Monday, November 25, 2013

Vegan Eggnog Coffee Cake with Toasted Pecan Streusel (Week Two with "The Boot")

If I see one more story about how to survive your in-laws (or food, travel, Black Friday, etc.,), I think I'll scream. Just reading about Thanksgiving is giving me stress. So I bake. 

We came home with a box of vegan eggnog from the store this weekend. (Oh the horrors of shopping in the electronic cart.) It was nice to sink my teeth into cake again. I'd held off baking until I'd felt my lying-around-while-my-ankle-heals-weight-gain-scare was really just that, a scare. I've so far kept weight demons at bay by nearly starving myself all day, everyday since The Boot arrived.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Sesame Bars (Italian Cookie Baking for Christmas Begins. . . and Ankle Boot "Nemesis" Update)

Vegan Thyme: Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Sesame Bars (Italian Cookie Baking for Christmas Begins. . . and Ankle Boot "Nemesis" Update)
Right before I broke my ankle, I'd been on a quest to expand my collection of Italian Christmas cookie recipes. I love Italian cookies. (Thank you "genetics" on my biological father's side: Italian baking suits me.) They have more heft than the usual cookie affair of other European descent. What do I mean by "heft". Well, take the biscotti. Heft, no? Dunkable, crunchy, long shelf life. If you handed me an almond finger cookie--a delicious Italian, crumbly cookie in its own right--and a chocolate chip cookie--good old American fare--it'd be no contest, I'd take the almond finger cookie every time. I know that smacks in the face my professed love of chocolate, but I do have other applications for which chocolate prevails. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Take Note: The" King Amendment" to the Farm Bill WILL Endanger Animal Welfare (at a minimum, it's ludicrous and cruel)

I navigate this terrain on tenterhooks. It's a very personal choice to be an animal activist or not. I don't wave a flag in front of my friends' faces proclaiming my lifestyle over theirs is better. I simply wish for a kinder approach to our existence as it relates to food production and consumption. Sure I'd love it if the world went vegan. But I am not naive. It's for this reason a piece in this morning's paper gave me pause. I thought I'd share some thoughts with you all as this holiday season ratchets up full speed and eating takes center stage.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Week Ago Today (last night's dinner disaster averted)

It's been a week ago today that I broke my ankle. Last night it hit me. I was a puddle of tears, in pain and in bed by six--unable to move. I don't feel sorry for myself. And I really don't want to turn this blog into some medical confessional--that really wasn't why I started this in the first place. And how I am dealing with this is not how you or someone you know might deal with broken bones/changed life (however temporary it may be--it's still quite a blow when you've reached fifty and your own vulnerability is staring you right smack in the face owing to some stupid misfortune). Medical professionals will guide me through the ups and downs of my physical recovery. It's the mental part that has started worrying me. My sharing in this space is hopefully going to help me and maybe someone else going through the same thing. This whole "hard stop" is different. Breaking my ankle has literally knocked me out of life as I've known it and it's a BIG effing deal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perfect Day (minus the thunder, lightning. . . and crutches)

We've been watching all of Elvis Costello's Spectacle episodes on Netflix. I've watched some episodes multiple times. It's a perfect show. It's more like a living encyclopedia of talent, trivia and emotion. Music and records surrounded me growing up--this show is like candy to me. Elvis (incredibly talented in his own right) interviews some of the industry's giants and collaborates with them on several memorable pieces. After Lou Reed died, we watched the episode of Elvis interviewing him. Compelling and sad given this great talent is no longer with us. I was never a punk rocker, per se, (maybe with my eyeliner) but the punk scene certainly heavily influenced my generation. So here DH and I were all caught up in our emotions, listening intently to Lou Reed play Perfect Day, saying to each other, that's us: so many perfect days. Cue the music. 
. . . But wait, there's these damn crutches.   

It was a gorgeous morning yesterday. I'd had enough of this "sitting" stuff. Though every little move around our small house is like moving through an obstacle course, a "workout"--but mostly a few feet here and there, and not enough to keep my heart rate up. I pleaded with DH to please load me up in the car (a production in and of itself) and take me to our favorite trail. This proved fraught with complications.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Snap! That Was My Ankle Breaking (On Staying Sane One Hour at a Time. . . Life without Running)

There was a snap (two of them actually), a primal scream, apparently coming from me. Confusion. And sky (because I was flat on my back on a pile of leaves), and the sudden realization that somehow I had to, regardless of the golf ball sized instantaneous swelling appearing around my ankle, drag myself back inside, up a flight of stairs, to my phone--all without use of my right leg. Lucky for me, I keep walking sticks all over the property for just such occasions. Not that I'm prone to breaking a bone, but I am prone to falling more than the average five foot eight, All-Leg woman. 

I went into survival mode and said to myself, this is why evolution made sure we came equipped with a shot of adrenaline. It was the adrenaline that allowed me to get to my phone, call my husband, utter very little in the way of actual words other than, "I've broken my ankle" before he was off the phone and on his way home.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BBQ Portobello Kimchi Burger (And. . . The Lampshade-Cone-on-My-Dog Saga)

So far in my lifetime, I've survived without ever having tried Kimchi. Well. That's now changed. Kimchi is a Korean condiment much like ketchup is to us. (Or so I've read.) It's fermented cabbage with spices and whatnot, and a flavor that is somewhat hard to describe (sour-ish, tart, spicy, bitter--but in a good way.) It made this burger taste out of this world and has become a new family favorite for all things needing "just a little bit of something" on it. The Kimchi in our neck of the woods comes in "spicy" and "mild". I went with "mild"--though now that we've been initiated, I'd go for spicy next time. I cannot tell you the number of times I've walked right by this little jewel of flavor in my produce section. I've picked it up maybe a dozen times and hemmed and hawed and thought, "I know I've read about this, but what exactly am I to do with it?" I am now Kimchi inspired.

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