I’ve only been blogging for a few months now, but I have lurked around the vegan blogging scene for years. I didn’t actually start leaving comments on the blogs that I have followed, and enjoyed, until I created my blogger identity. Before I became “greyt”, making up an online identity along with my comment was too much trouble to show my appreciation of their hard work. Apparently.
I was pleasantly surprised (and outed!) when one of my favorite long-time lurking “targets” (Andrea at Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking) bestowed upon me a “lovely blog” award. By accepting this award, I agree to link back to the award-giver, share 7 things about myself and pass the award on to 15 newly discovered bloggers.
Okay, 7 things about me. Here goes (in random order):
- I have a rescued racing greyhound (or rather, he has me) and he is partly to blame for the name of this blog.
- I eat peanut butter every day. For as long as I can remember.
- I was born Jewish and raised Catholic. That in itself explains a lot. A whole lot.
- I am a 5-year cancer survivor. I credit my healthy lifestyle for my success at beating the odds. And I credit cancer for making me a compassionate vegan. And Erik Marcus, too.
- I was a vegetarian when pregnant with my son 20 years ago. I didn’t drink milk, either. All the “experts” (and other annoying types) warned me that I was starving my baby and that he would be malnourished from lack of protein (which was synonymous with meat, apparently). My baby boy weighed in at a scrawny 11 pounds. I am so ashamed.
- My first “rescue” was an orange striped cat that found me playing in my yard. I named him “Tiger”. Not at all original but, hey, I was only 3! He was the first of many stray cats and dogs that found me over the years. I made up beds in our junk-filled garage for the cats that came and went and I fed them on the sly. I knew that if I told my parents what was going on, the dreaded “pound” truck would come take the cats away. Apparently, my parents were none the wiser. The St. Bernard mix that followed me home one day, however, proved more of a challenge to hide!
- It took me 10 years to finish my college education. My first declared major was nutrition, toward the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. Then it was geography, until I figured out what I could do with a geography degree (teach). Then I became a city planner. And now I blog about vegan food and my love affair with a greyhound. Go figure!
There are so many great vegan blogs out there; but the blogs that I have been following (or lurking about!) are not new on the scene. I think those bloggers can rightfully be called “pioneers” in the movement. Since I joined the blogging community, however, I have discovered a handful of new (well, new to me) vegan (or vegan friendly) blogs that have captured my interest. In no particular order, other than the order in which they popped into my head, I present my more recent finds (or they found me and I quickly grew attached):
♥ Play With My Food (sidenote: I now regret giving away those Rubbermaid totes full of my son’s discarded action figures!)
♥ No Meat Athlete (not new, but he recently made the leap from vegetarian to vegan)
♥ And lastly, the source for my renewed caramel popcorn addiction: Recipe Rhapsody.
Veronica at Recipe Rhapsody adapted my version of white chocolate for her Vegan Cinnabon Caramel Corn recipe. Of course, I could not resist the temptation (sweet AND salty, heck yeah!) and I tried the recipe. Multiple times, actually. Using both white and dark chocolate.
I must admit, I actually prefer the dark chocolate on the caramel corn. When made with cashews, it totally reminds me of Moose Munch, which I haven’t had since I gave up dairy. And I once loved Moose Munch. I think I am in serious trouble here!
♥ ♥ ♥
Seriously Addictive Caramel Corn
Adapted from Recipe Rhapsody
1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped)
1 cup lightly salted peanuts or cashews (I like the sea salt varieties)
1/2 cup non-dairy butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 250F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Use an air popper to pop the corn into a large bowl. Pick out the un-popped kernels, then sprinkle the nuts over the top and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the non-dairy butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, agave nectar, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, then allow to boil for 4 minutes (reduce the time by half for higher altitudes) without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and the vanilla.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn/nuts and stir well to coat. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir the caramel corn, then return the baking sheet to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes. At the end of the baking time, transfer the caramel corn to waxed paper on the counter and spread evenly.
Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds; stir. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth.
Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and allow it to cool completely before breaking apart.
Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bags.
Okay, just one more look!