Archive | April, 2010

how to go vegan without really trying

26 Apr

chocolate dipped macaroons, recipe courtsey of The Blissful Chef

About a month and a half ago, my dad made a startling announcement: Steve Ryan, complete and utter carnivore, was going vegan. After reading a handful of books, like Skinny Bastard and Tom Robbins (of the Baskin-Robbins family)’s Reclaiming Our Health, then driving the point home with Slaughterhouse and the like, he was slowly phasing out caffiene, sugars and fish, and had dropped meat, poultry and dairy completely. His reasons were many, most glaringly to finally take control of his body, get back into shape but also eliminate many things from his diet that have been linked to cancer and heart disease. He used to be able to put away a plate of steak. Now he’s trying to eat as true to the earth as he can. It’s been inspiring.

When he came to visit in March, he challenged me to “go vegan” for 30 days. I started what I like to call “vegan-adjacent” on April 6th. My cheats? I’m not worrying about what restaurant bread is made out of. I still eat chocolate. And if it’s an enormous pain at a dinner that I’m not paying for (for instance, a friend’s parents took us to Street, a kind of family style restaurant in Los Angeles which is almost completely meat-centric), I enjoy what appears on my plate. But otherwise, I’ve been really sticking to the challenge.

Amazingly enough, right around the time I was beginning, Christy (aka The Blissful Chef) was looking for recipe testers for her upcoming vegan cookbook. Perfect timing – my guess is it’s easier to stick to a dietary choice like veganism if you are armed with weapons of deliciousness.

Last night, I made the chocolate covered macaroons above, and this tasty Indian Curry Chickpeas side dish. I added califlower for a little extra weight, but the curry sauce (made with coconut milk instead of dairy!) was delicious, a little sweet and a little spicy. Perfect comfort food.

If you’re a vegan, or interested in trying a few vegan and vegitarian recipes, keep an eye out for The Blissful Chef’s new book. And if you’re in LA, sign up for one of her cooking classes!


on blog lovin’

12 Apr

found via accordionsandlace

We’re really loving this whole blog community, which is endless and full of love and appreciation and encouragement. I just signed up for Accordions and Lace’s mix swap* – I’m so excited to make mine for a chick named Meghan, who has a badass cat, and to see what ends up on everyone else’s playlist.

This weekend was particularly special. The weather was cool, so it felt more like early autumn in NY than early spring in LA, and there was dodgeball, the farmer’s market, and an old-timey downtown loft party where I saw the dough rollers (the two on the right) hold it down. There were chicks in petticoats and a serious dance party, the likes of which I’d never seen before. It was amazing.

This morning, the handsome man and I woke up at 6:30am and went hiking at the beautiful runyon canyon. It rained last night, so the air was clear (there was a rainbow!), everything was extra green and extra quiet, and we saw little birds and cool dogs. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Los Angeles as much as I do today.

*Here’s a little secret for the Canadians in the bunch – I was features on much music’s mixed-tape masterpiece as a young teen. Awkward!

foster the people

9 Apr

(c) Debi Del Grande, for http://www.TheMusic.FM

Like I said, April has been pretty kick ass, and it’s only 9 days in. Earlier this week Mr. Mike Lewis, lord of TheMusic.FM, a NY-based music site, contacted me about writing reviews from the left coast. He asked me to check out Foster The People, a new local band I’ve been hearing a lot about lately. So on Wednesday, I headed east to Spaceland (in Silver Lake) with my trusty flip cam and my good friend Matt to check out their live show. Read more about it here!

feeling blessed

8 Apr

(c) NASA, of course

Eight days in, April has already been kind to us. We have some tentatively exciting news to share – Ally’s brilliant boyfriend James has been accepted to UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. That means, disaster or alternate life decision pending, Ally will be moving out to my humble Los Angeles this summer.

!!! Holy crap!

Ally and James were out here this weekend and we celebrated his acceptance (and Ally’s birthday) with delicious food, massages at Bliss Spa, a smoky bbq and a dozen cupcakes. It was amazing.

Appropriately enough, the talented Risti (whose impeccable taste we so admire) was sweet enough to interview us for Just A Dollop on Tuesday! Read more about us and First Shot Gift Shop here.

I’m sleepy (I went to a great show last night at Spaceland – if you’re ready for summer’s next big thing, check out Foster the People and listen to “Pumped Up Kicks”), which I think explains the groggy post, but I really just wanted to say Thank You. To Risti, to the kind admissions department at UCLA, to the world, for helping us feel so kick ass lately.

I have a monster crush on..

6 Apr



Monique’s dresses and hand-dyed tulle skirts are playful, a little bit naughty, and a little bit french (that can’t be a coincidence). Makes me want to put this one on and prance around in a field all day.

And seriously, how hot is this little number? Dear boyfriend (or hell, dear stranger if you want to put up the cash) – pretty please? The perfect mix of naughty and nice. Ideal for sweet sinnin’.


Ally and I have been a bit MIA lately – but for incredibly good reason. More on the news later – because I’m about to meet her for dinner in Los Angeles! Whaaa?