Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sometimes Simple Is Best

What is the question we hate the most? "Where do you get your protein?!" Although it is true that a non-animal diet can provide plenty of protein, in my case I feel the need to be extra vigilant about this. It is too easy to live on crackers and spaghetti. I am trying to add beans and tofu/tempeh/seitan to each meal. And of course vegetables, which I am sometimes lacking. This means I have to cook a lot more than I might otherwise. Yes, I should automatically be doing this considering I have three children to feed. But in reality sometimes we have cereal for dinner.

I was craving peanut sauce last night. I saw a simple one in "Vegan Yum Yum." I mixed it up and put it over very simple sauteed tofu (no extra seasoning). Easy and good. The fresh garnishes (shredded carrot and chopped scallions) really added some flavor. The black beans are my favorite lemon garlic beans from "5 Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet."

This group of six (one is hidden in this picture) deer were playing in the marsh behind our house last night. They were running and jumping at each other just like the pups! So cute.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What Will Trader Joe's Think of Next?

I have always been a huge fan of chocolate covered cherries (aka cherry cordials). In the old days they only had them as part of the box of mixed chocolates. There would only be two cherries - one each for my brother and me. Then you could get Cella. Then you could get Cella dark chocolate! Never mind the Queen Anne version with that nasty creamy thing in it. Now you can get these little gems from Trader Joe's for only $1.99 for a great big box. They are truly cherry cordials - the first time I had one, I was like "did I just do a shot of something?"

Got to love that they have so much booze in them that you can't buy them if you are a minor. SV, I think you would really love these - they combine two of your favorite things!

This sign hangs in my bar area- I laughed out loud when I saw it in the store and it always makes me smile still.

Hey, it's Friday - hopefully the Carnivore will make me a chocolate martini when he gets home.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creole by Way of the Carribean

 I always think of Creole food as being from Louisiana, but these creole beans come from the new "Caribbean Vegan" by Taymer Mason.  It is the first recipe I've made from this book. The recipes in here look very interesting. At the beginning of the book, there are several seasoning mixes that can be made ahead and used in many of the dishes in the book. I am not usually crazy about the"recipe within the recipe" format, but in this case it is worth to get that extra special something in your dish. Even my bean haters ate a little. My new favorite way for broccoli is roasted with olive oil and salt. They get all caramelized and yummy - I cannot stop popping them in my mouth. They remind me of kale chips. Sadly I am not a big vegetable lover, so it's good to find something I really love. I also sauteed some bananas with EB, sugar and cinnamon. The kids really loved them, and so did I. Even the Carnivore ate some of this meal.

Easiest fancy dessert ever - roll out a strip of puff pastry (regular old Pepperidge Farm is vegan). Cut in half. Roll out a can of almond paste and place on top of pastry. Spread some raspberry jam on top. Cut slits in the other half of the pastry and place on top. Pinch edges to seal. Bake until gold and puffy. When cool, drizzle on some confectioner's sugar glaze.

Poor pups were spayed yesterday. They were mellow for about an hour, and now they want to wrestle and play in the snow/mud. And I'm supposed to keep them dry and resting!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard 2011

I have never actually been in a true blizzard before. We got 20 inches of snow, but the wind made some huge drifts, and there were whiteout conditions at times. My deck had a solid 3 feet which had to be shoveled over the rail. I am not as sore as I thought I would be today! Our snowblower broke halfway through the cleanup, but our very kind neighbor plowed our driveway with his snow plough. He also spent hours doing our street - the town never came around to the side streets until very late in the day. Amazingly by evening the roads were passable!

We had to shovel our way out.

Back deck.

Had to snow blow through to get a path for the dogs.

The kids have a sledding hill!

The final pile on the deck.

Won't be sitting in front of the fire any time soon. The swings are buried.

This is what I shoveled off of the deck.

Mountain climber.

Needless to say we had a snow day.

Snow dawg.

That fence is 6 feet tall!

A good day for soup! It was roasted butternut squash, adapted from the book "Too Many Cooks." It had interesting seasonings - mustard, Worcestershire, maple syrup, cinnamon. We had it with Trader Joe's ciabatta, and apples with peanut butter (a solution for getting plants and protein into my kids, who don't like veggies, beans, and tofu).