Friday, November 26, 2010

A Good Activity for the Day After Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving - spent with the best of friends. We traveled up to Wisconsin to visit them. They used to be our neighbors when we lived in Milwaukee. Now they have an awesome home in the country on 30 acres. Beautiful scenery. I always feel at peace when I am there. Of course that might be from the many bottles of wine we drink! They are always so kind to fix me separate dishes when we visit. This time it was special mushroom gravy, and dressing made from a bunch of different whole grains. And the best Brussels sprouts I ever had. They had just lime and olive oil and salt and pepper, but so good! Here is the gigantic table for 23.

Today it was super cold in Chicagoland, but thankfully sunny after lots of gray days. We have had a pumpkin on the counter for a while that my daughter got on her Halloween pumpkin farm trip. We decided to make roast pumpkin seeds. My neighbor makes them and they are fabulous. I don't know what she puts in them besides butter. I used Earth Balance, salt, and sugar. They were so good!

What to do with the pumpkin? I have actually never cooked a real pumpkin. I cut it in big chunks, sprayed it with olive oil, and threw it in the oven.  My 6 year old enjoyed it straight with salt.

For me and my oldest daughter I made this curried pumpkin soup from Kim Barnouin's new book, Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Every Day Cookbook.  It has apples and wine, onions, etc. I added some garlic. Very delicious.

 Should I be concerned that I have the same hairstyle as my dogs? Shaggy and messy and in my eyes!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010


A copy of Clean Food in perfect condition for $7 at the half price book store!

Here is the bulk of my collection. Not counting the ones I have gotten rid of, or some that are on stray book shelves or my night table. The long shot:

And close ups so you can see what's on there. Maybe it's just me, but I love to see what's on people's book shelves.

AND, there are so many new vegan cookbooks coming out - if you search for "vegan cookbooks" on Amazon, you don't even get to the current ones until six pages in. Yes, it's an obsession, but it is 30 year's worth of collecting!

Speaking of obsessions, I so love Viva Vegan! Check out this delicioso meal:

Stuffed Plantains (I did not use the nuts or cheese), Yellow Rice with Garlic, Zesty Orange Mojo Baked Tofu, and Venezuelan Style Black Beans, with some spinach in garlic and olive oil. This meal was spectacular, all the more so because I have not been cooking anything worthwhile lately. It was worth every single pot and pan. You must make these recipes, especially the beans and tofu. I think I must go eat the leftovers right now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two for Tuesday

As predicted, I have hardly cooked at all over the past 6 weeks. The little monsters have taken over our house and our lives.They are still not housebroken, but I think we are making progress. We have to watch them every second or they will go on the floor. We are teaching them to ring the bell to go out - sometimes they do, most times not! The good news is I have dropped 5 lbs. without trying, due to all the extra activity.


I also had what I refer to as my "lost weekend" (actually closer to a week). Lost because I was on so many pain killers that I slept day and night. I strained all the muscles in my neck and couldn't move at all. The doc said it was from stress! Amazing what stress can do to the body. Fortunately it was something temporary and not a heart attack or stroke. Thanks to the Carnivore for keeping things going while I was out of it, and to my girls for being so good and sharing all their favorite toys with me to make me feel better.

I missed Halloween but the girls and dogs went trick or treating. I am lucky that they lose interest pretty quickly in the candy. Most years I end up throwing most of it out!

Don't have much to share in the way of food. I did make a lentil soup with roasted veggies that was pretty good. It is from The Pink Ribbon Diet. This book is about a plant based diet with the addition of lots of olive oil, which the author has researched and found to be helpful for cancer survivors as well as people looking to lose weight. I was interested in this book because the recipes were created by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Nancy Verde Barr. She wrote a book years ago called They Called it Macaroni. Not vegan or even nearly vegetarian, but it is a picture of life of Italian American immigrants that really speaks to me. It reminds me of my grandparents and other beloved Italian friends. Anyway, I haven't tried any other recipes from the new book, but they are mostly vegetarian and many vegan. There are a few meat recipes thrown in for the masses, although the author does not eat meat.

I tried Vegan Dad's Tofu cutlets in lemon sauce for our tofu Tuesday. I added capers so it was pretty much a piccata sauce. Yummy. I made the regular tofu for the girls, and I scraped all the yummy bits out of the pan for myself!