Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Childhood

As a kid, one of the special times of the year was Halloween.  I attribute most of this to my father.  He loves the holiday.  As a child, I can recall elaborate Freddy Kruger costumes for myself and massive costume parties for he and his friends.  It was always an exciting time of the year.

One year, he and I spent long hours making a creep haunted house in the crawl space of the old farm house we lived in.  I had a party and invited my friends to come and they all loved it.  Other times I can recall trick-or-treating near my nana's house farm house and getting candy apples and all sorts of other treats.  It seems like Halloween has changed a lot since I was a child.  I hope dad does something fun this year.  He deserves it for all the years he made this time of the year special for me.

In Atlanta, the big event for me around Halloween is Netherworld.  Netherworld is one of the top ranked haunted house in the country.  They have amazing costumes and an elaborate maze of horror each year.  It is one of the highlights of the year for me.  I really enjoy it.  This year, I even got jumped a few times!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A week of foods

Ashley came over the other day.  We watched a movie and she wanted to make burritos.  I am not one to object to burritos so we tore it up.  It was a nice time.

I also have been making hummus wraps for work.  They have been a wonderful food to simply grab and go.  It has been a stress filled week and it has been nice to have a simple and health meal for work each day.

Smoothies have still been a regular work event as well.  My co-workers curiosity has peaked quite a bit around the smoothies.  There is rarely a day that someone does not ask what kind I am having today or how I made it or if they can try it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A tale of a cake gone whacky.

Over the weekend, I realized I did not have a bedtime snack.  After watching a movie with Ashley, where they were eating cake, I knew what I had to do.  Pull out the bake ware and try my hand at another cake.  Always a risk in my house.

I was whipping up the batter when I spotted some green food coloring I had laying around.  Without a second thought I dumped a bit in and vigorously whipped it up.  It was that nice obnoxious green.  I tossed the cake in the oven and began to look for icing ideas.  An old store acquired can of bright pink strawberry icing, tucked far back in the cabinet, caught my eye.  Goldmine.

A couple hours later, I had frosted the green cake with pink icing and to be honest it looked like a carebear had exploded in my baking dish.  It was interesting.  The icing was suspect at best but who can complain about a bedtime snack this colorful?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ratatouille and the Autumn

In addition to my bucket of black beans, I have been eating some Ratatouille.  I made a sizable batch to accompany me on my long week at work.  It is a really great meal to prepare in advance because as it sits, the flavors meld even more.  It has been a nice healthy and hearty meal for the jobby job.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  The leaves are changing, it is getting cooler, there are all sorts of fun Halloween events, and the food is always heavy and roasted!  There is nothing like the autumn.

I also want to give a huge shout out to my fellow Atlanta blogger, Czech Vegan.  She has really helped to promote my blog and she does some amazing dishes of her own and runs her own business.  She is an inspirational lady and I am not sure how she does it.  Please go check her blog out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Beans and Tato!

It seems pretty standard for me that when I return to the jobby job from a vacation, I end up working a silly amount of hours.  This time I was mildly pre-pared.  I soaked some black beans and made a hue bucket of them to take to work for several days.  It was something I rarely do.  I am generally (as awful as it is) a quick, canned beans guy.  I went all out and these were fantastic.

I have been keeping pretty busy over the last week back to work and I have even had one of my favorite house guests!  Tato has been here since Monday!  Despite him waking me up each morning with head-butts to the face at 8:30am, he is a great guest.  Black beans and Tato, it has made an otherwise hectic week not so bad.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Liebster Award

“Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’.
The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!

The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1.       Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2.       Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.       Post the award on your blog.
4.       Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!
I think these awards are a great way to get new followers and share followers with other great blogs.  I encourage any blogger in the blog world to participate, they are great networking.

Drumroll, please...and the Liebster goes to:

Enjoy these great blogs as much as I have!  Thank you so much too Vegan Fazool for giving me this wonderful award, make sure you check out her blog as well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

14 days and nearly nothing to show

I spend my first day back at the jobby job after 14 days off.  Suprisingly I was in a good mood, the first day back is generally brutal.  Interestingly, I typically have some wild stories to share with my co-workers when I return but not this time.  In fact, in my 14 days off, I did very little.  It was truly a vacation, there were even a few days that the only time I left the house was to get the mail.  It felt nice.  Relaxing.

During my time off, I barely cooked any food (aside from the single night I had company) and I rarely ate.  This was not my intention.  I had some grandiose plans for my time off but opted to spend it just enjoying the time as it floated into the past.

A few things I ate, mainly quick foods:

popcorn no vacation is complete without it

soy chicken bbq sandwiches

mashed potatoes again, never too many

slumming with some frozen waffles

It was a great vacation.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Picking 2011

Sunday, Ashley, her daughter Kaleigh, and I, took an afternoon trip to a farm and did some pumpkin picking.  We attended this same place last year and it was a lot of fun.  I know I am repeating myself from the apple picking trip but, it is amazing to see how much of a difference one year makes when you are only four.  Kaleigh even lead us in two different corn mazes.

We found the perfect pumpkin at the end of the day.  Kaleigh said she wanted one that was large enough to carve but one she could carry herself.  We found it, but only after she and I ogled all the rotten pumpkins.  It was a fun afternoon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A night of campany

I broke out of my anti-social shell a bit last night and had some guests over for dinner.  Adrianne (of Crack the Plates fame) and Nate came over for dinner and conversations.  I made Seitan Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, salad, and a failure of a Cheesecake.  It was a nice meal and the conversation was certainly entertaining.  I hope to do more dinners like this in the future.  Adrianne is a great cook and I would be fun to share ideas!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Relaxing on vacation

I have been keeping busy with my to-do list on my vacation.  I am plugging along but am lazing about quite a bit.  It is nice to just relax.  I did however, make a nice cake for my bedtime snacks!

I have also been making more french fries since the weather has been cooler.  They are so good.  French fries are one of my favorite foods.  Not much else can compare.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Vacation: Day Two

Sunday was a much less exhausting day.  Ashley and I only got in a single hike before we headed back to Atlanta.  We went to Station Cove Falls.  We hiked out in about 30 minutes, it was a great path with all sorts of mushrooms and wild flora that I had never seen before.  When we got to the falls, it was impressive.

Shortly after we arrived at the falls, a group of four meandered up as well.  Within minutes, on the the guys was on his knee proposing to his girlfriend.  Ashley and I stood back, held out tongues and watched.  It was entertaining.  They also had some dogs that were running around but did not seem to want to pay Ashley or I any attention.

Ashley and I climbed up to the second tier of the falls and wandered around a bit.  It was a really nice falls with lots of intricate water patterns.  We spent about an hour at the falls and then headed back to Atlanta.

We stopped at Green Sprout for dinner and received an interesting fortune inside of our cookie.  Sound advice, albeit a bit late.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Vacation: Day One

Ashley and I opted to camp out at the Oconee State Park since the one trick pony town of Walhalla South Carolina had only the single motel and it looked quite sketchy.  We sleathed our way into the park after dark and grabbed a site, put up the tent and crashed.

The next morning we went to the office, made a reservation for that night and headed to Walhalla for a bagel and water.  Within an hour, we were headed out on Bee Cove Trail.  This was an adventure to find as the trail head was not marked at all.  In fact, the trail was not marked even once in the woods.  The last leg of the trail was completely trailblazing.  It was down the side of a fairly steep mountain to the Bee Cove Falls.  We were using sticks and such to mark our way.

We had lunch sitting in front of the second tier of the falls.  Ashley even fell asleep on the rocks.  I wandered, photographed, and played.  Then we headed back.  Finding out way back was an adventure in itself.  We did not really get lost but we were not of the route that we marked when we came it.  Eventually, we made it out, back to the car, and headed to the next falls.

King Creek Falls was a much shorter hike and was very easy to follow.  When we got there, a family with three great dogs we relaxing.  We played with the dogs and enjoyed the falls.  This time of the year, there is far less water coming over the falls than usual but it was gorgeous just the same.

After the falls, we headed back into Walhalla to see if we could do a little thrifting before heading back to the campsite.  We found some fun shops, walked the town a bit, picked up some veggie dogs for a cook out and headed back to the camp.

Ashley quickly made a roaring fire and grilled out the veggie dogs.  Concerned about the leftover meat residue on the metal grill of the fire pit, we took some small sticks and made our own grill on top of the metal one.  Of course, the roaring flames caught the sticks on fire and we we soon eating our dogs a little crunch.  The trials and tribulations of a vegan campground cookout in a meaty world.  Our dogs were still great though and shortly after, we were fast asleep, breathing the open air once again.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I am taking the time this afternoon to get some thing ready for a small hiking trip this weekend.  I am hoping that Ashley and I will catch the beginnings of the foliage season but I fear we may be slightly early.  It will still be a great time and we should see some amazing things.

I picked up some supplies for a few day trips.  Very indulgent but still solid food for a day or tow in the woods.  Maybe I will wrap up some burritos for the evenings.  We should be able to pick up some fresh fruit while we are close to our location.  Bananas in the woods are the best.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am only going to offer a short post today.  As of about midnight last night, I am officially on vacation.  I have a little trip planned but nothing major.  It was a use it or lose it vacation.  I have a secret list of things I would like to get done during my time off but I am going to keep it to myself so that I am not actually obligated to do any of them.

When I woke up this today, I felt like I did not even want to get out of my PJs, so far I have not.  I may not for the rest of the day.  I think I need some relax time.  It will be a nice break.

I set myself up for a nice end to the work week by bringing some fairly healthy food to the jobby job yesterday.  I made some red lentils, with cumin seeds, steamed broccoli and corn.  It felt good to eat.  I also brought a nice peach smoothie.  I hope to eat some nice foods on my vacation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apples and Ice Cream!

Despite taking an apple to work each day, giving out several apples, making apple squares, and Ashley taking her share of the apples to her house, I still had a few apples left.  Coincidentally, I also had no snack for bedtime.  Problem solved.

I cooked the apples down in some cinnamon, walnuts, maple syrup and vanilla, until they were soft.  Then I simple scooped them on a plate, dropped some almond ice cream on them and drizzled the remaining syrup over the top of the whole thing.  It was like pie without the crust.  It was fantastic.  Due to a spill, it also ended up all over the sheet and comforter in my bed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ginger Soy Dressing

As the summer spins away, my desire for leafy salads dwindles also.  Actually, most of the time I have to force myself to eat salads.  Once they are in front of my, I really enjoy them and I generally feel good after eating them.  I just am constantly reluctant to assemble them.

Friday, I made a salad, simply to pound in the veggies I have been missing with a hectic pre-vacation work schedule.  It was topped with a quick and simple ginger soy dressing.

Ginger Soy Dressing

2 cloves of garlic
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oil

In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth.  There may be a layer of "foam" that forms on the top.  Simply remove it with a spoon and discard.  Chill the dressing for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Too early for this adventure.

I had quite an adventure this morning.  As I woke up, I grabbed a quick shower, thew on an undershirt and some shorts (no belt) and headed outside to drop an envelope into the outgoing mail for tomorrow.  As soon as I shut the door behind me, I realized that I had locked myself out of my house.  No belt, no shirt, no phone, and no key.  To top it off, I had to be to work (again) in a matter of hours.

My neighbor was in his yard and I told him that I was locked out.  He informed me that he always has a hidden key around his house.  Since that advice was not really helping at the moment, he offered his phone so I could make a call.  I looked at the phone and realized that cell phones have lead me to never know any phone numbers at all.  I had no one to call.  All the while, my pants are almost falling off.

As the neighbor and I wandered around the house looking for solutions (while I was holding my pants up), I noticed a window that the lock was not fully clasped on.  He offered a credit card but it was to flimsy to push the lock.  My garage was unlocked so I poked around in there.  I spotted what I hoped would be the perfect tool.

The saw was flexible enough to get up into the window but hopefully solid enough to push the remaining lock open.  After several minutes of working it over, I popped the lock open!  Thanking the neighbor, I climbed in the window, falling face first on the floor on the other side, pants still on the sill.  My first order of business?  Hide a key.  Lesson learned.

Time to eat and go to work.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan MoFo Kick Off: Apple Sqaures!

Here it is!  Vegan MoFo is finally here!  For those in the blog world that do not know what Vegan MoFo is, it is the Vegan Month of Food.  It is where vegan bloggers throughout the world, blog as much as they can.  Last year I was able to post everyday.  I have high hopes for this year but I know I have a busy month ahead and may not meet that same goal.

As for today's post, I wanted to share something special.  This is a recipe circa 1998 that I made often back then.  I was going to save them for the cookbook but I have decided to share them today, to kick off a great month of MoFo.

These are slightly on the crumbly side and my plastic wrap skills leave something to be desired but they still make a wonderful snack for the road.  I have taken them to work, school, and even traveling.  They are the perfect pack and go food.

Apple Squares

2 medium tart apples (peeled, cored, sliced thin)
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 cup of oats
1/4 cup of apple juice
1/4 cup of crushed walnuts (optional)
3 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of molasses
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and prep the apples.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, crushed walnuts, cinnamon, and salt.  This should be relatively smooth.  Add the oil and molasses and slowly add the apple juice, mixing with your hands until the mixture begins to clump slightly.

Then take 2 cups of the mixture and slightly pack in into a 9x9 glassware baking pan.  This will be slightly more than half of the mixture.  Use the apple slices to spread over the next layer.  Lay them flat and stack them high.  Use the remaining crumb mixture to sprinkle over the top of the apples.  Pat very lightly and bake for 45 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Allow to cool for about an hour, then slice into 6 pieces.  Tote and share.