Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rosie's Bakery now carries vegan cookies!

Finally!  Boston's owned Rosie's Bakery now carries vegan cookies.  And better yet they are gluten free and made with fair trade chocolate!  This is big news folks.  This is a place that has pride itself with its loaded butter, sugar, and cream baked goods.  To have a vegan cookie is a totally new avenue for them.  In the past they have told customers they even have a "butter policy."

"When it comes to sweet indulgences, Rosenberg knows that great desserts call for authentic ingredients: real butter, real cream, real chocolate, and lots of it!!"

They made the announcement to carry the cookies last month on their Twitter and Facebook page.  They have a few varieties - chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal with dried wild blueberries, carob almond butter, etc.  I discovered it today while walking by the Bakery in South Station.  The are carrying these cookies in all their locations around Boston so please go and buy the vegan cookies!  They are $2.00 each.  I've been waiting for this day for years.  

The company that makes these cookies for Rosie's is Vision's Sown - An Ancient Baking Company.  They are using the name Mother's Nut for their Rosie's cookies.  Coincidentally I think I know the owner Tonya. She served on the Harvest Coop Board of Directors with me for a while last year.  I'm excited to see her all natural vegan cookies taking off!

Above is a picture of The Judy Rosenberg, owner of Rosie's Bakery and author of their famous butter-laden cookie book!  Times are changing y'all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Annual Boston Vegan Super Bowl Party!

My partner, Woody and I hosted our first ever Super Bowl Party this past Sunday.  We had the party at our house and made it exclusively vegan food only!  The Patriots were playing the Giants and since we live in Boston it was of utmost importance to watch the game!  We opened the party to any of our friends so long as only vegan food was brought.  It was a a total success. We had over 22 people there from 6pm-11pm!  Most people stayed till the very end.  Everyone that showed up was vegan ranging from new vegans to folks who had been vegan for over 15 years.  We even had a few amazing local animal rights heroes who work or who have worked for great groups like The Humane League, Farm Sanctuary, and Humane Society of the United States.  Some people were more interested in the company while others were die-hard football fans.  Either way though, in the end the food was the night's winner.

Great group of people and great food!  Check out the group shot below with everyone crammed into our living room.  I think that's the most people we've ever had in one room at once!  A few faces are missing as some folks were in the dining room still grazing.

 Left side

Right side

Now check out the food pictures:

 Baked ziti with seitan and chocolate pate!

 Fresh veggies, chocolate peanut butter desserts, and pigs in a blanket!

 Potato salad, fresh veggies with hummus, chips y salsa, beet burgers!

 Raw foods!  Gazpacho soup with tomatoes and watermelon, chili releanos, and chocolate avocado pudding 

Spinach dip

 Baked ziti, dehydrated onion rings, Teese Mozz sticks, and Oreos

 All about the presentation!  Pudding shooters and soup bowls

 Get in my belly!

 Pigs in a blanket.  Just get veggie hot dogs and chop them into 9 pieces per dog then take Crescent Roll dough and wrap it around and bake for about 10 minutes! Serve with ketchup, mustard, and bbq sauce.

 Spinach dip in a bread bowl with low-fat Wheat Thins.  Get the Knorr dry veggie mix pack and follow directions. Use vegan sour cream and mayo.  For extra thickness add a can of artichoke hearts and some red onion.  Shaw's bread bowls are vegan.

 Baked ziti with seitan!

 Potato salad:  red potatoes boiled for about 10 mins, cooled, then add vegan mayo and sour cream,raw red onions, raw celery, salt pepper, garlic powder, mustard, and some paprika for presentation.

Nacho Station!

 Chips, olives, jalapenos, melted Daiya, chili, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa

 Two crockpots:  one for chili and one for melted Pepperjack Daiya vegan cheese. It helps to add veggie broth to Daiya to liquify it a bit and to keep it from burning

Eat up!

Missing from the pictures:  cupcakes, brownies, kale salad, pretzels, other types of chips, Twizzlers, cookies, and cous cous salad.

Thanks to Stephanie, Alexa, and Kelly for contributing pictures!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Tomorrow, Feb, 3rd is my mother's 61st birthday so I thought I'd write this blog about her.  My mother was a great influence on me - she taught me a lot about community involvement, being true to yourself, activism, the love for animals, and good cooking!  My mom was in the Peace Corps in Zaire in the early 70s when she met my dad. They traveled around Africa together going to places that no white person had ever gone before.  She got to meet lots of tribes and learned Swahili.  They came back to Virginia and she got a Masters in Education at UVA.  She was a teacher for while and then she and my dad opened up a stereo store.  She took care of the accounting and advertising.  She was also a great artist (oil and water color paintings, pastels, batik, drawing, etc.).  She also played clarinet in the local orchestra.  When she and my dad divorced she became a school teacher again.  Eventually she taught students at home who could not go to school (pregnant teenage girls, sick/disabled youth, behavioral issues, etc.)

Though she worked a lot and also raised my sister and me, she also gave a lot of her time to the community.  She volunteered at the soup kitchen, was a docent at the Baylee Art Museum (now UVA Art Museum), also was the African Art Coordinator at the Baylee Art Museum, a docent at Montpelier, etc.  She also was active in the Junior League when I was little.  Later in life she collected backpacks full of school supplies for children in Mexico.  I remember when I was little going to the Baylee Art Museum with my sister and having to clean the mold off African art statues that had been in storage for a longtime.  She was also adamant about going to the gym! In fact if she missed a workout or run she'd be very upset!  She also liked to horseback ride, travel, and lay out in the sun.  She had a great laugh and smile.  She was one of the prettiest moms out there.  Just like she did with the Vietnam War, she protested the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, she voted for Nader in 2000, and she was a pescaterian.

Certainly one of the biggest reasons I am such an animal lover, human rights activist, and environmentalist is because of her.  She taught me to stay true to your beliefs.  I remember as a little kid going to the recycling center with her before there was curbside pickup.  We would smash the bottles in the large bins and have fun with it. It was a great way to get out stress. She taught me how environmentalism can also be fun.  We also always adopted our cats from the shelter and her two cats that we had when I was in highschool are still alive today!

Sadly though, my mother passed away almost six years ago on June 8, 2006 to an illness she had been battling for years.  She had a heart of gold and loved her community.  Though our relationship was strained because of her illness, I think about her all the time.  She was very supportive of my activism, veganism, leftist politics, and being a rabble rouser.  She would make me amazing vegan meals when I visited. I remember having vegetable paella one Christmas dinner - oh how I miss home-cooked meals from my parents.  In 2004 we both met up in DC for the March for Women's lives.  It was so cool to protest with her carrying pro-choice signs standing up for reproductive choice!  I know up in heaven she's looking down proud of her four daughters (Ashley, Erin, Blair, and I) for who we are today: the strong opinated women she helped us become.

Here are some pictures of us together.  Unfortunately I didn't have a digital camera until after she died and I didn't work on scanning many pictures in.

Feeding the ducks at Boars Head (1982)

Ashley's college Graduation, May 2006 (one of the last pictures ever taken of us together)

Hanging out at the beach like we did almost every year of my life in the Outer Banks, NC (1986?)

Mom and my Papa Hiemenz dancing (1979?)

Mom, Nana Hiemenz, and my Uncle Cope at my Nana's House (1990?)

Mom and I at the Grand Canyon (1982)

Dad and Mom about to go out to a fancy party (1987?)

Mom and my step dad Ed eating dinner (1997?)

Mom, my high school best friend Jenna, my sister Ashley, and I at our annual Virginia Beach girls weekend (1998)

Mom, Ashley, and I in Atlanta, GA (1999)

Mom, Uncle Steve, and Aunt Harriet at Avary Place in Atlanta, GA (2004)

Mom and I at my friend Kara's wedding in Charlottesville, VA (2005)

Mom's casket and I after her funeral.  Notice the leopard print blanket! (2006)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This year Girl Scout Cookies makes a Record Five Vegan Cookies! (if you happen to have ABC as the baker)

One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling the Winter blues in late January is to order me some Girl Scout Cookies. Every year I post on my Facebook (used to be Myspace) about what cookies are vegan and what aren't.  [Stop right now if you care about the white sugar and whether it's vegan or not.  I'm not focusing on the sugar in this blog.  I am focusing on the fact that these five cookies are dairy and egg free this year!]  The most exciting part to it is that for the first time THIN MINTS ARE VEGAN!!!  Let me say this again, THIN MINTS ARE VEGAN!  However this is only true if you live in an area where ABC makes the cookies.

Since I live in Boston, MA I can only speak for the cookies we get around here from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Girl Scout cookies are made by two differnent companies:  ABC Smart Cookies and Little Brownie Bakers.  This is why some people call the cookie Samaos, as Caramel deLites.  For more information about the two companies' cookies go here:

ABC is much more vegan friendly than Little Brownie Bakers, infact all the five vegan cookies that the Girl Scouts carry here in Massachuetts are made by ABC! Unfortunately Little Brown Bakers are the anti-vegan for some reason and put dairy in everything!  Girl Scout Cookies here in Massachusetts are fortunately made by ABC!  WOOHOO!  Therefore we get FIVE vegan cookies this year.  For the past 7 years since I've been keeping track, we've only had 3-4 types of vegan cookies. However this year we get FIVE, thanks to the now VEGAN Thin Mints!  Unfortunately for those of you who buy Girl Scout Cookies that are made by Little Brownie Bakers you won't find any vegan Thin Mints.

Here's the ingredient links to prove it:
Nothing vegan
Five Vegan Cookies:
Shout Outs!
Peanut Butter Patties
Thin Mints (Only ABC version)
Thanks A Lot

I was a Girl Scout in Virginia from age 5 to 10 and I have to say I had a pretty lame troop. We focused on girly things like sewing, cooking, etc. instead of other awesome things like more outdoor activities, archery, etc.  However it seems like Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts are doing some awesome things for young ladies and their mothers here in the state. Check out this program helping children and their incarcerated mothers:

And if you need more convincing as to why you should support Girl Scouts check out this liberal-bashing chart that lists ALL THE REASONS you should support them:

Now that you're convinced, you're thinking but five cookies just aren't enough.  Why can't all the cookies be vegan afterall?  Well the blog Vegansauras has a take action link to get you speaking up for more cookies.  Take action here:

So break out your soy milk and some Thin Mints and dip away!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My very first post!

Hello Everyone!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  I'll be posting weekly to this blog with breaking news on vegan products, gossip, news, restaurants, menu options, etc.  Since I live in Boston most of my restaurant/event posts will be about New England places, except when I'm traveling - then I'll cover the rest of the country!  I also am a big fan of sharks, cats, vespa scooters, liberal politics, and traveling so don't be surprise if I throw in some random posts about those items too.

- Jessica