CUPCAKES

Alright, friends. Living in California and being vegan is one thing. There are vegan shops, cafes, restaurants, and Whole Foods on every other block. In Chicago, on the other hand, vegan food is a bit more hard to come by. Yes, I can get my fresh fruit, veg, and yes my ever so needed protein at Target, Trader Joe’s, and our sole Whole Foods. However, when it comes to sweets, and meals at restaurants that are vegan that’s another story.

For my birthday, I mentioned I was going to make a vegan cake. Yet, on the day of my birthday our gas went out and I was unable to use my stove. Wanting some sort of cake or cupcake because what kind of birthday is it without cake? My mom and I ventured to Whole Foods to see if we could find some vegan cake. They only had gluten-free cakes 😦 BUT they had vegan cupcakes. Naturally, I bought 3 to have one then and then save some for later. It was not only one of the best vegan desserts I have ever eaten but any dessert I have ever eaten. Also, it turns out that the cupcakes are made right here in Chicago.

This morning, my mom and I made the drive there, got there right as they opened and got 6 cupcakes. 3 vegan and gluten-free and 3 regulars (I’m the only vegan in the house).

 

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The outside of Swirlz. Very quaint but super adorable

 

Swirlz (the name of the cupcake place) has flavors of the day. They mainly are nonvegan and filled with gluten but they also make gluten-free ones, and vegan and gluten-free ones. Today’s selection in the vegan and gluten-free department were cookie dough and vanilla. I’m typically not too keen on cookie dough or vanilla. I’m more of a chocolate kind of gal. However, upon returning home, and opening the super cute box the cupcakes were housed in, I have fallen in love with cookie dough cupcakes and the Swirlz cupcake shop in general. The cupcake was sort of like a chocolate chip cupcake with a dollop of cookie dough in it and then topped with vanilla frosting and a cookie dough piece.

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The box
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The cupcakes: Mine are the bottom 3

The shop was super adorable and I am definitely feeling a second trip on a different day for another cupcake type. 😉

PS, I highly recommend this shop to any of my followers who are ever in my neck of the woods. Vegan or not, their cupcakes are to die for.

They are located at:  705 w. Belden, Chicago, IL 60614

Their website can be found here

If any of you have been there or are planning on making a trip, let me know.

Alicia

 

 

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My all time Favorite Coffee Shops in San Diego

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Hi guys, so in case this hasn’t been prevalent, I Love coffee and whenever I can, I am trying new coffee shops and different things at these shops. So, I’m going to make a list of my top 5 favorite coffee shop in San Diego, and my favorite things from there. If anyone has any coffee shops that I should try in the San Diego, Phoenix, or Chicagoland areas please let me know!!

  1. Coffee and Tea Collective
  • Favorite thing:  Soy Latte
Soy Latte
Soy Latte
  1.   Lestat’s Coffee House
  • Favorite thing: Vegan Cupcakes

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  1.   Heartwork Coffee Bar
  • Favorite thing: Soy Iced Mocha

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  1.   Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
  • Favorite thing: Iced Tea/ donuts (THEY ARE VEGAN!!!!!!)

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  1.   Cafe Italia
  • Favorite thing: Soy Mocha
I didn't take a picture of my coffee but this was about a block away from it
I didn’t take a picture of my coffee but this was about a block away from it

 

There you all have it… My favorites. Do you guys agree or have suggestions?

Let me know

Talk to you all soon

Alicia 🙂

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P.S. While searching for a featured image I found a bunch of hilarious coffee gifs and thought I would share

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Vegan Alternatives

Hi guys. I know quite a few people who are very hesitant about going vegan because they loveeeee sweets. It was definitely a big thing for me. However, there are so  many alternatives for milk, eggs, and butter and just completely different recipes, So I’ll share a few

Milk alternatives

  1. Coconut milk
  2. Rice Milk
  3. Almond Milk**
  4. Soy Milk**
  5. Flax milk
  6. Oat Milk
  7. Macadamia Nut Milk
  8. Cashew Milk
  9. Hemp Milk
  10. Hazelnut Milk

**Most commonly used/found alternatives (Silk is my favorite brand)

Egg Alternatives

  1. Ener-G Egg Replacer(Never used but friends I know love it)
  2. Flax seed (Grind up- does gives a nutty flavor so best in baked goods)
  3. Banana
  4. Tofu

Butter Alternatives

  1. Coconut Oil (I love it. I use it for so much more than butter replacement.. it is basically a gift from the gods)
  2. Avocado- mashed
  3. Flax Seed Oil
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

So, these are some top milk,egg, and butter substitutes. What do I do with all of these???? Make some yummy vegan recipes of course…

Vegan Gluten Free Brownies

Vegan Gluten Free Brownies and Mix

Vegan Almond Butter Blondies

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies

Vegan Salted Caramels

Vegan Cookie Dough (for 1; when it’s one of those days)

If you guys have other vegan/ gluten free recipes you love, let me know.

Talk to you all soon

Alicia

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Why I’m Going Vegan

A goal of mine is to have a career or at least have a hobby of something involving animals. I’ve always loved animals my home growing up was a basically a wildlife rehab center. There have been squirrels (which led to fleas), fish, turtles, hamsters, hermit crabs, my dog, stray dogs, birds, birds from outside, and so many more. I would never eat these animals. So, why is acceptable for me to eat a pig or a chicken or horse hooves? These animals are all precious to our Earth so why am I allowed to pick and choose what animals I eat and what animals I don’t. In all honesty, I can’t. Which is why I’m trying to become a vegan. I’m already lactose intolerant so that part isn’t that hard. And the idea that eggs are chicken periods is reason enough to never look at eggs the same way again. Thanks roommate for turning me, but it is for the best.

Now, as I begin to transition my life to veganism, I need to prepare myself for all of the criticism I will be getting from my friends and family. After I admitted that I was lactose intolerant and become gluten-free, I got and still get a lot of criticism. My uncle told me “you’re just being another California pussy” and my mom had never been too on board with my dietary decisions. For 4 weeks my freshman year I had to be a vegetarian and then my friend and I tried becoming vegans for a week and she gave me crap for it for about a month leading up to it and every day while I was doing the vegan/vegetarianism.

But, I have decided that it is my life, it is my decision. So, I just need to tell people that. I’m making this decision for not only the health of the animals’ health, but mine as well. All I know is that vegan food is better than processed fast food. Not only better for you, but better tasting. So, I’m very excited for this next step in my life and I can’t wait to see how different I look and feel in 6 months and just for the rest of my life.

I have so many more ideas for posts so hopefully I can keep them coming

Talk to you all soon

Alicia

bye-bye-bye-o