The Secret to Making Vegan Sour Cream & Other life lessons

Creative Writing, Meal Prep

August. What a month! A lot has happened, and I’ve learned quite a bit about myself. I kept Lesson #1 practical… the rest is more food for thought. So feel free to take the kitchen tip and leave… otherwise read on…=) 

Lesson #1: I finally learned the trick to making Vegan Sour Cream.

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Photo from Original Blog Post @ Gluten Free Vegan Pantry

If your like me, when it comes to following instructions, I do a quick browse, look at the photos and then jump on the project, ESPECIALLY cooking and art projects. So for the first two times I attempted vegan sour cream made of cashews, I didn’t quite catch why mine wasn’t turning out like the photos.

Thanks to Pinterest, it’s easy to fall into that trap of going solely off the info-graphic. What I learned -and actually in reviewing the recipe for this post, turns out I didn’t overlook a step; it just wasn’t stated! – was that when using a food processor (especially a cheapo one like mine), it works best to grind the dry ingredients first, THEN add the liquid in. *slaps forehead* In the original instructions, blogger Savanna uses a Vitamix which is probably why adding all the ingredients at once didn’t cause a watery- nutritional- yeasty mess all over the counter, and therefore wasn’t added as a disclaimer in her post. The thing is, I’ve done so much baking in my life and this whole mixing dry ingredients first, then wet ingredients is something I already knew which is why this is so embarrassing.  Anyways, I only have myself to blame 😉 because this really is the best damn vegan sour cream when done right.

Hopefully this tip helps out some of you newbies in the kitchen.

Lesson #2: You’ll never be famous – And that’s O.K

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As I completed my 26th year around the sun, I was faced with a bit of Saturn’s Return.

Not to mention, the solar eclipse was three days before my birthday, bringing in the Virgo sun – uhhh dramatic way to end/ start the year right?…What does this mean?!? Who am I?!?! Who have I become?!? Where am I going?!?! How could I even be happy when there are so many people suffering in this world?!?! Complete. Existential. Crises. 

Needless to say, I definitely had a moment.

I live a blessed life – no doubt about that ! But as many millennials struggle with, whether we actively entertain the thought or not, is constant comparison to our peers and complete strangers- thanks social media! And as someone whose job title is Social Media Manager, in a city where twenty somethings are CEO’s of  leading tech companies, and tweens and teens are becoming insta-famous and blowing up all my screens whether I follow them or not, it’s hard to block out the noise!

Having idealistic aspirations is, of course, part of being young. But thanks to social media, purpose and meaning have become conflated with glamour

So I had a moment. I felt so mediocre… So basic. My many talents were suddenly not good enough.. oh and I definitely cried ( I mean, I even cry over commercials.. so you know I was balling).

My boyfriend, I mean fiance ;), completely concerned on his way out to work – because I of course had this moment at 6:45 am while he was rushing out to catch the train- texted me this article later that morning: You’ll Never Be Famous- But That’s O.K.  from the New York Times. At first glance of the title, it reopened the wound I had worked so hard to mend before putting my big girl pants on… but after reading it, it helped me snap my mind back to reality and what really matters.

You don’t have to change the world or find your one true purpose to lead a meaningful life. A good life is a life of goodness — and that’s something anyone can aspire to, no matter their dreams or circumstances.

It also reminded me that this uncertainty is all part of my own discovery. I need to embrace my darkness and insecurities so that I may see my own light. The reason I indulge in my talents is not because I aspire to be famous, it’s because I simply enjoy those activities – I had forgotten this.

Lesson #3: Bachelorette Parties are not the end, only the beginning.

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I come from the school of thought that all good things must come to an end. I’ve had my fair share of unhealthy, toxic relationships and I’ve always viewed moving in with a boyfriend as the end to freedom, as well as marriage and having kids…

I remember when I started dating my boyfriend I kept telling him he was a fucking unicorn. I was like – you want to talk about your emotions, communicate and resolve problems?! You buy me little gifts and cards just because!? You like to plan ahead and talk about the future?!?!? – mind blown. Love that guy.

As our relationship grew, I started to see a lot of the pessimistic views I held and bad habits I had formed while being in those previous toxic relationships. One turning point for me was this one day, we were joking around about something, teasing each other and making fun of one another… at some point I said “fuck you..” in a joking way.. although we were both laughing, he immediately got serious and in a firm voice said “Hey! we don’t say that! Even if your joking it’s not funny, it’s not something you say to someone you love”… and from that moment I realized I needed to step up my emotional maturity game. He was right.

I had a few close friends who had been in serious relationships ask me if my fiance and I had ever gotten into a full blown out fight and “if you haven’t done that yet, then you’re not ready..” type of view. So I always share this story because I learned that it should never get to a full blown out fight, and the cursing and name calling should never happen. Yes, we have problems and fights, but we solve it before it even gets there. This is something I finally learned – True respect.

Once that happened, freedom just opened up. No longer did I feel like relationships only hold you back, or that marriage is the end… Your partner should lift you up. They should be the pillow after a long day, and when there is respect, the space in your brain opens up for other things in life instead of manifesting on what “he said” that stung so hard in that fight, or what did he mean by that cryptic text.

And so, when my boyfriend proposed, I was so excited, contrary to what I always thought I would feel – this dread of a black hole sucking me into doom…ha ha.

Some of my friends started texting me “get ready for the strippers!!!” Which made me think back on all my pessimistic views on relationships. But now being in this position, I just don’t understand the culture around marriage- Why do we view it as the end? When I think about partying before one of the biggest celebrations of my life, I just feel like- yes, its gonna be SO FUN …. but to be honest, If I’m having a lot of fun, I’ll be wishing he was there…

Now of course, we are gonna have separate parties… I’m not TOTALLY dependent on my dude give me a break .. but I see a bachelorette party as an intimate celebration of stepping into freedom, not stepping into the end.

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Stay tuned for more kitchen & life lessons. 

Like I said, August has been the start to a whole new beginning and an endless list of life lessons. Part of my journaling and planning habit is that I am in constant reflection of myself and life, I hope what I’m going through and have learned can help someone along the way.

Thanks for reading ❤

 

 

 

 

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June Creative: AvocadaMamma

Monthly Creatives

Discover My Favorite Creatives!

This segment is dedicated to all my creative muses. Each one of them on the daily hustle, working hard to support what they love the most. Whether it’s music, art, personalities, jewelry, or clothing, I support it all. I hope you take the time to check out their pages, like their socials, and show them some love.


Taylor & Nathaniel

Creators of AvocadaMamma: A multi-platform resource for recipes, travel/meal prep help, guides to eating and products to shop for.

Meet my beautiful friends Taylor and Nathaniel! Aren’t they cute? 😉 I met these two while I was living in LA. Both of them have such a unique, pure glow, that once you meet them it’s no wonder these two souls were meant to connect and CREATE!

Nathaniel is a photographer, currently attending film school. You can check out his photography and latest projects at nathanielperales.com. Taylor is currently pursuing acting, and was recently in the Hollywood Fringe Festival production “Confessions of an Arab Woman” .

When I first saw their AvocadaMamma Youtube video pop up on my Facebook feed, I was so excited for them because it just made so much sense! I enjoyed catching up with them on their latest projects and hope you enjoy this interview! As creative people, it’s always refreshing to connect with other creative minds, who also have a razor focused, business mindset! These two are killin’ it and they’ve given me a new wave of inspiration, so thank you Taylor and Nathaniel!

Don’t forget to (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) subscribe and like them on YOUTUBE and INSTAGRAM! ❤


How would you describe your art?

We believe in creating a better world through educating people to change their dieting/lifestyles. We want people to understand that it’s possible to live longer, feel better and sustain yourself longer by eating healthier. So we are using Taylor’s background in acting for the front of the camera and Nathaniel’s skills as a photographer/director to create Avocadamama. A multi-platform resource for recipes, travel/meal prep help, guides to eating and products to shop for.

How long have you been working on your craft, how do you feel about where you are right now and what are you excited about for the future as an artist?

T: We started this in January. We began with making simple recipes in my kitchen, and now we’ve expanded a little further. We’re now making travel videos, reviewing products, reviewing restaurants, and we’re using our knowledge to create small videos for others to use for guidance on the vegan lifestyle. Eventually, we’d like to create an easy vegan 1 month guide to follow for our followers to have a way to understand what is the easiest, healthiest way to loose weight and change their eating habits for a long period of time, not just until they lose weight.

N: I feel like we’re in a perfect place. At this point, this is just really fun for us. I get to learn how to cook and teach others how to cook while practicing my craft. And Taylor gets to think about food in a way she hasn’t before because this is about educating people. I’m excited for our future episodes as I continue to practice and play with different ways of presenting the information. There’s definitely a craft with “How to” do something.

When and how did you meet?

T: We actually met on the streets of Pasadena, CA. It was this back and forth of seeing each other for a few months, waving, smiling at each other and wanting to say “hi” but never stopping to talk. We’d be so close too, seeing each other where Nathaniel worked, one time he chased after me on the streets of Old Town Pasadena from a cafe to invite me to his art show but I wasn’t able to go. I eventually came to terms that I would never see him again and then we saw each other a couple weeks later and finally exchanged numbers! That was 5 years ago in October.

N: It was good times. 😍

Tell me about the Ah-ha moment you and Nathaniel had when the first fruition of AvocadaMama came about?

T: We’d actually talked about it for a while now. Nathaniel would tell me all the time how he thought my talent in the kitchen would make a great Youtube channel and he could do the filming. It’s funny because we put it off for so long until finally one night it happened by chance because we were planning to grill the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat and Nathaniel said “lets film it and see what happens”. Then we got such a great response from our peers so we decided to just go for it.

N: When we decided to film that first episode about the Beyond Meat Burgers I looked at it as a challenge and to use my skills as a film editor to make something interesting that people might want to watch. Taylor’s quirky personality is so addicting to watch, and I think my editing style matches her weirdness hahaha so after watching the footage we had, and the edit that came from it, I knew there was something special here.

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Both of you have a professional mindset when talking about your powers combined, What is the creative process when it comes to hashing out business plans? Is it a fluid conversation or is it something you set limits and boundaries to? What are the benefits of dating your business partner?

N: It’s actually really awesome. We always talk about our passions and dreams together so there’s not really any boundaries. The coolest part about this, is we love food anyway. We love eating together and talking together and going out to restaurants. So if anything, it’s just brought us closer because it gives us more reasons to hang out and create stuff. As far as like a formal business plan, we mainly use this app called Quip http://quip.com to write and share our ideas with each other. It has all our ideas spread out and organized in folders. Whenever one of us updates a file, the other person gets updated. It’s really easy to use. We have many plans for our future and the hardest challenge so far is time and the fact that we don’t live together. I think as we continue to organize our workflow we will have to set specific hours a side to just do Avocadamama. Because when we’re together we definitely do like to lolligag and just spend time together haha.

What is the creative process when it comes to making a video? (do you have a script, improv, etc.)

T: We use a joint project folder app quip as Nathaniel mentioned, and we have a list of foods we want to make. We usually pick a recipe based on the weather / time of year / holiday coming up.

N: We don’t really have a script but we do talk about what we want to accomplish, in what order the episode will go and what steps are in the recipe. We do a lot of talking and working together to figure out what we want. Usually we’ll make mistakes and have to re-shoot certain lines because Taylor says “umm” and pauses in between thoughts a lot. She’s a little spacey sometimes. LOL. We’re still optimizing this aspect of our channel, as any business continues to morph and define their strategy. Even though we’re like 13 episodes in, we’re definitely still defining ourselves. I don’t think you ever stop growing and every new episode is a new discovery in this awesome process.

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What is your mission statement? What is your ultimate goal?

N: I would say our mission statement is to educate people about a vegan, plant-based lifestyle in a fun and endearing way. A lot of people in my life look at a plant-based lifestyle as something difficult, snobby or too restricting and what we’re trying to show people is that it is definitely not difficult and can actually open you up to a lot of foods you wouldn’t really try with the normal American diet. I think you can tell from our personalities in our videos that this isn’t a snobby thing, we’re not talking down to anybody and we’re not begging for people to not eat meat. We’re just saying, hey if you’re having health problems or your trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle we have some really good recommendations and recipes that can help you try something new that tastes good and is really good for you.

What project(s) for AvocadaMama are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

T: Taking Avocadamama further with our reach. Right now we get a ton of traffic from family and friends, but we really want to go beyond that and influence people all over the world. But for now we’re traveling a lot so we’ll be visiting some awesome vegan restaurants that we’ll get to blog about spread the word about their food.

N: We got a couple of ideas up our sleeves. Our website is almost finished which will act as a larger resource for people looking for more information than our videos. We are going to be writing articles about places we eat, different ingredients we use and general plant-based lifestyle advice. We’ll also have opinion pieces about vegan culture as well. We are also beginning to think about products. Taylor wore these awesome pants that she made at the Eat Drink Vegan fest and she’s thinking about making them into a product we sell. We also want to recycle old clothes and put our logo or vegan text that people can buy. Taylor mentioned earlier a “getting started being vegan 30 day guide” that we’re in the process of outlining and designing. A lot of stuff in the pipeline that we’re both very excited for.

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As LA residents, what are your favorite vegan restaurants?

T: Oh there are so many delicious spots in LA. I love raw food and there’s a place called Sun Cafe that has really good food. For go-to delicious fast vegan food I love Veggie Grill. There’s a vegan sushi place that I love so much called Shojin, located in a mall in Little Tokyo. It’s so random but I love the food, they use mushrooms to make the scallops on a “baked scallop roll”! I’m drooling just thinking about it!

N: One of my favorite spots is Kitchen Mouse. Another great one is called Gracias Madre by the same people that own Cafe Gratitiude and Sage. I also love the Munch Truck in Highland Park on Fridays. Also, Organix is super bomb.

Where are some places on your vegan destination wish list?

T: Well actually I’ve always been interested in the vegan food in New Orleans, and low and behold, we just got tickets to go out there for my birthday in October! So we’ll be checking out the spots out there. I’m also really interested in exploring vegan food in middle America and checking out the places where people with less options could find meals and ways to modify local eats to be vegan. Maybe we’ll have to do a road trip some day!

N: Road trip would be super awesome. Avocadamama a la Anthony Bourdain style.

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Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more unique creatives ❤