May 19, 2016
Thanks everyone who left a comment on my last post about makeup! I need all the help and advice I c...
Thanks everyone who left a comment on my last post about makeup! I need all the help and advice I can get on choosing the right products. The vegan community is the best at helping each other and always has been! Transitioning into all cruelty-free vegan beauty and body products is a process and a learning process as well. I have made plenty of mistakes so far, but I suppose that's plenty that I won't make again, so how do you like that for positivity?
The April Vegan Cuts Beauty Box had some stuff in there, pictured below. I already have that color nail polish so I gifted that, I am working on like 10 vegan deodorants right now, so I gifted that, I have that ecolips somewhere to try out when I find it again. Not really sunscreen season yet, but I can't say I really like the smell of that Goddess Garden stuff, and I've used that argan oil split ends creme any time I've remembered to. I am trying out the new skin care routine of doing toner, then face oil. Does anyone else do that? I have been using my Fanciful Fox Blemish Buster Toner, which smells kind of medicinal so I'm going to try to use that up, then following up with this CocoKind face repair serum. It's really oily. I know it's face oil. But I use it before bed and wake up with a still-oily face. Is that weird? Help me. What sucks about Instagram is that you see everyone else's Vegan Cuts Beauty Box and sometimes people get better stuff than you and you get really jealous! For example most people got a bath bomb instead of the bath melt and I'm like reaaally jealous. Don't they realize we will find out and be jealous?!
I saw @leslieconn make Ropa Vieja from Viva Vegan on Instagram and I couldn't get it out of my head so I made it using the No Evil Foods Prepper Seitan, which is packaged a little differently than most seitan because it's sort of spun together and seems like its more shreddable. I remember how I tried to shred my homemade seitan last time I made this and I didn't have great results shredding it so I was psyched to find this seitan because it was perfect for this dish. It gave it a true pulled-pork texture, even more than with jackfruit. If you can find it I would suggest trying it out with this recipe or with another shredded seitan or pulled pork-style seitan recipe because the texture was great. It did require some time to stand there and shred it but it was well worth it.
More #pastaproblems, I have made this pesto mac from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen a few times in the last couple months because it's pretty much a template of the kind of food I always want to eat. If I haven't had pasta in like.. 3 to 4 days, I start to get a little twitchy. I even start to smell it when it isn't cooking. Just wondering, what's wrong with me?
My best friend's daughter just turned 2 last month! She's really into Minnie Mouse so she had a Minnie-themed birthday party and I made these Minnie cupcakes for her.
Cupcakes with cookies > Cupcakes without cookies.
I got some makeup while out shopping with my mom when I was visiting home. I wanted to try out the Born This Way foundation by Too Faced after I saw a lot of people using it in makeup videos like Rhian on WifeLife and Tashina on Logical Harmony. I like it pretty good, I use it with the Primed and Poreless Powder which is sooo silky and nice. I have been using the Becca corrector in pistachio to cover up my red spots, as my face has been extra obnoxious in growing zits all the time. I just dab a little over each red spot after primer and then apply the foundation over it. I really like the Kat Von D Ink! liner in Trooper, it makes it really easy to draw a straight line and the point never needs sharpening like pencil liners, and doesn't smudge too easily like liquid brush liners. I gifted the eye shadow primer because my eyelids get real weird when I wear shadow primer, even cream shadows, it makes the skin of my lid get sort of grainy and gross. Anyone else have that problem? I know I described that beautifully, but I think I've heard people say that shadow primers irritate their lids too.
I was having this conversation with my mom about how to get calcium from vegan sources, and I named things like oranges, bok choy, tofu and quinoa, then realized that they are all in this dish from Isa Does It. It's called something like, "Grilled Citrus Tofu Quinoa Bowl with Tahini" or something similar. I've made it once before but sort of forgot about it. I love the citrus tofu and will use that marinade again soon.
I finally made the Creamy Tomato Soup from The Oh She Glows Cookbook after hearing so much good stuff about it. It pretty much transported me back to being a teenager at Panera Bread getting the creamy tomato soup. I really liked the chickpea croutons, and at first I was skeptical because they looked dry and burned but really they are just crispy and awesome. It's always all about the croutons any time there's croutons.
Here's another buffalo tempeh salad with Terri Ranch, my new obsession. It kind of does all the stuff Hidden Valley Ranch says it does. I'm sure you have all seen this commercial, but in case you just steal your TV shows off the internet like a normal person, the commercial is set in a huge carnival/fair where the people are all selling vegetables instead of fries or cotton candy and there's a vegetable-eating contest instead of a hot dog-eating contest, and the kids are all fighting over each others' veggies, all because of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and because it's so good. Anyway, Terri ranch is that good for me.
I have been waking up early for the past several months to "work out" but instead I mostly just sit on my radiator and have breakfast. My breakfast was particularly glowing on this morning, and I couldn't resist snapping a pic of my 197th smoothie bowl with coffee.
Another thing I got while I was out makeup shopping was the Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo and Conditioner. I had been using the Alba Botanica Mango Shampoo and Conditioner but my hair was getting so dry and greasy so quickly, and after switching to this stuff it really made a huge difference in my hair. I definitely feel more moisture and can go at least one extra day without washing my hair again. It lathers really nicely, smells amazing and the packaging is gorgeous, as always.
I was thinking of doing an "Empties" video like I've seen some people do, where they show you the products they just finished up, whether it be stuff they purchase all the time or stuff they tried out for the first time. Either way, it's only after having used the whole product, so their opinion is fully formed on whether they would use it again or go for something else next time. If I do something like that, I'll be including this Kona Coffee scrub from Pacifica because I'm almost done with it. I have been loving it and would definitely buy it again. The smell is so amazing and it leaves your skin so silky with a tiny layer of moisturizing coconut oil. Sometimes after I use body scrubs my skin feels so dry and damaged immediately after I step out of the shower, but this really helps to lock the moisture in.
Back to food- I made the Cauliflower and Pesto soup with pasta shells from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, which was super amazing. The only thing I would do differently next time is puree the soup in the vitamix instead of using an immersion blender. I also added more broth than called for because there wasn't really enough to simmer the cauliflower. But I think it would benefit from a silkier base than what you get with an immersion blender because when you use one of those it just can't get to that silky level.
When I ran out of Terri ranch I used the Follow Your Heart one, not quite as good but certainly does the trick when you're in need of a ranch dressing like now. I used to exclusively make my own dressings but it just takes time and this bottle is easy to grab and even bring with me to work, and I just am a lazy person I guess. Stop making me apologize for not making my own dressing!
It's not summer yet, and I'm happy about that, but I made summery food recently, with salad, BBQ Tofu, and potato salad. Alex made rice-a-roni because he wanted to help. He tries.
We visited Maresa at her new shop on E 9th over the weekend and got some macarons. It's right near Tompkins Square Park so we took them to go and ate them there. This one is Peanut Butter Brownie, dare I say my favorite flavor of Maresa's Macs. Can't be sure though.
Her shop is also right by Superiority Burger, which we had yet to try until then. It was really amazing. Alex got the burger, which he deemed so-so, and I got what was called "the new creation" which was tofu skin cooked in a way maybe Philly Cheesesteaks are cooked with some aioli and pickles. That was so great! I loved it and would order it next time again for sure. We got the Burnt Broccoli salad to share and then after we were done we ordered more food, the sloppy joe, which we devoured before taking pictures.
The main event was the Ice cream. It was Rhubarb Sorbet and Labne. The top has the rhubarb and the bottom has the labne. I haven't had ice cream this good since.... I can't remember. I don't know if I have ever had ice cream this good!
That same day we had been to NYC Veg Fest and had a great time hanging out with our friend Belinda, who has come to VegFest with me a few times. We got lots of great food, saw a few talks, and tried lots of new products. Some highlights were Ponycakes in orange-blossom-tahini-black sesame-something, Love Beets juice who also had some great balsamic marinated beets, and the Sex Kitten eye shadow palette that 100% Pure was selling for about 1/2 price! I think they're normally $45 and I got mine for $27 or something like that.
Alex's favorite kind of meal is a simple stir-fry. This worked out especially easy for me on this particular day because I had all of the ingredients I needed to make the Cast-Iron Stir Fry from Isa Does It, which is rare that I would actually have everything I needed. There's always at least one thing you didn't get or don't have. So yeah I was especially proud of myself for remembering this recipe existed and realizing I had everything I needed for it. This is so simple and awesome and I don't know why I don't make more stuff like this all the time.
At VegFest, there's always a guy doing a Vitamix demo. I have the Vitamix, and I think I bought it after the first demo I saw there, but it's still just too fun to watch the guy make all the stuff and do his demo. He always makes soup that is so fast and a bell went off in Alex's head that he could make that some night for dinner. So on monday night I came home from work and he had this soup almost ready and it was just as good as the one from the demo <3.
My sister graduated from college last weekend! It makes us feel old, but mostly just really proud of her. I forget that I graduated about six years ago now. That makes sense because she's six years younger. Damn time!
On the way to the restaurant after the graduation we were shuffling cars and passengers so I ended up in the back seat of my own car so I decided to take a selfie because I'm never in this spot.
That is all for now, but stay tuned for an exciting announcement and maybe other stuff too.