Monday, January 25, 2016

Adventures in Coffee (Vegan Mocha)

For Christmas, I gave Paul a new coffee maker that mounts under the cabinet.  The kids gave him a coffee grinder.  This has been fun.  The beans smell so delicious right after grinding.  I decided to experiment with a vegan mocha recipe.  I got it from Oh She Glows.  (The recipe below makes a lot - I did 1/3 of this recipe for one serving.) 
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (decaf, if preferred)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • dash of fine grain sea salt
1. Whisk together the coffee and coconut milk in a medium-sized pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
2. Sift in the cocoa powder, whisking quickly to incorporate until no clumps remain. Whisk in maple syrup to taste and a dash of sea salt.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve immediately with vegan marshmallows and/or sugar-rimmed glasses or mugs. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge.

This was pretty good!  I did adjust the sweetener a bit, since I like my coffee drinks sweet.  

The new coffee maker

The grinder

Ingredients for the vegan mocha

Non-dairy topping that is not all chemical-ey

I think I'll go make some more right now!

Apples from the Co-op

I belong to a co-op for healthy food called Azure Standard.  We go through so many apples each week, I decided to buy a box of them.  They are huge!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A New Session of Bible Study

My Bible study group finished our Daniel study before Christmas.  We had a break and are now working on a study of Malachi.  It's a shorter and less intense study.  The videos are important to this study - it does not stand alone well without them.  And the videos are funny, because the author, Lisa Harper, is a hoot.

Today, Paul and I went for coffee (I was picking up from the co-op, which is sort of near his work).  We were talking about a work issue he had, and how he knew there was a problem in a certain situation.  Without thinking I said, "Oh, so you saw the writing on the wall".  Then I realized I was using the idiom that we had learned got its source from Daniel (Daniel 5:5, if you want to look it up!).  I explained all this to Paul - not sure how interested he was, but I was very proud of myself for remembering this!

Malachi: a messenger sent to a spiritually wretched people 
- can apply as much today as it did back then.

A Chesterton quote from the study:
"God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; 
a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left 
to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.”

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vegan Caesar Salad

Now that Robert and Sierra are strict vegans, I have been looking into this more, both recipes and lifestyle change for myself.  I think that reducing dairy products is a good idea, and I totally get the animal cruelty aspect, (not going into that here though).  Our recent holiday meals have had a lot of vegan components - very tasty too.  I read about a vegan Caesar salad dressing on a youtube channel (link).  I tried it out, and it's really good.  The garlic really comes out strong in the dressing, so don't go nuts, maybe start with one clove, add more to taste!  

I did as the video suggested, adding tempeh.  
For mine I marinated, then baked the tempeh in barbecue sauce.  Yum!

Several people have asked for the recipe.  I transcribed it from the link.  Thanks to Sarah from holistichabits for this!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
½ cup Brazil Nuts (or can use half Brazil nuts and half cashews), soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours
¾ cup water
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 small Lemon (or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
3 tbsp capers
1-2 cloves Garlic
1/8 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small soaked pitted date (optional)

Place all in blender and puree until smooth. Note: garlic is very strong in this recipe, so start with one clove, add more to taste.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lemon Verbena Liqueur

My friend Colleen (one of my Tea Ladies) gave me a lovely gift of a lemon verbena liqueur.  It is from a special vintage from her home, "Downfall Alley" (a joke she started related to our Downton Abbey dinner).  We tried it recently when my sister and brother-in-law came to dinner one Sunday.  It was very smooth and most interesting.

We used tiny sherry glasses that I inherited from my mom.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Young Master Practices

It's not always easy to get Tyler to practice, but I do try to keep him with this.  He is so musical, spent a lot of the Christmas season singing carols, always on pitch.  His teacher is working with him now to refine his positioning and bowing.  He has improved his placement of the violin itself on his shoulder.  Mrs. Roberts is doing a lot with improving his bowing technique.  He needs to work on the break in his wrist.  But he sounds very nice.  I was able to spark his interest more when I explained that next year, when he is in middle school, he will be able to play with their orchestra.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lotus Powder Plus and Henna

I stopped perming and dyeing my hair a long time ago, due to the damage it caused.  But I still wanted to spiff up my hair somewhat, so I began to use henna.  It is a *bit* of a mess to use, but I have my routine down to almost a science now.  I also like to make a conditioning blend, based on a product that, unfortunately, is no longer available.  It was called "Lotus Powder Plus".  One of the gals from the Longhair Community had figured out a recipe.  I have been mixing up what I thought were the correct herbs, but found out today (after I had previously mixed up a large batch) that I had one of the ingredients wrong.  It isn't a bad thing, since the herb in question is still good for the hair, but I want to get as close as I can to the original formula.  

I henna my hair every six to eight weeks.  I love the dark red tint.

Lotus Powder Plus Batch

My favorite hennas


All the way to the ends!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Instructions to the Staff

I trust my faithful servant will follow them!  (Click on the photo to see!)