Soup Making Bubbles

Soup Making Bubbles

They bubble formation occurred when I was steaming onion and carrots in a small amount of water.

Quick Vegetable Soup
Steam chopped onion and grated carrot in small amount of water. Add frozen vegetables. When vegetables are softened, add tomato soup or Spicy V-8 or a combination with 1 or 2 vegetarian bouillon cubes.

Can be served as is or with saltines, with Matzos, toast, rice, or pasta.

Dark Chocolate Bars

Being a vegan is difficult. Reading labels has become a common occurrence whenever I go shopping. A company label can state their product is not tested on animals, but are any of the ingredients used in their product tested on animals? What about their parent company? Do they perform animal testing on other lines? Or do they claim to be cruelty-free, but perform animal tests on products to be marketed in China?

There are animal ingredients tucked into many products. I was looking for a vegan margarine for baking and found that a company lists fish oil as one of its ingredients. It is astounding how often animal ingredients are tucked into products.

Is organic produce sold at the local Farmers’ Market vegan? Maybe not. I asked a couple of farmers and they told me that they use fish emulsion fertilizer.

What is a vegan to do? You just do the best that you can. I have also come to count on the leaping bunny and the certified vegan logos. And websites like Leaping Bunny.

I found this great illustration of cruelty-free logos at The Little Foxes site.

Cruelty Free Logos

What was the purpose of this post? I was in the local Target looking for a bar of dark chocolate. I happened on this dark chocolate and mint bar.

Chocolate Mint Bar

I love mint, but often anything with mint has egg whites. I didn’t see egg whites on the ingredients list, so I bought it.

When I visited the Equal Exchange Co-Op website, I found that the chocolate bar is vegan! Simple pleasure and also is fair trade.

Endangered Species Bar

The Endangered Species, Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almonds bar is also vegan.

One additional fact, combined the two bars were only $5.49. It is not unusual for a vegan chocolate bar to be at least $4-$5 each, sometimes loads more.

Plum Pie and Fiber Trivet

My niece (who will be staring 6th grade) taught me how to make a pie crust. I do not know if it is all of the years wedging clay, but every time I attempted to make a pie the crust was a huge disappointment. This is the result of the lesson.


The plums were from the tree in our orchard. My niece used the snowflake cookie cutters I impulsively bought last Christmas in Maryland.

We decided to share the pie with our friends who recently relocated from Washington. While we were there I saw this amazing trivet.


I love white on white–embroidered shirts and linens, knot work, woven work… The trivet is thick and the knots while not physically connected appear as diagonals. Simple, yet effective way to make a pattern.

Trivet Detail

Planning to give the technique a go and if it feels right, the pattern may show up in some of my work.

Bill the Bull, Another Reason to be Vegan

Today I was on the road with my sister and her young daughter, when we saw a rather disturbing thing.

Bill the Bull

This is what is left of Bill the Bull.

The folks attempting to sell Bill’s head mentioned that he made great steaks. Then they told the story of how he was a pet, then his head hung in their house, and for several years he was in storage. They decided that they did not want him anymore.

My 9 year old niece thought it was horrible that they cut off his head, and that they made steaks out of him. So I asked, “What is the difference between the steaks made from Bill and the hamburger that you had last night?” A good discussion occurred regarding the use of animals for food.

The following is a list of my current favorite vegan books, websites, and blogs.

I was a vegetarian for years before I found Dr. McDougall’s books.

Books authored by Dr. McDougall and Mary McDougall–

The McDougall Plan

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare in Fifteen Minutes or Less

Dr. McDougall’s Website

I was in a bookstore looking through the vegan section one day and found Tanya and Sarah’s first book, How It All Vegan . I must admit the title cracked me up. When I travel I always carry my copy of Vegan a Go-Go with a few additional favorite recipes.

Books authored by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer–

How It All Vegan!

The Garden of Vegan

I gave a copy of La Dolce Vegan to several family members and friends.

Books authored by Sarah Kramer–

La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin’ Made Easy

Vegan a Go-Go!: A Cookbook & Survival Manual for Vegans on the Road

Sarah Kramer’s Website

I ran across Jennifer’s blog, liked her recipes so much that I ordered a copy of Vegan Lunch Box for my sister who has kids, and a copy for myself. Everyone loves Jennifer’s Triple Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

Jennifer McCann’s first book–

Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!

Jennifer McCann’s Blog

My “Real” First Comment

I received my first real comment on one of my blog posts from Dinah at Discardia.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day cleaning my studio space because of the moth scare. I decided to clear out the truly unneccesary “potential” art materials. Throughout the day I kept asking myself, “What would Dinah do?” At the end of the day, there was her comment.


Uncertainty about my choices faded; I felt validated.

I did have a weak moment, one in which I felt a bit overwhelmed with the task at hand. To calm my mind I typically do one of two things–read or bake. I opted for baking chocolate chocolate-chip cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Vegan of course.

The recipes are based on Jennifer McCann’s book, Vegan Lunch BoxTriple Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Vegan Buttercream.

After a cupcake I went back to my studio refreshed and ready for the task. I needed to stop addressing the cleaning and clearing in a random, willy nilly way. I needed to be methodical.

I started with the first set of shelves where loads of small open containers of bits are stored. Interesting that the boxes of jars that I was keeping for someday came in handy.

Box of Jars

Yeah, I am pretty sure that I am not going to make snow globes.

And lids will keep out unwanted critters.

Stuff in Jars

Nathanael “Big Baby” and “Queen” Nora appreciated your comments too.

Big BabyNora