Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I shall return!


Can you say cute? That's my new kitty, Sam. We got him in late June at exactly 8 weeks old. It didn't take long to remember why I prefer older cats over babies haha.

I realized it's been over two months since my last post but this semester has taken me by storm. I blame it on statistics and my bratty kitten.

Since not updating I haven't been experimenting in the kitchen at all, I haven't really tried any new vegan products nor do I have any AR related stuff to blog about.

However, I plan on restarting in about two weeks. Look forward to my experience with henna hair dye, a vegan vacation, kitty pictures and news stories :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ohio Dairy Farm

I have seen many animal cruelty videos and this is by far the most disgusting and cruel. If this doesn't switch you off dairy I don't know what would.

Here is a quote on the video:
During a four-week investigation between April and May, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:

* Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears
* Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs and stomach
* Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck – abuse carried out and encouraged by the farm's owner
* Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars – some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head
* Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped
* Punching cows' udders
* Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death

After viewing the footage, Dr. Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of animal science at Colorado State University, stated: "This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless."

View the video here.

And from the Huffington Post, here is a link to some dairy alternatives if you don't know what to drink besides cow's milk.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Murdered Coyotoes


I actually saw two coyotes on Burnaby mountain last week and they were sooooooo cute. They looked really scared of the cars and the road though, which was sad.

Things like this make me so sad.

What gives us the right to kill a coyote any more than to kill another human being? Why are human lives considered the most valuable? Why can't we just be equal? If you were offered $20 to bring in the paws of neighbourhood cats, hamsters or even the hands of children it would be viewed as barbaric, disgusting and totally inhumane, but a coyote? Who cares, right? The worst part about this article is the main reason for the bounty wasn't even for coyotes attacking humans but attacking "our" livestock. It's a double whammy of abusing animals. The only reason the ranchers were pissed is because there are less profits, less cattle, whatever, not because they are upset that their cows were dying. Who cares if they die, what matters is money. Since when did money become more valuable than a life?

Every day on the news it's considered a tragedy when a soldier or a family dies, and that is just one or two beings. Hurricane Katrina took less than 2000 lives and we are still discussing it five years later. That was a HUGE catastrophe, HUGE!!! But the death of billions of animals (and in this case 71k coyotes) pale in comparison to that or any other human death. 2000 is a huge number of deaths, but 71,000 is incomprehensible. You bet if 71,000 people were murdered for cash rewards there would be riots and chaos...but when it's a "lesser being" or a "nuisance" people seem to ignore the fact that they deserve life just as much as you or I. I know you are probably thinking that I should respect and value human life more than others, and most people get pissed when you even remotely suggest that a life of an animal is of equal value to a human life. I think that we are all on this planet to live and love and we all deserve the equal chance and respect to do so.

Most of what I just typed is a big ramble, not to mention it's been an extremely long week (I know it's on Wednesday haha) and I'm tired. I apologize for my lack of sense.

I just wish there wasn't a need to view animals as lesser beings, and that we just accepted and all believed that they are equal and deserving of our love and respect.

I have to go finish reading Heidegger now. Wish me luck! It's tough stuff.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Soy Candles by Phebes



Soy Candles by Phebes are great smelling, hand crafted, 100% soy candles. At $13 each they are a pretty good bargain too.

I just want to say that I LOVE candles but my biggest beef with them is that they never actually smell when you burn them and they are generally either beeswax or filled with chemicals. As soon as I stumbled across these candles I knew I just had to order some. They come in over NINETY scents! How crazy is THAT? I spent like a week just choosing which ones to order.

They are a great size and the glass can be used a drinking cup when the candle is finished. The scents are not overpoweringly strong but you can smell them when you are near them or while they are burning.

We bought four for mothers days gifts and they were all well received. You can see the scents I ordered in the picture above and I loved ALL of them. Ginger Bergamont is my absolute favourite new smell in the world.

Shipping to Canada isn't bad either, I think $20 or so.



So if you are in need of a gift or just want a new candle I highly recommend you order a few of these. They rock my socks.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I love BC

This post isn't really related to anything. I just wanted to share the beauty of British Columbia with you all :)

I love BC. It is too gorgeous for words. Last week I took a walk along one of the million dikes around my house and it was so rejuvenating and refreshing. I can't believe it took me so long to check out this dike, it's breathtaking. It is totally my new jogging route!!

Here are some pictures from the dike:







By the way, for one of my summer classes we have to do a green project. My teacher gave us absolutely no direction other than it has to be "green" related. I want to do it on something vegan but I need an idea. We can do it in a journal, movie, sculpture, painting...literally ANYTHING and on ANYTHING green.

So, if you have any ideas on an interesting vegan related "green" project drop me a comment. I would love some ideas.

Boca Vegan Burgers!


I am not a fan of veggie burgers in general. I have tried many brands and types and the closest that came to being "good" was the Yves ones. This was until I tried Boca burgers!!

Where have these burgers been all my veggie life? Seriously, they are the BEST veggie burgers on this planet. My mom said she thought she saw them at Costco in huge boxes...but I can't confirm that. As far as I know you can only buy them in the states.

The nutrition boasts "80% less fat than a ground beef burger" which doesn't concern me because I don't eat beef. But, a lot of people are trying veggie burgers for health issues and I would definitely say these are the most omni-friendly burgers out there.

The taste is great, there is no strange soy flavour at all and the texture is PERFECT. It's not so realistically meaty that it disgusts me, but it's not weirdly chewy or squishy. It's just right. They are easy to make too, you just pan fry them for 8-10 minutes. I believe they cost $3.99 for a pack of four so not a bad price either.

So with BBQ season around the corner I highly suggest you go buy yourself some Boca vegan burgers. These are the best veggie burgers by far, I actually look forward to eating one! (Significant because I generally cringe when I have to eat a veggie burger)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

APPLES in a COBBLER you ask? I always though cobblers were reserved for berries and the like but I decided to go out on a limb and use apples. Let me just say the tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness in the apples is just amazing. And who doesn't love a doughy crust?

I apologize for lack of a picture. I suck. By the way, use an 11x7 glass dish.

Filling:
4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (grannysmith)
1 cup cranberries
1/2 sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup of water

Dough:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup Earth Balance (or now vegan Becel!!)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375.

For the filling, combine all the ingredients and spread out evenly in the baking dish.

For the dough combine the dry ingredients and then add the Earth Balance and soymilk. Mix together with a fork until it's sticky and dough-like.

Plop rough tablespoons of the dough out on top of the filling. There is enough dough to fill it exactly, but you can spread it out a little if you want. Optional: brush the top with soymilk.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is slightly browned.

Enjoy!!!

I would just like to say that my cats are hilarious. Right now Alma is sitting in the bathtub and I can JUST barely see the tips of her ears (super cute). For the last 15 minutes I have been turning the faucet on and off so it drips for her. She attacks these drips and drinks the water. When it stops dripping she gets upset and starts meowing until I give her more water. She basically does this like 5x a day and I never get sick of it, it's so ridiculous that I just laugh even though it means I have to get up every minute to assist her. If only I could teach her to turn on the tap - I am convinced Charlie knows how actually because sometimes I see him using his paws or nose to push it to the left, he just isn't strong enough to actually turn it. Charlie enjoys bathtub water too! At least twice a day he goes into the bathtub and swats at the metal drain stop (soo loud!!) until we come in and give him water. I don't know why they don't drink the water in their dish, I change it twice a day and give them filtered water. Silly cats.

I apologize for lack of posts and recipes etc as of late. I THOUGHT that I could post a bunch of stuff the last two weeks but alas I was extremely lazy. I played wayyy to much Sims and watched wayyy too much House. Good times. I do however have an arsenal of vegan product reviews/pics to be posted - stuff like more gardein products, ice cream, yogurt, candles, scratching posts, Amy's stuff and possibly even some beauty products.

And just for shits and giggles, and partly because I feel lame not posting a single picture...here are a few of Charlie. That cupboard is over four feet from the ground and he literally just jumps up into it. He knows he isn't supposed to go in there, so he is giving me his sad "but I'm soooooooooo cute and lovable and soft that you HAVE to let me sleep in here" eyes.



Bye for now!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get your cow ribbon everyone


So mother's day is coming up, and in support of all the dairy cows who never get to be mothers you should get a cow ribbon.

I got mine the other day and I'm going to keep it on my purse. Now, every time somebody sees it I can create awareness about the horrible dairy industry. Plus, who doesn't want a super cute cow ribbon?



If you visit cowribbon.com you can donate to get yours, as well as get some info on the dairy industry and get pictures for your facebook/twitter or posters to hang up in your neighbourhood. I am going to hang a poster in each of my buildings foyers once I buy some printer ink!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dandies Marshmallows


Who doesn't love a marshmallow in a bow tie? I personally can't resist something so awesome.

So, I never really liked marshmallows except in rice krispies squares . I decided I should at least try some vegan ones and they were AMAZING! I ate an ENTIRE HANDFUL of these. I could NEVER eat plain marshmallows before without gagging, the texture and the taste were just horrifying. If you are vegan and like me, were disgusted with traditional marshies and thought vegan ones would suck just as much, treat yourself and try some gelatin-free ones. They rock. And if you still eat gelatin, buy these instead, and you will never return to the dark side haha.

I love how they are all different shapes and actually change shape when you squish them (unlike traditional marshies). Look how CUTE they are!!! Like little pillows of heaven.




I don't know why I had doubts about them melting but as you can see, they melt perfectly.




They haven't turned hard either! Normally after a day the rice krispies get all hard, even if they are covered super tightly but these are still perfect AND I just have a loose piece of tin foil over them.

By the way, if you have 12 minutes watch this video and send it to all your meaty friends. It's a nice uplifting video that gives a good introduction to veganism without showing any images of slaughterhouses and the such.

That's all for now! I'm gonna go eat more rice krispie squares now haha (it's already over half gone. I'm so fat sometimes)

Bow chikka wow wow

I finished my last exam today! *sigh* I'm so relieved.

The plan for the next 2 weeks? COOK AND BAKE LIKE A MAD WOMAN!!!!!!! I am going to try out dandies marshmallows tonight to make rice krispy squares (yes, at 1am haha), attempt a cheesecake on Monday, make 3424 batches of COOKIES and make fancy shmancy dinners. I can't wait. Nothing but yummy food, books and video games. Oh, and I plan on donating blood and taking my driver's test somewhere in there.

Here is a great blog post. Send the link to any meat eaters you may know. I love the end haha.

Now I must wean myself off of caffeine. It's been my savior for the past two weeks. I had a red bull this morning but that was it and I've had the worst head ache all day!! Blah.

Peace out y'all

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....


swimming, swimming, swimming. I am totally watching that movie once these horrible exams are done with!

I've had 3 rockstars, 1 large coffee and 3 espresso shots today. I slept 2 hours last night and plan on not sleeping tonight (today?) and tomorrow night. Since Sunday I've probably had like 8 hours total sleep. And, in case you don't know I am highly disfuntional and incredibly bitchy unless I get at LEAST 10 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is my drug. I love it. I can sleep for 48 hours straight. Even if I wake up after 15 hours of sleep I can just crawl back under the covers and sleep for another 15, it's kind of ridiculous.

But alas, I can't sleep!!!

I have no time!!!!!!!

3 exams within 10 hours of eachother is not enough time. Not to mention the other 3 I've finished already.

Blah. Blah. Blah. I can't stop now or I will fall asleep.

Anyways. I should end this nonsensical blabbling. Is that even a word, nonsensical? I know there is a word similar to it.

I had a vegan starbucks frappucino today. It was so good! I am gonna get another one on the weekend after I sleep for 48 hours straight haha.

BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so braindead right now. Hahahahaha.

PS
Having to memorize the details of 75 criminal law cases is the fucking worst.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Becel Vegan Margarine! Hooray!



Check it out!! Becel now has vegan margarine. I'm so happy! I always preferred margarine over butter, mostly because it spreads easier. Since going vegan I have been buying Earth Balance and while it is delicious, it's very pricy.

From now on I'm going to buy Becel Vegan. It's way cheaper than Earth Balance and spreads easier and has a prettier package haha. I will continue to buy the EB sticks for baking though. It's much more convenient then smushing margarine into a measuring cup and then scooping it out and making a giant mess.

So, why buy the regular margarine when you can buy the Becel Vegan?

I love when big companies come out with vegan products. I also noticed that save on foods now carries the entire frozen line of Gardein. It's right beside the other frozen meals so hopefully non-veggies will see it and buy it and convert. HAH. Yeah right, but it's nice to see more visibility and accessibility of veggie products.

I'm back to studying! I have 2 exams tomorrow and I'm finished this semester on Saturday. I CAN NOT WAIT!!! I'm sooooo exhausted.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grilled Avocado Sandwich



These are seriously amazing. They are fast to make, filling, healthy and great when cramming for finals! I just noticed that picture has a cat hair attached to the bottom of the sandwich. Gross. I probably ingest so much cat hair it's ridiculous.

This really doesn't require instructions but I'll provide some anyways. This is how I make mine:

- bread
- Earth Balance
- 1/3 of an avocado
- tomato slices (optional)
- salt and pepper

To make it just cover your bread with Earth Balance, smear on the avocado and put on the tomato and salt/pepper. Cook it until it's brown and then eat it with a huge smile.

My new frying pan is sexy:



And just because it looks sexy (word of the day) this is what I've been eating for the entire week because I have no time to cook. I chopped up a giant container or veggies and made a double batch of hummus haha.



So they put up a poster of Keith Urban at one of the bus stops near my house and every time I drive by it I get slapped in the face with hotness. It is seriously the hottest picture of him ever. I need to take a picture of it so when it's gone I have that picture haha. I'm such a nerd.

Did you know they are coming out with the movie Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging???????? I used to read that book series and was considering seeing it when it comes out to indulge my inner 15 year old girl. I might even reread the books haha.

Well. I have to go back to studying. I've been pulling 12-16 hour days the last week with little to no sleep. It's horrible. It's all over in nine days though!! I can't wait for my break, I'm just going to play Harvest Moon and read some books.

And finally, for a touch of cuteness, here's Charlie:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Guess who's going to Vegas, baby??



Our original summer vacay plan was to go on a staycation in Vancouver but we found an awesome deal to go to Vegas which is cheaper than Vancouver. So why not? I've never been to Vegas. I don't drink or gamble, but maybe I'll live it up for one night HAH. That's a lie actually, I've been to Vegas as a 12 and 16 year old...so, I walked around and shopped. I didn't really do Vegasy things for obvious age reasons haha. I do remember my mom telling us not to pick up the flyers the men hand out on the street though, and I picked out up and I just remember huge tittys and I was like AH and my mom got mad. Haha. Good times in Vegas.

I'm just excited to GO AWAY!!! My last real vacation was Hawaii three years ago. I've only had disastrous camping trips since then haha.

This will be my first trip as a vegan. I'm quite nervous about it actually. Supposedly Vegas isn't that vegan friendly but I've been doing a little research. Did you know there is this amazing donut shop there (Ronald's) that is like 90% vegan!!!!!! The donuts look SO good there, and I haven't had a donut in agggges.

So, if anybody out in this internet abyss knows a good vegan-friendly place to eat near the Strip let me know.

Now I must go try to calm down the kitties. They had a huge fight last night and now they are all skittish and on edge with each other. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my quacking kitty

Bella has a hilarious meow that she does whenever you come near her or walk into a room. She sounds like a duck.

Make sure to turn your speakers up!

video

Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night to her making those noises and rolling around on her back. It's quite entertaining.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shoes galore



I love shoes. I have a few leather shoes still kicking around from before I went vegan, but the vast majority of my shoes are vegan. I happen to love canvas shoes, which is kind of bad because it rains here all of the time! It can be difficult to find vegan-friendly shoes, so hopefully these links will help.

Here are some general shoe websites. You can find everything from high heels to flats to sneakers and mens shoes on these sites. Most of them are reasonable prices too, even with shipping.

Mooshoes

Vegan Chic
Alternative Outfitters
Ragazzi Vegan
Zappos Vegan Shoes

The main thing I look for in shoes is animal friendly materials (fake leather, canvas, hemp, rubber, etc). Oftentimes, even when the shoe itself is fake leather etc, the sole will be made of real leather so that is something to watch out for. Another issue is animal-based glues. I try to buy shoes specifically labeled vegan-friendly but sometimes that isn't possible and I accept the fact that maybe the glue used is animal based.

The shoes in the picture above are the ones I wear the most. I used to have quite the large stash of high heels, but they all got ruined last year in a pee-flood from the above apartment *sigh*. I hardly wear heels anyways, I just like the look of them.

Note: I try to buy shoes that do not use animal based glue but am not 100% certain all of these use vegan-friendly glue.

#1 - Simple Shoes flip flops. I wore these every day last summer (hence the dirtiness on the soles) and they are the greatest flip flops EVER. They are made of recycled car tire, carpet underlay and organic hemp and stuff. They are vegan and environmentally friendly. They are pricey, but considering I have another year (at least) of wear in them, it's worth it.

#2 - Asics Gel Nimbus (10?) running shoes. These are made of synthetic leather and rubber and are the best running shoes I have ever bought. I ordered them off zappos and got them for half price! Asics makes a lot of vegan friendly shoes so I like them. Another good brand for vegan running shoes is New Balance.

#3 - Dollhouse boots. I love these boots! I bought them at Winners a few years ago for super cheap. Stores like Winners and Payless Shoes are a great place to find vegan shoes. Because the stores carry "budget brands" most of the time the shoes are synthetic leather. It's a win win - cheap and vegan!

#4 - Tretorn Faux-Fur lined gumboots. One day I was walking home from school and my converse got soaking wet and my feet and socks got wet and I was just pissy and miserable. That day I decided to buy gumboots. I love the bright blue of these boots and the fuzzy lining keeps my feet warm(ish) when it's slushy or snowy out. They are pretty comfy although I have gotten blisters on my heels from them. Now when it rains I don't cringe in fear of wet feet!

#5 - Saucony Originals Jazz Lo-Pro Vegan Shoes (stupid name haha). These are my favourite shoes. I seriously love them. They are the only shoes I have ever bought that were instantly comfortable. I have not had a single blister or anything from them. They are made of hemp and are padded so they are relatively water-resistant although my toes did get wet last week in a ridiculous rainstorm, but that's to be expected with any shoe. These were only $50 from zappos too. If you need comfortable daily shoes, buy these. I can walk for hours and stand for ages in them and my feet still don't get sore

#6 - Sanuk "I'm Game" sidewalk surfers. These are also my favourite shoes (I can have two, right?). As I mentioned above I am obsessed with canvas no-fuss shoes. I can just slip these on (no socks required) and walk for ages. They feel like you are bare foot. The only problem with these is that they are a really thin fabric and thus have zero water protection. I avoid wearing these if it's remotely rainy outside.

#7 - Draven slip ons. I love the cute factor these shoes have, and that they are vegan. The only problem is that they give me serious blisters. I have overly sensitive heels, so they might not give everyone blisters, but I can't wear them for very long periods of time. They do get better after they are broken in however. Draven has lots of cute shoes, so check them out.

#8 - Simple Shoes sneakers. These have the squishiest soles ever! I love them. If you go to their website you can find tonnes of colours and styles of this shoe. They aren't the comfiest shoes out there, but they are eco-friendly.. Even if these shoes felt like death I would buy them just because they say "eco-sneaks" on the tongue. I love it!

#9 - Nine West leopard heels. I am most certain that these use animal-based glue as the company is full of leather shoes but I included these to show that sometimes you can find non-leather shoes in an otherwise leather filled store. These have a man-made sole and a fabric upper. I emailed Nine West about their glue situation but they never answered me, so oh well. I still check out big leather shoe companies once in a while because I like their shoe styles, and sometimes you can find a friendly shoe :)

#10 - Rocket Dog sneakers. I had a pair of black rocket dogs for like 7 years that I wore to death. By their retirement water would soak through the bottom of the sole because they were so thin haha. If Jason didn't make me throw them out I would still wear them! I will say that every pair of rocket dogs I have owned give me blisters for the first few months so you have a pretty long break in period. After that though, they are comfort heaven! You can buy a bazillion different patterns and styles too. I emailed Rocket Dog and they told me they use animal-free glue as well. Plus, who doesn't want bright orange soles? I know I do.

#11 - My totally cliche Converse. These shoes aren't even that comfortable, but I do like the look of them. Plus, like other shoes, you can get any colour you want. I read somewhere that they use animal-free glue as well, but all their shoes are made in some serious sweat-shops, so that's not the greatest. When these need to be retired I am going to look for a more ethical substitute. I know there are many knock offs of this style.

#12 - Steve Madden booties. Steve Madden/Madden girl have a lot of cute vegan friendly shoes. Any pair of Steve Madden's I have owned (these included) are not that comfortable though, so I usually only wear them out for dinner or something. Oh well, at least I can have cute shoes for a few hours every once in a while, right?

#13 - And last but not least my gladiator sandals I got for $8 at Target. Even though Target is an American store, I still love it. They have really cheap and vegan friendly shoes. Just be sure to read the materials before you order anything.

Now you know that vegans can buy cute and comfortable shoes too!

Happy shoe shopping everyone.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns


So I made these cinnamon pumpkin rolls for Easter yesterday. They were absolutely fantastic!!! A day later they are still just as moist and tasty as they were straight from the oven. If you don't like pumpkin, don't worry, you hardly taste it :)

They didn't take long to make and the only change I made to the above recipe was that I added more cinnamon. If you have a few hours to let the dough rise, then I highly suggest making these. Spoil yourself, you deserve it!

Jason and me splurged and bought new bedding. It's so much softer and luxurious feeling than our previous craptastic IKEA cotton bedding that we bought for $25 haha. The kitties much prefer this one, just look how cute Bella looks:



I have serious reading to do over the next few days. I have my final paper due on Thursday which I haven't really started. This is the biggest paper I've had to write in over a year and I still have to do the background reading for it. I have a 4" stack of papers to read but I just can't motivate myself to read them. Once I'm finished reading that I get to choose my real topic and do more reading. Blah.

On the plus side, the paper I have to write tonight is short and relatively easy. It's almost too easy of a topic, which has made me leave it until the last minute. Oh well, what are you gonna do? I just want this semester to end. Less than three weeks, yahoo!

I have to go to the gym too! I only went twice at the beginning of March because of my tattoo removal and general business. I'm so bad. All the weight loss progress I made went out the door haha.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday everyone.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exotic Animal Skins



I always thought snakes were super cute. The exotic animal industry is something I have not really looked into but this video shows a pretty good idea of what it's like. Basically the same horrors that occur in the fur and leather industries. It's just sad what people will do to wear an animal.

On a happier note, it's April! Can you believe it? This year is just flying by.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apple Sage Field Roast Sausage


Yes! I FINALLY tried Field Roast Sausages!!! I bought all three flavours and then I realized of all the flavours Apple Sage is the most strange and I almost regretted buying it. Seriously, what sort of foods do you combine it with? We decided to just cut it up and pan fry it and serve it with szechuan green beans and roasted potatoes.

The verdict: pretty good. I wouldn't say these are as amazing as people say they are, but they weren't bad. The texture was perfect but I think they had a slightly weird taste, but after I dipped them in ketchup it went away and they were great.

I don't really know what to do with the Apple Sage flavour though, that's the main problem. I was considering making a hot dog with them, but I think it would still be weird. At least the mexican and italian flavours are more versatile (although I've yet to taste them, they could be awful).

Here is a picture of them raw:

All you have to do is remove them from their plastic casing, which is super easy to do and then they are ready to cook. Make sure if you are cutting them up that you have a sharp knife though. I could see these falling apart pretty easily.

Overall I say if want some veggie sausages the Apple Sage Field Roast ones are pretty good. The texture is the best I've had out of all veggie sausages I've tried. Smell is really important to me, so even if something tastes good but smells bad, I hate it. Fortunately, these have no strange faux-meat smell, just a yummy smell :)

On a side note, we bought a new chair for the bedroom because we don't have any seating besides the cat-hair infested couch or our uncomfortable dining chairs. Unfortunately all three cats have decided to take over the chair and its footstool! I haven't been able to use it for more than 10 minutes because I feel bad moving a sleeping kitty. On the plus side, the cat hair comes off super easy! I feel bad for Bella though. She keeps trying to sleep on it but the other two kitties chase her away and a fight ensues haha. She did get the footstool last night though, she probably went fierce on their asses to get it. I'm surprised I didn't wake up to angry kitties actually.

I only have three papers left this semester! I can't wait until I'm finished. It's all over on the 8th and then I start studying for finals which is just as taxing. Ah well, such is life as a University student.

I am ordering some soy candles this week. There are a million scents though, so I have to sit down and seriously decide or I will end up buying like 40 of them. I'll let you know how they smell when I get them!

Anyways, go try some Field Roast and spoil yourself. They are rather expensive (another downside) but they are worth it.

Peace y'all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

Tonight is earth hour, so let's all turn our lights out from 8:30pm-9:30pm. Of course, you should always have your lights off when you're not using them! Be POWER SMART!!!

Also, if you are really concerned about the environment and global warming etc, eat a vegan diet. It's the best thing you can do for the planet :)

Have fun with your lights out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blah

Today sucked. Enough said.

I want to curl up with a book and a hot chocolate and listen to the rain, but I can't.

Blargh.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Sundried Tomato Linguini



This didn't photograph too well and I only took one picture because it smelled SO good that I didn't feel like taking a pretty one, I just wanted to eat it!

The garlic bread is from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. You freeze the bread and then rub a clove of raw garlic on it and the PERFECT amount of garlic rubs off on the bread. How genius is that idea? Seriously.

To roast the pepper: preheat the oven to 500 degrees (you heard me) and then put the pepper(s) on a roast pan and roast it for about 30 minutes. Turn it once or twice, it is done when it's all burned and bubbly. IMMEDIATELY after you take it out of the oven seal the pan with tin foil. When it's cool peel off the skin and remove all the seeds and whoa-la, roasted peppers!

Here's what you need for the pasta dish (serves 4):

1 large red pepper, roasted and sliced
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, lightly chopped
3 handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp red pepper flakes - less if you don't want it too spicy (optional)
1 can of italian stewed tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 box of whole wheat linguini

Pour the can of stewed tomatoes into a sauce pan and break them apart with your fingers so they are in various sized chunks. Add in the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, garlic powder, sun dried tomatoes, red pepper and chili flakes (if using). Simmer for 30 minutes.

When the sauce is almost done simmering, cook your pasta according to the directions on the box. Strain and add back to the pot. Pour the sauce into the noodles and add the spinach. Mix everything together with tongs.

Serve with garlic toast.

This is my favourite pasta dish. The leftovers are soooo good too.

And on a fabulous little side note, check out my new sexy-ass broom. I just need a matching dustpan to go with it now. $10 at Homesense :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grocery Time & Other Ramblings



I was coming home from the doc’s in Vancouver this morning so I did the first bit of my grocery shop at Whole Foods and then went to Save on Foods later. I also picked up the boyfriend’s drycleaning and felt like a 1950’s housewife. It was great. My internet is finally back! It has been down since Saturday because Telus is stupid. We ordered more TV channels and then like an hour later the tv and internet stopped working.

I’m so busy right now! I am halfway through my essays (4.5 to go) which is great. I’m really nervous about finals this semester so I have to start studying for those like next week, ugh. I splurged today and bought a few cans of this organic canned kitty food and they LOVED it. Even Alma, who normally just takes a nibble of wet food, gobbled hers up. I guess I’ll have to buy more of it.

Here’s what I bought this week, it was about $150 but I threw out my receipts so I don’t remember exactly.

OOH! I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW TO USE THE SPLIT SCREEN THING ON WINDOWS 7!!! I have been trying to figure this out since I installed it. This is AMAZING!!!

Sorry, back to what I bought haha:
4 corn on the cob
2 organic tomatoes
2 organic red peppers
2 organic orange peppers
1 red onion
6 bananas
2lbs of organic strawberries
1 pineapple
2 bunches of organic kale
small bag of organic mixed greens
1lb bag of organic kiwis
1 zucchini
bag of organic green beans
bag of cremini mushrooms
3 cans of organic canned kitty food
bag of organic quinoa
bag of organic long grain brown rice
Whole Foods guacamole (I NEVER buy guac from the store, but I’m too lazy to make some this week)
organic frozen potato wedges (Rosemary garlic flavour, yummy)
Oasis orange juice
1 can of refried beans
2 cartons of coconut water
2 boxes of whole wheat linguini
1 box of Nature’s Path cereal (I forget the flavor, some red berry mix I think)
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
pack of whole wheat burrito shells
Seventh Generation laundry detergent in the 2.5L size
ketchup
Dr.Praeger’s TexMex (I think) veggie burgers – I have never had Dr.Praegers before, but I’ve heard good things, so I’ll see
Vitasoy soy milk –I had the urge to try a soy milk I’ve never had this week. I don’t know why.
carton of organic, vegan chai tea mixture – I have literally no idea why I bought this. I don’t even really like chai tea lattes, but I saw it on the shelf and I bought it
(These next things aren’t in my picture because I had put them in the fridge when I got home from Whole Foods and ran out of room on my stove)
organic almond butter
baby spinach
tofutti cream cheese
muffin from Whole Foods bakery (it was SOO GOOD! It had pumpkin seeds and raisins and a bunch of other yummy stuff in it. It was totally worth $3)
organic cotton all natural tampons (at least it’s better than tampax, I need something as backup still cuz I can’t get my divacup working!! Haha)

On Friday I pick up my online order for some vegan goodies like s’mores, cookies and chocolate eggs. I’m going to drive down to Bellingham to buy some Field Roast sausage. Hopefully the border isn’t retarded and realizes it’s NOT real sausage, but who knows. They took away a can of soup from me once because it had meat in it, yet it was MADE in the US so who knows, border guards are a strange folk.

What are we eating this week? This list is not exhaustive btw, it’s just what comes to mind after I wrote out my grocery list. We are going out for dinner on Friday in the States and I have no idea where to go…so I have to look that up.
Breaky = cereal, smoothies, fresh juice, fruit
Lunch = sandwiches, chili, soup, leftovers from dinner, fruits and veggies, juice
Snacks = crackers with PB/Almond butter, fruits, veggies, granola bars, fruit leathers, ice cream,
Dinner = burgers, burritos, shishkabobs, lemony/garlicky broccoli quinoa, braised cauliflower, szhechuan green beans and rice, corn on the cob, fancy pasta, soup, chili

Oh. And my day was ruined this morning by a chicken truck. It was 7:30 in the morning, driving down the #1, so obviously it’s pretty slow-going. I merged onto the highway behind a chicken truck and almost DIED. I had to follow it for like 20 minutes and then I finally got to pass it and then like 10 minutes later his lane caught up and I had to sit by it for another 10 minutes, I was so heartbroken.
The chickens were FILTHY and so SAD looking. I saw two dead ones (or at least I think they were dead…they weren’t moving) and these other two had their wings around each other and were just blankly staring into space with this sad and scared look on their faces. This other chicken was all curled up in a ball with her head poking out and she looked so sad too. I just started bawling. I knew they were on their way to the slaughterhouse which was the worst part. They all looked like they knew something horrible was going to happen to them, and I couldn’t even help them. They could have been traveling for hours too, I have no idea. I read this one story of a lady who followed a chicken truck from Banff to Vancouver (that’s like 12 hours!!) I really wanted to stop the truck and take the one chicken curled up on her own, but I couldn’t. Ugh, it just ruined my day. I was all pissed this morning too because I overheard a conversation two girls were having in the library yesterday that just highlighted the ignorance and defensive nature meat eaters have. I just wish people weren’t so scared of change, but alas, that’s the world we live in.

I have 3 more journal entries for my police studies course to do tonight and then I am going to have a bath. I have to apply for a rent-a-cop volunteer position too, that should be fun. I’ll get a good reference out of it at least.

Bella was sleeping in one of the million folds of this giant purple blanket I have. It was so cute!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Amy's Minestrone Soup


I went to Costco on the weekend and to my surprise they are carrying lots of organic items now! I got a case of 8 Amy's soups for $13 which is a great deal considering one can at Save on costs $5.

This soup was the best canned minestrone I've ever had. It filled me up and didn't have that "can" taste that lots of soups have. I love the weird noodles too. I definitely recommend this soup. It makes a light, but filling lunch and would make a good dinner if you paired it with a crusty baguette or something.

My favourite part about Amy's soups is how all the vegan items just say (Vegan) in front of the ingredients. Why can't everyone do this? It would make checking for ingredients much easier...although I'm not sure if I would trust larger companies definition of "vegan" so I might end up checking anyways. But, it's still a good idea.




I am going to go eat a can of this now :)

BTW. I ordered Sweet and Sara s'mores and Field Roast Sausages!!! I'm so excited!!

Brown Rice and Beans Jambalaya


If you don't own Eat, Drink & Be Vegan already, then I highly suggest you go buy it. Every recipe from there has been amazing, and I've had to make little to no modifications to any recipe - rare for me!!! I'm always changing stuff. Plus, there is an ENTIRE HUMMUS CHAPTER!!!! Who wouldn't want that? Seriously, go buy it.

Anyways. I made the Brown Rice and Beans Jambalaya from it last week and it was absolutely delicious.

I won't post the recipe because it isn't mine but I'll tell you what I modified. I didn't have file powder or Worcestershire sauce so I just did a quick squirt of ketchup instead. I also added red pepper chili flakes and extra cayenne pepper to make it spicy. I used a green and orange pepper and added extra onion. At the end you are supposed to stir in parsley and green onion, but I forgot to mix it in!! I had it cut up and ready to go to haha but it tasted great without it. I used short grain brown rice and had to cook it for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe said because it was still chewy.

Oh, and the book says it makes four servings but it made eight. Overall this dish was excellent and makes great leftovers in the freezer too. I'm gonna add this to my recipe rotation for sure.

In case you can't tell by the picture, it's really filling too! I could hardly finish mine and the only reason I did was because it was so tasty I forced myself to finish haha.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being on hold sucks

Blah. Being on hold with VISA is the worst. After 20 minutes I got my online account unlocked and then I entered my password and it got locked again all of the sudden.

So now guess what I have to do?

Phone VISA back and wait on hold AGAIN!!! Argh.

The worst part is they keep blabbing about stupid Olympic VISA cards. Who would want that?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fur and other things


Hi all.

I went to the Canucks game tonight. I was in row 3!! If I actually liked hockey and glorified the players like I did 5 years ago then I may have found it interesting, but I was just bored. Jason had fun though, so that's good.

My neck hurts now because of looking up to the megascreen and way down ice to my left, ugh. It's a little stingy, but hopefully it goes away tomorrow. The bandage is starting to itch like a mother and I really want to take it off but it would hurt haha.

I finally found this website I came across a while ago. Apparently these were advertisements on the skytrain but I never saw them. If you read the stuff it's just ridiculous....cuz I'm really going to believe the words from the Fur Council of Canada. HA HA. Plus, who is anti-fur mainly for the environmental damages? Maybe they should say furishumane.com and people will see how ridiculous the industry really is.

This is my favourite:
While it is totally legitimate to have differing personal views on the use of animals, whether in our diets or for the clothes we wear, is it really fair to single out one industry and attack the livelihoods of thousands of people, who, like everybody else, have families to raise and bills to pay? Is it really fair to attack the fur industry in a society where 97% of the population eats meat and uses animal products everyday?

This is a pretty lame justification too:
In nature, each plant and animal species generally produces more offspring than the land can support to maturity. Like other species, we live by making use of part of this surplus that nature creates

So, does that give me an excuse to skin the Duggar children then, or any family that has more than 2 children? Anything more than 2 is excessive. I just don't get how that justifies killing an animal for its fur. Gah. People are so stupid.

I think the site is hilarious though. Go check it out and have a laugh at the ludicrous suggestions it makes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gardein Chicken Strips




Being in Vancouver yesterday I had to stop by Whole Foods (yay!!!). I got this frickin delish cookie from the bakery there. Anyways, I found the Gardein frozen line there and got really excited. I bought the Chicken Scallopini because that's the one they always show on tv and in cookbooks and is supposedly the best tasting/most versatile one. I haven't tried them yet, but I'll let you know how they are when I do!

VegNews claims the chicken strips are great and I generally agree with their food suggestions, plus they are the only vegan strips I can buy around here (the rest have egg) so that made me really excited to try them. Now, I rarely ate chicken strips pre-veg but sometimes you want something junky/fast to make for dinner so I figured I would try them. After all, it's a great excuse to use Renee's Tangy Thai sauce!!!

I thought the chicken strips were excellent! They tasted great, there was no weird faux meat taste and they were easy to make. As you can see in the picture they are incredibly chicken like, which kind of scares me. In fact, they are so chicken like you could trick a meat eater into thinking they are real chicken. These would be a good transition food for meat eaters moving towards a veggie diet. The batter was really thick and tasty too.

They were the best with the Renee's Tangy Thai sauce, which made them a bit spicy, but I ate half of one plain and it still tasted good. I got 10 in my bag and it cost $5 so they are a bit pricey, but for a small meal once in a while it's worth it.

I feel strange eating something so chicken like but nevertheless these taste great and are a good transition food for meat eaters. I don't know where you can buy them in BC, as they just came to Canada, but I found the frozen line at Whole Foods.

Now I just need Luna and Larry's coconut milk icecream to get it's butt up here!!! Their website says coming to Canada in 2010...so, that could be next month or December!!! Bah humbug.

Well, enjoy the rainy weather!!! I'm stuck inside doing schoolwork with a painful neck anyways, so I know I'm enjoying it. I love the sound of wind and rain from inside.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

/cry

I got my tattoo removed today. I'm still somewhat numb but thankfully he removed it all in one go so I don't have to get more stitches/bandages/annoyingness in 6 weeks.

I'm quite sad.

It's going to suck to sleep.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Rekindled Romance



I have rekindled my long lost love for tomato soup. You heard me. I haven't had tomato soup in years and I think I liked it as a kid, especially with huge chunks of crackers that get all soggy but the very middle is still crunchy - delicious.

I had a can of Campbell's tomato soup in the back of my pantry which I found and was like "poo, it's probably not vegan" and it turns out is IS vegan. So I had that but then I wanted to find a healthier version and I found the tomato soup made by Imagine Soups and it tasted delish (it's the one in the picture). It does cost more (who can compete with Campbell's condensed soup prices, really) but the packaging is more convenient and the lack of crap in the actual soup makes up for that. Plus, it's organic!

I compared the nutrition of each and they were basically the same with the Imagine Soups marginally more healthy. The main difference is in the ingredients, where Campbell's uses preservatives and high fructose corn syrup, the Imagine one uses no preservatives and brown rice to sweeten. The Imagine one tastes better too. They also have a creamy potato leek soup I want to try!

So. The lesson for today is go buy tomato soup. I need to go buy a giant case of it because I'm that obsessed right now.

And for good measure here are some pictures of cute kitties!!!

We were fixing our bedframe so we had the mattress/boxspring up against the wall so of course Charlie jumped right up there and made himself at home. He looks soooo happy!!!


And then of course, who can resist a tubby girl? Look at all those rolls!!! And that cute smile!!!


And last but not least, Bella taking a cat nap. I'm jealous that cats get to sleep most of the day and I have to do stuff, it's unfair really lol.



I'm off to make the Brown rice and beans jambalaya from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan now. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Articles

I have a stash of bookmarked newspaper articles and the like in my history that I should start posting links to in case anyone is interested.

Here is an article I found today that analyzes our digestive system and compares it to the systems of herbivores and omnivores. Seems we're herbivores, interesting!

This is an article someone posted on a forum I read and it's quite good, here's a quote:
"If, as a meat-eater, being exposed to this reality bothers you, it is not the fault of the vegan. Lashing out or making up endless excuses doesn't change the stark scientific fact that animals are suffering because of our taste buds. Your neatly packaged chicken breast, all wrapped in pristine plastic, was once part of an animal that felt fear and pain. It's called responsibility and culpability, and we're all to blame.

Now, you may try to argue that eating animals is a matter of personal opinion or choice, but again I'd have to disagree -- this is not about your opinion versus my opinion, this is about animal suffering. You can't discuss your "personal choice" of eating animals while leaving animals completely out of the conversation."

And last but not least, here is an article that talks about the disgusting and ever growing manure problem in the US.

I'm off to do some late night studying now...I slacked off all day after I wrote a paper, oops!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Peaceable Kingdom



I found a link to a spanish animal rights website that has the entire Peaceable Kingdom video on it. There are spanish subtitles, but you hardly notice them.

Here is the link and I highly suggest you take 70 minutes out of your day to watch this. It's a movie about farmers/previous meat eaters/childhood animal lovers who rescue animals from factory farming conditions. It contrasts positive images and stories with horrible ones which I think makes the film really powerful. I highly recommend it.

I cried basically the entire movie, but it wasn't all sad crying! Unlike many animal abuse videos this one shows animals being rescued and has a lot of positive stories about animals too...which of course, make me cry harder than the sad parts! I'm a sucker for rescued animals, just seeing their joy is the most powerful feeling and I can't help but cry for them and be so happy for them. Anyways, I'm rambling and don't make a lot of sense right now because I just finished watching the video. If you watch it, the story about Snickers is soooo heartwarming.

I have been extremely depressed and annoyed by the ignorance in the world as of late - about an assortment of issues, not just animal related ones - and I don't really know what to do about it. I just wish people weren't such fucking idiots.

Blah. I'm going to eat a PB&J sandwich now and write my outline for my horrible essay due tomorrow.

Share the video with people you know. We all have compassion buried somewhere inside of us, we just need to find it.

Bye for now :)