Boozy Cherry Limeade Bombs

Whiskey Cherries

I believe Texas actually has five seasons: fall, winter, spring, summer, and TEXAS SUMMER. The latter is always in all caps because it’s so hot that you actually start to feel like you’re living in one of those dystopian future hellscapes where everyone is fighting over water and wearing pointy jewelry. Luckily we aren’t quite at that point yet and water is plentiful and delicious cherries from the Hood River Valley in Oregon are able to be shipped to Wheatsville Food Co-op and bought by me during these, as of this writing, pre-apocolyptic days. In these times of heat and uncertainty it can be hard to cook or even eat which is how I came up with the idea for these refreshing and mildly intoxicating cherries. They are the perfect thing to eat poolside, bring on your next river trip, or just to munch on while sitting in the A/C watching women’s gymnastics. They are also super easy to make and don’t require turning on any heat making appliances, a big no-no during TEXAS SUMMER. And I bet they are healthier than getting a Cherry Limeade from the Sonic drive through because there is no added sugar. Just added alcohol.

Boozy Cherry Limeade Bombs
2 lbs cherries, pitted
1/2 cup whiskey
1 tablespoon mint leaves, torn
1 lime, juiced

First pit the cherries, a reusable stiff straw makes the job super easy. Just pluck out the stem and pop the straw in through the cherry. Put in a glass or other bowl with a locking top and add the whiskey, mint, and lime juice. Chill for an hour or two flipping the bowl so the cherries get saturated. Serve as is, in cocktails, or on ice cubes. Enjoy.

If you would like to win a 30 dollar giftcard to Wheatsville and make your own boozy cherries just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite summer fruit, I will pick a winner in a couple days. Make sure you put in an email that works! 

Giveaway closed, thanks for commenting!

Thanks to Wheatsville for sponsoring this recipe. 

Voodoo Doughnuts Austin

Yesterday I saw someone walking down 6th street with Voodoo Doughnuts distinctive pink box and it threw me off balance for a second. It’s just so unexpected to me, still, that we have a Voodoo in Austin. Back in my early vegan days the Voodoo in Portland was super special because it was one of the few places in the country you could get vegan doughnuts. It was a Portland institution like Franklin’s BBQ here, always a long line trailing down the street. Now you can get vegan doughnuts in most major cities & somehow a Voodoo opened here. It’s weird wild stuff.

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So if you’ve never been to Voodoo there are a few things you need to know:

It’s cash only. There is an ATM inside but don’t wait until you get all the way to the front to get cash out or everyone will hate you.

Voodoo is open 24/7

It’s right on Dirty 6th so if it’s a time when the bars are busy Voodoo will have an epic line but during the daytime on a weekday you can just saunter in.

The top shelf of the doughnut carousal shows off the vegan doughnuts BUT they will actually get the doughnuts off the racks behind them so make sure you specify that you want the vegan versions.26595938701_beb14d4675

They make fresh doughnuts three times a day. When they first opened they had trouble keeping the vegan doughnuts in stock because of high demand but it’s better now. The cake doughnut flavors change every day depending on what they feel inspired to make but the yeast doughnuts are a bit more consistent.

The Old Dirty Bastard (chocolate, Oreos, peanut butter drizzle)
The Dirt (vanilla with Oreos)
Glazed Ring Chocolate Ring Grape Ape (vanilla grape)
Portland Cream (Bavarian with chocolate)
Longhorn Cream (same but with maple)
PB&J (raspberry filling topped with peanut butter and peanuts)
Raspberry Romeo (glazed with raspberry filling)
Gay Bar (Bavarian cream dipped in vanilla with a rainbow of fruit loops)
Maple bar Voodoo Doll (chocolate dipped raspberry)
Blunts (cinnamon sugar dipped in maple and sprinkles)
Apple fritters Cock ‘n Balls (dick shaped doughnut filled with Bavarian cream, dipped in chocolate–for an extra dollar they’ll write anything you want on it)

If you are feeling indecisive just ask for a dozen vegan that they pick. You can also do a pre-order 24 hours in advance if you want to, say, have 12 Portland Creams waiting for you.

The decor inside is open and airy complete with a doughnut tree and huge windows.26388190400_d73532fab5

The doughnuts are really sweet so ordering coffee is kind of a must unless you are a little kid. Or my partner who could probably put down a whole dozen. I was not able to eat both of these.

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You might want to buy extra because for some reason, everyone who sees you with a Voodoo doughnut box will ask you for a doughnut. Honestly, it’s almost comical how many people will ask for one. But then it starts to make me feel nervous knowing I have something that everyone wants.

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And don’t forget there are also local businesses making vegan doughnuts in other parts of town including Wheatsville and Fat Cat Organic.

 

 

 

I would like Pho Please

My favorite part of civilization is the food.

I am lucky I get to live in a growing city that has everything from Australian Thai to Nigerian. I get to start my day with a breakfast taco and end it with Indian Dosas if I want.

One of my most favorite cuisines is Vietnamese and in Austin we have plenty of options. I love the tofu bun from LuLu B’s and the Bahn xeo from Sunflower but good pho is hard to find. I bet I’ve tried every vegan version in town (and a couple I thought were vegan until I tasted a spoonful YUK!) and none of them have been remarkable. My go-to has been the pho chay from Phonatic and not because the broth was great but because there are enough delicious fresh fixin’s to have a good enough experience. When I read that one of the chefs from Phonatic was opening his own modern pho spot with a vegetarian section I was thrilled! Pho Please is on east Riverside which is a lot easier for me to get to than north Austin or Southpark meadows. The inside is super-modern fast-casual style.25868616332_46b33a57ee_z

You order at the counter and they give you a number. I didn’t try the vermicelli or the banh mi but we loaded up on apps. We loved the Bao but will know to order it with no mayo next time! The dumpling was fluffy and light, the tofu was well seasoned and the vegetables were crisp and flavorful.

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The spring rolls weren’t as good although they weren’t rubbery and old like so many places in town and they had a good amount of tofu. The sad part was the lack of herbs! No basil, mint or cilantro. We liked the unique dipping sauce though.25868650252_3fabb0926c_n

The most exciting part, of course, was the pho chay. I tried the broth before adding any condiments and was pleasantly surprised by the depth of flavor. It wasn’t the most intensely flavored broth I’ve had but it was more delicate and tasty. Definitely the best I’ve had in town. I loved that there was a variety of vegetables and that the tofu was fried instead of just thrown in there raw like some places. 25868568922_5ced6527f4_o

Will for sure be back on the next rainy day.

Pho Please
1920 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741.
Phone: (512) 354-9779
Hours:
Sunday – Thursday, 11AM – 10PM
Friday – Saturday, 11AM – 11PM

Counter Culture Junior Opens on South First


The Austin vegan world seems to have come full circle. Years ago Counter Culture opened as a trailer on North Loop. Then it became so popular the owner Sue was able to open up a brick and mortar Counter Culture restaurant on Ceaser Chavez. That restaurant has been so success that Sue bought back her old trailer to open up a South Austin Trailer. Best part is that it’s right next to Rabbit Food Grocery so you can pop in and pick up some groceries while you wait for your food.

So far it’s a soft opening and the menu is going to rotate but I tried -and loved- the samosa quesadillas with 5-spice seitan! The tacos are getting rave reviews too. I can’t wait to try it all.

Buy a copy of the Taco Cleanse before they are all gone!

Everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Playboy magazine is talking about the Taco Cleanse and while it’s on back order on Amazon you can still purchase it every where else! There are a few remaining copies at Rabbit Food Grocery that are signed on South First and Live Oak. You can also still pick up a copy locally at Book People.10296697_1548187045506086_555316242_n

Online it’s still available Powells, Indiebound, Books a Million, direct from our publishers Workman, Urban Outfitters, and online and in stores and Barnes and Nobels.23711812335_f7abef79b4_z

Here’s a great article to get you started

10 Things You Need to Know About the Taco Cleanse Before You Try It

And some great blog posts that go into depth about the recipes

The Taco Cleanse: Proselytizing, Review, and Giveaway

It Happened to Me: Tacos Turned Me into a Party Magnet.

I Did A Three Day Taco Cleanse and Survived!

IS THE TACO CLEANSE THE RIGHT CLEANSE FOR YOU?

Taco Cleanse Release Party at Book People Dec 7th at 7

Facebook Event

The best selling “cleanse” book of 2015, THE TACO CLEANSE, is having release party this Monday, December 7th at Book People on 6th and Lamar. Come and get your book signed while playing Taco Trivia, taking pictures with a DOG in taco costume, and get your book signed by REAL TACO SCIENTISTS! We will be answering all of your questions and giving away tons of prizes. You can buy a case of books and BOOM just like that your Christmas shopping is done. The Taco Cleanse is approved for all stages of life and an acceptable part of any diet plan!DSC_0759

Austin Vegan Thanksgiving Roundup

When I first went vegan I had originally planned to do it for the month of March…then I really liked it so I decided I’d keep it up… until Thanksgiving which has always been my most sacred holiday. I couldn’t imagine not celebrating the holiday with turkey and all the fixings. But, by the time Thanksgiving rolled around I had so many ideas I wanted to try out that I didn’t even consider making a bird and now I adopt turkeys from farm sanctuary every year. I love the holiday even more than in my pregan days! Lucky for me, so does most of vegan Austin and there are all sorts of ways to get your Thanksgiving fix in even if you don’t cook. (If you do cook, check out my pinterest board of favorite recipes)

First off, Wheatsville has been putting stuffed tofurkey, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing, mac and cheese and more on the hot bar every Wednesday for a few weeks now and will continue through the holiday. They are also the best place to buy a manufactured roast since they have Gardien, Tofurkey, Field Roast, and more in stock along with everything else you need from Brussels Sprouts to their awesome cranberry sauce made in the deli. You can order a whole feast, including vegan cheeseballs and pie!

Over at Counter Culture you can pick up the ridiculously delicious Thanksgiving sandwich which is on special through the 26th. If you are going somewhere that isn’t vegan friendly and you want to just pick up a meal to take with you Counter Culture has a great deal for 16 bucks, they will pack up a vegan feast including Seitan Roast & Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, for you and you just have to warm it up. They also have a Gluten free option so make sure you order it ahead of time.

photo from Counter Culture

If you want to pick up an entire feast for your whole family to enjoy there are a couple of options. Inge, the Happy Vegan Baker has a full catering feast menu that includes a roasted root vegetable pot pie or a GF Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice and cranberries along with Sage and Apricot Cornbread Stuffing and all the other accouterments. You can order for just one person or several.

A newcomer to the atxvegan scene Seed Catering, has a beautiful looking spread that you can order for as many people as you like. It includes a cranberry glazed lentil loaf and butternut squash mac and cheese. I want to try it all!

photo from Seed Catering

Every year on Thanksgiving Eve Mr. Natural puts together a full spread with their homemade roast, which you can also buy from them. If you know that you are going to struggle on the holiday playing defensive ominvore bingo it make sense to meet up with some like minded vegans the night before so the Austin Vegan & Vegetarian Association and Vegans Rock Austin traditionally throw a meet-up at Mr. Natural and this year is no different. They will be meeting up at both locations so you can go to either one!

This year BBQ Revolution is celebrating their two year anniversary with a Thanksgiving Party on November 21st. They will be serving vegan “turkey” with Cranberry sauce , Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Mac N Cheese, Greens and some relish options. They are also preparing Thanksgiving meals. You can put in an order at the trailer or at Rabbit Food Grocery.

Bistro Vonish will also be preparing thanksgiving meals for pick up. The order form is online and you can choose from Seitan Cutlets, GF Garbanzo cutlets, Pumpkin Pie Kolaches and more. Check it out here.

Finally, it would be Thanksgiving without pie and though almost everyone I mentioned serves pie I’m partial to Capital City Bakery because it’s my tradition now to always pick up a pie from there. I’ll be having a hard time, again, choosing between Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and whatever else she has going on.

Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll add it here!