Vegan December Holidays

We’re in New York City, continuing a holiday tradition JC started when he surprised me with a trip away for my birthday in 2012, and we spent new years eve/day in Las Vegas. Then last year were spent it in New Orleans. And now this year, NYC. It spawned from one of those silly ideas where you think… where is the biggest party – where it the place people go to ring in the new year? So we’re in NYC this year, conveniently staying in someone elses otherwise empty and extremely beautiful apartment because a friend of a friend that usually lives here needed someone to take care of her cat. Sometimes lucky doesn’t begin to cover it. Before we left town though, there were a few holiday celebrations to be had. We celebrated Hanukkah on the first night with JC’s family. Or rather, I arrived late after a harrowing day and still had plates full of awesome homemade latkes. And we all exchanged presents. (here is a great collection of Latke recipes from One Green Planet) The Depanneur Hanukkah Party And no Hanukkah week would be complete without at least one trip to The Depanneur for one of Emily Zimmerman’s vegan latke parties. No visit to The Depanneur is complete without a picture of the outside dinner board. Plus it helps remind me exactly what everything was called.  These were the Golden latkes with a really delicious spiced apple sauce, and a root vegetable slaw. I wasn’t keen on the coconut sour cream,…

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Toronto Vegan Gift Guide 2014

Every year I really like putting together some of the fun or special things I see in December, there are also a lot of great general vegan gift idea lists that come out around this time, and I will link to them at the bottom of this post. Many vegan businesses and bakeries have special menus available, so you will also see those collected on this page as well as I find them. If you celebrate anything in December, I think it’s especially worth looking locally to find special thing for the special people in your life. We have this amazing community of creators and crafters, bakers and makers, and organizations that are worth supporting this time of year. So this year, yet again, is my totally biased, occasionally random, list of local/GTA/Vegan Gift ideas. You’ll see some repeat names from last year, because they’re still still awesome, but you’ll also see some new faces (because the vegan business community has grown further in 2014.) There are also a variety of holiday themed markets which I will attempt to collect if they have at least one or two vegan-friendly/vegan- enthusiastic vendors. I welcome your suggestions for other local vegan friendly businesses and organizations to support, please add them in the comments (and I will update this post) or feel free to send me an email. And here we go. Jewellery/Clothing I really like this stamped “herbivore” necklace from Vegan is Beautiful, a new vegan online store selling t-shirts, long sleeve…

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Things I Love Thursday – Local Vegan Toronto Gift Ideas 2013 Edition

For 2014 – please go here. There are lots of general vegan gift idea lists out there, so please do check them out (I’ll link to some of them at the bottom of this post), but it’s worth looking locally to tap into the great community of creators and crafters, bakers, makers, and ingenuous entrepreneurs that we have in our city. There are also some wonderful organizations to support this time of year, as well as food and products to buy, made right here in the GTA. So this year, yet again, is my totally biased, occasionally random, list of local/GTA/Vegan Gift ideas. You’ll see some repeat names from last year, because they’re still awesome, but you’ll also see some new faces (because the vegan business community has really grown in 2013.) I welcome your suggestions for other local vegan friendly businesses and organizations to support, please add them in the comments. Vegan Food Apiecalypse Now! With exciting news just around the corner, there are also APieCalypse Now!’s mega awesome gift baskets to take advantage of. Available in both gluten free and glutenlicious varieties, in large baskets and in small, you have a lot to choose from. The baskets are full of almost entirely hand-made things, made with organic locally grown flour, fair trade sugar, and horizontal trade chocolate from ChocoSol (They’re even on the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate list.) Check out what else is on offer in the ApieCalypse Now! online store. (you have until December 15th to pre-order the big stuff…

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Things I Love Thursday – A Few Local Toronto Vegan Gift Ideas

I’ve been thinking about vegan gift ideas for the last few weeks, and there have already been lots of great ideas put out there by the Toronto Vegetarian Association and the Torontoist‘s Toronto Themed Gift List. Toronto has this great community of creators and crafters, bakers and makers, and ingenuity. There are good organizations to support this time of year, as well as food and products to buy, made right here in the GTA. Here are my totally biased choices for local/Toronto/vegan gift ideas.

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Vegan Christmas 2010

This year was different than Christmases past, I was not with my family in Edmonton like I normally am this time of year. The trip home was too expensive, sadly a trip from Toronto to England was cheaper than a trip home, so I’m delaying my visit to Edmonton until sometime in January. I spent this Xmas with friends and their family. I spent the greater part of Xmas Eve and Xmas Eve Eve running around the city looking for ingredients for my contribution to the Christmas Dinner as well as one of my gifts (a few freezable meals that are easy to prepare). This also marked the first time I’ve ever been in Panacea, and it was one of those weird moments where I realized that I actually *like* reading labels now. I didn’t know what to do, it’s a reflex to read what is in everything so even though Panacea is Toronto’s Vegan Supermarket, there I was, standing in the aisles reading jars of sauces. It was a bigger version of Portland’s Food Fight, and really well stocked (and friendly people!) It had everything I was looking for, from mozzarella style Daiya (which is what I was on the hunt for) to delicious little locally made vegan chocolates from Boardwalk Chocolate to lip balm without beeswax (which is pretty hard to find these days). So I walked out of there with a bag full of stuff and ready to cook up a storm. Every year my mom and…

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Vegan Polish Xmas 2009

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas Eve in our typical fashion, a focus on family, friends and eating, followed by a gift exchange. I’m not sure if everyone was feeling so disinterested in exchanging gifts as I was this year, but it was rather tame. A few days ago my mother and I woke up bright and early to make peirogies. Starting out by chopping up cabbage, grinding dried mushrooms and portabella mushrooms, mixing in a few spices and then cooking it till it is a nice dark green colour. The dough was made simply with flour and water with a touch of salt, and spent a lot of time being kneeded (the proper technique I learned from a baker extrordinaire came in handy, at least a little bit.)  Yesterday afternoon I met up with a friend at Phobulous (8701 Ave & 109 st, Edmonton) and had a spring roll vermicelli noodle vegetarian dish (I believe it was the only one that was vegetarian on their menu.) Dinner with the family was at 5pm, we exchanged wishes for the new year, and had borscht, baked tofu, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and a vegetable salad, followed by exchanging presents and watching Star Wars. Tomorrow is my birthday, so we’ll be going out for a Boxing Day brunch. I’m debating leaving Edmonton at midnight (tomorrow evening/on the 27th) to return to Saskatoon so I can unpack and get my apartment ready for when I get back in town again. I wont have much time to…

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Vegan Polish Xmas 2008

It has certainly been a while. I’m currently in Edmonton celebrating christmas with my family. Celebrating christmas in my family is more of a Polish tradition then necessarily anything to do with religion, but then again, Poland is generally quite Catholic. My family is primarily interested in spending quality time together and EATING!!! So, what does a vegan Polish Christmas Eve dinner at my house look like? There are only three people in my immediate family, so you might notice the extra empty place setting. That’s traditional in many families, and is for an unexpected guest, or a drifter, or anyone that might drop by in need of food. We started with a freshly made beet soup (Barscz), consisting of shredded beet root, sliced celery, leeks, green onion, salt and pepper, lemon juice and hazelnut oil. In the center of each plate is a brown sugar baked yam. After that we have homemade perogies. On Monday my mother and I made approximately 250 of them, and froze most of them. They have a slightly sour and salty cabbage and mushroom filling, the dough is absolutely simple: flour, water, and just a touch of salt. The most difficult part of making them is kneading the dough, which is both really physical, and really important to get the right consistency. Then we have a selection of salads. This year we had potato salad, a slightly sweet cabbage salad, and a vegetable salad. The vegetable salad (sałatka jarzynowa) is rather traditional Polish fare,…

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