Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

VVC 2013 Photo Essay September 2, 2013

Hello. Well, it has been a while hasn’t it? Pretty classic move for me, to attend a blogging conference (Vida Vegan Con) in May, come away completely inspired and blown away and “recommitted” to blogging, and then…. not blog until September.

Since many a re-cap has been posted by my fellow attendees at this point, I will just bring you a few photos of my favorite meals, and people that I spent time with at VVC. The memories and the network is still strong (I was just talking to my Mom about possible new cities to visit/consider moving to, and for each one I said “I know someone who lives there!”).

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There was mac and cheese at White Owl Social Club.

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There was photo booth fun.

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There was Portobello. So good. So so good.

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Sweet pea gnocchi. This was incredible. They are known for this dish for a reason. Also, a shout out to Crissie from Run Crissie Run and Megan (@veganwtsn) for sharing this evening with me.

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Raw food platter from Blossoming Lotus.

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Some of the sweet treats from the “Breakfast Showcase/Showdown.”

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“Prom pose” from before the Gala with my roommates for the weekend, (L-R: Helen, Megan, Dawn and myself).

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Isa teaches us vegans how to properly eat cheese.

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Epic swag pile.

So, there you have it. VVC 2013 in a few pictures. It was such a fun time and I look forward to many cons to come.

P.S. September is Vegan MOFO, the month where vegan bloggers all over the globe blog at least 20 times in the month about all things vegan food. I am not participating this year, but if you want to read some of the other blogs that are, hop on over Randomofo. 

 

Plum Cookbook Launch Cooking Class May 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 6:17 PM
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On May 2nd, 2013 I attended a small cooking class taught by Makini Howell at the book store, Book Larder to celebrate the launch of her new cookbook, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. It was a small class, just ten people, and Makini cooked up quite a feast for us. It was a great evening, full of great conversation and food, and many conversations about food, even beyond the food we were partaking in.

The first course was the famous Plum mac and yease (recipe not in the cookbook, although a smokey mac and cheese recipe is on page 101), which was to “entice us to come to the restaurant” as Makini said. This is my favorite dish at Plum, and it was as great as ever.

The next course was the cauliflower bisque with fresh fennel (pg 44 in the book). This soup was  creamy and flavorful, and definitely a soup that I will be re-creating on my own. The topping is smoked tofu, made crispy like bacon in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

The next course was a salad made of miner’s lettuce, grilled fennel, grilled plums, edible flowers, and a dressing made of plum sake (and something else, bad blogger didn’t take detailed notes). There were children present at this meal as well, so she also made a simple vinaigrette  which I am sure would make a lovely pairing, since the plum and fennel are so flavorful on their own, they don’t really need a lot of dressing. This recipe isn’t in the book, but is a good example of taking your inspiration from local, seasonally available produce, as Makini does with all the dishes at Plum.

Miner's lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

Miner’s lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

The next course was another one that isn’t in the book, but is on Plum’s current brunch menu. Vegan “crab cakes” made of mushrooms, bread crumbs, onions and I am sure something else I am forgetting. She usually makes this with an egg replacer to serve as a binding agent, but she forgot to bring them. The cakes still held together pretty well, and had a similar texture to the crab cakes I remember from my pre-vegan days. The cakes were topped with the “Savory Soy Cream” (pg 6 in the book). These went over so well that when one of the children in attendance didn’t want his there was quite the bargaining going on to get that crab cake.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Next up was the pizza with soy ricotta cheese, fennel, plums, miners lettuce on a sauce of pesto and olive oil. This version was made on a crust she bought at Trader Joe’s but there is a recipe in the book for a pizza crust (pg 105). This was really good but I was so stuffed at this point, I didn’t eat the whole thing, had to save room for the dessert!

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Dessert was a rhubarb crisp in tiny crusts, with homemade soy ice cream and blood orange compote. This was the perfect amount of sweet, and a great capper to an impressive meal of so much great food.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro is full of wonderful recipes that give you a piece of Plum Bistro if you are unable to enjoy a meal there. If you live in Seattle or are visiting, I highly recommend eating a meal at Plum Bistro as well as getting this cookbook.

 

September Vegan Food Swap Reveal September 30, 2012

Filed under: Food Swap,Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 9:51 AM
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It is that time again, time to reveal the fun items I received in this month’s food swap. I can’t believe this is the 6th time I have done this, it has been such fun. If you want to join us, there is one more swap in 2012 before we take a hiatus for the holidays, just head on over to the registration page and sign on up!

This month I sent a box to April at Beyond the Small Gate that included fancy peanut butter, candy, and veggie chips.

My box came from Amberly at The Good Life and boy did she do good. She is from Portland, OR and she went with a “made in Oregon” theme. I received NW Kale Chips, blueberry jam, Portland Ketchup Company ketchup, and chocolate coconut peanut butter. I have tried the kale chips and love them. I opened the peanut butter almost immediately, and put it on toast. I have to say, I was expecting it to taste more like chocolate, but tasting like peanut butter isn’t a bad thing at all. I haven’t tried the jam or ketchup yet, but I am sure they will be wonderful.

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September Swap Box Contents

Head over to The Verdant Life to see what the other people who participated in the swap received.

 

Wild Prairie Bakery July 22, 2012

I turned 27 almost two weeks ago and all I really wanted for my birthday was vegan cake. Not just any vegan cake would do, though. I wanted one that was like the (non-vegan) cake of my childhood. Every year, my Mom would get me a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and piped frosting flowers on top. To fulfill this desire, I made my way out to Wild Prairie Bakery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Wild Prairie is run by a very sweet woman named Megan. She bakes an assortment of cookies, cupcakes and pain au chocolate every day, as well as baking cakes for special orders. I went out there the Saturday before my birthday to have brunch and to order my cake.

It was a very nice, sunny Seattle weekend day, so when I arrived I wasn’t completely surprised to find that I was the only person in the bakery. People were missing out though, I had a wonderful brunch of tofu scramble with fruit while I finalized my cake order decision.

Brunch menu

Brunch menu

The tofu scramble was chock full of veggies, lots of kale which is always a huge plus in my book. My only complaint would be that a side of fruit should be more than a strawberry and a slice of orange. The small amount of fruit did mean that I had room to order a pain au chocolate (which I failed to get a picture of) so it isn’t all bad.

Tofu scramble with fruit

Tofu scramble with fruit

By the time I finished eating, I had settled on a chocolate cake with vegan chocolate butter cream filling and raspberry frosting. I asked Megan to decorate it with “whatever flowers inspired her.” I returned on the day before my birthday to pick it up, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was beautiful.

Birthday cake

My beautiful birthday cake

I took it to work the next day to share with my (mostly omni) coworkers, and they loved it. I believe a happy dance was performed by one of them upon the first bite. I loved it as well, it was super rich, but not too sweet. The frosting was thick (it had been refrigerated due to the buttercream filling) but not so thick so you felt like you were eating fondant, and it tasted like fresh raspberries, because it was made from fresh local raspberries picked just days ahead of time.

Wild Prairie will be hearing from me each July, if not many times before then as well.

Wild Prairie is located at 2019 NW Market Street, Seattle WA 98107.

EDIT: Wild Prairie Bakery is now closed, the owner had to close up shop due to health issues in late 2012.

 

Chloe Coscarelli Book Signing July 1, 2012

Filed under: cookbook,Seattle,shopping,Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 3:02 PM
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In late May I had the fun opportunity to attend one of Chloe Coscarelli’s book signing events to promote her new book, Chloe’s Kitchen. It was held at Book Larder, a bookstore in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle that sells nothing but cookbooks. It is a small, adorable space with a full service kitchen space in the front for cooking demos. 

The store owners made Chloe’s famous Cupcake Wars winning ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes for attendees to enjoy as we lined up to get our books signed.

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Mini vegan ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes.

Chloe is just as lovely and sweet in person as you would expect, she signed my book as I chatted with her and her mother about the faux Hostess cupcakes (“Chloestess cupcakes” as she calls them) that I made for a bake off at work that won in the vegan category. I don’t look very thrilled to be meeting her in this photo, but it is because I am trying to teach the woman taking the photo how to use my iPhone. Trust me, I was much happier than I appear.

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Meeting Chef Chloe.

Chloe’s book is full of wonderful recipes, all simple and easy to make. This is the kind of food that I would make to impress my omni friends and family. I have made the yoga cookies (page 245), Chloestess cupcakes (page 205), and the stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce (page 149). All are dishes I would make again for myself or take to a potluck.

If you haven’t already I would highly recommend adding Chloe’s Kitchen to your cookbook collection.

 

SOPA Protest Day- Stop Censorship Now January 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 9:48 PM
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Hello there dear blog reader. Yeah, you reading this bit of free speech I have going here. While I very much enjoy writing this little blog where I show you some of the tasty vegan food I have made recently, in another part of my life, I am a librarian. As a librarian I am very, very concerned with free speech, freedom of information and the ability to freely express one’s own ideas. I believe that everyone has a right to get the information that they need, and I spend my days making sure that the people I work with (as well as the occasional friend of mine who just doesn’t have quite the same Google-fu that I do) get just that. I am also a big fan of properly following copyright laws, so don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that we should have the ability to go crazy and take whatever we want for free, but what the government is proposing is not the answer. Basically they want the ability to censor the internet with a piece of legislation that is most commonly referred to as SOPA.

What is SOPA? This video explains it better than I can.

If you live in the United States, get involved! Tell your government officials what you think. Spread the word and make sure people know about this. If you don’t live in the United States, please still pay attention to this, since if it passes here, it has a good chance of echoing in other countries around the world.

 

Kitchen Tour- Vegan Mofo Day #8 October 8, 2011

Filed under: Life,Uncategorized,Vegan Mofo 2011 — bookie85 @ 7:39 PM
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I thought that today I would give you all a tour of my kitchen so you can see where I am creating all of the recipes I post on here. I live in a tiny studio apartment in a building that was built in the 1950’s and hasn’t changed much since then. This means that I have hardly any counter space, hardly any outlets and some of my appliances have to live on the floor.

This is a view of my whole kitchen.

View of the whole kitchen

View of the whole kitchen.

This is the food cupboard, where most of my canned goods and spices and baking supplies live. It is small and that cubby up above makes most of the space very short, so big bottles of most oils are out of the question, since they won’t fit.

Can goods, baking supplies and spices.

Can goods, baking supplies and spices.

This is the dishes cupboard, as you can see I am not really in to matching sets of anything as it is just me eating most of the time, it rarely matters. I get most of my dishes either from my parents house (my Mom gave me a bunch of stuff when I moved out), or Ross. A few of those items are from my grandparent’s kitchen, they gave them to me when they moved out of their house this summer. That yellow bowl on the top shelf is the bowl that my grandma taught me to make (non-vegan) cookies in when I was in high school. The milk bottle on the lower shelf is from my pre-vegan days and now I use it to store dry goods or homemade sauces on occasion.

Dishes cupboard.

Dishes cupboard.

This is the drawer that houses all of my food storage containers, as well as some other random items. All of my drawers lack drawer guides, so I have to be careful when I pull them out that they don’t fall out and crush my foot.

Food storage container drawer.

Food storage container drawer.

These are most of my pots and pans, as you can see there isn’t much space, so I have some other larger stock pots stored in various corners of my apartment wherever I can find space for them.

Pots and pans drawer.

Pots and pans drawer.

This is my baking supplies drawer. I have a ton of cookie sheets, muffin tins and other baking supplies in here. I even have a pan that makes Halloween shaped muffins, that will make an appearance on this blog a little later on in the month.

Baking supplies drawer.

Baking supplies drawer.

I have an ice cream maker that hasn’t make it out of the box yet, it used to be my Dad’s and it never made it out of the box when it was at my parent’s house either, but I think it has a better shot at getting out of the box living with me. 🙂

Ice cream maker

Ice cream maker

This is my cookbook shelf on the other side of the apartment. I have so many cookbooks now that it is almost an entire shelf on my bookcase. This shelf is now all cookbooks and Harry Potter, which are two of my favorite things in the world.

Cookbook collection.

Cookbook collection

As you can see I have to get a little creative to cook in such a small space, but I manage and one day when I have a full sized kitchen I won’t know what to do with myself.

What is the smallest kitchen you have ever cooked in?