Tuesday, April 26, 2011

greetings from storm central ...

It's not so bad, really. Most of the horrible weather went juuuust to the west, north, and south of us. We'll be in the clear in the few days. It's certainly been strange weather around here lately, though.

Dinner tonight was amazing, so I thought I'd share:

For a delicious quick weeknight meal, do the following: (figure out your own measurements!)

fry up some cubed veggie tempeh in oil, and add a generous amount of tamari, then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top to roast.

in a large bowl, place rice noodles - then pour hot water over the top and wait ten minutes before draining (we also cooked whole wheat spaghetti but this turned out to be unecessary).

for 4 min. or so, steam frozen (or fresh, we had frozen) broccoli florets and fresh chopped carrots in water that's been heated to boiling and turned off. drain.

to a large bowl, add chopped red pepper and scallions.

in a saucepan, heat up a few large spoonfuls of peanut butter, some vegetable broth, some more tamari, and add a chopped red chili pepper and a chopped helping (generous) of fresh ginger.

add the tempeh mixture to the sauce and stir it into the bowl with the broccoli and carrots. then add a whole bunch of fresh chopped spinach. mix with tongs and serve in bowls.

YUMMMM!!!!! It made a huge portion of food ... and it used mainly pantry staples (I try and always have on hand ginger, carrots, broccoli, and fresh greens, for example).

then go to yin yoga class like i did, come home and make this:

vanilla hemp milk
vanilla soy yogurt
cocoa powder
two bananas
two leftover homemade chocolate chip cookies
two large spoonfuls of flax seeds

and maybe i'd add some crushed ice next time to make it colder. sorry i don't have a picture ... i downed it too fast! but aren't my cookies from 1,000 vegan recipes pretty? umm yeah ... they are also gone!

here are the vegan chili dogs with homemade baked fries. and bubbies pickles. this was awesome! sorry for the poor lighting in the photo.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

stormy morns. .. and nights ... and afternoons ...

happy asparagus season! this is our gift this morning from the farmer's market.

Hello there from the stormy, stormy, stormy midwest!

It's been a real humdinger here. days and days of loud weather radios, tornado sirens, thunder, and lightning ... and five days more of it to come. it's craziness.

it's a good day to stay home (after a morning at the farmer's market and a drizzled-on local greenie festival at the local nature center, during which i battled a monumental weather/lack of sleep migraine) .... my plans are to wash and fold laundry, listen to npr stations, bake chocolate chip cookies, knit, watch a movie, you know ... the good stuff. self-care is in high order.

i am lucky to have cheery pink and yellow tulips brightening things up, thanks to a sweet parent of one of my students. they'll soon be planted in our front yard after this nasty system passes. we're going to see if we can borrow some tools from a friendly neighbor. we are also going to start our "garden" ... hopefully a raised bed and some pots for tomatoes! we've never gardened before, ever. so this is another small step towards realizing the dream of the farm school.

we spent some time at the festival talking with a husband and wife farmer team who have been doing it small-scale on a 30-acre farm not too far from louisville. they began with chickens and now own some other animals, grow a large veg garden, and partner with a creamery neighbor. it was good to know they started just three years ago and are doing well for themselves. it is my dream to live on a farm of sorts. a small farm would be fine.

the garden is one small foray.

here is a recent salad made with locally grown bibb lettuce and cucumbers and regionally-produced spicy goat cheese. vegetarianism is temporarily working for me. my body was feeling a bit deprived. boyfriend made some delicious local eggs this afternoon. i only bought half a dozen. i try to be gentle on myself. sometimes i think "vegan" is a hard label to live up to all the time. it's a wonderful ideal. but for me, reality in following said diet is about 95 percent.

here are the wooden easter eggs the children painted and hunted for. it was a real success. good-bye forever, plastic eggs! next year i am moving from plastic/paper drinking cups to real cups, health department regs be darned. we're already there with cloth napkins. montessori guides should practice what they believe! :-)

last night, we made a homemade pizza. it felt wonderful to do that again on a friday night. we watched the new version of charlie and the chocolate factory. tonight, maybe vegan chili dogs with baked homemade french fries.

it's a good day to reflect on life's path ... so i'm gonna go do that. wish me luck getting to sleep for once with all this storminess going on!

love and light,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

bloom where you are planted!

look what i just found in my own yard! cuttings for inside, to be sure!!

So, dbf and i have decided NOT to move, after all, saving us a $900 deposit that we can instead put toward some much-needed new furniture (the futon I've been sleeping on faithfully for oh, 7 years will be used as a guest bed), plants, antique-y end tables, and the like.

when my roommate who owns the house moves out, we will move from one to two full bathrooms, we will have a bedroom upstairs with his and hers closets (small, it is a 1930's-ish bungalow), and THREE extra rooms. We plan on using on for my studio, possibly one for a guest/yoga space, and the last one for his space? We are none too sure yet. But it will be nice to spread out a bit, declutter even some more JUNK, and keep the back yard and large deck for gardening and grilling!

All while saving up for a down payment on a house. Or investing in a farm school Montessori concept. More on that at some time in the future .....

so with that, i leave you for now, to go set up an egg carton decorating party in my classroom, spend time with a friend getting some tips on how to play my new banjo, and hanging out at the yoga studio which is celebrating its five-year anniversary with free vegan food from our town's new vegan food truck!

speaking of vegan, i've fallen back on vegetarian ways during the last week. i'm still not sure on 100 percent veganism, i guess. i want to be, but i'm just not sure. i can't seem to commit to it, committing feels forced. maybe i just need to let go and realize i am vegan 95 percent of the time. i am generally careful what kinds of eggs and cheese i eat. right now i have some spicy goat cheese from the farmer's market (produced "humanely" 30ish miles away in indiana). i truly don't think we are meant to eat the byproducts of another animal's body. but if i do it five or six times a year i have to be more gentle on myself. i don't know. do any of you have thoughts on this?

(taco salad on local greens made with "beef," spicy chili beans, black beans, and daiya cheddar with some other goodness mixed in ... sorry i forgot to picture the guacamole i added on top too)

also, i am looking for ideas on easy meals now that the weather is warming up and i want to not be baking and cooking by my oven for hours on end. please forward me any links or recipes that you think would fit that category. thanks so much!

happy week to you,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

spring has sprung

**i am sorry for the grainy/blurry picture quality of this post. i think i had my camera on auto instead of high iso. so sorry ... oh well!! **

whoa, sorry about disappearing for um more than two weeks! whoopsie. spring has created its usual flurry of activity here. i'm just coming off a 10-day spring break during which much fun was had, much dreaming and planning done, and much rest accomplished. all in all, a wonderful reprieve.

i'm trying to be on the computer much less these days (but don't think i haven't spent a few leisurely weekday mornings with hot tea reading your lovely blogs as always!), so i'll try and keep this short so i can go eat chips with pineapple salsa from trader joe's and watch a movie on netflix.

87 degrees. yes, there was dairy bar (eek non vegan ....bah. louisville needs a vegan ice cream shop. it sucks always getting it at the store) ice cream involved here today. with rainbow sprinkles. in a waffle cone. there was a four-hour hike had and waterfalls eaten under (and arrived at very, very carefully over off-trail hiking). there was sunburn (mostly on my boyfriend). there was homemade indian food (vegan....ahhh). there was a lot of jazz and classical music and sunshine. there was a 15-minute tidy that even dbf participated in. there is wine.

my week began with a visit to this magical place in eastern kentucky.

we were blessed with gorgeous cool-but-warm weather, delicious (but EXPENSIVE ... oh yes this was a splurge for sure from this budding frugalista) vegetarian breakfasts and dinners, banjo and guitar playin, star-gazing, wine drinking, reading and knitting by the fireplace.
we like to hike and stopped at this state park on the way home, which is also super close to this state park, where we want to go back and rent a camping cabin.

we even got pizza (i went on a vegetarian bender .... and boy did i pay for it physically)... this place doubles as a rock climber's shop.

then there were a few days spent at this also magical place. i am seriously considering starting my own.

a day spent grounded at home ...

... then there was bluegrass music twice, piles of laundry to wash and dry and put away, a minor league baseball game, and today's hike here (loads of magical places there are!)

frugal living journey:
it's been our first month on a budget. we are not doing very well. but we're figuring out the hang of it and learning to say "NO" (most of the time) so that's a baby step. also, my credit cards are all UNDER the limit for the first time in a LONG time!

our biggest vices are a. eating out (i am menu planning which helps cut down the grocery bill a LOT), and b. "borrowing" from next month's budget. whoops.

our succcesses are building up my credit again by using one cc for gas only and one for food only and paying them off in full each month.

also securing a forbearance on my graduate loans to pay off a large credit card balance on the third card that i plan on using only in emergencies until we have a liquid emergency fund to match (at which point i'll keep the card to reserve and pay for hotels, etc. when needed and then just pay it off in full whenever something is on it .. again, building credit).

we are a one-car family. i need to get dbf on my car insurance but that will save, too. he works from home for now.

i try and see the bright side most of the time. hopefully in two years we'll be in home buying (or farm buying???!!!) territory.

this week will feature two more indian dishes, stovetop granola, and banana-blackberry muffins. all vegan. we are really trying to stick to vegan. i think we are both lactose-intolerant, actually. all bloaty and "boopsy" when we do occasionally slip and eat dairy. i think this might be the last week for the oven and stove. on to cold salads and vegan chili dogs! ahhh the foods of summer.

i hope you all have a lovely week.