Sunday, February 27, 2011

An 'A' for Effort

I've been hunched over my laptop all day.  Our school has parent-teacher conferences this week and I've been trying to get the third quarter closed.  This includes finding and organizing all my data, trying to judge objectively about behavior, and reading 1,000 stories I've already read once, but don't remember. You can only read so many stories about birthdays, Mario Kart and grandma visiting before they all start running together.  I really don't know how secondary teachers keep it all straight. I could also include the amount of effort I spent silencing the profanities coursing through my mind as I tried to navigate our online grading program.  Thank goodness we don't have a $&*#@$ swear jar.  

Amidst all this to-do, I admit that I would rather be in the kitchen.  I can hear Mr. B saying, "Where women belong."  (He's such a old-fashioned conservative, you know.)  It's become a very comforting and stress-relieving place for me, so I often feel the need to bake, saute or create some vegan concoction. However, I don't know how well it would go over if I sat down at my conferences and told my students' families...

ME: "Wow, Billy Bob is doing so well. I realize his report card is incomplete and I don't have any work to show you, but would you like to try a vegan blueberry oatmeal bar?"

I'm sure they'd be all smiles.

Needless to say, like so many other teachers, here I sit, on my own time, trying to be well organized and prepared to drop the bomb talk to my kids' parents. 

"But Jennifer," you say while shaking your finger in an admonishing way, "I notice you are slaving away at your laptop, but you can't be doing school work, or you wouldn't have a blog to post today."

Yes, you are correct and I hang my head in shame...sort of.  

And although I did no vegan voodoo today (unless you call phoning Papa John's magic), I knocked one out of the park on Friday night.  The cashew portion is based on Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon by Moskowitz & Romero.  It is simply delicious.  ou must try this at least once, or bribe me into cooking it for you. I prefer large bills, gift certificates to Whole Foods or tofu t-shirts. 
Cashew Lasagna Bake 
1 c. cashews (soaked in water overnight)
12 oz. firm tofu, drained
1/4 c. lemon juice
3-4 T. olive oil (plus more for spinach)
3 cloves crushed garlic, divided
3 t. dried basil
1 t. salt
2 jars Marinara Sauce, bought or homemade
1/2 lb. pasta of your choice (I used corkscrew)
1 lb spinach
1/2 c. black olives, sliced or crushed
1/4 c. Daiya Mozarella Shreds

In a food processor blend drained cashews, lemon juice, olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic until creamy, scraping the bowl often.  It takes several minutes, so be patient.  Crumble the tofu and feed it down the shute and blend.  After all the tofu has been well incorporated, add the basil and salt.  Set aside.  Oh, and try not to spoon little dollups on to a spinach leaf, dip into red sauce then eat until half the spinach is gone.  Just a friendly warning. 

Cook the pasta according to the directions. While the pasta is cooking, saute 1 clove of garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the spinach.  Toss in the pan to cover with garlic and oil; cook until wilted.  Add the marinara sauce and olives. Stir to combine and turn heat to low.  Drain the pasta. Set aside 1 cup.

Spray a lasagna or casserole dish with cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom.  spread half of the pasta on the bottom.  Then, using a spoon, drop half of the cashew mixture in dollups over the pasta.  Add a layer of the sauce mixture.  Repeat those layers.  Add your reserved cup of pasta on the top and whatever sauce you have remaining.  Sprinkle with Daiya shreds.

Bake at 350* for 25 minutes.  It is really tasty if you mix it all up in the dish before you serve it.  It will look like something collected after a food fight, but in our house it only matters how it tastes (Thank God).  I serve it with extra sauce and homemade bread slathered in Earth Balance. 
I wish I could say that most of my work is done, but it's not.  I wish I could say I'm going to finish up my work tonight, but I'm not.  But I want to, I reeeealy want shouldn't I get a 'A' for effort? 

I think someone needs to drop the bomb on me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Going Bananas

Wednesday night...

It's late (according to my old woman watch) and I am still awake. This would not be surprising if I were baking or watching Netflix. I am doing neither.  I am attempting to control an anxiety attack. 

I am an emetophobe: I suffer from a debilitating fear of vomiting - more precisely related to the flu. 

Now, I know no one likes it, but I almost lost it just typing the word.

Little B got sick at church, poor kid, and now her Mama's freakin out! See, usually darling Mr. B. is around to soothe my nerves, help Little B, stay home with her so I don't miss work and be a genuine daddy/hubby/nurse/rock star.  But since superdad is in Louisville at the M11 Conference,  I had to take the day off.  I realize M11 sounds like something for spies, especially when you find out my husband's boss is James Bond, but its really just a missions conference for pastors.  Missions as in carrying out the Jesus' message to all, not as in secret operatives.  We're still the boring, poor, lame-o folks were always were...or are we?

Fast forward to today...

Needless to say, I am flying solo and in these particular circumstances, coping okay. Little B didn't get sick today and has kept down what limited food I've allowed her. This hasn't kept my tenacious little bee from requesting a rice milk chocolate bar, peanut butter and cheese on toast, or cashews.  I brought this on myself by being in the kitchen planning something nice ready for Mr. B when he got home tonight.  Alas, he is stuck in some Comfort Inn several hours away and won't be home until tomorrow. Boo bad weather...or top secret mission? Your guess is as good as mine. 

I always feel bad for my sick kiddo, even more so when she isn't going to get to see her daddy as planned.  I had to figure out what I could give her that would seem like a treat, but not deviate from the BRAT diet.


Yes, you read correctly and, no I'm not compromising my vegan kitchen. 

You see, there was a very black banana, which had been sitting on the counter for longer than I care to admit.  It needed to be dealt with and I was too lazy to bake banana bread, considering I was already baking a rustic Italian loaf that wasn't going to get eaten.  Two uneaten loaves would just make me crabby.

Then it hit me - pawn it off on Little B, who absolutely loves bananas!

Vegan Banana Soft Serve 
1 very ripe banana
1/4 t. vanilla
1/2 t. agave nectar

Break one banana into smaller pieces.  Add vanilla and agave nectar.  Place in a freezer-safe bowl, cover and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight.  Then, placing the ingredients in a food processor or using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth.  Serve alone or with whatever toppings float your boat.

Yes, this is the most simple recipe ever.  And yes, you don't even need the vanilla or agave nectar to be totally wowed.  AH-MAZING.

Little B wolfed it down and it stayed down.  I licked the bowl.  I am not ashamed.

Not ashamed, but I am starting to freak out again.  As we sit here I can hear Little B's belly rumble and make bizarro noises.  Hopefully it's from the fact I've practically starved her today and not because her stomach is ready to revolt again.   

I hope not, or I'll be one very crazy banana.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I live in Kansas.  Its #1 farm commodity is cattle.  Everyone either grew up on a farm or moved here because of the military.  Of course, I am exaggerating, but let me make plain that I live in the midst of meat-loving, gun-toting conservatives.  I know that there are vegans out there, but I'm not too sure how many within a 60 mile radius.  Living on the doorstep of a military base, I will venture to say there are as many vegans as pacifists.  Needless to say, there's no Vegan Meet-up at Chipotle next week.

This was brought to the fore front of my mind on Friday night when the Bees went to our first rodeo.

When our friends invited us, I asked Little B if she'd like to go.  I am always up for providing opportunities for new experiences for my daughter.  I figured we had to be in or near the rodeo mecca anyway.  It seemed to me that skipping out on a Kansas Rodeo would be like skipping the Golden Gate Bridge while in San Fransico, the Statue of Liberty while in NYC or the giant FREE stamp in Cleveland.  Okay, so I am stretching it a bit on that last one.  Whatever the case - we were going. 

Little B gagged almost unnecessarily as we entered the doors of Weiber Hall on the campus of Kansas State University.  I was weirded out by the fact it looked like I was walking into a high school, only to have the hall open up to a dirt-filled arena. And it smelled like crap, which sort of reminded me of my couch.

We found seats front and center and waited for the madness to begin.  Our friends, the Hamms, filled us in on what events we would be watching.  Little B's eyes almost popped out of her head when a cowboy was bucked off a bronco just a few feet from our butt-numbing bleachers.  She didn't venture from our laps after that little incident.
We got to see all the main events.  Broncos, roping, team roping, and all the other ones I can't remember.  I don't think I can bring myself to describe them in detail.  It's too...difficult.

I didn't set out on this vegan journey as a champion of animal rights or for their ethical treatment, but the past six months have changed me and I didn't realize to what extent until Friday night.   

See, many vegans don't support any type of business or event that treats animals in an unethical manner - especially ones that house animals (like zoos) or harm animals in any way (like tethering a goat to a rod so women can jump off a horse and tie its legs together).  At one point, Mr. B leaned over and said, "I'm really surprised you wanted to come to this and even more shocked that you paid money to see it."  (Let's not tell him I paid an extra $2.50 at the ATM to get the cash either.)   My friend, Jayci said that I was being a good open-minded vegan.  Imagine me, a noble, vegan pioneer leading the way for acceptance of all herbivores...

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and animals are created equal."
I have a dream that one day in the Flint Hills of the Midwest the sons of former cowboys and the sons of former hippies will be able to sit down together at the table of veganhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Kansas, a state sweltering with the heat of grills, sweltering with the heat of smokers, will be transformed into an oasis of kale and tofu.
I have a dream that my Little B will one day go to a school where she will not be excluded becuase of the the allergen-laden lunch she must avoid, but by the content of what she can consume.  

I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, one day right here, little vegan boys and vegan girls will be able to join hands with little omnivore boys and omnivore girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh (but not the kind we eat) shall see it together.

Who am I kidding?  I'd probably be better off streaking.     

Even with an open mind, I still had a hard time watching it.  I tried hootin' and hollerin' to get into it, but I couldn't keep it up.  I think I need to move out west to see if there is some small, conservative bone left in my body.  Right now it doesn't seem likely. 

As soon as I got home, I put on my hemp jammies, drank some tea, and braided daisies into my hair.  And since an impromptu vacation to Portland is out of the question, I retreated to my kitchen for the creation some good vegan wholesomeness.   

Cherry & Walnut Cookies

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. oil
1/2 t. vanilla
4 T. water
2 T. ground flax seed
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 c. raisin bran cereal
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. walnut pieces
1/3 c. dries cherries

Beat the sugar, oil and vanilla together.  In a small bowl, whisk together the water and flax until frothy and sticky.  Add to the sugar and oil mixture, along with the cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Add the cereal and flour.  Stir in nuts and cherries.

Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 11 minutes.  Let sit on the cookie sheet for five minutes before removing to cooling rack.

This recipe was inspired by one I saw on the side of a POST Raisin Bran Cereal Box.  They are delish. The water and flax serve as the egg substitute.  I have also used Ener-G egg replacer, which works just as well.

I hope you try them and soothe your inner-liberal hippie, if you will even admit you have one. 



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chances are...

Fixing lunches every night (or in the morning when I should already be at work) can wear on a mama.  Especially one who loves reusable containers, but gets out her ugly face every time she has to wash them by hand.  Grrrr...

Chances are it ain't easy beeing green.

Little B must take her lunch everyday because of the egg and milk allergy business.  Her lunches are almost always the same: Toffutti Cheese sammie, fruit or applesauce, popcorn puffs, cashews, and a chocolate or vanilla soymilk.  I used to pack her turkey, but no more.  It turns out she is completely satisfied with cheese-only, and I can rest easy that she is not consuming the meat of some animal whose carcass dropped off the line into a pile of poultry feces.

Chances are I'll push my vegan agenda whenever the opportunity arises.   

Score one for the Vegan Bee.  There is a rare day when I'll pack her leftover pizza or some noodles with Earth Balance, Braggs, and nooch.

What, what and WHAT?

Chances are you have NOOOOOO idea what I'm talking about. 

Chances are I'm ready to enlighten you.   

Earth Balance

This is an amazing vegan, buttery spread confirming that there is an Almighty Creator.  It is take your breath away AMAZING. It tastes like butter, beats margarine hands-down, and is non-hydrogenated.  I have used it without fail in baking, frying and as a topping.  I'd walk this stuff down the aisle, but I am not sure if culinary polygamy is legal.  If it is, I'll also be sister-wifing it with...
Bragg's Liquid Aminos

This little bottle of gold is a soybean liquid protein concentrate containing all 16 amino acids.  It is very much like soy sauce only better.  I spray it on everything but cereal.  YUM.  Sharing quarters with my Bragg's spray bottle will be...
Also known as nutritional yeast. This is a cheesy tasting vegetarian supplement.  It is usually fortified with B12 and can be used like parmesean cheese.  I buy it in bulk and shake a little cheesy goodness on anything salty or savory...or my finger.  Think of the Doritos Super Bowl commercial.  To be honest, I don't typically call it 'nooch' like most snobby, health foodies.  It rhymes with hootch and cootch.

Chances are I just can't deal with that.  And to think I only had puking issues.      

Needless to say, Little B has yet to complain about her lunches - she is easily satisfied.  Unfortunately, Mr. B isn't as lucky.  He is an amazing musician, but not a culinary wizard.  If there aren't any leftovers, he's forced to eat a toasted peanut butter and soy cheese sammie.  Don't worry, I cringe right along with you. Of course, there are days when I eat a tortilla with peanut butter and a pickle maybe I shouldn't talk.

On days when we do have leftovers, Mr. B is a happy man.  He likes my vegan cooking and is always willing to eat it the next day.  There was that one occasion when he ate 5 cups of leftover black bean soup and almost OD'd on fiber.  It turns out vegans need to eat in moderation, too. 

Chances are I'll pack individual servings from now on.

Regardless, Mr. B does like beans, which is both good and bad for me. (Draw your own conclusions on that one.)  A can of beans is both easy to open and easy to prep.  It just so happens that my, ahem...musical husband was no stranger to taking a can of tuna for lunch during his stint as a music teacher. 

Chances are I've found something better.

Chickbee Salad  (click to print)
15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained
4 T. Vegannaise
3 T. pickle relish
1/2 t. onion powder
Dash of salt
Few grinds of pepper

Rinse and drain the chickpeas.  Mash with a fork or potato masher (but not within an inch of their lives).  Add in the Vegannaise, relish, seasonings and mix thoroughly.  Serve on toast, with crackers, or my personal favorite, with giant celery sticks as chopsticks. 

Chances are that you have no Vegannainse. (The miraculous vegan mayonnaise imposter - culinary affair #4.) 

Now really, this recipe is like blank canvas.  I am betting that you can replace your choice of protein with a can of chickpeas and whip up your favorite egg, chicken, or tuna salad recipe with great success.

Chances are you'll love it.

Chances are you'll eat the entire can, like I did. 

Chances are it will be a musical day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I grew up in Indiana, a Hoosier born and bred. It instilled in me a great love for the Hoosiers, college basketball, offensive tirades, and bracketology.  In 1993, my family moved to Ohio.  Definitely enemy territory.  For a long time I refused to be referred to as an Ohioan.  There may or may not have been recurring nightmares of Bobby Knight in all his shin-kicking, chair-throwing glory, interrogating me about my allegiance.

Would that be a 'Knightmare?'


Well, along came a certain bee a few years later that changed the course of my life, and I'm not talking about Mike Davis or Kelvin Sampson.  I'll never forget the day I spoke those binding vows, "for better or for worse."  

Apparently, this included collegiate allegiance. 

Mr. B is a die-hard Ohio State fan.  He may have a soft spot for underdogs. He may root for whomever is playing North Carolina.  He may accept free tickets to watch neighboring Kansas teams get embarassed by Nebraska just so he can yell, "It won't be like this in the Horseshoe, boys!" In the twelve years we have known each other, I have never known him to waiver.  Complain, yes. Waiver, no.  

I'd insert some clever joke here about us knowing each other for twelve years, but I'm still choking.  

When it comes to sports, if the man is anything - he is loyal.  He doesn't jump ship for any reason.  You might have heard him cheering for Green Bay on Super Bowl Sunday.  AJ Hawk, Matt Wilhelm - both OSU alumni - somehow it all comes back to him showing his undying loyalty to his Buckeyes. 

So during our courtship and marriage, I have learned to share his enthuiasm. There are all kinds of sacrifices we make in marriage. So each year I hammer up the Ohio State flag, pull on my Buckeye sweatshirt, and prepare to share my husband's love...even when it involves watching the Bucks blow a 15 point lead against the Badgers. Stupid Kohl Center.
I thought it only appropriate, with it being Valentine's Day, that I show my husband my allegiance to the most allegiant way I know how...

Buckeyes  (click to print)

1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar, sifted 
6 oz. vegan chocolate chips
2 T. Earth Balance shortening

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and sugar with hands to form the dough.  It will be rather dry & stiff.  Shape into balls (I'm into balls lately, aren't I?). I used my tablespoon.  Place them on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Melt shortening and chocolate chips together in a glass bowl in the microwave.  Stir occasionally until smooth.

Remove your balls from refrigerator. (You know I'm laughing, right?) Pour small amounts of chocolate over each ball.  Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.

When you peel them up off the wax paper, you'll have a small circular area unchocolatized. Those little bad boys really do look like the worthless nuts they're named after - and HOLY BEES are they good.

I love you, Mr. B...and you too, Brutus.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the B Scale...

It's been an exciting week, which isn't saying much for me.  I was lucky enough to get a snow day this past Wednesday and spent all afternoon working on the blog.  I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I had to pretend to be helpful while Mr. B was recording soprano tracks for our Easter musical.  Fortunately for all those involved (including the helpful someone wearing the headphones), Mr. B recruited a female singer to sing in lieu of doing it himslef, a la Farinelli...and I thought I married a baritone. 

While I was pretending to adjust levels and gains on the sound board, I discovered that I could see how many people had read/visited my blog since I started writing this past summer. 


I could not believe how many people were reading my blog!  Please notice the past tense of wereNow, I'm sure out in Bloggerland, my numbers are grossly small compared to that of and even sub-standard blog. But holy crap, there were over 400 people reading my blog that came from all over the world!  When I saw half of the European Union colored up, I about Euro-peed in my stretched-out pants!

Of course, when my writing dwindled, so did my readers.  Boo. It was that pesky teaching job and the vain attempt to inspire, mold and set fire to young minds that affected my dedication to the keyboard. 

That and my addiction to Netflix.

So here I go with a new attempt at recording my vegan journey and keeping the European Union up to date with the number of skid marks in Little Bs princess panties.  What better way to start than with a Mr. B approved recipe!  He happened to give this recipe 9 Bees out of ten.  The Mr. B rating scale is one of my new gimmicks that goes along with the new blog title.  I thought a 5 bee scale would suffice, but he felt he needed a 10 bee scale to allow himslef more expression.  Sweet, right? Or maybe he's still thinking on a 5 bee scale and a 5 blows.  Only time will tell.  Look for his rating on all the recipes I try from here on out.

One more (non-dairy) cheesy remark...Holy Bees, this was good. 

Spaghetti Pie with Black Bean Balls  (click to print)

1 c. cooked spaghetti (or 3oz dry, then prepared)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. corn starch
2 T. water
2 T. Fake Parmesean (I used Galaxy)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. spaghetti sauce (you can used your favorite can, or make your own
1/4 c. Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
1 can Black Beans

Preheat the oven to 350* and spray a pie plate with Pam.

Rinse and drain the black beans.  In a small bowl, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher.  You don't need to pulverize them. It is okay if you can still identify a few beans.

Mix the baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch together with the water.  Pour into the bean mixture along with the fake paremesean and garlic. Mix well.

In a large bowl (or the pan you cooked the pasta in), stir the cooked pasta, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, black olives, salt and pepper together.  It helps the cream cheese melt if your pasta is warm.  If not, you might want to nuke it for several seconds.

Dump the pasta mixture into the pie plate.  Spread it evenly in the pan.  Form the bean mixture into 1 inch balls (feel free to chuckle here, if you didn't already when you read the recipe title) and place them on top of the pasta.  Sprinkle with Daiya shreds.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

I would love to tempt you with photos or video of Little B eating as much pie as I did, but my camera is still broken and I am still hating on Kodak.  I'm that girl who won't by a cookbook unless there is a picture with every recipe. Being the self-referential bee I am, I am pretty sure everyone else in the world is like me in that regard.  I have doubts whether anyone will ever try a recipe I share anyway, but I imagine it's practically impossible if I don't photo journal the process or end product.  Plus, the more I write the greater the odds that each post will be dreadful not as witty as I would like.  Therefore, it's nice to have pretty pictures as a distraction when I don't bring my A game.  

So alas, no Spaghetti Pie pics, but hopefully this will make you come back again...

Whoops...See, you can't even trust me for a good pic. Maybe next time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

'Vegan-ish' Droning and Contest

I am married to a Pastor. We go to church. Sharing our faith is sort of...expected.

Strangely enough, over the past few weeks, I have been presented with an astounding number of opportunities to share my beliefs of a different sort.


Now you must understand that you don't find too many vegans in the middle of Kansas. So yesterday, when Oprah aired her show on the Vegan Challenge, I got a lot of phone calls, texts, and facebook messages.

Mr. B asked me twice if I had gone over our texting limit for the month.

I had a few conversations that were sparked by her show. One revolved around Oprah's use the word "vegan-ish." She used it in a context meaning that she could eat like a vegan some of the time, but not all the time.

My Rogue Dietitian friend mentioned that being vegan-ish, isn't vegan. This is very true. I am sure she learned this in her studies of professional dietetic literature, but I will pretend that she picked it up while I droned on endlessly about my new lifestyle. What can I say? I am an interesting and intelligent friend to have...did I mention I was sarcastic, too?

After a follow-up question about what a vegetarian is, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the vegan-ish labels, like what a vegan is - according to me of course. I will start with what I know, which happens to be very little, but you'll read on just for the minuscule chance I might say something witty.

SPOILER ALERT: It's not looking good for you.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: No living animal was sliced, gutted, or shot with a bolt for anything this vegetarian eats. Still consumes eggs and dairy products...and gets sinus infections. There are variations on this: Lacto-Vegetarians and Ovo-Vegetarians. If you paid any attention at all in an elementary science class, I shouldn't need to explain the difference, but I will: lacto consumes dairy, ovo consumes eggs. 

Pescatarian: Adds fish to a vegetarian diet. Mercury, yum. This is more of a semi-vegetarian/flexitarian diet - see below. 

Flexitarian: The actual word Oprah might want to use instead of 'vegan-ish.' Mr. B and Little B are great examples of this. They gladly eat the vegan fare I place in front of them - BUT I, nor my vegan menus, prevent Mr. B from occasionally ordering a bacon cheeseburger nor Little B. from kissing a package of hot dogs Mr. B put in the shopping cart.

Happy flexitarians I've yet to completely brainwash. 

Raw Foodist: This is becoming more popular as of late. A Raw Foodist is typically vegan, but not always. They believe that eating a diet of 80% raw food (or any food not cooked above 115*) creates an environment for optimum health. My curiosity is growing about this, but I don't have room on my counter for a dehydrator or another fruit bowl, and I can't afford a Vitamix. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Vegan: The term 'vegan' is actually taken from the word vegetarian: first two letters + last two. Genius, I know. This type does not use, purchase or consume any animal products of any kind. Will typically not support any company that tests on animals either.

Now, by my own definition, I am not a true vegan...yet. I still call myself a vegan - my diet is such and my lifestyle is progressively so.  I am sure the body wash in my shower was probably tested on baby bunnies and I'm not ready to throw out my leather boots or cashmere sweaters.  As I read and learn more about the treatment of animals, I find myself seeking more compassionate alternatives to everyday choices from clothes to cleaning goods. I didn't start out on this journey because of my reverence for animal life, but that aspect is becoming more apparent to me each day.  There is a lot of stuff going on that you don't know about, that you don't want to know about, which concerns the welfare of all living things. This is a learning journey for me and I hope to share some of that with you - without depressing or disgusting you with great frequency.  

Semi-preachy part to the fun marginally interesting part.

The other night when I was picking up a pizza at Papa Murphy's, the friendly dude at the register was very concerned about why I wanted our pizzas without cheese. I explained a bit about Little B's allergies and then explained how much better we all feel without the animal products. Then the sky opened up, I led him through the omnivore's prayer. 

Accept that you are a dirty, rotten omnivore;
Believe that veganism is the way;
Confess your dietary sins...

I joked with Mr. B in the van that I had become an e-vegan-vangelist. We toyed around with all different plays on the words evangelist and vegan, but couldn't come up with anything stellar. However...

I've been toying around with getting more serious about my blog, which would potentially include a name change. The little 'vegan evangelist' joke Mr. B and I shared was sort of a spring board for it. So here's the deal...

You email me or comment on this post a suggestion for the name of my new blog. I pick your name, I take your favorite dessert and veganize it. Even if you live far away - we'll work something out.   

Here's to your cleverness surpassing that of Mr. B and me. 

Let's be honest folks, not a terribly difficult feat.  Good luck!