Happy New Year! Happy New Project: 365 Days of New Orleans Vegan Treats!

Hello and Happy New Year's Eve everyone!  In just a few short hours, it will be the ultra-futuristic-sounding year of 2014.  And that means that it's time to wrap up 2013's project and begin anew.

I truly enjoyed this year's National Day Project.  It pushed me to search for vegan answers to such conundrums as National Caviar Day.  And it made me explore every vegan thing this city has to offer, and hopefully showed y'all, dear readers, that New Orleans truly can be a vegan-friendly city.  It's getting pretty hard to deny: in 2013, Nola has become home to THREE vegan restaurants!

My project for 2014 continues in that vein, and leans heavily on the concept that a picture is worth lots of words... a thousand, let's say.  I'm calling it "365 Days of New Orleans Vegan Treats," wherein each day I will be posting a pic of a vegan meal or treat that I have enjoyed here in the fine city of Nola.  All of the photos will be my own, of foodstuffs I really have eaten!  Upon viewing, you will be free to go partake for yourself... or just drool jealously at your screen and dream of Nola's vegan treats.

Know of an amazing treat that you haven't seen here yet?  Let me know!  Thanks for a great 2013, and here's to a great New Year!


Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas New Orleans!  Christmas is a wonderful time here in Nola.  People really get into the spirit - in decorations, in food, and in the spirit of giving.  Coat drives, food drives, and Secret Santas are held for the city's neediest residents, while beautiful light displays illuminate the longest of nights.

What's your favorite New Orleans Christmas tradition?


Happy Winter!

Tonight we celebrate the longest night of the year.  And beginning tomorrow, the days start to become longer.  And come the summer that may not seem so grand, but for now I'm happy for a little more light!

While the nights are long, go out and enjoy the special lights around town - at City Park and Lafreniere, uptown, downtown, and all around.  Just beware of alligators.


Happy National Suckling Pig Day!

Since it is a complete impossibility that people would be so cruel and evil as to *roast* and *eat* a creature so sweet and innocent as a piglet still suckling his mother's milk, it's clear to me that this day exists to celebrate the fantasticness of baby pigs.


 OK srsly tho, don't eat pigs!  They are just as smart as (if not smarter than) your favorite dog.  So unless you eat dog... well, you know.


Happy National Cupcake Day!

As you know by now, I love cupcakes!  I love all kinds of cupcakes, but I think my favorite is chocolate with vanilla icing and colorful sprinkles.

If you're looking to purchase some vegan cupcakes in the area, you really can't beat KC's Babycakes.  KC baked an amazing array of vegan cupcakes for our wedding a few years back, and people have literally never stopped talking about how delicious they were - and not a vegan among them!  KC is a splendid gal, and while she no longer runs a storefront she takes special orders through their Facebook page.

If you're looking to bake at home, my favorite chocolate cake recipe makes fabulous cupcakes as well as cake rounds.  And of course there's the end-all-be-all of vegan cupcake book-dom: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!

Happy Cupcake-ing y'all.


Vegan Cuts: What to get the vegan who has everything... or nothing.

Hello friends!  I'm here today to talk to you about the Vegan Cuts monthly Snack Box.  I don't normally do reviews, but when Melisser Elliot asks you to do a review, you do it.  Know what I'm saying?  ;)

Seriously though,  y'all know that I like to keep this blog relevant to Nola.  How does this fit in?  Well, in a town that sometimes seems lacking in vegan options, this is a great way to explore online shopping possibilities!  It could also be an awesome gift for folks who live a little further out in areas like Houma, Lafayette, and the like and may not have access to places like Whole Foods or the Nola Food Co-Op.  Why is it such a great gift idea?  Well, read on and I'll tell you!

In case you're not familiar with the "monthly box" model, it works like this: you order and receive a box.  You can choose to receive it yourself ($19.99 per month) or send it as a gift ($25 and up, depending on how many months).  After sampling the products within, the recipient can seek out what they loved either on that product's web site, or through the Vegan Cuts marketplace.  Vegan happiness for all! 

I received the November Vegan Cuts snack box to review.  The first things that struck me were the relatively large size of the box, and the eco-conscious packaging within.  But I quickly forgot all of that when I beheld the deliciousness inside.  My box contained about a dozen different goodies, which I will describe for you now.
  • Snapea Crisps, Black Pepper flavor: So delish!  And this was no sample size either, it was a whole bag.  Which I ate.  Happily.
  • Nutty Bean Co. Chick Pz "Premium Roasted Chickpea Snacks" - Cinnamon Crunch flavor: I've eaten dried chickpeas before, and this product shares the same odd chalkiness.  However, the sweet cinnamon-ness of them made them strangely addictive.
  • Barbara's Organic Snackimals Cereal: another sweet cinnamon treat, this would be a non-terrible breakfast option if you're looking to go a cereal way.
  • RW Garcia "Mixt Bag" yellow & blue corn tortilla chips: these are certified non-GMO.  They're not the best corn chips I've ever had, but they're tasty and salty and crunchy, and the mix of blue and yellow is fun.
  • Raw Rev 100 by Raw Revolution: these organic live food bars are a good option when you need a snack on the go, and the 100 calorie portion would be useful for anyone in the calorie counting game.  I received Chocolate Coconut Bliss flavor - right up my alley when it comes to granola bar-type objects.
  • Wild Garden Hummus Dip, Roasted Garlic flavor: Hummus in a convenient package.  Not bad.
  • Crunchmasters Multi-Seed Crackers: nothing to write home about, but fine for what they are
  • Michy's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie: surprisingly good for being a packaged, gluten-free cookie!
  • Sjaak's Caramel Bite: because I'm a sugar fiend, this was the real star of the box for me.  I was suspicious at first - vegan caramel?  Really?!  YES REALLY!  And so, so delicious.  And to top it off, they're available at the Co-Op!
  • Meatless Select "tuna" in a can: this was the only product in the box that I really didn't enjoy.  It had an odd chemical-ey taste, even after I made it up like tuna salad.  But ah well - now I know!  And I'm intrigued that such a thing exists.
Overall, I found the box to have a delightful mix of sweet and savory treats, ranging from uber-healthy to bordering on junk food.  I would probably never have picked these items up in a store - if they're even available in these parts - so it was exciting to get to try them all.

In summary, the Vegan Cuts Snack Box is a fun way for you or someone you love to try out new snacky things.  FYI, there's a Beauty Box as well if you roll like that.  The next box ships on December 16th, so order soon - and enjoy snacking!


Bake Sale for the Philippines: Recap and Thanks!

Hello friends!  I'm here to report on yesterday's vegan bake sale, held to raise funds for Doctors without Borders.  The event was an extraordinary success!  We raised over $500 to be contributed to relief efforts in the Philippines!  I cannot properly express my gratitude to everyone who volunteered time, baked vegan goods, contributed raffle items, came to the event, and otherwise helped make this happen.

And now for the news you've all been waiting for: THE RAFFLE WINNERS!

General Raffle:
Fancy Raffle:
  1. Book Set goes to Rachel D.!
  2. Gift Basket goes to Greg Rodrigue - a fitting prize for the fellow who provided our venue!
  3. and The Painting by Rosie Peri goes to... ME!  I promise I won fair and square!  I had an impartial third party do the drawing and everything.
And the last bit of good news - even after our awesome sales, we had enough left over to donate a huge box of baked goods to Hagar's House in Mid-City, a shelter for women and children.

One again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  Thanks to the gentleman who didn't want baked goods or raffle tickets but gave us twenty bucks anyway.  Thanks to the women who were just passing through town, and chose to spend their few hours in town with us.  Thanks to all of you for caring and showing it.  Thank you for being such a magnificent community, and letting me be a part of it!


Vegan Bake Sale for the Philippines - TODAY!!!

Hello friends!  The day is upon us - the big bake sale for the Philippines is TODAY!!  If you're local, please stop by - we'll be at Hey! Cafe from 10 to 2.  You can make a small donation to Doctors Without Borders and in return get some delicious treats, such as cookies, cakes, cupcakes, quiches, and more!  Not hungry?  No worries - buy a raffle ticket or three!  Our prizes are frickin amazing.  And of course, you can make a direct donation as well!


The first FIVE (5) people to make a purchase will receive a free raffle ticket!

This is going to be a really great event, so I hope you can make it.


Vegan Bake Sale for the Philippines - TOMORROW!!

Hello friends!  The time is upon us - our vegan bake sale for the Philippines is TOMORROW!  We are super psyched - the baked goods include classic cookies, a pineapple upside down cake, gingerbread, muffins, gluten-free options, and more... and all so delicious!

And then, there's the RAFFLE.  Not in our wildest dreams could we have guessed that it would shape up so beautifully.  For just one lil dollar, you can enter to win gift certificates to awesome local restaurants, jewelry made by local artisans, snazzy vegan t-shirts, gourmet vegan marshmallows, and more!  And for just three dollars, you can enter to win an incredible painting by Nola-born artist Roseann Peri, a set of New Orleans and Vegan cook books, or a basket full of handmade vegan goods!

It's gonna be such a great event - can't wait to see you there!


Bakesale for the Philippines just two days away!

Hi friends!  We are getting SO excited for Saturday's bake sale.  I am all prepped to spend all day Friday baking up vegan deliciousness!  As a reminder that doing this all for a cause, I worked up this flier to hand out at the event.  If you can't make it out to our event, please consider donating to MSF to assist with their relief efforts.  ...But I sure hope you CAN make it out, because it's gonna be awesome!