V Ol Blak

V Ol Blak

A Monkie with an Attitude Problem

I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven :(

mast coffee chocolate 02 I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven :(Photographer V Blak

Let me start this post with an UPSIDE DOWN smile :( Okay now that I have that out of my system, lets focus on the title of this post: I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven. What the hell is that suppose to mean right? Well, this is what it means. I sooooo badly wanted to LOVE, I mean butterflies in my belly, love this Chocolate Bar. Why why chocolate fairy did you still my joy!

Let me start at the beginning. I was in the big NYC for a little work and a whole lot of Loving (wishful thinking I know) a few weeks ago. I started off the visit by seeing my friend Dan, who has an office just around the corner from the newish Ace Hotel in Manhattan. Yeah, that cool hip salvation army looking hotel chain. The one out of Portland Oregon. It’s an awesome place and they even have a Portland styled espresso bar just off the main lobby of the Hotel. Since we were so close, we decided to make the Ace our morning espresso destination. Wow, it did not disappoint. The entire lobby is a wifi free hang out zone, featuring a completely black 40 foot ceiling with massive roman style white columns holding up the place.

I think I must have passed out. When I woke, there was a large chunk of this dry bitter bar still stuck to my tongue.

We headed into the espresso bar and order up a few soy cappuccinos. As I am paying for our brews, what quirky little thing catches my eye on the counter? The one and only Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars. I couldn’t believe it. I just wrote a post on the Mast Brothers a week or so before heading to NYC. The post included a few amazing videos about the two brothers and their dedication to the old world craft of chocolate making. Their Brooklyn based store in the videos looked like a mini chocolate heaven to me. So, seeing these Willy Wonka type bars right there, on the counter was just too much to resist, I grabbed one and told the barista, add this to my bill. First words out of his mouth were, are you sure, they are $10. The number echoed in my head. $10 Doooollllaaarrrssssss. Time seemed to stop. Everything was in slow motion. I could hear the hiss of the steam escaping the espresso machines, the slurping sound from all the hipsters sucking down their espressos and my own breath rushing out of my lungs… and then these words leaving my lips, of course, no problem, let me have it. And oh did he! $20 or so dollars later Dan and I strolled out with two espresso’s and my new shiny heaven in a bar of Mast Brothers Espresso Dark Chocolate.

ace hotel new york city 01 I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven :( Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

Flesh Monkies prepare yourself for what I am about to tell you. This is V Blak by the way. I know you and I don’t feel this way, we are freaking Monkies after all, but the truth is, sadly most people, HATE, I mean really hate Beets. Even our hip youngish first lady, Michelle Obama has something against these red bloody beauties. She told Ladies Home Journal “Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”. What does that mean? You have to have a gene to like one of the best veggies on the planet? I am taking a wild guess here, but I bet they had that all to common first taste beet experience, you know the one, the dreaded dirt taste.

Yes dirt, come on, lets admit it, beets are very very earthy and if you are a clueless fleshy, like I was, you just don’t know how to properly bring out the lushes side of beets. The result can have them coming out tasting like the backend of a dog. Okay not that bad and no I haven’t tasted a backend of a dog, and anyways I think that taste is exclusively reserved for Durians.

“Neither the president nor I have the beet gene”.

My own first experience with beets almost completely turned me off them forever. I was just beginning to juice and I tossed in way too many beets, greens and all and the result, I could barely keep from tossing the thing back up. I thought I was going to be sick. I just completely over did it. I may have also added garlic to that juice. I think I was sick or something. My point is, it was just too many beets and too little of the sweet stuff. Life is about balance and sometimes I just completely forget that. Oh well, lucky for me, I have an experienced beet lover close at hand now days and she has completely turned me around. I’ll admit it, her beautiful smile and her contagious laugh might have opened me up to giving the beet a second chance, but in the end it was her Beet dish which closed the deal. And maybe if your unfortunately in the hater camp, she can do the same for you. I present to you, GreenChef Aria Alpert and her love love love for the dirty little Beet.

Aria and I whipped up a short GreenChef video just for you, about you guessed it, the Beet. Sit back, click play and enjoy the first GreenChef video from the new G Living Pad in Palm Desert and afterwards, jump down to the comment section and tell everyone why you love or hate beets. And if your in the love category, spill the beans and maybe even share your beet recipe / story. We would love that…. Recipes and photos after the jump.

roasted beets aria alpert recipe greenchefs 02 How To Love Your Beets, by GreenChef Aria Alpert

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Best Vegan Blogs | G Living is # 18 on the List! Hmmm What The F@@k, 18

best vegan blog Best Vegan Blogs | G Living is # 18 on the List! Hmmm What The F@@k, 18

What did I tell you! People around the world do like me, I mean G Living. I just came across another blog giving us a rave review. The Vegan Healthy Happy Life site has a list of the Best Vegan Blogs and they even have a graphic of dancing veggies with names above their heads. Guess who’s name is above the 3rd veggie (the cucumber), yes that is right, G LIVING. All you drone-freezer heads are now seeing just how popular, your dark monkie really is. There is one question I have for Kathy, the woman who created the list. Why number 18? Shouldn’t we be number one? Really, I think that is where we should be.

Number 18: G Living Just discovered this modern, chic, video, trend-infused site. New fave.

Searching for the Best Vegan Blogs on the web? Look no further. I’ve researched, scrolled and scoured the web for the best vegan blogs. Top Favorites – these are the websites I personally visit reguarily for a number of reasons. If you don’t see your site here and honestly think it should be please reach out to me – the web is vast and I have not seen every single vegan site (though I DO try!)

See, new fave! Bam.. We are on a roll now. It only took, hmmmm 5 years, but hey who is counting. :)

Filed Under Green Report / Media Tags

A Bike Wheel That Tells On You, The Copenhagen Wheel

copenhagenwheel 01 A Bike Wheel That Tells On You, The Copenhagen Wheel

I just saw this interesting idea over at Metropolis Magazine. It’s called the Copenhagen Wheel and it’s a prototype electric powered wheel for your bike which not only pushes you along it also gathers data about your ride and the environments you ride through. The wheel sends the date to a special iphone app and then onto the web. Creating a layered map of date from all the Copenhagen wheels in your city. Pretty interesting. I think I would buy one. I didn’t find any information about the size of the electric motor or how you charge it or how fast it goes. I also didn’t see any wires, so maybe it’s just an electric assist and not a full electric bike.

The Copenhagen Wheel turns the bike you already own, quickly and easily into an electric bike with regeneration and real-time environmental sensing capabilities. The wheel harvests the energy you input while braking and cycling and stores it for when you need a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel are collecting information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions.

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G Living Presents Our GreenChefs Pilot Episode

greenchefs pilot episode G Living Presents Our GreenChefs Pilot Episode

We have decided to share with everyone, our pilot episode of GreenChefs. This is just a rough idea, what the show would be like. Hope everyone enjoys the show. Feed back is more than welcome and again, anyone out there interested in helping us take the shows to broadcast TV, please reach out and let us hear from you.

Recorded ‘as live’, Green Chefs is a plant-based cooking show like you’ve never seen before. Each 30 min episode features four incredible themed recipes to satisfy the palate and curiosity of any food lover. Set in the high-end designer kitchen of our Venice studios, three cameras cover every angle and each delectable close-up.

Join our G host, Sarah Backhouse, as she introduces us to the top chefs in green cuisine. Together they use the freshest and finest organic ingredients to create truly sumptuous plant-based dishes. With a splash of attitude and good measure rock n’ roll, our slick, glossy on-air look and feel will leave you wanting more. Green Chefs. Eat Green. Be Happy.

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Crystal Castles Featuring Robert Smith From The Cure / Free Mix To G Out Too

crystal castles 02 Crystal Castles Featuring Robert Smith From The Cure / Free Mix To G Out Too

I am feeling it’s that time again. Yes, new music time. It’s been a while since I have highlighted a new group I am in love with and I thought, hmmm should I share a band I am semi in love with? Sure, go ahead, it’s a cool band. Two fellow North Americans (Canadians) Ethan Kath and Alice Glass, redefining electronic music with the almost seemingly exclusive use of game sounds for their first album.

The band is called Crystal Castles and they seem to on the rise and if you haven’t heard of them before, it’s about time you did. According to the Wiki in the sky, Crystal Castles musical style has been described as “ferocious, asphyxiating sheets of warped two-dimensional Gameboy glitches and bruising drum bombast that pierces your skull with their sheer shrill force, burrowing deep into the brain like a fever.

The reason I am featuring the band today is because of this free remix which has been released with the lead singer of The Cure, Robert Smith. Come on, everyone remembers The Cure right? Please say yes. Well, if you know who Robert is or not, I think you will enjoy this track.

Crystal Castles – ‘Not In Love’ (feat. Robert Smith)

I have included three Crystal Castles videos after the jump, so dig in.
crystal castles 01 Crystal Castles Featuring Robert Smith From The Cure / Free Mix To G Out Too Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Tight On Space But Love Christmas, Try A Decal Christmas Tree

christmas tree wall decals 01 Tight On Space But Love Christmas, Try A Decal Christmas TreeDecal By Subhuti

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to head out with your love ones and buy all that new Christmas stuff. New LED christmas lights, a fake or real Christmas tree, stockings, fake snow and so on. It is exhausting to even think about.

I was unlucky enough to be at Target, a place I never go to. If that wasn’t bad enough, I found myself in the middle of a Christmas explosion. Christmas everything, they had Chinese cheap o stringed lights for $4, fake trees, ornaments, stockings, fake snow, fake snowflake sparkly ornaments and on and on, you get the picture. As it happens, I wasn’t alone either, I was with my very beautiful and sophisticated girlfriend, who upon laying her eyes on this mega find of Christmas bonanza, transformed into a 5 year old girl, touching and wanting nearly everything. Lucky we made it out of there without buying one of those fake trees, because, this decal idea is looking pretty good. No need to have a decaying fire hazard sitting in the living room, when you can have something as stylish as a vinyl wall tree decal… right?

All the rage in… tiny apartments everywhere, Christmas Tree Wall Decals. The decals are made from self stick vinyl and they come in all kinds of cool modern design. Way cooler than the same old live tree thing everyone does. This is original, fun and yes can be peeled off and used again next year.

Tree’s go for between $12 to $24 plus shipping. No tools need, just a blank wall. Have fun and take photos… you can checkout some of the trees on Subhuit etsy shop.
christmas tree wall decals 05 Tight On Space But Love Christmas, Try A Decal Christmas Tree
christmas tree wall decals 03 Tight On Space But Love Christmas, Try A Decal Christmas Tree Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Electric Super Bike You Can Actually Buy / The Empulse

empulse electric super motor bike 01 The Electric Super Bike You Can Actually Buy / The Empulse

I have been waiting and waiting for a real electric motor bike to hit the market. Now finally an Oregon based company called Brammo is coming out with a bike called the Empulse, that goes over 100 mph and can go 100+ miles before needing to recharge. Sounds perfect, now what will this thing cost right? Well, its up there but so are most super bikes. There will be three models coming out in 2011, ranging in price from $10k to $14k. Not bad, since you never need gas and maintenance will be next to nothing. Would you buy one?

Lots of photos after the jump.

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Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria Alpert

sweet spicy baked tempeh 01 Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria AlpertPhotographer V Blak

The title should give you a clue to what I am about to rant about and if it doesn’t maybe the I HATE TEMPEH Tattoo on my arm will. I really do hate Tempeh. I mean, I don’t have a hate thing going just because it is Tempeh, I am not like that. I hate it because every time I order Tempeh at a restaurant (like Real Food Daily in Santa Monica) it just taste like cardboard. I am not joking, a fedex box would be better. The waiter serving it even says to me, and who ordered the cardboard. Okay he didn’t say that, but he really should have. People ordering this stuff must really be into the possible health benefits, because come on, really who could like the taste of this stuff. Reminds me of those diet dried rice cakes, I remember people sucking down in the 80’s to lose weight. Dull boring cardboard cakes, MMMMM not!

So, the other day, I am hanging out with Aria and I think she asked me if I liked Tempeh (I guess she didn’t see my tat) and of course that set me off on a rant like the one above. No, I do not like Tempeh, I do not like Tempeh in a salad, I do not like Tempeh on a sandwich, I do not like Tempeh Loafs, I do not like Tempeh while sitting with a goat, or while wearing a coat, I just do not like Tempeh. Well, Aria didn’t like that at all. She gave me a look that could kill a child. Her face turned red and she said, you just don’t know what your talking about. Tempeh is a wonderful food. It’s a whole food don’t you know. It has amazing health benefits (oh here we go) for sickly looking Vegans (hint hint), such as natural cultures to help digestion, protein to pump up those muscles and vitamins like B, calcium, and even essential fatty acids. Yeah yeah yeah, as I roll my eyes, but it taste like cardboard, I said. And I am sure Cardboard has great fiber, but I am not about to sit down and suck down an amazon.com box anytime soon. This just got her fuming… (i am joking, she is actually very calm and when she hit me with the Tempeh package, it didn’t really hurt). Then she said, okay we are going to have a challenge, which I can’t remember exactly what it was, but basically she would make Tempeh I would actually find it impossible to not say, WOW, this is good. Hmmm not likely was my response. She wasn’t phased, she just started cooking and I eased my way out of the kitchen to eat some of my cashew spicy cheesy kale chips.. mmmm. Now those are good… just saying!

What did she make? Hmmm I will give you a hint, I named the recipe in the title. She made a Sweet and yet Spicy Baked Tempeh which was not only good, it was really really good and yes I couldn’t resist… I said Wow, but not in front of her of course. There wasn’t a single hint of the dreaded cardboardishness of all the other Tempeh’s on the planet. What made this tempeh different, then lets say Real Food Daily’s tempeh, it was all in the sauce. When those words came out of my mouth, Aria just rolled her eyes and said, of course it’s the sauce, you thick Monkie. Tempeh doesn’t have a flavor of it’s own. You have to marinate it, to allow it to soak up all the yummy spices. But my point was that it’s the sauce oozing over the tempeh, giving it a nice moist feeling, like a nice BBQ rib or something, which made it so…yummy. No, I don’t eat ribs or any animal anything, but I have in my lifetime so I know what I am talking about. She did the impossible, she made cardboard taste good, hmmmm, maybe she can tackle the rest of Real Food Daily’s menu next. I will keep you posted.

Yes, Aria won again and so can you. Just say no to Cardboard and try this recipe!

sweet spicy baked tempeh 02 Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria Alpert Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Must Have Gardening Book For Monkies Like Me! American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques

gardening encyclopedia techniques 01 The Must Have Gardening Book For Monkies Like Me! American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques Photographer: V Blak (CC)

Here at G Living we get books and other stuff sent to us all the time, which is great, but most of it isn’t worth posting about. It’s either dull stuff or just isn’t that “G”. And if it’s not “G” or just plain dull, we either don’t post about it at all or if we do, it’s not always pretty because we tell it as we see it. But with that said, out of the last 40 books or so that have come our way in the past year, this one is definitely a stand out. It’s called American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques. Yeah I know, could they make the title any longer? Anyways, it’s amazing and I am addicted to carrying this 4 pound thing around with me right now. Well, maybe it’s not 4 pounds, but it is pretty hefty, in a good way if you know what I mean.

I’ll admit, am completely new to gardening at the ripe old age of 42. Yes, I have waited 42 years to start figuring out just how plants grow and what the heck they actually need to stay alive. I have killed many many plants in my time I am or was completely clueless how to even start a garden. I didn’t really even know how to plant seeds. Do I put them in those little green house starter trays? Can I just drop them in the ground? How do I plant trees, what plants grow where, how much water do they need, why didn’t my seed germinate and so on. Like any newbie I have a million questions and that is exactly what this book is all about. It’s like the google of gardening but in a book form with detailed illustrations. I love it.

I can see my grandparents shaking their heads at me right now, saying something like duh…. its an encyclopedia, you daft Monkie!

This is not one of those re-hashed gardening books filled with old photos ripped out of gardening magazines from the 80’s or worse the 70’s.

You can’t go wrong with this book. This is an up to date modern book with a fresh feel to it. This is not one of those re-hashed gardening books filled with old photos ripped out of gardening magazines from the 80’s or worse the 70’s. You know the books I am talking about. They are billed high in the discount section of Barns and Nobles. Those books are a desperate attempt to re-use old stuff and passing it off as new. Those books bore me. This is one feels like it was create especially for the modern urban gardener, which I am guessing is probably someone like you and it’s definitely me.

I took some photos of the books layout for everyone. You can see them after the jump.

gardening encyclopedia techniques 02 The Must Have Gardening Book For Monkies Like Me! American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques
gardening encyclopedia techniques 03 The Must Have Gardening Book For Monkies Like Me! American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Modern Cave Home, I Would Kill, Yes Kill To Live In!

casa chihuahua 04 The Modern Cave Home, I Would Kill, Yes Kill To Live In!

If your a treehugging hemp wearing greeny, you should be cave shopping right now. Forget about living in the typical stick built boxes, all the drones call home. The greenest houses on the planet are caves, ask any bat. No insulation needed, earth quake proof, extremely low energy bills, and oh so quite. But, no one but a nut wants to actually live in a cave, right. I mean you would have to be just a little off, like one of those people who actually think doing their business in a bucket is progressive. For us Monkies, we love the bonus sides of cave living and hate the down sides. The no style, no light, drippy ceilings, no right angles and bat guano. But if you could combine the cave DNA with modern architecture, we monkies would be all over it. That is exactly what the architecture firm Productora has done with their House in Chihuahua.

By Productora: The House in Chihuahua is part of a golf club community in the desert like northern region of Mexico. The dwelling was designed to accommodate the special climatic circumstances of the area, since the differences between day time and night time temperatures can vary by as much as twenty degrees. To balance these extreme temperature differences, we partially buried the house into the mountain slope to take advantage of the soil’s thermal mass.

casa chihuahua 12 The Modern Cave Home, I Would Kill, Yes Kill To Live In!

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Looking Back | Carl Sagan Takes Us On A Space Journey Into The Cosmic Ocean

carlsagon nasa 01 Looking Back | Carl Sagan Takes Us On A Space Journey Into The Cosmic Ocean

I have posted about Carl Sagan a few times here on G Living. I never seem to get tired of looking back at his life and the knowledge he left behind. He seemed to have instinctively known the way to excite the next generation in science, exploration and knowledge, is to light up their imaginations with visuals and dramatic stories. He did just that with his Cosmos Tv series. Before CGI, before Star Wars and Battle Star Galactica, Carl created a TV series, which took us into space, not to kill fictional Klingons, but to learn about the actual universe we live within.

Yes, the graphics are a bit dated, it was filmed in the late 70’s but it still blows me away. Watch the entire series on Hulu.com for free. Posted below is the first show in the series. Open your mind and enjoy.


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