Monday, 19 December 2011

Butter Chick'n

I love shopping online for books but sometimes I don't know what I want!  While looking for some new cookbooks, Amazon recommended 'The Vegan Slow Cooker' by Kathy Hester.  I can't begin to tell you how excited I was!  We had gotten a slow cooker as a wedding gift but I'd never used it because the only things I knew you could cook in it revolved around meat!

When the book arrived a few weeks later I couldn't wait to try out the recipes.  I flipped through and found one I was instantly interested in - Butter Chick'n.  I had tried a few different recipes for mock Butter Chicken but wasn't impressed with any of them!  This one seemed simple enough and sounded delicious so I decided to give it a go.  That was 3 weeks ago and I've made it 3 times already (doubling the batch for leftovers).  I even made it for our closest friends who also couldn't believe how delicious it was!  I've tried a few other recipes we really liked but this one is still my favourite!

If you're looking for a last minute gift for a veg friend then try this book!  I'm so happy to finally be getting use out of my slow cooker and it's great to come home to delicious meals hot and ready for you after a long day at work!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

My hubby's new favourite treat, we first tried these out around Halloween time when the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercial's kept taunting us.  Hubby and I have always had a soft spot for sweets, especially those revolving around peanut butter and chocolate!  After a few tries and a few small changes to the original recipe we got off The Kind Life website, we've finally perfected it to our liking!  Be careful, these are incredibly addicting!

1/2 cup of vegan margarine
3/4 cup of crunchy or smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of soymilk
1 cup of non-dairy chocolate chips
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

Line a 12 cup muffin sheet with liners
Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat
Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar until it's well mixed (I remove from heat because I was finding the ingredients would burn if I left them on while combining and mixing)
Put over heat and continue to stir for a minute more so that everything is well melted
Evenly divide the mixture between muffin cups (a few scoops per cup)
Combine the chocolate in milk in another saucepan (or clean out and re-use your first one)
Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted
Evenly distribute over the peanut butter mixture and sprinkle on the chopped nuts
Place in the refrigerator and for best results let them set overnight

We've tried them with both the soft and crunchy peanut butter.  Hubby loves them either way although I love them with the added crunch.  Both work well and are completely delicious!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Toasted Naan With Black Bean Dip

One of our absolute favourites is this delicious and nutritious bean dip.  Eat it with nacho chips, crackers or our favourite - naan, and enjoy!

1 can of black beans (drained)
1 cup of spinach (raw)
3/4 cup of salsa
1 tsp. of Cumin
2-3 tbsp. of ground flax seeds (optional)
A pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in a food processor and process on high for about 2 minutes or until everything is well blended.

In the meantime put slices of naan on a cookie sheet and cook for about 5 minutes at 375F.  Check regularly and remove when slightly toasted, then use a pizza cutter to cut into small triangles.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Hearty Homemade Vegetable Soup

 It's that time of year again where the nights are getting colder, the sky is getting gloomier and the days are shorter.  This time of year always seems to be when I start craving my Mom's homemade soup.  Last year I asked her how she makes hers since it's always so delicious!  I've since made it my own by adding some variations to it but the great thing about soup is you can always substitute, subtract or add what you'd like and it still comes out delicious!

1 celery stalk finely chopped
2-3 containers of vegetable broth
1/4 cup of onion finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped
1 can of lentils or 1/2 cup of cooked rice (optional)
1 can of spicy red pepper diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes finally diced
Spices (I use a few shakes of each)
2-3 bay leaves
Small amount of garlic
Red wine (optional)
1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Start by sauteing the onion with a little bit of vegetable oil in your largest cooking pot until they become clear.  Add a spoonful of minced garlic and the spices you like (I usually use a few shakes of parsley, basil, sage and oregano).  Next add the celery and carrots along with the bay leaves and a splash of red wine if you have it.  Continue to saute until the celery and carrots seem to have softened up and add your can of diced tomatoes.  I love the spicy diced tomatoes because they add a light heat to the soup.  Let this simmer together to get the flavours mixing for about 5-10 minutes.  Next add your lentils or rice if you wish and finally the vegetable broth.  Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil, partially covered.  Then turn the heat to low and let everything simmer for about an hour.  Leave the bay leaves in the soup for the added flavour but don't eat them!

Personally I love to make this soup in the evening, then let it sit overnight so the flavours really absorb one another before eating it.  My Mom never made it with lentils but I started adding them instead of the rice because they're good for us vegans!  As well I use more vegetable broth then she does because I like having less in my soup and more broth where she prefers it being thick and chunky, so again there are so many variations you can try!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Nanaimo Bars

Hubby has a big sweet tooth and one night announced he was craving a nanaimo bar.  He said someone had them at work and he wanted one so badly that if he had been offered one he didn't know if he could have turned it down!  I immediately set to work to find a delicious vegan nanaimo bar.  The hardest part about finding a new recipe is finding one that's easy and still good!  When I did a search tons of recipes came up but many had odd ingredients and no feedback.  I finally found this yummy sounding recipe with rave reviews and from a published vegan chef which gave the recipe more merit.  You can check out Sarah's website here:
In the meantime I whipped these up and oh my goodness are they ever delicious!  It's been so long since we had real nanaimo bars but Hubby and I were devouring these! 

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp ground flax seed
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked
1 1/4 cup vegan graham cracker crust

Middle Layer 

1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 tbsp vegan milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups powdered icing sugar

Top Layer 

2 tbsp vegan margarine
4 1-oz (28g) squares unsweetened chocolate

To prepare the bottom layer 
: In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt the margarine and sugar, stirring to combine. Once liquefied, stir in the cocoa until smooth. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the flax seeds, water, walnuts, cocoanut and graham cracker crumbs. Add the chocolate sauce and stir well. Press mixture into an ungreased 8X8-in pan. Set aside.

To prepare the top layer: In medium saucepan on low heat, melt the margarine. Add the chocolate and melt, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside to pour over middle layer. You want sauce to be cooled but liquid to still 
spread easily.

To prepare middle layer and assemble bars: In a food processor or medium bowl, cream together the margarine, corn starch, vanilla, turmeric, and icing sugar until well mixed. Spread evenly over bottom layer. Spoon chocolate sauce evenly over middle layer and set pan in fridge immediately. Let chill for 2+ hours before cutting and serving. Makes 9 squares.

I had a difficult time cutting these so they were a little messy but regardless: YUM YUM!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Green Smoothies

Hubby is an avid runner but I find with 10 animals, a full time job, a husband to care for and life in general I only end up at the gym a few times a week.  To offset my lack of gym time I take the dogs for regular walks and walk to and from work but I also try to eat a well balanced diet.

In comes the Green Smoothie!  I subscribe to a wonderful magazine called Vegetarian Times and one article had low calorie meal options.  One was the green smoothie which takes only minutes to make, is a super healthy energy booster and I find it pretty tasty!  I've seen many variations on this type of smoothie but nothing as simple.  I've been drinking it every morning this week and also find it very filling.  I drink the smoothie before I head to work and am still full by my first break.  That's something even cereal doesn't do!

2 cups of freshly washed kale
1 cup of soymilk
1 banana
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds (optional)

Combine in a blender or food processor, blending until smooth.  Then drink up!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Fall Doggy Walks

We are having an absolutely beautiful Autumn day here.  Perfect weather for walking the dogs!  A nearby friend and blogger of Live, Love, Laugh, Meow & Woof recently became a dog owner and asked if we could coordinate a doggy date.  This way they could get acquainted and their exercise all in one!

Marlow munches on my shoes!
Genevieve and Murray are extremely friendly and social so I knew they would all get along well.  What I wasn't sure about was how they'd walk with another person and dog accompanying us!  It was definitely a little challenging but they were actually fairly well behaved.  Of course Genevieve made sure to get as much lovies in as possible out of my friend before we parted ways but both her and Murray were pretty good!

Marlow picks a shady spot for a nap!
I was very pleased that they also were very good to Marlow (the puppy)!  Mostly they were pretty aloof (like when Murray was standing on Marlow's foot and didn't seem to notice) but at the end there was a bit of play time!  Leashes made it awkward to do much other than a playful bounce and paw but they seemed satisfied with that!

Marlow gets fiesty with his new pal Murray!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Few Photos Here And There!

Unfortunately I haven't picked up my camera enough this year.  Life just seems to always get in the way.  I took a walk around the neighbourhood last week and although it's too early around here for the leaves to start changing I was able to still get a few interesting shots.

This was my favourite photo of the day.  Before heading out, I was watering the garden when I noticed something moving through the mist.  I turned off the water and took a closer look.  It was a female Praying Mantis!  I ran inside, grabbed my camera and began shooting.  I've only seen 3 in my entire life and felt privileged she had chosen my garden to be in!  Even though she's an insect, watching her clean off the droplets of water made me feel like I was watching something so much more special than that!  Amazing! 

A neighbour has these gorgeous Morning Glories growing all over her front fence.  They're all different colours and look so pretty I just had to take a few photos.

One of my favourite flowers and yet I can't seem to grow them!  Too many squirrels around!  This Sunflower was part of a small gardenful, each over 5 feet tall!

This apple tree was actually in someone's backyard but was so large the branches full of apples were towering over the sidewalk.  They looked delicious!

And the rest of these were actually from a bouquet of 'Just Because' flowers Hubby brought home for me.  A beautiful arrangement of Gerber Daisies, Lilies and other small flowers, I couldn't wait to photograph them.  I used several different backgrounds but the dark really made the colour in the flowers pop.

The two Gerber Daisies.  Hubby said he just walked around picking random flowers he thought I'd like.  I've never had a bouquet with Gerber's in them, I was pretty excited!

Lilies have always been my favourite flower.  Tiger Lilies were our wedding flower.

A close-up of one of the Lilies.  Photographing flowers is so easy!  Since they're so small, coloured bristol board is the perfect backdrop.  Pick out the flower you want to photograph and put it in a tall cup or vase.  Put the bristol board about a foot behind the flower, set up your tripod and your all set!

I love flowers but I'm not exactly sure what these are.  They look like a type of Marigold to me or maybe they're a wildflower.  Either way they complemented the arrangement perfectly.

Hopefully I'll be able to get out again soon and get a little creative with the changing season.

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Loveys Cook A Tofurky!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canadians!

I've never been one for 'fake' meat although Hubby has dabbled here and there so when he suggested we pick up a tofurky this year I wasn't really for it.  Especially since they were 30 bucks and we would be the only two eating it!  After talking it over, I figured there was nothing to lose.  If we didn't like it, we never had to buy one again and with all of the other food I had already picked up, we didn't need to worry about starving!

Our first Tofurky!

So when I got the tofurky home I realized that for 30 bucks you actually get a complete meal.  The tofurky was stuffed with dressing, it came with gravy, a basting sauce, 'wishbones' and even a chocolate cake dessert!

Hubby chopping fresh herbs to season the roast.
We made the tofurky as per the directions on the package.  I picked up some potatoes, carrots, onions and turnip to surround the roast.  When we pulled the tofurky out of the packaging the first thing we noticed was how delicious it smelt!  This was fake meat?!

Ready to go in the oven!
Hubby and I put the roast in the middle of a casserole dish then surrounded it with the veggies.  We mixed up the basting liquid and dripped half of it over the roast.  I added some dried spices to the veggies as well as some fresh basil and sage.

It's cookin' time!
We had to be at my Mama's before the tofurky would be done but as she's only two minutes away we set a timer and Hubby came back to finish the basting and carry it over, nice and hot.

Our Thanksgiving table complete with our first Tofurky roast!
The first thing everyone commented on was how delicious it smelt but only my Mother-in-law had the nerve to try it with us!  She said it couldn't replace her turkey but that it tasted pretty good!  As a regular meat eater that was pretty impressive to us!  I can't remember the last time I ate meat and it's been about a year for Hubby and we both loved it!  I couldn't believe how flavourful it was!  It didn't have the exact texture of meat but it definitely exceeded my expectations!  Of course the rest of our meal was fabulous - mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, squash, carrots, beans....Mmmm!

For dessert we had a delicious vegan friendly apple pie to share which of course went over well - omnivores and vegans alike!

Delicious, delicious pie.
We had lots of leftovers which was perfect for the second Thanksgiving we had on Sunday and even some more to enjoy fact we have at least one more day's worth.  Definitely the best part of Thanksgiving!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Fall Days, Vaycay and Outdoor Bunny Play!

Man did I feel great last night!  Still fighting a throat infection but I started my stay-cation at 4:31pm yesterday afternoon!  Hubby only has the weekends off with me so although it would have been nice to spend the week with him, I now have lots of time to catch up with the 'kids'.  After watching our favourite tv shows, Hubby and I snuggled and watched a movie on the big tv.

It felt so good to sleep in this morning and wake up when I wanted to wake up (which was a little before 10am).  Hubby was working the closing shift at work so I told him to stay in bed as long as he wanted and I got up, fed the dogs and took them on a walk.  What a beautiful day!  It got up to 22C, was bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky.  Absolutely amazing!  After I had gotten Hubby some breakfast, made his lunch and sent him packing, I made a grocery list and walked over with my cart to the store.

This year Hubby and I have decided to make a tofurky for Thanksgiving.  They're pretty pricey for just the two of us but we interested to know if it's any good.  I actually really never thought about cooking one before but I've had a few people tell me they go over well in their house so we shall see.

By the time I got home, unloaded the groceries, took the dogs out and made some lunch, it was mid-afternoon.  It was still nice and warm but the sun was off the backyard so I set up some fun toys for the bunnies and brought them out for a few hours of fresh air and exercise.

Rocky was pretty excited to get outside.
Rocky and Honey loved the long grass for lounging, hopping and nibbling!
I'd say they were pretty comfy!
Willow's turn! Of course she kept hopping up to me for snuggles.
Hey whatcha up to there Ollie?
There were many holes like this around the backyard, Ollie was on a mission to dig it all up!
I let them stay out until the sun had set and it was starting to get dark.  I love letting them play outdoors because it takes minutes to set up and take everything inside, there's no mess to clean up afterwards and it gives them a larger open space to play in.  And don't worry, I spend the entire time outdoors with them to make sure they stay out of trouble and nothing is eyeing them up.

And now I must get to some baking.  I've had another request for some nanaimo bars!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Eggless Salad Sandwich

 I recently found a new wonderful Vegan website called Happy Herbivore.  The author of the website writes low-fat vegan cookbooks and her husband is also vegan.  I absolutely love her blogs which offer great tips and her website has excellent recipe ideas.  One that I was particularly interested in was the Eggless Salad Sandwich.  I've been back to work for over a month now and am always looking for great quick lunch ideas for me and Hubby.  So I followed the recipe with some minor modifications which are listed below:
  • 1 pack of extra firm tofu - drained
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 celery stalk finely cut
  • 1 1/4 tbsp. of ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. dill pickle relish
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp. of vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup of finely cut onions
Drain the excess water in the tofu.  I don't press the tofu because I like the extra moisture to help the salad be more creamy.  Crumble tofu into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  I add ground flax to almost everything I make to make sure Hubby and I are getting our Omega 3's.  I use more vegannaise than Lindsay recommends because the egg salad my Mama always made was nice and creamy.  I start with about 3 tbsp. than mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients, adding more if necessary.  I let the mixture sit overnight so the flavours combine and make the sandwiches in the morning, spreading some vegannaise on both slices of bread before spooning an ample amount of salad on.  Delish!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Chana Masala

It's funny how taste buds change.  Back in my vegan teenager days I hated chickpeas.  Actually I hated all beans which made it very hard to get my complete proteins.  I used to force them down my throat because I knew they were healthy but I hated every minute of it!  Now, not only do I not mind black beans and kidney beans but I am also completely in love with chickpeas!  One of my favourite vegan dishes to make is Chana Masala because it's quick, easy and cheap!

Here is the recipe I follow (I believe I got it off the world wide web somewhere and modified it a little bit!):

  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed (I use the largest can I can buy)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala (I use a spice just called Indian Spices)
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or two handfuls, rinsed
  • vegetable broth (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds


In a large skillet or frying pan, sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Add chickpeas, spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding 2 tbsp of vegetable broth at a time if needed, until chickpeas are cooked and soft.

Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the ground flax (I try to put ground flax in all of my cooking to get my Omega 3's.  Enjoy!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Magical Coconut Cookie Bars

While watching tv the other night, a Bueno commercial came on.  Being full vegans Buenos are off our 'edible' list but Hubby asked me if I could find something yummy that incorporated chocolate and coconut.  Immediately I began flipping through one of my favourite sweet-tooth books - Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and found a yummy sounding recipe titled Magical Coconut Cookie Bars.  I picked up the ingredients and set to work assembling the bars later the next day.  It didn't take long to prepare - the hardest part was letting them sit overnight since they looked so incredibly delicious!  When we cut into them the following day and had our first taste, we were literally making little hmmmming noises!  Utterly fab!

Thursday, 1 September 2011


It's birthday week at our house!  Hubby and I are a whole 48 hours apart in age so we always celebrate together!  It began with family festivities at the beginning of the week and I took care of dessert!

I made vegan cupcakes (actually the first cupcakes I've ever made in my life), following the recipe off one of my favourite veg chef's website here:

I found these to taste a little more like a muffin than a super sweet cupcake but the chocolate sauce added just the right amount of sweet.

Then on my birthday I woke up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers!

Hubby had already taken the dogs to the dog park when he jumped back in bed to deliver sweet birthday kisses and then we were off to Ste. Anne's Spa in Grafton, Ontario.

We had spent a few days there last year for our wedding anniversary and fell in love with the place.  Since we are both in retail this time of the year is particularly busy and a day off to be pampered with not a care in the world was most welcomed!

Amidst swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tubs and breathing deep in the eucalyptus room I enjoyed a morning seaweed body wrap and a late afternoon hot stone massage.  Oh and there may have been an enjoyable nap on a swinging hammock in there somewhere too!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lazy Sundays

Well I survived my first week at work which was a welcome relief.  I was really nervous of how my body would react to 8 hours of running around on my feet, especially with the uncontrollable pain I had experienced right before leaving in the first place but it went really well!  I experienced some minor neck pain and by Friday I was pretty sore but I made it through the entire week.

On a completely unrelated note I added some bangs to my 'do but haven't gotten a chance to wear them down all week since it's been so hot out they get curly by the time I get to work!  Not sure if I like them more or less, but they're a change at least.  Now if only my hair would grow faster! life sure seems busy now!  Back to working full time means a lot less 'Me' time!  I got off track the last month or so with my weight loss and exercise goals so I've been trying to get to the gym more this week.  I want to make delicious meals for Hubby and I but am so tired it's been a challenge not to grab fast food on the way home.

Then there's the cleaning!  The last thing I want to do after I've worked all day, went to the gym and made dinner is clean but I also like having a clean house and I enjoyed how neat and tidy everything was while I was off.  I've also been trying all week to keep a balance with the animals.  I feel so guilty leaving them behind every morning!

Since these are all part of my routine again I bought myself an agenda.  I spent an hour yesterday planning out my week - gym, cleaning, meals etc.  I'm a list maker so even if I don't stick to everything just writing and organizing my life takes that extra weight it's super cute!

Now that it's a rainy Sunday I feel so exhausted I just want some me time!  But there's cleaning to do, animals to love, the gym to get to....I guess that's life but sometimes I wish it just wasn't so BUSY!  Although it couldn't hurt to sit on the couch with a cup of tea and my book and read....just for a little bit!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Dog Days of Summer

Hubby and I vacationed most of the week, it was wonderful!

If you've been reading the blog you'll know we started our vaycay at a family cottage in Bancroft, Ontario.  We love going up there because the dogs are just as happy as we are.  Unfortunately we didn't get the best weather so Hubby and I spent part of it making up new rules to Monopoly.  When the sun was shining or it just wasn't raining we were outdoors with the pups.

Genevieve & Murray retrieving the ball.
Enjoying a canoe ride while the rain held off.

Weather cleared up for a beautiful sunset.
And stayed beautiful in to the next day.

Sunning on the dock with Genevieve.
The dogs spent all of their time in the water.  We haven't gotten much rain this summer so they had to go out really far to get where they couldn't touch.  Murray spent hours doing circles in the water - this tiny speck moving in the distance.  Every once in a while you would see him stop and his head pop up, just to make sure we were still around.  Genevieve likes to retrieve.  Even if she's completely exhausted she can't resist swimming after her toy and bringing it back to us.  Eventually to give her a break we had to leash her and bring her on the dock with us.  With a ball in her mouth, she settled down quickly.

 After some R&R at the cottage, we spent some time at my Dad's boat with him, my Stepmom and little Brother.  We had gorgeous weather and picked an island close to the marina to anchor off of with some friends to enjoy the day.  My little Brother and Hubby spent their time pretending they were pirates (my brother is 4).  I spent my time floating around on an inner tube, sipping my wine and soaking up the sun.  My Stepmom came up late, she slept in and we wanted to get out on the water so Dad was trying to figure out a plan to go back and get her later on.  Instead she found someone boating our way and hitched a ride with them to us!

Brother and Hubby.
Hubby walks the 'plank' and does a cannonball!
 We've been back for a few days now.  Although our vacation was relaxing being a Beach Bum just wears me out!  I've been lazing around here when there's tons to do - but I have a great tan now!  I'm nervous to start work again tomorrow.  I've been off for almost 4 months after pain problems following a car accident we were in last Christmas.  Keeping fingers crossed it all goes well and no one yells at me!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Vegan Pizza

Unfortunately for us vegans, pizza covered in loads of yummy, stringy cheese is not an option.  For me, cheese has been the most difficult temptation to overcome.  Even after all of these years I still find cheese lures me!  One day when I had been missing pizza terribly, I came across a mushroom and veggie no cheese pizza by Amy.  Even without the cheese it was delicious but also $11 for a small!  For a while when the temptation for pizza hit I would pick one up but it didn't seem worth the money.

 When visiting my sister one afternoon she offered to make us pizzas.  She would buy the pizza crusts from the grocery store which also came with the marinara sauce, then put whatever toppings she wanted on them!  Why I never thought of this before I wasn't sure but I was ready to give it a shot!  I got 2 crusts and the sauce for $4, then would just buy whatever veggies I wanted to top it with.  I still missed 'real' pizza but this satisfied the majority of my pizza cravings.

Now it's been a year since I started making my own pizzas and I'm still missing the cheese!  Pizza just isn't pizza without the ooey gooey goodness of cheese!  Sure there are vegetarian cheeses available but many of them aren't vegan.  The few that I've found that are, taste like chemicals or don't melt.  So lately I've started crumbling seasoned tofu over my pizza.  Although it doesn't necessarily taste like cheese it does adds some extra density to the pizza kind of tricking my brain in to believing the pizza isn't missing anything.  Plus it is pretty yummy!

To make your own pizza with crumbled tofu first get a bowl out and put a few shakes of parsley, oregano, sage and basil in it.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then go on to crumbling 1/3 package of firm tofu in to the bowl.  Use your fingers to mix the tofu, making sure the spices cover it well.  Set aside.  Next cover your pizza crust in sauce and toppings of your choice.  Finally sprinkle your crumbled tofu on top of your pizza, cook and enjoy!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Chatty Birdies

On a whim, I decided to bring Ella to the cottage with us.  We were loading everything in to the truck and Ella was playing and chirping in her cage while I carried everything down from the kitchen.  At that moment I decided I couldn't leave her behind.  Unlike our bunnies, cats and hammy, Ella would enjoy the hot weather, being outdoors and listening to the noises outside.  So I emptied her food and water dishes, then managed to squeeze her cage behind my seat and we were off.

She loved it! The deck gets the morning sun so I set her on a table in the far corner.  That way the wind could blow through her cage but wouldn't be strong enough to shake her.  It was warm and sunny, perfect weather for her!  She chirped and sang, rang her bells and played with toys while she listened to the other birds chirping and flying overhead.  Even down at the lake, we could hear her on the deck.

In the early evening when the bugs would start to get bad, I'd move her inside and put her at the patio doors so she could still see outside.  Hubby and I would eat dinner near her - sharing veggies, fruit and a few pieces of naan with her.  The whole time she danced and sang away.  It was adorable!

At night when she was settling in for the night, I'd move her to a table in another corner of the cottage.  It was still close to us but didn't get the early morning sunlight.  I didn't want her to wake up at 5am!  She would sit there clicking her beak contentedly while her eyes drooped.

So Ella adjusted to cottage life easily.  And Hubby and I delighted in watching her enjoy it so much.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Longing

For Christmas, Genevieve and Murray were given new toys.  Not just any toys, these ones have specific colours that are supposed to make it easier for your dog to find.  To make them extra fun they also float.  They also are made of material and stuffing - the exact recipe for disaster.  So we put them on a shelf in the garage until our next trip to the cottage.

Unfortunately for us Genevieve has a major case of OCD and just can't let them go.  Every time the garage door opens she's out there next to the shelf, staring longingly up at them.  It's kind of sad really, especially since it's been almost 7 months since Christmas and she hasn't let up.

Neither her or Murray know what the word 'cottage' means.  If they did they'd know we're heading up there tomorrow.  With the toys.