Author: janessapk

VVC Cocktail Lounge: How to Make the Best Bloody Mary

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This is of the utmost importance.

Do you like spicy tomato juice with vodka and vegetables for breakfast?


Yeah, me neither. For a long time.

Then my tastebuds started coming around, THANK GOD. Now there’s nothing like an ultra-spicy Bloody Mary for those special Monday mornings when I don’t have anything to do but watch an entire season of How I Met Your Mother, eat split pea soup, and nap. (Disclaimer: This happens about once a year, and boy oh boy, is it glorious.)




For a perfect bloody mary, you’ll need:

Vodka. A mid-level like Monopolowa is just fine, and for the gluten-free folks out there, it’s made with potato—not grains– so you won’t die or curl up in the fetal position after drinking this.

Tomato Juice. Make it organic for bonus points.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce. Generic store brands are usually anchovy-free.


Hot Sauce. You can stick with Tabasco if you like, but I recommend Secret Aardvark Sauce. The Spicy Vegan recommends Trader Joe’s Habanero Hot Sauce if you like extra ultra way spicy Bloody Mary’s.

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

Celery Salt.



Big ol’ Stalk of Celery.

Mix together 1 shot  vodka 1 cup tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and hot sauce to taste, and a dash of black pepper and celery salt. In a pint glass, pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon and lime wedge and a big ol’ stalk of celery.


–> Make a pitcher if you’re expecting company.

–> Use tequila if you’d like a Bloody Maria instead. (Gross.)

–> Use V-8 if you’re feeling lazy.

Vegan MoFo Cocktail Lounge: Cucumber ReVeeVer

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If you attended Vida Vegan Con last August, and you swanked it up at Saturday night’s Galarama, you might have tasted the refreshing and sophisticated Cucumber ReVeeVer.


IMG_1503(photo courtesy Lucas DeShazer)


VeeV is the name of a fancy-schmancy Acai berry infused liquor. A bottle of it goes for $35 in the liquor store (or ‘Grocery Store’ if you don’t live in Puritanical Oregon where one must go to a separate establishment to procure hooch).


This is well worth it though, friends.



VeeV Bottle (transparent) dry soda(source)

When mixed with Dry Cucumber Soda, the result is a sweet and refreshing sparkling cocktail, perfect for hosting cocktail parties or impressing your parents when they come to visit. It’s that sophisticated.


The Cucumber ReVeeVer

* 1 1/2 ounces VeeV Acai Spirit

* 5 ounces Dry Cucumber Soda

Fill tumbler glass with ice. Pour over VeeV and top with Dry Cucumber Soda. Garnish with cucumber slice.

Enjoy the heck out it,.

Vida Vegan Con and BridgePort Weekend Vegan Menu

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In Portland for the weekend? Or forever? Like beer? Like good vegan food? (Of course you do!)

In honor of Vida Vegan Con, both the BridgePort BrewPub and the BridgePort Ale House will be running special vegan dishes all weekend.

Oregon is home to the most microbreweries per capita. That means we have a lot of brewpubs here. Yes, we are incredibly lucky. And have incredible beer bellies to show for it. BridgePort, founded in 1984, is the oldest craft brewery in Oregon. Their beers can be found across the United States—chances are you’ve seen their award-winning IPA somewhere if you frequent quality beer joints around the country.


The BrewPub and the Ale House both feature seasonal and local farm-fresh food on their menus. There are always a few vegan options (it is Portland, after all), but this weekend they wanted to make it extra special for all the Vida Vegan Con-ers coming to the Rose City.

BridgePort Ale House

3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

503-233-6540 (Call to reserve a table or just pop in)

The Ale House is offering a prix fixe 3-course meal for $22 all weekend.

The first course is a Chilled Cucumber Soup, a cool summer soup with cucumber, almond, tomato, and chili oil. This is followed by Summer Vegetable Lasagna: grilled squash and eggplant layered with a cashew/roasted red pepper cream, smoked tomato vinaigrette, and sweet ginger arugula coulis. For dessert they are serving up Peach Berliners: fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar, with grilled peaches and bourbon peach coulis.

Hello. You had me at bourbon.  Oh, and also Chilled Cucumber Soup.

The prix fixe dinner is available Thursday through Sunday evening, 5 pm to close.

BridgePort BrewPub

1313 NW Marshall

No reservations necessary, just swing on by!

The BrewPub is running an already-popular special throughout the weekend. The Portland’s Garden dish is local zucchini stuffed with fire-roasted corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, basil, lime, ancho chili, and miso bbq sauce, and topped with cumin roasted kale chips. (I repeat: cumin roasted kale chips. Holler.) This special will run Thursday night through Sunday, 5 pm until close.

Note: The BrewPub sold out of the Zucchini Garden special on Thursday night, so get on it, kiddos!

Both the BrewPub and the Ale House provide vegan dishes on their menu all the time; check out the online menu for seasonal specialties.

Risky Cinnamon Earthquakes (Guest Post)

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We are thrilled to present a lovely and inspiring guest post from one of your and one of our favorite vegan cookbook authors, Terry Hope Romero.


My first morning in cool green summertime Portland and I’m sinking a dainty fork into the glistening swirls of a cinnamon bun from Dovetail bakery, sipping iced coffee spiked with coconut creamer, and browsing Facebook on my clunky phone. A sweet morning ritual to kick off the exciting week ahead of the first ever Vida Vegan blogger gathering.

But…there’s been a earthquake. An earthquake rippling through my home city of NYC and some neighboring Eastern states. With me on the earthquake-notorious yet calm West coast and my beloved, rock-steady East Coast quivering it’s difficult to understand what’s actually happening, but there’s a soaring flock of comments swarming through my online social networks making each tremble all the more personal. It’s equally alarming and comforting. Yet somehow it makes me excited to live in the world today that despite something as scary as earthquake (for many East Coasters this is the first ever they’ll recall experiencing one), I can feel instantly connected to both to real-life friends and folks I’ve never met in the flesh.
Originally this guest post for the Vida Vegan Conference was going to concern taming blog monsters, those boogies that bother even the most dedicated among us. After this morning’s literal long-distance shake-up I’m thinking about how something truly monstrous, like an earthquake, can spring us into action and help us get past those inner demons of self-doubt and hyper-criticism that can freeze us from making blog posts with heart.

Coming to the first ever Vida Vegan Conference, I fought my own self-doubts (too far away, too much work left at home, what will I talk about?), but I’m so glad that the urge to bridge the distance with the Internet vegan tribe won in the end. We’ve gathered as a community in real life, an extension of what we do all year round as people connected by technology. We’re a small slice of a tiny but growing group with a tight focus–vegan blogs. How many of you attending told your friends, family, co-workers, and total strangers “I’m attending a vegan blogger conference!” What looks did you get in return? Perhaps ones of surprise, intrigue, a little confusion; but as vegans we’re used to that by now, right? Very likely they’ll be asking you even more questions when you get home, because it’s uncommon, adventure-loving folks like you who grab that rare chance to meet their peers beyond the blog post.
My presentation Sunday morning has a crazy title “There’s a DRAGON in my tempeh taco,” and it’s about putting more story into your blog posts. But secretly it’s about putting more YOU into your blog posts. And that’s risky. But risks can reward us in ways far more meaningful that just sitting around and wishing good things would happen. With life being as unpredictable as it is, it’s more crucial than ever to take these kind of valuable risks, be it with your writing or traveling or meeting new people.

I’m relieved that everyone back home is safe (some lucky ones didn’t even notice), and it’s thrilling to see the excitement bubbling even before the convention kicks off. No doubt we’ll have stories to take back to our hopefully steady and sound homes. Just make certain to take time after to relax, relish your own local species of luscious vegan pastry and fuel your next post with the power of risks taken, rewards earned. and life lived well.

Terry Hope Romero’s latest co-authored (with Isa Chandra Moskowitz) baking adventure Vegan Pie in the Sky comes out October 2011. Visit Terry at


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Guest post from Amy, Mo & Kittee, the bloggers behind the awesome game show, Vegan Battle Royale.

On Saturday, August 27, at 12:20PM, two teams enter but only one will be crowned the ultimate survivor. That’s right, we’re hosting a game show with lots of prizes that will make you just glow inside and out. Upside down, too, and yes, this one’s for all you competitive types.

Vegan Battle Royale will be comprised of two teams with six people per side, and the participants will be drawn randomly from a hat, or an empty potato chip bag.  Whichever smells best. We’ll also be selecting audience members at random to answer trivia and dares, so even if you don’t get picked for a team, we’ll still have something for every single one of you. To keep all tongues and bellies paying attention, we’ll be flinging homemade baked goods at the audience—so there’s always a chance to catch a tasty xgfx sammich cookie in exchange for your super-smarts!

The competition will incorporate elements from a bunch of well-known game shows and will include trivia, bravery, dares, taste challenges, basic vegan blog knowledge, and more. If you want a chance to participate, bring your smartie pants and don’t be late! We only have an hour for this shin-da-bing, so prompt arrival is recommended.

This wouldn’t be as fun without prizes, so we’re super thankful to the following people and companies for their generous donations/contributions. Here’s a sampling of what we’ll be giving away:

Super cute Chirp Cards 4-Pack courtesy of Amy Gedgaudas from tahinitoo!
A canvas bag just like this from Nature’s Gate, chock full of vegan goodies to keep your teeth, hair, and skin smelling and feeling byoot-iful. Seriously, we have toothpaste, self-tanner, hair products, and a ton more to give away.

Do you like camping and getting lost in the woods? No? What about dehydrated grilled pineapple?? A copy of  A Fork in the Trail, courtesy of Wilderness Press will seriously bring happy trails straight into your kitchen and then hopefully into your sleeping bag.
Did you know Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food? If you don’t win a copy of this Ethiopian cooking ‘zine during the game show, you can always bid on a copy at the Gala or purchase one from Kittee during the conference.

Super fat gift certificates and discount codes from Vegan Essentials. This will help you procure those ass-kickin’ vegan steeled boots you’ve been drooling over.
The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester and The Vegan Table by fellow VVC presenter Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, gifted from Fair Winds Press.  Also, Colleen will be presenting at the conference, so I bet you an get her to sign yours if you win it!
Free hummus coupons from Tribe Hummus. As we all know, it is mandatory Vegan Law #36 to eat at least 1 tub of hummus every day.

A ridiculous amount of pretzels and cookies in every size and shape from the amazing people at Newman’s Own!

SO many great vegan books to add to your cookbook collection: Lick It by Cathe Olson, Natural Vegan Kitchen by Christine Waltermyer, Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams and Anne Dinshah, and Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones from The Book Publishing Company.

We hear tell some folks like speculoos? Well we got some for you!! Biscoff Spread, Biscoff Cookies, and Anna’s Thins from Lotus Bakeries!

Prepare to have your faces rocked off in the battle to end all battles! Bring your protective gear, cuz it is ON! The party begins in the Coos Bay classroom. Be there or be a parallelogram.

Amey Mathews from Vegan Eats and Treats
Mo Martin from Mo Betta Vegan
Kittee Berns from Cake Maker to the Stars

What? There’s a sale on vegan tattoos?!

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Welcome to Portland, Ore. Home to microbreweries, a vegan strip mall and strip clubs, craft coffee, hipsters, farmers markets and tattoos.


Yep, tattoos. And it’s Portland, so of course there are vegan tattoo parlours. Of course.

What makes a tattoo parlour vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use plant-based products where they can, while still adhering to the law and putting our safety first.

Our new favorite tattoo parlour that uses vegan inks is Skeleton Key Tattoo. Centrally located on SE Hawthorne & 17th, the owner Ximena is the awesomest lady this side of the Pacific.

She graciously humored the three of us organizer gals and, with only a few days’ notice, gave us each a beautiful beautiful beautiful beet tattoo.

beet tattoo arm

Ahhhhhh So COOL!!!

It looks so good I want to eat it.

me eating a beet


Love this tattoo!!

beet tattoo


The ever-adorable Jess, with her ever-adorable beet:

jess tattoo cutie


And for the camera-shy Michele, I present a game we like to call, “Where’s the Beet?”

wheres the beet

There’s the beet!

michele beet

The shop itself is clean, stocked with Good Earth Lollypops, and open for walk-ins and appointments. Four tattoo artists are on site, each with their own specialty (pet portraiture, anyone?).

So how is this relevant to you, dear Vida Vegan Con speakers, sponsors and attendees?

During the week of Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday August 24 through Monday August 29, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discountto all y’all for whatever vegetable/cat-shaped tattoo dreams you may have. All you gotta do is bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee, meet the $65 minimum, and after that the sky’s the limit and the world is your vegan oyster. (Bonus—they’re now open until 2am Thursday through Sunday—late-night post-vegan-corndog tattoos: Wahooo!)

Skeleton Key Tattoo

1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd

(503) 233-4292

~Make your appointment now!~

Off-Site Vida Vegan Shenanigans

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Oh, hello!

So you want to come to Vida Vegan Con but you didn’t get your ticket in time?

No bigs. Because we’ve got LOADS of stuff going on all weekend that is open the public (I.E., YOU!). We want to see you there. Even if you’re not a Portlander, you may decide it’s worth it to come for the weekend. There are going to be vegan shenanigans happening all over town, and you probably don’t want to miss a bit of it. We’ll have caffeine stations set up at key points all over town, don’t worry. (We kid, we kid. The pure adrenaline from the weekend will keep you going, we’re sure.)

Thursday, August 25

Meet & Greet

@ Vendetta (Click for address and directions)

When: 4:30-6:30

Cost: Free! (Unless you buy a stiff Mono and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice or a tasty Sloppy Jane.)

This is for those speakers, readers, and bloggers coming into Portland early. It’s also for you, if you want to swing by to meet some of your favorite bloggers (or your favorite conference organizers). This is open and free to the public. Swing by for a cocktail or a Tall Boy and mingle with the sort of people that talk about whisks, WordPress, and vegan Worcestershire sauce for fun.

* Vendetta does have a handful of vegan options, but don’t go starving yourself all day just to eat here.

** We totally want to show ya’ll the Bye and Bye on Alberta, but it’s crazy there on Last Thursdays and we don’t want to make you wait in line 4ever.

Here’s the facebook event.

Vegucated Sneak Peak

The Curious Comedy Theater (a 10-minute walk from Vendetta) is hosting a sneak peak of the anxiously awaited documentary Vegucated. There will be light vegan snacks and drinks available for purchase.

@ Curious Comedy Theatre (Click for address and directions)

When: Doors 7pm ~ Screening 7:30

Cost: $5 (Purchase tickets here) All door profits beyond cost of space rental goes to Woodstock Sanctuary.

Q&A with writer-director Marisa Miller Wolfson immediately following.

Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. Before long, they find themselves risking everything to expose an industry they supported just weeks before, but can their convictions carry them through when times get tough?

Here’s the facebook event.

** Un Vida Vegan Con Shenanigans**

Last Thursday

Last Thursday is a cray-cray fantastical hippy street fair that takes place on the Last Thursday of every month on Alberta St. It’s more than a little overwhelming and has recently turned into more of a drunken-shenanigans-in-the-street-while-ostensibly-looking-at-art, but there’s still some real rad stuff going on. If you can wade through the people and can’t make the Meet & Greet or Vegucated Sneak Peak, this would be a fun alternative for you. Also located on Alberta: Back to Eden Bakery, the best vegan bakery this side of the Universe (plus they have vegan soft serve, what!).

Friday, August 26

Friday is Registration and the Opening Night Reception.  No wild and crazy off-site Vida Vegan-endorsed shenanigans are happening. But you’ll probably have a Vida Vegan Con registrant or speaker sighting at any local vegan business you go to Friday night, so if you wanna stalk your favorite blogger, check their twitter stream or hang out at Bye and Bye, Sweet Hereafter, Hungry Tiger Too, or the Secret Vegan Lair underneath University Place. Consider a late night food cart or bar crawl!

Saturday, August 27

Cooking Demos with your favorite Bloggers and Cookbook Authors

@ Whole Foods Market (click link for address and directions)

When:  11:45-1:00 Cooking Demo with Fran Costigan: All Chocolate All Vegan All the Time Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

3:00-4:00 Cooking Demo with Caroline Scott-Hamilton: Easy Hotel Room Cooking to Eat Healthily While Traveling Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

Cost: $10 (Limit 15 spots. RSVP by emailing us here.)

Silent Auction Galarama

@ Ambridge Event Center (click link for address and directions)

When: 6:30-9:30pm

Cost: $25-$30

Our venue, Ambridge Event Center, is big enough for all ya’ll (unless of course we sell out, in which case—get your ticket early!), so we have opened the Galarama up to the public. Purchase your ticket here.

Public admission is $25 (or $30 at the door, if they’re still available) and includes vegan bites from the (vegan) caterer, Sizzle Pie, Gardein, Daiya, and Upton’s Naturals, among others, one drink (BridgePort beer, cocktails or mocktails, or wine from The Vegan Vine), and <insert drumroll and anticipatory murmur of the crowd here> the Coconut Bliss sundae bar! Oh, and you’re entered to win door prizes! And we’re still working up more fun surprises! The event is all ages, but no drinking for the minors so bring your ID.

Here’s the facebook event.

** Un Vida Vegan Con Shenanigans:

Upton’s Late Night Pop Up Sandwich Shop

After the Silent Auction Galarama, get your sandwich on and counteract that BridgePort beer at Upton’s Late Night Pop Up Sandwich Shop.

@ Food Fight! (Click link for address and directions)

When: 10pm-12am

Cost: Free to attend; not free to eat sandwiches.

Hang out with Upton’s at Food Fight on Saturday night! Upton’s will be offering an exclusive menu of made-to-order vegan sandwiches featuring their tasty seitan.
Additionally, they’’ll be offering some of our rarely offered for retail “limited edition” styles of seitan.
The full menu of sandwiches and available seitan styles will be up soon; check their Facebook event page to stay in the loop.

Huey Lewis and the News

Now, we know that is directly opposite the Silent Auction Galarama, is at the motherflippin’ Oregon Zoo, and costs up to $175, but for peet’s sake, it’s HUEY LEWIS. This is my jam, ya’ll:

Marry me, Huey.

Sunday, August 28

Cooking Demos with your favorite Bloggers and Cookbook Authors

@ Whole Foods Market (click link for address and directions)

When:     10-11:30 Cooking Demo with Kelly Peloza & Joni Marie Newman: Backyard BBQ with an Indian Twist Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

1:30-2:30 Cooking Demo with Hannah Kaminsky: Mastering the Art of Vegan Meringue  Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

Cost: $10 (Limit 15 spots. RSVP by emailing us here.)

So, whoa. Loads of shenanigans happening all weekend. Get your double espresso/green smoothie/decaf herbal tea ready, download the trimet app on your smart phone, grease the wheels on your bike, and we’ll see you in a few weeks.