Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh & for good measure.


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It's been a week or so

and things have changed dramatically.

I've lived in little apartments the majority of my adult life. We moved here expecting to live in an apartment for a year, maybe two and move into a home. Until we got a flyer in the mail last week about a new gated community being built. Affordable, yet beautiful homes a mile north of the Tarrant county line. Had the homes been built a mile south, they'd easily be $50-100k more expensive. We made an appointment, still not expecting anything except insight. We went through all the details, Mike alone makes too much money to qualify for the $15,000 new homeowners grant. We kept pushing on because we liked the community and wanted to see if we could fit it in our budget, being a one salary family we have to keep our budget in line. He checked our credit, etc. (surprisingly mine was 2pts better than Mike's!) and we were pre-approved.

He took us first to the smallest option, 3bed/2bath/2CG/2 floors/1400 sq ft. It was nice, we liked it but the rooms were small, the bathrooms (especially the master) were TINY, the kitchen was the size of our apt kitchen and there was no formal dining room. He marked out the pricing for it and including taxes it was $100 more/month than we pay for our apt. NOT BAD AT ALL. Mike piped up (which he never does) and said "I'd like to look at the 'Blanco' (the step up) if possible, I think we can definitely afford it." Our rep said "I don't want to show it to you unless you really think you can do it, because I promise you're going to fall in love with it and never return to the one we're in. It's got everything you want and is our most popular floorplan." He drew up the pricing for that and it was only a $75 difference/month from the one we were standing in. Mike said we could do it "as long as Angel stops her Target habit, and we don't go out to eat as often." and the rep started describing it.. he started off with "Island Kitchen." SOLD, LET'S GO! hahaha. He really didn't even have to further his details. Off we went in his Mercedes (leather seats, the smell made me gag.) to the Blanco. There were two lots available, one for July 26th move in and one for September 30th. We pulled up to the one already built and ready for July 26th and there was a SOLD sign on it. He still let us look around, take pictures and decide.

The second we walked up to it we knew it was what we wanted. He handed me the key and let me turn it. It was love at first sight. Get ready for an orgy of pictures. My dumbass forgot to take a picture of the exterior, but I'll update that when we sign all our paperwork after July 4th weekend.

I figured I'd be nice and put them in a picasa album instead of having to scroll my entire blog to lurk them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dinner last night..

made me feel like a kid again. We went out shopping and didn't have plans for dinner, so when we got home we just wanted fast dinner.

Grilled cheez (daiya cheddar) and chik'n nuggets w/ veganaise + ketchup.

So simple and soooo good.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sometimes simple is best.

After dinner last night I figured tonight should be simple. Red beans and rice & a salad :)

Also have vegan chocolate ganache cuppycakes cooling off :)

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Vegan Mac & Cheez using Daiya Cheddar Shreds

Yesterday was Father's Day and although we don't have any human kids, we have three furbabies. We celebrated FurFather's Day by going to the dog park as we always do every Sunday morning. It was his day, so we decided on BBQ chik'n and mac&cheez for dinner. Hubby is omni and LOVES Kraft Deluxe Sharp Cheddar (which happened to be on sale for $1.50) so I bought it for him because it doesn't require me to mix some unnatural neon orange powdery grossness. I'd never made vegan mac&cheez before and I thought today would be a good day to experiment. So here we go!

Best baked vegan Mac&Cheez you'll ever consume:

12-16oz pkg of elbow macaroni (or other small macaroni)
1.5 cups (almost a full bag) of Daiya Cheese Shreds
3 tablespoons of vegan butter (I use Earth Balance because it kicks ass)
3 tablespoons of cornmeal (I don't measure.. I just kinda eyeballed it)
1 cup of unsweetened or original soy/rice/milk substitute
Panko Breadcrumbs (enough to cover dish)
Onion Powder (or diced onion.. your choice)
Crushed Red Pepper

Preheat oven to 400

Salt and oil water, boil pasta for 5ish minutes until just tender (do not completely cook through, it will finish cooking in the oven)

When this is done, drain and put in a large bowl. Mix in a small handful of the cheese and set aside.

In a small pot or sauce pan (on medium heat) melt the vegan butter, toss in a couple pinches/shakes of crushed red pepper, onion powder* and salt and pepper to taste. *If you're using diced onion instead of powder, add them in now and wait until they are translucent to continue to the next step.

Shake in about 3tablespoons of cornmeal (remember, I eyeball so I can't be sure) and stir until combined.

Stir in the cup of soymilk, and stir continuously until it just begins to boil. Lower heat and stir for another minute, add in the Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and stir until melted. Toss in two handfuls of Daiya Cheese. Once that has all combined, turn off heat and pour mixture over the pasta in the bowl.

Mix until all pasta is coated and pour into a grease baking dish. I used a 8.75" pie pan.

Sprinkle pasta with paprika and cover with remaining Daiya Cheese.

Generously cover dish with Panko Breadcrumbs and a little more paprika.

Place uncovered in oven for about 30mins until bubbling and brown.


This was so amazing, seriously even omni mac&REALcheese obsessed hubby said it was good! I could only eat one slice of this because I was stuffed from all the other food we had, but I'm definitely eating this for lunch and freezing some of it for later.

I paired it with BBQ chik'n nuggets and

The only green beans I'll ever eat:

1 can of organic green beans (or use fresh but it'll take way longer)
1/2 cube of vegan Not Chik'n bouillon
1/4 cup of dried pumpkin seed and soynut mixture (you can use whatever nuts/seeds you like and have on hand)

Coat pan with EVOO and place on medium heat, put in 1/2 cube of Not Chik'n bouillon and sauté until its combined with the EVOO.

Drain can of organic green beans and toss them in with the seasoning, cook until the green beans start to brown and throw in your seeds/nuts and sauté for 5 mins.


Easy and sooooo yummy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby fever..

has been RAGING inside me for a while. I swear, every time I decide to grace the outside world with my presence I bump into a plethora or pregnant women and/or moms with little bits. It doesnt help that our upstairs neighbors are around our age and just delivered a bundle of awesome. Mike and I have plans for a baby, we'd rather keep the time frame to ourselves as to not receive continuous "ARE YOU KNOCKED UP YET!?" questions from our family and friends. I'm quite afraid of it taking forever to get pregnant, those of you that know me know that I have :clears throat: issues. I will definitely start a mommy blog once I get a BFP and I promise to keep it in better shape than this hunk of internet ADD. Until then, mothers of the world.. I am in awe of your beauty.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Breakfast: Fruit and Nuts.

So while at Costco this weekend, they were doing "demos" aka sampling. We were on the hunt for Larabars when we came across the demo for Ann's House - Soy Energy Blend. SO DELICIOUS. It's kinda trailmixy. Dry roasted edamame, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.

I've tossed it in salads, on fruit and just eaten handfuls of it when I need some fuel.

This morning I woke up STARVING. Just grabbed some fruit, a handful of Soy Energy + a Luna Bar because I had serious hunger panggggs.

Uhm. ILOVETHATLUNA! I haven't had white chocolate since becoming vegan, and I'm definitely in love.

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Dinner: Impromptu Pad Thai

I hadn't planned dinner yesterday (I was kinda in a funk and didn't even get out of bed until 3pm), so when 5:30 rolled around I realized we didn't have anything to eat! I didn't want to go out because I felt gross, so I rummaged through the pantry and noticed we had a few cans of carrots and some organic corn, in the freezer I had some organic edamame and organic broccoli. Easy to cook, toss with red pepper flakes, soy sauce and Sesame Ginger dressing.. Mike wanted noodles instead of the usual rice I make with Asian vegetables so we ran to Albertsons (closest store) and grabbed some packaged vermicelli rice noodles and some tofu..

Rice noodles, carrots, corn, edamame, broccoli, broiled tofu topped with cilantro and lime (Latin garnish but it works so well with the veggies!) & spring rolls..

Verdict: Half awful. The veggies were AMAZING, the tofu was crispy with a fluffy center as I like.. But those rice noodles. Ugh. Never again will I buy packaged rice noodles.

We dug thru the noodles, ate all the veggies and tofu and made organic PB&J an hour later.

NTS: Just use spaghetti next time.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

a change of pace..

ok yes, good band but that's not what I mean :)

I know I post my daily meals on twitter (at least when I remember to take pix before I dive in!) so I think I'm going to start posting them on here as well..

I want people to see how easy being vegan really is. I love food :pokes belly: as you can see.. so why not share it? Although I'd love to convert as many carnivores as I can, I know that's hardly possibly with some folks.. I just hope people will at least have a few vegan meals a week. My husband is very much a meat and potatoes guy but he doesn't mind #meatlessmondays :)

This morning I was baddddddddd and had a FLTA (fake'n, lettuce, tomato and avocado sammich with veganaise and daiya mozzarella cheez)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life update:

We got a puppy last month! His name is Deacon Frost (yes, like the Blade vampire) and he is currently almost 10 months old. He is part chihuahua, and we believe part Italian Greyhound. His body is very greyhound-like and he runs ridiculously fast. He loves to play :) We've gotten into the routine of taking him to the
doggie park every sunday, which is LOVES. His vet says he's very healthy and sweet for a chihuahua :) He brightens my day. Welcome to the family Deacon!