Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Many Vegan Aldi Finds...But Some Others, Too!

Over the summer I noticed yet another gas station chain that started carrying more random vegan things!  YAY!  This Willy's brand of salsa had 2 or 3 of them that I tried.  I have to say it's unlike other salsas and I truly believe it's because of their punchy-use of bold cilantro.  I know cilantro is one of those things that some people love and others hate.  I've always liked it but I can see in some cases where the over the top use of it could give certain things that soapy taste.  For some reason the loads of cilantro worked here.  They also seem to love garlic.  Lucky for them...I love garlic, too!

Here's a pic of the new, local Falafel that is being made in-house at Total Evolution.  It's also vegan and pretty wonderful!  This was a HUGE sandwich!  You can pick your own toppings for it, too!

Prior to August, this was our set-up for camping season.  Our new-to-us-but-gently-used 5th Wheel is on the left and my parents Jayco is on the right.  I don't especially like the specific spot we had this year or last year but I didn't complain too much either.

Here's another meal I grabbed at Total Evolution this past summer.  You can build your own wrap.  Most places that tends to be the vegan option around here but you basically get lettuce, tomato, and onion.  I then see if places have salsa or a balsamic for the dressing...BUT...with Total Evolution they have some really neat things to include.  This one contained their in-house hummus, carrots, greens, sprouts, celery, tomato.  I've done variations of this from time to time and I will certainly start sharing more of them with you!

At our local Tops I have fell in love with a new product but that love comes with a hefty price tag so when I see them on sale I will grab one.  It's the line of products from The Coconut Collaborative.  In this pic, here, you will see the Chocolate Ganache.  When I opened the first one I thought...gee...I could eat all 4 in one sitting!  But, you know what?  They are so rich I could only eat one!

Many of the products in this post are new or new-to-me products from Aldi and that includes this one!  It's the Vegan Vegetable Potstickers!  They are tasty!

Another find at Aldi are these Eggplant with Yellow Pepper Raviolis!  I LOVED these and hope I can find them again soon!  There is another kind, I hear, but I haven't seen those locally yet.

I finally spotted their Vegan Sour Cream.  I grabbed some.  It was ok.  It was certainly good enough for the price!  A nice, cheaper alternative.  I would probably buy it again!

One of the one pot meals I did in the camper this year was squash with vegan margarine, vegan pepper jack cheese, and topped it with tortilla strips!  It know it doesn't look like much but it was VERY yummy!  I would categorize it as a vegan comfort food for sure!

I don't really have time to do a blog post YET re-capping fair week but I thought I would give you a little teaser for now.  These were our new work banners that were at our broadcast booth!

Moving on to a thing or two from Wegman's!  I did grab this to have the camper during fair week.  Let's just say...it lasted about a day!

I can't remember which place I spotted these at since there were about 2 to 3 weeks I seemed to travel all over the country-side grocery shopping at various places.  I'm not sure if I grabbed them at Wegman's or Mustard Seed.  I don't think I went to Whole Foods Market, Whole Foods Co-Op, or Trader Joes during that specific time so it might have been Wegman's or Tops.  I'm leaning more towards Wegman's as the possibility.  They were easy to do in the microwave and for a nuke-able meal it was tasty!  I recommend vegan mayo and ketchup on them!

One thing I know I found at Tops was THIS!  Mango Sorbet!  I thought I would try it but didn't really have a WOW pre-judgement, however, when I had my first taste...I was blown away!  This was one of the BEST naturally-tasting mango flavored treats I think I have ever had!  YUM!

Also at Tops - right around the same time - I found these gorgeous watermelon radishes!  I knew I had to buy them since we don't usually see them available for purchase in our area!  I really enjoyed them.  I share them with my mom, dad, and 2 ladies at work and all for of them thought they didn't have much taste.  They were a sweeter flavor and not a spicier flavor like regular radishes usually are and I think that threw everyone off.  I think most people go for your 'standard' fruit or veggie and then when you ask them to try something new they already have a pre-judgement that they aren't going to like it.

When I saw this at Aldi this summer I knew I had to buy it because my local Aldi isn't consistent with what they carry so when you see it you should buy it because you don't know if or when it will be back.  I still have yet to open this but it sits nicely in my freezer until then!

And finally, another find at Aldi!  The first go around with these - that everyone was talking about - I didn't have them at my local store - but - I was able to find them this summer and tried them.  They were pretty good!  Next time I would like to try and top them like they did on the box...with mushrooms and onions...and greens, oh my!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Community Involvement & Family Time

Taking a look back at June 24th...our community did something special to celebrating the ratification of 100 years of Women's Right To Vote.

Our Courthouse bells rang 19 times at noon and many of us gathered for a rally and fellowship.  There were several speakers and those who dressed up and held signs.

My mom and dad were watching Trinity that day and the stopped over for the first part of it.  Trinity was a HIT.

She even made the front page of our paper the next day!  This is her and me holding signs.  It was a lovely day.  I'm part of the Suffrage Centennial Committee and there are LOTS of things planned thru the end of 2020 so you will be hearing a bunch more about these events soon!

Here is a photo of the Courthouse lawn with those who participated.  The brick building in the back is our local historical society.

Another thing that I haven't really blogged too much about is that when our company was sold DH and I spent two days in Erie to not only help with their 70th Anniversary for WICU but to get to know some of the people at the main office and such.  Here are a bunch of us passing out fans, coloring books, and sports bottles.

Another thing I was able to do in the middle of July was with our Zonta Membership.  Each year we do a "Summer Surprise" and we don't know where we are going or what we are doing until we leave for the evening.  This year - we didn't travel too far.  We had a private tour and history of our local, historical Struthers Library Theatre.  Many of us have been in the theatre fairly often but it was nice to have a behind the scenes look and really take our time.

And I mean...REALLY behind the scenes...this was backstage!  I just LOVE all of the old signs we saw.

Here is some of our membership enjoying the tour!

Earlier in the summer...my mom, dad, sister, Trinity and I went to Waldameer which is a theme park/adventure park in Erie.  It's been YEARS since I have been there but it was Trinity's first time so it was SO FUN!!!

On the way home that day she was super weird and starting sucking her toes like a thumb and I couldn't stop laughing.  Even funnier was the oh-so-serious look on her face while she was doing it!

Total Evolution really kept me fed this summer with all the running around!  WOWZA!  Here is their Avocado Toast - vegan style, of course!

And here is one of the build-your-own chia bowls.  I chose Peanut Butter, Granola, Raspberries, and it was great!  They use Soy Milk as a base.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Mostly Food But Some Flowers, Too!


This one will be mostly vegan food finds but I have a gorgeous floral photo to share, too!  I'm still going thru MONTHS of photos to catch-up and I have a lot of event-related, family, and life type photos to share but I'm a little low on time to write thought-out captions and explanations so I thought I would theme this as a food post.  

First up...Dr. Praeger's California Burgers.  Dr. P's might not seem like an awesome find but for me, locally, I have been seeing more and more of this brand popping up and wanted to give credit where credit is due.

From several months ago here is a picture of some tofu nuggets I made at home.  It's mostly flour and spices with nutritional yeast and I baked them.  I know it's not a wonderful photo but I was pretty proud of the attempt!

Here's another vegan product from the candy show that my Dad found a while back.  They were tasty!  A tad iffy on the gums but I just need to learn to pace myself!

I'm sure I have already posted this product from Upton's, however, at the beginning of summer I found it on sale over at the Erie Whole Foods Co-op and I just HAD to buy it.  I enjoyed it while camping!

Another snack from the show.  Just HAD to share!  I LOVE the Cranberry and Pistachio combo!  YUM!

Here was another meal I made at camp this year.  It was when I was running low on groceries but it 'did the job'.  It's the new VEGAN Morningstar Buffalo reformulated jobbers.  I can usually find them cheap at our local TOPS.  Sometimes I see them on sale 3 for $9.  I put Vegan Mayo on the bottom and Organic Ketchup on the top.

I can't remember if my Mom found these at Wegman's or if I spotted them at Walmart but I tried them and they weren't bad.  I'll probably only buy them again if I find a super good deal on them again, however.

You know veganism is going mainstream when you can find these at the local gas station!  Oddly, it was my first and only time to date that I have tried this flavor.  They were pretty tasty!

INSERT random yet beautiful floral photo here!

I saw these in the spring at peak bloom on my way to OR from work.  I park near this church and these really bloomed this year!

I have been seeing more and more places carry Lenny and Larry's and I have to say I am thrilled.  Some I like 'ok' and others I adore...like this one!  YUM!

Another Gas Station Find.  LOVE THESE!

Haven't seen them since at that location but so glad they carried them for a while.

Here's another newer product from Vegan Rob's.  Again...from the candy show.  My dad also grabbed me one of their hats!  These Wild Mushroom Potato Chips were way better than I thought they would be!

I have been telling you about my VEGAN FINDS at Ollie's...well...here's another one!  $2 each - Earth Balance Peanut Butters.  But...not just ANY Earth Balance Peanut Butters...they're flavored ones!  Coco Pretzel Crunch and Coffee Chocolate Crunch.  BOTH were a tad dry-ish so you might not be able to snack on it like you normally would BUT I still need to try them in smoothies thru my Vitamix or BlendTec and report back!

I've had these before and really liked them but when someone finds you a FREE SAMPLE you must cease the day, right?

And speaking of FREE SAMPLES...here is another one!  It's was lovely.

Check these out!  I've seen them before but it's been since this past summer that I had a chance to try them!  They were freakin' figgy I will tell you that - and I enjoyed them!

And just to prove that I have been eating real food and not just snacks...here is one of the wonderful veggie dishes I made a while back.  It's simply...broccoli, purple baby potatoes, regular baby potatoes - in a skillet with coconut oil!  I adored this as-is...

...but I was eager to try is as a leftover so I did.  I added cashew cheese, pico, and lettuce and made them into little burritos or soft shell tacos!  They were fantastic!

Earlier in the summer a group of us brought back our local WWN (Working Women's Network) and had meet-up at a local flower shop that also opened a winery/sampling room.  It was right around that time that the business had an Open House of their own and had a local band perform and provided munchies.  The store owner is a friend of mine.  She actually graduated with my sister.  Her parents and my parents are friends.  Her mom and sister actually do my hair, too!  I had a nice time at the open house and LOVED she included so many fresh fruits and veggies in her munchies/offerings!

I almost forgot about these pea puffs.  Not because I didn't like them but because it's not a great photo and because I haven't seen them since.  I believe I found these at our local Walmart in Spring/Beginning of Summer.

Here is a thrown together veggie curry I made a while ago.  I remember it being good and thinking I should have made more of it at the time.  Fall is here in NY and PA and I am sure I will be making more curries SOON!

Total Evolution has been my go-to the last several months.  They have been coming up with some really great vegan options.  They always have vegan buddha bowls and this is one of them!

Yet another vegan camping foods type photo!  Indian Vegan Burger, Vegan Italian Pasta Salad, and Zucchini - peppers - and onions in coconut oil.

As you can see it was July when I bought this.  I do LOVE this bread.  When I visit the Erie Whole Foods Co-Op and see it on sale I have to grab some!  It's soooooo filling!

Are you still with me?  I know this has been a monstrously LONG post.  Let me know in comments if you made it to the very end!

I found this flavor of Bobo's at Wegman's along with 2 others and they helped me get thru breakfasts during Fair Week.  I haven't even talked about Fair Week YET but I have so much more to share with you before I get to Fair Week!  YIKES!

Certainly more posts to come SOON.  In the meantime, tell me what you have tried, what you haven't, what you liked, what you didn't, what you have found in your neck of the woods lately, and all that JAZZ!