Look what happened now...
This is my 8th blog post of 2018. Last year I blogged 127 times, that makes 10.58 blog posts per month, almost 2 blog posts per week. HEY THAT’S NOT BAD. Considering that it is a luxury to actually have time to sleep.
I even made the effort to update the look of the website and added video headers, plus some new pages. I have also opted to add a few affiliate links. I’m actually not sure if I want to continue them, we shall see. I also tried to refrain from bitching about work and being constantly exhausted all the time.
My 2018 new year resolution is blog at least 3 posts per week. I have never really cared if anybody reads this silly little blog, it has been more about documenting some of the places I’ve been and the insights I’ve had. So I am always surprised that people do follow. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! 🙂 for your continued support.
Okay back to reviewing 2017...
This is somewhat surprising.
We are still here, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. I post mostly landscapes and of course food picture from here or random selfies, lol.
Honestly I am so in love with the mountains and the blue sky here and of course the house. We have a nice garden and mostly this feels like heaven. So I try to keep the house tidy and minimal even though it's big 2 story with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge bonus room I use for an office, but I don't actually talk much about the house. The kitchen is nice, much better than what we had in the UK, but not as well thought out as the kitchen in France. But it works for us, as you may have noticed I am sharing more food picts and recipes.
More Vegan Food
I have posted more and more vegan recipes and cooking stuff in general this past year. Mostly because I have been home more and have the ability to cook more. I still want to remind you I am NOT a food blogger.
I think I have taken more selfies in 2017 than all the past years combined. Remember when you wondered what I looked like? Yeah, those days are long gone.
But back to my hair, it is still blonde - And yes, I’m bored with it. I considered cutting it off this year, but I think I will wait another year. It grows pretty fast though and if I do not flat iron it you
can see it is really thick. Using the flat iron may make the style look better - but I hate how thin and flat it looks. :(
Travel in 2017
Travel this past year was sparse. Well, compared to other years when I'm running back and forth to NOLA, Florida or France. But I did mange a few adventures...
Janurary here in central New Mexico started out snowing...
I am still impressed with snow.
It was fun for a few days and then it was over. #Goodtimes
Jan - left the odd snow storm and headed to New York City. It was dark, cold and snowing there too. But New York is always amazing no matter what the weather is like.
This trip was part busines/part fun.
In February we left the dark and flew to Iceland.
This was a destination that's been on my son's bucket list for years, but I was not that excited. But guess what? I LOVED IT!
And totally not what I expected. It did snow while we were there, but we still managed a night trip to see the Northern Lights. We stayed 7 days and it was not long enough. I'm sure we will return soon.
March was a short Vegas get away and April was me at home planting a garden and experimenting in the kitchen.
May I had company and showed them around the area here. You can read about it here. I also started a mini food diary to share what I eat (people still ask) and what I typically purchase at the market.
August I began "What Are You Reading?" A quick review of my recent reads and such. Work was still very busy, but I made my mind up I was going to make time to read and relax more.
September another review and of course the hurricane hitting my home in Texas. I actually didn't talk much about it. Maybe this year I will be able to share more, it's just completely overwhelming. STILL.
October was Halloween and I was supposed to go to NOLA for a right old party, but I came down with a bug and spent it in bed. #FML (But look out this year!)
November I blogged about American Myths and more book reviews. We debated on going somewhere exotic for Christmas, but decided against it. After spending the holidays in Europe and other amazing places it was nice to just stay in and chill for a change. We did explore around the area, here some. Check out this short video if you want to see an ancient Native American site we hiked.
I also posted more about my not so secret love of flowers and house plants this past year.
So I posted more about gardens and houseplants than ever before. It's not quite an obsession, but almost.
So all in all it was a great year. We didn't travel as much as usual, but that's okay too. I'm so thankful we are able to live in a nice place, with lots of natural beauty and good people.
I'm also thankful for you, taking the time to read my silly little blog. I appreciate it and the encouraging emails I get from ya'll. Thank you for your friendship and support!
Do you have big plans for this year? I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 will bring!
See you at the airport-
So it's Saturday night and I was minding my own business...
Yes, it's gonna be that kinda story.
I have spent my day off whipping up vegan treats and catching up with friends via social media. #BestDayEver!
One of the treats I made was a lovely bunch of Vegan Raw Fudge. Recipe was so simple and quick that I should make weekly. But then I would be eating fudge weekly and well...maybe not a good idea either.
If you follow me on SC you saw my heavenly creation among my daily random snaps.
Now I do make other things, they just don't look as pretty as the dessert, so I rarely post them. But tonight as I was cooking, and I was also talking to one of friends, he was teasing me about the fudge and we were private snapping back and forth....So I sent him this video of what I was cooking at the moment. Please note dear reader, this was a private video but I was not naked, not everything that happens on SC is porn related. BUT, It did get me in serious trouble!
I was cooking, and not paying attention to WTF I was doing and sent not to him, but to my stream... and the fall out was almost immediate!
"WTF! Is that Chicken?!"
"IS THAT CHICKEN?!"
"How can you cook chicken!"
"That's gross chicken!"
"I thought you were a vegan!"
And more of that....
Okay in my mind that's clearly not chicken.
Isn't this chicken????
I was clearly not cooking THAT!
What I was frying (How dare I right? But I was using orgainic Olive Oil, I actually linked it below the recipe for your insepction) was clearly NOT chicken, it was TOFU, you know, that thing every vegan is supposed to eat? I rarely eat it, but thought I wanted to try this receipe for a change of pace. #GoMe and didn't that work out well...
Here is the actual recipe for my Fried Tofu Nuggets:
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
• 1 block extra-firm organic tofu (NOT CHICKEN)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 2 tablespoon water
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 3/4 cup of oat flour (I made my own from whole oats - aka oatmeal)
• 4 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to fry the tofu)
• A dash of Himalayan salt
• A side of your favorite sauce for dipping
1 Drain the tofu, and cut into nugget sized pieces. NOTE: DO NOT USE CHICKEN
2 Once cut, lay the tofu pieces on a clean dishtowel, and then wrap them up in the towel. Put a cutting board on top, and balance something heavy, such as a few cans on top of that. This is how you press the tofu to help release excess water. Let the tofu press for 10 to 30 minutes, the longer you press it, the drier and more firm the it will be. Note: It will not turn into chicken.
3 When you are ready to make your tofu, mince the garlic cloves and add them to a large flat bowl that is big enough to fit your nuggets.
4 Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the garlic bowl: the tomato paste/ketchup, dijon mustard, maple syrup, water, and pepper, whisk together.
5 In a separate dish that is also big enough to fit the tofu, add the oat flour.
6 Dip the tofu in the tomato mixture, and use a spoon or fork to help spread a thick layer of the sauce on the tofu. Now dip the sauced tofu into the oat flour and use your hand to help pat the flour onto the tofu. Repeat with remaining tofu pieces.
7 Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, carefully fry the tofu pieces until they are golden brown on both sides, and heated through. About 3 to 6 minutes per side. The breading can be a little fragile and falls off easily, be gentle when handling the tofu. (Still not chicken)
8 Serve with sticky rice and a side of your favorite dipping sauce.
Serves two - three people.
It is actually very, very good!
I found this basic recipe on line and added my own twists to it. But clearly NOT chicken.
Here are the oats I ground up in my food processor and the tofu I used...
And the other ingredients...See no chicken!
Those are affiliate links, if you want to buy straight from them, I do get a few pennies from the sale. It does not affect your cost at all and helps to keep me in tofu and maple syrup. I'm hoping to save enough money to take Snap Chat lessons so that I never make this mistake again.
Have a good weekend and can I call you for bail money if the Vegan cops don't believe me? We ate all the evidence.
It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas!
I've got most of my shopping done and wrapped. (So I will not be tempted to give it away early, lol) and just need a few little things for stocking stuffers. My list isn't that long so it will be a breeze, fingers crossed.
I also spoke to my family in Texas today and told them I was not coming for the holidays. So Monday I will start mailing gifts to them. Well, I will mail some, Amazon will take care of the rest, thankfully.
My brother called to discuss Christmas and tell me about the freak snowstorm they had this week. It usually snows in south/central Texas once every 10-15 years and turns into ice, a big mess and lots of traffic accidents! And people freak out. (See the news story here) But, fortunately this time it was just pleasant snow for about 24 hours and then was warm again. It does make it seem more like Christmas.
It has been snowing here in New Mexico off and on all around us. But mostly it has just been cold, but it is winter after all. We have a short day trip to Santa Fe planed for next month, so we should have really nice snow pictures then!
The bananas went into these vegan flourless cookies. I think I have finally found the holy grail of oatmeal cookies. These cookies were amazing! Let me bake one more batch and then I will post pictures and the full recipe.
I am glad to say I will not be having any guest or be running around the country like a crazy person this year. A staycation seemed like the thing to do originally because I had so much work to do, but I actually am caught up now, thanks to an amazing new admin and extra help! #WIN!
So we could go to Texas..but the more I thought about it, the more I knew sticking with the original plan was the right thing to do. I'm so excited about taking time off from work and just staying home and not having any commitments. It may sound lame, but after the busy ass year I've had it sounds like heaven to me.
Okay, I'm off for my morning walk and then to work.
See you at the airport!
This tastes more like a decadent dessert than a nutritious way to start the day.
The natural sweetness of the orange and carrots are balanced by a trio of complementary spices, while a spoonful of homemade coconut whipped cream serves as the perfect finishing touch.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Coconut Whipped Cream Ingredients:
1 13.5-oz. can full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
1 large ripe banana, peeled, cut into chunks and frozen
2 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 large orange, peeled
4 large carrots, roughly chopped
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4-6 ice cubes
Finely chopped walnuts
Makes a wonderful breakfast for two!
See you at the airport~
How are You? It's been awhile since I reviewed a new product, so I was thinking, since I'm always hungry (true story) and always excited to try new things, I thought I should share my findings with you today. But first the Disclaimer - I'm not a food blogger. I'm a hungry vegan....
If you are expecting glorious food pictures, decorated with flowers and tiny bits of glitter, move on..you won't be happy here. I'm just a girl who likes to travel and eat. I bought this item and decided to cook today. Perhaps my experience will be different from yours, perhaps not.
Okay, so who wants pancakes??
Here is what happened next:
They were a HUGE Hit. I served them with Organic Maple Syrup and wow.
Just wow! I can also report that I had no heavy or bloated feeling afterward. Everyone ate their fill and we still had a few left and when asked, all voted this to the "buy again" list. #score
Now remember, I didn't use eggs, I replaced them with the Neategg. I didn't use milk at all, it was replaced with water. The butter was replaced with olive oil and the pancakes were fried in coconut oil. So I barely followed the instructions at all, lol!
Flavor was good, the mix was easy and everyone liked them.
I think these would be great for a day when I have company and they want a more "traditional" breakfast than Vegan Nice Cream, which is my personal "breakfast of choice". This, plus veggie sausage, fruit and fried tofu would make a huge, traditional breakfast that would please anyone. I recommend this as a staple to keep on hand for guest or for when you want a breakfast change.
I would not eat them often, as I do not consider them particularly healthy. Also even if I could get two or three meals out of a box.....that's a lot of money for pancakes.
Have you tried them before? Or do you eat them regularly? I'd love to hear what you think.
I will buy another box and keep in pantry for guests or that odd breakfast. I'm gonna try some of the other products this company makes and will report back on them.
Catch you later I still have pancakes to eat~
How are things?
My raw (not) cooking adventures continue.. I have been craving Lemon Bliss Balls (recipe below) for a few days now and finally took some time off to stand around in the kitchen and not cook them.
There are quite a few variations of this recipe on line. I made two batches, one more or less following the recipe below and another round with my tweaks.
Lemon Bliss Balls
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup desiccated coconut
zest of one large lemon*
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
2 tablespoon maple syrup
extra desiccated coconut for rolling in
Place the ingredients into your processor in the order listed above and pulse at high speed until the mixture is smooth and the nuts and coconut have broken down. Using your hands shape the mixture into balls. Roll in coconut and place in the fridge to firm up a little. Eat and enjoy. (Credit to its creator)
I ran out of coconut because I use it in everything and always forget buy more. I also substituted the maple syrup for California dates. This made the base less moist, so I added extra lemon juice which I think was better. (It was at least more flavorful.) So maybe I didn't follow the basic recipe at all now that I look at it! I used a lemon, I swear. I didn't roll in coconut, because I mentioned I ate it all earlier.
Also note: My $10USD travel food processor is not the BEST, but it does do the job. So no excuses that you cannot afford the equipment, right?
2nd batch I increased the amount of dates and lemon juice. This made them more moist and easier to shape. There ween't any left so I deem them a success. Anytime my family eats healthy I call it a win.
I still count myself as a "baby Vegan" I am still learning the ropes. Vegetarian I get - no sweat..but I continue to discover all the products that contain secret amounts of meat and meat by products. (Yuck!) I am attempting at least a few days a week of the raw till 4 eating and am learning so much.
Yes, I know that is not a raw tortilla. I let my lettuce for the raw rap go all wilt-y. #Fail and had to use tortillas. But they are locally made and I did have spinach and kale for the taco. This is about as far as you can go from Tex-Mex and still eat it on a tortilla. Besides the corn I also added fresh mushrooms and onions.
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in oil
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place all ingredients in food processor.
2. Process until a texture similar to the photograph is reached. (1-2 minutes)
3. Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for up to 4 days.
Recipe fromThe Rawtarian
One of my friends commented while eating my Raw Carrot Cake, "This looks like something the cat thew up. But it tastes like it was touched by Jesus!" So you really can't judge it by appearance.
I have also been enjoying Smoothies and Nice Cream bowls, every morning for breakfast. I find that these are more than sweet enough and I have no problem saying "No Thanks" to cookies and candy when offered through out the day. (Damn co-workers) Sweet tooth satisfied!
See you at the airport ~
That was my recipe for the week err, month I mean Day. Super Simple!
1st -cut up a hand full of ripe strawberries, add enough low fat Vanilla Soy Milk (I used store brand, WTF? Cheap much?) to cover and blend.
And there you go, super easy and tastes great! Especially after a hike, work out, or even just vegging on the couch. Not that I have been vegging on the couch watching movie or anything…
(Did you see Dracula last night??)
Err ok, anyway, there is no excuse for not getting in some fresh, healthy fruit. This is so simple & quick! Also thats some wild animal, I was minding my own business when he attacked and asked for movies, really. :o
I have to run now, (FOR REAL).
Catch you later-
Hi & Happy Weekend! Hope everyone is having a good one.
I started to find we were out of butter..:( Well almost out..I was 1 tbs short so I added a dollop of oil and moved on. I really need to include I do not recommend baking this way. I always ALWAYS follow the recipe the 1st go round. After that I experiment like Dr. Frankenstein (not really, but you get the idea) but the 1st time follow the directions. So here I go veering off course form the get go. (WTF?!?! But I was still in pj's - sans makeup & if I am cleaning up/dressing to go store I will just buy breakfast and be done with it, you know?)Ready for the oven
The ingredients were mixed & I made do.
1 stick unsalted butter and milk were all that was added to the dry mix.
I only had Lite Vanilla Soy Milk (of course) So I am sure that also made a difference..
Also about 1/2 the bag was used to make biscuits so I was happy I didn't use it all the 1st time around.
After the butter is cut in the dough needs to be kneaded. (No rolling) I used the time-honored tradition of using a water glass as a biscuit cutter.
I always bake my “tails” too. So that why it looks like that.
They smelled good baking (light whiff of vanilla perhaps?) and all, but not like bread.
Baked 20 min @ 350'
The biscuits do not rise; so make sure yours are thicker than cookies.
Taste? Good, to not much taste.
I gobbled down 3 and waited…no bloating. WWOWOWOW I then had a cup of hot tea (Look at me relaxing like its almost my day off) and still felt full, but not “about to bust” like I do when I eat 1 regular biscuit.
People passing by kitchen sampled and agreed they were different, but tasted good. Everyone said, “MAKE MORE PLEASE!”
Next I will try the cake mix. :D
Do not let my ugly picture put you off from trying these. Its just hard for me to cook & take pictures while cleaning the kitchen at the same time. So the pictures were hurried, sorry.
Also note we ate all I made without butter or jam. I'm sure they would be excellent with honey too. So they did taste better than they looked, lol
I know I will be buying more of the mix.
Ok, I have a few errands and then off to work this afternoon.
Take care & talk soon!
So I was surfing around looking for some tea sandwich recipes for the upcoming Surprise Birthday Party Event. None of these are MINE all came from the many different sites I visited looking for info.
I called the caterer again and decied that the best bet is to just LET them HANDLE IT. Several of the invited girls have asked me to make this or that..
but screw it.
I don't even have time to make coffee most days. * ____ *
Anyway, rather than let this info go to waste I decided to post here so WE (me and you) would have it later!
Cheese and Cucumber Sandwiches
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
. Stir together softened cream cheese, cucumber, mayonnaise, red onion, basil, freshly ground pepper, and salt.
. Spread on: white bread; sandwich with diced fresh strawberries.
Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
16 oz cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup pecans chopped and toasted
32 oz packages thinly sliced white sandwich bread (2 packages)
. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and pineapple. Stir well until thoroughly blended. Stir in pecans. Trim crusts from bread slices. Spread filling on 1 side of half of bread slices, top with remaining bread slices. cut each sandwich into 4 triangles. Chill until ready to serve. For testing purposes only, we used Pepperidge Farm Very thin white sandwich bread. I think From Southern Living.
Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and grated
2/3 cup mayonnaise $
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
. Stir together grated eggs, mayonnaise, celery, chives, onion, tarragon, pepper, and seasoned salt.
Spread on: whole grain bread slices. Spread mayonnaise on an equal number of whole grain bread slices. Sandwich egg salad slices and mayonnaise slices with fresh watercress.
Olive Tea Sandwiches
1 (7.5-ounce) jar pimiento-stuffed olives, drained and chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
36 thin white bread slices
. Stir together first 5 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour.
. Spread olive mixture on one side of 18 bread slices; top with remaining bread slices. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each into triangles, or cut with decorative cookie cutters.
. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread Slices. From: Southern Living
I picked this because there was a VERY healthy crop of tomatoes right now. But speaking of healthy, we all know canned soup is high in sodium.
Canned tomato soup gets a boost in this satisfying version, served warm or cold
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans tomato soup, undiluted
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Toppings: fresh basil leaves, freshly ground pepper, Parmesan cheese
. Cook first 5 ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately with desired toppings. I think this was from Southern Living too.
(To go with the Tomato Bisque)
Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
. 1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly; stir in cheese. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
. 2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Place dough in a bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.
. 3. Preheat oven to 350°. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
. 4. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Unbaked biscuits may be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen biscuits as directed for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.
Kevin Garvin and John Harrisson, Neiman Marcus Cookbook, Southern Living MARCH 2012
I tried to pick up recipes that looked good, were easy to make and didn't require off the wall ingr which you would pay out-the-ass-for and use this once. (I personally HATE that.)
Ok, gotta run - let me know if you make any of these or have better recipes for tea sandwiches. I'll let you know what the caterer does.
Catch you later
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives. I'm just an average woman in the world. Follow my journeys as I travel, shop, and meditate my way through life...
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