Wednesday, September 19, 2018

3 New-To-Me Daiya Products & A44 Movie

Just a quick post today because I seemed to be running out of time again!  YIKES! 

Last week The Vegan Zombie passed his Kickstarter goal of $80,000 to start producing his VEGAN Sci-Fi Movie A44.  I donated a very little bit to the campaign on the last day!  Can't wait to hear about the progress!

I received my shipment from Vegan Essentials and over the next couple of weeks will be sharing with you some of the things I ordered. 

Today I have 3 Daiya items that were in that shipment, actually. 

First up is this 4 Cheese Style with Herbs Cheezy Mac.  Here, locally, I am able to get the 'cheese' packets and in Lakewood they sometimes have the other 2 macs.  I have been able to try them and they are ok but it's not something I buy a lot.  This was also ok...again...not something I would buy weekly...or even monthly!  But it's good for a treat or on occasion.  I did like the addition of the herbs to the mix.  The pasta noodles were a little strange but didn't taste bad.  Just different, really.

The other two items are these Cheeze Sticks.  I bought one of each as you can see.  The Cheddar Style and the Moz Style. 

So far I have eaten both of them as a snack.  Convenient for on the go.  I think they have more flavor than the block style cheeses.  I assumed they used the same base as their blocks and just cut it different but Daiya responded on my IG photo saying that it's their own recipe blend specifically for the sticks.  Interesting.

I have also tried these Cheddar sticks finely chopped and tossed and melted in with regular pasta noodles, almond milk, Earth Balance, and a bit of nooch.  It turned out pretty good for just throwing everything in.  I will say that the flavor of it melted is more of a sharper cheddar than I remember from Daiya's other products.  I think I like using this better than the shreds, actually!

I might be trying the same method with the Moz sticks later tonight and melting then pouring over pizza.  Or maybe I will just add the finely diced Moz to the actual pizza.  I haven't made up my mind yet tho.

All-in-all I'm pretty happy with the sticks!  I would buy them again if I saw them for the right price!  Now...if someone just did vegan string cheese and vegan cheese curds!

Questions of the day...have you tried any of these 3 products from Daiya yet?  What did you think? 

Did you hear about the Vegan Zombie's Vegan Sci-Fi A44 Movie?  Were you able to be a part of the Kickstarter?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday Already?

Is it Wednesday already!?  WOW!  Time is flying by - that's for sure! 

This past weekend the fairgrounds housed the Wild Wind Festival which is a large folk art fall fest of sorts here in our region.  It's a Juried Show and has vendors from over 20-some states that attend.  It was said that about 7,000 people were there on Saturday.  Sunday's weather was awful.  But since I was on the grounds anyways...and EARLY...I was able to FINALLY eat the Artichokes from the one vendor that comes each year that I never was able to try up until now.

Fried Artichokes!  The photo above was the sample they had out so the sample showed it with mayo and hot sauce.  The vendor just gave me the hot sauce and I went back to my camper and mixed it with JUST MAYO Garlic Mayo and it was FAB!  They use Peanut Oil and the only thing on the artichokes was a cornmeal so it was vegan!  YAY!

I told you about me looking forward to seeing more goats and I did just that.  The guy who brings them had a few new additions.  These lil guys were only 3 weeks old and they didn't get too far away from their parents!  There was another one that was tan and brown that was about 8 weeks old and he was a bit more outgoing than these two.  Regardless, they were adorable!

He also brought a bunch of turtles he had rescued throughout the years.  Here was the biggest one of the bunch.

I was able to spend quite a bit of time with my parents over the weekend which was nice.  It has been wonderful having them at the fairgrounds this summer.  They have been working their butts off, too!

I recently ordered from VeganEssentials so I will be having LOTS of new-to-me things to share once I get them in and sampled so stay tuned for that!

As for my contribution for Vegan MoFo today - it's a bit of a stretch - but here goes...Spicy without the Chillies was the prompt.  Doubt I achieved it but thought this find was worth the mention.

It was pretty sweet but had some nice spices mixed in.  I added a teaspoon or so of Just Mayo Garlic Mayo to it for a little something different.  Yup!  You got it!  I ate this at 'camp'.  I still had some vegan convenience foods on hand that I wanted to finish up before cleaning out the camper for winter storage.  I also had some corn chips with this and it scooped up nicely.

I believe I found this new-to-me Sweet Earth product at the Wegmans in Lakewood.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Animal Friends, Plant Life, Hot Temps, and Colorful Meals!

Last week I took a walk in a nearby park.  This nearby park has a Pollinator Garden in it.  There were some plants that had already 'expired' for the season but there were several that were left blooming and beautiful including this one so I took a picture.

Last weekend I spent commutating back and forth to the fairgrounds.  We still camp there and volunteer each weekend on the grounds.  This coming weekend there is a folk art festival that we will be attending on the grounds, too!  I hope to take more photos of the grounds and of this years festival before we are no longer down there for the winter months.

Since Monday was a holiday I didn't have to work so I decided to take Cricket with me.  She had fun with my mom and dad's dog Lexi and some other dogs that were down there.  She played and walked a lot.  On our way home she was sooooo tired!  She laid down on my lap while I was driving and fell asleep!  She was even sluggish the next day!  So cute and so funny!

Some of you know I adore goats!  Each time I see one I have to spend some time with him/her, make a fuss, talk to them, etc.

This is one of the goats I saw over the weekend - last weekend!  He was giving me kisses and nibbles!

I should be able to see more goats this coming weekend.  Usually, at this festival we go to there is a guy who rehabs animals and brings them for the kids to pet.  I remember blogging about them before/in previous years.

I do have some vegan items to share for Vegan MoFo but first I will get all of the non-food stuff out of the way!

It's been a hot summer but I have to say that the last 3 weeks has been a little NUTS!  I LOVE hot temperatures but I don't like it when the humidity gets out of hand on top of those hot temps!  That is exactly what has been happening these last few weeks. 

The other day it was over 100 degrees AND I swear it was near 100% humidity...then...the power went out for at least 3 hours! 

This is the dash of my new Fiat!  I have to say I love it more and more each day!  I already put almost 2500 miles on it!

Now on to the food!  Today is COLORFUL Meals!  Well, I had to try and fit this into today's prompt for Vegan MoFo!  It's last weekend's Vegan Fair Food Option.  We ended up going to Stoneboro Fair and there was a Mexican Food Truck there and they were SO NICE!  I asked all the 'normal content/ingredient questions' that 'we vegans' tend to - and they told me what everything was made with/how it was made/what it contained!

I opted for these Nachos that I customized.  They had Salsa, Lettuce, Black Beans, and Rice.

They were tasty!  Sometimes...all you have to do is ask, right!?

One of the things I have had at the camper all summer - just in case - I got the munchies and couldn't find anything FAST - and/or didn't feel like a sandwich - or cooking - I had these Salted Caramel Organic Brownie things from Nature's Bakery!  I've tried their other flavors before but this was a FIRST for me with their Salted Caramel!  They are rich, that is for sure!  I have to say...I'm a fan!

Another thing I wanted to parents went to Erie the other day and brought back one of the Mad Mex's vegan options for the Angry Hippie Burrito...they offer Daiya Cheese and Tofutti Sour Cream as options!  It's been too long since my last trip to Mad Mex!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Vegan Street Taco Options!

Just a short post today.  The week got away from me YET AGAIN!  Yesterday, our local art gallery had a Food Truck parked outside.  I stopped by to introduce myself because I'm part of a committee looking for food vendors for various upcoming events.  I found out they were from Kane and had been in business for at least 2 years already.  I never knew they existed! Then I was even more excited when I saw they had 2 vegan options on their menu!  YAY!

I decided to get one of each.  The one on the left was Quinoa, Black Beans, Corn, and a Lime Cilantro Salsa of sorts.  The other one - on the right - was Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, and sauce.  I think I'll go back today.

I have to say...I'm SO OVER THIS WEEK!

We have a few things planned for the weekend but things have been a little weird lately so we will see what actually happens this weekend.

I'm thinking about taking another 'brain break' so if I do that I will surely take pics and post!  In the meantime, you can see more of what I have been up to on my Instagram.  If we aren't already friends I would love to know how to find your IG!  Let me know in comments!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Weekend Re-Cap in Photos!

Saturday I decided to take a short drive up to Kinzua Dam.  I didn't go to the actual Dam but the Big Bend Area. 

If I were to actually make a stop at the Dam I would be in a Parking Lot or at the Bridge going over top of the Dam that you see here. 

I wanted to do some thinking.  I also wanted to take some photos.  It's been a while since my last stop up there.  It's one of those places that people from far away visit often but the locals don't usually frequent.

If you visit my Instagram Account you can see more photos and even a short video, too!

The weather was gorgeous that day!  It seemed like it was the perfect temperature.  It wasn't muggy (like it has been most of the time the last couple years in the summertime) and it had just the right amount of breeze.  As you can see from the photos...the skies were blue and had some lovely, light clouds.

This photo is looking down 'water' from the Dam from the same spot.  One of these days I might go up to the Dam and the Bridge area and take some more photos to post here.

I wanted to go over to a small waterfall that is tucked off the road into the Allegheny National Forest a bit but ran out of time.

We left our house to make a quick trip up to the Buffalo area and stopped at The Pizza Plant for an early dinner.  Of course, I'm always excited because they not only have Vegan Pizza - they have Vegan Cheese for their Vegan Pizza!  I wanted to do a different topping for it this time around, tho.  Usually, I opt for Tomatoes or Mushrooms.  This time I went with the Artichokes.  It was fantastic!  I ate it for 4 meals!

Driving back wasn't fun.  There was a lot of construction.  We made a mistake with a detour and went about a half hour out of our way.  Oops!

Here's a close-up of an individual piece in case you're interested.

In other news...I've decided to take on another volunteering project.  This past month The Dyslexic Advantage eNewsletter was asking for volunteers to voice certain articles of their monthly online magazine.  I figured since I'm in radio full-time and have access to the equipment both at work and at home, I thought it was something I could easily do.  Plus, I have been wanting to get more involved in advocating for Dyslexics (since I, too, am one).

This past Thursday, there was a chair meeting for our Zonta Club.  It was a real eye-opener about just how much we do in our area.  I hope to help get the word out more about the efforts.  In the meantime, I was asked to chair the Service Committee so I'm looking forward to that, too!

Another thing we did this past weekend was stop in to our some-what-new, local Ollie's Bargain Outlet and we found some extra large fuzzy blankets for cheap.  We bought them and some other stuff for the house and I have to say that the blankets are a HIT with the dogs!  They LOVE them!

Here is a photo of Cricket sleeping on my lap...on the new blanket, of course.

What did you do over the weekend!?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Things I Bought, Things I Didn't, Concert Going, & Other Current Events

This will be yet another LONG post!  I thought I would kick thing off with one of my recent grocery shopping hauls!  I stopped in at my local ALDI and just wanted to find something for my lunch during that specific work day and I walked out with a slew of stuff!  Ironically, when I was thumbing thru my YouTube Feed later that day - BOTH No Egg Craig AND The Vegan Zombie had posted ALDI Videos with the same items!

Check this out!  Not only do they have a new Vegan Ranch they have a Vegan Harissa Ranch!  I tried the Ranch last night and it was pretty tasty.

It was thinner than most Ranch Dressings and was a bit heavy on the vinegar so it was like a Ranch Vinegarette but I still liked it!

This next photo is the actual haul!  I grabbed 2 dressings (they also sell a Vegan Cesar but I didn't buy that one), Potstickers, and Vegan Cream Cheese.  The 'patties' I found at my local ALDI were the Lentil (which were AWESOME), Asian, Thai, and BBQ Chicken.  I also grabbed some Guac, Vegan Moz Shreds (which I tried before), Frozen Cauliflower Rice, and Bread/Thins.

I only spent $35 on all that!  Now on to some of the things I have found interesting this week but did NOT purchase...

First up is this Cucuzza Squash.  It's the first time I have seen this in my area!  I have been thinking about it ever since so I might have to go back to see if they still have some.  I found this at my local Tops.  I haven't cooked with it YET but have heard you can cook it like any other squash.

Yesterday I stopped into Family Dollar to get some Unsweetened Ice Tea and noticed Love Beaty and Planet Shampoo and Conditioner.  I read the back of the bottle and found they were vegan - among other things!

I was pretty shocked that they were priced at $7 each at Family Dollar but all-in-all was THRILLED to see them there.  I have never seen or bought this line before and might try it at some point - just not now.

$7 Shampoo and Conditioners at Family Dollar.  I'm not sure if I have ever seen that before.  If it were $2 or even $3 - I would have JUMPED ON IT!  I guess I'm just CHEAP.  I guess I should say...THRIFTY, eh!?

So...I haven't done my Concert Recap YET from Fair Week so I guess now is as good of a time as any, right?

I really slacked on photos this year, it seems, but here is one that I did get from the Colt Ford Concert and Meet & Greet.

From Dad, me, Colt Ford, my Mom, Patsy (who is a director), and Missy (who is one of the fair photographers).

Colt Ford was our Tuesday show.  On Wednesday we had Ben and Noel Haggard with opener Allie Colleen.  Both acts have music in their blood and are the 2nd generation of performers!

This is a photo of Allie Colleen.  Her father is Garth Brooks.  Her performance was AMAZING!  She has a great voice.  She had a wonderful connection with the audience.  And she is so sweet!  I spoke with her a couple of times when she first arrived and again before and after she went on stage.

Funny thing...I'm short...not quite 5'2"...Allie Colleen is quite tall and has a strong handshake.  Even the guys were saying how firm her handshake was!  You GO Girl!

She was a peach!  VERY talented!  I wish her all the BEST!

Noel and Ben Haggard are 2 of the sons of Merle Haggard.  They also performed.  I didn't catch much of their concert because I was handling a few other issues backstage and with the vendors but what I did hear was well received by the packed house.

Those two acts were on the stage Wednesday...then on Saturday...were these guys!  They are a tribute band.  Can you guess which band they are a tribute band of?

If you guessed Fleetwood Mac - you are correct!  They were AMAZING!  They were my favorite act of the week!  They were 'on point'...isn't that what the kids say, these days!?  Regardless, I am now a fan of theirs and hope to see them again someday!  They put on a wonderful show!

Those were the acts we had at our fair during fair week.

THIS week, a friend of mine and I were lucky enough to get some tickets to the Alabama Concert at the Crawford County Fair.  Here is a photo of the two of us.

We both worked full work days that day and drove after hours to the concert and then drove back.  It was TOTALLY worth it!  One of their members no longer tours due to him having Parkinson's but the other two members were really great and their band was terrific, too!  Memorable show, indeed!

Special THANKS to those who reminded me of the upcoming Vegan MoFo!  I signed up with seconds to spare!  That might be a little dramatic but I was cutting it close to the sign-up deadline!

Please let me know if you will be participating in this year's Vegan MoFo!

I've done it for YEARS but the last 2 years it was a bit hit and miss with my posting for it.  Hopefully, this year will be different and I will be more active with it again!

Like I said...another long post...and I haven't even gotten to the Mall Photos...YIKES!'s the scoop on our local was booming up until the mid 90s and it's been dieing and slow and painful death ever since.

Right now they are in the process of ripping it apart.  The plans have changed many times and to be honest I can't keep up with how the end of the project is supposed to look.  I will have to wait and see just like everyone else, I suppose.

I mentioned in a previous post that they were going to be scrapping all of the plants and trees.  Yup!  They were pulling them out and throwing them away!  A co-worker and I (with permission) tried to grab some of them to see if we could grow them from snippets.

In the photo above, I always did like the sky lights.  It was the sole reason this greenery survived as long as it did because no one has been taking care of them in YEARS!  Next to NO water has been applied either.  Just sunlight.

In this next photo, you can see many of the plants are dead but some are still trying to survive!  I hope our experiment works and we can save the ones we took!

In the background you can see The Bon Ton.  It's closing this week.  It's one of the very few clothing store in our small area.  It's a shame to see so many businesses go under here.  To the right you can see plastic and light...that goes to the outside.  They ripped off the front of the mall and are making it into a strip/plaza type thing.

In this photo, you can see what I am referring to even better.  All of that plastic tarp is 'outside'.  They used to be stores.  They are no longer.

Up front, you can see more plants.  There used to be fountains there, too, but they have been empty for YEARS.  All of that will be removed.  Since they have made the decision to remodel and rework this dead mall...we have seen a Dunham's Sports and Ollie's Bargain Outlet move in.  I've heard the next thing to open will be a Shoe Show but I haven't see the sign yet.  The only other stores remaining are a Label Shopper, Lee Nails, and a pizza place...all of which have had to move.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Vegan Finds, Changes, & Updates!

I was going back thru a slew of photos I have been sitting on since my hiatus and realized just how many I still have yet to post - to blog about - and to share!  This post will be just as busy as yesterday's if not BUSIER!  First I wanted to share with you a salsa I made.  I was lazy the other day and opened a cheap storebought salsa.  It was pretty underwhelming.  Once I added sweet corn and black beans it made all the difference in the world!
Before fair week I went to Wegman's for one last shopping session before all the fair craziness!  My mother and I went and had their salad bar.  This is what I was able to find and it was tasty!  There were 2 kinds of greens for salad base, pickled sweet peppers, butternut squash zoodles, carrots, mushrooms, various seeds, cabbage, peas, artichokes, etc.  I believe I topped it with a Pomegranate Balsamic of sorts. 
One of the items I finally broke down and purchased was Miyoko's Vegan Butter.  I had not yet tried this because it's usually quite pricey.  I remember it being on sale by a buck or two so I figured WHY NOT.
I grabbed a package of these to have in the camper freezer.  I have had them before and with the right dipping sauce, they are pretty good.  
In my travels over the last couple of months I have been seeing more and more places carrying Lenny & Larry's!  I remember having them when they first hit the food shows last year and enjoyed the ones I tried up to that point.  I was just so excited that I saw these at our local Sheetz that I had to grab one!
I picked up these but I cannot remember where I got them.  I want to say they were over at the new Giant Eagle in Erie but I could be wrong.  They were pretty tasty.  I would probably purchase them again if I came across them.

These Vegan Potato and Onion Pierogies were something left from last last Ohio Trip.  They were YUMMY and I remember making a Cashew Based Alfredo Sauce which was even better than the Pierogies themselves!  I was just sooooo thrilled to find a storebought Vegan Pierogies that I couldn't pass them up!
About a month ago or more I made my first online BRANDLESS purchase.  There were a few things that didn't go as planned with my order but it all worked out in the end.  This was one of the things I bought and I am so happy I did!  It's delicious!  And I'm not going to lie...I recently had a couple of spoonsful stand alone and straight up.  I know that's weird but it was tasty and I bet would make a good soup!
One thing I made before Fair Week kicked in was this Lentil Curry.  I just used what I had on hand (which wasn't much) but I made do with what I did have.  Lentils from a Halal Market in Buffalo, Frozen Spinach, Canned Coconut Milk, Canned Stewed Tomatoes, and some spices.  It turned out fine and dandy!
Next up is this Vegan Camping Food Plate.  I have to apologize for the foam plate.  I don't usually buy them or use them.  It was someone elses and it was a thrown together potluck meal.  My mother made Baked Beans which were vegan and no one even knew.  I made the Sweet and Sugary Tomato Salad and there wasn't much of that left.  I used an organic and vegan natural sugar for it.  I also made the Vegan Macaroni Salad which is now being requested by many on the fairgrounds.  Of course that makes me smile.  I'm glad I'm not the only one eating the vegan stuff...eventho...the other people aren't vegan.
One of the new things over at the VIP Tent during fair week was the 'throw back' looking popcorn machine.  The accidently vegan kicker was the 'buttery' was actually a non-dairy coconut oil base.  YAY!
Our fair was the first full week of August but this past weekend we went to a neighboring fair.  We were treated to a special 'ice cream' and because it wasn't vegan I wanted to participate somehow.  I noticed they had frozen bananas on a stick.  I asked if they could do one PLAIN and she said yes.  Oddly...I HATE BANANAS!!!!  But I thought I would step out of my lil box of comfort and try it.  When it was completely frozen it wasn't too bad.  When it started to thaw I couldn't handle the banana taste or aroma.  I ate what I could and shocked my husband in the process!
I did find another accidently vegan option this past weekend, too!  This was a Blooming Potato!  I asked the vendor about the oil and the fryers all they used in the fryer was potatoes and the oil base was vegetable.  There were tons of toppings you could opt for but I stuck with the basic potato and hit up the condiment bar.  I put onion, relish, and ketchup on them and they were VERY filling!  It was a WHOLE POTATO afterall!  I shared with about 6 other people, too!  It was a real winner!
Not sure if I mentioned on the blog but I mentioned on my IG that our town recently got a new Ollie's Bargain Outlet!  I used to visit the one in Erie when I was around and always had to hit up their book section for vegan cookbooks!  Now I don't have to go to Erie!  I have one right here!  So far I have bought at least 4 or 5 discount vegan books there and added them to my collection.  This was one of them.  It was only $2.99.
I absolutely LOVE this photo I was able to take of one of the stray cats in our neighborhood.  I felt bad for her that she was stray but she seems to be fine with being outside.  Prior to leaving for fair she was laying and sleeping on our front steps and stoops.  As soon as I approached her she would run away.  I haven't seen her in about a month.  I hope she's ok.  I always worry about our busy street and animals getting hit.
Another thing I haven't updated you all about in a while is my adorable niece who FINALLY started walking the past couple of weeks.  My mom and dad watch her 3 times a week and took her to a local park yesterday.  Here she is with my mother and their dog Lexi.
And speaking of are my two pups!  They have been doing more and more of this since we lost Paco.  Riley is about 17 years old and our feral cat Charlie is 18 so I'm afraid what the future may bring with the two of them being older at the same time.  
Cricket is about 5 now, I think.  She is still the Queen of the Castle.
And another thing I forgot to tell you was that I finally cut my hair a couple of months ago and think I'm already due for another haircut!  With my last two haircuts they cut off about 14 inches of hair!  WOWZA!