A Cat’s Guide to Vegans, by Buhbah

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. You have no idea the amount of strings I had to pull (and toss) to get this internet sensation to  sit down and share some deep thoughts. 

Remember my face.

Guest Blogger: Buhbah
Special Friend: Gabrielle, Vegans on the Move

A Cat’s Guide to Vegans, by Buhbah.

Some might call me a “scrapper from way back,” some, more accurately, “Buhbah.” Even though I’m afraid of leaves (those fuckers are shifty!), I think I’m pretty much the most streetwise cat on the block.

Case in point, I was living with this annoying-as-all-hell dog, two snotty indoor cats (look, it doesn’t matter if I actually sleep inside all day, I want the option to go on a little walkabout), and some people who fed me the wrong food, among other crimes. I noticed when a tall one and a still-kinda-tall-but-shorter-than-the-dude-one moved in next-door, and I saw an opportunity.

Hello, humans.

Strutting through their yard looking irresistibly cute, staring in through their kitchen window as they made dinner, purring and knocking my head enjoyably against every hard surface in their house—it took maybe a month for my plan to reaching completion, and probably only another month for me to become the internet sensation that I am today.

But what does all of this have to do with vegans? Yo, vegans are the shit. Shorter one is vegan, and as such, she is wired to be obsessed with cats and there is always, always, nutritional yeast on her desk somewhere (Agnes knows what’s up!).  Shorter one makes all kinds of delicious-smelling shit—I mean, I’ll stick with my tuna—but I’ll definitely rub myself up against shorter one in the kitchen when she’s juggling tomato soup-making, stovetop mushroom smoking, tempeh marinating, and that really horrible immersion blender thing. I kinda like Cheezly. Tofurky’s aiight.

Before they installed the kitty door, I creeped around. A lot.

The two best snugglers whom have visited taller one and shorter one in recent months are vegan. The first one was this blog’s very own Jess, who is a master cat whisperer and knows I like to be under the blankets. The second is my homegirl, who is actually a Panda Cookie, the creator of my most treasured possession: the catnip carrot, that, due to my fame, is now dubbed The Buhbah. I might be addicted to catnip, but no human watching a cute fur-ball such as myself rolling around with a pirate carrot, high out of his mind, is gonna judge.

Hanging out with Jay. aka the Taller One.

Basically, vegans are god’s gift to cats. Most of them appreciate that we don’t want to eat their weird tofu and stuff, but they love us all the same. Buhbah out.

Out.

A Day in the Life of Mercutio

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. Next up, a glimpse into the life of a real party animal in SW Portland…

Guest Blogger: Mercutio
Special Friend: Stephanie, Thoughts of life and dark chocolate

4:30am – I discover my food bowl is half empty (I’m a realist) so I attempt to rectify the situation by pouncing on the humans while they sleep. Extra points if I hit belly or crotch. Mother groans and hides under the covers.
4:32am – Attempt #2 at food service. I start in with my cute little “mew!” and don’t stop until somebody gets up. Usually it’s Mother who stumbles to the kitchen and scoops kibble into my bowl, cursing.
8:00am – Humans exit the house for the day, leaving me alone with HER, my nemesis Delilah. I pretend to cuddle with her while the humans are around for the sake of peace but she’s so annoying.


12:00pm – Success! Mother has left my favorite food in the garbage, wilted kale stems and bits of leaves. She never lets me have it, she thinks I can’t control myself. In my excitement I eat too much and knock the garbage over.


12:15pm – Too many green goodness, I make a mess. How do vegans control themselves when it comes to kale? It tastes like liquid gold. Like I know what gold tastes like.
5:30pm – Humans have returned, interrupting my 8 hour nap with tickles and hugs. LEAVE ME ALONE. No, NO. I do NOT want to wear the Santa hat. It’s the middle of f@$king summer!


7:00pm – The small annoying one has knocked over ANOTHER water glass. What a slob.
11:00pm – Humans retire for the night. I go to bed with them as usual and wait until they’re just about asleep, then I attempt to leave the room by scratching at the door and making a racket. Ruin MY naps, will ya?!
11:45pm – Delilah and I are wide awake and partake in a race around the apartment and over the bed. Bonus points for belly and crotch hits.
1:00am – Finally, humans are asleep and Delilah has scurried herself to other mischief. Time to enjoy my favorite nightcap.

What a day!

Vegan Food Reviews by Agnes

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. First up, a contribution from my goddaughter, who’s on her way to becoming a wonderful little vegan food critic…

Sometimes I like to help in the kitchen.

Guest Blogger: Agnes
Special Friend: Alanna Maeve, Heartichoke Supper Club

I’m not vegan, but like many Portlanders, I do enjoy vegan foods. In
fact, I was born in the home of the proprietors of a vegan-friendly
taco truck. I’ve never actually eaten a taco, but I feel like I would
really like it.

I thought I would review a few vegan foods for you today. While I
mostly eat fish (that’s at least vegetarian, right?), these foods add
some fun to my diet. Sometimes eating them  also makes my roommate
yell at me which is fun too.

Nutritional yeast

I love this shit. I get all excited when my roommate gets it out to
make mac and cheese or whatever and try to act cute so she gives me
some. Then she curses my name when she realizes she doesn’t have
enough left over for her recipe. One thing I don’t like is how my
roommate tries to trick me with it sometimes. If food has been in my
dish for more than a few hours (which happens a lot, I really try to
eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full like I read in Eat to
Live), I’m obviously not going to eat it—it’s totally stale. I have
standards, after all. But sometimes my roommate puts nutritional yeast
on that totally stale food to get me to eat it. It worked the first
few times, but I’m smarter than that now. Now I just lick it off and
ask for new fresh food over and over and over again until she finally
relents.

Hummus

This is possibly my second favorite food. Apparently it has garlic in
it and cats aren’t supposed to eat garlic so my roommate really tries
to keep it away from me, but I really don’t care. That shit is
delicious.

Hanging out with my roommate.

Dave’s Killer Bread

Bread is the BEST FOOD. It is SO GOOD. Dave’s Killer Bread is the best
bread, but really I’ll eat anything. It’s ok if the bread is wrapped
in a plastic bag—I might not have thumbs to open the bag like a human,
but I have really sharp teeth so I can just chew right through and
help myself to a slice. My roommate yells at me and asks me, what’s
the point of buying hugely expensive grain-free food when I’m just
going to eat an entire slice of bread? But she’s a total hypocrite
because she eats carbs all the time. Like yesterday she had two pieces
of cake. SO STOP JUDGING ME!

Vegan cheese

Once I tried a bite of Follow Your Heart mozzarella. I thought it was
real cheese, because I used to have this roommate who wasn’t vegan and
gave me way better snacks then I get now. (Sometimes she gave me
chunks of fish, it was awesome! Sorry, I know this is a vegan blog.)
This stuff does not taste like real cheese. I ate it off the kitchen
table and then I threw it back up right there. Not recommended.

Sleeping off a hangover.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find these reviews helpful! My
roommate wanted me to add that I also enjoy eating my own hair off the
carpet, old coffee grounds (apparently cats aren’t supposed to have
caffeine either, who knew?), cardboard and dirt, but I don’t know what
she’s trying to say.

The Will of the MoFo Monster

The official sign up for the fifth annual Vegan Month of Food writing began last week, and it nearly pains me to admit that I will not be updating daily, nor attempting to, on this here blog. With the break of tradition comes something new (and a tad bit easier), I’ll be one of at least three bloggers, if not more (hint, hint) updating on the Vida Vegan blog. Janessa, Michele and myself will be blogging daily about whatever crosses our vegan paths or pops into our minds. Whatever.
I definitely enjoy that this collective loophole beckons creativity and randomness, and this Vida plan is giving me the warm and fuzzies, as usual. Thematically, I was torn between the loose idea of simply trying or creating new dishes, restaurant recreations, cooking lessons from my cats, imaginary dinner dates with fictional characters, and happy hour pairings, both from my kitchen and beyond, so now I can attempt everything, in addition to what I’m deeming our un-official theme, the VVC Cocktail Lounge.
I’m currently de-stressing after some business travel and the glorious weekend that was Vegfest, but I will have something sporadic and special in store for Get Sconed! next month, in addition to obsessively reading the RSS feed and rounding up over here. Oh, yes. Oh, meow. And more on VegFest, for sure.

Our VegFest guard at the Vegan Iron Chef table knows the secret plan. Oh, grrwooreowruffooooo.

Tis the Tofurkey Day MoFo: Kabocha Squash Pot Pie, Thai Iced Tea Pumpkin Pie & Dinner with Friends

I may not really celebrate the holidays, but I do celebrate proudly made from scratch dishes, friends, wine, and the warm wonder that is a multi-course, cruelty-free thanksgiving dinner with said friends in a city we’ve made our home. Aww.

Commence warm and fuzzies and vegan food with part of the spread:

My contributions to the dinner were pies of both sweet and savoury varieties. This marked the production of my first-ever pot pie, so it’s time for a photo pictorial to capture my stirring hand’s excitement.

Sautéing the diced green beans, carrots, mushrooms, potato, baked tofu, and spices.

The savoury was a Smokey Kabocha Squash & Baked Tofu Pot Pie inspired by Karen from the Vegan Conversion Challenge’s recent Kabocha Pot Pie. She’s doing a month of chili-dominated dishes for VeganMoFo, and as soon as I saw her adorable baked-in-the-squash, smokey pot pies, I wanted to try them. Fatefully tying this plan together, I had roasted freaking kabocha squash the night before, so the question became – do I buy more squash (on the day before thanksgiving) or do I reach for a little more adventure? I chose the latter, following Karen’s recipe as closely as possible. There was no time for finding Soy Curls or big tvp chunks,  so I decided to bake tofu cubes in a marinade of tamari, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, garlic, and herbs. As for squash, it seems to get saucey in Karen’s, so I figured simply adding chunks of roasted squash into the mix with the broth would work for my take. A squashy gravy, if you will. I went light on the chili peppers, and ended up adding quite a bit more of smoked paprika and hot cayenne before baking.

Things take a turn for the saucey and squashy:

Dished into a pie plate and ready for some puff pastry action.

The finished dish, with its learning-as-we-go puff pastry weave, from my camera phone:

Enough of my silly tales of pot pie production – Chelsea’s famous Gluten Roast, stuffing & itty bitty, adorable potatoes follows:

Knowing this would be there just may have pushed me out of the house.

Damn good pumpkin pie and damn fine pecan pie:

My friend veganized John Edwards’ secret family recipe for us and I’m still thinking about it:

Sweet, sweet pumpkin cheesecake!!

My second contribution – half of a vision come to life – Thai Iced Tea Pumpkin Pie.

Take Bryanna’s classic Vegan Pumpkin Pie, sub coconut milk for the soy, and add a ton of powdered cardamom and star anise along with the usual suspects. If there was Thai tea in my cabinets, it would have been involved.  And one excuse short of my vision, I had just missed the stores closing on my way to dinner, or there would have been coconut flakes (or, in retrospect, dollops of coconut whipped cream) with the straws.

Note: I did not make people drink out of them.

mini pizzas & teese & holiday confessions

I was recently afflicted with the pizza bug. It’s been the coldest and driest November I’ve ever witnessed in Portland, and it usually seems much more rational to use the oven over the heater. You get a warm dinner and a warmer abode. Win Win.

Whole wheat crust (Trader Joe’s), homemade marinara, mozzarella teese, sun-dried tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, jalapeño peppers.

I’m always impressed at how well teese holds up upon re-heating.

Variety time!

Whole wheat crust, roasted orange pepper and white bean spread, steamed greens, strips of more roasted orange pepper, and halved  kalamata olives.

As for my holiday time, pizza making confession, it’s totally not the store-bought dough – it’s the music. The first evening of pizza baking marked the first day of the season I welcomed the easy listening christmas music station back into my life. Every night. I can’t help it. I can be pretty damn humbug, but hear Linda Ronstadt wishing me a Merry Little Christmas and go weak with nostalgia. I start cutting out snowflakes and wishing for the marshmallow winter song and Band Aid to come on next and then start picturing my grandfather singing along with Bing Crosby. I may have even put up a fucking holiday tree under the guise that it’s for a shindig. And quite frankly, if I had wine, and mulled wine went with pizza, it would have been on my stove.

The Tofurkey Day Countdown

Being a vegan in Portland, Tofurkey day is approaching and I’m naturally weighing the options of at least 12 vegan potlucks or take out from Bay Leaf or Sweetpea (omg, the dinner rolls!!). I went to 2 potlucks over the weekend as it is, and that’s normal! Now, being a creepy cat lady hermit without family in the state, I’m also highly considering taking the day off from sage and pumpkin, making Ethiopian style greens, and watching Charlie Brown on repeat. Maybe. I may make an exception for pumpkin hot toddies. Perhaps.

All this potential busy-ness or personal time over the holiday weekend doesn’t mean that I’m not totally entranced by all the seasonal menu planning around me, via blog posts and holiday specials at the grocery store and farmers markets, etc.

With that, here are some things that have caught my eye recently.

Thanksgiving Day Ideas I’d like you to make for me:

Ye Olde Get Sconed! Thanksgiving-related porn follows, featuring quite a sweet potato pie casseroles, more pies, mac & cheeze, rolls, and an apple cider, garlic & herb marinated tofurkey, among other classics:

And if you’re dishes rule, don’t forget to take a picture and send your photos to Vegansaurus!

And please, share!

Anatomy of a Grocery Trip: The New Kruger’s Farm Market

I was mortified a couple weeks ago when it appeared that Uncle Paul’s produce market on SE Hawthorne had suddenly closed up shop. I quickly learned that it was true, they’re sticking to wholesale, but that Kruger’s Farm of Sauvie Island would be opening up a market. Sure enough, they opened last weekend, and being a curious enthusiast of produce within walking distance of my abode, I went to check it out. It’s pretty similar to Uncle Paul’s – it’s the same open building with a good deal of local produce, some organic, hella (wicked? mad? way?) cheap citrus, tomatoes (see you next summer!) and mounds of local squash, with two big differences: Ryan’s apple cider and a lot more walking room.

And now, a throw back to long ago days with an Anatomy of a Grocery Trip:

  • Honeycrisp apples – I never buy these trendy “perfect” apples because they kinda freak me out, but they were under $1/lb!
  • Lemons – 5 for $1. One can never have too much fresh citrus around.
  • Lime – ditto
  • Avocado – Their baby avocados were rock hard, but 4 for $1, so…let’s be patient.
  • Orange bell peppers – I know, I know. It’s not local, but I’d rather buy bell peppers now and then to roast instead of crying all the time. It’s not like I bought flavorless tomatoes!
  • Satsumas – Like you need an explanation.
  • Ryan’s Apple Cider – straight outta Hood River, super fresh – and $3.50 for a half gallon.

DIY Apple Liquor: The Halfway Point

It’s been over a month and it’s nearly noon, so here’s the mid-process photo report on my homemade McIntosh apple liquor:

It smells amazing and I already wish I was making more! The method is based off of this recipe from The Savvy Homemaker (but really, most recipes are online are the same), which involves a whole lot of vodka, brandy, waiting and aging.

See you on the flip-side.

The Start: Apple Fest and Apple-tastic Inspiration 10/18/2010

Keeping up with the VeganMoFo: A Return to Homegrown Smoker

You’ve gotta hand it to Homegrown Smoker. They’ve come a long way since opening on NE Alberta in the summer of 2009. They’ve built a snazzy enclosed cart, have moved SW near PSU, and hearing their daily specials announced on the internet, or even pictured, has become….. epic.

Recently, there’s been the Portoritto with smoked soy curls and sliced portobellos, the ChiliCheeseFryrrito - just imagine what’s in there, the FU Jerk with jerked tofu, the Filet O’Fu with breaded oceanic tofu and remoulade sauce, the freakin’ Clamwich – and on, and on – and then there’s the regular menu, with their famous MacNoCheese, Tempeh Melts, vegetable sides, Coconut Battered Oreos and various smokey proteins smothered in smokey Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce.

That being said, is there anything Homegrown Smoker would smoke and sauce that you wouldn’t want to try? And do they offer adult bibs (or fancy handkerchiefs) with their logo yet?!?

Alright, sometimes things overwhelm even me – I wasn’t quite badass enough for yesterday’s special – but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support my crazier friends with their intense, nearly unbelievable burritos, my camera, and a stack of recycled napkins.

The SW 4th & College cart pod: home of Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ (mere blocks from the home of Vida Vegan Con in August!)


I swear Jared was also smiling the moment before this happened.

Holy, shit. Screw being caught in a downpour on my way here – because, I swear, this was the best version of their MacNoCheese yet – and the Smoked Shroom burger was sheer awesome.

Some of my favorite vegan food continues to be downtown lunch options in Portland. So, have you got your HoGroSmo on yet?