When Boredom Strikes at Work

I am plenty busy at work, but some days I find myself drifting off to places that keep me from being productive (meaning the internet). Today was a perfect example of low work output. Perhaps it was the lure of the clouds before the sun appeared or the cookies I had for my lunch dessert that I craved as a mid-morning snack… Who knows? Often when I am clicking around on the internet I visit blogs, as most of us do, right?! Well, Jennifer from Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings posted an alphabet-ish meme not too long ago, and those are sometimes fun, so here goes:

A – Age: 32

B – Bed size: Double (or nothing… Hahaa… Get it?!)

C – Chore you hate: Washing dishes

D – Dogs’ names: I grew up with a Bichon named McDuff and when I was really little, a Great Dane named Tara

E – Essential start your day item: A smoothie

F – Favorite color: Brown

G – Gold or Silver or Platinum: I hate jewelry

H – Height: Just under 5’2″

I – Instruments you play: I played the clarinet in 6th grade and I was in handbell choir in my church growing up, but I don’t play any instruments now.

J – Job title: Legal Assistant

K – Kid(s): Zero

L – Living arrangements: Apartment

M – Mom’s name: Mom

N – Nicknames: Noddle, Mitts, Lil’ Nutmeg, Conseener, Ammo

O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Nope

P – Pet Peeve: Too many to list, way too many

Q – Quote from a movie: “It’s a damn shame when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy.” – Better Off Dead

R – Right handed or left handed: Right

S – Siblings: Two sisters

T – Time you wake up: 6:23 am on weekdays and whenever I want on the weekends

U- Underwear: Is this a yes/no question? I like my bum to be covered.

V – Vegetable you dislike: Eggplant

W – Ways you run late: It’s rare that I am late, and if I am, it’s because I was waiting on somebody else

X – X-rays you’ve had: teeth, intestines (bleh, right?!)

Y – Yummy food you make: Cookies and pizzas are my specialties

Z – Zoo favorite: I don’t go to zoos.

Berried in Berries

I am suffering from a bit of an addiction: berry picking. Summer is the time of year when I can restock my cupboards with homemade jams, cram my freezer with frozen berries (for smoothies, pancakes, waffles, etc), and fill my dehydrator with local fruits. I love picking berries and often always find myself bringing home a much larger stash of fruit than I had planned. Not to fret! It’s easy incorporating berries into daily meals/snacks/desserts!!

So far, I have dehydrated cherries, strawberries, and blueberries -primarily for snacking, but some will get tossed into a batch of granola eventually. I have also been making mass quantities of jam because somebody I know lives off of PB&J sandwiches. Homemade jam also makes a great gift for family and friends. One of the more recent jams I made was a blueberry jam with subtle hints of orange.

3725351649_100824c8b6

Other jams taking up residence in the panrty:  raspberry, vanilla bing cherry, strawberry, and cherry syrup. Phew! Next up: dill pickles!!!

I have also started testing recipes for vegan cookbook author Brian McCarthy, who is working on a new cookbook!

3726158176_4f765235d6

Blueberry Cobbler – subtly sweet, full of blueberry goodness, and simple to prepare

3738335096_57114dab64

Seitan Fajitas – Peppers, onions, and spicy seitan strips cozied up in a warm tortilla

If it weren’t so steamy and hot outside, I’d totally test the raised, glazed donuts recipe next!!! Although, we all must make sacrifices…

Pass the Steamy

Errrrrrrg… It’s too hot outside. I cannot wait for the end of September when Portland’s temperatures dip back down into the low 70′s and I can sit in a chair without my legs sticking to it or my underwear riding up my bum. Bleh. Summer makes me grouchy, but luckily food kinda cures the ill mood temporarily. 

First off, I promised some photos from the NW Let Live Animal Rights Conference which was held in Portland last weekend. I have something even better for you, video coverage of many of the talks/workshops!!! I know many people weren’t able to attend the conference but would have loved the opportunity to sit and listen to some amazing folks inspire and educate. Here is a link to the videos currently uploaded on Vimeo (thanks to the kind people who volunteered their time to videotape). Keep checking the site though because more videos will be added!! You can view a few of the photos I snapped on my Flickr page, here. I had such a wonderful time at the conference and I look forward to next year.

Okay now perhaps a few food photos? Alright. Tim and I started off the long weekend with some cherry picking in Hood River, OR (which is about an hour from Portland). To be honest, I was never much of a cherry-lover until maybe a month ago. It’s true. How much I wish I had been snarfing up cherries all my life – they are so good! We found a small family orchard that had u-pick cherries for $1/pound. Super deal, isn’t it? We picked Bings, Rainiers, and Lamberts. The trees were so loaded down with gorgeous red fruit we were able to pick nearly fifteen pounds in less than a half hour. Views of Mt. Hood provided a backdrop and we went early in the morning before the evil heat consumed the day. We already have several pounds in the dehydrator (I am thinking granola), some in the freezer for smoothies, and some stirred with sugar and lemon juice for cherry preserves. My fingers are purple and my belly is full to the brim with cherries. The best part of the picking was the drive home because Tim and I spit the tiny pits out the window onto the lonely highway. It isn’t really littering…

3686094474_601bfc0faa

3685285105_92eb2dd1c9

If anybody has a favorite recipe that uses cherries, please let me know, it would be nice to try something new!

And, because it is hotter than heck, I didn’t feel like cooking much this evening. Tim and I quickly grilled some marinated tempeh and served it with perhaps my new favorite salad: Cranberry-Bulgur Salad. This salad is so simple to prepare and fast too. You can find the recipe for the salad on the awesome Full of Beans blog. Thanks Kiersten for the super delicious recipe!!!

3685479555_5e10f7ca72

Pretty!

Hmmm… I guess that’s about all for now. Oh, except I have one question: Is it wrong for two people to devour an entire batch of brownies in less than 24 hours? I hope not.