Wednesday, October 31, 2007

30 Minutes of Fame

Well, we finally did it! Acrasjia played at The Worcester Palladium. We got there bright and early to snag a merch table. It turns out there were plenty to go around. Most of the bands didn't even set up any merch.


Our merch section was looking kinda dull, other than the awesome posters Mikey made up for us.

We got laminates, so it felt like the real deal. We had three for crew and merch as well. I must admit, it was kinda fun being able to hold them up for security to see every time we re-entered or went back stage.


Unfortunately, we could only hang our banner on the bottom of the stage for some of the crowd to see because The Misfits had a huge curtain hanging in front of their set up, getting in the way. To say the least, we are upset because we spent good money on that.

Well, we got to stand on the side of the stage as The Misfits did their soundcheck and I had no idea it was them. I thought it was a bunch of roadies who knew the music. Mike had to say, 'Yeah, that's the actual band.' Haha I had no idea. That just goes to show how oblivious I am.

There was so much awesomeness going on, it was unbelievable. All of our family and some friends were there to support us. We were on the main stage. Being Worcester, the crowd started filing in bright and early!

A couple of downsides would be that the sound guy was a jerk (as per usual) and wouldn't let me plug in my in-ear transmitter. I guess I'm not good enough to be able to hear myself sing over the loud, distorted guitars. He smiled at me like I was a damn fool for asking. I was kinda walking around, yelling about it and swearing about it. Next thing I knew, we had five minutes to get on the side stage. So I just dropped everything, mumbling and muttering to myself like a madwoman, and stood on side stage with the band.

Let me tell you- the very second the first band said, 'thank you' we were flying up on stage, scrambling to get ready. I had the stage manager repeatedly saying, 'Three minutes. Two minutes. One minute. Let's go, let's go! Guys, you go on now!' in my ear. Mike didn't get a chance to tune before hand, so he was frantically trying to rush his tuning. He ended up not completely finishing, but he was able to sneak some tweaking in during the first song.

You know what? The second the music started all my fears began to disappear. I was into it from the word 'go'! We had a very nice crowd and from what I could see, all eyes in the place were on us, even the other bands and crew that were just hanging out. One thing I'll never forget is all the people in the front row, looking up at us with wide eyes and awe. It was an amazing feeling. We got great rounds of applause and countless compliments after our set. Even a promoter wanted our info. I'll never forget that feeling. Hopefully I won't have to. Bigger and better shows are to come. That's the plan!

Since we couldn't have our own photographers and we had to pay NEPGM hired photographers, there are no pictures as of yet. They will be sending them to us within the next coupla weeks. By the way, when I emailed the photographer our info, she said, 'You guys were awesome!' I love it! Now we just need to record an EP, or at least a demo, so we can give people something more tangible to remember us by.

Anywho, for now, I leave you with silly pictures of us at the merch table:



Now, for the part you've all been waiting for- food!

As I said in a previous post, Michael and I always pack a lunch when we're going to be out and about for long periods of time with no wholesome food in sight. Even though there is an abundance of 'warm food' recipes out there, there doesn't seem to be a lot of substantial cold salad or sandwich recipes like I'm fond of. At least not in any of my cookbooks! But I've found a handful and I am happy.


To start, I made good, ol' potato salad. It's the usual recipe: soy mayonnaise, green onions, celery and, of course, potatoes. I leave the skin on because not only do I like the grainy texture, it is also very healthy for your body- a good source of fiber. I then threw in some crumbled firmed tofu for the 'egg', celery seed and dijon mustard. Mustard is definitely the happenin' ingredient in all potato dishes, in my opinion. If you just give it the 'dashiest dash', it can make it such an amazing flavour.

Then, to to try something different, I whipped up some couscous edamame. I always buy my couscous organic and by the bulk because boxed couscous has a lot of junk in it. What I love so much about couscous is its ability to absorb water in a very short amount of time. It requires no cooking, really.


I chopped up some asparagus, red onion and a shallot, threw it all in a pan and sauteed in some olive oil. I then added tamari sauce, balsalmic vinegar and a bit of maple syrup for a little sweetness. Mike wanted me to mention this, too- we could not find 'pre-shucked' edamame beans, so he had to sit there shucking them all by himself. He's such a good, little helper. :)

After having tried some of this dish hot and then cold at the venue, I think I actually prefer the dish warm. I don't know what it was about it chilled that didn't tickle my fancy. Mikey liked it, though, and that's good. :)

Finally, when we got home, I did some more cookin'. Of course! Being utterly exhausted from all the stress and excitement, I didn't want to prepare anything that was tedious or would take much effort, so I made potato cucumber salad! I just can't get enough potatoes (I also like to cook the whole bag before it starts growing sprouts)!


You'd be surprised how tasty this dish is, despite how easy it is to make. While you boil some potatoes, you chop up some cucumber, mix together Braggs sauce, red wine vinegar, flax seed oil, dill, horseradish mustard and dijon mustard. Oh mustard, how I love thee with my 'taters!

The food is so scrumptious and takes under an hour to prepare.

Then, as a snack to un-wind and reward for such awesome hardwork, I made some popcorn. I popped it right from the raw kernel (is there any other way?) in 2 tbsp of canola oil. But this wasn't just any ORDINARY popcorn. Nope! I happened upon a cajun recipe for a popcorn topping. You melt soy margarine, of course, and mix a tsp of lime juice. The spice itself is a concotion of paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. I actually didn't have any garlic powder, so I substituted with onion powder and chopped up some garlic to mix around in the melted butter.

The result?


HEAVEN! I love popcorn as it is, but this topping made it so much better. It was definitely flavourful and that bit of lime really puts it over the top with that added burst of goodness.

The popcorn container was actually purchased at an Iparty store. While I was in there looking for other party items, Mike and I found the container and thought it looked like too much fun to pass by. Normally I stay as far away from junk and spending money on crap as I can, but these were only 60 cents and they were just too cute.

So after modeling and photographing the popcorn, it was eaten in front of the tv, which was playing 'Children of the Corn', both in honor of Halloween and, of course, the popcorn itself.

Now, to go backwards in time a little bit... In September we decided to say, 'au revoir!' to summer by sipping on some tropical smoothies.


All it contained were these special ingredients:


The smoothie recipe called for any 'tropical fruit juice'. Instead, I grabbed a whole mango, chopped it up, mixed it with water and threw it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. There's your fruit juice for ya! It was very tangy and sweet. Being one of the warm fall days, it was just perfect.

Ah, but then the realization that autumn was here:


Apple spirulina energy drink! I bought my apple juice from Wild Oats and you can't get any more organic than that. It looked like cider! Spirulina is a microalgae that comes in supplement form. It's 60% all-vegetable protein, rich in beta carotene, iron, vitamin B-12 and the rare essential fatty acid, GLA. It's chock-full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrents. You can get this at any health food or vitamin store.

Though some of you may be frightened by green smoothies, fear not! It tasted just like yummy, safe, familiar apple juice while the spirulina offered a slightly, I wanna say almost citrus taste. It was yummy and extremely nutritious!


Later, I made some lentil soup. It was a simple recipe. Using my homemade broth, I simmered green lentils, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, celery, onions and tomatoes in one big pot. After adding a little bit of seasonings (pepper, cayenne, basil), the soup was complete! The recipe called for diced tomatoes, but I like to chop up my own and soak them in water. The fresher, the better.


As an addition to the soup, I made some biscuits- just flour, water, baking powder and soy margarine- with a VERY delicious miso mushroom gravy. Upon reading the recipe, I thought it might taste a little on the not-that-great side, but I couldn't have been more wrong! It was so delicious!

I sauteed some red onions and mushrooms in oil, then added veggie stock, Braggs sauce, cayenee, basil, dill and pepper. As a thickening agent, I stirred some unbleached flour into the pot. After it was thick and creamy, I quickly tossed in the miso before serving. Miso has many nutritional qualities, so it is best to put it in last before all the good stuff is cooked away!

I have a ton more foodie pics that need posting, but for now I will leave you with this. I know long, long blogs can get tiring after a while (for some). 'Tis much better when sprinkled with goodies than cramped with them! :)

Oh, yes...


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rock and Shock and The Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

The Palladium in Worcester, Ma held a Rock and Shock convention a few weeks ago. I decided to go because, well, I was getting a free ticket and I thought I'd scope out the place to get a feel for what it would be like when my band opens on Sunday.

Oh, did I mention that my band is opening for The Misfits at the Palladium? If you're in the Boston area and you love the Misfits, you should buy a ticket here. Oh, and come early so you can see Acrasjia! We'll have a merch table in the back, so say 'hi'!

We started off at the DCU Center, checking out the horror convention. I have to say, I wasn't incredibly excited, but I was in good company so it was fun. There were lots of movie posters for sale, comics, books, action figures and do-dads, 90% horror related. Of course there were the expected fanatics, running around in halloween costumes.

I got a free book. It's 'Dark Water' by Koji Suzuki and translated by Glynne Walley. Let me tell you, I love reading and I cannot stand lazy writers (you know, the modern romance novel type). So, to see if the book is worth reading, I'll open up the book to a random page and read two lines. Conclusion? While Koji may be a great writer, the translation is crap! Oh, well. It was free. :)

So I saw Tony Todd (Candyman), Shawnee Smith (Saw) and a bunch of other B movie actors from horror movies. Mike's nephew, Al, got choked by Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th) and he said he was really choking him. Kinda scary.


I didn't actually talk to any of them because I didn't care to wait in a line, but if Pinhead had been there, I would have been all over that.

I did, however, talk to Greg Nicotero. He's the makeup artist of many horror and gruesome action films, such as Evil Dead, Land of the Dead, Sin City, Grind House, Planet Terror, Kill Bill and a ton more you prolly know.

R&S collage 2

He was a chill guy, but I think he was a little curious as to what we were doing hunched over his display. Why, we were drooling over the original book of the dead, necronomicon, and all the papers inside, that's what!


I touched it! I touched it!

He was desperately trying to leave the table to get food, but people kept talking to him, so I told him, 'Go eat something!' and he was grateful to make his get-away.

So on came the music at the Palladium. I loved Daath, mostly because I could dig the music and their performance was so charismatic and they were great at interacting with the crowd. I got a shirt to support!


Lordi was also entertaining, in their crazy masks and whatnot. The drummer had quite the personality, I'll tell you.


I didn't care for the next couple of bands. You see, despite the fact that I'm a singer in a metal band, I'm very picky about what metal I like. Some of it is plain annoying (i.e. black metal... sorry, Kevin) but every now and again I'll find a metal band that can incorporate other genres as well as intricate melodies, harmonies, groove and unique style.

Mushroomhead came on second to last. The lights and choreography made their show. I wasn't a fan of the music, but one of the vocalists had very impressive skills. He could scream in a way that wasn't shrill or annoying and he sang with professional technique. He seemed egotistical, though, which was the vibe I got when I snapped a picture for Al. It came through in his performance as well.


I didn't stick around for Type-0 Negative. I was irritated, exhausted, hungry and my back hurt.

All in all, it was an entertaining day, and to fill our bellies I made some fun, easy-to-take-on-the-road food. It's quite a challenge being vegan and going to all-day music fests, especially metal ones. The metal community is lacking in vegan influence, so my options were subs and pizza. I think not!

Here is what I made for our day in Worcester:

I wanted something that was easy to eat in the car, since we weren't allowed to bring food inside, so I thought, how about a wrap? I didn't want just any, old boring wrap, so I decided to make all the fixin's from scratch.


First, I made hummus- 'cause what is a wrap without hummus? The chickpeas took FOREVER to cook, despite the fact that I soaked them over night and boiled then simmered them for about 2 hours. Oh, well. In the end, they ended up being the perfect texture.

I threw them in a blender and mixed it with some tahini, lemon juice, garlic, a pinch of salt and cumin. The cumin stood out the most, despite all the garlic I tossed in, as it has a naturally strong flavour. It really gave the hummus a little kick.

Because I am in dire need of a food processor (hey, my birthday's coming up!) and my blender is old and rickety and I kinda broke it trying to mix peanut butter once, there were still some chunks of chickpea. Most of it was smoothe, but I love the chunky surprises! Sometimes good things happen by accident.


Next, I made an excellent tabouli salad. All the usuals went it- bulgar, celery, parsley, green onion, chick peas, cayenne, lemon juice, tomatoes, garlic and spicings. Normally I only put tabouli in a sandwich, but this was so delicious we were eating it straight out of the bowl. I think it was the red wine vinegar that really did the trick.

The recipe was a big one, so I ended up with tons of left-overs. That was just fine by me! Always looking for something quick and easy when I get home from work, as I'm always ravenous, I decided to cook some whole wheat pasta and mix it with the tabouli. On the cooked pasta, I use about a table spoon of red wine vinegar, sprinkled with lemon juice. It's so much healthier than jarred pasta sauce and it's tastier (in my opinion). If you have no time to prepare tabouli, you can always buy it in just about any super market. It adds some life to your pasta!


So, next up, I decided to go a little crazy. We've got hummus, we've got tabouli... why not go for the guacamole too! After gutting some avocados and mixing in lime juice, red onions, tomatoes, salt and jalapeño, I thought, this is really boring. So, I threw a ton of garlic in and that did the trick.

Lastly, for the 'meat', I kept it simple. I fried up some firm tofu in shoyu sauce (my favourite sauce, mind you) and got it so it was nice and crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.


I spread everything onto a whole wheat wrap, added some romaine lettuce and cucumbers and wrapped it up!

Finally, I wanted a little side dish because this was an all-day thing and I knew we'd be hungry.


I threw together some apple coleslaw with raisins. This one was too easy- I shred some white cabbage and chopped up some apples. I didn't have time to prepare my own mayo, so I bought Vegannaise, which is the best out there, in my opinion. The apples really made the whole dish interesting.

To make sure we were getting all our nutrients, we brought some fruit and soy yogurt and we were good to go!

As planned, we ate lunch in the car like the vegan hippies that we are. ;) The wrap was very thick, but very filling. Hummus always fills me up kinda quickly but that's just fine by me.

Next up is the much anticipated Boston Vegetarian Festival!

We thought we were arriving early by arriving at noon, but we couldn't have been more wrong.

There was absolutely no parking in the lot and a red truck got stuck trying to squeeze by some poorly parked cars. (What's a big truck doing at a vegetarian festival?)

There was so much to see, I don't even know where to begin! First off, let me say that there was ice cream there to die for. It's called The Ice Cream Project and it's supposed to be taking off in November sometime (my month!) so hopefully it comes into fruition. Living in Boston makes it easy to get to health food stores, but there are so few vegan/vegan friendly restaurants and cafes! My sister actually talked about opening up a vegan bakery in Boston with me, but I told her I needed to make some money off of my singing career first!


We got the peanut butter flavour and let me tell you- it tasted like smooth and creamy candy! Out of all the non-dairy ice cream I've tried, it absolutely had to be the best. They served them in cute, colorful cups. I washed mine and saved it, in case I feel inspired.

We bought some caramel chocolate popcorn and a delicious homemade dark chocolate almond crunch bar to start. Great lunch, eh? The chocolate was amazing, but the popcorn stuck to my teeth... not so much fun.

We saw Isa and Terry, selling their Veganomicon. The table looked extremely busy- way to go! Then we happened on by The Conscious Kitchen, where Emilie was selling her utterly delicious cupcakes. We bought two and saved them for a dessert at home. The vanilla was great, but I have to say that red velvet was my personal favourite.



I would have said 'hi' to Emilie, but it looked like she was going crazy with all the customers, so I just went on my way. I wasn't trying to be shady and I'm totally not shy, I swear! I just didn't want to distract.

We tried lots of great burger, soup and rice samples, as well as some pasta. Mike's favourite was the pancakes. I forget the company's name, but I do have a postcard. I couldn't believe how buttery, yet light they got their pancakes. Looking at the ingredients, it simply contained baking powder, white flour (unbleached) and wheat flour. It must be that perfect amount of ingredients, seeing as there was absolutely no sugar! Mike snagged two and tried to go back for more, but I had to pull him the other way.

When sampling some mango chips, the instinctual vegan in me turned a bag over to scan the ingredients. The vendor was curious as to what I was looking for. I told her I was doing the ol' vegan shuffle and she assured me that this year was all vegan. No cheese, no milk, no eggs. That's why they couldn't display all of their products for sampling; some of them had whey and milk products in them. I was very happy to hear that the place was 100% vegan! It does get more and more veganized every year, eh?

We tried some delicious jerky and a slim jim looking thing. Mike bought some to take home. We also tried plum Italian ice, which could have used more sugar, if you ask me. Oh, and I FINALLY sampled this famous Açai (ah-sci-ee)juice everyone's been talking about. It tasted good... but kinda... harvesty at the same time. It's definitely something I would drink often if I could afford to just because of the antioxidants, but it's not a favourite flavour-wise.

After a long day of stuffing post cards, brochures and food bars into our goodie bags, it was time to go home!

I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked to- or any, really- because there was barely any room to breathe, the place was so packed! I was starting to get irritated after a while. While I love the fact that vegetarianism and veganism is growing in Boston, I get very claustrophobic when bunched together with hundreds of people. Call me crazy, but I know I'd be the first to get trampled in a fire! Hopefully they move the fest to a slightly larger area. I think it's a smart idea, seeing as the fest gets more and more popular every year.

So, due to my lack of pictures, I decided to post a picture of me excitedly holding up my new 'The Joy of Vegan Baking' cook book that I had been yearning for for quite some time. I'll definitely be sharing experiences with the recipes!


Once we got home, I made us some apple curry soup and biscuits.

I always make my own broth. Being that it's the chilly season, I've been making soup every weekend, so broth making is perfect for left over vegetables. I usually make enough for a large soup, roughly chopping tons of carrots, celery, onions, peppers, potatoes, brocolli and cauliflower and throwing them in ten cups of water. I add a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of peppercorn for the added zing. You can really taste the difference when it's homemade. Any broth left over can be refrigerated for a week or tossed in the freezer for up to a month.


I love throwing fruit in my soups, but apples always seem to disappear into the soup, being like tofu and taking on the flavour of what it was cooked in! In any event, the celery, brocolli and zucchini were a perfect addition. I sauteed some onions with the apple and mixed in some curry powder. Once the onions were translucent, in went the broth and the veggies to simmer.

While that was simmering, I threw together some yummy biscuits. I used unbleached flour and canola oil, mixing in green onions and dried dill. They came out smelling great, but the recipe called for a little too much baking soda. It dried out the biscuit a tad. It still tasted great, but next time I think I'll cut back on the soda and add some water to mix it up better. Hey, I'm still a beginner and I'm gonna make some mistakes!

Well, it was a great dinner, regardless. =)

I'll be posting more soups, salads and smoothies in the next couple of days. Oh, don't you just love alliterations?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Inhumanity Continues

I know I actually have yet to post some good food and tales from my metal gigs, but I will! I'm trying to find a minute to upload those scrumptious pictures, but I promise they will be available soon!

For now, I have something important to share with you that desperately needs your attention.

VKO shared with us, in her blog, a true story about a starving dog that was picked up off the street and used in an art expo. The artist tried to validate this by saying, 'The dog's going to die anyway.' It's so sickening. There are pictures of people hanging out and sipping on drinks as the poor dog is chained up to a wall, starving and very sick.

Please sign this petition, even if you're not vegan or vegetarian. Would you want to see a dog being used and abused for 'art'?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

1 Point For the Veggie Eaters!

I found an interesting article on USA Today that talked about how more and more kids are becoming vegetarian each year. Parents are saying that it is luckily becoming easier to find more and more vegetarian products in your run-of-the-mill grocery store.

You can read the article here.

Of course there is still the side that vehemently argues that vegetarian and vegan diets, especially, are incredibly bad for a child's health.

Well, I became a vegetarian when I was 12. I ate a lot of dairy, but my favourite dish was pasta with tomato sauce. Besides the common cold (which no one can seem to escape from), I really never got sick. Eventually I started taking out more and more animal products, but I was smart about it. With every product I took out, I'd find a vegan one to replace it. I was healthy and I still am to this day.

It frustrates me how narrow-minded these health 'experts' are. Do they realize that whether you're vegan or a frickin'cannibal, you still need supplementation? At least in this country, anyway. Yeah, that's right. Our food has been so tampered with, you'd need more than magick to find any nutrition in your milk or meat. Oh, and did I mention that your milk and meat products are loaded with toxic chemicals?

I'm sorry. I'd rather feed my child plenty of organic fruits, veggies, grain and soy than cancer-causing matter.

I've actually been hearing a lot of crap about vegan parents killing their children with improper nutrition. It's ridiculous to single out one or two vegan families that don't know what they're doing. Guess what? Non-vegan children suffer from malnutrition too, but ya don't hear 'Omnivore Parents Kill Children'. It all boils down to this: Give your children fresh, natural food and make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need- which is found both in plant sources as well as meat, mind you.

Case Closed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Beginning of Something Wonderful

Hello, and welcome to my first ever blog dedicated to cooking, baking, creating and the vegan lifestyle! I'm a bit of a newbie in this cooking world, but I have had lots of practices and made many great meals, so I felt it was time to do some posting!

I will be sharing photos of scrumptious food along with inspiring descriptions, recipes, vegetarian/vegan restaurant reviews , natural product info., animal and environmental discussions and travels all sprinkled with updates on my metal career and music.

The next update shouldn't be too far now. I have been preparing for upcoming blogs, loaded with pictures of foods, teas, drinks & smoothies and soon to come- Halloween fun! See you on the flip-flop side!

Photoshopped by Mikey D