I posted this earlier today in our primary Sarah Mac Band blog. I thought that it was kind of fun… and it showcased our fabulous vegan BGG family dinner on Thursday! Plus, I was kind of proud of myself for taking this big step and I wanted to share about it… Seriously.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Band Goes Green applies to how we eat—plant based. Ideally, more green than anything else. More green than red, that’s for sure.

Charlie’s super hippy sister, Nancie, stopped by our Band Goes Green pre-practice family dinner on Thursday on her drive home from visiting one of her children in Pensacola. Over a delightful steel cut oat risotto and pumpkin torte with ginger cardamom (fake) butter cream, she said, “Yeah, I think it’s awesome that you guys are vegan, but I’ll tell you the truth, I was really disappointed when I realized that the Band Goes Green means you were eating vegan and not that you were going to be Earth First.”

We had to…

View original post 1,344 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crazy Kitchen Kick

Since we came home from Nashville, I’ve been on a crazy kitchen kick. All day long, I daydream of making fabulous vegan creations and scheme ways to:

  1. Blow off everything else that I’m obligated to do so that I can get home and put on my apron
  2. Recruit willing participants who will eat the food from the test kitchen
  3. Afford such an expensive hobby on a low-level rock star’s budget (Organics? Fresh Produce? Weird stuff like truffle oil and harissa? Yeah, it all starts adding up…)

When Claire eats dinner, she eats all of the like things on her plate before she moves on to the next item. Last night when we had Band Goes Green family dinner, she had to eat all of her broccoli before she started on her eggplant.

I’m the opposite. When I attack a plate (and almost inevitably turn it into a “happy plate” as my Grandma Beulah called it when you eat everything), I like to take a little piece of this and a little piece of that, sometimes even putting them on the fork together so that I can experience the flavors together. But, when it comes to a food blog, I have “CLAIRE” tattooed all over me.

Once I find a food blog, I am like a teenaged boy in front of a video game. I stay there fixated for hours and then return the next day for hours. I will make ten recipes from that blog before I lose interest and move on to find another one. And even when I find another one, I’ll circle back around in three or four months and get fixated again.

Driving home from Nashville, with my appetite whet for new adventurous vegan recipes, I was searching the world wide web on my fancy internet telephone, I found my new best friend: Spabettie!

She makes tons of vegan, gluten free food AND she loves wiener dogs!!

This is my dog Milo. He left me and had Mister Elwood adopt him when my job prevented me from using my guitar arm to throw tennis balls.

These are Baby Bear’s dogs: Jasper and Ruby. They hold the Guinness Book Record for “wiener dogs with the most clothes.”

[Side note: The Mac family is quite fond of dachshunds and are now in our fourth generation of wiener dogs.]

In the past week, from Spabettie’s blog, I’ve made the Tomato and Cheese Stuffed Waffles,  the Crispy Sweet Potato Chipotle Enchiladas, and then inspired by her Edamame Flatbread and her Spinach Pancakes, I whipped up some Kale Flatbread over the weekend and stuffed it with homemade vegan macaroni and cheese.

Then today, I tried a recipe from a different source. I wasn’t cheating on Spabettie—I’m still monogamously fixated on her blog. This recipe was actually part of my VegNews email recipe club.  So technically, it came to me and I didn’t go out looking for it, thus NOT breaking my Spabettie streak.

I made for the first time in my life (which interestingly, was also the first time in my life that I had ever tasted as well), Apple Dumplings.

The recipe made six apple dumplings, which I have decided are pretty much personal pan-less apple pies. That made exactly enough for the three people in my house, with three more left over to give to the three people living in Mama Bear and Mister Elwood’s house. I called Mama Bear to arrange a time for the handoff. Mama Bear and Mister Elwood are soon to take a trip up North to watch Autumn change the landscape’s color palate, so they’re training for walking in the leaves by doing some urban hiking around Tallahassee. It just so happened that this afternoon, they were urban hiking in a location convenient to my house, so I headed to the library to rendezvous with them in the parking lot—at this point getting a little frantic because I was running out of time to ensure that the kitchen was both clean and vacant before people began to arrive this evening.

It was a very brief interlude. They said hello, took a whiff of the dumplings (which did smell quite tantalizing), and then gave me their keys so that I could put the food in their car. After giving them very explicit instructions about how to reheat, plate, and serve, I tried to play a little catch-up with them, “So, how was your day?”

Mister Elwood interrupted me, “Love to chat, but we have to get going again before we cool down and get stiff. We’re old, you remember.”

“Okay, guys. No worries, I’ll see you later,” I said as I handed them back their keys and headed towards my car. But not before my mom yelled out, “Hey, did you know that you’re trouncing around the library parking lot still wrapped in your Virgin de Guadalupe apron?”

Hmmm… suddenly it makes sense why the weird guy with the rat tail down the middle of his back was waving at me and smiling all goofy (I kid you not!!). “Yay, a kindred spirit in weirdness!!” And to think that the whole time, I was convinced that it was because he knew that I was a vegan kitchen magician and he was super impressed by the sweet scents wafting from my apple dumplings!

Crispy Sweet Potato Chipotle Enchiladas

Mama Bear grew up on a farm in South Georgia. I have memories of sitting at her mother’s house and sitting around with everyone all day long, shucking and silking corn. But until this recipe, I hadn’t touched a corn with the husk still on in probably 20 years.

I detoured a bit from Spabettie’s recipe by adding shredded kale to the enchiladas because 1) I love kale and 2) green is my favorite color so I feel like everything should have a little bit, even if it’s just an accent.

Don’t judge me for how ugly this looks. It still tasted fabuloso! This is another place that I strayed a little bit from Spabettie’s recipe. She did not call for it to be baked after it is assembled. I drowned my enchiladas in the Chipotle sauce and then backed them for 15 minutes at 400 to let it all soak in and combine.


Kale Flatbread

Amazing, beautiful, vibrant kale flatbread batter!

I said above that I ate these stuffed with vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. I loved them so much the first night that I made another batch the next day and stuffed them with hummus, carrots, peppers, cucumber and arugula. Then I had them today for lunch stuffed with leftover black beans and rice and QDJ’s tofu scramble, topped with broccoli sprouts. I feel like with these, the only limit is your imagination!


Vegan Apple Dumplings

Vegan GF Apple Dumplings– good enough to attract even the rat tail guy at the public library!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Nashville, Did you give me half a chance with your Southern style and your hidden dance? Away, you dance away, you dance away. –“Nashville” by Indigo Girls

The Sarah Mac Band spent a week in Nashville earlier this month. There was a whole heck of a lot going on during that trip. Honestly, it barely left us with any time to eat. Luckily, we stole away one night and hit the Wild Cow, an East Nashville vegan establishment recommended to us by our friend Holly. The first  night, Claire had a taco salad, Charlie had a Southwestern Salad (I know, it sounds like they should be the same thing, but they weren’t), and I had a Tempe Reuben sandwich with a side of garlicky kale.

Because we  were so pleased with our meal, we actually went back the next night and met Holly and her three children for dinner (which was eventually cut short by a sick child who totally blew vegan chunks in the parking lot… which ricocheted onto my jeans and feet!!!). Before the ill fated parking lot incident, we shared a delightful meal which included the following:

  • Lots of coloring with melted crayons
  • Vegan nachos with real (fake) sour cream and queso sauce
  • Beans and rice
  • Sweet potato tacos
  • Charlie convincing Holly’s daughter that he was once in a bicycle gang
  • Charlie trying to convince Holly’s daughter that her brand new first ever boyfriend,  Gavin, was also in the bicycle gang
  • Charlie convincing Holly’s daughter that he knows Gavin, even though she wasn’t totally sold on the bicycle gang part:

“…he’s about eight years old right?”
“…with brownish hair?”
“…and he goes to your school, right?”
“..wait, I think that he said that he was in your class. Is this the same guy?”
“Yep, that’s him. I totally know him.

  • Jalapeno hummus
  • A homemade firefly with tissue paper wings (man, I wish I had a picture of this, it  was so cool!)
  • Chick pea salad (instead of chicken salad).

For the most part, everything that we got seemed pretty straight forward. With a little time and some special ingredients, we could totally make all of our delightful meals at home. But when we got to the chick pea salad, Holly (who is also adventurous in the kitchen) tasted it and tilted her head to the side, lost in thought. After a few moments of silence (which is hard at a table of three kids and a homemade firefly), she said, “now how could you replicate this one?”

Sarah Mac sighing contentedly after a big bowl of garlicky kale…. nothing does a soul better… not even all of the alcohol in the foreground…

For the record, I have no idea. I did a little bit of Google research and found this recipe.  It says that the recipe came straight from the Wild Cow, but just from reading over it, I’m not feeing it. It seems so ordinary from the recipe and nothing like the earthquake on my taste buds and texture buds (yeah, I don’t really know what to call them, but I’m a stickler for texture), but you know what, I could have just been really crazy hungry and no I’ve blown it up bigger in my memory than it really was. [Side note: I’ll try this recipe out and let you guys know if it is how I remember it being.]

Anyway, all Holly had to do was say, “now, how could you replicate this one?” and something came alive in me and all I wanted to do was get back in the kitchen and play. Luckily, we left for home the next day.

For the entire ride back to Florida, I nested, which translates to “wrapped myself in a Snuggie and alternately knitted and used my fancy internet telephone to snoop out adventurous recipes to try in the kitchen.” I settled on something less adventurous, but still as fun and creative—I am going to make my own LÄRA BARS!!  I lifted this idea from Holly, too. She makes her own and said that it’s super easy.

Of course, there are approximately one zillion recipes for different flavors of LÄRA BAR on the world wide web. So, for now, I’m in the test phase, trying out different flavors until I determine how I want to combine that big package of Medjool Dates that I bought at the grocery.

Check back soon to see the results.

And on a totally unrelated note, I’ve  been rediscovering one of my favorite bands of all time (at least from age 12 until age 22 when I moved in with Claire and had to switch over to Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch), R.E.M. on Spotify as I write this. Does anyone remember “You Are The Everything” from the Green album? It’s weird, and I remember not liking it when it first came out, but now as I listen back, I think that’s it’s a neat little song… lots of lush layers of flavor… kind of like that damn unattainable chick pea salad!!

Huh, I guess that it all comes full circle, because we saw Mike Mills when we were in Nashville!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gifts Bestowed by Queen Divine Justice

I did mention a few posts back that QDJ and I always greet each other with a hearty “Live long and prosper,” right?

I was awakened yesterday from a deep, delightful mid-afternoon on a Sunday nap (a much needed one, as I was just back in town from a very busy week in Nashville) by a message from my friend, Queen Divine Justice. She had attended a brunch the day before and since no one ever brings anything vegan friendly to a brunch, she decided to take matters into her own hands to ensure food that she had something to each. She made a gargantuan pot full of vegan tofu scramble, which is sort of like our answer to scrambled eggs. Since the other options at the brunch were bacon and cinnamon rolls, most were none too interested in her vegan scramble, so she brought over a big container of leftovers to share with me.

Man, let me just start off my saying, that stuff was dang good… and (I’m confessing this to you, but refrain from pouring your judgement down on me because I created this online community to be a safe place) I DON’T EVEN LIKE TOFU!!


Sweet Pea Tofuevos Rancheros

Sweet Pea Café is a vegan restaurant in Tallahassee that I try to support as often as I am both in town and on that side of town. I’m partial to their Tempe Reuben on a gluten free rice wrap, which is my staple go-to if I pop in during the week. But, I love it when I can go on Sunday morning for their weekend brunch special,  Tofuevos Rancheros: corn tortillas topped with brown rice, pinto beans, scrambled tofu and veggies, salsa and sour kream (that’s  vegan sour cream, just in case the “k” didn’t clue you in). Jaye and I have marveled more than once at the great flavor of the tofu scramble, and always thought of it as a mystical, irreplicable creation. It never occurred to either of us to just look it up on the internet!

The first thing that I thought when QDJ walked into my  home with a container of tofu scramble with onions, green peppers, vegan sausage, and roasted potatoes was, “Sweet, I’ve been in Nashville for the week and since I got in late last night, I’ve not been to the grocery yet! I think that with what I have in my pantry and fridge, I can make my own Tofuevos Rancheros for dinner!” And after we had a delightful visit where she recounted her recent trip to Dragon*Con; updated me on the latest post-apocalyptic , dystopian, science fiction novel for young readers that she had read; and then tried her damndest to sell me on the book that she had brought over for me to read (which took quite a bit of convincing as it was neither post-apocolyptic, science fiction, NOR dystopian), it was game on as I did some fridge digging to make my own variation of Tofuevos Rancheros.

Tofuevos Rancheros from the collaborative kitchen of Sarah Mac and Queen Divine Justice. Toasted corn tortillas with vegan cheese, shredded spinach, roasted Brussels’ sprouts, QDJ’s tofu scramble, topped with a black bean, cucumber, mango and red pepper salsa.

Not only is QDJ super thoughtful to bring over food to share (and a book for me to read—since she is actually the one that I lifted the goal of reading 52 books in the calendar year from), but she also came prepared with her recipe written out so that I could recreate the tofu scramble at my leisure… anytime I feel a hankering for Tofuevos Rancheros and Sweet Peas isn’t open for brunch! And since we’re all about sharing the love here and helping you out if you want to make a go at being on team vegan, I posted the recipe in our recipe section for you to try, too!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Duh… of course we’re better!

I found an article on last week, “Do Vegetarians and Vegans Think They Are Better Than Everyone Else?” I thought it was both interesting and really funny. I’ve never thought about acting like we’re holier than thou– but maybe we should!! I say that if we don’t eat chocolate souffle, that SHOULD give us the right to act kind of uppity. I mean, really, it takes an iron will to resist chocolate souffle!

Click here to read the article.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

America’s Pastime

I mentioned a while back that I was going on a pleasure trip to the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. I’m not sure that I told you that we would be taking a few days before and after the festival to sightsee in Boston.

Here’s the interesting thing, I’m a musician. And I took exactly four pictures of musical “stuff” at the folk festival.

The Head and the Heart– technically, this wasn’t part of the festival. We went to see them in Boston the night before the festival. But, the tour was called “The Road to Newport,” so I think it counts.

City and Colour– Claire and I split from Libby and went to see this guy while Libby watched My Morning Jacket on another stage. Even tonight when we ran into each other at a friend’s birthday celebration, Libby said, “Man, I wish that I had gone with you guys to see City and Colour.”

This was the Paste Magazine “cave” where they would bring bands and record videos of them doing stripped down acoustic sets. Claire and I saw Of Monsters and Men here. Claire also saw Ben Sollee– but unfortunately, I had to leave before that set to catch some old school funk from Charles Bradley.

What, what?!? The Punch Brothers are always so much fun to experience live. People were dancing in their chairs and in the aisles like a tent revival.

Well, four musical pictures and a fifth of this girl’s creative way to view the concerts without having people in her way…

I don’t put a whole lot of credence into the whole horoscope thing, but I do have a friend Joyce, who says that I am a “textbook Scorpio,” which also means that I’m a water sign. I thought it was interesting as I looked back through my pictures from that trip for one specific Band Goes Green photo only to find that all of my photos happened to be of water “stuff.”

Beer Bunting. This was decorating the pier that led to the alcohol (not that I imbibed).

Boats in the harbor– I come from water country, but you don’t really see this is the Florida Panhandle. For some reason, we don’t do sailboats.

Claire makes me very nervous by using her fancy internet telephone to take photos off the bow of a ferry in Boston Harbor.

Passing under a bridge in Boston Harbor.

Woo-hoo! This is Sarah Mac feeling very American at a famous baseball place taking part in America’s national pastime!

Really, the whole reason that I was even posting tonight is to say that I went to a professional baseball game at Fenway Park. I don’t really like baseball. In fact, I often argue with Charlie that baseball players (keep in mind that I was a soccer player and a cross country runner so that’s the filter that I’m seeing through– that and I like to mess with Charlie who worships baseball as though it were born of a virgin) aren’t real athletes. They don’t really have to run… ever…. For more than like 20 feet or so. You can’t count as an athlete if you’re so fat that you can’t fit into your tighty-white pants or climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. But I really wanted to go to the baseball game because it seemed really fun and “pastimey” and out of character for me and exciting. While I was at the baseball game, which actually turned out to be really fun (I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it because it makes me seem like even more of a jerk for saying that baseball players aren’t real athletes), Claire and I had veggie dogs.

Sarah Mac and Claire with their veggie dogs. Please pay no attention to our ridiculous sunburns and just be glad that I finally got to the point of this entire blog post!

They were exactly like I remember hot dogs being… which is totally, utterly revolting and disgusting.

But again, it was fun and “pastimey” and out of character for me and exciting. And even though I could still taste it for like three days later, I overlooked that because I rode in a packed subway with a million strangers who were my best friends because we were all going to the same game to cheer for the same team! They might not have wanted to hang so tight with me though if they knew that I was bucking tradition and having a veggie dog…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Win, Win. Fail. Win.

The bad news:

Tonight, I was cooking broccoli. But since we (the Sarah Mac Band) had been in a press conference earlier in the day, I left my broccoli cooking on the stove and walked into another room to watch the evening news to see if I looked like a goofball in my interview. Our segment aired at the very end of the newscast. As I was congratulating myself for not being a goofball on TV, I became aware of the acrid, sulfury smell of blackened broccoli wafting into the TV room. UGH! Win on the press conference. Total, utter fail on the broccoli.

The next part is even worse:

Waste not, want not… right? Since I’m a poor, starving artist, I thought that I would try to eat around the blackened parts and maybe cover it up a bit with lemon juice and garlic. Before I got too far into the process, I decided to test it out and see if it was edible. It seemed unwise to use up all of my lemon juice and garlic if the broccoli wasn’t really worth saving. So, I popped a piece in my mouth, straight out of the pan. And then I burned the top of my mouth and made a terrible blister! Win on the saving the broccoli. Total, utter fail on searing a sensitive part of my own body.

The grossest part of the bad news:

Alas, after the fifth attempt, I realized that no matter how I turned it, my phone would not fit into my mouth to capture the destruction of it’s roof.

When I was a child and lost my first tooth, my Grandma Beulah  told me that your new teeth always grow in gold if you don’t stick your tongue in the hole left by the old tooth. Interesting, I always wondered how my elementary school bus driver had gotten her gold teeth… Every time I lost a tooth, I tried in vain to not stick my tongue in the hole, but when things are weird in my mouth, it drives me crazy. So I spent the majority of the evening tonight (when I should have been paying attention in band practice) using my tongue to assess the damage of my blister. Well… that strategy only came into play after I tried in vain to take a picture of the inside of my mouth using my cell phone to see if I could actually see the damage. When that didn’t work, I resorted to my second best option (tongue), which was hard because I’m still haunted by the fact that I accidentally licked all the gold off of my teeth when I was a child. That would have helped with the whole starving artist thing and maybe I never would have been in this situation in the first place!

Then Charlie snapped me back to reality, “Sarah, you need to be singing this part.”

I sang, which was really hard to do considering that I was still messing with my blister. Then all of a sudden, I tasted blood and realized that the skin from my blister was no longer on my blister. Hmmm… it was nowhere to be found. And then it dawned on me, I am no longer vegan. I’m suddenly a meat eater again… and not just any kid of meat eater… a cannibal meat eater! I swallowed my own blister!!

Win on finally getting the lyrics right to our new song. Total utter fail on breaking my 8 month vegan streak (to add to my total, utter fail on the gold teeth front that I’m still trying to recover from) with cannibalism. Hmm… at least, now I have some frame of reference for a song that was very influential for teenaged Sarah.

The good news:

We had a press conference today because we won a contest that will send us to Nashville to the Americana Music Conference in September. I didn’t realize the scope of the contest until today when they announced that 23,000 people voted and the Sarah Mac Band came out on top. We’re over the moon.

Even more awesome is the conference happens one week after the release of our new album from which we released the first single, Baptised on Tuesday. It is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon now. The full length album will be available on Tuesday, September 4th. There will be quite a bit of touring to support this album, so check our website to see when we’ll be near you.

Here’s a video promo for the Baptised single, from footage recorded this Spring when we were in Ohio making this album.

Total utter fail on accidentally de-veganing by consuming your own flesh. Win, win, win on all of the pieces coming together in Sarah Mac Band land to make us really hopeful about the future!






Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment