Tasteless Tablescapes: Beach Summer Fun

Tasteless Tablescapes return! This year for Vegan MoFo I want to really concentrate on copying some of Sandra Lee’s best ideas. I found a really HOT beach themed tablescape of hers that used the super fun idea of beach towels as napkins. Towelnapkins!

tasteless tablescapes

They’re so big they hang right off the table. This won’t be awkward at all for your guests to use! Look at how beachy that looks! Are we having fun yet or what? For an extra good time, just put out a child’s beach pail and shovel full of BBQ sauce for each guest. Those towelnapkins will absorb any mess!

tasteless tablescapes

 

Vegan MoFo 2014: The Vegan Month of Food

It’s that time of the year again, Gentle Reader! Vegan MoFo 2014, the vegan month of food, is here! In addition to helping out with giveaways on the main MoFo blog I will be doing my own thang here all month. I have daily themes set up for your viewing pleaseure.

Drum roll please……………

Sunday- Iced Tea and a Bagel

Monday- The Garlic

Tuesday-Tasteless Tablescapes

Wednesday- Meet the Rollie

Thursday- Food That Looks Like My Cat

Friday- Awkward Food Photos

Saturday- Tofu Pirate Comics

Stop by all month for fun times and food.

 

 

Earth Burgers Veggie Food Cart, Portland, OR

earth burgersEarth Burgers, a new veggie burger food cart, opened in Portland in late May. I was waiting in much anticipation since the closing of Off the Griddle. I love a good veggie burger and it’s usually my meal of choice if there’s a good menu option.

Earth Burgers has a selection of five different burgers and a small selection of non-burger items such as Field Roast franks. They also have a number of add ons, such as grilled onions and guacamole. French fries are available as well, and I love me some fries.

I’ve been to Earth Burgers three times thus far, getting a different burger each time. So far I’ve sampled the Casbah (a chickpea burger with tahini, cukes, pickled onions, and greens), the PDMex (a black bean and sweet potato patty with red onion, guac, salsa, and more), and the Beautiful South (a black bean patty with slaw, greens, and barbecue sauce)(pictured).

My favorite by far was the Beautiful South (which will surprise no long time readers of my blog). The barbecue was just spicy enough and went great with the cool crunch of the slaw and the black bean patty. It was a little saucy to eat, but in a good way. The casbah was a bit dry for me but the pickled onions on it were excellent. The toppings on the PDMex were also excellent and I love that all their patties are handmade and not just a  packaged veggie burger from a box. I don’t have the french fries pictured, but they were perfectly fried and plentiful the single time I got them. And I really need to head back for more.

Earth Burgers moved this past weekend and is now located at the Tidbit food and garden pod at SE 28th Place and Division. Their current hours are Wed. through Sun, 12-3 and 5-8 pm (or until they sell out). Closed on Mon and Tues. They do not have a current website but can be found on Twitter. Prices range from $7-$8 per burger.

Vegan MoFo 2014 Preparedness

Greetings friends! The new blog has been quiet as of late. I am one of the organizers for this year’s upcoming Vegan MoFo so things will likely stay quiet until September when the MoFo magic starts.

vegan mofo

You can sign up to participate on the main Vegan MoFo blog until August 27th. We’re excited to see who joins in this year.

Don’t know what Vegan MoFo 2014 is? It’s a month where blogs around the world pledge to write about vegan food in some way for at least 20 days in the span of the month, which is September this year. Some people come up with fun themes for the month, some like me do daily themes, and some people write about whatever strikes their fancy for each day. The only rule is that your blog must be vegan food for the entire month of September.

Head on over to our signup form and join in this year! Leave me a comment below so I can make sure to check out your blog as well!

Vegan Finger Foods Review Now With Cookies

vegan finger foodsI recently got the new Vegan Finger Foods from my local public library and tried out a few dishes. The book is by the fabulous duo of Tami Noyes of Vegan Appetite and Celine Steen from Have Cake Will Travel. They are two of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting through the internet.

The first recipe I tried were the buckeye balls and they don’t disappoint. Buckeye balls never disappoint. These are slightly different than my usual recipe with the addition of cinnamon and it added a little something extra. I took a bunch up to my friend Amy at Herbivore and she noticed the cinnamon as soon as she tried one.  Excellent.

green-beans

I also chose two vegetable dishes, the small plate Brussels sprouts and the green beans jalfrezi, pictured above. The Brussels were good, but I thought the green beans were the star. Next time I would add more tomato because that really made the dish for me. I’d also like to increase the saucy part to cook lentils in, because I think that would make an excellent  addition and create a one pot meal. We had leftovers and they were equally good the next day. This is the perfect season for this dish, as tomatoes and green beans are popping up in your garden or local farmers market.

choc-orange-cookiesMy final recipe was the chocolate orange cookies which I made for a bake sale to benefit the Out To Pasture animal sanctuary. These are good! The orange is very subtle, which I enjoyed as I don’t like a heavy chocolate/fruit flavor combo. The base was quite nice and I thought they made an excellent, light summer cookie.

Vegan Finger Foods is filled with Celine’s lovely photography. There are a number of dishes I would probably never make as is (panda is not cutting out cute cucumber cups to stuff) but there’s no reason some can’t be easily modified if you don’t need a party friendly appetizer. And if you do need that fancy presentation, this book has it ready for you. There’s a wait list for Vegan Finger Foods at my library so I had to return it but I’m looking forward to checking it out again and trying the corn fritters with tomato thyme sauce and more desserts. Celine has a way with cookies and panda does love cookies.

Full disclosure! This book was not provided by the publisher and I received no compensation for my review.

Herbivore Store Window Artwork in Portland, OR

herbivore store

Panda With Cookie is pleased to announce that I’ve done some artwork for the windows of the Herbivore Store in Portland, OR. A white heron hand cut from paper is standing amidst grass and cattails. Taking photos through the glare of windows is never that successful, but these photos give an idea of what the installation looks like. Wood and fabric cattails are standing toward the back to provide a marshy environment for the heron to watch the butterflies or possibly make a sandwich behind that paper grass.

You can check it out in person at the vegan mini mall on the corner of SE 12th and Stark Streets through the end of July 2014. Stop by Sweetpea Bakery for a P. Cole sandwich and a key lime bar while you’re in the area.

herbivore store

cattails

butterflies

herbivore store

Thanks to Amy at flickr.com/photos/heynoddle for this storefront shot.

 

Earth Balance Mac and Cheese Winner

Many thanks to everyone who entered the Earth Balance Mac and Cheese giveaway! I am pleased to announce that lucky number 8, poopiebitch, was the winner! Her box is winging it’s way home as you read this.

I am also pleased to announce that I am an affiliate site for Rabbit Food Grocery! They are an all vegan online retailer out of Austin, TX. If you need to get your Earth Balance mac and cheese fix and didn’t win my giveaway, head over to their shop to buy a whole case. Use my affiliate link and I’ll get a small kickback which I can use to keep myself in iced tea all summer long. I’m happy to be supporting another small vegan business on the rare occasions I write about specific products.

If you want to receive updates about more giveaways and other fun happenings like shop sales please take a moment to sign up for my mailing list by signing up at the bottom left of my homepage. Your email will never be sold and you’ll only receive the most exciting Panda With Cookie news. And maybe an occasional photo of George. Look at that belly!

George

 

Meet the Rollie: Vegan Vertical Cooking Technology

Panda With Cookie headquarters has a long standing fascination with As Seen On TV products, dating back to the days of the Ronco brand food dehydrator. I loved watching those half hour segments of endlessly dehydrating fruit or roasting chicken or ribs or vegetables. Versatility! Just set it and forget it! And though long quiet, I still love the Semicircular Vegan blog. I thought it brilliant to veganize recipes for the GT Xpress and when I found a more recent As Seen On TV invention I knew I had to try my hand at it.

I present to you, dear reader, the Rollie!

rollieIt is the latest from Kalorik industries, and introduces us to Vertical Cooking Technology. The Rollie is primarily used in the introductory infomercial as an egg cooking device. But I saw that as a challenge and thought I would try to create some fabulous  vegan recipes that use patented Vertical Cooking Technology.

rollieThe Rollie comes with

-a few wooden skewers which are essential for pulling out your rolled food as it rises up like the Great Pumpkin over the pumpkin patch on Halloween night

-a plastic tamping stick for tamping down the filling to ensure proper cooking density

-a cleaning brush to make sure your Rollie stays in pristine condition, ready at a moment’s notice to produce some fine pancake sausage wraps

rollie brushThe Rollie comes with a handy recipe guide and I will be veganizing some of those as well as coming up with some of my own culinary creations. I will be documenting all my experiments here on the blog and I hope you will follow along. Have some suggestions for foods you think will cook well in the Rollie? Have you made the best dang vegan quiche ever in your Rollie?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Vegan Get Down in Eugene Oregon

cornbread cafeI love visiting Eugene, Oregon. Just a short drive down from Portland, it is a delightful place to get away for a couple of days.

We always make a point to stop and eat lunch at Cornbread Cafe and have some of the best comfort food around. Above is their daily special, which was a fried polenta with a bunch of veggies and side of greens. The fried polenta was amazing, perfectly firm but not too greasy.

seitan sandwich

I got the bbq seitan sandwich and a side of mashed potatoes. So good! The gravy on the potatoes is cashew based and fabulous. We also got an order of their wangs but the sauce proved to spicy for me to eat many. But just look at that breading! Cornbread is the master of vegan deep frying. You also must try their cheescake in a jar, which I just ate instead of pulling out the camera. Best cheesecake flavor I have had outside of Brooklyn. They get the tang that is missing from so many vegan cheesecake recipes.

cornbread cafe eugene oregon

We also tried some new restaurants this time around and had the next day’s lunch at Morning Glory Cafe. I’d heard good things about their breakfast but was drawn to the black bean burger, which I got with a side of potato salad. The burger itself was good and sizable but the spicy mayo they slathered on was a bit much and I had to scrape a good bit off. My partner got a breakfast scramble/bean/chip mash up which he enjoyed. The soysage on the side we both really liked; a nice patty that held together well with good flavor that didn’t overpower you with fennel.

vegan eugene

morning glory cafe eugene oregon

We also hit up the Lotus Garden because Portland seems to be lacking in some good greasy Chinese take out. Turns out Lotus Garden is a bit nicer than your standard every 2 blocks greasy take out stand a la NYC. We got the kung pao tofu and the mysteriously named broccoli brown slices (a soy beef with a pile of veggies in a soy based sauce). We were pleased with both dishes, though the tofu wasn’t particularly spicy and had leftovers to bring home for the next night. There was ample tea which I’m always fond of. We would definitely go back and loved the service, which was one guy covering the entire floor by himself. Tip well, y’all.

lotus garden eugene oregon   Our final food destination was The Wandering Goat, which is thus far my favorite place in Eugene Oregon. The have excellent coffees and a great selection of vegan sweets, bagels, and biscuits. I had a lovely cranberry orange scone, which was the best scone I’ve had since the sad closing of Dovetail Bakery. Pictured below is the full order of biscuits and gravy. Brown food, y’all. Love it. The gravy river is flowing full in Eugene, because both this mushroom gravy and the cashew gravy at Cornbread Cafe are fabulous.

wandering goat eugene oregonEugene, Oregon! Panda gives it 2 paws up for vegan friendly eats and some super friendly service.

Earth Balance Mac and Cheese Giveaway

earth balance mac and cheese

The vegan internet is abuzz with the advent of Earth Balance Mac and Cheese. I happen to live in a city with an all vegan grocery and picked up a box of the cheddar yesterday. And to celebrate the rebirth of my blog, I’m giving it away to one lucky winner!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me your favorite mac and cheese mix in. Maybe you’re a broccoli fan or perhaps you like to get down with chili and cheese. Taco pirate likes her mac and cheese fried up like a burger patty.

One winner will be randomly selected from all comments. One comment per person, please. Giveaway ends on Friday, July 4th, and the winner will be announced the following Monday. US only please. This is not a promotion or sponsored by Earth Balance! I’m just willing to ship out a box to someone who may not have access to the new stuff.

Can’t wait? You can buy some through Rabbit Food Grocery while they still have it in stock.