Sunday, January 29, 2012

A dinner with my friends

The end of my week allowed me a few days off.  It was really nice and I was able to both relax and get some fun things accomplished.  I even arrived on Thursday night to the new Crack the Plates house, where Adrianne and Nate played host to me in their new home.  It is always nice to see them and this time, to mix it up, Nate made us dinner!  It was a great lemongrass tofu veggie dish.

I gluttonously helped myself to 2 large bowls, he did a great job.  Adrienne made some chocolate chips for us to gobble down while we chatted about all sorts of strange topics.  I even got a couple of cookie to take home as my bedtime snack!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have no idea how this dessert we made was overlooked in the blogging process but somehow, it was.  When we had a small dinner at my house, we decided to make some ice cream.  Despite being out of season, we went all in for the peaches.  It was great.

Sadly, I am not sure why but the home made ice cream seems to melt incredibly quickly.  I wonder if everyone has this issue...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Something Special

Many years ago, I turned 5.  I do not remember anything about that day which is unfortunate considering I am sure there was substantial effort put in by my family and friends.  I am sure I got hyped up on sugar, played with new toys, and had a great time.  At the age of 5, on your birthday, it is hard not to enjoy being the center of everyones attention.

Today, a great friend on mine, Kaleigh (Ashley's daughter) turned 5.  I had the privileged to be invited to the small family gathering at a local pizza shop (with vegan options and some vegan cake that we brought).  I contributed a couple of books and picture to the spoils.  Most of the gifts were overlooked (temporarily) as she basked in her much deserved attention.  It was great to see her so excited.

I will be the first to admit that I do not know much about children.  However, by my estimation, Kaleigh is a great kid.  She is one of the most patient people I know (even at 5) and she really thrives to soak up information.  She shows compassion and reason in her choices and is generally a treat to be around.  Knowing her has made me a better person.  She has taught me so much.

Although I do not recall my 5th birthday and she may not recall hers, I will remember this day for a long time.  It was great to be a part of this and celebrate the end of a year with her.  Thank you for inviting me in.

Happy Birthday Kaleigh!

Kaleigh was using the camera when she caught me stealing the last bite of Ashley's cake!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Drumline Leftovers

While not doing much of anything around the house a few days ago, there was an interesting sound that began to penetrate my house.  At first I did not recognize it.  I peered out of the window to see a local high school drum line practicing in the cul-de-sac.  It was pretty cool.  I took a couple of creeper pictures from my window so as not to disturb them and just enjoyed the sounds.

With some of the leftover seitan from the Day of Food and Fun, I made some pasta.  It was a nice way to use up the last few pieces.  It is amazing how well the seitan keeps.  I really should make it more often.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A treat!

After a great dinner of White Bean and Thyme Soup, we made a rare treat.  Rice crispy treats!  Recently, it seemed like most of the stores in Atlanta were not carrying vegan marshmallows.  I requested them at a number of shops and it seems like they all have them now.  I will take full credit for it.  Atlanta marshmallow craving vegans; you are welcome.


These did not last long.  Not at all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

White Bean and Thyme Soup

Winter is one of my favorite food seasons.  With my heavy hand in the kitchen I feel like I have more space in the winter to use more fats and bolder flavors.  It is also a great time for hot soups.  Since I am still on a bean kick, I wanted to make a nice bean soup but wanted to it be a little different than what I have been making.  I came up with this delicate combination and shared it with my friends:

White Bean and Thyme Soup

5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
4 cups of cooked white beans
3 cups of vegetable broth
3/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon of salt
3/4 tablespoon of pepper
1/2 tablespoon of paprika

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil, the garlic, onion, and 1/2 of the thyme on low heat until the onion is soft.  Add 1 and 3/4 cups of the white beans and mix.  Allow to "fry" for about 5-8 minutes so the flavors can meld.  Add 1 cup of broth and mix again.

Add the mixture to a blender and puree until mostly smooth.  Add more broth if needed.

Return to the pot on a low heat adding the remaining white beans, remaining oil, remaining broth, paprika, pepper, salt (if your broth has a high amount of salt, cut back on the salt added), and all but 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves.  Allow to cook for about 15 minutes stirring to avoid burning.  Do not let it simmer.  The longer the soup is allowed to cook the more together the soup will taste.

Serve hot and topped with the remaining thyme leaves for garnish.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just a snack from the store.

Rushing through my days recently, I have not been eating nearly as many good bedtime snacks.  In fact, I have been eating too many store bought snacks.  I wish I had more confidence in baking so that I could not rely to heavily on the grocers to provide me with treats in bed.  Recently, I have been on a turnover topped with ice cream kick, none of which I actually make.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A day of food and fun

I spent a day with Ashley and her daughter recently.  They choose what we were going to do and I just mainly went along with it.  The day started with them bringing me some breakfast biscuits!  They got up early and made themselves breakfast and held a couple biscuits back to bring to my house.  They were great.

Kaleigh and I cleaned the driveway off with the blower and they helped a bit with some yard work.  We were going to have a late lunch / early dinner so that we could go to the museum and planetarium that evening.  After some discussion, we decided on some seitan chickin nuggets, fries, steamed squash, and some peach ice cream for dessert.

We spent an hour of so at the museum and found a cool human kaleidoscope box.  Then we went to see the planetarium show.  It was actually awful.  All of us were fidgeting and ready for it to be over.  We did get to look through a massive telescope and see what they told us was Jupiter and 2 of its moons.  They was pretty cool.

Over all it was a fun day and I am glad I got to share it with them.  Nothing like skipping school to do fun things.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beans bean, the musical fruit!

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have been making beans often in the last month or two.  Beans are an incredible food for the winter months, warm, hearty, comforting and packed with protein without dipping into the soy.  They also keep for quite awhile which makes it easier for me to save money and pack my work lunches.

I recently made another pot of black beans.  I attempted to make a Cuban style but they did not quite hit the mark i was expecting.  The good news was that they still make out fantastic.  There was a slight hint of sweetness to them that went a long way against the acidic tomatoes.  I have been eating these for some time now at work and shared them with several folks who all agreed, fantastic!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lunch with a Friend

Despite being busy over the holiday period, I was able to find an afternoon to see a good friend of mine.  Shazia was back in Atlanta for her school break.  We went to a local vegetarian Indian place that I really enjoy but do not frequent often enough.  We split a great meal, told old stories and caught up on new happenings.  It was a really nice afternoon and a wonderful break from the grind.

It is always a bonus to go out to eat with someone who is not vegan as we can order platters to save money but do not have to waste the dairy items.