Mrs Pine Nut

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: July Edition

Well, this has been a whirlwind month. We went to Spangle, WA for Restoration International‘s Northwest Family Retreat. It was great. It was my fourth time going, and the first time that I felt like a normal human being and actually thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Things are starting to come on in the garden, too. I’ve been picking blackberries almost daily this week. Green beans are on, but I keep forgetting about them. Oops. We harvested one cauliflower so far. Tomatoes are coming on and the cabbage is putting on heads. The sunflowers are blooming.

But also my little Lou Who (who will be three next week – THREE!) is blooming. About three days ago I decided it was Time to Use the Potty, and she has not only done all her business in the toilet (barring a couple puddles on the floor the first day and one yesterday), but she’s woken up with virtually dry diapers in the morning as well. This is too easy. I keep waiting for something to go Drastically Wrong – I mean, GooGoo was over three when I started her training and it took her MONTHS before she got anything close to this proficient (and even now at 5 1/2, we still have a fair amount of Incidents. Please know, I’m not putting down GooGoo, I know every child is different, and she is highly sensitive, possibly has sensory issues, so, yanno – I’m just saying that, in comparison, that’s why this feels too easy.)

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source. (And not necessarily in order, because since I’ve been gone and/or ridiculously busy for a large chunk of this month, and this post has fallen through the cracks for weeks.)

From Vegan With a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition:

1. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – I actually really liked these, and I have never liked lemon poppyseed anything, ever.

2. Pancakes, raspberry-lime variation – For a pancake, this wasn’t bad. (I’m not a pancake fan, but I like to try different ones since my family loves pancakes and hey, why not?)

3. Cherry-Almond Muffins – I made this in loaf form and I liked it, but didn’t love it.

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4. Tempeh Sausage – I made this ahead of time and froze it for use in…

5. Tempeh Sausage and White Bean Gravy – which was SO EASY to make, and we ate it on…

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6. Baking Powder Biscuits – Okay, so honestly I was a bit blah about trying a biscuit recipe, because a biscuit is a biscuit is a biscuit, right? Well, these were amazing. I’m guessing it’s the use of two fats instead of just one, maybe? I did half white, half whole wheat flour, and these were so light and delicious and perfect.

As for the gravy, I really liked it, despite that it looks a little like barf on a biscuit. Mr Pine Nut thought the flavour was too strong, but I really enjoyed it, largely because the tempeh added a lot of bulk but I really didn’t taste it so much, as I do it many recipes.

7. Lentil-Walnut Burgers – I decided that I’d try something I heard about subbing zucchini for mushrooms. It worked great! I have these made up and frozen now for future meals, but I did try one of the ones that broke. It had a great flavour. My primary gripe was that they were tremendously soft and flipping them was almost impossible. I had to bake them way longer than the recipe said. Soooo… next time I think I’ll have to add in more breadcrumbs or something.

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8. Pumpkin Waffles – These were a hit! Not only did they have zero issues sticking or falling apart or things like that, but they tasted great. 😀

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9. Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies – Of course I had to use up the remaining cup of pumpkin from the waffles, so, uh, THESE. These are going to be a regular. They are amazing!

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10. Maple Walnut Scones – These were good, but I thought I’d like them more than I actually did.

11. Berry Scones – But I liked these even better. I used fresh-picked (like literally freshly picked) blackberries from right outside our house. The girls liked these too and overall they were more of a hit than the maple ones.

[12. ETA: Apple Pie Crumble Muffins – Oh man these were good.]

From Veganomicon:

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13. Mexican Millet – This was really good and paired perfectly with…

14. Black Beans – …these. The only negative I have is that I didn’t make a double batch, because they were licked clean!

From Isa Does It:

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15. Lentil-a-Roni – SO GOOD! And easy. Definitely would make again.

From Vegan Brunch:

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16. Zucchini Spelt Muffins – I tried really hard to like these, but I just didn’t. I hate zucchini. 😦

17. East Coast Coffee Cake, Jam Swirl Version – oh om nom nom.

From Vegan Diner:

18. Mushroom Burgers – And nope, I didn’t use mushrooms! I used zucchini. These turned out really well and I was pleased. They are a little softer than the usual burgers I make, but still held together really well. I haven’t tried them yet; as with the lentil-walnut burgers, these are actually going to be used more next month.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in July: 5

Did I meet my goal? Nope. But I didn’t expect to, and I’m impressed with myself for having made as much as I did!

See you next month, with August’s recipe report!

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Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, entrees, garden, GooGoo, Lou Who, lunch, pasta, scones, travel, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Saga of the Ever-Changing Kitchen!

Okay, so it’s not actually ever-changing, but it’s changed a lot since my last kitchen tour post, not to mention the one before that, because we’re, oh, IN THE HOUSE. Partly for your perusal, but mostly for my own records, here’s a current peek at my makeshift kitchen!

_MG_5071Here’s an overall view of the south end of my kitchen, with a bonus Lou Who and Pumpkitten II.

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This shelf used to be in my sewing closet, and someday it may again be used for that, but for now it sure is handy in my kitchen. On the bottom are canisters of staples: rolled oats, mixed rolled grains, granola, flaxseed, and frequently-used dried beans.

Next shelf up is dried fruit.

Third shelf up, my spice shelf of doom.

Top shelf, vitamins, meds, oils, salt, a digital clock, an assortment of nukkys, random overflow spices, a mortar and pestle, bandaids, my glass of water,  and my kitchen scale.

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Here’s the stove. This stove was in the house that we tore down when we bought the property, because it was a stinking mouldy mess, about 19 times worse than the trailer. It still works. We stored it in the shed until we had this room ready for it and a plug to plug it into, and then we Thoroughly Santised it, because there was a dead mouse in it and apparently years’ worth of bacon grease, or something. Blech. So anyway, it’s a good stove and although I’d like a nicer one someday, I’m happy to have one that works for now.

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Next to the stove is this counter. It is a clever counter because it is supported solely by my precious decoupaged table (that has a towel on top to protect it from harm). There is a piece of plywood, a layer of black plastic, and tiles that will eventually be our utility room floor. Mr Pine Nut made me shelves with boards and cinderblocks, and I appropriated the plastic drawers (also a sewing room item in a former life) to store silverware, baking things, kitchen towels, and miscellany.

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Here’s what the black plastic looks like under the tiles. I have to lift the tiles occasionally to clean around and under them, since flour tends to sift through the cracks when I make bread or whatever.

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And this is under the counter: my aseptic milk stash, oil, pots and pans, flour mill, and other stuff.

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And this is the west end of my kitchen. The yellow buckets have white flour, wheat berries, brown rice, and rolled oats: things we go through the most. There are also stacks of boxes of last fall’s canned goods and a juicer.

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And this is my living room bookshelf that is, for now, a kitchen shelf. The top has a variety of grains we use for breakfasts, the food processor, popcorn popper, and utensils. Next down is all my storage containers, mixing bowls, and kidlet dishes. Bottom shelf has my most-used cookbooks and more canned goods both storebought and homemade. I still have the convection oven there on the floor too! I don’t use it much any more, but I’m glad to have it.

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And finally, the north side of the kitchen. Same counter setup. The dishwasher was a free item from a lady at church who was upgrading; the sink is a cast-iron Kohler sink that we got for $35, and the refrigerator was also free – we just had to go pick it up. As you can see, the bag dryer is still getting heavy use! 🙂 We have our knives on the far end of the counter, and this is also my morning grooming spot, so I have a little mirror on the windowsill and all my “stuff” in the overnight bag on the counter. Yes, we do have bathroom mirrors, but no bathroom sinks or counters, so this is easiest for me.

So that’s my update. But I’m going to leave you with this, because it makes me really happy:

That's Mr Pine Nut plastering the walls of the office, the first room we'll be finishing! I AM BEYOND EXCITED

That’s Mr Pine Nut plastering the walls of the office, the first room we’ll be finishing! I AM BEYOND EXCITED

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Categories: around the kitchen, Mrs Pine Nut | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Random Catch-uppances

I’ve been more and more neglectful of this blog, it seems. Life continues to go on, and I make food, but there’s so much going on that I’ve not had time or motivation to spend much of my life blogging here about said food. I’ve been doing cookbook testing that I can’t talk about yet, for one, and music has been the centre of my life for two months straight. Priorities!

Here’s some of what I’ve been up to over the year.

  • One of the things I’ve been working through this year is continued growth in the mental/physical health arena. I was having a load of health problems earlier in the year – allergies causing sinus infections over and over again, on top of what I believe was spiritual oppression. I dealt with it for about 4 months, getting worse and worse. In July I hit a point where I could barely walk and then simply couldn’t get out of bed, because I was so exhausted, and then some things happened. First I was ordered back onto my antidepressants by my therapist, about the same time I also requested to be anointed at church. The anointing happened on a Sabbath after church, low-key and quiet in one of the elders’ offices at church, and I am happy to report by the time I got home afterwards that day, I was again able to walk and function like a normal person. It was such a drastic, immediate change after weeks of hardly being able to drag myself out of bed, and I revelled in it, praising the Lord, for several days before going to pick up the prescription that was waiting for me. So I’ve been back on the meds since July, and I have roughly 5 months to go now on this round of the medication before we decide if I try to go off it again. I don’t know where it will go from here, but I am doing so much better, and I’m thankful for friends who have more perception and wisdom than I do, who dragged me kicking and screaming through the fog to the light. It is so wonderful to have energy, to feel creative, to actually be sending out Christmas cards this year for the first time in years without being totally overwhelmed and shutting down.
  • Living in our house, unfinished as it may be, has been wonderful beyond words. If you’ve never spent over two years in a mouldy deathtrap of doom, you simply will not understand. I don’t even care that my house isn’t finished, I’m just so thankful to be in it. Little by little we’re working on it. But we have space, light, indoor plumbing, space, and heat. And space. This is far more than much of the world can hope for in their lifetimes. We are abundantly blessed.
  • I discovered I have Scottish blood in me and have been embracing this discovery with every drop of said blood. My ScottishSpam on Pinterest? I apologise for nothing.
  • I’ve been working on listing stuff in my Etsy shop. Take a look! All the money after fees and tithe from these sales are going towards paying off my harp loan.
  • The most important personal development of this year, by far, has been that I have held out my musician’s heart in trembling hands to the world. I have been mortally afraid of opening my past to my closest friends, let alone strangers, but I have now shared my story via another blog: The Harp in the Closet. It is raw, simple, emotional, my very soul spilled out in words: a side of me that has not ever been on this blog, and indeed few see even in real life. It has actually been published for about 6 months now, and gotten over 1000 hits, but I am only now getting the courage to share about it here with a wider audience rather than with just individuals. Consider taking a little time to read it from start to finish. If it resonates with you in any way, please share it with your friends.
  • Finally, here’s a picture of our pretty tree and a cute cat:

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 7.37.34 PMMerry Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re celebrating!) from all of us Pine Nuts.

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Categories: holiday, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, sickness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hollywood Squares, or Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Hollywood Squares

As some of you know, I’ve been unable to consume peanut butter (or peanut anything) for roughly… *counts*… one year and seven months, because I was nursing Lou Who and she would get a Terrible Rash from my peanut consumption. Being an inveterate adorer of Snickers, pb&j, and Thai food, this has left a gaping hole in my life. But, you know, I’ve coped. I’ve actually coped pretty well, considering that I don’t like almond butter very much. And, thankfully, I could still have chocolate! Peanuts really are one of the easier allergens to deal with, and I’m very thankful it was that and not gluten.

So, one of the things I haven’t made for a Very Long Time is Hollywood Squares, which is a recipe a friend gave me when we were 12 or 13 and it’s basically like having a 13×9 Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in the palm of your hungry little hand. I made these many times for my coworkers back about 7 years ago and saw them vanish before my very eyes. I myself am *cough* capable of eating more of them at a time than I care to admit.

I have no doubt you could make these with sunbutter, almond butter, cashew butter, or any sort of nut butter, but I knew it simply wouldn’t be the same, so I’ve waited and waited to post this here.

Note: It’s helpful to have all your peanut butter layer ingredients ready in bowls so you can add them in quickly.

Note #2: It is VERY important to add the ingredients in the peanut butter layer in the order they are listed. Most recipes don’t care, but trust me, this one does. If you do them out of order, you’ll wind up with a lumpy mess. A tasty lumpy mess, mind, but probably not one that would make your co-workers compliment you on your Mad Attractive Food Skilz.

Note #3: If you cut the recipe in half, it’s perfect for 12 regular muffin cups (smash the peanut layer into muffin papers and then spread the chocolate on top).

And without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Peanut Butter Layer
1/2 c melted vegan margarine
2 c creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix 1/2 c melted margarine well with the peanut butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Spread in the bottom of 13×9 pan.

Chocolate Layer
4 T vegan margarine
12 oz bag of chocolate chips

Melt together the 4 T margarine with the bag of chocolate chippies. Pour and spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Chill. Cut into squares.

^^Bonus: a really lame video of me eating one of these babies a few minutes ago.

Categories: dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, Lou Who, recipes, vegan | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Six Years!

Mr Pine Nut was sick on our actual anniversary, so we had to postpone our celebrations. We were able to leave the girls with his mom on the 20th of April and head up to Portland for a stop at Native Foods and a jaunt through the Rose Garden. We almost never go out to eat. It’s just not a thing we’ve ever done! So it’s definitely a treat when we do actually go. There’s a new Native Foods opening in Clackamas, my old stomping grounds, but it wasn’t opened yet, so we went to the Tigard location.

As always, the dilemma of what to choose. The first time I went, I got the Chicken Run Ranch sandwich, and it was amazing. A few months ago when I went up there with some friends to see the Pittock Mansion I got the Oklahoma Bacon Burger and it was amazing. I didn’t know that breaded and fried dill pickles would be outstandingly good. But they are. (I don’t like pickles.) And I got the oatmeal creme pie for dessert. Yum.

This time, I decided to go for the Bangkok Curry Bowl.

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It was really, really tasty. The veggies were cooked on the crisp side, which made them a little harder to eat, but I liked it. It took the dirty sock edge off the flavour of the broccoli without really cooking it to mush. The tofu steak was really good and the curry sauce was just the right amount of spice. You can’t see it in the picture, but the tofu and veggies are on brown rice.

I also got a side of Chicken Wings that were delicious. I even actually used the dipping sauces with them. I have to admit, I’m not much of a sauce person. On the whole I like my meatlike substances and salads and French toast naked. And it was actually kind of good. (Though I did eat the majority of the wings sans sauce.)

Mr Pine Nut got the Baja Blackened Taco.

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He said it was very good. I snitched a bit of the tempeh because I was curious and it was the best tempeh I’ve ever had. He also got a side of sweet potato fries, which is about the only way he could keep me out of them, since I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes. At all. I tried a couple and they just made me want to gag.

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So he enjoyed his sweet potato fries in blissful peace while I took pictures of the local scenery.

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What a deal!!

Then it was off to the Rose Garden, where we wandered around and sat on benches and looked at all the things that weren’t blooming and a few things that were.

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And then we found this spot where we took a picture of me in October of 2007 and took another picture of me now.

Me in 2007

Me in 2007

Me in 2014. I know, I know, I totally failed at the pose! But I couldn't remember exactly how I did it.

Me in 2014. I know, I know, I totally failed at the pose! But I couldn’t remember exactly how I did it.

So, that’s that. What should I try next time I hit Native Foods?

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Categories: Mrs Pine Nut, restaurants | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Things and stuff.

So, beginning yesterday, I started a temporary social media withdrawal. (This will feed into FB automatically, but I’m not personally on there right now.) I just mention this in case you try to contact me through FB because I’m not likely to see it unless it’s a message to my personal account. I have no idea whether this hiatus will be for a week or three weeks at this point. So. On to other things.

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Life has been a little bumpy lately as I adjust to house life. Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying the space and the generally normal life! But I’ve been completely zapped of any food creativity and most of what I have tried to make has just fallen flat. I forget to salt my beans. I overseason my beans. I burn my rice. That kind of thing. I find it ironic that the minute I actually have room to spread out, my cooking falls like an underbaked cake in a hurricane. So, this is why there have been no food posts lately.

For suppers several times a week I’ve been making loads of raisin-oat scones because those are pretty foolproof. The girls love them. Lou Who thinks they’re cookies. So, what can go wrong there?

I did make a pretty good spinach pesto last week, but it was one of those “bit of this bit of that” concoctions that can never be quite recreated. And if I’m following a recipe, stuff comes out okay. I think I’m getting a little burned out on some things, though. Our church has been doing a weekly after-church meal for a couple months now and while we get all the details worked out for the different rotating menus the biggest chunk of work falls on me and F. It’ll lighten up soon. And I’m cutting back on cookies, partly because I’m sick right now, but also because I just need to cut back on cookies.

Oh, we did have a nonfire! But that deserves a post of its own.

And I made myself a skirt. So, that’s something. And I’ve got myself a little music corner that’s enabling me to actually practise more readily. That is awesome.

Okay, bye.

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Categories: Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, sewing | Tags: | Leave a comment

The End Is in Sight

So, in the past few weeks, things like this happened:

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And also this happened:

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We have insulation in our ceiling. We have a functional woodstove. We have our range and kitchen sink hooked up and the office set up as a temporary bedroom.

Does this mean that maybe, just maybe, we’re about to get out of this moudly deathtrap of doom, er, trailer?

YESYESYESYESYESYESYES

The first photos I have of our treading foot on this place were taken at the end of March, 2011, so it’s getting close to 3 years. Believe me, I never dreamed 3 years were going to go by of waiting for the house we designed to be a place we could actually live.

I was asked recently by another mom of girls about my girls’ age: would I recommend this trailer dwelling stuff to anyone else? This family is, like us, hoping to make the move to the country but it might be a while between purchasing land and being able to finish a house for them, too.

And the following is my $0.025.

Do you have kids or plan to have kids? Not an automatic no, but make sure you and they each have your own sleeping space, especially if they are older kids. Our trailer wasn’t designed that way.

Do you have pets? Again, not an automatic no, but if you have both kids AND pets, well. Think about it. They need space too! If you have a cat, where will the litter box/food/water go? If a dog, is there a place for her to sleep?

Do you have musical instruments? Um, is there space? I know of a family of 4 + cats who’s living in a trailer with a cello, a harp, AND a piano. I don’t know how they’re pulling that off. But apparently it’s doable.

Do you have a plan? Things come up. We thought we had the money to finish the house the first year we were here, and then taxes sucked a bunch of our money out of our pockets. Are you prepared in case your 6 months turns into 36 months because of your financial situation?

Will you have a storage unit to keep your things in until the house is finished? We did. $60ish a month does add up, but at least the stuff was safe and dry.

Do you ever deal with depression? Definitely not recommended. I think mentally I went downhill a lot faster in the trailer than I had been going in a regular place.

Trailers tend to be damp. Stuff gets mouldy. You have limited kitchen space. Stir craziness is just part of life.

Overall, no, I wouldn’t recommend it. But it was, for us, a means to an end (if not an ideal one), and it could be for you too. The ultimate question is, would I do it again? Not if I didn’t have any other option!

But it doesn’t matter now.

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Jaunt to Eugene. Keystone Café + Vanilla Jill’s

Today my friend and I went to Eugene, FINALLY.

I mean, we’ve been talking about it ever since we went to EVEN’s (Eugene Veg Education Network) little vegan fair in… August. Yeah, kind of a while ago. But I won a gift card for $10 for Keystone Café in a drawing! That was kind of awesome. So ever since then we’ve intended to go back to Eugene to check out this Keystone Café and hit the Goodwill. We’re so exciting, right???

Today at last our schedules and other things coincided and we went. I took Lou Who. GooGoo stayed at home with Daddy and M’s kids were all in school, so it was a peaceful mommy day out. 🙂

First we went to Goodwill, where I did not find shoes for GooGoo as I had hoped, but I did find other things, like a shirt that’s way too big but it has a blue brontosaurus and “vegetarian” on it. I couldn’t resist. And a 3-in-1 Thomas Kinkade puzzle for 99 cents and a glass punch bowl with 12 cups for $4, and a couple other things. Like a 99 cent little husky dog for Lou Who who is really, really into cuddling stuffed animals and dolls. She clung happily to that thing from the moment it got into her hands until we got home, barring the time we were eating.

After Goodwill, we made a run to Walmart because I forgot to bring diapers for Lou Who and she was starting to get Damp Pants. After Walmart it was off to the Keystone Café.

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The place is small with tables pretty close together. We got treated to a lot of fascinating conversations around us while not being able to have much of one of our own.

Eating her complimentary fruit cup. Her mouth was full of grape and her arm full of stuffed Husky.

Eating her complimentary fruit cup. Her mouth was full of grape and her arm full of stuffed Husky.

Unsuspecting M is unsuspecting.

Unsuspecting M is unsuspecting. She thought I was taking a selfie.

DOUBLE SELFIE

DOUBLE SELFIE

The waitress was very friendly and got us our food quickly. We had 11 specifically vegan items we could order, which were handily grouped together on the menu, and both decided to get the Vegan Tofu Skillet+extra homefries.

Here’s their description of the dish:

Grilled Tofu Scrambled with Homefries, Spinach, Zucchini, Green and Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Mole Sauce. Topped with Cabbage, Salsa & Cilantro. Served with Corn Bread Topped with Enchilada Sauce & Nutritional Yeast Gravy.

And here’s a picture:

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And here’s our rundown. The nooch gravy: excellent. Like, really good. I’m not great at gravy making, and I would love to be able to make that good of gravy at home. The spinach was perfectly steamed, which was great. The homefries were very good. I mean, I can make comparable ones at home, but they were good.

All in all, though, there was just flat-out too much going on with this dish. You have the cornbread topped with TWO sauces. Both were good, but just the gravy would have been better. The tofu had obviously been frozen, and not all the water was cooked out. There was also absolutely no detectable flavour to it. It looked like it had a rub, but I’m positive there was no marinade or anything to pep it up, and it really didn’t look or taste grilled. I added a bunch of salt trying to make it edible. Then there was some crazy spicy sauce mixed in with the veggies that made the veggies pretty much inedible. I don’t mind spicy but it just didn’t… mesh with the dish. It’s hard to describe. Seriously, three sauces in one dish?

M had the exact same reaction I did. In retrospect we wished we had ordered different things just to see if everything was mediocre or if we just didn’t pick a good dish. My suspicion, though, is that vegan isn’t their specialty – it appears to just be an option they offer to cater to the Eugene population. Next time, I plan to go to the Cornbread Café instead, where the entire point of the restaurant is to make amazing vegan food that you can’t easily recreate at home. I haven’t been to the CC, but M has, as well as another friend, and they all rave about it. CC’s Facebook page is a constant stream of delicious food photos that make me want to just go there almost daily.

So, we left there feeling a little blah and decided to go to Vanilla Jill’s.

I approve of these hours.

I approve of these hours.

Kombucha on tap! I... didn't take advantage of the option.

Kombucha on tap! I… didn’t take advantage of this option.

We almost didn’t go, but we were SO glad we did. We ordered the cocoanut lime creme flavour from the vegan options, mine topped with chocolate chips, and it was SO good it completely made up for the Keystone meal. Now that is something I couldn’t make at home. SO GOOD. Did I mention it was good? We kicked ourselves a little when we saw “VEGAN SANDWICHES” advertised on the whiteboard. They were probably pretty fab vegan sandwiches.

Seriously, so good.

Seriously, so good.

Then we drove back to the place where I had left my car and sat in the parking lot and talked for a long time before she left to pick up her kidlets and I went home.

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Categories: dessert, Lou Who, lunch, Mrs Pine Nut, restaurants | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

2013: The Photoessay

Happy memories, things to be thankful for, and good friends.

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Happy 2014! I hope you all have a good, safe, wonderful year. I don’t do resolutions; I think they’re silly. But, I do have some goals! Here is what I’m shooting for in 2014:

  • More zines
  • Putting out a digital recipe book
  • Getting out of this trailer and into my house
  • Adding lots of new lovelies to my Etsy shop – what would you like to see there? I’m open to considering all suggestions!

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Categories: GooGoo, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten, travel | Leave a comment

Exiles of the Snow

First, business: One of the winners of the giveaway has never responded to my email, so I’ve chosen a second winner via Random.org: Panda With Cookie! You should be getting an email from me shortly!

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The view from the living room window of our friends' house

The view from the living room window of our friends’ house during the cold snap of doom

Now, on to other things. We had a cold, cold cold snap. Our woes began when the trickle of water we left running wasn’t enough of a trickle and our trailer pipes froze on GooGoo’s birthday. This wasn’t as bad as it might have been, since we do have a water storage tank in the trailer that we can fall back on. The problem with that is that when it’s empty and the trailer hose is frozen, refilling it involves a 5-gallon bucket being toted from the house where water *was* still running, a funnel, and four hands.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

With the weather forecast ominously predicting lows in the teens, we became exiles from our own abode on Friday the 6th. We headed with girls and cat in tow for the booming metropolis of Shedd where we found refuge with good friends until the snap passed.

We had all kinds of adventures with the their cat hating our cat and our cat being all passive-aggressive to their cat, a treacherous trip to Corvallis because Train Boy was going to just PERISH if he had to use Nucoa instead of Smart Balance just one more meal, and hearing Greensleeves practised a few times over the course of the week. I got quite a few felt ornaments made, though, and got in some music practise myself.

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

Well, the weather didn’t warm up on Tuesday as they had predicted. It was Friday before everything was sufficiently melted and our pipes were thawed out. So we ended up being away from home for eight days.

Pumpkitten knows there's a heater right beneath him

Pumpkitten knows there’s a heater right beneath him

We’re still getting things back in order around here and I have been afflicted with ridiculous fatigue I can’t explain. I have been lazing around hoping to regain my energy. I predict I’ll be back to normal tomorrow, but we’ll see.

***

Bonus! Three photos of GooGoo’s birthday. How is she four already?

The tiger cake!

The tiger cake!

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!

 

 

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Categories: birthdays, GooGoo, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten | Tags: | Leave a comment

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