Stacking the Shelves: May 2016

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

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First things first: My birthday was earlier this month. (Yay me!) Shane made me a chocolate cake with almond buttercream frosting AND BITS OF COOKIE DOUGH STUFFED INSIDE (genius!) and I got a big stack o’ comics and vegan thin mints and a Supernatural messenger bag that I’m maybe probably most definitely too old for.

(The Orphan Black TP is still on my wishlist, in case anyone wants to send me a late gift. Just saying.)

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I requested yet another journal from Blogging for Books; I’m pretty sure I have enough to cover the next decade at this point! Even though I’m kind of over the teeny tiny sizes, I just had to have the Brain Freeze Journal. It looks so much like a Neapolitan ice cream sammie I salivate a little every time I look at it!

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True story: I put in for a copy of Long May She Wave (also from Blogging for Books) mostly on accounta I was wondering just what the heck it was. A book of American ephemera? Tear-out postcards? A stationary set? As it turns out, it’s a cross between two and three: a faux book housing 100 individual postcards: 50 unique designs, with two of each so you can send a card/keep a card, if you’d like. Kind of neat, eh?

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Thanks go to Natalie C. Parker for this ARC of Places No One Knows! I also won an ebook of Beware the Wild in her twitter giveaway!

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For review through Goodreads: the children’s book Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana and Francisco Javier Olea. This is the first GR giveaway I’ve won in, like, a year! That’s okay, though; since I started with NetGalley and Edelweiss, I’ve been entering fewer drawings for physical books, so that’s probably (mostly) why.

For review on Edelweiss:

    For review on NetGalley:

  • American Girls by Alison Umminger

    (I’m still working through last month’s stack, so it was a slow month, galley-wise!)

    J is for Jam Swirl Coffee Cake

    Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

    J is for Jam Swirl Coffee Cake [Vegan Brunch] (0016)

    This is another letter that was originally slated for a soup or stew – Jewish Beef Stew from Veganomicon, to be exact – but was jettisoned for a dessert, mostly because I’m a sucker for the sweet stuff, but also on account of the heat. 90 degrees plus is just too hot for soup, okay! Also, I have so many tomatoes to use up that dinner these days usually consists of pizza or pasta – anything and everything I can jam a tomato on. Menu, full. Try again later.

    My heart was torn between the Coffee Cake (the Jam Swirl variation, to keep it on theme!) from Vegan Brunch and the Jean Luc Cupcakes (with an Earl Gray cake and ginger-orange frosting!) in Betty Goes Vegan, but seeing as my cupcake decorating skills leave something to be desired, I decided that the cake would be the safer option. I don’t even own a pastry bag, yo! (Someone please send me a cake decorating kit? Mom?)

    J is for Jam Swirl Coffee Cake [Vegan Brunch] (0012)

    I don’t think I’ve had coffee cake before – I know, the horror, right? – so I don’t have a point of comparison, but hot damn! Is this cake un-freaking-believable or what!? The yellow cake is soft and moist, while the crumbly topping adds an extra shot of sugary sweet goodness. And the jam swirl is pretty genius. I did a cherry-strawberry combo and it was pure perfection.

    And the cake! It slid right out of the pan! That never happens to me. My baked goods tend to fight me, but not this time. Some of the topping fell off when I transferred the slices to their respective plates, but hey, whaddya gonna do? Crumbles gotta crumble.

    There’s also an amazing looking raspberry chocolate version – raspberries in the batter, chocolate chips wedged between the cake and crumbles – that I simply have to try. Ugh, too bad the letter R is already spoken for. Damn you Rosemary Vegan Chicken and Olive Orzo!

    J is for Jam Swirl Coffee Cake [Vegan Brunch] (0011)


    Cookies, muffins and cakes, oh my! The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek (2009)

    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

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    Book cover, The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes: Amazing Cookies, Cakes, Muffins, Pies, Brownies and Breads by Kris Holechek (2009)

    Earlier in the year, I happened upon a giveaway of The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes; publisher Ulysses Press was offering up a few copies of the recently-released book for review. Since I was already a fan of author Kris Holechek through her NOM! NOM! NOM! BLOG (and, perhaps more to the point, am unable to pass up a vegan freebie!), I jumped at the chance. Six+ months later, and I think I’ve finally tried enough of the recipes to offer up a review.

    The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes features recipes for a variety of baked goods, grouped into the following categories: cookies; bars; muffins; quick breads; cakes; pies and tarts; pastries; yeasted treats; frostings, icings and toppings; and children’s recipes (“Kids in the Kitchen”). The recipes include some standards (Shorbread; Best Banana Bread; Basic Pie Crust; Rosemary Focacia; Going, Going, Gone! Gingerbread) as well as a number of more creative concoctions (Strawberry Lemonade Cheespie; Gas Station Pie; Garden Muffins; Mocha-damia Bars; Blackest Forest Cake). Each recipe is rated for difficulty and prep time, with one “whisk” being the simplest and five “whisks,” the most challenging.

    In addition to ten sections listed above, Holechek begins the book with a handy introductory chapter. Particularly useful for novices such as myself, this “vegan baking 101” guide covers the fundamentals, such as the ups and downs and when-to’s of various egg replacers, sugars and sweeteners, and leaveners; the best way to melt chocolate; essential ingredients; and must-have kitchen utensils and gadgets. (Whereas I’d been resistant to buying cooling racks for quite some time, Holecheck – with no small help from Shane! – finally convinced me of the need.)

    Over time, I tried a number of recipes, including….

    The Lemon Almond Bling Muffins (page 66), which are flavored with almond extract and topped off with a delicious mix of lemon, sugar and raw almonds:

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    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 9: Rape is Torment (& also, The Death of Cake)

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009


    Robert Melia & Heather Lewis:
    accused child (read: cow/calf and human/girl) rapists.

    I, Bonobo: There’s plenty more where this came from

    veganprimate points to the case of Robert Melia – a former police officer who, along with his girlfriend, was arrested for sexually assaulting three girls – as a demonstration of the link between the exploitation of women and that of nonhuman animals. Melia’s misogyny only came to light because Melia was under investigation for engaging in “oral sex” (read: rape) with calves. Though the animal cruelty charges were dismissed by a judge – according to whom, a grand jury had no way of knowing whether the animals were “tormented” by the assault – police found

    videos on his computer of a girl being “subjected to sexual activity” in addition to taped encounters between Melia and the calves.

    While I’m glad the assistant prosecutor seems to be taking animal abuse seriously, the cynic in me can’t help but think he’s simply latching onto this “lesser” offense for leverage. Either way, it’s doubtful that Melia and girlfriend Heather Lewis will serve much time, as rape is too often minimized and excused in our kyriarchal society.

    On that note, methinks New Jersey Judge James J. Morley needs to be schooled on animal abuse, interpersonal violence and intersectionality.

    Judge James J. Morley
    Burlington County Cts. Facility
    49 Rancocas Road
    Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060
    Fax: 609-518-2551

    Be firm but polite!

    Lisa @ Sociological Images: A Summary Visual Of Women’s Objectification

    In a could-be-vegan spin on the ever-popular women-as-meat meme, I bring you: women-as-cake! Sure, there’s a dudely version of the photo too, but as Lisa points out, it’s sans copy – and probably wasn’t plastered on the magazine’s cover, as were the woman’s sliced and dismembered buttocks.

    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 21: Veg KC – Vegan Eats in the City of Fountains

    Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

    Though the “City of Fountains” may be Kansas City’s official nickname, Kansas Citians are also fond of boasting that they live in the “Steak Capital” of the world. Indeed, Kansas City’s Wiki entry claims that the city is home to over 90 BBQ joints – and that’s just on the Missouri side (!).

    So it was with much trepidation that the Mr. and I relocated from Rochester, NY to Kansas City in 2002. While it’s not exactly NYC, Rochester is a relatively liberal area, with some decent options for veg*ns: Wegmans, a popular grocer, has a large natural foods department (and, ugh, cruel egg farming practices); there’s also Lori’s Natural Foods, located by the MCC Henrietta campus; the Natural Oasis Cafe, which is all-veg, all-the-time; Organic Alley Cafe, which is bills itself as both green and veg-friendly; Dogtown Hots, which offers a multitude of vegan options; as well as a whole host of restaurants and markets that hawk veg*n wares. “Whatever will we eat!?” we fretted up till moving day.

    Happily, Kansas City is much more veg-friendly than you’d think. Instead of a natural foods department, Kansas City boasts two natural foods storesWhole Foods and Wild Oats (which have since merged, thus reducing the total number of stores in the area). There’s also a thriving farmer’s market community, as well as more than a few vegetarian cafes and restaurants.

    Since Shane and I live in the sticks, we haven’t yet had a chance to sample all the local veg*n businesses. Hopefully this roundup will give us a much-needed kick in our lazy veg*n asses, eh?

    (More below the fold…)