Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VegNews 20 under 30, Sweet Earth Chocolates, Delicious Danishes, & Food Not Bombs!

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

As some of you may have already seen, VegNews magazine did a feature on 20 activists under 30 years old in the March / April issue. I was lucky enough to be one of the people featured in the article! They mainly talked about my culinary activism, which is one of the ways I advocate for animals. People love food & I love to show them it's easy & delicious to partake without the use of animals. Thank you to those who have sent me notes about the article! If you haven't seen it, you should be able to click on the picture for a larger version, but you can also support a vegan business & pick up a copy! Thanks again to VegNews for including me with an amazing group of people.

Another stop on my little weekend trip to Southern California was in anticipation of a guest. Knowing Evan, king of all things peanut butter, was headed to San Francisco, I decided to stop at Splash Cafe in San Luis Obispo, a spot Amey blogged about in the past. While Splash Cafe is not exactly known for it's vegan options, it does house a large selection of vegan chocolates by Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates. These delicious, fair trade morsels come in a range of options from Cranberry Ginger clusters to Peppermint & Roasted Coconut cups & everything in between. In my opinion, the showstopper of their line is the Turtles; dark chocolate clusters filled with caramel, rice crispies, & cashews! These little babies are so good, I may have to order some online to tide me over until my next trip South!

Having another baker in your house can be an interesting experience, especially when they're baking for you. Evan of BjorkedOff came over & took over my kitchen for a night & the result was insanely delicious danishes! I made some of the fillings, so I didn't feel entirely useless, but I must admit it was tough watching someone else do the dirty work! We opted for 4 different flavors; White Chocolate Macadamia, Lemon Curd, Apple Butter, & the elusive Speculoos spread, an amazing treat & a gift from a friend in the Netherlands. The danishes all turned out flaky & buttery, just how a pastry should be! We took some to a Food Not Bombs meeting & everyone was floored by how good they were. I'm pretty sure I'll be trying my hand at danish making in the future, especially if I can get my hands on Evan's recipe!

Lately, I have been working with my local chapter of Food Not Bombs to serve vegan food to the homeless & hungry. San Francisco Food Not Bombs is very active & currently serves 6 days a week! It's a great way to get people to eat a vegan meal, but it also utilizes food that would otherwise go to waste. We're lucky enough to have local shops that donate the goods they pull from their shelves, from day old bread to bruised produce. Every week is like an Iron Chef challenge! You may only have rice, beans, & a few mushrooms one week, then the next you have 5 boxes of food, including 30 loaves of artisan bread to work with! Last Friday, we had an abundance of goods to choose from, so Jordan, Jenn, Evan, & I set to work to create a meal. We made a Moroccan Couscous Salad with Pear Ginger Dressing, a hearty Bean Stew, & Banana, Apple, Walnut Bread Pudding and headed out to "Hippie Hill" to serve it all up. We also had bagels, bread, & fresh fruit for the taking. Seeing how much food could have gone to waste when there are hungry people is an eye opener. If you like to cook & want to do something good for the community that also promotes peaceful animal free dining, consider getting involved with your local Food Not Bombs!

Well, it's only 2 days until I jet off to Europe! I'll be making my triumphant return to Berlin, but not to worry, I already have my eye on new spots to dine & report on! Additionally, I have been sussing out Copenhagen, Vienna, & Stockholm, so be ready for a full report when I return. As usual, if you want to meet up or have any must see places, please get in touch!


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

**sugar coma**


allularpunk said...

i think i have danish envy.

awesome about that article! you deserve it, to be sure :) have fun in europe!

Tami said...

RayRay's danishes are the most beautiful ones I've ever seen..especially with your help, of course!

Great article and have a wonderful time in Europe!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Congrats again on the VegNews article!

That's so great that you're involved in FNB. The one here in Houston is struggling right now to have enough food (they serve 4 nights a week). I bet everyone appreciated that gourmet meal yall made!

Ohh, those danishes sound yum. Making danish dough is a tough task with layering all that EB .. but so worth it!

Have a blast on your European vacay!

Anonymous said...

congrats on the vegnews article! very well deserved.

food not bombs sounds like a lot of fun, and the food you made for the homeless sounds absolutely delicious. it's so inspiring that you guys put all that food to use and helped people who were hungry with stuff that would have been wasted.

oh, and HAVE FUN IN EUROPE!! i am insanely jealous! :D

Dex said...

Congrats! As for Earthlings, I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes. Brutal.

Jenna said...

I'm going to miss you! I'm already sad thinking about how I am going to be dance partner-less for weeks!

Also, check out my blog. I think you'll laugh, haha.

Amey said...

wow, what a great post.

first off, it was totally awesome and exciting to see you in the VegNews, even though I'd already been tipped off to it on the PPK. Congrats! You totally deserve it.

I'm glad to got to try to the Sweet Earth chocolates. I tried many, and agree with you that the turtles truly shine above the rest. Amazing! Also, they have a lot of great things like cocoa powder and cocoa butter for sale on their site, and it's all fair trade, which can be hard to find in the stores.

The danishes from rayray are awesome! YUM. I made croissants once. they turned out fabulous... but I must admit, seeing how much Earth Balance went into them made it hard to enjoy eating them after the fact. I think it's much better to have some one else do the baking in this case, so you can remain happily ignorant!

The food not bombs work sounds fun and rewarding. How cool you are to spend your energy with such a great cause. It's such a tragedy when good food goes to waste...

Last of all, I hope you have a GREAT time in Europe!

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

I hope I get to try that Speculoos spread someday! Oh, and those chocolates...wow!

Sounds like you and Evan had a fabulous time (although I agree that it's very odd having someone else working in your kitchen) with the danishes and Food Not Bombs.

Have a spectacular and safe trip to Europe. I'll wait for your post(s) about it so that I can live vicariously through you!

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

P.S. I haven't cracked open my new issue of VegNews yet, but CONGRATULATIONS for being featured!!!

Cakespy said...

Too much awesome going on here. Where to start? Congratulations, OMG, have fun, I LOVE SWEET EARTH CHOCOLATES, you rock, and bon voyage! I think that covers it!

Anonymous said...

Such deliciousness!!! Congrats on the article in VegNews.

Have a great trip. I can't wait to read all about it.

Bianca said...

Yea for VegNews recognizing your awesomeness!

And good for you for working with FnB! I used to volunteer with the Memphis chapter every Sat (we only have the resources to feed once a week), but I've slacked off. I should get involved again. Really, I should.

Adriana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adriana said...

Congratulations on the Veg News article. I’m a subscriber but haven’t gotten to it yet. It’ll be a must read tonight.

The world is better because of your efforts. It’s so much easier to do nothing. You seem like a very busy person and the fact that you can help the unfortunate while spreading the good vegan word speaks volumes of you.

Thank you for what you do!

Sal - AlienOnToast said...

Congrats on the article, that's awesome!

I really want a danish now - with speculoos?? YUM!!!

Have a great time on your trip.

Anonymous said...

I saw your picture in VegNews and I was like "HEY! I know her!" haha

Have a great time on your trip girl!

julie hasson said...

Congrats on the Veg News article Melisser!

Have a fabulous time in Europe! I can't wait to hear about all the delicious food you're going to eat.

x said...

Congrats on being featured in VegNews!

Have an awesome European trip and eat lots of vegan goodies for us!

Meg said...

OMG danish!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the VegNews feature! That's awesome.

Also, I hope you can find something delicious in Stockholm (I'm a Swedish lady, ja!)... While vegetarianism is pretty common, veganism is quite a bit harder to come by in my recent experiences. Have fun in Europe!

Anonymous said...


i am SOOO proud of you! you are rockin' it! I wouldn't expect any less.


miss you


Anonymous said...

Congrats on being featured in VegNews! It was a happy surprise to see you there. :)

Veronica said...

Daaanishes. I'm envious.

So many congratulations on the VegNews feature! It was well deserved.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Have fun in Europe! Can't wait to read all about it. Congratulations on making it into VegNews!

Hungry Hungry Dancer said...


have such a wonderful time in europe!!!!!

DJ said...

Congrats for the article in VegNews - that's awesome!! I also love the sound of what you're doing with food not bombs - SOOOOO much perfectly good food gets wasted everyday, I guess that's what the existence of freeganism demonstrates, right?

All about... (vegan) food said...

Hi Melisser, how are you?
Dawn (from Cupcake Berlin) gave your blog address and it's amazing! I'll check a lot of recipes and news here everyday ;o)

miss v said...

congrats on the vegnews article!

vko said...

You are such a friggin' rock star- I love it. You are "the" rock star for cooking vegan food for the homeless. Happy jetting off to Europe my dear!xo

MeloMeals said...

That is awesome!! I must go hunt down my latest VegNews at my old hosue.. (I never changed my address info and my X gets some of my mail)

Jenn Shagrin said...

Congrats on VegNews lady!
And yes, the fake meat fiesta may have been a little over the top ;)

Have a bad ass European adventure. Eat some Maoz falafel for me if you're anywhere in it's magical vicinty.

Tania said...

I have that VegNews! Go 'hed wit yo bad sef! :-D

Anonymous said...

Dude. That is so cool. Congrats!

Penny said...

That Evan does not mess around, vegan danish is the end all be all!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the VegNews feature! That's so cute! I'll have to look for that issue.

I had no idea Splash Cafe even had anything vegan, now I'll have to stop by next time I'm down there. Thanks for the tip!

Have a great trip! :-)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your VegNews spot! VegNews is the greatest :)

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

Congrats on being featured on VegNews! That's awesome! YAY!!

So much food goodness here! It is weird having someone else be the baker in your kitchen! It was a total success though, the danishes look amazing!

YAY for Food Not Bombs! You rock so hard!

You must be in Europe by now. Have a wonderful time and bring us back plenty of stories and pictures!! :)

Erin said...

Those danishes look so flippin' amazing. I would expect nothing less from Melissa+Evan.

Ral said...

congrats on the vegnews article!

I created a special blog, please join and if you like it, subscribe.


Aissa-sah said...

I didn't need Veg News to tell me how awesome you are...congrats anyway...

Anonymous said...

If I didn't already congratulate you for the VegNews recognition elsewhere in cyberspace - CONGRATS! It doesn't surprise me in the least to see you recognized by the bigwigs!! Did I see Danish?! Yum.

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