Friday, December 29, 2006

Do the salsa!

Tonight I made a burrito pie from La Dolce Vegan. This recipe is the BOMB! It is so goddamn good. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I made a little extra avocado filling for a side, but added a little more kick to it. Okay, a lot more kick. So much so it kicked my own ass and my nose hasn't stopped running! This is also my first experience with vegan cheese. Ummmm...the package said it melts. LIARS! :-)

Helicopter tail = blood bath

Today I only had to work a half-day. Wooo hooo! When I got home Bill and I had lunch and took the pups out for a walk. It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and sunshine. As we are walking I noticed what looked like a scratch on Rimmy. Upon closer inspection I noticed it is a blood streak and he had several of them. WTF?!?! I am looking him over thinking he busted a toe nail and was scratching himself and that is how he got blood all over him. Then I notice Sally. She had a blood streak on her head! I say...WTF again. Where and who is this coming from - then I see Maggie. Awwww shit. It looked like she dipped the end of her tail in a bucket of red paint. She busted the tip wide open and was flinging blood all over herself and everyone else within range. Maggie has a serious helicopter tail and often smacks the other pups in the face...hence why Sally had it on her head! Shit, shit, shit, shit. We finish our walk, get home and sure enough the walls were covered with blood splatter. If ever a forensic team visits this house we are in serious trouble. I cleaned everyone up and wrapped Mags tail. She looks pitful. Now the hard part is keeping her from smacking it against anything. This is not going to be easy.

The face that launched a thousand ships

Here is the gift my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. The present that set the water works a flowin' It is in my craft room so I can look at it everyday. She is so beautiful and I miss her deeply.

It is good to be home!

We made it home and the pups are back to their routine. The drive was long - 9 hours to be exact. The weather wasn't too terrible. It was mostly rain, but I would prefer that over snow! On the way we swung by our friends to pick up Rimmy and Maggie. Maggie was an angel of course, and Rimmy was a big fat baby. He wouldn't settle at night unless someone came out on the couch to sleep with him!! During the day he is fine, but at night he is a 90 lb cuddle bug. My friends were very nice and spoiled him by doing his bidding. Anyway, Rim was exhausted! I wish I had a camera to capture the look on his face. He looked like someone who just come down off a week long binge. LOL!! When we got home he popped up on the bed with us, settled in and crashed. He was sleeping so hard that if a freight train came through our house he wouldn't have budged.

After we got everything out of the van I headed over to Trac's to pick up Sally and John. They of course we angels too according to Tracy. When I walked in Trac looked like a big puddle of goo. Poor thing was sick. Nothing worse than having a bad cold around the holiday's. Ho freakin' ho. Right Trac! Get everyone saddled up and the pack was all together again. is so nice to be back to normal. My digestion system is happy too!

Over the four days we were out of town I did not see one green vegatable. Oh wait! There was a spinich salad on Christmas. Other than that...nada...nothing. All potatoes and or vegetable was covered in cheese, cheese and more cheese. For once in my life I can honestly say I am sick of cheese. Everyone was very sweet and supportive of me not eating meat and went out of there way to make something I could eat.

It was good to get back in the kitchen to cook. Wednesday night I made a great big pot of vegan chili that turned out excellent!!! I will have to go back and make it for the chili cookoff! I used Smart Ground and put in some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. It gave it a nice twang! I know, not a word, other than in the old Batman and Robin shows. Last night I made stuffed red peppers with black bean, mushroom and quinoa from VwaV that I got for Christmas. It was damn good! I peppers. Today for lunch I am having the leftovers. Before I devour my lunch I will get a picture.

If anyone cares here is the recipe I used for my chili:

1 medium onion satueed with olive oil until translucent
Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, along with chopped red and green pepper - toss that around for a few minutes then add 1 jalepeno pepper - toss that around for a minute
Mix in 1 package of Smart Ground
Add 3 heaping tablespoons Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt and some ground black pepper - mix well and let all the seasoning blend for a minute. You have to keep stirring or else it will stick.
Then add 1 - 15.5 oz tomato sauce - mix well
Then add 2 - 15.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes - mix well
Add a little water if it is too thick
Throw in a tablespoon of dark brown sugar
Then add the secret ingredient - a tablespoon or a smidge more of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce or any vegan BBQ sauce.

Bring to a boil - then turn down heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Bada bing bada boom - chili!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Road Report

It is Christmas eve and we are back at the hotel waiting for the Christmas Story marathon to start. Damn I love that movie! It is a nice ending to a wonderful day.

The drive to Ohio was fairly painless. The weather cooperated and the traffic wasn't bad. Bill and I were shocked. We arrived in town around 4:30 and headed to Bill's favorite restaurant -- Frickers. Joining us were my parents and 2 brothers, Bill's mom, sister and her husband. We had a great time catching up. Bill and I were especially glad to see his mom, Lou. She started her chemo for breast cancer last month. Lou looked good and was in great spirits. She has a fab wig too! It looks really nice on her. Well, as you can guess there wasn't a lot on the menu a vegeterian could eat. Well, there were two things --fried veggies and a dinner salad, which contain lettuce and one slice of tomato. I ended up with two orders of the salad. The lettuce was quite good....can you hear the sarcasim?

Today was spent with my husband's family and I received a gift from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law that touched both of us deeply. As I went to open the present I had no idea the impact it would have and render me speechless. That in itself is a Christmas miracle! The gift were pictures of our girl Alyssa in a watercolor style in a beautiful frame. The pictures are my three favorite of her. The minute I laid my eyes on its beauty I immediately started crying like a baby. Just blubbering. Lyssie was so beautiful that looking at her took my breath away - their gift did the same thing.

Every once in awhile you receive something so special that words can't describe how much it means to you. It brings back your faith in Christmas. It isn't all material -- it has meaning of thoughtfulness, tenderness and love. Now go freakin' hug someone! :-)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Here is a picture of our Christmas Dog! There was no photoshop or doctoring of this photo - her eyes really did come out green and red! Weird.

The Lichtinger household has been a whirlwind of activity trying to get everything ready for Christmas and our trip to Ohio to visit family. When we get back I will play catch-up. In the meantime - we wish everyone a wonderful Christmas full of love and laughter.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No Bento!

Tomorrow our office is giving the student workers a pizza party to celebrate the end of the semester and to thank them for their hard work. Since we are having pizza there is no need to bring lunch. However, I do have pictures of dinner tonight. The pictures are not good and the food doesn't look the greatest, but let me tell you. It tasted fantastic!!

This is a recipe I got out of Sarah's cookbook - La Dolce Vegan (pg. 166) - Emily's "Meat" loaf. I used Smart Ground as my choice of faux meat product. It turned out sooooo good. I can hardly wait to have it as a sandwhich!!!!

I messed up trying to get my slices to come out as slices - I was little to eager to eat and butchered it so it ended up in a big pile. As a side I had some vegan mashed red potatoes and a small side salad.

Evidence of a BAD dog....

Rimmy has been really bad about counter surfing since he scored the 13 cocoa cupcakes 3 weeks ago. Now he is always lurking in the kitchen silently waiting for a chance to get something ...anything off the counter. Tonight I found evidence of his kitchen stalking...

Exhibit A - A set of muddy footprints on the counter top

Suspect: JRS Rim Fire (known alias...Rimmy - Jackass - Mr. Super Smelly)

Suspect is known to be armed and stinky. It is wise to approach with caution, especially the backend.

****EDITED*** Mr. Stinkbody DID get something off the counter. Upon inspection of the dog bed in the living room we found the remain of 3 almost brown banana's! Only thing left was the stems and the leftover of a plastic ziplock sandwhich bag which once contain a GingerSnap dragon vegan cookie. Suspect has been arrested and is awaiting trial.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A first!

The fishes were very popular today! Several people were peering at my lunch and I had to make the threat that if anyone touches the cupcake they would lose a finger. So tomorrow I am taking my original Bento to work with me. Give the fishes a break for a day.

I am taking some leftover spicy chipole soup Trac made on Sunday. Thanks Trac! Doesn't it look delicious. Trac is a fantastic cook. Since the soup is spicy I thought a cool avocado & corn salad would be nice and to top it all off with a vegan Waldorf salad - for a snack I am finishing up the pomegranate seeds. Damn those little suckers are good! So good in fact that I let one of the student worker's in my office try some. He loved them, and if one accidently fell on the floor he still ate it!

I had a first today. What was it you ask? I made up a recipe for tofu fingers and they turned out pretty darn good. The thought came to me when I was thinking of a fried chicken recipe my mom gave me this past summer. You take some Bisquick mix, add paprika until it turns a light pink, garlic powder and ground pepper. I coated my tofu fingers in the mixture and fried them in some oil. They still could of used a little more punch in the spice department, but overall they were very good. Then I had some bbq sauce for dipping.

There you have it folks! A 5 crazy greys original vegan recipe. The pisser. I didn't take freakin' pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To start off the week...

Tomorrow's lunch! A spinach salad with sprouts, raw green beans and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. Main course is pasta fagoli with lots and lots of garlic, enough to stink up the entire office - for dessert a fantastic mini-pumpkin and chocolate chip cupcake made by Trac. I am so happy she bought the Vegan Cupcake cookbook because we get to reap the rewards. Lastly some pomegranate seeds. The week may start off bad, but at least I have a kick ass lunch.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Cookbook!

This past weekend Trac and I made a pit stop in Barnes and Noble. Damn I love that store. We parked ourselves on the floor in front of the vegetarian/vegan cookbooks. We could have stayed there for hours oooohhh'ing and ahhhhh'ing and exclaiming...I want that one....this looks good...check out this recipe! Anyway, I came across La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin' Made Easy by Sarah Kramer. What captured my attention were the recipes that were some favorites from my non-vegetarian days - not-so meatloaf, non-tuna salad, etc., The best part, they looked simple. That is the key for me right now. Why am I rambling on like this? Because I am not a good cook. Plain and simple.

I envy those who have a natural talent for cooking. Knowing what flavors go together, don't have to follow a recipe, can pull recipes out of their asses that taste like it came from a 5 star restaurant! I am thinking....maybe it is because they practice a lot? Maybe they have had their share of good recipes gone bad? And maybe, there is hope for me?

I feel like I am discovering food for the first time and it is exciting. My eyes and taste buds are being opened to how food is supposed to taste! Reading all these vegan/vegetarian blogs are teaching me so much. With their help, I am experiencing how wonderful and glorious fruits and vegetables are to cook and eat. But, the biggest lesson I am learning from these cyberspace chefs is that it isn't that hard, unless you make it that way. I love you freakin' guys!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Don't hate me because I am beautiful

Excuse me while I squeal with delight, dance around and shake my groove thing. Yes, a new BENTO! FISHES!! They are so adorable that I can hardly stand it. Tomorrow's lunch will be spent staring admiring the cuteness and a few minutes pondering if I should get therapy for the obvious obsession of bento boxes. Oh by the way, I am not the only crazed manic of bento boxes....Trac got one too :-)

In honor of the fishes, I have a vegan tuna salad with crackers, celery sticks with peanut butter and a small fruit salad of bananas, pineapple, peaches and body parts of a gingerbread man..errr...person.

Giggle, giggle, here they are together!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Warning - cuteness ahead!

Here are my boys - Echo the black cat and Willie (aka - Mr. Tubbo). They are always snuggling together.

The look on Echo's face just cracks me up in this picture. Can't you just see his little kitty thought bubble: I wish he get his fat ass off me or can't breathe....Willie....too fat....

Comfort Bento

The snow finally arrived in Syracuse and put me in the mood for some comfort food. Hence tomorrow's bento lunch - grilled cheese with soy bacon. I was skeptical about the soy bacon, but it was delicious! I am trying to make the transition to vegan cheese, but haven't gotten there yet.

Next, is the easiest potato and leek soup recipe ever and very tasty (note: this bento is NOT soup friendly...found out the hard way). Then my favorite - vanilla soy yogurt with peaches sprinkled with cinanmon and a little teeny sprinkle of raw sugar. Makes you want to snuggle up in front of a warm fire doesn't it? Okay, maybe not.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Crabby patty

No Bento pictures today. It basically sucked. What I planned to have was Rigatoni that I made in the slow cooker. Lets just say I failed miserably on making this and the only place it went was the garbage. Sigh. But...on the positive side, I did have 4 good days.