Friday, December 22, 2006

And the winner is.....and some blue whales.

We have a winner! Vivacious Vegan got my mystery picture exactly! It is indeed a drying rack for my cleaned plastic baggies. I came up with this idea after my husband got sick of me hanging my drying bags on anything that was upright near the sink...the faucet handle, the dish soap bottle, the is just a medium sized terracotta pot that I put some small decorative marbles in, added as many skinny dowels as I needed, and there you have it, and easy way to dry your bags in one place!

Now, I apologize for taking so long to post the winner, but since I have inherited my mother's genetic predisposition to freak out when company is coming...I got a bit distracted. This is the first time my parents are coming to see me since I have gone strict vegan, so I have been a bit worried I would be viewed as a crazy person. To combat the craziness, I cleaned every speck of my house just to make sure that at least they would think I was an exceptionally clean crazy person.

Anyhoo, here is a quick meal I made a few nights ago, before all the true craziness and mania set it. Trader Joe's marinated Teriyaki tofu (LOVE this stuff!) browned up with broccoli, carrots and peas, some teriyaki sauce and a bunch of sesame seeds. Delish.

And here are some vegan gingerbread cookies the kids and I made two nights ago. I decided we needed a variety of shapes beyond the basic gingerbread man form, so I dragged out the cutest cookie cutters we had. So we have cute holiday bunnies, whales, bears and trees. Once cooled, I smeared on a thin glaze of powdered sugar and water, then added a bunch of colored sugar. Not particularly festive in terms of the typical red and green color scheme, but hey, I have never been one to follow the rules much. Oh, and we ate all the bears before they had a chance to be decorated. Heh heh.

Well, I can pretty much guarantee that I won't post until after the holidays are over, until after I can mess up my house without stressing myself out, and until my children are off their holiday sugar-high. Until then, I hope you all have a great time with family and friends!

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Vanilla Banana Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes, oh yes! And Want Some Vegan Marshmallows?

I found this convenient baking mix at Trader Joe's for pretty cheap and decided I wanted to veganize their recipe into some nummy cupcakes.I like to bake my own cupcakes from scratch most of the time, but sometimes it's fun to have a box mix to use. Instead of the two eggs it requires, I added one Ener-G "egg" and one half of a ripened banana, and then used Earth Balance and soymilk to replace the other animal ingredients. The mix is full of little vanilla bean flecks, so there is a very slight crunch to them, which I kinda liked. And the banana only added a barely noticeable banana-y flavor, which I also kind liked.

But, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Once they were cooled, I decided to pipe in some of Suzanne's Strawberry Ricemellow that I have been saving for something fun. I got it from Pangea. My sister-in-law Rebecca lives about 5 minutes away from their storefront in Rockville, MD, so I asked her to send me some vegan marshmallows (soooo goooooood in rice crispie treats!!) and some Ricemellow. Yay! I only piped it into a handful of cupcakes, just in case it was disgusting or something. Then I topped them off with a thinned-out veganized version of the Hershey's choco frosting recipe and some organic sprinkles. So hence, the Vanilla Banana Strawberry Chocolate title! Pretty good! The strawberry center is fun for the kids, but it sure is sweet! These would be fun for Spring, with all the cute pink and yellow-ness, and pastel sprinkles.

Next we have a veggie calzone using Trader
Joe's pizza dough, packed full of spinach, broccoli, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and marinara sauce. I also added in some Basil Pesto sauce and some Basil Tofu Ricotta from VWaV. A flavor sensation all wrapped up!

Now, what is this? It's not food, that much I can tell you.

I will give you a hint...think Homemade Recycling/Reusing ideas! I will reveal it in the next post. Do you think you can identify what this is? If so, or the first to get as close as possible, will win a bag of VeganSweets Marshmallows shipped directly from my house to yours. Leave a comment with your answer by 9:00 am MST Wednesday 12/20. Yip yip! Does this make sense?
(I will randomly select a comment if no one is close, just so you know the rules of my game. I have never had a giveaway on my blog, so please forgive me if I butcher it! I'm just tryin' to have a little fun for the holidays! :-)))

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Vanity, Covance and You Tube

I am in a vain mood today, which is unusual because I am normally terribly insecure and shy...but today I wanted to include a video in my post. I am in it, but it isn't anything funny or even remotely amusing. I am part of a group called the Citizens Against Covance out here in Arizona, and if you take a look at their website you will learn what we are about and who Covance is and why we are fighting their inpending arrival in Chandler, AZ. In a nutshell, Covance is an contract testing facility that tests everything from pesticides and chemicals to cosmetic ingredients and food additives on animals. They are a deceitful company in my humble opinion, and also have many violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Check out the latest news about them and tuberculosis in their monkeys on the website. They also are looking into building an incinerator (crematorium) which will blow toxic fumes across the city. I could go on and on...

But the main reason I am posting this video is mainly so I can show off my sign-holding abilities. No, that isn't true. I am showing this because through all the protests, rallies and demonstrations that I have been a part of, I have not been on TV. The media comes to a lot of our rallies and we get quite a bit of air time due to the controversial subject matter, but darnit, I never get on TV! Now, many times I have seen the back of my head or maybe even the sign I am holding gets on the evening news (minus my head, but I did see my fingers once!), but I was determined to get my mug on the news just once, just so I can get a good laugh at myself! There was one time where I was interviewed and had my photo taken many times for a local newspaper, and I was SURE I would be in the following issue, but no....nothing I said was printed and no pictures of me holding my sign. But both people on either side of me during that particular protest got their pictures in the paper, one even on the front page! Arrrgggh.

But finally, a film-maker came to one of our latest protests and made this video, and yes, I make an appearance. Now, I wish I could be depicted in low light, with my hair free-flowing in the gentle breeze, with a serene look upon my face....but no, I am squinting in the bright sun (NOT pretty!) and shown in slow-motion. Hmmm, well, I guess it is my 2.2 seconds of "fame".

Please check out the website and if you know anyone in the Phoenix area, let them know about this hard fight we are up against. We need all the support we can get! If you are interested, you can check out the following websites for more info on Covance and their cruelty:
Covance Cruelty

Be sure to turn your sound up when you watch this...the music makes quite an impact.

That is me near the end, holding the sign along with the "Honk if you say NO to Covance" sign, squinting into the blinding sunlight. And yes, I am proud.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I've changed! But in a good way, I promise.

My blog name has changed, and this suits me much better than that boring old name "Vegan Taste Test". Blah! As those that truly know me, I am very much a quirky person who really can be quite flippantly vague. I don't really know what that means, but it fits.

In this new and exciting blog, I hope to accomplish amusing my readers and innundating them with witty remarks, along with taking horrible pictures of my vegan food creations, and then expounding on my forays into public activism (i.e. stories of me on the street corner holding some kind of sign protesting virtually everything). I am also planning on writing a lot about my husband and his meat-eating ways, in hopes that he will (1) finally give in and join the vegan ranks or (2) start his own blog and write cutesy stories about living with a quirky vegan. I think choice number two is more likely than choice one at this point....

I hope those of you that actually read my original blog will come back and enjoy this new one. It has Pizazz! Drama! Romance! Pictures of cruelty-free food!

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