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 . . . !!)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

the week of cabbage, cheese, and refined grains

For some unusual reason, the last few days have been extremely strange, dietary-wise, for me! Since I blogged last . . .

~ I skipped dinner on Wednesday night, in favor of an IKEA cinnamon roll, an apple, and a piece of pumpkin bread, to allow for longer shopping time with Michelle. Boy, was I hungry when I got home from choir rehearsal!

~ Thursday, Michelle was over for lunch and we had ALTT sandwiches and coleslaw. (Nothing unusual.)

~ Thursday night, Dan was over for dinner and I made tomato soup (from La Dolce Vegan,)
(the picture does not do it justice . . . my apologies,) and grilled extra-sharp cheddar, avocado, and tomato sandwiches. Mmmmm . . . I had been craving cheese for about three weeks, so I finally decided to give in!

~ Yesterday morning, I ended up going to the Children's Museum with Chelsea and her girls, and then we ate at Mickey's Diner in Downtown Saint Paul for lunch. I had another grilled cheese sandwich (on white bread, obviously), french fries, and coleslaw!

~ Last night, Michelle, Christine, Ann, and I went for dinner to Punch Pizza (Michelle and I both had buy one get one free coupons,) so I had cheese and white flour again! (Oh yes, and a Coke . . . mmmm corn syrup and artificial junk.) Woo-ee! Then, Christine bought a bar of chocolate for dessert, which she shared with all of us, then we went to the Kitty Cat Klub to see The Original Mark Edwards, and I got a beer. (I drink, maybe, a total of ten times a year.) I thik I was as "cracked out" as I could get last night, without actually being on crack!

I am truly surprised that my system isn't in complete revolt right now! I guess we all have our junk food moments, right? :)

Needless to say, I plan on cleaning up my diet this weekend, in preparation for starting my new job on Monday!

Breakfast this morning:
Tofu scramble (get those veggies back in my system, quick!) and two pieces of nice, wholegrain toast with margarine and strawberry all-fruit. It's amazing how incredible healthy food tastes after you've fallen off the wagon for a couple of days!

And now, back to regularly scheduled programming . . . . :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

amen to that!

Crystal left me the following comment on a previous post:

"Way to go on the lentil burger - that looks great. And GOOD FOR YOU for being a single person who cooks well for yourself. There are many people at my work who go home to take out night after night."

Amen to that! Since this is something I feel very strongly about, I wanted to post Crystal's comment, and add some of my own comments (a direct quote from my cookbook manuscript, to be precise!) If you are one of those take-out-every-night-single-folks, NOW HEAR THIS:

"I want to add that the saddest thing I hear from single people who don’t cook is the following: “it’s just me – why bother?” We somehow have grown to believe that cooking is only worth the “trouble” when we are doing it for others. Now, I do agree that preparing a meal for friends or family is special, but I also believe, as individuals, we need to feel that we are worth the time and effort cooking takes. We owe it to ourselves to take the best care of our bodies as we can – and part of that is feeding it healthy food!"

As proof, my lunch today, that took a total of 30 minutes to prepare:
An ALTT sandwich (avocado, lettuce, tempeh, and tomato,) some extra sliced tomato, and more Asian style coleslaw.

Giant cabbage, here I come . . . .

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

food fun!

Cooking projects from the past few days . . .

First, Sunday night dinner:
Sometimes, all you want for supper is a big bowl o' whole wheat pasta with a little rehydrated TVP and jarred marinara tossed in. The simplest foods are sometimes the best.

Next, pumpkin part I:
I used Vicki's pumpkin muffin recipe, altered it a little bit, added some pecans and dried cranberries, baked it in a loaf pan, and voila! Yummy vegan pumpkin bread. Mmmmm . . . (and that's an asian pear on the side -- breakfast yesterday morning. With coffee, of course. I'm trying french vanilla Silk creamer this week -- not as awesome as the hazelnut, but still yummy.)

Last, for lunch today, a Teriyaki Lentil Burger:
This is a recipe I've been thinking about for the cookbook for ages and ages, and just now got around to testing. I was pleasantly surprised this first time round! The seasonings seem to be spot-on, although the texture is ever so slightly mushy. I'll try baking them next time, instead of pan-frying!

Oh yeah -- and that asian style cole slaw on the side? Totally made-up, totally fabulous, and totally WAY too much cole slaw for one person. If you plan on stopping by my apartment sometime this week, prepare to take cole slaw with you when you leave! I don't want to turn into a giant cabbage! (Although, that would be a convenient Halloween costume . . . !)

an eventful 24 hours

As you can see from my earlier post, I did indeed accept a full time teaching position! Then, this morning, I accepted a part-time seasonal retail position at a kitchenwares store (!!!) for a little extra cash/getting back on my feet from unemployment money. THEN, this morning, I got rid of my truck! I didn't end up selling it, because I don't think anyone wants to buy a vehicle that doesn't run, so I donated it.
bye-bye, little trucker-oo!

I'm not entirely sure what ELSE the universe can throw my way this week, but heck, it's all been awesome so far . . . bring it on!

Monday, October 16, 2006


This afternoon, I accepted a float teacher (basically a full-time sub with benefits,) position at an area child care center/preschool! Woooo-eeeee! I have orientation on Wednesday morning, and will start on Monday.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

vegan concrete?

This is etched into the sidewalk in my neighborhood:
I guess the ingredients in concrete must be vegan!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's a good thing I'm not superstitious!

Since yesterday was Friday the 13th, I found my receipt for my falafel at the Holy Land Deli particularly funny last night! (The hilighting was my doing, just to draw your attention to all the 13s!)


No pumpkin news to report yet. :) I haven't done the dishes again, so there's no room to cook, (I did do that mountain from the other day, but now there's another mountain that's sprung up out of nowhere! Egah,) but I'm thinking pumpkin muffins for sure, (Vicki, I love the idea of freezing some of the batter to bake off at a later date! I don't have muffin papers . . . hmm . . . !) and maybe a pumpkin pasta (not a filled pasta -- like a noodle or something. I swear I have a recipe somewhere!)


I had a second interview for a teaching job yesterday, too! I should hear early next week . . . here's hopin'!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

decisions, decisions . . .

(two cups of cooked pumpkin puree)

Now, I decided to stick this pumpkin puree in my freezer for now, because I can't decide what to do with it! Pumpkin pie is my knee-jerk reaction; however, I have half an apple pie and most of a pan of chocolate brownie cake hanging about my house right now -- I really don't think I need a third dessert choice. I have two containers of pumpkin soup in the freezer already, and am at a loss. Pumpkin bread seems like the natural choice . . . but I was wondering whether you all had any brilliant ideas for me? Comment away!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A mystery.

I am amazed at how I am continually able to destroy my kitchen, even though I haven't been to the grocery store in over two weeks! I have no fresh produce in my fridge, save for a grapefruit and what I bought at the apple orchard on Sunday, and yet I'm still able to cook. It's truly a mystery.

Dinner the other night:
(Peanut coconut soba noodles with frozen broccoli and shelled edamame)

The red, white, and blue popcorn I bought at the apple orchard:
(I try to make a giant pot of popcorn once a week or so, just to have on hand for a salty snack -- one can only eat so many nuts, right?)

Dinner tonight:
(Barbecued tofu on a wholegrain roll, acorn squash, and frozen green beans)

Dessert tonight:
(Nava Atlas's chocolate brownie cake from her website -- and don't you just love my teacups? I found them in my storage locker the other week . . . forgot I had them!)

Times like this, I really wish I had a dishwasher.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"health-conscious" = no surprise here (but fun!)

I got this off of Nikki's blog. Check it out! (P.S. I don't eat fish, obviously.)

You scored as health-conscious vegetarian. You are a health-conscious vegetarian! This means that either your motivation for going veg was/is for health reasons, or if not, you have simply become much more health-conscious after being veg. You are always questioning what you eat on the basis of its healthfullness and naturalness. You might be a "pesco-vegetarian" (fish eating), if you believe that fish flesh is healthy (it's not!). Either way, vegetarianism is a part of your quest for health! More on

health-conscious vegetarian


militant vegan


vegan vixen


welfarist vegetarian


new veggie


quiet vegetarian


lazy vegetarian


What type of vegetarian are you?
created with

Sunday, October 08, 2006

"I carried a watermelon."

This afternoon, Christine, Michelle, "the other Catherine," (the sister of a coworker of Christine's,) and I drove out to the middle of nowhere, Minnesota (really only about an hour from the cities,) and played at an apple orchard/pumpkin patch/working farm. Our three criteria in searching for an orchard were:

1. pumpkins (for Christine)

2. apples (for Michelle)

3. goats (for me!)

We also had lots of fun doing other stuff . . .

These three little pigs are "the other Catherine," Michelle, and Christine!

They had oat groats available, (no, I am NOT feeding the goat popcorn,) for anyone who was interested in feeding the goats. I heart goats lots.

I also held a baby goat!

We took a tractor ride for $1 each, and our driver, Charlie, told us all about sorghum and the different kinds of corn they grew at the farm. Some of our fellow tractor riders were a bit nuts, but we had fun.

(Grown-up) children of the corn:


Very tired baby pigs:


My favorite breed of chicken, which I like to call "the hairy chickens"

This little kitty jumped up next to Michelle and I while we were having a snack and tried to sneak bites of Michelle's hot dog:

Wild turkeys!

My meager purchases: a watermelon (which I did carry a little while, until we scored a wagon,) a pie pumpkin, an acorn squash, and a big bag o' red and white popcorn! (I also bought a caramel apple, which I consumed on site.)

I'm so thankful I have friends who enjoy embracing their "inner child" as much as I do! We had so much fun. And oh, do I love fall in Minnesota!

Friday, October 06, 2006

W! T! F!

Tonight, I went to the Mall of America with Michelle. We got carded on our way into the mall.

Do you know how old you have to be to be allowed into the Mall of America on a weekend night by yourself? (i.e., without a "grown-up?")


Yes, sixteen.

I finally stopped getting carded for R-rated movies somewhere around my 22nd birthday.

I am 27 years old. I sometimes don't get carded when getting into bars any more.

The only thing we could conclude from our ordeal (when he asked to see our IDs, I replied, "you've got to be kidding me," and he replied, "no ma'am, I never kid" -- um, he called me "ma'am," yet suspected I was possibly 15??) was that the security guard was a complete tool and on a power trip.

For F's sake! I'm 27 and Michelle's 28! We don't look like we are FIFTEEN!

One more reason I really hate the Mall of America, way deep down in the inner chambers of my soul.

a breakfast homage to Chelsea

My friend Chelsea has been raving about having beans and rice for breakfast, and today, I decided to give it a go:
(Or should I say, last night I gave it a go, and then microwaved a bowlful this morning.)

Easy, healthy, tasty, filling, and cheap as dirt. What's not to like?

My beans and rice:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 cup of long grain brown rice, stir, and return the rice to a boil. Continue boiling the grain, as you would pasta, for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water. (Trust me on this one -- it's a Mark Bittman technique that works like a charm -- no more gummy rice! I don't think I need a rice cooker after all!)
2. Dump the rice into a bowl or container and add 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed, 4 dashes Tobasco sauce, 2 dashes ground cumin, a splash each of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and a bit more salt (taste first and only add more salt if you think it needs it.) Cover and chill. Reheat as needed.

I may have to make this one again and write down exact measurements for that little cookbook I'm STILL working on . . . !

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My love affair with pie

Oh baby, do I ever love pie.

Now, I think most dessert lovers are either pie people or cake people. But really, I think most people are pie people -- I have only met one person in my entire life that does not care for pie. (Hello, Marie! I love ya, but I still think you're crazy!) I have also met someone who turns down cake and all manners of dessert (including chocolate chip cookies,) but asked for a lemon merengue pie for his birthday treat.

I am, obviously, a pie person. When I partake of pie, it is nearly always homemade, and nearly always comes from my kitchen. This means I only eat pie once or twice per year. (Pumpkin pie doesn't count, because I make it all of the time, and I usually don't make a crust. So it's really more of a pumpkin custard in a round dish.) I make my crust from scratch, the filling from scratch, and then have a REALLY hard time not hacking into the thing while it is still boiling hot.

Tonight, I made an apple and pear pie. (Why the combination? I didn't have enough apples for a whole pie, and I had two pears that desperately needed to be eaten.) It's not perfect, (my pastry's a bit weak, because I didn't have enough nonhydrogenated shortening, so I used some walnut oil for part of the fat,) but baby, does it taste good.

Here's the whole pie:

And see, I always jump the gun on the first piece, and it oozes all over my plate:
(I guess pie should really be allowed to cool fully before cutting and serving, to give the filling a chance to set, but really, where's the fun in that?)

Now, if you live near me and would like a piece of pie (or two,) please stop on by -- because I really shouldn't eat an entire pie all by myself. I will, but I shouldn't. :) (One more reason I only make pie once or twice a year!)


I don't have much to blog about, but I feel like I should hop on for a little bit, at least, and give you an update!

Job: nothing new to report. I keep applying, and applying, and applying -- no new interviews, either. Bah. Unemployment benefits will kick in soon, though, so that's a big help! All I can do is keep searching and searching. I may look into seasonal retail positions, just for some extra cash for the time being.

Food: I have used up most of the fresh food in my house, and am now eating out of my freezer, fridge, and cupboards. Spaghetti with red sauce tastes REALLY good every once in a while, but it's not exactly photo-worthy. :) I'm also looking forward to peanut soba noodles with frozen broccoli and edamame. ;-) When I get to the store and get some more produce, I'll start cooking again and the photos will return! In the meantime, I hope to finally get my butt on the 'puter and do some major editing of the cookbook. I've decided to add another section: side dishes. Anyone have any brilliant titles? I've come up with "Sidecars," or, "Filling out your Plate." The sides section may steal some recipes from the snacks section, which might be kind of tricky, but I guess I'll just have to come up with more snack recipes, or maybe not!

Adventures: I managed a trip to the thrift store with Michelle this week, (nothing purchased by either of us,) and a nice, long hike (i.e., almost 2 hours, and Dan's quite tall, so I was cruisin'!), with Dan yesterday at Fort Snelling State Park. (I neglected to bring the camera; sorry 'bout that one! We were so busy talking, however, I probably wouldn't have taken any pictures anyway.) Oh, I did go for a walk with Ann on Monday night, too -- but nothing terribly noteworthy to report overall! It's been kind of a quiet week.

C'est fini, pour maintenant!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Thanks to Jody's suggestion, I downloaded Firefox, which looks the same and works better than Safari, and now I can post again! Hooray!

Back to printing out cover letters. I'm going to need to go buy more stamps today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I don't heart Beta

I updated to Blogger Beta, and am very, very frustrated now . . . my web browser's old enough, the Beta html buttons do not work. (Translation: I cannot post to my blog from my home computer until I upgrade my browser . . . to the tune of $126!) Expect posts to be few and far between, at least until I get a job and can afford the newest version of OS!

Here's a picture of what I had for dinner last night:
Sloppy lentils, acorn squash, and sauteed kale. To quote Chelsea, "probably more vitamins than most people eat in a week!" :)