Saturday, December 31, 2011

Presently Presenting Presents

I took a short hiatus, unintentionally.  It was actually a combination of things, of course I have been working many hours, I have another large project I have been working diligently on that I will mention at another time, as well as not feeling wonderful.  I am not full on sick but sort of teetering on the edge.

I have however, received some amazing things that I wanted to share.

First I received a package from my "unofficial" grandmother, Priscilla.  We send a nice,we I am not actually sure what they are called.  They are the items you set hot pans on to not damage your counter.  She also sent a new gardening book.  She was the one who really developed my interest in gardening and I always enjoy hearing her thought.  Her book advice on gardening goes a long way as well.

Much of my ideas about food and earth were not developed by some internet propaganda but has been passed down from my grandparents, this was their greatest gift.

I also got a package a few days later from my mum. She sent a fun card and a check.  She knows me well and wrote in the check that she wants me to do something fun with the money and enjoy it.  It was not to pay a bill or save.  I appreciate that and will do so.  I have a few ideas and was something I needed as I am often too quick to tuck my money away.

Lastly, Ashley came over with a couple of gifts.  First, was a book of mushroom identification.  When she and I hike, I often mention that I wish I knew more about what mushrooms were safe to eat.  It would be great fun to pick a wild mushroom from the woods and eat it for dinner over a campfire, now I can!  She also has been trying her hand at wood carving.  I was the receiver of the first product of that honing skill.  She carved me a mushroom!  It was an amazing gift.

It means a lot to me that I have people like these in my life.  It was a good pick me up from the long days of the holiday work season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Zucchini Oat Muffins

I have been in need of a haircut for a few weeks now.  Ashley is generally my at home barber.  She agreed to stop by the other day and cut my hair in exchange for some of my zucchini bread.  I ran out of time and had to think quickly.  I came up with a great muffin recipe that worked perfectly.

Zucchini Oat Muffins

3 cups of flour
2 cups of zucchini
3/4 cup of oats
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Grate the zucchini.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt until well mixed.  Add the zucchini, vanilla, oil, and water.  Mix gently but well.  This should be fairly wet by now.

Fill a muffin pan with 1/2 of the mixture and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for an additional 5 minutes.  Set on cooling rack and set up for about another 45 minutes.  This recipe should make about 24 muffins.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not sure if this is even an update...

There has not been much going on.  Some behind the scenes stuff but nothing significant to talk about.  I am gearing up for another long couple of weeks at the jobby job over the holiday weekend.  It will be brutal but I will make it through.

I have made a few dishes recently.  Nothing new though.  I made some great french fries.  Fries may be one of my favorite things to eat.  Now that the basketball season is back on track, there should be more nights on the couch with a big plate of fries.  That is something to look forward too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unseasonal Meal of Amazing Celebration!

Ashley came over for a visit this afternoon.  It was nice to see her.  She has been busy getting all A's in her classes at school.  She did a great job this semester.  I can not imagine trying to work, raise a child, and go through a demanding school program all at the same time.  I am super proud of her.

To celebrate, we did what any Atlanta vegan does, cake from Southern Sweets!  She picked a chocolate cake.  A classic and favorite.  Before we devoured the dessert, we had to eat some lunch.

We stopped at the farmers market to get some avocado and mango.  Completely out of season and it tasted like it was.  We made do, and created some great burritos.  Ashley and I ate burritos all the time over the summer but neither of us had eaten them recently.  There are few things like a good burrito!

Congratulations Ashley, you are an inspiration!  Keep going, you will get there soon!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dinner at my place...

Friday night I had company.  Adrienne (from Crack the Plates) and Nate came over for dinner.  Since I hosted, I choose the food.  I made Channa Masala and Mulligatawny Soup.  They are some of my favorites and are fun to make.

Since I consistently botch up desert to a point of shame, Adrienne was not going to give me the chance.  She made some amazing cookies!  We gobbled them up and I was even left 4 of them for my bedtime snacks.

We had a fun night talking about music, nihilism, art, and our growing up years.  It is always a fun time with those crazy kids.  Next time, Nate has said he will cook for Adrianne and I.  Even if I have to wait all day to eat, I am looking forward to it.

I rarely have friends over but when I do, I feel more in touch with people.  Sometimes living alone and being a misanthrope is a bad combination.  It is nice to mix it up.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An afternoon out with a four year old

Ashley has been sick and studying for finals.  Not a great combination when you are also trying to raise your child.  She has been gutting it out for a week or so now.  I thought that I might be able to help if I snatched her daughter up from school and took her for the evening.

I picked her up at school and we went to the movies.  It was a fun time and the movie was actually pretty decent.  I am generally harsh on movies.  Then we went to the heath food store and shopped for a bit.  We found some cool red pears and some great mini-cupcake!

Next it was off to the sushi bar!  As I walked in with a four year old in tow, quite a few heads turned.  I boosted her into the seat at the bar so she could watch them make her first sushi roll.  She was pretty nervous about the whole experience but once she loosened up, she had a lot of fun.  She even tried to use the chopsticks!

The owner was so enthralled with her being there that he made her a special treat for dessert.  He chopped and orange and added some strawberry syrup, it was actually pretty good.  Then it was homeward bound for her, and myself shortly after.

It was a great afternoon and Ashley got a lot of work done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Real Estate and Beans

I finally got a couple of days off after a grueling week.  Interestingly, I spent it mainly doing Real Estate business, playing catch up.  I did not cook much nor do anything blog-worthy.  Unless the blog world wants to hear about me riding around town looking at (mostly) vacant houses and the story of why one is now called the "naked guy house".  Seems like poor blogging though and certainly not food related.

I did soak some black beans overnight.  I made a variation of my Smokey Black Beans and Kale recipe.  It really hit the spot.  It felt good to have a nice home cooked meal.  With all the time spent at the jobby job, I have been eating mostly quick one player foods.

Throughout my life, I have been called Even Steven often.  These last few weeks has been full of stress and disappointment.  I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks when it all wheels back around.

Feet, you better brace yourselves, we are going to need a smooth landing.