One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food Book Signing

It's here! It's here! Well...almost. My first cookbook, Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food, is now available to purchase online and will be on the shelves of your local bookstore within the next 2 weeks. However, if you live in Atlanta (my adopted hometown) you can come by this Saturday to pick up your copy of Quick & Easy Vegan Comort Food at my first booksigning this upcoming Saturday, September 26th at 8pm at Charis Books & More located at 1189 Euclid Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307. Of course no vegan event would be complete without vegan desserts and this one shall be no exception! Come taste some of the yummy desserts from the book and a couple new one's at the event as well.

What - Quick & Easy Vegan Comfort Food Book Signing & Launch Party
Where - Charis Books & More 1189 Euclid Ave, Atlanta, GA
When - 8pm
Contact - (404)524-0304

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vegan Pizza In A Box

With a Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s, Round Table, Me N’ Eds, or Domino’s on every corner it’s easy to forget that pizza actually be made at home, with little effort, and in the same amount of time it takes for delivery to arrive. Not only that but making your own pizza means you don’t have to worry about sitting in the house starving for 30 minutes, running to the door at the first sound of the delivery car door slamming shut only to realize that they put cheese on your pizza even after you said “no cheese” 30 times or they slathered some type of buttery mixture all over your crust or accidentally let a slice pepperoni or piece of sausage find its way onto your all veggie pizza.

There’s something about the accomplishment of slaving away in the kitchen, kneading dough, making pizza sauce from scratch, chopping up my veggies, etc. that makes me feel all accomplished. Like I’ve just made the Mona Lisa of pizzas. I’m a sucker for a good pizza sauce and I’ll just toot my own horn by saying I have one darn good recipe for pizza sauce hidden way in the back of my new cookbook Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. The trouble is out of my entire cookbook of Quick & Easy Vegan Meals my pizza sauce is one of the few recipes that actually does take 45 minutes to simmer to perfection. It would still be good if simmered for 15 minutes but once you’ve tasted it after 45 minutes, you can just never go back!

With a full 18 credit course load in school right now, work, a new cookbook out and a bakery to run time is not what it used to be in the Guinea Pig home and I like to cut corners whenever I can. Enter from stage left – Ian’s Pizza Kits. Quick, easy and fun to make they come with everything you need to make a perfect pizza except the toppings – pizza dough mix, pizza sauce, and spice packet. It also comes in gluten free and organic varieties. Not only do they make great pizzas but you can quarter the dough and make calzones with this kit as well! And with a price under $5 you can't help but throw a box or two in the shopping cart for a rainy day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cookbook Review: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World by Jennifer McCann

I've been a fan of Jennifer McCann's for years now. I've got a signed copy of her first book Vegan Lunch Box from when she was self-publishing, before DaCapo Press stumbled upon her genius. On a personal note I have to say that Jennifer McCann is a phenomenal person who, when I had a million questions about self-publishing my own book, patiently and thoroughly answered my every question. And now look at us, two published gals!

When my copy of Vegan Lunch Box Around the World showed up on my doorstep I became giddy like a school girl, literally. I carried it around campus from class to class and somewhere between Biochemistry and Biological Anthropology picked out my preliminary list of must try recipes.

Even though the recipes in the book are super kid friendly they are perfectly suited for the adult palate as well. Plus I figure if I start practicing now by the time I have kids old enough to take lunch to school I'll be an old pro at these recipes. For now my 4 legged children are pretty easy to please - a stalk of broccoli and they will each follow me to the ends of the Earth! If only human children were so easy to please.

With Vegan Lunch Box Around the World even your most picky eaters will be satisfied. How can you go wrong with vegan goldfish crackers or Pad Thai?! Plus I've always dreamed of having an ultra sophisticated kid who has a better palette than most adults - with this book it won't be hard to accomplish that goal. But now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty, my top 5 favorite recipes from the book (in no particular order):

Fish Crackers (aka Vegan Goldfish crackers)
Jennifer’s Omega-3 Protein Bars
Carrot and Daikon Salad
Plantain Wraps with Tangy Black Bean Spread
Martie’s Gumbo

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And The Winner Is....

I had an absolute ball reading all the entries for the Tom's of Maine 24 Hour Long Lasting Deodorant Giveaway! Turns out that most of you love the summer just as much as I do. But I'm trying my best to still welcome in the fall with open arms, after all I am an autumn baby so I guess I need to show more love for my birth season. But without further ado the winner of the Tom's of Maine Giveaway is HeyitsBeth!!!

HeyitsBeth please forward me your information to and you'll have a lovely stick of Mountain Spring Deodorant before the end of next week. Congratulations! And look out for another giveaway towards the end of September.

Monday, September 7, 2009

3 More Days Left in the Tom's of Maine Giveaway Contest!

The Tom's of Maine New 24-Hour Long Lasting Deoderant Giveaway is on for just 3 more days! Remember you can enter as many times as you like.

The rules of the giveaway are very simple - leave a comment on the "Tom's of Maine New 24-Hour Long Lasting Deoderant Giveaway" Blog telling me why you love (or hate) summer and on September 10th I’ll pick one lucky person using a random number generator to win. Please remember to leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win. You can enter as many times as you like over the next week. Good Luck!

Do not leave your comments here as they will not be counted in the giveaway. Only leave comments here

Thursday, September 3, 2009

GIVEAWAY!!!! Tom's of Maine New 24 Hour Odor Protection Natural Deoderant

In great sadness I must announce that summer is almost over, just in case you didn’t know. Temperatures here in the great state of Georgia have quickly dropped from the high 80s and 90s in August to the low 60s and 70s as soon as the calendar changed to September. But before summer officially ends I have to slip in one more natural deodorant review and a GIVEAWAY!

The crafty folks over at Tom’s of Maine have come out with yet another new natural deodorant. The new 24 Hour Odor Protection Long Lasting Deodorant Line in Beautiful Earth and Mountain Spring scent. If you’re an experienced purveyor of the natural deodorant section of your local store then you’ve probably seen Tom’s of Maine’s older version of this product called Long Lasting Deodorant. The older model was good but not great. Your experience wearing it all hinged on what you defined as long-lasting as opposed to what Tom (yep, we’re on a first name basis) believed was long-lasting. But now Tom is boldly throwing out a defined time frame 24 whole hours. Well, I put Tom to the test. After all, 24 hours of odor protection in Maine during August is a little different than 24 hours of odor protection in Georgia in August.

If you follow me on twitter then you know that I spent a solid 16 hours (a girl does have to sleep) sniffing my armpits every hour on the hour through a day of class, work, errand running and a light outdoor workout in the middle of August. To my surprise this stuff really does work! I was a little unsure of the scents at first (nothing compares to my Bay-Lime love) but as the day wore on it worked out perfectly. My only complaint is that after a few uses this solid stick begins to turn into a semi-solid. Kinda ½ gel ½ solid and begins to feel a bit slimy when you first apply it. The slimy feeling goes away as the deodorant begins to work but it does take a bit of getting used to.

So now it’s time for you to try Tom’s of Maine’s new 24 Hour Odor Protection Long-Lasting Deodorant for yourself. But wait…I did say something about a giveaway didn’t I? The good folks over in Tom’s magic deodorant factory were nice enough to send me over a sample of each scent and I’d love to pass one on to you! I tested using the Beautiful Earth scent so the Mountain Spring is up for grabs!

The rules of the giveaway are very simple - leave a comment below telling me why you love (or hate) summer and on September 10th I’ll pick one lucky person using a random number generator to win. Please remember to leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win. You can enter as many times as you like over the next week. Good Luck!
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