Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kurt Wallander Mysteries - Henning Mankell

Ystad in southern Sweden might seem an unlikely setting for a series of murder mysteries. But there seems to be more than enough crime, crumby weather, and personal demons to keep Inspector Kurt Wallander busy. Henning Mankell's troubled detective has been on the job for nearly 20 years. He's spawned 13 novels and numerous films and television shows, including the award winning BBC series starring Kenneth Branagh featured below. I was probably as intrigued at reading something set in my family's home province of Skane as anything. But I've enjoyed reading the first three novels in the series: Faceless Killers, The Dogs of Riga, and The White Lioness. Cool stuff, if a little grim.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vegan Beer Brats

Summer might be on the wane, but that doesn't mean it's time to put away the grill. Football season is right around the corner. Whether you're getting in that last summer cook-out or tailgating before gametime, Turtle Island's beer brats are a fantastic way to enjoy an old favorite. I picked these up at Naturally Yours, our local health food store. I couldn't believe how good they tasted. Made with "'Full Sail Ale' and real tofu," the brats are certified vegan and taste delicious.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vegan Clothing

Catch me if you can!
A friend of mine was asking me about my new shoes the other day. When I got over the initial shock of one of my buddies asking me about shoes, I told him they were just like the running shoes I had in high school; Asics, very light and comfortable, very 80's. I'd just picked them up from He nodded and said, cool. I then mentioned that they were vegan as well. He asked, "What are vegan shoes?"

I told him it meant they were made of all man-made materials. So, in a pinch, I could eat them should it become necessary. I pointed to his all leather loafers and shook my head. "I wouldn't be able to make a risotto with those."

In all seriousness most vegans and vegetarians are aware that you can buy vegan friendly clothing and accessories, (no wool, no silk, no leather.) They can sometimes run a bit on the pricey side, but more and more designers are creating stylish options. Jenni has picked up purses, wallets, and shoes at sites like Alternative Outfitters and at, and you can find even more than clothes at sites like Vegan Essentials. If you have any favorites be sure to pass them along.