Unboxing: VioLife Cheese

I’ve been saving this bit of happy news for so long, I thought I was going to explode! But now that Cheesefare Week is upon us (and therefore, PIZZA WEEK!!!! Starting tomorrow, March 7), I can finally share. A few weeks ago I posted some tracking information on my facebook page and asked people to guess what was being delivered. You can bet I was checking the tracking multiple times a day, I was so excited…because…I was getting samples of VioLife vegan cheese, all the way from Greece! I made another silly little unboxing video so you can experience my joy.

This time I just completely drowned out my voice with the music, I really don’t add anything :p

VioLife Vegan Cheese
Originally I was going to save all this glorious cheese for Cheesefare week, but then I realized…this is a LOT of cheese! I don’t think I can eat it all by myself in one week. So I’ve already sampled some and have a few things to share. But I’ll also be trying it out on pizza all week long.

I hope you are all prepared for Pizza Week, and I hope some of you will join me in enjoying at least one piece of pizza every day until (Orthodox) Lent begins. I’m going to get my dough rising for pizza crust right now. See you tomorrow, for the first day of Pizza Week!

Fatally Yours Valentine’s Day Chocolates by Vegan Treats

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
You guys….YOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS, this year I finally broke down and bought myself a box of Fatally Yours Valentine’s Day chocolates from Vegan Treats. I’ve been wanting these for years and years. Every year I tell myself they’re too expensive. Then after a while I think, “Hey, you only live once!” But by then they’re sold out :( But not this year. This year I didn’t even wait to see them advertised on facebook. I looked them up sometime in January and ordered them immediately without thinking twice.

I’ve been kind of obsessed with idea of doing unboxing videos for the blog, so here’s my first! I’ve already made a few others.
I did make a mistake in the video – the caramel oozed out of the big skull and onto the little heart, it’s not coming from the little heart. I’m sure you really care.

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
It is so lovely a thing, I don’t even regret the hefty price tag. The chocolates are handmade, gorgeous, and delicious! And vegan!!!! And made in limited quantities, so what can you expect? Well, you can expect high quality and fine details, and everything a girl could ever want in a super morbid box of Valentine’s Day chocolates.
The box itself is something I want to keep forever and forever, plus there’s a Vegan Treats postcard, a decal, and two buttons.

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
I’ve always been partial to skulls, maybe that’s why I like being an Orthodox girl so much :) I don’t know what is wrong with me, but one year when a friend was really hating Valentine’s Day, I made him a card to commemorate the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre instead. It was an awful card, but it was also pretty cool…and Valentine’s Day has never been the same for me. And then I found this!!! Included are:

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
Two White Chocolate Mummies in a Chocolate Peanut Butter Sarcophagus, Two White Chocolate Humerus Bones

Fatally Yours Chocolate Skulls by Vegan Treats
One Hazelnut Praline Crunch in an Abysmally Dark Chocolate Skull (the little guy), One Caramel Cookie Stix Skull (the big guy) – that’s basically a vegan Twix bar in the shape of a skull!!!! And one Black Coffee Blues Caramel Cup Rose Heart

Fatally Yours Chocolate Hearts by Vegan Treats
Two Anatomically Correct Hearts filled with Marshmallow Chunk Speculoos Filling

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
Two Magic in the Stars Constellation Chocolate Mousse Souffl├ęs, Two Passionless Fruit and Madagascar Vanilla Bean filled Swiss Chocolates with White Chocolate X

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
Two Paint Spatter Fluted Chocolates with “Black as Your Heart” Raspberry Filling, and One Moon & Stars Blood Red Velvet

Fatally Yours Chocolate Skeletal Hands by Vegan Treats
Two White Chocolate Skeletal Hands

Fatally Yours Chocolate Planchette by Vegan Treats
One Giant Chocolate Planchette – it’s not mentioned in the booklet, but when I unwrapped it I could smell peanut butter, and it does appear to be filled. Oh, what booklet, you ask?

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
This very pretty little booklet describing each of the chocolates. But the best way to find out how what the chocolates taste like…

Fatally Yours Chocolates by Vegan Treats
Is to take a bite!

I ate a few pieces this morning for breakfast, everything has been wonderful so far. I’m saving the Twix skull for last, I just know it will be amazing.

Have you tried the Fatally Yours collection? What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat?

Vegan at Trader Joe’s

Vegan at Trader Joe's
So the other day I stopped by the new Trader Joe’s here in town – just for one item, as you can clearly see. I was actually in need of cream cheese & sour cream, but all I found was vegan cream cheese. And then I found…
-Mozzarella-style Shreds
-Chickenless Crispy Tenders
-Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
-Meatless Meatballs
-Soy Chorizo
-Tikka Masala
-Strawberry Frozen Dessert

Trader Joe's Vegan Chickenless Tenders
First I went for the chickenless tenders. I was in a hurry to get ready for a night out, so I simply put them in a pita pocket with sauteed veggies and covered them with mustard. I love mustard. I’m pretty sure these are a store brand version of Gardein. They have the same texture and taste, but for a $1 or so less :) They get nice and crispy on the outside, but stayed tender and juicy on the inside. In sandwiches, there’s enough here to feed two.

Trader Joe's Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
Later I cooked up the mandarin orange morsels with nothing but sauteed onions & garlic. This is a pretty big portion for one, but if you added rice and more veggies you could easily feed four. The sauce is good, not too sweet. Definitely something I’d have again.

Trader Joe's Vegan Soy Chorizo
I sauteed the soy chorizo with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, then added my Pasta Zero and let the flavors cook in. Towards the end I added a handful of the mozzarella-style shreds. The chorizo is pretty spicy, but has a good flavor. I’m not a huge fan of the shreds – they’re just like (and maybe are) Go Veggie shreds in that they melt down into a sticky puddle that kind of sticks to your teeth. This is not good on pizza or nachos unless you make sure to completely cover the cheesy puddle with toppings. It does work well for things like bean dip, though.

Trader Joe's Vegan Meatless Meatballs
We had a bottle of Hawaiian BBQ sauce in the fridge that no one liked. I spiced it up and added minced onion & garlic, then simmered the meatballs for about 10-15 minutes. They were perfect. I could’ve eaten them just like that, but I made a little sandwich since I’m so fond of carbs. You could also do a traditional meatball sub with marinara sauce, and even use those shreds if you melt them down in the sauce.

Trader Joe's Vegan Cream Cheese
Lastly, I made these little pickle appetizers as a midnight snack one night when there was nothing else in the house. The cream cheese is definitely not my favorite. It has a weird taste, I’m not sure if it’s soy or coconut coming through, but it’s unpleasant. Luckily I had these dill pickles with a strong garlic taste, and they helped cover the strange aftertaste of the cream cheese. With the saltiness of the crackers, it was good enough. I would not like it plain on a bagel. I added salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and dried dill to it and although it was better, it still had an aftertaste. I don’t think I’ll buy it again.

The tikka masala frozen dinner was very good, but I didn’t get a good picture of it. I also didn’t take a picture of myself eating the strawberry ice cream straight out of the carton :)

I know I still have a lot stuff to try. What are your favorite vegan items from Trader Joe’s?