Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let's play catch up...

I apologize for my recent departure from blog-posting. Life has been quite the whirl-wind lately and, unfortunately, my blog has moved to the back burner. In recent news:

-I started a Cupcake Club of the Month with Salt and Pine Bakery and, in my first month, had 5 members! Members receive 4 beautifully packaged cupcakes delivered to their door once a month. Within days of the first delivery, I increased membership to 8. J and I also recently realized that the kitchen in our place may not be all that difficult to certify after a few minor enhancements (mainly dealing with the facet pressure/temperature and finding a suitable door so that the kitties can't come in). I'm excited to move forward and take my business to "legit" status. Have you seen my new logo designed by Derek Kimball of Last House Productions? It's beautiful!
-For a while there, J and I weren't doing much exciting cooking. We go through phases and the busier we are, the less inspired our meals become. I've realized that as my back feels better, I need to really focus on weight loss since I have increased mobility. So I've started going to one-on-one Pilates sessions at Springboard Pilates and I'm planning all of our weekly meal in advance again. Meal planning not only helps with weight loss because it tells you what to eat and when, but it also helps you save money so that you're not buying things without plans. Yay planning! And FYI - Pilates is amazing. I'm loving it so far and recommend taking one-on-one or really small classes using the reformer if you can afford it. It is costly, but in my mind, my body is a worth-while investment. My trainer knows a lot about back injuries and is excellent at paying attention to my facial and body cues and makes sure I won't re-injure myself.

-So since we started cooking planned meals, we've made some awesome things. Here's your recipe recap:
  • On Monday we tried Vegan Yum Yum's Pan Fried Tofu, Kale, & Stir-Fried Noodles. The recipe was easy to follow and came out wonderfully. One thing I'll say about Vegan Yum Yum is that her recipes tend to be a bit intricate and can take some time, so if you're in a hurry, I don't recommend trying out her stuff. This dish used a wonderful marinade on the tofu and a dipping sauce based on the marinade.  
  • Tuesday's dish was Post Punk Kitchen's Black Beans & Quinoa with Chipotle Raspberry Sauce. Again, a dish that took some time, so don't make this if you're in a real hurry. I also recommend using a food processor for the dressing, not a blender. At the time, we didn't have a food processor (just got one on Friday!) so sauces in the blender were a pain because everything just gets stuck on the blades and doesn't move. The dish was awesome though - we made it with a small hot chile instead of chipotles in adobe because we just don't really like that flavoring all that much. I also used cashews in the sauce because we didn't have any almonds.  
  • Wednesday morning I set up the crock pot to make Fat Free Vegan's Spiced Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup.  One of my favorite things about cold weather seasons is using my crock pot. There's nothing like coming home from a really busy day to a home smelling like someone's been cooking and a meal ready to eat. The garam masala in this dish is a wonderful touch and makes the soup smell so delicious.  
  • Thursday was Vegan Yum Yum's Pistachio Arugula Pesto with Penne & Sauteed Broccolini.  YUM! Just look at the photo on her website and you'll salivate. J made this dish and I think one of my favorite parts was the miso in the pesto. Such an interesting twist and it gave it a little bit of sweetness. We didn't have any arugula so we used spinach instead....soooo good. I'm curious to try it again with arugula, but it was really awesome with spinach. 
-On Friday, J and I went to Portmouth, NH and had dinner at The Friendly Toast. They've got a lot of vegetarian options, but not so many vegan ones. You can have things modified though...they're totally open to that. And nothing beats the decor in there :)

-Saturday we had a delicious brunch at Local Sprouts. J had a VLT - a vegan version of a BLT with tempeh, lettuce, tomato, and their homemade vegan mayo. I had the sweet and sour tofu sandwich and we shared a little bowl of their vegan mac n cheese. Yummers!

-Today I received the sad news that my family cat Pumpkin passed away over the weekend. My mom got Pumpkin back in 2006 from Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Fryeberg where she volunteered. He was such a fluffy little cat and we were told that he was an adult...but as it turned out, he kept growing and growing and growing into a 15 pound cat the size of a small dog! He was the most cuddly cat I'd ever had and enjoyed spending an upwards of 10 minutes kneading your chest every night. He loved to jump really high in the air to catch toys and would run after me as I walked across our dining room, pawing at my feet.

After my mom passed away in 2007, my step-father kept Pumpkin until he had to give him up in 2010 because the apartment he was moving into wouldn't allow pets. I tried to take Pumpkin in but my apartment was very dark (I was living in an awful basement apartment) and my kitty Ellie was being extremely dominant and Pumpkin just was not happy. So my friends in Boston offered to take Punky and he's been living with them for the last year or so. They've given his such a wonderful, loving home and I'm so happy he lived out his time with them. I feel just awful that we've all lost him so soon; he was only maybe 6 or 7 years old. In any case, he will be sorely missed by many and I am deeply saddened to receive this news. It's times like these when you realize just how meaningful our relationships with our companion animals become. After my friend called me in tears, I grabbed both of our cats and gave them more hugs than they could stand.

We will miss you, Pumpkin.

No comments:

Post a Comment