Saturday, June 20, 2015

the way of things :: gazpacho :: sidebars

family and food
things that certainly
connect us all



good eats
good times
and
funny sidebars
that make your family
uniquely yours
and
well...
mine
mine.

here's a scenario that just might
ring a bell of
familiarity

arriving home
after a full day at work
a grumbling stomach
and an empty fridge greet you
sure
you could opt for carry-out
but
if you're anything like me
(sorry if this is the case)
you begin doing the math
breaking down the upcoming purchase
in terms of hourly rate
thinking
is it worth 3 hours of my work day?

like magic
the pantry and nature
speak to you

canned tomatoes
fresh parsley


onion
cucumber
boys who are willing to run to the store
for the missing ingredient
low sodium V8


armed with an idea
and
technology 
i begin the search for
the best vegan gazpacho soup recipe

funny thing
every time i google a recipe
i put "the best" in front of it
a little tip that hasn't failed me yet
:)


taking me to 
oh she glows

toss all the gathered stuff
in the blender
and pop it in the frig to get cold
perfect
on a hot humid day

quick sidebar
in an attempt to save money
to get the family off the couch
and use that pool
i've declared this to be
(they love when i do this)
a summer without air-conditioning
except in extreme conditions
 (i needed an out clause!)
hence
fans
cool showers
gazpacho!

don't know why i poured it all
into a soup pot first
maybe to encourage my gazpacho virgins
to think soup
not 
salsa

to think meal
not appetizer

tell me
has anything like this ever happened to you?

as i was pouring the mix into the pot
holding the ninja spout open 
i heard a crack
and the two little plastic hinges
holding the little lid in place
popped free
and broke off


i could only locate one
leaving me to think #2
was in the soup

great

"chew carefully"
the savings i made wasn't worth
the cost of
future dental work

but good news
i stepped on it as i was getting
mug #2
cuz it really is the best
and told all to
eat free of fear

now normally 
i'd end my post here with a cute
anecdote
but 
this family of mine
keeps me laughing and i need to share the jokes

i love this one
maybe you've heard it


i can't tell you how many mornings
i wake to this view
somehow
some way
the boys in my life believe
this means dishes are done
i guess it's
the soak that counts
the almost but not quite since the 
water is now cold and the stuff has re-attached itself
requiring a second hot water soak

hmmm...
what up with that
???

then there's
 breakfast pancakes
i've heard there are those
who make one big cake with what's left
in the mixing bowl

not me
i'm onto them

them being my guys


with my gang it's the count
that counts
one is one
and two is
two
i.e.,
one more than one

one more to
mentally
fill 'em up


they keep me laughing

i keep them guessing

it's the perfect
pairing

gotta love it
;)


BTW...i'm loving Stephanie Tourles Creamy Cocoa Butter Lotion for Face and Body discussed in the next post...keep reading and google it if interested in finding the recipe. It's available on the web...gotta love that too :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

orange creamsicle body lotion


a rich vanilla cream
blended with
sweet orange
served in a cardboard cylinder
that once warmed
pushes up easily
while you savor each delicious
 lick


yeah
like that
only
the scent takes you there
without any of the 
guilt
calories
flavor


following one of my favorite
Stephanie Tourles 
body care recipes
and this time
exactly as written
almost
I did used olive oil instead of almond oil
other than that
to the tee


last time i used a 
nice blend of
vanilla and lavender
which was very nice
but for summer
"orangesicle"
fits the bill


so 
after gathering all the 
necessary ingredients
and borrowing a few
I turned my kitchen into an
esthetician's playground
measuring
melting
combining
and finally
pouring the light face and body moisturizer
into canning jars
and sampling the product
as i went along


enough to wrap myself
in creamsicle goodness
all 
summer long


plus a little extra
for gifting
as a thank you
for sharing needed supplies
to make it happen

yep
that's what i did today

now
for that
 push-up...


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

breakfast pudding

life is short
eat dessert first

first thing in the morning


Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
@minimalist baker

it's like gazpacho's answer to
minestrone

when cold sounds better
than warm

your brain will be like
what...
chocolate
creamy
pudding
for breakfast!?

all while knowing
its loaded with good stuff
plus it's
naturally sweetened
you could top it off
with
granola
berries
whipped topping...
or
have it 
straight-up


a delicious twist
on yogurt

better yet

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
is
Summers answer 
to
Coco Wheats.

Life is short...
eat dessert
for breakfast.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

backyard forager :: part 2 :: preparing your finds



i owe a debt of
gratitude
to the great italian men
who i work with
talk with
philosophize with

we discuss
literally
everything

nothing seems off-limits
when lunch time finds us
gathered around the cutting table
sharing
talking
encouraging


this time
their wacky sewing machine operator
to eat those dandelion leaves
that are so 
plentiful in her yard

 stories unfold of
their mama  
who
had the family pick leaves
from around the shop
to be added to soups
sautes
salads
for their cherished tender bitterness
much like cicoria 
from her homeland
not found here in the states


dandelion greens
make a good substitute

washed thoroughly
with salted water
rinsed
and washed 
again
and 
again
just to be safe


left to air dry
then
rolled in a clean towel
and stored in the crisper
until ready to use

two days later
and still looking 
just picked

i followed a recipe
at epicurios
for sauteing the greens
reducing the ingredients since 
i didn't have the 3 pounds of leaves
called for

sounds like a lot
but
they reduce down
 substantially
as any good green will do


olive oil
garlic
red pepper
sea salt
pepper


blanched the leaves
briefly
for about 3 minutes
drained well 
then
tossed all in the frying pan

gave it a splash
of fresh lemon
(another tip i learned from the guys)
just before serving

took a taste

first impression 
fabulous
then the after bite
of bitterness followed
taking me off guard

pretty strong
even though i used tender 
young leaves


but saved the day with the main
dish
which paired perfectly 
with the bitter leaf

Colin Byrne's Spicy Pasta
(google it...you'll want this one)


Who's Colin Byrne?

A character from a Susan Elizabeth Phillip's 
novel 
Ain't She Sweet
(because life's too short to read depressing books)
who enjoys his pasta with a kick

so do i
but
not quite as hot as he does
so i used only 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
then topped with feta
and
kalamata olives

delizioso


alongside 
sauteed dandelion greens

perfetto!

go ahead...
eat your greens!

:)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

backyard forager :: dandelion leaves

the conditions were 
right
the timing
perfect
the sun
shining bright



who could ask for more

living on an acre
and a half
has its challenges
and 
its rewards


i learned early on
that this family of mine
loves to play 
outdoors
and they don't take it easy on the yard
biking
quading
badminton competing
croquet playing
Frisbee throwing
ball catching
dog chasing

it sees a lot of action

a pristine 
immaculate
plush manicured lawn
is a thing
found only in glossy magazines
or a drive through
a nearby subdivision
where each yard is a beautiful
shade of emerald

pulling in my drive
i see another type of beauty
in the
"weeds"
weeds that tolerate the hot
August heat
keep their nice shade of khaki
intermingled with
bright green crab grass
beautifully self-maintained
without the constant watering
feeding
or treating with
-cides
necessary to keep the green

all that to say
my yard is 
au naturale
like me!


i've trained my brain to think of
the dandelion 
as a flower from heaven
my yard
God's flower bed
planting where He thinks best
and
who am i to disagree



God don't make mistakes

is there any sweeter 
mother's day gift
than a hand-picked bouquet
of dandelions
held by dirty, chubby little fingers
presented with
a big smile
and love-filled eyes

i think
not

this year 
i turned my attention
to their leaves

i watch enough survivor shows
to be dangerous
and now
after a little research
i know
i could live on these
delicacies



when to pick:
before the bloom
when leaves are tender




where to pick:
where dandelions
prosper


what not to pick:
roadside
chemically treated areas
doggie dumping grounds

in other words

i need go no further
than my 
own backyard
(as well as front and side)
while dodging the dog kennel


with that
common sense approach
i went about the business



i hope you
enjoyed this
garden tour
as i went about a little
backyard foraging



stop back for
part 2
when i put these
garden greens
to good use

God bless the dandelion
manna from heaven

:)

what does your 
garden hold?


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

~the best part about vegan baking~



has absolutely
nothing
to do with 
health benefits
or the fact that
to some
like me 
:)
it tastes better
because you know
there's good stuff
going in
while satisfying
that sweet tooth

often times
with fewer calories
to boot!



but 
that's not it either

sure there are growing numbers
of those with egg and milk
allergies
not to mention
new mamas
(hey jilly bean)
whose breastfed babes
can't tolerate dairy
and going vegan
just makes sense
especially if they'd like to enjoy 
a few hours
 of sleep at night
so...
when you want a cookie
and a cookie you 
must have
enter vegan baking



getting warmer
but
still not there

the number one reason
i encourage you 
to try
 vegan baking


you can lick the beaters

i seriously can't believe
that this hasn't been
talked about more

#lickthatbeater

followed by
scraping the bowl clean
with your finger
sampling
the raw goodness

without worry of
salmonella

just like when you were
a kid

remember
 those days
of 
blissful ignorance?

well
they can once again
be yours

Oh
happy day!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

top of the muffin to you

i don't get it...
the defining of things



case in point
Old Maid New
a crafting
songwriting
God worshiping place
to hang out together



yoga 
one day
repurposing the next



lifestyling
vegan masterminding



throw in 
a wife's perspective
mother's club
homeschool woes and highlights sharing
grandmother's bragging



redecorating



maybe i should
organize my days
where mondays would be dedicated to
house-cleaning tips
tuesdays : creating

if only



if only
my mind worked that way

blessed are those who do



like you
however
one day i'm listening to country
the next ushers in a need
for Seger
i go with the flow
or try to
letting my inner child
that whimsical butterfly
direct my days
as much as she can
but alas
 we all have
parameters
that prevent us from
fluttering off too far



and so it goes

today as i was making
banana nut muffins
from a whole foods workshop
topping them with my favorite stuff
~hemp seed love~
making a few small-sized
 for
my little muffins
i thought of you

sure 
i could wait for something 
really special to happen
before stopping in
or
i could sit for a spell
while munching on one of these beauties
and 
just say 

hi...
how's it goin'

:)