Tag Archives: vegetarian

Scrambling

I am loving reading everyone’s requests for winning the baked goods! Seems like the lemon poppyseed cookies and birdseed bars are in high demand 😉 Keep on piling in those entries!

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I don’t think whatever that sickness I had yesterday had much of a chance…in fact, I think I effectively slept it off. Between dozing all morning yesterday and sleeping until nearly 8:00 this morning, I was good to go today. I woke up still a little “bleh,” but ate something and took 875% of my d.v. of vitamin C and I was feeling better already.

I actually received this sample along with my iHerb order, and I figured there was no day better than today to use it. Yes, that is 525 mg of vitamin C per serving, and yes, that does equate 875% of my daily value of the stuff.

I was a little worried I was going to turn into a clementine or something, but I’m still alive. Even better than alive, dare I say.

Maybe this was the reason why I felt so good all afternoon? It’s probably just coincidence, but oh well 😉

Good enough to go grocery shopping, even!

…unfortunately, I would have been better off at home. Ugh, $60? Really? I am so upset because I didn’t need to spend that much. In fact, I had just cashed a check for $45 an intended to spend no more than that.

I decided to just go to Price Chopper (from here on out to be called “The store which shall not be named,” AKA TSWSNBN) rather than Hannaford (closest thing I have to a Whole Foods around here, though I’m thinking it’s less expensive from what I hear) because of the whole convenience thing. TSWSNBN = 5 mins away, Hannaford = 1 hour away. It’s convenient if I’m in the area because of work/going to see Teddie, but not on a day like today.

Anyways. I get there and start cringing at the produce prices, but shrug it off thinking “I didn’t spend any gas money to get here at least.” and carry on. Note I pretty much just buy produce that’s on sale. If you can call it that.

Not only that, but they were out of just about everything I needed – most imperatively, dates.

I almost started crying when the stock-boy told me they were sold out. My lip started quivering and I had to breathe deep, but luckily I spared him the waterworks. And moved on to wanting to hit him over the head with the chopped dates he suggested I get.

You know you’re a date addict when you move from feelings of despair to ones of extreme anger.

Not only that but all their produce was on its outs, they didn’t have any old fashioned rolled oats unless I wanted to buy them in the tiniest container possible for $4 and I bought a moldy yucca.

So basically, I have to go to Hannafords and/or the co-op sometime soon anyway. And had I known that from the get-go, I just plain wouldn’t have wasted my time and money there today.

UGH! Okay, rant over. Onto happy things.

Like banana scrambles.

Oh hail yes. I feel better just looking at that. Don’t you?

It’s like food therapy.

See, the other option for breakfast the other morning was a banana scramble, but the French toast had the louder scream.

When I saw Jenny suggest a banana scramble on that very post, I knew it was fate. I had to try one, once and for all. I might start cheating on my pancakes for these babies, too.

But oyu know what I haven’t had in a while?

Anything gingerbread. I’m assuming this has been done already, since it is gingerbread and all…but here’s how I did it:

Gingerbread Banana Scramble

adapted from The Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Banana Scramble

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 1/2 of a large banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground clove
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • pinch of maple sugar

Mash the banana with the oats. Mix in all remaining ingredients and then form into a patty with your hands. Place on a pre-heated, greased pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Top with peanut-ginger sauce.

Peanut-Ginger Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • heavy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk together all ingredients, starting with just 1 T. milk and adding more to get to your desired consistency. Check for sweetness, adding more maple syrup as your taste buds call for it 😉

The only thing that would have made this better would have been having it between French toast. Too bad I was out of bread :[

But naturally, when new obsessions are born, they do not die quickly. As a snack post-workout, I decided more were necessary as an almost-lunch-but-not-quite.

On a note unrelated to banana scrambles, I think this was when I realized I might be more of a “late morning” workout kinda gal. I’ve never given myself the chance to workout anytime other than mornings, before starting my day. I felt like my mind was so much more in it today, though.

Maybe I was just high on Vitamin C, though.

In keeping with my almost-tradition of making just about everything either gingerbread or carrot cake, though, these ones were carrot cake.

I die.

Carrot Cake Banana Scrambles

adapted from the Edible Perspective’s Apple Scramble

  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 2-3 T. applesauce
  • 5 shredded baby carrots (do you find it funny to imagine me shredding poor little baby carrots?)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut
  • pinch maple sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients, adding in more milk as you see fit. Carefully form a patty (or two) and place it on a preheated, greased pan. Cook until golden on both sides.  Serve and top with peanut-carrot sauce, coconut, carrot, pecans and molasses.

Peanut-Carrot Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1 shredded baby carrot
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (more or less as desired)
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk 1 T. at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

I think this one would have been ever better with a banana instead of applesauce, just to add a little bit more sweetness to the carrots. I didn’t really want to go on three bananas today, though. What can I say?

What else happened today? Well, naturally I made more bread. Do I even need to say I love Sarena’s bread anymore? It’s probably engrained in everyone’s brains already.

I made this loaf with 6-grain flour that I’d almost forgotten about, adding in a little Vital Wheat Gluten to make up for the heavier flour.

You know bread is good when you can eat it plain without even toasting it.

I made Chelsey’s granola and burnt all the raisins.

Luckily, I don’t mind the occassional taste of char. You probably think I’m being witty right now but I’m totally serious.

Ironically, I also had to make it with quick oats. The whole reason I wanted to get rolled oats at the store was so I could make granola. My heart was dead-set on making granola though, so I didn’t give up. It worked better than I thought it would!

Aaand lastly – sausage and peppers and a baked sweet potato.

You know what I realized? I don’t think I like green peppers anymore.

And also: Jenn’s method of baking a couple sweet potatoes at a time (in the oven) for grabbing one on the fly, totally works. I baked this one when I baked one for last night, and after reheating in the toaster oven, it was just as good as if it were fresh out of the oven. It’s a great trick if I’m craving a sweet potato for work the next day since it takes an hour in the oven and I now flat-out refuse to microwave-bake my taters.

What are your time-saving techniques?


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Filed under baking, banana, banana scramble, breakfast, carrot cake, chia seeds, coconut, cooking, dates, dinner, food, healthy living, molasses, oats, recipe, seitan, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

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Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Chutney Chickpeas (and TEDDIE!)

I finally got the chance to play with my favorite little furry four-legged today!

…just a shame Vermont can’t plow roads this winter. I could have made it there much faster? Even in this picture you can see where someone started swerving!

With all the fashion blogs out there today, I thought I’d join in on the trend. Here I am modeling my gloriously fab boots, snow-pant breeches and Carhartt knock-off.

This is why I’m hot.

Naturally, being so bundled up didn’t make for optimum riding gear. So why not just hop on bareback (er…blanket-back…) and go for a snow ride?

That was Teddie’s thought as he took great joy in making me get an additional workout trying to climb atop him.

He may be short, but damn, when you’re wearing bulky clothing, you’re sinking up to your butt in snow, and you have an excited pony walking in circles around you because he wants to visit with everyone, it’s a lot easier to say “hop on” than it is to actually hop on.

When I finally got halfway on he was at least patient enough to stand still while I made like a seal as I flopped the rest of myself up and over.

We had fun. Maybe we’ll just become snow riders for the rest of the winter. Or pick up skijoring.

And in case you thought I was too hot to handle before, it got even better when I put my helmet on:

I realize I look like dorkus maximus, but look at Ted!

daaaaaaaamn! Oughta have put a warning sign on this blog.

See all that snow on his bridle? He took great pride in trudging along with his nose buried in the snow while I thought he was going to roll on me. Luckily, the only time I had to bail was when I accidentally steered him into a drift that was up to his belly. It was probably deeper than that, but his belly kept him from sinking further, luckily.

Sorry, Ted.

Oh,yeah…anyways. About that food thing.

Truth be told, when it came to dinner tonight, I almost just sauteed up some spinach, garlic and barbecue sauce with barbecue tempeh and called it a night. And if I didn’t have to work tomorrow, I totally would have.

Sauteeing spinach in olive oil with garlic and BBQ sauce is way better than it sounds, fyi.

But, I kind of like making enough dinner the night before working to be able to pack an easy lunch to bring the next day. Sauteed spinach wasn’t going to cut it.

Especially sauteed in garlic. I can still smell my breath from having it for lunch, and that was 5 snacks and a dinner ago.

I might as well just dedicate this post to Rachael Ray, what with using her bench scrape, knife and recipe.

They were Christmas presents! (…but I still love Rachael Ray.)

I’ve made this “Chutney Chicken One Pot” and posted about it before – well, raved about it before – but just linked to the recipe with all of my swaps written separately.

Well, usually I don’t break my “link-back” rule, but since this is one of my favorite meals (I’ve gotta go there) and I’ve made some substitutions over the couple times I’ve made it, I’m just going to go ahead and post how I make it.

Chutney Chickpea One-Pot

serves 2 as a side, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Chutney Chicken One-Pot

This dish is easily customizable to your likes and dislikes. Check out my notes after the recipe! Not only that, but once you’ve got everything chopped it comes together in a handful of minutes! And I know I just talked about a fear of long ingredients lists – and this one is…but it’s SO easy and you’ve probably got it all on hand.

  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. diced celery
  • 1/4 c. diced green or red peppers
  • 1/4 c. diced dried apricots
  • 2-3 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1 c. chickpeas
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2 1/2 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the apple, onion, celery and peppers. Saute until slightly soft. Add in the spices, dried fruit and chickpeas. Stir and then add in the broth, applesauce, vinegar and mustard. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer about five minutes, until sauce thickens slightly. Add in the spinach, stir and cover. Remove from heat, leaving covered until spinach wilts.

Serve with some crusty bread or a grain!

Last time, I made it with tofu instead of chickpeas, and mixed in cooked bulgur instead of serving it with bread. There were other differences, but I also didn’t add the spinach. I much prefer it with spinach! I also think I preferred it with bread instead of a grain.

I love dishes that mix a sweet element with savory, and this one hits the nail on the head. Change it to your tastebuds, though. I chose to use applesauce instead of jam because I figured jam would be pushing the envelope on too sweet. You can also easily use a bit less dried fruit, and use what dried fruit you have on hand. I love apricots and figs, but raisins are good, too!

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Filed under apple, beans, bread, chickpeas, cooking, equestrian, food, healthy cooking, healthy living, horseback riding, pony, recipe, snow, teddie, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

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Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Suzie Homemaker meets Bob the Builder

Another snow-day. Or, sleet day.

Poor Teddie. He probably thinks I’ve forgotten about him, and soon he’ll wind up on the isle of long-forgotten toys.

…that was always the saddest part of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for me.

I think Kaia is living proof that stereotypes are just that – stereotypes. This is her saying “I’m the only mammal with husky blood that doesn’t want to play in the snow, thankyouverymuch.”

What a lazy bum.

You know what a snow-day calls for: a treacherous drive to the grocery store so I could settle down with a Rachey-Ray, dark chocolate chips, hummus and pretzels.

Okay, so that wasn’t really the objective of the trip, but it was one of those moments where I saw myself pushing a cart full of sweet potatoes, beets, yucca, almond milk, hummus and pretzels and then  of course, there’s the dark chocolate chips and Everyday with Rachel Ray …and I just had to laugh.

The cashiers probably I didn’t know whether I wanted to be a hippie flower-girl or cry over a recent heart-wrenching break-up.

And the answer is D.) none of the above.

I knew I had a mission to tackle.

Outside of the box: quick and easy to put together.

On the directions: says I need two people.

Well! I didn’t feel like waiting until my mom got home, and I’m sure she had other things on her agenda than spending two hours putting a desk together.

And so, with my supervisor close by, I set to work.

Mainly because I wanted to prove something wrong – whether it was the “quick and easy” part of the destructions or the “requires two people,” I was going to prove something wrong.

After forty five minutes and a couple of lost hairs, I had a drawer.

After another hour and a half, I had some semblance of a table.

The stupidest part of this whole desk: the fact that I’d have to have hands the size of a two-year-old’s to get these screws in.

There was a lot of blind groping around and hoping it went in. Yep.

There was a lot of “these freaking screws aren’t labeled and I don’t know what’s what!” followed by pretzels dipped in peanut butter – my recent favorite.

The weird thing about this desk, though? It made me eat wilted spinach and chickpeas mixed up with mustard. I’m saying it was the desk because usually I don’t have such random…concoctions.

Strangely, it was delicious. I suggest you try it, actually.

And after a sweet potato and some more banging, I finally had a desk.

With one problem. My supervisor wasn’t supervising me close enough, apparently.

When I surveyed my work and saw this, all I could do was fall into the couch and sit and stare at it...thinking "you have got to be kidding me."

Of course that was one of the only areas that required me nailing the back on, too – so I couldn’t jsut unscrew it. Whatever. I was over it and decided I’d just cover it up.

With something.

So looonnnng, mini coffee table and sitting/kneeling on the floor….

Helloooooo real desk! Ironically, as you can see, I didn’t end up using the compartment thing. At first I was pissed that is was just something that sat on top – but it turns out I’m lucky it is, because otherwise I’d have no room for the printer!

now I just need a chair.

So THERE, take THAT, desk! Two people my booty. Not only am I Suzie Homemaker, I am also Bob the Builder.

As you can see, though – the desk left its mark. Yeah, my blood is fluorescent magenta.

Isn’t yours? No? Oh…

…well maybe those are just my battle-scars from the beets I had to try for dinner. Remember my “trying new veggies” thing?

Last time I had beets, it was also my first time having beets.

They were from a can.

I thought they were Gross. With a capital G.

I decided if I went by the “I had it from a can and hated it” rule for everything, I’d probably stay away from any and all vegetables, so these lovely beet’s endearing color lured me back in.

I sliced them thin an roasted them, going for a “chip,” feel before plating them with spinach, bulgur and roasted chickpeas and drizzling over a dressing of clementine juice, fig jam, olive oil, fresh parsley, dijon mustard and garlic – which was inspired by a Moosewood’s beet salad recipe.

I should have roasted them longer – but I was getting impatient. And the verdict is: I don’t actually hate beets. I liked the crunchy ones best, though – and I wouldn’t yet call myself a beet fan, persay.

I am, however, welcoming beet recipes.

As well as cupcake recipes. Which seems really random – but I have another snowday tomorrow and want to make the fam some cupcakes. They don’t need to be vegan or anything – just your favorite cupcake or cake recipes, please 🙂

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Orange-Cashew Tofu

And yet again, I win the “world’s worst mother” award. It’s a good thing I’m not a little-kid person, because otherwise I’d probably leave my kids waiting for me in the rain after school when I was supposed to have picked them up an hour ago.

I didn’t ride Teddie Thursday because I didn’t feel like dealing with the snow.

I didn’t ride Teddie again today because I didn’t feel like dealing with the cold.

Truth be told, he’s probably not complaining – but it’ll probably be too cold again tomorrow, and the little bugger’s bound to be a handful for me on Tuesday! I even did an extra-long workout in attempts to kill time and give it a chance to warm up.

Unfortunately for me, “warm up” meant it raised a couple of degrees…from 10 below to allllmost 0.

Anytime you feel your nostrils freezing and your lungs burning when you step outside, I declare too cold to ride. Yes, I give you in the colder regions permission to poke and laugh at me.

Instead, I took the unplanned “morning off” to search for more ways to sell artwork other than just my Etsy. Including attempting to photograph a shot I printed, matted and framed yesterday.

Wouldn’t this look lovely hanging in your home?! I think so. (kidddding. Well, not really…)

Anyways. I won’t lie about being a leetle bit excited that it being so cold gave me an excuse to watch a mid-day hockey game against the Penguins. Usually I hate laying/sitting down and watching the tub in the middle of the day…but curling under covers and snuggling with a cup of hot tea was just the perfect activity for a cold day.

It was at this point that I got so upset I decided I might as well start marinating my tofu...

Oh, who am I kidding. I didn’t watch this game curled under covers, I watched it screaming and shaking my fist at the television. I sound a lot more sane if I just leave it at “sipping tea,” though.

...and it was at this point that I abandoned my tofu on my photography chair and went running back into the room.

….aaaaand, we lost. I’m just going to say they felt bad for the Pens after beating them so bad last time. That’s why we passed the puck to them so often, right, Susan? (just heckling – I’m happy for your boys. And you being a fan makes me not feel so grumpy about losing, because I’m sure it made you very happy.)

What better way to lessen the blow of a bad game than good food, right?

I’m talking tofu, not takeout.

One recipe that stuck out to me while flipping through ED&BV was the cashew-ginger tofu. Ironically, I liked it a lot more before I read the ingredients past “cashew butter,” but I was pretty well sold on the title and the fact that it uses cashew butter alone.

…and then I read the rest of the recipe and decided I probably wasn’t going to like it as it used tamari.

Not surprisingly, I did my own thing.

And loved it. A lot. Of course, one thing you guys miiiight not know about me is that I’m a closet cashew butter freak. Best nut buttah evah? I believe so.

The mellow flavor of the cashew butter combines so perfectly with the subtly sweet orange juice and orange zest, and the soft spice given from the ground ginger and clove. This tofu would be wonderful atop a nutty grain like bulgur or brown rice, preferably one seasoned with more orange and dried cranberries, too!

Orange-Cashew Tofu

Inspired by Eat, Drink and Be Vegan’s Cashew-Ginger Tofu

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side (?)

  • 1 serving tofu, as indicated on the box (for me, 1/5th of a block)
  • 1 T. cashew butter
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of ground clove
  • 1/4-1/2 t. honey (I’m sure agave or maple syrup would be just as good if you’re vegan, or it could probably even be omitted)
  • 1-2 T. water as needed

Slice the tofu into approx 1/4″ slices, and then cut into triangles. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth. It will look like it’s separating at first, but if you whisk fast enough it will come together in no time. (yes, you might need to use your big muscles) Pour half the cashew mixture in a small sealable container, and then layer in the tofu. Pour remaining cashew mixture over top, cover, refrigerate and let sit at least one hour.

When ready to bake, heat a drizzle of oil in a nonstick pan. Spread out the tofu and cook until golden on both sides. Reserve the marinade in the container, and serve by drizzling it over top. Note that you could probably pour it in the pan while the tofu is browning, too, and cook until it gets thicker, but I wasn’t sure that it wouldn’t get “thick and pasty” like the original recipe warns of. Next time, I’d give it a try, though, as it was a little liquidy still.

What’s that? You want to know what that mess is I served it with?

Oh, okay…

That, believe it or not, was my attempt at a neat plating arrangement, but it really just backfired.

Once I tasted it, I didn’t care, however. Because this meal was good.

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 4-5 large white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • juice of half an orange
  • zest of one orange
  • ~2 T. dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

Heat olive oil in pan, add in onions. Cook until almost translucent and tender, add in garlic. Stir, add in mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, cook until tender. Add in carrot, cranberries and juice of orange. Cook until most of the juice has been absorbed. Shut off heat, add in spinach, and cover until spinach is mostly wilted. Stir in nutmeg, orange zest and spinach until incorporated.

And that’s a scoop of bulgur on top, with some of the marinade spooned over and all topped with cashews.

I die.

Are you a wimp in the cold, too? Does weather have influence over your plans, or do you tough it out no matter what?

 

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Hummus Crepes

UHHH…apparently I’m a little…greedy.

21″ computer screen sounds totally reasonable, right? Larger than most, even?

But bigger is better, right? Go big or go home? So why not just get the 27″ screen, right?

I’ll show you why not – because 27 inches of computer screen is totally unnecessary and no one needs a computer that large. This could serve as my television, for Pete’s sake! Oh, well.

I’ll probably have a crick in my neck for the first week of iMaceration (uh, that was intended to be the conglomeration of the words iMac and operation, but it turned into maceration, as in to chew, not as in iMac operation as intended.) but at least I finally have my iMac, after years of threatening to throw my “i-hate-life” PC off the deck after working with the happy-go-lucky Macs at work and school all day.

…but of course there’s the desk dilemma, and since ms. Mac has no place to live until Thursday, she’s living in her cardboard box and I’m using my mom’s i-hate-life PC still.

Name suggestions for the new baby are welcome.

How does one celebrate new motherhood? Hummus crepes, that’s how.

Because the only thing better than hummus in its’ natural form is hummus in crepe form. d’Oh.

I saw the idea for hummus flatbread while I was browsing Food Network magazine last weekend. I’ve been sort of phasing out of bread lately for reasons unbeknownst to me, but there are still times that call for a bread-like-vessel. Like today. When I arrived home from the barn, I was hangry, and really wanted to try the hummus flatbread but didn’t have the patience to flip through my giant blue-binder-of-recipes where the recipe resided.

So, I just mixed some hummus with some flour, nooch and water and prayed to the hummus Gods that it would at least sort of work. The worst that could happen was I’d have hummus mush, right? Not so bad, right?

Alright, so I got too zealous withthe fillings to make a real wrap – but it still worked! And was pretty amazing. It actually got crispy, which I wasn’t sure would happen. Crispy on the outside, with a creamy hummus inside. el perfecto! Next time I’d probably just use a bit larger of portions so I can get a full wrap 😉

I whisked together 3 T. forty spice hummus, 2 T. oat flour, 1/2 T. nutritional yeast and probably 3 T. water while preheating a skillet over medium heat. Greased the skillet with a little earth balance before pouring on the hummus mixture and spreading it out pretty thin. Before flipping, spray the top with a little cooking spray so it doesn’t stick. Cook until golden on both sides.

The mixture should be similar to the consistency of a crepe – not too runny, not too thick.

And remember how last time the B’s playedI mentioned how I almost made Boston baked beans to jingle good vibes? Well, I didn’t end up making them. And they didn’t end up winning.

They play Montreal tonight so I knew jingles were necessary. Enter: Veganomicon’s cheater baked beans. I entertained the thought of another recipe, bt if there’s one thing I’ve learned about baked beans, it’s that you dn’t mess with a good thing.

To be honest, I don’t know what classifies baked beans as Boston or otherwise, but lets hope this works.

Or maybe you can hope it doesn’t – because if they win tonight I’ll probably decide eating baked beans every night we have a game is the way to go. Not only will you guys get sick of seeing baked beans, but my family will probably get sick of me eating said baked beans.

I don’t think I’d get tired of eating them, though.

I feel like all I talk about lately is hockey and Mac computers. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about how I found Teddie dressed up in a penguin outfit today.

(p.s. You have until noon tomorrow to enter the date syrup giveaway!)

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