Friday, November 26, 2010

Siblings Wed

I'm using my time off for something really productive and gratifying: watching Season 1 of Dexter. It's a series I've been wanting to watch. At about the 5th episode I think, why don't Dexter and his sister just get together, they obviously have a connection. I rationalize this because Dexter is adopted. Then I'm wondering if I've seen the actress who plays Dexter's sister in anything else and I google the info on the actors of the series and lo and behold, Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter, and Jennifer Carpenter, who plays his sister, are married. Ha! I saw the chemistry! This is like Peter and Marsha.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! It was a delicious dinner during which I ate and ate and then ate some more. I never stuff myself these days, but this Thanksgiving I enjoyed it all! (Except the turkey, of course.) Over at Healthy Happy Life I used two recipes: Butternut stuffing and Cashew Cream cheese Pumpkin Pie. Blogger, Kathy, even posted pics of my two pies I made. G, 5, LOVED the pie, especially the creamy center which she referred to as "icing." The consistency is like a whipped pumpkin pie. Very yummy. The stuffing was my favorite. I have always loved stuffing, but this year's stuffing was so very good. Instead of butternut squash, I used some canned pumpkin. The recipe also used fresh tangerine juice and tangerine extract (I used orange extract) and it was SO GOOD! I made vegan gravy with which my husband was very impressed. I'd made it before, but
he always stuck with the real thing. This evening he
didn't realize he'd poured on the vegan version, so he was stuck with it. Really, Thanksgiving dinner was a great meal. I'm thankful to have enjoyed such an abundance and a great family to share it with.
Also, this guy to the right? That's Jack Johnson, but if you had come to my house for dinner and if you were maybe drunk, you'd have thought he was there because my brother looks so much like him it's crazy. I wonder what Jack Johnson ate for Thanksgiving dinner. Fish?
I believe the caption for this photo is a quote from Johnson: "No, for the last time, I'm not Lauren M's brother. Now, leave me alone."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If only...

Recently I've been hearing a lot of "if only" concerning vegetarian/veganism. For example, "If I had a vegan chef like Ellen, I could be vegan," or "If I cooked as well as my friend does, I could be vegan." You never hear, "If I could cook better, I'd eat more meat," or "I'd choose more pizza and gravy fries if I had a chef to make them for me." Cooking is a learned art whether you use animal products or not. These statements of "if only" do not make sense to me. The only one that does make sense, is "I'd eat less processed food if I a) had someone to cook for me or b) could cook better or c) actually enjoyed cooking." Processed food makes eating SO easy for Americans. Fast food, prepacked, frozen, however you look at it, processed food is ready to eat with no knowledge of cooking required.

I've read the same thing with other vegans: Dropping the animal products freed me in the kitchen. When the focus became the plant food and grains, I wanted to know more. I actually started reading cookbooks for FUN. I wanted more information. I experimented. I piggybacked off recipes and created my own! I want tasty food and I don't want to be cooking for an extended time, so I find recipes and foods that fit my desires. Most have been very successful in satisfying myself and my kids.

Here's my "if only": If only my whole family could forgo the bird and bird gravy, it'd be a better Thanksgiving dinner. Well, they're not there. They want their turkey. And hence, my kids will want their turkey as well. They know about Factory Farming and the horrors the birds undergo. No, I haven't shown them anything incredibly explicit and not for a couple weeks and I have no plans to bring it up again before tomorrow's feast. As most parents know, kids need choices and mine have the freedom to choose animal flesh away from home. At home, there's not that choice, but knowing they have it elsewhere is still freeing for them. I hope one day they'll feel freedom from eating flesh foods, but until then, they'll get to partake in a very American tradition of eating Benjamin Franklin's "if only," the turkey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

This group has some amazing songs and videos. I love the storytelling quality of their songs and how they apply it to their videos. The imagery is amazing. Check out: Hang Me Up To Dry. It has a film quality.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Green cookies?

I made Dreena's Peanut Better Cookies recently, but used Sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Guess what happened. They are green inside! It's not noticeable on the outside, but inside the crumbly, yummy texture is a green hue. My mom noticed it and asked if I'd put spinach in the cookies. She certainly wouldn't put it past me to do something like that, but I did not (this time). We all (Dreena included) think it's probably something reacting with the sunflower seed butter. My sister has made the exact same cookies using the exact same substitutions I did and didn't have that happen. Whatever, they are still delicious and I highly recommend the recipe with ANY type of nut butter. I also added non-dairy chocolate chips this time which is an unbelievable combination... well, maybe not unbelievable, but way better than any Reece's Peanut Butter cup. Sorry no picture. I'm too lazy! haha I am tired. It's only Monday and it was a pretty good Monday, but Will and I did extra cleaning that I don't normally do on a school night. We wanted to change our family room around because we're getting a new TV tomorrow and wanted to separate the TV area from the girl's play area. That meant moving furniture and vacuuming, so, yeah, I'm pretty tired. I could go for a cookie, though! If only I hadn't already brushed my teeth!