Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Vegan Mofo ~ Leftovers & Multiple Dishes

Since I didn't blog yesterday - today is my first Vegan MoFo Post of 2014!  Happy Vegan MoFo!

I have a lot of things to blog about but want to hold off on the updates on Paco since we have another appointment later today.  I do want to THANK everyone who has sent well wishes, vibes, prayers, thoughts, and such!  I appreciate it so much, thank you! 

Jumping in with this first post for Vegan MoFo - I want to talk about using left overs as well as using a food that I have used in a multiple dishes this past weekend.

It officially started with a Chickpea Salad that I had made using Chickpeas, Chipotle Vegan Mayo, and Pickle Relish.  Even tho I don't have a photo of that - it was simple and it made a large batch.  I had a couple of sandwiches out of it as well as a side dish.  I then decided to take it one step further and made this mash out of it...I added the leftover Chickpea Salad to cooked zucchini and tomatoes that I did on stove top with a little Garlic Grapeseed Oil and a little Dill.  I combined the leftovers with the newly made dish here.  That was another meal.  From there I made some baked tofu as you can see in the first photo.  I used Hemp Oil and some Wildtree California Garlic Pepper as the seasoning.  It turned out pretty awesome. 

I snacked on the baked tofu.  But then I added it to the leftover mash combo for another meal idea. 

But I didn't stop there!  I then cooked up about 1/4 C of Red Quinoa and added the final leftovers to yet another meal.  You can see this photo below.  I have to say I was very impressed with myself.  Getting multiple meals out of leftovers but also creating new meals as well as new leftovers and then new meals from those leftovers!

I am not the best at re-thinking meals using leftovers.  I usually just use them as-is and eat them as straight-up leftovers.  But I want to take that to the next level.  I know we shouldn't eat the same thing over and over - we need to get a diverse diet with different foods and different food combos.  But at the same time I don't want to waste food.  That's another reason why I want to push myself in the leftover department.  This may be a sub-category to my 2014 Vegan MoFo Adventure.  But I want to stick with my annual theme and blog about new-to-me foods and recipes, too, so you will be seeing a lot of that here on my blog this month!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Raw Food World Shipment Thoughts

Last week I received my last shipment from The Raw Food World and here are the highlights from that shipment.  In this first photo you will see I have 2 Parma! products.  I have never tried them because I don't have them in my region.  There was a 'problem' with the Garlicky Green one and they replaced it PRIORITY MAIL which was awesome!  It's been a while since I have looked into purchasing Kelp and when I saw this one shaker seasoning that had a Cayenne kick to it I knew I had to try it!  The Lemon Pecan Fig Bars were not necessary but more of a treat to myself.  I must say they are wonderful.  I shared with 2 of my co-workers and still have some of it left.  They are super rich and flavorful so a little nibble goes a long way.  I bought some more Freeze Dried Mangosteen for my mom.  You may remember reading previously how much she loved them so I wanted to make sure I bought some for her to support her new love.  I wanted to grab some Sun Dried Persimmons for a few reasons.  One because they are a product I can't get around here even on my best attempt and two because they were straight from Ojai, California.  And next to those you can see I scored some Adzuki Bean Spaghetti.  I have tried the Black Bean and enjoyed it and still have some.  Christine over at the Raw Project has been blogging about her attempts with this brand of pasta, too!  Right now over at The Raw Food World they have the Mung Bean, Black Bean, and Soy Bean Pastas for $4.99 - last month they were $3.49, I think.  RIGHT NOW you can get the Adzuki Bean Pasta over at The Raw Food World for $3.49!!!  Woot!  Take a look at my sidebar for the affiliate link if you want to check it out more!
Next up...I wanted to get some Apricots and Peaches for my Dad.  He tried them but they were 'too dried' for what he was looking for.  He's completely in to the Pineapple I blogged about before so now I will now to get him more of that when I place orders.  As for the HUGE batches of Peaches and Apricots I will most likely be using them in recipes and maybe snacking on them from time to time, too.   I have been sharing my shipments of Cashews with my sister so I had to get more.  AND it had been a while since I had Red Quinoa on hand so I included some of that in my last order, too.  That AND the Red Quinoa was one of their At-Cost Specials last month.  So now my pantry is all stocked up again!  YAY!
So...yeah...now I'm a little addicted to buying more Raw Food Books.  These are my latest additions to my collection.  The Philip McCluskey ones are a little thinner but I have been thumbing thru them quite a bit and have tweaked a few Salad Dressing ideas that he has in them and they are great.  I can see myself using them often.  I'm not really into desserts since going dairy-free but I figured I would TRY a few and that book in the center really looked interesting.  Then...I have been overly into Matthew Kinney's books and wanted to get two more...his flavor combos and photos are amazing!

Furkids/Family Medical Updates & Timeline

If you read my post yesterday you will see that Paco is not doing well.  He was diagnosed with IMHA.  We are very worried.  He's currently at the vet hospital getting aggressive steroids and fluids.  I've been doing a lot of reading and research on the disease and it's NOT good.  Even if he pulls thru - it will be a long and tricky recovery.  It's so frustrating because other than the rash on his stomach he was NOT showing any other symptoms of the disease.  Perhaps that is a positive thing - meaning we caught it early - and he will do better than the majority of other cases I have been reading about.  Right now it's a waiting game and I almost can't handle that.

Last night I went thru the last 8 months in my head and put it all together...I can't believe (the following) all happened in the last 8 months with all 5 of our furkids...Suzie had two fatty tumors removed - her stitches popped and it set her back for a few weeks.  We lost our precious Gabby to Liver Cancer and that was totally unexpected.  Charlie had a wound that would not heal on his tail and he had to have his tail amputated.  Riley - just last week - had to have a large portion of skin removed from his neck and has a double ear infection that we are still treating.  6 days later - this has happened with Paco...I took him in for what I thought was a rash and it ended up being IMHA.  All this in 8 months.

In addition...my  husband has been having stomach issues for about a year and a half.  Yesterday (while everything was going on with Paco) he was out of town for more tests and procedures and it was confirmed a 2nd time - but by a specialist this time - that he does, in fact, have Crohn's Disease.

Yesterday completely sucked.  BUT...it's NOT a home without Fur-Kids.  And at least my husband now knows that it IS Crohn's Disease.  It's something he will have for the rest of his life but it's manageable.  Now if we can just get some more answers on what to do next for him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No! My Dear Paco!

This morning I took Paco into the vet for what I thought was a rash and instead he was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  He's at the vet until Thursday to be monitored closely.  It's critical that he doesn't get injured in any way.  He's platelets are currently at 9...which is REALLY low...near nil.  This is terrifying me!  He's only 3 years old!  He's been acting completely fine.  No other symptoms other than the red dots on his hips.  From what I have read 20 to 40 percent of IMHA dogs either die from the disease or the treatments that may or may not cause clotting.  I'm in complete shock about this.  I feel like I got hit with a mack truck.  I just want him to be home on my lap.  PLEASE send any prayers/thoughts/vibes my way!  I would appreciate it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vegan Zombie Crew - Part 2

HEY!  Check this out!  The Vegan Zombie Tweeted about this post!  Thanks guys! 
About a week after the WNY VegFest I sent a 'thank you' email over to the guys for taking a good 15 minutes or more to chat with my sister and I.  They wrote back!  YAY!  They also linked to the post linked above on their social media!  These guys are cool!
I've been waiting to post these photos but now seems like the perfect time!  Here's the book I bought from them when I met them :) And they signed it inside.  One of the first things I made was their "Cheese Sauce" and I put it on some mac...I used Brown Rice Pasta, actually...here's what it looked like and it was oh-so-tasty!
Another recipe that is in this book is one I did a while back based on an older video of theirs.  It was their Lasagna Rolls and they were super good, too!  But I was very excited to see they included that recipe in this cookbook!  I told my sister I thought she would really like that one.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Random Vegan Creations & Pear Walnut Balsamic PIZZA

I had a message from a reader of the site that checks-in often but rarely-if-ever-comments asking if I could post more of my vegan food creations.  She mentioned that she enjoys the other daily living posts but missed the vegan foods I use to post.  No Problemo!  The reason I haven't been adding as many to the site is because I haven't been all that creative in the kitchen as of late.  I have been throwing together a bunch of things or referring back to old favorites.  BUT...here are some random foods I haven't posted about yet.  First up is this Vegan Cheese Sauce.  It turned out WONDERFULLY!  I can't wait to make more!  And YES...I poured it over top of Grits!  
Here's the Recipe:

2 C Raw Cashews
1/2 C Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tea Garlic Powder
1/2 C Almond Milk
1 T SeaClear (Fermented Kelp Chlorella Miso)*

To purchase SeaClear CLICK HERE.  The ingredients include: Organic non-GMO soy and barley miso, raw apple cider vinegar, fermented kelp (Kombu), Chlorella, Tumeric, Black pepper.  But you could also just use your favorite Miso, too!

Not too long ago I made some Chickpea Sandwich Spread...with a twist!  Here's that recipe:

2 C Chickpeas
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/4 C Chopped Walnuts
1/2 T Wildtree Garlic Garlore (or Minced Garlic)

This was tasty, too, and I have found myself craving more.  I wasn't sure if I would like the walnuts and cranberries in there but they were REALLY great!

And finally...we had to go to Erie for my husband to see a Crohn's Specialist...afterwards we went for lunch at a place called The Public House.  They had some veganizable foods on their menu which was very neat and I opted for this.  It's one of their pizzas that I had them 'hold' the cheese on.  The other ingredients I kept on were the baked pears, onions, walnuts, and balsamic and it was pretty darn awesome!  I've never had anything quite like it but I would LOVE to have it again!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interested Animals & Container Garden Progress

I'm still doing a little bit of catch-up with posts.  I figured today I would do a few collages of two subjects and combine the blog post.  This first photo collage is of some of my favorite animals from the fair a few weeks ago.  The two birds I just LOVED the colors of the feathers and they were so cool.  Their temporary living quarters were very clean and of the most spacious I have seen.  The Rabbits had their whole family there and chillin' in their own pen area.  They were precious!  This horse was nodding off while standing...or maybe just blinking...but it was cute and I LOVED the brown and white color combo and spots!
I've been trying to update you all on the Container Garden and Rooftop Garden Progress!  Well, here is some more!  The Dragon's Tongue Beans have been a real hit this year!  We've had great luck with those!  We are already sure we are going to do them again next year!  I'm almost wondering if we can do them year-round indoors...we might try!  Then the other two photos here are of the Brussel Sprouts!  We have one that is doing REALLY well.  Another one that is doing ok.  And the other two are up-in-the-air.  I think we might pull one of them today.  I think the branches are too close to grow the sprouts and they aren't really sprouting much.  But we are very excited about the ones that have 'nubs' on them - like the ones you see here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Riley's Cone

I thought I would throw a quick blog post up about Riley's day yesterday.  Yup!  He's wearing a cone!  The night before we noticed a lump on his throat and long story short we were able to get him in to see a vet the next morning without having to wait.  After losing Gabby not that many month ago I was worried something major was going to be wrong with Riley.  BUT...I'm happy to report that the lump we found was a larger equivalent of a 'skin tag' and was removed without having to put him under. The vet was able to numb the area and clip it from his skin and he only required a few stitches.  They are telling us that his re-coop time should only be 14 days.  We were relieved and very happy it wasn't something major.  He also has another ear infection but he's had chronic ear infections his whole life so we are more than used to treating those.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basil, Orange Peppers, and Tomatoes - Progress, Sort of...

These are 5 gallon buckets.  In these 5 gallon buckets are Basil plants!  The Basil Plants are about 3 and a half feet high so far.  I honestly can't believe how much basil these - once small plants - produced this year!!!  I know they usually do well - but had no idea they would do THIS well!

I'm very excited about this!  I have already done a few different pesto's out of the leaves I have plucked.  I hope to do more and very soon!

I will surely log - here on my blog - more about my near-future pesto adventures.

I think I might try and juice some and maybe add some to a few green smoothies, too, since I have so much!

But WAIT...there's more!  Yup!  You see correctly!  That's a 3rd basil plant!  This one isn't as big as the other two but still a very good sized plant. 

Oddly, this is the Basil plant I thought was NOT going to make it but it ended up pulling thru just fine!

In front you can see some of our cucumber plants.  They were slow at the start but I think we might see a few - thru to the end!

There are some Contender Beans next to the Basil - in this photo - as well.  We thought we were going to lose all of those, too, but we were able to save 2 of them.  One feel off and started growing next to it - in between the one Contender Bean and the Basil plant - all on it's own!

We've been picking them as they are ready and munching on them as snack - while at work!
This is a photo I took of our one sweet orange bell pepper last week but I'm happy to report that it's even more orange today.  The leaves are a little limp but we worked in some more soil and such to see if that helped.  I think a few bags of soil we bought were crappy.  One had too much 'wood' and the other was like mud/cement.  Live and learn - I guess, eh!?

Next year we will know not even to try the root veggies and I think we will nix the broccoli next year, too!  Eventho our broccoli plant was HUGE - it seemed to take MONTHS and ended up not producing ANYTHING.  Oh well.  This year was our first year and we will apply that to following years and go from there.

It was slow-going or should I say slow-GROWING with our Rosalita Lettuce but we were able to get a few of them to produce some greens.  We learned if we let them go too long they produce weird 'shoots'.

It's been VERY 'hit and miss' with our tomato attempts so far.  We have these two and another one that seem to be doing well but that's about it. 

Next year we might not do tomatoes.

We really tried to bring these guys back from the 'brink' with a little bit of 'lime' that Sam's father gave us.

I'm hopeful with our 3 Sunflowers - more on those in the near future - fingers crossed!

We might try and experiment with indoor container growing in off season months, too.  Nothing major just a few things we can try in the front room that has large windows.

I know there seem to be a lot of things that aren't really going our way but I want to keep trying!  There are other things that we are having success with - I assure you!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mouse Melon Progress

Take a look at the Mouse Melon Progress on our Rooftop Container Garden at work! 

I have to say I'm so excited that Sam brought one of these in for us to grow!  It's doing so well!  We've munched on a few that have matured but I'm certain there are a lot more on the way! 

Mouse Melon - or - Melothria scabra is a vine grown for its edible fruit. Fruit are about the size of grapes and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. Vernacular names include mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, cucamelon, Mexican miniature watermelon and Mexican sour cucumber.  This plant is native to Mexico and Central America, where it is called sandiita (little watermelon). It is believed to have been a domesticated crop before western contact began.

These plants are slow-growing when they are establishing themselves, but can eventually grow up to ten feet under proper conditions. They are drought resistant and pest-resistant due.

Similar to the cucumber, these plants produce both male and female flowers. These plants can fertilize themselves, but the flowers are not self-fertile. Flowers are small and yellow, about four millimeters in diameter. Fruits develop at the base of the female flower.

Our tomatoes aren't doing very well but we might see 3 of them.  Some of the peppers are doing ok and some aren't...more progress on those down the road, too!  We have 2 solid Brussel Sprout Plants 'happening' and I will post about that soon, too!  As well as others!

Let me know how your garden is doing!!!!

Vegan Fair Food

A few weeks ago Christine over at The Raw Project posted about some of the Vegan Fair Food items she recently found at her local fair.  Not too long ago I did the same thing.  During our county fair - not only is my husband there for about a week and a half because he's a fair board director - but we also have 10 LIVE broadcast remotes in 5 days - for the radio stations I work at.  PLUS I like to volunteer in between so it's a VERY busy week - and then some.

The cafe that is run by volunteers and benefits the fair made a custom salad for me made with every veggie they had on hand and I did salsa for the dressing!  This was a HUGE salad!  I was so thankful for them doing this
for me!

The first day everyone was there and settled in there was the annual Media Lunch.  The only thing I had was these green beans.  Thankfully they were 'naked'.  No butter or other ingredients so they gave me a HUGE plate-full.  They were super fresh, tasty, and surprisingly filling.

I wasn't the only one with a plate full of Green Beans - a friend of mine who was Gluten Free (but not veg) thought it was safer to just eat 'green' that day, too!

I was lucky because I knew the girl who did the meals for the entertainment - such as Tyler Farr, Lorrie Morgan, and Joe Diffie - and their crews. 

She saved some items for me or let me grab a quick munchie in between things we had going on.  This was one of them...CORN...it was pretty good...even on day 2.  Other items consisted of mostly FRUIT which was completely fine by me!  I was grateful for the strawberries and cantaloupe.  She even grabbed me some Broccoli, too!   And she was so nice to even bring me some cherry tomatoes from her garden!

There was a booth there who did 'from scratch' strawberry shortcakes.  Instead of the strawberry shortcakes - I just had the fresh strawberries - everyone was so willing and helpful to make exceptions - all I had to do was ask - most of the time!

PLUS...a friend of ours was camping there and she brought me 2 HUGE bowls of fresh cut watermelon that week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vegan Food Trucks & Food at WNY VegFest

This post rounds up the rest of my WNY VegFest chatter and photos.  As you can tell I had a great time.  Today I want to share with you the photos from the food stations, tables, and trucks!

Starting off with this one...The Whole Hog!  Eventho The Whole Hog is a food truck that serves the Buffalo and Western New York area with foods using meat raised locally and supporting local farms - they can also go vegan when the opportunity arises!   For the VegFest this truck went Vegan on Sunday!  I was VERY tempted by almost everything on this list and REALLY wanted to try it but by the time my sister and I got back over and ordered the race was done and this truck was PACKED with potential customers.

Of course my sister LOVED this truck since it was PINK.  She's a PINK Freak...I for one...can't stand the color pink...but I WAS very interested in what they were serving!

After Googling the company they have a domain but I wasn't able to view it so I decided NOT to link it.  Maybe down the road, tho!

We took a few steps to the right and went to this truck instead.

They were more of a vendor type truck but they did have options!  The line was shorter so we opted for PIZZA. 

They used Tofurky Products for the most part.

My sister had a Veggie Pizza - it didn't have cheese but it did have TONS of Broccoli, Onions, and Black Olives on it.  She said she REALLY liked it.

I ended up ordering a slice of the Taco Pizza.  Mostly because I don't remember having Taco Pizza as a vegan or even as a lacto/lacto-ovo veg prior.

They used Daiya Cheese, Tofurky for the Taco 'meat', and a nice sauce with some black olives.  Eventho I was really hungry when I first started eating this slice I was completely full when I finished it.  It was VERY filling!

Because my sister isn't vegetarian I thought pizza was a good option.  She's fairly open to other foods, tho, and does eat vegetarian meals more than most people I know who are not vegetarian.  She tried a bite of mine and said she liked it, too!

The Food Table & Tent was PACKED, too!  Which is a GREAT thing for the festival but not-so-great if you had a 2 hour trip back like we did so that's another reason why we went with the Pizza.  Next year I really want to try one of the food companies featured in this tent, tho!  I spoke with a few of the people when they were setting up and one of the store owners told me about her place, asked if I was a blogger, and invited me to stop by their location in Orchard Park.  I think at some point I just might try and do that!

One of the many places I wanted to try - but wasn't able to - was this Indian Food Table.  I didn't see a sign with the company's name but they had some decent prices.  I regret not getting in line specifically for their Samosa's.  My sister doesn't do fried foods because of her stomach issues so one of these days her and I will have to try and make some and bake them instead.  I think she would really like Samosa's.
GoVeggies was another section and they featured about a half dozen of their from-scratch veggie burgers that were all vegan.  They also had some spring rolls incase you weren't into veggie burgers. 

Last  time I was in town I saw that they were moving and wasn't able to catch them while they were open. 

After checking out their website I noticed they are now located in Tonawanda.  I want to do a day trip and visit soon!

I'm totally digging their 100% Vegan Menu!

Again, I'm so grateful that I was FINALLY able to attend a VegFest that was within driving distance.  I'm also thankful for my sister for making the trip with me eventho she's not vegetarian!  I hope to go to more in the future and I REALLY hope that Western New York has them each year now.  For the rest of this week I will be catching up on Fair Week posts and I'm starting to 'bank roll' some food posts for next week, too!  Another thing I want to start doing are "Happy Emails".  I want to start sending 3 short Thank You Emails or Happy Emails each week to not only try and brighten someone's day but to give credit where credit is due!  I think I will start off next week with notes to WNY VegFest as well as the Vegan Zombie Crew!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vendors of WNY VegFest

Most of this week I will be posting about the WNY (Western New York) VegFest that took place this past Sunday.  If you have been reading the other posts thus far you will see that I really had a great time!

Here's a silly photo of me in one of those character cut outs.  I think someone named this green guy in a purple suit "Cilantro Frank".

In this post I will be sharing some of the vendor tables we visited.  Everyone was really nice and fun to be around!  I made a few donations at a couple of the tables one being Ester The Wonder Pig.  Late last night I found that The Vegan Zombie posted a video about the WNY VegFest AND Ester The Wonder Pig so check out their embedded video at the end of this post.

Eventho I don't consume a lot of meat alternatives I was happy to see Tofurky be a large part of the event.  They are a HUGE Vegan company that is for sure!  I have tried some items I do like from them.  They had another guy that was wearing a HUGE Tofurky Box for the race which was pretty funny.  I guess it was the first 5k Tofurky Trot above the Mississippi from what I hear.

Of course anything chocolate will grab the attention of most.  This dessert company sold all vegan desserts at the event.  The corner of the building they were on was a little congested so we didn't stay long but I heard a lot of interest from vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.  I did hear someone ask if they were Gluten Free and these weren't bit some of the other items were Gluten Free.  I was just glad that you didn't have to ask if there were vegan options since everything there HAD to be in order to be displayed.  It's like you didn't really even have to think!  It was AWESOME!

Another great thing about the festival were all of the speakers.  Since my sister and I only stayed for a few hours because of our other obligations that day - we didn't stay for the speakers.  But here is a list of about half of the ones they featured that day.

Many of them sounded interesting!  MAYBE next year we can attend some of the talks, presentations, and seminars!

I really see this event getting bigger and bigger every year!  I still think they had WAY more people attend than they originally expected or even hoped for!  That's ALWAYS a plus, eh!?

Another thing that I liked doing during my time at the festival was donating food!  I grabbed a few items from my stash including some brown rice pasta, some individual protein powders, some tabbouleh, and some natural sweetener and donated it when we got there.

Food donations went to Food Not Bombs.  They gave out informational and free sample bags for those who donated something.  There were a few snacks in there including some veggie chips and a sample of a Raw Revolution bar.

Tomorrow I hope to have a post about some of the food vendors, too!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hangin' with the Vegan Zombie...

Yesterday I blogged about several happenings during the WNY VegFest in Buffalo on Sunday.  I have a lot more to say about this wonderful event over the next couple of days.  But today I specifically want to talk about one of my favorite parts of the festival and that is meeting the Vegan Zombie Crew!  Woot!

Yup!  It's Jon and Chris from the Vegan Zombie!  I've been following their YouTube Channel for a few years now and was REALLY hoping to meet them and we did!  I kind of nerded-out a little.  Because I have seen so many videos that they have done I kind of felt like I had already 'met them'.  They are VERY down to Earth.  They are pretty much the way they are in their videos!

During our 2 hour road trip to the festival I had my sister Megan check out their channel and watch a few videos on the way.  She got a chuckle out of them, too!  I knew she would.  Here's a photo of her holding up one of their shirts.  I ended up buying one of them as well as one of their cookbooks.  I was a little surprised that my sister ALSO bought one of their cookbooks!  Totally LOVED that she did!  Both Jon and Chris signed both of our books.  I thought it was totally CUTE that when they signed my sister's book they wrote 'thanks for enjoying the videos in the car on the way up'.

Here's a quick snapshot of my shirt since it's a selfie I couldn't get much of it but you get the idea.  My hair looks really blond in this picture, doesn't it?  I really need to get it done, tho...my roots are a mess! 

Anyhow...It was certainly a highlight of the festival for me - meeting these two - and chatting with them for about 15 minutes or so!  They are from the Syracuse, NY, area - so they were telling us they drove that morning and were going to drive back after the event.  I've been posting on social media photos and tags of them and us and they even gave the posts from feedback so that was cool, too!  I can't wait for future videos!

Here's a group photo of the 4 of us!  It was funny...a girl wanted me to take a pic of her and her husband with them and I said if I can get you to take a photo of the 4 of us next!  She agreed!

It was so much fun!  I can't wait to show you more photos from the WNY VegFest - but it will have to wait until tomorrow!

PS: Totally LOVING the cookbook!  I already made their Vegan Cheese Sauce!  I'll post about that down the road, too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

WNY VegFest 2014

I'm so excited!  I FINALLY went to a Veg Fest!  YESTERDAY!  YAY!  I wasn't sure until the last minute if I was going to go or not and my sister ended up going with me!  I cannot thank her enough!  I had some much fun!  We were only there for a few hours and we drove about 2 hours to get there and 2 hours back but we MADE it!  We had other obligations or we probably would have stayed longer!  Since I took so many pictures I decided to blog about it throughout this week.  In addition I have a VERY busy week ahead of me for work, too, so I will blogging about that later in the week, too!  The WNY VegFest took place at Delaware Park near Hoyt Lake off of Lincoln Parkway in Buffalo.  The venue was a good one!

The weather wasn't wonderful - we've had a lot of rain this summer - but it held off for the most part.  It could have been a LOT worse!  heck...it could have poured the whole time - but thankfully it didn't! 

My sister and I were REALLY early which worked out REALLY well because we found a kick-ass parking spot!  When we left there weren't ANY to be found for a dozen blocks or more!  I was reading they were hoping for between 2,000 and 2,500 people but I bet that's how many vehicles I saw at one point!!!  So I think it has a HUGE success!  One of the many surroundings at the VegFest Location was the Delaware Park Rose Garden.  I took a few photos of that.
I think I got my photo taken more in the last 24 hours than I have in the past year!  I'm usually the one behind the camera not the one in front of it so it was a strange experience.  You know I will post the pics, here, tho...the good, the bad, even the ugly! haha.

Here's one of me near the fountain in the rose garden.  Even tho it was gloomy...the temperature was 'just right' it seemed.  Not too hot and not too cold.

This is the building that was in the middle of it all.  A very cool place!  It's Marcy Casino at Delaware Park.  Over the next several days you will be seeing a lot of photos of this building.  It's one of their historic places.  This is the front of it.  The back is something special, too!  Right along the water. 

There were vendors all around the building...in the nooks and crannies, inside and outside, along the water...everywhere!
This is behind the rose garden.  Bands played here.  We didn't stay to see them play but the first one was setting up while we were there.  They also had a 5K Tofurky Trot Race taking place all around the grounds.  Since I'm not a runner I didn't participate but they did have a LOT of runners.  There were some real characters, too! LOL - I know at least 2 hockey players participated...Andrew Peters...former Buffalo Sabre and George Laraque.  George was also a speaker.  He was on the Penguins, Canadiens, and other teams, too!
 This is one of the sides of the building.  You can see some of the vendors wrapped around on the middle level.  The set up was really neat!  We made our rounds thru the vendors about 6 times.  Because we were so early the vendors kept setting up as we were walking around and around.  You can't really see much of the stone work on the building until you get around back but it was pretty cool.  Almost castle meets late 1800's type look and feel.
When you go around back and look to the left you see this...a stairway up to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery which I want to go back and visit some day in the near future!  If you look straight out - or in this case - turn to your right - you will see the water as well as more of the park and the bridge.  There is a lot to see and do and neat places to walk.  It's been YEARS since I had been in this section of Buffalo, to be honest.

This is a shot of the water, bridge, and walkway.  This was taken before most of the vendor started setting up near the water!  It filled up pretty fast. 

Eventho it was pretty gloomy - I LOVE that the GREEN really POPPED!  I don't think I got a photo of it - but there were some random canoes in the middle of this waterway, too.
There were a lot of little historical markers like this one to tell you more about your surroundings.  This one told you about Hoyt Lake.

Delaware Park was designed as part of a coordinated system of parks, parkways, and traffic circles in the city by Frederick Law Olmsted. Constructed in 1871 and covering 350 acres, Delaware Park is the centerpiece of the Buffalo, New York parks system.

It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Outside the front doors of the Parkside Lodge was one of Delaware Park's most magnificent features, a Quarry Garden. The city of Buffalo quarried large amounts of stone from this location in Delaware Park for most of the structures in the parks as well as others around the city. In laying out Delaware Park Olmsted transformed this working quarry into a beautiful quarry garden landscape complete with reflective pools, stone arch bridges and a number of trees and shrubs to accent the natural stone walls. Unfortunately, when the Scajaquada Expressway was built, some of the landfill was dumped here and the garden was lost. The Conservancy is committed to uncovering this secret garden.  There is a great deal of info on these parks HERE.  The more I read the more I really want to revisit them.

On our way out we saw this 'young' Abe Lincoln Statue and thought it was pretty neat.  I did take a few photos of more of the surroundings 'out back' behind the Rose Garden Stage.  They have Shakespeare in the Park many nights throughout the summer but for some reason blogger won't let me insert them into this post.

So before I 'blow up' my blog I think I will stop there but I will be trying to catch up on more photo heavy posts because there will be a lot this week!  I still have to blog about the FOOD at VegFest and my other personal FAVORITE...meeting the Vegan Zombie Crew!  So be sure to check back soon!!!!!