Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cookbook Giveaway (and Big News)

I've been putting off blogging for longer than usual even though I have a lot of food stuff I'm excited to share, but it just is hard for me to make it official--both to the people I know personally and the bunches of people I don't know who read this blog--that I'm moving away from Pittsburgh in January.  I'm going to the San Francisco Bay area.  For a lot of reasons, but mostly because I like it there and it's something I can do.  Not to be all YOLO or anything, but you really do only live once, right?

What's really weird is that I'm going to have to change the name of this blog.  Again.  This will have been the second time I've changed the blog's name due to relocation.  First, it was Food and Loathing in Phoenixville, now it's Food and Loathing in the Steel City, and it's starting to be clear to me that it might be unwise to keep attaching the blog's name to the place I live.

Here's the thing: I've got the domain name foodandloathing.com, and I like it, although it does kind of sound like it might be about having an eating disorder, not about joyfully preparing healthy vegan food and vegan comfort foods.  Maybe I should abandon loathing in general.  I don't feel like I really spend much time loathing, but I do feel that I've got a natural darkness about me, and having "loathing" in the title, along with the literary "I'm smart, you're smart too!" pretentiousness of playing off the Hunter S. Thompson book title (though I'm not, in fact, a particular fan of that book) was kinda good and clever.

I thought, maybe, Food and Loathing in Las Vegan, but I also kind of feel like that's soooo corny.  Maybe it's not, though?  I really would like people's opinion about this, and I'm going to actually tie it into a cookbook givaway, so let's get to that!

Remember in the entry I wrote about going to Zenith in Pittsburgh, I mentioned that my friends and I were joined by a random vegan named Dave?  Well, that guy is Dave Wheitner, and he has a cookbook called The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook, and he's been throwing vegan waffle parties for years.  When he first mentioned about it, it didn't sound that interesting to me because waffles are kind of a hassle, and they're a fancy breakfast food, and they're gluten-filled and heavy.  But then I found out that many of the recipes are for savory waffles with savory sauces, there are a lot of gluten-free recipes in it, it's OK to make pancakes with a waffle recipe, and, hey, the Amazon reviewers really like it!

Also, Dave is a really intelligent, cool guy.  I strongly encourage you to read something he wrote called Imperfect & Aspiring Vegan, Total Vegetarian, or Conscious Consumer.  It is some of the most thoughtful, reasonable, and non-judgmental writing that I've ever read on the topic of the trade-offs compassionate people who aim for sustainability in their practices must make in order to live in a way that that is consistent with our values.  I strongly encourage everyone to take a little time out to read it.

Anyway, he gave me a copy of The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook and it is way better than I expected.  On the sweet side, recipes like Generously Ginger-Lemon-Chocolate Waffles and Chai Spice Waffles are damn appealing to me.  On the savory side, well, get a load of this: Some Awesome Samosa Waffles? Kale-idoscopic WafflesSpanakowafflita??  Not only are those names clever as hell, but also, DAMN.  I want to eat those things, don't you?  And then there are sauce/syrup/toppings recipes and ice cream recipes!  Like Espresso-Maple-Walnut Syrup and Cilantro-Lime Tahini Sauce and Southwestern Beans & Greens.  Of course, there is a suggested topping for each waffle.

So, I threw a miniature waffle dinner party of my own!  I do have a waffle maker, after all.  I made Umami Mama Waffles along with the Savory Cashew-Mushroom Sauce to top them with.  These waffles have, among other things, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, miso, garlic, and savory spices like oregano and cayenne.  The sauce was great on it, but I do want to say that the recipe is easily doubled and you should at least double it to top the amount of waffles one recipe makes.

And, oh yeah, this is a waffle PARTY, right?  I invited my friends Andrew and Steph over to chow down in an uncivilized manner, as we're not the types to sit at kitchen tables.  Sometimes I wonder why I even HAVE a kitchen table.

Dave gave me an extra copy of the book to give out to one of you!  I'll give you a couple ways you can enter to win:
1.  Like Food and Loathing in the Steel City on facebook.  You'll get an EXTRA entry if you write something on my wall.
2.  Follow me on Twitter @FoodAndLoathing and just retweet the tweet I'm about to write about entering the giveaway.  That is, retweet any tweet I have up that links to this entry.
3.  Add me on Google Friend Connect (it's on the right of the screen.  Umm, yeah, scroll down.  Keep scrolling).
4.  Leave a comment here about anything!  BUT, if you leave a comment with a suggestion or something else related to what you think I should call this blog after I've relocated, you get an EXTRA entry!

You will get an entry for each of the things you do!  So do a bunch?  Cool.  There are lots of ways to put your name in the proverbial hat (OK, it will actually be one of those random internet number generating things).

I will pick a winner on Sunday the 23rd of December, 2012.  Why then?  I don't know.  So I don't have to worry about it during my birthday weekend, I guess?  And so you'll know in time for Christmas, and even if you don't celebrate Christmas you will have something to celebrate?  So I can send it on Christmas eve and you will get it by New Years morning and you can celebrate the new year with waffles?  Anyway, I appreciate you entering.  It's a really good cookbook, I think whoever gets it will like it, unless the person who gets it only likes things that suck for some reason.


  1. "Food and Loathing in Las Vegan" is great and corny and pun-ey (in the sense that it is a good pun, not puny as in small, is that a word?) I also think you should hold tight to the Food and Loathing because it is a great and apt title. Also - for purely selfish reasons I wish it (and you) could stay Steel City- but I should probably just shut my omnivore mouth :-) so yeah... Food and Loathing in Las Vegan.

  2. Yay for big moves in January! And hey, we'll both be headed somewhere warmer! :) I think mine wins for warm though, ha ha. :) And waffle party ftw! I'm really terrible at the name thing, so I don't think I could suggest anything beyond what you talked about. I think food and loathing in las vegan works if you're vegas-bound, but maybe not so much living in the bay area? I wouldn't put too much weight on that opinion though, I think any of the variations are fine.

  3. Hmmm. Since you have a history of adding your city name to the blog name, people who are too literal (as opposed to literary) may think you live in Las Vegas. What if you just called it Food and Loathing, which kind of makes sense since that's the url, anyway. It's shorter, and catchy. Congrats on the upcoming move! San Francisco is a great place to live — at least according to one of my family members who lives there. Better weather than Pittsburgh, too.

    1. Andrea, conrats, your name got randomly picked! I'm emailing you also. :-)

  4. Hi Melissa,
    First of all congrats!!! I'm really excited for you. I think there will be many opportunities for you in SF : ) It's also pretty brave to make such a big move. In my humble opinion, you should DEFINITELY hold on to "Food and Loathing" title for your blog. It reflects your personality and the name also helps your blog stand out a bit. 'Las Vegan' is cute BUT people will assume you either love that book or live in Las Vegas. Or both, lol. Honestly, I'd call it something that will travel with you. Maybe something simple such as "Food and Loathing in A Vegan Kitchen" or the vegan kitchen. Or 'my' vegan kitchen? Or not? Anyway, I'm still reading and enjoying and sometimes I leave comments and sometimes they disappear. Guess it's my computer and not the hurricane, lol. Or your blog server. "Food and Loathing in the Vegan Vortex" LOL, don't worry, just kidding. Congrats again! --Tara

  5. Best of luck on the move to Cali!

  6. Why don't you call your blog "Where The Buffalo Roam ... And Are Not Eaten". Nah, that sucks - how about "The Unbearable Lightness of Being Vegan". Nah, that sucks too, how about "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Don't Eat Fish". No, wait, I got it! "Lord of the Onion Rings"! "The Chronicles of Narn-I-ain't-eating meat"! Animal-less Farm"! "Soy and Pain"! (wait, that's a song not a book)

  7. I like the "Fear and Loathing" thing. I like any literary reference. good luck with your move! And that cookbook looks awesome.


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