Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! My treat for you today is a post chock full of photos of more decorations, candy, and of course, Mystery!

Since my last Halloween post, I've gotten two new decorations, as well as some adorable old cookie cutters that my mom found for me.

Painted by my aunt.

Scarecrow from my mom.


I've also made two more apple cider jug ghosts.
*narrows eyes* "Another one? Really?"
"Hmmm...I guess this one's alright."

The whole group of ghosties.

Oh, and I did some spooky sketches, too.

My favorite Halloween candy when I was younger (and obviously not vegan yet) was Reese's peanut butter cups. But there's nothing to fear, for there's a delicious vegan version that I just recently tried out: Justin's organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They are awesome!

Zach and I bought a good amount of vegan Halloween candy – Skittles (original and sour), Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, and Swedish Fish – so we will be prepared for the trick-or-treaters tonight! I'm so excited; I love giving out treats and seeing all the cute, creative costumes!

I'm going to be a witch again this Halloween, but little old Mystery decided she didn't want to be my familiar. Instead, she wanted to be the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. 

I found her practicing a couple days ago, sitting up in bed, all snuggled in, just waiting for some noms to be brought to her by an unsuspecting do-gooder who might have believed she was their grandmother.

"My, what few teeth you have!"

"The better to gum you with, my dear!"

Peace. :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bookmarked Recipes (Part 2)

Hello everyone! I've been making more progress on trying out some bookmarked recipes, so here's the latest installment!

Cheezy Twice Baked Potato

Last week, I made the Cheezy Twice Baked Potato from The Seattle Chickpea. My changes to the recipe: I used slightly less nutritional yeast and baked it the second time for 20 minutes at 350°F. 

It smelled amazing coming out of the oven and tasted delicious; Mystery was climbing all over me trying to get at it. I'll certainly make this again and experiment with different fun fillings. 

Pumpkin Brownie Cookies

I also made the Pumpkin Brownie Cookies from the vegan marshmallow. My only change was to use oat bran as I didn't have any almond meal. The dough was indeed sticky as Tina warns in her post, but it wasn't all too difficult to form into cookies. 

They turned out perfect, nice and soft and chocolately, definitely a great cookie recipe for fall/Halloween! 

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Finally, last night, I made the Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate from Fo Reals Life. My changes: I left out the cardamom and used cocoa instead of chocolate chips (and only made a single serving). 

It was a nice treat for a fall night and easy enough to make; I'll likely return to this recipe soon enough!

In other news, today is National Cat Day, though Mystery doesn't see how it's different from any other day.

"Every Day is Cat Day!"

Peace. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Hello everyone! Here's a new fall recipe I tried out last week.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

I found the recipe here (just use a vegan butter & the recipe's vegan). My other changes included leaving out the shallots and celery, only making a third of the recipe (one acorn squash/two halves), and roasting first at 400°F for 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes, filled with the stuffing.

I had to poke the squash a couple times with a knife and then microwave it for a couple minutes to make it easier to cut in half. 

Cute little seeds.
Then I scooped out the seeds and the pulp (I later roasted the seeds).

The roasted acorn squash turned out OK, but not as good as I was hoping it would be. When I had the second half the next day as leftovers, it was a bit better, though. I think if I were to make it again, I would cook the rice in vegetable broth, add the celery back in, use less brown sugar, and leave out the cranberries as well (maybe use raisins instead?). (It was a bit too sweet for me.)

I also had a spinach salad and baby carrots with vegan ranch dressing.

As promised, here's the first picture I got of Mystery lying in the sun.

Peace. :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Some Food Since Vegan MoFo, Book Recommendation

Hello everyone! For my third post this week, I thought I'd share photos of some of the food I've had since the end of Vegan MoFo, as well as give a book recommendation.

Spinach, Daiya cheese, and Lightlife pepperoni pizza

Peanut butter brown rice with peppers

Daiya frozen cheese pizza that I split with Zach (the instructions on the box called for it to be baked a) at way too high a temperature and b) for way too long a time; we took it out early). It was good, though the crust was really thin.

Brown rice with squash (yellow & green) and onions, also turmeric, cumin, salt, and I forget what else; I had this with shiitake bacon, but took the picture before it was done baking.

Plain "chicken" broth with rotini noodles and crackers (to help me get over a cold)

Baked beans with wild rice and broccoli

2 cans beans (I used 1 can dark and 1 can light kidney beans)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup ketchup

Mix brown sugar and mustard. Add half of mix on one can of beans in a baking dish. Add second can of beans and remaining mixture. Pour ketchup over and bake at 325°F for two hours (I usually stir it every half-hour). I think I'm going to start making these with less brown sugar because they seemed a bit too sweet to me.

To utilize some of the leftover baked beans, I made a quick burrito (baked beans, Daiya cheddar, sautéed onions, salsa).

In other news, if you are looking for a sweet story about an adorable cat, I'd recommend reading Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper, a book about a blind kitten she adopts.

It's a quick read with lots of short chapters and several photos; kinda wish it had been longer! I really enjoyed the funny and cute stories about Homer's various adventures, quirks, and interactions with others. (Note: I personally could have done without the "None So Blind" chapter where the author discussed meeting her future husband. To me, it just seemed to drag on; the only way it related to Homer was that he inspired her to "take the leap" and start dating this individual.) Now for the sad part, the only reason I heard of this book in the first place was that I saw an article about Homer having died at the age of 16 years old. In the book, however, he is very much alive and his story is one that I'll definitely remember. You can find the book here on Amazon.

Mystery, resting on the floor (she doesn't do this much, usually prefers to rest on the couch or bed)

Yesterday, I noticed Mystery just standing on the floor, in the sunlight coming through the window. She seemed hesitant to lie down but was enjoying the warmth of the sun, so I set a folded-up blanket on the floor beside her in case she wanted a little "bed." She climbed on top of it, climbed off, and then laid down next to it! I didn't get any pictures, unfortunately, but I'll definitely try to if she does it again.

Peace. :)