Entries Tagged as 'Adventure'

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.

tubscrub

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:

Ocean Bound

Posted on: March 11, 2013

oceanbound

Heyyaa! We are heading out on an adventure in search of warmer weather. I like to think that I’m never too old for a spring break. I may or may not be able to post in the next few days. If not, see you in a week! Or feel free to follow along on instagram (@shellywest).

Searchable Saturday

Posted on: March 2, 2013

    

 

1. Puppies on the mind. We are still on the hunt for an adorable french bulldog to be Tuko’s new playmate. We’ve been going to the animal shelter to look for lovable options but I’ve found it much harder [emotionally] to go there than before we had a dog. Perhaps now that we have the sort of connection with our own pup, it’s hard to see all those dogs not experiencing that loving connection and knowing that some of them never will. It’s just really sad. But it does make me feel good knowing that we could be helping one of those dogs one day soon.

2. There is this underground (literally- it’s in a cellar) hipster bar we go to sometimes (hipster? Don’t believe me – they have a drink called ‘The Pitchfork’). We were there on Thursday night for a friend’s show and I noticed a bunch of jars full of colorful concoctions in the fridge behind the bar. I asked the bartender about one of them and he said ‘Oh. That has ginger, orange, and gin in it. But it won’t be ready until the weekend.’ After that, I couldn’t help but start obsessing over the idea. How does the process work? What were they making? How long does it have to sit? Was it a fruit liqueur? An infused gin? I won’t know unless I go back this weekend (which…it sounds like I have to) but it started getting me thinking about fun infusions. I can feel a weekend project coming on…

3. DEEP DISH PIZZA! What more do I need to say? Growing up, I would spend the weekends taking the train into downtown Chicago with friends. We would go to concerts and eat obscene amounts of deep dish pizza. I find myself craving it from time to time but we don’t really have any deep dish pizza places down here. Best next thing? Guess I’m just going to have to start making my own!

4. So the haircut that has long been tempting me finally came last week. You think I would have got it out of my system but now I’m just obsessing with new hair ideas more than ever. I fear that once the newness of this haircut wares off, I will be left feeling like I have a super boring-plain trim. Quick! I better do something drastic – time to dye it! Should I go bright red using Lush’s organic henna dye or Aveda’s blue-black dye?! Should I do blonde dips or dye a chunk of my bangs blonde? Or do an all over honey blonde color?! So many options!

 

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend ahead of them! My weekend plans got put on hold because my car is in the shop. This means the next two days will probably consist of a lot of laying around the house (unless I feel like walking…in the snow…and cold). Sometimes it’s good to be stuck in one place – that is when the creativity has to set in. Right? Maybe? I don’t know.

Chickpea Magazine Winter 2013 /// February Recap

Posted on: February 28, 2013

Good afternoon! Before I get to the monthly recap, I wanted to share my excitement with you guys about receiving the new Chickpea Quarterly in the mail yesterday. I have an article on DIY Kitchen Staples (Homemade Vegetable Broth, Vanilla Extract, and Almond Milk) in it. Also, It’s chocked full of vegan recipes, beautiful photography, and oh so much inspiration that I am grinning from ear to ear just looking at it. I thought I was ready for winter to be over but the magazine has re-sparked my cold weather senses. Here are a few highlights (and yes, those are BOURBON CHOCOLATE CAKE POPS pictured below…)

Chickpea Quarterly

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Okay, enough drooling over my favorite magazine – it’s time for a recap! No offense but I am SO glad that February is only 28 days long. With spring on the mind since January 1st, I have been having trouble getting through this month while still feeling present. Instead, my mind has been wondering to beaches, beeragritas, and long bike rides. Here are a few recipes that have helped me kick the winter [mind] wandering..

 

   

 

1. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with Gingersnap Crust – Comfort food with a fancy twist. And by fancy, I mean crumbling cookie bits on top of my already insanely indulgent dinner. Not bad…not bad at all…

2. Vegan Stuffed Brunch Biscuits – these were my ‘pride and joy’ of the month. One of those ideas that comes to you at a completely random time and you start to obsess over it until the recipe is executed. Veggie Sausage or Bacon? Scones or Biscuits? Cheddar or Tomato Scones? Southwestern or Indian Tofu Scramble? Mushroom or Pepper Gravy? So many combinations to choose from and the product was an irresistible combination of everything amazing that comes to mind when you think ‘Vegan Breakfast’.

3. Heart Shaped Polenta Crostini with Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese – Three of my favorite things all in one bite. And SO simple to make. How can it get any better than that?

4. Cinnamon Quinoa Granola – New breakfast go to. Chocked full of fiber, protein, and antixidents. The texture from the quinoa bring a whole new level of granola and this stuff keeps me filled all morning long.

 

Okay, well GOODBYE February and HELLOOOO March. I’m thinking [hoping] March will be filled with more outdoor adventures, road trips, and garden prepping. Yesss!

 

Song Pairing:

Weekend Exploration

Posted on: February 25, 2013

Morning! Sooo… I have a DONUT recipe for all of you. But that would be wayyy too nice of me to just come out and share my favorite sugary breakfast. If I did that, why would you ever bother to come back? I’d like to keep you around so we are going to just have to wait. Perhaps until later today or maybe even tomorrow? So, check back if Sugary-Blueberry-Lemony deliciousness is your thing (and, sorry, but if it’s not then you are lying to yourself).

But until then, I’ve got some weekend pictures to share with you (think of it as a way to prove myself and show that I am about more than just vegan cupcakes and vegetable soups). Wyatt and I gave ourselves haircuts, went exploring at a nearby state park, and watched a whole lot of X-files (5 episodes down, 195 to go…). I love taking winter as an opportunity to explore those parks which are usually too crowded for us to adventure to in the summer.

 

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And we ended our day trip with massive amounts of breakfast food at a random diner we came across on our way back to Bloomington. As you can see, Wyatt likes gravy piled on EVERYTHING.

Cruisin’ music:

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