MY PIEROGI DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE: All You Can Eat Pierogies at Slovak Night

Hello, my name is Jaime K and I’m obsessed with pierogi.

If I had to pick one “last dinner” food, I would choose pierogi.

One of my favorite childhood (um, adult) dreams is getting trapped inside a giant peirogi.

Remember when I found this Pierogi Parade bag?

I once almost broke up with a boy because he had never heard of pierogies and kept calling them “Pilates”.

In fact, come to my house and you can meet THIS Pierogi:

Pierogi Cat

So, MERRY FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS to me, because I just found out our pals at The Honey Underground are having a Slovak night.

That’s right. All you can eat pierogi, cabbage & noodles,  halupkis, galubki, halushki, borscht and more! ALL VEGAN. As much as you can eat before you turn into a Pierogi.

Heaven on Earth.

… Be still my Polish heart.

DETAILS!:

The Honey Underground

Slovak Night, Saturday Dec. 1st

6pm-10pm

$15.95 per person

Reservations required

Click Here for address and phone number

Facebook Page

Pierogi kitchen towel. Fan art?

{Pierogi Kitchen Towel, $14 by Garbella}

Shall we take bets on who will have to roll the other out of there? Thank you WENDY for making my dreams come true.

.    .    .    .    .

LAUGHING TIL YOU CAN’T BREATHE: Behind the Scenes of the Save the Kales!

Episode 3 airs THIS SUNDAY NIGHT (July 8th) at 9:30pm on RCN Channel 4 in the Lehigh Valley, PA. It’ll air another 9-12 times in July and be on Demand as well (dates/times to come), so keep your eyes open! And the episode will go online in another week!

They say laughter is contagious. I hope so, and I hope this can help you today, especially if you really need it.

Here’s a short behind the scenes video of a very typical day on the set:

This is why I used to get detention in elementary school. Really.

“Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.” Yakov Smirnoff

Blog Inspiration: Corinne Bowen (Okay, also Human Being Inspiration)

Corinne first contacted me what must be over a year ago to tell me I won an online contest via Crazy Sexy Life for some UliMana raw cacao truffles. Hey, online contests are fun, and it’s really fun to get an email from a women who writes for one of your favorite websites (CrazySexyLife.com) and print publications (VegNews and Vegetarian Times magazines).

I’ve enjoyed seeing her work pop up in media outlets I frequently explore, and I’ve poked around on her website now and again. Corinne is also in-house-editor of Crazy Sexy Kitchen, by Kris Carr, a new book due out later this year.

Hanging out/working with Kris Carr in Woodstock, NY.

It’s not an exaggeration to say to women has her hands in some of my favorite things, truly dream projects.

In the last two weeks we’ve reconnected via the internet, and I have been endlessly pouring through her blog. Literally reading every entry whenever I have the time. I have been making the time, in fact, because her posts make me so excited about writing, cooking, carving my own career path, and the entirety of life in general.

http://www.CorinneBowen.com

Her blog has everything I truly find pertinent and personally satisfying in a blog at this point in my life: she’s   soon turning 30 so I’m finding moments of her life quite relatable from an age-perspective (I’m 28); I love reading about her beautiful, creative family and her extremely healthy vegan pregnancy; she has been focusing on the simple pleasures we can often forget – how refreshing it is to clear up some clutter which creates better mental space as well as physical, or that chopping vegetables can be meditative; but especially the posts she writes about following your bliss and how she gave up a “safe” career path (a salary, a 401K) to pursue freelance writing.

When I read about her projects, I almost (almost) feel intimidated because she has worked on/is working on what are some of my personal dream projects. A quick glance at her resume of work makes me feel like I’m talking to a person living the dream life.

Her beautiful family enjoying the sunshine.

And that’s whats so special about her blog. She illustrates that a dream life is possible. It’s not always glitzy and glamorous, it may still require a grocery budget, and it’s certainly not always easy or without self-doubt or hard work. But that’s what makes it great: it’s tangible, and it may be simpler to come by than we imagine.

There are far too many wonderful posts to try and pull from my favorite parts, but this one sums it up fairly well:

“I showed Audrey (daughter) her reflection in the mirror and couldn’t help but snap our photo. I thought: This is my life, on my terms, doing what I love with my baby girl beside me. I remembered: The doubt of changing careers, the anxiety of taking leaps of faith (over and over again), and the difficulties that came with ignoring advice. And I confirmed: Every single sleepless night, every what-if mind game, every hymn sung by my imaginary choir of critics (all of which still exist on very low volume) were so clearly worth the grief.

When I feel afraid to listen to my gut, I reflect on tiny yet tremendous moments like the one at Ma Petite Shoe. These quieter times are loud in perspective. They give me a little space to relish the fact that I’ve yet to discover a moment that following my bliss didn’t eventually lead to just that. And I’d urge anyone who has something daring or dreamy tugging at their heart to take a step forward, even if it seems scary.”

– Corinne Bowen.com

Corinne and baby Audrey

EXCITING THINGS!

Cookbook Giveaway/Birthday Wish (Support a Sanctuary)

1. Corinne is giving away a copy of the wonderful Blissful Bites cookbook! I’ve talked about Christy and her book before – it’s really lovely, tons of color photos, and the recipes are healthy and easy to make. This is one of my favorite cookbooks and Corinne feels the same way. She’s giving away one copy! 

2. For her 30th birthday, Corinne has asked folks to donate to the Maple Farm Sanctuary. She was introduced to this sanctuary after writing about them for a VegNews article, and it inspired her to selflessly ask that her birthday gifts come in the form of donations. You can sponsor a chicken for as little as $10 (yup, just ten dollars) and greater donations help larger animals. Instead of going out for lunch one day next week, consider donating to a wonderful cause and make a birthday wish come true at the same time.

She ended our most recent email exchage, a few hours ago, with this:

“It’s funny how easy it is to think that when we achieve a certain milestone, everything else will make sense. I’ve found that that never really happens. It’s just about being happy where you are. Things are always getting easier and more difficult at the same time! I think that’s the beauty of life when you guide your path by your heart. xo”

Go to her site. Start reading. Continue reading. Bookmark then read some more. Repeat.

Smushed-Up Cutie Pie Dog Faces

My appologies for lack of recipe posts, or posts in general this week. Between house-sitting and picking up some hours temping for an arts/music organization (I’m learning office skills!), I have barely gone grocery shopping let alone done much cooking. Ryan is in Utah for a work trip at a faux-Scandanavian resort, and I’ve been visiting family and finding excuses to try food at different establishments.

So, by “barely” grocery shopping, I mean I haven’t. It’s becoming a dire situation. Yesterday I ate half of a plain roll for breakfast. Woopsies. I’m going today and I promise content-heavy posts will come soon.

UNTIL THEN… I wanted to share with you one of my FAVORITE “I’m having a tough day and need some cheering up” websites. Or just a “I want to laugh and squeal with utter glee” websites. Or whatever. You need to go here. And if you have a dog, submit something. Or just send the photos to me.

I give you… UPSIDE DOWN DOGS.

Stella the Boxer.

 

I just had a heart attack and died.

 

A blob of dog with a tongue sticking out.

 

I just choked on my coffee.

 

There are HUNDREDS OF THESE PHOTOS.

Check out UpsideDownDogs.com … You’re welcome.

Sick Days are for Indulging (Sort of)

Take the usual my-body-knows-I’m-not-pregnant-and-is-doing-it’s-weird-housecleaning-shit, that horrible pain that makes one start to wonder if its just easier to live without certain organs. Pair it with the soreness in my legs and butt from some hard working out at boot camp (workout bootcamp, not like Army bootcamp), which makes sitting or standing a remarkable chore, just thinking about getting in or out of the car starts building anxiety.

That’s a fancy way of saying I feel like complaining about how much pain I’m in. There, all done.

Here’s a list of a few things I’m enjoying when I’m not too focused on wishing the demise of my pain receptors:

 This afternoon – and who am I kidding? this evening as well – I’m going to take a nice hot bath with this wonderful lavender essential oil. Lavender is one of those scents that smells a little like a health food store and herbal tea at once, but lately it makes me think of one thing: baths. (Sometimes biscotti.) After dishing out money on lavender bath fizzies, I realized I could get a bottle of oil and add some drops to the tub and it would last much longer. (Plus sometimes I go crazy and put some drops in candles, on my clothes, on my chest when I’m falling asleep.) I got a really great oil from a LOCAL business, Scentsible by Nature, one bottle for only $7.00. Do you know how many homemade bath fizzies I could make with that!?

 Let’s stay on a roll with chocolate. Now, I advocate healthy eating as often as possible, but let me tell you, in times like these I only want four food groups: chocolate, peanut butter, chips, and hot sauce. (Not necessarily all at once.) Know what’s better than a good chocolate bar? When the package design on that chocolate bar is just as wonderful as the treat itself. a certain bar from Theo’s Chocolates takes care of that. NOT ONLY does it have fig, fennel and almond (weird and yummy, my favorite!) but the package features TWO CATS IN LOVE HOLDING A GIANT FIG.

 BOOKS. How do I even find a place to start? While I ponder making a separate “books” tab on this blog, I can tell you what I’m reading now (this week?). One is a collection of short stories from Alfred Hitchcock magazine. Another is  a book on creative art journaling, another new cookbook, but also this: Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison. An easy fun personal account of one young woman in her twenties who moves away from her boyfriend and family for a few months to attend a retreat in Bali where her head becomes full of smart-ass commentary on the whole experience and “yoga people”, while at the same time offering many opportunities for personal growth.

….Also, couch napping, Pierogi cat and sympathy from my boyfriend. Would you call that a fair trade? Hey! I’m a Lifetime Movie!

Anyhow, if you like chocolate and/or desserts, you can check out the Just Desserts event in Bethlehem tomorrow, Friday Oct. 21st! Go HERE for more info. I’ll be supplying the dessert at Loose Threads Boutique!

But WHAT Do You EAT?: Vegetarian Summerfest FOOD 2011!

Summerfest was wonderful (which is an understatement) for many reasons, but one of the cherry-on-top bonuses of the week had to be that the college cafeteria was turned into a 100% vegan buffet for every meal. 

Every meal had a featured hot dish line, soup, fully stocked salad bar with homemade dressings (and extras like nutritional yeast and three kinds of lettuce!), a raw foods station, a gluten-free station, and several kinds of pizzas covered in Teese or Daiya. WOW.

(*Note: They do not offer coffee. Herbal green teas and juice like crazy, but for coffee you have to sneak off campus and drive a half mile up the road to stupid Starbucks. Which for some folks -ahem- needed to happen because the 4-5 hours of sleep every night made waking up difficult. Next year, BYO coffee pot.)

I took photos of almost every meal I had, and wanted to share them with you in case you are in a bit of a cooking/lunch idea/dinner menu slump. I may not remember everything exactly as it was, but I can tell you it was delicious and there is such a fun novelty of eating and not having to ask about ingredients, etc..

And now the real reason you’re here, the food!

Bean chili over quinoa with gluten free cornbread and sauteed greens. Mushroom pizza. Salad with the BEST RAW DRESSING OH MY GOSH.

A lunch.

 

Breakfast potatoes, mixed veggie millet, and fruit. Salad with lemon tahini dressing. Carrot muffin.

A breakfast.

This was my lunch after breakfast, a cooking demo with food samples, and hanging out at the vita-mix table… I opted for a mostly-raw lunch. The wrap is a savory tofu salad, and the raw foods plate is explained below.

A lunch.

They served raw food meals every day!

Sign explaining the above photo.

 

Salad, sauteed kale, pizza, veggie fritter, spicy cashew curry, raw peach soup, butterscotch cake.

A dinner.

Vegetable and tofu casserole, rice with a red pepper sauce, stromboli, salad with vegan thousand island dressing.

A lunch.

 

Baked BBQ tofu, collard greens, fresh herb and soup, pizza, salad, whipped berry dessert.

A dinner.

Potato bar! Sweet potato with tofu sour scream and PEANUT SAUCE THAT WAS INCREDIBLE, salad, bean and grains bake, garlic pizza, olive and tomato soup, cocoa cupcake.

A lunch.

 

FRENCH ONION SOUP!!!!!, unlimited Gardein baked chicken (*note: this was hilarious and weird because they are so much like chicken a lot of people were freaking out and thinking someone played a cruel joke), pasta and salad.

A dinner.

Pancakes with plums and cherries, grits, brown rice (got carried away with the sauce, woopsies), fruit and Field Roast sausage!  Plus the aforementioned coffee. 

A breakfast.

 

You’ll find this interesting: despite eating very well at every meal, noshing on cooking demo samples and lingering around the Vita-Mix guys several times a day… I lost weight. 

I thought it was just in my head, but my clothes were looser and upon returning home, one of the first things Ryan said to me mid-spooning was, “Where did your belly go?”     AH, THE POWER OF A PLANT-BASED DIET.

 

I Love Post It Notes (Especially When They Say Nice Things About My Food)

For those of you in the Lehigh Valley, keep an eye out on newsstands in about a week for the May Issue of Lehigh Valley Style magazine, which will feature three of my recipes! Holy gosh, I still can’t believe it.

Megan is the sweetheart assistant editor over there, and she sent this AWESOME photo to my email late last week before the issue went off to print. It has a little note from their proofreader attached – she made one of the recipes and said it was “amazing!”

The use of the word “amazing” AND an exclamation point is the best compliment!

Today I’m playing around with brand new, never before seen (or cooked) recipes to share on the blog and add to the menu. Thank you everybody for your truly incredible support. I’ve never meant anything more.

INSIDE THE LINES: Stencils Aren’t Just for Old Ladies

I’m cleaning and organizing the house (when the fabulous ladies of Lehigh Valley Style are coming over, it can make you a little neurotic – will the humorous irony of the cardboard deer head come across?!).  I really love this house but I want to shake things up in terms of color and texture.

After making an endless list of DIY projects I want to do, I stumbled across some old craft supplies from my design school projects and felt a surge of inspiration!

This is my rolling kitchen cart. I have flanked it next to this folding table on which Ryan made a makeshift tiered bar out of scrap wood and bricks. This created a kitchen island – okay, peninsula – and gives a lot of workspace for me to toss dried spices all over. The back of the cart faces the living room. The black back isn’t horrible, but it’s certainly nothing special.

Time to change that!

I used a flower stencil I found for a dollar at a craft store about 2 years ago. Normally, the thought of stenciling something makes my stomach turn over on itself as I recall so many ivy vines and ugly floral trims. Thankfully with the resurgence of gorgeous modern wallpaper in the past few years, stencils have seen the same update.


Out of sheer luck, I found the stencil two days ago, and tonight I found the remnants of some bright paint and brushes. Since I already had everything on hand, this project was FREE!

FREE!

And don’t worry about doing this project while you’re by yourself and wondering if your partner will come home and be upset that you’ve painted pink flowers on things, because 1) it’s easy to cover up/change and 2) the Philly Phanatic has a residence on the bookshelf in the living room for all to see, so I don’t want to hear it. (Love you, honey.)

Stencils are really cheap! You can make your own – go HERE for some directions – or find them at a craft store or online.

I used a tube of basic craft paint, it probably cost less than $2 and craft paint comes in a million colors! The brush was a very soft medium-sized paint brush, but you can also buy foam brushes that work well for stenciling. Remember, you want to push the brush into the stencil and “dab” the paint on, NOT paint in long strokes as if you were painting a wall!

Go try your own! I love it, and already have ideas for the fireplace. Stay tuned…

PASSION AND COMPASSION

She so eloquently sums it up…

“If I profess to be a compassionate person, it doesn’t mean I get to be compassionate only to those I like or who agree with me. It means I strive to be compassionate towards everyone.

That’s the thing about compassion – it’s gotta be equal opportunity or it’s just inauthentic. It’s easy to be compassionate towards like-minded people. The challenge is choosing to have compassion towards those with whom I disagree.”

As per Colleen Patrick Goudreau, super-woman with incredible knowledge and the biggest heart.

This is something I think about all the time, not just in the way of vegetarianism/veganism but in so many aspects. What would happen if, instead of criticizing someone for not knowing, we were happy to teach them something new?

If instead of jumping to conclusions, we asked?

If instead of polarizing each other, we became more considerate?

Instead of taking something as personally insulting (even if that was the intent of the sender), we used it as a constructive way to make an improvement?

A Way With Words

My hilarious stepdad is a very slow typer – one of those guys who searches the keyboard for each individual letter, making a few sentences take many minutes to execute.

He has recently taken up writing poetry on Facebook. Most of his poems are about the Phillies (an example below), but today I was overjoyed/flattered to see him write one about Save the Kales. I’m sharing that poem with you, copied and pasted exactly as written, grammar errors and all because it’s more adorable that way.

It also helps if you imagine that my stepdad is essentially a guy from the SNL “Superfans” sketch, except someone who likes Philly sports teams.

‎” A POEM FOR SAVE THE KALES “

SAVE THE KALES is a great blog, I hope that you’ll stop by.
Veggie and vegan cooking, Trust me it’s worth a try.
Jaime K runs this blog, and she will answer questions for you.
She’s very good at what she does, and is very pretty too.
So stop by SAVE THE KALES and im sure that you will say.
Im very glad I did stop by, just to meet Jaime K.

If you’re interested in his Phillies poems, here’s just a taste of the one he wrote last week:

‎” A POEM FOR RAYS FANS “

The PHILLIES are in it and the Rays are not.
A repeat of 08 is not what we got.
In the playoffs I’ll tell you whats lame,
Hometown fans who won’t say till the end of the game.
The Rays will be at home eating there chili,
watching the series,
and the WORLD CHAMPION PHILLIES!!!!!

Thank you, Rich, for the endless hilarity that comes when you use the internet! I love you!