Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whole Wheat French Baguette And Last of Garden Greens Soup

I've had soup for dinner four nights this week already. I could eat soup 24/7. It's just that this time of year--soup is called for. Simple soup. And this Garden Greens Soup is the simplest of simple. The days are getting shorter. The light outside is sort of orange--from sunrise to sunset--there is this whole dramatic bronze thing happening. I love it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else but the Midwest in fall. It's just gorgeous. One drawback is it's hard on the emotions for those of us with light sensitivity--the waning light and all. I have a spot in the house I like to sit in that gives me a direct view of the sunrise. It helps me begin the day on a bit better level. That and my coffee. The cloudy days. . . well, that's another story. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting And Ghosts

Once again I found myself craving "cake"--but not just any old cake. My cookbooks were scattered around the kitchen, pages flipped open here and there. My sort of mad scientist way of going about figuring out what I'd like to bake is nothing but pure chaos. Having moments like these sometimes makes me wish I weren't such a cookbook freak. I have almost too many choices. Nothing seemed to call to me. Until I found a recipe for gingerbread cake. I had not baked a gingerbread cake in forever. I love gingerbread.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vegan Pecan Pie Bars (Running: Navigating in The Dark of The Morning)

I had a craving for something really "fall-ish" last week and pecan pie came to mind. Since I had just made (and consumed nearly ALL of an apple pie the week prior) I wanted my next confection to be in "pieces" vs. "slices". So I settled on these pecan pie bars. I am so glad I did. Pecan (Pea-Can as we say in these here parts) pie is one of my all time favorite desserts/snacks/treats. I had forgetten how much I loved it until I had these sitting in front of me begging to be consumed. I also happened to have just purchased a grocery store brand 11 x 7 ($7.99) baking pan and miracle-of-miracle--this particular modified recipe called for such pan. Don't ask me why I never had a baking pan this size before--I seem to own every other baking pan size out there. I love the shortbread base--you bake it beforehand. Then you mix the topping with the pecans--it is such a gratifying treat. I like my pies and bars kept in an airtight container in the fridge. If you are thinking of things you might want to make for the holidays--this bar recipe won't disappoint. I think they'd ship well also.   

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Beekeeping Life And Hiking Amongst the Elk to Cure Depression

After an emotionally draining weekend, Dr. Thyme and I decided a hike was in order. I say it was a "draining" weekend because I had a sort of "break" in my emotional side--not uncommon for me as I may have indirectly said, I suffer from the old depression monster or as my clinical help calls it, some sort of mood disorder. I feel it's time to come clean with it on my blog. This way, as I come in and out of here on my blogging--long absences usually tend to be a point at which I am coming to terms with "picking myself up by my bootstraps and moving on"--I can be a little more up front on the matter. I wasn't intending for my blog to be so confessional in its design--I really do want to keep the vegan food stuff part of my main focus. I have journaled in the traditional manner of notebook and pen in the past. I still keep my pens and notebooks handy. But so much of my writing takes place through my blog now (and it takes a pretty big chunk of time to blog--more than I thought it would), I feel it's time to immerse my whole self here and hopefully at the same time, be able to maybe help someone else as I move along in life. You can skip reading this part if you so desire. As I've stated before, this blog is my life, my food, and things I love (or have trouble loving).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup and Hush Puppies (Most Confusing Southern-Speak and "Almost Fall" Colors from My Backyard)

This meal was one of those slow cooker dinners where I could smell the food all day so that by meal time, I was famished and ready to dig in. Something about the Indian spices simmering for ten hours makes for a very fall, very cozy feeling. As you all know, I've got a "top-of-the-line-blonde-hair-green-eyed girl" Indian spice rack now, so whenever the mood strikes for Indian (more often than not), I have all I need at my disposal. I just finished the last of this off last night and it was even better the third time around. I feel with practice and confidence, my Indian dishes are less intimidating and feel less daunting. For example, this dish called for "curry leaves"--no problem! I went right into my freezer and there I had two packages of frozen leaves just waiting for their next appearance. (Curry leaves are abundant in international grocery stores--buy as much as you'd like and don't be afraid of using them in nearly any Indian dish--sort of like you use basil in Italian cooking--place them in the freezer in a zip lock bag.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vegan Crumb Cake (Extra crumbs, hold the cake. . . and knitting the "Emmaline" sweater)

Vegan Crumb Cake
Welcome to this installment of "Cake for Breakfast, Sweater for Dinner". Some people like donuts for breakfast. Some waffles or pancakes. For me, nothing says breakfast like cake. I think my fondness for cake for breakfast harkens back to my mother's insane obsession with the Sara Lee strudel--covered in almonds (almonds are by far my favorite nut) and iced with a crinkly, fall apart sugar concoction. She'd have to peel me away from it. I was a very skinny kid, for me eating pastry and Lucky Charms cereal was one of my favorite pastimes. Uh, not so much anymore--especially sugar-laden cereal unless I want to go back to sleep in an hour from the slight coma it tends to induce.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vegan Apple Pie with Uber-Flaky Crust (Martha Stewart Paints "Sea Glass" in My Kitchen!)

Vegan Thyme: Vegan Apple Pie with Uber-Flaky Crust (Martha Stewart Paints "Sea Glass" in My Kitchen!)
It should come as no surprise that next to cake, pie holds the title second (sometimes first) closest to my heart. The art of making a pie is so much more involved than cake. At least it is to me. There is a double reward when pie is complete: pie filling AND pie crust. I am a huge crust fanatic. I admit it here for the first time that I have been known to sneak into my leftover pies to rip apart the crust leaving behind vestiges of filling scattered about cherishing big, crumbly, flaky baked dough. Maybe I should just bake a shell within a shell within a shell? Okay, maybe that would take me down the "shortbread" cookie road. I am thinking really hard on this right now. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When Breast Cancer Attacks My Friend (Needless to say, I've got a lot on my mind)

There are three types of phone calls I've dreaded getting in my life. One: Your mother is in a coma (which really did happen). Two: The test results are back (this has happened, too). Three: Kelly, I have breast cancer. I got the third call this week while I was busy re-painting my kitchen and juggling three other home improvement projects while Dr. Thyme (DH has requested to be called "Dr." vs. "Mr." from now on) was away on business. With paint covering my arms, hair, hands and clothes, the phone rang about eight the other night. I usually keep my ringer off, I just hate talking on the phone and REALLY hate tele-marketers (and now the annoying robo-calls with elections right around the corner)--I simply avoid the area where the phone sits as much as possible. But this call was one of our best friends. She is someone who was part of my husband's life, pre-Kelly, whom I have come to know and love and hold as dear as I do my sister and my only other three best friends in my life. It's unusual for her to call. She knows of my phone disdain. But I saw it was her calling so I answered. Given the hour (it was late in the evening by my standard) and the tone in her voice, I knew immediately something was wrong. So I just dove right in, Is everything alright? "Well, not really. I have breast cancer." That was it. The third phone call I had dreaded. I was stunned. Silent for a moment. But stunned. Then said WTF, and all kinds of other non-sensical things, finally stopping and asked her what I could do for her. She said, Can I come over for dinner?--and right then I knew I would be able to help through food.

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