Tuesday, September 30, 2008

veganmofo is he-e-e-e-re...

are you all ready for the second annual* vegan month of blogging? that's right. for the 31 days of October, I and hundreds of other vegan bloggers** will be posting every single day on various aspects of vegan food: cooking, eating, traveling, reading, blogging, and more. it's going to be great! personally, I also plan on using this month to get reacquainted with some of my favorite blogs... and discover cool new ones, I'm sure! this next month will be great.

* for a look at last year's veganmofo, look at my posts from the month of November

** click here to see the official list of veganmofo participants...


Sunday, September 21, 2008

I survived!

Just wanted to report that I survived the sky dive! It was truly phenomenal, and I would jump at the opportunity to do it again. My final fund-raising tally was $1400 - thank you all again so much for your support and donations! This couldn't have happened without you. I'm working on personal thank-you emails to send as we speak- and there will be a raffle coming up, as promised! My friend told me that the money we raised with this jump is going to go to a water pipe being built which will carry water from the well, so that the orphanage can have running water. It feels so good to have a solid, concrete reward like that!

So as you've probably gathered, Daiku and I have arrived safe and sound in our temporary new home in England and are loving it. Now that we're more adjusted and the jump is behind me, expect a lot more blogging from me. 

Thank you to everyone again, I hope you all know how much I appreciate you.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

gate blogging and book review

Ok, sometimes I seem like a really distracted bloggers, and yet at other times, I seem like an insanely dedicated blogger. Case in point: right now, I'm sitting at the gate for my flight at JFK airport, and they have started boarding people for our flight to London. But what am I doing as everyone's running around? Well, how about a book review?

I was really happy to have a chance to read Gillian McKeith's latest book, Food Bible: The Complete A-Z guide for a healthy life. Those of you who watch BBC or BBC America might be familiar with McKeith's slightly sensationalistic t.v. show "You Are What You Eat" - where she basically prods, scolds, and if necessary, shames people into eating healthy and losing weight. If so, you'll be happy to note that the tone of this book is tons more circumspect and way less shrill. I love the way the book is set out- you can either look up specific ailments (acne, motion sickness, pms, etc.) and find out how better to manage them through food, or you can read about foods and nutrients in groups. It really is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in whole foods eating, with plenty of emphasis on raw and plant foods.

Ack- I have more to say, but they're calling our seat numbers! Next time I "see" you guys, I'll be in jolly old England. Cheerio!


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mea Culpa and book review

blueberry lemon scones with lemon sauce from Vegan Lunch Box

Wow... I've never let a blog post get so delayed! As some of you might remember from my last post, I promised a review of the new edition of Vegan Lunch Box, oh, about a week ago. The only possible explanation I can offer is that my life has been a bit insane lately. I've been traveling between Syracuse, New York City, and Northern Virginia and all the mileage I've been logging has been having a toll on my brain. My move to England is less than 4 days away (!!!) and I still have so much to do. However, in the midst of packing, trying to see friends and family one last time, and living in places other than my house, I've still been managing to get plenty of cooking and eating done, including many yummy recipes from this book. So on to the review!

As I'm sure is the case with many vegan bloggers, Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box was the first vegan blog that I found. It was pretty much my introduction to the blogging world, and I will not forget the excitement of those early times, as we in an increasingly larger and more besotted audience awaited the moment each day when Jennifer would post that day's lunchbox. Her son, Shmoo was the lucky recepient and evaluator for each day's cute and elaborate lunch. There was just something so fascinating about seeing how this mom managed to send her son off to school with a new, exciting, and healthy vegan lunch every day.

However, when the Lunch Box book came out, I have to admit that I never got around to buying it. The food looked great, but I wondered if recipes for a young child would translate to our adult palates. Well, I was thrilled when I was given the chance to review this book. The recipes are endlessly sophisticated and just as good for grown-ups as they are for kids. In fact, the world would be a better place if all adults were as adventerous in their eating as little Shmoo is! The book gives plenty of tips and tricks for how to make dishes with plenty of healthy ingredients. So far my favorite recipes have been the split pea alecha (an Ethiopian stew similar to, but less spicy than, wat) and the lentil-brown rice balls. (Lentils and brown rice are one of my favorite combinations!) I also made a dessert that my whole family enjoyed- blueberry scones which I served with lemon sauce, another recipe from the book. (pictured above) The scones were winners, made with 1/2 whole wheat flour, bursting with blueberries and the zing of lemon. The sauce was wonderful- it thickened to almost a lemon curd consistency- the recipe made a lot, so we used some on toast too!

This book has so many recipes that I want to try. Sometimes, I want more spices and heat in my dishes, but those things are relatively simple to add. If I had a kid, this book represents how I would want them to eat- healthy and full of variety, but with plenty of yumminess and fun as well.

I promise this blog is not going anywhere! We are fast approaching another VeganMoFo, and so you'll be getting daily or near-daily updates from England (as well as plenty of catch-up posts) soon!