Thursday, December 31, 2009

once in a blue moon...

you wake up to snow on new year's eve!

thank goodness it wasn't a lot!
as i was saying during our last snowfall, it is not common for us to get snow in december.

and tonight is actually a blue moon!

before you get excited like i did, this doesn't mean that the moon will actually appear blue. a blue moon refers to the second full moon of the month, which is rare and happens about every 2 1/2 years, on average.

the next blue moon to occur on new year's eve will not happen until 2028.

i'd say the snow and blue moon are a fitting end to a very interesting year!!!

have a safe and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

dried strawberry rhubarb aka Ruby Snacks

since i have some difficulty pronouncing rhubarb, i'm going to call these my homemade Ruby Snacks.

my Ruby Snacks were inspired by these AMAZING dried strawberry rhubarb pieces sold at the local Whole Foods.

photo from
i didn't know they existed until i recently spotted them in the bulk section. it was love at first sight, but there was one thing putting a a wedge in our relationship - the price. $17.99 a pound! i said screw it, these look like the most delicious fruity snack in the world, i have to try them!

so i bought a small handfall, and i was correct. they were the yummiest chewy snack i've ever tasted. better than any dried fruit i've had. the sweet taste is similar to a really fresh strawberry fruit roll-up (the natural ones, not the neon colored ones), but with an amazing chewiness and texture.

on a recent shopping trip, i had to pass on the heavenly strawberry rhubarb chewies (not without sampling some, of course =). shortly after, i happened upon a bag of frozen rhubarb pieces in the freezer section. the wheels in my head got to spinning. i picked them up, along with a bag of frozen strawberries,  and set out to make my own dried strawberry rhubarb.

here's what i used-

1 bag frozen strawberries
1 bag frozen sliced rhubarb pieces
(i'm sure fresh rhubarb would work even better!)
1/4-1/2 C. organic cane sugar
a dehydrator 

here's what i did-

1 - let the frozen strawberries and ruhabarb thaw a few hours.

2 - pureed the strawberries with about 1/4-1/2 cup of organic cane sugar. (i didn't measure). what i ended up with was an incredibly sweet strawberry syrup.

3 - drained the rhubarb pieces and poured them in a glass bowl of the strawberry syrup, making sure each piece was submerged. let the rhubarb marinate overnight in the fridge.

4 - the next morning placed the rhubarb pieces on a teflex sheet and in the dehydrator at 135 degrees. let them dehydrate about 24 hours.

the outcome - delicious chewy homemade fruit snacks! (my ruby pieces were not as dried out or sweet as the ones in the store, but they were just as tasty!)

these snacks have really got me looking forward to strawberry season! only 5 more months!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

christmas wrap-up

i hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

i thought i'd share my homemade treats this season.

i brought raw cheez-its with sunflower garlic dip to a friend's christmas party and a yummy vegan potluck.


john and i made boxes of raw sweets for the adult family members with chocolates and cookie balls.


i crocheted hats for the little ones that have graced our lives recently.

for our friend's baby, lily.

for our newest little nephew, romeo.

for our newest twin nieces, valentina and maria. 

(i could just eat pink yarn.=)
doesn't it remind you of cotton candy and bubble gum?)


i came up with a little set for my niece alaina using these sites.
ear warmer pattern
  booties pattern (with two rows of sc stitches instead of the edging)


so i guess i'm that aunt now. =)

i also made biggies a mouse.

i'm off now to see if i can make thumbless mittens to go with the twin's hats in time for tomorrow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

winter wonderland

we had a snowstorm this weekend that broke records in our area! almost 2 feet of snow! we received more snow in one storm than we normally receive all winter, and it's it not even officially winter until monday!

it started coming down around 2 am saturday morning. we woke up to inches of snow. even biggles was amazed!

it snowed ALL day saturday and into the night.
we had a nice cozy day with lots of yummy food and hot chocolate almond milk. we baked oatmeal raisin cookies and i worked on my christmas gifts.



this morning johnny boy had to shovel a way out for us.



 my square foot garden is under a thick blanket of snow.

 i can't remember the last time it snowed this much, and i don't ever remember getting snow before christmas. crazy!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

10 honest facts about me

happy monday!
i hope you had a nice weekend.

HippieMom from The Raw Journal nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award.
yippee! thanks HippieMom!

Rules to receiving this award:

1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Present this award to others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
3. Tell those people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP, inform them of these guidelines.
4. Share "Ten Honest things" about yourself.

so here we go...

10 honest things about myself

1. i have a terrible sense of direction. i rely heavily on my navigator to get around. the first few weeks of high school i was lost. i had such anxiety over it that i'd stay after to "practice" my schedule, and i still have nightmares that i can't find my locker!

2. i failed my driving test the first time. the second time i did even worse! the instructor felt bad and passed me, but made me promise i wouldn't go anywhere i had to parallel park!

3. i was once hit on by a much older man with an accent who told me he likes girls with short heads. (i believe he meant hair, but who knows!)

4. while preparing food with coconut oil, i like to stop and rub the excess from the measuring spoon on my face, hands, and hair. is that gross?

5. my sweetie pie john and i decided that we are married on a plane ride to holland in march '08. hubs told the hotel worker we were on our honeymoon (well, we were!) and she upgraded us to a great big room with an amazing view!

6. i can name all 50 u.s. states in alphabetical order in less than a minute, thanks to my 5th grade music teacher. however, i'd probably encounter some difficulty locating them all on a map. =/

7. i taught first grade science in a low-income, environmentally-focused charter school for three years. my classroom was home to ants, crickets, mealworms, silkworms, moths, beetles, worms, and a tree frog named boris!

8. my favorite things to do are snuggle, play, and eat. (i'm a lot like my cat, mrs. bigglesworth. =)

9. i hate being cold but get really excited when it snows.

10. i feel hair is a nuisance and seriously consider shaving mine off. maybe this summer?

7 blogs i'm nominating

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

i met the walrus

"In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrator James Braithwaite have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short."

crazy how 40 years later his words are still so relevant.

animal-friendly eating...most of the time

(note: i started writing this post on monday. i'm happy to say i'm feeling much better now. =)

i am sitting here like a lump on a log feeling super bloated and "dairy-ish" (as alicia would say) after a weekend of not-so-animal-friendly eating. i overdid it with the dairy and cooked foods. big time. and i am paying for it. BIG TIME.

as i have mentioned before, i am still transitioning to an entirely plant-based diet. i should really consider changing my blog title to something like "animal-friendly transition" or "animal-friendly eating...most of the time". (when i created the blog i was going through a very easy period of refraining from animal products. but, you know how life is - constantly changing!)

will i ever eat 100% vegan? maybe, maybe not. i choose not to stress over it anymore. i like to live in the moment and therefore experience some difficulty exercising willpower at family functions and celebrations. yesterday was no exception.

i attended a friend's baby christening and indulged in a big creamy bowl of penne vodka and sinful almond ice cream concoctions topped with chocolate sauce. plural because i didn't stop at one. or two. yes, ladies and gentlemen, i ate three almond ice cream thingies. see what i mean about a lack of willpower? who does that in public?!

so now i feel like crap, physically. however, i don't feel the guilt that i used to feel. i have learned that guilt is a wasted emotion. a large majority of the time i make good choices for the animals and my health so i choose to focus on that. like my friend don from the sunny raw kitchen says, "when you drop the ball, just pick it back up again."

so let's talk about the good things i've been feeding myself! =)

first, we have a simple yet delicious avocado and sprouts sandwich on Matthew Kenney's amazing Cumin Flatbread. this bread is perfect - pliable, savory, and a tad sweet. i would love to post the recipe, but i got it from his book, Entertaining in the Raw.

next, we have an italian style quinoa dish i came up with for johnny boy's 29th birthday dinner, served with a yummy salad and garlic bread made with earth balance butter. i'll post the recipe for the quinoa after i make it one more time.


last but not least we have my latest obsession, quinoa and veggie sushi rolls. i add a few splashes of rice vinegar, agave, and tamari to my quinoa before i roll it up with cucumber or zucchini, carrot, and of course, avocado. i can eat three rolls (18 pieces) in less then three minutes, easily. sooo yummy!!!

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