Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vegan Mo Fo

Starting tomorrow...

I'm going to try to do one food-related blog per week day (and possibly weekend day ... or maybe that's just when I'll catch up).

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Over and Over...

Anna's new favorite song is Happy Birthday. Yesterday morning (most mornings actually) she asked me to sing it while she ate breakfast.

"Sing Happy Birthday Anna, Daddy," she politely demanded.

I usually try to think of whose birthday it was recently or whose it will be soon. Our good friend Kris Kerzman (Kerz, as we call him) turns 30 today, so we sang it to him.

And then we shot a ridiculous video.

Please excuse my dancing and try to focus on the little kid instead of the big one.

The song is "Devil A-Go-Go" by Blitzen Trapper, in case you're curious. I realized later that I should have played Birthday Song by the Beatles. Oh well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

These Thy Gifts...

I'm atheist, so I don't think my family would ever ask me to say grace before a meal. But if they did...

(click to view larger size)

Comic from Abtruse Goose.

(hat tip to Vegan.com)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


A quick google search showed that a word I thought Anna made up this morning is actually quite common on the world wide web of everything we call the internet.


She just said it out of the blue during breakfast (in between an open-faced peanut butter sandwich and frozen blueberries).

It's in the Urban Dictionary, which I guess must mean people in urban areas use it all the time. She's such a urbanite, that two year old daughter of mine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mixed Media

Today, Anna drew a picture for her mother. She sat down at her little table and I got out her briefcase full of markers and crayons. She prefers the markers. They're easier to draw with, plus they make her hands and clothes all sorts of fun colors. Sometimes they make mommy and daddy's clothes colors too. Cool!

So she drew and drew and drew and I'm not going to lie to you, I suggested different colors and told her that maybe she could fill in some white space here and maybe she could make some dots instead of lines, lines instead of circles, circles instead of lines.

These were all suggestions, mind you. In some cases, she chose to follow them, in others she ignored me completely. That's cool.

So after going with the markers for a while she decided to color with some crayons. I said, "Ooooooh, you're going to do some mixed media, huh?"

And she said, "Yeah, Anna mixed media."

It's times like these that I look at my daughter and I want to just hug her for the rest of her life. But she wouldn't get much sleep. And eating would be hard with me attached. So instead I just smile and die a little inside.

Here's what she drew:

And here's a closer view.

It's really hard to see the crayon, which is why crayons suck and why Anna prefers markers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Girls scream. Boys scream. We all scream for soy cream.

Last night I promised photos, a recipe and a harrowing soy cream story. I also said that I thought I may have made the best soy cream I've ever tasted.

Well, good news. Not only am I going to deliver on my promises, but I can honstly say, after tasting the hardened soy cream I made last night, it is ... I'm pretty sure it is, at least ... the best soy cream I've ever tasted.

But first, the harrowing soy cream story:

A few weeks ago I was thumbing through Veganomicon and came across the basic vanilla soy cream recipe. I looked at the ingredients, nothing too fancy. So I thought to myself, I can DO this! In fact, I have all of these ingredients right here already!

I broke out the blender that night, threw in the ingredients, blended 'em up and put it in the fridge to cool. Then I read the instructions on what to do next.

Wait, wait, wait. You need an ice cream maker to make ice cream? Really?

I know, I know, I know.

I don't know why I thought it could be so easy. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I was hoping you could blend it up and throw it in the freezer and somehow just will it into soy cream after that? It was not one of my brighter moments. But, I'm human. There are things that I'm just plain ignorant of, and as of a few weeks ago how to make soy cream was one of those things.

What would you do in this situation?

I ran out to the nearest department store and picked up an ice cream maker. Came back home and was all ready to make soy cream. That's when I realized I needed rock salt.

Is this story boring? Not quite harrowing?

Screw it then, I'm just going to skip to the part where I eventually made the vanilla soy cream and it tasted great. Oh, and I made my own magic shell mocha chocolate topping using Vegan Dad's recipie. That Vegan Dad. He rocks.

I was going to take a picture of the soy cream with chocolate on top, but realized that I could never get a photo as nice as Vegan Dad's. So go to that website I just linked to if you want to see what it tasted like. It was great.

Fast-forward to last night when I go for round two of soy cream making. I was already determined to spice it up a bit ... none of this plain vanilla shit for me anymore. That's old hat. I want new hat!

So here's what I came up with:

That's Mocha-Vanilla Soy Cream with Chunks of Chocolate Covered Pretzels in it Right There, See?

And here's the recipe.

Mocha-Vanilla Soy Cream With Chunks of Chocolate Covered Pretzels in it Right There, See?

Hint: Before starting, make sure you have an ice cream maker. Oh, and you'll need rock salt too.

Ingredients for soy cream:
1 cup cream of coconut milk
2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 box of silken tofu
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons instant coffee (I used this stuff)

Ingredients for chocolate covered pretzels:
20 pretzels or so (the straight ones are easiest)
Vegan chocolate chips (about half a bag)
Few tablespoons smooth peanut butter (or not, it's up to you)

I suggest making the pretzels first (I also suggest making more than 20 because they are scrumptious on their own). Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, then dip pretzels in the melty goodness. Place on wax paper (on a cutting board or cookie sheet or something). Put in freezer to harden. Cut up frozen chocolate covered pretzels into little chunks. Put back in freezer.

To make the soy cream, blend all ingredients up in your blender until it's all one color with no chunks. Then follow the instructions in your ice cream maker's manual.

Once the ice cream looks like it's about done, throw in the frozen chocolate covered pretzels and run ice cream maker for about five more minutes.

Place final mixture into tupperware and freeze. See if you can wait until it's actually frozen before you have your first bowl. My bet is that you can't.

Here's a closer shot:

So, the root of the recipe is Veganomicon's soy cream recipe. I basically doubled it and added stuff. I hope I'm not infringing on copyright or anything. How about this: If you make this recipe, you are legally bound to buy Veganomican if you don't already have it. Deal? Deal.

Oh, and the "bowl" is an old Corning tea cup that my parents gave me in college when they got new dishes. We only have two. I love these things. We use them for everything except tea. They're perfect for soy cream, since they provide built in portion-control. And my wife's family had the same dish set growing up. So it's a nice all-around reminder of youth.

But I digress. I can't wait to make more soy cream, even though the days are turning cool.

The End

Friday, September 12, 2008

I scream!

Holy flurking shnit, I think I just made the best soy cream I have ever tasted. Though I'm only basing this off the little sample I had before sticking it in the freezer to harden, so ... I guess we'll see ...

Photos, recipe and a harrowing soy cream story are coming soon to a This Little Piggy Had Tofu blog post near you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's a ...


OK, it's not a Borg, but doesn't that totally look like a little Borg fetus? Like he's going to grow up to look something like this?

I can't believe I just put that photo on the blog post announcing the gender of our second child. Also, that I just outed myself as a Star Trek geek.

Well, if you're a careful reader, you'll already have figured out that we're having a boy!

Is the small white arrow pointing to the penis really necessary? I mean I've never been one to place any emphasis at all on the size of one's penis (out of necessity, in case you're curious). But look at that thing! It's like an Aztec temple! Seriously, the thing is half way to his knee!

And here's the profile shot of the head, which I think bears some resemblance to Cornelius from Planet of the Apes.

OK, well I couldn't find a profile shot of Cornelius, but you get the picture.

So we're giving birth to a Borg ape with an elephantine penis. Awesome.

All kidding aside though, we're thrilled to be having a boy, if not a little apprehensive. We know how to raise a girl (well, up until the age of 2 and 2 months, at least), but a boy feels like this unknown quantity. And the nephews in both of our families are all ... handfuls? Don't get me wrong, we love them and they're great kids. But ... um, let's just say we're bracing.

That said, we will be making an active effort to raise a well-behaved little boy who listens and respects his parents, just like we did with Anna. He may do it in a different way than Anna (in fact, that's a guarantee), and we'll learn to deal with that and respect it.

And in case anyone's is wondering, no, he won't be circumcised.

UPDATED NOTE: It's been brought to my attention that the second to last paragraph of this blog sounds like it suggests that mine and my wife's siblings didn't and don't make an active effort to do the things I mentioned in that paragraph. That is not the case at all. They're all great parents who are raising great boys. What I meant by the paragraph is that we are going to try not to steer our boy toward any one direction based on the directions that our three nephews have naturally taken with their parent's guiding. In other words, we're going to try to parent our boy as well as our siblings have parented theirs. I understand how it may not read like that and I'll just chalk it up to my temporary(?) inability to convey my thoughts and emotions.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Overheard in Downtown Saint Paul Last Night

"Those cops are fuckers. We weren't doing anything wrong."

-20-something female talking on her cell phone walking down a downtown Saint Paul sidewalk alone last night. She was nearly in tears and obviously shaken up.

"You're going to want to move into the lobby if those crazies start moving this way."

-Policeman in full riot gear to me, my wife and daughter last night a couple minutes after the girl from the previous quote walked by.

So the Republican National Convention is in town this week, just a couple miles from our house. Yay!

There are large protests and many arrests going on this week. Some of the arrests are, for sure, warranted. People have torn bricks out of buildings and thrown them at cops. Some even threw buckets of piss and shit at cops. That blows. That's obviously breaking the law with intent to harm another person. Not cool.

That said, a lot of arrests are not warranted. Sure, protesters may be breaking a law like marching past curfew or camping in a park that doesn't allow camping, but most of these people aren't hurting anyone. They aren't actively harming people or property. They don't deserve pepper spray and tear gas.

There's a great 2-part video on the theuptake.org. Here's Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1 shows a group of protesters at a stand-off with police. The protesters threw first, I've read. I tend to believe those reports. But the stinger, Part 2, shows how innocent bystanders get rounded up with protesters. They all get arrested.

Sucks to be them, I guess.

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have gone downtown two days in a row?

Why did I go downtown last night, you ask? We went to the taping of the Daily Show! It was a blast. You can watch the show we were at the taping for here.

The theatre was on lockdown for about 10 minutes after the show because of a march outside. Once they let us leave we couldn't walk too far without running into police or protesters, so we bided our time at a nearby restaurant. Mrs. Piggy and I left once things seemed to die down. We were lucky, I guess, since our friends who stayed behind told us that tear gas came rolling down the street minutes after we left. Our friends were still in the restaurant when the tear gas happened and the place had to close their kitchen vents so the smoke wouldn't get in. I'm really glad Mrs. Piggy and I were out of the vicinity by then.

Don't worry, Anna didn't come with us and she was barely ever in harm's way. She was being babysat in a condo downtown by friends' parents. Once we got back to the condo we had to take a cab back to our house (our ride couldn't get to her car, because, ya know, tear gas). We got stuck in traffic because of some fracas on the on-ramp. I told the cab driver to roll his windows up ('cause, ya know, tear gas) and lock his doors ('cause, ya know, I get sort of paranoid).

Anna she was sort of weirded out by the riot cops and the flashing lights of cop cars. I made a game of it. Said the cops were wearing the same helmets I wore when I pressure washed our house. Pointed out the flashing lights and asked her what color they were. Then laughed at them. She played along, but we could tell she was a little shaken. This morning she stopped at the top of our front steps outside and wouldn't walk down. When I asked why, she just said "scared."

I don't know what that was about. For all I know there was just a weird shadow she wasn't sure about. Or maybe the events of last night shook her more than we thought. At any rate, she was back to her un-scared joyful self by this afternoon.

So Mrs. Piggy and I went downtown again today. Why, you ask? Well, you sure are the asky one, aren't you? If you must know, we went downtown today for the ultrasound!

Is Kid B a boy or a girl? I'll try to throw up the ultrasound photos tomorrow for the big reveal.