July 05, 2010

Makeup | Takeout | July 4 | Vegan omelet #3 | Awards

Vegans don't just think about food, you know. It's an on-going search in an animal-consuming world to find vegan-friendly, ordinary, everyday products that other people take for granted. Say ... cosmetics, for example. I know, I know, vegans aren't vain like omnivores. (:D) Vegans go forth unwashed and natural, never worrying about finding a shampoo that leaves their hair full and shiny, or the right shade of blush. Well, smack me with an organic tomato but I worry about those things, and more. Call me shallow, but sometimes I feel a little pale, and need some color. And I want my ultra fine hair to have some body. I'm going to share my favorite vegan cosmetics of the moment. I've been using Zuzu Luxe blush, eye shadow, and foundation powder and I really like them. The blush and powder are very natural — goes on smoothly and is never weird or cake-y. The shadow (vegan and gluten-free) comes in cool colors that are beautiful. I've got silver (vixen) and deep mauve (dusk) and both are either subtle or more dramatic depending on how much you use. I prefer a natural look on myself because I'm much too shy to draw attention to my appearance. I'm not trying to look dramatically different or "made-up," — just add a little evenness and color to my complexion. Though I'm pretty conservative when it comes to my own makeup, I appreciate verve and daring in others, and there are lots of gorgeous colors in this vegan collection. (Don't forget to seek out vegan/cruelty-free brushes, too. I love my Eco Tools blush and eye shadow brushes, though I wish the eye shadow brush were smaller. The kabuki is a different brand that I can't remember the name of.)

I've also been enjoying Aubrey Chamomile shampoo and conditioner. The consistency of the shampoo is a little weird — kind of gelatinous and loose — and it doesn't suds much, but it does leave my hair clean and shiny. The creamy conditioner seems to leave my hair with a good amount of body.

If you want other ideas for the most super pure cosmetics and bodycare products, look at Kristen's Raw blog. She's much more picky about her bodycare products than I am. She thought the Aubrey shampoo was a compromise, and I respect her opinion. (I did try the Morrocco Method products she recommended, and the shampoos and conditioners absolutely did NOT work for me, but I love the spray-on styling products.)

Full disclosure: I did not receive samples, compensation, or encouragement of any kind.


Takeout happens
Sometimes cooking is just not going to happen at our house, and takeout seems like the only option except for going hungry. This happened to us recently, and our takeout restaurant of choice, a vegan Chinese establishment, was CLOSED for vacation. Our second choice (which is sometimes our first choice) was a vegan Thai restaurant. I ordered several appetizers and one entrée, and you can see in the photo that they all looked pretty good. I don't know what went wrong in their kitchen that night but everything was horrible. I nearly gagged on the gooey doughy vegetable dumpling, and the tofu satay was a strange, florescent yellow color and nearly tasteless. The broccoli was rubbery and nasty and the rice, gummy. Horrible.


Vegan omelet #3

Vegan omelet #1 was a disappointment to me but I vowed to try again. I had a lot of omelet mix to use up so I tried a second version and then a third. I'm skipping right to the third because it was the best one so far. This one had asparagus and seitan inside, and leftover artichoke-and-zucchini tomato sauce on top. Plus it had a dollop of pickled jalapeños and carrots.

It was good but I'm still not a true fan. There's something about the texture I don't love. I can't get it dry enough, and it reminds me too much of the kind of eggs I would never eat — moist ones.


July 4th family dinner
We had the whole family over for a July 4th dinner but most of the food was stuff that's been on the blog before so I didn't photograph it. The dessert, however, was a little different. I wanted to make something unexpected, and I think the guests were surprised. I made peanut butter s'mores with Amaranth graham crackers, Dandies marshmallows and bittersweet chocolate chips. I spread a thick coating of peanut butter on the bottom crackers, then sprinkled them generously with chocolate chips. The Dandies went on top of the chips, then the top crackers were put in place. The s'mores were all next to each other on a plate, and stored, covered, until dessert time. Then the plate went into the microwave for about 1 minute to melt everything before serving. The treats were nearly gone when I remembered to take a picture.

Here's the reaction of one of the guests. By the way, I also served fresh local organic blueberries to balance the food groups. :D

I had one little problem. The Dandies were all stuck together in their bag, and I ended up grabbing wads of marshmallow blob from the bag. This was the first time I've had Dandies. Have you had this happen?

Birthday shirts

My husband recently celebrated a birthday, and he received some vegan-themed t-shirts from Andrea's Tees Etc. (He also received a Lost t-shirt but so what.) It's hard to see in the photo but the t-shirt above is covered with "Vs" with the word vegan in purple. He wanted a vegan t-shirt but he's a little shy so it had to be just a tad subtle. (If you click on the image you'll be able to see it bigger.)

This shirt is rather self-explanatory.

And here's a pink butterfly shirt just for the little s'more-eater. She gets things even when it's not her birthday.


Awards and stuffI've been honored to receive an award and other recognition for the blog, and I'd like to express my gratitude. From Kiersten of Vegan Awakening, I received my second sunshine award. Thank you so much Kiersten; you made my day! (I just love reading Kiersten's blog — it's filled with not only great cooking ideas, but honesty and thoughtfulness about life's issues — both difficulties and joys.) Especially here in Seattle, sunshine can be very scarce! I'd love to give this award to all of the wonderful blogs I read. Each one brings sunshine into my day.

Also, I'm honored to have this blog included on two "best of" lists, 100 Best Blogs for Healthy and Delicious Recipes and Top 50 blogs for Eating and Cooking Healthy. Check out the lists for blogs you may not yet be familiar with.


I'm having comment issues. Comments appear and then disappear, including mine! Keep leaving comments because I hope this problem will be resolved soon. Please know that I'm not ignoring your comments on purpose!!!


  1. Congrats on making the 2 "Best of" lists! That's so awesome. It's too bad about your takeout dinner. It's always so disappointing when a restaurant/take-out meal isn't good. Your 4th of July dessert looks gooey and delicious! I am sure everyone loved it.

  2. Thanks for the review of the ZuZu cosmetics...I'm using their mascara and eyeliner at the moment, and I like them.

    Is that the Vegan Brunch omelette? It looks good. I made that recipe for the first time yesterday...and I was surprised that it actually turns out like an omelette...I can understand the consistency thing, but for me, it was the taste...seemed a bit bland. Next time I try it, I think I'll add some tahini or something.

    Your Tees are fabulous...too cool! I'll definitely be browsing through your collections.

    And, what can I say, but that is one very cute & happy-looking little smores-eater!

  3. Bet that shampoo smells divine even though it is an odd texture and I nearly cried when I saw those s'mores, wish I had been there. They are way up high on my wish list. I've always wanted to try them :)

  4. Oh, I so want some of those treats! I could give the horrible Thai meal a miss, and also the omelettes, but I think I'll be dreaming of those treats for a long time to come...

  5. Kiersten,
    Thanks. I felt a little bad about not offering a "healthier" dessert but that's the way it goes. Gooey sometimes trumps healthy.

    I've been very happy with Zuzu. I haven't tried the mascara or eyeliner because I don't usually use those products but my eyelashes are looking kind of lame. Maybe I'll go take a look at what they have at Pharmaca. They 're selling Zuzu at 20% off.

    Vegan brunch omelet, yes, and I agree about the taste. That's why I tried to liven it up with the filling and topping. Did you try black salt? I got some at an herb store in Ballard.

    Thanks for liking the tees. I'm trying to be less shy about letting people see them. (I'm my worst promoter.)

    Those were my first s'mores, can you believe it? And my first time trying Dandies.

    Can you get vegan marshmallows in Scotland? I would think so. Then you could make some of those gooey, melty treats!

  6. Your omelet certainly *sounds* good...I am sorry you don't love it, though. I hate it when you have high expectations for a dish/recipe and they don't pan out!

    Your dessert on the 4th looks gooey and delicious and like it was a real hit with your guests :-) I love that it can be made in the microwave! Perfect for the 90 degree heat and humidity we have been having. I will have to keep that in mind...

    Congrats on the two best of lists--what an honor! It is well deserved :-)


  7. Holy god, those smores look decadent. I will never make them so I will instead feast my eyes...I have to admit you have given that omelet recipe a very fair trial, and in the end de gustibus non est disputandum, you're entitled to your own opinion even if it happens not to agree with mine ;-)

  8. the omelets and smores look amazing!
    Blessings, Debra
    Vegan Diet Video
    My Blog

  9. Good to know about Pharmaca...I usually pick them up at PCC...but just wanted to follow up:

    yes, I did use the black salt and, while I'm not sure what taste it's supposed to have, it does smell a bit sulphery and eggy. Anyway, what's more cool than black salt?

    Your designs are great...you're very talented...I'm all for being humble...but you should let the world know!

    Take care...and if this is your first summer here (?) you must be discouraged and freezing by now...but sounds like we have a bit of warm weather on the way!

  10. Courtney,
    The omelet might even BE good. You should try it and let me know what you think. It's really easy to make.

    We're heading to the Midwest for a visit soon, and I'm looking forward to some summer heat. (We're supposed to start having summer weather here tomorrow but you never know what will actually happen.)

    The leftover s'mores were pretty good today, too, even though they weren't gooey anymore. I didn't think I would ever make them either, but it just seemed wrong never to have tried a s'more. (:D) I think I would like them just as much without the marshmallow.

    I haven't given up on the omelet — just changed my expectations. We'll see ...

    Sometimes I use the black salt in cakes or muffins and it gives them a richer flavor. Thanks for the compliments. I'm working on the situation. :)

    Yes, I'm discouraged, but I hear summer starts tomorrow! Yay.

  11. I am always making a melty mess in my toaster with s'mores; why did I never think of the microwave? Oh, and the addition of peanut butter = pure genius.

  12. You might not be thrilled with the summer heat and humidity once you get here, lol. It is sticky! It will make you long for your cooler Seattle temps in no time :-) I hope you have a good visit!
    If you ever find yourself in Minneapolis, you will have to let me know--we could go to French Meadow or Ecopolitan or something!


  13. Look at that face! I have always thought that the yumminess of a food is directly relative to the amount of food that is smeared on one's face. We don't ever get "brussels sprouts face", but "chocolate face" is inevitable! :)

    Those shirts are lovely! Happy belated birthday to your husband!

    I hope your jaw is all better now. Congrats on the awards and stuff! :)

  14. I've never eaten Dandies! On the weekend, K and I went to the veg meetup camping trip and we had Sweet and Sara's s'mores. Well, some people did... I was so full from the extensive dinner experience I could only roast a marshmallow, but I certainly enjoyed it! And yours look absolutely delicious.

  15. Abigail,
    The p-nut butter was added in an attempt to include one healthy ingredient as much as for taste.:D But I think it tasted great and if I make these again, I'll definitely keep in in there.

    I know I'll probably be complaining, soon enough. I'm already starting to feel hot, but so far so good. I love Minneapolis but mostly see it from the airport these days. :(

    You know, I think I have seen brussels sprouts face, and it didn't look happy and crazed like chocolate face does. :D (Thanks for that hilarious image.)

    Thanks (shirts, awards, birthday)! My jaw will be "all better" in three months, according to the evil dentist, but it feels a lot better, and I can ignore it fairly easily now.

    Sweet and Sara's are good (if you like marshmallows) and the Dandies MAY be good but all stuck together in one blob is not helpful. I'm going to write to Chicago Dairy and ask about that. I saw pictures of you at the campout!

  16. That Thai food looks incredible, I can't believe it didn't taste good. I hate it when that happens, what a bummer! Sorry.

    And I'm also sorry you aren't a fan of tofu omelets, they are quite honestly one of my favorite things. I always HATED eggs in my pre-vegan days, but tofu omelets make me drool with joy!

    But the best part of this post was those smores...oh my!

  17. Debra,
    I've been having commenting issues and yours just popped up today. Thanks!

    I know. I was soooo disappointed by that Thai food. And while I don't think I'll ever be as enthusiastic as you are about the omelets, I may come to appreciate them more. They are so cool looking, I'll have to make them again!

    I believe Miss E would agree about the s'mores!

  18. I am sorry that Thai restaurant food was so horrible. My first thought was, oh how awesome but then I read about your dissapointment:(

  19. Bummer on the takeout, maybe the cook was on a mental vacation. Looks like someone really enjoyed her 4th of July. :-)

  20. Too bad about that shampoo-AND the restaurant (oh, and the omelet)! I've had a hard time finding good cosmetic products, even though I rarely wear makeup. Re: omelets, I also would prefer them dryer and recently discovered that baking them helps. I just think of it as a giant batch of tofu scramble. ;)

    Love the look of those s'mores! And you definitely have a great recommendation in your wee model. :)

  21. Mihl,
    My thought was the same as yours when I first saw the Thai dinner! And it usually IS awesome.

    Chow vegan,
    Miss E has a sweet tooth, much to her mother's chagrin.

    I love the shampoo in spite of its weird texture. The texture is probably the result of not having all the noxious chemicals that "normal" shampoos have.

    I'll have to try baking the omelets to get them dryer. Good idea. When I ate eggs (28 years ago!) they had to be dry as a bone (so to speak).

  22. This is awesome blog which i never seen in my life. Good to know about Pharmaca. This is very tasty and yummy food.
    Thank you for making this blog....
    organic eye makeup


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