Archive | November, 2008

mission accomplished

27 Nov

I finally found a pair of skinny jeans that do not look ridiculous: and they were 23 dollars on clearance, and the last pair tucked into a random rack at Macy’s. It was destiny. I also got a pair of jeans at Urban Outfitters, a scarf, and a new sweater. We’re going thrift store shopping tomorrow, but avoiding all mall’s and big box retailers as they are super intense on Black Friday. I do not the punishment of putting yourself through that torture. I avoid it like the plague.

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thanksgiving menu

27 Nov

It’s just Court and I this Thanksgiving, but we will be cooking mountains of food, for mountains of leftovers. Our tentative menu is:

  • stuffed seitan following the method (different ingredients / recipe) on vegan yum yum’s blog.
  • cranberry sauce
  • roasted brussel sprouts
  • green bean casserole
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • mashed potatoes and mushroom and wine gravy
  • stuffing..
  • We’ve been relaxing today, but I think we can accomplish most of it. Especially since it isn’t as if we are making a turkey which takes hours to finish. It will be relaxing and enjoyable for it to be just the two of us. Last year ended up being a little too stressful for me, because I made two dinners (one veg with veg gravy, and a turkey with turkey gravy) for 13 people. This year we can do whatever we want, watch movies, and eat how we want. Phew.

new jeans

21 Nov

I have lost about thirty pounds recently, and have yet to purchase new clothes. I’ve dropped at least three sizes, and everything is really hanging off of me. I need new jeans the most, and am having a trouble deciding on where to purchase them. I have read some reviews for Delia’s, and their jeans are fairly inexpensive. They are having a buy one get one half off sale, so I could get two:

Or these from Urban Outfitters which are not that badly priced either:

I might go to a vintage/consignment store in Minneapolis that I have had plenty of luck finding cheap things. I used to really only purchase higher end jeans, but since I have been so broke, I am willing to shop around a bit more. I’d rather have two pairs of jeans than just a single pair, but I am NOT willing to settle. If I do not love them, I will not buy them.

do the right thing

19 Nov

I spent my afternoon boxing food for individuals and families in need at the local food shelf. It was a mad house, we packaged 88 orders for those needing food. I mostly filled orders, and had no real interaction with the people requesting assistance, but I still felt some sort of compassion and empathy for the people who entered the doors. The largest order was for a family of 9, we had plenty of families of six, and many smaller ones. This organization has an awesome atmosphere, and allows those requesting service to specify items they are looking for, or special diet requests: eliminating pork for muslims, extra beans and carbohydrates for vegetarians. We had plenty of fresh fruit to give out too, which made me really happy. Most of the food people have donated is really processed and lacking in nutrients, but I suppose if you are really hungry anything will do. Whenever we get a leg up on our financial situation, I hope to donate items that are nutritionally balanced and minimally processed. I packaged lots of hot dogs, mac and cheese, and cream of so-and-so soups. Oh, and if you are thinking of donating to your local food shelf this holiday, be aware that they need other items besides food. We ran out of laundry detergent, which people were really requesting. Also, it seems that people desire coffee too, and so some nice tasty coffee might put an extra smile on someone’s face and brighten their day.

I am going to continue doing this on Tuesday afternoons, but for right now it will be more often because they can use the help.

being broke, etc.

18 Nov

This past few months we have been exceptionally broke, just barely managing to squeak by. I have yet to find steady work, and it seems no place is hiring right now. Things are looking up; it seems our luck will change soon. In the meantime, we are hanging especially on the downlow, being social hermits. We have been getting creative in the kitchen, as we hardly have much in the way of groceries. So, I learned how to make seitan, which helps with protein, and I’ve been trying my hand at baking bread. I think I might be bread-challenged, though. What do you do when times are rough to pass the time or boost spirits?

We did get some much needed good news yesterday, and have been able to breathe a sigh of relief. Hopefully next month even more good news will come our way, because we could use all the good vibes we can get. At least we will be able to go home for christmas and not have it stressing us out, because we could really use a short trip out of town.

There is a potluck this weekend, and I am debating on going. I am not sure what to make, and it has to be vegan. I was thinking of mac-n-cheese with nutritional yeast and cashew cream sauce, tomato tofu (our favorite comfort food from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant back home) or something seitanic. Any suggestions?

In other news, I am drowning in schoolwork. I have several papers to write this week, some service-learning at a food shelf to complete, and to really get a clear start on my final project. I do this to myself every semester: I put everything off until it has all piled on top of me, and then I feel completely overwhelmed. Breathe. I can do it. I just have to keep my eyes open long enough.

baked seitan

13 Nov

I made baked seitan. This recipe is adapted from The Veganomicon.
Ingredients:

  • 5/8 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 TB Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 cup cold veggie broth
  • 3 cups boiling veggie broth

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl, until clumps together. On a flat surface, kneed mixture until quite elastic. Form into log, divide up pieces into cutlets or nugget shapes (as many as desired for serving method). Transfer boiling broth to a baking dish, and add the seitan pieces. Bake for 30 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

This recipe turned out dynamite, and we are going to use it for making buffalo wings. I am thinking of using the buffalo girls recipe from Wierd Fish in San Francisco, which I have eaten at several times and love! I will let ya’ll know how they turn out, if using that method or another. You know, Franks is the only way to go though.
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adventures in bread making

12 Nov

I have my first loaf of bread rising in the kitchen, and I am nervous that it will not turn out. Anxiety has never been a strong suit of mine, but it has never applied to cooking or baking before. Maybe that’s because I have never baked bread before except for banana and zucchini breads, which lets face it, aren’t really breads. So, in an hour or so I will know if I have a complete abomination awaiting me, or something deliciously home-made. If it turns out you know can be sure that I will post the recipe here, which will be a cinnamon raisin bread of sorts. Yum. I’ve recently become addicted to raisins, which is another post entirely. Things I hated as a child, because either my mom poor concocted them, my grandmother forced me to eat them (and when I refused, would microwave it for breakfast, whatever “it” happened to be), or using poor quality ingredients. Anyway, here’s to keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, I am going to do some yoga.