Archive for the ‘April 2010’ Category

Pre-Weekend Getaway With Family

May 6, 2010

Just a quickie before I drive ~5 hours south tomorrow to meet my family and younger brother at Wrightsville Beach, NC for a family vacation.  Wrightsville Beach is part of the Inner Banks (not to be confused with the Outer Banks) and is quite close to the town of Wilmington.  Wilmington is supposed to a top rated spot to visit if you want somewhere with character and not a lot of tourist traps–we’ve never been. 

My brother made the hotel reservations and I was responsible for researching things to do and restaurants to eat at.  When we went to Jekyll Island over Thanksgiving I got stuck eating a lot of iceberg salads and baked potatoes because steak and seafood restaurants were all that was available/open, so I researched the HELL out of Wilmington!  It was my own fault.  My parents are wonderful about asking if there’s something I can eat at every restaurant and they even call me when they go out to eat on their own and let me know what I COULD have eaten there.  In case I get hungry this time, though, I have packed chopped bell pepper, cauliflower, carrots, and hummus, the Joy of Vegan Baking blueberry bundt cake, in muffin form, Vegan Lunchbox’s fruit and nut bars (with cashew pieces, walnuts, and dried cherries), apples, bananas, and emergency Primal Strips.  I like my ‘nanners pretty ripe and brown, which means I don’t have to worry about my family (or most people) snitching them!  I packed my lunch of mango, grapes, Wasa crackers, and fruit/nut bars so I dont have to waste time at a Subway off the interstate and pay $4 for a piece of bread with lettuce and tomato.

Fruit and Nut Bars, Pre-Baking

Bro' Requested and Approved

Neighbors' Peonies and Irises

The only thing keeping me from sneaking over and helping myself to these peonies is the fact that I already packed away my vases and I dont want to use a cup.  I officially turned in my notice to work on Monday and I’m averaging packing 2 boxes a night.  My coworkers were all overwhelmingly enthusiastic for and supportive of my decision to take this huge leap of faith and join my husband in Texas.  Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside : )  I was truly surprised how many people said they were jealous.  I mean, we don’t have a plan, we don’t have a place to live, I’m leaving behind a security clearance and federal job, we’re the blind leading the blind…and yet, our decision to say ‘to hell with it all’ and make it an adventure makes others jealous?  That’s pretty cool.  And strange.

Off to scour the kitchen for anything not nailed down that I probably wont need for at least the next month and can pack in a cardboard box…

Informative op-ed from the NYTimes (yanked from the Food Inc Facebook page): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/opinion/06kristof.html

And Dr. Gupta: http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/06/presidential-panel-cancer-risks-underestimated/?hpt=Sbin

Success! And…It Begins

May 2, 2010

First, let’s get the food out of the way.  I made Susan V’s tofu omelette for one for, like, the 6th time and I finally, FINALLY got an omelette!!!  Made my day!  I added twice as much corn starch as the recipe calls for and a little less milk.  I also left the temperature on med-high for a bit longer.  You can’t see from my super cool picture, but there are fresh shiitake mushrooms inside this baby.

Look at that color!

 I had a can of black beans and some bananas in the freezer, so I experimented with Happy Herbivore’s low-fat black bean brownies.  Tasty and different, but I would rename them cocoa bars or something other than ‘brownie’ because they are not remotely similar.  This is a horrible picture, but if you go to Happy Herbivore, you can get a better view.  And no, they really, truly DO NOT taste like beans!

Finally, these were just too cute not to take a picture of.  Baby summer squash from the farmers’ market, roasted with onions.  Awww.

For Mother’s Day weekend I will be meeting my parents and little brother in Wrightsville Beach, outside Wilmington, NC.  I’ll be packing some fruit and nut bars, originally from Vegan Lunchbox, which are my traveling staple.  I use whole wheat flour instead of spelt and mix up the type of nuts and dried fruit, but I love these suckers.  The only downside is that they need to be refrigerated.  Suffice it to say, I don’t share well when I have my fruit and nut bars.  My brother has also requested ANOTHER Joy of Vegan Baking bundt cake.  I suppose the Orange-Blueberry Bundt Cake has become a stand-by (although I use lemon, not orange, so the name is misleading)…stick with what you know is good!  This will be the first time I’m putting it in muffin form, for easier transportation and delivery.  To my mouth.

My mother-in-law called me this week to chat.  This is unusual.  She’s a lovely lady, but one question has stuck with me and I can’t shake it: “How about you, are you healthy?  Are you getting all your vitamins and protein?”  Mind you, this was a totally random question.  Just so you know, I did my yearly bloodwork this week, and I’m getting ALL my vit-a-mins, thank you very much!  Good on B12, iron, calcium, low cholesterol…I’m a vivacious vegetarian!  Nanny nanny boo boo.  Ok, that was childish and uncalled for, but I feel contrary when I get peculiar questions like that.  And I’m still not sure what she was insinuating or what was really motivating this question, but I have my suspicions. 

So, big news for the week: I’m moving from Fredericksburg, VA to Texas!  Hopefully within the next month-ish, somewhere in the Ft. Hood area.  I’ve already joined Vegans Rock Austin and you can see I’ve added Sugar-Skull’s helpful Austin blog to my daily reading list in anticipation.  I read in the VRA forum some chick from LA complaining about what a vegan back-water Austin is since there are only 8-10 vegetarian restaurants.  Are you kidding me??  8-10 ALL VEGETARIAN restaurants, plus the flagship Whole Foods–Mecca!  Unfortunately, we will be outside Austin, but I hope to find a happy medium between the world of the U.S. Army and my home with tree-hugging crunchy granola-eating hippies.

Am I scared?  Terrified.  I’ve found so much to love about Fredericksburg and I’ve never been to Texas before.  But in the 9 years I have been with my husband (married almost 7 months), we have never lived in the same zip code together before and now is our chance to see if we really like each other.  Huh, guess we should have decided that BEFORE we put on the rings!  We met in high school, but even then lived in different towns.  So not only am I moving to a new time zone, not only am I facing imminent unemployment for the first time in 11 years, and not only am I faced with packing an entire house up by myself, but I also have to learn the habits and foibles of my dear husband.  Excited, but a little skeered!

So for the next few weeks, food posts will slow down considerably as I eat my way through my freezer of Mom soup and transition to Central Standard Time.  Wish me luck, I’ll check in occasionally.  Any tips on living in the Ft. Hood area or how to properly enjoy Austin are always welcome!  Oh boy, vegan Mexican food!  Happy happy joy joy!

Lemon Cheesecake, a Review

April 26, 2010

Not a cheesecake in texture, for sure, more like a cream pie, but yummy and the birthday girl had TWO slices.  High praise indeed.  I’m glad I added the strawberries; they provided some pizazz.  I’d be interested to try it again in a springform pan and let it sit in the fridge even longer than the 16 hours this one had. 

It was good, a keeper, but not a cheesecake like what I had my mouth set for.

Hippity Hoppity Bunny Loot and a Lemon Concoction

April 25, 2010

Plans came to naught, but these things happen and I had an enjoyable weekend anyways.  I nearly cried when I left the re-opened Spotsylvania Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.  I felt like a bunny rabbit on crack–asparagus, spinach, swiss chard, kale, and butter lettuce (which I have never knowingly had before).  From there, I made it to the LibertyTown Arts Gallery yard sale.  I was supposed to be shopping for gifts, but found a charming pie plate in my blue and green glaze and had to have it.  Especially since the artist was a Dutch lady named Els–my best friend’s mom is Els, Dutch, and a potter!  The gallery was really neat.  Each resident artist had their own little nook behind the gallery where you could see their workspace.  Not sure what was going on in downtown Fredericksburg, but dodged gaggles of teenagers wearing coordinated t-shirts on my way home and, I swear, there was a cannon going off somewhere.

I’m still indulging my Jane Austen kick with Sense and Sensibility.  The wigs are HORRIBLE and the actors are much prettier than Pride and Prejudice, but I love Hugh Laurie and the costumes.  On Thursday I went to an art film at the library–Les Silences du Manet.  Most edifying and I think I successfully met my smug cultured quota for the week.

For the first time in my life, I was asked, seriously, if I’m considering having children in the near future.  The world tilted.

Food.  In that strange place between eating down what I already have and waiting for more crops to come in, so it’s a little barren.  I cheated and got some green beans and a red bell pepper from Wegmans.  They were just too festive looking not to snap a photo.

The 3rd and final Mom soup, some kind of basil-y split pea yumminess.  I’d ask for the recipe, but I’d rather she makes it for me.  I baked a little cornmeal johnnycake and broke it up in the soup, with kale chips on the side.

More ‘sausage’ and meatless patties with shiitake mushroom gravy and a whole mound of broccoli.  I was hungry!

Apples with Trader Joe’s almond butter (thank you Dad!), a huge mess of farmers’ market spinach, champagne mangoes and red grapes for Sunday lunch.

And finally, the piece de resistance (maybe), Lemon Cheesecake from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  I used a pre-made vegan graham crust and had almost 3/4 cup of batter leftover.  Next time, I would do half lemon juice and half lemon extract because I like a sharper tang.  This is my first cheesecake attempt and I’m anxious to see if it turned out right when I take it to work tomorrow for a birthday treat.  I think they would notice if I cut into it to check!  At first glance, it doesn’t look like  a standard cheesecake texture, so we might rename it Lemon Pie and I will be sad because this was one of the most expensive desserts I have ever made.  I hope the birthday girl licks the pan.

Lemon Pie? Lemon Cheesecake?

The week ahead will bring 2, count ’em, 2 trips to Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant and a scheduled sick day.  Who knows what else is around the corner?  I do know I might be tired of lettuce by Friday.

Booksale Mayhem and the Weekend in Review

April 18, 2010

On Friday evening I went to the Central Rappahannock Library’s booksale preview soiree.  I arrived on the dot at 7PM and the line was out the door.  At first, it was quite congenial–folks my age, retirees, parents with kids, all gathered to peruse and enjoy books.  However, chaos followed.  There were folks with dolleys, huge plastic tubs, handheld ISBN scanning devices, crazy people with Mom jeans, men with scary facial hair, women with skin that had possibly never seen the light of day, and old women who used their substantial girth to impede all traffic past them.  It was  a dorkfest.  And yes, I was there and realize that, by extension, I am a dork.  I only found a few books, nothing spectacular, and when I started getting the “ExCUSE me” tone, I knew it was time to leave.  So I hightailed it upstairs and helped myself to a plastic cup of cabernet sauvignon, put together a goodie plate with baked goods from the volunteers, and walked home. 

Speaking of books, one of my current reads is Jane’s Fame about how Jane Austen became one of the greatest authors of all time.  In honor of her, I’m watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as the hunka hunka Mr. Darcy.  I think the first time I watched it, I must have been way too young, because now it has me in stitches.  And even though I’m a happily married woman, I’d leave my husband for Mr. Darcy.  I guess that makes me a statistic.

So, some of my recent eats and treats.  I don’t pretend they’re pretty, but they were pretty good:

Orange Cauliflower With Curry Sauce

From Moosewood Low Fat Favorites, subbing silken tofu for the yogurt.  I like spicy, so I think I tripled the cayenne, belatedly realizing that the cayenne I’ve had for 2-3 years is still quite potent.  Next, Fat Free Vegan’s Omelette for One.  I love this omelette, but although I’ve made it several times, it never ever ever turns out as an omelette.  Why???  Am I not spreading it thin enough???  Is it because I just guestimate the TB of cornstarch???  The bottom is a lovely golden brown, but when I go to fold it over, it breaks and when I leave it alone, the top never cooks all the way.  Oh well, still yummy in MY tummy.  This one has swiss chard with onions.

Another from Susan at Fat Free Vegan.  Substituted thyme for ajwain and added chopped spinach.  This was a make-ahead for this week’s lunches.  Dal is one of those dishes that improves as a leftover.

The piece de resistance!  East Coast Coffee Cake from Vegan Brunch.  I don’t own it, but–sneaky sneaky–copied some intriguing recipes from the library’s copy.  I did a double-whammy, adding blueberries AND raspberry jam swirls.  Next time, I would bake it a tad bit longer and add more raspberry, but it was moist and delish.  I made the coffee cake because 1) I enjoy baking, 2) I’m trying to ‘eat down’ my pantry and freezer, and 3) I was meeting up with my friend Drew for lunch today.  Drew is a super duper secret squirrel and now that he’s moved to DC, I dont see him as often.  We met at Eileen’s, where I discovered, to my glee, that they now do lettuce wrap sandwiches.  Unfortunately, no hummus or bean spreads, but the very nice gentleman behind the counter let me know they did have avocado.  I felt kinda like a rabbit, with my sprouts and leaves, but a happy rabbit.

Part of My Bday Present From Kat--Cake Doneness Tester Thingy

And finally, what I am grateful for today–bananas, mangoes, and apples.  I eat ’em everyday.  Interesting sidenote: I did not eat bananas AT ALL until I was 25 and now I can’t live without them.  In fact, when I was little, I would flush my bananas down the toilet and my parents didn’t catch on for years until the potty finally backed up and the plunger brought up my nanner.  In fact, I was at Giant Grocery at 6AM the day the big snowstorm was supposed to hit, raiding their stock of bananas to ride me through.  On that note, what did you abhor as a kid and now you can’t get enough of?  Or, what did you like then and won’t eat now?  I can think of plenty of things I loved as a kid–Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, sausage gravy, Fritos, butter, MEAT–that I wont eat now because I know it’s the devil, but nothing comes to immediately to mind as something I just don’t like the taste/texture of.

Pyramid of Gloriousness

Sayonara Sunday.

I Win, I Win!

April 14, 2010

Ricki Heller of the blog Diet, Dessert, and Dogs was kind enough to send me a copy of her book Sweet Freedom.  I’m savoring it, slowly working my way through breakfast and on to more and more and more glorious baked goods.  My coworkers are going to have to suck it up because they will be the beneficiaries of my tests!  Stay tuned…

So far, just a lovely spring week with good books and looking forward to the library booksale on Friday.  I like this quote from a novel I just finished: “He was an avid reader, after all, preferring the detached solace of books to most human interactions.”  I recently enjoyed Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas Fleming–it rocked my world.  Who knew that Ben Franklin was such a saucy minx?  And that Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings probably DIDN’T have lots of mochacino babies together?

Here’s what’s for dinner:

Herbed Vegetable Packet

From Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites.  It rates an “eh”.  Thinking I just didn’t care for the mix of green beans, bell pepper, and asparagus.  It was my first time trying tarragon, so maybe that was it too.

Salad With Seaweed, Mushrooms, Roasted Red Peppers

I want to introduce more sea vegetables into my life.  Why?  Well, I like to try something new every week, I read about it on other blogs, and I thought it would be a good way to get more iron in me.  However, I bought wakame, got it home, and looked at the nutritional stats–2% of my daily iron in 1 serving??  What kind of super powerhouse is THAT?  Oh well, I’ll try again.  I like the peculiar taste and texture, but the smell is AWFUL.

Last of the Delicata Squash

Winter squash season comes to an end in my household with a delicata I’ve been hanging onto for awhile, roasted with garlic powder and curry powder.

Any suggestions on what my next experimental fruit or vegetable should be for next week???  And what goodie should I bake this weekend?  Brownies?   Mexican wedding cookies?  Coffee cake?  Cinnamon rolls?

Birthday Girl Returns, No Worse For Another Year

April 12, 2010

The Birthday Girl has returned!  I don’t mind getting older, but I would like to pretend I’m 25 and holding steady, at least until I win Miss America, which has an age limit.   I believe a recap of my trip home to GA to celebrate my appearance on the planet as well as that of my little brother’s (3 years and 5 days after mine) is in order…

I flew from Richmond to Atlanta on Thursday evening.  On Friday I enjoyed a mom/daughter day with pedicures, Scott’s Antique Market (where my mumsey got me this super cool trivet), REAL Mexican food, topped off with a build-your-own salad from Mellow Mushroom and a few episodes of Blackadder with Dad.

Circa 1951

I also got to talk to my husband for approximately 25 minutes.  It’d only been, oh, 19 days without any communication, but who’s counting?  Not me!!!!!!  Only 6 weeks, plus or minus, to go.  Poor boy has poison ivy over 3/4ths of his body.  The joys of playing GI Joe.

On Saturday, I drove to Atlanta to meet my best lady, Katherine, at West Egg Cafe (http://westeggcafe.com/) and she surprised me with a bundle of kitchen goodies!  A crinkle knife, cake tester, silicon spatula, and veggie knife.  I think my husband might have issues with additional sharp objects finding their way into my paws without proper supervision, but does anyone need anything crinkle cut????  Pretty please??  How ’bout now??  For lunch, I enjoyed the tofu scramble with grits, followed by a Coca-Cola cupcake.  You know the sign of a good girlfriend get-together: you both leave thinking you talked the other’s ear off.  I only get to see my BFF every few months, and I miss her.  She came all the way from Chattanooga for our gab fest, which means a lot.  Not as much as the crinkle knife, but a lot.

I drove back south with the windows down, Z93 blaring on the radio, enjoying the sun and the wisteria and dogwoods and missing Atlanta.  Who would recognize Northside Drive in the 4 years since I’ve been away???  I know I say it EVERY SINGLE TIME, but I want to come back to Atlanta.  Sigh…for the days when I went to GA Tech and worked at The Carter Center and had no money and couldn’t afford to do anything fun or eat good food.  But moving on.  In the afternoon, Mom and I indulged in a girly shopping fest in Peachtree City.  We met up with the boys for dinner at Red Robin followed by Date Night starring Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.  The funniest and most memorable lines are not repeatable here.  Try explaining to your mother why googling “pop that c–tchie” is not acceptable to repeat to your elementary school teacher friends without getting too descriptive.

Sunday was Flip Burger Boutique gloriousness!!!!  http://www.flipburgerboutique.com/  Our waiter approaches and asks if we have any questions.  Me: “Yes, does the warm Moroccan cauliflower salad have dairy”.  Him: “Yes, in the butter sauce, but it can be made without.  Do you have a dairy allergy?”  Me: “No, vegan”.  Him: “Ohh, well we can make the cauliflower with olive oil and the special burger of the day happens to be the Gardenburger which you can get in a lettuce wrap and don’t worry about the Flip whip, it’s actually tahini sauce, not mayonnaise.”  Me: “You did all the work for me”.  He got a good tip.  And that was the BEST damn Gardenburger I’ve ever had.  I also snuck some of my mom’s tempura okra and my dad’s fries and, I’m not ashamed to admit, totally had a Nutella and burnt marshmallow milkshake and some of my bro’s banana pudding milkshake.  It was my birthday!!!!!!!!!!  Good god, it was good.  Afterwards, we stopped by the State Farmers’ Market and got some more champagne mangoes because my family ate all of mine.  I heart champagne mango season (March-July, mark your calendars!). 

In the afternoon I made another batch of PPK sweet potato blondies, this time with no nuts and actual mashed sweet potato instead of pumpkin puree.  Even better!!!!!!!  My little brother is chincey with compliments, but he made my wittle heart swell.  I made the blondies at his request so he could take them back to Athens to share with his roomate and friends.  I gave him one to taste test before wrapping them in tinfoil for transport.  Me: “What do you think?”  Brudder: ::Deep sigh:: “Well, they didn’t kill me.  I find them acceptable.”  Me: “Keeper?”  Brudder: “I wouldn’t turn them down.  Oh, and I could put the hurt on some more of that blueberry cake you made.”  This is high praise indeed.

 After a few more episodes of Blackadder and an early wake up call, I’m back in Virginia and reality.  I was ‘surprised’ by a delivery of flowers from my husband, seen here with the lilacs I “borrowed” from my neighbors’ bush.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind and making my own food.  4:42AM, bleck.  Oh well, the end of the rainbow is in sight!  This week I’m looking forward to the Friday library booksale preview for Friends of the Central Rappahannock Library System (with light refreshments, yippee!), a lunch with friend Drew, FBI Agent extraordinaire, and further down the road, my next family trip to Wilmington, NC.   I leave you with Little Kitty, aka Re-Re. 

My Dad's Favorite Child

A Fantastic Book

April 6, 2010

“…Philosophical rigidity is usually combined with a complete lack of education or real-world experience, and it is often augmented with strange haircuts and an aversion to bathing.”–Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonseon

I want to whole-heartedly recommend this gem of a book, but at the same time, I want to keep it a little secret, so it can be mine, all mine!

Cake Please?

April 4, 2010
 
First, let me direct you to my first few months in February.  Remember those photos?  Remember how it seemed that the earth would never warm again, the birds would not chirp, the grass would not grow, LIFE WOULD NEVER EVER RETURN??  With every new spring, yet again, I am pleasantly surprised to find I am, in fact, wrong, and a bit of a doomsdayer with perhaps a bit of seasonal affective disorder.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh (singing like Ariel, the Little Mermaid)
 

Instead of hiding Easter eggs and counting to 20 and then testing myself for early-onset Alzheimer’s by seeing if I could find them all again, I’ve been watching TiVo’ed episodes of No Reservations and Season 2 of the BBC Scotland series Hamish Macbeth.  A quick search on cast bios reveals that nearly every single Scottish actor in this series did appear in the classic 1995 film…you might remember it…Braveheart.  Isn’t that veeeeeeeeeered?

Moving right along.  I had a hankering to try out this recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies: http://www.6bittersweets.com/2009/11/month-of-vegan-cookies-sweet-potato.html.  It originated from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  I printed out the recipe weeks ago and I should have refreshed my memory with the photo because I was so confused why my blondies were so fudgy, rather than cakey.  I used canned pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes, but I’d try the recipe again if I felt like making some sweet potato puree.  I would definately up the spices because I could hardly taste them at all.  And maybe it’s because I used light brown sugar, instead of dark, but I would personally recommend using the entire amount of sugar the recipe suggests, rather than cutting.  I did half the oil with unsweetened applesauce, to cut down on fat.  And I used  both pecans and chocolate chips.  Cause I like ’em.  I want to test them again, with my aforementioned alterations, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I had previously tried this recipe from the same authors for plain blondies http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=52 and it was a huge failure.  I ended up with a massive Pyrex dish of oily chewy…stuff.

Pumpkin Blondies

I had more than half a can of pumpkin leftover and “waste not, want not”, so I mixed it up with some extra boiled kale and added cumin and chipotle powder for a fantastic lunch side dish.  Pumpkin does, however, splatter in the microwave.  Noted.  Speaking of kale, how about some glorious kale chips, with a bit of balsamic vinegar and garlic salt to accompany another round of Mom soup (mulligawtney this time, and no, I will not spell-check that)?

 

Finally, my ode to my handmade, maple, 3-tiered, glorious spice rack.  When my brother and mom ordered it for me for Christmas, my brother told my mom he didn’t think there was any way I could possibly fill it.  My mom, rightfully so, worried that it wouldn’t be ENOUGH space.  I adore spices and wish I knew more about when to use what and what to mix together, rather than relying on tried-and-true recipes or combinations.  I hope to acquire some mustard seed, more curry powders, and better extracts in the near future.  The only herb on here that I haven’t tried is tarragon. 

I would love to give my monster, death-defying pansies the ole heave-ho and put in some boxes of herbs, but for reasons that will be revealed, that’s just not possible this year.  Oh for the day when I can at least have some fresh herbs all summer long, if not my own pots of tomatoes, etc etc etc.  Right now I’m craving eggplant and okra.  Yes, I could get some at the grocery store, but I will not give in!! 

Just in case I fall off the face of the earth for the next few days, I am heading back home to GA on Thursday to celebrate my birthday and my little brother’s birthday.   Remembering birthdays past (and maybe my current struggles to interpret heavy Highland accents) makes me think of my 25th birthday, which I spent in Dublin, Ireland with my brother and my parents.  Aside from the fact that I didn’t get a freaking cupcake, or any cake for that matter, and my husband (then fiance) forgot my birthday, it was a really cool way to celebrate my birth : )  Some of my funny memories: my father, getting louder and louder telling the coffee folks he did not want whipped cream in his coffee, but just freaking cream, CRE-EEE-AM.  It took a day to learn to ask for milk, but that was a broken man, with no half-and-half to start the day off right.  We were appalled, just appalled at the butter on every single sandwich, but could totally get into eating fries (or chips) right out of brown wrapping paper on the curb.  The mysticism of the Hill of Tara was a little ruined by the necessity of avoiding copious amounts of sheep droppings, but ‘free’ pints of Guinness in a 360 degree room overlooking Dublin in a hail storm (complete with Lucky Charms rainbows!) kinda made up for it.  That was a good trip. 

Last year, I spent my birthday in Colonial Williamsburg and, once again, did not get any cake.

Let’s cut the no cake crap, huh?

Get In My Belly

April 2, 2010

It’s the end of a long week.  I had a glorious dinner, even if it was slurped down too quickly.  I’ll take more time to enjoy the leftovers.  For now, I will simply post my dinner pictures.  And then I will go plop on the couch and zone out. 

Simple Roasted Fennel, Butternut Squash, Onion, Parsnips, and Garlic

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry With Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce derived from this recipe: http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/02/25/peanut-sauce/.  I replaced the lime juice with rice vinegar and left out the red pepper flakes cause I had a spicy lunch and (gasp) wasn’t feeling it.

Stir Fry and Foil Pack Sprouts

My favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts, originating from a Hungry Girl post.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray square of tinfoil with olive oil.  Trim and slice sprouts and put on foil.  Add 3 TB or more chopped onion, 1TB or more minced or chopped garlic, some kosher salt, about 1 tsp rosemary.  Light spray of olive oil on top.  Add another sheet of tinfoil and crimp up all 4 edges.  Voila!!!!!!  Cook ~30 minutes to get ’em really soft, less if they’re small sprouts.

4 weeks until the Fredericksburg 5 Mile/Spotsylvania Farmers’ Market opens!!!  The Hurkamp Park one may be operational now, but I was so disappointed and disgusted last spring when the few vegetable vendors out this early were trying to pawn off Florida hothouse tomatoes.  Thanks, but I can get those at the grocery store.