Vegansaurus NYC: Muffins in Union Square! »
Fuckyeahmuffinphotoshoot! There’s a farmers market in Union Square and I passed one stand called Body and Soul (on the west side between 16th and 17th streets) that had all kinds of vegan treats! Including chocolate muffins! And blueberry corn muffins! I got one of each! They had some other muffins, a few cookies and some empanada-looking things. The muffins I got were super good. I actually preferred the blueberry corn muffin even though the other was, you know, CHOCOLATE. I must say that both muffins were kind of dry but I don’t mind that—I kind of prefer that. But I am a soda biscuit fan so it makes sense.
Look what I noticed during the photoshoot though, sad muffin!:
Don’t be sad, Mr. muffin! Well, he’s not sad anymore. Because he’s dead! Bwahahaha! Poor sad, dead muffin.
Your summertime Friday link-o-rama is high on sunshine, and righteous anger »
SF Animal Care and Control rescued these barn swallows whose nest “in an area of a residential home” had been vandalized. They made them a new nest with this basket! [via Pawesome]
Events and happenings!
Hello bunny-fans! Missed your chance for a rabbit at the previous Harvest Home Sanctuary event? That’s OK, because there’s another, even bigger one tomorrow! On Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the House Rabbit Society (148 Broadway St. at 25th Street in Richmond), you can visit the bunnies, eat veg food—including vegan chai cupcakes and sno-cones—listen to live music, and of course, adopt! There are 80 rabbits who need homes! COME ON DO IT GET A RABBIT THEY ARE THE BEST. Check out some of your future best pals here. Maybe bring your single bun to make a friend!
Any Canadian readers? Vegansaur Jordan informs us that the Edmonton Humane Shelter is in the middle of an "Indy Cat 500" drive to adopt 500 cats between July 16 and 31. Apparently Edmonton is full of cats—at its previous cat-adoption event, the EHS adopted out nearly 200 cats in two days! Come on, Canada, spay and neuter your kitties, already.
On Monday, July 26, Hot Spud opens. Hot Spud is a baked potato restaurant, run by Simone Powers, formerly of Café Gratitude. It is not a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, but perhaps Chef Powers, who “perfected her baking skills” at a raw restaurant (…) will one day offer a vegan option. However! Reader Xin is the baker for Wicked Grounds (“San Francisco’s first and only kink café and boutique”), and reports that all the baked goods are vegan, including: “scones, cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter oatmeal, and double ginger), waffles, and other specials depending on what I feel like doing, like cinnamon rolls (which are ridiculously fatty and delicious). You should totally come check us out!” Thanks, Xin! [Hot Spud news from Inside Scoop; awesome tip from awesome Xin]
Articles of interest!
The Department of Homeland Security wants Your (“alert, outgoing, active, confident”) Purebred Dogs! They will pay! And yes some of the trained officers (the dogs become actual officers) have attacked civilians in the course of performing their duties, that’s OK because they’re dogs, these things happen. Meanwhile, breed-specific legislation has allowed the slaughter of thousands of innocent pit bulls across the country. [Tom Scocca and Pawesome]
Hey remember last week’s super-gnarly episode of Top Chef where they murdered live crabs without even blinking? Turns out the Maryland crab industry is really, really exploitive of the migrant workers—mostly women—who come every season to pick the crabs. It’s unbelievably fucked up! [Shut Up, Foodies, to which we were referred by SFoodie—thanks]
Eater interviewed GZA and guess who’s vegetarian! And apparently really into raw food, and staunchly against pork. There goes your theory, Tara Duggan and Eric Tucker (that one stung, you know?). Might we suggest this goddamn amazing-looking vegan Cuban-style sandwich, should you find yourself craving something melty and meaty one night? Or ever? [Eater and Vegan Happy Hour]
Hello penguin! This fine fellow, a Magellanic penguin was rescued by SOS Fauna Marina on the coast of the Department of Maldonado, Uruguay. According the the L.A. Times, “at least 100” of these penguins were rescued after being soaked “in an hydrocarbon” [all sic] while migrating. [image AFP/Getty via L.A. Times]
Hey, how’s the Gulf oil spill cleanup going? WELL: the fresh water from the Mississippi river being pumped into the wetlands to keep the oil out is poisoning all the oysters, who live in saltwater! It seems like the river water went right to the oysters through channels that oyster-farmers demanded be built years ago, because the levees kept out too much of the Mississippi and the salinity was too high. Man, we can’t get anything right! At least WE CAN STILL EAT THE REMAINING OYSTERS AND THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING. Fish are basically vegetables, anyway. As for animals who eat fish, as of July 20, 1,282 oiled pelicans have been rescued—that doesn’t mean “saved” or “cleaned” or “released,” just “taken from the wild, covered in oil”—and 969 oiled pelicans have been found dead. Super. Right? Super. [WSJ and BBC]
So back in April, the Supreme Court heard U.S. v. Stevens and was all, OK this animal-torture porn conviction is way harsh, it totally infringes on your First Amendment rights. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) then sponsored a bill that says, essentially, trafficking in actual animal-torture porn is ILLEGAL and BAD and we will FUCK YOU UP if you do it—but SIMULATING IT? That’s…withing legal limits. Hunting and fishing videos and stuff, you can sell those too, but that’s all. And that bill passed the House yesterday in a 416 to 3 vote! Hooray! Now it’s in the Senate, where “it is expected to pass,” but you know, we’ll see. Those jerks loooove to pick fights. [L.A. Times]
Farm news! It is time for farm news. SFoodie totally kicked our ass reporting on farmers markets this week, which is super-lame of us and we are shamed. To wit: the Homegrown Marin Market, which we were absolutely going to tell you about before its debut last week, was pretty all right! There was vegan currywürst (NB friends: the umlaut is in “würst,” not “curry,” otherwise you’d pronounce it “cure-y”)! The Mission Community Market seems like it was a good time, too; very block-partyish, like the organizers had hoped for. Maybe if someone paid us to go places and report on things we would be better at this “job,” dang it. Over at Hayes Valley Farm, someone maliciously gassed two entire, mature honeybee colonies, and attempted to murder a third. The colonies were home to something like 60,000 to 100,000 bees. While we don’t believe in eating honey, humanity needs bees to pollinate flowers, and this is gross cruelty. Bees are awesome and we all need them TO SURVIVE so maybe murdering them is NOT THE ANSWER. Goddamn. In Africa, years of “careless interbreeding” of native cattle and European cattle has resulted in a major loss of genetic diversity in African cows, which is never, ever good, especially when “70 percent of rural Africans” rely on cattle for food and income. The new cows have no resistance to native diseases! And the climates are too harsh for them! So they’re dying all over the place! Whoops! [SFoodie; Hayes Valley Farm; TreeHugger]
Finally: Mike Tyson, vegan, gives a strange interview these days. This collection of veg cookbooks is fine and all, except that one of them clearly has A FISH ON THE COVER. Still, the recipe for Babycakes' cornbread is at the bottom of the page, so, win some, lose some. Most importantly, congratulations Cinnaholic on the good review from SFoodie! You deserve all the accolades coming your way!! (PS: Inside Scoop, taking photos and being snide does not count as a “review” so get it together and eat a cinnamon roll already, they are delicious.)
Ooh look, it’s vegan delights from Sticky Fingers Bakery: South Korea! What, you are saying, Sticky Fingers is where? Oh but it’s true! Vegans are EVERYWHERE and all of us want COOKIES.
Sticky Fingers was good for Korea. There were Mexican wedding cookies which always pleases me. I dragged two meat grinders with me and they said it was better than usual baked goods in Korea. But as far as vegan treats go, it was no America. I would’ve liked some higher quality ingredients and more spices. Still! a very welcome respite in this very not vegan country.
There you have it: pretty all right, especially for the country. Maybe because my traveling centers around the question: “Where can I eat delicious vegan food in this place?” but, I would totally go there. Wouldn’t you? At least for the novelty—which does wear on a person living in a place for a long time. But on a trip, absolutely. You have to explore!
We of course wish Carrie the best of luck with her vegan adventures. Thanks for the trans-Pacific news, Carrie!
It’s spring, let’s make a pie! »
Start with two pounds of cherries that were fresh last week. Realize you have to do something with them, and look up recipes until you find the right one for you. Realize you don’t have enough cherries, and add fresh strawberries until ideal weight is achieved. Wash, stem, and pit cherries. This will take longer than you think, but it won’t be nearly as irritating as you expect, I swear.
Adjust your recipe according to your ingredients and tastes. “But it’s a pie! I’m afraid!” Don’t be; the filling is super-easy and you have leftover crust from your last pie in the freezer, so now all the hard work is over.
I adapted the above-linked recipe and this is roughly what constituted the filling:
2 pounds fresh cherries, and 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar (could’ve been less, really, the cherries were very sweet)
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract (there wasn’t any almond)
a dash of whiskey
Stir, cover, and let sit for a few hours. Now you can defrost your pie crust, and clean up your mess. Fun!
Now instead of making one giant pie, maybe you want to make two smaller pies. I did! Unfortunately after rolling out two pie crusts and heaping the tins full of filling—no pre-baking the crust this time—I didn’t have any crust left over for a top. What to do? Make a crisp topping, obviously!
1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy butter
cinnamon, to taste
Combine in a bowl until everything is all pebbly. Then sprinkle across the tops of your pies, like so. Very nice!
While you’ve been mixing and sprinkling, your oven has been preheating to 400 F. When it’s ready, pop the pies in, with foil over the tops, but make sure they’re on some kind of tray, because they will probably erupt a bit and you don’t want cherry-strawberry mess all over your oven. I had to bake mine individually because of this. Pro tip: If you re-use a tray that’s already covered in semi-carbonized pie overflow, it’ll bake on so hard it may never come off. Best not to.
After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and remove the foil from the pie. Bake for another 30 to 45 minutes (mine needed 30), then take out of the oven—mind the spillage on those trays!—and place on a wire rack to cool. See how much overflow there was? Thank goodness I used a tray!
Now, allow to cool for a good long time before devouring. Why? First, because the pie filling is like sweet, delicious lava that will blister ever part of you that it touches. Second, because, like a pudding, it’s still setting. You don’t want to cut it open and have all the filling spill out like some ridiculous fruit-waterfall, right? Of course not. So, wait. Give it a good hour at least.
Finally, slice and eat. Although to be honest, this pie is best served at room temperature at least 12 hours after baking. The flavors need more time to develop, I guess, to get comfortable with each other, so try not to eat it all up that night. Allow their relationship time to grow!
Still, definitely eat a piece when it’s done. You pitted cherries for this!
[pictures by Meave]
Sticky Toffee Sandwich Cookies with cream filling at Wholesome Bakery.
Now you owe me your firstborn. I’ll name it Borg if it’s a girl, or Sheryl if it’s a boy. The primary rearing will be done by my dog, Hazel. No, it’s for the best.
LifeThyme: Best fucking grocery ever »
Ok, I may be a bit of a fangirl here, but LifeThyme is the coolest fucking grocery store in the entire fucking world. Family-owned? Check. Responsive to customers’ desires? Check. Lots of vegan specialty food? Uh huh. Good to their employees? Fuck yes. ALL-VEGAN BAKERY? OMFG YES FUCK YES!!!
LifeThyme is a super-store. Even though it’s super-tiny, and you always feel like you’ll knock down an entire aisle of exotic maple syrups, it has everything the conscientious consumer could desire—an all-vegan bakery (that also offers many gluten-free options, AND MAKES THE MOST DELICIOUS POPCORN IN THE WORLD FRESH RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES!!), a hot foods/soup bar that has many vegan options, and a juice bar (with the coolest smoothie-makers around) with vegan options (including FRESH coconut water!!!). Regular-grocery-style, it’s fully stocked everything you could ever want that is vegan as well: a good selection of soy/rice yogurts/milks; Amy’s frozen dinners; specialty baking products; seitan; tempeh; expensive cashew cheeses; raw chocolates; vegan kale crisps—the kind with the creamy garlic flavor—etc., etc. There’s also an upstairs lifestyle area with eco- and animal-friendly cosmetics and personal hygiene products. Plus, it’s not Whole Foods :)
But I really feel that I have to plug their gorgeous and amazing bakery. They have so many yummy things in that glistening case, it makes you want to hit the treadmill as soon as you see it. Lush chocolate cakes, apple-walnut scones, and coconut cream pie are just a few of the daily offerings in that magical corner of the market. It’s all I can do to not gain 249,328,429,340,284 pounds when I walk by that 100 percent vegan masterpiece. That’s right, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT VEGAN. Not a drop of animal-derived cruelty goes into the delectable delights.
So why the fuck are you still reading this? GOOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO. It’s on 6th Avenue in the Village between 8th and 9th Streets. Give them your business!!!
Vegan bakesale for Haiti a great success! »
Guess who went to the vegan bakesale this weekend: STALIN! Just kidding! It was me. A few pals and I headed over there Saturday afternoon. Let me tell you all about it!
Because of the rain, Mercury Cafe hosted the bakesale, and damn, was it poppin’! There were tons of people and tons of baked goods. We ended up buying kind of A LOT of stuff. The omnivores were OBSESSED with the purple sweet potato bars. They were definitely good, but my heart was taken by a delicious slice of “monkey bread.” If you are like me, this is the first you’ve ever heard of monkey bread. It is not made of monkeys, nor is it for monkeys. Monkey bread is a delightful collection of balls of dough with cinnamon sugar baked in between. Holy hell, it was ooey-gooey awesomeness! Of course I also had some yummy mini chocolate cupcakes courtesy of Sugar Beat Sweets and ever-lovely Vegansaur Jordan. I love the peanut butter frosting! It’s salty-sweet. And why do things taste so good when they are mini?! Except mini-corn; it’s not as good as regular corn. That’s right, I said it! Mini cupcakes, though, off the hizzle!
Let’s see, what else did I try—kind of everything! I’m so serious; I’m having horrible sugar withdrawal as I write. I’m half-sugar, half-human! There were super-excellent pumpkin muffins, yummy maple oat scones (the food of my people!), crazy peanut butter oat cookie things, pineapple muffins and chocolate cookies galore! There were even these Swedish cardamom buns that my Swedish friend tried; she said they tasted like childhood! Really, everybody was beyond pleased. I for one was ecstatic. I spent a lot of money, ate my feelings, and $3,375 was raised for Haiti! Yay!
The PPK has the details on other vegan bakesales for Haiti across the country.
Beautiful collage photographed and assembled by my friend Emmet (the Swedish cardamom bun taste tester!). Thanks Emmet!
Road trip: Babycakes in LA! »
Babycakes has always been a staple of my New York living experience. Whenever I buy a new pair of shoes at Mooshoes, I always pop over to Babycakes to see what’s cookin’ (or bakin’, to be precise). I’m kind of miffed that the mostly gluten-free, vegan bakery offers dairy creamer for their coffee (I mean, soy creamer, coconut milk creamer, rice milk, almond milk— there are thousands of alternative milks out there that don’t involve the exploitation of animals!!!!), but they sure as shit know how to pound out some delicious goods. My hips, thighs, and butt are even more miffed that I have such an affinity for Babycakes’ delicious, decadent cupcakes—red velvet, anyone?!
Upon hearing that a new Babycakes was slated to open in LA today, I knew KNEW I had to haul ass (21 miles to be exact) to make it to the opening. And boy, am I glad I did. Erin McKenna was there (pictured in super-stalker fashion), in the flesh not two feet away from me icing some beautiful cupcakes. “Hi, I’m Brianna and I live in New York and I love Babycakes and I love you,” I gushed to her. She’s super-sweet and amazing and I was so happy to be in her presence. So, how does the LA location stack up to the NYC one?
LA is super-spread out, and although downtown is being gentrified, it’s still pretty inconvenient for most people in the Valley, in the beach communities (Santa Monica, Venice), in the UCLA area, etc. Babycakes LA is in an unassuming space in downtown, in the Historic Core district, where parking is scarce (and expensive!). The space itself is fairly large and much more open than the Lower East Side location in New York—but I think it loses some of its charm in that respect. The old-fashioned feel you get from Babycakes NYC just didn’t translate to its new West Coast locale. No more wooden barstools or cutesy decor; on the flip side there’s more room to breathe and sit and enjoy the goods: there are about three tables inside, and some sitting space outside.
As for the food, I’m fairly sure the baked goods in LA are more delicious than the original. I went with my mom and we practically cleaned out the place: four mini brownie bites (two filled, two unfilled), a cinnamon sugar donut, two cupcake tops, corn bread, a cinnamon toastie with cranberries, and some coffee. Out of all of the food sampled (read: devoured), my mom and I agreed that the cinnamon sugar donut was the most delicious. Almost churro-y in flavor and texture, the old-fashioned shape gave this donut some scrumptious charm. In the 20 minutes we were there, an entire tray of three dozen donuts completely sold out—they’re quite the popular menu item, apparently! The NYC donuts I tried about a month ago have NOTHING on the LA versions. The rest of the baked goods were, of course, delicious. The cornbread was moist and flavorful, the oozing chocolate brownie bites were decadent (but appropriately sized), the cupcake tops cut down on calories and gave you the good stuff (it was basically a sliver of cake with a huge dollop of yummy YUMMY icing) and even though the coffee was mediocre, I still enjoyed it—mostly because the whole place put me in a great mood. Pictured is someone else’s order: a chocolate chip cookie sandwich, a brownie bit (yum), and two donuts, the cinnamon sugar (!!!!!!!!) and chocolate.
Overall, Babycakes LA was worth the trek. I exited the shop feeling like a lardass, and it was then that I knew the bakery had done its job. Hopefully, its semi-obscure location, at 130 East 6th St., won’t deter people from frequenting the adorable shop, but only time will tell. I believe the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
[All photos by Brianna]