Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FREE ALERT: Hubble STEMfest

Hi neighbors! I wanted to alert you to a cool free event being held in Baltimore. It's a celebration of the Hubble Telescope's 25th anniversary. The event will take place Saturday June 6th from 10am to 6pm at the Space Telescope Science Institute. It will feature tons of free science and engineering exhibits and hands-on activities for the whole family. Learn more and sign up for the event HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Around Town: Terra Cafe























One of my favorite Baltimore restaurants is a place called TERRA CAFE. The hubs and I have been going there for years. It's not super close to where we live, but it's well worth the drive down to Charles Village. Terra offers delicious inexpensive comfort food, in a warm casual environment. The veggie wrap, mac and cheese, fish sub, yams, and chicken dishes are all scrumptious and cost under $10. The Terra Burger is AMAZING and makes me miss the days when I ate red meat. I have used them for catering in the past, and my guests were very happy campers.

What makes this place extra special is not just the food, but the vibe when you come inside. The owner is an awesome guy by the name of Terrence who is so much fun to talk to, and never forgets a customer's face. He is also super active in the Baltimore community and regularly assembles groups of volunteers to distribute food to the homeless, should you be looking for any outreach opportunities. The sign on the front of the restaurant says "welcome family", and you will feel it come to life should you decide to stop in. Make sure to go when you have a good amount of free time though because it can be crowded and service is not very fast, but worth the wait. Feel free to bring little ones with you.

Friday, May 8, 2015

In the Kitchen: Beet Soup Recipe

Beets are one of those foods you either typically love or hate. As one who previously despised beets, I'm surprised to be sharing with you a recipe I found to be quite savory. Not only did it taste good, but it froze beautifully as well. I'll be using it as one of go-to convenience freezer foods in the future. So here's how you make it:
  • Cut into chunks and roast one beet in the oven on 400 degrees, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove from oven once a fork can easily pierce the beet.
  • While beet is roasting boil one large red potato.
  • When beet is almost done roasting begin roasting 3 garlic cloves and 3 shallots.
  • Dice cooked potato and add to a simmering pot of veggie broth, then add roasted beet, garlic, shallots
  • Season soup with thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (or more if you'd like) and continue simmering for a few minutes.
  • Take cooked soup of stove and puree in blender or with stick blender
  • Garnish soup with extra parsley, olive oil, and balsamic. You can also add pieces of goat cheese   if non-vegan.
This pairs well with garlic bread. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One Baltimore
















Thank you to the members of my community, from all walks of life, who came together to peacefully assemble yesterday. Your presence helped to protect our neighborhood from harm, and to demand an equitable and reasoned resolution to Freddie Gray's death. A special thanks to Councilman Bill Henry for his impeccable leadership during this time. I am proud to call myself a Baltimorean!










Thomas Merton

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

6 Months





Dear Baby Z,

In April you entered your sixth month of life. I can hardly believe how fast you are growing. Some days I wish I could push pause to savor your babyhood more deeply. The other mamas told me this would happen, and they were absolutely right!

This first half year of parenthood has been quite the journey. To say it is hard work is an understatement. Life is now filled with a million to-dos and not nearly enough sleep, but you've certainly been worth the trade-off. Just seeing you smile and the way you light up when Daddy comes home melts my heart. And the teamwork you force your father and I to do just to survive, has strengthened our marriage in unimaginable ways.

In these past few months you have become our best little friend. You make an excellent workout partner, and holding you while I exercise is helping to tone me up. You are also a wonderful confidant, and more than once I've caught your father bouncing ideas off of you. Of course you do not talk back yet, but I think that's a part of what makes you such an awesome little buddy right now.

We are both enjoying watching you grow, learn to sit up, giggle, play with your toys, and eat solid foods. It has been as one friend put it, "a time your kid will never remember, but you will never forget."

We love you with parts of hearts we did not even know existed, and I am awestruck by how blessed we are to have you.

Love Always,
Mom & Dad

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sale Alert: Timonium Totswap

Hi locals. This weekend the local children's consignment pop-up shop Totswap will be holding a sale at the state fair grounds in Timonium. It's a great place to find affordable kids clothes and toys. You can learn more HERE.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What I Learned in March



1) How to make croutons, tortillas,  vegetable stock, and a bunch of other stuff. I have been cooking up a storm lately. With learning to cook comes lots of hits and misses. Thankfully, I've had several hits as of late, so I'll have several good recipes to share with you soon. A few basic items I learned to make that are easy and delicious are croutons (found HERE), tortillas (found HERE), and vegetable stock (found HERE). I will try my hardest to make all of these at home from now, instead of buying them pre-made as they turned out so much better than the off the shelf stuff.

2) How to clean my yoga mat. The other day I noticed my yoga mat was hurtin' for a cleaning. I tried wiping it down with a rag and some all-purpose cleaner but that did not do the trick. So I decided to put it in the washing machine (alone) on the delicate cycle. It worked wonders.

3) Fancy kitchen equipment is not for me. As I cook more and more, I'm beginning to feel it's time to invest in more kitchen equipment. I recently purchased a fancy mandoline in the hopes of making restaurant grade french fries and such. When I brought it home and started using it, I realized it was way more hassle than it was worth. For now I'll be sticking to a knife and cutting board. Are there any kitchen tools you cannot live without? Please share in the comments section.

4) Slow cookers are splendid! I bought a slow cooker off Ebay a few weeks ago for not too much money. I am enjoying the heck out of that thing. Why didn't I purchase one of these earlier?!? For a busy parent who is trying to eat healthier this thing is amazing. I've been making all types of yummy soups and stocks in it. I can't get enough.

5) I really enjoy Bells of Ireland. I picked up a Bells of Ireland bouquet from the grocery store a few weeks ago. It was my first time having any in the house, and I really enjoyed looking at them. The pop of green they added really lifted my spirits.

What's something you learned this month? To learn from others visit CHATTING AT THE SKY.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the Kitchen: Veggie Burger Recipe




















Today I'm excited to post the recipe to the best meal I've ever created. No lie folks, this burger was delicious! So good, I liked it better than a beef burger. I couldn't believe it. The hubs gave it two thumbs up too, and he's a hard one to please. So, without further ado here's how you make it:

  • Heat a 50/50 mixture of cooked quinoa and black beans on medium heat in skillet. You can grease skillet with cooking oil or veggie broth. Broth is more healthy, but oil tastes better :-) I like to use avocado oil.
  • Season mixture with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Add mixture to toasted brioche buns. 
  • Top "burger" with spring mix, tomato, red onion, and chipotle mayo.
Chipotle mayo (this component is critical to the deliciousness of the burger):
  • Finely dice canned chipotle peppers with adobe sauce and add to mayo to taste. These are pretty spicy, so you don't need much to add kick.
Enjoy! I absolutely know you will.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Window Shopping.....

Lately, I've been making an effort to practice gratitude, i.e. being thankful for what I have. I've been amazed at the difference it's making in my life. I've spent a lot less time shopping, feeling discontent, and comparing myself to others.

I really noticed improvement a few weeks ago when the hubs and I went to a fancy open house. The home we visited was large and beautiful--easily magazine worthy. The old me would have hounded and pestered the hubs all weekend about how we need a new bigger house, and how we need to make more money. The new content  me was able to admire the beautiful home we visited, then joyfully go back to our little humble abode. I'm proud of the changes I'm making, they are leading to true peace of mind, which I'm finding to be priceless. What about you? Can you window shop without envy? Are you content with what you have?

 




If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy tomorrow to change that.” ~Joshua Becker 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

In the Kitchen: BBQ and Deviled Eggs with Caviar Recipe






Those of you who follow this blog regularly know I've been trying to clean up my diet. A lot of the dietary changes I've been making include eating more plant-based foods. I still eat animal products occasionally though, and when I do, I try to stick to anti-inflammatory animal products rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Today I'm going to share with you an anti-inflammatory meal I concocted that was very good. It was inspired by some food I had at a Baltimore vegetarian restaurant called LAND OF KUSH. I'd planned to blog about my experience there, but the food was so good I ate it before I could take a picture :-( Ah well, maybe next time. The meal was also inspired by some wonderful deviled eggs prepared for a potluck by one of my neighbors.

So here's how you recreate the meal:

Vegan BBQ:

  • Marinade pieces of seitan in BBQ sauce overnight. I use this SEITAN (in traditional) and this VERY DELICIOUS BBQ SAUCE.
  • Once seitan is marinated, add 1/2 cup each of green peppers and onions to a skillet and saute with veggie broth on medium heat until tender.
  • Next add seitan and desired amount of BBQ sauce to skillet and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on medium until seitan is heated to desired temperature (note: seitain is precooked, so you only need to heat for warmth)
  • I like adding the BBQ to a lightly toasted brioche bun for a sandwich.

Deviled eggs:

  • Boil omega-3 enriched eggs
  • Cut cooked eggs in half and remove yolks
  • Smash yolk with fork and mix 1 tsp of mayo with every yolk. I use Trader Joe's low-fat mayo because it's vegan (though not advertised as such), low calorie, and tastes good.
  • Add a small amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice, dill weed, and freshly chopped chives to taste to yolk filling.
  • Add yolk filling to eggs whites and top with a scoop of bowfin roe caviar. 
Enjoy!