Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegan Apple and Cinnamon Muffins for Dogs - But you don't have to be a Vegan Dog to enjoy them!

The wonderful Molly of It's a Vegan Dogs Life very kindly donated recipe cards to the Vegan Sample Bags and I have wanted to try one for quite some time. Finally earlier today, I got baking!

I had some ingredients ready, but the ingredients I didn't have, I decided to 'make do' with very similar. The main ingedient that was different was 'Corn Flour' instead of 'Corn Meal', I sort of thought they may be different, but decided to use it anyway, as I haven't seen Corn meal recently. I discovered that they are quite different in their results. Corn flour is easily available in UK and used to make sauces, or as a thickening agent, whereas Corn Meal is more popular in USA and used to add to muffins etc. So the end result was maybe not quite as it was supposed to be, but edible nonetheless. Also I couldn't find a non sweetened apple sauce, so I used a tin of apples, and doubled the amount, it seemed to need it, but that may be due to the corn flour! I also used plain white flour, as I didn't have any wholemeal flour in the cupboard, and couldn't wait to try out the recipe. So not entirely different, but adjusted to my cupboard! I should say also, that US recipes use cups as a weight measurement, whereas UK uses grams or ounces, I looked up 1 cup= 230g. I decided to quarter the recipe, as my dogs are small, and are a bit overweight already, also I only have a small 12 cake baking tray. That's why you can see pencil notes on the recipe!

I must say, they were really easy to make, very quick, and simple. Took no time at all. I put them in the oven and left them to bake. Now this is where the corn flour mistake made a difference! they came out very pale, and a bit sticky in the middle, even though they were cooked. I had to try them, of course, mmmm not bad, just another bit, mmmm quite nice, better leave some for the dogs!
Left them to cool down. Took the dogs for a walk, to work up their appetite and make them work for their treat!

When we got back the muffins were cool, the house smelled of apple and cinnamon, lovely! I got my camera, and tried to take some photos of the dogs eating their muffins, but they were too eager to wait, and would have had my hand off! Therefore the photos are not brilliant, but as you can see they thoroughly enjoyed their muffins. look at Maggie's eyes, she wild for the muffin! And I couldn't even get a photo of Kady with hers, I just wasn't quick enough, here's the best photo I managed:
The muffins are a hit!
Thank you very much to VeganDogsLife for the recipe. I've put the rest of the muffins securely away, and will ration them, so that Kady and Maggie can look forward to them over the next few days (assuming I don't eat them first! - only joking -as tasty as they are- I'll leave them for Maggie and Kady!). You too can treat you doggie companion by baking them a fab, tasty vegan treat, courtesy of It'sAVeganDogsLife, and either download a free copy (PIF), or buy a hardcopy. Your dog doesn't have to be vegan to enjoy them, they're a healthy alternative to mass produced junk food. Also Molly's website It's A Vegan Dogs Life is a fabulous read with lots of information, adorable photos, and wonderful insights. I thoroughly reccommend it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For a relaxing evening, or a power cut, any excuse to get out those gorgeous scented candles!

While experiencing a power cut recently, I had to rummage around for a tea light. It was dark, I couldn't remember where I had put the matches. I realised it had been a while since I had bought any candles or tea lights. Eventually power was restored, I sighed with relief, and while my thoughts were on candles, I decided to browse through Vegan Etsy team members' shops for scented tea lights.
What a wonderful assortment of scents awaited me.

The first one to make me close my eyes and imagine the divine aroma was this Lavender and Tea Tree soy candle from KennyCoop.
This shops sells the most wonderful soy candles with essential oils, in the very stylish reusable tins. And anything called 'Lip Sauce' just has to be investigated- yum!

Next I found the funkiest, most 'alternative' soy candle in a tin from MrsTattooedGeek. I adore the smell of Patchouli, and the tin is so pretty and funky. There are lots of imaginative designs on MrsTattooedGeek's products, some cute, some cheeky, some cool. There's soy candles, lip balms, magnets oh and so many other curiosities, you just have to take a look!

These Lemongrass and Ginger Soy Votive Candles smell so fresh and uplifting. Brought to you by the delightful TwigandLeafBotanicals.
Their shop is enchanting, selling such endearing items such as soy candles, herbal teas and gorgeous soaps. They even offer to devise a unique blend just for you, should you so require.

Why wait for a power cut to try out some of these delightful scented candles. treat yourself. After a long hard day, turn down the lights, light up your scented candle/s relax and let your joyful senses take over.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Member of the Week: Roni of Daisy Wares!

This week we hear from Roni, owner and operator of Daisy Wares. In this shop you'll find everything you need to make you feel and look your best. How does she do it? Why does she do it? Let's find out...

When did you open your Etsy shop, and how did you choose its name?
I started selling jewelry on 10/9/2007, then shortly after I added bath and body products. My beagle Daisy died of cancer at a young age of 6. I have dedicated everything in my life to her including naming my shop after her. And Wares means articles of merchandise hence, Daisy Wares.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop, and what inspired you to start creating them?

I went to a craft party and brought my knitting, everyone else was making jewelry. It looked so fun and inspired me to take a few classes on the basics and off I went to creating. I had purchased some bath and body products off of Etsy and figured why am I paying for this when I know I can make it. Again, took many detailed classes on not only how to make bath and body products but also how to add the proper most healthy ingredients.

Do you donate through your shop to any charities or do any volunteer work?
I always give 10% to Animal Place. They rescue farm animals from abuse and neglect. They even help out with spaying/neutering dogs in Mexico where the dog population is getting out of control. Animal Place has just purchased 600 acres of land in Grass Valley, CA so I'm so pleased that they can rescue many more animals in need.

What are some of your favorite things about Etsy?
My favorite things about Etsy are the people who fight for animal rights on there. They use their talents to create wonderful items and at the same time care about animals. There are quite a few animal loving groups I belong to including Vegan Etsy. I enjoy talking to them through forums and such about our common goal. I've also made some close friends from these groups. I also love my customers. I've had wonderful people come in and out of my shop through the years.

Do you sell your items outside of Etsy, either online or in retail shops?

I have my own website, I do many craft shows a year. I have done other Etsy like websites but none of them worked for me as well as Etsy does.

How long have you been vegan, and what made you go vegan?
I went vegetarian in 1984 and turned vegan in 2007. I really wish I had learned about factory farming sooner. A friend started learning about it. I took his information and went to Animal Place for a tour and that day I vowed to never use another animal by-product again. Many people think like I thought and if you didn't have to kill the animal it was okay to drink their milk and eat their eggs and wear their leather, but that is wrong. Death of an animal is always the final outcome and it is a gruesome inhumane way to die. They die for all the wrong reasons and I will fight to the very end to give them the voice they need.

What are your favorite foods?
Since Daiya Cheese came out I've quite spoiled myself with vegan pizza. I love all vegetables but what I think I like most of all is the vegan sweets! I love love love vegan cupcakes. Tofu Teriyaki on top of brown rice, yellow curry, stir fry, spinach, shallots, roasted garlic, artichokes, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, deep fried tofu dipped in peanut sauce, nutritional yeast on top of popcorn, garden burgers, vegan sushi, salads with nuts and fruits, biscuits and gravy and pancakes for breakfast foods, vegan BLT's, really there are not too many vegan food I don’t like. The list can go on but these are about all my staples in life.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

I've been doing some grocery shopping at a place called Rainbow in San Francisco, the vegan choices are amazing and everything is priced pretty good. I love all vegan restaurants. I get excited to receive Veg News in the mail. Once a year we have a Veg Fest in Golden Gate Park and it's a bunch of vendors selling vegan and animal rights stuff. I like the Green festival too, though sadly it's not all vegan (but I'm trying to change that).

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
I like to knit, play Wii and my DS Lite, read, hike, eating out, catch an occasional movie, spend time with my cats and dogs, listen to my hubby play music, love my iPod touch for music, games and reading. And of course visiting Animal Place when I can. Getting involved in animal activism and learning how to be more green to help stop global warming are other interests I have.

Do you have any animal companions?
I have 2 dogs and 7 cats. All have been rescued but one. I bought one of my dogs from a breeder 16 years ago. Again, didn't know about puppy mills and breeder problems. I urge everyone not to buy from breeders but adopt!

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

I want to phase out my fragrance oils and only use essential oils from plants. I'd like to become mostly all natural. I have a wide variety of things already in my shop but you never know when I might add something new like shampoo for instance.
Is there anything else you would like to add or share?
The best thing you can do for your health, this planet and the animals we love is to establish a vegan diet. It's not hard in the least bit and it's something to be very proud of.

What is the vegan community like in your area?
We are so spoiled with veganism here in Berkeley, CA. We have many dining and shopping options for vegans. It's a wonderful city to live in. Up in the hills where we live we have a lot of wildlife. It's so nice to look out the window and see deer laying in the yard.

Do you do any work to promote veganism, animal rights, nutrition education, and/or other such causes?
Something new in my shop are stickers with animal rights messages. I also have a Dazzle shop to sell those images on T-shirts or mugs and other accessories. My license plate on my Prius says "Lovin' Vegan". It has a heart symbol, N, VEGAN not to mention a few GO VEGAN stickers on it. I'm always promoting veganism on my Facebook Fan page, and passing on petitions for people to sign to save animals.

Why do you think it's important to buy handmade?
I think you have a better understanding of what is in your product when buying handmade. Especially with bath and body products. You don't want to buy something that has hidden parabens and unhealthy ingredients in it. And when you buy vegan handmade you can be sure your product was not animal tested or supports some kind company that believes in killing animals. Buying handmade makes the item unique and special. It's nice to support a small business that has good wholesome values.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One, Two, THREE new members!

Please welcome to the three newest members of the Vegan Etsy Team! We have Twig & Leaf Botanicals, Heathrock Designs, and Vegan Products 4 U! Please swing on by these fantastic vegan shops, and don't forget to make them your favorites.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Member(s) of the week: Rachel and Ray of Kenny CoOp!

This week the Vegan Etsy Team is excited to bring you this great interview with Rachel and Ray of Kenny Co Op, fine purveyors of some of the best vegan candles and 'lip sauce' around.

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

Kenny Co Op is Rachel and Ray. Our Name is derived from two things. Kenny was Ray's father's name. We use his name as inspiration, because he was so inspiring to us. We wanted to have a name that could grow with the products that we make. So a Co-Op made sense; we could put different thoughts and ideas under the umbrella of a Co-Op. That's how Kenny Co Op was born. We became members of Etsy in May of 2009 when we opened our shop. It has been incredible so far and we have been so excited and surprised with the great response our shop has received.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?

We sell Vegan Candles made with essential oils, and Vegan Lip Sauce. We were inspired to make candles that contained no animal products or petroleum products. We wanted a natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic candle with the benefits of soy and essential oils. Our lip balms are Rachel's baby. Finding a lip balm that doesn't contain animal products, especially bee's wax, was very difficult. So Rachel slaved away at finding the perfect balance of soft and luscious for her lip balms. Trust me, she is addicted to lip balm. She knows what she is talking about. We are basically making stuff we like to use ourselves and sharing it with others.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

We are big supporters of Humane Society of the United States. We also support Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Be on the look-out for our Sea Shepherd Fundraiser Candles coming out soon. We also have our goods in the Vegan Craft Samples bags - 100% of profits from the bags are given to various animal-related nonprofits.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

Meeting people with like minded ideas and convictions. Plus there is a ton of cool stuff out there. It is really amazing what goes on inside people's minds and how they are able to bring it to fruition.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

We are lucky to sell our wares at several gift stores and spas. Locally our favorite location is Revival. See us soon at the most awesome local craft fair, Crafty Mart.

Have you been featured anywhere?

We've made it to the Front page of Etsy several times, and we've been on several blogs and websites including Hemp Bath Blog, Art Addict, and Your Daily Vegan.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

Big plans! Be on the lookout for Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, and Vegan Gift Baskets.

Do you have any animal companions?

Yes, our house is run by three kitties. Princess Cali is the ring leader of the bunch. Dax is the lover who always wants to cuddle. Bernice plays fetch better than any dog around. Our newest member is Karma, a rescue min-pin. Totally daddy's girl.

How long have you been vegan, and what made you go vegan?

We went vegan more than a year ago now. Once you see where food really comes from and how those animals are treated it changes you. People know that animals are slaughtered for food and clothing, but until you actually see it you don't really understand why it is so wrong. I am glad that there are so many undercover investigation videos out there that really do reach people and make them stop denying the cruelty involved in eating and wearing animals.

What are your favorite foods?

We ordered Pitseel's seitan recipe and wow does that stuff disappear fast around here. We love vegan cupcakes, mushrooms (Rachel's absolute favorite food), Tofutti frozen dessert, broccoli, broccoli and more broccoli.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

We want to let everyone know about our good friends at Your Daily Vegan. Check out their site for awesome vegan product reviews and the latest spin on veganism.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Two great new members this week!

The Vegan Etsy Team is happy to welcome two new members this week: Bergen Bags and Kozie Prery! Stop by the shops and look around - I know they'll be two of your new favorites in a heartbeat.

Red Dala Horse and Friends
Notebook Size Messenger Bag
from Bergen Bags

Unlikely Sportsman Cycling Cap
from Kozie Prery

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pumpkin Torte (with Parfait variation)

This is a recipe of my mom's that took me many tries to veganize, but I finally got it just right! It's a nice, fluffy alternative to pumpkin pie.

2 cups Ritz style crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp. margarine
2 tsp. sugar
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups non-dairy milk
2 boxes Soyatoo whipped topping
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put the crackers, margarine and sugar in a 9 x 13 pan and place in the oven until the margarine is melted. Mix the three ingredients together as much as possible and spread out evenly in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, pudding and spice. Fold in one box of the whipped topping and spread evenly on the cracker crust. Place the other box of whipped topping on the top of the pumpkin mixture and sprinkle the top with cracker crumbs. Keep in the fridge.

Parfait Variation:

Skip making the crust and just mix together the pumpkin mixture. Place it in a parfait dish or something similar to that and top with whipped topping. You can top it with whatever else you'd like, too, such as chopped pecans or walnuts, chocolate slivers, etc..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Better Than Sex Cake

My mom taught in a Catholic elementary school for several years and when the staff would have potlucks, the nuns would bring this cake with them. Who says nuns don't have a sense of humor?

When my mom would make it, I loved it so much that when I went vegan, I had to veganize it.
I don't know if I would go so far as to say it's better than the horizontal bop, but it is a very, very good cake and it's extremely easy to make. Since I posted it on VegWeb about four years ago, it's gotten really good reviews. If you find it there, it'll be a bit different from this one because that's when Hip Whip was still around. Anyone remember that stuff? Well, since that time Hip Whip is no longer, but we have a much better vegan whipped topping now called Soyatoo.

This is the first "better than sex" cake recipe I've ever seen that doesn't include chocolate, but don't let that deter you from trying it out. The ingredients may seem a bit odd, but together they make a very moist, scrumptious treat that'll make your mouth sing!

Cake ingredients:

1 package yellow cake mix
2/3 cup canola oil
4 egg replacers (like Ener-G)
11 oz. can mandarin oranges (do not drain!)

Frosting ingredients (optional but highly recommended, you can use another frosting if you want):

8 oz. whipped topping
1 package instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain!)


Mix cake ingredients together (do not drain the oranges!) with beaters until well mixed. Oranges should be broken up completely. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, mix pineapple with the dry pudding mix (do not drain any of the juice from the pineapple!). Fold in the whipped topping. Spread on cake when cooled.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gingered Rice

If you're not a fan of vegan meats, this recipe would be just fine without the crumbles. Experiment with it!

1 lb. of vegan burger crumbles
2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or more, to taste)
2 cups water
2 cups quick cooking rice
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 red pepper, chopped

Saute the crumbles in the oil. Add the ginger, water & rice. Bring to a boil & turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the peas & pepper. Cover, remove from heat and let the veggies steam for several minutes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Continuing with a review of the Vegan Craft Sample Bags

A fabulous pendant from MVegan5 is the next item out of the wonderful Vegan Craft Sample Bag

Michele is a very special Etsy member, as she founded Etsy for Animals which has done amazing work raising funds for animal charities worldwide. I admire Michele's dedication and drive in helping animals, she is truly an inspiration.
Her shop sells gorgeous, funky, Jewellery, cards, prints and lots more.

10% of everything sold at Mvegan5 is donated to an animal cause, and Michele also donated items to , and a very busy, generous, caring person, and I'm so delighted to have received one of her pendants.

I excitiedly dipped into my Vegan Sample Bag to find this adorable card by Pandabunny:
Just in time for Valentine's day, and such a cute card. Pandabunny sells original artwork, prints, cards and more. A very talented artist, with everso cute designs.

Kittyanydots is the designer of the lovely bag that the Vegan Craft Samples arrives in. Their shop sells cute kawaii cat and animal cards, prints, mirrors and other cute and delightful things. An adorably cute selection of birds, bunnies, cats and other animals, all very beautifully designed by Kittyanydots. A real Etsy treasure of a shop!

I absolutely adore this Pink Piggy Keychain/Zipper Pull from Ladies Blend Design Studio. As well as her own website, Ladies Blend has an etsy shop, selling imaginative Jewellery, many with hand stamped messages of inspiration.

The next item out was this sweet little mini lavender sachet from Brynnalex. I love the smell of lavender. This little lavender sachet is going in my sock drawer, to keep them smelling lovely. The shop Brynnalex at etsy .
was set up as a memorial to Brynn who tragically lost her life in a traffic accident at the age of 12. There is a site dedicated to Brynn, and shares her hopes and dreams, with photos and words. Elaine, Brynn's mother has set up a memorial fund, to grant a bursary to help one student annually, who is excelling in the arts, fashion design or journalism, just as Brynn would have been. A wonderful way to remember a precious child, who was tragically taken away from her family.

The next sample I picked out was this lovely pot of cosmetic mineral eye shadow powder from PURE natural minerals. Wonderful Iced Mocha colour, an easy colour which will go with most things. The list of eye shadow mineral make up is fantastic, with a colour for every occassion. The etsy shop sells eye shadows, concealers, foundations, all in natural minerals.
Then there is this adorable handmade card by Scrappy Rat Designs - Your Animal friendly stationer.
Scrappy Rat Designs Esty shop, is filled with the most gorgeous cards for every occassion. Scrappy Rat Designs will even design collage cards with your own pet and it's personality reflected on them.
Next is a fabulous Peace (CND) pin, in bright pink and black from Teeny Tiny Tantrums. Their Etsy shop has a whole range of pins with funky, fashionable sayings and images. A fabulous accessory with a message.

This wonderful card from Vegan Dogs Life has a sooper-dooper recipe for dogs biscuits on the back. Although I've not got around to trying them yet, they're on my list of things to do, and I'll let you know how well they go down when I make them. I will, of course, try them myself too! Vegan Dogs Life has a fabulous, interesting Blog, with all sorts on interesting and unusual articles. Check it out for a good read.

Here is an adorable Scrabble Tile Pendant from YumYum Pendants. If the idea was to give it to someone you love on Valentine's Day, it didn't work, it was so cute I just had to keep it myself (oops!). Well made, sturdy yet delicate. their shop has so many Scrabble Tile Pendants, at a reasonable cost, it would be hard to chose just one, and you'll be tempted to buy several. Theres one for everyone and every occassion. With cute pictures, quotes, and patterns, who could resist. I want them all!

And finally, my personal favourite, a sample mini zine from Uber Duper Creations. and GingerCardCo. The zine is packed with articles, information, artwork and more. It's trendy, it's interesting, and not just because I have contributed to it! I love reading it, and the artwork is always fabulous. The Zine focuses on a different topic each issue, so all the articles etc are based on a theme.The next one being 'Civil Rights', and I've already submitted my written piece. Can't wait for it to come out, it's gonna be a good one.

So, the end of my Vegan Craft Samples Bag, a wonderful bags of fabulous surprises. And all helping animals. A chance to treat youself and do some good at the same time, guilt free shopping is the best! Next bag out soon, check out the website for further info.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Member of the Week: PANDA WITH COOKIE!!!

Live from the Panda Cave, it's Panda With Cookie!

Today we hear from Lisa (and Mr. Bran) of Panda With Cookie, everyone's favorite monster headquarters. I don't know about you, but my holidays would not have been the same without a few PWC monsters livening up the joint. Panda creations are of course fabulous the year round - and while the monsters are totally rad, there's so much more on offer. As Lisa says, "Mr. Bran and I are bringing you plush monsters, tote bags, paper garlands and more in an effort to brighten your day." And brighten they do! So what else can we learn from Panda Headquarters?

How did you choose the name of your shop, and how long have you been a member of Etsy?
People like pandas and people like cookies and so do I. I joined Etsy about a year and a half ago and hope to be around for a while.

Do you sell your items outside of Etsy, either online or in retail shops?
You can find us at various craft shows in Brooklyn and the NYC area. Just look for the panda banner and the pile of plush. I also occasionally show my art work at galleries in NYC and was featured in the Treemendous show this December at the Islip Art Museum.

What are your favorite foods and/or superpowers?
Able to eat giant cookies in a single bite.

Do you have any animal companions?
Mr. Bran, sidekick and friend.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?
I introduced magnets and monster pony earlier this year, but most likely won't have any more new products until later in the year. I am hoping that some big changes are coming soon.

When did you learn your craft, and how did you become interested in it?
I have always been crafty and really enjoy making things. I've been sewing for years and do a variety of other crafts such as metalsmithing, paper art and ceramics.

Why do you think it's important to buy handmade?
Support your community through handmade, local foods and local small businesses. It is so important to put your dollars back into the community and to shop from those who are a part of it.

Lisa's fine art endeavors can be viewed on her Artists Space profile. You can also follow the adventures of Panda with Cookie via the charming Panda With Cookie blog, or of course on Twitter.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Newest member: multitalented Tara!

Please welcome the Vegan Etsy Team's newest member, Tara! Her shops include Graphic Design by Tara and Jewelry by Tara - stop by, say hello, and of course go ahead and make her a favorite so you can find your way back.

Birds of a Feather Pendant from
Jewelry by Tara

Easter Graphics from
Design by Tara