Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Farmers' Market with the Cockatoo

Whenever I'm visiting my mom on the weekend I go to the local farmers' market to buy fresh produce.  If it's a warm day I take my cockatoo, Chris, with me.  Sometimes he'll even get a little treat, like giant sugar snap peas.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day today and Chris had a fun time. We got corn and string beans that both the humans and the cockatoo can eat.  And, we got two small pies for our friend who we're visiting tomorrow.

Farm fresh corn

On the way out we stopped by the chicken pen so Chris could see his fellow birds.  He likes to make chicken noises, so it's fun for him to see real live chickens.

Chris with the chickens!

After the farm market we drove into town and did some errands.  Chris loved the people and they loved him.  Just another beautiful day in the country........

Quick & Easy Vegan Tacos

I love tacos just like everyone else, but as a vegan I've had to modify the ingredients. Instead of ground meat I use a meat substitute called Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles. It's made by the same company that makes Boca Burgers.  Over the summer I used the Boca crumbles to make tacos and I chopped lettuce and tomatoes to make traditional style tacos, but tonight I decided to make a variation and cook all the ingredients together to cut down on the do-it-yourself assembly at the table. The result was simpler -- but just as delicous -- tacos!

Vegan tacos

Ingredients: 

                      Taco shells
                      Boca Veggie Ground Crumble (1 package)
                      Two tomatoes chopped
                      One onion chopped
                      Two cups baby spinach leaves
                      Daiya Deluxe Cheeze Sauce Cheddar Style (yes, cheeze with a 'z'), 
                                 1 packet
                      Olive Oil

Instructions:

                      1. Heat oil in skillet  
                      2. Throw in onion first and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently
                      3.  Add in Boca crumble, but first break apart since it tends to clump 
                           together in freezer
                      4.  Cook Boca & onions together for about 10 minutes, stirring 
                           continuously 
                      5.  Add in spinach and cook another 5 minutes, stir continuously
                      6.  Finally add in tomatoes and cook until soft, keep stirring!
                      7.  While cooking the taco filling above heat up the taco shells according  
                            to directions on box.  (Monitor carefully so they don't burn.) This only
                            takes about 6-7 minutes, so if you want them warm & crispy do this 
                            around the same time you add the tomatoes to the mix.
                       8.  Heat up Daiya Cheeze Sauce in the microwave for 1 minute
                       9.  Ready to serve!









Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Delicious Vegan Acorn Squash Recipe

I love winter squash like the acorn & butternut varieties and there are so many ways to incorporate them into meals.  I cook with them year round, but Fall is the perfect time to add them to your menu if you're looking to try something new.  I've even got my non squash loving mother enjoying them. Last night I made a stuffed acorn squash side dish and watched with glee (okay, simple things make me really happy) while she polished off every last bit of it.

Baked acorn squash stuffed with rice, raisins & walnuts

Usually when I bake squash I fill it with a mixed vegetable & tofu medley so it's a whole meal.  But last night I didn't have time for the whole shebang, but wanted to make something healthy for my mom to eat before I drove back to my own place.  This was really simple to make and delicious to eat!  Here's the skinny:

Ingredients:     One large acorn squash
                        Rice (any kind, but I used Jasmine Minute Rice that comes in microwaveable cups.)
                        Black raisins
                        Golden raisins
                        Chopped walnuts
                        Tamari soy sauce
                        Olive oil

Instructions:   

1.  Cut squash in half horizontally and if it won't stand up cut a small piece from each end.  It's important that it stands upright in the baking dish.

2.  Baste the inside of the squash first with the Tamari and then a little olive oil.  A tablespoon of each on each half should be enough.  It's very important to baste with the Tamari first.

3.  Bake at about 350 for approx 30 minutes.  The time and temp will vary according to your oven.  So check every ten minutes or so to see if the squash is getting soft.  When you can slice all the way through the flesh with a knife it's done.  

4.  While the squash is baking prepare your filling.  You can certainly make rice the long way, but I use those handy dandy Minute Rice cups.  It only takes 90 seconds to heat up two cups.  Transfer to a bowl.   Then throw in the raisins and chopped walnuts and add a tablespoon of Tamari & a tablespoon of olive oil and mix well.   This should be ready for when the squash is cooked all the way through.

5.  Add the rice mixture to the inside of the squash and put the rest in the baking dish around the squash.  Bake another 5-10 minutes until the black raisins are plump.  Then you're done.

You now have a delicious & nutritious vegetable side dish.  Some people may even find that half a stuffed squash is enough for lunch.  And, the sweetness of the raisins makes this appealing to children as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Earring Trend For Fall: Big & Sparkly

If you've been paying attention to the earrings we're seeing for Fall you've probably noticed the trend is very large and very sparkly.  Lots of rhinestones and pave crystals. These are not for the faint of heart and they look best with short hair or hair pulled back into a ponytail, away from the face.

A few years ago I did a blog post about a vintage costume jewelry collection and the collector had lots of big sparkly earrings.  One of the designers she had a lot of was Thelma Deutsch, who designed from circa 1980 - 1995.  Recently I was searching on Ebay for something else very specific, but came across a gorgeous pair of huge Thelma Deutsch earrings and fell in love.  I made an offer that the seller accepted, plus I had an Ebay coupon (because I'm a regular seller myself) so I ended up paying just $85.   Totally worth it for these three inch long stunners!

Vintage Thelma Deutsch earrings

So, for a beautiful pair of vintage earrings, I paid less then going to a major department store and buying something similar at the same quality, and I won't be seeing the same earrings on everyone else.  I can't wait to wear them this Fall!  They're going to be stunning for holiday parties, too.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

On Vacay with Nateeva

I'm in Jamaica right now....I'm lying in the wet sand near the water's edge as gentle waves crash at my feet and an island breeze tousles my hair.  The intoxicating smell of my coconut scented suntan lotion and warmth of the tropical sun are trying to lull me into an afternoon nap....or am I already dreaming?......Neither, I just spritzed myself with Nateeva's scent Jamaica and it transported my senses back to a tropical paradise.

Nateeva's island fragrances

The kind folks at Nateeva sent me generous sized samples and they are all a vacation for the senses! My mother and I spent an afternoon spritzing ourselves and our favorite is Jamaica.  I'm wearing it now and I smell amazing and I swear I can hear a steel drum band in the distance.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

'80's Glam

I went back to the thrift store where I found the beautiful vintage Karl Lagerfeld pin and bought two more.

One is also vintage '80's, a dragonfly pin with Gripoix glass, by Deanna Hamro.  I can't find too much info about her, except that she designed costume jewelry in the 80's & 90's, but otherwise designed fine jewelry.

Vintage Deanna Hamro dragonfly pin

The other is a Christian Lacroix sun pin, which I think may also be vintage '80's.  I will probably sell this one on Ebay, but keep the Hamro.

Christian Lacroix sun pin

I love how glitzy and glam the '80's were.  Makes for great statement jewelry!  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fabulous Find: Karl Lagerfeld Brooch

We went vintage/consignment shopping today.  There are two consignment shops and a vintage store in the area.  It's really fun to check in them occasionally to see what little treasures are in stock.  I spotted this brooch from afar and it turned out it's by Karl Lagerfeld and I think it may be a vintage piece.  When I got home I checked on Ebay and found it for sale for $329.  I paid $65.  Score!!  I think it will be a great accessory for a blazer or high neck blouse this Fall.

Karl Lagerfeld brooch