Vampire Weekend in Ohio!

March 30, 2010

Last night T and I went on a little 3 hour road trip to Columbus Ohio to see one of my favorite bands Vampire Weekend. It turned out to be a really great evening. The indie bands we love never come to our area so we are forced to go to them. We love going to new cities and seeing shows at different venues. Last night’s show was at Lifestyle Communities Pavillion. This is a great place in what seems to be a really great community of art and music. Before the show we had  a very lovely dinner at a bar called Press Grill. It was small and dark with tasty inexpensive food and excellent service.

View of the city from my car window

I had an open-faced veggie sandwich and onion rings. SO GOOD!

One of my onion rings was heart-shaped!

T and I shared this insanely rich and yummy chocolate cake.

I really liked this yellow wall. haha

Vampire Weekend!!

The show was great. The sound was great. I had a blast singing and dancing to every song. The trip was a total success!

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Lemon Cake!

March 28, 2010

I have had a really fantastic weekend. After wanting one for a long time I bought a new bike. Its retro, cherry red, and fabulous! My sweet, sweet husband attached a basket and bell for me which just put it over the top with greatness. I cannot wait for the weather to be dry and warm this week so I can take it out in the sunshine. Yesterday was fully devoted to art. Our local art museum had its grand reopening after a really beautiful renovation. I am volunteering there as a tour guide for local schools so T and I were fortunate enough to be invited to an early morning private tour of the main traveling exhibit with the artist’s granddaughter. It was exceptional. We had a great dinner with friends then returned to the museum for a really moving night of music and art. It was so inspiring.

I made Lemon Cake for dessert. I have talked about this in mini muffin form before. This recipe came from my mother in law and has become my favorite cake. I never liked the taste of lemon in anything when I was young. My pallet has really changed and I am finding myself loving new things all the time. It’s wonderful. So this is a variation on the original recipe but still works pretty well. It’s so easy. You can make a homemade vanilla cake or use a boxed cake mix like I did. For a vegan option use egg replacer in place of eggs and canola oil instead of veg oil. I also change it up by adding less water and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice for that extra zing. Bake and let it cool. I made it in a bundt cake mold this time but you can make it anyway you wish. When its cooled completely top it with this simple glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of plain soymilk. You may need to add more liquid or sugar depending on your desired thickness. Enjoy!

Currently listening to the always lovely Andrew Bird

Enjoy the week!

I made a couple new interesting meals so far this week. I have been really wanting to try Gardein products for a while now. I have heard they are really good. So when I finally saw the BBQ fake steak kind at the store I thought I would make a faux steak & peppers sub. The result: I did not like the fake steak. The texture and taste was so much like real steak that it kinda grossed me out. However T really liked it. He still eats meat occasionally and he likes some fake meats. He is leaning towards stopping meat-eating all together and I think products like this help in the transition. It has been really important to me that T stop eating animal products only if he came to it on his own. I would NEVER make him stop eating meat. When I became a vegetarian we decided that I would not buy or cook meat. If he wanted meat he would buy and cook it for himself. (This was actually his suggestion) I don’t think you should ever force or guilt someone into a belief system of any kind. They will never truly honor it or be proud of it unless they are motivated to do it for themselves. I think its okay and important to share the knowledge you have learned and your own motivation but allow the person to decide on their own.

Growing up my mom made something we called “Hamburger Pie”. It was inexpensive and really good. I realized as I got older that it is actually a variation on Shepard’s Pie except with fewer ingredients. Our “Hamburger Pie” was made of cooked ground beef and canned green beans mixed with tomato soup and topped with mashed potatoes. It was one of my favorite meals growing up. So I really wanted to try it as a vegetarian meal. I mixed chopped veggie burgers, organic canned french style green beans, and Amy’s tomato soup. I divided the mix into individual dishes and topped them with homemade whipped potatoes. Bake them 350 degrees for 30 minutes and you have a yummy classic remade!

Last Friday marked seven years that T and I have been together. He is a truly incredible man and I have been blessed to be a part of his life. He is my foundation and support and I love him SO dearly!! Our future is so bright because we have each other. I love you baby!

Pizza & Projects

March 20, 2010

We have pizza for almost every Friday night dinner. Sometimes I take the time to make homemade dough but I also like to buy the mini ready-made crusts. My favorite pizza is sautéed onions, peppers, and soy sausage. So tasty!

I have been on a sewing kick the last few days. Here are a few little zipper pouches I made. I realized that zippers are not to be feared.

(I got this pattern from Amy Karol’s book Bend the Rules Sewing. She rules!)

Listening to She & Him Volume 2.

Have a good weekend!

Adventures with Curry

March 18, 2010

So my husband Trent LOVES indian food. He recently took me to his favorite local Indian restaurant for lunch. It had been 10 years since the last time I ate there. It was one of those times where I got sick and I associated it with the food and was never able to return. Well T was so eager about having me give it another go, I agreed. It was wonderful. So fragrant with great depth of flavor. I felt quite ambitious last night and decided to recreate one of T’s favorite vegetable curry meals. I made a lentil soup, vegetable bean curry over basmati rice, and a quick version of naan. The result: lentil soup was way too salty. I used regular veggie broth when I should have used low-sodium. The veggie curry was okay. It was certainly lacking somewhere but T actually liked it. He even had a second helping which is a great compliment. The naan did not look or taste like naan. It was more like a pizza crust but it was good. I need to do a lot more experimentation with this type of cuisine but I think it was good for a beginner.

(the so-called Naan rising)

(lentil soup)

(the end result)

I had bananas on the verge of going bad so I made one of my favorite recipes: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins! They are SO good. I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs Another One Bites the Crust. I follow the recipe except I only use 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar and no white sugar.

I bought some beautiful fabric today and I am embarking on some new sewing projects. They have to stay secret for now because most of them will end up as gifts!

Have a great weekend and get out to enjoy the weather!

Stuffed Peppers

March 16, 2010

For dinner tonight I decided to try something new. I love bell peppers. I eat them everyday. So I decided I would make Stuffed Peppers. There are endless possibilities to choose from for stuffing but I used spanish rice and black beans. They were a little crisper than I expected but still very good. Next time I will steam them before roasting or something to make them softer.

To create:

I hollowed out the peppers and roasted them at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. While that was happening I made spanish rice and mixed in cooked black beans. I stuffed the peppers and returned them to the oven to cook for 5 more minutes.

I also made potatoes in little foil packets to go along side the peppers. I cut up a couple handfuls of little Yukon Gold potatoes and boiled them for 10 minutes. I then drained them and mixed them with chopped garlic, onion, salt, and a little cayenne pepper. I divided them onto to double sheets of foil and wrapped them up. Then I roasted them with the peppers for 15 mins. Open very carefully to let the steam escape. Very Hot! I ate mine without cheese but it could certainly be added if you wish.

(the end result!)

I bought myself a small bouquet of beautiful white tulips today.

Listening to Land of Talk…such a great band!

Wishing my amazing mom and step dad a Happy Anniversary. They are a beautiful example of a couple meant to be, who love through all the ups and downs of life. I love you both SO much!

Hi everyone. Okay I know that I am just the worst blogger. Its been so long since my last post. Well a lot has been going on lately that has kept me away. My grandfather recently passed away after a battle with cancer. RIP grandpa Jim. I have also been battling some serious sickness. I am a pretty healthy person yet I cannot seem to get over feeling sick. I suspect that my overload of stress is not doing wonders for my immune system. I’m trying to stay positive and restful so maybe my health will improve soon. On a more uplifting note I am happy to announce that T and I are moving to Chicago this summer. We’ve talked about moving there for the last 2 years and we decided the time is right. We are scheduled to look at apartments next month and we are beyond thrilled! Sadly we had to end the band to devote our time to visiting family and preparing for the move. Our band mates and best friends are amazingly talented and I know they will go on to have great musical adventures. I am also still in school with a heavy work load and I will be starting to volunteer soon at an art museum so I am a very busy lady. But I am also a very happy lady. I spent a day this week baking cupcakes (not vegan) and photographing them. It was a really great day. Baking is really zen for me, it keeps me focused and relaxed in a creative space. It also helped to have the new Broken Bells cd playing on repeat ALL day. Its brilliant…of course I am biased because James Mercer is a musical god in my eyes and a poetic genius. Now on to the cupcakes!

(T’s personal favorite: Vanilla cake with chocolate-chocolate chip icing)

What else I’ve been eating lately:

Brown Rice & Bean enchiladas topped with salsa, lettuce, and orange tomato. So simple to throw together and insanely good!

You can never go wrong with Whole Wheat Pasta and a simple salad

My little sweetie, Menard!

I hope everyone is doing well. I will try to be back soon!