rambling

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I made Rat Lab AND got new skates! :D

Published April 6, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
You already saw this picture last month, but I thought it was appropriate since I was all decked out in Rat City gear.

You already saw this picture last month, but I thought it was appropriate since I was all decked out in Rat City gear.

Quick post to brag about my big deal derby accomplishments this past week! If you’ve been wondering where the heck I’ve been, well, I realized last night (after two back to back practices, and after watching another league’s bout) that I skated 6 of 7 days last week! I wasn’t consciously trying to do that, but that’s just how it ended up. Part of the reason was that it was really nice and sunny all week, so we went to skate around Green Lake last Sunday, and then Thomas had new wheels to try out, and then I got new skates.

What’s that, new skates?! I HAVE AWESOME VEGAN SKATES NOW?! YES, YES I DO!

They look like this!

They look like this!

The Bont microfiber boots I ordered during Fast Girl’s annivesary sale came in, and Thursday I was able to get them mounted and molded. Unfortunately, the plates I had on my old skates were too big for the new boots (so I will be selling them, as well as my other skates) but I liked them so much, I bought them again in the right size in a really pretty red.

Bont Hybrid in microfiber with Crazy Venus plates and lightweight kingpins.

Bont Hybrid in microfiber with Crazy Venus plates and lightweight kingpins.

These are incredibly light, and I got to skate in them a little bit yesterday afternoon. I already love them. Just have to finish heat molding the toe box, and get used to the slightly looser truck setting that I have them at right now.

And then the extra big news…

I skated for the Rat City Rollergirls assessment yesterday to try to get on Rat Lab Fundamentals. (read all about their multi tier freshmeat program here) After skating with their rec league sporadically, and having a few of the girls I skated with make it on in the last couple of months, I decided to go for it. I tried to remain as calm as possible all week, and not let me talk myself out  of it. (It helped that one of my good friends from PFM was going too!) It was a hard practice, but I made it through the entire thing, remained positive, and gave it my all. I got my closest to 27 in 5 yet, just a foot or two short of the whistle! I think I will definitely be getting there on my next attempt, after a plateau of 26.75! And even though I was sure that they’d pass on me this time, when it was all said and done, I received my congratulatory email yesterday as I was getting ready to go watch the Tilted Thunder Rail Bird‘s bout (banked track roller derby). I was in complete shock and overjoyed!

Midna & I all tuckered out at the end of the night last night.

Midna & I all tuckered out at the end of the night last night. (Photo by Thomas)

So I will now be officially training with the Division 1 WFTDA ranked #13  team, Rat City Rollergirls!!!!!! SO excited and thankful for the opportunity to take my training and skills up to the next level, just had to share. I would stay and tell you more, but I actually need to get dressed for my regular team practice!

I’m still working on finishing up that post on roller derby and body image, so that should be coming up this week!

As always, thanks for reading!

Ty / Vampira Knightley

PS- Check out the awesome dinner we had last night at In the bowl after my practices! It’s an all vegetarian place in Capitol Hill, right next to our apartment. None of the mock meats are vegan, but we love tofu anyway…

Thai Peanut Sauce with wide noodles and tofu, $10.29. Stir fried with bok choy, broccoli and carrot then topped with peanut sauce. OMG, YUM!

Thai Peanut Sauce with wide noodles and tofu, $10.29. Stir fried with bok choy, broccoli and carrot then topped with peanut sauce. OMG, YUM!

Thomas had Ginger Fried brown rice and tofu, $ 9.99. Stir fried with carrot, green onion, snow pea, celery, broccoli and fresh ginger.

Thomas had Ginger Fried brown rice and tofu, $ 9.99. Stir fried with carrot, green onion, snow pea, celery, broccoli and fresh ginger.

4 year Bloggerversary!

Published March 16, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Photo by Thomas. Thighs by Derby.

Photo by Thomas. Thighs by Derby.

Today marks the 4th birthday of the blog! And with each passing year, it has definitely morphed into something more distinct and more confident. This year certainly took a big turn with a name change that really reflects where I am in my little vegan life.

VeganDerbyCatParty_Logo

VEGAN DERBY CAT PARTY .com!

Ah derby… Derby has certainly taken over my life in the last 5 months, and I am completely, unapologetically in love with it. CameraPhoneVegan.com served me well for three years as a jumping off point, but the new focus has lead to a clearer idea of what I want to write about. (When I actually have the time!) I am happy to report I will soon have a nice collection of vegan skates! Our local skate shop, Fast Girl Skates, was having a 20% off sale to mark their store anniversary (which is today, same as my blog!) so I got to order myself some nice microfiber boots that I’ll be switching my awesome plates over to, and I’ll also be getting a cheapie pair to skate in outdoors this summer! Yay! :)

Moving to Seattle has proved to be a perfect decision for us too. I miss my family terribly at times, but we’ve really found a place that offers us so much, including a sense of fitting in that we never had in Florida. We’re completely at ease with the seasons, the mild city life, and interesting, liberal, artsy minded folks. Oh and the food, we are very, very lucky to live in a city with so much delicious vegan food! (That delivers no less!)

Anyway, thanks for reading! More vegan food, derby, and cats to surely come!

<3,

Ty / Vampira Knightley

Typical weekday meals

Published March 4, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Yay! A lunch break! But also proof that I am still cooking sometimes and drinking water.

Just a quick hello on my lunch break from your favorite (?) vegan derby vampire! (Please link me if you know any other vegan derby vampires who blog!)

I’ve been meaning to write this long, involved blog post about weight gain, body image, and my new physique, but honestly, I really havn’t had the time. Instead I’ll just tell you that my prime blog writing time (lunch) has been hijacked by an increasing patient load at work, and that I might finish writing it eventually. Maybe.

Also, I’ll tell you about the typical week day meals that have been giving me fuel for practice, making my muscles, and pleasing my palatte. I don’t pretend to know tons about work out nutrition, but one of the girls I skate with asked. She used to be vegan, and is contemplating doing it again, but was curious how it would work with derby.  I’ve been trying to drink more water and make sure that I have lots of fruits, veggies, carbs, and our important friend… protein.

(This will go quick, because I only have 10 more minutes!!)

Typical day…

Breakfast: I’m generally a bad at breakfast person. I’ve been drinking emergenC (because people just keep on getting sick around me!) before I leave the house, followed by white tea. By the time I get to work I’m hungry, so I’m usually eating a Luna bar.

Snack: banana

Lunch: Food (kale, noodles, tofu type meals like above, peanut butter sandwiches, or bean/lentil dishes), yogurt and/or an orange

Snacks: banana/Luna bar/peanuts/raisins/cereal/and I would be lying if I didn’t include chips &  salsa, but I’m trying to cut back!

Dinner: This one varies a bunch. If it’s a practice night, I tend to get some tofu in there, either with high protein tofu at home or tofu pho (soup) from the restaurant if I get back early enough. Beans, lentils, and that sort of thing too, which is where my leftover lunches come from.

Anyway, that was a super quick rundown, but you get the idea!

Talk to you again soon! (Hopefully!!)

Photo: Robert Bakie

Photo: Robert Bakie

Scrimmage 2 Success!

Published February 10, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Don't worry mom, that's only FAKE BLOOD!

Don’t worry mom, that’s only FAKE BLOOD!

I decided that since we don’t bout in PFM, and only get to scrimmage once a month, I might as well get my derby persona together for the occassion. So I did full on Vampira Knightley, with fake blood and all. I loved it.

Fortunately, I already have plenty of vampirey things in my possession.

Fortunately, I already have plenty of vampirey things in my possession.

My only other scrimmage was back in November, due to travels the last two months, so I was pretty excited to see my new skills and knowledge put to use. The 1st time, I basically knew very little about the rules of the game. We had only seen one Rat City game in person, and I had streamed a few during the 2011 championships. I basically only knew this:

So after watching lots of local bouts in person and streaming a whole bunch on youtube lately, I was curious to see what I had absorbed, and if any of those things would come out this scrimmage. I also spent a lot of time in the penalty box the first time (because of not knowing the rules) for cutting the track. So one of my goals was to spend less time in the box this time, and try my hardest not to get any cut tracks. (I did get one at the very end!)

This penalty was for failure to reform the pack. I think.

This penalty was for failure to reform the pack. I think.

(We had some issues with reforming the pack that landed almost everyone in the penalty box at one point, so we had a big meeting with the refs to go over the rules. Ooops!)

We needed a firm talking to.

We needed a firm talking to.

There were two separate occassions where I was the only black blocker on the track, with two red blockers. I tried really hard.

Uh, really? Again?!

Another big goal of mine was to get lead jammer at least some of the times. I’m not sure if I did at all in November, because it was such a blur. I just remember it was really hard to get by the walls, so I was determined to get through every time as well. (Which I did!)

Get those jammers, ladies!

Get those jammers, ladies!

So of course the thing about jamming is, everyone’s out to get you, as beautifully illustrated here. You can see I’ve fallen over the inside track as team black’s jammer, and team red’s jammer going down as well! (And I did NOT get a cut track here, I crawled to the back of the pack before jumping back in!) But I did manage to get lead jammer at least 2 of the 4 times I jammed (that I’m aware of), and I tried to work on jumping up from falls as quick as possible. I was also was amazed at some of the crafty little sneak bys I did by dodging hits and skating on one foot close to the line. Pretty freaking neat, and definitely all stuff I absorbed from watching so many games.

My delicious post scrimmage meal: No Huevos Rancheros

My delicious post scrimmage meal: 5 Point Cafe’s No Huevos Rancheros

A bunch of us went for post scrimmage food & drinks to 5 Point Cafe where I had this awesome protein packed No Huevos Rancheros (comes vegan, straight off the menus!) and some cider.

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Thanks to Thomas for taking all those action shots from above, and Allison for taking the cute photo of the two of us! I’m sure I’ll be sharing lots more of our professionally shot ones as they come available!

Don't worry mom, that's only FAKE BLOOD!

Don’t worry mom, that’s only FAKE BLOOD!

Thanks for reading!

Ty / Vampira Knightley \/^^^\/

Keeping Balance: On & Off Skates…

Published February 6, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Jet City's Camaron Harem in orange

Jet City’s Camaro Harem in orange

Last week I had a difficult decision to make about accepting the commitment of making Jet City’s fresh meat team. Several factors were involved in the decision, but ultimately it was about keeping balance in my life emotionally, physically, financially, and socially. In the end I decided that even though skating with them is a tremendous opportunity, it’s really just too much for me right now. Mostly because of the time and distance, and the impact that would create.

I’ve drastically improved in the last few weeks (as yet another teammate told me last practice), and them agreeing to taking me on was a great testament to the hard work I’ve put in. That being said, I still have plenty to work on, and I know I can do that in PFM at my own pace. In addition, I’m going to be amping up my participation in Rat City’s Rec League, and see how far that takes me in time. They just revamped their new skater program into a 4 level system (on the website here), and a couple of girls from PFM just made Rat Lab. (So I get to pick their brains about it!) Also, PFM and Rat City are at the same practice space, which I’m already used to driving.

Friday night beers with my favorite person!

Friday night beers with my favorite person!

After all that heavy decision making it was nice to take it easy for a change. I only did the PFM practices, and let my body have a little break. We also did things like go out for pizza and beers Friday night (I have barely been drinking lately!), and even went to the movies before heading to the Jet/Rat City game on Saturday night (above). Sunday we were one of the very few households in Seattle to not be in a complete frenzy watching football. Thomas had already told me he wanted to stream roller derby instead, so a couple of the girls came over after practice to watch/talk derby for a while.

All in all, I’m really happy with my progress. I don’t feel like I’m on some crazy deadline, and I’m just enjoying the experience. That’s what I told Thomas. I did this to have fun, learn to skate better, meet people, get in shape. I don’t want to push myself to the point that it sucks all the joy out of it, especially so soon!

Thanks for reading :)
Ty

Vegan Super Bowl Snack Round-Up

Published January 29, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Vegan Derby Cat Party:

I thought this was a nice round-up of snacks for those of you doing footbally stuff this weekend. I keep forgetting that Sunday is the super bowl. Which you’d think would be difficult given that we live in Seattle and everyone here is completely OBSESSED. Okay, well maybe not obsessed, because I still have Jet City practice at 11am and PFM practice at 3pm on Sunday. ;) Thomas is even more indifferent to sports than I am (I make him watch baseball!) and has already told me he’d rather just stream old roller derby bouts instead of watching “the big game”. Plus, Saturday evening, we have the Rat City/Jet City Double Header (Grave Danger vs. North Sound Spartans & Camaro Harem vs. Juneau Rollergirls), so we’ll have plenty of roller sports to go around!

Are you making anything good this weekend?

Originally posted on The Colorful Kitchen:

A friend recently described Super Bowl Sunday as her “Favorite holiday in celebration of muscles in spandex and guacamole.” I’m not a huge football fan but I am a fan of any occasion where friends get together and enjoy snacks.  Here’s a list of ten of my favorite Super Bowl party snack ideas. A few recipes you may recognize from my blog and the rest are some of my favorites from around the internet. As usual, everything’s vegan and gluten-free!

1. Almond Crusted Baked Eggplant http://alimentageuse.com

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2. Apple Nachos

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3. Potato Skins http://hellyeahitsvegan.com 

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4. Jackfruit Enchiladas http://keepinitkind.com

Jackfruit-Enchiladas-33

5. Cashew Cheese Dip 

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6. Buffalo Chickpea Nachos http://veganyackattack.com

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7.Black Bean Chili Dip http://ohsheglows.com

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8. Portobello Stuffed Mushrooms http://chefchloe.com

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9. Sour Kream and Onion Kale Chips 

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10. Garlic Curry Fries http://www.theppk.com

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There you have it! What are your favorite Super Bowl snacks?

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Jet City Cadet here!

Published January 25, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
At adult night at Lynnwood on Thursday.

At adult night at Lynnwood on Thursday.

Guess who made it onto the Jet City Rollergirls Cadets this morning?!! :D

Just a quick post to share the news! After 4 months, I have now gone from “potential fresh meat” (which is SO thanks to all the ladies that make PFM happen!) to actual legitimate fresh meat in Jet City’s new skater program. I’m so excited and proud, and will be cheering extra loud tonight as all 4 of their home teams bout in their season opener. Woo!

First Four Months: Derby Doubts and Determination

Published January 17, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
New certified helmet, faster wheels, and of course, no trip to the derby store would be complete without new socks!

<3

Written at 2 months in:

1. If I skip practice, the doubts begin.

Skipping one practice makes it really easy to skip another practice. And it’s not out of laziness, it’s generally been out of other life business. In September my parents were in town, so I wanted to get the most out of their time here, but ended up being off skates for 2 weeks. That made for a big setback, especially because I had only gone to a couple of practices at that point. So in October I was pretty diligent, and only skipped on Halloween night. November we had some friends in town for only a few days, and another had a birthday, so those two skips had me off skates for a week and a half. But each of these times, whether it was one practice or three, I noticed the same thing…

The doubts would creep in right away.

Maybe I’m too busy right now? Maybe I’m not good enough? Maybe I should just quit, and drop in to skate occasionally?

Fortunately there’s also another force at play here, a greater force. Every time I go to practice I get so inspired by not only what we’re doing and learning, but what I can see that I’ve already accomplished.

2. Every time I go to practice, I’m energized, motivated and addicted.

At the nearly 3 month mark (Early December), I did my 1st attempt at 27 [laps] in 5 [minutes], and got 24. For me this was a huge moment. I was so impressed with how far I’d come in a short time. So impressed, that I even lugged my gear down to Florida with me, so I could skate while I was gone and not lose the momentum. During that trip I also downloaded a copy of the WFTDA minimum skills, so I could look it over and see what else I needed to work on. I was a bit overwhelmed (but still determined!) For some reason I was expecting it to be more like a few things. It turns out that it’s more like 6 pages.

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Well, it’s 4 Months in now (mid January), and I can say, what I wrote 2 months in is still true. The more I skate, the more I want to skate, so I try to keep myself skating as much as possible. Also, when I glanced at the minimum skills again a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised at how much simpler those demands seemed. Most of it I can do now, it’s just a matter of doing it better and faster. December was a great month, and Christmas also brought my new plates! (Crazy Venus plates) I LOVE my new plates so much, mostly because they’re so much lighter, but also because my toe stops don’t budge now. Oh, and speaking of toe stops… I’ve also finally just got the hang of getting good turn around toe stops (YAY! Well, at least on my dominant side!)

They’re now no longer all drawn out and awkward like this:

but more fast and fluid, like this:

I also made another attempt at 27 in 5 last night, and got 26. While I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the full 27, I’m positive that I’ll be able to make it on my next attempt. Our attempt last night was the last 10 minutes of an hour and a half endurance practice (that I started out a little sore for), so I was definitely dragging for the last few laps. Also, I have to get used to my recently much loosened (probably 2 full turns) trucks. They were making everything a little wonky last night. But really my speed is way up. I’m actually passing people now! Which is a twofold achievement. One, because I’ve gotten a lot stronger and faster, and two, because I’ve been trying to get over the fear of passing people. In fact I even got some feedback this morning from some of the girls on my team about how they’ve noticed a real improvement in my skating recently. Awwww. It’s still amazing to me how awesome and supportive most derby girls tend to be.

The other cool thing that happened in December was that I finally settled on a derby name, as I already mentioned, but this was a real solidifying thing. It made me feel like okay, I’m actually really doing this now. I have a shirt with my name on it! Hahaha ;)

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But yes, my goals have certainly shifted again. At this point I’m planning on going to train with Jet City‘s new skater program. They have basic skills classes, and a Cadet program. Cadets are the fresh meat for their organization, and while I’m not entirely sure if I’m quite Cadet ready right now, they’re starting a new cycle of both on the 25th, and they’ll be able to make that call. Either way I’m excited, because I still feel like the basic skills classes would be beneficial so that I could have a really solid base, clearly explained from the ground up. (Especially for the things PFM doesn’t really teach, namely proper falling. Which a coach just touched on for the 1st time yesterday, after all the practices I’ve been going to for 4 months!) But getting on Cadets, if I’m ready, would be a really exciting change too.

We shall see!

And for vegan food, stay tuned! I’ve been trying out a whole bunch of recipes from Isa Chandra’s newest offering, Isa Does it, and the post will be up next!

<3,

Ty / Vampira Knightley

Vegan Babe Fest 2014: Portland for Melisser’s Bday

Published January 10, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
The babes. More hairspray and vintage than you can shake something mod at.

The babes. More hairspray and vintage than you can shake a vegan corn dog at.

We spent an awesome weekend in Portland last week for Melisser’s birthday, and I’ve slowly been trying to get all the highlights into a post for you this week!

We hopped into the car Friday evening and drove straight to meet up with the gang (most of whom we’d never met, but they turned out to be fantastic!) at Blossoming Lotus  Thomas and I had eaten lunch there once before, on our moving trip from Florida to Seattle back in November 2012, but not since. I was so hungry it was tough for me to decide what to eat. Thomas, however, settled on his right away…

Pot Pie with an enormous biscuit top!

Pot Pie with an enormous biscuit top!

Pot Pie $16, roasted portobello, carrot, turnip, and parsnip enveloped in a creamy herb filling, topped with a truffled biscuit crust. This thing was full of mushroom, so I stayed away, but it was a popular dish at the table, and Thomas did a great job of polishing his off. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. That is one BIG biscuit!

Ratatoullie!

Ratatoullie!

I finally decided on the Ratatouille $15 (Gluten free, Soy free), crispy polenta cakes in a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce, with roasted eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions and herbs, topped with walnut parmesean. Again, sorry for the dimly lit photo. This was really delicious. Two giant pieces of polenta with incredibly flavorful veggies, especially the eggplant. SO much food!

After this we went to a really weird drag show, then a super sweet arcade (GroundKontrol), and then a final end of the night stop at the closest food carts.

Fried dough. ALWAYS a good idea!

Fried dough. ALWAYS a good idea!

That’s where we found the yummiest truck of all [in my opinion], the Whiffies hand pie truck! While it may not be fully vegan, 1 of the 3 savory pies is vegan, and all 5 of the sweet pies are too. We ordered the Tofu Pot Pie and the Grannie Smith’s Apple Pie, both nights we were there! SO DELICIOUS. ;) The other reigning champ for the rest of the table was the Potato Champion truck, where vegan poutine was gleefully ordered and shared on both nights as well.

Birthday hand pies.

Alex. Jon. Melisser. Birthday hand pies.

The Whiffies employee was also the one who gave us the rainbow birthday candle that would serve to adorn Melisser’s every meal all weekend. Said employee recognized me from the blog, and introduced himself as we were leaving. (Thanks for saying hi!) Turns out he was Rian of This Vegan Mouth, who blogs about all the amazing eats in Portland. (Check it out!) So nice to meet vegan interwebs friends in person! After this we finally went back to the house to hang out.

Melisser rented this super cute, 3 bedroom basement apartment for all of us to crash at on airbnb.com, which  made the weekend that much more fun.

Did you ever see that episode of Punky Brewster where a kid gets stuck in an old fridge?

Somehow I brought this, and how kids can get stuck in fridges up, so Kerry decided to disprove the myth immediately.

The non-believer.

Just for the record, Kerry doesn’t drink!

Kerry writes a vegan skate blog at veganskateblog.com. (It’s about skateboarding though, not derby!) Turns out that at least with this particular model of fridge, he was absolutely correct. (The one in Punky Brewster had an old-fashioned latch.) Very little effort required to open it from the inside. But just to make sure, we all had to try it.

Alex & Kerry, being fridge scientists.

Alex & Kerry, in a fridge. For Science.

Thomas and I in a fridge. For science.

Thomas and I, in a fridge at least twice the size of ours at home.

** DAY 2 **

Brunch was at Paradox Cafe, so Thomas and I decided to ride our bikes over. Seattle’s a bit too steep and crazy for me to get around much on my bike, so I was looking forward to getting to share Thomas’ favorite activity on flatter terrain. It turned out to be a really nice ride.

Vegan & Gluten free cornbread.

Vegan & Gluten free cornbread.

We beat everyone there because we biked, but that gave us longer to check out the menu. I immediately spotted the cornbread, but was bummed because it only said gluten free. However, the waitress assured us that it was also vegan, and that the menu needs to be updated, so we ordered it to start. It had green chilis throughout it’s slightly crumbly texture, and was from the less sweet camp of cornbread. Now we both prefer the more southern, sweeter cornbreads, but will eat absolutely any cornbread we can get, so we liked it anyway. It had a nice crisp outside, moist inside, and good flavor.

Solstice Corn Cake

Solstice Corn Cake

I had also spotted the  Solstice Corn Cakes, which are [vegan & gluten-free] corn pancakes with apples and toasted walnuts, but couldn’t decide if I wanted something more savory instead. Fortunately, Brittney was up for sharing one. YUM.

Mine

Mine.

I ended up ordering the Tempeh-Avocado Tostadas $6.95, Black beans, quinoa, tempeh, arugula, (I had them sub kale!), son risa sauce and avocado; served with homemade salsa. Totally delicious, huge portion, and cheap. If I lived in Portland, I’d eat there all the time.

Deconstructed burrito.

Deconstructed burrito.

Thomas got the The “Big” Burrito $8.50, A blend of steamed vegetables, tofu and our house chili; wrapped in a giant wheat tortilla, topped with salsa & green onions; served with breakfast potatoes. Only he got his deconstructed, served with corn tortillas to make it gluten-free.

(And yes, we’re trying to eat gluten-free now. He thinks that might be way he gets an allergic reaction on his face, and I know some wheat things give me hives in my mouth, so I thought it wasn’t a bad idea.)

Put a candle on it.

Put a candle on it.

I’m not exactly sure what Melisser had, but we made sure to put a candle in it!

And here we all are looking very full!

And here we all are looking very full!

After this, Thomas and I decided to head over to the vegan mini mall. And of course, we have footage…

I picked up some super elusive and exclusive Portland soy curls at Food Fight Grocery, and then picked up a couple of cute tops at Herbivore Clothing for my ever growing collection.

New shirt!

New shirt!

Then we cruised back home to get ready for a night of food and dancing.

A lovely little sunset was waiting for us outside to bike back.

A lovely little sunset was waiting for us outside to bike back.

Dinner was at White Owl Social Club. Melisser ordered this GIANT (Okay, Large) Hatch Chile Taco Mac, Vegan Mac and Cheese with Seasoned TVP, for us to share. It says the Large serves 4, but this was plenty of food for 6 people to share as a light meal.

Chile Mac

Chile Mac

Also shared were the Fried Moonbrine Pickle Fritters, With Sizzle Pie Vegan Ranch, and the Jalapeño Garlic cheese fries, Shoestring Fries smothered in vegan Cheese Sauce and Jalapeño Garlic Relish. YUM! No complaints on any of that! :)

Melisser blowing out her birthday pickle fritter. Fries also pictured, albeit dimly! -Thanks for the photo Thomas!

Melisser blowing out her birthday pickle fritter. Fries also pictured, albeit dimly! -Thanks for the photo Thomas!

After some fun with the photo booth, we headed out to Star Bar to get our dance on.

Elvis Face!

Elvis Face!

But Star Bar had another thing to offer us besides cool vintage tunes to dance to, they also had VEGAN JELLO SHOTS?!! Though half of the gang doesn’t drink, Alex and I were down, and Melisser decided to join us since it was her birthday.

Blurry, boozin babes.

Blurry, boozin babes.

The well chilled vegan jello shots have a pretty thick consistency, but they give you a little toothpick to help break it up. They come in Kamikaze flavor, which is really not the greatest, but hey, vegan jello shots! Who woulda thought? Thanks, Portland.

** DAY 3 **

A thoroughly unflattering last pic of me & Thomas at our temporary weekend residence.

A thoroughly unflattering last pic of me & Thomas at our temporary weekend residence.

Everyone slept in Sunday morning so we got a late and lazy start on our last day. Our last meal came from the Vita Cafe. They have lots of great sounding food, but we settled on these:

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

Melisser’sCHICKEN’ FRIED STEAK $8.50, Batter dipped deep fried organic tempeh, mashed potatoes and almond gravy, looked awesome, but sadly (for me!) the gravy is made with almonds. So Thomas ordered it and had them put the gravy on the side so I could try it. I did dip my piece in a little gravy though, and it was super delicious! I would totally recommend it!

Cheesesteak!

Cheesesteak!

I had the SEITAN CHEESE STEAK $7.50, Sliced seitan with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms (no thanks!), and real pepper jack cheese, vegan cheese (+$1) , served on a baguette. It came with some yummy pickle slices and was so good that I devoured the entire thing in no time.

So what an entirely fantastic weekend! The food, people, and location were beyond great. We really want to try to make an effort to get down there more often. See you soon Portland! :)

What are your favorite Portland eats?

Skatecation in Florida: 2 Orlando & South Florida

Published December 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Hers and His skates

My gear, Thomas’ dismantled inlines, and my vegan Dansko mary janes

Well, my 2 weeks of vacation finally came to an end yesterday. I was planning on going back to work on Friday, but they were slow and I was still in vacation mode, so when they called my Thursday, I figured, What the heck?! (I’ve never had a 2 week vacation from work before. It was pretty nice.) So since I’m all back and rested, I might as well tell you about the rest of our trip.

Last night in Florida!

Last night in Florida!

First, I didn’t end up skating in South Florida after all. I would really have liked to, but their practice was the last night we were there, and we ended up going out one last time with our friends and having a blast. I figured my own practice was only 2 more days, so I’d make it. I still think that it was worth lugging my gear to Florida to be able to skate the previous week though. One week off skates is fine. 2 weeks makes a tremendous difference!

Before we left Orlando, we did get a nice lunch at Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe in. Thomas and I had eaten there before but my parents hadn’t, and I was also after some of Raphsodic Bakery‘s good’s, which they happen to carry.

Caramel Pistacio?

Caramel Pistachio?

I shared the above cupcake with the table as an appetizer, and it was crumbly (I think gluten-free), but totally delicious. (I couldn’t remember the name very certainly.) For lunch I had what Thomas had last time we were there, the Sweet Potato Burrito $9.50. Funny enough, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of my own food. But hey, it looked like a burrito, came stuffed with (you guessed it!) sweet potato, quinoa, sweet onions, corn & sweet ginger cilantro sauce, with a yummy side of black bean dip. Definitely recommend.

Side Sampler $8

Side Sampler $8

Mom got the side sampler, and enjoyed it until she hit something spicy. She’s pretty sensitive to heat, where the rest of us douse things in hot sauce, so I went ahead and took the queso off of her hands. It came with black bean dip, sassy salsa, whirled peas guacamole, and the “subtly spicy” vegan queso.

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Dad had the black bean quesadilla. Even though he was supposed to be avoiding spicy foods and this was filled with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, peppers, cilantro, spices and some of that same vegan queso, this man eats the hottest peppers and sauces in the world with no problem, and this was pretty mild. He liked it, and I ate some of the leftovers later. They were pretty darn good.

Sunday holiday dinner!

Sunday holiday dinner!

The next day Thomas and I headed to the grocery store to get things for a little holiday dinner with my parents, sister and niece and nephew. Since I could only get the week after Thanksgiving off this year, I made a point for us to have a little make-up holiday dinner together. I made two Field Roast celebration roasts, (which everyone loved!) fresh roasted brussel sprouts and acorn squash, and finally LEARNED THE SECRET OF MY FATHER’S BLACK BEANS!

My father makes the best black beans I’ve ever had anywhere, and it’s not just because he’s my dad. They’re really that good. In college he used to freeze them so I could take them back to school with me. A couple of years ago I had him try to tell me the recipe so I could write it down, and that did not work at all. This time I made him actually show me what to do in the kitchen with SUCCESS! I already made a huge double batch two days after I got back. Half for my derby Christmas Party, and half for us. This is truly one of the best presents he’s ever given me! I LOVE YOU, DAD! The only thing I can tell you is, everything they tell you  in books about cooking black beans is wrong.

Most importantly of all, my father is doing GREAT! It’s going to take some time for him to get back up to speed, but his surgery was successful and he’s recovering well so far. The best Christmas present of all! :)

And just for good measure, here’s a picture of Midna, who was extremely happy to see her parents after 9 days apart:

Me and my princess!

Me and my princess!

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