Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Where I live is blanketed in about 8 inches of snow right now and I cannot get any Internet connection on my computer. I am sitting at my friend Felissa's house using her computer signal. Thank goodness she lives only a block away!!
Until the snow melts some I will not be blogging as often as I normally do, I apologize in advance.
My daughter and I went to Starbucks yesterday to grab some tea. I have to tell you, I forgot the name of the tea I drank, but oh...yuck! It tasted like black pepper in water, so gross. The good thing about going to Starbucks was my daughter discovered Grounds for your garden!! Starbucks is giving away 5lb. bags of their used coffee grounds to use in your garden!! I thought it was a brilliant idea and we grabbed some on the spot. Since we will be having several gardens this year I will take all the extra help I can get!!!! Yay Starbucks for being Eco friendly!!! ( somewhat, anyway)
This is what we had for dinner, I wanted to have Chinese, so I made a buffet of sorts.
Vegetable Lo Mien
Tofu Fried Rice
Until I blog again, have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I am not a bread baker. I want to be, but bread and I do not get along......It hates me.....
So, I go to my neighborhood store and buy 3 loaves of vegan bread dough and bake it, and pretend I made it! My family thinks I am brilliant, even though they know I did not make it from scratch. Instead of getting my usual white bread dough I opted for some whole wheat. It is really tasty, with the taste of honey without the brutality associated with it.
I pause to wonder if I should post the Stoup recipe here. It is so simple.....
I'll do it...
1 can organic corn, do not drain
1 can organic green beans, do not drain
1 can organic sliced stewed tomatoes
2 not chicken bouillon cubes
3 peeled and sliced carrots
2 stalks organic celery, sliced
5 yukon gold potatoes, washed and chunked
3 cups filtered water
1/3 pkg. Ditallini pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in a large crockpot, except pasta. Cook on high for 4 hours. Taste before you season it, canned veggies have a high salt content. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium pot, boil water for noodles. Add noodles when water is at a rolling boil and cook for about 9-12 minutes, until al dente`. Drain and add to soup. Serve...
Since this is a peasant soup, you can add anything you like. I like to keep it really simple, it is peasant after all.
This in my opinion is the quintessential comfort food. There is just something wonderful in the simplicity of it.
I have alot of apples.....probably 12 lbs. I went to Smith's market and they had a sale, buy a 3lb. bag of Fuji apples, get a 3lb. bag of granny smith for free. So I bought 4 bags. I eat apples everyday, so it was a good deal. But....the granny smith, were uncharacteristically tart, really tart. So I made a pie.
Fold in half and lay over your pie pan. Make sure your crust covers the entire pan and cut off any excess hanging off the sides.
Add your fruit, I used 3lbs. Granny Smith apples that I peeled, cored, and sliced thin into cold water that I added lemon juice in to keep the color.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I want to get out and dig in the dirt, to go running barefoot with my children. There are so many things to do, springtime really makes me want to get outside in the sunshine and just be. I am a child of the sun, to me there is no other place I want to be than in my yard!
We start planning my gardens in January, we have 4 different gardens that my husband and I plant together.
Here are our gardens
1. Traditional vegetable garden, Green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbages, onions, beets, okra, turnips, carrots, brussel sprouts, tomatoes and zucchini
2. Watermelon garden, completely dedicated to growing two different kinds of watermelon
3. Spring garden, sugar snap peas, snow peas, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, and radishes
4. Pumpkin and squash bed, sugar pumpkins, Giant Jack pumpkins, acorn squash, and butternut squash.
I usually do a traditional English style garden, with many different layers and rows. I like to incorporate flowers and herbs among the rows, not only for beauty but as a deterrent for pesky bugs and rabbits.
2 cups Organic cane sugar plus 2 tsp. You can use organic agave, it tastes really good too!
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh Organic lemon juice
1 gallon cold filtered water
1 Organic lemon, sliced
Take 1 cup strawberries and mash them with 2 tsp. sugar, set aside
Monday, January 25, 2010
While the above picture is not the best I have ever taken , it was delicious! It my version of a Eggplant Po' Boy!! I served it with a pasta salad.
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
2- 280z cans peaches in pear juice
2 cups AP flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbls sugar, optional
1/2 rice milk or soy cream, more or less
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar, and hot water. Add peaches and cinnamon if using, bring to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, if using; stir in rice milk or soy cream to form a stiff batter. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the boiling fruit. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Spoon out dumplings and fruit into bowl. If desired, sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar. Sometimes we serve with rice dream or soy ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
1. Where is your cell phone? to my left
2. Your hair? Really short, blondish brown
3. Your mother? Very missed
4. Your father? a cool guy
5. Your favorite food? Anything chinese
6. Your dream last night? bizarre
7. Your favorite drink? At the moment flavored tea
8. Your dream/goal? To have a best selling novel on simple living
9. What room are you in? In the living rom
10. Your hobby? Gardening, reading, shopping
11. Your fear? lossing another person I love
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Oregon
13. Where were you last night? Wichita
14. Something you aren’t? A liar
15. Muffins? Yes please!
16. Wish list item? New windows for the house, an outdoor entertainment area, and a silver volvo
17. Where did you grow up? Newton, Iowa and Overland Park, Kansas
18. Last thing you did? Mashed some potatoes for dinner
19. What are you wearing? A grey and navy blue long sleeved baseball t-shit and green, yellow, and white sleep pants....WHAT! I don't match.....and......
20. Your TV? Just turned on
21. Your pets? obnoxious and loving
22. Friends? Wonderful
23. Your life? Pleasant
24. Your mood? Really happy, Chris just got home, and I spent a great day cooking with Kaiti
25. Missing someone? Horribly
26. Vehicle? Chevy Excursion van
27. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
28. Your favorite store? Coming Home
29.Your favorite color? Orange
30. When was the last time you laughed? 10 minutes ago
31. Last time you cried? Last week
32. Your best friend? Felissa
33. One place you go to over and over again? Felissa's
34. One person who e-mails you regularly? My father is law....
35. Favorite place to eat? At home, the food rocks and it has a nice atmosphere....LOL
Now, copy this and make it your own, go and tag someone and let the game begin!
I am hoping all of you are having a wonderful weekend doing something that makes you happy!
As you know I had a date with my hubby Chris yesterday! This was the first date we have gone on in about a year and a half, whew...that is a long time! Ever since we moved back from Illinois it has been a whirlwind of work, fixing our home and taking care of the kid. So when I tell you this was way over due, you can relate!!!
We decided to go to the bustling city of Wichita, Kansas!
Wichita has alot of great health food stores and a couple of vegetarian restaurants.
I have only been to two health food stores and I have never been to a veggie restaurant in my life, so our mission was set!!!
Chris and I woke up late, but finally got on the road about noon. We were about 35 miles away from home when I realized I left the camera and directions to the stores......OOPS! We forged on anyway!
I know Wichita really well, but Chris hates city traffic so I usually drive, but he wanted to, so needless to say there were some tense moments once we hit city limits....and the occasional bad word thrown out for good measure. Sigh.....
Our first stop on our adventure was to go to Whole Foods on 21st. and Amidon.
We got lost....Luckily Chris is a man who asks for directions!! We asked a police officer if he could help us and did he ever! Not only did he give us the directions, but he followed us to our turn to make sure we didn't get lost. Before he left, we got a wave and a really nice smile, thanks Officer Friendly!!!!
When we arrived at Whole Foods, they were in the process of moving their store to a new location, so the whole store was 25% off. They had 4 tables marked 50% off, BOO-YA!
I bought two cheese less pasta meals, some saltines, granola, and ritz like crackers. We also bought a box of organic cocoa ball cereal and two bags of organic vegan chocolate chips!!! We only spent $20.16!! Woo-hoo
Next we decided to try and find Green Acres.
As we were driving I spotted The Thai Binh Supermarket. I have never been in any foreign food store, and I was amazed at the wonderful and creepy things we found...
Stepping inside was like falling through a rabbit hole for me. I have been pretty sheltered my entire life, and this was.....frightening to be honest. I held onto Chris and let him lead me through.
Chris was stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Desert Storm War and got to go into some of their stores while he was there, he said it reminded him of it alot.
I have never seen so many dried mushrooms in my life...every kind I had ever heard of and some I had never seen. They were packaged in huge 5 lb. bags.
There were several types of soy sauce and hot pepper sauces too, also in large containers.
They had a huge asortment of canned items. From mushrooms to turkey. I will give you a small list of canned items we saw.
Apples, whole fish, lychee, strawberries, durian, mustard leaves, whole shrimp, whole duck, mock duck, mock abalone, and squid. There were tons of dried fish, and crustaceans too. The front of the store smelled delicious, there was fresh baked goods, and fresh fried tofu. They had a great little deli section full of fresh tofu, and rice cakes. The candy aisle was awesome!
Then we made our way to the back of the store......Que the creepy music...da da dum dum da da dum dum
We found where the dead things were......Oh my gosh, how can I explain the smell? Death, yes that is obvious....but oh, it was so bad. I wanted to leave, Chris soldiered on...and I followed.
There were live carp swimming in a huge aquarium, and lots of frozen fish laying or I should say tucked in ice. There was a huge freezer section where I found frozen seitan in chunks, and a huge display of vegan and vegetarian meats.....right beside pigs blood, congealed and fresh...hurp! Let's just say I passed on getting any veggie meat there...The vegetable department was directly across from the pig blood and I was having a hard time not vomiting, but I did get a good look at some of it. They had Chinese long beans, whole durian, fresh lychee fruit, lots of strange and alien looking squash, some beautiful mung bean sprouts, the best I have ever seen, and some assorted fresh herbs I could not identify.
In case you do not know what Durian is, it is a fruit. It is larger than a football, but about that shape. When cut open, it has a very distinct smell, some say it smells like sweaty stinky socks, others say it smells of decomp. In some provences, you cannot carry an opened Durian with you on a bus or plane, due to the smell.......Durian are a cash crop in Indomalesia.
We decided to be cowards and just buy some seaweed jelly candy and a pkg. of Mango wafer cookies for Kait, and a pkg. of strawberry for Emma. I dared Chris to buy some scary looking snack cakes and of course he did. I thought I would buy someVietnamese valentines for Kaiti, but they turned out to be valentines envelopes....oh well.
We left a little wiser and definitely will return when I pluck up the nerve to buy something exciting.( By the way, if you know of anything good to buy in stores like this one let me know and I will try it)
Our next exciting stop was Green acres health food store...can you say pricey! Oh my goodness, they thought their food was laced with gold. Half of the things in there I could buy at my usual health food store for at least 25% cheaper.. Still I bought....a loaf of Rudi's organic garlic bread (it is my favorite) a cookie, Smart hot dogs and a pkg. of smart bacon. We spent $26.00 there. Holy Cow!
By then it was about 3pm and we were starving. We decided to go to Zen Garden Restaurant.
I have been quietly stalking them since I found them on Happy Cow. The reviews were excellent and the prices reasonable.
I was absolutely beside myself with anticipation, Chris was like...whatever.....He is a meat eater, blah...
So we get there and it was dead.....Chris and I were the only people in the restaurant....cricket..cricket..
The decor is wonderful, very upscale for a restaurant in a strip mall. lol
Not at all what I expected, low lighting, highly polished maple wood floors, sleek black table and chairs. I though we were under dressed, but I guess we fit in, none of the waiters stared. Our waitress turned out to be the owner and was very stern looking, Scary, but pleasant all the same. I ordered the fresh fruit watermelon lemonade and Chris got water, he said he felt it would be wrong to order soda in a healthy restaurant...silly boy. I LOVED my watermelon lemonade, and I am sooo gonna make it alot this summer.
We ordered the tempura veggies, there was broccoli, mushrooms, yam, zucchini and green beans, served with a light shoyu sauce. Delicious!! Next, we ordered dinner. Chris got the Love and Compassion dinner, it was sweet and sour soy protein with white rice, green peppers and carrots. I got the General Tao's Soy, Battered mushrooms in a dark brown sauce with celery (YAY... celery, ok, so I know celery is boring..but it is my favorite veggie evaa!)
Everything was so delicious, I couldn't stop eating and I stuffed myself so badly.....but that didn't stop me from asking about Boba Tea and if they had a vegan version...Sadly they did not ,but our waitress/owner asked me how I would make one being a vegan.
I then went into detail about how mine would be made and guess what! SHE MADE US A VEGAN ONE AND WE GOT IT FOR FREE!!!!! Chris being a meaty and a manly man. Did not like the tapioca balls and had a hard time swallowing them, I on the other hand adored it. I have never had one before, I have seen them on Food Network, but that is as close as I have come. The owner liked it so much she put my Boba tea recipe on the menu for Vegans!!!! Yay!
You can't see it but I am doing a victory dance!!!! I have a couple pictures if you have never seen a Boba Tea.
And I have the recipe....I know.......I know...... You love me...
Thank you, Thank you!!!
Boba Tea ,Vegan Dairy Version, !!!!!!so my recipe!!!!!!
1 cup fresh fruit, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberry, blueberry or peach (these are traditional flavors)
1/2 cup coconut milk, you can use canned or refridgerated type
2 tablespoons silken tofu
1 tablespoon bubble tea sugar syrup, of your choice, see recipe below for suggestions
1 cup crushed ice
3 to 4 full tablespoons cooked black tapioca pearls
Put all ingredients except bubble tea tapioca pearls into a blender and blend until the fruits are liquefied. Add bubble tea tapioca pearls to a cup, and pour your drink over. Cover and shake well.
Tapioca Pearls for Boba Tea (or bubble tea tapioca pearls):
1/2 cup large tapioca pearls, black are the authentic type used
4 cups water
1. Boil water in a large pot
2. Add in the tapioca pearls to boiling water.
3. Stir initially to prevent tapioca from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
The tapioca pearls should float in the water.
4. Boil for about 25 minutes with the cover on
5. Turn the heat off and let the tapioca sit in the water for another 25 minutes.
6. Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
7. Cover tapioca with agave, sugar syrup, brown sugar, or maple syrup and serve.
Mini Tapioca Pearls for Bubble Tea:
1 cup mini tapioca pearls 8 cups water
1 Boil water in a large pot
2 Add in the mini tapioca pearls to boiling water.
3 Stir initially to prevent tapioca from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The tapioca pearls should float in the water.
4 Boil for about 15 minutes with the cover on
5 Turn the heat off and let the tapioca sit in the water for another 7 minutes.
6 Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
7 Cover tapioca with agave , sugar syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup
You will need a large boba straw, unless you use tiny tapioca pearls. Half the fun is sucking up the pearls! I truly had a great day with my husband! When we got home we got into some jammies and curled up in bed with some popcorn, and watched The Mentalist, really good show! I hope you try to make my vegan Boba tea, and enjoyed my blog!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
My husband is sitting next to me waiting for me to finish this blog for we can go watch,
I will tell you all about our adventure tomorrow, but I do have a picture of the stuff we bought!!! Enjoy.....Oh and I forgot my camera while we were out today......I am lame....
As you can see, Chi was exhausted from our trip......strange, he didn't go with us....
I paid $8.29 for this tiny meatloaf, is that normal??? It's the size of a bar of soap... LOL
I paid half price for these mini vegan chocolate chips!! The store is moving to a new location, so everything was 25-50% off!!!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
1 cup flour
In a medium bowl mix your margarine and sugar,rice milk, vegenaise, and vanilla, with a wire whisk gently.
Add all of your dry ingredients and mix well, then fold in your almonds and chocolate chips.
Pour into pan, sprinkle with more almonds. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
This is the richest most decadent blondie! I use to make a totally bad for you version and I incorporated it into this the best I could. With a scoop of rice dream and some chocolate syrup, this would put you in a sugar coma!
NOW THE GRATUITOUS PICTURES!!!!