Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cares4Pets Adoption Event

Today I volunteered at an adoption event for Cares4Pets, held at Greensgrow Farms. The event featured 5 very lovable critters all in need of good homes.

Mama Bear is the most in need of placement. She's a 5 year old rottweiler that is very affectionate with people and really needs to be the only companion animal in a family. She has been with her foster mom for over a year and hasn't had any luck getting placed in a forever home. Her case is somewhat urgent. If you know of anyone that would be interested in adopting this big softy, contact the ladies of Cares4Pets! Read more about Mama Bear on her PetFinder profile.

Mama Bear is wearing a beautiful collar that was handmade and donated by Crystal of Cultured Canine. Thanks so much Crystal!

The other pups representing Cares4Pets today included:

Petra, a sweet and well-mannered 3-4 year old pit/bull terrier/whippet mix. (She reminded me of my Andy. It took a little effort not to take her home today!)

Quigley, a friendly, but reserved 1.5 year old hound rescued from a hunting facility. He's still getting used to interacting with humans and not being kept in a kennel all day.

And a 5-month old springer spaniel puppy, rescued just days ago from a similar situation as Quigley. This pup hasn't been named yet.

Also present was Poss (?), a cat found a few days ago on the street, severely malnourished and scruffy, but very affectionate. Unfortunately I didn't get any great pictures of him.

I'll never have enough positive things to say about the wonderful work that Cares4Pets does. The four founders and other volunteers work tirelessly to rescue companion animals, many times labeled as "unadoptable", and place them in homes that will provide them with the love that they deserve. Over the past few years this group as spent thousands of their own money caring for these dogs, cats, and other animals. I'm doing some grantwriting/fundraising/marketing for the Cares4Pets. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!!

BTW, Cares4Pets is always accepting donations of supplies (towels, food, bowls, etc.), services (web design, T-shirt donations, help with fundraising, etc.) and of course, funding! If you live in the Philadelphia area, I'd be happy to pick up donations for the group.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Arrowroot explosion!

A few nights ago my friend T spent the night on her way up to NY from Florida. She'll be going to Quebec with us in a few weeks, so be prepared for photos from our trip. Anyway, on her way she stopped at Sticky Fingers bakery in D.C. and picked up a ton of food, including three meals (all delicious), 4 Cowvin oat bars, and 3 scrumptious cupcakes.

I didn't realize she was going to stop at Sticky Fingers, so I made some dessert of my own. Not only did I still have leftover Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip cookies (from Veganomicon) that I had made for my coworker, who helped out with Andy last weekend, but I also made Lemon Bars (also from Veganomicon).

During the after-dinner-clean-up,
(Hot and Sour Soup, Veganomicon)

(Veggie Sushi)

there was a minor accident with arrowroot. Andy didn't really notice that his face was covered with the stuff, but boy was it funny!

And because I don't think this post has enough dessert photos, here's a picture of the cupcakes I made last weekend for M, our dog sitter. (Vanilla with Cookies and Creme icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It is I, Captain Vegetable

As you may have read in earlier posts, including this one about dog food, Andy is vegan too. DocDufresne and I always add new fruits and veggies to his diet, usually just by giving him bits of whatever we're preparing for ourselves. Today we found out that he loooooves cantaloupe and red cabbage. At some point I will compile a grouping of photos of Andy eating different types of fruits and vegetables. For now, I provide you with these two, taken by DocDufresne.

Also for your viewing pleasure, the original Captain Vegetable:

And new friends at the dog park:

This is how we say "Hello!"

Quite saturated.

Refusing to leave.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Etsy, where have you been all my life?

As DocDufresne can attest, lately I've had two obsessions. One is the forum on Post Punk Kitchen. The second is Etsy, which I actually learned about on PPK.

Etsy is "your place to buy and sell all things handmade." If you appreciate art and homemade crafts like me, you could easily wind up spending hours each day exploring this innovative site. Eventually when I've settled somewhere and can have my art room, equipped with lovely things like a kiln, paper cutting tools, and every color acrylic possible, I'll open my own Etsy shop. For now I'm content buying gifts (some for me) and ordering custom projects like my uber secret recipe project that JoanTheMad is helping me with, and a t-shirt project that WhiskeyDogPrintShop is working on, featuring my ubiquitous mascot, the one and only Anderson Dufresne. I can't wait!

Etsy is such a gem. This website provides you with the ability to purchase one-of-a-kind art directly from the (sometimes "starving") artists, supporting their craft at reasonable prices.

You can find a gift for anyone on Etsy, from cookies to pottery, handmade clothing to paintings.

So far I have purchased a cute piggy planter from FruiteFlyPie,

flannel menstrual pads from strangeandviolent (vegan seller),

chocolate chip cookies, maple candied walnuts, and coconut almond truffles from SweetFritsy, (vegan seller),

designed t-shirts (on thrift store shirts: awesome!) from WhiskeyDogPrintShop,

and jewelry (a birthday gift) from LillyQueen.

Seriously. Go check it out!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the mood for Ethiopian or Indian?

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently went to Dahlak, an Ethiopian/Indian restaurant in Germantown. DocDufresne and I are always afraid that we'll show up one night and see that this restaurant has closed due to lack of business. The food is really delicious and there are many vegan dishes to choose from. My personal favorite is the Beet dish.

Anyway, after our delicious meal on Friday night, I spoke with Shah, one of the owners, about organizing a vegan dinner here, probably through I haven't decided on a date yet, but we discussed most everything else. This'll take place either this month or next. Any suggestions?

I've learned a few things since the last Meetup dinner I organized at Black Olive. I've decided to cut off the guest list at 20 people, and keep it as a prix fixe, buffet-only meal. Here are more of the specifics in case any of my (two?) readers are interested in attending:

$16.95/person for a VEGAN Saturday Dinner Buffet, including:


Chat Papri- "Mouth watering mixture of crisps, potatoes, and duck peas in tamarind sauce."
Mulligatawny Soup- "A traditional soup made with lentils and subtly flavored with delicate herbs."

Indian Main Courses:
Vegetable Jalfrezi- "Stir fried fresh garden vegetable cooked with mild spices."
Dal Chana- "Yellow lentils simmered with tomatoes, ginger, cumin, onions, and fresh garlic."
Aloo Cholley- "Chickpeas and spiced potato cooked in traditional Punjabi style."

Ethiopian Main Course:
Yenriser Watt- "Lentils in hot sauce."
Beets- "Fresh beets, cooked with potato, peppers, onion & garlic in a mild sauce."
Spinach- "Fresh spinach broiled with a savory combination of house spices."

Also included:
Naan- "Leavened white flour bread baked in a day over served piping hot."
Injera- Ethiopian bread

BYO Dessert!
Whoever wants to can bring dessert to share.

I will be advertising for this event in various locations soon. If you're interested in joining, please comment on this post and I'll get in touch with you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Walk in the Park (and many other things)


Just before leaving Philly for SoFla, as mentioned in my previous post, I received the goodies I had ordered from vegan baker, SweetFritsy, known in PPK world as "littlewhore." I ordered 20 mini chocolate chip cookies, maple candied walnuts, and coconut almond truffles. All were delicious! Everything came packaged in lovely boxes with cute little stickers. With such cheap prices and free shipping, I don't know how SweetFritsy is making any money! Her cupcakes and other goodies are probably as tasty as they are beautiful.

My trip to SoFla was nice, but short. I got to see a few friends (one of who said she was going to start following this blog, ahem!) just before flying out on Sunday evening. It was nice to spend a little time with my family too. Here are three cute pictures of Montana (notice the Rice Dream), Oliver, and Lilly:

Good Eats
It appears that I have been cooking a lot since our return on Sunday night. Here are some recent photos.

A nice salad with baked tofu and a miso/tahini dressing.

"Meatballs" made from GimmeLean
ground vegetable protein. With a side of kale, accompanied by....

A creamy Artichoke/ Spinach dip that I threw together:

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp defrosted and drained spinach
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast on top
drizzle of EVOO on top

Baked at 350 degrees for 10-15 min.

I also made some lingonberry bread from a mix that DocDufresne and I picked up from Ikea. It came out great.

Sugary Treats
After making brownies for a coworker that walked Andy one afternoon while we were gone, I got the craving for something sweet. I made almond-y chocolate icing to top veganized sugar cookies that I cut into the shape of doves. I also made two types of cookies from Veganomicon for Mother's Day: Pistachio Rosewater and Chocolate Raspberry. I sprinkled the pistachio cookies with naturally dyed pink turbinado suger. I love how the green/pink color combination turned out!

A Bacio-ed Dinner
The other night DocDufresne and I planned on going to Bacio Italian Restaurante in Mt. Airy for dinner, but the little restaurant was packed when we got there and the host told us it would be better if we came back another time. He was very nice and even gave us a hand-written coupon for a two-for-one dinner for the next time we came by. I'm happy to see a small, locally owned restaurant thriving, especially one that will create a ton of vegan dishes for you. It's a neat place, with the kitchen in the middle of the dining area. You can see them making your veggie packed raviolis, or baking your eggplant (un)parmesan right there. We saw this sign in front of a neighbors driveway:

Welcome to Philadelphia!

Anyway, DocDufresne and I decided to head to Dahlak in Germantown instead. Read more about this restaurant in my next entry.

Wissahickon Restoration
Lastly (I know, this has been a very long post!), DocDufresne and I joined a workshop that the Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers (WRV) hosted with Mount Airy Learning Tree (MALT). The class was titled "Restoring the Wissahickon: An Educational Hike and Demonstration" and was very well done. I took lots of pictures, but will post only two here:

A creepy crawly.

A lovely beech tree.