24 March 2011

Day at the Park

Last week Willow and I discovered a wonderful little park in my neighborhood and in the last week have gone there four times to play, feed the ducks, walk the dogs and check out turtles. This park is pretty small but packs quite a tranquil and serene landscape into such a tiny are, and since it is in the middle of a neighborhood, it is very quiet. Willow climbs all over the slide and runs around the playground like a crazy and I get to sit and chill with the dogs and a book, how awesome is that? I have been babysitting Willow for the last two weeks and we have had some fun adventures, but the park has been the best so far!

crappy cell phone pic

Willow, isn't she the cutest?

Ellie watching Willow on the swing set

Adelaide being adorable per her usual

I seriously think this will be my new hangout. If you need to find me, I will be at the park eating oranges, possibly blogging, tanning my feet and reading feminist novels. Timmy and I went here on a Saturday and it was packed, so I think I will stick to weekdays for my quiet time.

22 March 2011

Cupcakes And Art

This last weekend was pretty darn amazing. I made cupcakes for two very different but equally fantastic art events. The first was Friday night celebrating the second anniversary of Vanity On Mill and the incredible artist opening for local Arizona artist Jared Aubel.
Here are some photos from that event:

Bloods VS Crips Deer by Jared Aubel

Endless Bummer by Jared Aubel

baby cupcakes made by me!

the most amazing cupcake stand provided by the Cake Hole Poject

Then on Saturday I was off to Modified Arts in Phoenix for phICA's inagural event with Brazilian artist Laerte Ramos. After the event Ted Decker from phICA and Kim Larkin from Modified Arts were kind enough to have Timmy and I out for drinks and tasty hors d'oeuvres, as Kim is Vegan also we were able to nosh on some tasty foods. We got a chance to hang with Laerte and learn about his life in Brazil and what things are to come from this extremely talented artist.

Arma Branca by Laerte Ramos

Ceramic work by Laerte Ramos

more cupcakes!

11 March 2011

Eat Yer Veggies

Last night's dinner was all about the leafy and green, the crunchy and bitter and with just the hint of slightly sweet. I used to hate salads, if I saw a salad come near my face I was bound to kick it and yell, "Vegans eat more than salads, gosh!" but that is when I realized salad was more than shredded carrots, iceberg lettuce and gross tomatoes. Salad can be an exotic flavor combo so intense I find myself skipping dessert because my salad creations have met every craving my crazy head desires.

Along with my taste-tastic salad I roasted up some beets, carrots, onions and garlic. I kept the skins on both the beets and carrots because we all know, fiber is where it is at, right? The beets were only slightly sweet and the carrots caramelized a bit making for an amazing dish that I think I will revisit tonight.

For fun, here is the nutritional break-down of my dinner:


Red leaf lettuce- good source of Vitamin A
Kale- rich in calcium and Vitamin K, good source of beta carotene
Spinach- full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. WOAH!
Tomatoes- high in Lycopene
Cucumbers- with skin on high in potassium and Vitamin E
Golden Raspberries- high in antioxidants and fiber, and help regulate special lady time
Blueberries- also full of antioxidants and can reduce inflammation
Edamame- rich in carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and micro nutrients, particularly folic acid, manganese and vitamin K

Now that is a vitamin packed salad!

Roasted Veggies

Beets- contain certain unique pigment antioxidants present offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels in the body and have anti-aging effects.
Carrots- high in vitamin-A, Beta Carotene and fiber
Garlic- is shown to lower risk or some cancers
Onions- believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti cholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties
Olive Oil- can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
Sea Salt- eh...not that good for you but it does have trace minerals, and we ladies love trace minerals, I think.

Pretty sweet, huh?

08 March 2011


I should really consider myself lucky, as this is the first pair of glasses I have broken in over five years, and considering how I am not very careful with my face, it is almost a miracle! Sunday evening my good friend Jinia was trying to strip the green from my hair and in walked Willow (the most awesome and adorable five year old on the planet) and I hear this crazy loud crunch and realize...holyfuckingshit there go my glasses. I am incredibly blind and the thought of even going five minutes without my glasses is a most horrifying though indeed. Luckily Jinia is super crafty and super glued my specs until I can get a new pair.

As silly as it is, I ordered the exact pair of frames because I am a big Paul Frank dork and because these glasses are over the top rad, right? You've seen 'em, you know how cool they are. Anywho, I am hoping to be one-hundred percent visually repaired in about a week or so.

super awesome Paul Frank glasses

Do any of you have glasses? If so, what kind of crazy things have happened to yours? I have heard of them falling in toilets, being run over by bicycles and the like. Please share your story so I can tell Willow, and hopefully she won't feel so bad. (:

Rikki Cupcake

03 March 2011

Happy Birthday Timmy!!!

My sweet babycakes is having a pretty monumental birthday tomorrow, though his age is increasing he still has the looks of a mere babe. I was going to make some silly over-the-hill decorations for him but since he is such a stud and the only thing old and rickety about him is his once broken arm and his inability to eat without choking I think I will have some lighter, happier decorations. I love this man so very much and cannot wait to share in this special day!

this is how one will typically see Tim, with chihuahua on lap and usually drinking wine.

See, he is really just an adult sized kid! He actually sat on this kicked his feet up and and instantly fell off. Hilarious!

01 March 2011

Ask A Vegan: Pt. 20

Gosh it has been a while since I have posted one of these, and the silly thing is I have had this wonderful woman Barbara who owns Gone Pie baked goods answers floating around my inbox for months. I really don't have an excuse for my laziness, and I am truly sorry I didn't share her with you earlier. Gone Pie bakery has been around for over 25 years and has served the Vegan community countless delicious pies, cookies, brownies and more. Barbara excels in tasty gluten-free products as well creative and delicious flavor combinations. If you are lucky and live in New York you can get Barbara's pies delivered to your door, and if you live out of state...good news, all of her other deserts can be delivered to you! I mean really, who doesn't want to answer the door and find a package of tasty gluten-free coconut brownies?

Name: Barbara Sitomer
Age: 53
Location: New York
Website: www.gonepie.com

How long have you been Vegan?
Not sure exactly. It was such a natural process more than an historic event. I guess about 20 years.

What made you decide to go Vegan?
I was running a bakery in the lower east side of Manhattan. Most of my business was selling to health food stores. I became instantly drawn to the challenges of baking for folks with allergies or philosophies that left them with limited choices. I was educating myself about veganism before I was vegan, so I could provide treats for vegans. I didn’t feel veganism yet, but I understood how to bake for vegans. I hired a young person that was a very passionate vegan and a devotee of my products. She was shocked I was not vegan. We became quite close as we worked long shifts together. At some point, she knew me well enough to know what would make me feel veganism. She gave me a copy of “The Dreaded Comparison”. I read half the book and was so upset that I became a vegan. So you see, it was a process over time. We worked together for quite a while before she gave me that book. I pretty much ate vegan food, but I was not a vegan until the day I understood veganism as a philosophy.

How do you feel health wise with this diet choice?
Excellent! But veganism is not a diet. It is a philosophy. Embracing the philosophy makes me feel peaceful and happy.

Are you open about your Veganism?

If so, are you involved in any activism i.e. protests, leafleting etc…
Yes. I work for many local campaigns in New York that involve ending animal use.
I only put my support behind campaigns that end use, never those that encourage
continued use through animal husbandry reforms. I don’t believe we have the right to negotiate for our non-human friends. Campaigns that advocate for less than full end of use I actively oppose. I believe they encourage continued animal suffering. I don’t want anyone comfortable with their non-vegan habits. I believe the so called “welfare” reforms prolong use and make people feel better about animal consumption.

I work actively with Friends of Animals. We have active campaigns to ban horse drawn carriages, wild horse round ups and protect animals in the wild and their disappearing habitats.

I also strongly support the work of Humanemyth.org.

I give away a lot of baked goods - tempting people into veganism through tasty treats is my favorite form of activism.

What do your family, friends, co-workers think about your diet?
I think they think I am extreme and it makes them uncomfortable to a certain extent. I think if they are uncomfortable they are thinking about their actions, so I am OK with this. I certainly wish they would just wake up already. I honestly believe it is within every person to understand the importance of veganism - particularly the environmental benefits of the diet -and I am unrelenting in pushing them to do so. We only have one planet and we can’t waste time protecting it, it is in crisis. The challenge is helping them see that veganism is the key to saving the planet without freaking them out so they no longer listen to me. I almost never mention animal rights to people that are uncomfortable with veganism. It is not something everyone can relate to and easier to dismiss for most people. I absolutely never use health as a tool as it leads people to thinking about themselves, I am pretty sure this confuses my friends and family. Veganism is not about us humans being healthy, it is about all the living beings on our planet having a right to exist on their own term unexploited for our needs.

What advice would you give those interested in becoming Vegan?
DO IT!!!! You won’t believe how much better you will feel on every level. If you are even thinking about it, just take the plunge. I know from my experiences, that there comes a time when you truly understand what veganism means. You don’t have to understand the philosophy to embrace the diet. Over time the diet will change your perceptions. I never think of being vegan as a sacrifice or miss non-vegan foods. For me, they are just not an option and must be forgotten about. Celebrate what you embrace by making this choice and don’t dwell on what you no longer can have. Veganism is a process of awakening and enlightenment.

Would you eat at Mc Donald’s if they carried a Vegan burger?

What is your least favorite question that you are asked about your diet?
How could you give up (fill in blank)

What is your favorite dish?
I am a very simple eater for the most part. I eat a lot of giant salads with olive oil and sea salt. I eat a lot of greens with olive oil and garlic. I love baked tempeh. I love cold sesame noodles that I make at home. As a baker who follows recipes for a living, I pretty much never cook from a recipe. I am all about winging it when I eat savory. If I eat out, I love Ethiopian food and Indian food.

What do you typically eat at Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a very busy season for me. I used to sleep and fast all day to recover from being so busy. Last year, for the first time, I attended a vegan feast. We celebrated the harvest and seasonal vegetables. It was a magical experience and I hope to do something similar again this year.

If I could make you any flavor cupcake in the world what would it be?
I don’t like cupcakes! I don’t understand why vegans are obsessed with them. It particularly bothers me that most of these cupcakes have tons of frosting. The frosting is generally made with margarine. I find the frosting overly rich rather and unpleasant to eat and often it contains palm oil which I boycott.

If I absolutely have to have a cupcake, it would be chocolate with a small amount of chocolate glaze. I make a gluten free chocolate spice cupcake with super rich dark chocolate frosting and chopped hazelnuts and crystallized ginger as a garnish. I think it’s quite good, but I would prefer someone just order a cake. I don’t understand the fascination with cupcakes. I am repeating myself.....
-Though I do not agree with Barbara on the point of cupcakes, I do understand her distaste, if you will, for the palm oil industry. I do use Earth Balance in my frosting as well as Organic Spectrum vegetable shortening, both containing palm oil. I am not going to defend or argue any side of the palm oil issue, but I will say that change does start with the consumer. If we can urge companies to use fair trade and ethically harvested foods for their products, everyone wins.

Please share your favorite Vegan recipe.
I don’t really have one. Everything starts with saute onion garlic and ginger......