Monday, January 31, 2011

kind kreme - all sorts of yummy

today vegan tickles posted that kind kreme, gourmet raw vegan organic ice cream shop, is now open in Pasadena (second location).

pic from vegan tickles blog
can i hear a hallelujah? i'm so excited we have a vegan ice cream shop so close to home! (wait a minute - am I really? this is in direct opposition to my liking my pants fitting a certain way.)

i went in today for a scoop after my whole foods stop, and it is so adorable inside. dozens of flavors are inside the case, they have lots of to-go pints, and jessica (the lovely woman who helped me - she radiated joy and well-being) pointed out that this Saturday they'll have several savory items as well (the nachos are the only one I can remember. yes.)

vegan tickles has lots more photos, check it out.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

vegan pizza day party!

last night we hosted a lovely vegan pizza party, in honor of vegan pizza day.

lots of friends came over, and got creative making pizzas.  seems like vegans will take any opportunity to create an occasion that is all about the good food.

gluten-free and regular crusts, pineapple, garlic, brussels sprouts, pesto, red sauce, peppers, onions, jalepenos, vegan sausage, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, daiya and teese vegan cheeses to top them off.

ryan made the most beautiful salad to help us keep it real. i wish i had his eye for plating food.

good food, fun games, engaging stories - thanks for making it such a great night, friends!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

vegan pizza day, january 29!

i didn't take this photo, but i have eaten that pizza

finally, vegan pizza day is almost here, woohoo! 
we're having a pizza party at our house that night to celebrate the divine glory of vegan pizza. 
if you want to find vegan pizza near you, check out the official vegan pizza day website. they have a listing of all the places serving vegan pizza this saturday. (best vegan blog!) says zpizza is serving vegan pizza by the slice on saturday. 
pizza for all! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

bees buzzing

photo taken by roberta of backwards beekeepers
could ryan be any cuter? 
ryan has wanted a bee hive for a long time. not so we can eat the honey (we're vegan!), but so they can pollinate our fruit trees and other food growing in our yard. and we want to do our part to help keep a healthy, local bee population.

last weekend everything came together beautifully with the help of craigs list, the amazingly helpful backwards beekeepers and gracious advice from los angeles honey company.

this place sells everything you need to keep bees - minus the bees
the backwards beekeepers have a blog post all about moving the hive to our place, with photos and videos.

ryan found a hive that needed to be moved (craigslist). a charming woman (who is vegan and a professional insect wrangler - how neat is that?) had to get them moved out of her storage shed because the bees were making her neighbor nervous. i won't tell the whole story here, because it's already on the backwards beekeepers blog, but check out this photo of the hive, attached to a folding table.

ok - it looks like something from outer space, doesn't it? it's awesome, in the absolute best sense of the word.

ryan and roberta wrangled the bees into our bee box, but the first night they stayed at their original home, and ryan brought a cardboard box into the back yard that had part of the honey comb in it. within minutes, there were tons of bees swarming around it. neighborhood bees taking the honey! bee thieves!

the next day, ryan and roberta brought the bees here. here's a photo of roberta looking over one of the frames that drops into the bee box. the bees will (hopefully) create honeycombs on these frames.

our little buzzers are getting used to being here. home sweet home!

many thanks again to roberta, the backwards beekeepers, and LA honey company for all their help and advice. and of course to ryan for having the drive and energy to want bees in the yard in the first place, and then to actually make it happen.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vegan Tea Party Baby Shower

Yesterday I hosted (with a huge amount of teamwork and assistance from Jackie) a baby shower for dear friends Denise and Mike. Last June, dear friend Jackie had a vegan tea party for her birthday. It was a day of loveliness, and Denise mentioned that she would love something similar for her baby shower. Jackie and I decided this would be a great opportunity to do some serious baking so we jumped in.

When you're vegan (which we are), hosting a tea party takes a little extra planning. Even here in Los Angeles, we can't just walk into a bakery and buy whatever little tea cakes or sandwiches we want to serve.

Jackie and I were really proud of all our sweets and treats, and it was so much fun planning and preparing everything. If you have never hosted a tea party - I highly recommend it!

Jackie make these cookies - they look like they came from a professional bakery! They were really beautiful, and also super tasty. Good cookie texture, sweet filling, mmm.

This scone recipe is from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I used dried apricots and added almond extract. Yum!

The brownie bites are from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. These are the best brownies I've made (and I've baked a lot of vegan brownies). I wanted to eat all the batter, it was so rich and chocolaty.

These little cakes were so cute. The cakes are lemon-coconut, from Veganomicon. We baked them in a tea cake pan from Sur la Table. Since the batter has coconut in it, there was a bit too much texture in them to show off all the details.

The tea sandwiches were eggless egg salad & cucumber cream cheese from The Vegan Table, and carrot cream cheese found on the "interweb." Jackie filled and cut all those little sandwiches so perfectly. She is amazing!

Tera & Jackie, vegan baking team
Fresh berries, jams, maple "butter," and, of course, tea rounded out the menu.

Jackie was an awesome partner in crime and we really had a blast planning the menu, baking the goodies, and setting up. Thank you, Jackie! And happy baby shower, Denise and Mike.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

let it rain! our new roof: ready for action

our new roof! 

Two years ago when we bought our house, we knew it needed a lot of work. It had been in the same family for 129 years, and there were (still are!) decades of delayed maintenance and repair.

One big job was a foundation - the house was sitting right on the dirt!

The other big need was a new roof. We tackled that in the fall. We aren't sure when the last roof was put on, but pieces of it were constantly falling into my garden and we knew it wouldn't last another rainy season.

old roof, flaking off

It took us awhile to decide on a roofing material. We knew we wanted something green/eco-friendly, but since our house is historic and we are in a historic preservation overlay zone, the roofing material also had to fit with the character of our house. AND - it also had to be within our budget (less than $20,000.00).

So the search was on! Ryan is the master of green materials, and he found the perfect roof for us - Metro shingle. They have several styles and many colors. We went with aspen, which is one of their energy-star rated colors.

So why Metro and why metal?
1. The price was right. Our materials cost was around $5500.00.
2. Metal roofs last a LONG time.
3. The metal roof is made out of steel, which is recyclable once the roof needs to be replaced
4. Some of their colors are energy-star rated
5. The metal roof is stone-coated, so they look attractive and neighbors won't freak out that you have a metal roof.
6. Our understanding is the Metro products are manufactured right here in California, so there is less energy-use in transporting the materials here.
7. Easy installation.

roof demo

i was so happy the day they demo'd the roof.

loved being able to see through the top.

we were super happy with the company that installed the roof, J.A.D. roofing in North Hollywood. Jose (the owner) was really easy to work with, and even though he hadn't installed Metro shingle before, he jumped right in and did it. His crew was courteous and hard-working.

we couldn't be happier with the installation and the way it looks. when the torrential rains came in december, the roof held tight. hooray!

next big project: exterior paint job!

my forgotten blog

catalina island

hey, there's a blog here! someone should post neat things about an eco-house renovation, or about yummy vegan food, or about organic gardening.

it would be me, but i traveled during the holidays (for work and pleasure - hence the catalina island trip), and jumped full speed into work and more work-related travel after.

so this little blog is feeling ignored, and forlorn. and i promise to spiffy it up sometime soon. i'm looking forward to telling the tale of our new eco-friendly metal roof.