Friday, May 30, 2008


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'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'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

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'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...