Saturday, September 30, 2017

Vegan Fudge

I found a super simple recipe for vegan fudge and decided to give it a try.  I made the peanut butter fudge and if you like peanut butter you're going to love this!  Rather than post the recipe I'll just post a photo and the link to the blog where I found it:  Vegan fudge recipe.   I don't know the blogger, but she's clearly the Willy Wonka of the vegan world. 

Vegan fudge 

This truly was the easiet thing to make and is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth.  Next time I'm going to try chocolate.  

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Trip To The Herb Fair

There's an annual herb fair where my mom lives upstate.  I've always wanted to go, but never been around on the right day, until yesterday when I finally got there.  It was just like the weekly farm market, but instead of mostly fruits and vegetables the vendors were selling primarily herbs and products made from them.  I'd like to be more familiar with cooking with herbs, but since I'm not, I decided to keep it simple and just buy what I know.  I bought fresh mint to make mint tea and I bought lemon verbena soap.  I love both of those scents and I've already used the mint in my tea.  The aroma is divine!

Fresh mint & Lemon Verbena soap

It was such a warm and gorgeous day I took the cockatoo with me.  And, as is always the case for him, he attracted the press.  A photographer from the local paper took his photo (not mine, just his) so maybe he'll be in the paper again this year.  Last year he got his photo taken at the farm market.  Never a dull moment with him, and in the meantime, I'm enjoying my herbal purchases.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Featured In The New York Times Today!

My personal passion for, and professional expertise in, jewelry is featured in The New York Times today!  It's on line today and should be in the hardcopy of the paper tomorrow.   I'm really not a philanthropist, that's more of a Vanderbilt and Rockefeller label, but I've been involved with a lot of charities over the years so perhaps that's why they used that word.  Anyway, this was really fun to shoot and I'm so excited to have been included!

If you're a lover of jewelry, particularly brands like Tiffany, Cartier, Van Cleef & Verdura, this is a great article.

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


                      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


                      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 
                      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


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.