What do you eat?

20190514_181701“What do you eat”?  Oh yes, I get that question a LOT.

We eat plant rich, nutrient-dense food.  Yes, that does mean, on occasion, we will eat fish.

I got the feeling that our friend didn’t want all the details.  She needed and wanted help fast.

Our friend was panicked.  Their granddaughter was coming to visit and their beautiful, intelligent teenager has bravely announced to the world that she has decided to be a vegetarian.

What do we feed her?

My answer:  food

Seriously, what do you eat?

So, I offered a few suggestions and good news, the granddaughter came to visit, brought some of her own food and everyone lived to tell the tale.

I decided for a week or two, I would share what we eat.  I would send my friend pictures, offer recipes if she asked.  I didn’t go into too much detail.  I wanted her to know that we eat pretty much what she eats minus the grilled steaks.

One time years ago we hosted a graduation party.  At the time, our youngest son was a vegan.  I made myself crazy by making vegan gravy and non-vegan gravy.  I made vegan dishes and non-vegan dishes.  I made vegan desserts and non-vegan…you get the idea.  I put pretty little signs in all the dishes to designate which was which. 

Stick a Fork in Me.

I was D-U-N.  Done!

Like NASA has a mission statement?  I needed a mission statement.    While cleaning up and doing twice as many dishes, I decided to make some changes.   My new mission statement:

  Make/bake excellent quality food with exceptional taste. 

I want my food to be so good that I don’t have to qualify what it is.  I don’t have to say: this is dairy free or gluten-free or sugar-free.  I don’t have to say, these crab cakes are made with Jack Fruit.  I don’t have to say this is vegan.  I decided to make and serve exceptional food.

When you come to my house and enjoy a Chocolate Chip Cookie, I won’t have to explain that they are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan…blah, blah, blah .   If you try my chicken nuggets, I won’t have to tell you there is no chicken involved.  Nor will I have to explain that my donuts are non-dairy, non-gluten, etc.

 

 

I will only have to answer you when you ask if there is more.

YES, THAT GOOD!

 

Homemade pasta and sauce so savory and filled with flavor (and blended veggies) that you will ask for seconds.

 

Stuffed shells worthy of a birthday dinner!  Oh, did I mention homemade ricotta “cheese” made from almonds?

 

We eat “Crab Cakes” with or without sauce.  These beauties are perfect small appetizers or larger for part of a meal.  Did I mention they are made with Jack Fruit?

 

Falafel & Hummus so good, so full of rich, bold flavors you will for sure be a clean plate club member.

What should you feed your granddaughter?  Excellent food.

In this together,

Chat soon

soup+bread=comfort

I woke up to pouring rain and 46*.  It was dark and dreary.  There was a chill in the air.  I was walking barefoot across my yard.  (grounding, it works)  I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens.  As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day.  They all chatted back in agreement.  It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.

 

I knew I was going to bake bread.  I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.

The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes.  Not much effort for brilliant results.  I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe.  https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/

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While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread.  This is a good one.  The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf.  I prefer to make two smaller loaves.  A couple of reasons.  1.   I can keep one and give one to a neighbor.  2.   there are only two of us.  We get tired of the same bread over and over and over.  Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half.  We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.

Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!):  1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).

rosemary*side note suggestion:  At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well.  I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly.  So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread.  She gave me a GROCERY BAG full!  haha.  I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use.  It was a beautiful barter.  I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?  

Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions.  Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden.  You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.

While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.

Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary.  Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid.  Gradually add the onion/butter mixture.  This will form a slightly sticky dough.

Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes.  Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out.  Knead the dough for 10 minutes.  It is a rather satisfying feeling.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.

Bake 400* for 30 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.  I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter.  The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine. 20190515_152011

The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip.  Oh, my.  Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….

that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.

 

In this together,

Chat soon.

PS.  Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,

“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

Dew Drop Inn

Our daughter-in-law sadly had to go out-of-town for her very ill grandparents.  Our son was left in charge of the grandgirlies.

Thought I would share some goodness & a couple of photos.  Here is what our oldest (Dustin J. A. Wilson) had to say…

Pour a coke, sit back and enjoy.

 

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new year, 6 new things

Hello friends.

It is a dreary, gray, soggy and dark day here today in the Pacific Northwest.  I turned on my peace hippie bushappy light, have lavender oil going in the diffuser and put sprinkles on top of my coconut cream in my coffee.  Some days, you gotta take control of the good mood bus.  (yeah, painted all hippie and wild like.)

Enough bad news out there.  We need to share GOOD with each other.  Let’s share a couple new things we have discovered?  I’ll go first and then it will be your turn to share something  “new year, new stuff”.  Our own virtual show and tell.

Why don’t more people want to share new finds?  Are people shy about sharing?  Or do they just not seek out new things to try?  Maybe they do indeed try new stuff, maybe they just aren’t as chatty as me?  I am guessing there are good people out there, who try new things, like them and just don’t see the need to blather on and on.

Well, buckle up, I am here to blather on about six new GROOVY (or save your money and move on) things.  (Side note: let’s bring back the word “groovy“. Today’s vernacular needs the boost of the word groovy.)

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First out of my Mary Poppins bag…… Kite Hill “cheese”.  While we don’t eat dairy, we are just like normal muggles……..and we love cheese and crackers and appetizers etc.  Every single thing I have tried from Kite Hill has been delicious.  Seriously, full of flavor and so unladylike “lip smackin’ good”!  A bit on the pricey side, so take something out of your grocery cart that might not be a “need”.  ‘Cause girlfriend, you are going to “need” this cheese.  Made from almonds it is a lovely replacement.  If you have friends over who don’t do dairy, this will make them feel extra special.  I found it at my local grocery store as well as the health food store.

Next up, my gorgeous new velvet top from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.  Okay, let me begin by saying I love to shop online.  This company hits it out FB_IMG_1514854304876_resizedof the ballpark.  The shipping container is taped with fancy tape, arrived very quickly and was wrapped in a package with a cute sticker.  Made me smile even before I unwrapped my new top.  The top fits perfectly, feels amazing, it is saturated in deep, rich color and the embroidery is well done & lovely.  I like it so much, I am trying to figure out the perfect place to go, so I can wear my new top.   I highly recommend giving them a look-see.  https://www.themercantile.com/

 

20180109_111012-1_resizedLet me sing the praises of this next goodie.   Lavishea.  A lotion bar that I can actually use on my hands and still work with my quilting fabric, yarn or counted cross stitch fabric!  This time of year can be brutal on hands.   This product works, yet it doesn’t leave any residue on my hands so I can continue to work with fabric/yarn without compromising the piece.  I found it on amazon.com

Next in the line-up is probably a pass. Sad face.  Sullivan Threads.  I gave them a try on my new counted cross sullivan threadstitch.  While being a bit less expensive, not what I would call a beautiful smooth thread.  I will continue and finish my current project, however, I will most likely not buy again. Save your money and let’s move along.

20180106_170335-1_resizedElla + Mila is a new to me company.  I am always looking for products that don’t use (or use much less) toxic chemicals.  So, trying to find safe lipstick and nail polish, while being a first world “problem” it is important to me.  I have to say, I fell in love with the lipstick.  Great coverage, stayed on surprisingly long, didn’t smudge, felt nice going on, didn’t “taste” funny and the color was very close if not spot on to the picture online.   I am smitten with the rosy darker shade of lipstick.  The lighter color is not my cup of tea, however, I will still wear it around the house.   I really, really like the nail polish.  The coverage was excellent, fewer chemicals mean less smell.  This is day four wearing it and it still looks lovely.  https://www.ellamila.com/

I can’t take credit for this last one. Cocomels. Good ‘ol Santa put these in my stocking.  cocomels-coconut-milk-caramels-sea-salt-853610003141_3Oh, my stars!!!  These individually wrapped beauties are delicious, creamy dreamy, a bit salty and not one bit naughty.  Santa knows me extremely well.  He gave me two bags.  One of them was devoured in a day or two.  I am trying to only eat one or two a day since then.  A wonderful indulgence.   I believe Santa may have purchased them on Amazon, however, I did notice our local grocery store carries them in the health food section.

Now it’s your turn.  Friends share with Friends.  Please leave a comment with something new you have tried in this new year.  

In this together, friends. 

Chat soon.

 

 

in search of goodness

While coasting down a hill, I raised my arm to touch some tree branches I was sailing 20160918_152340_resized_1under.  I waved at folks in the neighborhood.

Heads up people, exercise doesn’t have to be stuffy, boring or dull.  You don’t have to wear boring, sad clothes.  You can wear cute peddle pushers and fun colorful bracelets and sassy sneakers.  Bike riding with your boyfriend can be exhilarating, fun and silly.

I ask you, how can I not be happy in a lime green & pink Medusa mom helmet?

We discovered areas we had never seen before.  We waved and said hello to oodles of people.  Getting to know our new neighborhood and neighbors makes us both very happy.

20160918_162153_resizedWe laughed hysterically over a FORK in the road.  Get it?  Fork in the road?  This is good stuff people.

This week, before we took off, I wrapped my phone in bubble wrap and put it into my basket.  Just in case.  Just in case I saw something silly or funny that I wanted to share.

I wonder?  If you go with the intention of finding something silly or funny or unique are you more likely to find it?  um?

BOY HOWDY!  We discovered something so silly, funny, happy, different, unique that my eyes almost couldn’t believe it. I had to take a picture.  I sort of still am amazed at people’s inginuity.

Golly, when they say fresh delivery they mean it!!!!!!!  In the bed of this old pick up truck, someone had planted a garden!  For real.  I am not kidding. 20160918_161306-1_resized_1

Sometimes, I love to really look for things that make me smile.  When I got on my bike and started peddling, we were in search of goodness.  We were looking for fuzzy cats hiding under bushes, forks in the road, beautiful fall leaves, well-tended gardens.

Much to our surprise, garden means different things to different people.

Celebrating bike rides, fresh air and goodness.

 

pulled pork sammies

It was a three, paper napkin kind of lunch.

Messy, sloppy and drippy good.  You know what I am talking about.  You take that first bite, a little sauce drips into your hand and then drips down near your wrist, as you are reaching for a napkin, you try and catch it all of a sudden it drips a bit down your forearm.  Then you lick your finger and try and clean up all while trying to take that next bite.  haha20160730_132131_resized

Boy Howdy, the flavor was dancing (with jazz hands) and the texture was spot on.

You all know how I love to make something on Friday to have ready for weekend lunches?  Well, this hit the spot and then some.  Easy to put together and actually tastes a touch better the next day.

One of the pickles about eating the way we do, we can’t just drive through a place and grab something to eat.  However, being honest here, we enjoy a quick made lunch full of flavor and goodness like the next family.

So once home from morning grocery shopping, we unloaded and then sat for a minute or two with a really great lunch. It went together lickity split and it was sumptuous and filling at the same time.

I won’t go into all the reasons why we don’t eat meat in our home.  If you want to have an intelligent chat, I would love to do that sometime.  One reason; I have to keep my system ph balanced and meat products rise the acid levels and we all know that elevated acid levels cause sickness, inflammation and arthritis to name a few.  Actually, it’s been about 25 years since we have eaten pork in our home.

Oh, I get it that not everyone thinks this is the way to eat.  Actually, I wanted to write this down to save it for me.  A gentle reminder what goodness I create now and then.

Needless to say we no longer put air quotes around the word pulled “pork” sammies.  No one in our family asks, “is this really pork”?

Okay, Dana over at Minimalist Baker, rocked our lunch on Saturday.

http://minimalistbaker.com/?s=pulled+pork+sandwiches

She is a gem to share her creations and boy howdy did she deliver!  Who would have guess that cooked lentils, some smashed and shredded carrots and onions and spices and BBQ sauce would deliver an amazing, mouth-watering, messy creation?

I make our own BBQ sauce, but you certainly can use store-bought.  Also, I just looked at her pictures and realized, she used purple cabbage and I used green.  So, apparently, you can make substitutions and it still ends up as a glorious lunch.

I used toasted buns (I must say the texture of the crunch was the perfect addition, don’t skip this delightful layer of crunch.)  I sliced the cabbage nice and thin and made a quick slaw.  Then I sliced Walla Walla sweet onions for an added punch of flavor. 20160730_131822-1_resized

The flavor was deep and rich.  The texture was great.  It was “stringy” like you would expect in a pulled pork sammy.  We were both clean plate club members.

Update:  We had the same lunch two days in a row.  Such flavor, we both cleaned our plates once again.  The really good news?  We have enough in the freezer to have one more fast food, spur of the moment lunch.  Yum-tastic.

Next time you invite a non meat-eater over for a casual lunch or BBQ, might I suggest you offer up something this spectacular?  Or just maybe, remember you and your family are worthy of a beautifully made meal that is both beautiful and nutritious.20160730_131937_resized

Quick, say Grace and pass the napkins!

 

boris

Every single solitary time I see a new construction site, I make the comment, “Oh goodie, it might be a cross stitch shop!” Even if the site is quite obviously 3 stories tall.  “Jeepers, that is going to be a cross stitch emporium!!!!!”

Sadly, it never is.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t embrace shops that cater to handicrafts.  Sure, sure, there is a small quilt shop here or there.  In a very strange twist of the business world, somehow, The Tandy Leather shop still keeps going.  The popularity of counted cross stitch has faded and that means the brick and mortar stores have gone by the way side.

Thank goodness for the internet.  I visit cross stitch shops regularly.  I put on background shopping music and quietly slip into the shop and look around.

I belong to a counted cross stitch group on-line.  We share patterns, ideas, tips and pictures.

Ah, the pictures.

I am learning.  I LOVE to look at others hand work.  I admire the time, the skill level, the creativity.  I gather such inspiration from their pieces, I know in my heart of hearts that I must share my pieces now and then as well.  It is just like show n tell.  We all like to be in the audience. However, every now and then, it is our turn to be up in front of the class.

stabbing

hahahaha….cross stitch humor…….“Cross stitch for the times when you need to stab something 10,000 times”

It is the polite thing to do.  Think of it as grace & goodness.  Work up your courage and be kind enough to share with others.

If I don’t share a picture, a suggestion or a review now and then……..well I am just a taker, a stalker really.  A person who skims through, pushes “like” now and then and flits away. I don’t want to be a taker.  I sincerely want to be a part of the group.  One that gives and takes.

Last night, after the sun had gone down, I put the last stitches into my latest sampler.  I told our golden retriever.  She lifted her head and with sleepy eyes, gave what I thought was a look of “good job” before she put her head back down.  It was a bit anti-climatic.  I texted a couple of friends.

Before I started the next project (fabric cut, thread chosen, needle threaded) I took a couple of pictures.  To share.

20160623_080312I saw “him” on a wall in Victoria, B.C. last summer.  I was with Mr. Right and Miss Florida on holiday.  As those two meandered through the shop, I meant business.  I was so thrilled to be in an actual handiwork shop, I was giddy.  I was picking and choosing charts like there was no tomorrow.  The shop lady said, “oh Boris.  He is popular.  haha”

So yes, I stitched my way around Boris.

Here are the details:  32 count linen (what that actually means, there are 32 threads per inch on that particular piece of linen)….. I stitch over two threads….. I use two strands of hand dyed thread for each X.  The pattern is a Plum Street Sampler design. 20160622_185530-1

Everything about Boris makes me giggle. I love his  early Monday morning attitude.

Sharing bits and pieces of your soul though your art makes me fall in love with your being just a little bit more each time.  Every single time you share a painted rock or a bottle cap glued to a peace sign, every cookie you bake & decorate, every poodle dog toilet paper cover you crochet, every quilt you make, every single cross stitch you do backwards, every apron you sew a Superman S upon, every single jar of honey lotion you make…..my heart expands just a smidgen. You splash a little goodness on me & I get a glimpse of the extra sparkly, gooey part that makes you, you.

It’s hard to dislike someone when you know about the extra gooey part of them. That my friends is how the world becomes a better place.

If you share, I promise to share.

Cross my Heart.