A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

One a day knitting goodness

I love getting excited about a new knitting project. I have a wedding to go to this Friday, for which I bought a gorgeous but simple brown dress. I also have some soft earthy green yarn, with which I just decided to make a capelet (pattern from www.fuzzygalore.biz) so my shoulders won't be cold.

I have only a few days to do this:
- tonight
- tomorrow morning and evening on the subway
- Thursday morning and evening on the subway
- maybe Friday morning before we head out to Georgetown
… wish me luck!


Monday, February 27, 2006

Gooeys and Pasta and Beads... oh my?

It was a food and drink weekend.

Friday night, we met up with the boy's friends at Vegetarian Haven for a great dinner - spring rolls, pot stickers, and I had a spicy tempeh stew and a slice of carrot cake. Though I suspect the stew was exactly the same as the sweet and sour tempeh, but with some spice added to it. Then we went to C'est What? for a couple of drinks and after dinner snacks. Yes, I was still hungry. I blame it on pms. The boy had this awesome chocolate ale which we'll have to go back for one day...

Saturday night, the boy's sister and future brother-in-law finally made their long trek from Fergus to Toronto. The weather was getting crappy, which ruined our idea for going skating at the Harbourfront (about a 30-40 minute trip from our apartment.) So, his sister suggested "Let's stay here and get drunk." I liked that idea. Out came the rye, rum and wine. Also, out came the game my mother and sister bought me for my birthday: Talking Gooey Louie.

The point of the game is to pick the "gooeys" from "Louie's" nose until someone picks the one that is attached to a lever that ejects the brain. That person is the loser (actually, I think we all were...) Our new rules: the "loser" takes half a shot of a liqueur of their choice. Yes, half. This was only 3:00 in the afternoon, afterall.

By the end of the game, we were all losers and, inevitably, gooeys got placed into real noses.

I wish I had taken some photos of dinner:

- Spaghettini, a mix of whole wheat and regular
- Sauce of prepared tomato sauce, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, lots of garlic, peppers, spinach, tomato paste, mushrooms, basil
- Bruschetta
- Garlic Bread, sprinkled with nutritional yeast
- Tofu Chocolate Mousse topped with fresh raspberries
- Red wine

It was so good... very flavourful.

Sunday, I met up with Claire at Juice For Life for some spring rolls, paté with pesto and crackers and a Powerhouse Rice bowl, wich consists of brown rice, chickpeas, marinated grilled tofu, avocado, loads of nuts and seeds, with a tasty tahini sauce. It was so much food that we had to get take-away.

Afterwards, we vultured Lewiscraft for their going out of business sale... I picked up tonnes of cotton yarn - black, red and khaki green... my usuals. I'll be making a scarf for Claire, which I'll post the progress of.

Then, off to the bead sale. I was very, very good... had lots of control. I only bought a few earring hooks and a small string of copper beads. Claire treated herself to a "special bead."

And we went for some chai latte.

And I bought a beautiful dress for the boy's step-family's wedding this Friday, for which I have to make a necklace and a set of earrings...

Overall, a good weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2006

One a day music goodness


I am listening to one of my favourite playlists right now – it is named “Canadian=Good” and consists of my current favourites: Broken Social Scene (Major Label Debut is on now), Stars, Arcade Fire, and Feist. (I could probably rename the playlist to "Upper Canada = Good" since they are all Toronto/Montreal bands...)

I feel at peace. For now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I have beads, y'know!

This weekend, a friend and I are going to the Canadian Bead Oasis Show! I am very excited... browsing, touching, buying, playing with beads... it's all like drugs to me. I'm afraid - very afraid - that I will come home with more beads than I know what to do with. I already have a huge collection of beads that I need to make use of...! Here're some samples of my beady work:

I wear this necklace on almost a daily basis:

I was sad to see this one go... at least it went to a good home.

Yellowy green and amethyst go so well together.

another favourite...
luckily I have plenty of these beads left so I can make another for myself!

One a day pizza goodness

mmm… leftover Black Magic pizza from Magic Oven....

You can take the girl out of the 80s...

Well, you know the rest.

As I was getting dressed today, I came to a realization. I had put on a pair of blue jeans (I only own 2 pairs of jeans) and a bright red top. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I felt plain. The problem: too much colour. Yes, I felt plain without something black.

I grew up during the mid-80s - the time of black clothes, buckle boots, white face make-up, thick dark eyeliner, teased Robert Smith/Siouxsie Sioux hair - and it has never really left me. It was a time when, though only a 12/13 year old, I really started to develop who I am now - I discovered my artistic talents, I started colouring my hair, I stopped eating meat, I sought out all things "alternative." 21 years later, I wear a lot of black, I never tan my face (I have been known to tan the rest of my body, though, while on vacation), I feel insanely nostalgic when I hear early Smiths, my eyeliner extends just a wee bit too far from the outer edges of my eyes, I love it when my hair contains a bit of black, plus a bunch of other stuff that doesn't have to do with my appearance.

So, when I looked at myself in the mirror this morning, jeans and a red shirt just couldn't cut it. But I had a sudden spark of creativity - I took an old black t-shirt that had shrunk up (I hate when they do that), cut off most of the torso and put it on over the red shirt. I felt better.

I had something black.

Midweek Munchies:

What Mishka is contributing for the week

This is not mid-week... but it's my first Midweek Munchies contribution and I'm going shopping in the morning. We're having company for dinner tomorrow night...

for Saturday's pasta dinner:
canned tomatoes
spaghetti sauce
tomato paste
loaf of Ace Bakery bread
fresh basil
green and red peppers

for Saturday's mousse dessert:
silken tofu
semi-sweet chocolate chips
fresh raspberries
some sort of tea cookie, if I can find a vegan one

the rest:
sodium-free club soda
apple cider
coke zero (for the boy)
red cabbage (I'm on a cabbage salad kick)
firm tofu
refried black beans
whole wheat pita
dijon mustard

Click here for the Midweek Munchies
Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia’s blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Prefab Cutie?

Anyone think that current single from Death Cab for Cutie, Soul Meets Body, sounds an awful lot like Prefab Sprout?

One a day designing goodness


I designed a logo for a budding not-for-profit group and I am so proud of it. Things like this help boost my ego a bit and help me feel more confidant in my designing abilities. I wish I could post it, but, ethically, I can’t. It will definitely go into my portfolio though.

Monday, February 20, 2006

amo el alimento mexicano

Okay, the Spanish is probably way off. But I loved the Mexican-ish casserole I tried out on Friday:

  • Mixed TVP with refried beans, leftover tomato sauce, salsa, spices, garlic and a little nutritional yeast
    • Misted oil onto the bottom of a glass baking dish
      • cut about 1/2 a package of small corn tortillas into strips and arranged 1/3 of them on the bottom of the dish
        • dumped 1/2 the TVP mix onto the tortilla layer
        • sprinkled non-dairy cheese over the mixture
          • added the second third of tortilla strips
          • more “cheese” and the last of the tortilla strips. Lightly sprayed the top with oil and added more “cheese”
          • Baked for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

          Very tasty! The boy loved it and it made enough for a light lunch the next day :)


    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    Pixie in Progress

    I started the Pixie Hat the other night and I totally messed up the instructions. Instead of frogging it, I'm just going to go ahead with what I've been doing. I won't get that cool angular ribbing, but the hat will be cute just the same :)

    Those feet belong to Pekoe...

    Saturday, February 18, 2006


    The boy whupped my ass at Monopoly tonight. I sad. He cheated - I know it.

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Prithee, my dear

    I have decided to make a "Pixie ribbed hat" using either some black and red or black and pistachio green cotton/acrylic yarn. I am so not a yarn snob - I don't even know what brand the yarn is. I *am* a coffee snob though. My mom discovered that fact when I brought my own freshly ground coffee and my french press with me to her place at Christmas. I'll probably never hear the end of that one...

    I am wearing a pair of these today.
    They cost me $4 in Chinatown.
    What's not to love about red Chinese Slippers??
    (well, other than the slippy and unsupportive soles...)

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Things I gotta knit

    All from knitty.com
    Lolita Legs
    Very Tall Socks


    One a day Rawsome goodness

    Last night I went to dinner with a good friend who I do not see often enough. I always have a good time when we go out for dinner and we’ve vowed to make it a more regular thing. We have also vowed to try all the vegetarian restaurants in the city.

    We have already been to:

    1. Fressen
    2. Vegetarian Haven (have we gone here together…? I forget)
    3. Le Commensal
    3. Pulp Kitchen
    4. Live Organic Food Bar
    5. Juice for Life
    6. The Buddhist Vegetarian Kitchen
    7. Udupi Palace
    8. Cafe 668

    Still to visit:

    1. Simon’s Wok
    2. Annapurna
    3. Hey Good Cooking
    4. King’s Cafe (I've been here, but we haven't been together)

    Last night, we went to Live Organic Food Bar and I wish I had brought my camera! The food was beautiful and pretty tasty. Though I couldn’t bring the boy there for a full meal because he would not be full :) I had never had a “raw” meal before (I mean something other than salad) and it was a great experience. We had salad (or course), paté, lasagne, pizza and a falafel ball - it was a sampler combo. And insanely rich chocolate cake. And the white sangria kicked ass.


    Lazy Lunch

    I’m not sure if this qualifies as a recipe. I always think that a recipe should involve a lot of ingredients, steps and procedures. I threw this together very quickly this morning for lunch and it has turned out to be very tasty!

    Cabbage Chickpea Salad

    1/3 sliced up green cabbage
    1 can of chickpeas
    1 teaspoon of ground cumin
    couple of dashes of cayenne
    1/3 cup of lemon juice
    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

    1. Sliced up the cabbage into short shreds
    2. Put the cabbage in a glass bowl
    3. Squirted the lemon juice onto cabbage
    4. Threw in the dijon and spices
    5. Added chickpeas
    6. Mixed up.

    This’ll probably last for a couple of days of lunches and the occasional snacking at work. Next time I may try using sprouted chickpeas so the whole thing will be raw!


    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    One a day un-goodness


    I’m having trouble thinking of anything good today. Blah. Maybe later on, after my wee hangover subsides...

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Happy Bloody Valentine's Day!

    Typically, I do not celebrate today. Well, at least not in the gift-buying way. The tradition that my partner and I have established is:

    1. Make dinner together
    2. Drink some wine
    3. Watch a horror movie :)

    This year, we are watching Saw II. Last year it was The Grudge, which scared the pants off us and spurred on creepy mewling whenever one of us wanted to freak out the other. I'm a bit nervous about watching this, but I know it's going to be more gorey than anything... not as much of a story as the first one. Sequels almost always ruin the idea of a movie. At least we'll be tipsy on wine and peanut sauce (with our stir-fry) and the movie may seem better than it really is.

    Monday, February 13, 2006


    I just finished knitting my 3rd One Skein Wonder. I love this pattern so much. Why 3? The first was way too small. Apparently I think I am smaller than I am ;) The second is pretty colourful, and I really wanted a black one… so, voila #3. It looks okay on me I suppose. I’ll try to get a picture of it tonight. I might lengthen the sleeves – I like the idea of having a super long-sleeve shrug.



    The sleeves are a bit loose because I didn't use a smaller needle like the instructions said to. I may add little i-cord drawstrings, or sew some elastic onto the edges.

    Chickpeas, chickpeas, everywhere!

    I tried 2 new recipes this weekend, from a soon-to-be published vegan cookbook that I signed up to test. The first one was a soup. Very tasty. A more complex and tastier version of my good ole stand-by: chickpeas and canned tomatoes. The second was an interesting hummus. As a rule, I despise olives, but since I like tapenade, I thought I’d give’er a go. Good. Garlicky. Not too olivey. The directions were definitely different from any other hummus recipe I’ve tried. Probably shouldn’t write too much else since the recipes are hush-hush. Both may make their way into rotation.

    Words cannot describe...

    ... how much I love my sister.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Things I am avoiding today

    1. Cleaning the apartment
    2. Finish designing a "prices" page for the freelance website I'm working on
    3. Reading my book
    4. Making necklaces
    5. Doing the dishes
    6. Trying the hummus recipe I have signed up to test
    7. Making a salad with the cauliflower and cabbage I bought
    8. Brushing the cats
    9. Cleaning the kitty litter

    What am I doing instead?

    1. Watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    2. Updating my blog
    3. Hanging around on the internet

    Friday, February 10, 2006



    I am hoping to take some time to make some necklaces this week – our stock is completely depleted and we are hoping to have another sale some time soon.

    One a day free-time goodness

    finding out plans have changed and you get to have a very relaxing evening. No running around after work. Just a couple of drinks with friends later in the evening. No running home to clean the bathroom for company. It’s a great feeling.


    I’m in a very “no one likes me” sorta mood.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2006

    One a day TV goodness


    We have acquired season 1 and most of 2 of House and have been watching them 2-5 at a time. I am in serious love with the show – and love that we don’t have to sit through commercials or wait until the next week to find out what happens! I guess we’re a little obsessed.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2006

    One a day Family goodness


    Catching up with people you love. Had a nice conversation with the cuzzin last night. I hate talking on the phone, but it felt so good to chat. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve done that. I heart my cuzzin.

    Friday, February 3, 2006

    One a day Yoga goodness

    the sore tightness in my muscles that indicate that I’ve recently done some good, hard exercise. I took an Ashtanga Yoga class 2 days ago (I usually take Hatha) and my shoulders, chest, arm and leg muscles all have that soreness. I love it.

    Thursday, February 2, 2006

    One a day Chickpea goodness


    chickpeas. on their own, in a salad, as a salad, in soup, as hummus, roasted, in chili.. they’re awesome. I just ate a container of chickpeas mixed with hot dijon, sun-dried tomato dressing, cayenne pepper and lots of fresh black pepper… for breakfast.

    Wednesday, February 1, 2006

    One a day Goodness goodness

    I guess I can take comfort in knowing that I am not not like the two evil people I am forced to be around during work hours.