February 25, 2010

Date syrup

Colleen from Organics are for Everyone sent me a sample of date syrup. Date syrup is a staple in the Middle East but is relatively unknown here in the U.S. At least, I'd never heard of it. I love dates and eat them regularly because they're delicious and healthful, but I'd never had date syrup before. When the thick, rich syrup first hit my tongue I was reminded of molasses, but then the taste mellowed and became sweeter. I'd have to say the syrup possesses its own unique and wonderful flavor, and is hard to compare to anything else.

The literature that accompanied the syrup suggested using it as a sugar substitute in baked goods or anywhere you might use a sweetener like maple syrup or honey. (There are recipe suggestions on the Organics are for Everyone Web site.) I haven't tried this but I imagine the taste would be wonderful. The only problem I can see would be the relatively high cost of this product. That's why I'm saving mine to use sparingly as a topping for pancakes and such, or as an addition to sauces and glazes. The date syrup is:
  • Organic
  • Kosher
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
It's imported from Israel and contains only dates.

I can personally tell you it's delicious on pancakes, oatmeal, or from a spoon! Have you tasted it?

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me as a free sample with no requirement that I blog about it or make positive statements about it. All statements in this post are my honest opinion.

February 22, 2010

Sage Café | Bamboo Garden

Louisiana style seitan steak and greens over grits, with southern style biscuits
Driving is not my thing; I just don't enjoy it, and it's especially upsetting when I don't know my surroundings well. Navigation has been a sore point ever since we arrived in Seattle six months ago, and I've been getting around mainly by walking or depending on others. But lately I've started trying harder to learn my way around by car. I find mastering directions especially unnerving here because:

a. Streets stop and start with no warning, and no logic that I can detect. A street will appear to end, then two miles away, it will appear again, stop, and then appear again in another few miles. This is ridiculous. There can be three incarnations of 100th St., none of them connected.

b. Numbered streets cross other numbered streets. I find myself cruising down 65th St. looking for 25th St, which intersects 65th. I turn onto 25th St. which soon turns into 24th, then becomes 23rd. Why?

c. It's pretty typical to have intersections with five or six streets radiating out in all directions and crazy angles but no clear signage indicating which way to go.

d. It's usually not possible to return the same way you came, necessitating learning two sets of directions for each trip.

e. The street signs are practically impossible to read, especially at night.

f. Parking can be a nightmare, not to mention expensive.

These are just some of the things I find confusing, and it probably doesn't help that we're living in a neighborhood known as Tangletown because of the crazy street patterns. Also, coming from a small, fairly contained city to a larger, more spread out one feels overwhelming to a directionally challenged person like me. Yes I have maps, and yes we have a GPS, but even the GPS gets confused and takes us to the wrong 100th St. so I don't trust it.

My husband went out of town for four days, and just before he left, I learned how to get to Capital Hill so I could meet my son and his girlfriend at their apartment on Sunday, and take them out for brunch. I drove my youngest son and myself there and back without getting lost. We went to Sage Café, which used to be Hillside Quickies — it's 100% vegan and the food is great, the service less so. It's been remodeled, and looks very different from the last time we were there.

Spicy Cajun mac & yease, southern fried seitan and gravy with grits

Let's talk about the food, first. In my past experiences with Hillside Quickies, the food was always slow to arrive, greasy, salty and so good that I decided not to worry about the other stuff. At Sage, the food arrived fairly quickly, didn't seem excessively greasy or salty and tasted great. Everyone was very happy with their selection. In fact, I'm thinking about mine right now and wishing I could have another plateful. I had the seitan steak and greens pictured at the top of the post and it was delectable. I'm a sucker for anything on the menu with greens, and this dish made me very happy. The seitan texture was excellent, the greens well-seasoned — even the cranberry preserves were great with just the right mix of sweet and tart. It was too much food for me but my youngest son took care of the leftovers.

Fall harvest French toast with squash scramble and pear pomegranate sauce

I heard rave reviews from my son about his squash scramble and French toast. The scramble had squash and tofu and was melt-in-your-mouth good. Everyone else seemed quite content with their food but there were concerns about what I'll describe as "feeling unwelcome."

French toast with caramelized bananas and walnuts, topped with maple syrup and walnuts

When we first walked into the café, one couple was finishing their meal, and there were three empty tables. No one greeted us. The new tables are very small, round and high with two high stools each. We put two tables next to each other for the four of us but seating was a little awkward, and there was no place to put coats since the stools had no backs. Although it was 11 a.m. Sunday, no one else came in the whole time we were there.

We ordered at the counter and sat down. Our food was brought to us without comment or even a smile, and no one ever came back to our table to see if everything was OK or if we needed anything else. The one coffee drinker wasn't offered a refill. When we were finally ready to leave, I had to go to the counter to ask if I could pay. When I handed over the cash ($51) it was accepted without a thank-you or even a smile, and when I put $10 into the tip jar it was not acknowledged. No one said, "good-bye, come again." It was weird and uncomfortable. Even "have a nice day" would have helped. I don't think we're a particularly needy group — probably the opposite —but the lack of hospitality was glaring. Will I go back? Probably. Because the food is vegan and so good I'll give it another shot hoping that our experience was exceptional, but I can see people getting turned off by the unfriendly atmosphere. Is that why it was so empty? How important is a friendly dining atmosphere to you?


Bamboo Garden vegan Chinese restaurant

We recently had the pleasure of taking our 2-year-old granddaughter out to lunch at Bamboo Garden after spending the morning together at the Seattle Science Center. Bamboo Garden is an all-vegan Chinese restaurant with an extensive menu. This is where I get Golden Petals on Jade Platter - a dish of fried yuba and Chinese greens that I sometimes get cravings for. But since this was lunch, and Miss E was with us, we opted for the lunch specials. We had thick corn soup and combo-plates. My plate, above, had fried rice, green beans and broccoli, sweet and sour tofu and a spring roll, and my dining companions had similar plates but with "chicken" instead of tofu, and potstickers instead of a spring roll. I enthusiastically enjoyed my lunch.

Miss E enjoyed hers, too, but I held my breath as I watched spoonfuls of the thick yellow corn chowder disappear — and I don't mean into someone's mouth. But in spite of some spoon-related mechanical difficulties, a large amount of soup did make it into Miss E's mouth. And she didn't want me cutting small pieces of broccoli for her. "Want big one," she said, as she picked up a broccoli tree in her fist and gnawed it down to the stalk. Handfuls of rice went into her mouth as she made a substantial dent in her lunch portion and some of mine. The friendly waitress brought me a stack of napkins, and it took several to restore Miss E and her surroundings to their pre-lunch state.

The food was tasty and substantial, though not as interesting as some of the regular menu items. I like Bamboo Garden even though I think the food can be a little greasy and salty, and the sauces a little too thick. I don't go there expecting gourmet health food. The staff is very friendly and welcoming, the food usually tastes pretty good and the entire menu except for the fortune cookies, is vegan.

Recipe testing (cont.)

Here is the latest recipe I tested for Celine and Joni's upcoming cookbook. It's linguine with green beans and walnut spinach pesto. Delish!

This is my assistant tester. Delish!

February 17, 2010

Miss E sleeps over (and has a birthday)

Last Friday, our little granddaughter had her first sleepover at our house. She's used to spending time with us so when she arrived in the late afternoon, she removed her shoes and socks, and settled right into a comfy chair with a bowl of popcorn and a good book. (Little did she know that the book she was "reading" — an old favorite of mine called "Mr. Gumpy's Outing" — had once belonged to her Papa.)

For supper I made mac & cheeze with quinoa pasta and We Can't Say It's Cheese Cheddar Spread. After mixing the hot, cooked noodles and cheese in a baking dish, I sprinkled it with Parma and baked it briefly. I served it with a stirfry of silken tofu, shiitake mushrooms and broccoli seasoned with the miso topping from our recent Japanese cooking class. We also had salad with dijon dressing and seasoned croutons (tester recipes). The photo is of my plate. Miss E has her meals in a collection of small, unbreakable bowls. You know, just in case. She's a brilliant and beautiful girl but her table manners are ... undeveloped. Although she does say "please," as in "more mushrooms, please. More croutons, please. More broccoli, please."

Miss E was excited to come stay with us but I don't think she really quite understood the concept of "overnight." As she was getting ready for bed, she expressed the desire to go home, but I cheered her up with thoughts of waking up in the morning to have breakfast with us. "Would you like pancakes?" I asked her with sincere enthusiasm. We were good to go after that. So, in the morning I made pancakes with agave syrup, and I have to say they were delicious. I didn't use a recipe but the whole-grain cakes came out light and delicious. I added rice vinegar to the non-dairy milk and a bit of baking soda to the mix to approximate buttermilk pancakes. Miss E enjoyed her 'cakes with a side of organic grapes and a glass of almond milk.

After Miss E went home, I got to work making cakes for her two-year birthday on Sunday. She was born on Valentine's Day, and her parents had a party planned for about 30 adults and kids. I made two cakes — my standard chocolate cake with bittersweet frosting, and an almond-lime cake with rosemary-lime glaze that I was testing for Mihl of Seitan is My Motor. Because it was Valentine's Day, I made the chocolate cake in a heart-shaped pan. I split it into two layers, filled it with raspberry jam, and frosted it. The almond-lime cake was baked in a 12-cup Nordic Ware bundt pan that I was amazed to find at Goodwill for $2.99.* I really wanted a 6-cup pan but secondhand shoppers don't often have the luxury of choice.

Poppa Ken (A.K.A Grandpa holds the cake)

The party was a great success with lots of eating, talking, painting, a real bubble machine(!), shaving cream and other amusements. When it came time to add cake to the celebration, Miss E got a little overwhelmed. With all the guests belting out Happy Birthday, little Miss E didn't know where in that gaggle of legs to look. She did, however, thoroughly enjoy her cake, after the singing ended.

For her present, we gave Miss E a YogaKids DVD, a book about yoga and her very own yoga mat. She's fascinated with yoga and can do quite a few poses. She also received a pair of pink socks with hearts because, after all, her birthday is on Valentine's Day!

* While I was bopping around the net looking for info on bundt pans, I came across this handy hint for making cakes easy to remove from the pan. Grease the pan with a mixture of equal parts shortening (I used Earth Balance), flour and oil. One teaspoon of each should be more than enough. Don't use so much that you end up with white spots on your cake. It also said to set the pan on a steaming hot, wet towel in the sink for 10 seconds just after you remove it from the oven, then invert the pan over a cooling rack and the cake should come right out. I didn't want to end up with a big, wet towel so I put a small amount of hot water in the sink, set the pan in there for 10 seconds, and voila! The cake came right out.

This is a potato and beet salad my son made (and photographed for me) for the birthday party. The recipe is from "The Urban Vegan Cookbook." There was also an aioli from the cookbook that I didn't photograph.

Below are a bunch of tester recipes for Celine and Joni's upcoming cookbook.

Creamy Dijon dressing and seasoned croutons


Quiche slice on a plate

Parmesan sprinkles

Western bacon cheeseburger

Seitan bowl — possibly our favorite recipe so far.

February 11, 2010

Shojin Japanese cooking class

Hiryozi to daikon no nimono - Deep-fried tofu cake and daikon stew

On Monday night my husband and I attended a Shojin Japanese Cuisine cooking class at PCC, our local food coop. Our instructor, Kanako, told us that shojin cuisine refers to vegetarian cooking that originated in the Buddhist monasteries. The dishes she made reminded me of some of the macrobiotic dishes I used to cook. In my last post I made a humorous reference to a time when I followed a macrobiotic diet (honest fact #9), but in reality I loved the food we consumed during those years. (The modern macrobiotic diet was made popular by Michio Kushi, and was based on traditional Japanese cooking.) This class made me reflect on how much I enjoyed Japanese food, and why I should restock my pantry with such things as sea vegetables, daikon, mirin and sake!

The first thing Kanako made was dashi, a Japanese broth made from kombu and dried shiitake. (There are many versions of dashi that include fish, especially dried bonito flakes.) I used to make this all the time, and it was my standard version of "vegetable stock" before I learned to reach for the handy aseptic carton. Sheesh. The stock is rich and flavorful and Kaneko said you could make a big pot of it and store it in the fridge to use as needed. She used dashi in all the dishes she made in class. (She also said I could share her recipes on this blog.)

  • 2 cups water
  • 3" x 3" piece kombu (dried kelp) rinsed quickly or wiped with damp towel
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  1. Put water, kombu and mushrooms in a medium pot. Soak for several hours, or overnight if time permits. (In the refrigerator if overnight)
  2. Heat the pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat just before water starts to boil.
  3. Remove kombu and mushrooms, squeezing moisture from mushrooms into the pot.
Shiitake develops the best flavor in cool water but if you don't have time for a long soak you can place the kelp, mushrooms and water in a pot, heat to just below boiling, turn off the heat and soak for 15 minutes. That's usually what I end up doing though I mean to soak it overnight.

Kanako stemmed the shiitakes and added the sliced caps to the rice dish. She also cut the kombu into 1/2" squares and added it to one of the dishes. Using the kombu is a matter of personal taste.

Hiryozi to daikon no nimono - Deep-fried tofu cake and daikon stew

OK, I admit the deep-fried tofu cakes were ridiculously delicious. But I doubt I'll be deep-frying anything in the "easy vegan" kitchen. When Kanako described growing up in Japan where her family kept a pot of oil handy, and deep-fried foods were cooked every day, she almost convinced me that it was a good idea. But, whoa, that's not going to happen. I might make the incredibly delicious tofu balls in the oven or in a pan on the stove, and if I do and it works, I'll share the recipe with you. In the meantime, let me tell you about the daikon; I don't even like cooked daikon that much, but it was DELICIOUS — sweet and mellow. According to Kanako, this is the perfect time to buy daikon, and I believe her. You could cook the daikon, maybe add some large carrot chunks, kale or bok choy and wok-browned tofu cubes, and have a wonderful stew. I'll post a recipe soon.

Nasu dengaku - Grilled eggplant with miso topping
Gobo takikomi Gohan - Rice with burdock root

I loved the rice with burdock root, but I'm going to give you the much simpler recipe for grilled eggplant with miso topping. The topping is very versatile, and you could mix a batch and keep it for months in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You could use it on fried tofu, potatoes or whatever you want.

Grilled eggplant with miso topping
  • 2 ounces red miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons dashi
  • 3 Japanese or 1 large globe eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (more as needed)
  • toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
  1. Place miso, sugar, mirin, dashi in a small saucepan. Mix together well. Place over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a creamy consistency, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium. Add oil.
  4. Grill the eggplant with the cut side down. After 5 minutes, flip to cook through. Continue to flip eggplant until cooked and soft, ending with cut side up. (Add more oil if necessary to prevent sticking.)
  5. Spoon miso sauce over cut side of eggplant and place under broiler for a minute or two. Garnish with sesame seeds. (If you cooked the eggplant in a pan that can't go under the broiler, carefully transfer with a large spatula onto a broiler pan before adding sauce.)
  6. Cut into sections to serve.

Wakame to serori no sumiso ae - seaweed & celery salad with miso vinegar
Namasu - Daikon & carrot salad with sweet vinegar

We actually started with the salads, above. They were both tasty but my favorite was the carrot and daikon. This salad is supposed to be good for digestion and preventing heartburn. I have no personal experience with this but you could try it and let me know!

Daikon and carrot salad with sweet vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 medium daikon radish, washed well (peeled, if not organic)
  • 1 medium carrot, washed well (peeled, if not organic)
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  1. Mix the rice vinegar and mirin in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat and cook until the alcohol in the mirin evaporates. (The cooking is just a minute or two, and whether or not alcohol evaporates during cooking is questionable. Alcohol content can vary among brands of mirin from 0 to 14%.)
  3. Add lime juice to the dressing.
  4. Cut the daikon and carrot into matchsticks or grate on a course grater.
  5. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables and leave for 5 minutes.
  6. Rinse the radish and carrots under running water to remove salt, and squeeze out excess water.
  7. Toss the vegetables with the dressing and garnish with the chili flakes.

Tonyunabe - Vegetable one-pot dish in vegetable broth

Above you see a hotpot that was cooked in a traditional Japanese cooking pot. It was filled with wonderful vegetables that were cooked in a broth of dashi and soy milk. I'd give you the recipe but my arms are tired from all this typing. Go make dashi!

February 05, 2010

Wayfare Foods review | honest scrap award

The kind folks at Wayfare Foods sent me several samples of their product, We Can't Say It's Cheese. I was pretty excited to hear that this "cheese" is made from oats, and curious to try it. When my kids were young I made a lot more cheesy sauces than I do now, and one of our favorites was from Joanne Stepaniak's "The Uncheese Cookbook," and it was made mainly from oats and nutritional yeast. Also, my favorite soft serve ice cream, OatsCreme, is made from oats so I figured there was great potential here. I received four samples — Cheddar-Style Spread, Cheddar-Style Dip, Mexi-Cheddar-Style Dip and Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread.

Very cute double-dipper with cheese stained clothes.
I tried the Cheddar-Style Dip first, and my initial reaction was that it reminded me a little of Cheez Whiz, though it's been an awfully long time since I've tasted that, so I could be wrong. I liked it but not as much as some of the other reviewers seemed to. I took the Cheddar-Style Dip and another sample — Mexi Cheddar-Style Dip— to a family dinner that included vegans, vegetarians and omnivores. My 2-year-old granddaughter loved the Cheddar-Style Dip, and had to be given her own dip in a bowl. (Even very cute people double-dipping is kind of unsavory.) She used a baby carrot to scoop it up and suck it off, and referred to it as "hummus." Everyone else ate it but to my surprise, no one was extremely enthusiastic, and there was a lot left over. Leftovers are unusual in our family. The Mexi-Cheddar-Style Dip was less well received than the Cheddar-style, and it sat relatively untouched. This is a group of people that LOVES spicy food so I was surprised by their reaction.

Today I tried the hickory smoked spread, and I really liked it. My husband thought it was good, too. I had some plain, and then used some to make a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread. It had a pleasing, smoky-cheddar-y flavor, and the sandwich was good. Because the spread is already soft, it doesn't need to melt — just heat. In addition to spreading on crackers or bread, I can see using this product to conveniently add a cheddary flavor to sauces, baked goods and casseroles. I haven't tried the Cheddar-Style Spread, yet, but assume it's similar to the dip only thicker. I was kind of hoping for a mozzarella flavor but these dips and spreads are pretty dependent on nutritional yeast for their cheesy taste, making them more like cheddar.

Here is the promotional and nutritional information from the company:
Wayfare Foods has created incredible cheese alternative spreads and dips, and we’re just crazy about them! We Can’t Say It’s Cheese is not only absolutely delicious, it’s made only from simple high-quality ingredients, making it our favorite new brand for creamy, spreadable vegan cheese. Made from whole-grain oatmeal (though you’d never know it!), this unique and healthy product is unlike other vegan cheese spreads and dips in that not only does it taste like real dairy cheese, it’s actually good for you and isn’t loaded with artificial ingredients. We think it’s one of the best vegan cheese developments in years, so be sure to try it today and you’ll be a fan, just like we are! We Can’t Say It’s Cheese is available in 4 varieties – Cheddar Spread, Hickory Smoked Cheddar Spread, Cheddar Dip and Mexi-Cheddar Dip. Each 8 oz. (226g) container is $3.49.

Cheddar Spread ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Hickory-Smoked Cheddar Spread ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, natural hickory smoke flavor (water, natural hickory smoke concentrate), calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Cheddar Dip ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice

Mexi-Cheddar Dip ingredients: Non-GMO Whole grain oatmeal (water, oats), vegetable oil blend (may contain the following: safflower, olive, and coconut oil), sesame, pimentos (pimentos, water, citric acid), nutritional yeast, sea salt, calcium carbonate, onion powder, evaporated cane juice, spices

Spread nutritional information:
Serving size – 2 tbsp. (28g)
Servings per container – 8
Calories per serving – 60
Total fat – 5g (3g saturated, 0g trans fat)
Sodium – 190mg
Total carbohydrate – 3g (1g fiber, 0g sugars)
Protein – 2g

Dip nutritional information:
Serving size – 2 tbsp. (28g)
Servings per container – 8
Calories per serving – 50
Total fat – 4g (0g saturated, 0g trans fat)
Sodium – 180mg
Total carbohydrate – 3g (1g fiber, 0g sugars)
Protein – 2g

disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of this product. I did not have to write a review, nor did I have to write a positive review.


Penny (A.K.A. Scottish Vegan Homemaker) has given me an award, and I thank her for that, but now I have to share 10 honest things about myself, and present this award to 7 others. I'm particularly bad at choosing favorites, and usually avoid this by not participating, or by choosing everyone. This time I'm doing it — choosing seven blogs that I enjoy reading. Mostly they are blogs I've discovered fairly recently. Of course, the minute I transcribe this list I immediately feel terrible guilt about not picking all the other blogs I read and think are great, and which are equally deserving of recognition, even if it's only from me. On the other hand, I also feel guilty asking people to do what I just had to do. Oh well. If I don't just get on with it I'll never get this post written.

I've had to write 10 things about myself in the past (these honors used to be called memes instead of awards), and I'm thinking there might not be 10 more things to write. (I'm feeling a bit boring lately.) Anyway, since this is a food blog, I'll restrict myself to 10 food-related honest facts.

1. I love peaches. I mean, I really love them. When we lived in Madison we used to buy whole cases of peaches from a fruit and vegetable store. My husband would always ask if I thought we could really use up a whole case, and I'd murmur, "mmhmm." I felt bad about buying all those peaches because they weren't organic, and peaches are always on the "only buy organic" list, but they were so GOOD. All that pesticide residue, though. I won't disclose just how many of those peaches I could eat in a day, but let's just say if I were standing in a garden, all the insects that landed on me would probably die.

2. I really HATE the taste of fennel, anise, black licorice. Sometimes it makes me throw up. Sometimes I just feel very agitated. My husband only added anise to a dish once, and he was sorry.

3. The very first vegetarian dish I made was a vegetable loaf; I used a recipe that was filled with brewers yeast. Actually, I think every recipe in that early vegetarian cookbook was filled with brewers yeast. I pretended to like it even though it was vile because I wanted my husband to like being a vegetarian. And he didn't. (In case you're wondering, brewers yeast is NOT the same thing as nutritional yeast flakes. Not at all.)

4. I was very young when I got married, and I had no idea how to cook. Most of the vegetables I'd eaten were frozen or canned or salad ingredients. I had to ask the farmers at the farmers market what the vegetables were, and how to cook them. It was humiliating but informative.

5. I got to drink the liquid from a branch of cat's claw in the Amazon Rain Forest. Yes, this is true.

6. I once brought carob brownies to a party, and when my friend took a bite of one, he gagged and spit it out. He was upset that it wasn't chocolate, and I was very embarrassed. I would only bring chocolate, now. Only chocolate.

7. I've never been able to eat nuts in things. I like them well enough alone, but not when they mix in with other food. I'm trying to get over this because it's such a bother to pick the darn nuts out. I can eat them in salads and casseroles now, and I recently managed to eat them on TOP of cake. Still can't quite deal with them in baked goods or ice cream unless they are ground up fine.

8. Before I became a vegetarian, at a time when I was seriously considering changing my diet, I said, "I'll never be one of those weird vegetarians who asks, "what's in the soup stock?" Yes, I said that. Out loud. I'll go hide behind a rock now while you throw tofu balls at me. (This is the sort of thing I try to remember when dealing with "clueless" omnivores.)

9. I was macrobiotic for a few years and followed the macrobiotic diet pretty enthusiastically. Because we lived in the Midwest, this meant avoiding tropical fruits and veggies like bananas and mangoes. We avoided members of the nightshade family such as potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. One evening we went out to dinner, and our young son said to the waitress, "I think I'll try the mashed potatoes, I've never had those." The waitress rolled her eyes and snorted, "Where do you keep him, in a closet?" The nasal twang of her voice was not friendly, and it still buzzes in my ear when I think about it. Ouch.

10. I keep a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom to use as a moisturizer.

I'm forwarding this award to:
The Airy Way
Chow Vegan
The Crafty Kook
Haiku Tofu
Here's What You're Missing
Mitten Machen
Seitan is My Motor

Here are the rules. Do as you see fit:
Thank the person who bestowed the award and link back to their blog. List 10 honest things about yourself, and link to 7 blogs you feel embody the spirit of Honest Scrap, and which you find brilliant in design and/or concept.
(Also, I suggest being very careful how you pronounce the name of this award.)