Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Biggest News Evah!

This post comes with some big exciting news.  Ashley, Kaleigh and myself have been working on a big project for about 10 months and it is finally time to reveal the big news.  We have uprooted our family and moved to Maine!

It has been an ongoing work since December of 2013 and we all finally made it.  It has been an adventure and is going to be quite an adjustment for the girls (I grew up in Maine).  We bought a house and some land with the intention of growing food and having a more leisurely life while offering Kaleigh a better school system, a safer place to live and a new life style.

One month ago, I quit my jobby job.  We packed the house, then a massive truck and I towed it all to Maine.  What should have been a 19 hour drive took me 28 hours.  I completed it in two days and still got the entire truck unpacked with the help of friends and family who met me at the house in Maine.

Ashley and Kaleigh joined me about a week later and we have been settling in ever since.  We have been swapping off work days with fun days.  The house is a fixer-upper and we have been working diligently while still getting in sufficient beach time.


We have a lot of projects we are going to be working on that we will be noted as we start/finish/progress through them.  In the meantime, we are just enjoying the last of the Maine summer.

Additionally, I decided to change the name of this blog.  It has been a long time and far over-due but I am now The Maine Vegan.  The blog will still contain the same type of content but I wanted to associate myself with our new community and celebrate the new life the girls and I are creating for ourselves.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Curry!

I have been craving some Thai basil recently.  Kaleigh does not have much exposure to Thai food but has shown an affinity for most Asian cuisines so we thought we would try a green curry.

I deep fried some tofu, made a nice curry with Thai chilies, Thai basil and spices.  We dropped in some veggies and poured it over some rice noodles and had a great meal.


Kaleigh loved it.  She even took a spoon and got every drop of curry sauce from her bowl.  Ashley took some to work with her and shared with a co-worker and they thought it came from a restaurant.  Maybe this dish will be in the regular rotation!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Deep Fry Friday: Wasn't Me!

Ashley has wanted to make vegan jalapeno poppers for weeks now.  I have never had a jalapeno popper in my life, vegan or not.  Frankly, I did not understand how they were not too hot to eat.  I could not wrap my head around the idea of eating a whole jalapeno pepper.


Ashley wanted to force the issue.  She got a bag of jalapenos at the farmers market and her own mixture to make a cheezy filling.She went to work.  When they came out of the deep fryer, they looked phenomenal.

I was still a little skeptical until I bit into my first one and the temperature was quite a mild taste.  They were great.  I have never been much for cheese, vegan or prior, but these were awesome.  Ashley did a great job, maybe I will have her teach me how to make them!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blueberry Basil Cheesecake

As I have said before, I am not a good baker.  However, I do have a few baked good I am decent with.  One of those items is vegan cheesecake.  It has been a long time since I have made a cheesecake but Ashley and Kaleigh thought they might want one.


Since it is blueberry season, I opted for a seasonal cheesecake.  Blueberry Basil cheesecake.  It turned out really well.  The flavor is excellent.  The basil is subtle but noticeable while complimenting the blueberries nicely.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Deep Fry Friday; Part 2: Falafel

As we continue to play around with the deep frier, we had to try falafel!  Falafel has been a favorite food of mine for a long time.  The deep frier made it incredibly easy to make.  We did not use the traditional pita bread we just dropped them into some wraps.



These were great fresh out of the fryer as well as the following day.  They held together extremely well which is something I had occasionally struggled with when pan frying them.  Topped with some cucumber tahini sauce and they were a great deep fried dinner!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

When the bananas go bad...

We have been making smoothies daily.  It has been a great breakfast food for us all.  However, with Ashley and Kaleigh out of town for the weekend, we had a bunch of our smoothie bananas start to turn.  Lucky us, that means Banana Bread!


It is one of the favorite in the house but things have to be aligned well for the bananas to be ready and we have the time to make it.  Things all fell into place last night.  We now get to reap the rewards for a few days!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baking requires following directions...

My skills baking have been slow to improve over the years.  I have never been one that has followed directions well and that makes baking more difficult.  When I cook, I cook to taste and it is much more difficult to do that when baking.  I hope to have the ability to improve dramatically over the next few months.

Over my BBQ weekend I decided to try may hand at some cupcakes.  The flavor is spot on and great but the aesthetic is off.  I feel like baked goods can not look rustic.  It just looks sloppy.  These were certainly rustic cupcakes.


I threw in some little jimmies and sprinkles for the "birthday cake" effect into both the cake and the icing.  It was a cool effect and Kaleigh was happy that there was some fun color.  They need some work but at least they flavor was great and they made excellent bedtime snacks!

Monday, July 7, 2014

BBQ Weekend

Ashley and Kaleigh took off for the weekend.  They had a family reunion in Michigan but my jobby job frowns on taking holiday weekends off so I had to stay and work.  It was my first weekend in the house alone in well over a year.  It felt strange and lonely but I tried to make the best of it.

I challenged myself to eat something with BBQ sauce every day.  Day one I had BBQ veggie burgers as well as some BBQ tofu that was leftover.  Day two I made myself a pizza with BBQ sauce.  Day three I had some vegan tenders with more BBQ sauce.  On the final day I ate more veggie burgers with BBQ.


I worked most of the weekend.  The girls are home now and the house is back to normal.  I missed those two and am glad they are back!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Home Delivery!

Kaleigh and I had Wednesday off together.  I tried to avoid working and she ditched summer camp.  We decided to make vegetable broth!  It is something we both really enjoy doing.

We save scraps for months until we have about 10 bags worth.  Then we each pick the bags we would like to use and toss some water in to boil for hours.  After hours of boiling, we strain it all off and have a nice rich, dark, flavorful broth.  We had so much this time that we decided to share with the local family.


We pack up some broth and delivered it to Kaleigh's grandparents.  It seems like an odd gift but it was something Kaleigh is really proud of and they appreciated it.  We also had a little extra gazpacho that we delivered as well.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The healthier side...

With the addition of the deep frier, we have trying to make out non-fried meals somewhat healthier.  We have been eating gazpacho often, since the tomatoes are in season.  It has been a staple for a few weeks now.  There are very little flavors as nice as a perfect bit of raw gazpacho.


We also made a raw zucchini "noodle" dish.  We topped it with a raw cashew cream sauce and fresh, raw veggies.  It was really good and a nice light flavor to absorb or new deep frier obsession.