Vegan Divas releases cookbook, feeds me donuts! »
Meave and I were invited to the Vegan Divas cookbook release party this week and boy did we have a nice evening. For one, I’m terribly fun and charming so of course Meave had a great time. Secondly, there were mini donuts! And mini cupcakes! I like mini desserts. Less commitment.
Meave is new to Vegan Divas and I think she liked everything. The chocolate cupcakes were excellent, topped with their signature mousse I believe. Nice and bittersweet. I think that was Meave’s favorite. I had already had many of the items served but new to me were the little carrot cake cupcakes. Excellent vegan cream cheese frosting! Tasted perfect. I also still love the bitty donuts. Cinnamon is my favorite. Like I’ve said in the past, Vegan Divas is very health-conscious so the desserts aren’t crazy sweet or buttery but they are still yummy and I could have eaten four dozen of those bitty donuts! Plus Vegansaurus doesn’t have anything against healthy food, we just don’t harp on it because the vegan internet world already does a thorough job covering healthy food, no? But I like healthy food—especially when it’s dipped in chocolate!
And at this event, I finally got to talk to the Vegan Diva herself, Fernanada Capobianco! Well, I must say, the apt word for her is “fabulous.” She had a floor-length, chevron sequin dress on and she was so nice to us. As I said, fabulous. If you go to the bakery on the upper east side, maybe she will be there! Say hi.
We haven’t tested out the cookbook yet, but we looked through. I was concerned the recipes would be difficult because they are healthy…? I don’t know where I got that from but the recipes look very reasonable. The cookbook also talks about the various ingredients. Vegan Divas loves coconut oil! They say it’s super good for you. Coconuts, right? What can’t they do!
These 150 happy young chickens were rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary from a Brooklyn market after an estimated 2000 died in crates from heat and starvation. The chickens were intended to be a part of Kaporos rituals. I don’t know much about Kaporos but it seems pretty bad for the chickens obvi.
More info on Kaporos:
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:
-The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. The birds suffer when being held with their wings pinned backward, swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual. All these actions violate tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.
-The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.
-There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.
To sponsor one of these youngins, donate here.
Two super sweet kitties in NYC need a new forever home! »
We have a bad allergy/asthma case that has made it necessary to re-home these two cuties. Jackson is 3 years old and Spencer is 5. Both are fixed and up to date with shots. A brief description:
Jackson and Spencer are the sweetest cats in the world. If you or anyone you know wants a cat that will not ignore you and be aloof, these guys are for you! (especially jackson, the most love hungry creature ever made).
I know everybody wants a kitten but adopting adult cats means you know their personality! Kittens are a crap shoot! And two kitties are supposed to be easier to take care of than one (they entertain each other!). If you or anyone you know is interested, contact me: email@example.com. And spread the word!
NYC Review: Blossom du Jour in Chelsea! »
Blossom restaurants in New York invited Megan and I to try their newest outpost, Blossom du Jour Chelsea!
Megan: It’s a fast-food kind of place. Not like Foodswings with all the (delicious, delicious) junk food, but it seems like mostly a place you’d grab a sandwich to go. They do have some cafe tables that we took to eat.
Meave: It’s a nook. An adorable nook. If I worked or lived around here, I’d pop in all the time, but it’s not a place that looks designed to linger at.
Megan: We decided to try one of their many sandwiches. It was a tough choice but we powered through. Now behold, The Avocado Griller: ”in-house grilled rosemary lemon un-chicken, fresh avocado, v-pesto mayo, crisp romaine lettuce” (note, ours pictured below is on ciabatta). The first thing I did was immediately drop half the sandwich on the floor because I’m the super genius. But when I took a bite of the second half, I ‘bout died. SO GOOD. In my non-veggie days (2000? Wow), I used to enjoy chicken and avocado sandwiches and it was totally like that BUT WITH PESTO! And yummy bread! So, yeah, this sandwich is amazing. I want to eat it everyday. Oh and they deliver! But just a block short of my office. *Sad face*
Look at this and tell me you’re not dead:
Meave: I ate the protected innards of the fallen sandwich, because I have no class. Megan’s right, it was amazing. I would’ve added tomato and pepperoncinis, but I’m impossible to please. The pesto and avocado combo is pretty unbeatable, though, so rich and creamy.
Megan: We also got this chickpea and quinoa salad. I just don’t love salads (“a vegan who doesn’t like salad?! What the whaaa?” —my dad) so I wasn’t that excited by it but the dressing was interesting and good.
Meave: It was nice with the dried cranberries hidden in there, chewy little sweet bits of contrast to the mixed greens and tangy dressing. I was surprised to find it in a plastic box in the premade food fridge, but again, this seems like a grab-and-go sort of place, and if you’re in a hurry you don’t want someone making your salad fresh, so it makes sense. And it was a fine salad.
Megan: As we were thirsty, we decided to try one of their special juices. Neither Meave nor I are that into the big juice fad but we decided to try the Pretty In Pink. Lo and behold: it was yummy! Refreshing and not thick or anything like I expect all those healthy juices to be.
Meave: I am not into “juicing” as an “eating alternate” or “ridiculous overpriced nonsense lifestyle,” but I do miss the juicer I left behind when I moved to New York this year, and the cheap, good produce I was constantly putting into it. The pineapple-beet-apple combo is sweet and sour and crisp, very easy to drink.
Megan: They also have all kinds of baked goods! Like chocolate croissants! Damn, son. It wasn’t AS flaky and crispy as I remember regular croissants to be but it was buttery and a bit flaky and chocolaty and YUM.
Meave: Megan was so excited about this croissant! I thought it was pretty good. The chocolate inside was nice and bitter, which was a good contrast to the pastry. I bet it’d be best earlier in the day (we were there at 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, not the ideal time to buy morning-fresh baked goods), but it was a solid approximation.
Megan: We tried a red velvet cupcake as well. Tasty! I’m so tired of red velvet cupcakes having just a plain, sugary vanilla frosting instead of cream cheese flavor frosting. This totally had a nice cream cheesy flavor. The frosting was super-sweet but the cupcake part wasn’t so it wasn’t overwhelming. It also had a hint of lemon? I think? If I had to choose, I would get the chocolate croissant over the cupcake but come on, I’d pick the chocolate croissant over oxygen.
Meave: I liked the cake over the frosting, which is pretty unusual for me, as I am a hardcore frosting-only woman. (In small times, I’d eat the unwanted frosting from my friends’ cake at birthday parties.) And while this frosting was plenty good, the cake was better; like Megan says, not as sweet, a good crumb, and the color was pleasant, not creepy or (too) unnatural, which can be a problem with red velvet cake.
Megan: Oh snap I almost forgot! They also have vegan cronuts! We didn’t get to try one because they were out. But next time, lookout cronuts! Imma eat you up!
Megan: All in all, the avocado “chicken” sandwich was my favorite thing. I love it. I want to marry it. I want to marry it and have the chocolate croissant as my maid of honor. I can’t wait to try the other sandwiches! (They have a meatball sandwich and an eggplant parm sub!)
Meave: I will attend that wedding. I will give away the bride, even, if she doesn’t mind marrying a sandwich with some bites taken out of it because there is no better way to express how good that avocado and pesto taste together than devouring it.
Sorbet review: Dolce Gelateria in the West Village! »
Megan: Meave and I got free sorbet at Dolce Gelateria in West Village! Because we are the coolest vegans! All of their sorbets are vegan (though I don’t know their sugar source) and they have lots of flavors: lemon, mango, chocolate, cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, and more.
Meave: We were secretly hoping the olive oil gelato (below, middle of the back row) would be vegan, but no. Still, there are tons of vegan sorbet flavors, and in the gelateria tradition, they’re all really beautiful.
Megan: I’m always ragging on sorbet because you know it’s our only option for dessert at 99 percent of non-vegan restaurants. But they had chocolate sorbet! If every restaurant had chocolate sorbet, I would never complain again (about sorbet, everything else is still up for scrutiny). So obvi I had to get the chocolate because I never see it and additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET. I also got strawberry.
The strawberry was good, not too sweet and nice and refreshing. And the chocolate was great! I kept asking our host like, “is this really vegan? Yeah? Really? Can you check the ingredients? You’ll check those for me, right?” So she did—water, sugar, chocolate. BAM! Vegan! How happy am I? (HINT: SUPER HAPPY). In summary: I. Want. More. Additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET.
Meave: Yeah, sorbet on its face isn’t really exciting anymore, but when someone offers us free sorbet, we aren’t too good to turn it down. Plus it’s sooooooo hoooooooooot, saying no to cold desserts would be dumb. I got mango and cantaloupe, because I love both those fruits but I have been way too lazy to buy and prep them this season. Why not let someone else mix them with water and sugar and whip them into a creamy vegan treat?
Meave: Gorgeous, right? Megan wasn’t into it (“Why did you get the two fruits I hate?” she said), but I thought the flavors were as bright and summery as the colors. I’m also really into Dolce’s style of putting the flavors side by side instead of one on top of the other. The whole point of having two scoops is tasting them individually AND together, plus this way they melt evenly, so you’re not eating the top flavor at peak cold while the bottom flavors turns into sorbet soup underneath it. All other cold dessert places need to get it together.
Review: Gristle Tattoo vegan tattoos! »
Hello all! It’s finally here! The perm-corsage! I mentioned I was getting this yesterday on FB and everybody was like, pics pics pics! So here she is! I’m so excited.
So yes, Gristle Tattoo is in Williamsburg, BK. It’s a nice little space and alllll vegan. They even do adoption events and bakesales and all of that! When I was originally looking at local vegan process tattoo artists, I came upon Brittany Bauza’s work on Gristle’s site. I was in love! She has a great classic tattoo style. I knew it, she was the one for me.
I set up an appointment and went in yesterday. Brittany and Felix, their piercing person who was there too, were immediately friendly and made me feel very comfortable (it’s my first tattoo!). I took a lovely pic of Brittany standing behind the counter to show you guys how not intimidating it is but I accidentally deleted it because I’m the super genius.
Brittany showed me a few designs and they were totes perfect and we landed on the design you see above. Because I tell everyone I’m impervious to pain, I thought it wouldn’t hurt at all. It did hurt. I am not impervious to pain. It was totally a tolerable pain though so NBD. But the whole time Brittany was so nice and answered my 100 million questions. I asked her about the various rumors I hear about vegan tattoos, like they don’t last as long or the colors aren’t as bright. She said that’s all crap and the ink brand she uses is actually used by a lot of tattoo artists who don’t even know it’s vegan. And look at that color! Bright.
Now it’s the morning after and I still love my tattoo! And everyone at work is saying “it’s really nice” and they are all like, “maybe I should go to your person!” And I’m like, “do it!”
Suffice it to say, I’m very pleased. Brittany is amazing and Gristle is very nice. So if you are in need of a vegan tattoo in NYC, I highly recommend them!
UPDATE: So as not to mislead anyone, Brittany herself is not vegan but she is a vegan process tattoo artist as is everyone at Gristle. And Gristle is a vegan-owned business.
Yay: NYC gets its first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter! »
Read Jasmine’s story on HuffPo
This is wonderful news. NYC is starting a pilot program to let domestic violence survivors and their pets stay in a shelter together. As I’ve read many times, whether they are trying to defend their owner from the abuser or just abused to hurt or manipulate the owner, pets are very often co-victims in domestic violence situations. So much so that many victims of domestic violence will stay in the abusive situation for fear of what would happen to their pet.
The program is a partnership between the Urban Research Institute and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
National data show that more than 40% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. Plus, more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured or killed family pets.(*) Yet in New York City—the largest provider of domestic violence services in the country with more than 50 shelters—not one shelter currently allows pets in residence, until now.
URI is filling this critical gap by becoming the first organization in New York City—and one of few nationwide—to welcome pets into domestic violence shelters. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will be working closely with URI to provide staff training, pet safety education, pet food and supplies, and foster solutions for any pets PALS may be unable to accommodate.
Right now the program is only accepting cats and small animals like hamsters but they also work to find foster homes for other animals (here’s a great example about a cute pup who was fostered until his family found a safe situation).
NYC: Can we talk about Peacefood Cafe’s chickpea fries?! »
A new Peacefood Cafe opened a few months ago and they totally deliver to my work in Gramercy! And let me tell you, their chickpea fries are out of control. Whatever this “house dipping sauce” is, it’s freaking solid gold. I highly recommend. They have great sandwiches too! But for real, chickpea fries, whoa.
[co-signed by Meave; they are AMAZING]
Happy day! Van Leeuwen has vegan ice cream! »
Check it out! I haven’t tried it yet but there’s a Van Leeuwen in my neighborhood in BK. I’m so excited! Everybody loves this stuff! According to their fb, the vegan flavors will be available at all locations. HUZZAH!
Coming soon! NYC Vegan Cook-Off: Hors d’Oeuvres Competition! »
Check it out NYC! A competition for my favorite food category: vegan hors d’oeuvres! Why do we eat anything else? Appetizers are really the only food that matters. Well, that and dessert. Why do we eat anything but appetizers and desserts? BECAUSE WE ARE MASOCHISTS, I THEORIZE!
The Vegan Cook-Off: Hors d’Oeuvres Competition
Sunday, June 2, 2pm
The Bell House
149 7th Street, Brooklyn (directions)
Tickets $12 advance / $15 day of to eat and vote (includes a free raffle ticket)
Free to compete. Competitor applications close Friday, May 17 at 11:59pm.