Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some of the food we've made recently!

Since I'm still waiting on my number I've been trying out cooking and I think I'm getting pretty good at it! It's exciting to learn new techniques and make something that doesn't take up space in the house.
Here are a few things I've made that my husband and I really enjoyed.

Yummy curry!
I got the recipe for this curry from the book Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein. It's a great recipe with coconut lime rice and a really tasty and savory chickpea curry on top. It even reheated well and helped me find a way I will eat beans.

Stuffed acorn squash!

Stuffed globe squash!
My mom in law gave us this adorable globe squash and I wanted to try stuffing it. We got a small acorn squash to go with it because there's two of us. I had trouble finding a vegetarian recipe for stuffed squash that actually sounded good so I made up my own. It was the first time we had had stuffed squash and I was a bit worried. However it came out great! Here's how I did it.

Stuffed Squash Filling:
Cooked rice
Bell pepper, chopped
Mushroom, chopped
Onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
Tomato, small chopped and seeded.
Parmesan cheese
I suck at measuring things, just use the amounts needed to stuff the squash you're using. Saute the vegis in a pan until soft, I used 2 tbsp of water. When soft add rice and mix well. Let stuffing cool. Add in the Parmesan and mix well. Then stuff the heck out of your squash with it! Sprinkle cheese on top and bake as per the type of squash you are using.
Next up I want to try this in tomatoes or peppers!

Kung Pao Tofu!
This one was last nights dinner. My husband did most of this meal and it came out great! The recipe came from the Supermarket Vegan  cookbook again. I really like that book! It's an actual tasty way to eat tofu. It's a nice garlicky sauce that has a bit of spice that sneaks up on you. I added more vegis than the recipe called for, but it still came out great.
I'm really enjoying learning to cook. It's more fun than I thought it would be. If you make the stuffing let me know how it turns out for you!
Have fun! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

I had a great birthday!

My birthday was yesterday and it was great! I really appreciated all the texts and calls with good wishes! It made me feel loved! Thanks!!!!
I got to spend the day home with my husband watching movies. I finally got to see the new "Night at the Museum" film and it was super funny! We rented it from Redbox.  I love comedy action movies! We also watched a really funny movie on Netflix called "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec". It's in French with English subtitles, but it has mummies, a dinosaur, and crazy adventures.
My husband made me a wonderful birthday cake. It's chocolate chocolate chip with dark chocolate cram cheese icing and coconut. It's the best birthday cake ever! Some chocolate chip ice cream went well with it. I really believe there is no such thing as too much chocolate, but this cake almost did it!


A few days before my birthday, while looking for special beads for a worry bead strand for a friend I came across this great little cross in a box of beads and findings I inherited from my mom. It's simple and substantial with a nice curve to it. I immediately wanted to make prayer beads around it.

A gift.

I dug around trying to find the right ones for it and started off with it on a string of rose quartz, but I have never liked stone beads for prayer. They make great accents, but they feel cold to me. I decided to take apart my normal strand and use the wood beads from that. It would be my birthday gift!

Pretty flower bead.
I found this flower bead in a box of them I had collected to make earrings and such for etsy. I remember the day we got it and how excited I was to use it. Then it went into a box and waited for the right project. I finally had the right project for it.

My husband took me to the local bead store to get some wire to string it with. I wanted the fancy 49 strand wire. It acts like thread and is really flexible. He got me a spool and this wonderful stone skull bead for my birthday.  
I was having trouble finding the right final bead to use as marker in my recreated prayer beads. I have tons of different types and styles, but none of them seemed right. All the other beads in the strand had meaning, even the wood ones and their tiger eye end bead meant something to me. I couldn't just throw any bead in there.

The perfect fit.
On Saturday we went to deliver the worry beads. She had an old box of glass beads that she let me look through. I found two that she gave me for my birthday. I now had the final piece! I spent most of the rest of the day figuring out what order to put them in and how to safely and neatly crimp off the wire. It came out great! They will even fit in my pocket thanks to the amazing wires flexibility!

A gift of many sources!
The finished prayer beads came out great and when I worked with them yesterday I couldn't help but smile. I may have put them all together, but it took family to make it happen. It's the best birthday gift I could have ever hoped for, the gift of love.
It was the best birthday ever!

On a side note. If you ever accidentally crush a garnet with your pliers, don't pick it up with the tip of your finger. It's like tiny glass shards  that stick inside and you have to use tape to get them out. Tweezers don't work it just breaks them off shorter. Use a dust pan to pick up the shards instead!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monsoons are here!

I was working at my computer when I heard something hitting the roof and windows.
It's ice!
There was hail coming down the size of marbles! It's not a normal storm. After a few minutes it turned into a nice heavy deluge of water from the sky.

It's really coming down!
I think the monsoons have finally reached my house! I love the rain!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An update on waiting and aquaponics.

I'm still waiting and praying for my number from State Board. I'm hoping it will be soon, as in today would be great. In the meantime I'm learning how to cook tasty vegetarian food and it's a lot of fun. I made eggplant moussaka and it came out pretty tasty. Tonight I'm going to try to make a nice coconut curry.
I've got a ton of websites bookmarked for recipes and I think we even saved a bit of money when we went shopping. It's a win win so far!

Transplanted peppers
We had so many pepper growing in the aquaponics bin that we transplanted some of them outside. At first they were a bit floppy looking, but in a few days they got used to the dirt and are now growing happily. Soon we'll have to plant them in the ground, but for now they are happy.

Baby lentil plants!!!
I tried to sprout lentils and it didn't work. I followed the instructions, but after 4 days of rinsing twice a day and keeping them in a dark cool place all I had was a smelly jar of icky lentils. I had noticed that there was a small number of sprouts in there so we carefully got them out of the jar and sorted on a paper towel. We wound up with about 15 tiny shoots. We put some in the aquaponics and planted the rest in a pot. I haven't seen any in the aquaponics yet, but 2 of them are holding strong in the pot. I just moved them outside today and I hope they survive! I've found that I actually like lentils and can't wait to grow some!

Parsley and cilantro
We've added parsley and cilantro to the aquaponics bin. Rory love them and it's fun to try to grow things there. There's even some lettuce still growing too!

Tasty yet tiny.
The peppers are great but small. If we let them get red they get a bit of a bite. The seeds were from a bag of roasted pepper that I just tossed in to see if they would grow. Boy did they!

Lots of pepper plants!
The peppers in the bin are still cranking out like crazy. They are really tasty too! I really need to replant more of them now that the testers are doing great. When I get my fancy beans to plant I'm going to need room, but for now I don't have the heart to shock them that way. 
Everything is growing now so I'm happy. It's a real warm tingly to use food we grew in a recipe! And it tastes better too! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sylvia's new skirt guards

Here's some pictures of the new set of skirt guards I made for Sylvia. I just don't think she looks right without a set.  They're made of cotton yarn with an iridescent thread running through it. 
It's a simple triple crochet mesh stitch that I finished with a single crochet at the top and bottom. I just used more of the same yarn to tie them on over her fender. They don't interfere with removing the tire because of where and how I attached them.

I like the shiny!

Ready to have her rack back.

Up close view. 
This pair came out lighter and more airy than the others and I like how it looks. I need to secure the drive side one to the top of the chain guard. (Just noticed that in the pics!) I love making things for my bike, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I may make some sleeves for her U locks next. I'm also trying to work out a triple lock holster. It's a pain unvelcroing  them from her rack every time I go somewhere. 
I thought about doing a basket liner but I like the look of the wood base to much to cover it up. I haven't placed anything small in there without a bag yet either. Time will tell what I do to the poor girl next! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A tasty new discovery

A few weeks ago I decided to go vegetarian. I'm not all the way there yet (I love my TV dinners way more than is healthy), but I'm giving it a strong go. My husband is very supportive of this and that is making it a lot easier than it could be. Plus, not having a paying job means I can read and research things to eat when I do have one.
One of my favorite things when I was vegetarian years ago (darn TV dinners!) Was something called the Tofurky Roast. That thing is so amazing!!!! It's better than turkey and turkey is one of my favorite things.
So, I contacted Tofurky to see if they had any suggestions and they sent me an email back with a few. They also sent me an envelope with a bunch of coupons! The people at Tofurky Rock! I'm really glad that there's a company out there that stands as solidly behind their product as they do.
Yesterday I went into Whole Foods, not a place I usually go but they had this product I couldn't find elsewhere and I had a free item coupon. I rushed to the cooler section and snatched up my prize. After checkout I literally skipped out the doors. I was that excited to get these. It's the little things that do that.

My prize!
We had them for dinner last night, I couldn't wait. We had them on buns with tater tots on the side. I made extra tots in case they sucked, at least we wouldn't have to cook something else. I had mine on a bun with a little cheddar, It was a bit to long for the bun so I bit off part of the extra first.
The first bite was awful. It was just like biting into a hot dog. I hate hot dogs almost as much as I hate beans and you can't just swallow them whole. It took a bit of will power to not spit it out. I ate a few tots then tried another bite of the sausage. It wasn't so bad, right before swallowed I detected a hint of apple flavor. I ate a few more tots. 
For the third bite I decided to actually chew it and see what happened. The flavor was really good; smoky with a hint of apples and spices. It was hearty and good. I really liked the flavor. It's not like the chicken and apple sausages made with meat, but it was good. I happily ate the rest of it then finished off my tots. An added bonus is I only needed to eat one to feel full.
I definitely would suggest these to anyone, and I'm looking forward to grilling the last couple up later this week. It was an easy and tasty dinner. They are a bit pricey, but I think that's because of where I got them and I plan to request them from the Sprouts we usually shop at. That's where we get most of our produce anyway.
My suggestions for Tofurky would be to add larger pieces of the dried apple to improve the texture and maybe thicken the outer skin a bit to make it less floppy. Also if they cut them down by a third in length you could get 6 in a pack for the same price and they would fit a bun better. Plus, they would be a better deal for a family and more comparable to hot dogs. I think it would make them more approachable.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A rose for Princess

Not as beautiful as she.
The rose bush we planted in memory of Princess opened it's first bloom today. It's hard to believe it has been 21 days since she died. It's a Melody Parfumee and it has a good smell.
We miss her.