Easing back into this


We’ve mentioned in some previous posts that after our spring and summer blogging hiatus, we’ve made our triumphant return.  This also means easing back into our blogging routine that has already sparked some interesting dialogue around who’s “turn” it is to post.  Typically these conversations happen later in the evening when the thought of writing is pretty much an afterthought.  It’s these conversations and current lack of motivation that instead of posting, I decided to share this interesting video. This short clip is sure to make you feel grateful that your eat a whole, plant based diet, or make you start to second guess those juicy burgers or your affinity for Greek yogurt.

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Tuesday News-day


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Since team EPL is getting back into the swing of thangs when it comes to the blogging on the internets, we figured we’d just ease back into our daily posting rhythm.  With that, I give you some exciting news from one of our favorite authors and plant-based athletes Brendan Brazier and the folks from Thrive Forward.

We promise that we have lots of awesome recipes, pictures, stories, and randomness just waiting to grace the pages of WordPress.  Stick around for Vegan Mofo 2013.

We’re back! Vegan Mofo 2013!

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Wow.  We’ve taken a bit of a hiatus, but have so much to share with our fans!  We tend to need some kind of inspiration to move us forward, and what better time than Vegan Mofo 2013.   I’m sitting next to Hayley as I post this, and although we have discussed the future of our blog, she has no idea that I am committing to a month’s worth of blog posts in hopes that our propensity for blogging is rekindled.  We have chatted several times about the direction, theme, and mood of our blog.  Why not plunge right into what we do best:  posting what we think, feel, and love about our amazing life that involves vegan food, amazing friends, delicious wine, and dick jokes.

I would apologize for not posting sooner, but honestly, life has been so zany we kind of neglected this obligation.   I do appreciate all the comments and all the feedback, and look forward to all we have to offer during September and Vegan Mofo.

Sit back, relax, cook up some fine BBQ jackfruit, pour yourself a delicious libation, and get ready for the Vegan Mofo your life has been yearning for.

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Best ever banana pancakes

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bananapancakes

This weekend our fellow Oregonian friends Sarah & Brian are meeting us in Sunriver for our first weekend getaway in almost 2 years. Being 32 is awesome because we have money, homes, babies, and a general lack of shame – but being 32 also means we have money, homes, and babies THEREFORE our lack of shame is due to our lack of time and energy. For example, ten years ago a typical picture of joy for my Sarah and I included the following:

  • Copious amounts of inexpensive beer – Natty Ice anyone? 
  • A day of shopping for cargo pants & peasant shirts at Old Navy
  • Either Losing Yourself with Eminem or Shakin’ our Tail Feather with Nelly & P-Diddy
  • Giggling and people watching at a bar table and until 2 AM then seeking out the nearest burrito

The 32 year old version of our friendship joy includes:

  • Buying expensive moscato to drink when we have bonding time – purchased in 2009 (it’s getting DONE this weekend)
  • Skyping during moments of quiet – and spending half that time provoking the baby to make funny faces
  • Still kickin it to 90’s hip-hop ya’ll! Nuthin’ but a G Thang baby!
  • Giggling and people watching at a McMenamins table until 8:00 PM then going home to watch Walking Dead reruns and planning Sunday brunch

And we can cook up one hell of a brunch! It’s going to be the quintessential friendship-hangover-banana-pancakes mega-brunch stack. This isn’t your grandmother’s brunch yo – this is the kind of meal you can eat while laying down and/or curled up on the floor.

It’s gonna be a great weekend.

Our friends know us well - beer, dried fruit

Our friends know us well – beer, dried fruit, nuts, chips, and salsa. Oh damn.

This girl and I have climbed many mountains together

This girl and I have climbed many mountains together

BEST EVER VEGAN BANANA PANCAKES 

From our favorite cookbook, Vegan Brunch 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 very ripe medium bananas
  • 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or fav nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch ground allspice (optional)
  • Cooking spray

Use a fork to mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. All the oil, milk, water, vinegar, and maple syrup and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix until there are few clumps left and be careful not to overmix.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet (cast iron) over medium heat at least 3 minutes. Pan is hot enough by adding a drop of water and it dances around the pan but not smoking.

Spray the pan with a light coat of cooking spray. Pour pancakes one at a time in 1/2 cup measurements and cook until the tops look dry (about 3 minutes). Flip over and cook another minute. Transfer to a plate covered with tinfoil to keep pancakes warm while you prepare the others.

Eat, Drink, and be Merry


*This was actually yesterday’s post, but ended up as its own page.  I blame the wine.

This is what dinner looks like after an amazing day of wine tasting with friends in the Applegate Valley, and dinner where you do more drinking of good local beer and chatting with new friends.   So much chatting, laughing, and storytelling took place that dinner ended up in a to-go box.  Totally worth it.

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Here’s to long-time friends, new friends, good wine and good times.

Web Feast Friday


It finally feels like winter here in the Pacific NW, and we have a brand new dusting of snow on  the hills throughout the valley.  We’re eleven days into the year, and still holding strong to our commitment/resolution of blogging every day!  We have lots of great ideas for posts, and lots of great recipes and stories to share.  We also have some exciting adventures on the horizon that are sure to create even more blog fodder. Snowshoeing is on the agenda this weekend, along with a little wine tour.  In the meantime, sit back and relax the second installment of Web Feast Friday for 2013!

Simple.  Easy.  Indian flavors.  Love it!

For those of you who want to go raw with us next month, here’s a recipe to bookmark.

The EPL household is a big fan of savory waffles.  These just made the cut for Sunday brunch.

Health vegan Twix bars?

We’re everywhere!!!!

We’re hosting a vegan Super Bowl party this year, and you KNOW this will be served!

Lot’s of recipes this week means lots of cooking and baking is taking place.  One such cooking escapade involves a shopping trip to the Asian market, no real plan, and $100 in groceries.  Stay tuned for that story!

We leave you with some winter running inspiration and motivation.  Play outside this weekend and cook some good food.

Goal setting is making us lazy

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Tis the season for letting ourselves go.

Yeah, there is the proverbial “letting bygones by bygones” and “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” (does anyone know what the hell ‘auld’ means? Up until writing this blog post I thought the lyric was “may all acquaintance be forgot” – which is kinda morose sounding yet also how I feel after most New Year’s nights when I’m stuffed like a vienna sausage into my hometown bar surrounded by the same people who used to point out my lady-stache and are now screaming ‘I KNOW YOU!’ into my ear then spilling their drink on me while I try to cover my upper lip.)

Anyway, I’m talking about the classic letting yourself go where all you can think about at work is doning your dumpy sweatpants, ordering Thai, and consuming diabetic-coma levels of sugar cookies while bidding on Jedi ornament’s on e-bay.  Last night we ordered so much food that the lady handing us the several bags at Lemongrass Thai asked how many people we were feeding. I lied and told her 3…but she knew. She knew.

Here is the good news: holiday sloth is not only totally acceptable, it’s encouraged. Why would you start eating healthy now when there are a dozen Holiday parties over the next few weeks? Listen, if Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock can celebrate their marital union for 2 weeks, the least I can do is celebrate Jesus’ birthday the whole month. (Evan says I’m reaching with my outdated pop culture reference. What is this, communist China? Ok, that is going a little far.) Oh, and any other time of year this behavior would be considered giving up hope, but December is the month for hope – and we are getting our goal setting on like a mofo!

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Evan really went above and beyond for those beads.

Here is what we have so far:

  • I did a blog a few years ago where I took a picture every day for a year and wrote about it. (http://ordinaryinstant.tumblr.com/). Then this year we started this little gem you are painfully tolerating now. SO – we decided that in 2013 we will be combining the two ideas and doing a blog post every single day for the whole year. Oh boy, get ready for many days of quantity over quality folks, which happens to be where I thrive. Get ready for an increase of dick jokes and pictures of my awkward youth.
  • We are a fan of 30 day challenges – in which we usually only execute full for 5 days and then make concessions. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! Some example are a month: running 30 minutes per day, sugar-free, gluten-free, 30 minutes of meditation, reading a book a week, buying nothing but essentials, no TV, 200 pushups/sit-ups, and our January goal of eating all raw. Considering we are blogging every day, you will be going through it all with us folks. Brace yourself for adults bitching a lot about their white people problems.
  • We just signed up for a lot of running events including the Portland Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon, Hood to Coast, and the Portland Marathon along with keeping our goal of one race per year. Many of these sign-ups occurred as a quid pro quo for eating copious amounts of indian food. The more food we binge on – the more strenuous of event we sign up for. This is sounding really sad.

What are some of your goals this year? How you will know measure success at year’s end? Do you give a shit? Ahhh, this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Time to eat some peanut butter captain crunch and watch the Batman trilogy. Peace.

Vegan MoFo 27: German Apple Cake


If you ask me, this is a single serving.

You know those times when you make a cake for someone’s birthday at work and then you forget to take the cake and have to decide once you arrive at work whether you will tell the person that you slaved away on a Tuesday night to make their favorite German apple cake especially for them because you know it’s their favorite or not tell them you made the cake at all so you can have the cake all to yourself when you get home? Yeah, me either. But I do know this…the answer is and always will be eat the cake.

And this cake is especially worth hoarding, mainly because of it’s versatility. I’m rather confident in the event of a nuclear disaster, this cake could be used in any of the following ways:

  1. Insulation for packing dynamite
  2. Replacement for clay in making seed bombs
  3. A weapon (I have a theory that, when thrown correctly, it will act much like a boomerang)
  4. Food for a village – one bite could sustain a person for a full day (those Germans know how to live ya’ll!)

The possibilities are endless. Where the German’s missed the mark with lederhosen,  David Hasselhoff, and that whole ‘European domination’ icky stereotype, they definitely earned my love with this cake…and Octoberfest.

Enjoy the cake all to yourself my friends – and also enjoy this video of what I believe to be the brother of Milton from Officespace housing some funnel cakes as inspiration.

GERMAN APPLE CAKE

Apfelkuchen. Translated as “edible apple pinwheel”.

Ingredients – Cake:

  • 3 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter (i.e. Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Ingredients – Topping:

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the cake, cook the apples in a little bit of water on the stove or in the microwave until they’re just a little soft but not mushy. (Put them in the microwave for no longer than 90 seconds). Set aside.

With an electric hand mixer or by hand using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the applesauce and milk. Finally, add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined.

Add the batter to the prepared pan, and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the cake.

To make the topping, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger and sprinkle over the apples, covering the top of the cake.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before unmolding from the cake pan.