Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vegan Vida Con was AWESOME

I got back from vida con on Monday afternoon & I'm still recovering. I even took a nap on Tuesday which is rare for me. The conference was really fun & I met lots of new blogger friends. I'm not sure I can really explain how much fun it was! I think I'm still processing. I sort of felt like a little kid being let loose at Disneyland with a bunch of really nice people to hang out with. If you have a chance to attend the next one (2013), do it!!! If you don't have a chance, do it anyhow :)

In a way the fun hasn't ended. Tomorrow night there is a get together at Highline in Seattle @ 9 PM to keep the fun alive & I'm going.

I also started a Seattle Vegan Bloggers meetup on So join if you're a Seattle area blogger or if you're going to be in the area.

I took the train from Seattle to PDX and now I'm convinced this is the way to go. I even lugged all my junk onto more transit after the train. I'm just that cool (ha ha).

Ok, I'll zip it so we can get to the pix of the food I had in PDX.

~Homegrown Smoker cart. OMG. I'm still fantisizing about it. The owner was trained by his dad on how to use a smoker and he applied it to seitan, thus he is "homegrown". He really knows his stuff. I love how he applies his delish mac no cheese to almost everything he makes.

side of mac no cheese & some deep fried pickles w/ the BEST ranch dip ever.

coconut battered deep fried oreos (in my hand), a reuben & mac no cheese. All I want to do is to head down to pdx for some smoker goodness. ~Portobello. This was my 2nd time going to Portobello and it's still a great place for a fancy dinner. Tomato consomme - it was cool, light and refreshing, just what was needed after a day of humidity.
gnocci. light & fluffy and perfect. not at all like some of the lead like bombs that some people try to pass off as gnocci. Tiramisu & a trio of ice cream (blueberry, salted caramel, chocolate). It was hard to decide which was the best. the ice cream had a perfect texture. if only they would sell it in the grocery stores...

~Blossoming Lotus. Wow. Crispy Thai BBQ Salad. It was a mix of crispy noodles, lettuce, lime cilantro dressing, raisins, curried cashews & soy curls. The soy curls were so perfectly done that you would never have guessed that they used soy curls. nothing like what I've done / could do with soy curls. every bite was so good that I didn't want it to end. The lighest and most delicous coconut cake for dessert. For drinks, I had a mango margarita that had spicy pepper booze in it + cilantro. soooo good. The other drink in the picture had a middle ice cube that was flavored. fancy pants!
~Red & Black Cafe. This place is on the other side of the block from the vegan mini mall. They have really great bread and delicious food. This is the tempeh mock tuna sandwich. I like how they ground it all up and seasoned the hell out of it. very tasty. I ate it on the train ride home.
~Sweet Pea Bakery. part of the vegan mini mall and a great place to go for a sweet treat or something savory. Notice the danish in the bakery case. mmmm...
Sweetpea's everything bagel w/ some vegan bacon & scallion schmear. words cannot describe how amazing it was. I need a tub of that stuff. oh, and the tea is the earl.
~The Sweet Hereafter. The food was really great. I can't remember all of the dishes & i'm too lazy to go on FB to find them. I do know that I had the lower sandwich (the bahn mi). note that it's really LOUD in there.

~Sizzle Pie. this pizza was served at the Vida Con Gala. I had the one w/ gluten free crust and it was really good. not to mention that Upton's Natural's special seitan that they brought down for the conference.

~Bob's Red Mill tour. I can't believe how hi tech Bob's is. They do a ton of testing there, which is a good thing.
Bob's Red Mill store has lots of vegan options. Warning, the portions are HUGE and most humans cannot finish. Share!

~Dave's Killer Bread. If you visit Bob's store, go across the street to Killer Dave's Bread and pick up a sindawg. it's fabu.

~Fran Costigan's chocolate cooking demo at the conf. She talked about chocolate transfer sheets, made truffles & a cake. YUM! I'm going to have to get some of those transfer sheets to play with.

~Opening night reception for the conf. Sweetpea cupcakes & Heidi Ho cheese. My fave flavor was the smoked gouda. nice.

~It's cat time! This cool cat is Macaroni from pdx. He was hanging w/ his people. He's the type of cat that runs towards a camera because he is so friendly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

news flash: slacker blogger to attend Vida Vegan Con

Yeah, I know I've been a total slacker at blogging & I'm going to the conference.... so I suppose I must post something before going. Hopefully all of my favorite bloggers will be there and will also hunt me down.

I have a whole slew of pics from my trip to Portland/OR coast/WA coast this spring, but they are still on my camera. I blame all of this on my cell phone because it makes me take pics w/ it and post directly to facebook. after all that, blogging seems like a lot of work :).

for the past month & a half, I've been getting my house painted inside and out + having my lawn replaced because it was an overgrown hell hole. It all looks so much better now which helps curb my annoyance of having to tend the sprinklers. I sort of feel like I'm in a live action game called The SIMS: sprinkler edition.

Earlier this year I made a bday cake for Northwest Animal Rights Network. Andy did the grass & chocolate fondant stars. I made the NARN logo in chocolate fondant & the animals in regular fondant. naturally the fondants were vegan. chocolate recipe was a veganized version from The Cake Bible. The cake was chocolate & marble & HUGE. The "lawn" was uneven on purpose, just like my own lawn. yeah, blogger is really stupid about autorotating. I give up :)
Chippy is 1/2 sunning himself on the stairs. maybe it allows himself to stay cool enough to get more time in the sun.