Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Vegan Pizza Day!

My vegan pizza noms and Blue Moon beer from last night's
pizza party!
Today is Vegan Pizza Day and I couldn't be more excited!! Though, let me be frank, at least one day a week is vegan pizza day for me...yes, I am a vegan pizza addict! Anywho, there are tons of events going on today, including a pizza pub crawl in L.A., restaurants offering pizza specials and a whole lotta happy pizza-lovers sharing recipes, photos and the joy of cruelty-free pizza!

You can find tons of info on today's vegan pizza events and offers via Vegan Pizza Day's Twitter or Facebook, including what restaurants are participating and where to find vegan pizza noms. Even if you aren't vegan/vegetarian, it shouldn't stop you from enjoying some delicious vegan pizza pie!

As for me, I was so excited that there was a whole day devoted to vegan pizza that I celebrated a day early! Last night I had a vegan pizza party and baked my own pie (fresh dough, tomato sauce, Daiya mozzarella vegan cheese and FAVE type of pizza cuz I'm weird like that), drinking a few Barnivore-approved Blue Moon Belgian White beers (I'm not a big beer drinker, but this beer was actually DELISH!) and watching the ultimate pizza-lover movie - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Cowabunga, dudes!

 Awesome TMNT box art by Dave Perillo - source

How will you be celebrating Vegan Pizza Day?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Food Review: Yours Truly Cones by Tofutti

Don't mind my thumb that has sneaked into the photo!

I can't believe I have never tried these vegan Yours Truly by Tofutti ice cream cones! They are JUST like the Nestle Drumsticks I used to devour as a kid, but so much more awesome as they are vegan. Now, I learned that these were actually recalled in the U.S. a few years ago (due to trace milk allergens found in the product...ick), but I magically found some at my local Sprouts and on-sale, no less!

I am not sure if they are making these again or if by some fluke I just bought a really, really old box, but I'm just glad I got to taste these since they were like heaven in my mouth!

I gotta tell you, my photo above doesn't really do the Yours Truly cone justice. You can't see all the crumbly chocolate that tops the hard chocolate shell, which is to die for!! I am not kidding, it is some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted! Underneath the crunchy chocolate coating is a smooth vanilla ice cream and then the cone. The vanilla ice cream is creamy and packed full of flavor!

Ok, is a MUCH better pic of the cone - 
photo by the lovely Bianca of Vegan Crunk 

My only qualm with the dessert is that the cone was soggy and not crunchy. However, I did love how the very tip of the cone was chocolate-filled and so your last bite was that much more yummy! 

I don't know if these are still being made (I didn't see them on Tofutti's site), but if you happen to stumble upon these at a grocery store, don't hesitate to buy up their entire stock!!

I found mine on sale for around $4.79 and they come in a box of 4 delightful cones. 

For more info on Tofutti's products, visit their website!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Horror Film Alphabet

One of my Facebook friends shared this awesome poster and I couldn't help blogging about it since it is so darn cool!

Check out Stephen Wildish's Horror Film Alphabet:

Can you name all the films? Even I couldn't name all of them and I was seriously stumped on a few.

You can find the answers at the bottom of the post, after the jump!

Stephen Wildish has lots of more artwork like this, including a Sci-Fi Film Alphabet and tons of other cool stuff to check out on his website! He runs a creative design company in the UK and it looks like every Friday they try to post something "witty or pretty".

I love it!

The answers to the Horror Film Alphabet (after the jump):

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Food Review: Gardein Slow Cooked Barbecue Riblets

My local Fresh n Easy store is pretty carries loads of vegan goodies like Daiya cheese, So Delicious ice cream and Gardein products! They added quite a few Gardein products lately, and the other day I was delighted to find Gardein's vegan Slow Cooked Barbecue Riblets!

Do you remember when Gardenburger used to make THE vegan riblet a few years back? I was sooooo pissed when they stopped making those! Of course, we have Morningstar's version of riblets, but they just seemed pricier than what Gardenburger used to charge, so I have gone without vegan riblets for a long time.

So, you can imagine my glee when I saw that riblets from Gardein were available! Now, I'm not sure how long these have been on the market, but since I haven't seen them available before I imagine they must be relatively new.

There are two riblets per pack and I paid either $3.99 or $4.99 for them (apologies for not having the exact amount...I was too excited to try these and didn't pay that much attention to prices!). You prepare them by taking them and all their lovely BBQ sauce out of their packets and sticking them in the microwave for a few minutes. The scent that fills the kitchen while you are making these will definitely get your mouth watering!

I served my riblets on some hamburger buns, but there are tons of different ways to enjoy these, such as over rice with some veggies. I wanted something summer-y, though, so on a bun it went!

It was love at first bite! The riblet is tender, flavorful and is a delicious, cruelty-free substitute! I loved the tangy yet sweet BBQ sauce and the texture was just spot-on. It was filling without being heavy and left me feeling happy and satisfied!

Bravo (again) to Gardein for creating another outstanding faux meat dish! With products like these, I don't understand while people still choose to eat dead animal flesh!

For more info on Gardein and where to find their products (even major grocery stores are carrying their products now), please visit their website!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My 5 Favorite Things About Summer

Happy Summer Solstice!

In honor of June 20th's solstice, which marks the official start of summer as well as the longest day of the year, I put together a quick top 5 list of favorite things about summertime!

I'm not the biggest fan of summer (it is my least favorite season), but in the spirit of the season I figured I would take a walk on the sunny side of the street and list some positives to look forward to this season.

 Lolly Zombification by Steven Silverwood

1.) Popsicles - My current obsession is Trader Joe's Coconut Water Fruit Floes (review), but I pretty much love any chilled fruity sweet treats this time of year! It's my favorite way to cool down on a hot day. And there are so many vegan options to choose from it is redonkulous!

2.) Fresh Fruits and Veggies - I love being able to pack my fridge full of so many different varieties of fresh fruit and veggies during the summertime! Every trip to the farmer's market or grocery store yields an amazing bounty and it is so easy to eat fresh during this season.

 Orange County Fair by Jeff Voris

3.) County Fairs - The bright lights of the fairway, the crazy deep-fried foods, the kitschy crafts and the always lame "House of Horrors" that I insist on riding anyways...nothing quite says summer like the fair!

Veggie Kabobs by Vegan Soapbox

4.) Barbecues - Is there anything better (or easier) than throwing some Portobello mushrooms, veggie kabobs or veggie burgers/dogs on the grill, cracking open some beers and having some friends over for a casual BBQ? Barbecues are pretty much THE quintessential summertime activity and one of my faves to boot!

5.) Halloween is coming - My absolute FAVORITE thing about summer?? It means autumn and Halloween are only one season away!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

What are your favorite things about summer?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Red Band Trailer for Horror Anthology V/H/S is Here!

YES! Finally the red band trailer for the upcoming horror anthology V/H/S has premiered on Yahoo today! V/H/S will be released on-demand August 31 and in limited theaters October 5. Featuring footage from the collective minds of Adam Wingard (You’re Next, A Horrible Way to Die, Pop Skull), Simon Barrett (You’re Next, Dead Birds), Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers), David Bruckner (The Signal), Joe Swanberg (Silver Bullets), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), along with YouTube sensations Radio Silence, V/H/S looks pretty darn amazing and actually pretty freaky!

Here is the official synopsis:

“When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.”

Check out the trailer below or on Yahoo:

I am really stoked for this movie! I think that despite the fact that it is shot in the popular hand-held style it actually looks like it will bring something fresh, fun and scary to the horror genre. Plus, it features some of the most exciting up-and-comers in the horror genre today! I can't tell you how nice it is to finally be excited about a horror movie again!

What do you guys think?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rosemary Smashed Oven Potatoes

Last night I tried a super-easy recipe for what I like to call Rosemary Smashed Oven Potatoes, adapted from a recipe for Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Potatoes. Now, generally when I make oven potatoes I cube potatoes into bite-sized bits and just stick them in the oven, but this recipe called for bigger chunks and a different way of preparing them, which resulted in delicious results!

All you need are:

-Potatoes (small round ones work best, but you can use Russet potatoes)
-Olive Oil
-Fresh Rosemary
-Salt and Pepper
-Minced Garlic

Jamie Oliver's recipe calls for smaller potatoes, but I used big ol' russet potatoes. To start, I scrubbed and rinsed about 5 or 6 potatoes. Now, this next step is where the prep differs dramatically from any oven potatoes I've made. After washing the taters, I threw them whole into a big pot of boiling water with some sea salt for 10 minutes. I left the peels on, but you can also peel them if you like before boiling them. This extra par-boiling step softens them right up and preps them for oven baking. At this point you can pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the potatoes were boiling, I took about 4 or 5 sprigs of rosemary (you can use more or less, depending on your taste preference) and stripped the leaves off the branches. In a small bowl I mixed the rosemary leaves, a few drizzles of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. I also added a few splashes of vinegar (Jamie Oliver suggests red wine vinegar, but I used balsamic), which serves to make the flavors of the dish really pop!

After 10 minutes of boiling, I drained the potatoes and, after a few minutes of letting them cool, sliced them in half and then cut the halves into about four smaller pieces (you could also quarter them).

I lined a baking sheet (make sure it has raised edges - an oven-safe casserole dish would also work) with foil, then drizzles about 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil on it. I placed all my sliced potatoes on the sheet (flat side down) and drizzled a bit more olive oil over the potatoes. I sprinkled some sea salt and pepper over the potatoes and popped them in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. We will add the rosemary mixture to the potatoes after the first 30 minutes are up.

After 30 minutes I took the potatoes out of the oven and smashed them with a masher (though even a fork would work for this). You just mash the potatoes down flat so they have more surface area to cook. At this point I also added the rosemary mixture. You wait until this point to add it so the rosemary leaves will cook to a perfect crisp without burning.

Pop everything back in the oven (still at 375 degrees) for an additional 30 minutes and when you pull it out again the potatoes should be a bit crispy around the edges and just loaded with that lovely rosemary and garlic taste! The special techniques of par-boiling the potatoes first as well as the addition of vinegar to the rosemary/garlic mix really amp up the textures and flavors of this recipe...thanks Jamie Oliver!

If you've got about an hour and are looking for some simple comfort food, these Rosemary Smashed Oven Potatoes are an easy, aromatic and satisfying dish!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: Haunted Air by Ossian Brown

I have been coveting Haunted Air for quite some time, but was never able to purchase it since it kept selling out and/or was too expensive. Well, I finally got my grubby little paws on it once it was back in stock on Amazon...and I'm glad I did, since it is on the verge of selling out again!

This creepy book is a collection of old Halloween photographs from circa 1875 - 1955, courtesy of Ossian Brown (artist, musician, composer). Each of the 200+ pages contains just one eerie black and white photograph showing people in handmade masks/costumes, wrapped in long shrouds, draped in Halloween finery, often among the company of grinning jack-o-lanterns or vintage Halloween decorations. The vintage Halloween photographs are both spooky and nostalgic. They succeed in evoking both the giddy happiness as well as the delicious frights of the season.

The indescribable photos are reason enough to drool over this book, but on top of the fantastically freaky photos Haunted Air also includes a short but sweet intro by the master of weird himself, David Lynch, as well as a hauntingly beautiful passage on Halloween by author Geoff Cox and a historical note on Halloween by Ossian Brown.

I spent a good half-hour just flipping through the book and was completely enthralled by the photos...I know I'll be looking through it again soon to take a closer look at the photographs and the subjects portrayed. I love imagining who these people were, what Halloween meant to them and just how in the world they came up with or made their costumes!

This is the perfect coffee table book for any Halloween hound (or for those that just want to freak their friends out). It is handsomely bound in soft black canvas and the pages within are thick and glossy. This is one book that will definitely be adorning my coffee table for months to come and will undoubtedly get me inspired to start planning this year's All Hallow's Eve festivities!

Buy it on Amazon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals 2012

Farm Sanctuary has announced their Fall 2012 Walk for Farm Animals! They will be hosting the Walk for Farm Animals from September through November in a city near you.

When you Walk for Farm Animals, you help to raise vital funds for Farm Sanctuary's rescue, education and advocacy work while also creating awareness about the horrifying plight of farm animals. Events will take place in cities across the U.S. and Canada and will include special speakers, live music, food, prizes and much, much more!

Join a movement for change and register for an event in your area or participate online through the "Sleep In for Farm Animals" virtual walk! Just visit to learn more and register!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RIP Ray Bradbury, King of the Autumn People

The Halloween Tree painted by Ray Bradbury

When I learned today that literary icon Ray Bradbury had passed, I was overwhelmed with shock and then sadness. For all you autumn people out there, you know how much I love his books based around our favorite holiday, All Hallow's Eve. From the spectacular Something Wicked This Way Comes (also an excellent movie) to the short stories in The October Country to my personal favorite, The Halloween Tree (also made into a fun animated movie [narrated by Bradbury but sadly only available on VHS] and audio book), Bradbury idolized, celebrated and had a healthy respect (and fear) for the hallowed holiday. 

I will never forget Bradbury's poignant writing style, especially in his Halloween-themed works, where his words could conjure up the sights and sounds of bright, crunching leaves, the smell of warm pumpkin spice and the bittersweet feeling of being a kid on the cusp of adulthood around the best time of the year.

No one else could describe October-obsessed people like myself as eloquently as Bradbury (excerpt from The October Country):

“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.” 

May you rest in peace amongst endless pumpkin patches under an autumn sky, Ray.

October won't be the same without you. 

NOES Screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery this Saturday!


Cinespia, the film series that screens movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery every summer, will be showing A Nightmare on Elm Street this Saturday, June 9th!

If you've never been, the experience is pretty darn bring your own booze, your own picnic fixings, blankets, chairs and whatever else it takes to make you comfy in a cemetery! A DJ spins before the screening and the actual movie is projected on the mausoleum wall as you sit under the stars and amongst the headstones.

Cinespia shows only a few horror movies during the summer months and this is definitely one you won't want to miss! If more classic flicks are your style, they also show a lot of different genres throughout the summer.

For ticket and further event info visit Cinespia's website!

Below is Cinespia's teaser trailer for Saturday's event:

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