Thursday, February 26, 2009

baby bread, punkin chowder, rain, & books

I'm excited about planting. Lemon basil, calendula, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries? I was just looking through my copy of You Grow Girl and it's very many possibilites. Oh, I can't wait until summer and the Farmer's Market!!!!

Today was a nice relaxing day off. We did some grocery shopping, discovered that Costco sells a box of 12 qts. of Rice Dream, very convenient. We went to the antique store-looking for a new kitchen table and as soon as we walked in I saw it. It was perfect, a lovely white, round, sturdy thing. But it was already sold. Bummer. It rained a lot. We watched I Love Lucy. Andrew made baby bread. Okay, so it's a huge loaf of sourdough (right) but he used the same starter from the bread he made last week. That was the momma (left)

So, yes, a wonderful, rainy day inside. I made some pumpkin chowder for dinner-and that sounds harder than it was. Andrew's mom got it for us, this cute little package. I just threw it in some veggie stock and added "cream." It was good, it definetely filled our little apartment with pumpkinny aromas. So this, with the bread...oh the bread! It's so good. It's my favorite of all the bread he's ever made. I'm lucky. I also got him to make me some Andy Oven Fries tonight (there's a little garlic n rosemary baked with 'em).

I've been doing some reading lately too and I've reviewed three excellent books on Good Reads (

Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country is adorable. It's children's letters to President Obama! They are really sweet, some of them are heartbreaking. It amazes me how much kids know about politics these days. When I was 10 I knew nothing. A lot of the letters address homelessness and advise Obama to help the poor. Some letters scold him for smoking. Some talk about all the fun they would have if they lived in the white house. One kid wants to fill some of the rooms with mashed potatoes and have a pizza carpet and a chocolate pudding couch.

The Face on Your Plate was good stuff. Interesting and just sentimental enough to turn omnis veggies and turn veggies vegan. I learned a lot about fish, especially. They're more complex than we give them credit for. We share 85% of our DNA with fish. They are not vegetables. We are not vegetarians if we eat them.

For the Love of Animals was awesome. In a kind of devastating way. It forces you to look back at the cruelty animals have suffered throughout history but it's redeeming in that it presents the series of events that lead up to the first animal welfare organization (SPCA). The writing is captivating. I can't believe I didn't know about Humanity Dick. As vegans, we all have to know about him. We also have to know about William Hogarth.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Taters n' Beans in Curry

Andrew made a video of me cooking! I was really just throwing things together. We had some leftover coconut milk and beans we had to use and the potatoes were starting to get old. Anyway, the ingredients were more or less improvised but the meal turned out to be very delish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'm the big 24. As is turns out, that's not so bad after all.

Andrew got up early this morning to make me breakfast. I stayed in bed and slept, had a series of mini birthday dreams that didn't make any sense. When I finally got up, I was greeted in the kitchen by Andrew and a beautiful tofu scramble and fresh squeezed orange juice and DAFFODILS! Everywhere I put the flowers they looked so out of place. It was a dark, dismal day. Or would have been if Andrew had not been there.

After breakfast, he started making cake. It was Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake from VwaV. Mmmm. It was delicious and I lingered as he was preparing it. I filled up on frosting and scraps before I had my first real piece. This cake is perfect.

After cake, we hung out for a while, I opened gifties and then we went to Target to buy underwear. I also bought myself a new yellow tea kettle and the 2nd season of I Love Lucy. Finally.

Then it was to Andrew's Mother's house we went. Played Scrabble, had a good time with Abe.

Tomorrow night we go to my mother's house. She actually bought soymilk and she's actually going to make me a vegan cake (a large feat, I don't think she's ever even made a cake from scratch) and she's going to bake it in a toaster oven! Results later!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I stare down the strangers at the bus stop, pretend they've been gossiping about me

Today we went on a food run! We live about 2 hours from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods so we're making it a habit to go to Ann Arbor every few months to stock up on goodness. And O my goodness. We got a shitload. This photo doesn't cover the things that needed to go in the freezer right away (Cherry Chocolate Chip soy ice cream for example) or the produce. I love that Trader Joe's carries vegan bagels, and the everything bagels smell so good. Also, the marcona almonds (with sea salt and rosemary) are scrumptious.
A few other noteable items include: Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread-naturally sweetened (much more difficult to find in an average suburban grocery store than you might think). Maple/Agave syrup-for waffles, or whatever! Less expensive than pure maple syrup without all the crap usually included in "pancake syrup." Maple Brown Sugar Oat Milk. Enough Said. And over a pound of vegan Belgian chocolate with almonds for only $3.99!

While in Ann Arbor we also went to a vegetarian restaurant called The Earthen Jar. It was pretty much a first floor apartment of a house that had been converted into heaven. Lots of Indian food, when you walked in the door the spices kind of slapped you in the face but it was so worth it. It was buffet style-chickpea potato salad, curry cauliflower, vegan lasagna...the vegan choices were clearly marked (and there were many of them). Delicious. We plan to go back.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Captain Scary didn't know what to do so he jumped overboard.

Skyler spent Friday night with us! We watched Journey to the Center of the Earth is 3-D, had a little popcorn, and then played Uno for way too long-he was determined to play until he won. Later, Andrew colored in our Charley Harper coloring book while Skyler wrote his story-Pirates of the Living Dead. Then, probably well after bedtime, we made sugar cookies! Skyler helped a lot and he was very proud of his baking skills. We all enjoyed the heart and star shapes as we settled down to some Looney Tunes.

Today at work I bought The Joy of Vegan Baking (finally). There are so many sweets to look forward to but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the lemon bars recipe. Tonight was my first time making lemon bars with real lemons and oh my goodness, it's redeeming. I'm practically drooling as I think about it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dying to say something unanswerable

I've been feeling a little ridiculous taking pictures of food but here we go...

The recipe for these coconut cookies was on the back of a package of Let's Do Organic Coconut. I mixed 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour with a cup of earth balance and one quarter cup of confectioner's sugar. You roll the dough into balls and bake at 350 degrees for...I don't remember how long. Maybe 10 minutes. When they're done you immediately roll them in confectioner's sugar. I binged on the dough as I was making these. They turned out alright, quite dense but not in a moist way. They're crunchy and coconutty; not too sweet. All I'm sayin is you'll definetely need a glass of soymilk with them. Or rice milk or whatever.

O! It's our song! (Craig Armstrong-Let's go out Tonight)

Anyway, today we made some outrageous tofu scramble (VwaV, obviously) and fried up some Lightlife Gimme Lean "sausage" and mmmm. I love when we have orange juice in the house.
After brunch (linner?) we went to Andrew's mom's to keep her new puppy company while she was at work. We ended up making brownies (I can't go a day without baking anymore). This is the first vegan recipe that has turned out right. I don't know what it is but others I've tried have been rubbery. I found a recipe on and tweaked it a little:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes

After eating brownies and watching an episode of Northern Exposure, we made Valentine's cards with Andrew's card making mama.

This is the inside of Andrew's (to me!)
And this is the cover of mine (to him)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I am an Animal

Andrew and I just finished watching 'I am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and Peta'

It was very well done, gave interviews with Peta supporters and was interesting to see Ingrid taking part in the demonstrations. The documentary shows her planning for a demonstration at a Jean Paul Gaultier shop. She is such a pro-the way she applies the fake blood, so brisk, you know she's done it dozens of times. I never understood why people wear fur. There's no way to dissasociate it from death. Death isn't glamorous. Especially not the way these animals die.

Before seeing this documentary, I was kind of torn in my opinions of Peta but I understand that you've got to cross the line to get things done and Ingrid Newkirk really has. I became a vegetarian after discovering Peta's website about four years ago. Their tactics are effective.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I made my own bed

Two days ago: Made coconut pancakes with pineapple sauce (Vegan with a Vengeance). MMMMM...

Met up with family in Holland, ate some vegan pizza made by Andrew-the omnivore's were apprehensive and they were like, "maybe I'll have some..." but they ended up eating most of it. They loved it (except for Tiffanie who is prejudiced against tofu). We all went to Crazy Bounce and had a fricking blast-I'm still sore from all the climbing, running, throwing myself through obstacle courses.

Then we went back to the hotel, took our vodka tonics into the hot tub which was partially inside and partially outside (we pretty much stayed outside and threw snow at each other). After an hour or so we ended up in the pool (shaped like Michigan) playing Marco Polo with the kids. It was all tons of fun and a lot more physical exertion than I'm used to.

And this is Abe. He's using Andrew's booty as a pillow. So funny.