Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Better Choices

Eventho I cannot remember where I bought this box of Better Oats Organic Maple and Brown Sugar Multigrain Cereal with Flax I'm super excited I found another new-to-me product.  I'm also thrilled it's organic!  I have been seeing more and more organic labeled items in my small town.  That gives me hope that there will be more to come!

It's been frigid all morning and that proves that fall is officially here.  It was 25 degrees on my way in.  A hot bowl of this made it better.  The texture is a little different but the flavor is good!


I'm day 3 on my no bread and no pasta run.  Day 2 on the official challenge.  As I mentioned yesterday - my timing is horrible to start this!  Not only is it Vegan MoFo and I have hardly contributed anything to the month-long blogging celebration - yesterday was World Bread Day - and TODAY is National Pasta Day!  Yikes!

But it's all about BETTER choices.  I'm been rocking the salads for DAYS and now I'm back into making my own salad dressings.

As an added challenge, I'm trying NOT to buy anything new at the grocery store this week and work off of what I have in my pantry already which is NOT MUCH, to say the least.



In case you were curious about the contents of this salad dressing here is the Blender Recipe for this Tomato Paprika Vinaigrette that you are seeing above....

2 C Cherry Tomatoes
4 or 5 Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 C Garlic Grapeseed Oil
2 T Agave Nectar
1 tea Paprika 
Onion Powder to taste
Wildtree Garlic Galore (or Garlic Powder) to taste
Pink or Black Himalayan Sea Salt to taste


Monday, October 16, 2017

My Timing Isn't The Best...

My husband and 2 of his buddies are challenging themselves to shed some weight.  It started today and ends in 30 days.  One of them is doing a detox program that Arbonne has.  The other one and my DH are doing their own thing.  While I'm not involved in the challenge I decided to throw out bread and pasta.


Over the last year and a half or so - I have gained back a lot of my weight that I lost while first dropping dairy.  There are 2 reasons as to why this has happened.  First and foremost I am terrible at eating breakfast.  Many times I skip lunch, too, so when I get to dinner I'm starving and overeat and then I don't have enough time to burn that off before going to bed.  In addition, I have gotten lazy with my cooking attempts.  I tend to fall back on pasta and bread.  I think with these few choices I can make a difference.

My timing isn't the best...

Today is World Bread Day.  Perfect day to NOT eat bread, right?  Wrong!  But so far I'm doing it!  I'm on day 2.  Last night I had a Romaine Salad and made up some Buffalo Chickpeas to throw in and made some vegan salad dressing.

Easy Vegan Buffalo Chickpeas

1 Can of Chickpeas
2 T Earth Balance
3 T Sriracha
Sprinkle to taste...Garlic, Onion, Sea Salt
Splash of Almond Milk to cook down
all on the stovetop!

For the dressing...I was to the end of my Just Mayo but didn't have the heart to throw what little I had left away.  I added a little splash of Almond Milk, Ketchup, a squirt of Sriracha to the bottle and gave it a good shake.  It made a great salad dressing for this Romaine & Buffalo Chickpea Salad.  

This hit the spot and I will surely do it again soon!



3 Vegan Store Bought Nice Cream Finds!

I'm still trying to catch up on blog posts so I decided to do a post highlighting 3 Vegan Ice Cream Alternative I have found over the last 3 months. 

I'm starting with my most recent find first but it's totally worth it!  When I did eat dairy one of my favorites was B&J's, Cherry Garcia.  So when I recently found the vegan version I was thrilled!

I was able to find this one at my local Tops Market.



I can't remember if I found this next one at my local tops a couple of months ago or if it was somewhere else but I totally forgot to blog about it. 

B&J's P.B. & Cookies!  The Peanut Butter was stellar!  The cookies were a nice added treat, too!  I remember not being able to overeat either one of these which might be a good thing in more ways than one.  They were both VERY filling!


Not all of the vegan ice cream alternatives are Ben & Jerry's on this list...I also had an amazing one from So Delicious!  This normally isn't one I would reach for first because I'm not much of a salt person but I'm glad I grabbed in 3 (or more) months ago when I saw it at Wegman's in Lakewood.  It was wonderfully tasty!  The sweet and salty - yin and yang - were perfectly done. 

All 3 of these I would buy again!  I know they aren't really new offerings but they were new finds for me.

Friday, October 13, 2017

3 New-To-Me Products I've Enjoyed Lately

I still have LOTS to catch up on but wanted to hurry up and post about 3 products that I have enjoyed lately.

The first being this Organic Cranberry Spiced Apple Kombucha from Trader Joe's in Rochester.

It was pretty strong for a nice kick in the pants! BAM!



Next up...

So Delicious Cheddar Shreds!  Yes!  So Delicious!  I found them at the Whole Foods Market in Buffalo!  And OMG I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  It smells more cheddary than anything else I have ever smelled vegan-cheese-wise.  There is more of a TANG to it than other vegan cheeses, too!  I do LOVE Daiya Shreds - but - dare I say I enjoy THESE shreds more?  Possibly.  I'm upset that I only bought 1 bag because I know I won't be able to find any anywhere near me.  I've been Googling this and any online announcements only date back to mid-August and Mid September so this HAS to be a NEW product!


And speaking of Daiya...OMG...I'm in LOVE with their new Alfredo Sauce!  This is so creamy and so rich and so YUM!  I found it at Wegman's in Lakewood a few months ago and just got rid of the box last week because I was going thru my kitchen and pitching it.  It's not unusual for me to keep a label or box of something I enjoy to remind myself to pick it up again the next time I see it but I will NOT be forgetting about this little gem anytime soon so I figured it was safe to part ways with the box!

QUESTION OF THE DAY...what are the last 3 new-to-you-productions that have been memorable for you?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

My Sprouting Journey: I Couldn't Resist! And I'm Glad I Didn't!

Last week I found this Sprouting Kit at my local 'Herb Store'.  I probably shouldn't have bought it but I couldn't resist and I'm glad I didn't.  Come to find out you can buy this same kit online at Walmart for just under $29.  I bought it for roughly $27.  YAY!

You can see that it comes with 3 Sprouting Packets and 3 Trays!



Here's the back of the box.  I think I'm going to keep it.  Or at least cut off the back and save it.  Not sure yet.

I have been pondering a bit of crafting again and starting with Vision Boards.  Maybe on a Monthly Basis.  This would be GREAT to include in this month's Vision Board.  It's plain and simple but inspiration just to look at it.

I tend to go in spurts with sprouts!  If you have been a blogging buddy of mine for a while you might already know this about me.  Previous Posts on Sprouting: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.  Oh yeah and Here, Here, Here, and Here!  HaHa!

A few things I am doing different this time...

I'm sprouting at work and not at home.  This time of year I have found unexpected guests in years past and I don't want to encourage that this year.

I'm not sure why but my office at work I have come to be VERY fond of for many reasons.  One is the windows and natural light.  Not that you need these things for sprouting but I just thought I would mention it.  Another being that I have had a lot of luck with various plants growing around my office space so I figured I would try it!


The photo above is DAY 1 on this specific Sprouting Journey.  This was after soaking for 12 hours.  The second photo was taken yesterday at the end of the day.  I have to say that I am OVERJOYED with the first time results.  They seem to sprout much faster than my other attempts in Mason Jars!  It took less than 2 days!

This is the Protein Powerhouse Sprout Mix that came with the kit.  The Mix has Adzuki, Garbanzo, Pea, and Mung.

My goal is to have sprouts going throughout the week - all week long - and break on the weekend.  Another goal is to snack on them throughout the day and include them in my lunches.

I have been rinsing them twice a day.  Here are 2 more photos of them up-close and personal.  Aren't they beautiful!?

Next week I hope to have all of the trays sprouting at the same time.  This week I only did the one tray.

I mentioned that I would be sprouting all week and taking a break on the weekends while I'm not at work...I have a plan for that, too!  I'll take any leftover home for the weekend!

I think these are really reachable goals.  I will post progress here for sure!

On the box of the kit, it said their website is HandyPantry.com but it forwards to another site now.  It's now under the direction of True Leaf Market.

In the short time, I have been thumbing thru the True Leaf Market website I have already fallen in LOVE with it!

I know I will learn a lot but I will probably be so intrigued with their other products that I will have to look into buying some more of them!

I have also been storing my other sprouting seeds in a cool, dry place for a while now so I will be busting those out soon!  PLUS...the ban on selling sprouting seeds in the state of PA has been lifted!  YAY!  I still can't believe that they were banned for 2 or 3 years.  They made it illegal to sell sprouting seeds in the state.  Other seeds were still ok but not seeds that were specifically geared toward sprouting sprouts!  Oye!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Road Trip to Rochester & Buffalo: Pi-Craft, New Whole Foods Market, and Wind Farms!

This past weekend DH and I were headed to Woodmere, OH, and decided to change directions and head to Rochester, NY, instead.  We wanted to get the Abarth out before winter, too!  When we got to Rochester we visited 2 Music Stores he wanted to go to and we stopped at a place called Pi-Craft for lunch.  It was WONDERFUL!  Basically, you put the toppings that you want on your pizza and they Stone Fire it in 3 to 6 minutes!  They had VEGAN options!  So as you can see here I opted for the Vegan Cheese, Sauce, Tomato, Artichoke, Mushrooms, Spinach, Garlic, etc.

Come to find out not only do they have a location in Rochester - they have another one in Buffalo!  I'm sure we will be stopping at the Buffalo Location in the future!  While we were in Rochester we briefly stopped at Trader Joe's.  I only bought 3 items one of which was their Apple Cranberry BOOCH.  It was a strange trip because we kept changing our direction throughout the trip.  We ended up in Buffalo on our way home.  I found out they finally opened the new Whole Foods Market there so we stopped real quick and it was unlike any other WF's I have seen!

I bought some things there but totally forgot to take photos before putting it away!  Oops!  This store was HUGE!  In this 2nd pic if you look to the far left there is a restaurant and bar there with local brews.  We weren't able to stop to eat there but it looked really neat.  We might be going to Buffalo on the 23rd with my parents who are looking into a camper so I might see if we can stop there again!

Because we were driving all over the place I can't really tell you an exact location where we started seeing these Wind Turbines and Wind Farms but I know one of the many locations was in or around Warsaw, NY.   There were HUNDREDS of them all over the place.  I've seen them in other places here and there but on this trip, we were certainly in the core of the Wind Farm zone.

Agree or Disagree with them - it was certainly not something most of us see every day!  

Again, I have multiple posts today so be sure to scroll down.  I just couldn't wait to share my vegan pizza with you or the mention of the new WF's in Buffalo!

CHEERS!

Farmers Market Finds Including O Sage Orange


Check it out!  Look what I found at our local Farmers Market!  It's an O Sage Orange!  I didn't know much about them when bought it but I knew I had never seen one before and I thought for 25 cents I could chance it!  I can't really say anything more than was said in this video I found so I thought I would post it below.  I learned a lot from this guy on the topic that is for sure!



This is just another mini post for the day because it seems like I have so many things to post about and so little time.  PLUS - it's Vegan MoFo and I haven't even been able to post anything with that yet!  So Sorry!!!!  Stay tuned - I'm sure I will be doing multiple posts here within days!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Won "The Slowest Potato Peeler Award" - Vegan in a Fake Turtle Shell - Turtle Power!

How's THAT for a Blog Post Title?  Yup!  It's true!  A few Friday's ago I participated in a Potato Peeling Contest for Charity.  I was nervous that I was going to come in last but I ended up having a lot of fun and walked away with this groovy award!  I know the guy next to me was slower than I was but he won the Longest Peel Award so 'it's all good'.  Maybe the organizers knew that I would get a kick out of it!  I don't know!  It was all for a good cause!  It was the kick-off to our local Torchlight Campaign for United Fund.  There are several organizations locally that benefit from the funds raised each year.



There were about 9 of us that participated in the Potato Peeling Contest including someone from our local paper, our radio stations (that was me), one of our county commissioners, a few educators, and ag people, too!  Awards were given for fastest and most accurate, the longest potato peel, and the slowest and most taken off with the peel.  That is where I come in.  Perhaps I just took much off of the actual potato.  My original plan was to create a tool that basically peeled it for me.

I wanted to take a battery operated handheld drill and put the potato on the end of that and peel it while it was spinning.  It didn't work the way I hoped so I didn't do it and changed courses at the last minute.  These are the potatoes once I was done with them.  I also think there was some trickery that went along with it because I ended up with 2 extra potatoes in my bowl before they weighed them. It was all in good fun but it was a bit ironic that the vegan was the slowest peeler!


In other news - I FINALLY got my hair cut and colored!  Woot!  It's been about 10 months since my last visit and I was WAY past due!  If you look real close in the first pic you can see how long my hair was in ponytail.  It's hard to tell but I had it pulled in front of me quite a bit.  This photo is after I got it done and it's about shoulder length in front and just a bit shorter in the back.  End result - they took over 6 inches off me - I guess I didn't know how long my hair had gotten until they cropped it off.  It does feel better after getting the length off a bit.  I still have my hippie hair it's just a little more manageable.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Golden Kiwi Fruit & Dyslexia Awareness Month

This is a hurry-up-and-post-POST because I'm so far behind on everything and I didn't want to forget it.  I'm supposed to be posting every day during Vegan MoFo!  YIKES!!!  I'm hoping to do multiple posts today to make up for it!  As for this mini-post, I wanted to let you know that I located Golden Kiwi Fruit about a week ago!  They are smaller than regular Kiwi Fruit.  The texture is a bit different, too!  Why do I make a special effort to write Kiwi Fruit instead of just Kiwi?  Because years ago I had a friend who was originally from New Zealand and it irked her when people called the fruit Kiwi's because many New Zealanders call the people of New Zealand Kiwis.  They find it to be an endearing term and it's viewed as a symbol of pride.  Therefore, out of respect I always try to remember to say Kiwi Fruit when referring to these little gems.  Many of you know how I LOVE finding produce that is rare in my area or new-to-me.

In other news - October is Dyslexia Awareness Month.  Since mentioning I was Dyslexic in the past month or two here on my blog I have received a couple of notes from people which I appreciate and have been thinking about blogging more about it while trying to obtain more ways to help adults dealing with Dyslexia.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Frankie, Trinity, and The Monarch Butterfly

I was intrigued by a recent FB Post from Total Evolution...
Is it #Halloween yet? Close enough for us!  A new favorite on the menu, meet The #Frankie!

#TheFrankie is a combination of two of our favorites, the #Turmeric and the #PineappleParadise, each kicked up a notch by some of the most #nutrient dense, #detoxifying, #antioxidant full, super powders! I cannot say enough about the benefits of these ingredients! #Anti-inflammatory. #Antioxidant. #Plant #protein #GLAs and #Omega3s #Energy boosting. #Digestion supporting. Highly absorbable #iron that is gentle on the stomach. So much more. Plus, omg it tastes amazing! Pineapple upside down cake, anyone?

When I found out it was vegan I knew I had to try it!  It was pretty amazing!  It did have banana in it but there was enough other stuff in there to take my mind off of it.  And YES on top that is a bit of Activated Charcoal.


It's been a couple of weeks since I have seen my sweet niece Trinity but I have been getting text messaged photos!  This is one of my favorites as of late.  She was sitting there watching the Yankees game with my parents!  

I just can't get over her pose!  Arms behind her head!

I'm hoping to see her this week.  I might actually have the opportunity to see her a bit more over the next couple of weeks!  YAY!

As many of you know I'm not a fan of winter for just about ANY and EVERY reason but this year I have the added dread of not being able to see Trinity as much due to wintery weather conditions.  Boo Hiss!

She's about 4 months old already and still only about 10 pounds!  She's such a peanut!  

This past weekend a few of us were prepping buildings for camper storage at the fairgrounds and cleaning up some of the buildings.  

We were taking a break while a couple people were putting away some equipment in one of the barns.

I noticed more Monarchs this year after not seeing them the last couple of years.  This made me VERY happy.  As many of you may know about the decline in Monarch Butterflies.

I extended my arm and finger in hopes it would land on me and it did - not once - but 4 times.  A friend of ours took this pic the last time it was on me.  It stayed like this for like 5 minutes!  It really was a magical moment!