christian. vegan. lover of life.

Visit to Farm Sanctuary September 21, 2008

Filed under: vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 1:18 am

Finally! It’s certainly taken long enough to come, but my vegan friend, Kristine, and I managed to find ourselves at Farm Sanctuary this morning to tour the farm. We met lots of sweet animals, made a new friend (Tyler), and had some excellent vegan food! Now for the photos:

Kristine with Snickerdoodle (or just Snickers, I can’t remember). Huge huge dairy cow, but so soft and sweet. This pasture is where the tour started…they are the special needs cows.
Us with Maya, another special needs dairy cow.

This poor turkey was de-beaked and de-toed, which was incredibly painful and now makes eating and walking a challenge.

I love the emotion and soul in this pig’s eyes. Such beautiful animals. They love their bellies to be rubbed just like dogs and are very sweet.

These pics are displays in the People Barn of the farm. The first picture shows a gestation cage, where pigs spend most of their lives, pregnant. They will get too large for the cage and won’t be able to lay down. Around that time, they will likely be slaughtered. The pigs we interacted with were extremely large, probably 2 or 3 times as large as the one in this cage. Farm animals are genetically modified to grow very large in a short amount of time (so the slaughter turn around time can be as quick as possible), but because these animals were rescued and not killed, they are unnaturally gigantic. The second picture shows a veal crate, which is where the calf of a dairy cow spends its entire life, chained at the neck. So as you drink cow’s milk, you are putting more and more baby cows into these painfully confining conditions. And lastly, a chicken cage. Most cages are more crowded than is shown here and the chickens cannot spread their wings. I did know about all these devices before going to the Farm, but it was jarring to see it in person.We are pictured here with Tyler, a 19-year-old college student who was visiting the Farm alone from New Jersey. He stayed there for the weekend and has been vegan for 5 years. We met him on our Farm tour and asked if he’d like to join us for lunch and ice cream. We went to a restaurant/pub and Kristine and I both had the best vegan “rib” sandwiches…absolutely delicious. Then we walked to the other end of town (4 blocks?) to get vegan soft serve ice cream. The owner had just stopped serving it the weekend before with the change in weather, but still had hard ice cream, so we had that. Mine was Cappuccino and Kristine and Tyler had Chocolate Oreo, all homemade and yummy. It was truly a fantastic vegan day!


cast your vote September 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 11:35 pm

Stop the Church


Recipe of the Week: Vegan Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes September 13, 2008

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 1:54 pm

I’m so excited about the recipe this week! For as long as I can remember, my mom has been the master at making chocolate cream cheese cupcakes. Our whole extended family looks forward to receiving them as partial gifts every Christmas and they are present at nearly every other gathering. Over the summer, I was in PA for a gathering and I realized for the first time that I could not eat this yummy dessert. So I determined to change it to fit my vegan lifestyle. This is my first attempt at modification, so the recipe might change in the future…the only substitute I had to make (aside from vegan cream cheese) was for the egg. There are a few different ways to do this, but I’m not sure which would be best. This time I used Ener-G egg replacer. The end result was a semi-creamy cream cheese center. About half of the filling I put in seemed to evaporate or disappear into the cake which left an indentation in the middle…maybe because the cream cheese is tofu based. I have no idea. Next time I would probably sub natural apple sauce for the oil, and w/w flour for regular flour, but I wanted to see how close to the original I could get the taste to be this time around. I have to say, they are pretty close. I can clearly see the difference, but the taste isn’t all that different, especially since the batter was vegan to begin with and needed no modification.

Cake ingredients:
3 c flour
2 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 c water
2/3 c cooking oil
2 T vinegar
Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl together and beat until mixed. Set aside.
Cream Cheese filling:
8 oz vegan cream cheese (Tofutti)
Ener-G egg replacer equal to 1 egg
1/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
Beat until creamy. Stir in 6 oz of semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips. Place in the fridge to firm up if it seems a little soupy.
Line cupcake tins with baking cups and fill 1/2 way with the chocolate mixture. I find it easiest to pour the batter into a pyrex glass liquid measure and then use that to pour it into the cupcake papers. Add about a teaspoon of cream cheese filling to the center of each cupcake. If the filling seems to be getting soupy, put it back in the fridge between batches. You probably won’t have quite enough filling for all the cupcakes, so I would suggest either making more or adding semi-sweet chocolate chips to the remaining chocolate batter before pouring into the cupcake papers.
Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the chocolate cake part comes out clean–the cream cheese center will likely not come out clean). Let cool for a minute or two before moving baked cupcakes to cooling racks. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container. ***These cupcakes are much better tasting after they’ve been in a container overnight and can become more moist than just after being baked when the tops are a bit hard. Do not skip this step!***
This supposedly makes 3 doz. cupcakes but I’m more likely to believe it makes almost 3. I’m not sure since I cut it in half because it was just a trial run.
Yum Yum Yum!

Buffalo Bills Review September 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 2:41 am

I found the BBR podcast last night when I was searching Itunes for new stuff for work.  I listened today, only to be amazed that some of the music used to segue into different discussion sections was Three Season Ant!  (Fellow Bethany alumni will know this band).  I was so surprised to hear this on a football podcast, first because it’s Christian music and second, they are pretty obscure.  So I wrote the host an email and he replied that Chris Stephens’ brother works for Crosswinds Wes Church in Canandaigua and that’s how he met Chris.  The Christian world really is so small, in such a great way.  🙂  Just wanted to share the bright spot of my day with you guys.  The podcast is really good too, btw, for you fellow Bills fans.  🙂

PS: Wedding planning is going well.  I was fitted for my dress last weekend for Diana’s wedding as well as another wedding I am in this coming April.  Thankfully, my next visit to PA is not till the 27th.  The weekend of the 20th, my vegan friend and I are going to Farm Sanctuary.  I can’t wait!

Wedding! September 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 1:34 am

My best friend, Diana, just got engaged, the wedding is in November and I’m the MOH, so needless to say, my life just got a whole lot busier and I will be traveling a lot between our home town and Rochester. I’m helping her plan and organize as much as possible, so I highly doubt I will have much time at all to post here. I’m sorry for those of you who were hoping for more vegan posts before Thanksgiving…all I can say is this for now: Consuming animal products is terrible for the animals, your health, the environment and contributes to the problem of world hunger. If you’re really interested in this topic, please, as I’ve said before, do the research. There is a wealth of information online that can educate you and it’s really not hard at all to find. I still plan to cover the environmental and health topics when I get a chance.

I’ll be updating from time to time when I’ve got a spare moment. Thanks so much for reading!