Monday, September 19, 2011 and MoFo Banners

Really quick update!

We are less than two weeks away from VeganMoFo.  Be sure to get your banners for your blog here.  They are done by the beautiful and talented Amanda from Will Draw for Cookies.  My personal fave is the one with the little fruits and veggies.  ZOMG, adorbs!

Also, Christy from The Blissful Chef did a wonderful write up on MoFo over at!  It includes the spread for my deviled tofu and the seaweed caviar variation.  You should check it out.

Why can't it be October already?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the Horizon...

I should be writing an English paper right now, but I'm so freaking amped about VeganMoFo that I can't think about anything else.  This year marks the 5th installment, and I am so super happy to be a part of it again.

Last year, I didn't have a theme.  Lucky for me, though, I kept a document from the end of 2010 MoFo with any crazy ideas I had.  This year, I opened up my document of ideas and realized I had pretty much nothing!  Aaaah!  So, I spent the last week or so getting my ideas down, plotting out the days, and figuring out just how crazy next month will be.

This year, I decided to do a different theme for everyday of the week.  It's kinda crazy having so many themes, but I think it will work out just fine.  Without further adieu (and in order of October days)...

Saturdays-Food memories.  I will be taking foods from my past and veganizing them.  They all come with neat little stories and represent a big part of where I came from.

this food memory will be revamped fo' sho
Sundays-The Best Thing I Never Ate.  At first, this was just a potpurri category.  However, I realized I had a ton of recipes I wanted to veganize from the Food Network.  This will be fun!

Mondays-Dinner and a Movie.  Most of them will involve Mandy Moore, but I have a special horror movie marathon planned for Halloween.  Complete with a cake!  And hell to the no.  It will not be haunted gingerbread.  Brrr.

Tuesdays-International foods.  I stumbled upon half of these and the other half were chosen randomly by country.  I love taking risks on cuisines I've never tried before.  That's how I came to discover I love Ethiopian and Indian food.  Not to mention Georgian and Belgian!

Wednesdays-Rainbows.  Yes.  I will be making foods and drink inspired by the many colors of the rainbow.  I'm super proud of this because only one of the days involves me using food coloring...technically.

Thursdays-MoFo revisited.  One thing that always gets me is that I rarely have the time to go back and try MoFo recipes again.  So, this year, I'm tweaking some recipes.  For sure, I'm going back to those gingerbread pop tarts.  I'm also redoing some recipes from my very first VeganMoFo.  Should be fun.

these will be tweaked to a new level of awesome
Fridays-Video.  The videos I started last year will be back!  I hope they're better than ever.  So very excited to do this again.

Feel free to use any of these ideas...and check out the idea thread on The PPK.  Also, don't forget to sign up!  I'm so excited!  Anybody else know what they're doing?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Too Late for a Portland Update

Yes.  I know Vida Vegan Con has been over for about 2 weeks now.  This update is way later than intended because life has been extremely busy over here with school.  Also, my pics aren't the greatest because I forgot my camera almost all the time (3 out of the 4 days).  But some fun was had.  Oh, yes!  So about Portland...

I arrived from a fairly bumpy flight, got shuttled to the rental car place, and had to endure the slooooowest service I've ever had...ever.  About an hour after I landed, I finally started driving to my friend's (Rich) house.  Only I got lost.  Like, 40 minutes lost.  When I finally reached Rich's house, we walked over to Hungry Tiger Too where a bunch of conference goers were meeting up.  We arrived to find almost everybody gone, but I got to meet Steffers, Louzilla, and Joni!  Fun times!  I ordered the BLTease and some sweet potato fries.  The sandwich was a'ight.  Nothing grand.  But those fries were incredibly bomb.  I loves 'em!

Afterwards, Rich and I went to his neighborhood farmers market.  I was wandering around and discovered Missionary Chocolates.  They were giving away free samples on just about everything!  I ended up buying three truffles: meyer lemon, vanilla salted caramel, and ginger.  They were fantastic!  So damn good.  I also picked up some golden raspberries.  Mmm.

Next, we took the short drive to Vendetta for the unofficial meet and greet.  First of all, I was totally overwhelmed.  That place got packed with so much vegan goodness, I had to down some beer to take it all in.  Errbody was talking and having a great time.  I couldn't even begin to list everybody I met.  Rich and I left a little early.

Panda cookie!
Here's where things got epic.  Rich lives right down the street from a food cart pod.  We walked over, and I realized I was at Potato Champion!  I ordered the vegan poutine and a pineapple basil juice.  Poutine is a salty, gravy filled, potato orgy of awesome!  And the juice was really refreshing after a day of mostly potatoes and beer.  Then, I turned around and realized I was sitting in front of Whiffie's Fried Pies!  Rich and I noticed that they had a vegan mounds pie (choco-coconut), and we both dug super deep to make room for it.  Words cannot express how amazing that pie was!  It had a perfectly flaky crust with this thick, creamy coconut pudding inside.  There was flaked coconut in the pudding and a nice chocolate sauce inside.  I highly recommend it!

And that was my first day in Portland.  How crazy is that?!

Friday morning I said goodbye to Rich and headed over to Kittee's to work on the game show.  Can I just say how much I heart that woman?  She is amazing.  We spent a little while prepping, then headed out to Native Bowl.  Erika and Jordan showed up, and we chatted while waiting for Amey.  I also met Luciana, Lisa, and Gabrielle.  When Amey finally arrived, five of us piled into Kittee's car and headed back to her house.  Amey, Kittee, and I pretty much worked on the game show and got the prizes together before registration.

Things went pretty fast from there.  I registered, picked up my swag bag, and got into my dorm.  The bags were HUGE.  Filled with coupons, books, peppermills, cookies, bars, snacks, and so much more.  Plus, the dorms had an extra toiletry gift bag with soaps, toothpaste, condoms, etc.  I quickly changed and met up with Ben before heading over to the reception.

The reception was fabulous!  I met Chris and Crystal finally.  Adorbs.  I also drank much champagne and tried my hardest to look elegant while eating a cupcake.  Mission: impossible.  I also met my Texan peoples.  Kristen, Molly, and Stephanie.  It was awesome, to say the least.  Oh, and I also met my roommate for the weekend, Jen!  It was a really great time.

VVC breakfasts: pancakes, fruit, yogurt, biscuit, potatoes, gravy, scramble
After getting my cupcake on, I went with a huge group to Vita Cafe.  Let's see if I remember everybody.  John, Kelly, Lou, Isa, Terry, Erika, Jordan, Luciana, FootFace, Lauren, and two of the sweetest Canadians (Lisa and Nicole) I ever did meet.  Anyway, I had the vegan club sandwich, some fries, and a salad.  Here's the thing...the salad and fries were HUGE!  All I could manage to eat was a few bites of each and half a sandwich.  Let me tell you about that club.  It was seriously the best sandwich I've ever had in my life!  So damn good.

Afterwards, I took a cab back to the hotel with Luciana, Lisa, and Nicole.  The girls refused to let me walk back to the dorms by myself.  It was terribly sweet.

Saturday was so damn stressful for me.  I headed to breakfast, and then it was non-stop action until the game show.  Kittee, Amey, and I were figuring out the logistics and order so that things would run smoothly.  I feel like it was a great success.  It was so fun to be apart of something so different.  Plus, everybody left with some sort of prize.  And on top of that, the teams took that ish seriously!

After the battle royale, I ate lunch and chilled out before getting ready for the Galarama.  My ultimate goal was to get there early because the lines for everything at VVC had reached legendary status.  So, I put on my outfit and got myself to the Gala.  There was so much food.  SO. MUCH. FOOD.  Pizza, burgers, wraps, spring rolls, chikn tenders, sundae bar, and some dranky drank.

My absolute favorite part was hanging with my dance floor bestie, Lauren.  The PPK straight owned that dance floor.  All I have is this really lame pic that doesn't quite capture the essence of the dance circle.  And I'm still mad at myself for not starting a Soul Train line.
can you spot the PPKers?
When the Gala ended (way too early), I went with Luciana to Food Fight for Upton's pop up sandwich shop.   I had the second best sandwich of my life there: chicken seitan, grilled eggplant, chipotle aioli on a delightful focaccia.   So good!  Then this lady randomly pulls up in an ice cream truck and offers us samples of coconut lemon saffron ice cream.  BEST. THING. EVER.  And the weird thing is that she had never, ever stopped her truck there before.  This is why I love Portland.

Sunday was much more relaxing.  I was a little bummed that everything was coming to an end, though.  I did get to catch some really great talks.  In the morning, Lidiana and I did our budget talk.  We were worried about not having enough material, but we really owned it.  We even learned some stuff from the audience.  The amazing Joanna told me about freezers being more efficient when packed to capacity.  I did not know that!

Afterwards, I caught Terry's talk.  She was hilarious and nerdy as ever!  I also went to the Publishing Panel.  Everybody was lovely there.  I found it really refreshing that nobody tried to sugarcoat it.  They made writing and publishing very real to people.  The last thing I saw before heading back home was the Opinionated Bloggers.  For me, PPKers stole the show.  Footface was charming and out-of-this-world hilarious.  And Jordan was brutally honest and insightful.

I didn't really get to say goodbye because I had to haul ass to the airport.  But I did want to say that this was one of the best experiences of my life.  I can't wait to go back in 2013.  And I will be there whether I'm a speaker or not.  There are so many places I didn't get to see and so many people I didn't spend enough time with.  Portland, I kinda freaking love you!

Until we meet again...