Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Weekend

A very long overdue tofu & spinach scramble with grits for Christmas Eve morning:
 Remy and I then headed to my parents, along with my brother, settling in for the holiday:
 A tree my grandfather planted 40 years ago needed trimming at the farm, and so my aunt turned the limbs into decorative pieces:
 Same snacks but also with Christmas Eve minestrone:

Christmas Day, my family ate things I do not - so I made corn chowder with Seitan Bacon. It's so good, and I have lots left over.
 A gift to myself was a planner, and many thanks to Sarah for the stickers!
 I hope you had a wonderful holiday! See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's Nearly Time

I tried to be cute and re-write a Christmas story for you, but it didn't happen. Ha ha! Anyway, it's the first day of winter break today, and I can hardly believe it.  Before the last few days of the semester began, I attended a cookie decorating party. I didn't bring any home, even though the icing was vegan - the cookies were not.
 The little guy is doing better. I'm still trying to discourage jumping and standing only on hind leg stances.
 I'm really feeling soups right now. I have two more on the horizon for the weekend, so I'll share those once they're prepared.  In the meantime, I made this recipe of Apple Butternut Squash Soup, just using some grapeseed oil instead of butter. It has a really nice heat to it from the cayenne and black pepper!
 I'm on my second to last serving of Tomato Coconut Curry soup. It looks like spaghetti sauce in this photo - but it's not, trust me. Ha!
This weekend is both Christmas and Hanukkah, so to all of you who celebrate one or the other or both - Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones! See you on Monday with a full weekend wrap up!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winter is Here

A very busy work week preparing for finals, so I prepped some meals on Sunday evening: a quinoa-garbanzo- spinach- cucumber- dried cranberry- sliced almond salad for lunches. Tomato Coconut Curry Soup (served with toast) for a few evenings.

 Wednesday, Remy let me know that his back was hurting (whimpering, only sitting) so we were able to be squeezed in for an emergency appointment.
 Some years ago a similar type of behavior and pain existed, and it was confirmed to be inflamed spinal discs - common in his breed, and especially for his age - so he's on Vetprofen and the occasional muscle relaxer.  By the next day he was feeling/acting like himself.  I asked Frankie's mommy to visit him while I was at work, just to make sure he wasn't too woozy from the relaxant.  She sent pictures to show he was up and wanting cuddles, but not too clingy.  The vet said: it's time for more puppy staircases and less jumping.  So, a friend from work who has a small dog said she had an extra staircase, and gave it to Remy:
 Now he has one in the living room, and one in the bedroom!  We're not doing too much activity just yet, but now the weather has prevented anything too strenuous:
Eight inches fell over night, and when I was shoveling the sidewalks and digging out my car - it was three below.  Winter has arrived, indeed! Some of my weekend plans have been canceled, but I'm not heartbroken about it - more time with my boy, and some indoor chores! Happy weekend, everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Bit of Bah Humbug

Last week really handed it to me. I was super busy at work (lots of second semester debates with the admin, and tough talks with floundering seniors); had an intense sinus migraine (went to the doctor, they said to neti pot and Flonase twice a day for a week and if I'm not better, they'll get me antibiotics); and... two packages delivered by UPS were stolen off my front porch.  More on that in a moment.  But first, I finally finished off all and any leftovers from Thanksgiving and so my lunches consisted of whatever I had on hand:
 Couscous, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, Soyaki sauce.

Tis the season for toast with peanut butter.

Wednesday and Thursday were actually sub zero, but you get the idea:

Feeling slightly better, I joined my Mom and her friends for a Christmas tea yesterday.  The theme was a White Christmas! 
 I have a backyard stalker. As evidenced by the non-canine paw prints on the lower left.
 It's this guy. He's after my recycling bin, and having a hard time figuring out how to open it. Not gonna happen, buddy.  I told him, "no food here" and he replied angrily to me - tail lashing and everything.
 So while I have the squirrel stalking the back of my house, it seems a vile human was watching the front (or more likely, watching for UPS trucks).  It was a little over $100 worth of merchandise, and I'm frustrated because this isn't the first time. What's more frustrating is that one of them was a gift for my mother, and the price on the item has increased from $45 to $70, as I bought it on sale.  Further, the merchant is currently out of stock, so I've been refunded the money but now I don't have a gift.  The second company won't let me file for a "lost package" until 12/15.  I am most likely going to have future shipments sent to a local UPS store or my parents. It's stupid.

Anyway, I'll shake it off. I hope you've had a warmer, kinder week - and I'll see you soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Holiday Beginnings

You've seen my decor every year, but here it is again:
 Grandma gifted every one in the family a hand-made holiday door hanger during Thanksgiving. Not too shabby for 90 year old hand stitching and poor eyesight (read: I could never do this).
 Speaking of things Grandma made, the snowman table runner in the background...and my newly purchased body butters from Soap & Glory. My skin is incredibly dry, and this has made such a difference the last two days.
 Non-wintery food: Snarf's veggie sandwich
 Salad with fried onions and Just Ranch.
 Tonight I went to "The Nutcracker" with friends.

I'm definitely feeling festive! I hope your holiday season is off to a wonderful start!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hot Food

Oat bran with maple syrup:
 Leftover stuffing and green beans:
 Tofu Pho:
 (I use everything in the front: rice noodles, tofu, daikon, carrot, and broccoli. 1/3 of the mung beans, and then the green onions. All of the herbs, fried onions, jalapenos, limes...go unused and don't keep well.)
The prepared bowl:
See you this weekend! The holiday festivities begin!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks & Such

The rest of Thanksgiving break was met with much of the same, but with a lot of family time, shopping, sleeping, and 9am workout classes. I will be eating Thanksgiving type meals for a long time to come.
 Stuffing and green beans one day. Two meals worth of a baked potato and gravy, mixed salad on another day.
Made one last batch of pumpkin bread. Remy regularly waits to catch a falling nibble.
In other news, I ordered an essential oil diffuser.
 And I purchased two new blends:
 See you on Wednesday with a standard back to work post. I don't want to go! *cries and takes a whiff of Panic Button*

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All the Food

I picked up these treats from Beet Box, and hope they last the week! Apple-Cinnamon GF scone, turtle brownie, and a chocolate glazed pumpkin donut (already ate it! Ha! But it was still warm when I purchased it.  How can one not?!).
 I labored for an hour but produced Veganomicon's Lentil Cauliflower Curry. It's thicker than I like my curries, but has a great flavor.  I'll likely save it for next week's lunches.
 Broccoli Quinoa Au Gratin with Daiya shreds and lots of black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
 Yeah, buddy. Delicious. Here it is up close:
 And since I had lots of celery, carrots, onion, garlic, fresh sage, and cubed bread leftover... I made another batch of stuffing, but with way less Earth Balance, and added mushrooms and more cayenne. I'm going to be so sick of Thanksgiving food. Ha ha!
Otherwise, I am loving the extra sleep, the time with friends, 9am workout classes, and extra Remy snuggles. I never want to go back to work again!! 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Last week really kicked my butt, and I can hardly believe I don't have to work tomorrow.  Lots of stress at school (new assistant admin and scheduling second semester classes has been a nightmare), and at home (HOA drama.... mostly due to Frankie's mom, so that's hard on me.  I'm going to resign from my position on the board as soon as the dust settles).  I like a quiet, low stress, no conflict existence and November certainly hasn't been that way! It is taking a lot of energy to not fall into an anxiety-induced coma.

From the week: smoky tempeh, collard greens, garlic and millet. (FYI: millet is very dry, and needs sauce.  I later made a nooch sauce and mixed it into the dish.)
 First snow storm of the year on Thursday. (Time to put the patio set in storage!)
 I attended a Friendsgiving yesterday, and the group had two vegetarians - so there were plenty of vegetables to be eaten! I made stuffing with this recipe, swapping out the butter for Earth Balance.  It was a hit.
 By today, most of the snow had melted and people were at the park, reveling in the beauty of the afternoon. Remy and myself included.
 I'm in town this week, and will be sure to pop in with another post on Tuesday or Wednesday! I'll be at my cousin's house for Thanksgiving, so I can't promise I'll tote my phone to the table, but I will capture what I can.  Have a blessed week, friends! I'm grateful for you!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Looking Ahead

I leaned on this book for recipe ideas the week ahead:
 Grocery shop yielded: collard greens, lacinato kale, smoky tempeh, gala apples, cauliflower, avocados, serrano pepper, parsnips (my first time cooking with them!), onion, curry powder, ground coriander...
 TJ's: cereal, granola, red lentils, and broccoli.
 I was trying to show my holiday Starbucks cup, featuring a coconut milk latte, but Remy had other plans. Gnome is the upper left hand corner.
 I'm pretty sick of anything election related, and the shock of it all has worn off.  Despite where you stand on who was elected, we must move forward.  Instead of focusing on the "why" and "how" it all happened, we need to figure out why we experienced the highest rate of apathy in voter turnout since 1996.  If we survive this new administration, I intend to rally up some American spirit so we don't have one-quarter of the nation driving this country.