Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy (Save a) Turkey Day!

Even though it is no secret that this is not one of my favorite holidays, I do hope that everyone is enjoying their day whether spending it alone or with their family and friends. In honor of the giving spirit of the holiday season, I have decided to participate in the Pay It Forward Challenge after seeing it on Walking the Vegan Line's blog. Here's how it works:

The rules are simple: I will send the first three people to leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days (that’s my kind of time frame!)

The catch is that you have to have a blog and be willing to do the same thing....

Because Thanksgiving is unfortunately known as a horrible holiday for turkeys, I felt that I should do something extra special and adopted two turkeys from Farm Sanctuary. Please meet Apollo and Faye:

Knowing that I am helping these two turkeys made me feel so amazing and I hope some of you decide to participate in this as well because it is so rewarding.

Once again, enjoy your holiday! (don't worry- I will post about my Thanksgiving dinner later this week)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Soup Season is Upon Us

The Chickpea Noodle Soup from Vcon is something that I have had bookmarked since the summer, but I just couldn't bring myself to make soup in 70 degree weather. However, with the sudden burst of winter weather we have been experiencing, I thought that this soup would make an awesome dinner for my family. When I was making this I was kind of nervous because I kept tasting it and it seemed like there was just something missing, but I knew that Vcon had never steered me wrong so I kept my cool. After I added the miso, this soup suddenly became magical. Whatever I felt like it was missing earlier was there now and it tasted like one of the best "chicken" noodle soups I've ever had!My family loved it too, so much so that there were no leftovers to freeze like I had originally planned! Not that that bothers me too much- this soup is so easy to make that I can make an extra batch to freeze anytime!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Perfect Way to Celebrate

Many of you guessed correctly that yesterday indeed was World Vegan Day and my (16th) birthday!I was pretty excited when I learned last year that they were on the same day- I suppose veganism is just my destiny :) My birthday was fabulous and I really wasn't expecting very many gifts since I told my parents that there wasn't anything I really wanted, but they were so sweet and went WAY above and beyond my expectations!

I actually was given this the night before my birthday (Halloween) from my family so I would have my own vegan candy to enjoy while they ate their Halloween candy. It's a gift basket from Pangea Vegan Store filled with: VeganSweets Chocolate Spread (tastes like hot fudge), VeganSweets Belgian Chocolates, Whizzers speckled eggs and chocolate soccer balls, a Mint Coconut Crispy Cat candy bar, a fudge brownie, a Tropical Source Mint Crunch bar, an almond chocolate bar, and an almond chocolate truffle bar. Talk about a chocolate overload!!! I told my family that I would be more than okay with it if they helped me out with finishing all of this candy because I know I will never be able to.

On the day of my birthday, it was time for more gifts! I was given two adorable t-shirts, some Alba shampoo, conditioner, body cream, and body wash, a cute striped scarf (not pictured), a turning cake stand (not pictured), a grapefruit-scented candle (not pictured), and a gift card to both Pangea Vegan Store and LUSH. Some friends of mine stopped by later that night and surprised me with a recycled notebook, some pomegranate goji berry red tea (it's a little joke between my friend and I because I always mention how I love tea and she always talks about how she hates it), and a slice of Chocolate peanut Butter Cake from Blind Faith Cafe.

All I wanted to do that day was go out to dinner with my family (and what better way to celebrate World Vegan Day as well?). I originally wanted to go to the Chicago Diner, but instead my Dad suggested we try Lake Side Cafe because it's closer and can seat more people (I had no idea why this was important if it would only be my family....). On our way there, my mom surprised me by telling me that she was going to pick up some other friends of mine to go out to dinner with us (then I understood why we need a place that could easily seat more people)! As always, I didn't bring my camera to dinner because I was so caught up in being around people I care about and having a good time that I didn't even want to bother with that. But I can tell you that I ordered the Vegan Gyros and apple cider to drink, and both were outstanding! I ate the leftovers of my gyro for lunch today and it still tasted amazing. For dessert, there was yet another surprise! The waitress brought out a huge chocolate birthday cake with a candle on it (the candle played the tune of "Happy Birthday" when it was lit, so I heard it before it came to the table and caught on). We were all so stuffed that we only had half slices of cake, but if I hadn't been so full I could have had a few more slices for sure. The cake was moist and the frosting was super chocolatey and fluffy, yet not at all too sweet. We brought the rest of the cake home, so I'm looking forward to a slice of that tonight :) Thankfully, everyone in my family and both of my friends really enjoyed their food and, most importantly, we all enjoyed each other's company and had a fun dinner.

As you can tell, between the two different chocolate cakes and the basket of chocolate candies, I am overwhelmed with the amount of chocolate I have in my house right now and I'm not sure how I'm going to even attempt to finish some of it. Oh well, trying is the fun part :) I really wasn't expecting much in the way of a birthday celebration this year, but it was by far my best birthday ever thanks to my awesome family.