Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry What Have You.

The solstice was yesterday, Hannukah is in process (I think -- correct me if I'm wrong, please!), Christmas is days away, and I'm all used up! I had a moment at work the other day when I realized I was maxed out on the holidays -- I didn't want to listen to any more Christmas music, be in a busy noisy store, deal with the commercialism, etc. The theme for my holiday this year seems to be "too much crap" -- too many people, too much noise, too much stuff, too much junk food. I'm actually looking forward to being on my own on Christmas day -- my plan is to stay in my pajamas as long as humanly possible, chain-watch movies until I can't take it any longer, and then maybe get dressed and take a walk. (Especially because I have to work the 24th and the 26th!)

I shouldn't really complain this much, because, after all, it did snow (finally) yesterday! I love the snow. :) Everyone was complaining about how bad the roads were; my reply was a shrug and, "well, I take the bus, and the bus just keeps plugging along, so I LOVE SNOW!"

So, I wish you all a Merry What Have You, (if even all you are celebrating is a day off of work,) and leave you with two food photos, because that's all that I've cooked that's been blog-worthy since I posted last!

broiled zucchini with extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of romano cheese (everyone should own a Microplane, if you don't already! Get the one without the handle -- it works the best.)

Vanilla-Cinnamon waffles with bananas, pecans, and maple syrup. Breakfast this morning rocks. :)

(Oh yeah -- I did make scrambled tofu and hash browns, with a side of grapefruit for Dan and I for dinner last night, but since I've taken so many pictures of scrambled tofu already, I decided to spare you.) :) (The funniest part was, Dan was most excited about the grapefruit, I think -- he practically licked his entire plate clean, but kept talking about how much he loves grapefruit. Silly boys.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

etcetera, miscellaney, whatnot.

I completely forgot to tell you about my awesome day of work last Thursday! Since we surpassed our sales goals for November, all employees were awarded a $25 gift card! Woooooo! I ended up picking up a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian," which has been on my cookbooks to buy list for ages now, and a bar of Vosges chocolate. Have any of you experienced the pure, unparalleled pleasure that is Vosges chocolate? Click on the link above and go check out some of their products. These are, by far, the most incredible, unique, and perfect "candy bars" on planet Earth. I have tried the Barcelona, Calindia, Gianduja, Naga (probably my next purchase,) and Wooloomooloo bars, but my favorite to date has been the Black Pearl.
Imagine . . . the purest, richest, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate you can imagine, filled with black sesame seeds, and hints of ground ginger and wasabi powder. Holy. Chocolate. Heaven. They are worth every cent of the seven bucks they cost, (thank goodness I can get them at 25% off, and this time because of the gift card, it was FREE!), and several varieties will probably be my chocolate staple at home from now on.

The second reason my Thursday at work was so awesome was because my coworker, Ron, had an "Episcopalian Advent gift" (his exact words) for me! (He cracked a joke about whether, as a United Methodist, I could, in good faith, accept an Episcopalian Advent gift . . . I had no hesitations!) He was at Trader Joe's and bought me (and several of our other coworkers) a chocolate Advent calendar! I haven't had one of those in ages!
It's been super-fun getting to have a bite of chocolate with my breakfast every morning. :) I haven't had a chocolate Advent calendar in ages!

I know many of you may be interested in how the weekend went -- I think everyone had a good time! My parents and grandparents seemed to enjoy the Holidazzle parade, everyone enjoyed dinner at Brit's, and our concert on Sunday morning went well. My grandma was very happy to have a glimpse into my "world," so to speak, and she made a point of telling me that it looked like I had made a nice place for myself here. Dan liked the family, the family liked Dan, all is well. :) My parents had a few very nice Christmas gifts for me, including a waffle iron and a teakettle, and they enjoyed the aprons I bought for them very much! (They also had a couple little things for Dan -- my mom didn't want him to not have anything to open!) I also burned copies of the past year's choir concerts for my parents and grandparents, which they were excited to listen to later.

I did manage to get the tree decorated before the invasion. Oliver helped. :)
"Which ornament do you want to put up next, momma? I'll chew it to bits for you first, if you want."

"What went in here again? Regardless, this box is just my size. I would like to hide in here for a while."

The finished product:

In unrelated news, Oliver has begun climbing up on top of the kitchen cabinets again. He hasn't done this for quite some time . . . I wonder whether the slight weight loss he experienced when he was protesting the new food (which he happily eats now,) has contributed to him being more nimble? Perhaps.
Doesn't he look cute all the way up there? Cats are silly. :)

AND, last but not least, I managed to cook twice today! Michelle came over this afternoon to help me with a project, and I made us a lunch of cinnamon-vanilla waffles (using the new waffle iron -- woo!), tempeh and white bean sausage (from VwaV,) and grapefruit. It took a little while to figure out how much batter the waffle iron needed, but they were mighty tasty, regardless of what shape they ended up being!

Tonight, it was getting close to dinnertime, and I was hungry, but not in the mood to cook much, nor did much of anything look terribly inspiring to me. I ended up digging through my cabinets, finding inspiration in the barley, and making up this barley, mushroom, and white bean pilaf! It's pretty plain, (and not much to look at,) but very tasty, healthy, and filling:
All I did was saute some onion, celery, a bunch of mushrooms, and garlic in oil until soft, added some dried fines herbs and crushed fennel seeds, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and quick-cooking barley, brought it all to a boil, covered the pan and let it simmer for 12 minutes. I then stirred in 2 cups of cooked white beans and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, before covering the pilaf and allowing it to sit for 5 minutes. Yum! More vinegar next time I think, but otherwise, superb!

Tomorrow begins my "seven-day stretch," (I work the next seven days in a row,) so wish me luck!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm being invaded!

The 'rents and g-'rents are headed to town this weekend, to celebrate early Christmas with me, and also to attend my choir concert Sunday morning. Hence, I have been busy this week preparing for the upcoming festivities -- cleaning, baking, putting up the tree, and finishing wrapping presents. Michelle was kind enough to join me this evening to help put the finishing touches on the (non-vegan) Christmas cookies! Thank ye, Michelle!

Gingerbread dudes:

A close-up (I found the sad gingerbread dude to be particularly hilarious, for some odd reason):

Michelle, hard at work:

Me, hard at work:

Finished butter cookies with peppermint frosting and sprinkles:

And, after all of that cookie decorating we were pretty hungry! A quick dinner of couscous, broccoli, squash, and barbecued tofu:
(In fact, we were so hungry, I forgot to snap a dinner photo until we were halfway through. Oh well -- presentation isn't everything, right?)

Here's hoping, despite my busy next couple of days (a show tonight, work tomorrow and plans with Dan tomorrow night, and dress rehearsal Saturday morning,) I can manage to finish decorating the tree before they roll into town! Wish me luck! (P.S. -- Dan's meeting the fam this weekend, too.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

cold weather food.

I can tell it's finally getting to be winter. Why? Because I can't get enough toast, soup, and pasta. (Carb-tastic!!) Protein has almost been an afterthought these days . . . all I want are whole grains!

Here's a pasta I enjoyed, in leftover form, for lunch today:
Whole-wheat elbows tossed with garlic, mushrooms, spinach, some dried fines herbes, salt and pepper, and "salad beans" (a mixed can of garbanzo, kidney, and pinto beans) sauteed in a little olive oil. Finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar! Yum.

Dinner tonight:
My infamous sweet potato coconut curry soup, with a side of pita chips. (This soup is more of a Thai curry flavor, as opposed to an Indian curry flavor -- ginger, red curry paste, coconut milk, and cilantro are the key players, besides the sweet potato, of course!)

I also indulged a little bit the other day . . . I had almost an entire box of Annie's Bunny Pasta, with some shelled edamame mixed in. (When you consider, however, I was feeding the end of a migraine, I don't think that indulgence was all that bad!)

I wish to conclude that, despite all of the carb-loading these days, I have not gained any weight . . . in fact, I have managed to drop five pounds (well, seven, if you count the two that I gained while unemployed,) over the past couple of months. My jeans are baggy . . . this is a problem . . . I can't afford to buy new clothes! Hopefully, the holidays will fatten me back up a little bit. ;)

Speaking of the holidays . . . photos of Christmas cookies coming up in the next couple of days!

Here's lookin' at you, kid.


Monday, December 04, 2006

mad kitty.

Oliver does not seem to share in my enjoyment of Dan's company. He hisses, spits, gets all puffy, hides, and throws up when Dan comes over. (And Dan really likes Oliver!) Poor guy (well, poor guys!) Oliver actually sat in front of me tonight (in between Dan and I) and howled and growled as Dan was on his way out the door. Anyone have any tips for dealing with a mad, mad kitty?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

put THAT in your vegan lunchbox . . .

. . . and EAT IT!

Even though I sort of already took a picture of this food, I had to show it to you again, because leftover miso soup and a spring roll made just about the best vegan lunchbox EVER!


Miso soup, a spring roll, peanut dipping sauce, a clementine, and a few bites of Green & Black's organic super dark chocolate. Mmmmmmm.

Speaking of chocolate, I had a lesson the other day on how to taste chocolate -- it was pretty interesting! I never really realized that, like wine, chocolate has many subtle nuances hiding in its dark depths. I tasted this one bittersweet one that had strong cherry-like undertones . . . holy moly! I also tried one the other day that had a very dark, almost coffee-like bitter finish to it. Happiness.

Free high-quality chocolate tasting is just another one of the reasons why I love my job. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dinner in waiting, plus cuteness!

Dan and I had a great time wandering around the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this afternoon (I hadn't been since they added the new wing, and he hadn't been in years,) and then he had to leave for BAND PRACTICE. (Boo.) However, he is coming back later to have dinner with me, so I've been cooking up a storm. (That's nothing new, right?)

First, miso soup:
Carrot, onion, red pepper, vegetable broth, miso (obviously,) mushrooms, spinach, green onion, plenty of ginger, buckwheat soba noodles, and a little cubed tofu. MMMMMMMMMMM. This is currently sitting quietly on my stove, waiting to be devoured. Let's hope band practice doesn't take too terribly long, or I might not be able to wait!

Next, spring rolls:
Rice noodles, green onion, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, and cilantro. And my "secret peanut dipping sauce," consisting of peanut butter, tamari, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and ginger. Boy, am I getting hungry. (Even though I just ate a spring roll to tide me over!)

And, although these are not part of our dinner, aren't these two little clementines the cutest thing ever?
The checkout guy at the Wedge and I had a conversation about how cute the clementines were, since they all had their little stems and leaves still attached, and then he yelped, "oh lookit -- these two are still attached to each other!!!" I never thought I'd get to a point in my life where I thought food was cute! Oh well.

It's been a good day. :) (And it's not even over yet!)

Oatmeal, tofu, kitty, and SHOES. (Yes, shoes again!)

I am so bummed that I am only able to post once or twice a week these days! Alas. Anyhow, food this week has been pathetic at best -- I am in dire need of a trip to the co-op (headed there later this morning,) and have been surviving mostly on cereal, PBJ, pasta, and other assorted "fast" foods. I did manage to do a little cooking and photo snapping this week, however. Here goes!

This is really bizzarre oatmeal that I made for breakfast this morning. It's purple from lots of frozen blueberries, with a few other yummy ingredients mixed in. Yummers.

No matter how busy I get, I still manage to make time to scramble some tofu. Double-yummers.

Here is my "close by but not touching" kitty being weird. Yes, he is actually laying on my arm! This is the closest thing he has ever done to cuddling with me! (He barely tolerates being scratched atop his head, and will allow me to pick him up, oh, maybe once a month or so.) I was so freaked out by this display of feline affection, I had to snap a picture of it!

And . . . NEW SHOES. I really don't have a lot of money right now, and can't really afford new shoes, but was having problems standing 8+ hours a day on my current footwear (especially since we can't wear sneakers at work. I had one pair of shoes that sort of worked.) I went shoe shopping on my lunch break yesterday, and bought these Merrells! I can't tell you how pleased I have been with Merrells in the past, and these do not disappoint. I think Merrell is an awesome company, especially since they design shoes for women to meet the specific needs of a woman's stride and foot placement. While the pair of shoes I purchased is not vegan (sigh,) they have many vegan options on their website! Hooray for Merrell! No more knee pain for Catherine!

Off to get dressed and start my day. Today is my "Saturday," so Dan and I are doing something later. Hopefully, we'll have plenty of time to make a fun dinner tonight, because I have a GREAT idea!! Photos to come . . . !!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

job-tastic, yam-tastic, cat-in-a-box, plus one!

Again, it has been a busy week in the life of a food snob. Yesterday was day 6 of a 6-day work stretch. I love, love, love my job -- I love being surrounded by people who love food as much as I do all day long, I've always loved working retail, and my boss has been pretty cool about giving me as many hours as I'd like for December and into January. We've been selling a lot of pie plates, roasting pans, and digital probe thermometers this week -- everyone's stocking up for Thanksgiving cooking, methinks! I have received many compliments on my job performance so far, including several managers and the owner of the store. I also have mostly been trapped behind the register, and my drawer's never been off by more than a penny or two. Am I that anal retentive? Maybe. Is it silly that I like working retail so much? Maybe. I've already talked to my boss about long-term employment with them, and they are very interested in keeping me around 32 hours a week, after January, if I'm interested. I have to think about this one, because it's just not enough hours/income for me to be able to stay in my apartment. I have simplified my life quite a bit over the past year or so, and think that I am just about at the end of being able to cut expenses. I'm going to have to generate more income somehow -- maybe babysitting? Who knows. I do still want time to work on my cookbook as well, so those 32 hours are starting to sound really attractive. I'll keep you posted.

I haven't been cooking much this week, but I do have one glorious food photo for you!
Sweet Potato Fries! (Or, more accurately, Yam Fries!) Vegenaise on the side there for dipping fabulousness.

I also have a Cat-in-a-Box:

And, one other piece of news: although I have been a party of one for over four years now, I have very recently (within the last week) added a "plus one" to my life! Remember mention of my friend Dan? Well, we finally made a little progress into relationship-land. Because this is the internet, I am going to be as vague as humanly possible, but suffice to say, I'm happy & he's happy, I think. :)

Oh yes, and despite this news, I will continue to work on "Party of One" as if nothing has changed. My mission to feed the single folks of the world well has not been dampered one bit!

Happy Tofurkey Day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I must preface this post with the following comment: I am generally quite the "tough girl," and have handled, with my bare hands, without feeling squeamish, worms, slugs, caterpillars (one actually pooped in my hand), butterflies, other insects (both dead and alive), honeybees, turtles, frogs, salamanders, a snake, chickens, and all manner of other animals during my time teaching at the nature center.

Now, I have a confession to make:

I have an irrational fear of squirrels. Now, we're not talking a fear of clinical-phobia proportions, but I really, really, really do not like squirrels. Not even a little bit. (I think it's their twitchiness that bothers me the most. They just give me the creeps.) When squirrels come too close to me, I usually squeak and hide behind my friends, if I'm lucky enough to be with someone! I am freaked out by places like the park by my house and the University of Minnesota campus where people feed squirrels, and they are, consequently, very adventurous.


Anyhow, I had to show you this postcard that my friend Marie sent to me a couple of years ago (we both thought it was funny!):
In case you can't read the text, it says, "Squirrel attacks averted by nature! Walking in the woods, we barely notice them, the squirrels. But with their superior speed, balance, and brutally sharp teeth, an organized group of squirrels could dispatch and kill a human with alarming speed. A quick dart of fur, a nip on the Achilles tendon, and down we'd go. Then the swarm of squirrels, bushy tails flying, ferociously attacking and assaulting neck, thighs, and other vulnerable sights. Within minutes, even strong men would be mortally disabled. Thankfully, squirrels are not very intelligent and they have very short attention spans. So far, they are incapable of organizing themselves into this kind of a formidable assault group. Today we are safe. Thank goodness."


Imagine my surprise when Christine asked me the other day, "do you guys have a squirrel cookie cutter at work?" I looked and, sure enough, we did:
I guess the kids in her class at work are obsessed with squirrels right now, and she wants to make squirrel cookies with them. [double shudder.] I have to run over tonight and drop off the cookie cutter on my way to choir rehearsal.

Here's hoping none of those squirrel cookies make it over to my house, eh? :)

Anyone else have any irrational fears they need to divulge?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oliver in the sky with diamonds . . . and food.

A high kitty:
(The catnip came out of the bag kind of fast . . . I don't think my boy minded a bit!)

Now, on to the food!

An immune system booster type blueberry and OJ smoothie with a couple of other "secret" ingredients:

My vegan lunchbox for work today: black-eyed peas, one and a half corn muffins, grapes, and a cookie!

Breakfast of champions . . . a leaning tower of leftover tofu pad thai:
(This came from True Thai, which is located on 27th and Franklin in Minneapolis -- rated best Thai in the city! Michelle and I ate there last night for a fun weekend treat . . . truly, some fabulous thai food!)

I can't seem to get enough squash this fall:

AND, there's hummus among us!

Hope everyone had wonderful weekends!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Night Baking Project

Corn muffins (they are quite dark due to the whole wheat pastry flour and the local honey that I used,) to go with . . .

Chili for dinner! My freezer is my very best friend during busy times. And yes, that is an avocado bowl on the side -- dribbled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with kosher salt. (I really ate the entire avocado, but the first half went down while I was waiting for the muffins to finish baking!) And I did eat two muffins, too -- I figured I was allowed a somewhat fat-filled, stuffed-full type of dinner, since I seem to have mysteriously lost three pounds since I weighed myself last . . . !

Happy weekend, everyone! I have no plans thusfar, and hope to rest and relax and de-germ!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

ch-ch-ch-changes . . .

Ah, will my life ever settle down? I guess not -- at least not right now! There has been lots and lots of drama with my day job, which has led to my giving my two-week notice yesterday (my last day teaching will be the day before Thanksgiving.) Essentially, this resignation has very little to do with me -- there was a huge miscommunication between HR and my supervisors regarding my availability, which required me to resign. (Essentially, HR offered me the hours 8 - 4:30, and my supervisors suddenly expected me to be on call/available from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week. Second job = not a possibility! I can't support myself on what they pay me, so, I was forced to resign.) I've discovered over these past few weeks that the organization was not a place I was interested in working for anyway, so it's back to the job hunt. (And I can fill in with retail hours until I find something permanent.) I'll keep you posted!

And now, on to the food . . . !

1. I did manage to make chocolate chip cookies last Sunday night . . . only, at the last second, I decided to make oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies! Yum. These are definitely going in the cookbook, and will be tested by Carrie, my vegan coworker. (She's excited!)
And, a close-up:

2. Possibly a sign that I am too busy? Dinner one night earlier this week:

3. Sauteed mushrooms . . . yum! (Olive oil, garlic, dried fines herbs, salt, and a splash of balsamic vinegar):

And that, friends, has been the extent of my cooking so far this week! Pathetic. Sheesh.

I'm actually home sick from work today (high fever last night that has been coming down since I woke up this morning -- ah, the power of 12 hours of sleep!), so back to the couch I go. Happy Thursday, everyone!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

hello . . . whew!

What a week . . . and it starts all over again tomorrow! This whole working a couple of nights plus days, six days a week thing is exhausting! I love the retail job lots -- just a wonderful, wonderful company to work for. They are so flexible and just superb people to work for. And wowzers . . . over 12,000 products that I need to learn all about! Big learning curve with this one. I am so excited to learn more and more about high-end kitchenwares, you can't even begin to imagine! I wish I could work my part-time job full-time. (Lack of adequate pay and benefits are two major hang-ups with that one. Bah.)

The only exciting food news I have to report this week is that I found whole wheat gnocchi at the co-op! They were very good, although I overcooked them slightly. I have been packing lots and lots of meals lately -- I eat breakfast and lunch "on the go" every day, plus dinner on working nights. Other nights, I'm so busy either running off to church choir rehearsal or getting stuff done, I don't have that much time to cook these days. I hate that! I hope to have enough energy left when I get home tomorrow night to make some chocolate chip cookies . . . because I'm fresh out of dessert! (Now you know where my priorities are, right?) ;-) I have a feeling my food these next couple of months will consist of a lot of soup, pasta, beans & rice, sloppy lentils, salads, and sandwiches. I may rely a little heavier on convenience foods than I'd usually prefer -- boo! Oh well.

I'll try to take pictures of a few "vegan lunchboxes" next week, just so I have something to show you! Hope everyone had wonderful weeks, and know that I'd love to be getting around to your blog, but time is tight these days. (I'm going to try and get better about eating in front of a computer at work, so hopefully I can slowly make the blog rounds over the course of the week!)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Well, despite my Thursday post where I said I was going to have a super-busy weekend, it ended up being pretty quiet. Friday night, I was supposed to tag along with my friend Dan to Northfield, because they had a show, but Dan decided to ride with the band at the last minute, so I was sort of "uninvited." I ended up spending most of Friday night on the phone with various friends and my mom, so I wasn't bored or anything . . . just not what was originally planned!

Saturday early afternoon, I had an interview with a local high-end kitchenwares store for a part-time, seasonal retail position. Yes, I had already accepted a part-time seasonal retail position with a national chain, but I was so excited about this local store, (where I actually shop,) I wanted to take the interview anyway. They ended up offering me the job on the spot, (after a 90 minute interview!), and offered me WAY more money than the chain retailer, with the potential to increase my wage over time with training to $12 per hour! It's a dream job, almost! I start on Tuesday night. (And yes, I quit the other position already.) I'm oh, so very excited about this job -- during the interview, it came up at one point that I store my surplus kitchenwares in my living room closet. My interviewer exclaimed, "really? Me too -- I store stuff on a bookcase in my living room, and another manager stores extra kitchenwares under his bed!" I think I may have found my people. :)

Saturday night, Michelle and I went to see So It Goes at the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown. Michelle told me that I had seen them once before, but I couldn't remember . . . but . . . I really really enjoyed their set! They are loud and crazy (yes, I wore earplugs,) and if the stage had been larger, I think they would have rocked out WAY more than they were able to. I will need to buy their CD, once some extra cash happens into my life!

This afternoon, I was supposed to get together with Dan, (reschedule from Friday night,) but we ended up cancelling, because he leaves for tour on Tuesday, I have a low-grade fever and a cough (beginnings of a cold, methinks,) and neither one of us wants him to be sick on a van for 12 days with his entire band. Boo! Fortunately, I did use the extra time to my advantage. After I moped around on the couch for awhile feeling crappy, I got up off my butt and did a little cooking:


I decided to follow my plain beans 'n rice recipe, and give it a few little somethings extra. Mmmmm . . . it's chillin' in the fridge right now, (to give time for the flavors to mingle,) but I think this will make a nice one-bowl meal a few times this week (lunches, dinners, maybe even breakfast once!)

I also cooked up the kale that has been hanging about in my veggie drawer for a week now, and had that for dinner with some leftover sloppy lentils and butternut squash.


Culinary deja vu? Certainly. Tasty? Definitely.

Off to a movie with some friends tonight (more about that later,) and then back to the ol' grind tomorrow. Gah. Have good weeks everyone, and if you partake, Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A message from Oliver to all feline blog-readers:

"Dear Friends,

If your momma or papa happens to bring her or himself Chipotle home for dinner one night, do not, I repeat, DO NOT stick your head into the empty to-go bag. Your head might get stuck, causing you great confusion and embarassment. How do I know this? Because it happened to me tonight:


Don't worry about me, though -- I did manage to get myself unstuck, (no help from my momma, though -- she was too busy LAUGHING AT ME to come to my aid,) and am unharmed, save for my pride.

Peace and kibble,


(P.S. I'll get my momma back for laughing at me -- probably at 4 a.m. when she's sleeping peacefully . . . !)"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"I'm not dead yet!"

(Ahem, name that film . . . )

No, I'm not dead -- just insanely busy! I guess that's what happens when you start two brand-new jobs in one week. :) The teaching job has been fine -- I've been in the infant room the past few days, and will continue to be there for the next four weeks, since one of the infant lead teachers is out with back problems. The commute (via city bus,) is uneventful, save for this morning when I MISSED THE BUS (by about ten seconds -- I saw it drive past and shrieked!), and then took the next bus, which turned out to be the wrong "kind" of bus I usually take, and ended up having to walk for 45 minutes, which made me 30 minutes late for work. (No repurcussions, though -- other than comments of, "you walked from WHERE?") Otherwise, there are two women who work at my center who take the same bus as me, so that's kind of nice -- we all sit together and chat during our ride to and from. One of them is vegan, which is awesome! We were talking about vegan cookbooks on our way home tonight. She made one comment tonight that I just thought was awesome, "I just think it's cool you're a vegan, too -- you don't meet too many fellow vegans!" She had never heard of the Post Punk Kitchen, OR Vegan with a Vengeance! The horror! ;-)

The retail job hasn't technically started yet, although I had orientation this week to fill out paperwork, go through the store, etc. I have training next weekend, so after that, I'll actually be on the schedule. Expect posts to be few and far between until after the holiday season -- when working 55+ hours a week plus seeing friends, getting to church choir, and all that normal life stuff like laundry and whatnot, I may not have much web time! Alas.

I also haven't done much cooking this week, beyond sloppy lentils and pasta with TVP and tomato sauce. Hopefully, I'll have a little time to cook this weekend! It's already looking pretty busy, however -- I think I have something going on Friday night, Saturday night, AND Sunday night! I'll report back to you next week, with photos of food, of course! Hope everyone has wonderful weekends!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

a blogging adventure, pumpkin part deux, chippies, and mystery soup!

A mish-mosh sort of post coming up . . .

I met Crystal & Ryan at Kitchen Window yesterday, for some serious browsing and shopping! (Crystal, I had fun hanging out with you again, and Ryan, it was great to finally meet you!) We spent, oh, almost two hours in the store, mostly drooling over high-end kitchen equipment and ingredients. This visit was prompted by Crystal mentioning to me the last time we got together that she needed a new apron . . . I suggested we visit the "apron shrine" at KW for the best selection. She chose a cute pattern -- go over to her blog and pressure her to post a picture of it! :) Also, they brought me a present!
This decorative gourd was grown by a family member of Ryan's, and is now adding some fall flair to my windowsill. Thanks, guys!


I realize I never told you what I did with the rest of the pumpkin puree that I had left from the apple orchard pie pumpkin. Well, the chocolate brownie cake molded (booo! You'd think by now I'd learn to put baked goods in the fridge,) and I finished the apple pie, so . . . I forewent a creative option and simply made a crustless pumpkin pie. Mmmmmmmmm.......
I like the crustless version for a variety of reasons, the two most important ones being major calorie savings per slice, and ease of preparaton (no fussing with pastry!)


I finally got around to turning the big package of tortillas I had hiding out in the back of my fridge into homemade baked chips!
The "recipe" will be in the cookbook. (The Readers Digest version: oil, cut, salt, bake 'till crispy, cool, crunch.)


This meal is not the most appetizing-looking meal I've enjoyed this week, but I had to take a picture of it to remind myself to tell you about Mystery Soup!
What is Mystery Soup, you ask? Well, it's two (or more) kinds of leftover soup combined to make a new, mysterious, irreplicable, soup fantasy! Why Mystery Soup, you ask? Well, sometimes I find myself with just a few tablespoons or up to half a cup of leftover soup -- not enough to stand alone, but enough when combined with something else to make part of a meal! Waste not, want not. (I do not feed Mystery Soup to others, although Michelle has expressed interest in coming over sometime for Mystery Soup . . . !!)