Wednesday, February 29, 2012

my days lately















the kitchen gets the best light, so most of my waking time (seriously!) is spent in there. as a matter of fact, i'm headed in there soon to make some strawberry-oat bars. the whole foods workshop is seriously getting way more plant matter into my diet, making me a very happy almost-vegan (the ice cream is john's, i did still a hunk for our spicy hot chocolate and my soy vanilla ice cream stayed frozen). cooking from scratch is a commitment, but one i very much enjoy. sometimes you just have to learn that chopping your veggies a day or two ahead of time is just fine.

i've picked up my knitting needles to finish some long-unfinished projects and hope to post pictures of those soon. it feels good.

that last picture is an antique tray that john and i picked up in lancaster county and he hung for me last night while i was at work. also now hanging is my menu planning montessori chalkboard ;-)


the funeral for john's dad is saturday. it's been a rough week, but despite the ups and downs we're hoping to do something fun in Philly tomorrow. it will be good for both of us. i'm just trying my damndest to muddle through these waters which are entirely murky to me. keep the home fresh and clean, laundry folded, food made. it's how i show my love, mainly, through this gentle yet so necessary art of homemaking. how i feel settled in a place that may still be temporary for us depending on how job searching and interviews goes. how it helps keep me centered and strong in mind and heart to love more when loving more is needed (which takes many forms, it's amazing how many .... ).

so if you'll excuse me, i think i'll get back to those yummy fruit bars. and maybe my knitting needles. yeah, that feels right.

peace to you and yours today.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sometimes you just have to.


sometimes, we just have to treat ourselves right.

thanks, etsy. for $24 i am a very happy camper today!

excited to grocery shop tomorrow.

making a green smoothie before work. (to make up for my vegan-but-with-mayo sandwich and ruffles chips from the local Wawa and two raspberry oat bars ...)

eating plant foods is a wonderful way to live!

Monday, February 27, 2012

just things.


there has been a lot of baking and cooking around here lately ... a recurring theme around here, for sure! as i write, there are raspberry-oat bars baking in the oven. i am learning a lot from this workshop and hoping to get started on finally organizing all things kitchen according to some of the helpful tips and ideas i've been given.

in other news ...i am changing my work schedule so as to work mainly "mids" (no super early or super late shifts)

i have a "dream job" interview on thursday (VERMONT.....). dreaming of my own school, should it be a co-op? also pondering getting waldorf trained.

john's dad died saturday. the funeral is next saturday. it wasn't unexpected, but it wasn't easy, either. also, two of his friends' wives just had babies. i want to knit something for each of them. not sure if any baby surprise jackets will come off the needles, but hats? for sure.

discovered a lovely tiny coffeeshop today in south jersey that offers a lot of vegan items. my coconut-avocado-chocolate muffin was unusual and delicious.

i finished the hunger games trilogy (looking forward to the first movie) and i'm waiting for the new season of Mad Men to start up, and I'm reading The Godfather (John's request so I can watch the movie with him and we can have an Italian dinner night .. hee).


bought a tiny pot with primroses and trying to keep fresh flowers around the house. still freezing outside. ....

hoping to buy a train pass and yoga membership by month's end.

trying to keep things simple but cozy while working toward our forever goals.

what have you been up to lately?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

making it work ...


Heather's workshop has me inspired to finally create a more organized recipe system. An old-fashioned way of keeping track of family favorites and to-try recipes. Not sure how I'll do this yet. Still at the idea stage, I guess.

I'm still cooking up more veg lately. Kale has figured prominently in just about everything. Lots of morning green smoothies (as I sit typing eating soy vanilla ice cream out of the carton, oy). Today I made honey-miso tofu steaks and friday will roast root and tender veggies in maple syrup and soy sauce. Tomorrow, homemade white pizza with fresh mozzarella, potatoes, onion, garlic (john's request).

Sadly, the knitting needles are still mostly silent. I really also should write some real letters to friends. It's funny what being madly in love does to your brain. Not complaining! Oh, we've had our growing pains. Arguments, large and small. Wonderful to get past that with the absolute right person for you though. We learn as we go. For instance, I stay up super late and he gets up super early. Sometime in the middle, we sleep together. There were bigger things not so easy, learning to let go, accept, love unconditionally, leashing up the pesky ego. We jumped into this, so in some ways we are working in reverse of many couples. It's ok. We have no regrets, only an immense love for each other that grows by the day. Like grass in summer. :-)

There is a lot going on behind the scenes of this blog and all the foodie stuff I mostly talk about. Job searching, soul searching. Deciding big things together. Family heaviness. In short, real life. We are not really sure yet where we'll be even half a year from now. Vermont is talked about a lot, to my delight. There is even an interview for a job there. Nothing is certain. Backing up the uncertainty and fear and self-doubt is an absolute knowledge that keeping a loving, peaceful, complete home wherever home is for the moment will be the foundation upon which we build everything else to come. Or even just a safe haven to release the tensions of the moment. Hence, my nesty need to organize a homemaker's binder.

Oh, yes, there's more time being spent on the yoga mat, as well. And plans are being made for fun things, a day in the city, draft Yuengling beer, movies to be seen (sewing machine to be cracked, banjo to be played??).

I think maybe I need to start a wedding idea compilation too, binder form??

be well out there. be well toward yourself. be well toward your loved ones. they will return it, thousandfold.

xo,

karen

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I started today with a green smoothie, courtesy of Heather's whole foods workshop. I'm loving being immersed in crafting meals with simple ingredients that taste amazing and, of course, are seriously upping my plant intake! Thanks so much to Heather and her guest contributors for a wealth of new opportunities in the kitchen! Fiance is helping me plan what we eat, too ... which is great, to convert over to a new way of eating is so wonderful for him.

I made a big jar of popcorn to take to work today ... try it with coconut oil (stove-popped). MMMM. serious MMM. fiance is addicted. i am addicted. This, too, is inspired by the workshop.


We will round out the week with cauliflower-curry stew, curried vegetable chowder, and maple/tamari roasted rainbow veggies over quinoa with honey miso tofu. Last night, we made Isa's vegan tacos again with a garlic-lemon-yogurt dip that I plugged into a lavash wrap for my lunch tonight at work.

Finally, we are definitely enjoying leftover cranberry-apple crumble (me with soy ice cream, which omnivore fiance does not like consistency of).

Here is the sauteed chard with pineapple and caramelized onions over red quinoa. not the best lighting but you get the gist. the gist is that this was FABULOUS!


Life is all about food lately. I'm not complaining though! Off to try some home-brewed ginger pear iced tea :-)

We also took a day trip to Amish country and another one to Cape May.



Must find time for knitting ......;-)

love and light,

karen

p.s. here's some cat love you might enjoy!
video



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

hello from new jersey

sorry for the long absence ... i've been busy moving halfway across the country. but now i've got a new kitchen set up, a new health food store to shop at, and things are generally looking pretty good now that I can cook and bake again! (I also found a great-looking yoga studio within walking distance...gonna try that out for the first time tonight)

I finally signed up for Heather's three-month long whole foods workshop. I figure it'll help ground me even further as I settle in to living in New Jersey. I bought hemp seeds and coconut oil today from the health food store. John and I just finished a labor-intensive but yummy brunch of herb roasted potatoes and onions, eggs with scallions, cinnamon raisin toast with butter, and veggie sausage patties. Tonight, I'll make vegan black bean, zucchini, and kalamata olive tacos from Isa's new Appetite for Reduction cookbook. From the workshop, I'm planning some fruit/green smoothies and greens with pineapple and pumpkin seeds over quinoa. I recently made veggie sausage lasagna and sunflower seed butter muffins. I'm feeling very inspired and just happy to be back in my element, overall. John's not complaining, either ;-)

One of my goals is similar to Heather's "think simple" plan for us ... increase the plant intake in my diet. Even we vegetarians lose that sometimes ... eating protein like tofu and bean dishes, and comfort food like eggs and cheese and tortilla chips with hummus a bit too much to the detriment of uber-healthy greens and other colorful veggies.

Last night, I made homemade iced tea for the first time. Just boiled a big pot of water, and threw in 8 teabags of organic mango ceylon (decaf). Let it sit for a while, added 1/2 cup raw blue agave from Trader Joe's, let it cool, transferred it to a plastic container, and chilled it overnight. It's fabulous! I will definitely be doing that again.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Have a blessed and simple week. Hoping to get to some knitting or sewing over the weekend. Lots of unfinished knitting in my basket from what's turned out to be a very busy winter!











Tuesday, February 7, 2012

from new jersey ....

stay tuned ... update coming tomorrow!