Monday, December 30, 2013


We have been looking to build a bank of good folks to watch Kaleigh as our schedules are not consistent.  Ashley got in touch with a really nice guy and we had him over for dinner to get to know him.

I made chickin' fried seitan, twice baked potatoes, brussel sprouts, and kale.  It was a big hit as our dinner guest is vegetarian. Kaleigh will gobble up kale and brussel sprouts like no one else.

Although I have been quite busy with the holiday hours at the jobby job, and the rental property that burned, I have gotten a good opportunity to get some decent cooking done. Having a family makes it a priority and I have been really enjoying it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The holiday update.

For the first time in a long time, I opted in on the christmas celebration.  With Kaleigh in the house I felt like it was time to curb my own feelings about the holiday and make it special for her.  She had a a great day.  I worked in the morning but did leave and meet up with the family for a dinner and present swap that evening.

Ashley got me an amazing camera lens that I have been eyeing for some time.  She spent too much but ill forgive her since she spent it on me!  I also got some cool parenting books, a Dawkins book, a munchkin expansion,, vintage pitchers, an homemade apron to match Kaleigh's, some cooking supplies, and Kaleigh even made me a super awesome skull mug.  Now I just have to convince her to make me some hot chocolate!

I have been working a lot of unusual hours over the holiday.  I made some chili to help me get through it while still eating well.  Kaleigh liked the chili so much she was even eating it for breakfast on christmas morning.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Busy with with treats!

It is a few days before christmas, which for me means, I will be spending a lot of long hours at the jobby job.  Not to mention all the long hours I have been spending at the jobby job over the past week.  Fortunately, for the first time in a long time, I have a family around to help me feel less disconnected.

One night, after a long shift at the jobby job, I came home to a massive batch of my double chocolate chip cookies that Ashley had made!  It was a great surprise and an excellent bedtime snack (for several nights).

Somehow I forgot to share a recent shish-kabob with homemade seitan that I made for dinner.  It was really nice.  I have been experimenting with some different cooking styles for different flavors of seitan.  More on that topic when I have some solid results.  Either way, these were quite tasty and a big hit at the dinner table.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Desserts

Peanut Butter Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Monday, December 16, 2013

Recipe: Shiitake Gravy

Thanksgiving recipe!

Typically I would make a gravy like this and never bother to post a recipe.  This time, Ashley caught me in the middle and said that this was a great dish worth sharing.  I appreciated her input and quickly wrote it out.  This was great on our vegan turkey roast as well as mashed potatoes and the like.  Enjoy!

Shiitake Gravy

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms (stemmed)
1/3 cup of onion (chopped)
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1/4 cup of water
4 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke

In a saute pan, heat the oil on med / low heat.  Then add the stemmed mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.  Allow to fry for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

Add the saute mixture to a blender with all other ingredients.  Puree until smooth.  Pour back into the saute pan and allow to re-heat.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thanksgivings late post

Due to my recently hectic life, I am way behind on posts.  Hence the Thanksgiving day post in the middle of December.  Better late then never I hear.

It has been about 10 years since I have had a Thanksgiving Day off.  The jobby job pays time and a half on the holiday and I have historically had no family to spend the day with so I worked.  This year, I decided if they did not need me at the jobby job, I would spend the day with Ashley, Kaleigh and their side of the family.

Ashley and I opted to make several dishes to bring with us.  We also make a store bought roast for the turkey effect.  I made my standard cranberry sauce, I roasted some beets with some balsamic vinegar, roasted some acorn squash in apple juice and dried sage, candied walnuts, and we even made some smoothies to tote around.

The beets were not a big hit.  I really liked them and Kaleigh ate them because I told her she would poop purple.  Apparently that is enough for a 6 year old to eat some beets.

To top our boxed faux turkey roast, I made a really nice gravy.  I will share the recipe soon, as some folks might want to try it for their upcoming holiday meals.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Doing it BAD

Kaleigh and I have started calling breakfast for dinner, BAD (breakfast and dinner).  We get to feel awesome about the name by being in the store, brainstorming a dinner plan, turning to each other and saying "Lets be BAD".  She gets a real kick out of it and fortunately, she really likes tofu scramble!

We recently had BAD.  Waffles, tofu scramble, soy sausage, and fruit.  We have been BAD-ing about twice a month and loving it!  We even make a breakfast burrito for her lunch with the left overs.  I guess that would be BAL, which sounds far less awesome.

I have still been really busy with the house and the jobby job is also hectic this time of the year.  Things will cool down soon though, I am sure.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Brooklyn Brine! Get a pickle!

Before I dive into the Thanksgiving food posts, I wanted to use this space for a plug.  I rarely use my blog to promote a company or product, as I am opposed to the commercialization of food on a fundamental level.  Today, I make an exception.

Growing up in Maine as a punk kid, I am always thrilled to see one of my old punk buddies creating great things for themselves.  My old friend Shamus has created something very special.  Brooklyn Brine.  An amazing pickle company out of NYC.  I had the opportunity to get my hands on some of his pickles recently.  I found them at a big name natural foods store, I bet they are in your area too!

They were incredibly crisp with a refreshing natural taste.  They were no tto sweet and not to tart, just a perfect balance.  It is hard to find such a good pickle, especially here in the south.  It really reminded me of the Northeast and missing home.  I highly suggest going out and supporting a great pickle maker and enjoy some great pickles!  I served them to the family as a side with some roasted brussel sprouts and BBQ tempeh, but might have even been better with a good hummus wrap.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nothing destroys like fire and water...

I have been really busy for the past week and a half.  I moved a new tenant into a rental property I own.  The following day, Thanksgiving, I get a call from her saying that whenever she uses the water in the house, it overflows into the downstairs toilet.  I went over and sure enough, she was right.  Sewer water was oozing out of the toilet all over the floor and new carpet.  I called an emergency plumbing company and they found a glass bottle in the line.  Although I could not prove it, it has to have happened the day the tenant moved in since there had been no prior issues.  I called an emergency water removal company and they came out in hazmat suits to clean the mess.  They had to tear up the carpet and cut the portions of the wall that were wet.  It was going to be thousands of dollars in damages.

Three days later, while at work, I get another call from the same tenant.  She begins to tell me this long story about how she put some grease on the stove to cook her toddler some food, then got in a fight with her teenage daughter.  After the fight, she decided to take a bath to cool her temper, leaving the grease on the stove.  A fire ensued.  I immediately left the jobby job to meet the fire department at the property.

No humans her physically harmed from the fire. Since then, I have been dealing with contractors, insurance companies, and even my tenant to figure out how I am going to overcome the $40,000 in damages she caused in 4 days.

Needless to say. I have been quite busy.  I am sure the blogworld is reeling in despair from my week and a half with no posts but the community will have to deal.  On the plus side, I do have a lot of food to post when I get the time.  Until then, bare with me, as the posts may be a little sparatic.