Friday, November 30, 2007

bah! I'm useless today I'm writing another blog. I don't do it too often, but every couple of months I'll have a Thursday night that celebrates as though its Friday. That was last night. So I'm mumbling along uselessly today. mumble grumble stumble...

So--here we go.

This is me, on my lunch break, at the park. It is a beautifully warm and sunny day out--I took off my jacket, rolled up my sleeves and just lay down on the hill. I like sitting on the hill best because not only do you get a good view of the city, there is never any dog poop. Seriously--I used to sit in the field until one day I stepped on dog poop in my socks. Ew. I took off my socks and threw them in the trash. Went sockless the rest of the day. The horrors!

And here is a picture of the city view:

To think I moved to Georgia without ever visiting, without thinking I would ever love it, and thinking it was just a temporary move until I could find a job on the beach. I still like the beach, but Atlanta has my heart.

found the camera! now here's thanksgiving...

We had a great thanksgiving--but we were pretty lousy at taking pictures once everyone arrived and started eating...

So, here are some pics of Tavo, Dan and I getting ready for the festivities. (by getting ready, I mean drinking beer) Here are our supplies--the Abita Pecan Harvest ale, JW Dundee mix pack (consistently a good deal at the local Kroger) Brooklyn Lager, Red Hook's Longhammer IPA and some Bud Light for good measure.

also two pumpkin pies (I like them cold, so as soon as they cooled from the oven, into the fridge they go!)

Lini tending to goodies on the stove--collard greens in the big pot, green beans in the sauce pan, and some gravy kicking in the tiny pan.

hey Dan--what's going on?

Are you on Myspace?

Tavo--where are you?

Grab me a beer, too!

Hmm...better check on something real quick...

Yes! Followed the recipe correctly!

Let's look in the oven--we've got roasted root veggies on the top shelf, mashed potatoes and stuffing and some meat product on the lower shelf.

Then, we put away the camera and ate. Sorry guys! You'll just have to trust that it was good. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll post some pics in a day or two--been busy around here! We hosted thanksgiving and it turned out quite well. Glad that I cooked a lot, because the "potluck" part didn't translate--everyone brought beer though so that turned out well.

Here is a neat site to help feed others--it also made me feel that my vocabulary isn't too shabby after all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

trying something new....

very funny site. Tavo and I just wasted 3 hours on it...and a bottle of wine. Awesome.

Friday, November 16, 2007

forgot my camera, so here's a survey

Hello everyone--happy friday! Only one hour of work left and you know I just can't make myself do anything...but fill out a survey. This is geared towards vegans--which I was for a year or so, but have since crept back towards vegetarianism. Please don't hate!

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
I don't like regular milk or non-dairy milk--yuck. I do LOVE cooking with coconut milk, though. mmmm curries...

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Probably going to make the basic beans with eggs for dinner tonight (looks gross, tastes GREAT) Tomorrow for breakfast, it's bagels and I want to make some veggie cream cheese (tastes so much better homemade) I'm also going to start some refrigerator dill pickles for sandwiches.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Rarely eat popcorn--but when I do I'm a purist--just butter and salt.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Ugh--the nasty gnocchis from a couple weeks ago and NEVER try baking cookies with light butter. It doesn't work.

5. Favorite pickled item?
hey--it's got to be refrigerator pickles! After that, kimchee (spicier the better) and I like giardeniera (does that count?)

6. How do you organize your recipes?
well, they mostly are hastily written down or printed out and stuck into the pages of my well established cookbooks. Once in a great while, I write them out and stick them in the massive scrapbook of Lini's eats.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Used to compost--but I live inner city. Yucky rats and I trash most :(

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
black beans
(I hope I get some spices, too)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Eating at the restaurant on top of the Renaissance Center in Detroit (its one of those 360 degree rotating ones)

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
not much of an ice cream person--I prefer dark chocolate

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
my food processor.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Crushed Red Pepper (salt counts as a mineral, right?)

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Joy of Cooking and Moosewood.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Raspberry--with LOTS of seeds.

15. Favorite vegetarian recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Pizza. It's just my all around favorite.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I'd have to say tofu, just on pure versatility. I love seitan, too, though.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
I love making breakfast--coffee, oven potatoes, fresh bread, eggs...yum

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Tavo's microwave. Some light bulbs. Old christmas cards.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
whiskey, dark chocolate, an an ancient bag of frozen mixed fruit.

20. What's on your grocery list?
too much to list--pay day today and all we have left in the house is one bag of ramen. Mostly thanksgiving type stuff--we're hosting.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Aldi's. There's also a discount store called Food Depot here with an EXCELLENT produce section. And any farmer's market.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to vegetarianize, but haven't yet.
Stroganoff would be good. Jerky. The only meat things I really liked were hot dogs and chicken nuggets--they've got decent frozen versions of those.

23. Food blog you read the most?
I read tons of food blogs--they're the best!

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Terra Nostra extra dark chocolate--it's almost bitter. Equal Exchange is also great.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
hahaha--2 of the above listed super expensive chocolate bars.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

always striving towards the perfect pizza

I've been on a streak of cooking good food recently--which is great because I almost killed Tavo with my last streak of failed recipes.

During October, somehow, I made 3 bad soups in a row--and that's rough because we end up eating the soup every day for work. And if it's bad on the first day--you don't even want to know what it tastes like by the third! So, failed gnocchis, bad bean soup and an unrisen loaf of bread now behind me--I went on to tackle my favorite food of all time.


Now--other than last week's loaf, I am a bread maker extraordinaire. I have no problem whipping up any variety of bread--vegan, vegetarian, flavored, potato based, rye, wheat, pumpernickel--I've got it. Pizza? There's a trick to making pizza. Super, duper high heat.

You see--in order to get that super delicious, crispy thin New York style crust--you need an oven that reaches at least 800 degrees. I'm used to working with ovens like the one above. I've seen the brick fire ones--and while those are quite pretty--seems a bit temperamental and lots of room for error in just your typical monday night pizza making.

I just have a standard electric oven. Now, I've read about how you can "trick out" your oven to heat to 800 degrees--but I'm kind of afraid that I'll blow up my house. And I really like my house. So I settle on cooking as high as it'll go--500 degrees--and a little extra with the broiler. And it turned out good pizza. A little chewier than your restaurant version--but not too shabby. Here it is:

Artichoke hearts, tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil and mozzarella. Half wheat/white dough, homemade sauce heavy on the garlic and onions.

It'll do for now...that is until I get my tricked out oven...

Monday, November 12, 2007

fly through the air!

Tavo's sister and his niece came over to visit on Sunday and enjoyed the rope swing that he and Darryn made a few months's Gaby, having a ball:

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okay, I hopped on it too. Here's me:

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Tavo was the bravest of all...but I can't find his picture. Will post soon!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I am obsessed with walking around Piedmont Park at lunchtime. I get a whole hour lunch and I walk to Piedmont Park (huge city park) and explore midtown for the majority of that every day (doesn't seem like much, but after two years of a 30 minute lunch spent walking corporate office parking lots, this is really phenomenal) Honestly, all I have to do is talk the powers that be into raising my pay above poverty level and I think I'm cool with just continuing this job for a while.

Piedmont park is really fascinating to me--there's a pond there and this older man, every day, goes fishing just with a string and a hook. All these ducks and a solitary heron come and hang out with him every afternoon. He'll catch a fish, and if it's big enough, he'll put it in his bucket. If it's small--he tosses it to the heron, or to one of the ducks. Usually to the heron, though. On monday, I just sat and watched him for the whole hour. Whistling, tossing a fish in the bucket, tossing a fish to the heron. It was really cool.

I'm curious--does he actually eat the fish? I assume he does. Inner city fishing always kind of sketches me out. There is an awful lot of trash in any given pond, let alone chemicals and other toxins...

Every city I've lived in, though, I've seen tons of people fishing in the inner city streams and ponds. Kansas City, Detroit, Atlanta... People will survive wherever they are, with whatever they have. Either that or there are more hard core fishers than I realized.

I've never really enjoyed fishing. I remember going fishing with my grandpa and it was too cold in the morning, too hot in the afternoon, and millions of flies and mosquitoes bit me all day long. The fact that I was too squeamish to bait the hooks or remove the fish was a bit of a hindrance as well. Thank god I only caught one. Drinking beer--Milwaukee's Best, no less--and hearing Grandpa's stories were the only redeeming factors. I'm glad I went though.

Cheers Grandpa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ladies and from the Ball!

I know you are all chomping at the bit to see which dress I chose...and here it is:
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Blurry picture, but you get to see Tavo and I full length.

Saturday was an action packed, super fun day. I ran the 5K for the Cabbagetown Stomp and Chomp and met up with Tavo to watch Bluegrass bands and cabbage shredding contests. And to eat tons of chili!! I was glad to find four booths serving up vegetarian chili (but I still think mine is better) We took a nap and woke up super late--so showered, dressed, hair and makeup and we were out the door in less than 30 minutes. All the mornings of hitting snooze really do make you more efficient!

We met up with our friend Dan and he brought a cigar for Tavo. Look at those manly men with their manly cigars:
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I wanted to try it too--do I look tough?
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hmm...not for me. I quickly passed it back to Tavo.

I did join Dan in eating raspberries off the tables.
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We went around and made sure no raspberry was left just laying around.
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Yum raspberries!

We danced and chatted and drank some more--it was a really great night. This picture turned out really well--just ignore my demon eyes...
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Got to get on that photoshop.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Fill In

*borrowing this from Tuesday Update, and fridayfillins. Here we go!

1. _______ is my favorite form of therapy.

2. If you get my voice mail you'll hear _______ .

3. My favorite product EVER is _______ .

4. I see something _______ .

5. When I'm grumpy _______ .

6. _______ is my strangest habit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!

1. Cooking, walking, or reading a book on the porch is my favorite form of therapy.

2. If you get my voice mail you'll hear me snapping and singing out my name.

3. My favorite product EVER is...does pizza count? If not, I guess it would be laundry detergent. I don't know.

4. I see something and it's called traffic. I'm glad I'm not in it!

5. When I'm grumpy it's best for me to be by myself, reading or something to get me out of my mood.

6. Waking up in the middle of the night for an hour or two is my strangest habit.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just hanging with Tavo, tomorrow my plans include running the Cabbagetown 5K and the Marine Corps Ball and Sunday, I want to do nothing! (but I'll probably do laundry)

Hooray for the weekend!