe from 101 Cookboooks for a dinner party last night at my sister's and unfortunately we found them not so amazing. But in typical Erin fashion I did not use half the ingredients listed (no way was I using 10$ worth of agave nectar and walnuts...) and used egg replacer for the eggs. I'm not the only one that this has happened to as Sasha made them as well and reported they were way too "eggy." At least it sounded like her's didn't turn out as a "boiled brownie pudding." No one at the party guessed the main ingredient was black beans though!

In better news I am snacking on dill pickles canned with actual dill as well as garlic I picked up at the market today. Yummy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

DIY Yogurt

For the longest time I have been trying to figure out how to thicken up our homemade yogurt and I finally found the answer! The recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried milk powder. Obviously not vegan. I tried everything from agar to tapioca flour. All starch or gelatinous like substances would gel up in one big yogurt-y goo on the bottom of the container. The stars finally aligned when shortly after salivating over I Am Grateful's menu and seeing cultured coconut yogurt I took a trip to the Korean Grocery where I picked up Coconut Milk Powder! It makes the tastiest yogurt with the best consistency ever. The tartness that comes from the second and third generation starter still shines through but it is naturally sweeter and creamier. FINALLY.

Here is the recipe and how we do it at home. But before all that these are all the reasons why you should make your own yogurt. It is great for baking. It complements your homemade granola. It is awesome drizzled on curries you have prepared too spicy. You can get a yogurt cheese maker and have a fabulous cream cheese substitute. It's good for your tummy. Now on to the process.

First of all we have a Salton yogurt maker. The directions say to heat the milk to almost boiling, then wait to add the starter until the milk is in a very specific ten degree range. This takes forever. Screw that. Amos came up with an easier way. We plug in the Salton. We make sure everything is super clean then add 4 cups soy milk at fridge or room temperature to the container. Whisk in 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk powder. Gently stir in starter. Put container in Salton. Wait 8 - 10 hours. Done.

Read a good little article on the pleasures of yogurt making at 101 Cookbooks. And although the article is not specically about vegan yogurt I do agree vegan or not it is very well enjoyed with a "simple swirl of the best maple syrup I can find."

Note: Really you can do without the milk powder or other thickener as long as you don't mind a runnier yogurt. It still tastes amazing. We also use our homemade soy milk that doesn't have nearly as much sugar and or vanilla as the commercial soy milks... well depending on who makes it. : )

Thursday, August 7, 2008

H2O

A pound of grain uses less than 1% of the water used to produce a pound of meat. US agriculture uses 87% of the water used in the US. It takes 10,000 Kg of water to produce 1 Kg of beef while soy only uses 900 Kg and potatoes 500 Kg.

Source: US Could Feed 80 Million With Grain Livestock Eat, Cornell University Science News, August 1997

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SAD

I am supposed to be sewing but this just popped into my mailbox in the weekly Organic Consumers Association Newsletter:

PLUNDER OF THE WEEK:
SIX TIMES MORE FISH FED TO LIVESTOCK THAN TO HUMANS
According to the UBS Fisheries Centre in Vancouver, B.C., despite rampant over-fishing and depletion of world fish populations, globally, we are now feeding 14 million tons of edible wild-caught fish to factory farm animals, like pigs and chickens, each year. That amounts to over six times the amount of fish the entire U.S. population eats annually. Wild fish fed to animals on a massive scale include perfectly edible anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and herring, which are ground into a cheap fishmeal and sold for animal feed. In other words a protein source is being fed to animals on corporate farms with a 90% energy loss. Given the global food crisis and the over-harvesting of many of the ocean's commercial fish varieties, careful analysis of resource use by the global industrial food complex is becoming a life or death imperative.

Here is the whole blog on this topic at the OCA's website. Infuriating.

Travel It!




I finally booked our flight to Thailand this weekend! We will be going for the entire month of December with a five day "layover" in Tokyo. I can't wait! My friend Nadia picked up a handful of brochures on the different areas of Thailand from the Thai embassy for me. There are SCADS of national parks with descriptions like "tropical rainforest draped over limestone outcrops" and "home to elephants, bears and even a few tigers" and "has the worlds largest flower, the Raffiesia Kerriii which can grow up to 70 centimeters wide." And all that is in one park.

I am equally excited about Tokyo - although it will be cold. Maybe I can get what I believe Sasha called and "epic haircut" that takes up to three hours to complete. I only wish we could stay longer - but with the blackout dates on my airline miles it was only one month or over two. So there you go.... five weeks is about my capacity for out of country travel. In Guatemala week five is when everyone started to hunker down in their rooms, watch only satelite MTV and order Little Ceasers for every meal. And we certainly dont want that to happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bentos!





Finally the little Bento Sets are ready to go out in the world! Check them out at Wolfbait, Renegade or my Etsy Shop. I love the little coral and red-checked ones made from vintage tableclothes.

New Pet



My new serger! Below is the diagram showing how to thread it....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Letters I Should Have Wrote

So I always write out emails to people/companies that I have issues with. Sometimes I send them and sometimes I don't. Like today I got an email from a fellow pankaker who is organizing what sounds like a really fun event at a lake/pavillion/beer garden somewhere on the South Side for the Izaak Walton League of Americans. I had never heard of the group but apparently they have been around since 1922 conserving and creating recreational opportunities around the nation. Things sounded really good until the letter stated "I specifically added Vegan Kabobs to the menu for all you veggies out there :)." At which point I scrolled to the end of the email and found the menu which besides veggie kabobs includes 1 LB. Boiled Shrimp Plates, Kosher Hot Dogs, and Steak Kabobs. Now why would a conservation group include beef?! So I wrote a letter I didn't send. And what can you put on a kabob that is vegetarian but not vegan? Cheese?

Here's my letter:

The event sounds like a lot of fun but can you maybe make this point clear to whoever the person mainly in charge of the event is? Beef produces more greenhouse gas than all the cars on the road. Thanks for including the Veggie Kabobs for vegans who reduce their impact on this earth by 20% just by changing their diet can eat something at an event to conserve our nation. Also is the shrimp flown in? It just seems that the menu is not in sync with the mission.

Should I have sent this? Here this group is trying to conserve and make the U.S. a better place serving beef of all things! Manure pits anyone? What I particularly love about Iowa and Wisconsin are the wonderful factory farms. And the best thing about these farms is they smell way better than slaughterhouses!

See I could have put all that in the letter...

Camping!




Cooking the Lemon-Cornmeal-Blueberry Pancakes. Two mushrooms on the hike from hell.

Amos and I went camping this past weekend with my sister Katie and two of our good friends from pankakes. Now I was not aware of this but if you want to go camping in Wisconsin in any reasonable driving distance from Chicago you must book your site about three months in advance. So we were unlucky enough to get to Lake Kegonsa State Park about 1/2 hour after the office closed but lucky enough to get pulled over by the park ranger who told us there were only 2 walk up sites available and we should get there at 8 the next morning.

So we hustled over to camp the next morning, got our spot then headed into the nearest town since the campers on our site didn't have to leave until 3 p.m. In the little town of Stoughton we found a coffee shop with 71 cent coffee and homemade wheat toast and applesauce as well as a really interesting re-sale shop that was more like a thrift store and antique shop combined. Fortified with homemade goodness and a 2$ lawn chair older than Amos' and my age combined we headed back to camp.

If the lake hadn't turned to pea soup and the trails choked with mosquioes we might have done more than take three naps, read our books and eaten some veggie burgers. We did make a pizza for dinner which might have been excellent had I not burnt the crap out of the bottom of it.... It was still good if you just scraped the top off... And of course tho finish we roasted (vegan!) marshmallows for dessert.

The next day after lemon cornmeal blueberry pankakes cooked over an open fire we headed up to Madison to eat at Himal Chuli and there was a street festival going on! We also rented a sea kayak and paddle boat at Lake Wingra which was lovely swimming. Canooning is so much fun. Then it was home again home again - quite a fun trip.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who is this?!

I was reading the Chicago Reader last night before going to sleep and it made mention of Fruitslinger - a blog about a fruit vendor at my market! Who is it!

Request

I've been thinking about this for a while - if I ever have children I need to ask my family and friends please please please no one buy him/her anything that requires batteries, lights up, makes noise, or propels itself in creepy fashion around the house. First of all I can't stand electronic songs being played over and over at the indiscriminate touch of a two year old - a jazzy version of twinkle twinkle being inturrupted by a even more horrendously updated version of mary had a little lamb on a pudgy finger's cue is enough to make me break out in hives. And if that isn't enough just check out this link. How cute is your chicken dance elmo now?!

Note: Maybe I need to give a shout out to Ellie (as in elephant) here - my little sister's favorite stuffed animal who tastefully played talk to the animals when wound up. Oh what a sad day it was when his voice box finally kicked the bucket from being played probably thousands of times....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yo Soy

I just found a cute vegan blog named !Yo Soy! straight outta Culver City California. I'm really sorry I don't know how to make the exclamation point go upside down...

Etsy It!


Is it just me or is this photo AMAZING? Thanks so much to Nick and Erin who took all the beautiful photos for my bike hats. Also thanks to all pankakers that modeled for me. (Hint: I've linked to their Flickr accounts above so you can see all their photos.)

I finally got everything together with respect to listing some hats on Etsy - all with a little (or a lot!) of help from my friends.... Check all the hats out at my Etsy store here.

Now I just need to make all the Bento sets... They will be sold at Renegade Handmade, Wolfbait and one of my favorite online stores Little Paper Planes!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yeah! Shut up!!

This Q and A from Miss Manners I found on the Tribune site is great! I love Miss Manners... plus you all know how I love to discuss any sort of food related social protocol.

Dear Miss Manners: Dieting in public is a serious etiquette problem in a society that has made saints of women who wear a size 2. It is rude and offensive for a person to attend a joyous food-related outing and spoil the trip by ordering "a small salad."

Public dieting casts a pall of misery over any such occasion. The argument that the outing is about the fellowship is only partially true—the fellowship is enjoying a good meal together. The occasion is about the food.

Holiday dinners and meals out with friends are a time, if not to eat heartily, to at least eat well—even if one chooses grilled instead of fried chicken or replaces the dressing with vegetables at Thanksgiving.

If one must diet in public, it should be done with absolute discretion and must involve a variety of tasty foods chosen from what has been provided. If the dieter wants a diet soda, she should ask for it quietly, as though requesting something with which to take medication and have it poured into a glass to ensure that the nature of the drink is not obvious.

If a person is on a super-restricted diet that requires she eat abnormally, she needs to stay home, instead of making everyone miserable.

Perhaps she can join the group later for a concert or movie if she is not too weak to stay out past 8 p.m.

Gentle Reader: Miss Manners suggests that you try harder not to notice what other people are eating. A lot harder.

Monitoring what other people eat is a good way to ruin a holiday or gathering of friends, whether it is dieters voicing disapproval of hearty eaters or the more rare reaction that you have.

After you stated your desire to ostracize everyone with medical food restrictions, Miss Manners banned you from any discussion about what constitutes fellowship.

Logan Square Love

We had quite the Sunday. Here was the schedule:

10:00 - Logan Square Farmer's Market for the best iced coffee from Vella Cafe and cookies from Tiny Cakes. (Also available from Vella at the market is a Tofu and Soy Chorizo breakfast burrito... we tried it last week - so delicious!! And after eating the cookies from Tiny Cakes Amos called off the store-bought cookie ban.)
11:30 - Ride to Renegade Handmade to drop off hats!
12:00 - Back to the circle to maybe possibly drop of more hats at Boulevard Bikes
12:30 - Pankakes!
3:30 - Bike Polo in Garfield Park
5:00 - Home again home again
7:00 - Candlelight Yoga
9:30 - Taco Salad at Picante Taqueria
10:15 - Karaoke (self esteem is completely crushed)

At any rate I love Logan Square. It's just starting to get really neat things going for itself (like the new food co-op that is moving in near us on Fullerton) and its location is so convenient to everywhere in the city. As an added bonus it's a paradise compared to New Orleans crime-wise.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bento Sets


Lunch It.

You have all seen the bike hats but this is the newest item I have been producing. They are Bento sets - a traditional Japanese way to package up food to go. Usually the sets contain a little box with dividers to section of three or four different food types and a bento bag or furoshki cloth. Styles range from elegantly utilitarian to over the top cute. I read that some Japanese moms will spend quite a bit of time to make their kids the cutest lunches at school.

This photo looks a bit lackluster - maybe because of the monochromatic color scheme? I can't wait to make more with the colorful vintage table linens I picked up at the Village and my hometown thrift store!

If you don't have a bento box you really should have one. I have one I bought a while back after seeing Sasha's. It says "It is so wonderful to be able to maintain your dreams." The lettering is starting to fade and the little dividers are stained with curry and spaghetti sauce but I still love it anyway.

In related news Amos regularly checks out Vegan Lunch Box and Bento TV - he's sort of a lunch type of guy. But really now that I think of it he is more of a Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner type of guy.

Also here's an idea - if anyone out there has any linens they don't use anymore (or can find any at a thrift store) send them to me and I will sew and stamp you up a free set. Leave a comment and we can negotiate a deal.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What We Did Last Year


One of my favorite photos from last year.

Right now I'm being all nostalgic for blueberry picking and Commander's Palace.... oh New Orleans!! I am happy that the low for tonight in Chicago is 55-60 degrees rather than 85 but my heart is aching... It's too sad to love cities that are so far apart.

Easy Oatmeal


It's blueberry time again!

When Amos and I visited Sasha and Vanessa in San Fransisco Vanessa made us oatmeal that was super easy to make and I just have to share it with everyone. This is all there is to the recipe: 1-2 cups rolled oats plus 1-2 cups water (or enough just to cover oats). For the four of us we used 2 cups, for just Amos and I we use 1 cup. Let oats soak overnight and you have oatmeal the next morning that is perfect for summer! Vanessa put grated apples in our oatmeal in San Fransisco which made a crazy awesome texture but it is great with just a little maple syrup and whatever fruits or nuts you have on hand. In San Fransisco I think we also dressed ours up with almonds and soy milk if I remember correctly.

Maybe Sasha or Vanessa can dig up the original recipe so I can give credit where credit is due? Also this morning I threw my oatmeal in a fine mesh strainer to drain some extra liquid - but I've always liked my oatmeal super dry.

Inhabitat

This might be my new favorite blog... I don't think I could really be done with architecture forever... this blog reminds me why I love it so much. Now getting way more local I was browsing around trying to find the Renegade Handmade site and found instead another Chicago designer and blogger, Sarah Fox and her beautiful company/personal blog Cursive Design.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tom Ka Soup

A few weeks back (well on Memorial Day really...) we had a dinner with pankake folks and our Thai friend Nadia was the head cook! We had spicy basil eggplant, pad thai, spring rolls and berry ice cream but I am going to share this recipe for Tom Ka soup we made - it is so very very simple and so very very yummy. It is sweet and coco-nutty with tofu, mushrooms and lemongrass with just a touch of spicyness. Some of these items you will definitely have to visit a Thai or Vietnamese grocery to find (we went on a fun trip to the store that included a bubble tea detour!) but once you have them on hand you can whip this soup up whenever.

Tom Ka Soup

You will need:

1 Can Coconut Milk (save can to measure water)
2-3 Tablespoons Tom Ka Soup base
1 Block Firm Tofu, Cubed
1-2 Packages Oriental Mushrooms (tiny long skinny mushrooms)
1 Small Bunch Lemongrass, Shredded
Galangal (hint: look for it in the frozen section or under the name galingale)
5-6 Tablespoons Sugar
Soy Sauce to Taste (1-2 tablespoons)
Salt to Taste

Method:

In a large pot heat coconut milk and 2 cans water to a very low boil. Add
all other ingredients and simmer about 5-10 minutes. That's it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vegan Cookie Delivery?!

Ideal Bite (Chicago) profiled Supernatural Vegan, an organic/vegan/gf bakery that delivers cookies by bike. Then they donate half the proceeds to World Bicycle Relief. And if Ideal Bite is to be believed you can get a dozen regular cookies for only $6 and a giant cookie for a buck!

I'm ordering some today - I will let everyone know how it goes... maybe I won't have to turn on my oven all summer.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Symphony Time



Isn't this about the greatest photo ever with the lights and band shell in the background? Pankakes goes to the symphony and gets a bit rowdy after the performance. There are no photos of the wheelbarrow race...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hat It!


Sorry for the crappy photo but it's the only photo I have of myself in a bike hat! I've realized a lot my friends and family don't know what a bike hat is or why anyone would wear one... so this is what they look like and they keep the helmet on your head and the sun out of your eyes and your hair out of your face.

If you are in Logan Square anytime soon go check out my bike hats in their newest location at Wolfbait! Or their first location at Boulevard Bikes since Boulevard is about three doors down from Wolfbait.... If anyone knows any bike shop owners or shops that sell independent designer goods please let me know!

**New Note** I forgot to say how grateful I am to the girls over at Wolfbait for helping me bring the hats up to commercial quality. They are completely fulfilling their mission of representing and promoting local designers but also are awesome at helping those designers on their way. So thanks!

**Newer Note** Also thanks to everyone at Boulevard for being awesome and dedicated to the local cycling scene.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News Day

I haven't blogged about food in a really long time (as my sister points out to me every time I see her) so I thought I would round up a few stories in the news in the past few weeks that have to do with animal processing.

A few weeks back there was a little 2x2 inch article in the paper about Tyson Foods culling 15,000 hens and burying them because they tested positive for the H7N3 bird flu virus. The original article is here and I guess someone did a follow up because there is a longer article in the Tribune here.

Koreans protest American beef because of our complete lack of any sort of safety net to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply. A picture of a candelight protest that filled the streets of Seoul really stood out. The most amazing part is it only took one cow with mad cow disease to be discovered in the U.S. before a group of high school students started the protest worried the unsafe meat would be slipped into their cafeteria food. I wish someone had started protesting the crappy quality of food in our schools when I was still around eating it. It's a good quick article and I just found out that Korea has a Blue House rather than a White House! In this article it is reported a man set himself on fire to protest.

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Mississippi River is to expand to 10,084 square miles, up 20% from 1985. If you are unfamiliar with this dead zone concept it is just as it sounds - a huge zone in the gulf whose oxygen level gets messed up by run-off of nitrogen fertilizers and other pollutants producing huge algea bursts that take all the oxygen and nothing else can survive. Except oil rigs... here is the article.

The List

I've been having one of those weeks where some things sort of work out and some things don't. So I am going to make a list and vent.

Things at the top of my ***t list right now:

PayPal. Don't ask me why my bank in New Orleans even accepted a mis-guided transfer from my paypal account... I closed that account back in September! Now all I know is I am setting off on what I am sure will be a weeks long odyssey to recoup $38.54 from the frozen account.

Cars. Cars are always pretty high up on the list but this morning on my way to the post office I rode by our car which had a bright orange $50 parking ticket on it. There's one month of IGo membership right there. Plus did I mention the crack in the windshield that happened a week after I had the old one replaced? Another $150 down the tubes.

Stock Market. WTF is all I have to say about this one. My savings account gets better returns than anything remotely tied to the abstract idea that is the stock market. That means all individual stocks, mutual funds, index funds, ETF's and money market accounts are on the list.

Things that almost worked but not quite:

Gingersnap Granola
. I wanted to make this granola in time for Sasha's visit (I should maybe have a list for good things?). But I had to work the next day so neglected to stay up late to make granola. I made it the next day and burnt the crap out of it. It somehow still tasted good...

Monday, June 16, 2008

AAAHH!!

Tastespotting is apparently no more! What am I going to do with myself?!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

BB King


BB King concert in Grant Park on Sunday, June 8th. The last act in the Chicago Blues Festival that I am happy to point out was a completely free event.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello (and Goodbye!) Wisconsin





The old barn, sunset, straw bale greenhouse and zombie attacks.

Last weekend Amos and I took a little mini-vacation to Wisconsin to stay at a bed and breakfast recommended to us by fellow panKakers. We left on Friday and spent most of the day driving with a two really short pit stops in Madison (for lunch) and Spring Green (for Taliesin East). An hour late and about ready to kill each other (the car brings out the worst in both of us) we finally arrived at Inn Serendipity.

I can't really explain the Inn in a few short sentences because it encompasses a whole range of activities and ideals. The Inn is vegetarian, organic and if not carbon negative at least carbon neutral. It is more of a lifestyle expirement than anything else by the owners Lisa and John, seamlessly combining writing, environmental stewardship and a myriad of other interests alongside inn keeping.

Day one we were too tired to take the tour of the farm but on the second day the weather was beautiful and we got the run down on the 80 year old 4-square farmhouse, organic garden, wind turbine, straw bale greenhouse and their fun little electric car from the '70s. The food was pretty awesome too (although definitely a treat I couldn't indulge myself in everyday: read chocolate pancakes) and each night they left in our room home-made fruit cordials and awesome home-made chocolate bark. Lisa also let us be her guinea pigs for a zucchini meatball recipe she has been working on. No complaints....

But you know - It was all peaceful and everything so after a really long bike ride on day two and a nice walk in the woods on day three we were both happy to get back to Chicago.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Job It!



Top: Jeanette and I under our little tent.
Below: The baked goods lineup.


I am not sure why but I have been a little shy to talk about my summer job at Bleeding Heart Bakery (an organic as possible bakery!) taking their goods to the Green City Market in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays. But at any rate it seems to be the summer of odd jobs for everyone I know. Although the pay doesn't quite equal what I made at the office I do get to be in the lovely park twice a week. Plus I love being around the other farmers that bring their organic produce to the market. Right now the strawberries are just coming into season, there are more varieties of asparagus and radish than I ever thought possible and of course the fresh flower sellers don't hurt the atmosphere either.

The only downside is we have a ham and cheese croissant for sale which I hate hate hate selling. (Please see note regarding this statement below.)

A side note: Jeanette is into astrology and was asking me if I knew what my color sign is - I didn't even know you could have a color based on your birthday. At any rate Michelle Bernhardt (a Colorstrologist) has hooked up with Pantone: yes, that's right, the Pantone that graphic designers and anyone that uses color in any serious manner utelizes to standardize color choices from design to output. So now you can standardize your own personality. In color. Supported by Pantone.




My personal color... Pantone 15-2205. From the Colorstrology website.

So at any rate my month's color is Pantone 12-5409 (Fair Aqua) and my personal color for the 7th is Pantone 15-2205 (Dawn Pink). The month color fits me pretty well but the dawn pink is this mauvey-lavenderish color that I really would not have expected. The website suggests if you feel disharmonious with your color consider the colors that blend to create your color and root out the ones that are giving you this feeling. For example this pink would probably be made from my root color of light blue with an earthy red color. Earthy colors = reality: this is obviously the source of my issues with this color!

Find out your color sign at the colorstrology website if interested. It is a pretty snappy website as well. It has a light little song that goes along with it so watch out if you are at work or other quiet group setting.

**Note** It seems that rather than leaving a message on my blog readers have been emailing the bakery expressing their views on my statements. Veganism is for some, including me, a very emotionally charged issue. As much as I "hate hate hate" selling ham I LOVE LOVE LOVE being vegan more and LOVE LOVE LOVE my new job. For every ham and cheese croissant we sell at the market we sell ten vegan items; many to people that have never tried anything vegan in their lives. The best selling item at the market and in the bakery is vegan and they do a fantastic job representing veganism. I have the choice to work where I please and the bakery has the choice to sell ham or not. I appreciate other vegans and dedicated customers looking out for my and the bakery's best interests but if you have an issue with something on my blog please take it up with me or start a discussion about this sort of issue by leaving a comment below. Thank you for your understanding.

**Another Note** Whose workplace is completely vegan anyway? Amos' office specs out leather upholstery and paneling all the time and it drives him crazy too....


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

C.U.D.G.E.L.



Urban Golfing...
Top: Our dear pankake mistress Alexis gets ready to take a swing.
Below: Alethea makes the ball go more than 5 feet... everyone is fascinated. Front row from left to right Morgan (jumping), Nadia (orange hat), Alethea, Katie, Amos and Ohio.

If interested check out more photos
here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rennet


The photo I describe below. From the Oklahoman by Sarah Phipps.


So I was going to totally make fun of this photo I found on google image search from the Thousand Hills Mission website. Then I took two seconds to read the website and they provide much needed veterinary assistance to rural animals in developing nations. I'm a jerk but the photo is still pretty awesome.



So I was just browsing through the Sunday paper and came across a photo of "Seaboard Farm No. 62" in Hennessey Oklahoma. The picture is of a stereotypical farmer type Oklahoman man (heavyset, thinning hair, 35-ish, John Deere tee) managing his way through debris of a large hog shed that the roof had blown off in a recent tornado. It's an interesting photo because you can see the rows of metal pens with the really large hogs inside. Some of the little blue pens are covered with scraps from the roof and you can't see the pigs but in other pens the pigs are sort of propping themselves up on the bars of the pens with their snouts to the sky looking around like "what's that blue thing up there!" And it is really cute but other hogs are sort of looking in at their neighbor's pen like "hey are you o-k under there?"

(Just re-reading that made me wonder if there is any sort of academic situation in which I could study the effects of natural disasters on mass farming practices... or write a really sappy pro-vegan children's book.)

At any rate it made me think about 1, how much I hate hate hate factory farming (c'mon - Farm No. 62? Of how many?) and 2, how I like to tell people that cheese is made from pig stomachs. Reason number 2 spurned me to look up the uses of swine rennet and I must stand corrected. Swine rennet is not used to produce cheese. Actually a majority of the hard cheeses in the United States are produced with genetically engineered yeasts. Yeasts modified with calf genes. Produced by Pfizer and blessed by the FDA.

It seems like the cheap-o soft cheeses like mozzarella on most pizzas are made with citric acid *phew* and that assorted other cheeses are made with vegetable rennets - which totally breaks down my argument that being vegetarian yet eating cheese is a terrible contradiction - but then again some are made with "milled frozen cow stomach." And since cheese producers are not required to label what sort of coagulating agent they use to produce their cheese good luck trying to figure it out.

It is sort of an odd thing for me because I wonder if I will always be vegan and think the first thing I would break down and eat might be some sort of dairy product. But then I remember we stopped eating all that in the first place because Amos is lactose-intolerant. Problem solved.

Now I am thinking I should start a little section of the blog called "hypothetical situation." For example on a podcast I listen to dealing with some vegan issues there is a sound byte they use that is a voice saying "What if a monkey made you a sandwich? Then would you eat it?" Because it is such an odd thing and we get (and make up) so many stupid scenario questions about veganism. So here is the first installment of this section.

This first scenario I just made up myself right now on the spot. First scenario: make a list of "food" I would never want to eat again in order of sadness to me (top being the most sad the bottom being least sad):

Pigs
Cows
Chickens
All manner of sea creatures
Eggs
Dairy
Venison

Second scenario: If I found a turkey leg in a dumpster would I eat it? I think this question boils down to 1, would I eat from dumpsters and 2, would I eat meat if it were free and I was starving and dumpster diving at a renaissance fair. Ok - I made this scenario up as well. But no - I would not eat a turkey leg from a dumpster. An 8$ loaf of bread in its original packaging sitting on top of everything in another bag with only other breads as its bag mates - yes. But not turkey legs nor other body parts.

Third scenario: Is elephant-riding vegan. Amos and I were debating this one the other day because he said if breaking an elephant is anything like breaking a horse then it is totally not vegan. But I said I thought elephants were most likely smart enough to just let people ride them so maybe it was vegan. (Or maybe I just want to delude myself into thinking I can guiltlessly cavort around town on my elephant whenever I please.) At any rate the jury is still out on this one although Amos still says no to elephant rides.

That is all for our new fun "hypothetical situation" situation and this post.

Nevermind - I have a new section called "funny photos I find on the internet looking for other stuff. See beginning of post.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marrow Drive

The National Bone Marrow Drive is providing free testing kits to the first 10,000 people that sign up at their website. A fellow Pankaker let us know about this - three kids in her graduating class succumbed to leukemia around the same time right before matriculation. So if I am correct their parents have set up a program in honor of Mother's Day to provide free testing kits to add significant numbers of possible donors to the registry. From what I hear the usual cost or donation to be tested is around 50$. You get a little swab in the mail, swab your cheek then send it back in a pre-paid envelope.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stack of Birds

I keep chanting this mantra: I will start collecting art, I will start collecting art, I will start collecting art. I love love love this Love-Birdstack print by Justin Richel.

On the same site, Little Paper Planes, I also found these little pocket size artsy fartsy books entitled Where I Get My Calcium and its sister (brother?) book Where I Get My Protein by Bexx Casswell. Super cute, super informative. The same site also carries beautiful jewelry like this begonia vintage necklace by We Dream In Color.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Destination Japan



From the MOMA Store comes this cute lid for your pots, pans and microwavable items. Since we don't cook with pork this little silicon pig can be multi-purpose to prevent splatter and be the only little animal (besides our two cats) in the kitchen!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thai Shout Out

I just need to give a quick shout out to an amazing Thai restaurant in the 'burbs so I can recycle their take-out menu that has been sitting on my desk for about 2 months now. CK Pad Thai - hats off to you for having the best fried tofu, spring rolls, special soups, pad thai, curries, sticky rice and an awesome staff that is always friendly and can make anything vegan.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hamburgers... no thanks.

As long as I am on a streak linking articles about why being vegetarian and vegan rocks I will continue with an article about meat and carbon emissions.

Eggs... no thanks.

This is exactly why I don't eat eggs. (Don't worry, just a ABC 7 news piece, not a link to Earthlings or anything...) I am glad to finally see some recognition of farm animal abuse in the media. And thank you to Mercy for Animals for bringing STANDARD INDUSTRY PRACTICE for the treatment of laying hens to the media's attention. And for getting that treatment on videotape. Gemperle (the factory farm owner) says of the practices shown on the video made by Mercy for Animals "What I saw on that video is not what our company does" and that the practices are "in violation of our high standards for animal welfare." Well obviously those practices are what the company does and there is no standard for animal welfare based on the company's common practices. But he did say one thing I can only hope for: "They won't stop until they destroy animal agriculture." Because this is how ALL eggs are produced that you buy at the grocery store and your local diner. (Unless you shop and eat at a very special very expensive grocery store or diner.)

And if you haven't gotten bored yet and have read this far eggs contain no dietary fiber, 6 grams of fat and 212 milligrams of cholesterol. Tofu is way better since it won't give you salmonella, high cholesterol and comes in a low fat version. It also has more protein by weight and per calorie than eggs. Plus tofu doesn't need to be prevented from becoming cannibalistic when kept in close quarters with other tofu. It's really easy to ditch eggs completely so maybe I should do a post about replacing eggs in one's diet?

P.S. My tofu vs. eggs nutritional value source is here. Since I can't run to the kitchen and look at an egg carton or anything ; )
P.S.S. I also didn't know the battery hens lived in the cages for 2 YEARS. 2 YEARS! But at least they are gassed instantly the second their egg production diminishes... oh wait.
P.S.S.S. The rant continues... people were shocked?! to see where the eggs came from?!!!! Where the hell did they think they came from?!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

CSA box for April 30th 2008

My fridge is again bursting at the seams with leafy greens.

CSA box for April 30th 2008

Asparagus MI
Celery CA
Chives IN
Melon FL
Parsnips WI
Ramps WI
Sorrel IN
Spinach WI
Watercress IN

I swear I shall work on a post about wonderful San Fransisco soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Party Like It's 1999

I'm so excited about our trip to San Francisco! Sasha made us all reservations for our first night there at a swanky and wonderful sounding restaurant, Millenium. I'm in it for the black bean torte with strawberry-jicama salsa. (Plus carmelized plantains plus cashew sour cream plus pumpkin-habanero salsa verde.) Now I just have to figure out what to wear.... and stay awake!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Red Pill or Blue Pill

This is a sort of strange little cartoon but have you escaped the Meatrix?

And another note: our local Sunshine Market finally started carrying organic whole wheat pasta! Praise the lord hallelujah. One less thing I or Amos has to run to Whole Foods for. It really is the oddest place; hot dog thieves and organic pasta. Bear Naked Granola an aisle away from Chorizo. Fiji and Perrier water next to Jarrito mineragua.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Girl, It's Time for Pancakes!


This is Morgan two Sundays ago mixing up some porridge cakes.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

CSA Box for the Week of April 16th

Finally things are starting to grow out of the ground and the trees are starting to get a green fuzz going. We visited Katie's campus and there were daffodils everywhere. Unfortunately it isn't quite time for edible items to start growing up here yet and most of our food in this weeks box still came from California. I don't know why there was no asparagus...

CSA Box for the Week of April 16th

Leeks CA
Carrots CA
Garlic WI
Shitaake Mushrooms IN
Pink Lady Apples WA
Onions CA
Fennel CA
Kale CA

I used the kale last night to make a pesto. If you haven't had kale pesto you are definitely missing out on something good.

Today on the suggestion of my dad and step-mom Ce-Ce we all went to this little eco fair at a local high school called Green Scene and totally pigged out on some nachos from Soul Vegetarian East. Plus greens, macaroni and cheese, and bbq seitan. OMG. And I scored like 10 compact fluorescent bulbs for free.

Right now I have to run because tonight we are playing a city-wide game of tag called Journey to the End of the Night. It should be some great fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Mint Cookies


These cookies - really really good. I didn't measure everything I put in here but can take a pretty good stab at how much of everything I did use. I also had to make a half batch of what I would normally make because I didn't have enough banana, sugar or butter for a whole batch. Maybe that is the secret to their goodness? And whole wheat flour in a cookie - what kind of nonsense is that? Chewy awesome nonsense.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

You Will Need:

1/2 C Earth Balance
3/4 C Evaporated Cane Juice
1/2 Ripe Banana
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Peppermint Extract
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 C Cocoa (More or less... cocoa was one of those things I just sort of dumped in...)
1 C Whole Wheat/All Purpose Flour (About 70% Whole Wheat/30% All Purpose)
6 Oz. Chocolate Chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing or lining with parchment paper. Or for a crispy bottomed cookie preheat baking stone in oven.

Cream together butter, sugar and banana. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extracts, salt and baking soda. Stir in cocoa powder until well incorporated. Slowly add flour. Finally gently stir in your chocolate chips.

Spoon dough onto cookie sheet in small balls. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Yields about 12-14 decent sized cookies. If you want 24-28 decent sized cookies double the recipe.

4/20/07 Note: I made a full batch of these yesterday by doubling the recipe and they were spot on. Bake away!

Where we ate last night

I have this little business going where I bought a bunch of bikes from a second hand store back home - classic Schwinn's - and have been selling them on Craigslist. So I was feeling pretty flush and everyone wanted to go out for dinner plus it was Friday (!) so we went to Lula Cafe. Since it is only two blocks away from home I usually just stop in (or make my sister stop in) to get coffee to go. Their entrees aren't too pricey ($17 is about as high as it goes for a vegan entree) and they have a really fun atmosphere. The food is interesting but sometimes really bland. I don't usually even like the food that much but this time was pretty decent so read on.

First there was a little amuse of cauliflower and wild ramps. Amos and I split the crispy chickpea panelle with wild mushrooms, fava beans, minted red onion and frisee. We also split the beets marinated in olive oil (that I have eaten for breakfast before) and a bowl of veggie soup. It came with bread we gobbled up and lemon thyme butter I sadly pushed off to the side. The best thing I had was the blood orange cosmopolitan. The rim of the glass was lined with lemon juice and just a touch of powdered sugar, none of that Chili's pink rock sugar nonsense. And the blood orange gave it a subtle little bite. I had two.

That said I think it is time to make cookies! It has been rainy and gross all day long ....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nice Photo?


Someone on Flickr commented this was a nice photo. The coaster says "Rock Bottom Lounge" - a kinda creepy kinda scary bar in New Orleans.


Pesto Time



What is it about pesto that makes your afternoon seem to go slower? Now there is enough time to read an extra chapter of your book or write a letter to your grandma.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Hot Dog Story

I have a quick story about what happened at Sunshine Market - our little neighborhood grocery - two days ago.

I was standing in line and the two people in front of me (small container soy milk and a gallon 2%) asked the cashier "what happened here the other day?!" And the cashier said that a man had walked into the store and tried to steal a pack of hot dogs. A manager saw this and apprehended the man who pulled a knife on the manager. I think all this went down on the sidewalk outside because a cop was driving by and saw the thief with the knife and ran up with his gun drawn and said "Drop the knife and the hot dogs!" So the one person in line in front of me had happened to be walking down the street and saw the guy laying on the sidewalk with the hot dogs laying there too! The cashier said it was sad the man put himself in jail over some hot dogs. I was like yeah - that sucks.

Also I have been in this really happy mood ever since yoga on Wednesday night and the teacher said that whole "don't worry something something divine order etc etc." Even though I was sick yesterday I was still happy. And I am even happier today because I bought two plane tickets for Amos and I to go visit Sasha and Vanessa in three weekends! And I volunteered to help out at ESL in Logan Square on Tuesday and my student was really into biking and global warming even though I had a really hard time understanding what he was talking about sometimes. He did Earth Hour and thought it was funny that everyone at Pankakes said WTF! the Earth only gets an hour! We also had to read this book about a boy going on the Oregon trail which I thought was sort of ironic and odd.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

NO MORE VEGETABLES

My box was faithfully sitting on my sister's stoop yesterday full of veggies even though I canceled it.

CSA box for April 2nd:

Ambrosia Apples BC, Canada
Chevril WI
Garlic WI
Celery CA
Lettuce IL
Tomato and Scallop Soup WI
Zucchini FL
Spinach IL

So I am excited to try out my new herbes de provence with the zucchini. And the chevril would go nicely in a Tofu salad sandwich. (I also just learned chevril is a member of the parsley family with a delicate flavor.) And I was out of garlic. But I still have lettuce from last week! And I don't really use celery for anything... maybe they can come to pankakes this week and serve as bloody mary swizzle sticks....

I have a weird paradox to share as well: I needed to buy bagels yesterday. I forgot. Then I just happened to be with a friend later that evening at that same bakery and the bagels I most likely would have bought were in the bag with all the other not-bought bread in the trash. There were only six bagels in the bread reject bag so chances are I might have bought all six bagels thus preventing them from entering the waste stream. Maybe I should remember the words of my yoga teacher that night "Don't worry. Something something divine order everything is as it is as it was and as it will be." Or maybe I just saved ten bucks. Who knows!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CSA Box Updates

Hello all! Amos and I have started to document all our spending in MiniMoney to see exactly how much we spend per month... and we spent a whopping $511.69 on groceries last month. And that doesn't even include eating out. (That would be another $201.80.) Is this normal? It seems awfully high to me.

So lets catch up on the CSA box:

CSA Box for March 26th:

Spinach WI
Russet Potatoes WI
Zucchini FL
Suntan Peppers FL
Lettuce IL
Micro Greens IL
Carrots CA
Yellow Onions CA
Beets CA

So under half of the produce we received this week is local. But what can you do? It is just the beginning of spring here. I am thinking about planting some spinach and greens in containers on my back porch. We started receiving the box for convenience but what could be more convenient than just stepping out on the back porch and grabbing a bunch of spinach we grew ourselves?

Anyone want to offer up a rooftop spot in their building for us to start a container garden?

A non-food related item (or maybe it is food related?): Amos and I went for the first time on Sunday to play bike polo! It was really interesting as I have never actually ridden a bike into a chain link fence before... good times. The website shows it being played on grass but we were playing on a tennis court in Humbolt Park. Oh what Sunday fun there is to be had.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kitchen Rental

I was totally unaware of this but you can rent a kitchen space to prepare foods that you want to sell. Since the health department sort of limits the food you bake at home to at girl scout bake sales this makes a lot of sense for personal chefs and caterers that don't have their own kitchens.

I also read this interesting article in the Chicago Reader about a women renting out a space in a recently abandoned candy company (Chicago was once the candy capital of the world after all) to produce her own line of caramels. Not vegan unfortunately...

I am so so jealous of all the creative people out there that can effectively translate their passion into something profitable. The caramel woman was employed at Kraft for years working on their Ranch Dressing with Bacon and other gross sounding products so she has definitely put in her dues.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photographs

I am totally smitten with these photographs on etsy by Irene Sochocki. I just signed up for an account today - we will see if I ever actually get around to doing anything with it!

Landscapes... in cheese.

During my daily scan of the architecture job boards I found an article about this one night architecture competition on archinect. Of course it wasn't very vegan because the medium for the models? Cheese. Yes... cheese. I can't disagree that cheese wouldn't be a great medium to work with. Malleable, meltable, easy to use. It sure would beat foam core.

I could go off on a diatribe about how I wish there were more events like this in the architectural community and discuss the effectiveness of these events at doing whatever it is they are trying to do. But I lack motivation and writing skills and have a top-tube pad to knit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Night Update

We finally ate the rest of our homegrown shitake mushrooms. They were really good cooked up in some soy sauce, rice vinegar, basil, and mirin then served over whole wheat pasta.

I also talk about my friend Sasha a lot but have not even linked to her blog about her new life in San Fransisco! If you want a glimpse of the good life through the eyes (or keystrokes) of a great gal check it out.

And um... nothing else to say tonight except this article was linked on her site and it made me really angry. Why in the world would you ever pay for animals to be abused? Uggh so frustrating.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Raw Brownies

I made the raw brownies from 28 Cooks on Monday and they were awesome! (I brought one to my dad yesterday when I met him for lunch and he loved them too! Katie loves them! Amos loves them!) I couldn't help but compare them to another recently discovered favorite food item - Lara Bars.

Diana turned us onto Lara Bars and at first I thought it was going to be like the first time Amos tried to get me to eat a Cliff Bar (which I now love - well the chocolate flavored ones anyway...). So at any rate it seems like raw food is coming full circle in my life. I definitely going to try and make another batch modeled after my favorite Lara Bar - Chocolate Mint. Which reminds me of the mint carob snowball I had last time I went to Karyn's.

All this to say - yo it is Purim and here is an interesting article on some Lara Bar taste alike goodness - not vegan.... still an interesting quick read.