Sunday, February 25, 2007

Some exciting things have transpired this past week. First was meeting Sarah Kramer the author of my first vegan cookbook La Dolce Vegan. Trac came along too! Thank God because she was smart enough to bring a camera. SARO (Syracuse Animals Rights Organization) and the Committee on Women and Art hosted the event and there was a huge crowd! I am glad we got there a little early to get seats close to the front. Sarah came in and the first thing both Trac and I said to each other was....I LOVE her hair! It is was natural grey, but that really cool grey. Both of us were extremely jealous :-) Then there were the tattoo's! Artful and colorful. Beautiful. I am addicted to tattoo's and when I see people with really cool tat's I want another one. Anyhoo, Sarah did a brief cooking demo of her tomato soup cake recipe which I am going to try this weekend and just chatted with the group. She was hilarious, grounded, straightforward and extremely sweet. Trac and I really enjoyed the talk. Afterwards, she signed my cookbook and Trac snapped a picture of us. Unfortunately we didn't get any cupcakes because they were swarmed like a horde of locust by the college students.

The second exciting thing is Trac and I secured the restaurant for our first Syracuse Vegan Society dinner! Shit I am so excited. It will be at....drum roll please....Steve's Catina and Grill. A neighborhood bar and so much more. Let me be the first to say the food is F'in (I am trying to give up cursing for lent...I said trying!) DELICIOUS. Trac and I went their Friday night for a taste testing and Dave (owner, cook, waiter, etc) made us two HUGE plates of food. I mean there was a helluva lot of food. We took our first bite, looked at each other and said, why the HELL have we not eaten here before?!?! It was delicious. We had a great conversation with Dave and came up with the menu, price and date. To end your suspense the menu includes: Homemade salsa, guacamole & chips, salad bar w/Dave's homemade special Lime dressing black bean or grilled tofu enchilada with three huge sides of black beans, yellow rice, and grilled veggies. You get all this for $13 and this price includes the gratuity! Plus the owner of the bar (Mike) is going to give us some great drink specials on beer and margaritas (which are damn good too). The date is going to be Tuesday, March 20th and we are going to start advertising this week. Trac is extremely nervous we won't get 20 people, but I think we will. So people out there in blogger land, if you live close or around the Syracuse area and would like to come email Trac!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

And now some food

This past week hasn't been that exciting food wise, but I did make a couple damn tasty dishes!

The first was from VwaV -- Eggplant and Artichoke alla Napolenta. One word. Delcious. The fried eggplant was so damn good I almost wet myself. It took a lot of will power to not eat all of them before I put the whole dish together. Actually the eggplant just by itself would make an AWESOME appetizer.



The other dinner was from La Dolce Vegan - Sloppy Jane's with some panko fried onion rings with sea salt and a couple tiny cupcakes made by Trac. Definitely not a low-fat meal, but high on flavor. So, so good. BTW - Sarah Kramer is coming to campus to do a cooking demo on Tuesday!!!! I am hoping she will sign my now tatter cookbook.






Snow pics

This week we were hit hard with snow and I ended up taking two days off from work because the weather was so bad. I don't do snow. I've had two major accidents in my life and both were due to winter driving so my ass stays at home instead of pressing my luck. Plus I am a shitty driver.


Here are some pictures from this week. The snow is a tall as the pups!

First are the before and then the after when Bill snowblowed the dog yard. Ummmm...the orange snow fence is 6 ft just give you a point of reference :-)





Thursday, February 15, 2007

I just finished Fast Food Nation and it really touched me. Not in a sappy Lifetime movie kind of way, but in the way when you first realize that Santa isn't real. Your eyes are opened to a reality that hurts and disappoints. Most of my disappointment was in myself because I wouldn't look. I didn't want to understand and really think about the impact of fast food.

Fast Food Nation is different than Super Size Me. It takes you behind the scenes of the fast food industry. The power they have over our government and us is staggering. They are the master's at manipulating with advertising and marketing schemes. But what really bothered me was how they get away with treating people and animals so badly. Then something struck me and forgive me if I am being over dramatic. We are cattle to them too. I've had dreams of large human feedlots and in the middle were the golden arches. The troughs were full of french fries, cheeseburgers and milk shakes. Then just like the poor animals they slaughter, we are herded through the velvet ropes to our obseity, heart disease or whatever means they use to kill us.

What they are feeding Amercia and I don't mean the food is not right. What am I going to do about it then? Stop eating fast food. No more. I can't do it since I know "they" care and value nothing other than the dollar. Instead I will spend my money on buying fries at the local, family owned diners.

Holy Banana's Batman!

Here it is my first recipe that I made vegan and it turned out fantastic! You will go ape over this recipe. Sorry can't help the bad jokes.

Chai Banana Bread

1 2/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup Silk Soy Chai
1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
2 "eggs" (I used the powdered egg replacer)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugar and "butter" in a bowl; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add the bananas, silk chai soy milk, tofutti sour cream and egg replacer. Beat well and set aside. Combine flour and baking soda and salt, stir well. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture. Spoon battter into medium size loaf pan that is well coated with vegetable oil or vegan cooking spray. Bake for about 45-60 minutes or until knife come out clean.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow day!

This morning I woke up to a couple feet of snow and there was no way I was going to drive to work. I love my job, but I'm sorry it just isn't worth fighting the snow and traffic so I opted to stay home and thank God I did because the ended up closing the University. That hasn't happened in YEARS! As I write this it is still snowing fairly steady and I have already shoveled the dog yard once and will need to do it again so the pups aren't having to stick their butts in the snow to potty. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.........

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Twins?

These are the weird things I think about sometimes.

For the longest time I couldn't figure who Fergie from the Black Eyed Pea's looked like...then...it hit me. Are you ready? Remember the Muppets? They had a band and one of the members was named Janice. Fergie and Janice are twins. Seriously. Twins.


Lesson # 3

Kitchen tip #3 from a beginning cook - do not under any circumstances cut an orange on the same cutting board you used to cuts onions the night before. Unless you like your oranges to have a nice onion flavor. Gag!

I almost made my boss and student worker vomit from the orange slice that I gave them today. This morning I sliced up a beautiful round and very fat orange to eat for lunch today. The problem was that I grabbed the cutting board out of the sink that I used to cut onions on last night. I know you are probably thinking why the hell would you cut something on a cutting board you didn't wash! Well I was running late and thought I would use the *other* side to cut the orange. I must of mixed up the sides. So I brought these beautiful slices in and gave one to my boss and student worker. All three of us took a bite and nearly spit the orange across the room because it tasted exactly like an onion. So foul. I never in a million years would guess something would pick up the flavor of an onion by merely being on the cutting board for a few seconds! No I know. And I must let others know.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Doing some reading

I have decided that it is time to really do some soul searching about why I have decided to go vegan (I am almost there) and was determined not to make this change in my life without getting to know why this is important to me. If this is going to be a lifetime change for me then it needs to change my life. A lot of time I think people make a change in their life without really knowing why and if you don't know why then it is hard to stay committed to that change. And I am not talking of the surface reasons, I mean the down deep reasons.

To start I have picked up some books recommended on Yeah that Vegan Shit One is The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams (this appeals to the feminist in me) and the other is The Way We Eat; Why your food choices matter by Peter Singer and Kim Mason. The other book that I am reading is Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Fast Food Nation is up first and let me tell you, everyone should read this book. Everyone. Pull your head out of the sand and read this book. The history of how the fast food industry started is fascinating and the take over of the American diet and consciousness is absolutely frightening. The chapter on the IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) was jaw dropping. Now I really know why those fries do taste so good. Go ahead, read it. I dare ya.
Central New York made national news this week. We've had Good Morning America and the Weather Channel to cover the snow that has blanketed the region this past week. Ah it is good to be known for something...I guess. But seriously, it is central new york the snow capital so it really isn't all the surprising for CNY to get a bitch slap from mother nature. And damn she slapped the poor people in Oswego HARD. However, us folks in Syracuse haven't had it that bad. Yes the snow is up to the dogs buttholes, but as I have been saying all week, it could be worse, we could live in Oswego. Poor bastards.

Last night I turned on the Discovery Health Channel and caught the tail end of Sara Snow Health Living show that gave me some hope that vegeterian/vegan cooking could be making the main stream. Even though the woman looked similar to...shiver...Rachel Ray...(excuse me I just threw up in my mouth) she wasn't nearly as annoying as Rachel Ray. It does bother me the obvious ploy by the show to bring in a "mini me" version of Ray, but the content of the show made up for it. She talked about buying organic fruits and vegetables and supporting your local farmers. She did a recipe with soy and did a bit about using all natural cleaning products. It was a nice change.

This week wasn't all that exciting food wise. I did have a tramatic experience with my soy milk. Here's the thing. If you ever wonder if your soy milk has gone bad, just assume it has and throw it out. Don't do what I did and take a big ass gulp of it to find out because when it goes bad...it is bad. Imagine if you will you just coughed up mucus flem and it tasted like feet. That is what bad soy milk tastes like. Just thought you should know. Consider this a public service announcement. I did attempt to make sushi this week too and have to say I freakin' love roasted seaweed. However, trying to roll those little fuc*ers were hard! Rice everywhere, seaweed everywhere, curse words flying. Finally I gave up and just hand rolled the damn things. Still tasted good, just didn't look pretty. I would have taken pictures, but my camera batteries are dead. Next time I will get some pics because there will definitely be a next time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The week has finally ended. Woo hoo!! It was a tough one, but now I feel like I am on the upswing. Monday I am going to hit the treadmill for an easy 2 mile run since I didn't run at all last week because of a nasty cough that started last Sunday. This whole week I have been going through these 'coughing fits' where your eyes water, face turns red, and you pretty much feel like you are coughing up a lung or you cough so hard you make yourself gag. Not pretty my friends, especially when you are trying to hold a counseling appointment! The students were very sweet about it...grossed out, but sweet. Hopefully I didn't infect the entire student population where I work. Well it would be payback anyway because I got it from them. We fondly call our office the petry dish because we work in a basement and have at least 20-30+ students coming in daily sniffling, sneezing and coughing with the germs going nowhere except on us. Nice.

Trac and Jen are running the Mid-Winter Blues race this morning (in about 15 minutes to be exact). This is Jen's first 5k!! What a race to pick because today it is below zero with a slight wind. It is basically fu**king freezing. :-) We are meeting later this morning so I can get the scoop on the race. Wish I was there, but I had to stay home because of my cold and to keep and eye on John. Poor John.

Friday - which I will refer to as black Friday was the day from hell. First, it was the anniversary of Pat's death, then I get to work, park and my keys fell out of my pocket to land on the edge of the seat. When I didn't feel my keys in my pocket (which have my office keys too), I look through the glass and there they were....mocking me. Bastard! After a hard day at the office I get home to find that John has a bad case of the runs.

John has in the past had issues with the runs or sloppy joes we like to call it. Gross I know, but sometimes it does look like sloppy joes without the bun. Usually we put him on hamburger and rice for a few days till it gets better and get him some pumpkin to firm everything up. It usually works, except for this time.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday I heard the sounds of someone vomiting. All you animal people know what sound I am talking about. When I got out of bed to see who it is the smell hit me. OH MY GOD THE SMELL. It was so foul. When I got downstairs I saw that John had vomited what smelled like satan's ass and looked like something out of satan's ass. At first I thought, did he eat shit? He vomited a couple more times and I swear to you it took everything I had not to join him. Shiver. Not only did the poor guy vomit bowel everywhere it also came out the other end in the family room...on...the..carpet. By this time, the other three nimrod's are up and thinking it is time for breakfast. The come downstairs and stop on a dime. They knew someone did something very bad. At this point I am trying to keep four greyhounds from walking through all the mess and herd them back upstairs so I can start clean-up. Thankfully Bill woke up and came down to help. It took several rolls of paper towels and entire can of Spot Shot to get it all cleaned up. We decided to just throw out the blankets and bed he vomited it. I feel sorry for the trash guys tomorrow when they open the lid.

Around 8 a.m. I called the vet office because John was very lathargic and didn't want to eat or drink. They told us to bring him in for an emergency appointment. We get him in the car and the poor guy vomits again while in route to the vets. The smell was bad, but not nearly as bad as earlier. My husband didn't think so and wasn't talking in fear of throwing up himself.

John had a terrible bout of Colitis. The stool sample showed a lot of blood so we did bloodwork. Greyhounds usually have thick blood or red blood cells, but John, he shocked everyone, even the vet, who by the way was also named John! The technician came in with the vial of blood to show the vet and there was barely any serum to test! To quote the vet "that is super impressive" so they had to take more blood. John was an angel and was so patient. Everyone kept praising him and telling him (and us) how sweet he is. After an hour we headed home with prescription food and meds. Poor guy vomited again in the car before we got home. This time it had lots of blood in it. They said that isn't unusal because of the irritation to the throat. However, if he vomited again we would have to bring him back to ER clinic.

I am happy to report John is doing very well this morning. He held down his water last night and this morning we fed him a can of I/D over four hours and he is holding that down. He is acting more perky so I think we are on the road to recovery. Now we just have to figure out how to keep this from happening again.