264. margarita cupcakes.

Its was my dear friend, carrie’s birthday earlier this week and I have plans to see her tonight, and nobody loves margaritas more than she does!
I made her these once years ago, and she always raves about them, so I thought it would be fun to surprise her with a birthday treat!
You can find the recipe in Vegan Cupcakes take over the world. They are definitely a crowd pleaser! They are a light cake with hints of lime and tequila. It has a thin coat of lime icing with the edges dipped in sprinkles to look like margarita salt. Yum!

263. shark pants.

I found these shark sheets at the thrift store a few weeks ago and today milo requested I make him some shark pants.  When Dj got home milo suggested we make a pair for him too, so be on the look out: daddy sized coming up soon!

262. vegan “chicken” and rice soup.

My little guy has got a cold. So we stayed home today and I made him some soup for lunch.

I put 3 quarts of water, sliced carrots, 4 cloves minced garlic, diced celery, diced onion, 2 t onion powder, 1 t garlic powder, 2 “not chicken” bullion cubes, 1/3 cup nutritional yeast,  salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup long grain white rice in a big pot and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. when it was done, I diced up some seitan and cooked it up and added it to the soup. Just like that, you can have a good old fashioned soup for a sick day…without the chicken!

261. pumpkin pie smoothie

I think its about that time where we start to put pumpkin in everything…

This morning it was our smoothie!

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 T flax (optional)
1/2 tspn pumpkin pie spice
1 T your favorite protien powder
cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Blend it and enjoy.

260. riot fest.

This weekend was riot fest. I spent all of saturday and sunday listening to bands I loved in my youth…. Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, and the descendents were definitely the highlight of my weekend. I also saw Gwar, gaslight anthem, cursive, elvis costello, built to spill, gogol bordello, and slapstick. This was by far one of the best music fests I have been to in Chicago. We had a great time filled with friends and music all weekend long!


259. dylan and zachary.

Took some quick photos of zachary and his new brother dylan today!

258. brown sugar scrub.

Just a simple body scrub, now that summer is about over and the colder months will be approaching.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 T honey
1/2 T vanilla extract

mix the sugars together, then add the oil, honey and vanilla and mix well. Store in airtight container. Use as needed.

257. ewok plushie.

I found this pattern here and made one in no time for milo. Hoping to hang on to this and put it in his christmas stocking but well see if i cave and give it to him earlier. Pretty cute I must say!

256. 2 zip hipster bag.

This was the first pattern I have ever purchased. When I saw this reviewed on this blog, I believed I could make it. The instructions are really detailed, and it breaks it down so that someone with basic construction and zipper skills (like me!) can do this! I started out working on it together with my friend Emily, but we ran out of time and were forced to finish it on our own. I worked on it in a few stages, and it is now complete.

I dont think the orange topstitching was a good idea because I’m still kind of messy. ANd i had a little bit of trouble figuring out the top zipper and had to make some ammendments at the end that weren’t in the instructions, but mainly due to me doing something wrong.

I definitely want to take another stab at this bag because it was so fun to make. It makes you feel like you are doing something so complex – it has a pocket inside, an outer pocket, and an outer zipper pocket, adjustable strap – AND the top zips!

255. pasta carbonara.

Vegan pasta carbonara with tempeh bacon. Yum.

Original recipe found here. I left out the peas, because Im not really a fan of peas. I added spinach instead. I think ill add a few more cloves of garlic to the sauce too next time as well. There will definitely be a next time!

This looks like a lot of work, and it usually is more work than I like to do on a weeknight, but honestly, it came together quickly. I didn’t have cashew butter, so I just put 2 T of cashews in the vitamix, along with the rest of the sauce ingredients and that helped speed things along. The bacon came together pretty quickly and the sauce was done cooking before the pasta even was.  So this may take a little more elbow grease than normal, but its really not too bad. I think it was well worth it!

I’m going to paste the recipe here because this is one I want to remember!

For the bacon

one 8-ounce (225 g) package tempeh, cut into strips as thin as you can manage (I got about 15 strips from one package)

3 Tbsp soy sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon plus enough water to equal 1/3 cup (80 ml)

1/4 tsp (1 ml) liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tspn agave

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

For the pasta and sauce:

package of dry pasta

1 recipe of your favorite tempeh bacon (see above)

2 Tbsp (30 ml) smooth natural cashew butter ( i used raw cashews

1 Tbsp (15 ml) white miso

1 Tbsp (15 ml) tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 tsp (1 ml) dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) turmeric

pinch nutmeg

fine sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup soy or almond milk

1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth or stock

2 Tbsp (30 ml) potato or arrowroot starch

1/2 cup (120 ml) peas (i used spinach)

3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the bacon: cut the tempeh into strips as thin as you can manage. In a large frying pan, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Add the tempeh and turn each strip over a few times to coat it in the sauce.

Turn on heat to medium-low and cook the strips for about 5 minutes until the sauce has begun to evaporate and the bottoms are browned; turn the strips and continue to cook the other side, pushing the bacon back and forth occasionally to prevent sticking, until the liquid ingredients have been absorbed and the bacon is browned and crisp on the outside, another 5-10 minutes.  If the liquid is absorbed too quickly, add a little more water, as needed. Turn off heat and set aside.

Prepare the pasta: Set your water boiling in a large pot. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Put all the ingredients in the vitamix and mix until its well blended Heat the mixture in the pot over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble; cook for about a minute more, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and creamy.  If the pasta isn’t yet ready, turn off the heat and cover the pot.

Once the pasta is ready Add the pasta to the sauce pot along with the tempeh and peas and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is warmed through, a few minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.  Makes 4 servings.