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!

 

 

Friday Snippets – St. Paddy’s Day edition

Hello and happy Friday, friends!

The Internet has been rife with Friday Snippets fodder this week, so I won’t hold back any longer. Here are some cool things I read/found online this week that you may have missed, many of which just happen to be related to a certain Irish holiday coming up tomorrow:

Me, Katie, Becca, Taylor, and Brit hanging out at the Gala during the inaugural Vida Vegan Con.

- After sitting on pins and needles for what seemed like eons this week, the three brainy vegan babes behind the Vida Vegan Conference (VVC) decided where the next conference will take place: VVC 2013 will be in Portland again (yay!) and VVC 2014 will be in Chicago, (woo!). I was honestly hoping for Chicago, but this is the best of both worlds, as now I can attend 2013 just by driving down I-5 and I can finally experience Chicago in all its glory for the first time with tons of other vegans. More details will be announced in the coming weeks, so be sure to “like” the Con on Facebook.

O’Hara’s Celtic stout. Photo by Helen of Vegtastic.

- St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow! Do you all celebrate? I was much more inclined to in college, (then again, who wasn’t?!) but this year has me waxing nostalgic on some fun times I had on the holiday in the past. Thankfully I’m getting together with family tomorrow eve for a big dinner and lots of Irish beer no doubt, and will be making some sort of vegan, gluten-free dessert to share. In case you’re looking for help on what to make for your own party, check out these great resources: Helen of Vegtastic put together a great list of vegan-friendly Irish beers; VegNews posted a whole menu of Irish delights to help you out; and the Family Kitchen on Babble posted a recipe for a vegan Shamrock Shake! I can’t remember the last time I had one, but they used to be a family tradition growing up. Maybe it’s high time I brought them back, cruelty-free style.

Gorgeous Black Bean Soup photo by Cat of The Verdant Life.

- As I recently purchased a new laptop, I’ve been doing some cleaning up of photos and organizing things related to the blog behind the scenes. One thing that I noticed immediately is how many soup-related posts I’ve written! I have no shame about this fact and honestly can’t help it – fall and winter and sometimes most of spring in the Pacific Northwest qualifies as soup weather, and thus I make and eat a lot of it. My friend Cat of The Verdant Life totally gets my soup appreciation and love, and shared some of her thoughts on just why it’s so amazing in a post this week. Go on, read it. I promise it’ll make you want to cook up a batch to eat for the next few days.

Silly fun times at Blubeard Coffee. Photo courtesy Tacoma Cash Mob Facebook page.

- There are so many great things about Tacoma, and one of them is the fact that its residents love to support each other and their businesses. A few days ago I saw chatter of a Tacoma Cash Mob on Twitter, and then it mysteriously jumped onto Facebook as well. Tacoma evangelist Katy Evans is one of the individuals started the project locally and it really seems to be taking off! According to a Tacoma KOMO story on the local movement, a cash mob is: “groups of strangers who descend on beloved independent retailers—bookstores, bakeries, wine shops—and spend at least $20 each.” The Tacoma Cash Mob Facebook page has created an impressive list of local businesses, and locals can “vote” for the next business that is to be descended upon by “liking” photos of their favorites. Many vegan-friendly spots are represented including Corina Bakery, Pho King and Bluebeard Coffee, as well as non-food businesses such as King’s Books and Orange on 6th Vintage. If you love supporting local Tacoma businesses too, check out the page and “like” your favorites, and keep up with happenings to see when the mobs will be scheduled.

I am going to go figure out what I’m going to bake for tomorrow now. Have a grand weekend, all!

Friday Snippets

This week definitely got away from me, so sorry this is the only post for the week! I’ve got a handful of new posts in the works and should be back at it next week. Until then, here are a few things that caught my eye this week.

Beet-based Blended Soup. Photo by Carrie of Carrie On Vegan

- If you don’t already read California-based blog Carrie On Vegan I think you’re missing out, as she’s been on a roll with great posts as of late. She’s one of my inspirations when it comes to eating healthily on a vegan diet, and she’s been writing some thoughtful posts about sugar addiction, slow food vs. fast food and many other topics of interest to people who truly care about the food they consume. One such post that really resonated with me this week was about the excuses we make for not eating healthily. I feel that for the most part I’m great at setting aside time to cook, but sometimes life and responsibilities seem get in the way, (an excuse!). Carrie argues that it’s all about prioritizing, and I wholeheartedly agree. You should read it yourself, and check out the tasty looking veggie-filled soup recipe.

- It’s now March, and that means that Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale week is quickly approaching! This year it’ll take place April 21-29 all around the world, and Tacoma will be taking part for our second annual bake sale! The local event will take place Sunday, April 29 from 12-4 p.m. at King’s Books again. We’re still looking for volunteers, (before, during and after) and bakers, so please email Joy at  joy_clendening[at]yahoo[dot]com if interested. Here are my posts on last year’s sale, and for more info on other bake sales happening during the week, head to the WWVBS page (click on image above). I’ll be posting more info about the Tacoma sale as the event nears!

Photo by Continuum Designs, via Creative Commons

- Veganism is definitely getting its fair share of mainstream exposure these days, and the Food Network can be thanked for some of that, (though why they have yet to start an all-vegan cooking show, I have no idea!). Continuing with this trend, they will be airing an all-vegan episode of Cupcake Wars Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times. The bakers present their cupcakes as a part of Los Angeles’ Green Festival, which happened in November. I don’t have cable, so watch this for me and tell me how awesome (I hope) it is!

Lentils and brown rice, by Katie of Vegan Noms

- I met my lovely friend Katie at Vida Vegan Con, and as she lives a few states away, I keep tabs on her through her great blog, Vegan Noms. She wrote about her newfound success with meal planning this week, and it definitely got me thinking about it as well. I don’t have any kind of organized system for meal planning, and thus some weeks are pretty haphazard. Seeing Katie’s (and also JL’s of JL Goes Vegan) posts about putting a little extra effort into the weekly planning process helped me realize that this could be a good solution for me, so I can make less excuses about not eating healthily, (back to my first Snippet from Carrie!). Her post also includes two tasty looking recipes that you can make in bulk during the week. I want to try the Israeli Couscous soon!

- Along with WWVBS week, March also brings the promise of Vegfest here in Washington. I went for the first time last year and both volunteered as well as just attended to take in all the sights and taste as many things as I could! The event is taking place March 24-25 at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall this year, and will feature over 500 foods to sample, cooking demos, nutritional talks, a big book sale and much more. Vegfest is currently seeking volunteers, so if you’d like to get free admission to the event, a free event t-shirt, (my 2011 one is one of my favorite sleeping shirts!) and help out at an event for a great cause, check out their website.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Friday Snippets

Happy Friday! This was an unexpectedly crazy week, so I’m looking forward to some much deserved lounge-on-the-couch-with-books time. Here’s some Internet goodness you may have missed:

Photo by wonderyort, via Creative Commons

- According to a 2011 survey conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group, 2.5 percent of the U.S. population is now vegan, woo! The last number that I remember reading was 1 percent, so that’s a pretty significant jump. Check out the Vegansaurus post for more info re: the stats.

The Farmers Market by Sean Alexander, image via South Sound Users Guide

- If you live in the South Sound and are on the Internet, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Kickstarter fundraising that’s currently going on for the South Sound Users Guide. Our region has over one million people, a rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant arts and culture and more, yet no definitive guide about it all. Sounds odd, right? We’re not the only ones who think so. Enter the brain child of Tacomites Ken Miller and artists Chris Sharp and Sean Alexander: a physical, art-filled guidebook to everything you should see, visit, eat, drink and do in the South Sound. Not only is it an idea thought up by locals, it’s also going to be created by people who live here, too. If you love the South Puget Sound, I suggest you consider kicking in as they’re halfway towards their funding goal.

Photo by tuscanycious via Creative Commons

- Want to get more greens in your diet but aren’t sure how to prepare them? Check out this video by Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets for tips on how to enjoy more green leafy veggies. I’ve been on a collards kick and have been putting them in everything lately.

- VegNews Magazine compiled their list of must-read vegan cookbooks of 2012, and man, is it filled with some delicious looking books! Want to learn how to create rich gelato, craft fancy artisan vegan cheese or grill like a pro? There are books coming out for that! Check ‘em out, and add them to your wish lists now.

Photo by Bianca of Vegan Crunk

- Happy Mardi Gras! All right, so it was officially on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t revel in all the beautiful photos of food that fellow vegans ate on Fat Tuesday, right? Right! Case in point, Bianca’s gorgeous King Cake. I’ve never had or made one before, but all the posts I saw for the celebration this year were inspiring and helped me make a mental note for next year.

All right, have a great weekend!

Friday Snippets

I’ve been planning to start integrating a few new features into the blog this year, but as new years always start out crazy, they haven’t taken root yet. Enter Friday Snippets, or info about other things I am up to but don’t fully blog about, and/or links to vegan news and sites I find interesting throughout the week. Not only will this give me a much needed kick in the pants to get writing, it will also allow me to share more info that’s relevant and happening in the vegan world. While I try to post a good amount via Twitter and Facebook on the daily, I don’t always post all the things that I want to. I think this will be a great way to share all these extra bits with you all. I can’t promise that I will keep it up every week, but damn if I won’t try! And I hope you guys will let me know what you think of it along the way.

I have no set guidelines for what these links will include or how many I’ll post, (and it’ll obviously change based on a busy week or a slow week), but here are the vegan-relevant topics that I intend to share about: food (duh), fashion, environment, events, health, etc. I’ll try to keep some things local, but some of these may stray to include info about vegan things going on around the world. As I do my best to keep my regular posts PNW-centric, I think having one day to stray a bit is good.

I have been a bad blog friend/commenter lately, so this will also be a good chance to give some lovely blog friends some much needed props. That gets me to some links I want to share today:

There are few things more beautiful than a perfectly ripe avocado. Photo by Helen of Vegtastic.

- Seattleite friend and fellow vegan blogger Helen has been on a roll this year with posting, I have to say. I catch up with her blog in spurts, but if you haven’t checked out her recipe for Seitan, yam and caramelized onion tacos, do yourself a favor and click that link. I could frame that avocado photo, I love it so much.

- Specialty online vegan product shop Cosmo’s announced that they are closing on March 31st this week. Such sad news, as they’re a wonderful company that has been around to help many vegans order the products they need from afar. If you’ve been holding off on buying some vegan items, now would be a great timeto do so as they will need help with closing costs.

Nachos of the future. Photo by Julia of the Snarky Vegan.

- So, the Snarky Vegan made some Tater Tot Nachos for Super Sow Sunday, her garden-themed alternative to that other big Sunday. I just can’t get over how genius this combination is. I think this proves that we’re best friends and we didn’t know it somehow.

Photo by blog.punkrawlabs.net.

- We just got our new copy of the April 2012 issue of VegNews this week, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s an issue dedicated to men leading plant-based lifestyles. This theme makes me so happy. The notion that it’s weak or not “manly” to be vegan is absurd, (please, everyone, have a look at Robert Cheeke already!) and I’m happy that the publication took it upon itself to dispel these myths. For more on the vegan lifestyle from the male perspective, check out Helen’s list of male vegetarian and vegan bloggers.

- This past weekend, I took part in baking some vegan goods, (carob chip scones, adapted from Isa’s recipe in Vegan Brunch) for a Valentine-themed bake sale held at the Tacoma Food Co-op for Precious Life Animal Sanctuary. A local vegan bud planned it, and I was way impressed with the array of goods I saw early on. I brought home brownies, lemon poppy seed cookies, (way to go Leah, they were awesome!) lemon chia bread, sugar cookies with pink icing among other things, and they were all delightful. I heard the bake sale raised nearly $300, too! For being a pretty last minute event, that’s way impressive. Hooray for the animals!

This weekend is a pretty special one for my dude and I as it’s our anniversary! We’ll be heading to Seattle for dinner here, after missing our seating time (everyone is seated at the same time, so no late arrivals!) last year. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it from friends so I cannot wait to finally experience it. Do not worry, I’ll have my camera in hand and will document every morsel for a future post.

Have a wonderful weekend!