Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why I Love Grease 2: Stephanie Zinone's Style

"The Pink Ladies pledge to act cool, to look cool and to be cool til death do us part. Think Pink!"
Grease 2 is an underrated cinematic gem from 1982. I have loved this movie since sixth grade and will most likely be humming "Cool Rider" on my death bed. What Grease 2 lacks in continuity from the original, it makes up in ridiculous songs, corny jokes and great clothes. This movie's style is the early 1980's take on 1960's fashion and that is a recipe for awesome. My favorite character look in the movie is that of Stephanie Zinone, the leader of Rydell High's Pink Ladies. Let's take a moment to appreciate her sartorial choices.

Since my initial viewing of this movie, my wardrobe has revolved around: the colors pink and black, long necklaces (she wears a long one with a motorcycle charm in almost every scene), big, blonde hair and you better believe I was all over it when skinny jeans finally came into style. I also love the look of her grey sweatshirt with the rolled up sleeves with the leis at the luau, but I have yet to find a situation where that is an appropriate outfit. Soon, hopefully. Skinny leg jeans, a baggy top and a bad-in-a-good-way attitude is all Stephanie Zinone needs to make her presence known.

Her girlier looks (after meeting her Cool Rider) are also great: classic 60s dresses and skirts, touched off by fantastic and simple accessorizing. I especially love her purple ensemble. The one where she's holding a sandwich. And would you check out her formal outfits? Sequins, silver lame, flowers in her hair and that awesome Grecian dress in the dream sequence. I will forever be attracted to silver or Grecian dresses, preferably both, for the rest of my life. For these epic fashion decisions, I can forgive her for that half ponytail on top of her head thing. I'm kind, I know. In sum...

The other Pink Ladies are totes jealous of Stephanie's style. I am off to practice climbing down a ladder so that I may better execute my own rendition of Cool Rider. Think Pink!

Monday, May 25, 2009

What was on my Clean Plate this week.

I know I've mentioned Clean Plate before, but since I love the food so much, I've decided to talk about what I eat there every week. I'm sorry that I have to make everyone who doesn't live in Nebraska jealous, but that just means you should come try it yourself.

Without further ado...

I will start this by telling you a secret about myself: I hate cumin. Obviously, by a "secret", I meant something that everyone knows about me. I really do hate cumin though. I have thrown up from smelling it. This is a downer since so many dishes contain cumin. Because of this, I have long avoided curries and such because a touch too much cumin will ruin an entire dish for me. That being said, I got a little nervous when I heard that this week's Clean Plate was going to be Indian Food. However, I knew that despite my cumin hatred, Elle would still create something amazing.

My premonition was right: cauliflower samosas with mint chutney, one of two curries I've ever liked with awesome lemon rice, a cucumber salad, a mango salad, rose lassi and an avocado lime tart. There were also the traditional waffles. Everything was wonderful as always, and it was great to have food that was spicy, but not just to be hot. This meal definitely had a kick to it, but it was all in the flavor. The heat never made my mouth hurt or my nose run, it just made me appreciate the food even more. I was also excited about how awesome the curry was. I tend to turn my nose up at curries, but this one, especially with the addition of kale, made me want to go back for more. Unfortunately, the table was so busy with people getting food, that it seemed rude to barge in for seconds while people were getting firsts. However, I was glad to see so many people out enjoying Elle's work. Once again, it was an amazing week for Clean Plate brunch.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nebraska Vegans May be Spoiled: Part Two

Some people say that vegetables are a staple of their diets, others say carbs. I say pizza. I have a deep, passionate love for that delectable crust with savory or sweet toppings. People often question how I eat pizza as a vegan, but pizza has only become a better and more creative food the longer I am vegan. From creating my own cheese to trying new and different toppings (next: sauerkraut), vegan pizza is a neverending vat of possibilities and delicious.

However, sometimes a girl doesn't want to go to the trouble of making her own. Sometimes you just want that goodness delivered to you. This is where Night Flight comes in. Night Flight (402-342-4500) makes fantastic pizza from 4pm to 4am, and will deliver out to 120th. As the business is vegan owned and operated, pretty much anything on the non-vegan portion of their menu can be made vegan; they even have Tofutti cream cheese for a topping! Additionally, all vegan items are prepared in their own area and kept in their own freezer. Yes, no cross contamination worries! Yay!

Night Flight also has amazing vegan cookies available. From banana chocolate chip to ginger to double chocolate (the one pictured) to (my favorite) frosted sugar cookie, these are the best cookies in town. I have been known to wait in the dining area for the sugar cookies to be placed in the oven, baked, cooled and frosted. Yes, they are that good. Definitely a wonderful end to a beautiful meal of pizza.

I have loved Night Flight from the first time I enjoyed their pizza. Amazingly, it just got better. One exciting addition is their integration of Teese cheese onto their pizza. For those of you who have (sadly) never had Teese, it is a melty vegan cheese that tastes very, very, very good. Night Flight is taking advantage of this by using Teese not only on their pizza, but also on their new vegan cheese sticks! One of the things I had been missing as a vegan was good cheese sticks, but no more, thanks to Night Flight. I look forward to many late night orders of these bad boys.

Also, there is a whole slew of vegan options on the menu, from an AMAZING tempeh, lettuce and tomato to Boca Burgers, there is a chance that if you want it, Night Flight just may have it. The TLTs they make are intensely delicious and if it was a buffet, I would eat about seven. The vegan crabcakes they have are the fish replacer that I have been searching for since I was in eighth grade. Perfectly reminiscent of good fish, without that nasty garbage smell or having to kill anything. With any luck, I will someday have pictures of these items for you. Hopefully these items will show up on the menu soon, but go ahead and order and savor them. I know I do.

PS- For those of you with gluten issues, Night Flight is also working on developing a vegan, gluten free crust that will also have a separate mixer. Yay!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nebraska Vegans May be Spoiled: Part One

Nebraska. The word conjures up a vegan wasteland, often prompting questions along the lines of "can you even eat there?" However, Nebraskan vegans have a lot going on, from our $6 Vegetarian Platter at Omaha Ethiopian Restaurant (25th and Leavenworth) to Taj Mahal's two page vegan menu (located in Lincoln) to the aforementioned TLTs from McFoster's, we have quite a bit to choose from.

In fact, I thought it was pretty darn good.

But it got better. Much better. Mind-blowingly better.

I found out about Clean Plate brunch. Clean Plate is the brainchild of Elle Lien, who creates some of the best food I have ever eaten. Each Sunday, she is kind enough to invite people into her home for a $5 all you can eat, mostly raw, vegan brunch. I wasn't sure what to expect the first time I went there, but after inhaling about a billion pieces of onion bread with asparagus pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, I knew my culinary life in Omaha would never be the same.

Each week, Elle outdoes herself with amazing creations that have me thinking about brunch all week long. Here are some photos from this week's raw crepe feast:

Highlights included raw sweet crepes, to be topped with peanut butter sauce or chocolate sauce, raw savory crepes to be topped with lemon hollandaise or a concoction of basil, tomatoes and mushrooms, asparagus pesto scrambled tofu (best I've ever had), ONION BREAD (totally obsessed with this), delicious croquettes made with sunflower seeds, waffles, leeks, a walnut and (I'm guessing) nectarine salad and fresh berries. To drink, there was a strawberry-type smoothie (delish), coffee and water. All for $5. All I could eat. Seriously. This is what my dreams are made of.

In short, I already knew that Nebraska was secretly awesome. Elle really hits this point home with her amazing brunches where she consistently outdoes herself by creating absolutely incredible food. I am most definitely looking forward to when she opens her Clean Plate restaurant in August during the Empty Room series. That's right, a raw, vegan restaurant in Nebraska. Nebraska Vegans may be spoiled.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food I Love: McFoster's TLT and Kind Salad

Omaha's long standing McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe is a Midwestern vegetarian landmark of sorts. While I do have my qualms with it (um, serving meat at a vegetarian restaurant? not vegetarian!), I cannot deny the tastiness of the vegan food I can obtain there. From their Celestial Strawberries to their superb guacamole, I always know I will receive great food and a warm, relaxing atmosphere when I eat there. I have several favorites there, including the date shake (so good) and the tofu scramble and hash browns, but nothing can beat the tempeh, lettuce and tomato sandwich with a kind salad covered in their garlic cucumber ranch. Check this out:

Do you see these beautiful creations? The edible flowers? The uber tasty tempeh bacon? The deliciously oozy Veganaise? I don't know how I ever order anything else.

Anyways, while Mcfoster's does have some meat on the menu, I still think it's worthwhile to go and order the vegan foods you love. Showing an establishment that the demand is for quality vegan food, not for the meat, is always a worthwhile endeavor. And with food like this, it is definitely an enjoyable job. My love for this salad/sammie combo is undying. Love you sandwich!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunshine Day

Warning: This post is pure ego.

Today was one of the first truly beautiful days this year, and I spent it rolling around in the grass and playing on swing sets. And applying for jobs, but that isn't as fun as what I mentioned before.

Photo taken by Alaina Hickman, NVS President

Also, if you know of any job openings, I'm all ears.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How majestic is Chewbacca?

Seriously. Chewbacca is majestic. Pictures of Gizmo to come (this should be obvi if you know me at all).

Kansas City Hijinks

This past weekend, to celebrate both Mother's Day and my graduation from college, my mom and I took a weekend trip to Kansas City. We shopped and ate, and I shall share what morsels I ingested in the next few paragraphs.

Our first stop was Eden Alley, which is conveniently located next to the Country Club Plaza. My mom and I ordered the dip duet with hummus and baba ghanouj. Since I was carb-starved and slightly hungover when the plate arrived I neglected to photograph it. I did, however, manage to get a picture of the second portion of my comfort carb meal: biscuits and gravy.

The gravy was mushroom based and honestly would have done fine by itself, while I am pretty sure the biscuits were made with coconut milk. It was just what I needed to steel myself for a day of consumer driven activities. We ordered dessert to go, a couple slices of Mexican Mandarin cake, but the to-go box was not kind to their appearance. Sorry.

Dinner that night was comprised of Waldo Pizza. I love Waldo because they are SUPER vegan friendly, have tons of topping options and my dad and I can eat there together and both be happy about it (that doesn't happen a lot). I usually get the salad bar (vegans, request the raspberry vinaigrette!) because it is amazing with spinach, blueberries and many other goods, but I skipped straight to the pizza. Traditional crust with vegan mozzarella (make sure to say vegan), kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pineapple. No other words needed.

The next morning, my mom and I headed over to the City Market. I was most excited about the bubble tea, over at Lollicup. I opted for strawberry (pictured) while my mom went for green apple.

Once we were done wandering around, we headed over to Blue Nile Cafe for the best Ethiopian food I have ever had. It was one of those meals where I said 'Mmmmmmm' after every bite. Just amazing. We also had a really fantastic waitress- the meal was the culinary highlight of the trip. BTW, everything in the vegetarian section of the menu is vegan, and their spices are available for purchase in small quantities. Seriously, I got the veggie platter and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my short life. Go there, get it, eat it, love it. I have included pictures of both sides of the plate to make you want it even more.

The final meal of the trip was impromptu and took place at Stix, which is located at Legends mall. I got the vegetarian sushi. Not much else to say about it, but at least it looked pretty and tasted good. Veggie sushi + Diet Coke = my power combo.

Overall, it was a great trip. I may do an entry on my beautiful purchases (which included a Grease 2 DVD), but we'll see how ambitious I am.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Food I Love: Wildwood Probiotic Soymilk

Here's my dirty secret: I really love smoothies in the morning, but I am too lazy and sleepy to clean a blender right after I wake up. I know, I'm totally lame. This is also the reason I drink a Diet Coke in the morning, instead of coffee. I'm lazy. However, Wildwood has come to my rescue by providing me with their delicious Probiotic Soy Milk. Not 100% smoothie-esque, but close enough for me right after I roll out of bed. If I could get a caffeinated version, life would be perfect.

I first discovered this product at the 2009 Gathering, courtesy of The Post Punk Kitchen. I had it and I was in love. I needed more. I loved the creamy texture, tasty, tasty flavor and the fact that I no longer had to waste time chewing. Therefore, I was delighted to find these gems for sale at my nearby Hy-Vee. The flavors I purchased were blueberry, pomegranate and mango passion fruit. There's also a vanilla flavor available, but since I'm that kind of girl, I opted out. The drink itself is akin to drinking yogurt, which could be gross, but Wildwood pulled it off and created a product that is creamy and filling. The flavors are strong enough to differentiate themselves and be recognizable, but they aren't overwhelming. I am in love with this product and will most likely be adding this product to my regular breakfast rotation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer Reading List

Inspired by my friend over at See Mary Teach, I have decided to compile my personal reading goals for the summer. I'm sharing this mainly so that I have some accountability in fulfilling this reading list, as the entire world could now potentially know about it.


If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell
How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
Shakespeare and Co by Stanley Wells
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson, Ernie Colon


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Not Quite What I Was Planning by Authors Famous and Obscure
The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I'd like to see more graphic novels and zines on that list. Any suggestions?