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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Squirrel Circus...


Rob set up a bird feeding station this winter. And man, that sucker gets some action. Sometimes not a feathery friend is in sight, others it's a scene from the movie, The Birds.  

However, this particular expose with the grainy pictures etc. was shot undercover during a bold assault on the BIRD smorgasbord. 

Rob assumed that the tipped, emptied feeder issues were the work of a few raccoons he's seen gorging on the spilled seeds after dark. 

Today, I noticed a swinging bird feeder in my peripheral vision. And what I saw was a circus squirrel working his magic. He hung by two paws and scarfed all he could get into his greedy mouth. Scaling the smooth metal bar was easy peasy and he had access to three different "plates"  At one point there was a Cedar Waxwing and male Cardinal waiting in line for the buffet. 

It's a cold winter and the little sucker worked for it. Sigh. Guess we'll just feed the neighborhood. 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Roasted Veggie Stew



 I had some cauliflower puree on hand, a bunch of green onions thinking about going to the bad place, two stems of fresh rosemary and some not so prime potatoes = dinner inspiration. 
Roasted Vegetable Stew

5 - 6 potatoes, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
1 med onion diced (or green onion bulb ends - 1 whole bunch) 
2 stems of fresh rosemary 
3/4 cup of red lentils (uncooked)
1 1/2 cup cauliflower puree (steamed cauliflower, garlic, salt and lemon juice see recipe here...)
5 cups of vegetable broth
Splash a bit of garlic infused grape seed oil or oil of choice in a 9 x 11, 10 in round, or 9 x 13, preheat oven to 425-450. Dump the chopped vegetables into the pan, stir well, shake a bit of sea salt over the batch. Roast for 35 - 45 minutes stirring a few times.  During the last 15 minutes place the rosemary stems on top of the dish.
Place veggie broth, cauliflower puree in a large saucepan. Mix well, Remove veggies from oven and remove the rosemary stems and discard them. Add roasted veggies (I had a few left over that I'm going to use in another dish) and lentils to the broth and puree. Simmer approximately half an hour. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drips and Disclosure


Mini confession time. If I must. And I suppose I should. 
After I posted last week about my stuffy nose and my oregano oil death therapy cure, I called my mom. 
She said she'd read my post to my dad and he snorted. And then said, "I suppose I should tell her it comes in capsules, too." 
Yeah. Well. I had found that out when I'd run out of the liquid fire-oil and had run to the health food store to see if I could find the cure there. They had two brands of little oil filled capsules. I bought two bottles of the highest strength, highest count bottles and that didn't enter into my recounting. 

I don't have any negative feelings towards my dad for withholding that information. It's not like we've talked about oregano oil since he gave me the bottle of volcano water. 
However, I must say...four days of taking the stuff did pretty much kick most of the issues I had. I felt way more "well" taking oregano oil than over the counter stuff with the side effects and it works better than anything I've ever taken over the counter to combat gunk. Honestly, I think it's great stuff. And now, I can officially take it and have absolutely nothing to whine about (unless you'd consider the occasional pizza burp unpleasant). Which would probably make for a very boring post....hence the lack of full disclosure. 
Thanks, Dad. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Cauli"Chick" Salad


I might be catching the cauliflower puree train late in the game. And, honestly, I may be overusing it. I mean three soups and a sauce and now as a base for a "chicken" salad. Weird. But stinking delicious. Really. Like who knew cauliflower was bigger than as an addition to mashed potatoes and as a base for ranch or cheese sauce??? 

So forgive me if my new discovery, my cruciferous epiphany, is so 1990's. But it's new to me, and it's a wonderful addition to my kitchen repertoire. 
I used the cauliflower puree with a smidgen of mustard in place of mayo in this salad. I smeared it on toasted marble rye, but it would be delicious with whole grain crackers, in a tortilla as a roll-up or wrap or stuffed in a hollowed out pepper or tomato, served with celery... etc.
Cauliflower puree
1 head of cauliflower chunked (use most of the stem as well)
3 medium to large cloves garlic 
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
sea salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon or so) 

Steam cauliflower and garlic cloves until fork tender. (about 15 minutes)
Cool a bit.
Put the steamer contents into a food processor and add salt and lemon juice and puree until a creamy consistency.

To one cup of cauliflower puree. (Put the rest in a fridge for dinner another night).

Add: This is the fun part. 1/4ish cup of each
rotten picture of a side view of the cut sandwich. 

minced fresh celery and/or minced onions
chopped nuts (I used pecans)
dried or fresh fruit (I used dried apples and cranberries) 
chicken substitute of choice. (chickpeas would be great, or chopped, seasoned tempeh).
I added 1 teaspoon of mustard. 

Additional ideas....endless.
Some rolling around in my brain....

buffalo sauce to taste with chickpeas, minced celery and onions and parsley
A few sprinkles of Italian spices with chopped sun dried tomatoes, onions, olives 
Some shakes of lemon pepper with onion, lemon zest, almonds 
A teaspoon or so of curry with chickpeas, onions, chopped kale.

This recipe was shared at Ricki Heller's Wellness Weekend.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Review of Gardein


I was totally under the effects of a head cold Friday. Rob was feeling punk, too. Saturday was better and unfortunately required a trip to a store. So I ventured out and went to Target. I wasn't planning on cooking. However, I thought I'd check to see if they had a Vegan pizza hanging around in their freezer case. As I browsed around after grabbing soy milk and toilet paper, I discovered a case full of Gardein. 

I don't have a tight relationship with Gardein. I had never actually even tasted it until I was almost a year into Veganism. What I have tried has been pretty yummy so when I saw that freezer case with a bunch of choices I knew what I was buying for dinner. Everything was pretty reasonable, too. A main course that feeds two (or more) under 5 bucks? Okay. 

My review of Chicken Sliders.

These are tasty. I was so hungry by the time I got home I just followed the stove top method and fixed up the package (4 patties and buns which worked out to 2 a piece). Cheaper than fast food. Better than fast food. Vegan. And non-GMO. With fresh toppings, these can have unlimited tastiness. And I think the texture and taste wouldn't clue any omnivore into the fact that these aren't just a cute little chicken sandwich. I'm thinking vegan ranch dressing with tempeh, eggplant or coconut "bacon".  spaghetti sauce with Daiya mozzarella melted on top. Buffalo sauce. Tapenade. Oh, the possibilities. I give these a double thumbs up and will buy them again. 

My review of Szechuan Beefless Strips


I mentioned I shopped while hungry. So I bought a few Gardein products. I thought the Sizzling Szechuan would be a quick idea for after church. 

I had some leftover pepper and onion strips. Also some cauliflower and mushrooms to use up. So I added some garlic infused grape seed oil to a pan, chopped the veggies and dumped half the package of the Szechuan Beefless into the pan. After browning everything I added half the sauce packet. Yum. The sauce is a little sweeter than I like, but I did add more soy sauce which fixed that for me. Since I used only half the package and almost always have veggies that need to be tossed into a stir fry or medley there is another meal waiting. A very good deal, 4 meals for under $5.00 and just the time it takes to chop veggies and cook em up. Another double thumbs up. 

These items were just the tip of the Gardein iceberg at Target. Thanks, Target. You've always been one of my favorite stores but this is vegan icing on the cake. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Another Playing with Pictures Moment

 So. My nose is still stuffy. And we got hit with more winter yesterday. I left work early and took a little nap. My bed faces a tree that I love. So I had to take some pictures of the tree with snow. And I had to tweak those pictures. So here we go. Tweaked. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Only The Nose Knows....


I have a stuffy nose.

I'm trying to keep it from turning into a massive cold.  How? Oregano oil. UGH. My dad, the wise pharmacist, bought some for me a few years ago. And dang it. It works. Seriously. 

This is kinda what it feels like to take a shot of it...

Pretend that you take fresh/dried oregano. (Pungent already, right? Think Italian food intensity if you can't picture it...that pizza sauce spice that is super strong...) Then take that oregano and crush it into paste and mix it with (this is for exaggeration purposes...do not attempt this at home, just kidding about the ingredients, seriously, do I need to even say that?)  turpentine (or gasoline would work, or diesel fuel, used motor oil -- basically the most horrifically intense oily medium you can imagine..k?). Then pour a drop or two into water and chug it. Throw it back and feel the burn, baby, burn all the way throughout your body. Do this two, three times a day til the noxious mixture knocks all invading bacteria or virus from your body.

Usually, I feel like oregano oil kicks an oncoming cold within three days. I mean...if the cure doesn't kill you, right? 

However, since I'm fighting a cold with it's Italiano spices, I'm not sure I can come up with anything really coherent to post. So. I've spent a little time mindlessly playing. I've found Bored Panda which often has entertaining pictures....so there's that. And I love tweaking photos on pic monkey. Hence my nose, in all the abstract weirdness I could throw on it. 



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Skillz


I learned a few tidbits about life and priorities yesterday.

"What?" You might ask. Well, I'll tell you, mostly because I need a blog post topic and because you know I wanna tell it. 

I'm involved with a women's Bible Study on lies that women believe. (Basically pro truth and getting rid of lies....if you needed that clarifying statement, if not, move on.) I somehow have become the ice breaker person in the group. (I think I missed a meeting and was voted in...) Anyhoo. I had a great idea for last night's class on priorities. I'd juggle and use that as a visual lesson on accomplishing life without God's guiding hand. 

Only problem? I didn't juggle. Oh, I like to watch those who can, and part of me thought maybe, with grace and skill I could maybe master the basic Cascade Juggle (1st thing I learned, vocabulary of juggling. One word. Nailed it!) 

I thought about this juggling thing all week, intending to watch a few you tubes and pull off an impressive class opener. However, (2nd thing I learned; even though a youtube video is titled learn to juggle in ten minutes, that doesn't mean it's true.) I didn't really take the time to attempt juggling until about 3:30 p.m. yesterday. (Class starts at 6). I bought balls on Saturday, with plans to use them well before two hours before leaving for class. Do good intentions count? 

3rd thing I learned. Not everyone takes to juggling like a fish to water. The videos explained important things like stance. One guy told me the proper way to juggle is toss, pause, toss. Not toss, PANIC, toss. I don't think I got that lesson. I practiced tossing one ball back and forth for a full ten minutes. That's when lesson number 2 dawned on me. 

4th learning point. I'm really glad I didn't start out juggling chain saws. I do not recommend this to newbies. There is not a video titled "Learn to juggle chain saws in ten minutes" on Youtube. I hope. I didn't actually search for that nor do I recommend that search. Yikes. 

5th lesson? Juggling is great exercise. One video suggested juggling next to a bed so there's less bending over every time a ball is dropped. Ha. Well, I did the juggling thing by the couch thinking that might be useful. Sure, if you like crawling under the couch every twenty seconds. That's the picture in this post, my cute scarf covered in tiny little dust bunnies and creature hair from crawling on my hands and knees and sweeping under the couch every 40 seconds. (Not all balls went under the couch. Which was another problem.)

Lesson 6...don't juggle around dogs who love to play. More exercise as I chased Lola around the kitchen island after she grabbed the ball. This happened frequently. She was having a great time. I had to give the disclaimer in class that anyone who was given a wet ball shouldn't be concerned as they had been rinsed due to Lola's interest. 

So. Did I learn to juggle? Well. I can fling two balls and catch them most of the time. Ball three never really got off the ground (er, out of my hand). So I just went with that angle in class. After all, I was hoping to demonstrate that none of us is equipped to do life successfully without God. Oh, yeah. I got that lesson shared, loud and clear. And everyone was really relieved that I didn't go with my initial instinct to go for the drama of chain saws. 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Strawberry Cheesecake Bars


Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert...

10 Oreos (whole, including filing) or Trader Joe's Jo-Jos
10 Oreos or Jo Jo cookies (This is 10 whole cookies equaling 20 cookie shells. Scrape the middles into a bowl for the filling).
1 TBSP Earth Balance or coconut oil
In a food processor whir the 10 whole cookies, twenty cookie shells and 1 TBSP of Earth Balance or coconut oil.

Press the mixture into a 7 x 11, 8 x 11, 9 x 11 or 8 x 8 square pan. 

Filling:

Move the bowl of the cookie middles to front and center. Pop the middles into the food processor or mixer bowl. To them add:
8 ounces cream cheese (I used Trader Joe's Not Cream Cheese) 
3 TBSP Strawberry Jam (I used organic) 
1/4 Cup powdered sugar

Whip with mixer or food processor. 

Fold into: 

1 can whipped coconut cream. I use Trader Joe's again. You don't have to let this one chill as long as other brands and it's mostly coconut cream whereas others are almost 1/3 water. To prepare, Scrape the thick cream into a mixing bowl. Add a couple of TBSP of powdered sugar. Beat until the consistency of whipped cream, make sure to scrape the bowl frequently. 

Spoon over crust and refrigerate until ready to serve. I've decided the day before you are going to serve is perfect because everything sets up fabulously. 

This is a not too sweet dessert. Several omnivores scarfed it down at my house recently. My mother-in-law who lives with a cook who makes all sorts of deliciousness commented that I could bring it to her house anytime because it was delicious. 

I loved it because it was stinking easy to make and satisfying. My daughter-in-law who hates/detests/grosses out over coconut ate every bite. The coconut flavor is a subtle undertone. If you wanted it a little more strawberry or sweet you could add one more TBSP jam. Also I intended to make a strawberry chocolate drizzle (melt 2 TBSP chocolate chips in double boiler with 1 TBSP of jam. Place in a ziploc with corner cut off and drizzle over the dessert. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Chickpea Noodle Soup

Chickpea Noodle Soup
7 Cups vegetable broth
1 Can (or 1 1/2 of prepared) garbanzo beans/chickpeas drained and rinsed
1-2 stalks celery (I used one massive one) chopped
1-2 carrots (I used three small ones) chopped 
1 Small onion small dice
2 Cloves garlic minced
1 TBSP miso (I used the darkest one which darkened my soup)
4 ounces noodles (I used Udon) 
1/2 TBSP oil or Earth Balance

Chop the vegetables. In a dutch oven melt the margarine. When heated toss in vegetables and sauté until tender. Add the vegetable broth, chickpeas and miso. Simmer for a half hour or so. Add noodles about 20 minutes before serving. 

Easy and delish.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Smores Cookies ... Vegan



 Smores Cookies (Vegan)  
Makes about 60 cookies

1 Cup coconut oil
1 3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup agave or maple syrup
6 TBSP nondairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup cocoa
2 3/4 Cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Smores Topping
2/3 Cup crushed/broken graham crackers or graham cereal (check for vegan ingredients)
2/3 Cup chocolate chips (check ingredients)
10-12 large Dandies (vegan marshmallows) chopped/ripped into small pieces, about 8 per marshmallow.  Preheat oven to 350.   Crush grahams and rip up marshmallows and mix those with the chocolate chips in a bowl.   In a larger bowl mix the coconut oil, syrup, sugar, vanilla and milk until well mixed
. Add the baking soda, salt and cocoa and mix very well. Add flour and stir dough. Then roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut. Stick the ball into the marshmallow bowl and press a mixture of at least one piece of marshmallow and some graham crumbs into the cookie dough and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Peanut Thai Soup



I needed to take soup to a church event and had some coconut milk that needed a home. So this is what I came up with. And well, to quote an omnivore teenager. "If I could eat this soup every day, my life would be complete." 

So maybe I paid her in Smores cookies to say that, but still. (Not really, no money or favors were exchanged in this transaction. Her enthusiasm was real. For reals.) (And if you refrain from snarky comments, I'll post the Smores cookie recipe, too.)

Peanut Thai Soup

serves 6+

1 medium onion small dice
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped (additional for garnish) 
1 TBSP coconut oil
2 stalks celery, small dice
5 Cups vegetable broth
1 Cup broccoli slaw (or a diced broccoli stem)
1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (with additional for garnish) 
Juice of one small lime (or to taste) (additional lime for garnish) 
1/3 Cup soy sauce
2 TBSP sriracha (with additional for garnish)
1-2 Cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
4 ounces Udon noodles (1 sleeve, broken) 


Saute the garlic, onion, peanuts and celery in the coconut oil in a dutch oven or larger saucepan.  When onions grow translucent add the vegetable broth, broccoli slaw sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice and noodles. Simmer 20 minutes or so. Add the coconut milk and cilantro 5 minutes before serving. 

Provide extra sriracha, peanuts, shredded coconut, lime wedges, Vegan sour cream, and minced ginger if desired for garnish. 

I'm posting this recipe at Ricki Heller's Wellness Weekend. Click to see all the other recipes available there. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Stuck in Traffic Jello?

I spent several hours in a seminar on rewiring your brain on Saturday. 

Fascinating. 

The speaker gave a word picture. At birth our brains are grassy, pristine, beautiful parks. Just glorious sunshine, blue skies and perky green grass ruffled by the gentle breeze. 

Our first experience causes us to walk across the grass. But if it's a one time stroll, the grass pops back up and all is well. But let's say it's a repeated experience like being picked up when we cry, or a smiling face talking baby talk to us, or emptiness when our cries are ignored. We travel that scenario more than once and we create a path. By the time we are adults we have a "park" that looks like a map of mega-sized city streets. 

The main streets and super highways represent the thought paths we most travel. 

Everything we experience through our senses and every thought we have creates the potential for a street, avenue or highway. 

The good news is that we can change our maps by the beauty of neuroplasticity. (Our brains keep regenerating and making new pathways). We can create new roads and change the way we travel and avoid the roads we no longer want to drive the car of our life on. 

I can create a new series of main streets I want to travel on. Repetition makes the roads we use stronger. 

For example. I've been telling myself I don't get violin. Oh, I'm still working on it. But every time I say that I don't have rhythm and I can't do the fingering, the reading of music and the timing of the notes at the same time I am telling my brain to make that a truth, a pathway for me to travel on. Therefore, my brain makes it so that I don't get it because I'm telling it that that's a truth, that I don't get it. I'm basically ordering my brain to make sure I don't get it. Really???? Augh!!!! This totally resonates with me because I do travel "I don't get this" boulevard. I want to get it, I get so frustrated, and I'm doing the time. I don't want to calculate how much energy and money I've put into this goal because that's going to depress me. All the while I'm plugging away, I'm telling my brain to avoid turning on the musical/math section of my gray matter. 

My mom told me she saw a video about a guy who took a decent blow to the head and got a concussion. A few days later he was at a friend's house and they had a piano and he sat down and played for hours. Not Chopsticks, but real, complex music. And he wasn't musical before his accident. If a whack in the head can turn on his music center then I'm not going to tell my brain to keep my music center quiet. "Hey, Kelly's brain, yeah you, ramp up the math/music section of my brain. I have some music I want to play. Got it?!? Good." 

My brain is moldable and is making new pathways all the time. And I can and will get this. My brain is going to click and this reading of music, timing of notes and finger placement is going to become second nature and I will be a musician and I will play the violin so well that I can play with other musicians.  

How about you? What are you telling yourself you can't do? Can't or won't? Quit ordering your brain to keep you stuck. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Sweetheart Mousse Cups (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter or Raspberry

Chocolate Cups

¾ Cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ to 1 TBSP of coconut oil or Earth Balance
20-24 small foil mini-muffin or candy cups or silicone mini cupcake liners
or 1 dozen large (don’t try it with paper or greased muffin tins. Trust me, I tried the muffin tin thing. (I didn’t try the paper but I’m pretty sure that would be real bad.)  You can remelt the chocolate like I did if you don’t take my word for it on the muffin tin thing.)

Or you could use a base of crushed Oreos/coconut oil or Earth Balance... NOTE: these fillings would also work as pie or bars with a cookie crust. I'd suggest making the filling/pie a full day before planning to serve as the coconut cream will stiffen the longer it is refrigerated.

Melt oil over a double boiler, add chips and stir until all melted. Dollop some of the chocolate mixture into each cup and swirl until it covers the sides and bottom of the cup. (Fill about ½ to ¾ full) Place these into the freezer for 20 minutes and then put into the refrigerator.

Then get creative on your fillings.

1 can of full fat coconut milk for starters. (see below)


To make the coconut cream is kind of fun and easy and if you are a coconut fan. This stuff is mildly coconut flavored and decadent. You have to plan ahead or live near a Trader Joe’s. Full fat coconut milk comes in cans. Thai Kitchen makes one as does Geisha, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You have to chill the can in the refrigerator for three days for the fat part of the milk to separate and harden. (Trader Joe’s usually is so much cream that you don’t have to chill for long.) You will open the can, scrape the white creamy goodness into a mixing bowl. Save the liquid portion for any Thai dishes you might like to cook or smoothies.

You will use the whipper attachment on your mixer and whip the cream into just that, whipped cream. Don’t add sugar yet, that comes next. (If you want to serve plain coconut cream chocolate cups you can add a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla at this point and be done.)

Otherwise you can divide the whipped cream into three different containers if you want to tackle all three (I’m giving the ⅓ recipes below but will do the math and do a whole batch or half batch, too)

Peanut Butter Mousse  
⅓ of the coconut cream
1 and ½ TBSP of peanut butter
2 teaspoons of maple syrup or agave
Mix

(whole batch)
Whole can of prepared coconut cream
Rounded ¼ cup peanut butter
2 TBSP maple syrup or agave
(half batch)
Half batch of prepared coconut cream
1 TBSP maple syrup or agave
⅛ Cup peanut butter

Berry or Fruity Mousse
⅓ batch of prepared coconut cream
3 TBSP favorite jam or jelly ( I used seedless raspberry)
Mix well

(whole batch)
Heaped ½ cup favorite jam or jelly
Whole batch prepared coconut cream
(half batch)
¼ cup of favorite jelly or jam
½ a batch of prepared coconut cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mousse
⅓ batch of coconut cream
1 TBSP flour
1 ½ TBSP brown sugar
⅛ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of vanilla
1-2 TBSP chocolate chips
Mix well

(whole batch)
1 whole batch of coconut whipped cream
3 TBSP flour
rounded ¼ cup of brown sugar
rounded ¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon of vanilla
¼ cup of chocolate chips
(half batch)
Half a batch of prepared coconut cream
1 ½ TBSP flour
⅛ cup of brown sugar
rounded ⅛ teaspoon of salt
⅓ teaspoon vanilla
⅛ cup of chocolate chips

A full batch will make enough to fill all the chocolate cups with a tiny bit left over. Depending on how many different flavors you choose, use quart size or 1 gallon sized zipper top bag and fill them with your flavors. Make a few days ahead if you want. When ready snip the corner off the bag (big enough that a chocolate chip can slip through but not much bigger). Squirt the mousse filling into the chocolate cups.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Easy Thai Dressing


I was in a creative mood yesterday and had lots of veggies hanging out wanting to be eaten. The snow was falling and I have a column coming up soon that will require some recipes. So. I went for it. One recipe (which I won't be able to share til after March 10th or so) required Coconut Whipped Cream. I love Trader Joe's brand. It's almost fully coconut cream and little to no water so it doesn't require days of chilling to separate. However, I didn't have TJ's on hand and had another brand in my fridge where it had been for months. No issues with separation there. But there was probably four ounces of water in the can. 

I hate to waste it, I gave half to the dogs. They totally love it. And I made a dressing for a gourmet salad blend. 


Easy Thai Dressing
2 ounces of coconut water or light coconut milk
1 TBSP peanut butter
1/2 to 1 tsp siracha sauce or hot pepper sauce of choice
1/2 to 1 tsp of lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Nice and flavorful. 


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Yes, No ?

I follow a blog called Lil Blue Boo. Ashley, the blog owner started out as we bloggers do, with an idea. She crafted herself into a huge following. Then she got cancer. 

She will sometimes post about the recovery process, she's in that wonderful phase. Her Friday post left me a weeping mess on Saturday. But it's a beautiful post and proof that who we are, how we treat people, the little glimpses of light that we beam around us in the smallest of ways matters. 

It hurts to love, but I think it hurts even more not to. Feel like an uplifting cry? Here's the link.  

Life is so messy and complicated and short. But, this time, this place, this now, this life is ours to either embrace or give away. To choose to follow light, or succumb to darkness.  To say yes, or to say no. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Connectivity and Stuff...

The connectivity of social media and the ability to reach out and touch just about any one in the world is freaking me out a bit. 

I bought a tiny kitchen appliance to make my life easier with some Amazon sweet deals and gift cards and etc. The darn thing worked twice, half worked twice and then, well, didn't. Color me annoyed! Are you like me? When something needs to be shipped back do you do anything you can to avoid that process? I'm so cheap. I use Amazon for loads of things because I can get free shipping most of the time. But I don't know how their return policy works. So, I contacted the manufacturing company asking if there was a local place I could trade this sucker in. I mean, the cost of the item was $30.00. If I have to spend $8.00 to ship it somewhere I'm just going to be really crabby. (Imagine that if you dare!)

I did this customer service request via email because that's an option. (Oh, bunny trail, I also did this with a company recently that shorted me on an order...one I had placed with a Groupon and got way more than I wanted to get free shipping....do you see a common theme? They answered back and mailed me the missing items plus a few more. Uh. Okay. I'm good with that.) Back to the appliance snafu... the customer service people asked a few questions. I provided answers. They then had me cut the cord (ha,ha I love this, they did tell me to unplug it from the wall first) off the unit, take a picture of the disabled unit and email it to them. Then they will ship out a replacement. 

SWEET! I'll reveal the company name when the replacement comes and works consistently. (Also, did you guess that I ordered this one because it's red?  Ding, ding, ding, what do we have for them, Johnny?) 

The one that shorted me items and made good on that was Go Picnic. I can honestly recommend them. They run sales frequently and the stuff I've had of theirs is great. They have vegan and gluten free options and I've begun taking one or two any time I travel because they are easy to pack and way tastier than an iceberg lettuce salad with a slice of cucumber and a mealy tomato. Yo. They sell them at Target, too. 

The other random connectivity issue is over the past week two people have told me or someone else that they read my blog regularly. 

Weird. 

I know I put it out there for the whole world to see, but honestly, writing it feels anonymous to me on some level. And it's one of my resources to find my recipes when I need them. And to get up on a soap box now and again, or just play around and have a good laugh, ya know? 

So. If you read my blog and you know me, a big hi, and a sorry for not knowing you hang out with me in cyberspace. I also hope I've never used you as an example ever. Ha. Ha. Just kidding, I don't ever use real people in my stories and examples. :  )  To my friends, coworkers, former coworkers and ???,  thanks for reading my thoughts about life and stuff. (Bonus take away...your vocabulary word for the day, stuff, use it at least four times to impress those around you. It will, trust me.)