Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Presents for the kitty cats!

Guess what my spoiled kitties got for the holidays? Not one, but TWO cat trees! I got them one, and Jesse's parents surprised me and got them one, too :) . They are in kitty heaven! Zoey was declawed by her previous owner (we adopted her from the Humane Society), so I was concerned about her being able to get up them. Unfortunately, the 6 ft. one is just too big for her to get up on top of, but she's loving the top of the 5 ft. one! There's a little cutout in the bottom of the bed part for her to jump up through. Happy kitties!

Once she got to the top, Zoey didn't want to share!

She eventually gave in!

It's ginormous! I custom ordered it from a guy that makes these in his spare time (let me know if you want his contact info - they are really cheap!) and I think I should have put one more ledge on it... whoops!

I tackled the cinnamon rolls from JoVB - pretty good! I subbed whole wheat pastry flour because I was out of all purpose... so they were a little heavy. Still tasty, though!

My favorite present! These are soooooo Chelsea! Jesse's little brother always gets me awesome gifts :)

Have a fun and safe New Years Eve everybody! Jesse and I are going to see his friend's band play and I don't know what else afterward... 2009, I can't believe it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My latest obsession - pancakes!

It's been snowing like the dickens here in Portland! Actual snow is a pretty rare occurrence here, so the city basically shuts down when the roads get slick. PSU was closed for 2 days last week, and had late openings for 2! It was sort of annoying because my vacation is supposed to be most of this week and all of next week (we're closed for children, so it's optional inservice time), and now I'll have to make some of that time up or just not get paid... I was planning to go in tomorrow, but I just found out we're closed again! Yikes!

One awesome perk of being around the house unexpectedly last week (other than frolicking in the snow) was that I actually had time to make breakfast! I read on one of your awesome blogs that Bisquick is vegan (sorry don't remember which...), so I decided to pick some up and try it out. Pancakes have always been a big frustration for me; I've tried a ton of recipes and they've all turned out like crap! Recently I had a breakthrough with the basic recipe from VWAV, and finally figured out what the batter is supposed to look like and when to flip the damn things (thank you so much Isa!). I have a dinky kitchen with NO counter space, so I thought I'd try the Bisquick out to cut down on dishes to wash and all that. Oh man, is it easy! And the Heart Smart kind doesn't have any weird crap in it. I've found that replacing the egg is totally unnecessary, just use equal parts Bisquick and soymilk. Here are some of my recent pancakes:

Chocolate chip soynog pancakes

Strawberry blueberry pancakes with tofu scramble and hashbrowns in the background

Strawberry flax walnut pancakes
I recently moved the living room furniture around a bit to make space for the Solstice Tree, and the kitties seem to love it! I actually really like it, too. It isn't a whole lot different, but I moved the big cozy chair into a corner where you can't see the tv, and it makes a really lovely spot for reading, and also creates a view out the window in a different direction than I've really looked before.

The cuties!

Lights on!

Lights off! Yay!

Happy Holidays everyone! Peace, love, vegan, and all that good shit :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Melting Pot update, and SantaCon!

So...I forgot to bring my camera to The Melting Pot. Whoops! Though I didn't get any faux fondue, the meal was definitely filling and pretty good, though the price was pretty outrageous (still full price of $50 something for me); luckily I wasn't paying!

We were a group of 11, seated around a large table with 4 fondue pots in the middle. The first course was 4 different kinds of fondue accompanied by bread, tortilla chips, apples, carrots, and broccoli. The server thought there was some vegan mushroom pate for me, but it sadly had sour cream in it. Next up were our salads, mine was a mix of baby greens, walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette. It was pretty tasty. My parents in law ordered a different salad which came with a shallot vinaigrette and was served in a gravy boat, which I stole and used to dip the leftover bread in. I wish I would have thought to ask for oil or something while everyone else was eating fondue!

Next was the entree course. The server was really nice and always asking, "how's my vegan friend? Getting enough to eat?" and made sure everyone at the table knew not to dip meat in the pot in front of me. Each pot had a different broth in it, and I got a huge platter of good stuff to cook in mine. Tofu (frozen and thawed), mushrooms, eggplant, potato, broccoli, asparagus, and Jesse had the vegetarian plate which also included some cheese ravioli. It was a LOT of food and I was totally stuffed. And then there was the final course... dessert!

There was a large menu of chocolate fondues, and many of them included dark chocolate. I was very hopeful that I would get to chow down, but sadly, all of the chocolate fondue had dairy in it. The server made me a beautiful bowl of fruit, though, which pretty much made up for it. Bananas, strawberries, and blackberries, tossed in a sugar glaze and garnished with mint leaves and powdered sugar. Everyone was jealous of my blackberries! Overall, it was a very nice (3 hour!) meal, and they went out of their way to accommodate my veganness. I would definitely not recommend seeking it out for a special vegan dinner, but if friends or family invite you there, have no fear - you will leave stuffed like everyone else!


Santacon is a worldwide event that has many different incarnations depending on locale and culture. Here in Portland, it's a fun-filled day where thousands of Santas take to the streets, interact with strangers, do crazy (but legal) things, and get drunk. I went to a baby shower that afternoon, so I could only go out for the evening, but it was fun! I went with my girlfriend who it took a few drinks to even get a Santa hat on, and we started out at the Holiday Ale Festival. I had already been with Jesse on Thursday, so we didn't need to buy new mugs, and I ended up not having to spend any money at all! How is that possible, you wonder? While we were waiting in line to get in, 3 different people came up and gave me their extra tickets as they were leaving. At first I was kinda shocked and just said, "thanks, uh, ho ho ho!" but after a few people I became more comfortable with my alter ego. More people gave me tickets inside, and I had so many I even gave my friend some! I took lots of pictures with tourists, started a few Christmas carols, and had quite a jolly time. Yay Santacon!

My last minute Santa costume!

Mmmm Barleywine!

All that beer made us hungry, so we ventured to the Tube for nachos, tacos, and ham and cheese sandwiches (all vegan, of course!). Oh, and whiskey. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Melting Pot

Super quick post ahead! So, my sister in law is getting married tonight. Very small ceremony with a justice of the peace. We're not even going, it's that small! But, we are meeting up with them and the parents and grandparents afterward for dinner at The Melting Pot. MP said that they can accommodate a vegan... I'm so curious what they'll feed me! Fake cheese fondue? With tofu veggie kabobs to dip in it? Or will I get an entree that's not fondue-y? I just hope I can have some chocolate fondue...