So I’m a bit late with the festivities but I did want to wish everyone a happy new year and health/prosperity in 2011. I spent the new year at work, where I’ve spent nearly every holiday in 2010. It was a long night but they all are lately — I think I’m reaching the limit as far as night shift work goes but I can’t seem to find anything that would afford me normal day shift hours. I guess I should have known that I would have to work nights and holidays but now that I’ve been an RN for coming up on 8 years I feel like maybe it is time to either go back to school or find something else to do that would encourage a typical schedule and more family time.
I think resolutions are good. I’ve heard the chorus that I hear every year (‘Resolutions suck! You don’t need to wait until January 1 to improve yourself! People never stick with them!’) but I still think that it is a good time to reflect on 2010 and consider where 2011 might take all of us.
2010 will be a hard year to top but I have an open mind and am looking forward to things getting better and better.
I resolve to continue to stick to the budget and reduce our debt in 2011. Our largest credit card will be paid off next month, my car will be paid for in April, and after that things will drop off one by one until all we have is the first and second mortgages. This will greatly increase our cash flow and our ability to do home improvement projects which will be a boon to us if the housing market ever improves enough to sell.
Also on the list: my 52 movies in 52 weeks project — I am going to see 52 movies in the theater this year and review them. Maybe I will knit more.
I also resolve to do things that scare me. Like take a Zumba class.
I have photos to upload. I did better with posting for the month than I expected. I’ve actually learned and grown a lot as a cook in the past month and that’s a great thing. I haven’t deviated from my veganism once and today is one full month. YAY.
Recent dishes: curried split pea soup, sloppy joes made with lentils (I had this on a whole wheat bun with sweet potato fries), and just this morning I made tomato rosemary scones (delicious!).
Tonight is a jamaican curry with steamed plantains.
I love it. I make more soup than anything else, especially when it’s cold outside.
Tonight is chipotle, corn, and black bean stew:
This stew is SPICY. I like it with heaps of cilantro and a corona or two.
Also: I need to make an effort to cook earlier in the day because by the time stuff is done there is no natural light and the pics look terrible (the steam in the above pic doesn’t help). I resolve to do better.
It’s what’s for dinner.
These are actually pumpkin walnut pancakes and together with the maple syrup proved to be a bit overly sweet for my palate. It was fine for a quick dinner but I don’t think they’ll become part of my regular repertoire.
And a bonus lunch pic:
White bean and roasted garlic soup and the best french baguette EVER.
These muffins are from Vegan with a Vengeance. I’ve been doing almost all of my Vegan MoFo cooking out of that book and so far it’s all been great. These muffins are no exception. We happen to have some farmstand apple cider so I thought this would be a great way to use that with some organic apples (it took about 3 smallish gala apples to get a cup of grated/chopped fruit to mix in the batter).
Before (I’m a messy cook):
These are spicy and delicious and the apple in them is an extra hidden treat. There is something so satisfying about baking this time of year — I love snuggling into my hoodie and playing the ps3 when the house smells like apples and cinnamon (and pumpkin and butternut squash and you get the idea!).
Kale chips. They are everywhere in the health/food/vegan blogosphere and I finally tried my hand at it. The results were mixed but I certainly can see why people love them. I tossed the kale with olive oil and soy sauce and baked in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point. During this time I went from this:
I baked two whole sheets of them. I think next time I may try doing it at a higher temperature and for less time. The top sheet sort of smoked and turned brown and bitter, it was a total loss. The bottom sheet was better — some of the kale was very crispy and delicious but other pieces were a bit more toothsome and not as good. There are many, many recipes for kale chips out there, calling for everything from soy sauce to apple cider vinegar to mustard to nutritional yeast, so I imagine it’s only a matter of time until I find the perfect combination.
Luckily I still have a boatload of kale in the fridge.
Roasted brussels, straight from the stalk (blackberry and Pavarotti CD optional):
Roasted in the oven with olive oil, kosher salt, and a bazillion garlic cloves. I used parchment paper on my baking sheets because they are super old.
Vegan ‘celebration roast’ (this is a meat analogue ‘roast’ made with butternut squash and lentils), brussels, baked potato.
I wish I had a pomegranate tree. I would eat them every day. SO GOOD.
I work nights. This means that my schedule is
sometimes usually wonky and sometimes I go entire nights at home without sleep. Last night was one of them. Zero sleep. I struggled this morning with a full day ahead of me feeling irritable and like I might cry if something goes wrong.
Enter comfort food:
Cinnamon swirl toast (whole wheat!) with earth balance, vegan maple ‘sausage’, tofu scramble (I use the basic recipe from Vegan Brunch), apple wedges, coffee.
Oh, and peep the mug. I’m a friend to pigs, too.
sisterlegumes asked: Neither of these are questions, they're just comments about past posts.
1. That Ingrid Michaelson song about buying parents houses in south of France is one that I play a few times in the morning to wake up and I love it.
2. That icecream sundae costume is awesome and I wish it was people sized.
I <3 Ingrid Michaelson. If we had had a traditional wedding/reception we were going to dance to one of her songs (likely that one!). And people sort of made fun of me for dressing up my dog and said he was embarrassed. So thank you.
I think more people should dress up like banana splits.
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