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Wrap Up

Summer Recap Zine // Vegetarian Ventures Issue 1

August 29, 2013


I already showed this on VV’s Facebook and Pinterest yesterday but I wanted to share it with all of you. I created a short Summer recap zine with some of my favorite highlights for what has been going on around VV this past season.

I am totally hooked on independent magazines right now. Having articles published in Chickpea, Incadenscent, and Remedy Quarterly has made me realize how fun it is to see your work in print. There is something so satisfying about being able to stack your pieces of creative work on a shelf instead of in a hard drive. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the internet but there is nothing better than being able to flip through pages of inspiration over and over again.

In addition to hoping to write a small recap zine every season, I’d really love to start making a collaborative publication in the near future. I really enjoy the community that is built around having a blog and would love to expand it beyond guest posts and re-pins. You know, something physical [eventually] and filled with recipes, adventures, tricks, tips, guides, drawing, a cute name (Toast? Hibiscus?), and (of course) beautiful photography. I realize that will mean recruiting a co-op of writers, adventures, photographers, taste-makers, bakers, and designers (these people could be YOU. Yes? No? Maybe?). Until then, I’ve got my VV recap zine to get my technique down.

What independent zines have you been lusting over lately? I’ve been SO into Kinfolk, Pure Green Magazine, and Weekend Almanac.

Chickpea Magazine Winter 2013 /// February Recap

February 28, 2013

Good afternoon! Before I get to the monthly recap, I wanted to share my excitement with you guys about receiving the new Chickpea Quarterly in the mail yesterday. I have an article on DIY Kitchen Staples (Homemade Vegetable Broth, Vanilla Extract, and Almond Milk) in it. Also, It’s chocked full of vegan recipes, beautiful photography, and oh so much inspiration that I am grinning from ear to ear just looking at it. I thought I was ready for winter to be over but the magazine has re-sparked my cold weather senses. Here are a few highlights (and yes, those are BOURBON CHOCOLATE CAKE POPS pictured below…)

Chickpea Quarterly






Okay, enough drooling over my favorite magazine – it’s time for a recap! No offense but I am SO glad that February is only 28 days long. With spring on the mind since January 1st, I have been having trouble getting through this month while still feeling present. Instead, my mind has been wondering to beaches, beeragritas, and long bike rides. Here are a few recipes that have helped me kick the winter [mind] wandering..




1. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with Gingersnap Crust – Comfort food with a fancy twist. And by fancy, I mean crumbling cookie bits on top of my already insanely indulgent dinner. Not bad…not bad at all…

2. Vegan Stuffed Brunch Biscuits – these were my ‘pride and joy’ of the month. One of those ideas that comes to you at a completely random time and you start to obsess over it until the recipe is executed. Veggie Sausage or Bacon? Scones or Biscuits? Cheddar or Tomato Scones? Southwestern or Indian Tofu Scramble? Mushroom or Pepper Gravy? So many combinations to choose from and the product was an irresistible combination of everything amazing that comes to mind when you think ‘Vegan Breakfast’.

3. Heart Shaped Polenta Crostini with Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese – Three of my favorite things all in one bite. And SO simple to make. How can it get any better than that?

4. Cinnamon Quinoa Granola – New breakfast go to. Chocked full of fiber, protein, and antixidents. The texture from the quinoa bring a whole new level of granola and this stuff keeps me filled all morning long.


Okay, well GOODBYE February and HELLOOOO March. I’m thinking [hoping] March will be filled with more outdoor adventures, road trips, and garden prepping. Yesss!


Song Pairing:

A Look Back at 2012

December 31, 2012

No food post today. Just a small reflection 2012 and thoughts on opening the door to 2013. 2012 was a year of change…for both the better and the worse. I graduated from Indiana University, moved in with Wyatt, scored a full time job working with indie rock music, adopted Tuko, and continued to blog almost daily here on VV.

Graduating from college was both exhilarating and a let down. I had spent my whole life dreaming of moving away and going to school but graduating made me realize that I probably should have dreamed bigger. I came out of college feeling lost and restless and full of doubt. Scoring a full time job out of school should have probably made me proud but instead it left me feeling empty and wondering if this was the climax of my life. It’s been six months since I graduated and I am in a much better place then I was but am still hoping 2013 will bring a bright and fresh outlook.

Despite being filled with so much doubt, 2013 was also an amazing year of learning and discovery. We had wonderful year raising our oh so hyper puppy Tuko, I took up yoga, many friends moved away and I met many new ones, we moved into our first official ‘home’ for me to decorate all by myself, we finally adventured to the southwest, and my cooking and photography continued to grow.

As we move into 2013, I am hoping for more adventure and new discoveries.  I tend to make goals every season but still wanted to make a few 2013 resolutions…here is what I’ve got so far:

1. More adventures close to home

2. Less doubt, More Risk

3. Less processed foods

4. Work on photography

5. Keep moving forward & always improving

6. Continue to surround myself with positive people


Hope everyone rings in the new year with their favorite people. And I hope you continue to follow VV in 2013… I’d like to think it’s only getting better every day! Annnnd to end the post, here are a few favorite photos from the year:




2012 Recap


November Wrap Up

November 30, 2012

…And there goes another month. Isn’t it crazy how fast time seems to be going by? Thanksgiving has come and gone, the Christmas shopping is underway, and holiday cookies are on the mind. How about a quick recap of the past month before we jump into cookie cutters, green/red sprinkles, and chocolate covered everything?


Some favorite highlights from the past month:


1. Rosemary Vegetable Soup with Rustic Bread – Fresh bread and a hearty vegetable soup. Cannot think of a better way to bring in the cold evenings.

2. Cranberry Mojito – Festive and delicious! This drink was the perfect starter at our Friendsgiving party.

3. Pumpkin Dog Biscuits – Tuko turned 1 so I had to spoil the crap out of him with homemade biscuits and a new sweater. Believe me, I will be making these again very soon for Christmas gifts for all the adorable pups in my life.

4. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Espresso Scones – they were an extra amazing breakfast treat! The flavor was rich and complex with a flaky texture that was pretty much irresistible!


And that sums it up!


Moving forward… here are a few winter goals I am planning to tackle in the dark, cold months ahead:

1. Make homemade ricotta cheese (this has been on my list forever and I am going to do it this time!)

2. Get into a morning yoga routine

3. Make more homemade salad dressings

4. Work on my photography skills // work on lighting

5. Learn basic CSS (or at least enough to get my logo up in that corner where the V is!!)

6. Get into Twitter

7. Make homemade cleaning supplies


Okay, that is a start. Should keep me busy for awhile [I hope]. What you are hoping to accomplish this winter?


October Highlights

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! I usually do my monthly wrap ups on the first but VV is participating in a virtual potluck tomorrow (more on that…well…tomorrow) so let’s talk October today. Cool? Cool.

Did everyone have a wonderful October? I don’t know what it is but my only association with Fall is Late September/October. I am really hoping that the crisp fall feeling doesn’t fade into winter just yet…oh November, you sound so…dark. Am I the only one feeling this way? Well, in an attempt to hold onto my favorite season as long as possible, I will be keeping the pumpkin recipes coming! At least until I have to pull out my winter jacket…
And now for some October Highlights!



1. Muesli Bread – by far my favorite recipe from the month of October. Not only was this bread melt-in-your-mouth delicious when fresh out of the oven but it was also loaded with healthy (and yummy!) pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dried cherries!

2. Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons – Goat cheese croutons might be the best winter food ever to exist. Bringing these into my world has opened up so many new ways to jazz up ordinary soup.

3. Spicy Jalapeno Corn Hummus – Hummus has been my go to snack for years now and my recent attempts to play with its flavors have been delightful. The extra kick that the jalapeno gives really brings new flavor to standard hummus

4. Homemade Caramel Corn – Your movie nights will never be the same again! The recipe makes a lot but it’s the perfect snack for a crowd or if you are craving some seriously delicious caramel treats in your life.


Lastly, don’t forget to check out my collaboration with Dishes Undressed on Bread Pudding and the October Giveaway that VV is hosting (ends Friday!).


And as for November? Well, I am hoping (have I said this before?) to have my new blog makeover up and running this month! And will probably send the next 3 weeks drooling over Thanksgiving recipes. Ah yes, it won’t be such a bad month after all!

September Highlights

October 1, 2012

Heyyyaaa. Happy…Monday? And October…WOAH. weird. It seems like it was just yesterday that it was my birthday (September 4th). This month flew by but lots and lots of yummy things were made in the process.





Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites:

1. At the beginning of September my CSA box was OVERFLOWING with zucchini. This meant we we made a new zucchini bread recipe almost daily. These dark chocolate zucchini muffins were probably my all time favorite (who doesnt like eating chocolate for breakfast?!). But I was also pretty impressed with the Savory Feta Zucchini muffins….

2. Everything is better with avocado! We learned that this summer when people start throwing avocados in things from baked sweets to smoothies. This dip is no different and makes everything you might stick in it irresistible. Oh, and the homemade potato chips aren’t so bad either!

3. Mmmm…some of the last bits of summer in a bowl. I still firmly stand by the belief that the best kind of recipes are simple so that the delicious flavors of the ingredients can shine through. And this dish is a perfect example of that. Ripe tomatoes and crusty bread help to bring out all the flavors of summer in this Panzanella.

4. And finally, the last week of September I let myself give into fall and whipped up everything cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin flavored. Although the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and apple crisp were freaking amazing dishes, the pumpkin granola was my favorite because it was sooooo simple and I was able to enjoy it for days after.

Oh and the biggest excitement this month was seeing my article about the Midwest Vegan Food Scene in Chickpea magazine! I have been such a huge admirer of Chickpea magazine for so long that it was really great to be a contributor this time around!!



And now let’s take a look at October!

October is going to be an exciting and busy month. Wyatt and I will be heading to Denver at the end of the month to visit my brother and a few relatives, my blog make-over will [hopefully] be finishing up, and I have loads of recipes in store that consists of lots of root vegetables and fall squash!

Oh and how about a fall goal list? We posted one on the fridge a few weeks ago and I am happy to say we already have crossed a few things off the list. Here is what it looks like:

1. Go apple picking

2. Have horror movie nights

3. Finish my blog make-over

4. make homemade cheese (gonna happen this season!)

5. Go on a fall camping trip

6. Enjoy a bonfire

7. Make pumpkin flavored donuts and dog treats


August Wrap Up

September 1, 2012

Another month has gone by already! The days are shortening, the evening are cooling, and the produce choices are shifting. I am, surprisingly, becoming more and more excited about fall as I get older. Perhaps it’s because I don’t judge my seasons by whether I’m in school or not and since work doesn’t ever go away for an entire season, I can accurately pick a season based on my taste. And with that…. I love fall! I love wearing flannels and knee-high socks. I love cooking with loads of nutmeg and pumpkin. I love going on hikes when the leaves are changing colors and the wind is crisp. Oh, I am ready.

Anyhow, before we jump into fall…let’s talk about August!

Looking back, here are a few favorite posts:

1. I made Rosemary Lemonade for a work pot luck at the beginning of the month. Not only was this refreshing and super easy but it also fed my simple syrup addictions. Which led to lemongrass simple syrup and more blueberry simple syrup. Mmm.

2. Farro Salad with Roasted Veggies – summer in a bowl! This was my first time cooking with farro and I was sold. Plus, anything lathered in roasted veggies and caramalized onions is going to be amazing…always.

3. VV Turns 1! VV is going get more pristine with age. Expect lots of changes coming in the near future!

4. Roasted Tomato and Feta Polenta. Simple comfort food is sometimes all you need on a cool summer evening.


Also, August was the month of amazing collaborations over here at VV. We had so much fun making Vegan Mac N’ Cheese with The Hearty Herbivore, sharing a wonderful guest post with Masters2Marathons, and swapping recipes with Dishes Undressed! Don’t be surprised if you see them around here more often!


I sort of/kind of did some things on my August goal list. I am going camping this week and cooked with mushrooms…so that’s two! I did not get around to starting my zine (that’s totally a indoor…winter activity anyways…right?) and I never ended up canning. Hmm…but I do have so much zucchini/eggplant these days that maybe I should look into some recipes.

Anyhow, sorry I am skipping my weekly ‘Searchable Saturdays’ again but I felt like a wrap up was in order.

Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend and I am off to start Birthday Shananagans (because birthdays are suppose to last a whole week prior and after the date, right?)


July Wrap Up

July 31, 2012

Well, it’s that time again! July has already flown past us and it’s time to start reflecting. Here are my favorite posts from this past month:

1. Ah yes! The Blueberry Peach Cobbler Cake that I made for our 4th of July funsies. I feel like I have never experienced a cake that was not only so packed with flavors from the fresh fruit and spices but also stayed moist for days after! Soooo. delicious!

2. The post I made about our Lake Picnic! Although this does not have a recipe included, it was fun to play around with these photos and work to really try to capture the beauty that comes along with spending an evening at Lake Monroe.

3. This was the first recipe I made with our CSA box. The summer squash was so fresh that our farmer had literally picked it earlier that day! ah! and the buttery crumble on top made for a mouth-watering mess that I could get use to indulging in!

4. Blueberry Limeade Cocktail – it was very exciting to make my own simple syrup (and so freaking easy!) and then serve it to all our guest at our House Warming Party. The blueberries made this drink the most beautiful deep purple that I have ever seen a cocktail!


As far as my summer goals, I think the only thing I crossed off in July was ‘Take Time To Do A Little Yoga Everyday’ and ‘Try New Cocktails’. I really need to get on the ball here because August is what I consider to be the last month of summer. Sadly, my puppy torn up the part of the garden with cucumbers so there will be no pickling of my own cucumbers this year. With that being said, I think it’s time to tweak my summer list a bit…



3. Pickle my own grown cucumbers


3. Learn to can


And I think I will be holding off on making cheese until the weather cools down…that is actually going to be a great recipe to play around with when it’s cold and I need to amuse myself for the afternoon.

So…goals I plan to tackle in August:

1. Start working on my recipe zine

2. Learn to can

3. Learn to like mushrooms // start cooking with mushrooms more

4. Go camping (if the weather cools..)

5. DIY projects: macrame planters // homemade rings // Billy Buds (see here)




June Wrap Up

July 2, 2012

Well Mondays are when I usually post about being moody …but let’s be real: I have a TWO day week since my company is giving us Wednesday through Friday off for the 4th of July… so do I really have that much to complain about? I think not.

Instead, since July snuck up on us over the weekend let’s have a June Wrap up instead!

My favorite posts from this past month:

1. I am a picnic fanatic and had soooo much fun enjoying these Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo while soaking up some fresh air on a lovely dinner picnic with my puppy and boyfriend

2.I am not sure where you live but this 100 degree weather refuses to let up over here in Bloomington, Indiana. Popsicles like these Berry Mango Yogurt Pops are the only things keeping me cool when I attempt to adventure outdoors.

3. Oh! My adventure with this Summer Potato Salad was pure bliss! Potato salad just screams summer and this was a great way to kick off our first grill out of the season!

4. Pizza Pizza Pizza. I cannot escape it no matter how bad I tell myself it is! I’ve come to accept this and have at least turned to making my own pizza so that I know exactly what goes into it. This Savory Breakfast Pizza was part of a two segment post that also included yummy Blueberry Lime Pizza.

In other news, June was ridiculously busy with us moving into our new house (which we are still not completely settled into) and being out of town for almost every weekend.

Also, I managed to learn a lot from my Blogging 2.0 class (which ends this week!) and can’t wait to start applying what I learned to VV.

And onto July! What to expect? Well I am hoping to spend July settling into our new place; this means starting to make lots of new memories at our new home in the form of cocktail parties, movie nights, and creative time in our new studio. I am very excited for things to calm down around here so we can enjoy the simple pleasures of summer (now if only this 100 degree weather would calm down a bit…).