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

Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan & GF)

Published February 5, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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I was hungry and happened upon new vegan blogger Hayley’s Chili recipe at just the right moment. It made a great inspiration for this tasty chili. I liked her chocolatey ingredient, but swapped regular cocoa powder for raw cacao since it was going to get cooked anyway (/I’m running low / it’s expensive / I order it on Amazon). I made some cheezy beer batter cornbread (recipe below) to go with it, and served it over kale and brown rice as a bowl. I think the leftovers will be great tomorrow over some pasta, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, for an easy chili mac!

I was originally going to call this Cuban Chili, but I found out [after google searching] that that is apparently another name for Picadillo?! Weird. Picadillo is SO not like chili. (You can check out my vegan picadillo recipes here and here!)

Black Bean & Garbanzo Chili (Vegan)

2 tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut here like Hayley’s recipe, but I prefer olive, up to you!)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. dry sundried tomatoes, soaked in water for 10 minutes, (or use the oil packed ones) drained, and chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2  cans black beans, one rinsed and drained, and one can, liquid and all
1  can garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. of frozen corn
2 c. vegetable broth
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground chipotle pepper, optional (in the bulk spices at Whole Foods)
2 tbsp. brown sugar (I used 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tbsp. agave because I ran out of the former)
1 tsp. cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
~ 1 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large pot to medium. Add in onions, peppers, and carrots as you chop, and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an extra minute.

2. Add all other ingredients and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-medium and simmer for 1-2 hours.

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So I was trying to figure out how to make some cornbread to go with the chili, using the contents of my pantry, and decided to take a stab at a gluten free beer bread. It wasn’t until I sat down to write it that I realized my obvious mistake. I used regular beer. I’ll have to give this one another try with gluten free beer, and see how it goes, but in case you’re interested, here’s what I did! (You can always use my Perfect Cornbread recipe, if you prefer!)

Cheezy Beer Batter Corn Bread (Gluten-Free if you use gf beer!)

1 c. cornmeal
2 c. all purpose gluten free flour (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
2 tbsp. sugar, optional (brown if you have it!)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (nooch)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
few grinds of black pepper
1 can/bottle of gluten-free beer

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*F and grease a loaf pan.

1. In a large mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, nooch, baking powder, salt and pepper. Pour beer into dry mix, and stir until combined. The batter will look liquidy.

2. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

3. Let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then turn out to slice.

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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

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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!

Isa Does It: Vegan Cookbook Review

Published January 22, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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My copy of Isa Does it came right in the middle of our last move in mid-October, so it got flipped through and filed away for a good long time before I actually took it for a test drive in my kitchen last week.

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I had originally pre-ordered a kindle edition, but then I was on the PPK one day, and saw they were having a promotion for these cute little reusable bags with proof of pre-order. So I went on amazon, to screen shot my purchase, but it sort of looked like the kindle edition wasn’t happening. Not only that, after hearing Isa talk about how nice the hardcover was going to be, I was having second thoughts. (Coming from the girl who owned Appetite for Reduction in BOTH editions, this shouldn’t be a surprise though.) So I cancelled my kindle order and put in for the hardcover. Looks like that’s the only thing currently available on amazon anyway, but I’m so glad I did! It is a really nice big book with great pictures, that does a great job of staying open to the recipe you’re cooking from. (The ultimate cookbook feat!)

And I’ll just tell you right upfront. This book is GREAT. Easy, fast, cheap. She’s totally got the amazing taste on a weekday timeline thing down. No crazy hard to find ingredients. It’s really made me want to cook at home all the time again. Something that’s been really lost for me for the last 2 years, ie. ever since I moved out of my giant kitchen.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far…

Dragon Noodle Salad and Sesame Tofu

Dragon Noodle Salad and Sesame Tofu

This was awesome. I traded grated carrots for sliced cucumbers (Thomas doesn’t like cucumbers, but loves pickles!) and skipped the sesame seed garnish. I chopped some cilantro right into the kale I used for the greens. The Sesame Tofu is broiled with some tamari & sesame oil. Easy peasy, and super delicious.

Did my prep in the food processor to make this super fast.

Did my prep in the food processor to make this super fast.

Instead of dredging, I let it marinate for an hour

Instead of dredging, I let it marinate for an hour

and broiled it in the same pan.

and broiled it in the same pan.

Sunflower Mac

Sunflower Mac

Next up was the Sunflower Mac. A lot of the recipes in this book call for soaked cashews (which Thomas may or may not be sensitive too, the jury’s still out), but Isa gives you the option to use soaked sunflower seeds instead. This particular recipe is made with just that, in honor of Ms. Jess Scone of Get Sconed(/the PPK/VidaVeganCon), who is allergic to tree nuts. Now I already knew from the past that Isa tends to give you extra sauce (and she mentions it in this recipe) so I used 12 ounces of pasta instead of 8, and threw half a bunch of kale in with the pasta for the last 2 minutes. Still PLENTY of sauce to go around. I also added an extra 1/2 cup of nooch (nutritional yeast) and used smoky sweet paprika all over it instead of just sweet, because YUM.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Lentils pg. 77

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Lentils pg. 77

I have no idea what size my butternut squash was, but it was of a small to medium size and I chopped it up and roasted all of it for this recipe. I also used one bunch of kale (called for 8 ounces/cups), and extra garlic and ginger in the sauce. This came out GREAT.

Got the lentils and greens nicely tossed in there

Got the lentils and greens nicely tossed in there

and then added the lovely roasted squash after it cooled slightly.

and then added the lovely roasted squash after it cooled slightly.

Jerk Sloppy Joes with Coconut Creamed Spinach pg. 94

Jerk Sloppy Joes with Coconut Creamed Spinach pg. 94

Next up was the Jerk Sloppy Joes. The other alleged culprit in Thomas’ mystery allergy is now gluten, so we weren’t able to find any gluten free AND vegan buns, so we made this two ways. With tiny gluten free bread, and also as a bowl with brown rice. The recipe calls for gluten filled seitan, but offers up 2 gluten free suggestions: 2 c. of lentils or 1 package of crumbled tofu. We took the road less traveled by… I used the soy curls I had picked up two weeks ago at Food Fight! in Portland.

I put 2 cups of soy curls in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate.

I put 2 cups of soy curls in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate.

Then chopped it up as called for in the recipe.

Then chopped it up as called for in the recipe.

It worked beautifully!

It worked beautifully!

And here it was as a bowl!

And here it was as a bowl!

Pureed Split Pea & Rutabaga Soup pg. 31

Pureed Split Pea & Rutabaga Soup pg. 31

And for last, here’s the split pea and rutabaga soup. I had never had rutabaga before, so I was curious about this one. It also called for star anise, but I totally forgot to put them in 15 minutes after the boil, and threw them in at the end, so the taste wasn’t as pronounced. I had to blend the soup in two batches in the Vitamix, and I left just a teensy bit unblended which gave it a nice surprise pea here and there, which I didn’t mind. This was really good, comforting, and creamy. The leftovers were yum, and had more of an anise flavor too.

Final Impression:

YAY! A new Isa book that is everything I needed it to be! I can’t believe that I can get food that tastes this good, this easily on a weeknight. Thanks for breathing life back into my kitchen, Isa. Oh, and for those of you who care, all of the above dishes were made GLUTEN FREE.

Because once wasn't enough for you to look at this adorable picture of Isa and I at Vida Vegan Con II.

Because once wasn’t enough for you to look at this adorable picture of Isa and I at Vida Vegan Con II.

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?

Vegan Beef Pot Pies & a Derbyfull Christmas

Published December 27, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Seriously.

This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Yah, seriously.

This is two posts in one. A recipe from this past weekend, and me showing off my awesome derby presents!

So Thomas had a craving for vegan pot pie Saturday night. Unfortunately for him, it was much too late, and I just didn’t have the energy to be baking something for the 1st time in the middle of the night, but I did offer to make it as Sunday’s dinner meal. Gardein beefless tips was our original intent, but we ended up with Boca Burger crumbles since the regular grocer didn’t have them, so that’s what we used here. It worked really well!

I’m really lacking in the pie crust making department, so I googled a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one. I ended up using the Crisco crust recipe (easily found online) with some whole wheat flour and earth balance shortening, and got a sub par result. More on that below, but first…

Trying to gain Midna's approval...

Happy Christmas to me!

I had also been anxiously waiting for a phone call from the skate shop where my skates were getting mounted to my awesome Christmas present plates, and finally called Sunday morning, and found out they were ready. Of course as soon as I got home I had to play with them, and get them all setup again. These are the lovely Crazy Venus plates in a fantastic metallic purple finish. I also spent a lot of time with the hairdryer trying to stretch the toe box on my boots, with some success. Getting my toe stops in just the right spot is tricky without actually being able to do some crossovers, but I think I got them in a pretty good spot, so at least I can walk/skip/run on them easier now. Maybe. We’ll see when I can actually skate again. No practice this Thursday because: Christmas, but hopefully some rink time.

Then somewhere in the middle of this, we got really hungry…

Vegan Beef Pot Pies

Olive oil for misting pot

1 med onion, cut into half moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped
1 c. green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 package of frozen Boca Burger crumbles, sautéed Gardein, or prepared TVP beef (recipe here)
1 c. frozen corn
2 c. filtered water + bouillon cube (or veggie broth)
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp. thyme
Pinch of rosemary
Pinch of sage
2 tbs. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce / shoyu / Bragg’s)
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
~1Tsp. fine sea salt (or regular), to taste
ground fresh pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne, optional

1 c. non-dairy milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 recipe for single/double pie crust, as desired

OR  1 thawed package of filo dough, OR you can try topping with 1 recipe for biscuits (Here’s mine! Try the cheezy or herb variations) which is what I’ll do next time.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425*F. Mist medium pot with olive oil and cook onions until almost translucent. Add all fresh veggies and sautee for an additional 5-7 minutes.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, except for milk & cornstarch, and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-med, and simmer uncovered. In a separate cup, whisk cornstarch into the milk and then stir into pot. Cook until veggies are mostly cooked and sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring often.

3. Depending on what you’ve chosen for the dough, either line a 3 quart baking dish with dough, fill and then top with smaller of the double pie crust OR cover with a single pie crust / filo dough and seal edges, OR try topping with biscuits and baking up that way. The bake on the pie crust version was 30 minutes, but you can adjust as necessary since the filling’s already done.

I will just say this makes much more filling than you need for a deep pie plate, and that I didn’t really love the way my pie crust came out. I think I was supposed to add more water, and didn’t. It was very dry. I will definitely try the filo (easy!) or biscuits (time tested!) next time and report back. But that filling was mighty tasty.

Filling

Filling

I could've probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

I could’ve probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling! Also, that Star Wars water bottle was my rolling pin.

Sealed and slits

Sealed and slits

I went for a theme!

I went for a theme!

And even though that was probably more than enough for one post, I wanted to share the derby stuff that I got myself for Christmas, and also some VERY IMPORTANT NEWS! I finally came up with a name, and ordered a few things to debut it!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

I found Represent Art Co. on Etsy, and had them make me a tank and some decals for my helmet. They did a great job, and even got it to me before Christmas, which I wasn’t expecting. So that’s what I did today. Got my helmet all done up! I love how everything turned out!

wpid-IMG_20131225_183808.jpgThe number was just a little big for my helmet, so I trimmed it down and was able to get some bats and blood drops to decorate with the excess! I LOVE my helmet, and can’t wait to get out to the rink tomorrow to try out all my new goodies.

*** EDIT ***

Yah, that's my mouthguard smile.

Yah, that’s my mouthguard smile.

MY NEW SKATE SETUP IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! So, so, light and so, so fast! And the stretching I did worked really well too. First time I’ve been able to wear regular socks with them and be comfortable. Toe stops seem to be in the perfect position now, as well. YAY! Thanks Santa! :)

Christmas Eve 2013

Published December 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Hello! I hope you had a merry little Christmas! We sure did over here at the Mendez/Mitchell/Pitlick Christmas Eve party. We combined forces and had a “family” gathering made up of three houses. Sadly I don’t have any family here (for now?! I’m still hoping they’ll move!), but Thomas and Helen were both able to convince their siblings to move to Seattle this year, so we did have a collection of family members present.

It was nice to have some extra help cooking for this one, with Helen making a wonderful kale and brussel sprout salad, a fennel, parsnip and yam gratin, and Carl baked up an apple pie. I made Field Roast celebration loaves, my herb stuffing, and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and roasted garlic. I also made peppermint crunch oreo cupcakes by Lyndsey’s request.

It had been a pretty long time since I’d made any cupcakes, and proof of that was the fact that I completely forgot to buy powdered sugar!

DIY powdered sugar

DIY powdered sugar

I followed Isa’s advice from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (my cupcake guru), and put granulated sugar into the food processor with 1 tsp. cornstarch per cup. It did make a lot of it powdery, but definitely not all. I could’ve tried the vitamix at this point, but I honestly didn’t want to dirty something else. (I was already doing a juggling act to have enough counter space!) But it ended up working out since I was using pulverized Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joes in the frosting, so you couldn’t really tell. It was also really nice to break out my Kitchen-Aid mixer for the 1st time in a long time. Priscilla did double duty on cupcakes and mashed potatoes!

Hooray!

Hooray!

The rest of our night was really fun, and I even got to dance a little salsa after dinner. Which for Cuban me, makes it a real Christmas Eve party! ;)

Ready to dance!

Ready to dance!

Hope you had a wonderful time with your friends & family!

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