Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hail Merry Caramel Sea Salt Bites & Dyshidrotic Eczema

Hail Merry Caramel Sea Salt Bites & Dyshidrotic Eczema...I know...that's a WEIRD Blog Post Title.  Let me explain...First up - the YUMMY bit of this post!  This past weekend we took a day trip again and stopped by Erie to pick up my BIL and then drove to Buffalo to go to Pizza Plant.  (More on that in the next couple of days)  We were waiting for him to get out of work and the Whole Foods Co-Op is just a couple of blocks from his house and I ran in real quick to see if there was 'anything I couldn't live without' and came across a fairly good price on these Caramel Sea Salt Bites from Hail Merry and I was INSTANTLY a fan!

Now on to the Dyshidrotic Eczema part of this post.  NOT pleasant.  I didn't know what it was until I researched it and I'm pretty sure it's something I have had on again and off again in the spring and fall.  I learned a lot from THIS POST and other sources.  In short, it's either an allergy issue or a stress issue.  I guess it could be either with me but I'm wondering more about the is why...

It says to up your intake of Vitamin A Foods but after I looked at the list of vegan foods that were high in Vitamin A I realized I already eat a lot of those things.  Then it says to lower your intake of foods with nickel and/or cobalt in them and that is when I started thinking.  As far as the vegan foods with nickel in them the following are my favorite foods on that list and I tend to eat a lot of the following foods...

Black Tea, Nuts, Seeds, Soy, Chickpeas & other kinds of beans, Tomato, Corn, Spinach.  Honestly, with the exception of soy, the other foods make up about 80 percent of my diet these days.  I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't have a nut, a seed, a tomato, corn, or beans.

BUT...why now?

That...I'm not sure.  Then I read that Baking Powder is on that list of things to watch out for on the nickel/cobalt list.  It also says that outbreaks could last 2 to 4 weeks.  Interesting.  It just so happens that I attempted Vegan Pancakes at home about 2 to 3 weeks ago and used Baking Powder in the recipe.  Could this have contributed?  Or was in the combo of everything?  Regardless, I'm going to try and lower my intake of some of my favorite foods, corn, beans, nuts, seeds...but...I will have to see what other kinds of things I can make my vegan cheesy sauces out of, too!  YIKES!

In the meantime...what am I going to do about self-care and healing my palms from the itching?  Witchazel.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Mixed Berry Smoothie, Ups & Downs of LightLife, Butternut Vegan Mac & Cheese

Time has been flying by!  I do have things to share but haven't had time to share it.  I almost forgot it was my birthday today, too!  But then again - it's just another day!  So, this will be a mishmash of a blog entry - yet again!

Kicking things off with a smoothie I had the other night!  I've been pretty bad about eating fruit lately.  I mean...technically...Tomatoes, Avocadoes are fruits, yes, but other fruits I have been passing over lately.  I think it's just because I find them too sweet lately.  My sensitive teeth have been avoiding the naturally sugary jolt.  I think a way around this is smoothies and I've going to try and work on this!  Having said that - what do you think about the photo above?  I have been trying to take some better pictures and have been tinkering with lighting a bit.

The Smoothie contains:

1 c Coconut Milk
1 T Flax Meal
1 T Hemp Seeds
1 T Chia Seeds
2 C Frozen Mixed Berries

This next photo is from Monday.  It was our League of Women Voters 2nd Annual Sunshine Event.  I blogged about it last year a little bit so I figured I would mention it again this year.  This time around we took a tour of the City/Municipal Building and had about 5 speakers including our Mayor, City Manager, Chief of Police, Freedom of Information Officer, and a couple of Council Members.  I think the event was a success and it was something that has been in the works for a couple of months!
Here's a new-to-me-product.  I found them a while back on one of our weekend grocery shopping adventures.  It's been a couple of weeks since I actually ate them but wanted to share it.  They were quite tasty.  It's been a long time since I have tried anything from LightLife because I'm not into fake meats and I found a bunch of their items salty (years ago) but I see they are coming out with a bunch of new products so I'm happy to see them kicking it up a notch!  I made a simple homemade Thousand Island type dressing/dip for them.  It was a complete meal and quite filling, too!
This was a completely thrown together meal one day while working.  I went to a grocery store nearby and grabbed 3 items...frozen cauliflower rice, Daiya cheese sauce, and LightLife Vegan Dogs.  I only bought them because they were 2 for $5 and then there was a dollar off coupon on top of that so far $1.50 I thought I would revisit them.  I still didn't care for them.  I ate a few of them in this dish and then picked around it and just ate the cheesy cauliflower rice!  

The weather has still been awful here but I was able to visit my parents and brought Cricket along for a playdate with their dog Lexi.  They surprised me with Amy's Vegan Curry for dinner last night!
As for this double was a Butternut Squash based Vegan Mac and Cheese dish I made earlier this week.  The recipe is below - all in a blender:

1 Can Organic Butternut Squash Puree
2 T Tahini
3 T Nutritional Yeast
1 t Minced Garlic
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Turmeric
To Taste: Yellow Mustard, Lemon Juice, Balsamic, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Almond or Coconut Milk

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hummus Pods & Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

A little teaser to start things off today!  But I can't tease you for's what you are looking at...

These are new-to-me and I have to say I fell in LOVE with them at first bite!  They are Hummus Pods!  I found them on one of my recent road trips.  I hope they become more readily available because I want to stock up on them!  They are YUMMY as-is and on their own but you know me...I need to make dips and sauces for stuff, too, so I did!  I used homemade leftover Vegan Sriracha Aioli.

And speaking of is another recent cookbook I added to my collection!  I can't wait to dive in!  I randomly opened the book today and immediately wanted to try the Pistachio Mustard!  OMG!  I need to try it and ASAP!

This is a short post today but I have a lot going on - good - but busy - and I hope to share more of that with you SOON!

In the meantime...have you seen or tried these Hummus Pods yet?  Do you have the new Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook?  If so - what are your fave recipes or at least ones that intrigue you!?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Weekend Roundup: Local Fundraising, New Copper Skillet, Tandoori Spice Vegan Burgers

Saturday was a BUSY day!  I volunteered to help the local Zontas with their Lucky Numbers Fundraiser.  It's the first time I attended the event but I hope to be a member and wanted to get one under my belt before I was a member next year (that is if I am accepted as a member).  It was a pretty crazy yet fun event!  The ladies who organized it did an AMAZING job!  I didn't win anything (as far as the large prizes go) but it wasn't about that for me...I just wanted to help if I could.  I did, however, win this lovely mug and gift certificate to a local coffee & tea shop!

Well over 200 people attended and it was a HOOT to see everyone go bonkers over the winnings!  Here are a few photos of some of the high-end prizes at stake.

With my ticket, I received 5 chances.  With those - I went for the kitchen items.  The 8-Quart Instant Pot on the far right was one of the ones I had my eye on.

There was a heavy-duty Spiralizer, too, that looked pretty cool.  I already have 2 spiralizers but nothing like the one that was on the table.

Here was one of the sections of the room that was filled with participants!

Lunch was served (I had a salad) and there were other drawings and such that you could participate in.  Some people dressed up and some people had noisemakers for when someone at their table won!

After the Lucky Numbers Event, DH and I went over to a friends house for dinner.  I didn't have a lot of time to make anything special but I brought the makings for a large salad and grabbed some storebought hummus and pretzels.

Yesterday, we wanted to find a Waffle Maker but couldn't find one locally.  Instead, I found this Copper Electric Skillet and make pancakes.  I would show the pancakes but I would rather wait to post one that was tastier than the first attempt.  I will show this Vegan Burger for now.

This is the Veggie Burger on the skillet above.  I found them at Mustard Seed Market and have had them in my freezer since we got back.  Last night I thought I would finally try them.  They were pretty good.  I didn't put it on a bun but I did make some dipping sauce for it.  You can see that in the next photo.

The Tandoori Spice in these was potent - but you know me - I'm a fan of spice!

For the dipping sauce it's basically a Vegan Aioli I threw together.  I think next time I will make it thicker.  The flavor was good, tho!

It was just Vegan Mayo, Garlic, Sriracha, Smoked Paprika, Lemon Juice, and a pinch of Black Sea Salt.

It was pretty good on corn chips, too!

I probably could have added some nooch to it, too!

Question of the Day...what was the last brand of veggie burgers that you tried that was 'new to you'?  What did you think of them!?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Nourished & Nor'Easters

Just a quick post today.

This book was another book I recently grabbed lately.  I was thinking it was a vegan cookbook but it really isn't a cookbook, per say.

It IS, however, an amazing resource and wealth of knowledge that I will be referring to often.  The photography is lovely and the info STELLAR!  I hope to dip more into it on Sunday.

Tomorrow I will be volunteering at a Fundraiser for the local Zontas International that I hope to join over the next couple of months.

Last night we were hit with the latest Nor'Easter.  I couldn't help but post this meme.  It made me chuckle for a few reasons.  The Beavis & Butthead reference is something that DH, his brother, and mother often joke about.  As stupid as the show was - the silly comedy got them thru some challenging times.

This was a photo from the front of my house this morning as I tried to shovel my Fiat out of the driveway.  The photo doesn't do it much justice but the snow we received was heavier than usual and I'm sure we will have a lot of trees down because of it.

In some places, there was about a foot of snow dropping in a few hours.  It was 70 degrees just a few days ago and even this coming weekend we are supposed to see 40's and low 50s in temperatures.

I'm really hoping all of this doesn't freeze more than it already has.  Most of it's a heavy slush at the moment.

Yesterday I was doing some social media for work and noticed this...3 Movies Turning 30!  The movies Big, Willow, and Land Before Time - all turn 30 in early 2018!

Which of these 3 1988 movies was your favorite?

Another Question of the Day...did you get hit with the Nor'Easter?  If so - how much snow and/or flooding or winds did you see!?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Vegan Bowl Attack, Vegan Blender Recipes, Vegan Curry, & Random Oddity!

I've had the sniffles over the last couple of days which is odd for me.  It doesn't really feel like a head cold but I have never been one to have sinus issues so I don't know what the difference in how I feel would be if it were sinus issues.  It's not bad, really, it's just different.

Here is one of the cookbooks I purchased recently and the more I thumb thru it the more excited I am about it!  I need more bowls in my life and this book has some great ideas!  Plus, Jackie, over at Vegan Yack Attack is the author! 

I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover but I have to say this one really drew me in!  Do you have this book?  If so - what are some of your favorites from it?

Earlier this week I wanted some sort of Broccoli Soup based on what I already had on hand so here is what I made all in a blender:

1 C Cashews
1 Can Chickpeas
4 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T Mild Miso
1 T Lemon Juice
3 T Minced Garlic
1 Carrot
1 Celery Stalk
2 C Water
3 C Broccoli
Sea Salt, Smoked Paprika, Nutmeg to taste

After our trip to Taste of India last weekend I was hungry for more curry type dishes so I threw this dish together - the cheaters way:

1 Can Garlic/Roasted Tomatoes with liquid
1 Can Chickpeas
1 Small Onion
1 Frozen Minced Ginger Cube
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 t Garam Masala
1 t Curry Powder
1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
Black Sea Salt, Lemon Juice, Grapeseed Oil*
*if and as needed*

Last night I needed a snack and didn't really want to think about it so I grabbed some corn chips and made this Vegan Cheese Sauce:

1 C Cashews
Small Handful Nutritional Yeast
1 T Mild Miso
1 T Minced Garlic
1 t Onion Powder
1 T Lemon Juice
5 T Water

Nutmeg, Smoked Paprika, Black Sea Salt to taste

I stumbled across this lil guy while walking around downtown the other day.  He was standing all by himself in between a lamp post and trash can.  Upon further inspection, I noticed it was Rodney Dangerfield. 

I think originally he was supposed to talk and move but either he didn't have batteries in him or he was broken.  Regardless, seeing this, where I saw it, was random yet comical, and much needed that day!

There are antiques and oddity shops nearby so I don't know if the one store owner decided to put this there to make people stop OR if someone thought it was broken and wanted to dispose of it.  Regardless, it's not something you see every day so I had to take a photo!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

VEGAN Smoked Gouda Beer Cheese, Recent Finds, & Power Bowl!

I'm going to hop around in this post but for good reason and that reason is this Vegan Smoked Gouda Beer Cheese I made literally just minutes ago!

But before I get to the recipe I have some 'explaining to do'.

For a week now I have been talking about our last trip over to Ohio and our visit to Mustard Seed Market, well, I have some new-to-me items to blog about along with some additional finds from my travels today!

First up...I FINALLY got my hands on Daiya's Smoked Gouda!  I have been searching for this stuff for about 8 months and I was able to find it at Mustard Seed Market in Solon, Ohio!  That's about 3 hours from my home so this will be a treat until I find it closer.  I have to say I'm a HUGE fan already!  It might be a good thing that I don't have access to this vegan cheese often or I would probably have to eat it daily.  I ate about half of it in small chunks as a side to my meals but I wanted to try to make something with it, too, so I ended up making a Gouda Beer Cheese - VEGAN!

Another item I found at Mustard Seed Market that I had not tried before was the So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened Yogurt Alternative.  I know I am probably one of the last of our blogging buddies to try this but I'm still glad I was able to!  My first go-around with this wasn't a great one but that was totally operators error!  This time around it was a GREAT SUCCESS!  I also used this in my Vegan Smoked Gouda Beer Cheese!'s the recipe...

10 T Light Beer
1 T Flour
1/2 Block Daiya Smoked Gouda, Shredded
2 T Plain, Unsweetened Vegan Yogurt
Yellow Mustard (Very Small Squirt)*
Smoked Paprika*

* = or to taste

If you would like this thicker just add a little bit more flour.

This was OUT OF THIS WORLD if I do say so myself!

Today we took another day trip - this time to the outskirts of Buffalo - more specifically West Seneca.  We went to a few music stores, a HUGE Wegmans, Feel Rite - which is a natural foods and vitamin type store, and a Halal Grocery Store.  We also went to Taste of India.  I asked them about their vegan options and after a long list I chose to go with their Chana Masala.  I brought the leftovers home for dinner.

While we were at Feel Rite I grabbed a Meyer Lemon Kevita.  I haven't seen this one where I live so I wanted to grab it.  I think I have a new favorite!  Then again, I'm partial to Meyer Lemons.

The other night I threw a bowl together for dinner.  This isn't the greatest photo but it was a tasty bowl.

I found at my local Shurfine Market a Wild Rice and Veggie Blend in the frozen foods section.  I found some flatbread that I toasted, and a half of avocado.  I also threw in the rest of the Pizza Hummus from the night before.

I still have LOTS to share over the last couple of weeks but I think I will stop there for today.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pizza Hummus, Vegan Options, & Voter Registration

I made some Pizza Hummus last night from one of the new Vegan Cookbooks I bought...can you guess which book this recipe is from?

I wanted to make a snack and I wanted to make something that was quick, easy, and that I had everything on hand to make and thought this checked each of those requirements!

The outcome of this attempt?  I have a NEW LOVE!  Pizza Hummus is the BOMBDIGGITY! 

This hummus tasted JUST LIKE Pizza in hummus form!  I was SHOCKED!  The only adjustment I made was I added a little bit of the liquid from my Sun Dried Tomatoes that I soaked and a little bit of liquid from the Organic Chickpea can (Aquafaba, if you will).

If you haven't tried Pizza Hummus yet do yourself a favor and make some FAST!  It will change your life!

These might not be the most flattering photos of the finished product but I couldn't wait to dive in!

It does have a good amount of Nutritional Yeast in this recipe.  I wouldn't change the amount.  It's RIGHT ON.  In return - you have plenty of B Vitamins in this recipe!

This is a recipe I am sure to make often! 

Here's a photo of something I helped with last week at one of our local high schools...Voter Registration!  Pictured here is our county's Voter Registrar.  The League of Women Voters Chapter I belong to helps with this each year.  She brought one of the voting systems to show the kids and they could try it out.

A friend and fellow league member of mine was in a different school the day we held the Refugees chat later that day.  She told me that they had about 20 kids register during her session.  The group I helped with was a smaller group and we still had 5 that filled them out and submitted during the session and 4 more said they would fill it out and submit it later.

One thing I forgot to mention from last weekends road trip was that we stopped at Bahama Breeze for lunch.  On the menu was a vegetarian option of Jackfruit Tacos.  They made a vegan version for me and it was FAB!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

10-Minutes or Less Vegan Recipes, Women's Right To Vote Coin, & Hail Merry Chocolate Mint Tart

Yesterday it hit 70 degrees!  Woot!  I sure enjoy that much more than -7 degrees!  I have to say between the weather getting better - or being better for the moment - and my pain management - PLUS - my new volunteering and cookbooks I have been in a pretty good mood as of late!

This book - Real Food, Really Fast is the next book I wanted to share with you!  I'm embarrassed to say that this is the first of Hannah's books I have bought so far (So Sorry) but I have a feeling it won't be my last!  This is a pretty neat book!  I already see LOTS of things I want to try!  And with the recipes being ready in 10 one has an excuse, eh!?

Last night I attended a League of Women Voters Coffee & Conversation topic on Refugees.  We had a nice turnout and the feedback on the topic and speaker was great!

Speaking of women and voting...

I recently received this coin from a swapping buddy!  It's the 100-year commemorative coin for Women's Right To Vote in Canada. 

Rumor has is the US might release one for their 100 year - which is 2020.  I hope they do!

I now have 146 different coins present in my Foreign Coin Collection!

This was another item I picked up over the last weekend.  I found this at the Erie Wholefoods Co-Op and it wasn't badly priced.  There were only 2 left so I decided to try it.  Last night I cut it in 4's and only had 1 small piece.  That was really all I needed!  It was very sweet and rich!  Mint Chocolate and Orange Chocolate are my two favorite kinds of chocolate when I do eat it so this was FAB!  Oddly, I thought it tasted a bit like coconut.  I re-read the ingredients and it DOES have coconut oil in it but I doubt it was THAT flavorful.  Regardless it was tasty and I'm looking forward to another little piece tonight after dinner!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dirty Vegan, Vegan Cookies, Vegan Blue Cheese, Pink-Headed Warbler, & BFF Chi's!

Let the next round of Vegan Cookbook Chatter BEGIN!  I know I posted on last week but I received the rest of them in the mail today and I hope to spread them out over the next week or two along with some other FUN stuff!

The Dirty Vegan is one of 8 more on my list to share with you!  Just by thumbing thru it I saw a lot of Vegan Comfort Foods and what I would call 'cheater' recipes that might use store bought vegan items within another recipe but this book also has some really great from-scratch solutions that are quick and easy if you don't want to buy the storebought version of some ingredients!

Here is the other mini-pack of cookies I grabbed while at Mustard Seed Market over the weekend.  They were SO VERY RICH I could only eat one at a time.  This pack had 2 cookies - whereas the Thumb Prints had 3 cookies.  These were Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Chips in them.

Both cookie options were pretty tasty!  Especially for someone who doesn't eat a lot of sweets.  It was a nice few-and-far-between or once-in-a-blue-moon type of treat.

This is another past-find I had yet to blog about!  I found it at Wegmans a while back and it's vegan Blue Cheese!  It was pretty yummy!  I, personally, would LOVE to find a chunky Blue Cheese but this is good in the meantime.  I do like the texture of Daiya's a bit more than this one but the price was more impressive on this one for the size difference. 

This is quite versatile and I really hope I can find some of the other flavors I have seen online of WayFare's Vegan Cheeses!  Have you tried any of them yet?  If so - what did you think!?

For about a year - I have received the Bird of the Week from the Audubon Society.  It has become a weekly 'thing' with DH and I an now my dad's in on it!  When I get the bird of the week I forward it to them!

This was last week's Bird of the Week!  Isn't the Pink-Headed Warbler AWESOME?

Last night when I finally sat down and started relaxing (after a failed Carrot Soup attempt) I looked over and saw Cricket jump up and sit right next to Paco.  They were cheek-to-cheek and I don't mean their faces! LOL! 

I have to pick Paco up every time he wants on the sofa and Cricket usually don't get THIS close to him - but I'm glad he did!