Entries Tagged as 'Adventure'

Grilled Pretzel Panzanella Salad + A Summer Stock Up Giveaway

Posted on: June 30, 2014

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If you are located here in the states then you are probably having a hard time getting into the groove of this week knowing it’s going to be a short one. With Friday being a national grill-copious-amounts-of-food holiday (oh and a celebration of the countries birth), I’ve got grilling (and eating. and watching fireworks. and swimming) on the mind.

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Living in a smallish town has it’s perks – it is easy to walk to the local co-op to grab vegetables for dinner. Taking a nightly bike ride is never interrupted by honking cars. You don’t ever have to wait for a table at your favorite local eatery and weekends are spent swimming at the neaby lakes and quarries. The downside is that sometimes resources can be limited – in this case, pretzel bread. I love making homemade bread but it’s not the first activity I get excited about when it’s already 90 degrees in my kitchen. My lack of success after adventuring to 3 grocery stores, 2 co-op stands, and our local bakery to find pretzel bread only made me more determined. If only we had a Trader Joes around here… I kept thinking, which just enraged me more. Finally, I took a deep breath, pulled out my rolling pin, and whipped up 6 mini-loaves of pretzel bread.

Do you need to make fresh bread for this recipe? No. In fact, I may even advise against it since you’ll need to then let it sit for several days to become stale enough to truly be panzanella. But, if you are feeling overly ambitious or lack pretzel bread in your town, like me, then feel free to start on this a few days early with the bread and come back to it when the bread has become slightly stale.

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Dark Chocolate & Apricot Oatmeal Cookies /// The Homemade Flour Cookbook

Posted on: June 23, 2014

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Last July, I hopped on a plane and met one of my best friends, Ella, for an adventurous long weekend road trip up the Pacific coast. She had already spent the last 3 months exploring the US in her little car and I was scheduled to meet up with her for the very last leg of her trip. I flew into San Francisco where I immediately made her take me to Tartine Bakery to pick up two loaves of bread (which I strategically ordered 3 days prior, duh) and an array of baked goods that we couldn’t resists while in the shop. We wondered around the city streets stuffing our faces with fistfuls of pillowy carbs until we stumbled upon the Bi-Rite Market.

It only seemed appropriate that we top this portable feast off with some spreads so we headed inside the market. After picking up 3 jars of specialty jams, some fresh blueberries, and a slab of Humboldt fog cheese to top our bread with, we decided we should just grab a few more items to enjoy on the road for the next 3 days. Fast forward 10 minutes later and we were standing outside the market with 4 bags full of $150 worth of groceries. Although we both had a little bit of sticker shock when we first saw it all rung up, we feasted that week and it was the fanciest camp food I’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling with.

Although the bread was legendary, the cheese was so creamy you could eat it by the spoonful, and the blackberries were as fun to pick off the wild bushes as they were to eat, the flavor I remember the most was from our gorgeous dried apricots we purchased from Bi-Rite. It was the first time I’ve ever had an apricot that I could recall (fresh or dried) and the flavor stuck with me. Everytime I bite into one, it reminds me of smelling the salty seashores, gawking at endless redwoods, laughing at wrong turns, and feeling slightly whoozy from the winding roads. And those small reminders are now why I keep dried apricots around for everyday pick-me-ups.

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As most of you probably have heard from all the reviews online or saw on my instagram, my good blogger friend Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella just released her first cookbook, The Homemade Flour Cookbook, this month. I’m a total DIYer in the kitchen (anything from making my own vegetable broth to flavored mustards to Boozy BBQ sauce) so I was so excited to hear she was covering the topic of making her own flour. It seems like such a no brainer that things like Garbanzo bean flour comes from dried chickpeas, but to learn that it’s insanely simple to whip up your own version instead of spending $8+ on a small bag is just so liberating! I started out simple with just making this oat flour but can’t wait to dig into the more unique flours like lentil and pistachio flour.

These cookies are a slight adaptation of the Cranberry Oat Cookies she has in her cookbook. I had planned to make them word for word but my ability to follow a recipe is lacking and I felt inspired by the other add-in ingredients I had laying around. I’m doubting Erin could be too upset by the adjustments since she herself admits to always needing to turn a recipe into its own in the intro of  The Homemade Flour Cookbook.

I’d recommend this book for anyone trying to get extra creative in their kitchen or looking to become as self-sufficient as possible. The book is split up into types of flours and the instructions on how to mill each grain / bean / seed is incredibly informative and helpful. Plus, on top of all that, she includes several recipes for each type of flour, so you have endless inspiration from cover to cover.

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Let’s Talk About Driftless Magazine

Posted on: May 27, 2014

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I’m going to real talk you here for a minute. About four months ago I posted that I wanted to start a magazine about the Midwest – 20 contributors, 2 editors, 2 creative directors, 1 designer, 2 illustrators, and numerous bumps later – we are finally ready to release issue 1 of Driftless. Now here’s the real talk – this was 10000% more work than I had ever imagined it would be. Did I have any idea how to layout a magazine? No. Did I have any idea what kind of costs are involved with print? No. Did I have any idea how to coordinate deadlines with a slew of 20+ people? Hellll no. Thankfully, my good friend Leah came on board as a partner at the start of all of this or I would have never stayed sane trying to get this off the ground.

This magazine was by far the hardest creative adventure to date for us. But I’m hoping it could be the most rewarding as well. With the time ticking (this issue is about the summer), we are scrambling to get this to the printed press asap and start getting this out into the world. One problem: it is going to cost around $7000 to print these at a high enough volume that we can sell them back to the public at a reasonable price. Yup – Seven Thousand Dollars. That is a whole ‘latta cash…and about $4000 more than we had budgeted for. I know talking about money is so ugly – believe me, I feel ugly talking about money but there is just no way around it here. We could really use some help getting this project off the ground – we could really use your help. Even if you don’t have any cash to contribute – just sharing this on your blog, Facebook, twitter, etc would really help spread the word about Driftless!

If nothing else, hop on over to the crowd funding page to see a video of Leah and myself – you’ll get to watch how awkward I am in front of a camera and imagine that this is probably how awkward I would be in real life if we met.

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Here are the hard facts:

Driftless is a new, ad-free, independent magazine about adventuring in the Midwest. Our quarterly publication introduces readers to the creative and awe-inspiring wonders the Midwest has to offer by way of stories, recipes, guides, essays, and interviews. Driftless is putting the Midwest back on the map as a beautiful place to both live and visit — we are way more than just flyover territory! We showcase the talent, creativity, and ingenuity that flourishes in our neck of the woods.

Driftless is the type of magazine that you keep on your bedside table for nightly reading, your bookshelf for easy reference, and on your coffee table for showing off your favorite Midwestern inspirations. Issue 1 is 100 perfect-bound pages of gorgeous photographs, beautiful illustrations and clean design from Midwestern artists and makers.

By contributing $25 or more, you are pre-ordering Issue 1 which will show up at your doorstep before it becomes available in any retail shops. 

A few snapshots from issue one (if that recipe looks familiar that is because its from the insanely talented creators of A Couple Cooks, the Grand Rapids photo by Jill DeVries, the swimming photo by Leah Fithian, and all design layouts are by Jessica Kleoppel):

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And don’t forget to follow Driftless on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily updates!

Thanks again for always supporting VV and taking a minute to hear about my other wild and creative endeavors! I’ll be back later this week with a  deliciously spring biscotti recipe.

On Record Collecting // Weekend Almanac Issue 2

Posted on: May 9, 2014

I’ve got a fun little personal post before the weekend sets in. What are your plans this weekend? Are you going to be spending it with your beautiful mother? I personally will be relishing in a graduation grill-outs since Wyatt’s little bro is finally graduating. I’m in charge of desserts too so there is probably a good chance something sweet will be popping up around here in the next few days!

Last fall, I wrote an article about record collecting for Weekend Almanac and it finally appeared in their newest issue that was released last month. Weekend Almanac is an inspiration of beautiful photos, recipes, adventures, and guides that all take place on the weekend. You should definetely hop on over to their website and check it out for yourself.

On that note, there were a lot of ‘outtakes’ from the photo shoot I took for the article and I thought it might be fun to share them on here with all of you! Yes, this was before Wyatt cut all of his hair off. And yes, record collecting is sort of like cheating for me since I sell indie records for my day job. But hey, its a hobby none-the-less and something else I’m passionate about when not in the kitchen. Plus, lets be honest, there is nothing more satisfying than cooking up a meal with a warm vinyl spinning in the background.
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Happy Friday! See you in a few days with a new recipe to share with all of you!

Chickpea Magazine Spring 2014

Posted on: April 10, 2014

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Spring is here and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t keep busy all winter long while hiding from the polar vortex. It’s silly how things pop up in waves but it seems like a lot of work I did the past few months is all becoming available this spring. First up, this article in the newest edition of Chickpea Magazine. It’s their Spring 2014 issue and I wrote an article on how to prep your garden.

Chickpea Magazine is a vegan, wholefood, and ad-free quarterly magazine that showcases everything from irriesistable recipes to seasonal photo essays to useful how-tos. You should most certainly become familiar with the magazine if you haven’t already – its wonderful!

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Curried Carrot Soup With Maple Roasted Chickpeas

Posted on: March 5, 2014

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I’d like to start off by apologizing if this recipe looks faintly familiar. I may have made a super similar one over here but its been slightly updated for an even more delicious experience. I guess I could have omitted the chickpeas or swapped them out with croutons for more of a variety but, if we are being honest here, the maple chickpeas are what made this dish.

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We picked up the cutest little carrots at the Farmer’s Market on our trip to Marco Island. The market made me so gitty and very homesick for summer days. We have a market here in Bloomington in the winter but it’s in a gymnasium and I can’t seem to get myself excited about it. Perhaps the gymnasium part reminds me too much of being at a children’s christmas bazaar or the lack of sunshine in the building brings a whole new gloom to dirty vegetables. Either way, it will never compare to the exciting hustle and bustle of the summer outdoor market.

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This recipe is forever adaptable so please don’t feel limited by the ingredients and instructions listed below. Feel free to substitute some coconut milk for the broth or swap out whatever herbs you have on hand or toss the chickpeas in whatever spices you are craving at that moment. This soup is never the same for me because I always switch it up to fulfill my cravings at the time. As long as the soup is flavorful and the chickpeas are crispy then it’s probably going to be pretty darn delicious.

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In Search of Sun

Posted on: March 2, 2014

It feels a bit inappropriate to be sharing these island photos with you while it’s currently pouring freezing rain outside my window but these photos are keeping me sane. They are keeping me sane in the dozenth winter storm we’ve had this year and I hope that they can maybe also give you a little bit of hope with all their sunshine and greenery.

A few weeks back we headed down to Marco Island to visit family and explore the sun. Here are a few photos from our adventures:

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We actually spent the week with my entire family on my mother’s side even though all these pictures are only of Wyatt and I. Perhaps this is because I forgot to lug my camera around during most of our adventures and the few pictures I did take were during our long walks around sunset.

Honey Roasted Citrus & Thyme Popsicles

Posted on: February 23, 2014

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As mentioned in my previous post, we’ve been in Florida for the last week as an attempt to relieve ourselves from the negative temperatures that the Midwest can’t seem to shake. The week has been filled with lazy mornings at the beach, afternoons by the pool, and early evenings were spent exploring the Everglades.

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More on our adventures later this week after I finish editing all the photos I managed to snap. As for now, I tried to spend the whole week relaxing but couldn’t resist the urge to document these popsicles to share with all of you. I received both an ice cream maker and popsicle molds for Christmas and although I’ve played around with a few recipes, the Midwest ground has been covered in snow since December and our home has maybe seen the sun half a dozen times since the new year. Thus, ice cream cravings have been at a standstill (well, at least until last week when we headed to the coast).

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Headed to the Coast

Posted on: February 15, 2014

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I’m going to be MIA for the next week or so as I road trip halfway across the country to the coast for some much needed sun, swimming, popsicles (which are always better in 70 degree weather) and greenery. Feel free to follow along on my adventure via instagram and I’ll see you back here in a few weeks!

 

***REMINDER: If you are interested in submitting something for our Midwest Magazine, Driftless, the deadline for full articles, illustrations, and photo submissions is Friday, February 21st! Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!***

 

*Photo is not actually of the coast but from last summer at my favorite place in the world: Lake Monroe

Hosting A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 21, 2013

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(Although I wish this was my own feast that I was muchin’ down on, it is not. As a change of pace on VV, I’ve borrowed most of the photos in this post so please click on the images to check out more beautiful photos from the original authors)

 

I’m a total planner. Anytime my boyfriend mentions he’d like to go on a trip somewhere, I’ll have a full day by day itinerary wrote up and emailed to him by the following evening. He usually has forgot he even mentioned anything by the time he receives the email but I know he has to smirk a little in that moment he opens it to find days (usually by the hour) planned out with restaurants, museums, sights, road stops, forests, and campsites. At least, I know I smirk a little when I re-read those emails. I don’t realize I’m doing it but I’m being exactly like my father in those moments. He would take us all (my brother, my three cousins who lived with us, and my step-mother) on a two week vacation every August when I was growing up. For the months leading up to it, he would pull out the atlas after dinner and compare tourist books (this was before the internet was a real big thing) to what was along the route. I remember how playful he always was in those planning moments and he’d tease me with comments like ‘should we go gambling in Vegas or take that 7 mile hike all uphill to see the rock that resembles a monkey head?’ (as if either of those things were appealing to a 10 year old).

Most of these trips I plan are just ideas – tucked away in email folders – never to actually be carried out. Sometimes I wonder if I have more fun planning adventures then actually taking them. There is just something comforting about these plans being there – comforting in the sense that if we did ever decide to sneak away to the Smoky Mountains or Lake Powell or Montreal at the last second, we wouldn’t miss a thing because I’ve got an itinerary for that!

Anyhow, I bring this story up because I planned out Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is sort of like a trip – you spend months planning and prepping only to have it carried out in one big meal. The funny thing is I’m not even hosting Thanksgiving this year. We always have Thanksgiving at my parent’s house up north and all I do is pick out a few recipes to make the day of and demand a Tofurky. However, even though I’m not hosting Thanksgiving, I still made a Thanksgiving menu. You know, just in case I ever feel like throwing a Thanksgiving dinner on a non-Thanksgiving holiday or something? Okay, that sounded crazy. I just mean that I did it because I enjoy planning. Planning can be a hobby, right?

So, to get to the point, if you are looking to host a Vegetarian Thanksgiving this year or just still need a few ideas on some sides, here is how I envision the perfect Vegetarian Thanksgiving:

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Summer Recap Zine // Vegetarian Ventures Issue 1

Posted on: August 29, 2013

 

I already showed this on VV’s Facebook and Pinterest yesterday but I wanted to share it with all of you. I created a short Summer recap zine with some of my favorite highlights for what has been going on around VV this past season.

I am totally hooked on independent magazines right now. Having articles published in Chickpea, Incadenscent, and Remedy Quarterly has made me realize how fun it is to see your work in print. There is something so satisfying about being able to stack your pieces of creative work on a shelf instead of in a hard drive. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the internet but there is nothing better than being able to flip through pages of inspiration over and over again.

In addition to hoping to write a small recap zine every season, I’d really love to start making a collaborative publication in the near future. I really enjoy the community that is built around having a blog and would love to expand it beyond guest posts and re-pins. You know, something physical [eventually] and filled with recipes, adventures, tricks, tips, guides, drawing, a cute name (Toast? Hibiscus?), and (of course) beautiful photography. I realize that will mean recruiting a co-op of writers, adventures, photographers, taste-makers, bakers, and designers (these people could be YOU. Yes? No? Maybe?). Until then, I’ve got my VV recap zine to get my technique down.

What independent zines have you been lusting over lately? I’ve been SO into Kinfolk, Pure Green Magazine, and Weekend Almanac.

VV Turns 2 /// Spicy Double Chocolate Cookies with Cappuccino Frosting

Posted on: August 17, 2013

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Yay – today Vegetarian Venture’s has officially been around (and active!) for two years! It seems both unreal and yet two years doesn’t seem that long. I can’t remember my life without this creative outlet and can’t imagine what I did with all my time before baking, cooking, photography, styling, and playing with food?

The world as I know it has changed drastically since 2011. Two years ago, this guy didn’t exist:

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And I didn’t live in our blue house with this guy:

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Two years ago I was going to school part time and working at a local co-op grocery store. The co-op had this wonderful shelf in the fridge called the ‘chump shelf’ and was filled with any sort of unsellable item that were up for grabs – day old baguettes (perfect for french toast), pints of berries with one moldy piece, two day old tabbouleh (everyone know it’s better after it’s aged a bit), blemished organic produce, bulk bags of grains that people bagged up and then decided against buying, etc. As a student trying to live cheapily and still obsessed with food, this was the most amazing shelf for me. I would come home beaming every night with bags full of free food and feed my entire house full of college roommates. The food I brought would often times be a weird mix of ingredients and that was what sparked searching through recipes and blogs and eventually starting VV to document my adventures.

Two years later and I do not still work at the co-op (but still live right down the street from it and shop their almost everyday), have graduated college, and don’t have a house full of roommate to feed. I do, however, still love blogging and spend most of my free time cooking for my boyfriend / boxer.

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Currently Crushing

Posted on: August 11, 2013

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In an attempt to not completely fall off the grid during the ‘dog days of summer’, I thought I’d fill you in on a few things I’ve been up to aside from cooking. With my kitchen lacking air conditioning (UGH), I’ve been keeping the cooking to a minimum and mostly sticking to veggie centric salads, staple recipes that I know are quick, and grilling outside.

Anyhow,  I’ve been turning to other outlets of inspiration – mostly spending a large portion of my free time reading and thought I’d share a few recent favorites with you guys.

Top right: I found this back issue of Pure Green Magazine at a local bookstore and am totally in love. This particular issue is their ‘food’ issue and features articles ranging from the history of ancient grains to a step by step on how to make the best coffee. It has become a new indie magazine staple to add to my shelf alongside Chickpea Quarterly and Kinfolk.

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Pacific Coast Exploring – Part 2 (Oregon)

Posted on: July 31, 2013

…And here is Part 2 of our coastal exploration (check out Part 1 here). These pictures are mostly all taken in Oregon and on the way to Portland. I wish wish wish wish wish I had an excuse to move to Portland – I would be so close to the ocean, mountains, Redwoods, waterfalls, rivers, drip coffee, blueberry bourbon basil donuts (Yup – that’s right. Thank you, Blue Star), and so many other things.

 

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Pacific Coast Exploring – Part 1

Posted on: July 29, 2013

I apologize for the lack of ‘food’ posts this week but I have a good excuse. I’ve been 2,000 miles away from my kitchen on an epic road trip starting in San Francisco and trailing up through Portland. This last week has been a whirlwind; 12 hours of flying, 2 major cities, an epic ocean, 10 hours of driving, two picnics, one amazing friend, endless seasonal food, and dozens of mix CDs later…I come to you with a recap of my week in the form of photos.

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Let’s start with a little background to set  this photo story up. This is Ella – within the past five years, we’ve been friends, roommates, class mates, and now exploration partners. While I’ve been off having a day job and manning down this wonderful VV blog, she’s been busy living out of her car and traveling the country while working on organic farms and gaining wilderness training in dozens of national parks. Although I love my cushiony life in the Midwest, I couldn’t help but want to be a part of her adventures and made a promise to meet her in San Fran at the end of the summer. I flew from Indianapolis to Atlanta and then to San Francisco. She picked me up in her car-turned-home and we were off along the 101 for the next three days.

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And this is me. I probably didn’t need to introduce myself because you probably already know me – whether it’s through this blog, or in person, or from the gossip channels known as the internet (okay, let’s be real – you probably don’t know me because of that). But just in case, and for the sake of this picture story, this is me. The 20-something, sort-of-paranoid, adventure-lusting, food-lover.

 And this is the a photo tour of our journey through California (Part 1).

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Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: July 27, 2013

Morning! By the time this is posted, I will be off exploring the Pacific Coast. I’m writing from an airplane (woohoo for wi-fi) where I am watching the Southwest desert pass us by and consuming obnoxious amounts of soda water (but am refusing to let myself have to pee on this trip). Anyhow, I hope to have some wonderful photos to share of my journey when I return, but for now…let’s chat about some photos from other people around the web…

 

       

 

 

1. CRAVING /// Broiled Apricot and Cherries with Fresh Ricotta and Thyme. WHAT?! I’m not even sure if I fully understand what all is going on here but I do understand that I want to eat it all.

2. DREAMING /// We’ve been thinking pretty seriously lately about getting another dog. I want one so badly…when I see all the dogs that need homes from the shelter and know that I could make their lives 100000x time better, it makes me so sad. Tuko is almost 2 and he still has crazy energy and pretty obviously longs for another dog companion. The problem, of course, lies with what would happen if we wanted to move and they wouldn’t accept two dogs…or if one of them had a large medical emergency that we couldn’t afford. Sigh. I just don’t know what to do!

3. CREATING /// I love kitchen projects and haven’t embarked on any major ones lately. I’ve actually never canned. Weird? Maybe but I don’t eat a lot of canned food so it doesn’t seem that irrational? BUT, on that note, I will can. Whether it be jam or pickles or corn relish or enchilada sauce. It will happen. I am now determined.

Also, another food project I am going to start when getting back from San Fran is trying to keep a sourdough starter. I’ve always been so intimidated by the thought of it but it’s really not that hard..right?!

4. LUSTING /// Gourmande in the Kitchen has been doing a Healthy Homemade Series and I am TOTALLY into it. I love the idea of being able to make your own homemade staples (whether it be food based or for your skin or your house, etc). The first post was a skin cream and the latest is a chocolate facial mask. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

The Blue Bush

Posted on: July 12, 2013

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I had so much fun reading Baker Bettie’s post on their new home that it inspired me to give you guys a little peak into our lives.

It’s been one year since I started the ‘post college’ stage of my life that I’m currently knee deep in. It’s been a year since I moved into The Blue Bush with Wyatt and our peanut butter loving dog, Tuko. The Blue Bush (as we like to call it since…well…the outside of the house is bright blue) is a cozy little Midwest home that was built in 1910. Yup, that’s what the records say…1910. So, as you can imagine, the place isn’t exactly in tip top shape. We’ve worked hard to transform it into a home that reflects us and it’s been fun to watch the process unfold. I’ve collected quite a few pictures of the last year so I was thinking this could be a good time to show you around.

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This also means it’s been one year since we owned a microwave or a dishwasher. Can you guess which one we miss the most? What my nails wouldn’t do to have a rest from being drenched in soapy dish water for just ONE night.

As for the microwave… I always just forget they even exist these days. I still remember the look on Wyatt’s face when I first purposed not having a microwave in our new home…the look of bewilderment followed by complete disbelief. But he agreed and it’s been wonderful. I’ve learned SO many new things since having to go back to cooking ingredients the way they are supposed to be cooked (i.e. using a double boiler, boiling water over the stove top, etc). My favorite part about not having a microwave is that you always have to work for your food around here. Sure, if you REALLY want to just eat a frozen dinner of (veggie) nuggets then that’s fine…but you’ll have to bake them for 20 minutes in the oven which means you could just whip up some polenta / sautéed veggies in that same amount of time. It really has helped me to not take short cuts and prepare real food in the kitchen.

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We’ve filled the house with lots of vintage furniture…

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…And vinyl records..

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..And have filled our sunroom with house plants (which is a perfect little hideout full of green in the middle of winter)

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This is the studio room…

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<— Wyatt’s desk and (can you tell who is the clean one in this relationship? ahem, definitely not me…) and my desk —>

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We spent a lot of our time in the backyard. I’ve managed to build two gardens…one with herbs and one with vegetables. The cucumbers and zucchini have been going crazy and it’s finally time for the tomatoes to start ripening (!!!).

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Well, I just wanted to take the opportunity to show you around a little. It’s crazy it’s taken a whole year to get around to telling you about my obsession with house plants, my love for vinyl records, and show you a peak of our little cozy home. Thanks for reading!

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Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: June 29, 2013

…And time for some inspiring links from around the web:

       

1. ADVENTURING // Headed to the west coast at the end of July to join a friend on her cross country road trip. I’ll be tagging along on the part from San Fran to Portland which means I’ve been going a little crazy with planning. We are definitely hitting up the Redwoods and ocean. Anyone have any recommendations for San Fran / Portland / anything in between?!

2. INSPIRING // Look at this salad from Gourmande in the Kitchen! Don’t all the wonderful colors, textures, and shapes make you want to eat this for every meal? Love Love Love feeling inspired by vegetables. Now, the only problem I need to get over is my dislike for beets…they are so beautiful…why can’t I just like them?!

3. CREATING // I’ve been familiarizing myself with dreamweaver and Issuu a lot lately in hopes to start making my own VV online magazine / zine. This has triggered hours and hours of flipping through magazines and online design books in the name of “research”.

4. CRAVING // Milkshake Strawberry Banana Cake?! Yes, please. This ‘milkshake turned baked goods’ trend has been popping up all over Pinterest but no one has done it quiet as beautifully as Hungry Rabbit.

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend planned! I’d like to do some adventuring to the lake but the forecast calls for storms all weekend. It might be a sign that I’m overdue for a day getting lost in the kitchen…

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: June 8, 2013

       

1. CRAVING /// Have you seen this Roasted Apricot Buttermilk Ice Cream with Almond Streussel from Reclaiming Provincial?! Yup – dayummm! Summer fever has hit me hard and I have began a ridiculously large collection of ice cream and popsicle recipes..

2. CREATING /// The Vanilla Bean posted some wonderful pictures of making lilac sugar. I love using flowers in baking (makes your baked goods so so fancy!) or perfect way to add some extra fragrance in your afternoon tea.

3. INSPIRING /// I don’t usually save ‘inspirational’ quotes but this picture has stuck with me for some time. I often times get worked up over work and have problems letting it go – this picture reminds me that I often times get sucked into a situation and ‘go a little mad’; getting creative with doing something out of the normal helps reminds me I can remove myself from this funk. My way of removing myself is by hiking, baking, cooking, camping, and being out in nature.

4. DREAMING /// My dream is to eventually own my own bakery. Until I have the money and find a wonderful town lacking fresh breads and treats, I can only dream and prep. I’ve contemplating taking some bread baking and pastry classes to help expand my cooking knowledge.

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m off to do some thrifting and pick up some fresh produce at the farmer’s market.

 

PS Have you checked out my new logo in the top corner? It’s totally different from all those ‘minimalist’ logos that are out in the food world right now and I love it. I asked Wyatt’s brother to draw me a picture of two vegetables having fun canoeing together and this is what he came up with. It’s a weird mix between a children’s book cover and DIY zine style – I love it!

Maple Almond GORP // The Adventure’s Food

Posted on: May 31, 2013

As mentioned on Tuesday, we spent last weekend exploring the forest wonders of Wisconsin. We went hiking and can0ing and swimming (Yes, Wyatt’s brother has cheetah hair)…

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It was a beautiful and relaxing adventure. However, traveling with a group of Midwestern families, I was nervous about the eating situation. There are still many places that don’t realize ‘vegetarian’ means not eating fish or chicken. And Midwest fast food doesn’t necessarily cater to vegetarians with their bland ice burg lettuce salads and sugar drenched parfaits. I decided to take the situation into my own hands by whipping up some homemade chex mix, stuffing as many sparkling water cans into my purse as possible, and baking a pan of GORP.

Why GORP? I don’t have fond memories of preparing it at summer camp or munching on it during Girl Scout outings. We never backed it during family road trips or enjoyed a big bowl at 4th of July. I guess this lack of GORP in my childhood made me curious of what I was missing out on. Plus, a friend told me that my Cinnamon Quinoa Granola reminded them of GORP – portable, high-protein granola? I’m in.

Say hello to my new favorite road trip snack. This stuff lasted me the whole four days since a big scoop is pretty filling. I would suggest this for anyone going on a long car ride, camping trip, hiking, or anyone in need of a high-protein snack. I put coated chocolate in this recipe (hey, I was on vacation after all) which I found helped the chocolate from melting. Feel free to adjust this anyway you see fit. For me, I’m not a big raisen person so I snuck dried cranberries in there instead.

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MAPLE ALMOND GORP

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half
  • 1 cup candy coated chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the maple syrup with the split vanilla bean in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let the vanilla bean steap for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove vanilla bean.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut flakes, almonds, oats, cranberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour maple syrup mixture over everything and stir to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.
Let cool completely before folding in chocolate. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag and adventure away!

 

 

Cabin In The Woods

Posted on: May 28, 2013

We ditched work last Friday and headed to a cabin in the woods for our long Memorial weekend. Wyatt has family who owns a Wisconsin lake home. We had been promised hours of swimming, boat rides, and tubing. Unfortunately, the weather never rose above 60 and we had to improvise. I did manage to get out of my comfort zone by hanging out with some lamas, riding on a 4 wheeler for the first time, and eating obscene amounts of velveeta cheese (which was kind of a mistake.. but I’d probably do it again).

We couldn’t do much exploring close to the cabin because they were having problems with ticks and bears (another weird experience for us – I can’t be the only one that thinks this is strange, right?). We were, however, able to build campfire down by the water and enjoy the dock. We also adventured to a nearby State Park (Interstate Park) and did some major hiking. Here are some snapshots from the weekend:

 

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What did YOU do for the long weekend?

 

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: May 25, 2013

…And we’re back! After almost a month long break from ‘Searchable Saturday’s'! Is everyone geared up for the long weekend? I’m already (hopefully) halfway to Wisconsin by the time you guys are reading this (Thank you, wordpress scheduler) and will be spending the weekend in the woods exploring. What are you doing for the long weekend?

       

 

1. CRAVING /// Rhubarb is everywhere right now! If you are looking for something a little more exotic than my Ginger Strawberry Rhubarb pie, how about this delicious looking Rhubarb Brown Butter Bourbon tart from The Bojon Gourmet? It has bourbon so you know it’s fancy!

2. LEARNING /// Also, I know I mentioned this link earlier this week but I still can’t get over my micro greens! They have a subtle but irresistible flavor profile to them and they are SO simple to grow. Check out this post from Livia Sweets on how to grow your own.

3. MUNCHING /// Memorial weekend is the ultimate cookout weekend. How about a glass of these Oh Joy!’s Smoothie Cubes to go with your grilled kebabs and potato salads? I think so!

4. EXPLORING /// I’m really hoping that I get my WANDERLUST out of my system this weekend because it’s been bad. The vet advised us against doing too much hiking and camping because ticks are bad this year but it’s all I want to do. ALL THE TIME.

 

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: April 6, 2013

   

 

1. LOVING /// Tomorrow marks the first outdoor Farmer’s Market of the year here in Bloomington. I am sure there won’t be much produce yet but lots of delicious local food, plants, and live music. The first market is what I always consider marks that Spring is officially here.

2. CREATING /// Baker Bettie is hosting her annual Cookie Wars. I was the winner last year (woooo!) with my Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies with Mascarpone Frosting and can’t wait to enter again! If you are looking for some inspiration, check out her post about previous cookie recipes here and don’t forget to enter by May 1st!

3. GROWING /// My seeds are sprouting! There is nothing more rewarding than growing your own food from seed. I decided to invest all of my money that usually goes towards our CSA into our garden. Pretty risky but that means we can not fail! Hope on over to Fox In The Pine’s blog to see her method for starting seeds!

4. EXPLORING /// We originally had a Southwestern road trip planned for the beginning of May. However, the time snuck up on us so we are pushing our big summer trip back to September. That means more time to plan (maybe even go somewhere new instead? Yellowstone? Montreal? San Fran?) and more small trips between. I’m thinking next 3 day weekend we are going to head to the Smoky Mountains.

Hope everyone has some wonderful weekend plans and gets outside to enjoy this spring weather.

Spring Adventures

Posted on: April 4, 2013

Day Picnic with Wyatt and Tuko/Taco/Teke.

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Song Pairing:

Citrus Tub Scrub /// Chickpea Spring Issue

Posted on: March 21, 2013

Chickpea Spring Issue

 

Let’s talk magazine. I love blogs. They are wonderful – accessible, easy to update, and inspiring. But, in my opinion, they will never compare to having a print version of something. Maybe I’m a collector (I do have an obscene amount of vinyl records when we all know I could just use Itunes). But there is just something about smelling the fresh pages, running my fingers across the inspiring images, and clipping out favorite articles that can not be replicated with blogs.

My favorite part about blogs is that anyone can be a blogger. I am a blogger. I have no job that labels me as a ‘writer’ or no diploma that says anything about ‘design’ on it. You don’t need those labels to blog. And I love that. It’s probably my favorite part about reading blogs. Bloggers are people who are passionate about what they are writing because they aren’t in it (for the most part) to get a check at the end of the day.

I used to be a zine nut before blogging because it was our way of putting our info out there. You could make a cooking zine without a publishing deal. Many magazines have turned into that as well. I mean, you still have Rolling Stone and Bust and Cosmo but you also have the ability to make your own magazines with programs like Issuu and Dreamweaver. We now have magazines like Kinfolk and Pure Green Magazine and Chickpea Magazine. These are products of creative people putting themselves out there by making their own magazines. And they are beautiful. And so much more inspiring than any Cosmo I’ve ever read.

This rant is a product of my excitement from the Spring Issue of Chickpea Magazine which went on pre-order last week. It’s filled with beautiful photography, inspiring vegan recipes, and spring adventures. I highly suggest you check out the free version here or think about per-ordering a physical copy for yourself here.

 

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Lastly, I wanted to give you a little preview of what you can expect from my article in the issue. My article is on homemade house cleaners. In it I talk house plants, DIY recipes, and the drawbacks of pre-packaged house cleaners. This article was so fun to write about because it was one big science project. A constant affair of trying out different ingredients and recipes to see what really got the grime off of that damn kitchen sink. The end results were rewarding and I am so happy to share with everyone some favorite homemade cleaners that I use every week.

The one I am sharing today is shockingly easy and cheap. Its my citrus tub scrub. A piece of citrus fruit and coarse salt. That’s it. How easy is that? It will make your bathroom smell like you’ve been growing a citrus plant in there for years while the acidicity from the fruit will scrub away the grime. The coarse salt is used as an exfoliater to get the hard to scrub spots.

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Bathroom Tub Scrub

  • 1 pieces of citrus fruit (the bigger, the more surface area you can cover quicker)
  • Coarse Salt

Cut the fruit in half. Pour a little coarse salt onto the inside of the fruit and gently squeeze out the juice as you scrub the bathroom tub. Apply more salt as needed. Let sit for a few minutes and rinse with water.

Feel free to use leftover fruit to scrub the outside of the toilet, the bathroom sink, or even the floors.

 

Song Pairing:

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