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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
11/25

Vegan Onion Pie

File0252After I went vegan I looked back through all the recipes I’d posted on the blog, either making a note on vegan substitutions or removing the post until I could veganize it to my satisfaction. My grandmother’s onion pie recipe is one of these. For Thanksgiving I thought I’d try to veganize this simple quiche using VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart.

I was feeling even more sentimental than usual when baking this onion pie; my grandmother is not herself anymore, she hasn’t been for a good few years now. I want to get back into making (vegan versions of) her recipes to remember all the good times, back when she was still cooking and baking and decking the whole house with hundreds of snowmen decorations at Christmas. She doesn’t remember any of that now, so our family will have to remember it for her.

Here’s my vegan update. For the pie filling:

4 cups sliced cubed onions (I used red and white)
1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
2 VeganEggs (4 tbsp. powder whisked with 1 cup cold water)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk + 1 tsp. arrowroot [see note]
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 pastry shell

[NOTE: to make a liquid as thick as the evaporated milk the original recipe calls for, I took Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s suggestion in The Joy of Vegan Baking, whisking 1 tsp. arrowroot into half a cup of homemade cashew milk. Cornstarch is another thickener option.]

I haven’t made the pastry recipe from A Platter of Figs since I went vegan, but it’s easy enough to tweak, and I added some extra ingredients for a more flavorful “co-starring” crust:

2 cups flour
2 sticks (1 cup) Earth Balance butter (cut into thin slices)
1 tsp. salt
1 VeganEgg (2 tbsp. powder whisked with 1/2 cup cold water)
fresh and/or dried herbs/spices (I used 1 tbsp. dried chives, 1 tbsp. black sesame seeds, and 2 tsp. coriander)

This recipe yields two 9″ crusts, so freeze the second for later.

Mix the flour, butter, and salt, then add the VeganEgg mixture and herbs. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

Now to the filling instructions:

Sauté onions in Earth Balance butter with salt and pepper until tender, stirring in nutritional yeast toward the end. Pour in pastry shell. Whisk VeganEgg with water, mixing in the thickened milk. Pour mixture over onions. Bake at 425º F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. (I left mine in for 30 minutes and the crust is a little crispy.)

Does it approximate a traditional quiche? Not looks-wise—the baked VeganEgg is dry-looking compared to a quiche made with eggs—but taste-wise it is very good indeed!

 

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Next time I’ll add mushrooms to the filling and fresh herbs in the crust, and maybe some poppy seeds. Fancying up that crust was a very delicious idea; when we had late-night leftovers this was the first dish I reached for.

More scrumptious holiday recipes I used at Thanksgiving this year:

The Best Vegan Stuffing Recipe

Cashew Gravy

Cabernet-Cranberry Sauce with Figs

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Read my post about my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary here.

 

11/13

Thoughts on the Eve of My 36th Birthday

I am grieving for a country that doesn’t exist yet.

I don’t know anyone who voted for that repulsive excuse for a human being, but then I guess that’s just proof of how thoroughly I have insulated myself, both online and in real life. And I’m not alone. No one I know was remotely prepared for this.

My first thought was, I am so, so ashamed to be an American.

And then: Eff that. This is OUR America, too. I’m not going anywhere.

When I do eventually get the chance to ask someone who voted for that hatemongering, predatory narcissist WHY they did it, I will say this: “Did you ever stop to think that voting for the candidate endorsed by the KKK would result in a surge of hate crimes? Did you ever really consider what you were aligning yourself with?” (Because wah, wah, wah. Why is everyone calling us ignorant and racist?)

I am angry and I am scared. This is the first thing I have written about the election, but it won’t be the last. I’m done being complacent.

Here’s a round-up of my favorite analyses, postmortems, and calls to action:

No, we should not wait and see what a Trump administration does. We should organize our resistance right now.  

A Time for Refusal

Autocracy: Rules for Survival

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class

President Trump: How America Got it So Wrong

Alarmism saved my family from Hitler: Why I won’t tell anyone to calm down about Trump

So far I’ve attended a peace rally, set up a recurring donation to the ACLU, signed up to volunteer with HIAS, and joined a bunch of “secret” groups online who are beginning to organize and disseminate information. If anybody has any more suggestions as to how to protest, volunteer, and speak up, I’d love to hear them. (I’ll be making more donations to Planned Parenthood, SURJ, et al.)

It’s absolutely terrifying how quickly the media has rolled over. Check out this bullshit:

 


Okay, I’m done ranting for now. I’ll drink a glass of champagne tomorrow in gratitude for my existence, but apart from that it’s down to business!

 

11/07

What’s News

Here’s another quickie post—I’ve thrown myself into NaNoWriMo, so I won’t be blogging again regularly for at least another month!

 

 

There is now a Youtube channel (with a million thanks to my friend M.A. Barrett for putting together such beautiful videos!) I’m planning to sit down in the next week or two and get a bunch more recorded. Like I said, this is going to be sort of like my video series from 2012, only much shorter—2-3 minutes long, and more generally creative. I’d love to hear your requests for future video topics!

 

Things I have written lately:

Why Success is a Crock (and What to Aim for Instead) on Medium

Bile and Begrudgery: How to Break Free of Your Own Bullshit on Medium

Creating a Life Without Envy (inspired by Hindu concepts of Oneness and Devotion) on Dead Darlings

 

Things that have been written lately about Life Without Envy:

Local Author offers ‘Ego Management for Creative People’, Philly Voice

“A Most Savage Plague”: A Brief Encounter with Literary Envy, Kate Gilbert on Readers Unbound

Novelist Claire Hennessy transforms envy into pure admiration on Girls Heart Books

 

Podcast interviews:
Morning on the Dock #52 with my friend Elizabeth Duvivier of Squam Art Workshops

Tranquility du Jour #381: Life Without Envy with Kimberly Wilson

 

Another exciting thing: I took a six-week illustration class at RISD and now I’ve committed to drawing (or just doodling—no pressure) every day for the next year.

 

First page of my new #sketchbook! #art #drawing #micron #watercolor #watercolorpencil #flowers #sketching

A photo posted by Camille DeAngelis (@cometparty) on

 

Thank you to everyone who’s come out to my events over the past month-and-change, thank you for buying the book, and thank you for reading!

 

09/27

Pub Day!

 

Pub day sneaks up on me every time. I’m running around this week getting ready for the launch at Tres Gatos this weekend (special shout-out to Kelly B. for coming all the way from the state of Georgia!), but at some point I’m hoping to settle down to a bit of travel blogging. In the meantime, here are a few LWE-related links:

6 Ways to Manage Your Ego on Quick and Dirty Tips

Here’s to Joy: 7 of the Best Books on Happiness on Signature Reads (thank you, Toby!)

Why Success is a Crock (and What to Aim for Instead) on Medium

Let me also draw your attention to my just-updated news and events page, with the full details on my New York City event at the end of October, and huge thanks to Scott for making this happen. I can’t wait.

Thanks for your support, everyone—as always!

 

09/06

Home Again, and a Bunch of Updates

Home again, after the best trip yet.

 

Diving around the wreck of the USAT Liberty (sunk by the Japanese in 1942) in Tulamben, Bali, August 28th.

 

My friend Joelle and I were texting regularly all through our respective trips to Iceland and Asia, and after she got home she wrote,

I’m in that phase where it kind of feels like my trip didn’t really happen. There’s always a struggle to live just a little differently than I did before.

I’ve been turning those words over ever since. After this trip I am far less of a mystery to myself. I have finally begun to understand why I feel and react the way I do in difficult situations (and in truth, how I tend to create those difficult situations). I know I’m being vague here, but I may be remedying this soon (see next paragraph). For now, I’ll just say that Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself has more than secured a place on my (not-yet-official) list of the Most Useful and Enlightening Books I Have Ever Read. I’m looking forward to writing about exactly how and why it’s helping me!

Now for Getting Specific: because Life Without Envy is on sale at the end of the month (!!), I’m doing the usual promotional thing, albeit on a scale that makes sense to me. One of LWE’s essential messages is about making oneself useful, and I’ve been pondering how to walk my talk in ways that feel authentic and effective. Admittedly, there is a part of me who would much rather hole up and get back to writing fiction, but how can I write a book like Life Without Envy and then run away from my own advice on community building and becoming as honest as possible about one’s messiest feelings?

You may recall that I posted a virtual writing workshop series on Youtube back in 2012, and I’m thinking about starting up something similar again—only with shorter (2 to 3-minute), more-to-the-point videos with frank advice on practical topics related to the book. That is one immediate way in which I can make myself useful.

I brainstormed topics. I made a list. “Success” Versus Satisfaction. Impostor Syndrome. How to Think Your Way Out of Self Loathing. (The IRONY of Self Loathing.)

Then, of course, my ego piped up. What if you post a bunch of videos and NOBODY RESPONDS, you loser? (I will say this over and over again: I wrote the book I most needed to read.)

Then I remembered something one of my new internet pals Alexis Donkin wrote in a recent newsletter. 

What we say, what we write, how we act—it DOES matter. If I post a video and it turns one person’s day around, then that is mission accomplished. Nobody has to go viral on Youtube in order to make the world a little bit kinder. (I actually have a specific anecdote on this topic—about overhearing a conversation in a restaurant that helped me lift myself out of a frighteningly gloomy mood—and I will share it on video.)

So yeah. I think I’m going to start a new Youtube channel, and if you have any topics you’d like me to cover (or other tips/suggestions), please let me know!

* * *

Now for some newsy things:

The wonderful Jamaica Plain restaurant-cum-bookstore Tres Gatos is hosting the Life Without Envy launch on Sunday, October 2nd starting at 3pm. Come early for brunch (alas, they aren’t the most vegan-friendly place in town, but what options they do have are excellent). And do please RSVP on Facebook!

I’m also giving an hourlong Life Without Envy workshop at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 15th, 2016. We’ll have space for about thirty people. I can’t imagine it’ll be that crowded, but come early just in case!

* * *

And here’s a quick link round-up, ICYMI on social media:

Immaculate Heart write-up in the Improper Bostonian

Life Without Envy in 18 Must-Read Nonfiction Books of September 2016 in Bustle

Why Having My Book Go Out of Print Was a Pretty Great Thing, After All in Publishers Weekly

My Intentional Writer interview with Alexis Donkin

* * *

More soon!

06/30

The Grand Tour of Asia

Oh, HELLO! I almost forgot I even have a blog. Moon Ireland revisions were frantic (I did get them done on time, though, whew!), and now I’m stoked to be working on a follow-up to Life Without Envy. I will get back to blogging someday, I just don’t have any idea when. September! Yeah, September. For sure-ish.

My next adventure is coming up very soon: a two-month backpacking trip with Seanan (and a few more friends, for different portions) around south-east Asia. My sister and the crew went to Indonesia back in February while I was in Ireland…

 

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Yogyakarta photo by Kate.

 

…and when I got home to New Jersey yesterday I was delighted to find a stack of rupiah waiting for me. Thank you, cookiesister!

You can follow me on Instagram for pics from Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Cambodia again, and Indonesia, in that order. We’re plotting a trip to the Banda Islands for a DIY writing holiday towards the end. I am the luckiest person on the planet. (Luckier than Seanan, since he’s got to put up with me.) In all seriousness, though, I have set some powerful intentions for this trip, and I’m insanely excited to see what happens.

A couple notes before I go:

There are three more Goodreads giveaways for Life Without Envy scheduled for the weeks of July 11th, August 8th, and August 30th…though September 27th will be here before we know it!

And ICYMI, read this. I literally cried at my desk.

Happy summer, everybody!  <3

 

Wish you were here, @fionaashleen. #beach #yoga

A photo posted by Camille DeAngelis (@cometparty) on

 

05/02

Twenty Years Later

I’m remembering my beautiful grandmother today, twenty years after her passing.

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04/26

Life Without Envy at the “Vulnerability Museum”

I’m coming out of Moon Ireland-induced hibernation to post something really cool: thanks to Ashley Kirsner, whom I met at #whatimake, my Life Without Envy preparatory mind map is traveling to North Adams, MA as part of the CommuniT Boston “Vulnerability Museum.”


If you’re in western Mass, check it out at FIGMENT North Adams this Saturday, April 30th, beginning at 3pm. The exhibit will also be traveling to NYC at some point; I’ll post details when I get them.

(Now back to frenzied Googling of updated tour and accommodation prices!)

 

04/16

#whatimake Slide Show and Resources

I’m just home from the first-ever #whatimake conference, and it was AMAAAAAZING. Proper post to follow, but in the meantime I want to drop my slide show and resources link here for any attendees who are looking for it. Thank you for coming!  <3

 

#Whatimake excitement at @aeronautbrewing!!!

A photo posted by Camille DeAngelis (@cometparty) on

04/13

Five Years Vegan

As I love to remind you each year, April is my veganversary month. I know I haven’t done a proper vegan-themed post in ages, but it’s not for lack of passion or interest. Between various other writing projects and commitments, I just don’t have the bandwidth at the moment. (I know, I’ve been saying this. It’s still true.) I’m stockpiling links and pictures and recipe ideas and philosophical musings (heh) for when I have more time to blog again.

And in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram—my #vegan-themed posts are mixed in with Ireland travel pics and the occasional “yay, it’s my book in the bookstore!” photo.

 

 

 

 

Made goji-berry pecan granola this morning especially for @elliotsomethin & @crazyliberalkate! #breakfast #vegan A photo posted by Camille DeAngelis (@cometparty) on

 

Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.
Photo by Anne Weil