Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Words from Gandhi

It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures.
—Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spotlight Seller

This week on the Spotlight Seller we are featuring the awsomeness that is Joe of Black Ship Crafts!!

Tell us a bit about yourself? 
Hi! My name is Joe, friends call me Joe Bridge. I've spent some time traveling all around the lower 48 and Mexico, taking pictures, helping with community projects, crafting, picking up skills and trades, farming, cycling, touring with rock bands, etc. I am currently living in the country out side of Gainesville, FL, but I'm moving up to Minneapolis soon. I love the country life, but the city is calling me back.

Vegan or Vegetarian? How long?
I've been vegetarian for 13 years.. since shortly after I was introduced to the idea at 17. I decided that I loved animals and loathed factory farms.

When did you open your shop on Etsy? 
The shop was started last spring/winter. I was laid off from my job at a bike shop in Gainesville, and, not seeing many jobs, or any that seemed appealing, I decided to put more time into my crafts.

Black Vegan Snap Bracelet
Tell us about what you sell on Etsy? 
I mostly sell handmade belts, wallets, guitar straps, and other leather style goods, but I use discarded bike tubes that I collect from local bike shops.

When you are not working on your shop, what do you do? 
I am also a musician, partner, painter, photographer, frame builder, journalist, cyclist, skater, activist, community advocate, carpenter, metalworker, traveler, and, jeez, artist and general tradesmen I guess. 

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Life, love, nature, hard work, struggle, compassion. I love bikes and working with my hands. Creating new things to replace the factory made junk that we are constantly bombarded with. I've always been inspired by peoples struggles for equality and justice, and all the aspects that go into why anyone would be empowered to stand up for their own justice, and, against their oppression. 

Vegan Guitar Strap w/ Pick Holder
What's your favorite veggie meal? 
Oh jeez. I LOVE food. I love cooking the best new meals with friends from whatever we have available around the kitchen and garden. And, eating with friends. Minneapolis has a ton of amazing cheap veggie food to eat out, though. Hard times cafe, Seward Collective Cafe, Jasmine Deli to name a few. oh, and, strong, coffee...

Where else can we find you? 
I just had a table at the Artwalk in Gainesville last night! I mostly spend my time out in country, but I'll be in the collective cafe's and bike shops and record stores of Minneapolis soon though. I do a blog about new crafts and bike building. http://blackshipcrafts.blogspot.com; I have a facebook page for the shop - http://www.facebook.com/BlackShipCrafts - and a twitter - @BlackShipCrafts and Pinterest  pinterest.com/blackshipcrafts 

Where else can we find your stuff? 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/blackshipcrafts; Pedalr is a super awesome 
cycle based online shop - http://www.pedalr.com/profiles/2736

Thanks for being part of the team Joe!! Make sure to check out upcycling at it's best at Black Ship Crafts!!

*If you want to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Seller please convo BunnysBakedGoods on etsy for more information!* 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sauteed Green Beans

When I was in college at Syracuse University, we used to eat out from time to time at a Chinese restaurant near campus. With rare exception, I always got the sauteed green beans. I loved them, and every time I’ve ordered Chinese since, I've looked for something similar. I never really found it.

Then, a few years ago, I picked up a recipe at the grocery store for “Green Beans Chinese-Style,” and lo and behold, there were my beloved sauteed green beans again! It’s a simple, fast recipe, and whenever I have fresh green beans, it’s the first recipe I think of. This week, my son requested them! (And ate multiple helpings …)

Sauteed Green Beans
1.5T minced fresh ginger*
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, minced**
2T dry sherry
2T sugar
2T soy sauce
2T vegetable oil
1.5 lb. green beans, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry

* I often substitute 1t ground ginger.
** If I don’t have green onions, I use a couple of tablespoons of chopped regular onions or a tablespoon of minced onions.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the ginger, garlic, green beans, onion, sherry, soy sauce, and 1T water. (Important note: don’t double the sauce. It might seem like there’s not enough, but there is. The sauce is supposed to mostly cook away and get sticky on the beans.)

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir fry the green beans for 2 minutes. Add 2T of water and cook for another 2 minutes or until the water is evaporated. Add the sauce and stir fry for 5 more minutes or until the beans are tender. Serve over rice.

Serves 6. (Yeah right — my husband, son, and I can polish this off in one sitting!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Well Worth the Read by Albert Einstein

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spotlight Seller

This week on the Spotlight Seller I am happy to feature a fellow Seattleite, Heather of Cassiopeia! Heather is new to the team, so let's lean more about her!

Tell us a bit about yourself? 
My name is Heather and I currently live in Seattle, WA with my husband, Dustin, and our two dogs. I love to cook, cuddle with my doggies, and create handmade things daily.

Vegan or Vegetarian? How long?
Currently I'm Vegan and have been for 3 years. I was Vegetarian for 10 years before that! 

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
My current Etsy shop has been open since August of 2011.

The Hex Earrings

Tell us about what you sell on Etsy?
I make jewelry (all Vegan of course). I focus on using raw, vintage, rare and eco-friendly materials. I also dabble in fine art and may be opening up a separate shop for that in the near future.

When you are not working on your shop, what do you do?
Cook endless amounts of Vegan delicacies. I also love exploring my beautiful state. So many amazing things to see and do here.

The Hayzel Necklace

Where do you get your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration stems from my surroundings. I have a few necklaces inspired by the weather here. Brilliant Blues, Deep Grays + Blacks and Bright Whites are some of the lovely colors the sky here features regularly. Just recently I was thinking how great it would be to find some beads that looked like delicious blueberries. Can you tell I love food!

What's your favorite veggie meal?
Seattle has some of the most amazing Vegan restaurants. Its impossible to choose just one favorite so I'm going to list a few of them.
Chaco Canyon is completely Organic and they're food is extremely healthy. I'm in love with their Artichoke Melt Sandwich and the Red Lentil Soup. They also have mouth watering smoothies.
Hillside Quickie has the most delicious Seitan Sub Sandwhiches on the planet. They're huge!
My third favorite is a place called Vertical Diner in my home state of Utah. They have Fried Seitan made into chicken wings and buffalo wings. Yum!

There's also always the home made meals. I love Tofurkey Roast and Tofurkey Pizzas! Boca Spicy Chicken Patties and homemade Seitan and Tempeh are also delicious.

Where else can we find you? 
The Cassiopeia Blog is found at: www.cassiopeiablog.com
I'm on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/shopgeologica
I'm also on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/heathergrey/pins

Thanks for being part of the team!! Check out Heather's beautiful work at Cassiopeia!!! Really quite stunning!

*If you want to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Seller please convo BunnysBakedGoods on etsy for more information!* 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Garlic and Rosemary Tofu

I have a four-year-old son, and he loves tofu. He’s also excited that we’ve got herbs growing in our front yard and asks often to pick them and cook with them.

So, I was excited to come across this tofu recipe while browsing Pinterest and Vegan Food Addict. We picked some rosemary and got cooking! This was a great recipe to make with my son because he could help me start the marinade and stir the tofu as it soaked. I made one change to the recipe: After it baked, I sautéed the tofu to get the outsides crispy. That’s how my husband likes his tofu.

Garlic and Rosemary Tofu
From Vegan Food Addict
1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
¾-1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Pinch pepper

Drain tofu and wrap in a towel. Set under something heavy – I used a plate with a can on top – for 15 minutes or so to remove as much water from the tofu as you can.
Slice the tofu into ¾-inch cubes and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir, and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400º F. Lightly grease a small pan. Spread the tofu in the pan in a single layer and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add pepper to taste.

For extra crispiness, sauté the tofu until the outsides are golden brown and crispy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Tuesday's Quote is from George Bernard Shaw

When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity.
~George Bernard Shaw, writer and Nobel laureate (1856–1950)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spotlight Seller

This week on the Spotlight Seller we welcoming another newbie to the EtsyVeg Team, Amber of This Little Bird!!!

Tell us a bit about yourself? 
Hi! I'm Amber Long and I've been living on the Central Coast in California for just over 11 years. I'm a Californian born and bred, but love the Central Coast. I am married to an elementary school teacher and we share our home with our three rescue cats. We love to travel, read, cook, garden, and play with our cats!

Vegan or Vegetarian? How long? 
I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian with vegan tendencies. I have become increasingly aware of the amount of animal by-products hidden in food labels so with the help of the HappyCow website I'm trying to avoid them. I've been a vegetarian for 16 months.

When did you open your shop on Etsy? 
I opened my shop on Etsy, November 1, 2011, sadly the same day my grandfather died from lung cancer. Consequently, I'm even more passionate about doing what I love and living a fulfilling life.

I have been an Etsy buyer since 2007.

Turquoise Cotton Tote Bag

Tell us about what you sell on Etsy? 
My shop is eclectic. I get inspired by fabric, buttons, felt and all kinds of other things, then have to set out to find something to make from all these things. My current focus is tote bags and zipper pouches. I have about 5 more products I want to launch this year including canvas totes, aprons, dish towels, placemats and napkins.

When you are not working on your shop, what do you do? 
Aside from my day job in operations for a medical group (herding 13 physicians) I spend time volunteering for the American Cancer Society and other groups, learning new things like how to crochet, and hanging out with my husband. We love to travel so we are always thinking and planning out our next trip. We also spend a lot of time gardening and going to book stores and the library. Currently I'm taking a photography class. As they say when you stop learning you start dying. 

Flower Button Zipper Pouch
Where do you get your inspiration? 
I get my inspiration from the medium itself. I can walk by a fabric and have a physical reaction to it, so I buy it. I've learned over time to trust this instinct. If something is cute but so-so I pass on it. I buy what I love and create something from it. I also love nature and the colors in nature can be so inspiring!

What's your favorite veggie meal? 
Pretty much anything that has zucchini or artichoke hearts in it! I've always adored fresh veggies, even though I grew up on canned and frozen veggies. Imagine my amazement when I moved away from home and started tasting fresh veggies!

Where else can we find you? 
While I do have Facebook, Twitter and Google + accounts, I still haven't figured out how to use them yet. In the meantime you can follow me on my blog at thislittlebirdshop.blogspot.com

Thanks for being parting the team Amber! Don't forget to stop in This Little Bird to check out all of Amber's creations!!

*If you want to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Seller please convo BunnysBakedGoods on etsy for more information!* 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spotlight Seller

Welcome back to the EtsyVeg Spotlight Seller! This week we are turning our eyes on Jen of Arthur's Plaid Pants!!

Tell us a bit about yourself? 
My name is Jen. I currently reside in Chicago, IL but my hometown is Detroit, MI. 
I share my life with my awesome, tall, orange bearded husband Andy and our 2 rescue pit bulls Rocky & Rilo.

Vegan or Vegetarian? How long?
I'm vegan. I've been vegan for 7 years and I was vegetarian for 9 years prior to that.

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened my shop in March 11' but wasn't actively selling until around October 11'

Hipstamatic Photo "Austin Motel"

Tell us about what you sell on Etsy?
I make custom prints. The main prints I sell are based on long distance love and relationships. I came up with the idea when I made them for my own wedding in Sept. 11'. I made a print based on my hometown and my husbands hometown and used our state's nicknames. I was really happy how they turned out and I had people requesting them immediately so I thought hmm...maybe I should start selling these. 

I also LOVE vintage clothing. My husband and I go on vintage hunting trips and we have begun selling our awesome finds in the shop.

I also sell some hipstamatic photos. We travel a lot and I like to take photos of our adventures :)

When you are not working on your shop, what do you do?
I own a small graphic design company JIH Designs Inc. jihdesigns.com/
We opened in 2008 but I've been a graphic designer for over a decade. I also work part time as a florist. I'm pretty lucky that I'm able to be creative at all 3 of my "jobs".

Two Custom State Nicknames Print

Where do you get your inspiration?
All around me. I look at everything as an idea: nature, urban environments, people, etc..
during our travels I've been able to see so many neat things that I've stored in my "creative bank". I have an ongoing list I keep in my phone and whenever I get an idea it gets immediately added to the "to make" list.

What's your favorite veggie meal?
The Chicago Diner's vegan chocolate peanut butter shake and Dagwood sandwich....To. Die. For.

Where else can we find you? 
Strolling through the city of Chicago with the hounds and husband. My favorite areas: concerts at the Vic, Metro, Schuba's, Wrigley Field watching a Cubs game, shopping for vintage clothing or planning our next adventure. 

Awesome Jen!! Thanks for being part of the team! Make sure to check out the great vintage clothing and the rest of Jen's delightful designs at Arthur's Plaid Pants!!

*If you want to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Seller please convo BunnysBakedGoods on etsy for more information!* 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fresh Tomato Soup

I love this recipe so much that it is taped inside my cupboard door so I can always find it. I got it online several years ago when I wanted to make tomato soup but didn’t have onions. I don’t remember the source of the recipe, but apparently this is what comes up when you search for “tomato soup without onions.”

I make this soup year round, cheating by using two 28-oz cans of crushed tomatoes in the winter and spring. They’re a good substitute when good tomatoes are not available (or you're pressed for time and don't want to peel the tomatoes).

Fresh Tomato Soup

2 lb. tomatoes
3 T butter
2 T flour
1 t salt
½ t sugar
¼ t pepper
1 c water
½ c vegetable broth

Wash and stem tomatoes. Fill a large pot full of water and bring to a boil. Blanche the tomatoes by dipping them in the boiling water for 10-15 seconds. Plunge tomatoes into cold water (ice water, preferably). Let cool just a bit and carefully remove skins. Dice.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and add tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and run through a blender. (I use an immersion blender right in the pan; just watch for splattering. It’s hot.)

Return tomatoes to pan. Sprinkle with flour, salt, sugar and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add water, then broth. Heat to simmering.
Garnish with butter and fresh parsley, and serve with crackers. Serves 6.

Variations: I like to add a couple of cups of cooked macaroni to the soup. Here are more variations from the original recipe:

  • Serve with croutons
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil leaves and a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Add fresh rosemary or chopped chives while simmering
  • Add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sage
  • Reserve a tomato half and dice it, adding it to the creamy soup near the end of simmering
  • Add 1 cup cooked white rice