Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pizza Night and Brunch!

We had some friends over this weekend for an overnight so that gave me the opportunity to create pizzas--and brunch in the morning! What fun!

So last night we made a couple pizzas with our vegan cheeses we got from Pangea the other day. First, I made the dough with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer using the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. The pizza sauce came out of a can! The first pizza was to be a buffalo tempeh pizza! So we used Katie's recipe for the tempeh. However, the sauce was altered a bit. We like it spicy so used 4 T of margarine, 4 T of hot sauce and 1 T of agave. While the tempeh was bakin', we sauteed up some red onions and crimini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms for the 2nd pizza. So our first pizza was mozzarella teese and blue sheese with pizza sauce and buffalo tempeh and the second one was just the sauce, mozz and mushroom combination. Both pizzas had an awesome thin crust. Definitely the best pizzas I've made yet. We ate every last crumb of both pizzas!

Here's Eric enjoying a slice of the 'shroom pizza!


This morning, while Eric and our friends were still sound asleep, I woke up bright and early to make Tofu Florentine from Veganomicon! It involved home fries, broiled tofu and cheezy sauce, toast and steamed spinach. It was some breakfast! Sorry for the crappy picture but here it is.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wintry Weather Yumminess

(Dr. Cow cheeses courtesy of Vegnews)

I'm not really delighted about this rain/snow/sleet/ice we're getting today into tonight into tomorrow. But in case, I am stuck at home tomorrow, at least, I've got plenty to munch on!

I love Silk Nog! Have you tried it? It's 90 calories per half cup, so instead of drinking it by the glassful, I use it as coffee creamer with my winter coffee beans. Yum! It's the perfect thing to wake me up in the mornings! (Even though, I'm not really up in the mornings until I arrive at work after an hour drive! I HATE leaving my house in the dark of morning!)

I ordered a few different things I've been eager to try from Pangea a couple days ago! Wow, and fast delivery! I placed the order on Tuesday and it arrived on Wednesday! How cool is that? I'd been eager to try some different vegan cheeses that aren't even available at Whole Foods! So a log of Teese mozzerella, a wheel of Sheese blue cheese and a tiny little hunk of Dr. Cow raw cashew cheese. The only one I've tried as of yet is the Dr. Cow cheese.

And. Wow. Everything I've read about this cheese was correct! Yes, it's expensive and I only got 3 ounces. But it was awesome. Aged goodness. I could have eaten the whole three ounces. But I restrained myself.

We're planning on doing good things with the blue cheese. A buffalo pizza with tempeh and blue cheese. Yummy! And we'll use the Teese for pizza as well.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy with Follow Your Heart soy cheeses. I think they are tasty eaten raw or melted. But it's nice to have other options!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Look Who's Vegan


Eric brought me home a Rachael Ray magazine last week and the last page featured rocker Bryan Adams. I was surprised to find out that Adams has been a vegan for the past 20 years. He ate completely raw for one year and now tries to eat 50% raw. Wow, look at him! Now, thats a picture of good health. Adams most certainly does not look like he's 49 to me!

Here's a link to his pineapple-ginger juice recipe.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ah Craziness

I can't believe I haven't blogged in a month. Things have just been crazy. I haven't uploaded pics from my camera in a gazillion years! I need to write a blog posting, a real blog posting! I just wanted to post this message to let my readers know that I am still alive! I promise you a better posting--and soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, We Can!!!


We did it! Go Obama--our next president!

Anxiously Waiting

Hope everybody voted today! Now I'm glued to CNN waiting for results.

Starbucks was giving out free coffee today if you told them you voted. I took advantage of that offer at two different locations.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Election

With the election in two weeks and a day, it's hard to focus on anything else--even if you're a first grader. Our students will also "vote" for a new president as part of a schools-wide election. When I asked one of my first graders who he would vote for, he choose Obama, of course. I asked him why he would like to vote for Obama and here is the short of it.

"He's brown and has a man helper."

I just thought it was pretty funny.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Electric Orange


Did I mention how much I love my new juicer? Since I've started juicing this weekend, I've made several different kinds of juices and smoothies. Here's what I made for my after-dinner snack and it'll be my breakfast tomorrow too. The juice came out bright orange and it's vibrantly sweet.

Electric Orange juice
2 servings

6 carrots
1 orange
1 apple

Juice the carrots with the orange and apple! That's it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My apologies

My apologies for my recent lack of blogging! The last month has been very hectic! I meant to blog about the corn maze we took Norton to but that hasn't happened yet. I would have had a great blog post because we almost went to a rally in Scranton, Pa today with the Bidens and the Clintons! But Eric and I were both feeling a bit under the weather so we opted to stay home and relax today.

Last weekend, we celebrated my thirtieth birthday! Woo hoo! We partied with friends on my actual birthday and the following day, Eric took me to New York to see Mamma Mia and have dinner at Candle 79. The show was great and dinner was amazing.

Yesterday, we used up some of our wedding gift cards to buy a Breville juicer. So we spent our lazy Sunday making juice, napping, and making matzah ball soup.

I owe you guys a real blog post one of these days with actual photos and all. Excuse my laziness as of late.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Watch out for 'em hot peppers!

I should be blogging about what could have been an awesome salad, all put together without the help of a recipe. It was black beans and fresh corn, tomatoes and green bell pepper, avocados too. Some garlic and onion and why not a small red hot pepper for a little spice? As my salad was just about ready to be dressed, my face started feeling hot. And it was red. My nose was burning and my lips too. Then my face got swollen a bit and the splotchy red started to appear on other parts of my body, my shoulder and my hand. I had to send Eric out to get me some Benadryl so I could get some relief. I washed my face and used my Neti pot to get rid of some of those spicy irritants! I drank some ricemilk too.

Unfortunately, I had to throw the entire salad away. With all of that spice of one small pepper, not only did it taste like fire, but it wasn't worth dying.

I don't even know what kind of pepper it is. It came in a box of assorted hot peppers from the farmer market. I think the whole container has to go in the trash now.

My hands still feel hot but I'm definitely feeling better than I was--

Thanks to my darling hubby who, while on a quest for Benadryl, brought me home some Purely Decadent ice cream.

Monday, September 01, 2008

How we spent our Labor Day weekend


Around the middle of last week, upon realizing that Eric and I had no plans at all during our upcoming three day weekend, I suggested we spend that time painting our bedroom. Though not a fun chore, we decided it was the only time in the near future that we had to undertake this job. No sooner than we had started collecting paint samples did the bbq and other party invitations start rolling in. We were invited to three barbeques and (I to) one shopping excursion. Unfortunately, we missed all but one of those events (and that was only because the party was walking distance away)!

We painted our bedroom a Martha Stewart color called "Mixing Pot." It reminds me of a buttercream. It really is a pretty color and it's a nice change from the aqua that was on our walls and ceiling before that! After putting our bedroom back together today, we set up our new duvet and other bedding accessories which we received as shower gifts back in May. As Eric stated earlier this evening, now our bed looks like a hotel room bed!

Now summer really has come to an end...back to school tomorrow for me!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain's Dangerous Choice

Anybody see Obama's acceptance speech the other night? I thought it was amazing. I was riveted to that tv taking in every word he spoke.

Friday morning, I was shaking my head in disgust when McCain introduced his running mate.

Today I got this email from Move On which I found to be very informative. I'm cutting and pasting the info below.

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.

Huh?

Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17515&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=1

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17736&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=2

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17737&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=3

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17517&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=4

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17518&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=5

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17519&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=6

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17520&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=7

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=21119&id=13661-10389487-obf5gyx&t=8

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 3.2 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Casserole

Today, I spent the morning getting my classroom organized for next week and the afternoon trying to organize my house. Norton's girlfriend Zoe also spent the afternoon at our house. See?


They spent the afternoon wrestling, drinking water and playing tug of war with Norton's stuffed squirrel (which they later destroyed).

Dinner had to be something easy so I could keep an eye on the pups. So I decided to be creative and throw together a casserole. I tossed some fresh green beans with a can of whole tomatoes and some spices--garlic, oregano, basil and parsley. I added an onion cut into wedges. Unfortunately I had no fresh herbs--and am all out of fresh garlic! Boo! Everything went in the toaster oven on 400 degrees. I added the lentils when they were done and some leftover brown rice from the other day. I realized my casserole had too much liquid so I scooped some of the tomato juice out. A little sugar in the raw to sweeten the sauce came next, then a generous splash of ricemilk to lighten the sauce. Lastly, I added some shredded Follow Your Heart mozzerella and upped the temp to 450. I guess everything cooked all in all for about an hour. It was tasty! I think my casserole would have been awesome with some roasted garlic, maybe some mushrooms too. Trust me, it tasted a lot better than it looks in the photo!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Vegan's Hundred

Hannah came up with this list of 100 things that a vegan (or nonvegan!) should eat in his or her lifetime. It's a pretty cool concept and it is based on The Omnivore's Hundred. So here are the instructions if you'd like to participate. However, each of these food items needs to be the vegan version.

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich (can't figure out how to cross out on blogger, but NEVER, not a fan of PB)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough


Veg Honeymoon Awesomeness

So Eric decided that for the length of our honeymoon, he would keep vegetarian. I don't think he really looked at it as a sacrifice even though he is an omnivore. After all, the Northwest is very vegetarian-friendly and we ate at some amazing vegetarian/vegan restaurants! So I didn't take photos of them all but here were the highlights of where we ate.

First stop was Portland, Oregon. What a great city! We loved it here. Portland is a compact and really friendly city, a town that attracts all sorts of people from hikers to bikers to dog lovers to vegans! Yes, a vegan-friendly city. Portland is the home of the world's first vegan mini-mall. This mini-mall is home to Food Fight, an all vegan grocery, along with Herbivore, a vegan clothing store, a tattoo artist who only uses vegan inks, and Sweet Pea, a yummy vegan bakery. We visited all of the above (with the exception of the tattoo artist). We shared a yummy cookie at Sweet Pea and bought a couple things at Food Fight. Would have bought most of the store if we didn't need to worry about stuffing it all into already-overstuffed suitcases! I thought their sign was so funny! Can you read what it says on the door?


We had dinner at Blossoming Lotus on our first day in Portland. Though it just looks like a tiny cafe in a yoga center, they actually have amazing food! All vegan and lots of it is raw too. Even vegan soft-serve! We had some amazing raw chilled avocado soup here.


Lunch on day #2 was at Karam, a Lebanese restaurant. We had lunch here with Eric's former coworker who moved out to Portland a couple years ago. This was a good place to eat and veg. friendly.

We had to make reservations to get a table at Andina, a lively Peruvian restaurant. Neither one of us had ever eaten Peruvian before and we were eager to try it. The food was amazing! Plus the restaurant has a separate vegetarian menu with several vegan options.

Another Portland favorite was the Vita Cafe, a mostly vegetarian diner-like restaurant. Here we had some awesome "buffalo wings," and I had a tempeh reuben. I think Eric had the seitan cheesesteak. Oh, and their vegan caesar salad rocked too.

We stopped into Veganopolis for a vegan milkshake. Veganopolis is a vegan cafeteria/restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try anything else there though.


Next stop: Seattle! Our first night here, we walked 1 mile (uphill!) to Carmelita's , a great vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant. Food here was great and they had a lovely patio which we ate on.

The next day we had dinner at Vegetarian Bistro, an Asian restaurant in Chinatown. We very much enjoyed the food here. The "Mongolian beef" reminded me of pepper steak, an old favorite from my pre-vegetarian days (many, many years ago)! Tofu with mushrooms was tasty and how often can a vegetarian/vegan order the won ton soup at a Chinese restaurant?

Our favorite Seattle restaurant, hands-down, had to be Cafe Flora. According to their website, "Cafe Flora's award winning menu features modern and sophisticated vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine that is inspired by international culinary traditions and created with local, organic and sustainable ingredients." In fact, we liked it here so much that we ate here twice! Loved the vegan caesar salad and the vegan portobella french dip. The Thai skewers were pretty good too. Eric had some tacos that he really liked here and some tasty coconut tofu with lime sauce.

Before heading North to the Cascades, we had lunch with Betty Tisdale at Tamarind Tree, a Vietnamese restaurant. I haven't eaten a whole lot of Vietnamese food before, but boy, was it tasty!

I'm skipping ahead to Vancouver now because there isn't much to say for anything we ate on the road or in the Cascades region. However, we did stop at a farm stand for some fresh berries. Ever hear of Cascadian Farm? You've probably seen their organic products in the supermarket. We had some fresh blueberries and I had a soy smoothie from their stand.

We loved Vancouver, but I can't say the restaurants we ate at were all that remarkable. We had some good Indian food and enjoyed Hell's Kitchen. The Szechuan green beans were tasty and we liked their thin crust pizzas (mine was without cheese) and beer selection.

Our last stop, Victoria, had a great selection of vegetarian restaurants. We ate at Rebar on our first night here. This was a delicious choice!

After our whale watching excursion the next day, we ate lunch at Green Cuisine's extensive and all-vegan buffet! Wow! Of course, when you are paying by the pound, it comes out to be tres expensive too! But worth it!

We decided to do take-out for dinner after a long, exhausting day! Vegan pizza from The Joint Pizzeria!

Be sure to check Eric's blog for his writeup of wine and beer tasting!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Honeymoon Pics!

A mere five miles from Mount St. Helen's

Okay, so I took most of the photos, and then Eric made the nifty slideshow on his laptop...then I spent hours uploading everything to Snapfish...well, these aren't all of them. We DID take 1000 photos or so. Here's 100 of our favorites from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver and Victoria. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We're home!

We're home from our honeymoon! Had an amazing time! I have lots to blog about but in the meantime, here's a couple more wedding pics...

Mr. and Mrs. Strauss!!!


Eric and the Oakland Raiders garter!


With my cousins--Laurie, Kirsten (girlfriend of cousin) and Andrea, one of my bridesmaids


Monday, August 11, 2008

Day One of Honeymoon


Here's a photo of us from the first day of our honeymoon. We drove the historic Columbia River Gorge Byway and saw lots of cool falls and Mount Hood too! We've got tons to blog about like amazing sites and wonderful restaurants but here's a teaser for now...

One Week Anniversary



Well, today is our one week anniversary. Yup, we're officially married. Everything went wonderfully and almost all as planned! We're enjoying our honeymoon and will be posting pics when we have time! Portland was wonderful and tonight is our last night in Seattle.

Anyway, here's a photo from Josh Lynn, our amazing photographer. There's a few more here. Jenn posted some photos on her blog too...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Award!




Ve*ganChick has awarded me this awesome award. Thank you so much; I am really honored! Ve*ganChick is another soon to be bride! She is getting married August 8th (I think). So now I must nominate seven others for this award.

These are the rules for the people I am awarding:
*Put the logo on your blog.
*Add a link to the person who awarded you.
*Nominate at least seven other blogs.
*Add links to those blogs on your blog.
*Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.

Drumroll please! Envelope? Here are the nominees!

Jess of Jesser

Jennifer of the adventures of miss president

Michelle at What Does your body good?

Avery at Commune Tested, City Approved

Alice of Alice in Veganland

Veggie at so what do vegetarians eat anyway?

Dynise at the urban vegan


So Eric and I are getting hitched in five days. I'm not really stressed or nervous. I'm excited for the wedding and for our honeymoon! Now it's time to start packing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Rice Cooker


A couple weeks ago, Eric and I received a package in the mail. It was a wedding gift from a friend of Eric's father. He sent us a rice cooker! I never thought I needed a rice cooker until a few months ago when I heard about this one.

Our rice cooker is a Zojirushi model. Yes, it's Japanese. The coolest thing is this--it uses "fuzzy logic." That means it changes the temperature automatically in order to cook the perfect rice. It constantly adjusts and then it's done when it sings a song. Really. It plays songs in midi-type format. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when it starts and some other song when it's done. It's so cute! And it makes good rice! I'm trying my hand at steel cut oats this morning.

My mother would probably tell me that I'm bringing bad luck upon myself by using a wedding gift before the wedding. But I don't care! I am using it anyway!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Bachelorette


Yup, that's me with the goofy hat. Last Saturday was my bachelorette party. We had so much fun!!! Eight of us girls took a limo into New York, and let me tell you, the limo ride alone was half the fun! By the time we got to where we were going, we were all pretty buzzed!

We met three more friends at Lucky Cheng's for dinner, drinks and fun with drag queens. After dinner, we sang karaoke with a live band. It was awesome, but a lot more difficult than traditional karaoke.

Here's another fun photo. This is after the drag queens pushed my face into the cake.
We're now 13 days away from the big day, which explains my very infrequent postings! But we're almost there. The wedding plans are just about complete--we're now enjoying the process of planning the honeymoon! Eric and I are looking forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest including all of the awesome vegetarian restaurants!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

26 Days

I have photos on my camera of things I'd like to blog about--like the best foccacia bread ever. Yes I baked it, and that's according to my family. Or my cute as anything niece Kayla who is five months old now.

I'm not working but I'm crazy busy. Yes, 26 days until the big day. That means most of my time is spent making phone calls to vendors, ordering last minute gifts and other things. I can't believe how fast it's coming up. I've got so much to do and I'm really trying to be very organized about everything which is not my nature.

So I hope all of you can forgive my infrequent bloggings as of lately. Things will get calmer around here after the wedding or so I hope.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Vegan Comfort Food


You know you're a tree-lovin' hippie when your idea of comfort food is not mashed potatoes with loads of gravy but quinoa with stir-fried greens and garlic, some tamari roasted chickpeas and miso tahini sauce. Now that's good stuff! I finally got around to making the chickpeas from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and they certainly did not disappoint! Today I discovered they are awesome on salad too!


Yesterday, I made the nearly-instant Thai coconut corn soup from Vegan Express. To be honest, I thought it was just okay until I had a bowl for breakfast this morning. I think by today, the flavors had really meshed together and it was simply delicious!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Week Gone By


Well, the first week of summer break has flown by. Much of the time was spent at home doing stuff around the house. Norton and Pumpkin like to hang out on the deck when they have nothing else to do.

It was a busy week too though. Tuesday, I went with my dad to see Ringo Starr and the All-Star Band. They are amazing to see if you ever have the opportunity. Great, great show. I loved when they did Yellow Submarine!

Thursday, Eric and I had a two hour meeting with the dj down in Red Bank to finalize music choices for the wedding. After our meeting, we had lunch at No Joe's Cafe, a coffee house with a menu. I was a bit disappointed with what I ordered. I settled on the grilled veggie salad--the menu description reads an array of fresh, grilled vegetables served over greens with a sesame ginger vinaigrette. Well my salad was lettuce, grilled yellow squash and sprouts. It was fine, but I wouldn't call yellow squash an array of grilled vegetables. But it was okay, because I wanted to save my appetite for a smoothie anyway. We went to Smoothie King next and I had a fabulous smoothie with mango, papaya, soy protein and other fruits. It was delicious!

After smoothies, I headed up to David's Bridal for my first fitting. Woo hoo! The dress was huge! It needs to be taken in a whole size! I guess that is what happens when you lose 20 pounds before your wedding!

Wednesday night, I made Ethiopian lentils. We love our Ethiopian lentils! It's a cold lentil salad with a chopped jalapeño, onion, parsley and the dressing is dijon mustard and lemon juice (or vinegar). I love this salad and I ate it in wraps all week. Sorry, I took pictures but they didn't come out good for some reason.

Last night, my cousin came over for dinner with her baby. Vincent is now four months old and is getting so big. He's such a cutie! We had a yummy dinner--a big salad with miso-tahini dressing (dressing from VCon), buffalo tofu, zucchini chips and steak fries. I attempted to make the peach upside down cake from Fat Free Vegan with my huge supply of plums, but I sort of screwed up on little part and we ended up with a very tasty plum cake trifle.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meme!

I've been seeing this meme on lots of blogs lately and after seeing it on Bianca's, I decided to do it. She tagged anybody who prefers cooking to baking, and though I enjoy baking, I'm definitely more of a cook than a baker! So here goes!

What were you doing five years ago?

I was getting ready to go on a cross-country 31 day road trip! I was living in a crappy apartment in Belleville with my ex and my cat, Pumpkin.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

1) Take a shower.
2) Go with my dad to my grandparents' graves.
3) Have dinner with my dad.
4) Go see Ringo Starr at Radio City Music Hall with my dad!
5) Play video games with Eric! (yeah, it's a good day.)

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1) So Delicious Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches
2) Anything dark chocolate
3) Anything with hummus
4) Popcorn with cardamom, cinnamon and sugar with some Earth Balance--yum!
5) Pita chips

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1) Pay off debt.
2) Travel the world.
3) Start an animal sanctuary.
4) Buy a Vespa for me.
5) Buy a boat for Eric.

What are five of your bad habits?

1) I am very disorganized.
2) I've become very lazy and haven't been working out lately. That needs to change.
3) I spend too much time obsessing over food (just like Bianca).
4) I'm not good with money.
5) I have a bit of an addictive personality.

What are five places where you have lived?

1) Fords, NJ
2) South Plainfield, NJ
3) Long Branch, NJ
4) Montclair, NJ
5) Byram, NJ

(I know. I'm boring. I've never lived out of state.)

What are five jobs you’ve had?

1) File clerk for a doctor
2) Waitress at Red Lobster
3) Box office sales and concession cashier at movie theatre
4) Collector for disgraceful law firm that bought out people's debts and collected tons of interest
5) Teacher

Tag! You're it if you ...

1) Have a crazy mutt.
2) Have purple hair.
3) Actually like rodents.
4) Know what lychees are.
5) Drive a Vespa.

Just copy this survey into your blog if you meet the above criteria, and don't forget to link back to mine.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fajitas, Margaritas and Chocolate Soft Ice Cream

It was a wonderful weekend. This was the first weekend in ages where we didn't have 500 things to do! Friday was my last day of school and it was a happy day! I will miss my third graders who "graduated" and will spend the next four years at the middle school. It's nice to see them grow up in front of my eyes--some of these kids I worked with since the beginning of first grade. But it's sad to see them go.

But now its summer. Saturday morning, Eric and I ran errands. I was eager to check out our local farmer's market now that the season has started. However, there was only one farm stand open. We bought some local blueberries for an astronomical price but did get a good deal on a humongous head of red leaf lettuce! After that, we did our weekly food shopping.


Saturday night, we decided to go with a Mexican theme. I tried out my new cast-iron skillet and made portobello mushroom fajitas. They were yummy! First I marinated the mushrooms, onions, and peppers with a spice marinade that I found here. In our fajitas were mushrooms, onions, peppers, avocado slices, tofutti sour cream, and salsa. With our fajitas, we had some brown rice and deliciously spicy pinto beans. I found the recipe on Fat Free Vegan, though I modified it some...the beans came out too liquidy, so I drained some of the liquid, added some cornstarch and extra spices.



After dinner, we had margaritas. I combined fresh lime juice, agave, water, tequila, and shook. Then we drank. Then we drank some more later that evening--wine for me and Bailey's for Eric. We decided to walk over to our friends' home a couple blocks away to play some board games after their four children had gone to bed.



Sunday morning, we met with the rabbi for a final meeting before the wedding, then picked up a couple wedding-related items at the Judaica store, and got Eric fit for his tux. Fun stuff! Then we got to the spend the rest of the day at home--organizing, relaxing, and playing video games. Oh and chasing a mouse. We have a bit of a mouse problem. This was the 6th mouse we've found in over a month. Pumpkin killed the first three. We chased the last three out of the house. Not an easy task, mind you.

Dinner was some of Veganomicon bbq tofu (I cheated and used store bought sauce cause we already had it) and a big salad. Then we decided to use Eric's favorite shower gift that he begged his mother to buy me--a soft ice cream maker. We made some soy chocolate ice cream. It was pretty darn good!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Six weeks and six days

Yup, that's how long it is until Eric and I tie the knot. We had a very productive weekend as far as the wedding checklist goes. We ordered groomsmen gifts. Check! Ordered yarmulkes for ceremony. Check! Picked up toasting flutes and cake cutting set. Check!

Saturday, I spent the afternoon with my mom and sister. We had lunch at Chipotle, which was very good. Similar to Baja Fresh or Q'doba but everything is fresh! Then we went to see Sex and the City which we all enjoyed.

Saturday night, I made some raviolis I picked up at Whole Foods not too long ago. The brand is Rising Moon organics and we had the artichoke olive flavor, which was also vegan. However, they also have regular cheese ones too. They were delicious and pretty low in calories!

Sunday, we celebrated Father's Day with our families. Eric and I took our parents' out to lunch to Krogh's, a local bar and grille with yummy food! They have an awesome bean taco salad, which I love! Plus, its right across from Lake Mohawk, so we enjoyed a beautiful walk after lunch.

After our delicious lunch, we weren't very hungry for dinner Sunday night. So I made the marinated home fries from the Made From Scratch cookbook. I wrote more about that cookbook here. Sorry, no pic but they were delicious. Diced the potatoes, then boiled, then marinated with tamari-oil-mixture with onions, then sauteed with lots of garlic and onions and peppers, topped with FYH soy cheddar. Delicious!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hummus

I should first mention that in my previous post, I was being sarcastic when I stated that I love the near 100 degree heat. However, it was nice getting out of school early yesterday because of the intense heat. Today, it was in the upper 80s, hot, but much nicer compared to the last four days!

A couple hours ago, I was contemplating what to bring to work for lunch tomorrow. I decided on a whole wheat bagel out of the freezer. A perfect accompaniment to that bagel would be some hummus. So I pressure-cooked some chickpeas and made Veganomicon's simple and easy hummus recipe.

I have to say that my simple homemade hummus I think totally beats any of the store bought varieties. And, trust me, I've probably tried just about every kind.

Sorry for the lack of photos the last couple posts. I'm lazy!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hot Hot Hot


I just love the near 100 degree heat, especially when we've got no air conditioning at home or at school. (Technically, we do have window air conditioners for the bedrooms, but we haven't had time to put them in yet. And, where we live, by the time we go to bed at night, the heat isn't quite as unbearable.) This is the third day of this horrendous heat wave.

On Friday, I decided to try out the indoor grill we got as an engagement gift several months ago. It was easy to use and great fun! I grilled up some chili lime corn, portobello mushrooms, and yellow squash. I will definately be using the grill some more this week!

Note: The photo of the grill came from the Williams-Sonoma website and I doubt those are vegan sausages!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dog v. Mama Deer

So Norton was out in the woods doing his business. I was a few yards away keeping an eye on him when I noticed the mama deer and her baby close by.

Well, guess who noticed them at the same time?

Norton decided to go run after the baby fawn.

Mama Deer decided to kick his ass.

I heard a scuffle and some yelps and Norton came back to me running, dirty and disheveled but otherwise okay. I hope he learned his lesson.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Yumminess


Monday, on our way to see the new Indiana Jones (which we both enjoyed), Eric and I decided to stop at the pool and patio store to look at patio furniture. Well, we ended up purchasing a table and four chairs for our deck at a great price! Since the weather was so nice Monday night, we ended up eating our dinner outside and it was wonderful! I made these tempeh "buffalo" wingz and they were so good!


Tuesday night, I decided to make those spicy Italian vegetarian sausages that everybody's been blogging about! Though it took some time to gather all the spices needed, they were really easy and came out delicious!

Alice got me in the mood to try my hand at paella last night. It came out pretty good! I used basmati rice, some vegetable broth, a can of whole tomatoes, onions, garlic, yellow squash, red and green bell peppers, turmeric, thyme, paprika, saffron and salt and pepper. And I threw a couple of the sausages in there!

Tonight, I decided to crack open Vegan with a Vengeance and try something easy. So I made the garlicky kale with tahini sauce. It was delicious! I threw some white beans in for protein and made a microwaved-baked potato to go with it.

Our New Neighbor


My house is quiet and peaceful, yet I listen to a symphony of sounds outside my back door. I can hear a multitude of frog calls and crickets too. We've got tree frogs and other kinds of frogs too here.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I had a visitor hanging out in my front yard. It was a painted turtle! Norton's friend, the eight-year-old boy across the street, informed me that it was a painted turtle, and yes, they bite. The turtle didn't stick around that long though! He moved much faster than I expected he would!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Garden Center Find


Tuesday, while at the local garden center looking at shrubs, I heard a lot of "talking" coming from the pond. Then I found this guy hanging out in the pond. Not sure if he was a toad or a bullfrog. He was very loud though! And cute!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Five Things

I've been tagged by both Bianca and Alice (in Veganland) to do this five things meme. I've done this one before but I'll do it again. Here are the rules.



The rules:



1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself.

3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.

4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.


1. When I was a teenager, our cat Tiger had three litters of kittens. Between each litter, we truly did try to get her fixed, but every time, she would run out of the house and get herself knocked up again! It was so much fun having kittens in our house for a year straight! The first litter was two kittens (though one was stillborn), and the second litter had three kittens. They were born on Christmas Eve so we called them Dancer, Cupid and...Striper! We got to keep Striper after I begged and pleaded and cried. After that, we had five more kittens! Five! But we gave all of those guys away.



2. I was fourteen years old when I came to the realization that I would become a vegetarian one day. In Global Studies class, we saw a video of how some culture (I forget which one) killed a pig. On that day, I gave up pork. A year later, I tried to become a vegetarian by giving up all other kinds of meat and chicken. However, after subsisting on two weeks of salads and nothing else, my mother convinced me to eat chicken and turkey. I really did become a vegetarian five years later--in the frozen foods aisle at Shop Rite! I was a hungry college student, and had the fixings for a turkey sandwich in my basket; turkey, mayo, bread. While perusing the frozen foods section, I was amazed at the selection of vegetarian foods--veggie burritos, veggie burgers, etc. It was then that I realized that becoming vegetarian was feasible. Now, nine years later, I'm on the path to becoming a vegan. I'm almost there!

3. I've always loved to read. When I was a kid and Mom told me "lights out," I'd frequently read by the light of the digital clock! I still love to read but don't have the time to read as often as I wish I could. Because of my short attention span, I'm constantly enthralled in several books at once!

4. I love road trips. I've been to 37 states and can't wait to go to two new ones this summer on our honeymoon to the Pacific West. My longest road trip was on a 31 day drive cross-country. My longest road trip by myself was from NJ to Columbia, Missouri, which was about an eighteen hour trip. On the way home, I even stayed in a hotel by myself which was kind of creepy and kind of exciting.

5. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up." I love teaching but I dream about starting an animal sanctuary. Sometimes I dream about staying home all day long with my pets so I can bake yummy vegan treats!

I tag Eric, Jess, Jennifer, Michelle and Veggie.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Baby!


Eric and I have a baby! No, it's not what it sounds like. We have a fawn! She looks like Bambi and has been spending a lot of time on our front lawn. Eating grass, sleeping. Norton tried to chase her today and I had to stop him and convince him that she is his little sister.

Isn't she cute?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Shower!!!

(Photo: my mom, then me, Eric and his mom)

We left the house Saturday mid-morning to attend a high school graduation party--a month before the actual graduation. I suspected it wasn't really a graduation party we were heading to. And, I was right. It was my shower!

My mother and the bridal party held the shower at a nice Italian restaurant and everything was wonderful. It was so nice to see so many of our friends and family. It was a lot of fun and we got a lot of great gifts too!

I was exhausted when we got home that night but Eric had one more surprise in store for me. He had a shower gift for me too! Eric bought me five vegan cookbooks--Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan with a Vengeance, The Joy of Vegan Baking, Vegan Italiano and The Asian Vegan Kitchen.

Sunday morning, I tried out the waffles recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking, though varied them by making them cinnamon apple waffles. Later on that morning, I followed the basic chocolate cupcake recipe in VCTOTW but added some chopped up thin mint cookies to make mint chocolate cupcakes to bring over my brother's house for his birthday. Yummy! And I loved using my new mini food processor and KitchenAid stand mixer too!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cotton Candy and Veggie Heaven


Today we had our annual carnival at school. The kids love it; there are games, face painting, cotton candy, popcorn, and inflatable jumpy things and slides. Us teachers love being outside for hours while the kids run around on sugar highs. For real--one of my third grade female students had twelve cotton candies!!! TWELVE!!! And then we are supposed to teach them all afternoon long after this insanity?

The carnival was set up right outside my classroom so well before 9:00 this morning, the aroma of popcorn was drifting through my windows. So when I finally was able to go outside today at 10:00, I had my morning snack of fresh popcorn (chock ful of coconut oil!) and cotton candy.

After school, I spent a couple hours in Montclair, a great town. I lived there a few years back so it's always nice to go back. My first stop was The Bread Company, a tiny organic bakery blocks from my old apartment. I had only visited this bakery maybe twice in my six months of living in the neighborhood, but I remembered their yummy breads! Well, the woman from the bakery actually remembered me, even though I hadn't been there in at least four years! So most of their breads and sweets are vegan and many are gluten-free as well. After much deliberation, I chose a chocolate ginger treat to bring home to share with Eric for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

After perusing Montclair's great independent bookstore, I decided to have dinner at Veggie Heaven, an all Vegetarian Chinese restaurant that I'd been wanting to try for a while. It did not disappoint--I had tofu with mushrooms and brown rice with a little extra spice and it was delicious!

The real reason for my being in the area was to take a drive to the next town over to pick up our finished wedding invitations. And they came out perfect! I am so pleased and impressed! If you're looking for some custom invitations, check out Hyland Creative Design. Melissa did a wonderful job.

Well, I'm exhausted after my super-long day. But it was a good one!

(I forgot to mention that I sampled some grapefruit at Whole Foods today. I always thought I hated grapefruit. But it was tangy and I liked it! Yay!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oprah goes vegan!

Well, for 21 days, anyway! Oprah is doing a 21 day cleanse, in which she's eliminating all animal products from her diet, along with caffeine, sugar, alcohol and gluten. This cleanse comes out of Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness. Here's what Oprah has to say...

How can you say you're trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony?

Read more here at Oprah's blog...also check out Vegan.com's podcasts related to Oprah's challenge...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Indonesian Coconut Rice and Tofu Teriyaki


Tonight's dinner was simply amazing. I wish I had a better photo for you but Eric borrowed my digital camera today. I made the coconut rice from Vegan.com's top ten list and a simple tofu teriyaki recipe that I found at Whole Food's website and some microwave-steamed broccoli. I'm not sure that I'd make the rice again on a weeknight; it was a little time-consuming throwing all the spices together, but was well worth it! I used jasmine rice instead of the brown rice that the recipe calls for and it came out fabulous.

Last night, we had Vcon's sauteed chickpea cutlets. With it, I thinly sliced half of my giant sweet potato for sweet potato "chips." I had my cutlet with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice; Eric had his on an onion roll with some salad dressing. We enjoyed the cutlets and would certainly make them again!

For those readers who were commenting on the size of my sweet potato, there is nothing wrong with "big and beautiful," however the immense size of the thing makes it a bit too awkward to handle!

On my way back to the kitchen to make more jelly donut cupcakes for work tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday in Baltimore


So Saturday started off kind of sucky. I had to go to the doctor's office for some routine bloodwork. It was not fun. I do not like shots. But the nurse did give me a juice box which was nice!

Then back home for some Mario Kart--I heart Mario Kart! And, then on to our Baltimore outing! Eric got me tickets to see The Swell Season. The Swell Season is really Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglova, the musicians who wrote and starred in the movie Once.

So after making the four hour trip to Baltimore, Eric and I had dinner at The Yabba Pot, an international vegan cafe near Johns Hopkins University. The menu features specials, which change daily, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies, etc. We both opted to have the royal platter. Between the two of us we had barbequed tofu, amazing brown rice, cabbage stir fry, queen's greens (which was kale, onions, tomatoes and spices), some other spinach curry and black bean chili. The food was delicious and we saved room to split a vegan snickerdoodle cookie afterwards.

The actual concert was held at The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, an absolutely gorgeous venue with perfect acoustics. Glen and Marketa were amazing together live. Some of Glen's Frames bandmates performed as the back-up band, too.

Long drive home. Stopped a couple times for gas, caffeine, and to fetch Norton from my parents', where he spent the day. We made it home at 4:30 am.

(The photo was not from last night but was of another live show. Photo by Joel Didriksen for kingpinphoto.com)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Big Sweet Potato!


So today was my organic produce pick up day from Purple Dragon. In our box of goodies was a sweet potato. Have you ever seen a sweet potato this large???

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Amazing Cupcakes


I decided to bake the jelly donut cupcakes out of Veganomicon to bring to my parents' house on Mother's Day.  They were simply amazing!!!  And easy to make too!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Norton cuddles!


This weekend, Norton decided to sit on my lap for a good cuddle.  In some photos, Norton doesn't look that big but I think he looks like the big dog that he is in this photo!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Spy King?

Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser wrote a piece for the New York Times on Wednesday titled "Burger with a Side of Fries." Apparently, the Burger King Corporation hired a private security firm to spy on the Student/Farmworker Alliance in Florida. The aim of the Student/Farmworker Alliance is to improve the lives of migrant farmworkers by eliminating sweatshop conditions and modern-day slavery in the fields. This group uses peaceful methods of protest--such as their recent petition to ask Burger King to pay these farmworkers a fair wage. Read more here..

Top 10 Vegan Recipes


Today I came across Vegan.com's collection of top 10 vegan recipes for 2008. The recipes come from this year's top vegan cookbooks. I'm eager to try some of these for myself! The Indonesian Coconut Rice and Root Beer Float Cupcakes sound especially delightful! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What a Week!

Monday evening, I attempted to upload some photographs from my camera onto my computer. It wasn't working so I decided to restart. This was a bad idea because my trusty Mac wouldn't go past the startup screen! Ugh!!!! Last time this happened, Eric reinstalled my operating system and that seemed to work at fixing the problem. Well this time, that didn't help. So yesterday, I left my Mac in the hands of the genius at the Apple store. It's still under warranty and they can probably fix it. Unfortunately, I didn't back anything up though! Supposedly, they will back everything up for me before zeroing out the hard drive! I am so stressed about this and hope it works!

Tuesday evening, my allergies started acting up...and badly! Sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing fits, the works. This morning, when I woke up with a pounding headache, I decided it was finally time to whip out the neti pot and allergy meds.

I wish I had some more fun and exciting things to write about right now!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Busy Week!

I have several blog posts in the works--I haven't had the time to post them or upload the pics but I'll get to it, I promise.

It's been a crazy week! I spent all last week working on wedding details every day after school. Saturday, I had my hair and makeup trial. Sunday, we went to a bbq at my aunt and uncle's house.

I saw 2 movies this week--during the week, I watched Sicko and on Saturday evening, we saw Juno. In my opinion, they are both must-see's! I wouldn't say Sicko is enjoyable in the way that Juno is. But it is a Michael Moore documentary. Draw your own conclusions...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pizza!


Over the weekend, I was thinking about the fact that I hadn't had pizza in at least a month. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it.

So on Sunday, on my way home from Omega (which I still must blog about), I made a stop at Whole Foods. I picked up a few staples for the week, including Follow Your Heart soy mozzarella and some pizza dough.

When I got home, I made a pizza! I used some jarred tomato sauce with roasted garlic, onions, vegan pepperoni, fresh basil and parsley. It was so yummy! I found the cheese to be very tasty as well.

It was so good that I wish we had some more pizza left. But we finished it for lunch today. I guess I'll have to just make it again!

My New Water Bottle


I'd been planning on buying of these aluminum water bottles anyway, because the #7 hard water bottles leech chemicals into water. Ewww, gross. The reusable water bottle I have now is a #5 plastic one. Supposedly safe, but I'm not taking a chance! As I posted last week, Eric and I received coupons for free Sigg water bottles through their website. Today I ordered mine. Here's the one I chose.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Roasted Zucchini

A few years ago, my mom gave me a mandolin (not that one exactly but you get the idea). At the time, I didn't think I needed it. I gave it to my grandmother--or so I thought. Well, I guess I didn't because the other day I found it in my kitchen cabinet. Older and wiser, I now know that every kitchen needs one of these things!

So tonight, I decided to make roasted zucchini chips (along with these Ethiopian lentils and a big salad). Eric swore he didn't like zucchini. I was pretty much convinced that if I cooked zucchini in the right way, I could get him to eat it. So using my found mandolin, I sliced the zucchini paper thin, tossed it with a teaspoon of olive oil, some thyme and salt and pepper. I then roasted the zucchini slices in my toaster oven for about 25 minutes at 425 degrees. They came out crispy and delicious. Not only did Eric eat a serving of the zucchini...I caught him having seconds! Pretty amazing, I think!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sprouts!


Thanks to Michelle, I decided to make my very own bean sprouts! They were so easy to do! I soaked some lentils overnight then drained and rinsed them in the morning. I put them in a plastic container and covered them, rinsing them once or twice a day. In just a couple days, we had fresh sprouts for our salad! So easy and so tasty!

Day at the Shore


This morning, Eric and I headed down to the Point Pleasant Boardwalk to play some skeeball, ride the rides--and take our engagement photos! We met our wedding photographer, Josh Lynn, down there--and we had a blast taking the photos! I am so excited because Josh posted a few of them on his blog already! Look here!

While we were down there, we had lunch at Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar. Kaya's is a vegetarian eatery which used to be Veggie Works. I had eaten there often while I was in college and it was a real treat to be back today. We had the most delicious vegan buffalo wings (karma wings)!

Thanks, Eric, for letting me choose vegan restaurants two days in a row!!!!

A Very Martha Earth Day



I hope everybody had a super Earth Day and did one thing to make a positive impact on our planet. Here's how Eric and I celebrated our Earth Day...

We woke up bright and early--5:30 AM. Yes, I'm on Spring Break this week, and no we weren't going to work. Why were we up so early? To head into New York! I requested tickets for The Martha Stewart Show and we were given tickets for Earth Day! So we left at 6:30 and by 8:15 AM, Eric and I were in the line for audience members.




It turns out that it was a special live Earth Day episode! We couldn't have gotten any luckier than that! Well, maybe if we won the eco-friendly washer and dryer that another audience member did win (and she's from the same Sussex County town as us)!

Seeing Martha in person was awesome! Seeing the studio in person was amazing as well. Though it wasn't my first screening of a television show, it's always fascinating to see how many crew members it takes to keep the show going. It's constant motion. Here are just a few of the show highlights...

Jaime Pressly, from My Name is Earl was on the show. She and Martha stamped reusable totes with fabric paint and potatoes to make them a bit funkier.

Simran Sethi, host of Sundance's "The Green," shared some important information about our drinking water and the use of plastic drinking bottles.

Martha also shared some tips for washing and folding towels. She has a new line of towels available at Macy's.

After the taping of the Earth Day episode, we stayed for the taping of some Memorial Day segments which will be airing on May 23rd. Not only did we enjoy watching the taping of the shows, we got free stuff to boot! We each got a three piece set of towels, a magazine, a big book of flags, a coupon for a Sigg water bottle, an outdoor flag-hanging kit, and two free tote bags!

We walked the mile and a half to a vegan eatery in the Village that I was curious about trying for lunch. I'd read about Sacred Chow on Disease Proof and we were not disappointed! I had the shiitake mushroom and spinach salad with South Indian dressing along with the Korean tofu slices. Eric has a tempeh reuben. Everything was delicious and I highly recommend this place if you're so inclined to try it!

As we were on our walk back to the car, I couldn't resist stopping at Sabon, my favorite all-natural luxury bath and body shop to pick up some mud-from-the-Dead-Sea soap! Our last stop was at Whole Body to try some organic Aubrey shampoo--and we got another free tote in honor of Earth Day! Woo hoo!

(On another note, we stopped at Bleeker Records to peruse the basement full of vinyl and happened to stumble upon the filming of a commercial of sorts. A British female musician named Kate Nash was being filmed to seemingly promote herself and the record store. At least that's what I had gotten out of it. We had never heard of her but googled her tonight. She reminds me of Lily Allen.)