weekend ta-da list

9 Mar

Named such because it will feel like quite a feat if I finish it.

  • defeat laundry couch (the endless battle betwixt myself and a couch full of clean, unsorted, unfolded laundry)
  • meal plan (wow.  i fell of the wagon fast and hard with this one.)
  • sort and get rid of extra clothes
  • bake some bread (if just for that fresh bread smell)
  • decide what to make for food swap and do a trial run


A few weeks ago we went up to Burlington, VT.  It felt fantastic to get out of town, and I was absolutely blown over by Burlington.  I don’t even know how to explain it.  We just jived with the vibe (What? Yeah.).  We are definitely going back before we move.

After our trip we rolled right into the roughest part of Mr. Darling’s rotating work schedule, and we’ve been muddling through our days since.  A lot of stuff has fallen to the wayside.  Our apartment is a bigger disaster than usual, our eating habits have been atrocious, and we’re generally feeling sluggish.  That’s why I made my “weekend” (it’s not really our weekend) list.  Today is the day I quit indulging myself and finally get back on track!



i just want to be alone

23 Feb

S’up, ya’ll?  I hope your valentined week was pleasant.  In the past, this was not a holiday my equal (better?  gal, please) half and I would partake in.  However, since having kids, our relationship has required more… maintenance.  Of course, maintenance is a part of all healthy relationships, but when your needs become secondary (thanks, kids!) it is really easy to lose site of that.  Anywho, in honor of the holiday and as part of our commitment to each other’s well-being, we gave each other a day to ourselves.

I got Saturday.  The husby took the kids AND babysat my friend’s son so we could have a lady-date down in Albany.  It was divine.  We ate a New World Bistro Bar.  They support local and seasonal food, and have a decent vegan menu.  I kind of regret not at least asking about their seitan, but much as I love seitan, I’ve seen it go very, very wrong.  I got a delicious, if safe, mushroom sandwich.  Our appetizers were fantastic, and our server was extremely pleasant.  It was fortunate my lady friend had the foresight to call ahead and make a reservation.  We were seated near the door and saw many people turned away because the restaurant and bar were full.  Clearly, I have neglected the Albany food scene, but I am not sure my wallet could handle a reform.

I gave my husband Sunday.   A day with no kids and no responsibilities.  He took the opportunity to go ice fishing with friends.

At home, we carried on like it was a regular week day…

Mr. Darling and I don’t hate being with each other though.  We totally pre-gamed Valentines the weekend before.  My aunt and uncle were in town and watched the kids while we got some together-alone time.

i still think corndogs are awesome

13 Feb

I was a very picky eater as a child.  I am sorry.  That is not the whole truth.  I was a very picky eater well into adulthood.  My favorite food group was corndogs for WAY too long– Thank you, vegan cooking, for guiding me out of that pit of darkness.  As a reformed picky eater, I have only explored spicy foods for a few years.  To be frank, I have no tolerance.  I want to tolerate it.  Nay, I want to enjoy it, but all I taste is pain.

Last week, Husby suggested we add the Appetite for Reduction Buffalo Tempeh to our meal plan.  I knew I was going to have to modify to suit my heat-intolerance.  I took some inspiration from AFR and some from the milder Tempeh Wingz recipe from an old vegan zine, Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk.  The result was a delicious sauce that will NOT melt your face off but still has some kick.

BuffMellow Sauce (Because it’s Buffalo sauce, but it’s Mellow!  I know… I apologize.)

  • 1/2 C veg broth
  • 1/4 C Frank’s Redhot
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1-2 tsp agave
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

I just dumped this sauce and my cut up tempeh into a pan.  Then, cooked down the sauce until most of it was sticking to the tempeh.  Reserving some sauce to add afterward is a good idea (Oops).  Eating this with the Coolslaw recipe from AFR is an even better idea.

(It probably doesn’t look like it from my unfortunately low lit picture, but the saucy goodness was well absorbed into the tempeh and filled it with flavor.  I PROMISE.)


stuff around my apartment saturday

11 Feb

Over Super Bowl weekend I modified the Tempeh Wing recipe from Appetite for Reduction, on account of my extreme heat wussery, and I will post said mods very soon.  If you are not heat-phobic go ahead and rock the original recipe with a side of some equally bitchin’ AFR Cool Slaw (hot damn).  Until then…


Coat closets are for suckers.

So happy I finally stopped dragging tail and made a photo book.   Now I need more!

Three and already way too good at Super Mario Galaxy.

His birthday was two weeks ago, but I still haven’t erased it.

This is about as good as this room looks most days.

Somebody got into the rolled oats.



3 Feb

Okay, so my meal planning was sort of 50/50 success.  Two of my good lady friends from the Midwest came out for a visit.  We ate, we gabbed, we ate some more.  I did bake them a vegan Kale and Quinoa Quiche the night they got in– I knew they would be hungry after a day full of travel.  We did make the Garlic Coconut Cream Pizza (so crazy delicious), but other than that our moods led our meals more than my plan.  Read also, there was a lot of dessert (Smlove Pie, Pull-apart Pumpkin Bread, and Cookie Dough Hummus to start).  We kept savory meals simple and veg filled– my ladies do love the veg.  So, when all was said and done, it almost sorta balanced out.

clockwise starting at top left: almond milk, felix, baked pumpkin oatmeal, super belated xmas gift, garlic coconut cream pizza, and laundry couch.

It is always very refreshing to see long distance friends again, and it was great having company in the kitchen.  There is a downside to visits though.  Every time someone leaves I feel overwhelmed by the physical distance between us.  Most of the time I enjoy where I live and am happy in the knowledge that we’re going home EVENTUALLY.  But, I totally lose it every time we drop someone at the airport.  Every.  Time.   My laundry couch gets a little fuller, my meals a little heavier, and my apartment even dirtier (because, I won’t lie, it’s never really clean).

Well, my mourning period pity party has passed, and I’m ready to hop back in the meal plan van– I thought it would be better than wagon because it rhymed, but it just sounds creepy.  We’re going to make a few recipes from Appetite for Reduction (pot-pie stew and buffalo tempeh with cool slaw), baked potatoes, and asian-style pepper steak (with gardein beef tips or tofu).  AFR recipes usually last through a couple of meals, and I also have some veg-lentil soup (also from AFR)  in the freezer.  I am hoping this and maybe some pantry improv will keep us eating from home until next Sunday.

Happy Friday if it’s your Friday!  Have a great weekend.  In this family it is more like Tuesday or maybe more accurately Second-Monday (there are some repeats in a seven-day work week).  Things are just getting started up in here.

[pinterest eats] meal planning from pinboards

23 Jan

One of my goals for the new year (really, any time of the year) is to meal plan and budget better.  I don’t know why I am not awesome at this.  It should be genetically imprinted on you when you become a parent.

This past week I made old stand-bys like the VegNews Mac and Cheeze (great for using up spare farmer’s market potatoes and carrots) and Tofu-Ricotta Stuffed Shells.  I also tried a new recipe from the most recent issue of Real Simple, which features a bunch of slow cooker meals, Sauerkraut, Potatoes, and [Tofurky] Sausage.  We also ate frozen pizza and got take-out.  Baby steps, I suppose.

To keep myself motivated and interested I’m opting to forgo my, perhaps shamefully massive, library of vegan cookbooks and shop Pinterest for meal ideas.  So, in no particular order because I find having a list to pick from instead of assigning them to specific days is more realistic for my needs, here are some meals I am hoping to make this week:

I am also going to try my hand at some slow cooker seitan.  It won’t be my first run, but I don’t feel like I have really mastered it yet.  And, for the pickiest eater I’ll probably make a big batch of nuggets, and supplement with raw veg (I am glad he at least likes undressed vegetables) and a metric ton of sunbutter sandwiches.

I’ve succumbed…

17 Jan

… to the bleakness of this day.

Rain in January is an abomination and only serves to worsen my mood of late.  I have been guilty of giving in to the time suck that is the internet and getting further behind in everything real in life.  My head is so fuzzy with to-dos and oh-ahs my mind is ready to just turn off.  I think I am going to have to ground myself from the internet.  Ya know, read a few extra books to these guys…


Before I dimly stumble away from my computer (so cold, alone, and confused without you), how about a little over-share for the road.  We have been eating quite a bit of fermented food recently (black pepper tempeh; kimchi; potatoes, sausage, and kraut; fermented pickles), and my belly has been a bubblin’.  It has been a very tasty, very stinky week.

A vendor at our local farmer’s market sells vegan kimchi and fermented pickles.  They are so delicious.  I bought some (totes out of season) cukes so I could make a batch of fridge pickles because mama cannot afford farmer’s market pickles on the regs.  Would you believe I hated pickles up to a few years ago.  If my picky-eating, ten-year-old self could see me now… Oh, she would NOT approve.