Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I made them vanilla cupcakes w/ vanilla buttercream frosting
Can't remember what was in this, but it was damn good!
Just some Collard Greens, Spanish Rice, Pinto Beans & Guac
I've been making a lot of peanut noodles for some reason and a TON of collard greens w/ a side of baked sweet potato. I think that has to be my new favorite quick meal. I checked out Ani's Raw Food Kitchen from the library, so I see raw meals in our near future...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
First it started off with me just slacking on updates and more recently it's become dealing with other major problems, mostly dealing with our house (which has been broken into twice now). But this is extremely important and I know it has nothing to do with food, but I volunteer with a local animal rescue group every week (www.animalactionrescue.org) that takes in dogs all the time (dogs at kill shelters, dogs from animal control facilities, strays, dogs found in dumpsters & chained to trees, etc etc etc) and they rely solely on donations and receive no funding whatsoever. So please take a minute to read the below and if you can, donate a few dollars to help.
Thank you bloggers!! xoxo Ashley
AAR, Animal Emergency Center of Decatur, & The Village Vets-Decatur, desperately tried to save this girl, unfortunately, Gracie went downhill a couple of nights after rescuing her, lost all reflexes and feeling in both back legs, and in general was beginning to suffer. Evidently there were serious internal and spinal cord injuries. Sadly, we had to make the decision to let her go and not let her suffer any longer. We are just thankful that she didn’t die a slow, painful and lonely death, had pain management and a volunteer was with her to say goodbye. She was lovingly buried in the volunteer’s backyard with a few other special pets that have crossed the rainbow bridge.
However, Gracie’s fight is not over! We are now working with the DeKalb Animal Cruelty Investigators to find her killers! Channel 2 (wsbtv) has agreed to cover Gracie’s story and we have opened a “A Voice For Gracie” fund account that is strictly going towards a reward to catch the low life(s) that murdered her. Even though she is no longer with us we are going to continue her fight and WE are now her voice.
So please send around this email to help donate towards the reward fund. Folks can use the paypal link and just designate it as “A Voice For Gracie” reward fund. All funds will be transferred directly into her account.
Or you can contact Decatur First Bank about direct donations:
1120 Commerce Dr., Decatur, GA 30030, (404) 373-1000
And especially, if anyone has any information or recognizes this dog, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Been awhile! Friday, July 4th, was my birfday and I was greeted that morning to a surprise birthday cake that Mondo ordered for me from Dulce Vegan! A delicious vegan mint chocolate (my fave combo) cake w/ a frosted yellow rose (I'm from Texas); the cake never stood a chance, it was gone in 48 hours! Yeah, so I'm pretty much on no sweets right now (which I always say and can never seem to stick to).
We had a really fun day and kept it very low-key; I bought some sewing supplies that were 50% off at Jo-Ann's, went to see Wall-E (and loved it!), ate at our favorite vegetarian Chinese restaurant, Harmony, and sweated our asses off at the botanical gardens before heading home. The next day I got my hair cut super short (and I love it!), spent time with some friends from Miami at The Earl and saw a band I've been wanting to see for awhile, Boris (who were absolutely AMAZING). Sunday morning we ate at Ali Baba's in L5P and went to see Gonzo, a movie about the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson. All in all, it was a super fantastic weekend filled with yummy food, friends and fun!
This past weekend, Mondo was at a Motorcycle Safety course so I pretty much had the house to myself and decided to make a spicy tofu scramble for breakfast Sunday morning after a kickass bike ride the night before. I bought this Louisiana hot sauce at the farmers market for a recipe and have become seriously addicted to it. I use it on everything now! I really love the taste of it on garlicky collard greens, mmmm. I didn't actually eat the jalapeno shown on the plate, I can't hang that tough! I've got plans to use it some black eyed pea croquettes.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
After cooling for a bit, slathered with some EB.
P-Bo trying to keep an eye on them, to make sure they don't burn.
Last week I saw a recipe for some biscuits on Vegan Explosion! and decided I had to make them right then and there. I'm glad I did. My dad always made the most awesome biscuits for breakfast as a kid and I figured I could do the same and failed at doing so a few other times. Well, now I can! I think all recipes for biscuits are typically the same but something magical happened and these came out so fluffy and big and AWESOME. I see biscuits and gravy in our near future...
We went out to Sushi Avenue last Tuesday afternoon (we took the day off). We first went here with Lori and Jared and were so pleased at how cute the interior is of the restaurant and how yummy the rolls are.
Here is our first order (oh yeah, we totally did a second order with the same as below minus the avocado roll. We rolled ourselves out of the door after that).
From L to R: Avocado roll, Asparagus Tempura Roll, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Tempura roll
We feel in love with the soy curls we picked up at Cosmo's during the ice cream social. They are so versatile and taste great! I first used them in a 'chicken salad' wrap and decided to use the rest of the bag to make stir fried soy curls (w/ garlic and onions) topped with a spicy peanut sauce and broccoli. The result was one of the beast meals I have ever made. This came out perfect and still perfect after eating it for dinner that night, lunch the next day and then for dinner again the next night. (It ended up making A LOT). I'm not a fan of rice, so I served it over some red quinoa and it paired very well.
Just some roasted red pepper hummus I whipped up. The recipe is from YRR (I just add extra garlic...as I do with everything!). It turned out much brighter than this, but the color looks so muted in this photo! Very very yummy hummus.
Finally, last night's dinner! I found frozen yuca at Publix for less than a dollar per bag and grabbed 2 bags to keep in my freezer! I've had a hard time finding it here and thought I had bought some before at the farmers market but couldn't find it again the last time I went. I remembered all the yummy yucca dishes we'd eat while living in Miami and decided upon making Yuca frita (fried yuca). It was so much easier to make than I thought! You just boil the yuca chunks for about 30 minutes (I did less, because I didn't want it mushy), cut then into pieces and de-stem them (they have a hard little string on the inside that you can very easily pull out with your fingers). Pour some oil in your pain, turn it up to med-high and fry them on both sides until they look a little brown. I drain them on a plate with some paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt. These are extremely tasty, kind of like a giant french fry (since yuca is in the same family as potatoes).
I did a simple salad on the side: romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broccoli sprouts and sliced (Florida) avocado. On the side is some goddess dressing for the salad.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Last night was the Ice Cream Social at Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the retail store. Turn out was INSANE!! I never knew there were so many vegans in Atlanta; it was amazing! Saw a lot of familiar faces and hung out with friends while stuffing ourselves full of delicious ice cream sundaes. I chose a few scoops of Purely Decadent (made w/ yummy creamy coconut milk) Coconut ice cream, a scoop of fresh strawberries and blueberries, some crumbled vegan shortbread cookies, ricemellow, chocolate sauce and soyatoo whipped cream. Mondo had scoops of Purely Decadent Cookie Dough ice cream, ricemellow and crumbled vegan shortbread cookies. There were homemade vegan waffle bowls and cones at the social, too! SO MUCH BETTER TASTING THAN IT LOOKS IN THIS PHOTO!
Everything in the store was 10% off and a portion of the profits are being given to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. I grabbed a shopping basket and walked the aisles in search of new things! This is my take below: Tings (for me), Soy Curls, Mimic Creme, Dulce Vegan Cinnamon Roll (for mondo), Teese, Rasberry filled chocolate bar (for Mondo), Vega Smoothie mixes and Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe shirts for Mondo and I. Such an awesome and delicious haul...I can report that the Tings are already gone!
We had bundles of fun and can't wait for the bake-off in December at Cosmo's. It's so great to hang out with such rad folks in our favorite store in Atlanta. Congrats Ken & Leigh, here's to many more years!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Earlier in the week I was really in the mood for roasted cauliflower and sauteed garlicky greens, so Mondo picked up some BBQ peach seitan from Whole Foods to add to the mix. I really love cauliflower and roasting it takes it to a whole other level. Just a little pepper, salt and olive oil and I'm a happy gal! I mixed purple kale and collard greens together along with some sauteed garlic, nooch, salt & pepper and vegetable broth. I'm trying to incorporate more veggies into our meals each night and this was a great beginning!
We're heading over to the one-year anniversary Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe is having this evening, where we will stuff ourselves with the delicious ice cream sundaes that'll be there!! A portion of the profits tonight are going to be donated to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. Awesome store, ice cream sundaes, fun people and a great cause...it doesn't get much better than this!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
We came home, got spiffy and went back over to Youngblood Gallery for the par-tay and it was jam packed!! We watched the preview for the documentary Handmade Nation, listened to a band jam, drank some beer and walked around the store and looked at all the amazing things for sale. Mondo bought a big vinyl sticker he fell in love with (some zombie hand or something) and a magnet for me since I love magnets.
The next day was ICE and boy was it HOT and SWEATY out (I seriously think it was 103+ out that day). I wore a tshirt (bake and destroy!), skirt and flip flops and was dying. I forgot to wear sunscreen (yah, I know, so dumb especially when I have a tattoo sleeve) so I am super tan now. We had SO much fun. I bought a stuffed cactus in a terra cotta pot that I named Tex, A beautiful and colorful crocheted Day of the Dead sugar skull that I named Sugar and a mug (mine is a pretty pale green) from the rad Jeanette (behind Vegan Dish) that I have used like 12x since Saturday and I have plans to buy so much more from her. She is such a talent and she's vegan, which makes it all the more awesome. We bought lots of treats from Dulce Vegan, too. Yumm!!
Oh, the cookies at the top are some that I threw together last week when we were craving chocolate. They are the Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry cookies from Veganomicon but with added dried cherries and chopped pecans. Mouthwatering, I tell you...especially warm. I don't even want to imagine what they'd be like with a scoop of soy ice cream on the side.
These were really the only things we enjoyed from our meals...the beverages. You can see my tattoo more than my drink, but I had a Guayaki Yerba Mate iced tea and Mondo had a cream soda. So refreshing.
This coffee was really bubbly.
Hopefully my next post will much more interesting!!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The chiweenies are at another foster home now; I could only commit to three weeks right now because of our hectic schedule, but it was GREAT to have them with us for a little while and I know I'll see them on Sundays at adoptions (plus their foster mommy only lives five minutes from me)!
Mondo had his friend Gio over on Monday to talk motorcycles (Mondo has a 1973 Honda CB350F), so I baked a huge batch of cookies for them to snack on and for Gio to take back to his awesome wife Kim and their daughter Caoilinn.
Later on I finally made the Curried Eggplant Soup from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Wowza! We had 2 bowls of this stuff and folks were asking us for the recipe the next day at work (we brought leftovers with us). It definitely ranks as my favorite soup now and Mondo said it's right behind his fave, Pumpkin Leek from Vegilicious.
I'm so PUMPED for the Indie Craft Experience at Centennial Olympic Park next Saturday, June 7th. I missed it last year and am so not going to let that happen again! The most awesome Becky from Glue&Glitter has asked a few Atlanta vegans to donate some of our tasty vegan food for the ICE pre-party, being held at Youngblood Gallery on Friday, June 6th. Idalys from Dulce Vegan, Lori from Pleasantly Plump Vegan and myself are providing the treats and snacks for the event and I am spending most of my free time trying out recipes to find the right ones for the party. So far I've narrowed it down to four dips, some stuffed mushrooms, a cheez ball (yeaah, you know what i'm talking about!) and some mexican tortilla cups.
I tested out one of the dips tonight, a spinach-artichoke dip that I found on VegWeb. So. Good. No fake cheese in it (like every other recipe called for). We killed about half of it tonight and Mondo wants to take some with him tomorrow as a snack. I'm so pleased it turned out well. I added five cloves of garlic vs. the three listed, along with some red pepper flakes and only put in half of the artichokes called for. I used marinated artichokes, so it helped make the dip extremely flavorful. I can't wait to test out more recipes this week and next! I'm taking off a 1/2 day from work next Friday to finish preparing everything I can't make in advance and then dropping everything off at Youngblood at 6pm (an hour before the party) so I can rush home, get ready and head back for the par-tay!
Oh, here's my pretty new bike! Her name is Gypsy and she is going to take me around town and hopefully to work (after taking MARTA halfway). I'm hopefully going to have some time Saturday to take her to some bike shops and see about getting her converted to a fixed gear. I'm psyched to go bike riding and I have much thanks to give Lori's husband, Jared, for helping me know what to look for, reading craigslist ads I sent him, etc. Woohoo! I owe you baked goods!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
To answer your question, yes, these are the best vegan chocolate chip cookies ever. Best chocolate chip cookies of any kind, really. I've made the same recipe before (from Vegan with a Vengance), but they've never turned out this good. They're sitting pretty in my cake stand.
Last week I was craving some Spanish food and took a peek at what I had in my pantry and fridge. I had soaked black beans the night before and just needed to cook them. So I got them in a pot and let them boil until tender and tasty (especially after I added a little salt and garlic powder to them). I grabbed some short grain brown rice and before I started cooking it, I noticed a little recipe on the back for Spanish rice! Killer! So easy, too. Just had to saute for a minute an onion and garlic (3 for me!) w/ some bell pepper I diced, then I added 1.5 cups of the short grain brown rice, a vegan bouillon cube, pinch of cayenne pepper and 3 cups of water. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes. I added a can of fire roasted dice tomatoes at that point, stirred it in and let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
Yes. Total Success. I was eating it right out of the pot and had to stop myself to save my appetite for dinner. I made tostones (fried plantains) after the rice and beans were done and plated it up with a little lettuce and tomato to eat along w/ everything. We cleaned our plates. Tostones don't reheat very well, so I try just to eat them as soon as possible. I still have another plantain I need to use and I'd love to find a new recipe for them other than the typical frying or baking. I'm really interested in incorporating them into something. Any suggestions?
Later in the week, after a hectic morning which resulted in my lunch being left at home, I decided to order up some Green Sprout since I have the puppies with me at work. Thankfully I'm within their delivery area or else I'd be stuck with lame not tasty choices for lunch. We used to order from Green Sprout once a week when we lived in Midtown! Now that we're further away, we try to eat there whenever we're in the area. I decided on the mango bubble tea and the vegetable lo mein. MMM, everything was delicious as always and I just love that everyone who works there is super friendly.
I was feeling very uncreative this past Sunday night, so I sat down and flipped through my cookbooks and decided it was high time I make the Cajun Tofu out of YRR. I had to cut down on the cayenne pepper it calls for, since Mondo can't hang with the heat. It turned out fantastic and it reminded me of a cajun fried fish type meal so I made some tartar sauce to go on the side (or top, as pictured). It was more of a sun dried tomato tartar sauce, since I had made sun dried tomato couscous (which was just way too easy, btw) and worried that a traditional tartar sauce wouldn't work with the sides I served.
I double battered the tofu and Mondo liked it so crispy, but it had one coat too many for me. Next time I'll do a batch of one batter coat for me and two for him. We were so full after we ate that even while we were lying in bed hours later we were talking about how stuffed we were!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Their names should be Trouble. I can't get mad at them because they're so cute, but ohmygosh are they are a handful and a half! It's the dachshund in them, so mischievous! Thankfully I can bring them to work with me so I can keep an eye on them (and play with them)!
This was fantastic. I made TJ's '17 Bean and Barley Soup' one night last week (I like soup, who cares if it's hot out). I decided to split the soup up for lunches for us to take to work and it worked out well, the soup kept us very full in the afternoon and was delicious!
It was super easy to make and I really enjoy meals like that. I soaked the beans and barley overnight and sauteed some onions, red bell peppers, garlic and carrots (I left out the celery it recommended, because celery is evil). Added the veggies to the pot of beans, tossed in some vegan bouillon cubes added 8 cups of water and a can of diced tomatoes and let it cook for about an hour + over medium heat. I didn't care of the look of the soup and didn't want to deal with trying to fit a variety of beans on my spoon when it came time to eat it, so I blended that soup like there was no tomorrow (I love you immersion blender!). Excellent idea. Creamy beany goodness. It tastes great (almost chili like) and has an insane amount of fiber in it.
Just some steel cut oatmeal I made last week. I chopped up some dried apricots and medjool dates and added it to the oatmeal along with some walnuts, agave nectar and spices. This was my first time having steel cut oats and I am such a fan now! I'd love to have this for breakfast during the weekend (rather than stuffing our faces with the delicious, but not super healthy, brunch at Soul Vegetarian).
This past weekend was uber crazy. The weather fluctuated from a disaster to beautiful to weird. I got SO MUCH stuff done around the house, it was insane. I cleaned the entire house and re-organized the kitchen and set aside a bunch of items to be donated. It felt so good to get the house in order (especially when my life doesn't feel like it is) and to get the week off to a good start. Saturday afternoon I met up w/ my pals Lori (thanks again for the awesome mix cd!!) & Jared at SOPO Bicycle Co-Op. I'm in the market for a bike because I'm so done with driving to work. Mondo takes public transportation to work, so I'm going to ride along with him and take a train as close as I can get and bike the rest of the way. I'm really appreciative of them coming out with me Saturday, as I know nothing about bikes and Jared knows a lot. I didn't have much luck finding anything (except a bike that was already on hold for someone) so I'm searching craigslist and other websites.
Mondo wasn't feeling well (due to eating a pan full of espresso chocolate chip cookie dough brownies), so I made something fairly simple for dinner (in my mind at least). I sauteed some kale with garlic, olive oil and sea salt and served it alongside some Chickpeas in Red Lentil and Eggplant sauce served over some barley. Wowza. Soo good. I have some with me for lunch today and can't wait to eat it again!
I wasn't in the mood for dinner last night and had way too much energy, so I decided to bake. Well technically this is a no-bake pie, but whatever. I made the No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I couldn't believe how ridiculously easy it was to make and it was set in less than 2 hours (although I'd recommend waiting overnight to have a little slice, as mine wasn't cold enough for my liking). I really enjoyed the texture and flavor of it (like a peanut butter cup!), so this will definitely be on my go to list of super easy desserts to make again.
While that was chilling in the fridge I got the idea to make the zucchini muffins from Yellow Rose Recipes using the zucchini that was about to go bad in my fridge. Yeah, too late. So, I had already started mixing the ingredients (I don't prep beforehand, maybe I should?) when I realized there would be no zucchini for these zucchini muffins and decided to turn them into Coconut Lime Raisin Walnut muffins! I'm glad I made them because they turned out delicious!! I followed the YRR muffin recipe and subbed coconut for the zucchini and lime for the lemon zest (and added some lime juice). YUMM!! It's like biting into awesomeness (yeah, I suck at descriptions). *I forgot to mention that I subbed spelt flour for all-purpose flour in this recipe*
Oh and here are some shots from the bird sanctuary we visited Sunday morning. We happened to drive by it one day while wondering around Atlanta and figured it would be something small (since it was basically a median between two roads) but WHOA we were not expecting creeks, waterfalls and bridges! It was so beautiful and tranquil and we can't wait to go back! We didn't snap any photos of birds (we were probably being too loud running around chasing each other) but hope to next time!