Monthly Archives: January 2010

Las Vegas Winnings

So what did I win in Vegas this past weekend???  Why just a nasty bug!  Not two nickles to rub together, although why anyone wants to rub nickles together is beyond my scope of fun sense, just a yucky coughing, fever, headache, bones ache, eye sockets ache kind of flu bug.  to top it off we experienced a solid week of rain and my bad boy Dino cat went missing in the rain.  I haven’t seen him in two full days which isn’t like him to stay away.  When we got a break in the rain I walked the neighborhood calling for him, hoping he was hunkered down in someone’s crawl space.  No luck, not in Vegas, not finding lost kitties, blah!  So what does one eat when feeling under the weather???  I turn to mom’s secret recipe of chicken noodle soup and toast.  Of course mine was Amy’s No Chicken soup but it filled the bill and I swear I felt better after I ate it!

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A Little Sunshine

Last night I made Lemon Bars from The Joy of Vegan Baking, they were as delicious as the bars my mom used to make years ago.  The lemons were from my CSA and they were thin-skinned and uber juicy.  I only had to use two small lemons to get the amount of lemon juice I needed for the bars.  I did have to adjust the cooking time from 20 minutes to 32 minutes.  The filling was definitely not set after 20.   The finished product was just like a bite of sunshine…it made me long for spring.   It’ll be here before I know it…I know!

First the buttery delicious crust ( even though I don’t like the word crust, I will use it here)

Then my trusty little food processor mixes up the lemon juice, sugar, and tofu (yes, I did say tofu)

Look at all that juice from just two little lemons, that looked a little dried up to begin with…can’t judge a lemon by its peel!

And finally baked, powdered, and ready to be devoured

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A “Certain” Age

Because I’m a woman of a “certain” age I started to gain weight a few years ago.  It was gradual but I could not lose those pounds no matter what…they were stuck to me like stink on…well you know, whatever it is that stink sticks to, those pounds were there to stay.  By the time I was at plus twenty-five I was getting a little desperate.  Two RDs I went to told me I needed to up my protein, and finally after going on a 5 week elimination diet I took off the weight.  My idea of carbs now is very different, instead of bread and pasta and crackers I focus on veggies and legumes and beans.  Occasionally I like my sweetie, but not every day.  When I ran across Robin Robertson’s Carb Conscience Vegetarian I knew it was for me.  Tonight I made the Very Veggie Burgers with Black Bean Sauce and they were pretty darn good.  The filler was ground lentils, walnuts, and oats with zucchini, mushrooms and onions.  There wasn’t a lot of seasoning and I used cilantro instead of the parsley called for, because I like cilantro and I had it on hand.  I think I could have thinned out the Black Bean Sauce a little more, but overall it was good.  I served it up with some Cajun sweet potato fries which added a nice punch to the mildly seasoned burger.

Formed and ready to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes…gave me time to make the bean sauce.

Bean sauce…a bit thick, could have used a little more water

Finished burger with sauce and fries

And something I picked up at Sprouts today.  I know I saw green curry paste as an ingredient in a recipe I looked at recently, I just have to remember where.  I do this often, remember I’m a woman of a “certain” age!

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Chai

I love anything Chai flavored (well, the Chai Vega…not so much), I’ve wanted to attempt the Chai Granola that the Innocent Primate Vegan cooked up but have just not gotten around to it.  There’s something about the blend of chai spices that just makes my mouth happy, and when my mouth is happy…well you get the idea.  Tonight, since granola was out of the question I just made myself a cup of Vanilla Chai Tea by Good Earth and then to make it more of a latte I added some So Delicious French Vanilla coconut milk creamer.  I brew the tea extra strength for about six minutes and then add a splash of creamer at the end…oh so yum!

Chai Tea in my favorite mug from Celestial Seasonings in Colorado, we took a tour there a few years back and their Peppermint Room will bring you to tears…literally.

Add a bit of creamy vanilla…

What??? Is that some foam, could this be a true latte, alas no!  But yummo nonetheless.

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A New Cookbook and Salad for Lunch

I just moved into an office that is very close to home and that led me to the idea that I could walk to work.  The problem with this is that I usually bring my laptop home with me and I have this huge, multi-pocket, monstrosity of a laptop bag that would not be fun to trudge back and forth to work carrying every day.  This sparked a trip to Borders today because I knew they had some fun vinyl bags just meant for slinging over a shoulder and bounding into the office (this is known as justifying a purchase).  Well it was my lucky day because I found a laptop bag that was marked 75% off the price, so the bag ended up costing just a titch over $6.  What a find!  Of course while I’m there I have to peruse the cookbook section and wound up with a vegetarian cookbook called Delicious Vegetarian Food,  by a team of authors called Confident Cooking.  Not strictly vegan but the vegan recipes are all clearly marked and some of the non-vegan ones look easy enough to veganize.  Plus this book has great step by step photos for all the recipes and I love seeing the finished product.  And here is the real bonus, it was only $2.99.  Quite a score at Borders today.

My bonus find cookbook (as if I need another cookbook!)

Great pictures of every recipe and step by step pictures too, quite a deal at $2.99

Then it was home for lunch.  I made this totally knock your socks off salad today.  I used lettuce and one of the bacon avocados from my CSA, a few sugar-plum tomatoes from TJ’s, and a touch of finely chopped red onion.  Then I dressed it with fresh ground pepper and a touch of pink Himalayan salt, fresh squeezed lime juice (I had limes left over from New Years Eve), and a splash of olive oil.  This salad was lick the bowl delicious and who knows maybe I did, lick the bowl that is, who was around to know? 

Bacon avocado, very pale, soft flesh and melt in your mouth texture, just beautiful!

Pretty in pink Himalayan Salt Crystals from TJ’s

A squeeze or two of fresh lime…

Voila…a rockin’ salad!

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Confessions of a Donut Hater

All Right, hate is a strong word but after spending countless hours behind a counter at Winchells as a teenager, with possibly the nastiest boss ever, and I do mean nasty, I don’t hold fond memories of donuts for the most part.  My fond memories of donuts go way back to my childhood (yes, that far back…waaaaaaay back) when mom would make yeast raised donuts on Saturday.  She’d fry them up in our big old metal deep fryer and then we would get to take turns shaking them in sugar in a brown paper bag.  Now those were some good donuts, forget the nastiness that came later at Winchells.  So to deal with my inner donut demons I wished (in writing of course) for a donut pan for Christmas.  And of course D. came through…again I have to say, best BF ever!  I thought I would try the “healthier” concept of baking donuts.  I used a recipe for French Toast Doughnuts from VT, and I have to say they were pretty darn lip smackin’ good.  I put sprinkles on half of them because N. does love his sprinkle donuts, the other half I just glazed with the maple glaze that the recipe called for.  I didn’t have soy milk for the glaze so I used some So Delicious Vanilla Creamer.  The glaze was a bit runny but it firmed up after setting on the donuts for a bit.  Not like the fat, fried, fluffy, donuts of my childhood but definitely a nice evening sweetie.

Out of the pan and cooling; waiting for the glaze:

The glaze:

Covered in sprinkles or naked maple…you decide, you decide:

Maple covered sweeties:

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Gardein and Bok Choy

I’ve never cooked bok choy before so no surprise my first attempt could have been better.  The taste was ok, but I think I would cut it up a bit next time, it just seemed kind of hard to chew up adequately.  Makes for some interesting eatin’.  With the bok choy I had some Gardein Beefless tips and boy were they tasty.  It’s been so long since I had beef but I don’t recall it ever tasting this good.  I believe I’ll purchase some more of their products.

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