a good day to change

today i wrap up world vegan month.

for those of you who have been toying with the idea of a vegan diet,
i really, really hope you were able to see that being vegan is really, really easy.
that's 4 really's in once sentence so it must be true.

if i inspired one person to become vegan then it was worth it
(let me know if i did or if this helped.)
because that alone would save over 200 animals a year from death.
two hundred.
just think if 2 of you changed your diets to vegan, or 3 or 4 and so on...
and then maybe you inspired a friend or family member.

just think of that kindness multiplied in the world by you!

thank you all for reading and inspiring me to keep going.



potato soup & portion size

i had the potato rosemary soup last night.
you can find the super easy recipe here

a lot of you have been asking about portion size.
i don't really know what to say about that.
i eat what i eat.
i don't feel my portions are so small.
sometimes i have seconds and sometimes i don't.

but here is the key for me...

i have slowed my eating way down.
i remember one of my culinary teachers telling me that american's don't know how to eat,
that we eat too fast.  in school we made an 8 course dinner once and the biggest complaint we got was that it took too long between courses.  i think we tend to wolf our food down.
so i've purposefully slowed down and that allows my eyes and my stomach to catch up with each other.  i put my fork down between bites and i sip water in between bites.
eating really becomes so much more pleasurable when you take the time to really enjoy each bite.
mind you, not every meal i eat is eaten this way.
but i try to.

next, we use smaller 8" dinner plates.  i've talked about this before somewhere but i also think that is key.
my plate looks super full as opposed to looking skimpy.
the look of abundance makes me think...wow, i don't know if i can even finish all of this.
haha, but i always do.:)

i also eat a salad on the side or before the entree.

does this help?


one more day.


chili with a secret weapon

i learned this secret weapon trick with chili a long time ago in culinary school.

i don't care what kind of chili you make, if you add a can of condensed tomato soup it will make your chili better.
  i swear.

anderson's makes a vegan version that i use.

so here is how i make mine.

i saute some onion and bell peppers in a tiny bit of water or oil until they are soft and then add
2 15 oz cans of any combination of beans you want.
i usually use black and navy beans.
then i add a cup or 2 of whatever vegetables i want or need to use up.
i usually add some frozen corn for color
a 15 oz can of cut tomatoes
about 2 big T of chili powder
if you want it hot add some red pepper flakes or cayenne
salt and pepper and
a can of tomato soup

heat it through for about a 1/2 hour and serve.
the next day it is even better.
i use it in tacos, potato scrambles, you name it.

i usually place a flour tortilla in a bowl and scoop the chili in it and garnish with avocado 
but i obv did neither yesterday.

2 more days.

late night

last night i went to the show with some friends and got home late.
i was really hungry but didn't want to stop for fast food so i put on a pot of water to boil while i took a bath.  a few minutes later i was eating a yummy plate of pasta.
nothing special - but it's what i ate.

only 3 more days of this month long what i ate thing.
aren't you glad it's almost over?


monday morning

what can i say?  i'm a creature of habit.
i make this about every 2 weeks.
i love steve for telling me about this egg-less egg salad.
having a big batch of it in the refrigerator makes me so happy.
i could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

in a bowl whisk together...

1/4 c vegenaise
2 T chopped onion
1 stalk of celery
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/8 t tumeric
1/4 t garlic powder

chop a block of firm tofu into small dice
mix, chill and serve.

here i am in a $1 sweatshirt and $1 pair of jeans.

have a fabo monday.



salads and drapes

quite a title, somehow i'll tie it all together.

yesterday i was practically craving this salad wrap.
it feels so good to get back to *regular* eating after all the rich food we ate the last few days.

just mixed lettuces, cherry tomatoes, avocado and sunflower seeds with a little salad dressing all wrapped up in a tortilla, it was just what i needed.

yesterday while i was having this for lunch i was reading some older comments on this post and i saw one that i had not noticed before.   it was on the length and width of my drapes.

so you don't have to click back to find it, here is the jist of gloria's comment.

"your curtains need to be hung higher and wider."

yeah, i know.


here's the thing.  i have 3 windows in this room so that is 6 drapery panels.
these 6 cost $600.  remember how that killed me?  i start to hyperventilate just thinking about it.

let's address the width first.
if they were hung wider which would make the window look bigger then i would need 4 panels per window.
$600 just turned into $1200.

next, the height.
if i wanted them to be hung higher which would make the room look more grand (ha) that means i would have to size up to the 96" length.  those panels were almost $50 more.  $50 x 12 = $600.

it may as well been a million dollars b/c if $600 causes me to hyperventilate what would $2000 do to me?

on top of all that nonsense then there is the issue of the walls.
this house is 120 yrs old and has very fragile plaster walls.
a teeny tiny nail going in crumbles the plaster.
so screwing the hardware into the woodwork was the only real option.

so gloria that is why my drapes are not hung higher and wider.

the end.



while i'm here i may as well address the other comment i get a lot.
which is why don't i add more color to the room.
the most honest answer is i don't know how to and when i attempt it - it just looks wrong.

this room
is probably the most beautiful room i've ever had the privilege to stand in and there was only one pattern and 2 colors - brown and cream.
plants would make it 3 colors.

and suzanne rheinstein is a genius.




do you love leftovers or hate them?
i actually think everything tastes better the next day.

so just like all the leftover enchiladas i ate yesterday, i have leftover pics too.
some are just as pretty as the ones i posted yesterday but some of these are a little more real so to speak.  you'll see what i mean.
i've inserted a few captions.
gotta love the holidays!

is that coca-cola on the idyllic table setting?

god i'm so bored.  oh no here she comes with the camera.

is that the finger?

ok, i'll stop now.
today i'm eating salad for sure.



yesterday - thanksgiving 2012

instead of bring nature in i brought the table out.
november in redlands has to be one of the most beautiful times of the year.

i put dried hydrangeas and dried chinese lantern in a rusty old urn

and mixed a glen plaid fabric remnant with an old tartan plaid pendleton blanket

spicy pumpkin soup in a tea cup

meet scout - alex and brittney brought her along.
it's rather nice when even the dog matches.:)

after dinner walk in the park

so that was my day in pictures.
how was yours?  it's a lot of work no?

take care and have a lovely weekend.


fresh, easy and free

yesterday i helped my friend karen (aka the ivy league mom) freshen up her home for thanksgiving.
 everything i used was free and came from the garden or her refrigerator.

i don't think there is anything prettier than adding natural elements to a room.

this table is not fully set but you get the idea.

i realize i did not post a pic of one of my meals but blogger is not allowing me to post another pic until i get more storage and their storage options are so different now.  they want me to pay a monthly fee?  what's up with that?  i'm going to have to read up on this.
hopefully, i'll be here tomorrow with pics of my own thanksgiving table.

be kind...and don't forget to breathe.


holiday salad dressing - with a kick

i found this salad dressing recipe over at plant powered kitchen
i've been eating this salad all week with a hunk of homemade bread.
i really hope you like it.
below her recipe, are the small changes i made.

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mild miso (ex: brown rice miso)
3/4 – 1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or more to sweeten to taste if desired)
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt (or more to taste)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

whisk all the ingredients together and refrigerate.

my changes:  i only used 1 T of apple cider vinegar and i omitted the miso and used 2 T of maple syrup.

tomorrow i have some natural holiday decor pics for you.



november rain

it was a mixed weekend of rain and sunshine.
more sunshine than rain but lets face it, this is as close to fall as we've gotten so far this year.
anyway, it was a good excuse to pull out my j. crew trench coat.
i love this thing.
you can read my review about it here if you would like.

it was fun while it lasted.

because i was feeling fall-ish, i decided to try and make mac and cheese with daiya cheddar cheese.  i'm sorry to report that it really did not come out that well.
i made my usual white sauce and stirred in the daiya with a little nutmeg, salt and pepper.
covered it with bread crumbs and earth balance and popped it into the oven.
it looked and smelled really good but the taste was rather bland.
i definitely think the recipe can be fixed and when i do i will post it.

it wasn't great but obviously it wasn't that bad either.


spicy potato stacks

darling, aren't they?
and wait til you taste them.
they are spicy and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

i only make 2 changes to this epicurious recipe.
i halved the amount of oil and i do not sprinkle the extra salt at the end, as they are plenty salty w/o that extra amount.

i think they pair beautifully with the enchiladas and it's a fresh way to serve roasted potatoes.
wouldn't they be perfect for brunch?

see you tomorrow.



friday night

last night after dinner (leftover enchiladas) we were playing records and i thought the living room looked quite lovely.
earlier in the day i had brought in one of my orchids that is so kindly getting ready to bloom again.
the striped dash and albert rug is rolled up and put away as it seems so summery to me.  the little seagrass is keeping the floor from being destroyed so it will have to do for now.

i've never photographed this room at night and now i know why.
the lighting is hard to get right.
even though the light seems rather harsh in the photo it was really more of a soft glow and kinda romantic.
listening to patsy cline doesn't hurt either.:)

what a voice.  wow.

have a simply beautiful day.


white bistro chili enchiladas

happy friday everyone.

so here is the recipe for the enchiladas.
i hope you love them as much as we do.
this chili was probably my biggest seller when i catered.

i highly recommend making the white chili a day or 2 ahead of time, it makes assembling the enchiladas easier b/c the chili thickens after refrigeration.

1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 t cumin
2 15 oz cans of garbanzo beans
4 oz can green chiles
1 T chopped jalapeno
2 1/2 c vegetable broth
1/2 c pearl barley

saute onion and cumin until onion is soft
add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is soft.
i usually mash the chili with a potato masher a few times to break down the beans a little.

it is delicious as this point but if you want to make enchiladas then there is a little more work ahead.
you'll need...

1 large can of green enchilada sauce
corn tortillas
vegan cheese if you choose to use it
chopped green onion for garnish

after dipping a tortilla in hot oil for a few seconds you then dip it in a bowl of enchilada sauce.
put about 3 T of chili in each tortilla and roll up.
place ea rolled tortilla into a 9x13 pan that has some of the green sauce poured into the bottom.
top the rolled up enchiladas with the remaining green sauce
sprinkle the cheese if using and bake at 375 degrees for about a half an hour or until the tortillas are browning and the cheese melts.

i will not be putting the daiya cheese on the enchiladas i  make for thanksgiving b/c my family doesn't like it.
but i do like it so i put it on these yesterday.:)

have a wonderful friday and be kind to someone who looks like they need it.



what are you wearing this thanksgiving?

thanksgiving is a week away and i knew what i was going to wear way back in december.
when larry bought me this blouse i knew the colors would be perfect for fall and that i'd wear it this year for thanksgiving.
talk about planning ahead.
we typically eat and then take a walk through the park so this is works well.

do you go all out and get all dressed up or is it a jeans day for you too?
what will you be wearing?


yesterday's lunch.

tortilla grilled and stuffed with spinach and daiya cheddar cheese.
bbq chips.


yesterday on the pumpkin soup i left out a critical ingredient...1/2 t pumpkin pie spice.  sorry about that.


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