Updates

I am working on updating some issues with my blog. Quite some time ago, most of the photos from my 2008 posts disappeared for no reason. I had started working on incorporating them back into my posts, but I didn’t have all the photos, so I gave up on the “project”. Now that I have a bit of extra time, I am trying to add photos back into the old posts. If your reader is inundated with new post alerts for my blog, pay no attention – it’s just me performing necessary maintenance! Thanks for understanding!!

Weekend Happenings

Tim and I enjoyed delicious food, lovely weather, and a fun adventure over the weekend. On Friday night, we strayed from our menu plan and opted for homemade pizza instead. The finished pie had a whole grain crust and was topped with cashew cheese, marinara sauce, chopped garlic, herbs, and kale crumbles. It was a bit puffier than our usual pizzas, so we had leftovers for Saturday lunch!For dessert, I made Lemon Zinger Squares! The recipe for these refreshing treats will be featured in my forthcoming cookzine. I think they might be one of my favorite creations to date. Tim ate most of them. These squares differ from regular cake because you can pick them up and eat them with your hands – kind of like a brownie, but also very different from a brownie!On Saturday, Tim went kayaking, so I stayed home and worked on some miscellaneous projects. When dinner rolled around, I was too lazy to make much effort, but also quite hungry. My usual answer to the hungry/lazy dilemma is a meal-in-a-bowl. I love the ease and versatility. This particular bowl had quinoa, lightly steamed kale, roasted chickpeas, diced bell pepper, grated carrots, avocado, and a citrus tahini dressing. I also added some dried cranberries.On Sunday, Tim and I met a group of friends at Blossoming Lotus for brunch. These occasions are such a special treat since we rarely go out to eat. Tim had the Seitan Rancheros (his favorite) and I had the Pumpkin Battered French Toast (oh my, was this ever incredible!!).

After brunch, Tim and I drove about a half hour to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington. We saw (and heard) a massive array of wildlife, including hawks, snakes, kingfishers, frogs, water bugs, rabbits, birds, ducks, cranes, and geese. I feel so comforted when I am surrounded by the sounds of nature.

Here is a sassy Spotted Towhee! Tim loves to record sounds, so if you are curious to hear this bird sing and chirp, listen to his recording here.We also saw a Song Sparrow:Along the hike, we enjoyed views across small lakes and plenty of flowers (and some pretty dandelions, which I guess are actually weeds?).

And then, we drove home and had more leftovers for dinner. It was a fulfilling weekend! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends too!

Mix Ups with WordPress

Hi everybody! Just a quick note to let you know that WordPress is publishing very old posts of mine by mistake. I discovered yesterday that most of my posts from 2008 were missing their photographs due to some errors with WordPress. I started editing those posts and adding the photos back in not realizing that WordPress was republishing all of them! So, ignore any posts (with the exception of this one) that were published yesterday or early this morning.

Thanks!

The Final Day (Night)

Yipes! I am sneaking this post in with about 6 minutes before we welcome December to 2010. I had full intentions of making a proper post with a recipe for an Alphabet Smoothie, but my day didn’t go as planned. I will feature the Alphabet Smoothie in the upcoming weeks though – I promise! It has been an awesome month and I discovered so many wonderful new blogs. I hope everybody else enjoyed Vegan MoFo 2010. I also hope I am not the only one who printed off enough recipes to create a MoFo 2010 Cookbook! As if I needed more “Must Make Soon” recipes! Oh well, vegans are the smartest, best fed bunch of folks in the world, right?

Hello December!

“C” is for Curry Leaves

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Would you believe that I purchased my first bag of curry leaves yesterday? It’s true! I was fortunate enough to spend two full days this week cooking, baking, and eating with the ever-so-wonderful Kittee (and her dog, Vee). We had a fabulous time whipping up brownies, pumpkin pretzels, ginger-fig jam, kale chips, and… sambar! I had no clue what sambar was when Kittee suggested we make it for our lunch/dinner yesterday. Do you know what sambar is? Sambar is a vegetable soup made with tamarind, toor dal, sambar powder (which has curry leaves), and obviously, vegetables. It is very popular in the southern regions of India and tastes incredible (if Kittee makes it for you!). Kittee did most of the work, I chopped an onion.

Making sambar powder requires toasting lots of wonderful spices.

Don’t worry! It’s not a real chicken.

Toasted spices ground up nicely and made into an aromatic powder.

Sambar, with a gluten-free pumpkin pretzel on the side. Yeah, that’s right, Kittee and I know how to eat. Check out her post featuring the same meal and some awesome photos.

I’m not sure what I will do with my curry leaves. The nice man at the store told me I could keep them in my freezer. I put them there last night and this morning our refrigerator/freezer stopped working! Bad curry leaves! Good sambar.