Saturday, March 17, 2012

Making Strides and Staying Positive

Keep Calm and Carry On   

On February 17, 2012, Governor Christie vetoed a bill, which would’ve legalized same-sex marriage in the state of New Jersey. Nevertheless, New Jersey's legislature has until 2013 to overturn Governor Christie's veto with a two-thirds majority. Meanwhile, on February 23, 2012, victory was brought to the state of Maryland when Governor Martin O’Malley provided his signature for a bill that made Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Couples of the LGBT community will be able to legally wed in the state of Maryland in January 2013, presuming that opponents of marriage equality do not succeed in their attempts to overturn the new law. Hopefully New Jersey’s momentary defeat is a bump on the road towards equality, while Maryland’s victory is promise for the future of America. 

Making Strides

After Cori and I are married in October, we plan to relocate, hopefully in the west coast. With wanderlust in our bloods, we crave a new environment and new adventures. I’ll be applying to PhD. programs in the summer, while Cori searches for new employment opportunities. The world seems like our oyster until we think about the uncertainty of our human rights. In the states of Connecticut and New York, we feel safe and secure because we will be recognize as a legal married couple. Granted, we have six other states to choose from, which also legalize same-sex marriages, but they are not states that we desire to live in. America is making strides, but the battle is not fully won unit couples in the LGBT community are able to choose a home without having to worry about joint taxes, adoption laws, or even hospital visitation rights. Cori and I aren’t ones to let legalities hold us back from living our dreams, but the mere thought of losing several of our rights is inescapably stressful. What is the best way to cope with the stress? Stay positive!

Cori and I are undeniably blessed to have parents who shower us with unconditional love. It is easy to weather any storm when you have a strong support system, especially when your support system consists of family members. My mom and dad, as well as Cori’s mom and dad, have come a long way since they first discovered that Cori and I were irrevocably in love. Our parents were never hateful, judgmental, or intolerant, but it was an adjustment for them nonetheless. It is the ongoing acceptance, love, and support from our parents that fuels our hope for a positive future. 

Cori and her Parents

Stephy and her Parents

During the beginning of March, my mom shared a photo of a PFLAG mom on Facebook, which was originally posted by the Gay Marriage For New York fan page, and she wrote I love you as her caption. It's the little things, like my mother's post, that truly matter and instill hope. 

PFLAG Mom Photo

Weekend Festivities! 

Another great way to stay positive is to enjoy life and laugh with friends. Cori and I, along with Cori’s little sister and our pup, had an amazing St. Patty’s Day! Our day started with delicious vegan food, prepared by Cori, and ended with a movie night. Who says you have to be Irish or eat corn beef and cabbage to have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day? 

Playing with Maddy

Happiness at the Beach

Sisters

Hiking and Kisses

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stephorrine Lily's Recipes

Corrine and I love to cook! We love to play around in the kitchen and experiment with ingredients. Corrine has a passion for baking, especially vegan cupcakes. She is currently in the process of developing her own recopies. On Saturday, I spent my morning reading Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Life and became inspired to create a new recipe. I spent the remainder of my day in the kitchen, experimenting with various ingredients, and surprising my love with a vegan entrée before she went to work. Dinner was absolutely delicious, which led Cori to the idea of sharing my recipe! 

Our Kitchen: Where the Magic Happens!
 
 Loaded Butternut Squash (Vegan)

Ingredients:

1 Butternut squash
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
2 cups quinoa, uncooked
4 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup chopped walnuts
Approx. 1 teaspoon basil, divided
Approx. 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
Approx. 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place butternut squash in oven-proof baking dish, facing up.
  4. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle ½ teaspoons of sea salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Place 2 cups of quinoa with 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to low heat.
  7. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  8. Chop onions, garlic, and tempeh and shred the cabbage
  9. Place ingredients into a large sauté pan and sauté with the sesame seed oil.
  10. Add cooked quinoa to the sauté pan and mix well.
  11. Add walnuts, as well as ½ teaspoons of sea salt, pepper, and basil to the mixture.
  12. During this time, the butternut squash should be ready. Overfill the butternut squash with the sautéed mixture.
  13. Place the loaded butternut squash back in oven for 15 more minutes.
  14. Bon Appétit! 

Loaded Butternut Squash
 
Afterwards, we had plenty of leftover sautéed mixture, about two servings, which made for a fantastic meal the next day. Here is another great recipe, which I’ve prepared:

Sautéed Kale and Quinoa (Vegan)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
8 cups kale, coarsely chopped
Approx. ½ teaspoon basil
Approx. ½ teaspoon red curry powder
Approx. ½ teaspoon pepper
Approx. ½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
  1.  Chop kale and place into a large sauté pan and sauté with the sesame seed oil.
  2.  Allow kale to sauté until tender. 
  3. Add sautéed mixture from previous day and mix well. 
  4. Add ½ teaspoons of sea salt, pepper, red curry powder, and basil to the new sautéed mixture.
  5. Place new sautéed mixture into bowls and Bon Appétit!

Sautéed Kale and Quinoa (Vegan)
   
Stay tuned for Cori’s vegan cupcakes! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

BiConfidence!


Bisexual Pride


From time to time, Cori and I would get asked “how can you have an attraction to men if you both are lesbians?” The simple answer to that question is that Cori and I identify as bisexuals, not as lesbians. Cori and I have always identified as bisexual. This basically means that we have the potential for being sexually, emotionally, and/or romantically involved with members of either gender. Even though we are currently in a same-sex relationship with each other, it does not mean that our sexual orientation is altered. 

One of the biggest stereotypes that has plagued the bisexual community is the idea that we are bi-curious, which means uncertainty regarding attraction to men or women. Bisexuals are more than certain that they are attracted to both genders. We are confident about our sexual orientation. We are bi-confident! 


"Like" BiConfidence on Facebook <3

Dispelling myths and highlighting the truths:

Myth: Bisexuality does not exist.
Truth: Bisexuality does exist. We are not mythical creatures.

Myth: Bisexuality is a transitional label used by people who are not fully out of the closet.
Truth: We are not in transition and we are not denying our lesbianism or gayness. Our sexual orientation remains stable throughout our lives.

Myth: Bisexual means having polyamorous relationships with both genders.
Truth: Most bisexuals do not need both genders in order to feel fulfilled. Many of us are in loving, committed, monogamous relationships with one person. 

Myth: One cannot identify as bisexual unless he or she has been in relationships with both men and women. 
Truth: Many bisexuals are aware of their sexual orientation before they are ever in a relationship, just as many people know they are gay or straight at young ages.

Myth: Bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.
Truth: People who identify as “bisexual” are not bi-curious; we are bi-confident! 

Let us stand together and break the stereotypes. Let us show the world that we are BiConfident and NOT BiCurious!

If you would like to help us create bisexuality pride, then e-mail us a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper that reads “BiConfident” and we will add you to our site. Include your blog/twitter/website, as well as your name so we can properly credit the photo.

Wear your BiConfidence!

Cori

Stephy

Lindsey
My blog is for women who have bi confidence!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Tale of Two Vegetarians

Such a fun weekend filled with great food and great friends! On Saturday, Cori and I went to the 2nd annual Vegetarian Food Festival, which takes place in Manhattan. The New York Vegetarian Food Festival is a celebration of healthy and 100% cruelty-free foods and living. The festival was packed with free samples, giveaways, speakers, entertainment, and did we mention free samples?

Vegan Swag

Food Highlights

Tumeric Alive: An organic drink with a blend of nine natural ingredients, which utilizes the turmeric root. Stephy became quite obsessed with this beverage. 

Healthy Goodness

Bagel Spice: A blend of premium spices inspired by the Everything Bagel. Sprinkle a little bit on some hummus and you’ve got a party in your mouth! 

Just like an Everything Bagel

V Spot: Delicious Latin, vegan cuisine, located in Park Slope (Brooklyn, NY).

The V Spot's Empanadas

Sweet & Sara: Gelatin-free marshmallows… need we say more?

Vegan Marshmallows

The Regal Vegan: Delicious vegan spreads! We fell in love with their newest item, Basilicaux. 

Yummy Basil, Cashew, and Vegan Cheese Spread

Kathie's Kitchen SuperSeedz: Pumpkin seeds coated with goodness, creating “junk food” that are healthy. Our favorite was the chocolate-covered pumpkin seeds!

Animal-Friendly Junk Food

Living Highlights

Vegucated: A documentary featuring three meat and cheese loving individuals who agree to adopt on a vegan diet for six weeks. 

Documentary Film

Juno Rescued Beagle: Juno is a beagle who was rescued from a laboratory where she was being used as a testing subject for cosmetics and household items, along with 119 other beagles. The mission of Juno’s cause is to educate others about animal testing, as well as alternatives to animal testing, and to advocate for those animals who cannot speak for themselves. 

Juno

Vaute Couture: High fashion created by Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart. This company developed the first and only winter coat, which is warm enough for a frigid winter and made with zero animal ingredient, as well as recycled materials.  

Stephy's new coat from Vaute

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: Their mission is to defend, conserve, and protect the oceans and its species. Ever seen Whale Wars on Animal Planet?

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Rescue Chocolate: Vegan chocolate, in which all net proceeds are given to animal shelters and rescue organizations around the country.

Eat Chocolate and Help Animals

Compassion Over Killing: A great organization, which aims to bring positive changes for animals. One of their campaigns is to end Dunkin’Cruelty by asking Dunkin’ Donuts to cease the use of egg and dairy products from animals forced to endure miserable conditions on factory farms. Some of the organization's successes include working with Morningstar Farms, BOCA, and Quorn to begin removing eggs from their products and add more vegan options. 

Compassion For Animlas

NYCLASS: The mission of this organization is to end the existence of horse carriages and replaced them with cruelty-free alternatives. This is something that we hold very dear to our hearts. We love NYC, but the horse carriages need to go. There are other ways to maintain the culture of the city without forcing horses to work long hours on the city streets. 

Horses don't belong in traffic

Woodstock Animal Sanctuary (Willow, NY) and Catskill Animal Sanctuary (Saugerties, NY): Are amazing farms that rescues abandoned or abuse farm animals, advocates for their rights, and educates the public about the suffering of many farm animals. The Catskill Animal Sanctuary also offers some great vegan cooking classes! We took a vegan dessert cooking class last year.

Animal Sanctuaries

Mr. Ellie Pooh: Founded by Karl, eco-friendly and fair trade paper products made from the poo of the elephants of Sri Lanka. The mission of this company is to involve local villagers in the making of the paper, helping them to view the elephants as less of a threat, which would hopefully prevent the killing of these animals. 

Cori with Karl
 
Our Stories and Wedding Menu Planning

I consider myself to be a strict vegetarian (no meat, gelatin, or fish) and a flexible vegan. If I can opt for no milk or eggs, then I will. Cori, on the other hand, is a vegetarian, but she still eats fish on occasion. I’ve been a vegetarian for nine years and Cori has been a vegetarian for one full year! I became a vegetarian because of my love for animals. I was in the 11th grade when a good friend introduced me to the vegetarian lifestyle, showing me exactly what happens on farm factories. Cori became a vegetarian after we visited the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary in upstate New York for my 25th birthday and she made it her New Year’s resolution, in 2011, to stop eating meat. 

Woodstock Animal Sanctuary

When it came to planning our wedding menu, we decided that we wanted to serve vegetarian/vegan food. Initially, our families gave us a hard time about our decision, but we learned that we aren’t going to make everyone happy and we just need to focus on making ourselves happy. An animal-friendly wedding was something that we were not willing to compromise. In July of 2011, we met with Chef Rossi of the Raging Skillet for a tasting and decided to book her immediately. She is widely known for catering non-traditional weddings and she was able to create a menu, featuring vegan/vegetarian options, which are not limited to salad, pasta, and tofu. Not to mention, we received an awesome discount for being a same-sex couple marrying in New York! 

Our Menu: First Draft

Passed hors d’oeuvres 
- Pumpkin ravioli with sage aioli (no pine nuts, no dairy)
- Vegan nori rolls with avocado
- Butternut squash soup shots
- Mini-tempeh- BLT”s
- Vegan empanadas with chimichurri sauce
- Grilled artichoke and goat cheese on crostini

 The Buffet Supper 
- Lentil salad with charred vegetables in sherry dressing (vegan)
- Oven barbecue root vegetables to include; turnips, baby carrots, fennel, golden beets, and sweet potato (vegan)
- Penne primavera with oven dried tomatoes (vegan)
- Portobello steak in molasses glaze
- Kale salad with currants in lemon and virgin olive oil
- Baby rolls and biscuits

 Dessert
- Coffee and tea station with cookies, French macaroons, baby pies, and strawberries with chocolate fondue

As for a wedding cake, Cori and I opted to serve cupcakes, rather than a traditional wedding cake. Chef Rossi recommended Baby Cakes, located on the lower East side of New York, and we became obsessed! Baby Cakes creates organic, vegan cupcakes and they use agave nectar, rather than refine sugar. They are also free of gluten, casein, and wheat. After the Vegetarian Food Festival, Cori and I took a subway to the bakery to sample our wedding cupcakes. 

Wedding Vegan Cupcakes

Wedding Cupcakes
  • Chocolate with chocolate frosting
  • Banana chocolate chip with cinnamon frosting
  • Brownie with mint frosting 
  • Carrot with vanilla frosting 

It is possible to have delicious food and quality items without harming animals or the environment. Moreover, in addition to the It Gets Better Campaign, we will also be donating the money for wedding favors to the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary.


Having an Animal-Friendly Wedding and Proud!