Monday, March 30, 2015

Maine Punk Rock is Alive and Well!

Kaleigh and I attended a punk show in Portland this weekend.  It was an early starting show with a fairly early finish so she wanted to come.  She had a great time but fell asleep on the floor during the final band.  We both had a great time and it was amazing to see a lot of people I had not seen in years.

First up was Uncle Spudd.  They are some young dudes from Skowhegan.  Kaleigh and I have seen them a few times previously but this was by far their best performance.  They were tight, and aggressive.  In my opinion, they may have sounded better than anyone else that night.  These dudes are the future of Maine punk.

Second was Red Tape.  I had been hearing a lot of about this Mass based band and was looking forward to seeing them.  They were really good and seem to really enjoy playing together.  I am looking forward to hearing them again soon.

Third was Jonnee Earthquake Band.  I had never seen them before but they have been playing a lot of Maine and New Hampshire shows for the last few years.  If you like 1960's underground rock/surf music then these guys are pretty good.  Not really my taste and sometimes I feel like this style of music is out of place at a punk show but still worth a watch.  Kaleigh enjoyed them.

88' Rangers were next.  They bridged the gap between Jonnee and the punk bands as they played a more punk-ish rockabilly.  They were certainly good and a fun watch.

Closing it out was USA Waste.  I had not seen this band since I last lived in Maine.  It has been about 15 years since I watched these dudes play.  With only 1 original member they were a fun watch.  Brett Threat is always fun to watch play.  This was the crowd favorite and a good way to close out a fun night of punk rock.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Squashed, official launching of our vegan food company!

It is official.  After months of prepping, I (with the help of both Ashley and Kaleigh) have launched my business.  We are locally (for now) offering vegan treats for special events and business retail.  Our main focus is cupcakes but we can do cookies and candies as well.

We hope to expand to a line of vegan jerky, vegan deli slices, and a few frozen mock meat products very soon.  We are very excited about the future of this venture!  Wish us luck on this fantastic ride!

Check us out and like us on a major social media site: here.

We are always looking for advice from folks who have already been heading down this road and any support folks might be able to offer.  Thanks so much.  (No, this blog will not end)

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Ashley and I are so proud of Kaleigh!  Yesterday she earned her yellow belt at karate.  It was her first promotion.  She has worked really hard and it really shows.  She really seems to have an affinity for karate.  It is a great balance of the cerebral and physical for her.

So proud!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

8 year old Baker!

Kaleigh has been trying more baking in the kitchen recently.  She made chocolate chip cookies a week or so ago with very little help.  Yesterday she wanted to make more cookies.  Who am I to stop her?

She grabbed the Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar cookbook and thumbed through.  Each time she found a recipe that she wanted to try she was list the ingredients and ask me if we had them on hand.  After some searching she realized she could make the Cowboy Cookies.  Not the easiest of the recipes in the book but she thought it looked fun.

We went to the pantry and kitchen and got all of her ingredients on the counter; I stayed in the living room listening to her work.  I could hear Kaleigh reading the recipe and then the instructions.  She worked diligently, looking for the correct measuring utensils and perfectly measuring each ingredients according to step one.  Then onto step 2 and she asked for help in pouring the oil which we keep in a massive container.

After about 30 minutes, she had finished the dough and used a measuring cup to make them into what she called "cookie drops".  Into the oven they went.  The house began to smell delicious and soon I got to be the taste tester!  They were fantastic.  She was really proud of them and thought she deserved a position on a kids cooking show.

They were really perfect and I am so impressed and proud of her.  How many 8 year old children can bake cookies from start to finish by themselves?  It was an awesome sight to see.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baked Potato Pizza!

Each week we have Pizza Friday at our house.  Often one might find red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and roasted garlic on the pizza.  Occasionally, we make a specific type of pizza.  This past Friday was such a week.

Ashley wanted to do a baked potato pizza.  I had never heard of it but she said it was good.  I like baked potatoes and I like pizza so I figured I would give it a shot.  We took the normal pizza sauce and some pepperjack and cheeder cheeze and topped it with soy bacon bits, fried potatoes, and onion.  When it was nearly done we pulled it out and made a garlic bread crust and threw on the green onions.  When it was done we spiraled on some sour cream ranch like dressing.

The girls loved it.  I actually liked the flavor of the pizza but the texture of the potato was not a highlight for me.  The potato felt almost soggy.  The rest of the pizza I would do again without a second thought, just minus the potato on mine please.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Karate Tournament and Eagles!

Kaleigh attended her 2nd Karate tournament this weekend.  She worked really hard and did a great job.  She got a medal for her participation in the forms category.  She has been working really hard on her kata and did an excellent job.  There was a noticeable improvement from the last tournament.  Her moves were sharper and she was more confident.

When it was her turn to compete in the sparring, she won her first match!  She was the first to get to 3 points with three quick head shots.  We were so proud of her.  She went up against a girl with a higher belt and was confident and followed through on her game plan.  She was very proud of herself for winning her first match!  Ashley and I were also so proud of her bravery and effort.

Then the tournament became a joke.  One girl for 3 byes and automatically earned a trophy while Kaleigh had to fight three times before being knocked out of the top 4.  She had to fight the same girl that was several belts above her twice.  It really was a joke.  The school Huard's Sporting Karate really botched this group up.  I won't go into the details but we may not attend another tournament that they host.

On the drive to the tournament, we spotted some bald eagles perched on a tree over a stream on the side of the road.  Ashley and Kaleigh get really excited to see the bald eagles since they are so rare in Atlanta.  Ashley has seen 9 since moving here in August.  These were the first we had seen that were just sitting in a tree.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pad See Ew...sorta

I have been pushing myself to cook more Thai food.  It is a cuisine I love but have not much experience in cooking.  The Asian flavors are typically my forte but for whatever reason Thai has alluded me.  Both Ashley and Kaleigh seem to be on board with my experiments so we are fully in!

This week I made a very simple Pad See Ew.  It is a Thai street food but I was forced to make a number of substitutions since here in Maine some of the ingredients are scarce.  I used a more narrow noodle for starters.  I had to make a substitution for the dark soy sauce also, not to mention not being able to get Chinese broccoli.  It all worked out though because it was quite good.

For the side I made seitan chickun with a baked and then fried peanut butter and ginger sauce.  They were really great.  The texture was perfect!  These might be on the menu again as well.  Overall I would say this plate was a win. Go Thai Go!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Taco Lasagna?

Ashley called it a casserole but I insisted that it was a taco lasagna!  We have been eating more tacos recently and I wanted to try something new.

I fried tortillas, places them on the bottom of the bakeware, then layered mock meats with my homemade cheeze sauce, tortillas, veggies and salsa with refried beans and cheeze sauce, then topped it with the final layer of fried tortillas and salsa, cheeze and cilantro.  Baked it for awhile and voila!

It was pretty good and made great lunches for the girls for the following few days.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A night in!

Since moving to Maine, Ashley and I have very little time together without Kaleigh.  We love doing things with Kaleigh but sometimes alone time is necessary, even just to wind down.  Typically any time we get together alone results in errands but this past Friday Kaleigh had a St. Paddy's Day party at her Karate academy!

Ashley and I had the bulk of the evening to do whatever we wanted.  We choose to keep it simple, Pizza Friday was a Bar-B Que chickun pizza with some ginger sodas and catch up on a show we have been trying to watch.  It was a great relaxing evening of cuddling on the couch.  Sometimes those nights in are so much better than the nights out.  I am so glad this is my life now.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


For my birthday last week, Ashley and I intended on making falafel.  As it fits our vegan needs, plus the needs of my dad's high protein, as well as Sue's wheat and soy free diet.  It is always a fun challenge when we all do dinner together.

For whatever reason, the falafel was too wet and I could not get it to form into patties.  My dad was going to be at the house soon so I was rushing.  I did what I normally do and grabbed a cup of flour and tossed it in.  Ashley noticed and mentioned that Sue can not have wheat. I totally spaced it for a second and ruined it.

We tossed it into the fridge and went with plan B, Bar-B Que chickpeas.  However, I did pull the falafel out the following day and made them.  No reason to waste all that food.  We had a nice open faced falafel salad!  Recovery!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Well, it is not Pad See Ew but...

For several weeks now Ashley has been asking me to take a homemade Pad See Ew but for the life of me, I can not find flat rice noodles near us.  I will keep looking but in the mean time I made some Thai peanut sauce and poured it over some rice vermicelli and stir-fried veggies with setian.  It was a great one pot dish.

I really enjoy Thai food.  I do not make it often, it is one of the ethnic foods that for whatever reason I am not always confident I can make.  This dish was really good though, hopefully it will be a bit of a confidence builder.  I could go for some more Thai food this week...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


With all the leftover chickun nuggets from this past weekend, we had to make sandwiches!  They were excellent.  Such a good way to eat fried food!  For the first time I actually used the mustard sauce that we make, right on the sandwich!  It was really good and will be repeated.

Yesterday, Ashley was going to be late getting home from work so Kaleigh and I were doing our own dinner.  I asked her what she wanted and she immediately retorted, Bar-B-Que Mushroom Sandwiches!

Who am I to deny that request?  It was off to the store where we surprised everyone by rolling into the parking lot, windows down, blasting billy idol, both of us singing as loud as we could.

Mushroom sandwiches, chips, grapes, I think so!  We had a great dinner although we both missed Ashley.  I shared some giant salads with Ashley once she finally got home.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Play date!

Kaleigh had a play date this weekend!  In fact, Kaleigh had a vegan play date this weekend!  It was a great time for the two girls as they were able to have a great time playing without the anxiety that can come with eating at someone's house when you are trying to make vegan food choices at such a young age.

We went all out despite it just being lunch.  I roasted some potatoes, made kale chips, seitan chickun nuggets, and cookies and cream cupcakes.  We also had some locally made chickun salad as well as sharing some ice cream on the salt brick.

It was a lot of treats in the middle of the day but it was worth it.  It is fun to share these types of foods with other like minded folks.  It makes the transition easy and the kids got to eat lots of did I.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Who eats tacos?

Growing up I rarely had mexican or tex-mex food.  My mum cooked infrequently and was fearful of spicy foods.  I am honestly not sure I had a burrito until I was nearly 20.  Taco?  I might have been 30.

Tacos always seemed like mini burritos to me.  They were basically the same ingredients just smaller and I never understood why you would not just eat a burrito.  Ashley and Kaleigh really like tacos and we have been eating them more often recently.

I still do not often see a huge difference between the taco and burrito but I am eating them often and enjoying them.  They have served as a wonderful quick food to eat prior to a Karate lesson for Kaleigh.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Well, I turned 35. That happened.

I turned 35 yesterday.  That seems like too many years.  Far more than it feels.  If I live this many more, i'll be 70!  That realization is crazy for me.  Regardless, I had a great day.  The bet birthday in years.

When I got up, Ashley had taken the day off work and we pulled Kaleigh out of school.  Ashley made pancakes and soy bacon for breakfast.  Then it was off to the local juice bar.

After some juices, we went to a local favorite, Vaughn's Woods.  It is right on the boarder of Hallowell and Farmingdale and is a wonderful hike through the woods.  Interestingly, despite growing up in this area, I have spent very little time in these woods during the winter months.  We had a great time and were able to take Tessa.  She got worn out quickly but had a fun time diving through the 3 foot snow piles.

We walked along the frozen stream and even played for a bit in the fields.  Then Tessa decided she was done with her leash and chewed though it!  That meant it was time to head back to the car.  Fortunately, she stayed with us for the walk back.

When we got home as strapped on some snow shoes that Ashley had borrowed and wandered around our few acres of land.  We saw rabbit, deer, and moose tracks!  It was a lot of fun to see our property in the throws of winter.

That evening my dad and Sue came for dinner.  It was really amazing to have them over as it has been about 12 years since I have seen either of my parents of my birthday.  It was a real gift just to have them there.  After dinner we had ice cream on the salt brick, then dove into the chcocolate cookie cake that Ashley had made.  It was a fantastic cake.

After dinner we did a few presents.  I got a really nice tool belt, a charcoal grill, some grill tools, a great new pyrex dish, a printable minature, a lego cake from Kaleigh, and a cherry pie!  Sue makes amazing pies so I was super excited to have it for my bedtime snack...and breakfast.