It’s About Much More Than Music

Prepare to cozy into a comfy spot for 20 minutes and be moved, entertained and inspired.

Tasty Coconut Milk (On The Cheap)

before:

after:

So cheap, simple to make, and delicious.

For DIY Coconut Milk you’ll need:

  • 1 part unsweetened coconut flakes (I purchase organic in bulk – under $2/lb.)
  • 1 part boiling water
  • blender
  • cheese cloth or fine sieve

Add about 2 cups of coconut to blender, add equal amounts of boiling water, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. Next, remove lid, drape tea towel over vessel and replace lid loosely -this prevents a big hiccup and mess at the start-up of the blender. Leave blender running for 20 minutes.

Next, place your sieve on top of the bowl and pour the liquid through the sieve (or cheese cloth).  Allow to cool. Once the coconut is cool enough to touch grab a handful at a time and squeeze out any remaining milk. Now you’re done and have super fresh coconut milk that blows the canned stuff away!

The Power Of A Girl?

As an aside, apparently, for the first time in U.S. history women are the majority of the workforce.

More Reasons Not to “Should” On Yourself

Sitting in my office sticky and sweaty after my morning run I’m surprised at how much chatter runs round and round in my head. This isn’t because I believe I’m some sort of yogini who has mastered clearing my mind and living in the moment, it’s just one of those recurring “aha” moments when I remember that it’s part of my being human. Maybe it’s just me being surprised that there isn’t less. Much like those days when the thought of practicing yoga occurs more like drudgery and boredom than peace and practice, those days when running for 30 minutes seems like a chore. It cracks me up sometimes to discover I still do that thing with myself where I take something I enjoy and allow it to become something I dread once I acknowledge it’s good for me. You know, kind of like not wanting to eat your veggies because you know you should.

What is that all about? I wonder if it has anything to do with expectation rather than satisfaction. I wonder if it’s because on some level I expect some sort of results I can measure, and forget to be in the moment. I think that’s it. If I were practicing yoga strictly for the sake of practice I would probably be practicing more often and more regularly especially because I do find that I feel better when I am.

Same goes for just about anything; writing for the sake of it instead of for a purpose or audience, cooking because I enjoy it not because I’m trying to impress anyone, learning because I’m pulled to not because I want to be a know-it-all smarty pants. Yep, each of these experiences can and has turned to drudgery when I forget why I’m doing them in the first place and focus on external factors.

So what do I do then? It’s not as though this is going to change overnight, or ever for that matter. What advice do I give to my friends when they’re in similar states?

For chrissake, give yourself a break and notice when you’re doing this crazy thing! Awareness is the key. Once something is acknowledged it can’t hide anymore; it can’t sneak up on you, you have a choice. So join me in breathing in and acknowledging the crazy brain chatter, the resistance to that which seems good and then choose something else, something that feels right, and good. Then do what you should do, what you want to do; eat your veggies.

Tofu buffalo fingers (aka Hot Wing Imposters)

Having fairly recently gone full-on vegetarian I’ve been wanting to make a no-meat version of my husband’s pseudo-infamous hot wings; they’re super tasty and I miss snacking on them. Then it occurred to me, chicken wings aren’t a whole lot more than some chewy texture and LOTS of spicy, tangy sauce.

I have a tofu recipe I love because it replaces that spongy tofu texture with some chew and a crispy exterior; the trick is in the baking. The recipe calls for the tofu to be pressed, sliced and then covered in marinade before going into the oven where it soaks up all that liquid and caramelizes on top (it also does quite a number on gunking up the baking dish as well). I used the same process but with different marinade ingredients working to echo a bit of the savory of chicken.

My tofu-hot-fingers turned out great and are very similar in taste to the true meat version; they’re chewy, a little crispy on the outside with just enough mild buttery-herbiness  in the marinade to give it something to offset the sassy sauce.

Tofu Buffalo Fingers:

  • 1 cube of Rapunzel no-salt vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1-  5.8 oz jar of Bufalo jalapeno hot sauce*
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

*If you like ’em really hot add a pinch of cayenne, or better yet, dried habanero spice to the sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After pressing  the water out of the tofu, slice it into approximately 1/2 in square match sticks and lay it in out in a glass baking dish. In a separate dish I add the bouillon to boiling water to dissolve and stir in the sesame oil. Pour this mixture over the tofu and then sprinkle the top of the tofu strips with nutritional yeast and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

When the tofu is about 15 minutes from complete add the jalapeno sauce and butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Stir the butter into the sauce as it melts. Turn the heat to low once the sauce begins to bubble.

When the tofu is done it should have soaked up most of the liquid (if it hasn’t, pour out the excess) and maybe swollen up a bit . Now, for the last few steps you just need to move the oven rack to the top and turn the oven to “broil”, spray some olive oil on the tofu and give it a quick broil then pour the jalapeno sauce over your tofu and pop it back in the oven just long enough for the top to brown.

Pull the tofu out, drizzle with more sauce if desired and, like traditional hot wings, feel free to dip in bleu cheese or ranch dressing.

Spokavore Challenge: Day Winner (I mean Five)

That’s right I’m all over that DOMA coffee. Bring it on!

Looks like Remi decided to stick in there this time. I wonder if he bailed somewhere right before midnight. hmmm… doesn’t matter ’cause I made it easily.

So, short and sweet.

Pre-breakfast: 2 delightful rosemary-butter shortbread cookies with coffee:

Breakfast: Same as Day One and oh so tasty with 1/2 pot of 4 Seasons Purrrfect blend.

Snack: apple, carrots & small planet tofu dip (the last of it).

Lunch: shredded carrots, garbanzos, lettuce, red bell pepper and tofu dip wrapped in a DeLeon flour tortilla.

Snack: tortilla chips and salsa.

Dinner: mushroom, red bell pepper, tomato, kale and Quillisascut curado in a warm and crusty calzone accompanied by a 22 oz. Northern Lights Brewery Pale Ale. By the way, husband discovered the hard way how much more it costs to purchase the 64 oz. Growler than 3 – 22 oz. bottles…

22 oz. bottles= $4.50/each or 3 for $9, Growler 64 oz = $22.50 but you keep the jug which has refill specials on Sundays.

Here’s my lovely calzone:

The husband couldn’t stand to be left out so here’s a picture of the monstrous calzone he made for himself (notice it barely fits on the plate and resembles a beached whale).

Spokavore Challenge: Day Four

Ah, what a day. Started out with the pure entertainment of reading everyone’s posts. I have to admit Paul’s are killing me; I never use the “lol” but I was pretty close this morning. Also, I need to throw a shout-out to Bart for being the first to let me know it was fine to tear into that scrumptious Madeleine’s croissant. Geneva was in there as well but the Schmolson was trying to stick a wrench in the deal! After losing Rachel and Gaia I wasn’t about to bite into that thing without the official okay. Image of the offender below (Breakfast):

Becky offered up some butter and olive oil which I took her up on. We met at Main Market and I loitered around with her for a bit and distracted her from her shopping (no fire alarms) before heading back to work. Thanks Becky, I made some mayo-like dressing to complement my dinner (pictures below) and used the bulk of the butter to make a small little batch of shortbread cookies for tomorrow’s coffee break. Yum, rosemary-butter shortbread cookies. mmm, mmm good.

Geneva mentioned that she was going to test out the cracker recipe tonight. I’m curious to hear how they turned out.

If I were Bart I’d be careful mentioning the amount of surplus goods in his place as he may end up with a Schmolson in his pantry. Oh boy, it’s time for me to shut my trap, post my daily food intake and go to bed.

Lunch: Leftover salad, pita and garbanzo bean dip.

Snack: Apple, DeLeon’s tortilla chips and homemade salsa verde (canned).

Dinner: Roasted fries, happy grass-fed burger (less personal) from Cashmere slathered with homemade mayo, sauteed onions and red peppers, topped with Quillisascut Curado cheese, lettuce, a little basil on a Couer d’Alene Bakehouse Sourdough. It was good but I never actually made it to the fries because the burger was FILLING!

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