Instagram Story: Mansplaining, ‘Splained

Mansplaining. It’s a word that induces cringes from coast-to-coast… mostly in men. Unfortunately it’s a reality for many women – and also unfortunately – it’s often misused, rendering it meaningless to those who need to understand it the most.

Mansplaining is not when a man explains something to a woman. Mansplaining is when a man condescendingly (“well, actually”) explains something to a woman who is just as knowledgeable, if not more knowledgeable on the topic as he is. Mansplaining stems from what I call the “Prove It” Culture – the misogynistic tendency of men to refuse to believe or accept that a woman could be knowledgable about a traditionally male topic. Sports, heavy metal, comic books, video games, cars, etc.

Here is an example from third grade: It was the height of the Bulls dynasty. My mom was a Bulls fanatic, and my little brother an aspiring basketball player. Basketball was the topic of conversation around the dinner table more often than not. I went to school in a Chicago Bulls t-shirt and was immediately confronted by a male classmate, who challenged me to “name three players.” When I was able to (duh, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Horace Grant were gods in the Chicago suburbs) some other insult was hurled my way.

As as adult I have been challenged to “prove it” over my love of thrash metal, professional wrestling, and mixed martial arts. I have yet to meet a man who has ever had to prove that his interests were genuine. In fact, when I jokingly challenged a male friend to “name three Venom songs” when I first posted this video, he actually did it because he didn’t realize I was kidding. No one had ever done that to him before.

Now that I’m older, and have established myself pretty well as a person knowledgable about the things I speak about most often, I get less “prove it,” and more “well, actually.” This happens most often in my profession. I’ve spent the last 10 years as a marketing professional – specializing in social media strategy. Despite the fact that I’ve grown various brands’ I’ve worked for’s social media following by more than 600% in a period as short as six months, I still get social media bros “well actually-ing” me about everything from the best way to run an Instagram contest to the most effective hashtag strategies.

This is a really long intro for this video, but I know this is a subject people are very confused by, so I wanted to give it some context. When I recorded this Instagram story a few days ago I’d had two mansplaining incidents happen to me in a row and it was just too much.

Please be aware that I cuss like a sailor in this video (I was so, so mad) and, as always, the opinions expressed here are mine, and do not reflect the opinions of any of my clients or employers.

What do you think about mansplaining? Has it happened to you? Have you done it to others? Tell me in the comments!

How to Have a Totally Bitchin’ Vegan Cinco de Mayo

vegan nachos Spiral Diner

Check it out, you can eat nachos without embarrassing yourself and everyone around you!

Hey guys, who isn’t stoked about celebrating Mexican army’s victory over the French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862? I know I am! That’s why I did the unthinkable – two new posts in one week!

If there’s one thing everyone knows about me, it’s that I love beer-fueled social gatherings, so let’s get this party started! Before we begin, let’s do a little housecleaning. First, please answer the following questions:

  1. Are you a non-Hispanic person planning on wearing a sombrero to this evening’s festivities?
  2. Will you at any point tonight refer to the day as Cinco de Drinko?
  3. Will fake mustaches be involved in your gathering?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you should be aware that you’re on the verge of acting like an asshole. But, I’m here to help.

I don’t mean to be a killjoy here. I know people just like a reason to party. So, if you don’t want to be an asshole this Cinco de Mayo, here are some things you can do:

  1. Celebrate at local, family-owned Mexican restaurants
  2. Do not wear anything that mocks or co-ops Mexican culture
  3. Stay home, make delicious Mexican food and watch Mexican wrestling
  4. Donate to non-profits that work with Mexican immigrants (like Border Angels or the National Immigration Law Center)

My friend Kelly posted something yesterday on Seitan Beats Your Meat that you may find helpful – everything from how to order vegan food at local, Latinx-owned restaurants to how to respectfully celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I suggest you read it!

P.S. If you are staying home, here are some recipes you might want to try out:



YumUniverse Pantry to Plate: Vegan Sriracha Mac Recipe

vegan sriracha mac and cheeseI hope the past 10+ years of me doing this site has helped change the way people think about Chicago. Yeah, we love deep dish and hot dogs piled high with green relish and tomatoes (no ketchup, I swear to god we will hurt you) – but we also have a bangin’ vegan scene. We have tons of vegan restaurants and non-vegan restaurants with awesome vegan options, an action-oriented community with tons of pop-up markets and dinners, organized protests and meet ups, and, plenty of vegan cookbook authors, too.

One of those authors is Heather Crosby, creator of YumUniverse. Three years ago Heather released her first book, which was filled with healthy, gluten-free and vegan recipes and she’s back with a creative take on vegan/gf food once again. In her new book, YumUniverse Pantry to Plate: Improvise Meals You Love – from What You Have!, Heather offers up templates for recipes you can personalize a million and one ways.

For example, the Cheesy Comfort Food template offers up a mix-and-match of essentials for recipes featuring vegan cheese – veggies, cream.aromatics, acid, funk and extras. Using this template, you can customize your dream cheese using your fave ingredients – or whatever you have on hand –  and then use them any way you like. She also includes recipes with each template to get you started (you know, if you went to Catholic school and like rules, like me).

I’m sharing her recipe for Sriracha Mac, which can be found in the Cheesy Comfort Food section – and inspired by the template idea – I’m noting here that if you don’t have or don’t like delicata squash, you could use another squash, sweet potato, or even cauliflower to make this sauce.

Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. Photographs copyright © Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Vegan Sriracha Mac

vegan sriracha mac and cheese

By BakeandDestroy Published: May 3, 2017

  • Yield: 4 Servings

I hope the past 10+ years of me doing this site has helped change the way people think about Chicago. Yeah, we love deep dish and hot …



  1. Boil a large pot of water and prepare the macaroni noodles according to the package directions.
  2. While the noodles cook, combine the squash, water, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, salt, sriracha and ginger in your blender and puree until very smooth. Taste, and add more sriracha if needed. Transfer into a large pot and heat over a low flame.
  3. Drain the noodles and add to the pot of sauce; add the scallions. Stir, and season with more salt if desired.
  4. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and serve warm.

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    Instagram Story: Show Me Your Selfie

    I was on my way to a work event when a meme someone posted on Instagram stopped me in my tracks. Long story short, it was inferring that women who post selfies are less intelligent and socially aware than those who don’t. Basically that we’re too busy taking selfies to make a positive impact on the world. (This was aimed specifically at women, but I’ve seen plenty of ill-will online for men who post selfies too – possibly even more so than women.)

    It really burns my biscuits that people are constantly put in the position of defending their self-confidence. We all struggle – every single one of us – so what’s wrong with feelin’ yourself once in a while? Or all the time? I, for one, love to see your selfies, and will continue to post my own as long as it makes me happy to do so. I could go on, but it seems I already did in my Instagram Story, so here’s the rest:

    Obviously opinions I express in my videos and on this blog are mine and mine alone, and don’t reflect the opinions of my clients or employers.

    Thoughts on this video? Tell me in the comments!

    Everyone Sucks But Us: 96 Vegan Recipes for Couples Who Don’t Suck

    It’s been four years since my first book came out, and ten years since I started Bake and Destroy. I’ve had six jobs, three major hair style changes and more pet fish than I can possibly count in that time – but the one thing that’s been a constant is my husband, Tony Slater.

    Not only is he one of the few people I can tolerate for more than the span of a lunch meeting, but he’s also an excellent cook and a supportive partner. A few of his recipes made it into Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans, and many more have made it onto the blog and my social media over the years.

    There is truly no one on this entire floating rock I’d rather share a pizza, much less my life with than this guy and so it only made sense that we do a book together.

    Most of these vegan recipes are meant to serve two – so shout out to single people, share with your bestie or give two servings to the person you love most – you. These are inspired by the dishes we make at home for the two of us while Teno eats his third veggie burger of the day because he’s eleven years old and completely impossible. Kids book coming next? Doubt it.

    Recipes such as:

    • We Make Quite a Pear Pancake(s)
    • Barack and Michelle-o Salad
    • Bonnie and Fried Chick’n
    • Your Name is Tattooed on My Tart
    • Sinking Ship: Rosewater and Jackfruit Cocktails

    If you’re excited for this book you’ll definitely want to check out my other books, Bake and Destroy:Good Food For Bad Vegans, Wide Mouth Strikes Again: 96 Moz-Inspired Mason Jar RecipesKale and Kill96 Vegan Recipes Inspired by the Speaker-Blowing Music of Manowar, Caught in a Nosh: 125 Vegan Kosher Recipes and Eat Shit and Die: 101 Killer Recipes from Bake and Destroy!

    Happy April Fool’s Day! Thanks to Ken from Everyone Sucks But Us for help with the book cover design. Keep your eyes peeled for a line of t-shirts and other things featuring his designs!

    The New Vegan: Gluten-free Orange Polenta Cake Recipe

    A few years back I shared a recipe from Aine Carlin’s first cookbook, Keep It Vegan and remarked that had our cookbooks gone to highschool together, they wouldn’t have run in the same crowd, but they’d probably meet and become friends later in life. Carlin’s second book The New Vegan: Great Recipes, No-Nonsense Advice, and Simple Tips is every bit as preppy-perfect as her first, but once again, I found myself sucked into the luscious photos and descriptions of her dishes – allowing me to temporarily abandon my preference for the unpolished.

    This book is intended to support new vegans’ quest for easy, flavorful dishes but even a seasoned vegan will find new ideas and inspiration. Such was the case for me with this recipe. I’ve been eating polenta my entire life, but never for dessert. (Once for breakfast, at my grandmas, we collectively decided as a family to never do that again.)

    You’ll want to make the cashew frosting for this cake first, and stash it in the fridge while you work on the rest. Be sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting it.

    gluten free vegan orange polenta cakeFor the cashew frosting:

    • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours
    • ½  cup agave nectar 
    • juice and zest of ½ orange
    • ½ tsp orange extract
    • 1 heaping tsp coconut oil
    • 2-3 Tbs water

    Drain and rinse the cashews and blend in a food processor or high-speed blender with the agave, orange juice and zest, orange extract, coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Scrape down the sides frequently until it becomes completely smooth, adding a little more water if necessary. The frosting will go through several stages; nutty,coarse, and eventually silky smooth. You really do have to persevere to achieve the perfect frosting consistency, but don’t take a shortcut by adding too much liquid. Keep blending and it will eventually become a shadow of its former cashew self. Refrigerate until needed.

    Please note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click & make a purchase I might earn a small amount of money. I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher, but the opinions expressed here are my own. Recipe and photos reprinted with permission.

    Vegan GF Orange Polenta Cake

    By BakeandDestroy Published: March 20, 2017

    • Yield: 8-10 Servings

    A few years back I shared a recipe from Aine Carlin's first cookbook, Keep It Vegan and remarked that had our cookbooks gone to …



    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease and line a 6-inch cake pan.
    2. Make the frosting as directed above.
    3. Mix the polenta, ground almonds, chickpea flour, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Stir through the blood orange zest to ensure it is evenly distributed.
    4. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the oil, blood orange juice, agave, orange extract, and yogurt.
    5. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the orange and olive oil mixture. Fold gently and transfer to the prepared cake pan.
    6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Check whether the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer to see if it comes out clean.
    7. Once baked, let cool briefly on a wire rack before removing it from the pan. Set aside until completely cool.
    8. Slather with the chilled cashew frosting, smoothing it around the sides with a spatula. Finally, decorate with crushed pistachios. The cake is best eaten fresh, but will keep for up to 3 days.

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      Veganized: Maraschino Cherry Bread

      Before we get started, I need you to know that I already know the following two things:

      1. This recipe is adapted from Taste of Lizzy T’s recipe. You may have seen her video of this recipe making its rounds on Facebook. So did I. Which is why I decided to veganize it.
      2. Maraschino cherries are an abomination and should really not be consumed by humans. But sometimes it’s fun to test fate. More on this later.

      Ok, so now that those are out of the way I will also add:

      3. This recipe is so, so bad for you. But I am the person who birthed Doritos-Crusted Tofu into this world, and I’m not going to apologize for that. If you want overflowing mason jars of green smoothie you are reading the wrong blog. Yes, I did just make an overflowing mason jar of smoothie joke in the last post I did. They’re just really, really stupid and I hate them.

      Maraschino cherries, as stated earlier, are disgusting. But they are also delicious. It’s a real conundrum. If you are repulsed by their ingredients, which consist mainly of fake sugar and artificial coloring, you can modify this recipe by making your own maraschino cherries, or you can buy all natural maraschino cherries. Either of these options will taste good, but won’t get you the bright pink color pictured here. To recreate that naturally, you could use a few drops of beet juice.

      There are also other subs you could make if you want to make these slightly less trashy – like swapping in coconut oil for canola, using a high-protein gluten-free flour blend and cutting back on the sugar somehow that I am not aware of and do not care about.

      But I did none of those things. I fed my family a loaf of sugary, artificially-colored, gluten-full cherry loaf and god damn it we were happy. I used Ener-G Egg Replacer in my version, but a flax egg would also work well.

      P.S. Some of these links are affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase I will earn a laughably small amount of money.

      Vegan Maraschino Cherry Bread

      By BakeandDestroy Published: March 20, 2017

        It's real bad for you. I've said it enough times now that you really don't need to email me or leave comments about it. K thx.



        1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9"x5" loaf pan.
        2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, non-dairy milk, oil, egg substitute, and vanilla.
        3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
        4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. Be careful not to over-mix, some lumps are OK.
        5. Gently fold the chopped cherries into the mixture. Transfer mixture to baking pan and bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
        6. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely. (About another 30-40 minutes.)
        7. Top with glaze made from the following: 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup reserved cherry liquid, 2 Tbs melted margarine (or coconut oil) and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the top of the cooled bread. Allow the glaze to set up and then slice.

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          Recipe: Raw Vegan Blueberry Muffin Bites

          I bet you never in a million years expected to see the words “raw vegan” on this site. Bake and Destroy – a celebration of refined sugars and white flour. Have I gone health vegan on you? Are overflowing mason jar smoothies just around the corner?

          Nah, don’t worry about me, I’m still dedicated fully to being gross – and part of that dedication means eating raw batter and dough every chance I get. Now you could go through the trouble of making actual blueberry muffin batter just to lick the mixing spoon, or you could just make these bites, which take about 5 minutes to come together.

          While I did receive the Bob’s Red Mill dried blueberries and I Heart Keenwah Toasted Quinoa Hot Cereal in this recipe for free, I was not compensated for this post.

          Raw Vegan Blueberry Muffin Bites

          By BakeandDestroy Published: March 12, 2017

          • Yield: 2 dozen

          For this recipe, I used dried blueberries, rehydrated in water for 15 mins because they're less messy than fresh or frozen, and toasted quinoa flakes, which have a more mellow, nutty flavor than other quinoa flakes.



          1. I recommend using a food processor as opposed to a blender to make these as the dough is quite sticky.
          2. In a food processor, pulse together the cashews, quinoa flakes, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until it forms a fine meal texture. Be careful not to pulse it into cashew butter.
          3. Add the lemon zest, maple syrup and vanilla and pulse until smooth. It will form a ball. Scrape down the sides and pulse until everything is blended.
          4. Scrape the dough into a bowl, and stir in the blueberries. You might need to get in there with your hands.
          5. Scoop out 1 tsp sized balls of dough, and roll smooth between your palms. I place mine directly into a resealable container so I can store them in the fridge. You can eat them right away, or refrigerate them until they're a little more firm. Store them in a covered container.

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            Smith & Daughters Cookbook: Sopa Seca Peruvian Pasta Bake Recipe

            I received an advanced copy of the highly anticipated Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens To Be Vegan) and, as a combo chubby vegan and bibliophile, have been drooling over the gorgeous photos and black-edges pages of this hardcover cookbook ever since.

            I’ve yet to make it to Smith & Daughters’ restaurant, partially because it’s in Australia and I’m in Chicago. But, with this collection of 80+ vegan recipes with a Spanish twist, I can experience at least the food, tattoos and inverted cross parts of the eatery in my home.

            I’m sharing this recipe for Sopa Speca because I would honestly rather die than give up carbs. Enjoy.

            Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking them I could earn the tiniest amount of money imaginable. 

            Sopa Seca - Peruvian Pasta Bake

            By BakeandDestroy Published: March 5, 2017

            • Yield: 4-6 Servings

            Recipe excerpted with permission from Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan) by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse, published by Hardie Grant Books March 2017, RRP $35.00 hardcover.



            1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
            2. Add the pasta and fry for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
            3. Place the onion, garlic, chipotles, tomatoes, ground coriander and oregano in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a pan with the bay leaves and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened.
            4. Stir in the stock, fried pasta and beans, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
            5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the pasta with a spoon, for about 5 minutes.
            6. Remove the bay leaves, then transfer the mixture to the prepared ovenproof dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
            7. Serve, drizzled with cashew cream and coriander leaves scattered over the top.

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