Monday, March 30, 2009

Lazy Sunday

A lazy Sunday may result in one of the biggest decisions of my life.

Yesterday, Jamie and I went and looked at a few more house. In my mind I have narrowed it down to 3 or so homes. We took some measurements and pictures. My first priority was still the "Tree House" that I had seen on my first day. I felt that it was listed at about 8k more then I wanted to pay. When I got up today, I checked the listing again and it had dropped 10k overnight. A quick call to my Realtor and we are drawing up a bid tonight. It is a bit overwhelming but fun just the same.

Like a little school boy, I called my mom and she is proud.

Just thought you might all want to know.

Lazy Sunday Morning Blueberry Pancakes (with blueberries in the batter at Jamie's request)

Seitan Chickin' Noodle Soup

White Chocolate Cream Pie

Might be my 1st house

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sesame Tofu on a Stick

Several days ago I decided to make some sesame tofu. I went to the Asian market and got a gigantic block of fresh firm tofu for 99 cents! I was thrilled with the score and got even more motivated. With the savings I grabbed up some portobello mushrooms and brussel sprouts. When I got home I cubed the tofu and mushrooms and made a quick marinade. The marinade was simply sesame oil, soy sauce, chile oil and a bit of sugar. I tossed it all together and put it into the fridge. That night, Jamie wanted to go see Coraline 3D so the dinner plans were canceled.

Coraline 3D was decent, the story was interesting for a kids film and the imagery made the film intreging to watch however, overall it was very slow. Oh well...I guess it was worth the watch.

Two days later I was finally given the opportunity to make my sesame tofu! After a qucik check to make sure it had not gone bad, I began the process. I decided to fry the tofu and mushrooms, make some brown rice and add some brussel sprout. To top it all off I steamed some chinese brocoli! The presentation was great.

Sesame Sauce

1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water or not chicken broth
1/8 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile paste
1 clove garlic, chopped

Heat the oil on med heat. Add all liquid bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and cornstarch and simmer for 5 minutes.

While making the sauce, I fried the tofu and mushrooms in sesame oil until the tofu got a little crunchy and the mushrooms were soft. I also steamed the chinese brocoli and in a seperate pan I fried the brussel sprouts that I had halved. When the tofu was done, I added the sesame sauce to the tofu and mushrooms and brought it to a simmer, stirring occacionally to fully coat everything. While the sesame sauce was simmering with e tofu, I set up my plate.

Rice down the middle and 4 chinese brocoli, 2 on either side (almost a sa garnish). Then I took some bamboo sticks I had and put one piece of tofu, follwed by 1 piece of mushroom, then one half of 1 brussel sprout, and finally 1 last piece of tofu. Gently, I set the stick on the rice bed and sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds over the top. Repeat and serve!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flying Tato and Tempeh (not flying)

Tuesday night I got some really great tickets for another Hawks game. I have a connection that got me some Club access seat right near the floor. Sadly, it was not much of a game as Atlanta blew Sacramento away. This has been a basketball year for me. I have followed the season from start to present. For whatever reason, I am really into it this year. I can not wait for the playoffs!

Monday, I had the day off and made myself some great Bar-B-Q Tempeh. This is another old recipe of mine, that got tossed by the wayside. There was awhile where I was eating this dish a few times a week. It is incredibly easy to make.

Bar-B-Q Tempeh

1 package of tempeh
3/4 cup of Bar-B-Q Sauce
1 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce
1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

In a sauce pan, heat the oil on med-low, until it is hot enough. You should be able to splatter water into it and have it sizzle. Cut the tempeh into strips. When oil is hot, add the tempeh and fry until golden brown. Then flipp and repeat. The oil needs to be hot because the tempeh will soak it up and get greasy. Once both sides are browned, drain off excess oil and add your wet ingredients and cayenne pepper. Cover, turn heat down, and let simmer for 5-8 mins. Flip and reapeat.

Yum! This is soo good and simple afternoon lunch.

I want to leave you all with this short video of the new game that Tato plays. He loves to chase the light and we quickly found out that he thinks he can fly.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A relaxing week recap.

The past week has been fairly relaxing. I worked some overtime but it did not feel like it, had a decent amount of time off, got some house shopping done, ate some good food, and went to another basketball game.

Randomly, I checked and the Hawks were playing the Jazz here in the A. With minimal convincing, Jamie was on board and we were on our way! I have always been a Utah fan and it was a lot of fun to see them, even in Atlanta won.

Sunday afternoon I made some chickpea cakes. These were inspired by Vegan Dad. I changed things around a bit and will continue to change things but they were very good. A recipe will be posted as I make it more my own. Once again though, big thanks to Vegan Dad.

I am looking forward to another relaxing week. Jamie and I finally booked our Idaho trip and are plotting out the days. I also have a chunk of time off at the end of April which I am not sure what I am going to do with as of yet. We will see.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two days off!

I have had the last two days off from work and it has been extremely nice. I have relaxed, ate good food, and even went to a lawn sale (sort of). Sunday was a laid back day filled with a little grocery shopping, seitan eating, and second hand furniture buying. At one thrift store we found an end table that fit our needs as a catch-all for the front door. We had been looking for while and when Jamie saw the table I was not sold. After looking it over, I agreed it was a good buy and we lugged it off.
On our way home (with frozen foods) we saw that a house on our street was having a "pre-moving sale" in their home. Unable to resist the urge to go in someones home and rifle through their belongings, we stopped. Most of what they had was junk however, there was a hidden gem. For $40 we grabbed up a huge cedar chest. It is in really good condition and is light weight for its size. Tato loves it. As with all new furniture, he jumped all over it. He thinks we buy him new toys all the time.
Today was so relaxing that the only time I even left the house was to take Tato for a ride in the car. He likes the fresh air and we like his silliness. For dinner I made a black bean soup and a southwest salad. Both were great.

Southwest Salad

3 branches of red leaf lettuce
1 avacado
12 slices of raw onion
1/2 cup of corn kernels
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
3/4 cup of black beans

Well, it is a salad so just mix everything up and arrange neatly. No dressing needed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I had a birthday!

I woke up Tuesday on my birthday to a Happy Birthday banner hanging from the picture window in the living room. There was a nice bag of cookies on the computer desk. The day of sweet tooth-ery had begun. Jamie arrived shortly after with a chocolate cake from the local vegan friendly bakery.

On the road, headed toward Alabama. Hours later we arrived at the entrance to the Cathedral Caverns. This place was huge, sadly we misjudged the time change and had an hour or so to kill before the tour began. We found a fun little local restaurant / bakery called Mimi's. Mimi's like a little house that had several small rooms with tables to sit at and eat. Each room had a theme and specific decor. It was fun and they could not understand that we did not eat meat and dairy. It is Alabama, what are you going to do?

Back to the cave, where I got to eat cupcakes! We headed inside. Sadly our tour guide was an unpleasant person. I was not going to let her rush me though, it was my birthday and her cigarette break could wait. The cave was huge. By far the biggest cave I have been inside. I really enjoyed it and could have spent far more time inside.

Back in the car, we headed to Desoto Falls. The fact that the waterfall was blocked off was a bit disappointing and we did not stay long because of it. I was also a little annoyed that they had built a damn in front of it. It was still nice and I still really enjoy a good waterfall.

Bakc to the house, stopping to get take out, and eat cake! All in all it was a good birthday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day in Atlanta

After what has been a feverish week, literally, I am beginning to feel better. It seems like I have been ill in some way for a month now. Honestly, I am quite exhausted with not feeling well. I could hardly keep my eyes open for the finale of Top Chef on Wed night. I can not believe that Hosea won. Stefan out cooked everyone all season, hands down. The robbery did not upset me as much as Richard losing last season though. Maybe I was to sick to care this time.

On the more enjoyable side of things, my birthday is Tuesday! I am looking forward to the day. A nice addition to the birthday is that I found that K'Naan will be playing in Atlanta on the 4th, which I also have off from work. The last time I saw K'Naan was several years ago and I am really looking forward to the show.

In the midst of my sickness, I made some split pea soup. I had intentions of posting the recipe for you all to have but, I honestly can not recall what I put in it. I was very ill, I am not even sure I made it. Either way, it was extremely good and I got to eat leftovers the day after, as did Jamie. The rest of the week it feels like I have been eating take out because I have not been up to cooking.

Also in the middle of my fever, I went house hunting for another day. What can I say, I am hardcore. I saw some really amazing things and may pull the trigger on something this week. I tried to take Jamie to see the house I have been thinking about but when we got there, I was unable to get us in. There is already a bid on the table for the house I want but I may be able to beat it. I hope I am not being to hasty. Only time will tell.

I have today off and made some Thai food. For years now I have been perfecting a peanut lovers stir-fry. With each attempt, I think I get closer to my own idea of perfection with the dish. This time it may have been a bit to heavy but the flavors were strong. I have recently switched out the rice for rice noodles and I think it was a great choice. When I am happier with the recipe, I will post it up. You can also keep an eye out for the cookbook that it will one day grace the pages. Yes, I am in part, working lazily on a cookbook. I doubt I will make any money from it but I was to be able to share my food with people.

To the surprise of most Georgians, it has been snowing all day. No joke. Jamie and I went out and took some pictures. We encouraged Tato to experience the snow but he was not having it. He could not get back in the house fast enough. He is a character.

The city seems to be going berserk over the snow. At the store, people we grabbing cereal boxes like there was a zombie invasion in the horizon and they may never get to leave the safety of their homes again. In reality the only thing that seems to be affected by the snow here is the judgment of the already unsafe driving community in Atlanta.