Sunday, July 12, 2020

Catching Up

Why hello there, friends πŸ’š It's been a while again, I know. Life throws curveballs I suppose and sometimes you just have to take the time to focus on yourself. In the time I was away, the one year anniversary of Doug's passing came and went and I just needed to focus on getting through that. Between that, the pandemic and the increasing social and political unrest was just super overwhelming and I decided that taking the extra stuff off my plate so to speak would be best. Work has been busy and stressful and starting tomorrow I will be back in the office rather than working from home. As you can imagine this is incredibly anxiety inducing. I have seen photos and heard about updated in office protocols and safety measures and it looks like they've taken the steps to keep us safe but it is super anxiety inducing to know I'm going to be exposed to more people all day every day.

All of that was a very long winded way of saying that life got in the way and I needed a break. After looking through all of my photos I decided that I wanted to come back and post. I have no idea how often I will post (once a week is realistic I think) but I have missed posting here and chatting with my friends.

I haven't taken a ton of pictures over the past few months but here is a small example of some of the stuff I've been eating.


This photo was the one that I had teased in my last post back in April. It has obviously been a while since I bought this beauty but I had to share it with you. That Pizza Place opened up back in April after a hiatus due to Covid and I knew that I would not risk going out there often at all so I just ordered a full pizza. I got half mac and cheese and half white pizza with broccoli. OMG it was all amazing you guys. The mac and cheese pizza was delicious but not something I'd order that much of again because pasta on pizza is just a lot. I froze it and reheated it as I wanted it. It reheated beautifully in the oven (I like my pizza crispy, not floppy) and lasted quite a while.


My friend had started a little venture where she prepared vegan meals for clients to just pop in the oven when they wanted to eat it and she is an amazing cook and I wanted to support her so I ordered this beauty. She makes AMAZING baked ziti and I had to have it. I ordered a half tray and she packs in the flavor. Her version has tofu ricotta, onions, spinach, mushrooms, vegan sausage and violife mozzarella. I popped it in the oven and baked it fresh and it was DELICIOUS!


I have been enjoying salads because it's been damn hot and this is just one example of one. I had some baby kale (I think it was baby kale? some sort of baby greens), chickpeas, and Violife feta with red wine vinegar and black pepper. So fresh and delicious.


It's been warm but I'm a soup in all seasons type of girl and what is more comforting than vegan chick'n noodle soup?


I also love making my vegan "egg drop" soup with Korean rice cakes for a quick, comforting meal.


I made this super cute pizza bagel and I'm obsessed with the little heart on the right half. That was a total accident and as soon as I saw it my mood brightened. I know a lot of people don't believe things like this but I think Doug lets me know he's around in subtle ways and I think that was him saying hi.


A few weeks after I had that amazing baked ziti I decided to make my own pasta bake with just some sauce, vegan crumbles and Violife mozzarella. As you know I typically don't eat pasta often but I really enjoyed that meal and it was a really quick, easy lunch for me to have during my work day or an easy dinner when I just didn't have the energy. I haven't had pasta since, ha! I may have some this week though,


There was a little bit of overflow from the pan above so I filled a little ramekin with some and ate it fresh from the over. Who else loves those crispy bits of pasta that get brown from the broiler or the crispy edge along the pan? Those are my fav.


This was a sad meal haha. It was the bottom of a bag of salad (the kind with the mixed cabbage and carrots) with some vegan ranch, croutons and a few stuffed grape leaves.


And here I am trying to live my best summer life. I don't really go out at all and in this photo I had just picked up an order from Sweet to Lick. I think I took it as proof that I left my house πŸ˜‚

And there is my catch up. I've been enjoying summer fruit as well but have not photographed it. I'm going to do my best to photograph stuff this week and post something next week but it's my first week back in the office (I've been working from home this whole time) so it'll be an adjustment but I'll try. 

I hope that you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy. I've missed you all so much and look forward to catching up with all of your blogs as well πŸ’š

Sunday, May 3, 2020

All the Hauls

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well and continuing to remain safe and healthy. Things continue to be crazy here but I'm managing the best that I can. This week was a big haul week. I really needed to get back to the store to get some fresh food and I wanted to plan another order from Sweet To Lick to get some vegan specialty items that are more difficult to find. Finally, I placed my first order from Nuts.com to get some random snacks and other items.

I was really missing my Korean rice cakes and Udon noodles and I have been wanting some tofu as well so I decided to go to H-Mart for this trip. I didn't get a ton of stuff because I still have pantry items so I just got some fresh food and the specialty items that I was looking for.


For my fresh items I got some spring mix salad, seasoned seaweed (not fresh but it's in this pic for whatever reason), avocados, green onion, grape tomatoes and some sweet potatoes. I have been craving sweet potato fries so much!


I also got every type of tofu possible πŸ˜‚ I have recipes for all of them, ha! I also got my favorite frozen udon noodles and the sliced rice cakes (they didn't have the tubes).

Up next is my Sweet To Lick haul. As you know from my last haul, they've created a stress free shopping experience. I called in my order that she packed up as I placed it. I ran over and grabbed my bag off of a shelf and headed back to my car. I am happy to be able to support an amazing local vegan business while also stocking up on some specialty items. I doubled up on most things to make it last a few weeks.


I got two each of the Earth Balance Puffs, EB Cheddar Squares and 2fer bars.


I also got two Violife cheese slices, Beyond Breakfast Sausage, Field Roast Breakfast Sausage and Violife Mozzarella Shreds.

Finally, this is my first haul from Nuts.com! I've heard great things from them and I really wanted to get stuff to snack on while I work because I tend to eat breakfast later (usually around 10-11) and I start work at 1. I figure these snacks will help me get through to dinner and will be easy to eat while I work.


I know it's hard to see what is in the bags. Basically, the bottom left blue bag is vegan mini chocolate chips (they were a good price for a huge bag and always good to have on hand), above it in the green bag is some puffed quinoa which I thought would be delicious in some homemade chocolates or even to try as a cereal of sorts. The yellow bag is dried diced apples, the blue bag next to it is peanut chews because chocolate and why not. Under that is dried peaches which is my all time favorite dried fruit. They are so delicious and I don't typically find them in stores (although I guess I usually don't think to look) and then the last bag is lightly salted cashews. 

I was really happy with my Nuts.com order. Sure things can be a little pricey but most nuts and dried fruit is. The bags are quite large and they will last me a while. I placed my order on Thursday, it shipped Friday and was on my doorstep Saturday morning. They have tons of stuff beyond nuts and dried fruit. They have grains, beans, legumes, superfood stuff; snacks; candy, energy bites, etc. I am not affiliated with Nuts.com at all but I do think it is a great option to stock up your pantry if you don't feel like braving the world just now.

So that's what I have in my fridge, freezer and cupboards right now. How have you all been holding up?

One of my favorite local vegan eateries re-opened and I was happy to be able to support them during this stressful time. I'm looking forward to sharing that with you in my next post. For now, stay safe and healthy my friends πŸ’š

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Quarantine Eats

Hey everyone! I hope that you are all doing well and that you had a good week and that you are all safe and healthy. Things are moving right along here. I am losing track of days and time but I guess that's all par for the course. I haven't been great about photographing my meals but I guess that's mostly because it's the same over and over. I did photograph a few though and figured I'd pop in and share them with you.


I've been enjoying my simple salads. It feels good to get some fresh veggies in. Hopefully I'll feel more confident in more raw stuff as things start to get better but for now I'm sticking with packaged stuff.


OMG that chocolate cake you guys. It's a chocolate cake with the most rich ganache on top. The cake is not big but it's rich. So delicious and I'm glad I splurged on it!


A wonky mini flatbread pizza, ha! It was very delicious though.


I really wanted a comfort meal so I made myself some of my favorite vegan Chick'n Noodle Soup! I made enough for two meals so I enjoyed the rest the next day for lunch and it was perfect!

So that's all I have for you today. I do have some more fun stuff to share in my next post so definitely stay tuned!!

πŸ’š Stay safe my friends!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Partial Aldi Haul and Stuff I Ate

Hey everyone! I hope that you are all doing well! I'm doing the best I can and I'm trying to remain as positive and optimistic as possible given the circumstances. This week I got to the point where I just really needed to go to the store and get some groceries. I chose to go to Aldi because I knew that they have a lot of vegan options and I knew that they were limiting the amount of people that go into the store at one time (which did NOT happen the last time I went to my local grocery store and it sent me into a massive panic attack). It takes me about 35 minutes to get there and it was worth it. While I still had anxiety about it I felt a lot better there than I did in the local store. I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible and I really tried to load up while I could.

What I'm sharing below is just a small part of my haul. I was really freaked out about contamination and putting things away so I just didn't photograph everything but I'll fill you in as best as I can.


This is clearly the most important part of the haul πŸ˜‚ If there was ever a time for a rich chocolate cake now would be the time! I'm so excited to get into this!


Last time I went to Aldi I got the chocolate coconut cashew chips and I LOVED them. I saw that they had vanilla and sea salt caramel flavors so I decided to get one of each for when that sweet craving hits.


I love cashews and don't get them often so I got some cashews and I really wanted some dried apricots too. I also got dried cranberries because why not. I think these three would make a nice trail mix too!


I decided that I just really needed fresh veggies (I've only been eating cooked) so I decided to go for bagged salads. I could rationalize it in my head so I grabbed this one knowing I'd have to skip the dressing because it contains orange and orange peel. I grabbed 4 bags of salads because I knew I'd want a lot of them.


And here is my first beautiful salad! It is the salad mix with some cherry tomatoes (which I also grabbed from Aldi) and some vegan ranch dressing. It was exactly what I needed.


Another breakfast sandwich with beyond sausage and Violife Cheddar on a huge piece of amazing bread from Aldi.


Burrito bowl with rice, fat free refried beans, a tiny but of Violife shredded Mozzarella, corn and guac. It was DELICIOUS!!

I loaded up on snacks (veggie chips, snapea crisps, etc.), faux veggie chicken (FOUR BOXES of the cutlets and two of the tenders), and stuff like that. I'm set for breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal, have lots of bananas and apples and I'm just hoping that I'll be good with groceries for a few weeks.

This weekend I really wanted to work on some art so I made a few small pieces with LOTS and LOTS of detail. These two baseball card sized pieces took me an entire day. I'm super proud of them though.


I was feeling major Steampunk vibes creating this one.


And this one has a clearly nautical feel. I'm super proud of them and I love that blue color!

So that is all I have for you today! I hope that you are all safe and healthy and staying home!! πŸ’š

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Stuff I Ate

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy. I'm trying to get used to the new normal and have some struggles of course but I think I'm holding up ok. I've been trying to psych myself up to go to Aldi but haven't gotten there quite yet. I'm going to try really hard to get there on Thursday but I guess we'll see. This week I tried to photograph as much as I could and have a few pictures to show you of stuff I ate. This week is Passover but I haven't really been following it because let's be real, we are in the middle of a plague so I think all will be forgiven if I can't get my kosher for Passover food.

So here is some stuff I've been eating!


First up I have a little flatbread pizza and some steamed broccoli which I desperately needed.


I made this udon noodle stir fry and it was so delicious! It was udon noodles with zucchini and broccoli and onions and I added some tamari, agave and some garlic.


I found this really cool product and was lucky enough to get my hands on it! I still haven't tried the Just Egg in the bottle because the price was just crazy to me but I decided I couldn't pass these folded "eggs" up. You know I love my breakfast sandwiches so I thought it would be a fun time to try something new!



Another amazing breakfast sandwich, this time with the Just Egg and Beyond sausage patties. The sausage patties were super delicious and I can't decide if I like the Beyond Sausage or the Field Roast better. I would definitely buy them both again. The Just Egg folded things were good and definitely mimicked having eggs in the sandwich but they were kind of bland. I don't know how often I would buy them but it is definitely good and I'm glad I tried it. I definitely still want to try the liquid version. I think Aldi carries it at a much better price so I'm hoping to get my hands on it at some point.


This was a random udon noodle soup with some corn and broccoli and Better than Bouillon No Chick'n Broth. It was very delicious and came together quickly


This last treat was something I found on Pinterest for 3 ingredient cookies! I used this recipe and it was so simple and came together so quickly and they were delicious! The three ingredients are almond flour, banana and baking powder. I wanted to add even more flavor so I included some chocolate chunks, some vanilla extract and a little maple syrup. They were seriously delicious and I will probably experiment with oat flour and different add ins as well.


They aren't the most beautiful but they were tasty and seriously so easy. I highly recommend them.


I've moved my home office out of my brother's house and into my own home because I just didn't feel comfortable leaving my house and being around other people anymore. I did snap one last photo of my lazy coworker sleeping on the job yet again. He is too adorable and I definitely think that is why he gets away with it πŸ˜‰

I hope that you are all holding up ok and staying healthy πŸ’š

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Champs Diner in Brooklyn, NY

Hey guys! Hope you are all well, safe and healthy. Today's post is definitely something special because I had wanted to try this restaurant for a long time. Anyone that has been to this region will know that diners are a big deal. We LOVE diners and they are EVERYWHERE. Since going vegan it has been difficult to indulge in diner fare but we are lucky enough to be able to do so thanks to Champs Diner in Brooklyn. In December I went to visit Doug's grave with two of my friends and we decided that the best way to honor him after would be to enjoy a meal for him. Doug was a foodie so he definitely would have approved of the plan so we decided to head over to Champs Diner after we spent some time with him.

There were 4 of us in total (my friend's son came as well) and I got most of what we ordered except for one of my friend's entrees and my friend's son's entrΓ©e. I'll share the photos that I did get though.


We all really wanted to try the biscuits and gravy and OMG are we glad we did. We all LOVED it!! Biscuits are one of my favorite things and their sausage gravy was absolutely delicious. We didn't really eat the hash browns because we all had some sort of potato with our meals but omg those biscuits were amazing!


This was by far my favorite part of the meal. I had been craving a Caesar salad for months at that point so we ordered a chick'n Caesar salad to share. It was absolutely delicious and exactly what I had been wanting. Everyone else enjoyed it as well.


This was my meal. Breakfast was always my favorite at the diner so I ended up getting a breakfast plate. It looks delicious but was sadly only ok to me. I wasn't really impressed by the tofu scramble (I ate maybe half of it) and I decided to get all sausage because I have always hated bacon. I ate one of those and was kind of over it. The star of the plate was the French toast which was so surprising to me! I normally don't eat sweet breakfasts in the form of French toast or waffles or pancakes (I like them but I just don't really eat them), but this French toast was seriously delicious! It kind of made me wonder why I don't eat it more often but it's probably for the best that I don't, ha! It was definitely the star of the plate though.


One of my friends got the same thing as me but she got hers the way it comes on the menu which is with both bacon and sausage. 

I didn't get a photo of my other friend's meal (she has a really amazing looking burger) but I did get a photo of her dessert!


She ordered the birthday cake sundae and holy shit you guys, how amazing does that look! I was so full I couldn't fit another bite in my facehole but it just looks incredible. It had ice cream, whipped cream, funfetti cake bites, sprinkles and a cherry. It may have had syrup but I don't remember. It looked amazing and I really wish I had space for a bite but I just couldn't do it.

I have been back one more time since this outing and decided to go for the chicken Caesar salad for my meal and it was just as delicious. We also tried the nachos and holy fuck were they good!

Bottom line is that Champs Diner in Brooklyn is seriously amazing and I can't wait to get back there after this damn pandemic. Everything on the menu looks and sounds incredible and there are so many more items to try. I'm glad that I was able to go with my friends and share a meal in Doug's honor. It was really a bittersweet day but I'm so grateful for the amazing people that I met through him.

So that's all for today. Stay well and stay safe my friends πŸ’š

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Sweet To Lick Haul

Hey friends πŸ’šI hope that you are all doing well and staying healthy. I've discussed Sweet To Lick here many times (click the tag for my other posts!). It is an amazing local business that I've enjoyed supporting since they've opened. They opened as a bakery location then opened a market two doors down. They decided to combine the two and moved the market items over to a section of the bakery. In these weird times they've stayed open but have turned into a pick up only spot. What they do is post pictures of what they have in the market as well as menus for the bakery items, you call in your order and pay over the phone. They pack up your order and you pop over and pick it up. It's a really efficient and safe way to do some shopping right now. As I've mentioned, I'm terrified to go to the grocery store so this was a really great way to supplement my stash for a while. This stuff is mostly specialty stuff that I wouldn't typically find in my grocery store so it worked out well.


It has been a shitty ass week so chocolate was definitely on the list. I grabbed chocolate chunks for baking, some caramel eggs, a Vego bar (!!!!!) and a 2fer bar which is like a big vegan twix bar. I've only cracked into the 2Fer bar so far and it's really delicious. I've had Vego bars before and they are AMAZING. So rich and creamy. A little goes a long way and this bar is huge so it will last a while. I also grabbed a box of the Earth Balance cheddar squares.


I grabbed both the Beyond breakfast Sausage and the Field Roast breakfast sausage. I wanted a breakfast sandwich and breakfast sausage is really hard to get your hands on right now so I grabbed one of each to taste test and so I had a proper stash. I also got some Violife Mozzarella shreds, Violife Mature Cheddar slices, the Kite Hill Spinach Ravioli (you know I'm not a pasta girl but omg this stuff is GOOD) and the Field Roast Mini corn dogs. I totally forgot that I got those until I saw this picture πŸ˜‚


And this is the reason for the order πŸ˜‚ I have been wanting a breakfast sandwich for weeks (most days I eat oatmeal with banana, raisins and almonds for breakfast) so I decided now was the time, ha! I made one of the Field Roast Breakfast Sausages and toasted a bagel with one of the Violife Cheddar slices. This was SO FUCKING GOOD and the perfect Sunday brunch meal. I really enjoyed the Field Roast breakfast sausage as well. It is a big patty so you only need one and it has great flavor. I would definitely purchase it again. 

I'm really glad that Sweet To Lick has stayed open and changed to pick up only because I felt comfortable going and I have some fun specialty items rounding out my pantry and freezer items. 

So there you have it! My next post will be really a recap of a restaurant that I went to with friends back in December that I had been wanting to try for such a long time. I hope that you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy πŸ’š