Oh, hello again.

 

Hi there. What have you been up to?

Me, I’ve been busy.

Busy taking pictures of (almost) every little thing I’ve been up to and practicing the skilled art of not-blogging about any of it.You may have heard of it. I have now achieved expert status in not-blogging.

While I am very proud of this status I’ve achieved, I am prepared to get all zen-like and move beyond not-blogging back into the realm of blogging-for-reals. It’s time. If only to get all these pictures off my memory card and into the Epicurious Vegan archives.

And with that, here we gooooooooooo:

 

 

Monday, October 17

Wine tasting and buying with co-workers:

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These pictures are kinda boring, but it’s probably because I got tipsy way too soon to remember to take any good photos of the wine, the Champagne (the fancy stuff actually from the Champagne region of France), or the company.

 

Monday, October 24

Hosting a Naked Lady Party:

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We displayed everything on racks and all of us ladies went to town. Have you been to one before? A group of gals gather their unwanted clothes, jewelry and accessories and bring them together to swap for new-to-them goods. It’s fun and a more sustainable way to ‘shop’ than buying new clothes.

 

As hosts, my roommate and I provided the food.

White and Green Pizza with mozzarella Daiya:

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Mochi:

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Mochi is made from rice. It’s all flat and uninspiring before you bake it, then it POOFS up into a chewy and delightful (gluten-free) snack within minutes. I love this stuff.

 

Can’t have a (worthwhile) party without popcorn: 

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Carrots and jalapeño cilantro hummus (this hummus is STELLAR), another option for the gluten-free darlings in attendance. 

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Tuesday, October 25

On a beautiful fall day, I headed out to Sauvie Island with my good friend Zach to navigate the treacherous Corn Maize and pick out a perfect pumpkin.

 

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Then we stuffed ourselves silly at El Nutri Taco Cart on Alberta. These are my favorite nachos in Portland. Just look at them. I’ve never had a chimichunga (deep-fried burrito) before, and oh my stars, it sure was decadent.

 

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Sunday, October 30

I took a Sunday off of work and went out breakfast with my friends Millie and Colin. We ate at the Nightlight Lounge (BEST tofu scramble in Portland) and drank bottomless mimosas (I had four) before wig shopping.

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We each purchased our respective wigs. Don’t they look great?

 

Saturday, November 5

Went to Native Foods for the first time.

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I was on a 7-day cleanse of juicing and salads, so stuck with the kale salad. I was all, “Oh, poor me, I have to eat the kale salad instead of EVERYTHING ELSE” but when it arrived in front of me I was STOKED. This salad was so friggin’ delicious and healthy and everything I want in a salad.

My friend Craig Steele tried a few other things:

 

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We were suitably impressed.

 

Thursday, November 10

I checked out the new pizza shop in the neighborhood. Mellow Mushroom is a chain that just opened in the Pearl District. I was curious about their vegan options, but not hopeful.

Lo and Behold: FREE DAIYA CHEESE UPGRADE.

*faint*

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This pizza is SO GOOD. Oh lordy, the crust is chewy and thick, the veggies don’t overwhelm the pizza, and the sauce is rich and tomato-y. This is my new favorite pizza in town.

 

Wednesday, November 16

 

Cavalia.

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This show is like a Cirque du Soleil show (figures, since one of the founding members of Cirque du Soleil also created this show, though they’re technically unrelated) but with horses. I took my grandma on opening night. Tickets aren’t cheap, but if you like horses (or your grandma likes horses and you like your grandma) it’s a cool show.

 

Thursday, November 17

Vida Vegan Con business meeting at Native Foods. (Lots of fun stuff coming up in 2012!)

 

I had to try the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger.

 

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Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger
Our thinly sliced Native Original Seitan,
melted cheddar, caramelized onions, and
crispy Native Bacon on a bun slathered
with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, romaine,
carrots, onions, and tomato. Topped with
crunchy battered dill pickle chips.
 

 

The ladies and I shared chicken tenders and they tried a few other things on the menu. (For their recaps, see Jess and Michele’s blogs.)

 

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Sunday, November 20 – Monday November 21

I had a threeple date with a few of my favorite ladies.

We spent all day supporting vegan businesses, starting with brunch at Portobello.

 

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The fritata (on the left) is to die for. So rich and filling; definitely split it with a loved one. It’s HUGE.

We then headed out to the ‘burbs for a night stay at Comfort Suites (it was a Groupon I bought back when I still bought Groupons).

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We drank bubbles and swam in the pool and ate take-out from Green Wok and stayed up late into the night, having really nice talks.

 

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The bear got a little crazy.

 

The next day we want to Native Foods for lunch (my 3rd visit).

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The last thing I really wanted to try were the fish tacos.

 

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Yummmmmm. These weren’t very ‘fish’ (tempeh’) heavy, but seriously, anything with corn tortillas and guacamole are an automatic win in my book.

The other foodz:

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I think after three visits and multiple samples of a good 3/4 of the menu, I’m good on the Native Foods for a minute.

Hmmm.

On second thought, after posting these pictures, I’m ready to eat there again. I want to try the Reuben next!

 

Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving.

We ate Tofurky and Field Roast and stuff.

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In the middle of cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for six, I hit my head on the corner of a kitchen cupboard while cooking and started bleeding profusely. My roommate rushed me to ER, and after two hours and some rinsing and applying pressure, the doctors came to the conclusion that it was a minor wound and I would be just fine. No stitches needed or anything. I was fine, but felt kinda out of it for the rest of the night. 

 

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Luckily it was mellow and low-key and we sat by the fire and played board games.

This game was almost as much fun as Apples to Apples:

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Thanksgiving photos courtesy of my friend Abby.

 

Saturday, December 3

Upon hearing the sad news that Kettleman’s (a local Portland bagel shop) got bought out by Noah’s, I needed a Kettleman bagel.

Stat.

 

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Ahhhh. Better.

 

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Sweetpea for coffee and an everything bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese.

I also posed for some photos for my photographer friend. Those should be fun to look at when I get ‘em!

 

Tuesday, December 6

Sugar Cookies!

 

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I made sugar cookie Christmas sandwiches by spreading frosting in between two cookies and smushing them together. No sprinkles in stock, so I just made my own colored sugar crystals.

I used green frosting that I flavored with peppermint extract for the trees, and basic vanilla frosting for the snowflakes and stars.

WHEW.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

Looking forward to the Christmas season with Baileys, visit from the family, friends, shopping, baking, and hopefully SNOW.

Banana Split

 

Thanks everyone for the incredibly sweet and thoughtful comments on my post yesterday about coping with grief. <3

 

My brother holding the So Delicious Banana Split Minis we found at Whole Foods on our jaunt yesterday. (Mmmmmmmmm.)

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“Ness, be a banana.”

 

“Okay!”

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That is my best banana impersonation. It’s a pretty fair representation.

Now it’s your turn, brother.

“Ahi, be a Split!”

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Ha.

Touche.

 

I don’t like fruit and cream flavors together, so I broke off the strawberry part for Bro and relished the banana and chocolate. Nice work, So Delicious.

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What else did Bro and I do yesterday? We walked around, hanging out, chatting and doing things that reminded of us as Dad. Dadesque things.

We ate lunch at Mai Thai Restaurant. We ate there with Dad when it was an old-school Chinese food restaurant over decade ago.

I got the Pad See Ew: (Or as I like to call it, Pad See YUM)

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Turns out, it was basically just broccoli, tofu and noodles. Would have liked a few more veggies in there, but it did satisfy my month-long Thai craving. And I do love noodles.

Bro got the Salad Rolls:

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We walked over the Morrison Bridge into downtown Portland. I have never walked over the Morrison Bridge before, which is sorta a shocker, as I walk everywhere and I’ve lived in Portland a bajillion years.

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Look, The Rose Festival rides are all set up! That came together quickly.

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We gave money to homeless people we passed (typically I think we’d like to give food or coffee, but this just felt right yesterday), took silly pictures, and read about Taoism at Powell’s Books.

It was a really sweet day, and it definitely centered me before heading into work for restaurant Memorial Day Madness.

 

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What family resemblance?

 

We saw a baby Memorial Day parade:

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And took a few more silly pictures.

 

“Ness, lie down on the tracks.”

 

“Okay!”

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And I leave you with this photo. My brother, the Big Town Hero.

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hiatus

 

hey guys. i’m on hiatus.

wanna know why, question mark.

because both of my jerky laptop shift keys are broken. this means; no capital letters, no symbols, no punctuation, no smiley faces, no hearts, no parenthesis…. jeeeez, it makes it hard to type. AND HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CONVEY EMOTION, QUESTION MARK AND EXCLAMATION POINT.

so i’m going blog-less or just picture bloggy for awhile til i get this situation figured out. thinking of bussing out to jantzen beach best buy [blurgggghhhh] to see what they can do for my defunct netbook.

in the meantime, here’s a picture of earrings i just bought on etsy, colon.

 

earrings

——– mismatched earrings are my new favorite things. how adorable.

my next post will probably be a whole buncha pictures again, unless you want more lowercase nonsensical ramblings. which i’d advise against.

 

 

xoxo

Leather, dairy and meat

I’ve been thinking about dairy and leather a lot recently. Perhaps a recent viewing of Earthlings inspired these thoughts. Earthlings is a documentary narrated by the odd-but-still-dreamy Joaquin Phoenix and with a musical score by Moby. It’s about ‘making the connection’. I know that dairy and leather can be touchy subjects or confusing for some people, so if you’re interested in learning more, I’m going to share my thoughts and research with you.

Dairy and Leather are not innocent by-products of the meat industry.

If pictured ‘ideally’ a typical life of a cow raised for meat, dairy and leather would look like this:

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A cow, much like the adorable one above, hangs out in a pasture all day. Eating grass, playing with her friends, maybe letting out an adorable “Mooooo” every so often. And when she gets preggo from an eager suitor, the farmer comes out every morning and kindly milks her.

After her long and fun-filled life of romping, she meets her unfortunate demise. In order to create as little waste as possible, her insides are made into food, and her skin is treated with chemicals for people to wear.

This situation is the best possible scenario for raising cows for food and wearing their skin. If this is how the industries actually worked, I would get why so many people choose to eat cheese or buy designer leather shoes.

I probably don’t need to tell you though: this is definitely not how the industry works. What comes to mind when I think of the dairy, leather and meat industries: rampant waste. Oh my goodness, it so wasteful. (I’m not even going to talk about the insane waste of water and land in raising cattle for food and clothes; that is certainly well-documented elsewhere.)

Leather and Dairy

Basically, the cows that are raised for dairy and leather do not look like the precious little cow above. They look emaciated and unhealthy and are covered in sores. I tried googling a picture to show you guys, but unsurprisingly, that kind of cow picture isn’t plastered all over the internet.

These Cows (much of the leather industry comes from India, China, and Turkey) are so sickly that they cannot be used for edible meat once they are slaughtered. (Often times, the meat gets mashed up with loads of other dead cows and used for meals in schools or in fast food restaurants). As terrible and well-documented as animals raised for food or clothes are treated in the United States, there is little to no oversight in other countries.

Sadly, the same hold true for dairy cows. Dairy cows spend their life crammed into tiny spaces, repeatedly artificially impregnated and oftentimes injected with Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH). By the time their life is over (generally before they’re seven years old), their bodies are spent and their meat isn’t good for anything either, other than mashed together with the leather industry leftovers.

Tanning

And do you want to know something really gross? Probably not, but this skeeved me out when I watched Earthlings: Once it’s no longer living, skin naturally decomposes and starts stinking after awhile, right? Can you even imagine how many chemicals are used to treat leather, to make sure it doesn’t stink and decompose? And the people who work in tanneries (and sorry, but the videos I saw showed women, kids, and old men) have to wear custom-made clothes and gloves and cover their mouths just to turn dead rotting skin into something to wear. Gross, and not at all worth it.

So….?

If the meat of leather and dairy cows isn’t actually super edible, then… what does that mean? It means that leather and dairy are not just byproducts of small farms or factory farms. Dead cow skin is sold to tanneries in order to offset the high cost of raising animals for food. Buying leather directly keeps factory farms in business. And dairy is no better. Dairy cows are bred to be impregnated, their sons are made into veal, and once their premature life ends, their meat isn’t even edible.

What can I do?

1. Educate yourself:

A note: When I googled sites to give you for these links, the first several that pop up are animal rights sites like PETA, The Farm Sanctuary, and the Vegan Society. I encourage you to do your own research and find information from all different sources.

2. Choose not to buy leather:

3. Choose not to eat dairy: