Monday, March 28, 2016

Restaurant Review: Thai Chili Restaurant Elk Grove, CA

I was looking for a new spot to eat at in Elk Grove over the weekend and Thai Chili Restaurant came up as vegan friendly. Matt was game to check them out.  I called ahead and asked about vegan items and they said they had some. So once there we walked up to the place ready for a food adventure.  The spot was nice with outdoor and indoor seating - we choose indoor, due to allergies and all.
They have a large vegetarian menu so I asked our waitress what could be done vegan, she had another server help us who could point us in the right direction. There was a lot of food I wanted to try but he recommended the yellow curry so I ordered avocado yellow curry. We always have to have rice with our curry and they brought out a nice sized portion to go with a big bowl of curry.

The curry was lovely. The sauce was thick and rich, super yummy. Big chunks of potatoes, tofu and avocado mixed in with other veggies. I loved how the avocado was warm and soft - very fresh tasting. We would both order this again!

Since Matt and I were sharing I said lets go for two appetizers. I really wanted to try the fried bananas - because they sounded really good. Matt pointed out Tofu Lover and being a fan of fried tofu I said we should try that as well.
The fried bananas were coated in a light crunchy batter and served with chili sauce. They were sweet and tasty, I wanted to grab a few to go and have them with non-dairy ice cream. I really liked them. The tofu was fried to perfection, crunchy outside and chewy inside and came with a tasty sweet and sour sauce. Even though both items were fried they were not greasy or heavy. The sauces were really good as well, tasting fresh and not from a bottle.

I cannot wait to go back. The service was attentive, the space was clean and the food came out fast (even with a crowed). The only complaint is we ate so much and wish we had room for more.

Thai Chili Restaurant is located at: 8696 Elk Grove Blvd #5, Elk Grove, C. If you are ever in the area check 'em out! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tropical Skin Storm (Vegan Body & Skin Care Reviews)

Spring has sprung. A day on the calendar does not help determine that for me. Nope - my skin breaks out in tiny blisters and I itch like I am a bug buffet, that is how I can tell spring is here. So I wanted to get myself a few skin soothers and ended up with a nice mix of tropical scents.

So not everything is heavily scented on my list but this Pacifica Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic is refreshing and has a load of feel good tropical flower extracts. It really removes stuck on makeup and oily grime. I use it after taking my makeup off with coconut oil and my skin feels cleaned and refreshed not dry and itchy.

Pacifica Pore Refine Deep Detox mask is loaded with stuff I like to eat in my fruit salad: berries and lemon. It helps get rid of clogged pores and shine - things to consider as the weather starts warming up. The texture is very runny and the formula is clear something I  did not expect with a mask but it is not bad. The smell is light but fruity. It dries pretty fast and once rinsed off my skin felt soft and refreshed. This is a good mask - one I will go back to. Masks are something I have been missing out on - either they leave my skin to dry or do nothing for me. This feels like it will keep my skin happy.

This Hempz body lotion in  Goji Orange Lemonade is amazing! It smells like a melted Popsicle on a hot summer day. It is sweet and refreshing at the same time. The lotion moisturizes nicely and does not leave a greasy residue on my skin. Plus I do not get chest breakouts like I have in the past with other highly moisturizing citrus lotions. It is cooling and light but leaves you soft and smelling great! This is a limited edition scent - get it while you can!

I walked into Lush and noticed the new Yuzu And Coconut Shower Cream and walked out with the big bottle. It smells good - like a tropical cocktail. It is moisturizing but not greasy and the scent lingers on your skin.  The bright yellow color makes me think of happy warm days and flowers in bloom.Sometimes cream products make me feel oily after I wash them off but this left behind nothing but soft skin.

If you try any of these products and like them let me know!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Butcher's Son Berkeley, CA Review

For the last few weeks pictures rolled in on social media of The Butcher's Son. Matt and I put it on our list of must try places with each new photo that we saw. a 100% vegan deli - yes please! We got there at lunch time on a dreary Saturday and the small spot was packed. The case was pretty empty but after looking at the menu up front we saw they were not sold out yet. We got our order to go just in case a seat would not open up. We got lucky and a seat opened up though.

We both decided to try the Cotija cheeze so we bought a sample sized piece, I am not really a cheeze person but this was so good. Dry and salty and just perfect.

We both decided on the Sriracha peppersteak sandwich with potato salad as our side. We heard my name called and Matt got up to get our order only to see someone else walk off with it. After telling them what happened they made our meal again. Ughh the wait!

Photo courtesy of Matt - I was busy eating.  The sandwich is so legit. It truly tastes like a deli sandwich and not some fast food chain mumbo jumbo. Seitan based steak, peppers, veggies, sauce and crusty (not hard) bread. Every bite is an explosion of flavors. The sandwich is huge - so come hungry or split one. The sandwich + side is like $11, which is not bad. We have paid the same for a sandwich that lacked 90% of what these bad dudes pack. The potato salad is really good too, it has a savory smokey flavor and a crunch on the potatoes.

As we wrapped up our meal I saw someone with a cannoli and made Matt go get one.  Growing up these were a staple at Christmas gatherings. My grandma would make them and an assortment of other Sicilian treats. I never cared for them as a kid - maybe because I was busy with all the other food. I have been nostalgic for good Sicilian/Italian pastry forever. While the cannoli was good I do not think it was a cannoli. The shell was lacking crunch which was disappointing, it was more of a French pastry shell. Also the creamy center was missing that tang you get after the sweetness melts away. If they worked out the kinks I would eat more than one! Would it be too much to ask for a espresso machine too?

Go to The Butcher's Son and have one of the best sandwiches ever. From what I understand they are still working out hour-day kinks. Check online to see their current schedule and see what they are serving. They are located 1941 University Ave, Berkeley, Ca. 100% vegan and awesome!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Stay At Home Girlfriend #20

Newest issue of The Stay At Girlfriend is now on Etsy. I spent good chunk of time stapling these and getting them ready to mail. Medical cannabis, facing OCD fears, vegan food, friendship and more is covered in this issue. Please go check it out now!

Monday, March 7, 2016

My Favorite Betcha Didn't Know They Are Vegan Items

There are plenty of lists going around with accidentally vegan food items showing that veganism is not hard or confined to health food stores. Here are my (with Matt's input) top picks. Maybe some of these items are new to you.

Matt says these are the closet thing to Hot Cheetos he has had. I cannot vouch for since I never had Hot Cheetos but I can tell you that these are good. Warning: they stain your fingers bright red so watch out.
$3 a loaf makes this bread super affordable. High fructose corn syrup free and only 60 calories a slice makes this loaf a good pick. Great for toast in the morning or sandwiches at lunch. Each slice is moist and tasty!

People usually reach for the standard Sour Patch Kids but to us these are so much better! Great at the movie theater mixed with popcorn! 

This makes boring food explode! Even if your food is not boring this stuff kicks anything up a few notches!

Perfect little pick me up to share with a friend. Matt and I grab one for a snack before working out. Protein and carbs are super fuel!

All around hot sauce winner: Frank's. It goes with everything. I like using it for buffalo fried tofu and ontop of nachos. It is great mixed into hummus or on fried potatoes! If my pantry does not have a bottl;e of Frank's in it I cry.

Did any of your favorites make the list? Think I should try a favorite of yours? Let me know. I wanted to use this list to give a shout out to some of the things that are not on every circulating list - some underdogs you might say. These are my faves (Matt's too) and I hope you like them or will try them out soon. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Mortis' Gottcha Day

We are celebrating a year since we adopted Mortis this weekend! He will get lots of his favorite Fancy Feast flavors and a new toy. We are lucky to have this big fur ball in our lives!