Tag Archives: cooking

A Day Well Spent

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I’ve indulged my need to make myself busy in the kitchen today. I would traditionally be knee deep in Christmas cookies and casseroles and rolls. Life is a little  bit simpler now. A little bit quieter. Jonathan had a friend over. Dylan : ) Nice young man. We had a  sleepy morning with pancakes…then they spent their time playing video games…and football in the yard : )

So I puttered in the kitchen. Something a little bit bready sounded good. And something a little bit creamy???? Don’t mind if I do.

IMG_0465Homemade cream of mushroom soup. Chopping and dicing and then saute. Then a nice long simmer. Strangely enough…I don’t like mushrooms….but I love cream of mushroom soup. I’m so conflicted lol. For those of you worrying that we’ve fallen off the wagon….don’t panic…it’s vegan : )

IMG_0472-001A lovely foccacia to dunk in the soup. Isn’t bread baking in the oven the most divine aroma a house can have???

IMG_0473The recipe makes 2 foccacias. The little bread nugget on the top is what’s left of the first one 5 minutes after it came out of the oven. Did I mention we had 3 teenaged boys today ??? Happy children with full bellies is just the best blessing you could ask for.

So as you can tell…I’m having a wonderful day….hope you are too. Huggs G

Inspired by Virginia

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My post for today was inspired by my new friend Virginia. She is the lovely and talented creator of Bel’ Occhio’s. A blog about life, food, and friends. We have recently begun communicating back and forth and I must say she is so absolutely charming and we share loads of things in common! Her writing style is sooo engaging and I find I could read her posts and be enthralled to the very end. She has a way of sharing that draws you in and makes you feel like part of the story….be it memoirs of her family or pictures of tiny cute bunnies outside her window.


So today I am sharing the story of why I needed to bake today. You see…I bake to comfort myself…and today was a very off putting kind of day. My youngest son has been on a trip to an amusement park in another state with a group of friends from school band. I’m sure he is having an awesome time and I’m happy about that. But I realized he is now old enough to go on trips and have adventures without me and his Dad. And I’m sure you’ve read in a previous post that my older Son just got his first car. I know they have to grow up but it’s all coming along too fast.

So I found myself in the kitchen needing to cook. I haven’t been baking since we went vegetarian nearly 8 months ago. Not to say that I haven’t wanted too…but I’m still getting used to new ingredients that don’t preform like my old standbys of eggs and butter. I whipped up a batch of coconut chocolate chip cookies. They were not quite as tasty as my usual go to recipe of homemade oatmeal sandwich creme with marshmallow middles. But I have to say they were pretty good. They tasted better than they looked that’s for sure.

Even better with a nice cup of tea. Vanilla almond is my current favorite. I also made a pretty tasty dinner of homemade pizza with white bean sauce and sauteed peppers and onions. Kenny of course had to add a hearty heap of hummus to it : )

I also managed to clean the utility room and pantry…and do a mountain of laundry. This is the busy work I need to keep my mind off being sad. good thing he is only gone for one day…otherwise I might run out of things to clean and have to go to other peoples houses and clean out their closets and rearrange their furniture.  Don’t laugh…I’ve done it before : /

Okay that’s enough of me rambling for one day. Hope you all enjoy your evening and find some time to be creative.

And Then She Ran Out of Battery…..

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Thought I might have some fun getting some pics of spring here in my little part of the world. I managed to snap a few of the beautiful trees in front of our house…..but as soon as I had enough sun….the stinkin rotten battery ran out. So here is all I can share today.

These pink flowers sure look pretty with the pond in the back ground.

A little close up. Kenny will be so happy I used the tripod lol.

This one has just the grass in the background.

This one is my favorite. The background is our big garage.

I also made a great new recipe found on pinterest. Chickenless pot pie. Very tasty and vegan. Think I might be saving the recipe for fall…as it seems to be more like comfort food to warm you up from the inside. Okay have to run now so we can get to soccer. Hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Hooray Hooray for Football Feasting

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Enjoying the game and commercials tonight with a fabulous feast and some festive beverages!  We are taking advantage of unseasonably warm nice weather to grill our dinner and of course it’s vegan so it’s good for us too! : )

For the kiddo’s…..

Nacho’s with lot’s of toppings and blue corn chips!

For the Grown ups……

Grilled mushroom caps with red peppers and onions on a nice crusty ciabatta  roll and sweet potato fries on the side. Wash it down with a tasty locally brewed stout. There was also grilled corn on the cob…..but we were in a hurry to settle in for the kickoff so it didn’t make it into the picture.

For those who still have room for dessert…

Chocolate zucchini muffins!! Hooray for dessert!!!! : )

Poor Scooter is too tired to enjoy the fun. I can’t imagine why…all he does is sleep and eat all day. Will have to give him a good brushing tomorrow…he’s looking a little poofy.

Lily’s not coming out of her little house. She must not like football. She does love her little red blankie though : )

Thanks to #1 son Alex who helped me get the pics of our dinner. He was excellent quality control when he wiped the side of the dish and said Gordon Ramsey wouldn’t be happy if we had a messy plate. LOL Such a good boy. : )

Hope you all enjoy your Superbowl festivities and make it home safely if you partied away from home.

Apron Inspired Recipe Book

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I just love a teal and red color combination. Reminds me of old aprons. I’ve been pinning some sweet vintage aprons lately and it’s got me in the mood to make something old fashioned and kitcheny. I found these great chipboard elements from Crate Paper in one of my back stock boxes and knew they would make a wonderful recipe book.

The paper is from Stampin Up and Crate. I think they have a very vintage vibe. I did manage to use almost the entire package of chipboard on this one book. LOL.

Pockets on the pages so there’s lot’s of room to tuck in recipes and pictures.

More pockets here. I just love all the paper layers! The blue and brown stripe had a nice little lace look border so I added sweet little pearls to dress it up. Few more bits of chipboard too!

Yes I may have gone a bit overboard on the layers. I left some room to journal inside the chipboard frame. Pocket on the right. That cherry patterned paper is so bright and cheerful. I did ink the edges with Walnut Distress ink from Tim Holtz  to give it just a little detail.

Last set of pages. I do seem to find a way to work a bingo card into a lot of projects don’t I???? There’s a tasty looking chipboard pie with a fabulous red and teal polka dot : ) One more pocket on the left with a nice scallop detail.

Back cover has pretty patterned paper. I found just the right ribbon to tie on the binder rings to finish off this great little  recipe book.

It’s A Keeper!

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During my brief hiatus between shops I am planning to do more experimental baking and perfect recipes that I can use when I’m back to the shop and have far less time for trial and error. This week I wanted to attempt something very different than my standard wheat .

Sauerkraut Rye!!! It was so delicious I will be making it often. So much flavor!! Jonathan of course had to have the end piece and he really loved it.  The whole family liked this recipe.

It had a nice crust and just perfect for toast!!! I want to thank the sun for shining through the kitchen window at just the right time to get this shot!

Baking Day

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There are days when you just need to bake.  Create homemade comfort food.  Feel the dough with your hands…just like velvet. Smell the yeasty aroma.  Mixing and measuring is busy work for idle hands.  Not to mention the joy in your child’s eyes when they repeatedly  ask if it’s done yet. Jonathan has little patience to let the bread cool before having a nice large slice. He prefers the end piece : )

Today was my day to cook with love in every bite. Tastes much better that way.

Wheat bread makes the bestest toast…nice thick slab with jam : ) It turned out to be fairly easy to convert my recipes to accommodate our new veggie lifestyle .

Pumpkin carrot muffins. Lot’s of cinnamon and nutmeg makes them smell heavenly. What a great way to use up the “mulch” leftover after juicing  for our breakfast.  Kenny saved out the carrots so I could bake and not be adding spinach and bok choy  LOL. Not sure if bok choy muffins sound too appealing. But you never know : ) Think I’ll have one for breakfast with a nice cup of hot tea : ) Good way to get the happy tummy feeling.

We are Born Again….

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Vegetarians that is. Three weeks ago our family made the decision to embrace a plant based diet for health and well being. This journey into a herbivore lifestyle has been a great deal easier than I thought  after 40 years of being an omnivore.  We have made it through Christmas quite well with the only challenge being that I love love love to bake and since we decided also to give up sugar…I really missed that tradition.  This is the first holiday without 1 single Christmas cookie with frosting and sprinkles.

The rest of the transition has been completely painless as our family loves veggies! There are also so many textured vegetable protein products with the flavor and feel of meat. We are finding that many of the natural foods we love are more nutritious and easier for your system to breakdown and use as energy. Today while so many folks were laying around suffering from overindulging in a glutinous all day feasting for the holiday…we were taking a lovely long hike around the lake…then to town for a cup of tea….then grocery shopping at Whole Foods. So I can attest that I am feeling the affects of a healthier lifestyle is helping me feel better already. : )

A few new fav meals has been wrap sandwiches with lots of spinach and veggies and avocado and a dill sauce. I made a quick and easy pasta with whole wheat linguini , garlic olive oil, tomatoes, onions , black eyed peas, and a little mushroom and capers on the side for my D.H. Kenny.   Not adding dairy or meat really cut back on the fat and calories, but was so fresh tasting that I didn’t miss it at all. Kid #1 liked it….kid #2 not so much.

The biggest treat so far has been this lovely meal prepared tonight by Kenny after stocking up on tons of great produce at Whole Foods.  All the Peeps that know me well knows that Kenny  put himself through college by cooking in a very upscale Italian restaurant…so he is a far better cook than I and I do so enjoy getting treated to 4 star meals in my own home. Until today…my favorite meal he used to make for me was chicken Marsala.

Tonight my favorite meal changed into whole wheat pasta with an avocado pesto sauce. This is completely vegan and ooohhhhh sooooo delicious.

Really indulging the happy tummy feeling with this meal. : ) Thanks Kenny!!!!

I should note that I am not promoting everyone become vegan. This is a lifestyle choice  that we have made for our health and well being and I understand that it’s not for everyone. Nor am I saying that if you are not a veggie eater that you are in no way any less healthy.  Just sharing a little bit of our personal journey.

This Country Life…..

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Hard to believe another week has gone by so fast. We dropped off Kid #1 at the high school this morning so he can spend a week at band camp. Kid #2 and I have decided that we are bored without him. : ( Decided to get out the fall decor and start sorting it to determine what should be taken to the shop, and what should stay home. Not making too much progress….unless you count little hairy beasts playing in the foliage. Just for the record…Lily started it.

It didn’t take long for Stinker Tinker to get in on the fun…

I shoulda named that little girl Killer LOL.

Our resident cranes had themselves a little get together…

just goes to show we can all get along : )

I made some yummy egg bread..

Before…

After…

After Kid #2 had several large slices…toasted of course : )

Typical of a growing boy I think : )

Visit to the Corn Wagon… Love me some fresh locally grown produce.

Blanched some veggies to put in the freezer….french beans and asparagus yum!!!

A little love for the vacuum sealer ♥

Kid #2 and I made some homemade “poptarts” Found this on a great cooking blog…unfortunately I can remember what one…when I do I will link it. All I have to say about cooking with kids is that it wont be pretty…but it will be tasty…and you will have a lot more fun : )

Kid #2 was on sprinkles…..just sayin.

Here is a good start to the Fall decor….not 100% lovin it yet….thinking I might

need to go down to the farm market and pick up some little straw bales????

I have a few fun vintage inspired Halloween pieces. I really love the black cat with the cheesy grin. Their funny little hats just crack me up : ) I will update this as soon as I figure out how to finish it off.

Just got back from our trail hike. I really do enjoy the hike…I really do not enjoy the mosquitoes. Now to enjoy a little football….play scrabble on the tablet with DH . Have a lager and enjoy this country life.

This Country Life….

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Enjoying a a day off from the shop here today and I’m happy to report that we are getting a little break from our heat wave. So nice to have the windows open!!! I did spy these two cranes in the back yard. Our grass is really crispy and dry from all the heat…but they don’t seem to mind.

Between 3 trips back and forth from the high school to deliver and pick up Alex from tennis I’ve been baking some lovely bread to go with dinner.

These are steak house mini loves. You know the kind that taste so good with honey butter? For the first picture…I just placed them in the bowl without cutting into one and it looked just like a bowl of potatoes LOL. Take two…cut one open and show the inside…it’s gets it’s color from coffee powder and unsweetened cocoa and honey. It does sound a little odd…but believe me…the are soooo tasty!!! : )

This is our dinner. Alex had to have his early so he could go to practice. I’ve been utilizing the crock pot a lot now that I seem to be at work a lot. We have also been hiking…so we don’t get home until later in the evening. I cook something gimongous on Monday and split it up into several meals that are different….but with similar ingredients so we don’t get bored. Today I made sweet Italian sausage (from Costco) with crushed stewed Italian tomatoes. I also sauteed up some red pepper and onion, and just ladled some of the tomato “sauce” over top then added a little Parmesan cheese. Tomorrow it will be hoagies????

Scooter has elected to spend his day having a nice long catnap! See him snoozing on his Lions blankie??? He is such a fluffy football fan : )

Lily is chillaxin too. Trying to camouflage herself on the rug so she can ambush anyone unfortunate enough to walk by without paying attention. The other two are hiding out somewhere…most likely recovering from having a big Boy Scout sleep over this week.

Treasure waiting for me in the mailbox. Thank you Mailman : ) I will be enjoying these later when we get back from tennis meeting.  DH will be playing euchre on his phone…it’s a nice evening to sit outside and have a pale ale and enjoy this country life.

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