Eat Me.

Anything you can do we can do vegan.

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


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


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


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