Thursday, December 31, 2015

Restaurant Review: Ramen Hood in Los Angeles, CA

Vegan Ramen at Ramen Hood in DTLA - yes, that "egg" is 100% vegan!

Ramen Hood is one of the most buzzed about new restaurants, located in downtown Los Angeles' Grand Central Market among many other food vendor stalls in an airy, industrial-style building. Ramen Hood is the brainchild of Top Chef winner Ilan Hall, and while the chef isn't vegan, everything on the Ramen Hood menu is. I have been dying to try this place for a few months now. I mean, I cannot remember the last time I had vegan ramen - I know several places offer it (many of the Asian vegan restaurants or those with vegan options offer a vegan ramen), but the only vegan ramen I've had recently is instant ramen. So you can imagine my excitement when a legit vegan ramen place opened up! Finally, I can get my slurp on!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Restaurant Review: Poqet Donuts in Irvine, CA

Vegan Donuts from Poqet

Poqet Donuts (Poqet is pronounced "pocket") recently opened up in Irvine, California, and to my delight I learned they had several vegan donut options available! Poqet Donuts is kind of a "build your own" donut place, like Donut Friend in Los Angeles. Like Donut Friend, they also have many donuts already prepared. Unlike Donut Friend, the majority of their donuts are not vegan (boo), however they do offer two vegan donuts at this time - a Samoa flavor and a Strawberry flavor (woo hoo!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2015

When I started making my list of the best horror movies of 2015, I remember thinking that it would be a tough task, as 2015 didn't really stand out for me as a banner year for horror movies. I felt like there just weren't that many new releases and it would be hard to come up with 10 horror movies I adored this year. However, as I started making my list, I realized that this year it was about quality over quantity, and that there were several stellar horror releases in 2015.

This year (and as usual), indie horror reigned supreme, and while I already had most of the horror movies mentioned below on my radar, there were a few pleasant surprises! Another surprise was how varied my favorite horror movies were, from comedies to romance to gothic to artsy to gory to holiday horrors! Lots of different sub-genres this year, which I always count as a good thing!

I did find a pattern for many of the horror films I did end up enjoying. While some of the best horror movies of 2015 were raucous, fun affairs, I found that the majority of the ones I liked best were actually understated and subtle, films that really stuck with me long after I finished watching them. There were also several challenging horror titles, which I had to watch multiple times to decide whether I loved or loathed them (and at least one of my picks I'm still conflicted about).

So below, please find my top 10 horror movies of 2015!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Vegan Quiche with Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg

I've had such great success with Follow Your Heart's much-coveted VeganEgg! I've made vegan scrambled eggs and omelets with it and experienced mouth-watering results, so I decided I HAD to make a vegan quiche with this magical product!

While I've had vegan quiche at restaurants (like a very memorable quiche from Timeless Coffee up in Oakland!), I've never attempted one myself. Before the VeganEgg, it just seemed unattainable and too difficult to try. Now, thanks to Follow Your Heart, I can make a vegan quiche in about an hour! And not only is it really quick and easy, but the results are delicious! Check out the recipe below...

Monday, December 21, 2015

5 Horror Movies to See this Winter

Today is the winter solstice, which marks the beginning of winter! We usually don't see too many horror movies this time of year, due to the holidays and the months of January and February are usually kinda barren for cinema. However, the next couple of months will bring some rather intriguing horror films to see! Below you will find 5 of my most anticipated horror films in the coming months.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beauty Review: Goddess Provisions Box

The Goddess Provisions monthly subscription box was created by the lovely couple behind the awesomely successful Vegan Cuts subscription boxes (my reviews of the snack box and the beauty box). The Goddess Provisions box is geared more towards getting in touch with your self and the Earth while nourishing both, along with mind, body, and spirit. The monthly box features aromatherapy, crystals, superfoods, natural makeup, and other tools for spiritual growth! Everything is always cruelty-free and vegan, and there are about 4 - 6 full-size products in each box.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vegan Holiday Gift Guide 2015

I love making/perusing holiday gift guides! There is just something so fun about discovering rad new products that could make the perfect gift for loved ones (or yourself)! And let's face it, there are gift guides for everyone out there, including tons of gift guides specifically geared towards vegans.

I've already written holiday gift guides this year for the darkly inclined and Krampus fans, but I also wanted to post a gift guide geared specifically toward vegans or the vegan-curious and post some of the most sought-after vegan products of 2015! These are items that are on all vegans' wish lists this year, including my own! Check out my picks below, plus links to some other awesome vegan gift guides:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

20 Snowbound Horror Movies

A few years ago I made my list for my top 20 Christmas horror movies (read 20-11 and 10-1), and I still stand by these lists today, but besides Christmas horror movies, I also like watching horror movies set in winter - you know, ones with heaps of snow, where people are isolated and even hampered by the cold weather, movies that are perfect to curl up on the couch with on these colder days.

Personally, I love snowbound horror movies because I don't get snow where I live, and frankly it never really gets that cold. In a way, I get to live vicariously through these horror films with stunning winter landscapes.

So grab your coziest blanket, cuddle up on the couch with some hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in the winter wonderlands of these twenty snowbound horror movies!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Monsters' Holiday by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

The monsters plan a heist of Santa's sleigh, but Santa surprises the monsters with some appropriate gifts...listen to this lost holiday classic by Bobby "Boris" Picket below!

Available on Amazon!

Friday, December 11, 2015

10 Creepy Calendars for 2016

Maybe it's my nerdy side, but towards the end of every year I enthusiastically look forward to picking out my calendars for the next year. I generally buy one for work, then another two for my home. I used to diligently record birthdays, anniversaries, events, holidays, concerts and so on in my calendars, but now that my phone handles all that I generally use them as a point of reference and wall decorations. While wall calendars aren't altogether necessary anymore, I still like having them around, especially since there are so many different options for them out there!

I've been keeping an eye out for cool, creepy calendars that fit my personality, and this year there are so many options in keeping with the gothic aesthetic I so love!

Check out my picks for the 10 creepy calendars for 2016 below:

Edward Gorey 2016 Calendar on Amazon

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Non-Fiction Books for Horror Lovers

Stumped for a gift for your favorite dark heart? One of my favorite gifts to give and to receive is a book! And luckily there have been many neat non-fiction books released recently that would make perfect gifts for horror lovers or those that appreciate darker, more morbid tomes.

Below you'll find my suggestions for eight non-fiction books I think would make fantastic gifts, ranging from Halloween adult coloring books to picture books on gothic television shows and movies to horror artwork to dangerous fashion to horror memoirs and more!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Creepmas Carols from Gothic Maestro Aurelio Voltaire

Aurelio Voltaire is a goth cabaret artist, filmmaker, author, and all-around Renaissance man. He is witty and charming, his songs are dark and catchy, and he is one handsome gentleman! I have been a fan of his work for quite some time now, but I never realized he had several funny, creepy Christmas carols, stories, and even a Halloween/Christmas cross-over book!

I've posted a few of these delightful ditties below:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gothic, Halloween and Horror-Inspired Wrapping Paper for Ghoulish Gifts

Who doesn't appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift? And while there is a lot of generic, boring red and green wrapping paper out there, you can find lots of unique wrapping paper online! I've gone ahead and done the legwork for you and I've found some fun wrapping paper on par with our dark aesthetics, whether it's gothic, Halloween, or horror-inspired.

See what kind of awesome wrapping paper lurks on the interwebs below - links will take you to each respective site where you can get more info/buy the wrapping paper:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: 10 Must-Have Gifts for Krampus Lovers

Krampus has been gaining in popularity over the last few years, and it's expected that popularity will explode with the new Krampus movie that just opened this past weekend (if you haven't yet, go see it! It's great fun!). The love Krampus is getting is justified - who wouldn't love a scary monster who shoves naughty kids in a sack instead of bringing presents?!

For Krampus lovers, this popularity is pretty cool considering all the awesome evil merchandise it has generated! With Krampus being well-known, you can now express your dark side during the holidays, with one of the many rad products with Krampus all over it.

And if you happen to be looking for a gift for a fellow Krampus lover (or yourself), consider picking up one (or more) of these deliciously dark Krampus-inspired products:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Greeting Cards for Horror Fans

Are you sick of all the saccharine seasonal cards with sappy messages? Do you want a holiday card that reflects your spooky side? Well, I've scoured Etsy and found some fantastic horror-day cards that will delight our dark hearts!

Send some holiday fear this year with these ho-ho-horrible holiday cards (and by horrible I mean kick-ass!):

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Merry Krampusnacht!

Someone's been naughty!

The night of December 5th marks Krampusnacht or Krampus night, which precedes the Feast of Saint Nicholas traditionally held on December 6th. Krampus is St. Nicholas' demonic counterpart, and instead of bringing good little boys and girls presents, he punishes the naughty children.

I hope you've been good, because Krampus is coming tonight!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Support "V Marks the Shop", a Vegan Convenience Store Coming Soon to Philadelphia

I've always wanted to visit Philadelphia - there are so many places to I want to go in and around the City of Brotherly Love, and my bucket list includes the fancy and highly rated restaurant Vedge, the gorgeous Laurel Hill Cemetery (oh, to explore the old gravestones there would be heaven), Grindcore House coffee shop (metal music and vegan goodies?? YES PLEASE), the Mütter Museum (housing a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment),  Charlie Was a Sinner bar (slinging vegan drinks and eats), Vegan Treats (a few hours outside the city, but I'm sure their treats are well worth the drive!), and, now, V Marks the Shop, a new vegan convenience store that wants to join the burgeoning vegan scene in Philly.

Ugly Creepmas Sweaters for the Wicked

Ugly Christmas sweaters aren't what they used to be, and for us with wicked, darker inclinations, they can be rather fun! I even kind of look forward to discovering new designs every year. And this year I've found several ugly Creepmas sweaters and t-shirts inspired by horror movies, gothic aesthetics, killer Santas, the legend of Krampus, and, my personal favorite, Morrissey!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Midnight Syndicate's Gothic Christmas Songs

Midnight Syndicate recently released their first-ever Christmas album, entitled Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering, and it is full of dark twists on classic Christmas tunes, plus some ethereal new material for the winter season. The album description sets the stage for the sinister soundscape:

"As fierce winter winds cut across the frozen landscape, a welcoming golden glow beckons from the windows of a venerable country mansion. Decorated in the festive trappings of Yule, its stately walls seem to offer a much-needed respite for the weary traveler. But the holiday spirits are restless and eager for company this night, as the haunting strains of melodies old and new call forth from the shadows." 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Goth Gifts for the Darkly Inclined

This gift guide came about for rather selfish reasons, I must admit - all these goodies are items I would LOVE as gifts for myself this season. I am lusting over beautiful baubles, witchy subscription boxes, beautifully bound books, an array of cruelty-free, dramatic makeup, glittering jewels, scintillating scents, recluse-themed clothing, eerie accessories, and music!

Take a peek below to see what's on my wish list and get some ideas for what to ask for/buy for yourself this year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Invoking the Creepmas Spirit and Summoning the 13 Days of Creepmas

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Merry Creepmas, all you naughty boils and ghouls! Today marks the start of 13 devilish days of Creepmas, when we creepy kooks inject some Halloween into the holidays and make it a spooky season, filled with good cheer fear!

On this first day of Creepmas, we must recite the annual Creepmas invocation, calling forth the spirits of the season to kick off the 13 Days of Creepmas. Join me in reciting a short Creepmas poem by co-founder of the event, Chad Savage (artist extraordinaire and owner of Sinister Visions and Cult of the Great Pumpkin):

How will you be celebrating Creepmas this year?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Food Review: Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg

My Follow Your Heart VeganEgg haul from Amazon!

I finally got around to trying Follow Your Heart's new VeganEgg over the long Thanksgiving holiday, and lemme tell you, the hype is real! I basically ate "eggs" all weekend long thanks to this amazing new product! Its base is algal, which is derived from algae, and it is this substance that gives it the unique, egg-like texture. The VeganEgg comes in a cute little biodegradable egg carton. Inside the carton is a packet of powder that, when mixed with water, makes the VeganEgg! You just mix powder with water per the directions, and each carton makes approximately a dozen "eggs".

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Making Creepmas (aka Halloween in December!)

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Do you pine for Halloween? Do you dread all the Christmas carols and sappiness of the season? Do you crave holiday fear instead of cheer this December? Then stay tuned for the annual 13 Days of Creepmas, which starts December 1st! If you aren't familiar with Creepmas, read about the inspiration and rationale behind it on!

Along with other ghouls and boils, I'm participating again in the 13 Days of Creepmas, where I'll be sharing spooky posts to inject some much-needed Halloween spirit into the holly-jolly season. A few posts I have planned include multiple holiday gift guides for the darkly inclined, horror fans, Krampus-lovers, and more, horror movie suggestions for the horror-days, macabre music and creepy Christmas carols, suggestions for horrifying holiday cards, and much more!

Until then, stay spooky!

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg Available on Amazon

The product everyone has been buzzing about, the VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart (makers of some of my favorite salad dressings and the most amazing vegan Provolone cheese!) is now available on Amazon! This has probably been the most-anticipated vegan product launch this year, and for good reason! Sure, vegans have had egg replacers for years now (I love Neat Egg, Ener-G Egg Replacer, Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer, and The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk + Baking Mix Set), but those were used mostly in baking, and you couldn't really make a scramble and certainly not an omelet with them. Don't get me wrong, tofu scrambles are awesome (and I make them a lot), but they don't have that fluffy consistency of eggs.

So that's why I (and many others) have been dying to try this stuff for a long time! I hadn't ordered it yet since shipping costs from other stores were a bit high, and since Follow Your Heart said it was coming to any day now. It finally arrived on Amazon and I've already ordered mine! It's around $7.50 for a 4 ounce carton of the VeganEgg on Amazon, and comes with free 2-day shipping for Prime Members! I can't wait to make scrambles, omelets, quiches and more with this cruelty-free and compassionate alternative to eggs.

FYI - the egg industry is one of the cruelest in the animal agriculture world, grinding up live male chicks that can't be used for egg production, cramming egg-laying hens in tiny battery cages and manipulating their egg-laying cycle by basically torturing them in order to get them to lay the most amount of eggs, and the conditions are absolutely toxic and wretched for both the poor chickens and the human workers - you can learn about more reasons to ditch eggs on, which is run by Compassion Over Killing, a very good resource to educate yourself on the horrors of the agricultural industry. Also, "21 Things the Egg Industry Doesn’t Want You to See" is a quick break-down of the brutality living beings, both human and animal, endure at the hands of the egg industry. And, frankly, eggs aren't even that good for you despite the lies/media campaigns the American Egg Board tries to fleece the American public with. The AEB is scrambling (hardy har) now more than ever as egg sales decline, plus they are in hot water after it surfaced that they tried to obstruct Hampton Creek's (makers of the yummy and eggless Just Mayo) products from being sold in Whole Foods. The egg industry is shameless and evil, built on exploiting living beings and engaging in unethical practices.

Thankfully, people are becoming more aware of the awful truths of the egg industry, and giving up eggs in amazing numbers! And now that there is a solid, plant-based, and cruelty-free alternative on the market, there is no good reason to continue supporting such a horrible industry. Replace eggs with the new VeganEgg, available now on Amazon!

The VeganEgg is also available from other retailers, just check out the list on the Follow Your Heart site here!

Friday, November 20, 2015

John Carpenter Performs Horror Movie Scores and More Over Halloween 2016

Beautiful poster featuring artwork by Camille Rose Garcia

Who wants to join me in England next Halloween to see John Carpenter perform his music from horror movies like Halloween, Christine, and They Live, plus his Lost Themes LP as well as his brand new music?! And by join me, I mean who wants to buy me a plane ticket???

I'm imagining walking down damp, foggy cobblestone streets while Carpenter's synth-heavy music ominously pulses over the scene, while neon lights briefly highlight the shadows and shapes lurking in the dark. Doesn't that sound just perfect?!

While I'm off daydreaming, why don't you read the official event description via All Tomorrow's Parties:

Green Saturday LA - An Eco-Friendly Pop-Up Market for Unique Holiday Gifts

Skip Black Friday, and support local, independent businesses with Green Saturday!

If you are in the Southern California area, a fantastic event is occurring after Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 28th, 2015. It is the first ever Green Saturday LA, an eco-friendly, cruelty-free pop-up market that boasts an array of different vendors where you can find the perfect unique gift for your loved ones (and maybe pick up a little something for yourself)! Vendors will be selling jewelry, accessories, t-shirts, crafts, tote bags, skin care, makeup, chocolates, essential oils, teas, art, veg food, and much more! And another benefit is that you will be supporting local, independent businesses this holiday season!

Not only that, but a portion of proceeds from Green Saturday LA will be donated to the Whiskers and Tails Foundation, a local animal rescue that rescues and adopts various animals, from cats and dogs, to ducks, pigs and goats. Please consider making an additional donation at the event to help Whiskers and Tails continue their important work, from ensuring the overall welfare of their lovely animals to rescuing more animals in need!

Date and Time: Saturday, November 28th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Location: Alpine Village - Klubhaus
833 W. Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90502

Admission: Entry per adult is $5 or FREE with a donation of cat or dog food, new cat or dog toy, or a clean blanket that will go to Whiskers and Tails Foundation. Children under 10 are free.

For more information on the event, please visit their website and Facebook event page!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Guide to Vegan Holiday Roasts

It is easier than ever to choose to have a compassionate holiday dinner, so why not try some delectable vegan roasts for your holiday celebrations this year? If you think about it, it really doesn't make sense to give thanks by causing the pain and suffering of sentient beings, nor does it make sense to gather friends and family around a corpse, right? So why not serve compassionate, cruelty-free centerpieces to your friends and family instead?! Ones that truly celebrate the peace, love and community that these holidays represent.

If this is your first vegan holiday season, you have many options to choose from, and you can find an amazing vegan roast to suit any taste! Finding a vegan roast is easy, the hard part is picking just one (my suggestion - try several!)! And if you've been enjoying vegan holiday dinners for years, you'll be pleased to know there are some new options this year that look mouth-watering!

Keep reading below, where you'll find my guide for vegan holiday roasts. I've broken them up by type so you can easily find what you are looking for! Of course, this list isn't all-inclusive, but rather comprised of vegan roasts I highly recommend or ones I am looking forward to trying!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Food Review: Daiya Deluxe Cheezy Mac

Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac

Just a year or so ago, vegans didn't have many options for cruelty-free mac and cheese. We had the delicious frozen mac and cheese from Amy's [review], but the first boxed vegan mac and cheese that was decent was Earth Balance's version [review], released just last year in 2014! After that, many new vegan mac and cheese options have hit the market, including Daiya's three different types. I had tried this kind at Expo West (read about my initial thoughts on it HERE), so I was ecstatic when it finally hit shelves.

Daiya's Cheezy Mac is different from other brands' mac and cheeses as it comes with a packet of cheezy sauce and instead of powdered cheese mix, so you don't need to add any non-dairy milk or vegan butter to make it. Everything you need (macaroni pasta and cheezy sauce) are included in the box it comes in. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Watch Now on Netflix: Kristy

I wasn't sure what to expect from Kristy when I happened upon it while scrolling through new titles on Netflix, however, I vaguely recall someone recommending the film, so I gave it a go. It is directed by Oliver Blackburn (director of Donkey Punch, which I didn't care for), and written by Anthony Jaswinski, which further piqued my interest as he wrote the enjoyable Vanishing on 7th Street. So this past weekend I watched it and was certainly glad I did...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Food Review: So Delicious Pizza Mac and Cheese

So Delicious' Pizza Mac and Cheese

I really had high hopes for So Delicious' Pizza Mac and Cheese, cuz how could anything pizza-flavored be bad? Well, let me save you the horror of eating this and let me tell you - it's BAD. I really hate giving bad reviews to vegan food items, but sometimes companies just don't hit the mark, and just because something is vegan doesn't mean it's good. Plus, if someone veg-curious picked this up and HATED it, that doesn't really do veganism any justice. However, there is a silver lining to this mac and cheese, and I did manage to salvage on to find out how.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Keep the Halloween Spirit Alive Year-Round

I've seen a lot of articles with the dreary titles "How to Recover from Halloween" or "How to Cope with Post-Halloween Depression" and so on, and every time I see one of these I roll my eyes, because there is a better way to avoid sad feelings about Halloween being over! For some of us spooky folk, Halloween never has to end, because it can be everyday for us! Let me show you how...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Food Review: Annie's Vegan Shells and Creamy Sauce

It's always great having another vegan option hit the market, especially when it's vegan mac and cheese! There have been so many vegan mac and cheese options hitting the market lately that I've been pretty overwhelmed with trying all the options. I have finally tried the majority of them over the past few months, and I'm dedicating this week to reviewing them all! If you want to see earlier examples of vegan mac and cheese, check out my Earth Balance review and Amy's review! Those are two solid standbys I pretty much judge all vegan mac and cheese by!

Anywho, first up in the newbies of vegan mac and cheeses is Annie's Homegrown Organic Vegan Shells and Creamy Sauce. Interesting to note that Annie's never calls it mac and cheese but I'm pretty sure anyone that looks at the box will assume it promises some mac and cheese-like flavors and textures.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Vincent the Vegetable Vampire

Why yes, that is vampire Morgan Freeman about to sink his 
fangs into a delicious cucumber (or zucchini)!

Um, found my spirit animal via the She Walks Softly blog who posted an old skit from a '70s TV show called Electric Company (according to IMBD, it's "a comedy variety show that teaches basic phonetic and grammar concepts using live-action sketches, cartoons, songs, and Spider-Man episodes."). The skit features Morgan Freeman dressed as a vampire singing about draining veggies and "creeping in the garden of your dreams." COULD THAT BE ANY MORE PERFECT?! No, I didn't think so, and you can check out this fellow spooky vegan from way back in the day below:

Vegan vampires rule.

Halloween Leftovers - A Photo Post

Halloween may be over, but Hallowvember is in full swing and since we are still celebrating all things Halloween I wanted to share some photos from the Halloween season that I haven't had a chance to post previously.

Many of these were taken Halloween night, but there are a few stragglers from earlier in the month of October as well. Happy Hallowvember and enjoy photos from my Halloween celebrations!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rob Zombie's Halloween Playlist

How did I miss this? Rob Zombie (FYI - he's vegan!) shared his ultimate Halloween playlist over at EW right before Halloween! It's filled with Halloween favorites and nostalgic picks that remind Zombie of his childhood. Some neat recollections of touring with awesome bands are also included in the article, so check it out!

I found out about Zombie's playlist from Wonderful Wonderblog, while browsing blogs who are participating in Hallowvember, an extension of our favorite holiday into November hosted by Spooky Moon! Wonderful Wonderblog was lovely enough to put together Rob Zombie's picks into a playlist, and voila, here it is for your listening pleasure:

Stay spooky, fiends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Food Review: Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites

It is just so darn cool how easy being vegan has become! Pretty much any kind of food is available in a vegan version nowadays, and more and more people are choosing compassionate meals! Gardein is a huge contributor to making being vegan so easy with their plant-based, protein-packed vegan meats! Gardein has been a favorite ever since they hit the market a few short years ago, and they keep amazing me with their products. Their newest product, along with their Crabless Cakes [review] is their Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites.

I have tried these before at Expo West (where they made my top 10 list!), and have been impatiently waiting for them to hit stores. I finally found them at Ralph's grocery store (they also are carrying the new Crabless Cakes!) this past October and did a happy dance! I loved these at Expo, and couldn't wait to sink my teeth into these cruelty-free bites again!

Hallowvember - Halloween Extended into November!

Who says Halloween has to be over? Not me, as I'll be joining a bunch of other boo-tiful bloggers for Hallowvember, a concept that Spooky Moon came up with to extend our beloved hallow-day into the month of November. Expect more spooky, Halloween-themed posts coming up!

I mean, it's already spooky here year-round, but now expect even MORE spook the month of November, and into December as well for the annual tradition of Creepmas! This Halloween continuation will also help us all deal with the Post-Halloween Depression we are surely all dealing with. Perhaps this will also help distract us from the obnoxious Christmas decorations that are already popping up everywhere (and have been since before Halloween, ugh) and the people already putting up their Christmas trees (this happens AFTER Thanksgiving, people! Just stop it already!).

Don't forget to check out the other scary scribes who are keeping the Halloween spirit going all Hallowvember - a full list of bloggers participating is over at the Spooky Moon blog!

Happy Hallowvember (aka the best idea ever!)!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Food Review: Upton's Naturals Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit

Upton's new Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit served up in tacos, perfectly 
paired with Califia Farms' Vanilla Coconut Horchata!

I have been waiting for Upton's Naturals to release their new jackfruit products since I had the opportunity to try them at Expo West (they were number 3 on my top 10 products from the expo!). I was so happy when I found the Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit at Whole Foods!

Jackfruit, in case you are wondering, is a versatile plant most often used in Indian and Asian cuisine as well in other parts of the world. Ripe jackfruit has a fruity, sweet flavor, but unripe jackfruit, like what Upton's uses, is often used as a vegetarian meat substitute, since it mimics the look and texture of meat as well as easily soaking up seasonings/flavorings.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and My Autumn Bucket List Completion

It's the best day of the year! Happy Halloween, spookies!

I can't believe Halloween is already here, and I have to tell you with the elation of my favorite holiday being here also comes a melancholy feeling that another Halloween season is nearly over.

Today, though, is all about celebration, and I plan on eating pumpkin-flavored everything, putting on a costume, carving some pumpkins, and handing out candy to trick or treaters while marathoning Halloween movies all day and night long!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooky Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

I have been listening to Halloween music pretty much non-stop since, oh, about May or June! It's really a year-round thing for me, and when it comes to Halloween music I have pretty eclectic taste - I listen to everything from Halloween jingles of yesteryear to old-timey blues songs to Halloween classics to freak folk to indie to goth to industrial and beyond. This year I listened to more dark indie stuff, coupled with some old favorites mainly from goth or alternative subgenres.

I always love checking out other people's recommendations for Halloween songs or songs that invoke a spooky spirit, so I thought I would share some of my own picks for my Halloween playlist this year. The songs below have been on heavy rotation this year, and there are some new ones mixed in with some old favorites! I also have curated several Halloween playlists over at 8tracks if you are looking for more!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Product Review: District Vegan Tees

Ok, I seriously must have been living under a rock, because I just recently discovered the utterly fabulous District Vegan line, run by none other than my very good Instagram/Facebook friend, Toni! I can't believe it took me this long to clue into her fantastic designs, ranging from t-shirts to stickers to sweaters to pins and more!

District Vegan is a one-woman operation, and on top of designing the tees, Toni also handles all packaging, shipping, etc. Speaking of packaging, she uses upcycled materials like re-purposed grocery bags or boxes whenever possible. If all that isn't awesome enough, 10% of proceeds are donated to animal rights rescue and advocacy groups! When I ordered my goodies in October, a portion went to Bat World Sanctuary, which made me so happy!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Candy Corn Pizza

Ahhhhh how I miss candy corn! The candy corn you find in stores isn't vegan, and I woefully miss it around this time of year (hey vegan companies, how about someone makes a vegan version pretty please??).

I gotta get my candy corn fix somewhere, so that's where this pizza comes in. No, it doesn't taste like candy corn, but its triangular slices sure do look like the sweet stuff! I was inspired to make a vegan version after seeing a recipe in the Ghoulish Goodies cookbook

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Restaurant Review: Amy's Drive Thru in Rohnert Park, CA

Vegan milkshake, burger and fries at Amy's Drive Thru!

I was recently up north in Napa Valley for my little sister's wedding, and was absolutely delighted that I had time to pop over the hill to check out Amy's Drive Thru in Rohnert Park in Sonoma County. You may recognize the Amy's Kitchen brand from the frozen/convenience meals they make, of which many are vegan. I love Amy's vegan meals (two of my faves are their Vegan Margherita Pizza and their Dairy Free Rice Mac and Cheeze), and was so excited about their new restaurant, even if it is about 500 miles away from me. I missed the opening by about a month the last time I was up north (they opened in July 2015, I was there in June), so I was SO HAPPY that I finally got to go this October.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Food Review: Peanut Butter and Co.'s Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter

You read that right - Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter is here during the most wonderful time of the year! I finally got my hands on some Peanut Butter and Co.'s Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter - I grabbed mine at Sprouts, but I assume you can find it elsewhere, too. Last year I settled for the very unhealthy Jif version (review), so I was overjoyed at finally getting my hands on the good stuff!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

50 Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix this Halloween

I know everyone has been bitching about Netflix not adding many new horror titles to their lineup this October, but the truth is that they have a lot of decent to excellent horror flicks streaming for you to get your scare on this Halloween! And the good news is that they have something for everyone, from spooky, subdued stories to goofy crowd pleasers to horror classics! I've scoured through the current Netflix catalog for the U.S. and picked 50 horror movies (plus a few extras) that should keep you busy from now to Halloween. I've mentioned old favorites that can be rewatched again and again, but I hope you will find something new to watch, too!

I've broken down my recommendations in categories so it's easier to find what you are in the mood for, like what to watch when you want to be scared or what to watch when you want a fun crowd-pleaser. I think it's easier to recommend movies by what you feel like watching rather that give a big ol' list.

Now, without further ado, here are 50 horror movies to watch on Netflix this Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2015

First Ever SoCal VegFest Spooks Up Fun and Food November 1st in Costa Mesa, CA

SoCal VegFest is Orange County's first ever vegan festival and will showcase delicious vegan food and beautiful vegan products on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa! The event will also feature special guest speakers, cooking demos, live music, and much more! Entry is FREE and I hear they may have some Halloween and/or Dia de los Muertos activities planned as well.

Come out and cure your Halloween hangovers with some delicious vegan food and hang with some fun, friendly veg peeps! More details below...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ghost with the Most Pizza

Last year I started making spooky-shaped pizzas and everyone went nuts for them! One of the most popular was this Ghost with the Most pizza, which is simply vegan pizza dough (I use the Trader Joe's one) rolled out and shaped into a ghost, then topped with pizza sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya, but I also like Follow Your Heart's shreds). Finish it off by adding some eyes and a mouth - I used sliced olives, but you could also use sliced jalapeños, maybe some sliced tomatoes, or anything similar.
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