Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Living and loving with an 
attitude of gratitude 
for life, family, friends, health, good weather, 
all that I am, all that I have, all that I don't have, 
all that is now, has been, and is yet to come.
(Sly and the Family Stone
Thank you for letting me be mice elf again)

Young people all away, 
most in Cali.
(Eagles Hotel California)
(Thank you Bob and Shirley for hosting them. 
Regrets that I could not attend.)
And one in Gotham, to me the greatest city on planet earth.
(Yeah, Empire State of Mind)

Makes for a leisurely, grateful day.
First up, breakfast.
Homemade sausages, made from red beans and rice.
Baked, since temperature cool enough to turn on the oven, 
and to cut down on the fat.
Mashing the beans
cooked brown basmati

Mixing beans, rice and spices

Shaped sausage patties, baked not fried.

Recipe suggests serving with biscuits, 
yet I wanted something a bit more festive,
and to munch on all day.
Number 1 R&B song on this day in 1956,
Fats Domino singing
Sounds like a blueberry corn muffin kind of day!
My go-to vegan cornbread recipe
makes 8 by 8 pan cornbread or 
12 regular sized, 18 mini-muffins:
1 1/2 cup soymilk
1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup organic stone ground cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
jazzed up for muffins with
2 Tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix soymilk and vinegar; set aside.
Lightly oil pan, muffin tin, or use cupcake liners.
Mix dry ingredients together, along with sugar.
Add applesauce to soymilk mixture.
Fold soymilk mixture into dry ingredients only until moistened.
Add blueberries.
Divide evenly into pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into batter
comes out clean.
Enjoy with the sausages.
Great finger food to munch on all day while watching football.

Complimented by full-sized sweet potato pie!
For recipe, see previous posting, October 25,
Day 25 of Vegan MoFo 2011.
Used 9 inch pie plate, instead of mini-pie maker.
Baked at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes,
or until center no longer jiggles.
Cool on rack for at least an hour before cutting.

Thank you Sinfull Bakery
for a vegan pot pie.

Truly grateful!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recommended Reading: BLUE NIGHTS

In this excellent, profoundly honest, book,

the very talented, powerful author,
Joan Didion,
 stunningly shares with her pain, thoughts and anguish over the loss of her beloved daughter, 
Quintana Roo.

Good review of this was written by author John Banville for the NY Times book review.

The book opens on June 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to her daughter's wedding day seven years before, 
five years after her death. 
Remembering that it would have been Quintana Roo's anniversary, the promise evidenced that day causes the writer to reflect on her daughter's childhood, the questions asked and unasked, 
answered and unanswered. 
Things said eloquently, and the eloquence of things left unsaid. Further reflections are on her own childhood, her marriage, 
her parents, their deaths, her husband, 
John Gregory Dunne, 
and his untimely death from a heart attack two years before 
the loss of their daughter.
Questions I think most parents have, 
if they are brutally honest with themselves in their 
self reflections on the enormity of parenthood, 
pepper the book; the "what ifs." 
"What if I fail to take care of this baby?"
"What if this baby fails to thrive, 
what if this baby fails to love me?"
...and the unthinkable...
"What if I fail to love this baby?"
Didion also writes about coming to terms with her own aging and mortality, affected by time spent saying what would eventually prove to be good-byes to friends and family in ICUs on both coasts; time in hospital with her dying husband, and in and out of emergency and ICUs with Quintana Roo.
I won't spoil it for you by giving you the intimate details of how she came to parent and name the daughter she lost; 
I want you to read it for yourself.
I will tell you this:
the title refers to that time of day, 
"...when in certain latitudes...approaching and following
the summer solstice...when the twilights turn long and blue..."
"...The French called this time of day l'heure bleue..."

It's a good read, and, depending on how you do it,
quick if you just go through it,
a little longer if you self-reflect.

The Eagles
In A New York Minute

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Sam and Leola!

Happy 81st anniversary to my 
maternal grandparents,
Samuel and Leola

Both are with the ancestors now.
I love you more than words can say.
Thank you!
Thank you!
for everything!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 60th Birthday, Betsy!

My good friend,
 Betsy Johnson,
would have turned 60 today.

Happy times at her 50th birthday party.
with the love of her life, her husband, and my good friend, Dave.
with Kelli and other party guests.
We had such great fun together.
At Bob and Lupe's wedding
She was killed in a motorcycle accident 9 years ago this month.
For months after she died, 
I would dial their number to tell her something,
then remember that she was gone.
Thank you, God,  and Dr. and Mrs. Ingram, 
for the gift of your wonderful daughter.
And thank you, Betsy, for being such a
lovely person and great friend!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Make Me Wanna Holler

#1 R&B song on this day in 1971
the great 
Marvin Gaye's
"...make me wanna holler, the way they do my life...
...bills pile up sky high, send that boy off to die...
...make me wanna holler, throw up both my hands...
...violence increasing, trigger happy policemen...
...panic is spreading, Lord knows where we're heading..."

Sound familiar?
Like, 'WHAT'S GOING ON' now?
Marvin was truly ahead of his time,
and, yeah, what goes around...

Many of my fellow Tejas Vegans
are in Round Rock for the
23rd Annual Lone Star Veggie Chili Cookoff

Blissful Chef, and Blissful Bites author,
Christy Morgan,
about whom I blogged a couple of days ago
will also be there doing cooking demos.

I'm doing my own veggie chili at home,

watching my current team,
the Houston Texans,
whip up on Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tough to watch 'cause in the late 70's & early 80's,
Bucs used to be my team.
(Mighty O'JAYS singing 
QB was Doug Williams.
Coach John McKay.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blissful Bites

Last evening, 
One Green Street,
Houston's organic lifestyle destination store,
hosted vegan Cookbook author, caterer, cooking instructor, 
consultant, raw food enthusiast and personal chef,

also know as The Blissful Chef,
in town offering tastings, and signings of,
her new book,
vegan meals that nourish mind, body and planet.

Christy prepared her Mac and Kale for us, 
a delicious raw kale salad,
massaging/marinating the kale with a mixture of 
tamari & olive oil, to soften it, 
adding nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor (the 'mac'),
 topping it with chopped avocado
and rehydrated sun dried tomatoes.
Yeah, it was really good!

Christy says that since going vegan nine years ago,
she has experienced great health and 
a sense of well being that gives her 
a feeling best described as pure
Blissful Bites from the Blissful Chef
Thank you, Christy!

#1 R&B song on this day in 1966, the great

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day. 11-11-11

Thank you to the 
who serve, and have served, in our nation's military, 
allowing us to be the proud Americans we are.
A very special, warm and fuzzy,
to my all time favorite veteran,
Remembering what my granddad used to tell me about why people
of color have always served, 
despite their fellow Americans not appreciating their service.
And why the road to human rights is often paved with tears,
"Freedom isn't free, or cheap."

Today is 11-11-11,
very auspicious day due to the number sequence.
Whether it is tied to next year's end of the Mayan Calendar
or just a true palindrome of number 1s,
every day is a gift so let's enjoy it!

Haven't posted since end of 
(that's MOnth of FOod for the uninitiated)
had a great time.
Thank you, MoFo team, for the idea, and the challenge.
The fun and camaraderie 
of daily blogging about great vegan food,
and cooking most days -
Who knew?

Staying with the music theme started during MoFo,
the #1 R&B song on this day in 1978,
Chaka Khan's