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!

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!

Skatecation in Florida: 1 Central Florida

Published December 6, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Here's me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Here’s me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Hello from Celebration, Florida!

I’m happy to report that my dad is recovering very well from his surgery on Monday, which is actually the reason we’re currently in Celebration. It’s also about halfway between downtown Orlando, and Thomas’ hometown of Winter Haven, so it worked out pretty nicely.

Right before we left Seattle, I did my first attempt at 27 in 5 (27 laps in 5 minutes is one of WFTDA’s minimum skills) and got a very respectable [for a 1st try] 24. Having had a week break due to Thanksgiving between my last two practices, I knew I didn’t really care for such a big gap between sessions, so I googled leagues in central Florida right before we left Seattle for our 9 day trip. (I brought my gear backpack & helmet with me on the flights as my personal item with no issues.) Orlando Area Derby Revolution got back to me first, but unfortunately none of their practices coincided with my days here. Then I was lucky enough to get ahold of the Lakeland Derby Dames, who were willing to let me drop in on Wednesday night.

But before that, we went to check out Ethos Vegan Kitchen at their new location…

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The new place is HUGE! They’ve lost some of the greener, homier touches of the old place like the Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathrooms and a patio area (from what I could tell), but it’s a really nice space with an impressively long full bar to boot (not pictured).

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Thomas went for the All American Burger $8.95, right away. He got his with the chips and mango salsa. He said it was all good, and that the burger tasted like Gardein, but we didn’t get conirmation on that.

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After some deliberation, I settled on the Coconut Curry Wrap $8.95, made gluten-free with a brown rice wrap, and upgraded for a side of black beans and [white] rice. I really liked the flavor of the black beans, even before the Tabasco & Sriracha, but did wish it’d come with the less authentic brown rice instead. The wrap was more like a soft taco, and a little diificult to manage without a fork, but I’m thinking it was just the way the brown rice wrap worked out. It was just a little salty for me, but the raisins and walnuts helped to give it some contrast. I liked it more the longer I ate, and ended up eating the whole thing instead of taking half home, like I’d originally thought.

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! :)

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! :)

When it came time to leave for practice I was still pretty full. I got a little nap in on the way to Lakeland since Thomas drove, and cars make me nearly narcoleptic. Once it was time to go in, I didn’t give it much thought again until about halfway through. The girls were all really great and friendly, and I was super thankful for the awesome endurance practice they gave me. About halfway through I did feel a bit nauseated, so I’m not sure if it was the overeating or all the vegenaise or nerves, or all of the above! ;) I did make it through their whole practice though, which I was super proud of since I’m not on a competetive team yet, and just a week shy of three months in.

If you want to check out their team, the Rockabilly Rebels, watch their quick video, here’s the link on Vimeo! Like it if you can, because they’re trying to win a contest! And if you’re interested in joining them, they have a recruitment night coming up on Monday!

As always, thanks for reading! We’ll be heading down to South Florida on Saturday, so stay tuned for part 2! :)

Still haven't been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

Still haven’t been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

365 Pumpkin a little off?

Published November 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-IMG_20131126_204536.jpg

Just a heads up!

I made a couple of pies (my recipe here) tonight and discovered two things:

1. My new oven runs a bit hot.
2. The [Whole Foods] 365 pumpkin is a little weird this year.

As soon as I opened the can I noticed it was a really deep orange that seemed a little unfamiliar. The baked result had a little tang to it? In the past I thought the 365 brand was tastiest, but I’d urge you to skip it this year if you haven’t done your shopping yet. We’re heading to the store now to pick up some extra items, and some different pumpkin.

Good luck and happy baking! :)

What are you making for Thanksgiving?!

Published November 22, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So what are you doing for Thanksgiving?!

I’ve been toying with the idea of just going out, but then we won’t have any leftovers, so that’s kind of not even an option. (Mostly because Thomas & I have been talking about making a Thanksgivng pizza with leftovers all year!) But I’ve been super busy, and haven’t really given it much of a thought. Last year we spent all of Thanksgiving day driving through Texas on our way from Florida to Seattle, so we probably should do something. Especially since Thomas’ sister just moved here last week!

I should probably add that I did end up doing a make-up Thanksgiving in December last year, but I really don’t have any excuse now. We’re all settled in the new apartment and really I just need to decide on what recipes and make a grocery list.

My menu will probably end up being somewhat similar to my 2011 contributions, which was Tofurky/Field Roast, roasted veggies (maple glazed brussel sprouts?), some kind of potato dish and/or a sweet potato casserole, cornbread, pumpkin pies and I’ll need to make some stuffing (probably a double batch!), which thankfully my parents had veganized for me previously, and that I’d already worked out the recipe for.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Kombucha starter kit, here! Ends Sunday, at midnight!

And because I hate to blog without at least one picture, here’s a pic of Ganon & Midna [stretching themselves out really weird and]meeting their new houseguest, Pugsley who so graciously modeled for the kombucha giveaway post! ;)

Who are you, and why do you have so much hair?

Who are you, and why do you have so much hair?

100K Kombucha Giveaway!

Published November 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Pugsley, our newest house guest.

Pugsley, our newest house guest.

Hey guys! If you already follow the VDCP facebook page (if you don’t, please do!), then you know that I posted earlier today that I’d be doing a giveaway to celebrate passing the 100,000 hit mark here at the blog. Our newest house guest, Pugsley is seen here modeling the prize up for grabs. A Black Tea Kombucha Kit from VeganCuts.com!

wpid-IMG_20131117_223456.jpg

Just my little way of saying thanks for those of you that have been following the blog, for however long, and that have stayed through the recent content/name shift from Cameraphonevegan.com to VeganDerbyCatParty.com. As I said above, please go show the new facebook page some love. It was one of the only things I wasn’t able to change over and had to start completely anew with the name change, so it’s still just a fraction of what the old one was.

Thanks so much for reading, sharing, pinning, and commenting! The raffle ends Sunday November 24th, at midnight, Pacific time! :)

Ty

HERE’S THE LINK:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coconut Curry Lentils w/ Miso & more derby pix!

Published November 7, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
PFM!

PFM!

Oh hi!

This post is long overdue. I’ve been slacking both on the blog, and in actual derby for the last week & a half, but I’m going to try to knock this post out today, AND go to derby practice tonight. :) I’ve also got a little soup recipe for you. Another lentil recipe that doesn’t use any broth or bouillon (because we were out!) but still delivers lots of rich flavor from the coconut milk, spices, and miso. A perfect hearty meal after a tough practice! I’m also gonna include a few more pictures from scrimmage since they were so wonderfully snapped by the talented new hubby of one of our girls, Mr. Robert Bakie!

Team Black on the bench.

Team Black on the bench.

Team black in action.

Team black in action.

Mod Quad and I, battling it out!

Mod Quad and I, battling it out!

Jamming was THE BEST.

Jamming was THE BEST.

Coconut Curry Lentils w/Miso

olive oil for misting
1 medium onion, cut into thin half moons
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can of coconut milk (I used light)
8 c. filtered water

1 c. lentils
3 medium carrots, chopped finely
1 large russet potato, chopped

3 tbsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. tamari (I use red sodium. You can use soy sauce/braggs/shoyu)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
dash cinnamon
dash ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper

1/4 c. white miso

Directions:

1. Mist a large pot with olive oil and raise to medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and just a little caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Deglaze pot with water and coconut milk.

2. Add all other ingredients except for miso. Raise heat to boiling, cover, and drop to simmer for 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning and simmer another 15 minutes, or until lentils are fully tender.

3. Remove from heat and stir in miso until it’s dissolved. Done!

image

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