Light Adornments

Spruced up the kitchen light today. Flat back marbles from the dolla store + hot glue = zazzy kitchen light!

 Light on!
Light off! The sun came out right as I was taking these picts. Thaaaaank you, universe!
If you look real close in the lower photo you can see we've progressed with the roof/ceiling insulation. Hopefully by this time next year we'll be done. 

Humble Meals: Bachelorette Chow!

There are a lot of times that when the HH (hottie hubby, aka Mr. VCA) and I are each alone for dinner. These nights neither of us seem to be able to pull together a full "all burners going" sort of spread just for ourselves. His go-to feed fest is something he calls "Bachelor Chow" and consists of a bowl of (cold) chickpeas and hot sauce. Healthy and yummy but, meh.
before roasting
My version, which of course I call "Bachelorette Chow", is a lot more appealing and doesn't take too much time nor effort. 15 minutes for a hot and healthy meal is always doable.

You'll need:
*Oven set to around 400 F
*Cookie sheet
*Olive oil
*Extra firm tofu
*Kale, duh. (Our local Wegman's has bags of chopped/washed kale. Love.)
*1 can of drained & rinsed kidney beans (I like dark red for this dish)
*BBQ sauce (I like Stubbs brand, spicy)
*Seasonings (salt/peppy/cumin/etc.)
Start with draining the tofu and cutting into about 8 slabs. Next add a thin coat of olive oil to the cookie sheet. I use a brush to smear the oil, but a paper towel would do for this task. Line up your tofu slabs, then I throw down some kale and lastly the beans. Pour the BBQ on the tofu and beans and season everything. I like LOTS of nutrional yeast.
What is nutrional yeast? It's amazing! I creates a bit of a smokey flavor, is super healthy, and I find I can use a lot less salt in my dishes when N.Y. is invited to the party. Perfect on popcorn! The bottle pictured here is from RedStar. I buy my N.Y. in bulk (we LLLLLOOOOOVVVEEEE it!) which is much cheaper and then I keep refilling the bottle since it has a handy shaker top.
Ok, then I throw the whole shebang in the oven. After about 7 minutes I give the beans and kale a toss and sometimes add more BBQ sauce. Once the beans start to burst and the kale is a bit sizzly I plate it up. I shut off the oven and leave the remaining in the oven to keep warm for second helpings. The kale will get crispier. Yum yum yum!

Post roast...look at them beans! Yummmmo!

Let's start with dessert! Pumpkin Parfait

I came up with this light and airy "parfait" for New Year's eve. I'll post info on the innnnn-gredddd-able! dinner we enjoyed before this dessert later this week. 

Disclaimer: I rarely really measure anything, especially if I'm not baking. 'Round these parts I'm considered a "Recipe Pirate" (catch the Chowder cartoon reference? Good!)

Ok, as I mentioned Mr. VCA (aka Santa) gifted me a brandy new (my first) Vitamix this year and I've used it just about everyday since it was unwrapped. I bet this would work with a regular ol' blender or even a hand whisk/beater as well.

*about a 1/3 can of pureed pumpkin (wish I had more and will use at least a half can next time). Think the can was 15 oz.
*about a 1/2 can of full fat coconut milk (the rest of the can went into a fabu cocktail to be discussed at some other time)
*a bunch of powdered cinnamon
*some good quality all spice
*good amount of powdered sugar
*few dashes of table salt
*a bit of ground nutmeg

Whizzed the heck out of these ingredients, tasted, amended, whizzed again then scraped it into two glasses. Then I put them out on the porch for a while to chill up. The action of the Vitamix warms this up which might be nice too, but I was going for a chilled dessert. Then:

*topped with Ghiradelli bittersweet (I think) chocolate chips. Look at the packages in the market...use the one with no dairy/milk fat. I really like this brand. Usually less than $4.50 per bag.

It was super yum! And not that terrible a dessert health wise, right? Ok, sugar, full fat coconut milk...whatever ;)

I am really happy with how light it came out. Would be a great topping (sort of like cool whip but a lot better) for a cake!

How will you play with this recipe?

...a year later....

Well, we've been busy...

And SOOOO happy living in the country! One of my hopes in the new year is to recharge this blog and keep journal-ing this adventure. We've learned A LOT and have tons and tons more to learn. I've had some success in the garden and some sad disappointments.

We've made, remade and remade again the rabbit hutches. Santa brought me a Vitamix this past Christmas so our kitchen activities are off-da-hook! But... we're still living with a dorm sized fridge so we've had to compensate by using our "white trash" porch cooler system.
I've started a new fashion design biz with an artist in Ithaca called
Amelia Filomena Adorn and  just recently began working at our local library (and I LOVE it!). I am still working on growing my photography biz and have had the honor of working with some of the areas best artists, helping them to promote their 2 and 3 dimensional works.

So, welcome back and thanks for reading! Would love to hear from you in the comments section...especially gardening tips and vegan recipes.

Mrs. & Mr. VCA