Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stockton Rural Cemetery

Last weekend we ended up in Stockton by mistake for the second weekend in a row. Maybe mistake is not the choice word - more like road construction blunder mess ups. After trying to locate a cemetery and not being able to get to it due to construction in Manteca we figured we would check out the next closest cemetery.
Google showed me two cemeteries - one we have been to before and in fact was there the weekend before. Then the second option so we decided to put the address in the GPS and head that way. So after coming up on familiar looking spot we started thinking that the cemetery we were headed toward was just a section of the cemetery we previously visited. When we came upon the previously visited cemetery and it told us to go to the street next to it and not the entrance we headed back a bit and then encountered Stockton Rual Cemetery or as I like to think of it Narnia!

It is heavily shaded with lots of roads to travel down. It is big in size with old stones and newer ones in the back. Some of the mausoleums were missing their doors (due to age I assume) so getting inside was a treat.

Here I am in one that I found interesting due to font script and carved niche. It says "I know my redeemer liveth".

Matt pointed this one out first. It is made from wooden branches and gives off a backwoods vibe.

And the crème de la crème - Russ Meyer! I knew he was buried in Stockton but after searching the cemetery in front twice I was going to save trying to find him when I spotted a security guards next time.Ya - the Stockton cemetery has security and from what I hear the carry guns - no joke! So when I saw a squirrel dash off and followed it with my eyes I found good old Russ! I was like "oh my god Matt it's Russ". He is buried near his mom and sister. Next time we plan on bringing him a gift for sure! 

Stockton is about 30 minutes from us. I love this cemetery so much and cannot wait to go back. Matt did not understand the appeal of this cemetery to me - after all we have been to bigger and better maintained in the past but as soon as we drove through the gates I felt a connection to it. Plus I found a few more vegan option in Stockton that might make for perfect cemetery picnic noms!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fun With Food, Zines and Cats

Fried open faced tacos inspired by a recipe in the April 2015 Food Network Magazine (The Big Breakfast Issue). Tortillas are fried in Earth Balance, sprinkled with cumin, topped with refried beans and Daiya then covered to melt. Top it off with salsa, soy sour cream and hot sauce. Everything has to be served with Matt's Mamas red rice and lemons from the neighbor as you know!

Post gym stir fry with mixed veggies, extra firm tofu in a red curry paste + soy sauce mix I made up on the spot. Simple stir fry dishes are perfect on gym nights to help with a hungry stomach and a flash to prep. I also find them helpful to use up pantry items sitting around.

A soy iced coffee and Banana Curl Vegan Girl zine. The zine is a must have for those looking for easy and accessible vegan recipes (the best kind!) and a handy FAQ suitable for helping the new vegans & vegan curious out with ingredient replacements. You can also check out Banana Curl on her blog.

A few weeks back we walked into Pet's Mart on adoption day to make a Mar's Memorial Birthday donation. We came across a beast of a fluffy cat and decided to bring him home. We named him Mortis and so far Mady and him are doing well together. So if my zines and blogging have been lagging blame fluffy cats and naps - they go together!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Food, Iced Coffee, and Beer!

I never had Hamburger Helper as a kid, if I did maybe it was once and that was it. I am thinking it had more to do with the size of the box than what was in it. My dad sure could eat a lot and I do not think a box would be a safe bet for a family meal.

Here is my own version - vegan of course! Organic pasta, soyrizo, cashew chipotle cheeze + Daiya cheeze blend, a can of Rotel, cashew milk and a bunch of spices. Really creamy, really good!

I split a Baracuda cupcake from Pushkin's and iced almond milk coffee from around the corner via Temple with Matt.

Because it is iced coffee weather (this time with coconut milk) and one can never have/read/buy/trade too many zines. My coffee even has my name spelled right!!!

Beer: The Super Tramp from Dust Bowl Brewing is now a favorite of mine. It has a slight strawberry taste and is refreshing. Perfect for warm weather and spicy dishes. Bonus it is brewed locally! I was hoping to like the Old Rasputin stout more - because I like stouts plus it had good reviews but it was just okay in my book.

Is the warm temps in your area yet? What are you looking forward to this spring?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Handful Of The Stuff I Have Been Eating & Enjoying

Chipolte Corn Chili to use up some remaining soy crumbles Matt brought home from his work's potluck last week. I served it with sweet potato fries and a modified version of Isa's Red Hot Tahini Sauce on top.

Nib More Spicy chocolate. This is a pretty good bar with a nice amount of heat. It has more of a cinnamon sweet heat hotness than a peppery fire hot.

This is a red bean curry I made. I have been trying my hand at curries lately.This has lite coconut milk, red curry paste, some Thai peanut butter, garlic, jalapenos, soy sauce, Thai red pepper flakes, Sriracha, sweet potatoes and kidney beans. I am still working on getting my flavors down and trying to get it just right. I like my curry dishes to come with rice.

Beer and chocolate. Matt got the Red Hook and chocolate and on a different night we shared the Speakeasy Payback Porter. I have tried a few Speakeasy beers now and like them.

Small falafel pita from Extreme Pita. More tastier than expected but it cannot compete with my fave falafel pita spot. Matt and I both agreed what the number one offender was: that the pita was not warmed, so it was cold making the sandwich less tasty. 

My Aunt gifted me a Trader Joe's gift card for Valentine's so I gifted myself beer and coffee! The coffee is my go to - it has a darkly rich roasted flavor. The beer was split with Matt and was pretty good, mild and great with dinner (the chili above).

These are just a handful of the things we have been eating and drinking. I have been making and eating a lot of granola. Toast with jam is also on my 'eat it often radar'. What about you?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vitality Bowls - Pleasanton, CA

After climbing into coffin liners and walking up and down hills and gravel cemetery paths I needed to refuel! Vitality Bowls in Stoneridge Shopping Center (Pleasanton, CA) has the perfect post cardio snacks to power you up!

I go for the Nutty Dessert Bowl with mini dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, bananas and coconut shavings on top of an açaí base. It wins me over every time. So cooling, refreshing and filling that I did not even munch on the vegan macaroon I also bought. From the menu there looks to be a few vegan options, you can also custom blend stuff. If you dine in your order comes out in a metal bowl with a long spoon. I find a size small perfect to split for a pick me up. They also have a few vegan snack options that are prepackaged to go with your bowls or are perfect to tuck away for later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

You Must Show ID To Read This - Beer Reviews

For the longest time I did not like beer. I equated all beer to be that of my teen years and cheap 40 oz. You know - not good stuff. Then on a whim I found some interesting sips and put down my margarita glass to try a few out. Here is what I like right now! 

Lagunitas Brown Sugga is a nice beer - not as sweet as I like them but it has a nice flavor and is smooth.
Stockyard Oatmeal Stout - I love this stuff. I like a lot of stouts though - they remind me of baked goods! This has a nice taste, sweet, mild and malty and well rounded. This is from Trader Joe's and a six pack runs you about $6 - wich is decent. Also Trader Joe's sells beer by the bottle/can randomly. Prices range from 50 cents to a $1 - it good for trying things out.

My fave beer that I have been back to more than once is the Blue Ridge Coffee Stout by Coronado Brewing Co. It has a nice complex flavor and there is a distinct coffee taste that hits you after you take a sip. Usually when beer or wine say they taste like something I never taste it and end up wondering if my taste buds are broken after to many years of hot sauce eating!

And there is always Tecate - cheap and easy to find it goes well on Friday nacho night!

If you have any favorite vegan beers please let me know! I am always searching for something new to try. Remember to drink responsibly - please do not drink and drive!

All beer was checked via Barnvivore for vegan status!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cemeteries & Vegan Pizza

Last weekend we headed out to the Pleasenton - San Ramon area to search cemeteries, eat vegan deep dish pizza and just get away for a few hours. We spent time in both the Memorial Gardens Cemetery and CFCS St. Michael Cemetery  which are right next to each other

The weather has been nice and I have been digging up history (ha ha) on cemeteries in the area and playing cemetery explorer. Partly because I love cemeteries and also I am working on a zine that has been decades in the making. I am also curating and updating the lists of cemeteries via Wiki in my area.

I am always on the hunt for interesting stones. Matt also has a good eye and spotted the above stone. What stood out is the pot leaf! We have never seen anything like that. Also note the sports teams, Matt found it funny that opposing sports teams seemed to balance each other out being placed next to each other.

As the sun set I had to have Matt get a quick pick of me in. I climbed up and got dirty but that is part of being a cemetery explorer!

After a quick trip to Whole Foods and coffee-fuel we headed over to Zachary's for deep dish vegan pizza! There are two places that offer vegan deep dish in the area and I like Zachary's better. At Zachary's there is not a super long wait, the atmosphere is fun and I like the taste better. We got our vegan deep dish with jalapenos (of course) and drinks on the side (I got a bottle of Angry Orchard Apple Cider - super good!).

Cemeteries and pizza - what a perfect day time date-getaway! As always thank you Matt for taking me and sharing these adventures with me. Also if you are curious about my upcoming zine project please keep an eye out. Check out my Instagram account in the links to the side for more cemetery photos and of course photos of random stuff I post.