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Clockwise from upper left, my dear friends Cranberry, Quincy, Kumquat and Kiwi. All of our cats were born in the wild and adopted by us. Zaar Chefs I have met so far: Elmotoo, justcallmeToni, ~Rita~, Midwest Maven, Bird&Buddha (both of them) and most recently, Ms*Bindy from upstate New York:) Wonderful, sweet, friendly people and great chefs! Most relevant thing to mention here is that I am a vegetarian, and recently became a vegan (almost 100%). To put vegetables and other things not meat or fish on the table I work as an actuary (in my case anyway, a combination of statistician, number-cruncher and/or programmer). For fun I like to travel. Just came back from Namibia, a peaceful democracy in Africa with lots of animals! Got some terrific pictures of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinocerous, hyenas, all kinds of antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Namibia is the second most sparsely populated country per square mile, just behind Mongolia. Update: We went to Italy this Spring. We had lots of pizza and pasta. The pizza is so much better in Italy, particularly the crust. The Amalfi coast was absolutely beautiful. Spectacular natural scenery (Canada and Alaska are really beautiful, Patagonia in Chile is sublime, Iceland is unique) has been my latest passion as far as travel destinations but I have seen quite a few big cities too (Paris, Berlin, London and Madrid to name a few). On my bulletin board at work I keep a list of every country I've visited (other than the U.S. of course). So far I've made it to five continents: Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and North America of course. I've got only two other continents to conquer:) I don't usually have difficulty finding vegetarian dishes here in the U.S. or overseas, but finding vegan dishes is much harder. I have no kids, just cats, Kumquat, Cranberry, and more recently Quincy and Kiwi. They are purebreds, of the breed alley caticus (okay, American shorthair I guess). Our cats are not vegetarians, though my boyfriend (significant other, long-term partner, whatever) is. I am a friend of all animals both tamed and wild. In addition I am a freethinker and my boyfriend studies philosophy. Either way, we get along pretty well. Also, please allow me to say that my BF and I recently bought a condominium in NYC.:) Pet peeve? Okay, I don't like public scenes, especially parents yelling at their children, lovers' spats, etc. If it must be done please do it in private:D Participation & Awards:
My favorite junk food is pizza (plain or veggie, but it has to be made well). Will eat and enjoy everything vegetarian except mushrooms (fungus, yuck). Artichokes and tomatoes (all types such as sun-dried, fresh and canned, including paste and sauce) are among my favorite vegetables. Garbanzos are my favorite beans. I like nuts, olives and avocados too and since becoming a vegan I've felt less guilty about eating fatty foods. Being a strict vegan hasn't been easy. Don't have much of a sweet tooth; I'm interested in healthful recipes (usually) from a variety of regions. I make cookies from time to time, but mainly for my coworkers. My feeling is too many people pay too much attention to cooking meat and don't realize how delicious the variety of starches and vegetables in their diets can be:) After having been through all four Zaar World Tours, I've decided that Moroccan cuisine is my most favorite. No surprise, it has lots of veggies:D I've had the opportunity to eat genuine Moroccan cuisine when I was in Morocco.
My rating system is based on my own opinion, not the opinion of the person I feed (needless to say my BF mostly). This is in part to encourage him to submit his own reviews, particularly when he makes recipes and doesn't review them:( To protect his privacy I won't tell you his chef name. So far he has reviewed three of my recipes, objectively I hope:)
I almost never make a recipe as it's written. Please don't let this bother you (if it does) because I am altering the recipes for my and my BF's taste and, therefore, my review will be better! I rarely rate a recipe poorly because I rate it as I've made it. I also always include the changes I've made in my review.