Monday, April 2, 2018

All Sorts of Updates ~ LONG Post Ahead!

I'm not quite sure where MARCH went?  It's been VERY BUSY for a March but at the same time I couldn't wait for April to get here.  Mostly because of the weather.  I'm SO OVER WINTER and ready for better temps! 

So as you can imagine, I'm WAY BEHIND on posting!  Here's the official warning...this will be a VERY LONG POST!  Possibly the longest post I have had to date!

There is a possibility I will be obtaining a few more vegan cookbooks over the next month so I better get up to snuff on that soon, eh?  Here is one from my last shipment.  Sweet Potato Soul from Jenne Clairborne.  I have thumbed thru it and already KNOW I need to try many of the recipes inside!  The photos are lovely!

Many of the photos in this post will be of foods I have been gnawing on or finding.  We have been taking a bunch of day trips the last month or two but I have been grabbing some filler in between our hauls.  I found these vegan burgers at Aldi.  I'm sad that the vegan line was a limited run but have been seeing some of them stay on the local level.  I try and grab them when I can to let them know there are buyers in our area!

I used some sprouted bread to make a simple lunch and/or dinner with this.

It seems like this next dish is something I had forever ago!  It was literally something I threw accidentally vegan rice and quinoa packet...I threw in corn, black beans, green chilis, tomato, and garlic.  It was YUMMY.

I'm in the process of joining Zontas International on the local level and they have monthly lunch or dinners paired with their meetings.  They have been GREAT with veggie options.

 I usually opt out of the meal and go for the conversation in situations like those.  But they had Quinoa and Make Your Own Salad the one night and I was THRILLED!  They have a Summer Surprise Event each summer and you don't know what the details are until it happens.  One of the things someone suggested was to have a Vegan Meal such as a potluck and asked me for suggestions.  They thought it would be neat for the other members to try something new.  I will let you know if anything comes of it.

Here is a cheap, quick, easy, and breakfast I have out at a local restaurant.  Oatmeal with Blueberries, Pecans, and (sometimes) Brown Sugar!

And speaking of eating was my birthday back on the 16th and DH, BIL, and I took a trip up to Buffalo and ate at The Pizza Plant.  I've blogged about some of their vegan options before but I was REALLY hungry for some of their Vegan Pizza (instead of trying something new, that is) so I got that and had PLENTY to bring home for leftovers! 

Oddly, this past weekend, we took a day trip back to Buffalo and the Pizza Plant and I grabbed another Vegan Pizza!  Oops!  I probably won't have it again for months or even a year!  The trip we took for our birthdays we did share an app...the vegan curry nachos!  The boys didn't even mind the vegan cheese!

One of my many finds the last couple of weeks was the Forager Project Cashewgurt LEMON.  I've been waiting to get my hands on this flavor and I finally found it.  And I have to say YUM YUM YUM!  It sort of reminds me of Lemon Meringue Pie...but BETTER!  This is certainly my FAVORITE FLAVOR so far!

In our day trips, we have been lucky to hit up a few places in Ohio a couple of times...and Buffalo area...twice.  Plus, Erie.  I've been VERY fortunate to have a couple of nice grocery hauls mixed in. 

More on that in this post and future posts - for sure!

With the first trip to Buffalo about 2 months ago when we went to the Indian Restaurant I stopped at a Halal Grocery Store that was right next door and found these little gems! 

These are called Chai Paratha.  They are the size of a big pancake but are sweet, savory, and contain chai spices. 

I read a website that said they are good for breakfast or with tea.  I did have them with tea once.  The other time I had them I ate them as a dessert with a Mango Chutney I made. 

They were totally yummy and I wish I had more!

One of the many blog posts I wish I would have done was one on how I recently cleaned my Excalibur Dehydrator.  But I'm sure there will be another day and time for that.  I hope to start using it again more. 

After I gave everything a good cleaning, I made these Raw Vegan Crackers.  I wasn't overly thrilled with the taste so I won't post it here until I have a better attempt after some tweaking.  They were a bit too salty for my liking.  As you can see I used several spices, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Flax Meal, etc.

With all of our running around, we have also had some RnR with the furkids.  It's rare if I can get a pic of all 3 of them at the same time but it happened this past weekend.

As for a furkid update - things have been ok.  I've been working with Riley's ongoing ear infections but that's nothing new.  I was finally able to get Cricket over to my parents for a playdate with Lexi.  Paco keep truckin' along, too!  I wouldn't be shocked if we had to adjust his meds again over the next couple of months for his ITP.  Charlie is aging by the day but still his feral self.  Age-wise we are thinking that he's about 18, Riley 16 or 17, Paco almost 7, and Cricket - about 5.

We take day trips because of the dogs.  We haven't been overnight somewhere in years other than fair week and that's the week they go to 'Uncle Jack's' as we call him. 

With Paco's ITP (Immune Issue) he rarely leaves the house unless he's going to the vet.

Cricket is still the leader of the pack.  Riley and Paco are followers.  When we lost Suzie to cancer there was a hole that is for sure.  When we got Cricket the flow was better because of her alpha-ness!  I know you can't tell by the pictures but I assure you that this little 6-pound wonder is a spitfire!

Like I said before - I'm still waiting for the weather to get warmer.  In the meantime, I have been enjoying some more soups I can easily make in my blender. 

This first one is a Black Bean Soup.  Because I waited a while to post it - I'm afraid I misplaced the recipe!  YIKES!  Sorry!  It was tasty!  And as you can see I used some homemade Cashew Sour Cream to mix in, too!

The 'red' is smoked paprika!  I can't get enough of Smoked Paprika these days!

This next soup I used Chickpeas as the based along with Coconut Milk and Tahini.  There is also Smoked Paprika, Garlic, Nutmeg, Onion, and Nutritional Yeast, too!

A couple weekends ago I went with my parents to an RV Show at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood, NY, and while we were there we stopped in to a few places.  One place we can't pass up when we are there is the one Kitchen Store.  It seems like we always find something.  The blue edges you see in this photo is a pasta maker type bowl.  It's supposed to 'nuke' your pasta quicker.  That is yet to be determined but it makes a nifty bowl, regardless!

I guess you can also see the dish here, too!  So far I have found that it doesn't really cut the pasta time but it could be because I have a low watt microwave. 

The dish is pretty sturdy/heavy-duty and of a good size.  I like that there are little ledges/handles on the sides, too!

I made a Garlic Dill Alfredo Sauce for these noodles.  It's a Pumpkin Seed base that I used here, too!  It was pretty good.  Of course, I topped it with Smoked Paprika!

I almost forgot to post a few selfies.  I'm a horrible selfie person.  This first one is from the RV Show at the mall.  I saw this hat and thought I would try it on.  I regret not buying it.  It went well with the jacket I was wearing, too!  As you can see - I don't wear make-up.  Yesterday, while I was at Walmart I noticed a "Wet & Wild" brand section that was clearly marked "Cruelty-Free" and "Vegan" in several places.  Not only on the individually packaged items but on the signs above each product.  I thought for the heck of it I would grab some.  It was CHEAP!  Probably the cheapest I saw in 3 isles of make-up!  I bought some foundation, concealer, and mascara.  I know I won't wear it often but when I do I know it will be vegan!

Here's another selfie I took back on International Women's Day.  I even wore purple to celebrate!

I feel that ever since I decided to go back to wearing my glasses it's added about 10 years on me!  I need to get my hair done, again!  YIKES!  I actually like this shirt I bought at Label Shopper several months ago!  I think it was only $7.  I wear it for work a lot and will probably wear it to some upcoming Zonta Meetings.  And speaking of meetings...I have a League of Women Voters Board Meeting today!  There are lots of things in the works and I will share more details about those projects soon!

Photos I enjoy sharing more are of this little girl!  Here's my adorable neice!  Trinity is going to be 10 months on Saturday!  I can't believe it!

My parents watch her about 3 times a week and they sent me this photo on my birthday!

Her hair is getting thicker.  She can pull herself up and stand but hasn't walked on her own, yet.  She hates wearing shoes.  I think I have taught her how to say "Nom Noms" and "Nom, Nom, Nom" when she eats!

I can't wait to take her rolling skating and ice skating!  I'm a terrible bowler but I can't wait to go with her.  My parents and I are already making plans for camping and fair week!

She's a fan of Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars but REALLY doesn't like Taylor Swift (I can't say as I blame her). 

She already likes animals.

And I think her and I not only have an understanding of each other but we also get a kick out of each other, too!

This photo was taken yesterday.  She had an Easter Dress eventho my sister and her husband didn't take her to church.  Her husband is Catholic so that was pretty shocking they didn't go but I guess they had some churchgoers that were sick and didn't want her picking it up.  (Again, I don't blame them!)

My sister, her DH, and Trinnie are going on vacation later this month.  My parents and I were trying to go, too, but it didn't work out.  They are going to Charleston, South Carolina for about a week and a half.  As much as I wanted to go, I can't take that much time off from work and leave Paco for that long.  Dale said he would stay home but the planning process wasn't in our favor - nor were the prices!

I was, however, able to take last Thursday off and we took another day trip to Ohio.  We went back to Mustard Seed Market and this time we grabbed something at the cafe before we left.  Dale got a Strawberry, Orange Juice, Banana Smoothie and I got this juice.  They call it Waldorf Hysteria.  It contains Fresh Juiced Carrots, Apple Juice, Celery, and Mint. 

I ended up really liking it and the mint helped with the aftertaste, too!  The photo doesn't really do it justice.

My mom and I are already planning on taking my juicer to camp this summer!  So I hope to have more to report on the juicing front, soon, too!

And...last but not least...this MONSTER MEAL from our trip to Buffalo on Friday!

We went to Amy's Place for brunch!  It's been YEARS since I have been there!  They have LOTS of vegan options including what you see here!

It's Lentils and Broccoli, Rye Toast with Vegan Butter, Breakfast Potatoes, and Seasoned Tofu!  I added a little Ketchup and Frank's Hot Sauce and it was pretty amazing!  It made me wonder why I don't make Lentils on a lazy Sunday and use them throughout the week!  I need to start doing that!  I'll stop right there since this post was LONG enough but I have LOTS on tap so make sure you check back often!


  1. OOoh, that pizza looks awesome. I've declared 2018 the Year of Pizza for me because I've been eating a ton of it! I never get tired of pizza. Also, I've had those Aldi vegan burgers, and they're good! Didn't know they were limited time products though. That's a bummer.

    1. I think some are going to make it past the test run but not all of their vegan line from what I hear.

  2. So pretty! She sure has good taste, your niece - I don't like Taylor Swift either. LOL!!! That sandwich looks absolutely gorgeous.

    1. Your comment made me giggle RE: Swift. The sandwich was a goodie!

  3. The chickpea soup sounds like heaven! And the pizza and pasta!!
    I always love seeing you fur babies!!
    And OMG your niece is so freaking adorable!
    I know the Aldi vegan line is really popular so hopefully a lot of it will stay!!

    1. I was surprised about the chickpea based soup! WHY I haven't done that more often up to this point I'll never know! LOL

  4. I grabbed some vegan burgers from Aldi but haven't tried them yet; they look really good, though! Such a sweet photo of the pups all sharing the couch! The garlic dill Alfredo sauce looks fantastic! Hooray for selfies, and the pictures of Trinity are adorable! And your plate from Amy's Place looks incredible!

    1. There were several different kinds they were trying to sell. Which ones did you get - do you remember!?

    2. I got the plain veggie burger, the black bean one, and the quinoa one. They also had a kale burger, but I didn't get it.

  5. Great post with so many great eats - wow! Agreed on the chickpea soup and need to find the Forager Dairy alternative products. Haha, I am terrible with selfies too. Hope the weather gets better for you soon!

    1. Maybe we should start a Selfie Challenge!? :) How's the weather by you these days!?

  6. What a great update! There is so much amazing stuff packed into one post! I'm so jealous of sweet potato soul, I can't wait to hear how great the recipes are! Your selfies look great! Love the pups and the garlic dill alfredo looks and sounds so amazing! Your niece is so freaking adorable and I want that pizza!

    1. Thanks for all the great comments and feedback! I think I will be doing more flavored Alfredo sauces soon, too!

  7. I have that book. I received it the day after it was released. It's really nice. Your niece is adorable. I've been on an Ethiopian kick recently, so I've been preparing a lot of their cuisine.

    1. Have you made anything from the book yet? Ethiopian kicks are great! I need to make more soon, too!

    2. No, but I was inspired to create a few teff dishes and a butternut squash burger dish from reading the book. I haven't followed a recipe in years, but I do have plenty of recipe books. I mainly get them for because they can be inspiring.

    3. I agree! Even if you don't follow the recipe the ideas are great!

  8. Some great food. I love pizza!
    I really hope the weather warms up for you soon. It is still warm here, though has gone from hot to pretty warm, so that is an improvement.
    I like your selfies! I like the glasses!

    1. More snow flurries today...uggggg! Thanks for the comments on the selfies :)

  9. Boy you weren't kidding about the long post! lol

    Happy Birthday! BTW

    Selfies take talent! I am no good at them either, but I thought those were nice. Wet n Wild is vegan which is exciting because they are nice and cheap for people who don't wear make up often.

    1. If I'm not careful I might have another LONG post on the horizon! LOL

      I was surprised to find out W&W was vegan and (like you said) CHEAP!

      I think I just might be their target audience! What I bought will probably last me years! ahahahha!

  10. You look great in purple. Chai paratha? I wonder if it has chia seeds or what. It is one of those in-thing these days - chia tea is very popular here.

    1. Thanks so much! It was a flour base (not chia) and chai spices.