Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spectacular Vegan Sauces

As promised, I am posting the recipes for the two sauces I made to accompany the delicious asparagus and coconut curry my roommate and I cooked up on Monday. I have never made a sauce before so this was really exciting! And lifted my spirits quite a bit, since my baking has taken a turn for the worse as of late.

Vegan Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
a sprinkle of ground red pepper to taste

Mix it all up. Stir it with all your might! Cause that peanut butter isn't going down without a fight. (ooooh, a rhyme!)
This sauce came out a little sweeter than I expected. But when drizzled lightly over curry and rice, KAPOW! Awesomeness.

Vegan Lemon Aioli Sauce
1/2 cup Vegennaise
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tbsp minced garlic from a jar)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil

Mix it up!

This sauce went really well with our almond, garlic asparagus.

But really I just love opportunities to eat mayonnaise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NOT a diet

I am absolutely, positively not on a diet. If I were, my body would immediately shut out all reason and demand cookies until I cave. However, I snack A LOT. Every 2-3 hours, I'd say. And I've come to the conclusion that there are probably better snacks to eat than cookies, crackers, bagels, carby carby mccarbersons.

So today begins my adventures in "healthier" snacking.

Today I ate a small portion of cottage cheese and mandarin oranges for morning snack (I don't eat breakfast.)

For pre-lunch snack, I had walnuts and dried cranberries.

Lunch was a bowl of hearty tomato soup.

After-lunch snack was possibly my favorite of the day: two spoonfuls of cottage cheese, 1/3 cucumber, 2 cherry tomatoes and pepper.

That's healthy, right?


For dinner, my roommate is making asparagus and some coconut tofu while I whip up vegan lemon aioli sauce for the asparagus and vegan peanut sauce for the tofu. Recipes for those sauces to come!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guitar Strap Giveaway Winner!

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this giveaway. I went from 4 to 38 followers! There are definitely more giveaways to come, so keep watch!
For this time, let's congratulate the winner of an awesome handmade guitar strap....
Carolyn Barnett!
Carolyn, I will be emailing you!

From Will Knit for Cake

Per a few requests, I will post the pattern on how to make this guitar strap for everyone who didn't win ... because I heart you guys.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My arms aren't big enough to hug the universe

I have to show some love to the people, blogs and Etsy stores that have made my week full of smiles.


First, I would like to introduce you to my cupcake. It came in the mail today!
Wacky Cookies is a super cool company. Check them out on
facebook!
Secondly, I won this awesome lotion from Piper Tate in a giveaway at The Ardent Sparrow! It smells absolutely amazing and came packaged in the cutest bag.
In the same giveaway at The Ardent Sparrow, I won a $15 gift certificate to Kawaii Goodies. I bought these amazing stamps. Who knows what shenanigan crafts I'll get into with these babies!
And last but not least, I got some beautiful custom earrings from Operation Petticoat!
My life has gotten infinitely better since I discovered blogging, etsy, giveaways and wonderfully creative people. I am filled with love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When life gives you buttons

Does anyone else love taking pictures of buttons?
This is a hint at the project I just finished. It looks nice in these photos, but in real life, it's a monster.


Also, there is still time to enter my giveaway here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

From pants to purse

Just to get it out of the way, this is all you get from the slumber party!


Now that's out of the way!
The next morning, I shot up out of bed with the crafting bug! I had a pair of brown, linen pants in a bag of stuff I intended to donate. I pulled those babies out and headed to the sewing machine.



Lightbulb moment
The bottom leg of a pair of pants could be a tote bag.

2nd lightbulb
The bottom of 2 legs could be a TWO POCKET bag!


So I cut the bottom of the two legs off, leaving one half of one leg long to become a fold-over flap.
Make sure everything is inside out before sewing.
I hemmed the edges of the top and the flap.



I sewed together the bottom and sides. Turned it all right-side out, and added a button hole and button. Now all I need is a strap. Rock. On.

*Note: I didn't pay attention to where my flap was when I sewed everything together, so now only one pocket is covered. Also note: I had not thought about the pocket that would be formed between the two pants legs when I sewed them together. I was amazed by the magic of my sewing machine when I ended up with three pockets.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Slumber Party and Guacamole

This evening, my roommate and I will be hosting a "slumber party." Of course everyone invited is welcome to sleep over, but that is not where the title of this party originates. As my mom would say, "it's like a Tupperware party with dildos!"

Obviously, we're excited!

To celebrate this event, I thought I'd post a recipe for the easiest, awesomest guac I know of.

Two avocados, all mushed up in a bowl
Add one can cilantro lime Rotel, with juice
Add a bit more lime juice, it you're into that
Maybe some ground red pepper

Ta Da! Good eating with lime tortilla chips. I think I might like lime.

Pictures from the party may or may not be posted.
If you are interested in learning more about this type of event, here is the website:
www.SlumberPartiesByConnieM.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Out of the knitting drawer {Giveaway}

I really love knitting. However, for some reason I refuse to make size swatches. I won't do it and you can't make me! The result of this is I end up making the same project several times in various colors and sizes.

So it's about time I put out some good giveaway karma!

One lucky follower will win one item from my knitting drawer (is that starting to sound dirty to anyone else?). The two items I have up right now are a guitar strap and a beret. Winner chooses.

I absolutely love this beret. The colors are awesome. It's light and can be worn in any season.




I really love this guitar strap, but it is a little too long for me. It would be easy for a sewer to shorten it up a bit! It has two pegs holes, and also a string for acoustic/classical guitars. It is lined with fabric to prevent it from stretching.





In order to enter this giveaway, you MUST be a GFC follower of this blog (via the Google Friend button!) Please post a comment telling me which of the items you would choose if you won and what you would do with it.

Please make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Also feel free to leave me a link to your blog! I would like to visit!

For additional entries:
1) Facebook about this giveaway and post a link to your comment.
2) Tell me what your favorite poem is and why.
3) Tell me what your favorite vegan recipe is.

Again, make sure you are click on the google friend connect button and follow my blog before you enter this! I don't want to disqualify anyone :(
Good luck everyone! I will choose a winner randomly on April 24, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Handmade Swap!

I am officially doing my first handmade swap! I will be making Monster Chunks by Rebecca Danger for Chelsea, and she will make me Eli Elephant from the Little Birdie Blog.
I am so excited! I think that trading handmade stuff is the most exciting thing possible because it involves a) making something and b) getting something in the mail!
Thank you, Chelsea, for getting this rad thing going.

If anyone else wants to do a swap, hit me up! Make sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

Sloppy TVP - not quite as catchy...

My day started out really great! I won a giveaway from madewithlove so now my button will be on their page. Weeee! I'm excited.

On to other news, this next recipe is so simple yet positively mind blowing (for me, anyway). For 8 years I didn't eat barbeque sauce because I was a bad vegetarian and mostly ate cheese and bread. One day my husband made a baked potato with barbeque sauce all over it and my life has not been the same since. Here is my favorite recipe made with, you guessed it, barbeque sauce.

Sloppy TVP

Put 2 tbs oil in a medium skillet.
Add 1/2 cup TVP and slightly less than 1/2 cup water
Let that heat up a minute while the TVP soaks up some water
Squirt barbeque sauce over TVP mixture, stir in, add more til it looks coated
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
I like to add a little chipotle seasoning or vegan bacon salt
salt and pepper to taste

This goes great on a hoagie bun with a little vegenaise and a sliced claussen pickle! Or atop a baked potato.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegan Mulligatawny Soup - I'd get lost on an island with this soup

This soup is so amazingly awesomely delicious that you will decide to invite friends over to help you eat the giant pot of soup and then silently cry that you won't have enough leftovers to eat for breakfast.
* Be wary of growing feelings of resentment when your friends get seconds.
* Do not steal the pot and elope to Mexico. No one will understand your love.

Mulligatawny Soup (vegan version)

1 yellow onion, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrot, diced
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
8 cups vegetable broth (or Not Chik'n Broth)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup rice (jasmine rice is good)
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch dried thyme

Jazz it up with extra pinches of cumin, coriander, ground red pepper, and more curry powder.

Saute onions, celery, carrot, and oil in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
Add applesauce, rice, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

I know that soup season is nearly over, but I feel the need to share this recipe.
(for vegan recipe, use rice milk and omit butter and cheese)


5 cups Vegetable Broth
1 can Evaporated Milk
30 oz Pure Pumpkin, puréed
16 oz Yellow Corn
1 packet Lipton Vegetable Soup Mix
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 tbsp Stick Butter
6 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar (this part is VERY important!)
2 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Ground Coriander
1 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
1 tsp. Thyme
½ tsp. Celery Seed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend pumpkin, vegetable broth and evaporated milk in large stock pot.
Add remaining ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
Bring to boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 3 qts.

When we first made this, we used a whole pumpkin. Let me be the first to say, when you are standing in the kitchen holding a HUGE PUMPKIN, life can become very confusing. We ended up with 75 ounces of pure pumpkin, whereas the recipe only calls for 30. We put up a post on facebook calling all nearby residents to bring a bowl. There should be a proverb about how time and effort put into a pumpkin can feed a small village.

Best Yard Sale Ever

A few weekends ago, Ronnie and I happened upon a yard sale. It was an "indoor" sale in a very questionable looking duplex, so we sat in the car a good five minutes before agreeing that the possibility of finding a good deal outweighed the probability of dying at the hands of a serial killer.
But oh did we make the right decision!

Le Creuset Cast Iron Casserole Dish - $2
Vintage Rolling Pin - $1
Set of 5 Blue Danube Espresso/tea cups and saucers - $3

While I totally love the casserole dish, I am probably going to list it on ebay. They are selling for around $80, and I need that way more than I need to make perfectly heated casseroles.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Knit Leaf Pattern


This is officially the first pattern I have ever posted. I searched the internet for a pattern for a knitted leaf and had a surprisingly difficult time finding any. So I used my BRAINS and wrote one. Suck it.

Leaf Pattern

Cast on 3 stitches
Row 1 and every odd row: purl stitches
Row 2: K1, YO, K1, YO, K1 (5 stitches)
Row 4: K2, YO, K1, YO, K2 (7 stitches)
Row 6: K3, YO, K1, YO, K3 (9 stitches)
Row 8: K 4, YO, K1, YO, K4 (11 stitches)
Row 10: K2tog through back (or slip 1, knit 1 and pass slipped stitch over,) K7, K2tog (9 stitches)
Row: 12: K2tog through back, K5, K2tog (7 stitches)
Row 14: K2tog through back, K3, K2tog (5 stitches)
Row 16: K2tog through back, K1, K2tog (3 stitches)
Row 18: K2tog through back, K1
Bind off

Yay! Cute leaf! You can make it into a bracelet by first knitting an i-cord, or by just using the tails to tie it around your wrist. It will also make a cute brooch or add-on to any scarf or headband.






Friday, April 8, 2011

I LOVE giveaways!

So, I have been living my life this whole time not realizing that people were having GIVEAWAYS on their blogs. Whoa. The only problem is that now I spend several hours each day searching for and entering said giveaways. For everything. Even baby items (I don't have a baby, but my sister does!). It was getting a little ridiculous.
UNTIL! I won one!!! Etsystalker had an awesome giveaway for Christie Cone Ceramics and I won this awesome tumbler http://www.etsy.com/listing/67141068/joy-tumbler-in-blue.
Of course, this only legitimizes the absurd amounts of time I spend entering these things.
However, to put some good giveaway karma back into the blog world, I will be holding my own giveaway before very long. Be on the lookout.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cake?

I have no idea how to kick this off, so I feel like I should start with an explanation about my feelings for cake. Please see this amazing post from Hyperbole and a Half for an example:
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-of-cake.html