What should be on every restaurant table

Mike and I sometimes eat at Razzi’s Pizzeria in Greenwood because they have whole separate menus for omnivores and vegans (and another for gluten-free folks, too) and we can both have calzones when we’re in the mood for a treat.

When we went there last week, I noticed a special condiment on every table that I hadn’t seen there before:

Hi there!

Hi there!

I’ve never tried the Go Veggie! parm before. I use my own homemade Happy Herbivore parm when I cook at home.

It was delicious! I haven’t quite tasted that flavor in a very long time and it was a welcome topping to my vegan calzone.

Here’s to hoping vegan parmesan shows up on every table in America.

I’m not holding my breath.

Reading I missed earlier this month

UGHHHHHH

COOOOOOOL

YAAAAYYYY

Vegan vanity: Liquid eyeliner

When I first became vegan, the only transition that really occurred to me was the dietary one.

Then when people started asking me if that meant I would start to do away with non-vegan clothing and makeup and all the rest, I didn’t really know what to say except that I was in the process of evaluating that issue.

So part of my plant-based journey is an effort to more consciously understand what’s in the products I use, even the non-food ones. A big part of that includes my beauty products.

For about five years my attention my decision-making on the personal care and beauty product front has focused on finding naturally-based and paraben- and phthalate-free goods. Most of the new cosmetics I use are from Burt’s Bees* and Physicians Formula because of they’re good to my sensitive skin, cruelty-free and they seemed to lack nasty fragrances and irritants.

But I was surprised to learn that so-called “natural” and “allergen-free” and even non-animal-tested products aren’t necessarily vegan. Ugh, so much to worry about! What the hell!

Now that I have this new consideration to inform my choices, several assumptions have been turned on their head and I still have my budget to worry about. As much as I would love to shop exclusively at Petit Vour and Arbonne and not have to worry about the contents and quality of my products, the reality is that most of my products will come from the drug store. And testing out budget items has meant trying products that are vegan, but contain many of the synthetic ingredients I once eschewed (though my thoughts on parabens have shifted, thanks to posts such as this one).

Anyway, come on this cosmetic journey with me as I try to jazz up my amateur makeup routine and find affordable vegan products to love. As with every post on this blog, my efforts are exploratory and educational and aren’t meant to be authoritative.

Today: Liquid eyeliner!

I’ve futzed with liquid eyeliner a bit, namely trying to look schmancy on special occasions with a black line on the lid (possibly a cat eye if I have 15 minutes to kill on eyeliner), but I want to experiment with different colors and brands.

A few months ago I purchased two liners from the ultimate budget brand, Wet n Wild. I mean, it’s a cruelty-free brand and I’d heard its quality is improving, so why not check it out? The brand’s website also makes vegan shopping easy with this list, which I kept open on my phone while shopping at a Seattle Bartell Drugs.

Mega Liner Liquid Liner in Indigo and H20 Proof Liquid Liner in black

Mega Liner Liquid Liner in Indigo and H20 Proof Liquid Liner in black

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A very vegan Christmas party

I hosted a party on Saturday.

My bestest friend who lives in D.C. was visiting Seattle and I needed to show her how many awesome people are in Seattle so she can move back here. Also I hadn’t thrown a boy-girl party in awhile.

Said bestest friend, Johanna, helped me calm down by reducing my planned menu in half. I tend to get carried away.

This was a great help, but even then I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to clean and I cut my pinky on a can of artichokes, causing a great gushing forth of blood, so there was enough stress.

Regardless! I threw together awesome food with the help of my friends and everyone loved it and none of my omnivore friends made a big deal about how everything was vegan.

This particular bash was a Happy Herbivore affair. Her recipes are sans bullshit and delicious.

Because of my gushing finger that delayed the food-making process, I didn’t have time to take any photos, but I can show you evidence of the demolishing of the food:

My menu:

From the new Happy Herbivore Holidays and Gatherings

Spinach and artichoke dip (with home baked tortilla chips)

White bean dill dip (with veggies)

Mac and cheese bites (which got rave reviews from the guest of honor)

From Happy Herbivore Abroad

Decadent brownies

Hot chocolate (with vanilla vodka on hand for spiking)

Then from Nigella, the mulled cider I make every fall and winter.

One friend brought pesto. Others brought chocolate-covered almonds, salt and vinegar chips (DROOL) and other snacky items that went great. More friends brought pastries and Rice Krispies treats that probably weren’t vegan, but I was happy that my friends cleaned those up, too.

Cooking is one way I show love, so I’m glad my friends enjoyed everything and had a great time. Just more proof that you, too, can fool your friends with wonderful plant-based goodies.

Thanksgiving!

Doesn’t matter that I no longer eat turkey. Thanksgiving is still a fantastic holiday, perhaps even more so because my approach to it is so new and wonderful and I have more ownership and pride in my feast than ever before.

This was my second plant-based Thanksgiving, so a few things remained the same as last year as I dined with my omnivorous family in Olympia. Mom set aside some potatoes and stuffing for me to load with veggie broth instead of chicken broth and cream. I also brought my own pie, made my own gravy and threw together an appetizer and salad to share.

However, I tried a few new things. Whereas I drew most of my inspiration from Isa last year, this year I turned to the newest Happy Herbivore book, Holidays and Gatherings.

I had been paging through my H&G book for a few weeks now, but this was my first time using it. It is so great! It collects a lot of recipes from books past, so there aren’t tons of surprises for someone like me who has all of Lindsay’s recipe books. However, it organizes the recipes into the perfect holidays and occasions to cook them (even though I took from other chapters to work into my Thanksgiving) and also brings in some new delights.

When all was done, I was so pleased with the results. Check out the highlights:

What were some of your Thanksgiving revelations/highlights this year?