Friday, June 24, 2011

Long Time - No Post

Hello to those out there still reading this (if there is anyone still reading this) in the blog-o-sphere.

I haven't posted in quite some time.  Basically, from January until June, I was working an insane legislative internship.  While it was incredibly rewarding and I wouldn't have changed it for the world, at times, it felt like a hell from which there was no escape.  So, basically, I was stupid busy then and decided to take most of June "off".  Well, frankly, I'm taking the summer "off" as far as work goes.  I start graduate school in the fall, and I start my assistantship on August 18th.

So..... stuff and things.....

I have lost 15 lbs in the last month.  I've definitely been eating better and getting out more and getting more exercise.  Granted, I'm not gonna be super-psyched about it or anything.  I've been down this road.  My weight always fluctuates.  I have to pretty much be working out at least 5 days a week, never eating anything that could be considered "junk food" (AT ALL), and only drinking water to even hit the 240s range and hold on to that.  So it is probably never going to be feasible for me to be "thin" unless I have plastic surgery, which will never happen.  I don't believe in risking your life and future over vanity.

What have I been up to so far this summer?

I feel like it is shameful to say.  In fact, it hurts my soul.  All I've accomplished all summer is watching all of the completed seasons of "Jersey Shore" (which I said I would NEVER watch) and making GTL ("gym, tanning, laundry" for those who have the common sense not to watch this show) part of my regular routine.  I will say that I'm both shameful and glad I did it.  Glad, because I was in a place where I didn't know what to do with myself and found myself in bed all the time on my laptop, never having ambition to do anything.  So it gave me something to do.

I will say that the time spent in bed was not a complete lost cause.  It helped me to plan my next summer.  Yeah..... I know it is premature, but I figure that I ought to get a head start.  I'm planning to backpack through Europe next summer!  Here is where I hit a conundrum.

So, I feel like a terrible vegan.  I started being vegan for dietary reasons, so that I could live a healthier life.  Needless to say, that didn't last long when I learned that Oreos were vegan.  :)  Yet, despite the reasons for starting, eventually the morality and ethics behind it caught up with me, and those became my primary reasons.  The conundrum I now face is the fact that I always had one rule from the beginning: If I go on a real vacation to a place with a differing culture, I will not be vegan on vacation.  The reason for this?  I was afraid that if I stayed vegan on vacation, I might be missing out on some amazing cultural experiences that I will never get the chance to experience again.  This is where my conundrum comes in.  I'm planning this backpacking trip through Europe and I'm thinking back on this rule I made.  Part of me really doesn't want to be vegan in Europe.  It would mean I'd have to give up trying pastries and cheese in France!  Or bratwurst or wiener schnitzel or some beer in German!  It would mean no chocolate waffles during my boat rides in Amsterdam!  Oh the humanity!  But..... at the same time, I'm starting to wonder if I could actually make myself non-vegan for a trip now.  I might actually cry from eating cheese.  How lame?!  But I don't know if I can do it..... I guess only time and thinking will tell.  Of course, if you have insight on this and would like to share your opinion, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It is a Sad, Sad Day

Well, apparently I have gotten my first internet troll stalker.  Therefore, for the time being, all comments will be moderated.  I hate to do this, but this guy is a total creep and was spouting off stuff about me that isn't on this blog.  Frankly, it is kind of creepy.  I can only assume that they found this place through either Facebook or Twittter, and they're probably one of my "friends"/followers who has a grudge or something.  To that, I say, "If this is the case, can you please just remove me on Twitter/Facebook and move on with your life?"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sort of Yummy.....

New day..... new post....

Today I made something that I didn't really take pictures of, but I felt that I should share my adventure anyway.  So, I got this recipe from another blog called Semicircular Vegan.  If you saw my last blog post, you saw that my brother and his wife just got that infomercial cooking device, so I've been trying to figure/find food that I can make vegan in it.  Well, I found this blog that has only vegan recipes made in that machine (and the previous incarnation of that machine).  Don't you just love the internet?  Anyway, back to my story.... So I got this recipe from this blog.  In fact, the recipe is at the top of their blog currently.  It's for pumpkin rolls, which are basically cinnamon rolls, but with pumpkin pie filling instead of all that cinnamon stuff.  It looked AMAZING.  In fact, for those that know me, they can tell you about my weirdly-strange obsession with all things pumpkin.  Before going vegan I use to make pumpkin chili (and I should probably try making that vegan too!).  I have pumpkin scented hand soap AND lotion that I got from Bath and Body Works.  And, if you have a food made with pumpkin in it, chances are that I will fall in love with it.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew that I had to give it a go.  However, there were obstacles.

The first obstacle was my need to have the type of frosting that I feel is necessary on cinnamon-type rolls.  I haven't ever liked that type of frosting that comes with the canned onces, and I never really like the glaze stuff that most people make.  They're both too runny.  So I was bound and determined to make a vegan cream cheese frosting for these bad boys.  Plus, I needed some essentials to make them as well.  A trip to the store was in order.

Problem 1.  The store had no canned pumpkin pie filling.

So I bought pumpkin and figured that I'd just make my own filling.  This problem was fairly easily solved with the help of some pantry goods and the Kitchen Aide (or is it Aid.... oh well) stand mixer.  I used a small can of pumpkin, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/5 a cup (give or take) of white sugar, and an assortment of "dashes" of different spices (since I don't measure well): cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and ginger.  It was pretty delicious.

I used the mixer to make my cream cheese frosting, which was completely amazing!  I scoured the net over and over and found the same recipe in two or three places.  It looked good, so I figured it must be pretty close to the end all / be all of cream cheese frostings.  But, of course, I veganized it!  Here it is, for your NOM-NOM pleasure!:

1/2 a tub of Tofutti cream cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup of Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract (give or take)

Basically, you just throw the cream cheese, margarine, and vanilla in the mixture and slowly add in the powdered sugar.  It was amazing!

Problem 2.  The Redi Set GO complete BLOWS when it comes to cooking baked goods!

Seriously!  My brother had no luck making pizza.... had to take it out and put it in the oven.  I had the same issue with these things!  They started to burn on the top but were still raw in the center, so I took them out and finished them in the oven.  They were salvaged, but probably would have been a little better if I had just gone with the oven in the first place.

Problem 3.  I now have a whole bunch of extra homemade pumpkin pie filling and cream cheese frosting and don't know what to do with it!

I think I'm gonna make a pumpkin pie burrito for desert tonight.  I'll keep you posted.

Score on a scale of 1 to 10:  8
Reason:  The pumpkin filling and the cream cheese frosting saved these bad boys.  I seriously ate them all today.  I had two for breakfast, one after breakfast, and then three more when I woke up from a nap.  They were awesome.  However, they only get an 8 because of the minor scorching from the Redi Set GO.  I'll try them in the oven next time and see how it goes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Adventure in "As Seen on TV" Vegan Cooking

A few weeks ago my family was piled around the TV at my brother's house when an infomercial came on that basically mesmerized all four of us (that being myself, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my mother).  At one point, we were all going to order one of these products, but giving it a bit to cool off, we decided not to do that.... or so I thought.  Turns out that my sister-in-law actually bought one of these little beauties and it came in the mail last week!  So while they were out of town last night, I decided to partake in an adventure in "As Seen on TV" cooking of the vegan variety.  Simple enough, right?  Actually, it really was!  As for the product in question, it was this thing:


At this point, you may be saying to yourself, "I know I've seen this thing before.... but where?"  It was the brainchild of a certain TV infomercial evil genius who has a striking resemblance to a certain murderous doll.

But in all seriousness, Cathy Mitchell has hocked everything from MicroCrisp (that weird paper you wrap food in to make it crispy in the microwave -- as still seen in those sleeves for Hot Pockets) to weird pans that can cook multiple things at once (as picture above.... not the knife.... the other thing.... she's the one on the right).  Here's here and her glutton partner in crime on their infomercial:

(Courtesy of Screen Moguls.)

Actually, I think that's the infomercial for the first generation of this product, called the Xpress 101.  It basically had two half-moon shaped wells where you could cook things.  The newer generation has one large section to cook things, and then inserts you can use as well (the traditional one as seen in the last model, the cake one (I believe), and a small food cooking one).  So I decided I was going to make vegan burritos in this bad boy, and boy did they turn out great!  I think I'm gonna love this thing!  Basically, what I used.....

  • flour tortillas
  • vegan sour cream
  • guacamole
  • refried beans (make sure they're vegan!)
  • jalapeƱos
  • taco sauce
  • fake-y vegan meat (which is gross and I never use, but I had no Daiya, so I needed something extra!)
What I did.....

  1. Heat up tortillas in the microwave and heat up/season fake meat in a skillet on the stove.  Also turned on the Xpress Redi Set GO, to make sure it was preheated.
  2. Take one flour tortilla and spread some vegan cream cheese in the middle.
  3. Add guacamole on top of that.
  4. Then spread refried beans on top of that.
  5. Then add some fake-y vegan meat.
  6. Then top with some jalapeƱos and taco sauce.
  7. Wrap up burrito-like until sealed.
  8. Spray Redi Set GO with cooking spray and add burrito -- close lid.
  9. Then, depending on the size of the burrito, anywhere between 5 to 7 minutes later, you get this beauty!
(Courtesy of my kitchen and food purchased at Shop 'n Save.... want to make sure they get credit too.... don't need to be "exploiting" them, do I?)

Even to the meat eaters out there that swear by meat..... I'm sorry, but this vegan burrito will put Taco Bell to shame, any day!  It was AMAZING!  The one thing I'd suggest.... If you think that anything will start goo-ing out, make sure to wrap another tortilla shell over the burrito.  Plus, this gives you the crispiness on the outside, but still the chewiness on the inside (kinda cheese like, but without the exploitation).

I'd definitely suggest this machine.  It's awesome.  Sometime this week, I'm gonna work out a vegan Hot Pocket with pizza dough and whatever the hell I decide to put inside it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


This is my very first blog post!  I would just like to start by saying, "Hello!"  As for what this blog will be....

It will be a lot of things, because I'm a lot of things.  For instance, I'm:

- fat
- gay
- vegan
- gamer
- politico
- nerd
- geek
- awesome
- etc., etc., etc.,

So basically.... Imagine a big ball of that!  No, seriously....  I'll be taking about issues such as fat activism and acceptance, how that relates to being gay and vegan, recipes and creations I make throughout my vegan journey, some gamer-ness when I have time, generally geekery and nerddom will always be included, and finally -- you'll always get a good dose of awesome.

I'll be updating soon, so check back!  For now, have a good night!