Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yummy in the Tummy

October means it is time to pull out the crock pot. There is nothing like coming home to great smells (which is a nice switch from coming home to 4 gassy hounds) and having dinner ready for you.

Tonight I made Pozole from 125 best Vegetarian Slow Cooker recipes by Judith Finlayson. It was soooooooooo good. It is made with ancho chili peppers, hominy, and all sorts of warm and fuzzy spices.

Here is the fixin's for a big bowl of Pozole! Shredded lettuce on bottom, pile on the Pozole, dust with some fresh cilantro, layer on the avocado slices and garnish with some lime wedges. Good Lord I am tingling all over!

The flavors were deep and was not all that spicy. You can add a couple dashes of hot sauce to give it more heat. The whole dish is hearty and total comfort. With that said, the first snow storm I am SO making this again to warm my innards.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More Bounty!

Totally forgot to include these! One of the things I love about this farm stand is the "Spice Rack" You can find a large assortment of spices for a fraction of the cost in supermarkets. For 2.54 I scored Turmeric and Curry powder! Wooooo hoooooooooooo

Fall Bounty

The fall starts my obsession with pumpkins. For some reason I can't get enough of them! They are so cute, and round, and colorful, and tasty and just damn cute! When I head out to pick my pumpkins I tend to get wee bit carried away.
Trac met me at my favorite farm stand and we headed out to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect orange globes of delight. There were so many! It was hard to choose and I could have come home with many, many more. Alas, I had to curb my desire to load up my van and picked these six cuties. (Umm...I have to admit I have no idea what the green thing is, but it was so weird looking I couldn't pass him up). All of this was only $10! WAY cheaper than the supermarket.

Now that I have my pumpkin display it was time to do some cooking. I decided to try a pumpkin pudding recipe from the Candle Cafe Cookbook and roast the seeds.

I didn't have any Arrowroot powder so I used corn starch instead. Then threw in some extra spices, such as nutmeg and a little vanilla. It is good, but the consistency isn't really pudding, but more uncooked pie fillingish. The flavors are great, but I can't help wanting to throw it in a pie crust.

The seeds came out great. A little too salty so I will cut that way down. I melted 2 TBSP Earth Balance butter, threw in some garlic powder, sea salt and vegan Worcheshire sauce and tossed. Roasted in the oven for about 20 minutes. Although extremely salty (duh, sea salt AND Worcheshire) they were freakin' good. You just need to drink three glasses of water afterwards.

Next on the agenda was roasted applesauce. Oh man, I love homemade applesauce and could never go back to jarred sauce again.

It came out a little tart. Not bad, but definitely makes your lips pucker. Next time I won't put so much lemon in and cut down on the Granny Smith apple. Then I think it will perfect, but this comes damn close.

4 Macintosh apples (cored and sliced)
3 Granny Smith apples (cored and sliced)
1 lemon juiced & zest
1 orange juiced & zest
4 TBSP Earth Balance
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix everything together, add a couple red peeled skins to mix and cook at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Take out the red skins and blend to desired consistency.

Finally, a little video. This is our backyard. I love to go out and listen to the trees and watch them swaying. Very peaceful and Zen like. Thought I would share. Listen closely at the end to hear the creak of the tree to the right.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day!

Welcome to Blog Action Day. A day where blogger's around the globe talk about their personal thoughts and feeling about the environment. The goal is to get people talking, reflecting and hopefully changing to make our planet a safer, greener place to live, not only for us but for future generations.

To start this post I will let you know why the environmental movement is important to me? Me. As an individual. I thought about this a lot and it came down to one thing. Appreciation for God's work. I believe that living on this planet is a privilege and being a part of it is a gift. There is a scene from the movie Color Purple that sums up exactly how I feel:

"More than anything God love admiration."
"You saying God is vain?"
"No, not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it."
"You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?"
"Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention... except walk?"
"Oh, yeah, this field feels like singing!"

There is beauty all around us wanting to be loved. Just listen to the sound of trees swaying in the wind. The brillance of freshly fallen snow. The color of wild flowers. Just like us, it can't live without being taken care of and loved. Yes, we love the earth, but we aren't caring for it. We are slowly and surely destroying it. We are messing up...big time. You can't argue that. The proof is all around us. We can either ignore it, think we can't change it, accept it or try and change it. Personally, I want to try and change it. Not only for me (because I am selfish like that), but for my family and for God. To thank Him and let him know I notice and I want to take care of His gift. There are many more reasons, but I don't want to turn this post into an epic novel.

So what the hell am I doing? Well, one thing I will tell you is that I am not perfect. There is so much more I could be doing, but in reality I can only take so much change. For me I have to do it in baby steps. They are small, but they make me feel good. I don't need to see immediate results. I know the results will come. One thing I have done is eliminated using plastic bags at the grocery store. Instead, I use reusable cloth bags. At first I thought it was going to be a huge pain in the ass, but they are great!!!! I absolutely love them. You can fit a boat load of stuff in the bag and here is the best part!! Compared to a person who has twenty plastic bags to put in their car, I have three. Mine don't rip either! Plus, I am out of the parking lot before they are even halfway done loading their car. Ha!

My other change is buying organic when possible. Organic can be expensive so I try to purchase items that fit in my budget and items that I know if I don't chose organic is like digesting a bottle of drano. For instance, fruits that you eat the flesh (peaches, apples, etc) and salad. You know that there is no amount of washing that is going to get those chemcials out of there. Organic is important to me because of the health problems I've had in the past. Last year I was diganosed with two auto-immune disorders. This was a serious slap in the face to get my act together and start taking care of my body. This is a win-win. I am not only taking care of me (again, that selfish part), but in my little way I am supporting local and organic farmers. Supporting those people who are on the front lines of trying to make this planet better and healthier for all of us. Besides that, I am worth it damnit! Why don't I deserve the best? I do and now that I have that connection to food again I couldn't be happier. I get excited about cooking and trying new things! For the longest time it was so empty, boring and it was a struggle to come up with a menu. Why? Because I lost the connection.

To wrap it up - I want to live a life where I can enjoy the land, the air, and its offerings of beauty. To do that, I need to change. And you know what. It isn't that hard. Small steps my friends and what a journey it will be.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

GRTB

As soon as Bill and I returned from Indian Lake, I headed out with Trac and Jen to Dewey Beach Delaware for Greyhound's Reach the Beach. It was so much fun. We stayed in a beautiful and extremely dog friendly condo. The weather was great and the dogs were angels. It was bittersweet for me because I always went to Dewey with Alyssa. It wasn't the same, but it shouldn't be and as much as I missed her it was great to experience Dewey with John. It was his first time walking in the sand and smelling the salty air. He loved it. To check out pictures visit Jen's blog.

I do have to bitch about one thing. Rehoboth and Dewey...not vegan friendly. I was going to make a burrito pie for dinner and needed Toffuti Sour Cream or any vegan sour cream. Went to 3-4 stores to find none! Well, one did but all of them had expired by at least 6 months! ewwwwww. But here is the thing. They had every brand of Silk Soy milk and I found veggie cheese slices, but soy creamer or sour cream. Forgot about it. Next year...I am bringing all the stuff I need with me.