I Have A New Blog: Please Follow Me There!

Hi All!

It’s a new year, and time for new things! I am launching a new blog called A Little Sage, located at www.alittlesage.com.

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A Little Sage is a vegan food blog too, but I hope to feature more advice and health news as well as whole-meal menu ideas rather than just individual recipes. I will post Meatless Monday meal ideas on Mondays. Yay for #MeatlessMonday!

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Example Meal Idea: Vegan Corn Chowder with Avacado Toasts and a Green Salad

I will post how-to ideas, health information and advice on Thursdays. I hope to hold myself to a more regular schedule this way.

So come on over! If you are an email subscriber, I’ve got you! You will receive today’s A Little Sage post around noon, barring any glitches or problems. (And there may easily be glitches and problems.) If you are not an email subscriber, go to the blog and hit “subscribe” in the sidebar! Or you may go to A Little Sage and follow me with Bloglovin’.

I will be new on:

Twitter
Instagram
Email
Bloglovin’
and
Pinterest

No doubt it will take me a while to populate all these feeds with interesting posts, but I’ll do my best! I’m sure there will be links to fix and things to learn. And never fear, I will find my favorite blogs at Bloglovin’ and follow you there. I’ll be in touch as before.

Thanks for your interest!

There! Did I give you enough links to click? ūüėČ

Happy New Year!

Lunchtime Salad

I barely ever show you what I eat at lunchtime. (I know this is a serious blank spot in your life, not knowing what I eat for lunch.) Well, let me show you!

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Lunchtime Salad

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

One cup cooked french lentils
One tub cubed, baked tofu (See Note)
Four cups bite-sized kale leaves, raw
Four cups baby spinach, raw
One cup chopped or sliced raw mushrooms, any variety
One-quarter cup chopped red onion
One-quarter cup dried cranberries or raisins
One-quarter cup sunflower seeds
One half or one whole sliced avocado, optional

For the dressing:

Three tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Three tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
One tablespoon sesame oil
One clove garlic, minced
One-half tablespoon grated, fresh ginger
One tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of cayenne
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
One-half teaspoon sesame seeds
Two or three chopped scallions
One teaspoon prepared dijon mustard

Note: Place all the dressing ingredients in a lidded jar except the scallions and the mustard. Close the jar and shake the contents to combine. Place the cubed tofu in a small baking pan and cover the tofu with HALF the dressing. Place the tofu into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Add the scallions and the mustard to the dressing jar and shake again to combine. Use this remaining half to dress the salad (below).

Instructions:

  1. Place the kale, spinach and lentils in a large bowl and toss with the dressing until the lentils are evenly disbursed.
  2. Add the baked tofu, mushrooms, onion, cranberries, avocado (if using) and toss some more. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

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I hope you’re satisfied.

I am.

Crabapple Chutney for Your Thanksgiving Feast

I wrote this post for Weaver’s Orchard, one of my favorite local stops for fresh fruit and gourmet food!

Whenever I think of crabapples… Wait a minute. Let me back up. I hardly ever think of crabapples. Nevertheless, there are times when crabapples briefly cross my mind, and when they do, I think of ornamental, flowering crabapple trees. We had two such trees in my yard when I was little. I remember these blooming …

Source: Crabapple Chutney for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Vegan Fall Mushroom Risotto (With Edemame)

This morning I woke up, warmed my hands with my coffee cup, looked out of the kitchen window and thought, “Why are zombies in the Zombie Apocalypse never wearing mini skirts?”

It’s always the long skirts.

This is just one example of the many thoughts I have while watching “The Walking Dead” on Netflix. But that’s the way with mythology. The rules are arbitrary. For example, why killing by a strike to the head rather than a stake in the heart, as with vampires? Why are zombies sluggish and not lightening-bolt fast like the little girls of Japanese horror movies? You make up the myth. You make up the rules, I guess.

Pete and I spent the weekend at the lake, where it’s very rural and quiet. It was also Halloween weekend, and the surroundings matched the holiday, I thought.

Halloween began with a  mysterious and beautiful fog across the lake:

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Red Kuri Winter Squash Soup (And Sneak Peek At New Kitchen)

The last of my kitchen renovation details are in the works, and I am up-and-running in my new kitchen! What a relief! What’s remaining is the backsplash, and I’m told “all good things come to those who wait.” So, I’m waiting for the last in a long line of good things.

Kitchen renovation projects require three things from homeowners. One, patience. Two, organization. And three, a decent going-out-to-dinner wardrobe.

Oh, and another thing. One night while observing the progress in the kitchen, pleased with the results so far, the surroundings so clean, so new, so fancy, I said to Pete, “I feel like a rich woman.” And without skipping a beat he said, “Oh, you’re not a rich woman. You’re just a woman with a nice kitchen.”

True enough.

And while the summer months were a challenge, I can now turn my attention to all things fall, including a warming Red Kuri Winter Squash Soup, which can also be made using pumpkin or butternut squash.

First, I will give you snapshots of four things I love about my new kitchen, reserving the full tour for when the backsplash is complete:

  1. I have two pantries, one for cooking items and one for baking items. The two pantries bookend a bank of cabinetry along my window wall. A granite trim piece under the window is the only missing item.

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How To Cook Without A Kitchen: Part Three (Slow Cooker Gets A Workout)

When we first began our kitchen renovation, even if I had nowhere to cook or hang out, I was enthusiastic almost as though it were the Christmas season! I’m getting a new kitchen! In the meantime, I can use my grill! I can do creative things with my panini maker or my toaster! I can blog about all the different alternatives a person has for cooking without a kitchen! I can write things using a lot of exclamation points!

(See How To Cook Without A Kitchen Part One and How to Cook Without A Kitchen Part Two).

I am now eleven weeks in.

I feel slightly less “Christmas Morning” and slightly more “Monday Morning.”

But listen! I’m hanging in there with my slow cooker and my grill. I hope I never forget how useful these tools are. Today, I’ll round out my little “How To Cook Without A Kitchen” series with a third post. I’m doing another slow cooker meal, which I will share later in the post. I won’t continue the series, because I don’t want to blog about cooking without a kitchen. I want to blog about cooking WITH a kitchen like other normal human beings.

But I can’t get ahead of myself. Here’s a kitchen update!

Our kitchen was drywalled and spackled last week. This is the view of that from my family room looking into the kitchen:

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Another view from the family room, but looking toward the back of the house. Where there were three, long narrow windows, there is one wider window. This will allow for a wall of cabinetry. Here is the window framing prior to window installation:

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Here’s a view looking from my foyer into my kitchen. This picture will appear in the next issue of Submarine Living. (Not really, you silly thing.)

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I opened the front door so I could back up and give you a longer view, but then Louie got in the way (Kelly in the background):

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Here, let’s try this:

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Paint swatches on the the wall. It’s all very uninteresting.

My color scheme, however, is interesting:

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Cabinetry: Schubert’s Custom Cabinetry, West Reading; Tile products and countertop: Malsnee Tile & Stone, Leesport. Contractor: John Beilhart, Reading.

Upper cabinets will be ivory and lower cabinets will be a green/gray/tan color. The floor is shown, lower right. The counter, upper right (granite). The backsplash will be a taupe-colored glass tile, except larger squares (upper left).

The window was finally installed:

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And things are looking brighter.

I can’t wait until my family room is up and running again too!

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(Friends are wondering where on Earth Pete watches Sunday afternoon golf on television!)

(Internet.)

So keep your fingers crossed for us. We are expected to receive cabinet delivery, countertop installation and refrigerator hook-up this week! Yay!

I’ll leave you with a little slow-cooker recipe. I must say I do like dumping a bunch of stuff in and letting it cook all afternoon with very little effort!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Medley With  Corkscrew Pasta

(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

One medium-large eggplant, peeled or skins on, your choice (See Note)
Two large or four small green, yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thick rings
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or four tomatoes cut into chunks
One tablespoon minced garlic
Three ounces tomato paste
Four cups water
Sixteen ounces corkscrew pasta, uncooked
One teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
One teaspoon pepper
One-half cup snipped, fresh basil

Note: You may swap vegetables and use mushrooms, zucchini or summer squash, whatever you have on hand will work. I can never decide if I want to peel my eggplant or leave the skin on. The peel is good fiber, but it’s tough. Here’s what I do for a compromise:

Some on. Some off!

Some on. Some off!

Instructions:

  1. Place the vegetables, garlic, crushed/chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and water into the slow cooker. Give it all a stir, and place the cooker on high and cook for four hours. Here’s the view of the raw vegetables after I stirred it:IMG_1123

2. Add the salt, pepper, basil and uncooked pasta. Cook for another ten minutes or until the pasta is tender and ready to eat.

It’s a tasty one-pot meal!

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Slow Cooker Tomato Preserve (And Other Things That Take A Long Time)

I saw a tweet yesterday:

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It’s possible only nerds find that funny. I giggled.

Only sometimes waiting is no laughing matter as in the case of kitchen renovations, which notoriously move at snail’s pace. (Snail’s pace is fine for snails, but not for cooking bloggers.)

Oh, things are happening in my kitchen. Reconfigured plumbing, for one thing. The only problem is, you can’t really show off reconfigured plumbing to friends and neighbors. Here’s how an attempt to show off reconfigured plumbing might go:

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