Lazy Sunday IV

Oh no! I just realized that something went wrong with last Sunday’s auto-publishing, and my third Lazy Sunday post never went up! Quelle horreur! I’ve posted it now, so take a gander if you feel so inclined. (There’s a photo of a cat!)

On this particular Lazy Sunday, I am sitting at our kitchen island drinking coffee mixed with that pumpkin coconut caramel sauce I blogged about last week. My breakfast was half a grapefruit and half of the pumpkin creme doughnut we picked up yesterday. I’ll probably eat the rest of the grapefruit before embarking on my plans for the day, which are as follows:

  1. Finish drafting an email of recommendations for things to do in Ireland for a friend who will be there for two weeks in October. (Lucky lady!)
  2. Check out some thrift stores because my business casual wardrobe needs some autumnal augmentation.
  3. Read! I’m behind on my Goodreads book goal for the year and need to catch up. :) (On that note, add me on Goodreads!)

Aaanyway. Time to answer some prompts for my final (!) MoFo installment of Lazy Sunday!

A food/ingredient you didn’t used to like but now you do; how did the transition happen?

I used to hate sweet potatoes. I know! It was that whole savory/sweet issue. I actually only started liking them in college—I blogged about the transition (complete with a craptastic photo taken on my dorm room bed) at my old blog. Basically, I think my tastebuds just grew up. :)

What’s your killer dish when you’re cooking for non-vegans?

Usually it’s a dessert of some kind. I’ve made (and blogged about) the raspberry chocolate chip blondie bars from VWaV a few times, and they’re always a crowd-pleaser. The stuffed mushrooms we served at our harvest party were a HUGE hit—I can’t wait to make them again.


What’s your newest foodie discovery and how did you discover it?

This is only a partially new discovery, but: Dave’s Coffee Syrup. Now, if you’re not from New England, you probably aren’t familiar with coffee syrup. It’s exactly what it sounds like, though—the coffee version of chocolate syrup. It’s a HUGE deal in Rhode Island; I grew up drinking coffee milk (milk + coffee syrup… heh), even though I was never its biggest fan (I preferred chocolate milk). The mass-produced brands (which are made in RI!) are typically heavy on the sugar and light on the caffeine.

Recently, though, a new coffee syrup started taking the coffee-milk world by storm. It’s free of corn syrup, and cold-brewed coffee is the second ingredient. My dad raved about it, so when we visited Dave’s Coffee last weekend (which I blogged about here—it’s where I had a fantastic soy latte), I picked up a jar of the mocha coffee syrup (it also comes in regular coffee, decaf, and vanilla). How could I resist when it has such killer packaging? I’m a sucker for quality design and branding.



S had never heard of coffee milk and was intrigued by my purchase. He tried it the other day, made with almond milk, and fell in love. And for good reason—this is quality syrup, much better than the sugary crap produced by the other brands. It has a price tag to match, but I think it’s worth it. I can’t wait to try it in other applications; the tag on the bottle suggests using it in a dirty espresso martini, drizzling it over ice cream, and many more mouth-watering ideas. And when I run out, I don’t have to wait till I’m back in RI to restock—you can order online. ;) (Bonus: Look at that great bottle it comes in! I can’t wait to use that for a homemade extract or liqueur.)

What are your answers to any of these questions? Have you had coffee milk? How should I use my coffee syrup? What are you doing this Sunday?


Lazy Sunday III

You know the drill by now—it’s Lazy Sunday, so I’ll rest up and answer some official MoFo blogging prompts. Easy.

How do you feel about leftovers?

Leftovers are fantastic. I haaate worrying about what I’ll pack for lunch the next day, and leftovers simplify that decision. I’m still not terribly adept at planning quantities now that I cook for two, though. In the past I could reliably anticipate how much I’d eat and plan to make extra, but when S and I are dining together, I find myself with leftovers a little less often than I’d like. You’d think I could’ve figured this out after two and a half years…!

Your top five vegan products (including clothing, cleaning supplies, make up, shoes, soap, whatever).

* My Matt & Nat purses. I have a large cream-colored bag with metallic studs on the front and a small, across-the-chest golden yellow bag with similar metallic studs on the front flap. I love them both! The big one is great for traveling; I can fit books, knitting, a camera, and all sorts of things in it. I used the yellow one pretty exclusively this summer; it’s lightweight and forces me to cut down on the stuff I carry with me. The only issue is that it’s not large enough for favorite item #2…

* My wallet from Herbivore! I’ve had this for three years and it’s still holding up beautifully. It’s also insanely cute.

Front view of a black faux-leather wallet with colorful embroidered fish.

* Manic Panic mascara. I have tried quite a few vegan mascaras and was disappointed with nearly all of them. Zuzu Luxe was my go-to for a while, but it took a lot of coats to make a difference. (Still 100x times better than the useless stuff I tried from All Natural Face.) I found Manic Panic recently, and I love it. It goes on perfectly and gives me the volume I want. It’s also pretty cheap, comparatively!

* Dr. Bronner’s peppermint liquid soap. I don’t use this all the time, but when I do, I love it. It’s S’s preferred body wash; he likes the tingly feel and scent. I love that it’s so multi-purpose!

* An adorable t-shirt my mom got me from the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Okay, so it  says “vegetarian,” not “vegan.” Whatever. I just love the design on this t-shirt, and that’s saying something, because I’m not usually a slogan-y t-shirt type of person!

Post a picture of a cat!

Sure! I might be allergic to kitties, but I still appreciate them and their fickle, enigmatic ways.

Photo of a long-haired young woman bending down and petting a stripy cat, who's lying on his side.

This is one of my best friends with Toff, the sweet campus cat who used to roam around Carleton. He made himself at home everywhere, including our town house senior year. Everybody loved him, and when he passed away a few years ago, his story got picked up by local press and the AP.

What are your answers to any/all of these questions? What are you doing on this Sunday?

Lazy Sunday II

Just like I did last Sunday, today I’ll take a breather and answer some of the official MoFo blogging prompts. (I know, yesterday was nothing if not a breather… but a girl’s gotta rest up on the weekends!) So far today I’ve fed and walked Moria, had breakfast (tea, a grapefruit, and toast), and finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane (if you like Neil Gaiman at all, read it!). I’m currently trying to decide whether I’ll bother showering today, and soon I’ll mosey over to the kitchen to start prepping some food for the week. If I can work in some knitting later, this will be pretty darn close to my perfect lazy Sunday.

Anyway, enough about my slothdom. On to the questions!

What’s the best vegan meal you’ve ever eaten?

Here’s the thing. I am horrible—horrible!—at choosing a favorite anything. While I do have strong feelings about many topics (feminism, not texting while driving, the repellent nature of stray hairs), I’m often hard-pressed to choose favorites, especially when put on the spot. And with this question in particular, well, I’m lucky to have eaten many scrumptious vegan meals.


One particular meal stands out.


Just over a year ago, between shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, S and I had dinner at Henderson’s, and the Nut Roll blew. my. mind. so much so that I still remember it every so often with a little sigh. You can read about the details here. Bottom line? It might very well be the best vegan meal I’ve had. My mouth is watering just remembering it.

But a meal is about more than just the food. It’s about the circumstances in which you ate it and the people with whom you shared it. I shared this meal with my steadfast, sweet S during a truly wonderful vacation together in a city (and country) I just adored. It would be difficult to top that. :)

What was your first vegan cookbook?

This one’s easier to answer! I received Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan with a Vengeance for Christmas in 2008. I’d been vegetarian for a while and, after slowly realizing that being vegetarian didn’t quite hold with my ethics, wanted to explore veganism. These cookbooks helped me feel comfortable cooking and eating vegan. I treasured them, thumbing through them over and over, learning about new-to-me ingredients, and delighting in my vegan enlightenment. I still cook from them.

Talk about your favorite place to buy vegetables.

My favorite place to buy vegetables is at the west-side Willy Street Co-op at around 8:00 PM, when the store is mostly empty and I can have the aisles nearly to myself. I feel like I ought to say the farmers’ market, but honestly? Crowds make me nervous, and my experiences with farmers’ markets are never fully positive because they are invariably crowded. Not so my beloved co-op. Plus, it always has a good selection of local vegetables and includes info about their sources on its price cards.

Alas—I now live exactly 696 miles from my beloved co-op, and I’ve yet to find a worthy replacement. We can walk to a Giant in five minutes, but their produce is your typical big-box grocery store fair. Trader Joe’s is a seven-minute drive away, and they do stock a small amount of local fruit and veg, but the selection varies and is not often organic. Whole Foods is about a 15-minute drive away, but it’s not cheekily called “Whole Paycheck” for nothin’! So, all that’s to say that I’m still searching for a new favorite place to get my veggie fix. I think I’ll participate in a CSA next year, because I’ve had very good luck with them in the past… and there are no crowds. ;)

What’re your answers to any/all of these questions? What are you doing on this Sunday?

Lazy Sunday I

Hooray! We’ve made it through the first week of MoFo. I’m feelin’ pretty pleased with my progress so far; I’ve shared more original recipes in a week than I had in the previous… I dunno, six or so months. Go me.

But now it’s Sunday, and I promised myself to take it easy on Sundays. (Plus my apartment is a mess, my dog has bowl-you-over vomit breath, and I am plum tuckered out.) So, in lieu of a legit post, I’m going to answer a few of the “official” blogging prompts from the folks at MoFo HQ.

Share your first experience cooking with tofu.

Ahh, this takes me back. It was autumn of 2008, and I was beginning my senior year of college. I lived in an on-campus townhouse with two of my very best friends. I’d been vegetarian since the end of high school, but somehow I’d never made tofu for myself (hey, I had a meal plan for the first three years of college!). Now, though, with a full kitchen at my disposal, a burgeoning interest in veganism, and time to spare (ha ha jk) while working on my senior comps project, I decided to branch out. I hied myself down to the local co-op and picked me up a package of tofu. It looked somethin’ like this:

Box of aseptic packaged extra firm silken tofu.Oh yes, you know where this is going. I gamely cut the pale block into cubes, coated it in some barbecue sauce, and put it in the oven, hoping that some sort of magical tofu fairy who lived in the back of our little gas oven would wave her wand and transform the jiggling cubes into toothsome bites of savory soy.

Alas; no amount of kitchen wizardry can transfigure silken tofu into regular ol’ tofu, and the cubes were as quivery as ever when I removed them from the oven. I ate them, but reader, I did not enjoy them. It took a shameful amount of time for me to realize that I could not ignore the word “silken” on the front of the package and assume that all “extra firm” tofu was the same thing.

Five years later, I consider myself much more knowledgeable. I can recognize tofu that’s been frozen, tofu that’s been pressed… and tofu that’s from a little aseptic package.

Is there something you do in the kitchen that you know you’re not supposed to (knives in the dishwasher, soap on cast iron, etc)?

Well, I can get a little lazy when it comes to certain types of cleaning—if I used a measuring cup for some soy milk, for example, I might just rinse it with water instead of washing it with soap. It just seems like overkill to go through alllll the trouble of turning the faucet to “hot,” pumping some dish soap on a washcloth, and scrubbing away at a single barely used measuring cup. Ugh. (I’m pretty cleanly otherwise, I swear!)

Also, I put some of our crappier knives in the dishwasher, because they are crappy and I don’t really care.

I have been known to eat food that had mold growing on it. Not the actual mold, ew.

Let’s move on.

What’s your favorite accidentally vegan product?

Honestly? Oreos. I know—potential bone char sugar, super processed, questionable corporate ethics… mmhmm. Got it. It’s not like I buy them every month, but damn it, sometimes you’re on a late-night grocery run with your man and you want a snack to eat while you get home and binge watch The West Wing and you just do not feel like baking. In situations like that, I do not hesitate to pick up a package of Oreos. They go great with almond milk.

A single Oreo with a bite taken out of it.

What’re your answers to any/all of these questions? What are you doing on this Sunday?