Isa Chandra Moskowitz, with the help of friends throughout the internet world, has posted The PPK 100 over on the PPK blog this week. Get on over there and check it out! I haven’t blogged here in over a year but that post really exemplifies why I had started this blog in the first place. Someone doing something positive to promote veganism. And even beyond that, Isa is promoting 99 other people/blogs/bakeries/businesses that were out and about in 2012 spreading the good word Vegan in the best way possible. In an age of increasing use of social media as a way of promoting oneself what a nice reprieve to see someone celebrating contributions from all over.
As the end of the year approaches and holidays abound it is never too late to send your friends a little something to say you are thinking of them. A little something vegan, possibly handmade. I present a list of things I would enjoy should Sinterklass stuff them in a shoe for me.
The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. Two lovely people wrote a damn fine cookbook. The pumpkin ice cream is the best. And you can’t go wrong with homemade bacon bits.
Vegan Dish has a selection of vegan stamped mugs and bowls to enjoy this winter in the cold. Have some lapsang souchong in a bright blue mug to warm your day.
The good folks at Tattoed Geek have a plethora of soy candles and lip balms to stuff your stockings with. Treewool has the beautiful garland scarf that I have been eyeing all fall. You can’t go wrong with organic bamboo.
Vegan Pie in the Sky from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Best dessert book of 2011 for all your pie needs. Pumpkin cheesecake is good any day of the year.
Vampires are in vogue right now, possibly just in the undead line behind zombies. Veganism is also getting a few good moments in the spotlight these days, so it is no surprise that the two are combined in Out of Breath, the first book in a new trilogy by the northwest writer Blair Richmond.
The book features a young protagonist named Kat Jones who is on the run, in more than one way, and finds her way to the town of Lithia where she spent her younger years. Kat’s background is a good bit vague in the beginning, so it takes a while to find out much about her besides the fact that she is a runner and is on the lam from her past life. She lucks out and gets a part time job at the local running store and housing (with the owners of that running store) rather quickly and then starts to settle into the small and strange town. Men are throwing themselves her way left and right and she has two suitors, Alex and Roman, who do not like one another one bit. Something seems a bit off with the both of them and as you wind through the book to the Cloudline race their story eventually comes out.
I’m not too up on the latest batch of YA vampire/zombie/supernatural books, so I don’t know how this compares. For me, there is a lack of something (response?, interest?) when Kat discovers there are vampires in town. Roman is a vampire? I’ll just get into the car with him for a drive then. Her reactions are a bit too blase and rushed and there could have been more nuance in some of the climactic scenes. I also wish there was a bit more depth to her character. I keep wanting Richmond to go into more detail in regard to her story (which does come to light more at the end). A few elements seem to happen too quickly and left me wanting more and I didn’t quite get how these vampires hang out in town without much notice. Then again, it is a fantasy novel, so I may need to drop the logic just a wee bit.
The good thing is that I was left wanting more. The story is enjoyable overall and I read it in basically one sitting with a break for lunch. I would have liked a book that took place over the same amount of time but was twice the length. As a runner, I was pleased to note many of the references and it was grand to read about Kat going to the local co-op for tofu sandwiches. Heck yeah. Those sort of details really made it work for me. I also liked the environmental spin in the book, which I imagine makes it stand out a bit from that standard vampire/zombie/supernatural fare out there. Although we’re in a town with castle and a vampire running about it seems perfectly normal and no big deal that Kat is a vegan and goes to visit the Redwoods. I will certainly be interested in picking up the second book, Ghost Runner, when it comes out to continue to follow the story and find out more about the circumstances that led to Kat arriving in Lithia in the first place.
Vegans on the Move is pleased to share the newest project collaboration of fun and awesome from Celine Steen and Tami Noyes. They are the bakers extraordinaire and cookbook authors who blog at Have Cake Will Travel and Vegan Appetite, respectively. They have started Vegan Muffins on the Move, a monthly vegan muffin project which anyone can join.
Every month they will be posting a vegan muffin recipe and invite people to use that recipe or their own to bake a batch of muffins to take to their co-workers or local library or gym or any place they frequent but may not usually take baked goods. You are invited to post and comment on their blog and your own to help spread the word. This month’s featured muffin is the cinnacrunch muffin from Tami’s American Vegan Kitchen. I finally made these muffins this past weekend and urge you not to wait as long as I did to bake these up. They are most delicious and cinnamon-y and perfect for the season.
Follow them on their new blog devoted to Vegan Muffins on the Move and take part each month!
Today’s vegan on the move is Jen Chaky, the owner of the Go Lightly store located in Montclair, New Jersey. In addition to a newly expanded cafe, Go Lightly also sells products that are sustainable and green and has played host to a number of bake sales and speakers.
You can get a wide variety of items in the store including baby essentials, handbags, silverware, books or bedding. You can browse the online shop to decide which type of half gallon compost container you need. Jen does a lot of work researching her merchandise so you can be assured there are no PVC or petroleum based products. Many items are made from upcycled materials as well, such as Cagoule mittens made from recycled plastic bottles.
The newly opened cafe has lunch seven days a week and has a rotating menu which can be found on the website. Juices and smoothies are also available and of course the ice cream that has caused such a buzz in the area. The ice creams are hemp or soy based and flavours rotate. Word on the street is that they have “the fudgiest peanutbutter fudge you’ve ever tried”. With many raw and soy- and gluten- free options Go Lightly is the perfect place to pop in for a snack.
Go Lightly has also hosted the local Montclair Vegans group for their twice yearly bake sales that have raised money for a number of causes including for the Animals sanctuary, Sea Shepherd, Jersey Cats and PawPAC. The store also serves as a meeting space for the group for such events as their regular book club get togethers.
To quote Jen, “In a nutshell, I am here to show people that vegan and green can be the norm!” If you are in the area, take a trip over to Go Lightly and you’ll find how easy it is.
Happy Halloween! I made the oatmeal cream pies from the Sunny Days Cookzine and dyed the filling orange and black. They are delicious. I haven’t had an oatmeal cream pie in many years and now I have a recipe to make them as often as my little heart desires. This is also Happy End of Mofo! Please keep checking our blog and keep sending us ideas of Vegans on the Move to write about. We love hearing from you.
I spent part of my downtime at Vida Vegan Con reading the Sept/Oct issue of VegNews and was excited to see a plethora of pumpkin recipes, one of which is from a favorite blogger of mine. Bianca from Vegan Crunk had a recipe featured for pumpkin cheddar biscuits and being a fan of all things pumpkin and all things biscuit-y, I knew these were going in my oven come October.
This picture isn’t nearly as pleasant as the one she had in the magazine, but pick up a copy of the latest issue on the news stand or at your local public library and give these a whirl. Pair with a hearty cup of tea in the morning and start the day off right. And then send me a few because I really like them.
For my Tuesday posts for Vegan Mofo I wanted to take a look at a couple of blogs that I have read for a number of years and that made a big difference in my becoming interested in veganism. Although many blogs had an influence on me, most of the ones I started reading 6 or so years ago are no longer around.
Today’s feature is Get Sconed!, which may be the first vegan blog I stumbled upon, lo so many years ago. Straight outta Portland, OR, Jess has blogged for years about vegan food trends and the Portland vegan scene. Although she wouldn’t brag about it she is quite the activist in the area, working on such projects as Vegan Iron Chef and Vida Vegan Con. I have also been lucky enough to meet her in person and she exemplifies what I had in mind when I started Vegans on the Move. She works at promoting veganism in a fun and accessible way and works to promote community.
Follow her blog and twitter account to keep up with what’s what in the vegan world and maybe an occasional cat picture in there too. You can’t go wrong.
Brownies! I am not a huge chocolate fan but I love me a good brownie. Toss in a bunch of chocolate chips so it stays kind of gooey and dense and top off with a whole bunch of Dandies. Then wrap a bunch up to share with friends because baked goods taste best when eaten with a spot of tea in good company.
Crystal is our featured Mofo Vegan on the Move today. She has a relatively new blog this year and decided to join the Mofo ranks with Naked Vegan Lunch. Crystal and her partner Trevor live in London, Ontario, with their two cats and fully vegan fridge. She agreed to answer a few of our questions about blogging, shelter cats and cooking for the non-vegan.
How long have you been vegan?
3 years. It feels like forever, though, because I can’t imagine being any other way.
What sort of vegan outreach do you participate in? I believe that the most effective outreach is being a knowledgable and positive resource for people. Everyone has known someone who knew some vegan who was a real downer to be around, or who was allegedly really unhealthy. I think the best thing I can do is to help change that perception with the people around me and within my community. I aim to be really passionate about that in a way that comes across to people as a really positive thing. I want to show people that it’s not difficult or limiting to be vegan. Oh, and that the perception of the sickly vegan who is barely surviving on twigs and berries is totally not the way things are.
Tell us about the blog you are mofoing at and what its focus is. Naked Vegan Lunch started at the beginning of 2011. I’ve been a reader of MoFo since 2008, but now that I’m a blogger, I wanted to participate. Our ongoing theme throughout the weeks is veganizing traditional Hungarian dishes. I’m half Hungarian and my love of cooking really started as a young girl in my grandma’s kitchen. It seemed fitting to pay tribute to that for my first MoFo.
Why did you choose to do mofo this year? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I signed up last year but got cold feet last minute. Cold feet over what? I’m not really sure, but it seemed like a lot of work and more of a commitment than I could make with my then non-existent blog. This year, I decided to just run towards the challenge, and just do it already.
What’s your favorite vegan thing to make for skeptical non-vegans? Something sweet! I think a lot of people have this idea that veganism doesn’t include things like brownies and cupcakes. Presenting someone with a cupcake is about an unoffensive as it gets. Once people start nomming, their response is usually “This is vegan? Wow, you wouldn’t even know! I thought vegans only ate salad.”
Are your cats from local animal shelters? Tell me about them. My two kitties are indeed shelter kitties! Gershwin has been part of our family since 2003. Trevor and I had just moved to Toronto and I knew that I needed the companionship of a cat to help me settle in my new surroundings. The shelter was filled with gorgeous cats and we really loved them all. However, when we set eyes on Gershwin (that was his name in the shelter), it was like, “That’s our cat.” It was love at first sight. Same thing with Tristan (also his shelter name), my little ginger snuggler who came to live with us in May 2010 at just 6 weeks old. He was in a local rescue foster home with other cats. I saw him on Petfinder, and again it was like, “That’s my baby.” So we went and picked him up, and now the 4 of us are inseperable. I plan on getting a tattoo at some point to honour the impact that they’ve both had on my life.