Vegansaurus NYC: Veg-O-Ween vegan Halloween party! »
Veg friendly foodies: put on your Halloween best! Veg-O-Ween, New York’s vegan Halloween dance party, returns for a second year on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Crema, an upscale Mexican restaurant happily taking on the vegan challenge for the event. Adding hand-passed gourmet tapas and a happy hour to the delicious mix, this year’s party promises to be bigger, better, and a bit fancier than the last.
The party will be emceed by vegan comedienne Kate Wolff and DJed by vegan DJ Lil Ray. Guests are encouraged enter both the costume contest and raffle to compete for prizes from local and national vegan vendors. Happy Hour is from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. (early arrival is a must!). Tasty vegan desserts will be provided by the amazing Vèritè Catering.
Where: Crema, 111 West 17th St. (between 6th and 7th avenues)
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door (21 and over). Advance tickets are on sale now.
I don’t have a Halloween costume yet! OMG. Usually I am a super-scary zombie-something—zombie-flapper, zombie-housewife, etc. As it turns out, I’m totally great at zombie makeup! Who knew. Like, I scare chicks at parties because my wounds look so icky. But the makeup gets all over my stuff! So I’m thinking of switching it up and being a mod-vampire. Or a something-vampire. I’ll still look scary but I think there’s less chance I’ll get fake blood and spirit glue on my shit. What is everyone else being?
Some spooky pumpkin cupcakes from reader Jessica E.! Well, they are cuter than spooky. But cute things taste better than spooky things. That’s a fact.
Jessica got the recipe for the cupcakes from VegWeb. As for the frosting:
1/4 cup room temperature vegan butter
1/3 cup room temperature vegan cream cheese
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Thoroughly mix all ingredients and voilà, heaven.
She says the fondant was store-bought but she did all the sculpting and coloring! Super-cool.
Dina’s pumpkin cheesecake brownie cupcakes recipe! »
Remember that pumpkin cheesecake brownie cupcake from reader Dina we showed you last week? Here, let’s refresh our memories:
Yeah, that’s the stuff.
Dina was so pleased with the response, she wanted to give you guys her recipe so you can make your own, just like hers! Aren’t you lucky?
Dina says, “The brownie is a modified version of the Vegan Diner (by Julie Hasson) Ooey-Gooey Brownies. I used black cocoa and omitted the chocolate chips. The pumpkin cheesecake is where it gets dicey since I use the unwritten recipe in my head.
For the pumpkin cheesecake:
1 container cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 container of silken tofu
1/2 to 3/4 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss it all into a food process and blend until smooth. Pour a little brownie batter into cupcake pans and top with some cheesecake batter. Bake until the knife comes out clean from brownie batter.”
There you go: pumpkin cheesecake brownie cupcakes. Thanks again, Dina!
It’s a pumpkin cheesecake brownie cupcake, from reader Dina! She writes:
"Happy Halloween! I wanted to make a cupcake that used pumpkin but had a little more texture than a regular cupcake so the pumpkin flavor didn’t get lost. It has a black chocolate brownie on the bottom and a pumpkin cheesecake on top. It’s almost like the mullet of cupcakes—business on the top and party on the bottom! It’s not the prettiest thing but it tastes amazing."
Dina is a genius! This little monster must taste AMAZING. Also, because Laura’s really nice and knows people will freak when they see there’s no recipe, she suggests you try these Pumpkin Cheescake Brownies. Or come up with a recipe yourself and then email it to us and we’ll publish it for the entire internet of a few hundred people to see.
Do you ever say to yourself, “Megan Rascal! Where’s the food porn been?!” OMG me too, like all the time. So today, from Spabettie, carrot-ginger quinoa pepper jacks! What Halloween fun is this? Now I have to tell you a secret; well, it’s not much of a secret because I tell everybody, but I hates the sweet peppers! “Bleh!” I say to them! But I love carrot-ginger stuff and of course quinoa. I would totally eat these, someone would just have to eat the pepper for me when I’m done and my dog doesn’t like peppers. He does like ice cream cones, which I don’t, so ice cream cones are covered. But my peppers, still up for grabs.
Vegan Etsy Halloween round-up! »
Halloween is quickly approaching! Normally I stall on this and then you don’t have time to order and of this stuff before Halloween but this year I’m getting a head start. Enjoy the ride!
This is a genius idea: black and orange fortune cookies! Guess what else is cool? You get to think up your own fortunes to put in there! You should totally do scary Halloween ones! Duh.
Halloween caramels! OK, OK, don’t die, but these are pretty rad. I always go back and forth with caramels but I’d eat the hell out of these.
A Halloween must: Oreo pops! Whoever invented the Oreo pop needs some sort of Nobel prize. There’s a Nobel Lollipop Prize, right?
What in God’s name are those? Why they’re skull lollipops! Yummy AND creepy! A perfect combo.
And of course, don’t forget your vegan zombie makeup! YOU TOO can be a zombie!
All right pals, that’s it for now! Have a fun Halloween and as my mom likes to say, be good! And if you can’t be good, be safe.
Book review: Out of Breath, by Blair Richmond »
I love books! Lucky me, Ashland Creek Press recently sent me Out of Breath, which is a novel by “Blair Richmond” about runners, vegans, and vampires living in the Pacific Northwest.
This is the second first-of-a-series novel about vegans and vampires that we’ve come across; recall Merlene Alicia Vassal’s The Vampire and the Vegan, which Jenny reviewed back in May. I think Out of Breath is the superior work; there’s no grody “love-making” and the characters are all clearly drawn.
I love a teen novel almost as much as I love a teen television dramedy, which is to say, passionately, but Out of Breath had difficulty balancing its message with its plot, so I feel like a lot of the hilarity was unintentional. Maybe I’m not the ideal audience, who I think is actually a teen-novel reader who is vegetarian and/or hasn’t considered a vegan lifestyle before. The “why veganism is really the only choice” arguments are compelling, but not very deftly incorporated into the plot. The action would be zipping along—I read the 263 pages in about an hour—and then our hero, Kat, would drop a big old paragraph of “Meat Is Murder” on us, like, way to ruin the mood, lady.
The plot is rather formulaic, but although Richmond telegraphs the twist before it comes, you won’t guess its scope until the author drops it on you, and it’s pretty good. I laughed with disbelief and appreciation for the shocking ridiculousness of it. Don’t take that the wrong away: It’s AMAZING; it’s silly and it’s weightless and soap operatic and wonderful. I mean: It’s set in a town called Lithia, and everyone’s supposed to be happy because THERE’S NATURALLY OCCURRING LITHIUM IN THE WATER. So much wtfuckery! You will probably love it.
Despite its heavy-handed deployment, the vegan message is refreshing to read. Better “Don’t eat animal products” than “alcohol/drugs/premarital sex KILLS,” by a million; at least the information is truthful and useful, and might positively influence the young readers of Out of Breath. Presumably. I wouldn’t argue that any one YA novel would have measurable impact on even the most impressionable readers, but as part of a series of pro-vegan novels, it could make a positive difference. I realize this is the same sort of thing that evangelists of all beliefs say about their niche literature, but unlike the Left Behind people, vegans are actually right, and I know that begs the question but shut up it’s true and you know it.
If you want to read the book—and believe me, you do—the Kindle version of Out of Breath is on sale for $2.99 throughout the month of October. That is cheap! Ashland Press will also hold an online book-release party on Oct. 31, which will involve an author Q&A, giveaways, and tips and tricks for vegan trick-or-treating. Because “Blair Richmond” is a pseudonym, the author won’t make any physical appearances to promote the book, so this internet party will be your sole chance to interact with this person. I recommend you drop the three bucks, read Out of Breath, and visit the Halloween party to ask the questions you will doubtless have about it afterward. Actually, read it while eating some vegan Halloween candy. It’s like a vegan marshmallow in literary form, anyway: you love it while you’ve got it, though the enjoyment is fleeting, but it’s better for you (and the animals!) than the standard fare.
Thanks so much to Ashland Press for sending me a review copy of Out of Breath. I really enjoyed it!
The East Bay Vegan Bakesale is finally here! This Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Issues in Oakland, and the organizers want to emphasize that the bakesale will go on rain or shine. They have a rain plan! They would also like to let everyone know that any and all vegan baked goods are still welcome—no need to be a fancy professional, just a lovely kind person who wants to help raise money for Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue and the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Speaking of which, bring a child’s book to donate and get a free treat!
Issues is located at 20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont Avenue, and do bear in mind that Piedmont will be closed from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the Halloween parade. Anyone interested in helping with the Bakesale in whatever capacity—setup, breakdown, cashiering, or bringing baked goods to sell—should please contact the organizers! Everyone else: Show up and buy, for the birds and the children (and also your stomach, hooray).
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Halloween falls on a Sunday this year. This is a dilemma! Do I go out Saturday night and spend it drunk out of my mind screaming “BUON GIORNO! OLIVE GARDEN!” at strangers, or do I do the same thing on Sunday? Except sober. Because I have to work on Monday. I hate being an adult. Remember how awesome we thought being an adult would be? Staying up late! Candy for breakfast! All the TV and hookers we wanted! What a rip-off. It’s all work and crying and begging your parents to help pay your rent because no one will pay you $1 million an hour while your boyfriend checks himself for bedbugs with a flashlight. And NOW THEY MAKE HALLOWEEN FALL ON A SUNDAY! It’s a conspiracy! Well, I’ll show you, world! You think I won’t show up to work two hours late on Monday, hung over and still dressed like a low-rent Super Mario? Well then you’ve got another think coming.
Which reminds me, I am totally going to be Super Mario for Halloween this year. Allen and I went as Mario and Luigi last year, but then I got frustrated with all the spirit gum on my face (just thinking about it makes me shudder) and demanded we go home and order pizza (as I had accidentally splattered the slice I had bought earlier all over a friend I was drunkenly hugging in the street). We were going to go as the Bananas in Pajamas this year, but Allen refuses to admit that I came up with the idea for the costume, and I refuse to give Allen credit for anything (because I am the brains here, goddammit!) so we are going as the Mario Brothers again. Complete with white gloves that Allen’s father got from a pair of funeral directors who left them at his church. After a funeral. Because they were free. This is how we roll.
Speaking of dressing up, though, I want to warn you of a couple of things so you have a safe and happy halloween.
Think carefully before dressing your dog/cat/three-toed sloth up to show your friends and impress your neighbors. I’m not judging—I once tried to dress my hamster as an Oreo cookie, and I was always forcing my rabbit into ugly holiday sweaters—but it can actually have psychological consequences. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s pretty plausible. I mean, if we feel humiliated AT HOME wearing those awful sweaters our great-aunts knit us, then imagine how a dog feels being paraded around dressed like a fucking sunflower. Some dogs, of course love to dress up and show off, but some don’t. According to some animal behavior experts, dogs don’t like to stand out due to their wolf heritage because wolves who stand out in a pack are more prone to being attacked. Who knew there was an evolutionary aversion to being dressed up like a magical fairy princess?
Of course the potential for humiliation didn’t stop these people at Tompkins Square Park in New York City! They dressed their dogs up in all sorts of amazing get-ups and if you believe by the pictures, everyone is having a pretty awesome time. Especially the dogs dressed as bed bugs. Topical AND terrifying: exactly what halloween should be. I’m sorry, stop the presses: there was an Antoine DOGson?
Here’s another don’t: Don’t give your trick-or-treaters beef jerky. I know none of us were going to do it, but apparently some beef jerky isn’t just hazardous to your health because you are eating the dead flesh of a suffering animal, but because they are filled with chunks of plastic and glass! Surprise! Target had to recall over 3,000 pounds of the beef jerky! No injuries have been reported, but I was hoping Target would have learned their lesson when the same company, Market Pantry, was part of that pesky egg recall a couple of months back. I don’t know why Target is taking Aaliyah’s advice so enthusiastically, but I wish they would stop.
Two more important notes about costumes:
1. Don’t dress up as Elmo and swear at people, because there is already a dude doing this in Times Square. Apparently he is harassing people, and making tourists faint with outrage because he is asking them to pay for pictures with him. Why do people from the Midwest (that is correct: I went there) assume that these people dress up in hot smelly costumes just for fun? It is a job. This reminds me of the one time I was at Fisherman’s Wharf and was waiting for the bus when a tourist tapped me on the shoulder and said “Hi honey, I don’t think you noticed…but there’s a line.”
“I don’t think that we have lines here.” I said, because I have been body-checked by tiny grandmothers on the 38 long enough to know that MUNI is an insane free-for-all where an elderly woman with 15 pink shopping bags will kick you for being “too fat to sit here, BOY!”
“We have lines in Ohio!” She said. “So it would be real nice if you respected that. You think you can do that?” I decided not to fight her and got behind her and she still talked about how rude I was the entire time and about how “we need to educate these San Francisco people to be more civilized.” I am obviously still not over it.
2. Don’t dress your child up as a “Vegetarian Noodle Bowl.” I’m not hating on the idea. A vegetarian bowl of noodles? DELICIOUS! A vegetarian costume? AWESOME! I hope the execution is just as awesome as the inspiration…oh, what a disappointment.
HOLD THAT THOUGHT! Here is an awesome vegan costume! That’s right! Vegan Police T-shirts! Well-made, attractive, and hilarious. Send me 20. I’ll put them on with my Lt. Dangle short-shorts and paint this town BLEACH BLONDE! (Sun-In really, but I didn’t think it would scan.)
Have an awesome Wednesday and an even more awesome halloween! Please send me ideas for next week!
Top Chef: Just Desserts, episode six airs tonight, and our sixth chef is revealed! »
The fifth episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our sixth guest chef (see the first five here! Chocolate mousse! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Mini cinnamon almond cakes! DO IT) who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! Well, we’ve got our next fabulous chef and there’s no reason not to tell you RIGHTNOW who it is I just like a little suspense OK fine:
Please welcome Melisser, The Urban Housewife! The crew at Vegansaurus and Melisser go waaaaaay back. In fact, when Meave started the Vegan Brunch Cartel in 2007, Melisser, Megan Allison, Maria, and I were some of the first to join! Soon we were meeting monthly to create amazing vegan brunches from scratch (or if you’re me, amazing vegan mimosas from scratch!). My how we’ve grown (I’m not just talking physically! Vegan food is really good!) and I mean that especially for Melisser; not only is she busy running her awesome blog, moving to Vienna, and perfecting vegan candy corn (MAKE IT! It’s almost Halloween!); she’s now a published author, with The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life hitting the shelves in November! So exciting! We’re thrilled to see what Melisser does with the crazy challenges that Top Chef: Just Desserts throws her way tonight. Hopefully her time in the kitchen won’t include an elbow to the face, as it did for Heather here. Drama rama!
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]