Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vegan Love filled weekend(s)^^*!~

     Ugh, it's been a while since I've posted anything, apologies. Life happens right...and my computer has been a teensy bit sick lately. First, it wouldn't take/upload any of my pictures, viruses, slowness, picture needed a break, I should be patient with it. So I gave my hard working computer a vacation and hopefully it will be a bit more cooperative.
     A lot has been happening and been in the works since last time I wrote. More vegan treats, teaching fun, adventuring, catching up times...general genuine's been good.
I've been spending time with a lot of WONDERFUL people, and cannot express my love and feelings of gratefulness enough. I hope you know who you are...^^*~
A while ago, I wandered over to Sean and Kia's place and being the talented baker she is, Kia whipped up a bunch of adorable mini donuts for an ARC bakesale...
rainbow sprinkles *^^* (photo taken by VeganBeats)
chocolate dipped with sugar caps (photo taken by VeganBeats)
While helping decorate the mini cuties, Kia was more than generous and let me use her oven to make some Mediterranean olive walnut and sun-dried tomatoe bread...
yeast free, super simple and delicious! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The bread was moist, full of flavor and yeast free! Kia dried the tomatoes herself and...ugh I miss the olive bars back int he states where you could get sun-dried tomatoes by eeek the pound!!
     Last Saturday, there was the HBC fest (Hae Bang Chon Fest) where there are loads of live music happening in all sorts of cafes and bars. Along with that there are a lot of artsy stuff being promoted, independent artisits, etc. There are apparently two festivals a year, one in May and one in October. According to their site:
"Local pubs and local artists, have a day of celebration, music, life and art."
I went with Kia and Sean and bumped into all sorts of friends, connections, old coworkers, was fun!
      Kia and I wandered over to Indigo for a glass of wine and some noms...vegan friendly and yummy!! Scanning the menu there were a decent amount of vegan friendly options, edamame, tortilla salad (omit cheese), side salad, etc. Everything was decently priced too, about 5-10,000W a plate and the staff was more than friendly. We went with the steamed edamame and the hummus plate.
edamame!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
And the hummus plate was delicious. The hummus was creamy but still kind of nutty, and it was salted just enough. I HATE over-salted hummus, it loses so much when it's over spiced...and the salad that came on the side was served with an amazing balsamic dressing. I was literally scooping the dressing up...uhhh balsamic ^^* Olives are a bit pricey here, so I was surprised to find so many olives with our dish...thankee!
hummus plate! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
How to get to Indigo:
Line 6 Noksapyeong, walk out of exit 2. Walk straight for about 5-7 minutes and when you come to a fork on the road, veer to the left and continue up the hill. Indigo will be on your right side about 200 meters up!!

HBC fest pretty much closed up last weekend and this weekend I spent time with Sean, Kia, and Mipa~ along with some other wonderful people! Sean and Kia had a house warming party FULL of vegan noms that Kia and Sean made and were all delectable. Sadly, my missing camera and technical issues prevented me from even trying to document everything...regret now!
raspberry lemonade (with vodka), basil lemoncello, olive tempanade, babaganoush, roasted herbed potatoes, tofu scramble, vegan sausage, vegan deli meat slices, blueberry coffee cake, blondies, pesto gnocchi....jezum, the vegan love, the stuffed bellies, and my tipsy demeanor...

Another weekend finished, enjoyed, and positively reflected upon!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So Delicious Cafe

YES~ There's still one left, still one calling to vegan and veggies alike...hell anyone that wants DAMN yummy ice-cream. And the BEST (WORST) thing about it is that it's RIGHT between my house and my gym...

     A while back, there were several So Delicious cafes located throughout Seoul but something happened and essentially all of them closed/shut down. This made fixing that sweet creamy craving nearly impossible to fulfill. I accidentally found this place while exploring my neighborhood on the way back from the gym. I passed by a guy trucking a large coffee with "So Delicous" broadly plastered on the cup, I thought to myself about that rather available soy deliciousness back in the states...walked a tad further and with bright lights, and I swear angelic hymns glowing around me, there is was...SO DELICIOUS VEGAN ICE CREAM cafe....I felt sinful, dirty, giddy, excited...everything... squealing loudly in my head I scrambled inside to 'ooh and ahh' at all the safe options~ vanilla, coconut amaretto, green tea, chocolate brownie, chocolate...Pomegranate chip (O_o#) and much more. They even have a bakery (I don't know if it's vegan...and they have meat options here...womp womp) and coffee and even meals. I have to state, not everything is vegan or even vegetarian here. They have sausage bread, cheesy jazz...but I feel like this is so they can get a bigger support group and customer base.
     It's not cheap but, it's well worth it and the hours are more than awesome~7am to 2am. There are tons of drinks to choose from, smoothies, coffees, shakes...etc. I have only gotten the ice cream so I can't promise that the shakes are vegan.
     The wait is a bit long, I think they just started but they're all very kind. I want this place to do well because it's the only one left, it's VEGAN ICE-CREAM, and it's got to be a tough market.

Support this place and get yourself some vegan ice-cream...

How to get there:
It's in between Nambu Bus Terminal (line 3) and Seoul University of Education station (line 3 and 2)
From Nambu Bus Terminal:
Get out at exit 6 and turn around, Lotteria will be on your Right side. Take a right and walk straight for a bit (KFC will be on your right) tak eyour first Right turn. Walk straight for about 3-5 minutes and it's on your Left!!

From Seoul University of Education Station:
Get out at exit 14, walk straight for about 6 minutes (maybe 8) until you get to a four-way intersection, Mr.Pizza should be on your right, cross the street and take a right, then your first left. Walk straight for about 3 minutes and it will be on your Right.

this is the address if you want to map it first!!
서울 서초구 서초동 1594-3 1층

ughhh please Enjoi!! *^^*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

닐리리맘보 and 탐라 우가네 (교대본점)

     I've been doing more and more simple salads at home, so nothing worth posting....but one day I did spoil myself a bit and went to check out 닐리리맘보 (Nililee Mambu)...there are a lot of them everywhere throughout Seoul, but they have two vegan options(potentially three!) The 비빔국수 and 콩국수!! So considering there are only two options (for sure), I still thought it may be worth checking out...vegans on a search for something to nom on, maybe a chain place could be useful?! I know there has definitely been times when I'm with friends and they all want to go out to eat and I'm sitting there, maybe hungry for something more than 반찬. I'm not one to go and eat at chain places but knowing what you can have is always super helpful.
     Anyways, the place was super cute and super teeny, and artsy! There were Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Led Zeppelin, etc records and vinyls all over the considering how chain it was, I felt a little reminiscent of my time back at that FABulous record store back home ^^* Back to the point, being a chain place and somewhere most college and university students venture in between classes, everything is on the low end in terms of cost. I got my 비빔국수 for only 4,500W!!! And it was a HUGE portion~ didn't and couldn't finish it!I specified that I didn't eat egg, as they usually serve it with half a hard boiled egg..but I'm not sure if every one does this.
비빔국수 photo taken by VeganBeats
 There definitely could have been more cucumbers, but hey, I wasn't really expecting to pay for quality. For what it was worth it!! Onions, cucumbers, a soupy spicy sauce and huge display!

How to get there:
~I went to the one in 교대 Seocho!
Orange and green line (line 3 and 2)
get off at station 교대 (Seoul National University of Education)
get out exit 14, walk straight, take the right AFTER the Paris Baguette and it's on the corner!

Another place I wandered to was in the rare desire for 비빔밥! I can't remember the last time I've had it..I usually go for veggies and 고추장 but...mama bear was jonesing!!
The bad part of this 비빔밥 craving was that it was around 5am!! I've been dealing with insomnia for all too long and it was one of those very productive-in-the-writing-arty zone days so...kind of forgot to nom. Being in my area, there are a LOT of places open 24시 (24 hours) and some of those places were ones I wanted to check out!
The place is called 탐라 우가네 (교대본점)~Tahmra wooganae (gyo-dae bonjeob.) And a big reason of why I have wanted to venture inside is because the exterior looks so quaint. It was a TAD early so I didn't take a picture, usually there are plants and all sorts of cute pictures adorning the doorway but..again it was damn early!
     Strolling in, I found the place to be much larger than anticipated. There was a whole sitting area and a large floor sitting area, and I wasn't the only one in this place! There was a soccer team in there and a couple ajummas and ajashis prepping for a hike. The staff was more than friendly and accommodating.
I of course went with the 돌솥비빔밥, which was 6,000W but it came with a LOT! There was a 된장 찌개 that was served with it and I specified/made notice that I can't have seafood, fish broth, etc etc etc and they promised that it was made animal the soup was made separately and with loads of zukes, 두부, and spicy pepper flakes!!. I felt more that special! 
my special 된장 찌개!! photo taken by VeganBeats
 There was a bunch of 반찬 served with everything and...being the annoying lady already, scrolled through what was and wasn't friendly....essentially everything except the deep fried mayo covered pork..yech!
된장찌개, spicy scallions, perilla leaves, onions, pork )O:, 김치, 고추장, 비빔밥!! photo taken by VeganBeats

I was really happy with the 반찬, soy sweet onions, spicy chives, and spicy uber salty perilla leaves...they gave me LOADS of veggies too...though, there was a bunch of rice.
post mix....soo much taken by VeganBeats
The portion was rather large...more than I could finish and wonderful. I love that there was so much lettuce...when it comes to 야채비빔밥 I ALWAYS wants more 야채 than 밥~ There was loads of fresh crisp cucumber, bamboo shoots, burdock root, mountain veggies, sprouts...I made sure to ask for no egg too...always a smart precaution!!
I definitely think I may visit this place again...maybe at a reasonable hour!!

How to get to 탐라 우가네 (교대본점): 02-521-3392
서울시 서초구 서초3동 1579-4
Take line 2/3 (green/ orange) to 교대역 (Seoul National University of Education)
Go out exit 14 and walk straight, take a right at the GS gas station, when you see family mart take that left...walk past the 7 eleven and it will be about 50-65 yards on your right!

Ahhh...and I spoiled myself yet again~
^^*~ photo taken by VeganBeats

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

steakhouses and garden greens*^^*

     Drizzling rainy weather, 비좋아요!!! There's something very comforting and peaceful about the rain, the sounds, fresh smells and nature's allowance of openly crying, thus re-fueling the earth. It's almost as though a relase of sadness brings about a fresh start.

     I remember once back in Vermont, the rain was coming down hard and Spy and I went outside, shorts, no shoes and just stood outside letting it all pour on us. The rain was chilling, freezing really but, child-like, new, fresh and justs smiling. It was envigorating, even enlightening. I can connect so quickly to how I felt that day, that downpouring moment. awake...alive, and breathing.

     Since last week, I've had a fair share of studying, kicking it, and exploring some new eats! One day my friend and I trucked around for a late night dinner (post work and three hour work out for this lady here) and somehow we ended up at Outback steakhouse...WHAT!? Strangely, Outback Steakhouses are ALL OVER the place in Seoul....O_o#
We shared a MASSIVE plate of salad...
This plate was maybe a foot long!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Considering it was a steakhouse, the salad wasn't bad at all! And it was more than reasonable in price, about 4,500W! It was loaded with various veggies too, shredded carrots, purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, baby greens, spinach, ice burg lettuce, romaine lettuce, onions, and corn. I'm not a corn fan but...all things considered, not too bad for a meat oriented resturaunt.

     Earlier last wek for a side project and greenery experiment I planted some veggies, broccoli, beans, sprouts, scallions, and loads of lettuce.
seedlings^^* (photo taken by VeganBeats)
It's only been about a week and things aren't looking too bad!!
clockwise from bottom left: alfalfa sprouts, kidney beans, green lettuce, scallions, red curly lettuce, chives, broccoli sprouts, and broccoli! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
grow grow grow!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
I cant wait for all these babies to grow into healthy yummy veggies!!!
^^*!~ photo taken by VeganBeats

Friday, May 6, 2011

바루 Baru in 인사동 Insadong^^*!~

      어린이날 was a great was a great day! I met up with my language exchange partner and we kicked it for several hours, it was a lot of fun! I'm realizing that I have a LOT of studying to do and in terms of the Korean language, I've got a hell of a long way to go. We wrote letters to one another then both edited one another's letters and then wrote self introductions, editing, fixing, communicating, vice versa etc. (I realize the earlier sentence is awful grammatically but, it's more of an outloud thought than a proper representation of the English language.) After we went for a walk outside and played billiards. Another thing I have just added to my life list: play a good game of pool...always.
     After I met up with Kia and Mipa (of Aliens Day Out) at 안국 over in 인사동 for some vegan noms at 바루 (Balwoo Gongyang), located on the 5th floor of the Templestay Information Center. The map on the website doesn't provide a very good sense of it's location, we were on a bit of treasure hunt and more or less accidentally happened upon 바루. When we did enter the resturaunt we were slightly surprised to find a packed place. I was aware that reservations were strongly recommended but considering it was a holiday, I didn't think that many people would be going for some vegan temple food! There were traditional sitting syle rooms or seated tables, we had a room reservation! The room was quaint, clean, and comfortable. There wasn't an array of brihgt clors but soft yellows and warm beige.
      There are three different set menus to choose from at 바루, the 10 dishes Paramita (25,000W), 12 dishes Beopryun Principles (36,000W), and the 15 dishes Enlightenment (53,000W) we all went with the Paramita.
 The first two courses were brought out together, (더덕사라드) a colorful salad full of sliced persimons, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, and various lettuces drizzled with a pine nut dressing and (쑥죽) a brown rice porridge with mugworts and crushed ginko. 
towellettes, cube 김치, 더덕사라드 (salad), and the 쑥죽 (porridge) photo taken by VeganBeats
The salad was so good. The dressing had some zing to it and I loved the fruits and sprouts in it...I had to keep in mind there were to be a total of ten courses O_o#
쑥죽 photo taken by VeganBeats
 The mugwort and ginko gruel was interesting, there was a minty feel to it and not too overwhelming in flavor. It was more of a clear the palate type of dish. I think it paired well with the salad.
yum (photo taken by VeganBeats)
 The next course to come was 삼색전, a variety of 전 (jeon or pancakes) I think the types were perilla leaves, squash, and a mixed veggies like carrots, onions, and maybe some soybean. My favorite one was the perilla leaves one, it wasn't too thick and just crispy enough. The perilla leaves flavor was not too overwhelming so the pancake wasn't bitter. They were all really yummy, and it was a little fun trying to decipher the ingredients.
삼색전, right to left: perilla leaves, squash, and mixed veggies (photo taken by VeganBeats)
The next course was 계정혜삼합(kye-jeong hye samhap) which was three combinations including dumplings (만두), tofu (두부)with three different salted herbds, and steamed rice3 wrapped in wild mountain herbs. The 두부 was different colors and super cute, but being able to taste all the different salted herbs was a silly challenge. The 두부 was so teeny anyways and our wooden utensils weren't the best for slicing or dicing...but they were all good. The brown salted herbs I liked the best, a little bit like 돤짱, all unique on their own. The 만두 was wonderful. Lots of various veggies stuffed into these guys and they were bursting with texture and flavor...yum!
계정혜삼합 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
The next course was a overwhelming favorite. It was the 버섯강정 (bosot kangjung), a lightly fried til cruspy mushroom dish with various peppers and seeds. These mushrooms were covered in a spicey 고추장 like sauce. There was crunch, various textures and a nice heat.
버섯강정 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
The next course was 들깨탕 (deulkkae tang) a soup of perilla leaves, pastel colored tofu, and wildrgreens. My favorite part of this course were the wild greens. The texture was fun and it sopped up all the beans in the broth and it broke in your mouth like steamed broccoli. The flavor was so slightly sweet it wasn't very detectable but I felt good eating it. 
들깨탕(photo taken by VeganBeats)
 The next courses were all served together, I'll describe them in order of pictures. A small table full of 찬 was laid out, essentially 반찬 and my heart's calling. They were described as follows "temple kimchi, balloon flower, mountain plants in temple made soy suace, and bamboo salt" Everything was really flavorful, as always 김치 is my favorite but the mountain plants in soysauce were delectable. I kept chopsticking for more...O_o#
찬, from bottom going clockwise: bean sprouts, mushrooms in soy sauce, moutain plants in soy sauce, bamboo salt, balloon flowers, spiced perilla leaves, and 김치 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
 The국 was a simple and traditional Korean stew, 돤짱 based with loads of mountain veggies with a cabbage like relation. This soup wasn't too salty (thankfully, because that bamboo salt is SALTY) and I love a stew with loads of greens. I more or less am guilty of picking the greens out...
국 photo taken by VeganBeats
 The next dish was like a present, the 연잎밥, double steamed sticky rice with ginko, jujube, chesnuts, and wild black sesame seeds all wrapped in a wild lotus leaf. None of us had seen rice wrapped so ornately, I felt like this made this meal feel even more special.
연잎밥 still wrapped uo (photo taken by VeganBeats)
 Upon opening up our bundles of rice babies, there was a very pleasing presentation of nuts and additions. The rice was yellow in color and there were a bunch of chesnuts (^^*) and it smelt wonderful. I'm not someone to really like rice, at all...but this was wonderful. I didn't finish mine but I did have more rice than I've had since coming to Korea. It was full of flavor, sweet, good texture sticky but not gloppy sticky and the ginko nuts were a great suprise!!
연잎밥, inside the wrapping *^^* (photo taken by VeganBeats)
 Whoa, one course left. We were stuffed and definately enjoying our meal and although I was loving all the courses I'm glad they were dwindling down, I don't think I could eat more and still find it enjoyable...The last course was the 후식 which means "today's desserts."
We were served 주전부리 and 식혜. The 주전부리 was a variety of fruit and vegetable chips. There were mountain roots, lotus root, sweet potatoe, potatoe, an apple, and an orange!
주전부리 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
 The orange chip stole the plate I think, it was so zesty and packed full of flavor. It was a teeny thin chip but when you took in a bit of it, your mouth overflowed with just orange. The 식혜 (sweet rice tea/rice dessert drink) was really wonderful. Sweet but not in that powdered sugar chemically overwhelming way, tasted natural and like it was personally made.
식혜 and 주전부리 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
After the wonderful meal (yes wonderful) we sat and digested over conversation until the place was closing up. Upon leaving we were welcomed by a temple adorned in lanterns...taking a small walk around we got more than an aesthetically pleasing eyefull.
angelix statue and lanterns (photo taken by VeganBeats)
O_o# photo taken by VeganBeats
We played with this fish light optics display, it was really cool. Everytime you stepped near or on a fish they woudl scatter about...I know we're vegan but jumping on these fish and watching them scurry was a bit entertaining...>.<# taken by VeganBeats
whaaa (photo taken by VeganBeats)
  I think 바루 was wonderdful. The courses were gorgeous and everything tasted wonderful. And the portions were just right, not too much, not overwhelming, and the flavors all combined very well. This meal made me feel speical, healthy, good, and overall very pleased. Eating with good people, beautiful Seouls always helps too!!

How to get there...ahhh good luck!
Anguk station (line 3, orange line) go out exit 6, go straight, pass the main Insadong road on your left and take the next left. Walk straight for maybe two or three minutes, you will see a temple on your right across the street, the Templestay buidling should be right on your left...take the stairs of the elevator to the 5th floor...
Make sure to make reservation!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


     Today is Childran's day 어린이날, a holiday in which everyone is allowed to (and it's even suported) spoil our children, umm I mean "celebrate" their existence. I remember as a child LOVING this day. Not for the ideal and honorary reasons, but because the day was all about my brother and I and how AWESOME we are. We would get too many gifts and too much money and eat too much food and we would go to some zoo or park or crazy playground.
~~But truly, I don't remember any of the gifts, the money, or the food...I always spent this day with my Korean family and it was always active and fun. My Korean side of my family really focuses on family and being a supportive unit. Barely is the tv on, or some sort of other mode to focus upon, we savor and protect human connection and create something together (loads of 만두.)
     Although I possess a grosse amount of child-like qualities, it's not my day and it may look a little silly if my 이모 was grasping my hand with candy in hand and we were skipping to a park squeling about slides...O_o# The glory of teaching, us teachers (along with EVERYONE) has the day off.This morning I was with Seoul as it awoke, saw the sun rise, people waking up, children growing excited for their day of can be everyone's day right...but we won't forget to honor those children!

     I think I have mentioned the wonderful lunch ladies at my school that are al too concerned with my consumption (ahhh Korea) and prepare a massive plate of produce for me everyday...I am more than grateful, as are Hamlet and 고구마!
O_o# cucumber, yellow pepper, lettuce, banana, apple, carrot and, vegan 김치 O_o# photo taken by VeganBeats
melon, apple, sweet cabbage, cube 김치, lettuce and carrot (photo taken by VeganBeats)
banana, cellery, cube 김치, lettuce, bok choy, and carrots...(photo taken by VeganBeats)
The plate is massive and I bring home more than half of this everyday...I am more than thankful and touched by these women and their care...
This vegan belly of mine will do just fine!

Anyways, to everyone, children alike, and those with Child-like minds, enjoy the day, savor it love it live it....

안녕, 좋은하루되세요!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

김치 dahl....a bit of an experiment!

     The weather is filling me with so much energy! But I think it's very much due to an excellent weekend I can't, and don't want to shake. I feel like I have such a buzz going through my system.
     This week is already flying by and the positive energy has been on the high...I've already had some good runs in, a massive errand filled walk, a great 태보 workout (we did the Pirates of the Caribbean workout series again ^^*), got a new language exchange buddy, and had a great tutoring session today!
     Asides from that, my buddy and I cooked dinner together, OVER skype and it was a nice change. Eating alone is well, kind of boring. I like eating alone but once in a while I wish for some company and this time, skype was to the rescue. My friend made a not so vegan but home-y meal and I whipped up some 고구마 and 김치 inspired dahl. The bakesale was in 이태원 and the foreign food market is right opportunities hit and I got myself some red lentils, more balsamic vinegar and that delightful dijon mustard.
mmm taken by VeganBeats
 I seasoned the 고구마 with loads of freshly ground black pepper. I'll admit to have steaming them then quickly frying them, I want some crunch, so sue me!
These sweet potatoes are tiny, none of them are bigger than my pinky! So I made a whole bunch of them for a load of ai ai
dahl curry concoction~(photo taken by VeganBeats)
This dahl was more of a random mix up. I had some leafy 김치 left but I wanted a different type of heat from red peppers...I wanted some cumin, white pepper, and ginger...and I happened to have some curry powder (thanks accidental Vermont packing!) This didn't take very long to make, I barely use my stove lately, cooking myself a meal was a nice change. My apartment became overwhelmed with that cumin and white pepper aroma and tired just-out-of-태보 body was definitely pumped for a protein-fibery flavorful bowl of this jazz!!

What I used:
~water and dried red lentils (2:1 ratio)
~1 small onion sliced into half moons
~1TB curry spice mix
~about half a cup of 김치 greens
~half a cup of soaked chickpeas and black soybeans
~3 olives >.<#

What I did:
1. Got the water up to boiling then added the lentils and adjusted the heat to medium-medium high
2. After about 6 minutes of simmering, I added the onions
3. After about 5 minutes I added the already soaked beans
4. I kept mixing to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan and added the curry spice mix
5. Kept everything on the stove and heated for another 10 minutes or so, and let it simmer. I liek my curries a bit soupy, but if you want it thick, boil away!!!
6. I added the 김치 greens after serving my dahl into a bowl then I threw on some olives...
For some reason I was craving the salty brine...ugh sodium levels!

This turned out really good, not too overwhelming in flavor, but just enough heat to feel soothing and calming. Soemtimes curry feel too strong and get me overheated. The 김치 was a nice and different addition, different heats and time though, I will do without the olives.

Just didn't work.

How to get to Foreign Food market:
Itawon station, get out at exit 3, walk straight, at the dunkin donuts/Mr.Kabob take a right...walk straight for about 2-3 minutes and it's on your left, across the street from Roofers!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Worldwide Vegan Bakesale and the Cancer Kids Marathon

     WOW~~ The worldwide Vegan Bakesale:Fundraiser for Japan was PHENOMINAL*!~ 
So many wonderful people came together to support this event! There were amazing eats created, eaten, purchased, and donated!
     Everything made was vegan and there were gluten free options! I don't think I can respectfully describe the beauty of a table full of glorious and SAFE edibles~~
a portion of the table. from bottom left clockwise: chocolate cupcaked with orange bits, chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies, brownies, lemon bars, chcolate covered pretzels, thin mints, chocolate afgans, and jelly muffins (photo taken by VeganBeats)
from bottom left clockwise: chocolate covered pretzels, brownies, blondies, carrot spice muffins, lemon poppyseed muffins, rockyroad bars, and coconut cupcakes (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The bakers are all wonderful women and more than talented. I love how everyone collaborated to support such a positive and beneficial event!! We had everything...I managed to steal some shots before everything flew off the table...I love being surrounded by so much talent and brilliance^^*!~
coconut cupcakes (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Kia's Cupcakes~~Beautiful!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Fiona's jelly muffins (photo taken by VeganBeats)
chcolate cupcakes with candied orange bits (photo taken by VeganBeats)
The cookies were...super cute and I'm not usually into sweets but I found myself oogling the spread...O_o
chocolate afgans made by Fiona! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     There were some gluten free options..Kia whipped up some truffles (that were a HIT) and I made the cookie batches ^^*!~
Kia is a wonderful baker and has so much experience in terms of baked goods...she made so much...and uggggghhhhhhh(Homer Simpson moans!!

on top are my Cyndi Lauper girlfriend sugar loves, and below are Kia's truffles! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
gingerbread biscotti made by Kia (moan out loud amazing!!) (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Kia's blondies (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Kia's snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Kia woke up SUPER early to whip up a GIANT box of snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies....another hit. Some of my buddies made a point to call me requesting chocolate chip cookies specifically.
     I think chocolate chip cookies are a direct reminder of home..stirs up a lot of nostalgia. Those days (pre-vegan) eating fresh baked chocolate chip cookis dipped in milk or after a long bike-ride. Desserts were never at my house but the were at my nanna's! Everytime my brother and I would spend the day with Nanna and Papa there was some kind of freshly made dessert; chocolate chip cookies or chocolate pudding pie... Lots of cartoons, playing in the park, eating too many sweets, snacking on hummus..not all int his order but my general point~ chocolate chip cookies bring up a lot of childhood memories, they remind us of comfort, safety, happiness...Once vegan, finding these childhood desserts aren't easy to find, we can't run to some store and pick up anything that tastes as good, if we can find anything. Another hit...and Kia, very very yummy!!

     I made the gluten free jazz (besides Kia's truffles.) I made GF sugar cookies, a tropical trail mix cookie, and carob-teased chocolate chip raison cookies.
Cyndi Lauper Girlfriend Sugar Loves (photo taken by VeganBeats)
The tropical trail mix cookies and carob-teased chocolate raison cookie pictures I took came out FAR too blurry but..yumm! I miss baking and playing with an ovens to...I have to say, I'm still buzzing from this!!
The bakesale was a HUGE success, we raised 942,000won, and it will be evenly split and donated to MercyCorps and JEARS. Thanks to all that supported, baked, provided...etc...thank you!!

MORE AWESOMNESS...Today is Sunday and this morning started with the Cancer Kids Marathon!

I was signed up for the 5K and was SUPER nervous. I twisted my ankles up about two weeks ago and haven't been able to get in any running in. But luckily and wonderfully Mipa was also running today so I was able to kick it with Beautiful Seouls!!
octopus man!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Due to general anxiety about this race, I have been searching all sorts of blogs for how to prepare for your first 5K.

Helpful hints:
~drink LOTS of water, you'll be thankful for it when you're at that starting line. Dry mouth...ugh
~Get plenty of sleep (I got more than my normal amount and felt GREAT this morning!)
~Stretch, my muscles were so stiff and sore this morning and after lots of stretching running was much kinder to these joints of mine.
~Be around positive energy. I was with some newly made friends and Mipa, my anxiety was ignored and I was in a pleasant position from the get go. Takes the focus off of race anxiety and you have more to look forward to post race**good people to kcik it with!
~Bring layers, it's always better to have too many than too little.
~Have fun...

There were SO many people at this event. On facebook not many were signed so I was a bit nervous that it would be a small event..I started adding so much mental pressure upon myself that I couldn't be gentle with myself at all, I mean, I can't be super super slow, I'll just embarass myself..not saying seeing all these people made me not put in a lot of effort, but, it was nice to allow a little extra breathing space. I knew for sure I wouldn't be the last person...eeek
post race! FIGHTING!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Solid finish, I got under half an hour for my time and was not last place!! Such a GREAT morning...wandered a little ran some errands and...I have the entire day!!