Author: janessapk

VVC Cocktail Lounge Field Trip

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Oh, hello! Happy Friday! I had a hard time motivating to write this post because I finally watched one Leslie Hall video and then COULDN’T STOP. Holy heck.

Anyway, the ladies of VVC descended on a swanky cocktail lounge in the Pearl District last night for our weekly meeting. All in the name of research.

Olive or Twist—cutesy name, cozy interior.

The cocktail menu was small, by Portland standards, with about 15 listed. Luckily for us, there were a couple of real gems in there.

My favorite:


The Spicy Peach – $8.50
Stoli Peach vodka, lime, muddled Serrano chilies, and simple syrup. Yes it is spicy!

Review: This cocktail didn’t have as much of a kick as I expected—and hoped—but it tasted like spicy peach limeade and went down in under five minutes.

I will totally make a version of this at home.

The drink that Michele was most excited to try:

lemon drop

Limoncello Drop – $8.50
Vodka, Pallini Limoncello, and a squeeze of fresh lemon with a sugar rim. A great twist on a favorite.

Review: A little too sweet with the limoncello instead of triple sec, which means Michele is still on the quest for that perfect lemon drop.

Runner Up:

Jess and I both enjoyed The Peruvian – $8.50 -Mazama Pepper vodka, mango puree, and lime juice.

I don’t have a picture of the Peruvian, so instead I will leave you with this:


I don’t know if you can tell, but it’s a painting of a woman flying over the ocean with her cat.

I saw it while walking in Santa Cruz on my Bay-area vacation last weekend. What a terrific picture.

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!~