OMG-so-good vegan biscuits & sausage gravy

Marti and I have tried many recipes for biscuits and gravy since becoming vegan, but they never really did the trick. However, we finally found the perfect recipe for each and they’re hands-down the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had (even ones that aren’t vegan).

We’ve been vegan for a good number of years now and, living in The South, we have an affection for biscuits and sausage gravy.

This calorie-laden carb-fest is usually served at breakfast or brunch, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t just have this for dinner…

Biscuits and gravy is something that we’ve tried numerous incarnations of since becoming vegan and have always convinced ourselves that there’s a few recipes which are good and rival the conventional ones, but it wasn’t until I put this dish together tonight that I realised I was lying to myself all this time. This recipe is out of this world and is easily the best biscuits and gravy we’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise. Continue reading “OMG-so-good vegan biscuits & sausage gravy”

Ichicoro – delectable Korean food in Tampa

Today I had the pleasure of enjoying my third visit to Ichicoro – a fairly new Korean restaurant in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Tampa: Seminole Heights.

It’s quite small inside – there’s maybe only 30 or 40 seats – but it’s intimate, modern and hip.

The menu is quite simple: I think there’s only 8 items on the menu (at least for lunch), of which only 1 is suitable for a vegan, but I’ve been happy to have the same dish all 3 times that I’ve been there. I could quite easily eat it once a week, week after week.

The dish I have is the Veggie Miso Bowl which consists of a miso and tomato broth, corn, seasonal vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and sesame seeds. I also add nori and their spicy sauce for a little extra. It has such a fresh, unique, delicious flavour that I’ve never experienced anywhere else, which makes me eager to keep returning for more.

I’ll happily keep coming back for the delicious food, cosy atmosphere and nice people.

Eliminating busyness in 2016

In 2016, my family have decided to stop being so busy and letting it stress us out, opting instead for a healthy mix of alone time and family time.

Yesterday, I read an article which my wife sent me. The subject matter is something that I’ve been considering for quite a while as I think to how we spend countless weekends bouncing from one thing to the next before finally crashing on Sunday night and going our separate ways again on Monday morning. The title of the article?

Busy is a sickness

The article really resonated with me. Ever since having kids especially, I just feel like there’s not time for anything because we’re always so booked up with menial things. Continue reading “Eliminating busyness in 2016”

Getting out of my food rut with a spicy Buddha bowl

Marti and I tend to get into ruts every once in a while where we end up eating the same things night upon night, completely uninspired. Taking advantage of a few days off of work and a little extra time on our hands, we branched out and tried something new: a Spicy Buddha Bowl.

I was absolutely blown away by it, like I so rarely am and truly, it wasn’t all that hard or time-consuming to make. Packed with flavour and nutrients, it was an easy choice to do again, so just two days after our first one, we made another tonight, except that we doubled up on the sauce for the beans and we used cannellini beans instead of chickpeas.

I’ll be coming back to this again and again, not least because a little change here or there and you’ve got a completely new dish. Gives me fond memories of going to Prasad 3 or 4 times for lunch on our 10-day trip to Portland a few years ago.

Another memorable Christmas

It’s been a pleasant and enjoyable Christmas this year. Ellie had her moments where the excitement got the better of her and her behaviour wasn’t up to scratch, but other than that, it’s been really nice spending some time with family, keeping it moderately low-key and playing some games.

Jack’s first Christmas

Ellie’s 3rd Christmas

We spent yesterday making a trip to Ikea getting a new bed frame to go with the new mattress that I got Marti for Christmas which was a lot of fun. While we ate lunch at the cafe (they have a lot of good vegan options!), we got this adorable picture of Jack:

IMG_2406-1

We ended the day by going to Hofbrauhaus in St Pete – a new German restaurant, which is a lot of fun. They have live music, vegan food (surprisingly good) and a lot of singing and dancing. Great end to the day.

Rethinking circumcision intelligently and rationally

This lecture gives an impartial and intelligent overview of circumcision and why we, particularly in America, perhaps ought to rethink whether it’s right for our sons.

Circumcision is a hot topic in the US. It’s a discussion that until I moved here wasn’t even something that I ever thought about. To me, it’s a bizarre practice rooted in either religious doctrine or bad medical advice that just won’t die and most people who are not American, Jewish or Muslim would tend to agree.

In the UK, circumcision is uncommon. Along with countries like Australia and Canada, the UK made a decision to stop routinely practicing it on newborn boys in the middle of the 20th century after medical research increasingly pointed to it being more dangerous than leaving the foreskin intact.

This excellent lecture by Ryan McAllister, a research assistant professor at Georgetown University removes the misinformation and emotions from the equation and just looks at the argument intelligently. Continue reading “Rethinking circumcision intelligently and rationally”

It’s time for paid maternity/paternity leave in America

I’ve written many posts on this subject (e.g. The sad state of maternity leave in the States) because I’m very passionate about it, but I just saw another great TED talk which drives the point home some more.

Maternity/paternity leave is not something that we should be thankful for. It’s a fundamental need for new parents to bond with their children and recover from birth. It promotes the wellbeing of mother and child, reduces post-natal depression and gives mothers the support they need to make it through the early days of raising a child and be able to choose whether or not to have another child without being forced to stop at 1 because they had such a horrendous experience or because it cost them so much to do the only thing they could to spend a little time with their newborn child: take unpaid leave.

As highlighted in the talk, there are 9 countries in the world that have no national requirement for paid maternity leave. The first 8 have a combined population of 8 million and include countries like Papua New Guinea, Suriname and the Marshall Islands. The 9th is the United States with a population of 320 million. How the United States can continue to claim that it would be such a burden on employers or the state is beyond me. Literally everyone else has done it: stop hiding behind this bullshit America and give new mothers the paid leave they need.

Social services suck, but we can fix them AND save money

Hilary Cottam’s approach to social services is akin to “it takes a village to raise a child”. The more that can participate, the better it is for everyone. Her model sees everyone helping one another to practically and positively change the lives of those most in need.

This TED talk from an entrepreneurial front-line social worker in the UK gives a very considered and honest discussion of how the modern welfare state was created (in 1940s Britain) and how it simply isn’t a model for today.

Rather than just bash the system, as we all love to do, Hilary Cottam has come up with a radical new approach to social services in which resources are spent directly on helping people rather than on a system which manages said people. In fact, by spending far less, she’s been able to make significant positive changes in the lives of many people in South London who are all now helping one another. Continue reading “Social services suck, but we can fix them AND save money”

Cider Press Cafe – high end vegan food in St Pete

The Cider Press Cafe is a little pricey, but it’s perhaps the first high-end vegan restaurant in St Pete and they’re doing well at it.

After speaking at WordCamp Tampa, Marti said that we should celebrate by going to a new restaurant that we had heard about in St Pete called the Cider Press Cafe.

I knew nothing about it, except that they had options for vegans. As it turns out, the restaurant is fully vegan and raw, and caters to the higher-end of cuisine. Perfect for bringing along your 2-year old and 5-month old who hadn’t napped for most of the day (just kidding – they were, miraculously, well-behaved). Continue reading “Cider Press Cafe – high end vegan food in St Pete”

What I think of Harry and his shaving products

Harry’s shaving gear is decent, sturdy and gives a nice, close shave, but it won’t be replacing my Dollar Shave Club subscription just yet.

The team over at Harry’s recently approached me and asked if I’d like to review some of their shaving gear. Free stuff? Well of course Harry, send it on over!

They kindly sent me a “Truman set” to try out. Being a new dad, shaving is fairly low on my list of priorities, so this review has taken the better part of a month to write, simply because I haven’t had the chance to use the razors all that much! This point is important to my review because this meant that I often had a good amount of stubble or growth on my face when I used the razor.

First of all, the presentation of their gear is top notch. Everything is done with class and you feel like you’ve bought some really premium products, even though you’re not paying outrageous prices. The Truman set is only $15 and they imply that it will last up to three months (depending on your preference on when you like to replace your blades), so you’re looking at about $5/mo. Incidentally, Dollar Shave Club’s mid-tier products run at $6/mo, so it’s even a little cheaper than the guys that pride themselves on cheap blades for all. Continue reading “What I think of Harry and his shaving products”