Field Roast brings new vegan options to Safeco Field

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’d know that I’m a fan of local company Field Roast, and their hearty selection of all-vegan products. I’m also a baseball fan, so when I received an invitation from the company to attend a tasting of some of their new vegan offerings at Safeco Field on May 8, I was pumped.

Thankfully, friend/fellow Seattle vegan blogger Helen of Vegtastic was invited too, and we met up to sample some tasty vegan options and attend that evening’s Mariners game (Full disclosure: Field Roast invited us to stay and watch the game in addition to the tasting). There were media reps from all sorts of publications present such as Google Places, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and more, which made us happy. Veganism news – it’s everywhere!

Eagerly awaiting vegan dogs.

We were early to arrive and had the chance to meet and talk with Field Roast founder David Lee and PR Manager Jennifer Hryciw. I was happy to learn that David is vegan, (yay!) and that the Seattle-based company is in the International District. The company offered an impressive spread for us. David served us three specialty vegan hot dogs, the original frankfurters, and a specialty Field Roast burger. If you were checking my tweets/Instagram that day, some of these photos may look familiar.

Original Frankfurter:

I was lucky to have the chance to sample these at VegFest. The texture, flavor combinations and substance of this hot dog makes all other veg options pale in comparison, and I’ve tried a few. Savory and spicy, it was great plain but would be even better with all the fixings.

The Seattle Chili Cheez Dog:

I’ll admit right now that chili cheese hot dogs are my favorite kind. Usually I have to make them myself or take a jaunt to Cyber Dogs in Seattle, but having the ability to order one at a baseball game is slightly surreal. This was the first option I tried after the original, and I thought it was great, and it may be my second favorite of the lot. The chili was mild, but it’s nothing a little hot sauce couldn’t help. The “cheez” was a combination of coconut cream and Daiya, which was brilliant, and actually worked quite well. So messy, but so worth it.

The Bombay:

As I tweeted, I had really high hopes for the Bombay – an Indian food-inspired take on a hot dog. I know that it sounds wild, but hear me out before you knock it! My high hopes were not let down, and I believe this was my favorite all of all dogs I tried, hands down. Topped with curried chana dal (garbanzo beans), mango chutney, smooth coconut cream sauce and fried curry leaves (!), it actually perfectly complemented the hot dog underneath. If you love Indian spices and flavors, try this dog! It was amazing and I’m still thinking about it.

The IchiBan:

As a sushi fan and lover of interesting food combinations, I was intrigued by the IchiBan, which boasted teriyaki caramelized onions, grated daikon and carrot, shredded nori and a mayo dressing. The strong flavors of the onions and the mayo stole the show with this dog, and though it was tasty, I’d say it wasn’t my favorite. There were a lot of competing combinations at play here – texture, flavors, and spices – and it may have been a bit too much for me. Despite that, I will try it again to see how I like it the second time, as Field Roast gave the attendees the recipe to make this one at home!

The Field Burger:

Field Roast created their first ever veggie burger to serve exclusively at Safeco Field. Created from fresh raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion and garlic), whole barley, tomatoes, and Field Roast meats, the burger has a lot more substance than other veggie burgers I’ve had. The texture of this burger was great – not too soft (I’m thinking Dr. Praeger’s burgers) and not too firm, but just right. It held up well and is a great meal option. I only had a few bites of this, as I was pretty full by this point.

Here’s the price breakdown for each of the options that are now available at Safeco: The Frankfurter: $6.25; the three specialty dogs, which will rotate at the stand run $6.50; and the Field Burger: $6.75. For the flavor, fresh ingredients and hearty nature of each of these items, I thought the price was more than worth it.

Also in attendance for this event was Johanna McCloy, Veggie Happy creator/founder and long-time vegetarian who has made it her personal mission to ensure that vegetarian options are available at major league baseball fields around the country. How rad is that? I definitely made sure to mention Cheney Stadium/the Rainiers to her, as I’ve been told that veggie burgers/dogs exist there, but after searching for years I’ve yet to see or try one.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience enhanced by great people, a fun game (that we inevitably lost!), and tasty food. I’m already eager to come back and enjoy a game with a delicious vegan meal in hand. And I’m pretty sure that next visit will be June 9, when the Mariners take on my home team, the L.A. Dodgers. Veggie Happy actually has created an event for this day, so you can come and meet Johanna and David Lee of Field Roast, too!

The Field Roast stand at Safeco Field is located on the Main Concourse off Section 133, right next to the Natural, the pre-existing vegetarian-friendly food stand.

Update 5/21/12: Be sure to check out Helen’s review of our fun Field Roast-filled day at Safeco Field, too!

Second annual Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale recap

A little late, but worth the wait.

As noted a few posts back, on Sunday, April 29 two friends and I (Joy and Dan) held the second annual Tacoma edition of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale at King’s Books. I had another fundraiser to attend and arrived late, but it was still hopping, brimming with delicious treats, and visited by great people towards the end.

After all was said and done we raised $590 total for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest! We definitely couldn’t have done it without all the wonderful bakers, volunteers, our gracious second-time host King’s Books, and everyone else who helped spread the word and make this event a success. Thank you!

I’m sure you’re dying to see some photos of the delicious baked goods, so here they are. All photos are by Joy Clendening and Dan Martin.

Rice crispy treats, cookies and macaroons.

I made Coffee Chip Muffins again, and Joy made some delicious/healthy breakfast muffins and lemon chia bread, which is so yummy.

Large lit table with info from Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and vegan books that are available at King's.

I think one of my favorite items for sale this year was Leah's pesto rolls, a combination of two delicious things.

Beautiful cupcakes and cookie display and boxes.

Like last year, we also had a giant table filled with nothing but vegan literature, info on the Chimp Sanctuary and also vegan/animal rights books for sale at King’s Books. No leftover baked goods from this event went to waste, and all extras were taken to the Tacoma Rescue Mission.

Did you hold a Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale event this year in your city? If so, how’d it go and what treats did you enjoy?

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

If you subscribe to the Tacoma Food Co-op‘s monthly newsletter, you may have seen this pop up in your email yesterday:

I wrote a short little piece about some of my favorite TFC food products, how it’s easier than you may think to be vegan and about the ways the co-op can help you if you’re considering transitioning to the diet.

In addition to the article, I also created a recipe for said newsletter. I am more of an eat-and-review type of food blogger rather than the recipe writer kind, but sometimes creativity strikes. Or, I realize I’ve got some recipes I created and have been making for years and remember that I should share them with you all. This recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad pertains to the latter.

Quinoa salads (or any grain-based salad, really) are great because they are a nice change from the traditional all-greens based salad, they’re heartier, and they’re also very customizable and you can make one with whatever you have on hand. I used to make a plainer version of this for potlucks/gatherings, but last week I was feeling the nicer weather and leaning towards more Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. I think it turned out pretty well! I’ll include the newsletter copy for those who aren’t signed up yet, (and if you’re local, you should be! Sign up here).

With spring in full gear and summer coming soon, we tend to focus more on lighter, nutrient-rich meals that call for less prep, and less reliance on our ovens. This Mediterranean-inspired recipe makes use of quinoa, a nutty Incan protein-filled grain that is a great addition to salads. When combined with beans, spicy Italian parsley, red onions and a rich tahini dressing, it makes a colorful main dish or a hearty side.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yields 4-8 servings, depending upon whether served as a side or main dish. Gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped (The original recipe called for ½ bunch, but that was a typo! If you like spicy, you can use the original amount.)
½ cup red onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
Grape tomatoes
Kalamata olives

Tahini dressing:

Zest and juice of one large lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water
¼-½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Rinse the quinoa. In saucepan, combine quinoa and water and cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, which should take 15 minutes.

Prepare the dressing while the quinoa cooks. Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, tahini, olive oil, water and salt. This might take a few minutes if your tahini was refrigerated.

Toss the quinoa, beans, parsley, red onion, and dressing. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve garnished with tomatoes, olives and a bit more parsley.

Enjoy!

The TFC also has their “Spring Into the Co-op” campaign happening now. Check out the website or Facebook page for more info on discounts, prizes and more goodies that you can receive by visiting the co-op five times by May 31.

Do you have any grain-based salads that you love to make during spring and summer? And do you have any fun plans for our 70-80 degree weather this weekend? Do tell!

 

 

 

April Vegan Food Swap reveal

When friend, former Tacomite and fellow vegan food blogger Cat of The Verdant Life announced that she was starting a vegan food swap, I jumped at the opportunity. Before I started this blog, I read lots of vegan blogs and came across awesome stories of strangers who’d swapped food from around the country and it looked like fun, (to this food nerd). I signed up for her Vegan Food Swap for the month of April and I wasn’t disappointed, as it was both super fun to send and receive a swap box.

I sent an all-Washington state, half-Tacoma based package to Cheryl of AmazinglyOrganic, and received one from Aimee of Big Spoon Kitchen Adventures. Check out all the cool stuff she sent me:

Some Soy Curls, (yum, you can never have enough) and two samples: one of Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle Seasoning and a Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap, which you can also never have enough of.

She also included some items in awesomely recycled packaging: star anise, cacao nibs, homemade salt-free vegan pho seasoning (!!) and some homemade oatmeal chai cookies, which are delightful! You can find the recipe for them here. Can you guess what I was most excited about?

Yep, the vegan pho seasoning! I thought it was so thoughtful that Aimee checked out my blog beforehand and saw that I was a mega-pho freak and included this. I’ve always wanted to make homemade pho but never have, and now I have the tools to do it right!

Cat started this Vegan Food Swap with the intention of it becoming a monthly event. If you’d like to participate in May, sign up here soon! Also, check out all of the other reveals to see what everyone else swapped.

PS:  The second annual Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is happening this Sunday! Hope to see you there for loads of delicious vegan goodies and lots of community.

 

Get your sweet treat on at the second annual Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!

Last year, two vegan lady friends and I (Joy and Lisa) thought that it was high time Tacoma was represented in Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale week, so we held what we believed to be Tacoma’s first vegan bake sale at the wonderful King’s Books. In our eyes, it was a massive success. We raised over $600 for Precious Life Animal Sanctuary, shared amazing vegan baked goods with friends and strangers, and brought more awareness to the vegan lifestyle and ethic in our town. And this year, we’re doing it again!

Sweet flier image courtesy of Dan Martin.

As you may have seen me mention via the VM FB/Twitter accounts, we’re holding the second annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale – Tacoma edition, (adorably titled “Sweet Eats!”) at King’s Books this Sunday, April 29, from noon to 4 p.m. This time around Joy, her man Dan and I are heading up the effort, and we hope to see some lovely faces come out and support this year’s cause: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

Here’s more info from the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Tacoma Facebook event page:

We’re doing it again, baking up a storm of vegan goodies for charity. This year all the proceeds are going to Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW.
If you are interested in volunteering in any way, whether it be baking, set up or tabling, email me at: joy_clendening@yahoo.com
Of course anything you bake has to be vegan and it will have to be in sealed containers.
We look forward to tasty your yummy treats and giving a big donation to the Chimps!

Gracious sweet pea of King’s Books was kind enough to let us hold the event at his store again, and we’re amped to fill up as many tables as we can with sweet treats of all sorts. From loaded with sugar and flour, to gluten-free, raw and low-sugar, whatever your preferences, it’ll be represented at this bountiful spring vegan event.

Though the event is only a few days away, we’re always looking for/are welcoming of helpful volunteers. If you’re interested in contributing baked (and non!) goods or helping us set up the event, break it down or assist with the actual sale, please e-mail Joy at the address above. Our goal is always to raise as much funds as we can for the chimps, and volunteers are definitely an integral part of that happening.

Scenes from last year's Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale - 253 Edition.

I also want to make sure that everyone knows that you do not have to be vegan to come! You just have to love delicious treats! Though if you are baking, we do ask that you make your baked goods vegan, as not doing so would kind of defeat our whole purpose. If you’d like more info on Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale week 2012, want to get a glimpse of all the places participating, get some tips on vegan baking, or learn how to start a vegan bake sale in your neck of the woods, check out their amazingly resourceful website. And please be sure to let us know you’ll be attending the event by RSVPing to it on Facebook.

My goal is to bake espresso brownies, because the idea of the Valhalla brownies at Corina always make me swoon, but they’re sadly not vegan-friendly. I want to make another sort of brownie variation, and may whip up some Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies from “Veganomicon” that Roxanne made for our underground supper club, as they were a huge hit with vegans and non-veg people alike. Whether brownies are up your alley or not, please come out if you can, and I hope to see you Sunday!

The upcoming 2012 Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale has been written about around the Internet! Check it out:

Post Defiance: Don’t be Scared, it’s just a Vegan Bake Sale

Tacoma Weekly: World Wide Vegan Bakesale in Tacoma on Sunday

King’s Books: Vegan Bake Sale

Wherein social media + vegetables + cocktails lead to educational dinner parties

If you asked me to compile the number of things that have come about in my life that began on the Internet, you’d get an exhaustive list. And I know I’m not the only one. This is a story of how awesome things can grow out of seemingly aimless discussions on the Internet.

Three Internet-turned-real life Tacoma friends and I were chatting on Twitter over a month ago regarding one’s week-long experiment with a juice fast. This friend isn’t extreme diet or liquid fast-prone, so I was genuinely curious when he brought it up. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Were you juice fasting?”

Brian: “Yeah, trying it out. I just need a better way to eat fruits and veggies.”

M: “I suggest cooking them (well).”

Etc. Soon, the two other friends that I’ve mentioned on here a few times before, Roxanne and Adrienne, chimed in with other tips on good, easy ways to integrate veggies into your diet. I think Adrienne mentioned throwing them in soup, Roxanne said steam them, and I said throw them in pretty much anything you’re cooking or making, (smoothies, pasta dishes, stir fries, etc.) and roasted Brussels sprouts, (because well, if you read this blog, you KNOW!).

Brian is a busy guy. He’s married, has a baby, works, partakes in the fine art of cocktail making and runs a cocktail blog that you should really check out. I totally understand how some may not know how (or just flat out don’t want) to cook with the little time we have left for the things we care about at the end of the day. That being said, sometimes you need something to go with your cocktails! I love cooking, and I didn’t learn how to until I became a vegetarian in college. I also love sharing, so as the conversation between the four of us progressed, I suggested this:

“How about we exchange some very basic cooking lessons for cocktail making lessons?”

And the rest is history.

Just kidding. Then Brian suggested we start a dinner club, (which I’ve fondly started calling our Underground Supper Club) started our Facebook group (*pushes back glasses*), and that’s when things really became history.

Last Sunday, we had the first of hopefully many of our underground supper club parties with partners (and baby) included, and it was lovely, delicious and educational. We decided to make the whole dinner vegan because apparently veggies outnumbered the carnivore (5 to 3, but who’s counting!), which was super rad of the group and convenient for us veg types. I sadly don’t have any pictures of people, (of course), but Roxanne snapped one and next time I’ll be sure to remember. Here are some snaps of all the food and beverages we enjoyed (and a recipe!):

This was how our evening started, which is to say it was a great foreshadowing. This is Brian's take on a Denny Triangle, originally created by Seattle mixer Jamie Boudreau of Canon bar. It contains gin and grapefruit juice among other ingredients, and was perfectly refreshing on a warm spring night.

Roxanne's photo of Adrienne (left) and I cooking on Brian and Brooke's amazing Viking Range, which I'm now coveting. Adrienne was at work on a soup, and I was making pasta sauce. I feel like we were both "in our elements" here.

Dinner is served! Adrienne's Root Vegetable Soup with Greens on the right, and my contribution: the Pasta e Fagioli with Spinach from "Appetite For Reduction." Both were delicious!

Adrienne created the soup recipe, and was kind enough to let me share it with you all. It’s posted up on her blog, A Big Mouthful, here. Go make it, soon! The original recipe contains beans, but she didn’t use them this time as we had a bean-based appetizer and my pasta sauce used navy beans. I suggest adding some vegan sausage to make it even more hearty for a main meal.

Roxanne's contributions were two wonderful iced teas and dessert (this is also her photo): these beautiful and amazingly rich Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies. You can find the recipe in "Veganomicon."

As we prepped the main parts of the meal, Adrienne and I coerced Brian into chopping and chatted with him about our processes/usual cooking steps. When it came to cocktails, it was his turn to teach. Here he poured Jamaican rum for our second cocktail: the Bywater, originally created by Chris Hannah.

Sadly, I didn't get a shot of the Bywater when finished, but here is a drink mixing action shot instead. This cocktail was just as excellent. It used green Chartreuse, which I'm a fan of due to local craft cocktail lounge, 1022 South.

Not pictured: Adrienne’s incredibly smooth, garlic-infused Rosemary White Bean dip. I kept running to grab some while cooking, it was so addictive and savory.

We haven’t planned any specifics for our next supper club gathering yet, but I am already looking forward to it!

Have any awesome food or drink-related events, gatherings or things come out of your online relationships and communities? If so, please share them!

“Internet” photo by Keith Ramsey, via Creative Commons

Food, blogging and social media

Picture from a Seattle Vegan Blogger meetup in a post about another food blogging gathering. Slightly meta.

The aforementioned things are the be-all, end-all in my mind – three subjects that I love and am ridiculously passionate about. Thankfully, I’m involved with a local group that’s letting me lead a discussion about all of them tomorrow night, and I’m hoping that if you’re nearby you’ll take the opportunity to join us.

Social Media Club Tacoma (you may have seen me sing their praises via Facebook or Twitter) aims to “get locals together to share, learn and build relationships” during monthly meetups, and this invitation is open to anyone and everyone.

I love any opportunity when social media can converge with food, and all of the SMC Tacoma board members are pumped for tomorrow’s happenings.

We culled together a group of panelists including Adrienne Kuehl of A Big Mouthful, Marisa Mezs of Clearance Cuisine, Roxanne Cooke of RoxanneCooke.com, and myself to discuss food blogging, food trends, social media and more. I know every individual who will be representing on the panel and I can tell you that you’re all in for a treat – literally and figuratively. These bloggers truly know their stuff and each of us will also be bringing a baked good to share with everyone. Win and win.

If you’re interested in any of these topics, are curious about starting a food blog or just want to meet new people with similar interests in your city, check out the link below and join us! With Bluebeard Coffee as our host and a $50 gift card to an excellent Tacoma restaurant up for grabs, it’s sure to be a lively and informative event. See you tomorrow!

SMC Tacoma presents: Food Blogging À La Carte
Where: Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, 2201 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
When: Tuesday, April 10 from 6-8 p.m.
What: Chat food, food blogging, social media and other nerd things
Cost: Free! (You do have to pay for delicious coffee, though)

Vegan fragrance reviews: Sweet Petula, Herbal Alchemy, and Sweet Anthem

I started this blog last year with the intent of it not only being about vegan food, but also about vegan lifestyle. I haven’t covered a lot of ground in that arena yet and that’s where this post and future posts come in, and hopefully you all enjoy the change of pace/content!

As a woman who’s worn perfume all of her life, finding a “signature scent” is something I’ve struggled with for years. Becoming vegan didn’t exactly make this effort more challenging, but it’s a tad harder to find animal-friendly scents in mainstream stores than it is the traditional, alcohol-based scents found in most department stores.

I recently switched to using pure essential oils as my “perfume,”  but I quickly became bored with just using one very specific single scent everyday, (most notably, lavender). After running out of my most recent supply, I took to Etsy to research vegan, handmade perfumes to see if I could find a new, cruelty-free scent to call my own. Thankfully, I found three companies that seemed to offer a great deal of options and two of the companies are local, (Seattle-based) as well.

Sweet Petula – No. 4 Vintage Peony

Sweet Petula’s company mantra is “simple luxuries for bath & body” and that is exactly what I’ve found them to be, cheesy as it sounds. The Seattle company started selling at local farmers markets and craft fairs and has seen great success since. After perusing Cordelia’s page filled with lotions, balms, and many perfume scents, I  picked No. 4 Vintage Peony in a solid, as it was described as a modern, classic scent that is “laced with violet and honeysuckle and warmed with seductive amber and soft musk.” These sounded like an intriguing combo, and I wasn’t disappointed. The light fragrance notes really worked together and it seemed to last a while, though I’d been warned through other perfume reviews that natural/handmade scents fade quickly and need to reapplied. Feminine is probably the one word I’d use to describe this scent, and I’m not sure exactly what peonies in their physical form smell like. If it’s even remotely close to this, they’re hands down my new favorite flower.

Note: I purchased this perfume over a month ago, and since I’ve checked back it looks like they aren’t selling perfumes on the page anymore, which is a bummer. They do however still sell bath bombs, lotions, candles and soaps. Be sure to check the ingredients or message before purchasing, as not all their products are vegan. Visit the Sweet Petula Etsy page for current product information.

(Photo courtesy Herbal Alchemy)

Herbal Alchemy Apothecary – Tourmaline

Brooklyn-based Herbal Alchemy appealed to me for a few reasons, one being the cool names the store’s owner Julianne gave to her products: cocktails, waters and medicinals, to name a few. The company seems to have earned its Apothecary title, and the proprietor grew up drying flowers from her grandmother’s garden before she went on to become an herbalist/aromatherapist/perfumist.

I had trouble choosing just one sample to purchase as many sounded alluring, but I went with Tourmaline, which was inspired by a song of the same name and is composed of notes of tobacco, bitter orange, honey and fern. Classified as a musky floral, it’s quite different than anything I’ve ever purchased or worn as a perfume. It also was intriguing in the sense that it smelled different in the bottle than it did on my skin, which wasn’t a bad thing at all – both smelled earthy and sweet. I really enjoy Tourmaline and am now definitely considering trying out a few more scents from Herbal Alchemy when my current stash is depleted.

Tourmaline is available at HerbalAlchemy.net or the Herbal Alchemy Etsy page in a sample size for $5 or in a 20 ml bottle for $45.

(Photo courtesy Sweet Anthem)

Sweet Anthem – Annabelle, Emily, and Tara

Sweet Anthem was the only shop of the three that I purchased samples from that I’d heard about before starting my research. Friend/fellow Washington vegan blogger Anika of Vegan Score had tweeted about it the week before I purchased, so timely! Based in West Seattle, Sweet Anthem is a micro-perfumery owned by Meredith Smith, who left her graphic design job to make perfume full-time, (pretty rad, right?). Selling vegan-friendly scents in solid, oil and eau de parfum forms, she creates 100% of the fragrance combos in her shop, making them completely unique and one of a kind.

I purchased a sample set that allowed you to choose three fragrances in different forms, so I chose: Annabelle in oil, Emily in solid and Tara in oil. Annabelle was the scent I was most excited about, as it contained white amber, jasmine, osmanthus, and sea salt. Jasmine’s been a favorite scent for years and it was classified as “marine,” which brings back memories of warm beaches back home. It did not disappoint, and actually was my favorite of the three that I’ve been wearing almost everyday. It’s light, airy, romantic and clean. Emily was in the “gourmand” category, and sounded delicious as it’s composed of: almond, coconut, oatmeal, sandalwood, vanilla, yuzu and more. Every time I put it on, I feel like I’m in a bakery or like I just baked something, as a warm, inviting and richly edible scent emanates from it. I don’t think I could wear this everyday (it makes me hungry!), but I would recommend it to anyone who loves smelling of delicious treats.

Lastly, Tara was a traditional floral in the “citrus” subcategory with hints of black tea, damascus rose, red currant, rosewood, saffron, and thyme, which sounded as though it’d give a spicy/sweet result. The black tea and currant seem really prominent to me as I put this on, and it feels exotic without smelling too strong or off-putting. I enjoyed it and seems perfect for warm spring evenings – whenever those decide to show here in the PNW!

All three scents are available in either oil, solid or eau de parfum forms on the Sweet Anthem Etsy page or SweetAnthem.com. If you’re local, you can also come in to Sweet Anthem for a Perfume Making 101 class or just pick out your favorite notes to have Meredith create a custom perfume for you.

- – -

I highly recommend checking out all three of these great, vegan-friendly perfume/bath and body products stores, especially if you’re trying to veganize/green your personal care routine, or if you know of a friend who’d love a handmade, personalized gift. While I’m reveling in the samples I’ve purchased, I’m still eager for them to run out so I can buy a few more samples and eventually land on my signature scent.

PS: This was my first time ever reviewing perfumes, and it honestly felt a little like reviewing wines.

Friday Snippets – ‘Hunger Games’ opening weekend edition

What does “The Hunger Games” have to do with my blog/veganism you may be wondering? Absolutely nothing, to be honest, and searches for “vegan Hunger Games” aren’t yielding anything either…yet. But I’m a fan of the books, the first film opens today, and I’ve been hit (pun fully intended) with HG madness just like the rest of the waking world. I’m actually finishing “Mockingjay” as I type this, but I just thought I’d throw a little nerdy shout out to anyone else who loves the books or is equally as excited for the film.

Okay, end geek rant. Onto this week’s Snippets!

Photo courtesy Fork & Beans

Vegan Lucky Charms, anyone? When I saw the Vegansaurus post on Fork & Beans’ genius creation of the veganized version of this cereal, I got a little giddy. Did anyone else love this cereal as much as I did growing up? Realizing that they’re basically just made with sugary marshmallows makes that love make a lot more sense now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be attempting to make these soon. Gluten-free friends, these are for you too!

Local South Sound/Seattle friends, this is your last reminder that VegFest 2012 takes place this weekend, March 24-25 at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall! I am personally pumped to try out the new Daiya cheese wedges, to visit the Wayfare Foods both and say hi to and hug Brit and just discover some new great products.

Photos courtesy Refinery29

Since the seasons officially changed from winter to spring, my mind has been on a few things: sunshine, picnics, drinks on patios and shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my knee-high brown riding boots over tights and my trusty Simple shoes (RIP) for walking around, but I am yearning for the days when I can walk around with adorable flats, put the socks away for a few months and also, grab some new kicks! For all my vegan ladies who also love their footwear, I’m sure you’re all aware of the Cri de Coeur brand, (and their price tags, ouch). Fashion/shopping deal site Refinery29 currently has a deal on said shoes: through April 3rd, spend $50, get $100 worth of credit. That’s 50% off for those counting at home, and a screaming deal. New spring flats, wedges and boots are that much closer to my and your closet.

I’m not sure if many of you South Sounders are familiar with Social Media Club Tacoma, but it’s an offshoot of the nationwide organization Social Media Club. I’m involved with our local chapter, and I’m very excited for our April Tweetup event that will take place April 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee. We’re going to be discussing food, Tacoma, social media and food blogging, and I’ll be your gracious hostess for the evening! The event will feature some awesome special guest bloggers including: Roxanne Cooke, local photographer and baker, Marisa Mezs of Clearance Cuisine and Adrienne Kuehl of A Big Mouthful, (they’re all linked in the invite).

If you’ve never been to an event, we hold one every month and it’s a great way to network, meet new people, as well as discuss shared passions, and food is definitely a doozy. We’ll be bringing some tasty baked goods as well. If you come out, please say hi!

Enjoy the lovely weather while it lasts, and happy weekend!

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day 2012

As I mentioned in my last Friday Snippets post, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day this year, though usually we don’t! We didn’t do the traditional go to an Irish pub/drink green beer/get lots of whiskey route, but rather were invited to a family gathering across the Narrows Bridge. As the boyfriend’s mom is vegan (and gluten-free), we thankfully know that whenever there’s a family gathering, there will always be food for us to eat.

I didn’t take too many pictures, so here are a few that I shot throughout the evening:

This was taken during our trip over to the aunt’s house. I posted this to Instagram with the caption: “good ol’ unincorporated Pierce County.” It’s true, when it’s not crazy snowy/power lines aren’t going out, it’s a beautiful place! Views like this are why I love living in Washington state.

Here’s a set up of the table before other dishes were laid out, (aka, meat). I thought the green decorations were adorable.

The bf’s mom made the Gluten-Free Goddess’ gluten-free Irish Soda Bread and it was amazing! She left out the currants and caraway seeds, but it definitely didn’t affect how well this turned out. If you’re ever looking for a dependable gluten-free bread recipe to make on St. Patrick’s Day or any day of the year really, try this one. All of this bread was gone in a flash!

And lastly, here’s my plate which consisted of (clockwise starting from the top): Sauteed green cabbage in a white wine mustard butter sauce, gluten-free Irish soda bread slice, carrots and parsnips and baby red potatoes.

And not pictured: the awesome gluten-free peppermint brownies that I contributed, that were made from dun dun dun…a box! I know, I know, but I was running really low on time and really am not so well versed in the world of gluten-free baking yet. I thought I’d give Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Gluten Free Fudge Brownie a try, and they came out perfectly. I added 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract and it provided just the right punch of flavor. I highly recommend it for anyone else out there who needs to bring a gluten-free dish to a gathering and/or is also short on time, (no one will ever know they came from a box!).

Said brownies were pretty much all gone at the end of the night as we nibbled on them/kept going back for seconds, etc. as we played Phase 10 throughout the night.

Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year? If so, what delicious vegan dishes did you make/enjoy?