Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy Dog Songs

This is hysterical!! The songs just crack me up. Squeaky Deaky and Good Dog made us laugh out loud. This proves that you pretty much can make money on just about anything.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Damn I am tired. Work is KICKING my ass. It won't get better until April 12th when our big recruiting event is over with...thank you Lord. I am in charge of handling 43 companies, 80 recruiters, scheduling/coordinating 900 interviews for 5 different colleges, 200 of our own students with interviews, etc., etc. This on top of trying to run the Career office. It sucks, but enough bitching. It will be over with soon and my life will be my own again!

Not much going on food wise. I have been getting home late so I have been doing the lazy vegan diet - whatever you can boil in 10-12 minutes (pasta) or bake in 10-12 minutes (pizza) or can be put in two slices of bread (peanut butter and jelly).

We did have some greyhound excitement this weekend. Spring has sprung and the squirrels have been out in full force. Stupid freakin' idiot squirrels. Seriously. They are assholes. When I let the dogs out I check the yard, knock on the window to signal to the fuckers to get out of the dog yard before I let the dogs out. Well one must be deaf or stupid. I let the dog out and it turns into a freakin' free for all! Now I do muzzle my dogs because they don't play nice and thank god they were muzzled because a dog fight was guaranteed with the frenzy and lucky for the squirrel too or else he/she would have bought the farm. Anyway, the dogs tear out and it was like a fucking cartoon (you can tell I am tired when I start to curse a lot). Five dogs sprinting across the yard chasing this damn squirrel, climbing on top of each other, pounding the poor squirrel with their muzzles, it was horrible. Now picture me outside screaming and cursing like crazy (you know the neighbor's just loved this) because I HATE any kind of violence, be it animal or human. I freak. I just can't handle it. So I am yelling, trying to pull the dogs off the squirrel -- how stupid is that! No way am I am going to pull 5 crazed greyhounds off a squirrel, but I tried. Patio furniture was flying all over the place, dogs bouncing off the fence and me still screaming. Finally the squirrel got out of the dog yard - alive. But one of my guys got banged up pretty good. Rim was bleeding from his mouth. He was hitting his muzzle so hard that he broke pieces off and his gums were bleeding! Thank god he didn't lose any teeth, which I thought he did. He also had some nasty cuts on his legs because he did a baseball slide across the porch - that is when the plastic patio chair went flying over the fence. It was a spectacle! But he is okay, everyone is okay, I am okay, the squirrel I think is okay too.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It Isn't Fair

**A poem I wrote 7 months ago....

It isn't fair because you left too soon.
It isn't fair because our hearts ache for your presence, your smell, the feel of your fur.
It isn't fair because it happened too fast.
It isn't fair because you deserve to be with us.
It isn't fair that we have to wait so long before we can see you again.
It isn't fair because everyday we will have to get used to you not being here.
It isn't fair that we will get used to it.
As much as it isn't fair, we are thankful that we had such a wonderful creature in our life to be so angry over losing.

In loving memory of Angus - a little fox terrier with the heart of lion and a personality to match.

Vegan Dinner

A quick post about the first Vegan Dinner. I would write more but I am too exhausted.

The whole evening was a total BLAST! It was so cool meeting everyone and enjoying a fantastic meal created by Dave, the chef of Steve's Catina and Grill. He made two types of enchilada's, one was made with tempeh and soy protein that everyone really enjoyed. He served the enchilada's with yellow rice and grilled veggies. For appetizers we had his awesome salsa and guacamole! Man, we couldn't get enough of that stuff. Then there were the $6 pitchers of margaritas! Holy Mary Mother of God were they good. Too good in fact. Then to end the evening Trac made wonderful Margarita cupcakes! My co-workers who came to the dinner are still talking about them. We also had a little raffle and brought in a little cash for PAR (People for Animal Rights). It was a great night and a nice break from the stress of work. For great pictures of the food (I only got people shots) go to Where's the Revolution - Thanks Bazu!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Irish Whiskey Cake

In honor of it being St. Patrick's day I made a vegan Irish Whiskey cake to celebrate - okay it wasn't really Irish whiskey cake as it was Kentucky whiskey cake. Anyhoo, it was the perfect ending for our St. Patties day dinner. We had boiled cabbage, potatoes and corn beef (for the dear hubby). I tell ya, I could eat cabbage everyday - I put some kosher salt, pepper and vegan butter on top....damn it was good. But on to dessert, Bill made the whiskey cake last weekend, but not vegan and it was a little dry. This time around I decided to try and veganise it. It turned out BETTER than the non-vegan version. I added some canola oil to the recipe to moisten it up a bit. This cake definitely holds the whiskey flavor, but it isn't over powering. Trust me on this. I have a HUGE aversion to whiskey ever since a bad, bad, BAD night between me and Jack Daniels. Dear Jack kicked my ass and never looked back.
The recipe does call for a cinnamon whipped topping, but I had NO idea how to do that vegan. I know there is a product called Rich's, but we don't get it around here. You do need to have a light topping for the cake so I went with Cool Whip. You could do a icing, but it might be too rich? That my friends you will have to play around with.
Irish Whiskey Cake
2 1/2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 T cocoa
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 c earth balance butter, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
Egg replacer - enough for 3 eggs
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c strong black coffee
1/2 c Irish whiskey (oh hell, any whiskey will do - I used Ten High Kentucky whiskey)
Cinnamon whipped cream topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt - put aside.
Combine coffee and whiskey in a separate bowl - put aside.
Cream butter and sugars, beat until light and fluffy. Add egg replacers and beat at medium speed, then add canola oil, continue to beat on medium speed until well blended.
Blend the flour mixture with the butter mixture and ALTERNATE with the coffee & whiskey mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat well after each addition.
Pour into a well greased bundt pan. Bake 35-45 minutes or until cake springs back. It took me about 45 minutes. Cool.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It has been awhile since I posted pictures of what I've been cooking. Mostly due to sheer laziness. And I do have to confess I haven't been using my bento boxes lately and have to get back in the habit, but they are so tiny! Instead of the bento I bring a big ass Tupperware of what I had for dinner the night before.

Okay the pictures - Note: I SUCK as a photographer....

One thing I really missed when I went vegetarian was my homemade Cincinnati Chili. This is a chili you put over a steaming pile of pasta and top with chopped onion, oyster crackers and shredded cheddar cheese....drool. I was having a huge craving and decided to try my recipe using Smart Ground instead of the 2 lbs of greasy ground beef. It turned out fantastic!!! The flavors of Cincinnati chili are really different - you have the kick of Cayenne pepper, but the wonderful hint of chocolate and cinnamon.

Everything you need to make a awesome pot of Vegan Cincinnati Chili -- okay I left out the onion an garlic!
AFTER: With a small pile of oyster crackers.
Next day I made a big ass pot of Chickpea and Tomato Soup from my "Clueless Vegetarian" cookbook. It was excellent! I loved the zucchini and spinach that went in the soup along with the chickpeas. I used Muir Glenn Roasted Tomatoes....mmmmmmmm......This is the Chickpea and Broccoli casserole I made from VwaV. Not bad. A little thick, but the flavor was good and I was surprised because I thought it was going to be really bland. But I did add a lot more olive oil and veggie broth than the recipe called for.

One thing I love, love, love is roasted Brussel sprouts! I drowned these in the Wegmans Roasting oil (garlic oil and Thyme) and roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes. OMG they were like candy -- I couldn't stop eating them!
Recipe for Vegan Cincinnati Chili:

2 packages of Smart Ground
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 t ground cumin
3 T chili powder
1/2 t crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
1 t ground allspice
1 T Kosher salt
1 med. onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
12 oz can tomato paste
15 oz can tomato sauce
4 c water
2 T vinegar
4 bay leaves
1 oz block unsweetened chocolate
1/2 t ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Add olive oil to large (4-6 quart) pot over medium high heat. Add the Smart Ground and the next 8 ingredients. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, bay leaves and chocolate. If you want to add more heat add the cayenne.

Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Yu can serve with chopped onion and oyster crackers.

Tastes even better the next day and freezes great!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Action Photos

Here are some action shots from the race:

Bill's finish photo's: #596 & 597
Sue and Theresa: Great finish photo by the way! #384 & 948
Tracy (who looks pretty damn good and if I am not mistaken I think I see a smile in one of them: #386, 387, 954 & 955
Shannon: #398 & 984
Chris: #375 & 846
Jen (is she singing or screaming?): #884
And little old me: #846

Post Race Report

All of us survived! However, my legs may never be the same.

The weather wasn't bad at all. Actually it was pretty good running weather. It was cold, but by the time the race started it warmed up to about 40 and the sun was peeking out a little. Bill and I got there early and scored a sweet parking spot and hung out till the rest of the group showed up. As you can see we all packed in my mini-van to keep warm, then it was time to head to the start. My van was like a clown car - people just kept pouring out.

We all lined up - Bill way up front and the rest of us at the back. Of course they lined us up going down the hill so we had to go up the bitch to cross the start. Nice. Real nice. The start was obviously very crowded with 1200 runners!!! We saw one girl with a t-shirt that we MUST get - it said "I am slow - get over it" LOVE IT.

There were people with strollers running giving you dirty looks because they are trying to get around you. Man, that pisses me off. Seriously dude. Don't run with a double wide stroller and think you own the road! Then there are the people who walk and line themselves at the start right in the middle. Hello walker's who didn't start at the back, when there are 1190 people trying to maneuver their way around you don't act all surprise and startled.

After a bit I broke away and I am sure Jen was very close behind me because I could feel her eyes! Boaring a hole in the back of my head :-) The course was as much of a bitch as I remembered it to be. Lots of people walking between mile 2 & 3. It was hard. Damn hard, but I felt okay. Not good, but okay. My legs were fatigued the entire race and my chest burned, but I kept a nice steady pace. What almost took me down for the count was the killer motherfucking hill at mile 2.5. It is a steady incline for at least a half mile if not a little more. I wish there were words to describe the agony it is to run that hill. At one point a woman stopped to walk and asked me - "is the 3rd mile all uphill?" Yes, yes it is - it will eat you up and spit you out (I didn't say that out loud, but was certainly thinking it). It was slow going for me, but I didn't stop. It hurt and I was grunting - loudly and my nose was running so bad that I didn't have the energy to pull a tissue out of my pocket! Then I passed the stop sign. I made it and I didn't walk and fought the urge to walk afterwards. By the time I got in the park for the final loop I got my second wind. Well if you can call it that. I think it was just sheer happiness that I was near the finish. I finished strong and was extremely happy with my time. Better than last year - 42.10 (a 10:30 pace). Jen finished right on my tail. Her time was better than her first 5k and she ran a mile longer and she didn't vomit like I predicted. There was no evidence of the 5 cups of cereal she had before the race. Trac did great too and finished without walking and near her goal pace. Sue, Shannon and Chris also kicked butt and finished strong.

My husband had such a good race day! He beat his goal time and finished the race in 33 minutes! He is so funny and I wish people could hear him talk about his race because I can't do it justice. He told us there were a couple times people would run next to him and ask if he was okay! Bill doesn't have the typical runner body - he says he makes people nervous because they think he is the guy that is going to drop and have a heart attack on the course. Ha! Well he showed those people.

Overall it was a good run day and that makes it a good day. Now I am off for a date with Mr. Ben gay.

How many people can you fit in a Ford mini-van? Seven!
Before the race: Jen, Trac, Shannon, Chris, Sue, Theresa and me

After the race with rosey faces!: Theresa, Trac, Sue, Jen, me, Chris, Shannon and Bill

Me and my honey

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tomorrow is going to hurt. It is the 2nd annual Tipp Hill race. A great race around the local Irish section of town. We go by the local pubs were people come outside to cheer you on and toast a beer to ya. Fun atmosphere, but a killer of a course. 4 miles of hills that make you say to yourself at least a dozen times during the race "why the fu** am I doing this?" I have no expectations of tomorrow other than to do my best. If I have the same time as last year I will be extremely happy. If I don't walk I will be even happier. We shall see. Trac, Jen, Sue and my hubby are running too. Here are my predictions - Trac will do great and will finish with a 11.30 pace- Jen will beat me, but she will vomit at the finish line. If you have ever read Jen's blog you will know what I am saying is true! Sue will do fantastic too. Bill will finish strong and will meet his goal of an 8:30 pace. Will definitely post some pictures and see if my predictions come true.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Second time trying to post and now I am pissed! I had a nice long post and poof! Gone!!! Why! For the love of God why?! *&$#%&$&#*(&^$^pieceof@!^%@$^*&^bastard(*@!%#$^@mother#(*$&@(*& I feel better now.

Last week was a bitch to say the least at work and finally I have some time to post some pictures of our new furniture and the paint job of the living room. This should make Trailhoundz happy (grin)

Miss Sally making herself at home on our new faux leather couch! We had to put blankets on the couch because the dogs don't like the slippery surface, plus they add protection from their nails! In the background you can kind of see the paint job. It is my attempt at being crafty. I painted the walls with a flat paint, then went back and taped off 6 inch stripes. Painted the stripes in the same color except with high gloss paint to give it that wallpaper effect. I think it turned out pretty damn good.

The cats LOVE the new furniture. Which is funny, because the dogs aren't too keen on it. Rim and Sally will get up, but John and Maggie now prefer the floor.
I am one lucky girl to have a husband that loves to do woodworking as a hobby and is good at it. This is a picture of the lamp he made for the living room (he actually make three of them). It is a mission style and you can move it up and down!