Monday, December 11, 2017

Dill Pickle Cashews, Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, & FotoJet

Lengthy Post Alert!  LOTS to cover today!  First...a new snack I have been enjoying...Dill Pickle Cashews!  This isn't the exact bag I am eating from but you'll get the visual idea!  Many of you know I LOVE cashews and I can't get enough of Dill these days so it was the perfect duo.

I found them on Jet.com at a good price while doing some Christmas Shopping last week and HAD to grab them.  I also bought a pound of raw cashews, too!  Again, the price was right!  Cheaper than I could find them locally, that is.  I also found a few other little things for snacks and lunches I will share with you down the road!

Another book DH bought me this past weekend was Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen.  This is the first of Chloe's books I have added to my collection so far.  I have a feeling I will be adding others to my wishlist for down the road!  Sure there are your stereotypical vegan pasta recipes in there but she puts her own twist on them but she doesn't stop there!  Recipes that I wouldn't have considered to be Vegan Italian were throughout the book as well.  I was going to list a few of the recipes I was interested in but the list ended up being too long so once I jump in I will let you know which ones I do end up doing! 



Next up and LONG OVERDUE is my chattering about a free online graphic design site called FotoJet.com.  There are elements of it that are similar to other sites but it seems to offer much more in the terms of fonts and templates!  When I saw this first one I knew I had to make something with it because I've always adored the LOVE BUS!


In most browsers, you can click on these photos to enlarge them from my site.  This one says MyBlissfulJourney - Family - Food - Fiats - Friends - More!  I haven't quite figured out a way to resize EASILY for the header but I knew I loved the look especially because of the teacup on the upper left.  Plus it looked like a neat workstation and place to think.


I could see me using this a lot for blogging graphics!  I see it as a place for inspiration but also for organizing things on my blog at some point.  I have a lot of Projects in the Works so I thought a simple graphic like this would come in handy.


And speaking of inspiration...check this Daily Yoga Graphic out!  Something I surely need to get my rear in gear and do more daily yoga!  I've always thought of this blog as not only an archive but a way to be accountable and I really need to get back into Yoga!  This might help!  With FotoJet you can edit photos, make collages, and much more!


Just to mess around with the site I used some of the photos I have taken in the past and went with the Comic Book feature and made this!  Some of the other things you can do with FotoJet is make Magazine Covers, Posters, Invitations, Cards, Facebook Covers, YouTube Channel Art, Facebook & Instagram Posts, Google+ Covers, Twitter, Tumbler, & Email Headers, Thumbnails, Pinterest Graphics, and more! 

It's a great Marketing Tool, too!  You can create Logos, Flyers, Business Cards, Leaderboards, and Facebook Ads...just to name a few!

Gosh!  I still have so much to share from the weekend!  I will really try and post another blog entry later tonight!  In the meantime...which features do you like from FotoJet.com?  Let me know!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry) & Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen

Today I spent most of the day running errands before the snow storm hit, cleaning, and cooking. 

As many of you know I have been trying to do more foods that are inspired from different parts of the world.  Today one of the dishes I made was Rajma which is a Kidney Bean Curry.

After doing a little research of the origins of Rajma I found that not only is it popular in South Asia, Northern India, but also, Nepal.

This photo doesn't do the dish much justice but I think it came out pretty tasty!  To my knowledge this is the first time I have tried this dish.  It was perfect timing, too, because I had some tomatoes I needed to hurry up and use.


The recipe I used was from Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen.  This is another new book to my collection.  it's been on my wishlist for a long time!  I'm so happy I finally have it in my hands!  I know I will be referring to this book a lot!

Not only did I make the Rajma Recipe in this book today - I also did the Dal Bukhara - which is a Black Gram Lentils in Tomato Sauce type dish.  I will share that one with you another day!

I also have to recap Friday's nights festivities so I will probably do that in tomorrow's post!

What did you do this weekend!?  Which of Richa's Recipes are your favorites?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Gut Punch, Unicorns, & Vegan Cheese

DH and I got a fairly early start this morning and drove to Buffalo Wholefoods - among other places.  While I stopped in at WF I picked up a few things that were things I have been looking for, haven't been able to find in other places, found at a low price, or really needed.  One of the first items I want to share with you is this Farmhouse Culture Cola Gut Punch Sparkling Probiotic Veggie Drink.  Farmhouse Culture the brand known for its probiotic-rich Kraut, fermented veggies and Gut Shots, has introduced a ready-to-drink sparkling probiotic beverage line called Gut Punch. It comes in five flavors, including Mango Guava, Ginger Lemon, Cola, Strawberry Hibiscus and Cherry Cacao. Made with a fermented beet base and infused with real fruit essences, the line contains no added sugar added, with each variety retailing for a suggested $3.79 per bottle, however, it was $3.99 at Buffalo Wholefoods.  Normally, I wouldn't spend that much for a Booch or other Probiotic beverage but it looked really interesting and I probably won't be able to visit another WF for 4 to 6 months.  Personally, I wanted to grab the Mango Guava but I thought DH might like to try the Cola and we could split it.  He tried it and hated it.  I tried it and it was ok.  VERY different.  Glad I tried it - probably wouldn't spend the money on it again unless it was drastically reduced and on sale.  


Over the next several days I will share more of my WF Finds with you but I also wanted to tell you about our trip to Barnes & Noble!  Since we don't normally get each other or much for Christmas we decided to pick up a few things while we were out today.  DH went to a couple of music stores and found some interesting things and I found 4 books at B&N.  

Before I share the first of the 4 books I grabbed I thought I would show you these cute i-Clips.  They are magnetic bookmakers with Unicorns on them!  Many of you know that I collect Unicorns and I knew I just HAD to have them!  They are small but fun.  There are 4 sets of 2 for a total of 8 i-Clips!

There was snow on the ground in and around Buffalo.  A couple of inches in yards but the roads were clear.  Near our house we didn't get any of the snow they were calling for but my sister about a half hour away got about 4 inches.  I was lucky enough to spend time with her and my niece Trinity yesterday for a couple of hours and then DH and I met up with some friends and stopped by a small town for a Christmas Walk.  It was VERY COLD.

Sorry...back to...TODAY!  Here is the first of 4 books I wanted to share with you from our B&N Buffalo Trip.  Vegan Cheese by Jules Aron.  I've only thumbed thru a few of the recipes so far and I can't wait to try to make some of the cheeses!

I will try and spread the other books throughout future posts.  The more I have been thinking about the Virtual Bookshelf the more I feel like I need to do it myself and not use a widget or app.  It's going to take a LONG time but little by little I hope to add more and more books to my bookshelf.

I've also decided to start including more music to my posts.  At first I was thinking about adding a song to each post but maybe I will do a Monday Music Mention or something to kick things off.  What do you think!?

Friday, December 8, 2017

2 Friday Finds!

I didn't plan on grocery shopping when I went out today but there were two things I couldn't pass up!  The first one was this Veggemo Milk.  I had not seen it around 'these parts' yet so when I saw it was vegan and made from Peas, Potato, and Tapioca I was intrigued!  From what I read online the texture is supposed to be similar to 2% Milk.  Not that I was really looking for that, but still.


The other item I couldn't pass up were Alyssa's Healthy Vegan Bites.  These are another new-to-me-product.  They were REALLY expensive but I figured I wasn't buying all that much and it would be my treat for the week.  You only get 6 small cookies in the package and I believe they were priced at $4.99.  As for the Veggemo the price was right in line with Almond Breeze Brand.  Oh!  I opted for the unsweetened one, by the way!  Have you had either of these items?  What are your thoughts?


I also thought I would take this time to welcome my newest visitors from Comoros, Iceland, Belarus, and Cocos (Keeling) Islands!  Thanks for stopping by!  I'm researching recipes from your regions and hope to veganize some of them soon!

I have 3 more books to share with you in the near future, too, but I wanted to give you more than 'just books' to see here on my blog this week.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Vegan Soul Kitchen & Mini Blab


I have another mini-blab and mini post today but first another new book!  Vegan Soul Kitchen!  Yet another one that has been on my wishlist for quite some time!  Once I realized that Bryant Terry paired each recipe with a song I knew this would have an extra special place on my bookshelf!  As many of you know I LOVE all sorts of music and it's always been a HUGE part of my life!  I can't wait to check out some of these recipes!  And the songs he paired with them!

Yesterday I mentioned a Virtual Bookshelf addition to my site.  I've had a lot of great feedback on that idea.  Last night I added a widget coding but no matter what I do to tweak it - it's still not quite what I am looking for.  I'm thinking I might have to do one big huge long post to get it the way I want it.  Time will tell, I guess.

I'm having a real hard time getting into the Holiday Spirit this year.  I finally submitted an order to kick off our holiday shopping for our family members.  I decided to look into Jet for online shopping.  So far I'm liking it.  One of these days I will do a more detailed post on it.

Time permitting, I hope to check in later tonight with another post.  It just seems like there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done lately.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Virtual Vegan Bookshelf & Shout Outs!


Just a mini post of sorts at the moment.  I might post another one later in the day, too!  Here is another book that has been on my wishlist for a long time.  The Vegan Stoner Cookbook.  No...I'm not a stoner.  But, I do find this book funny, cute, and interesting on several levels!  There are some real thrown-together dishes in this book and they are really speaking to me since I tend to throw oddball dishes together when I don't know what to make or really try and Eat From The Pantry!

I've been pondering another tab up top to create a Virtual Vegan Bookshelf.  I'm still trying to think how to tackle this project.  I would like to archive the books I have and display them here on the site, too!  I'm a visual person so I want to have photos of the book covers which is easy enough but with the books I want to include (all of the ones I have on my actual bookshelf at home), it will be a lengthy page for sure.

Another thing I will be posting about soon is FotoJet.  I have been playing around with the site and really LOVE some of the graphics I have been able to create while using the site.

Finally, I'm totally addicted to my new(er) Flag Counter and checking in often to see which new flags I am virtually collecting.  Over the last 2 or 3 days, I have had new visitors from Belize, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Svalbard, Portugal, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine, Eritrea, and Brunei.  Thanks so much for visiting!  I have been looking into World Foods from those areas and would like to do veganized versions soon!  If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Flatbread & Crunk

This book has been on my wishlist for YEARS now and I finally have it in my possession!  WOOT! 

There has been a lot going on lately and I'm still not ready to talk about it.  But adding this book to my collection helped put a smile on my face!

I told Bianca I was a 'bad blogging buddy' because I'm only NOW getting her book! LOL!

I'm about 'as Yankee as you can get' but I can't wait to jump into some of these recipes!  If you have this book already please tell me some of your faves in comments!



About a month ago I came across this frozen food offering at Wegmans and I grabbed it.  THIS one was pretty tasty but the other one I got wasn't.  I will remember to pass on the no cheese veggie bruschetta looking one but put this Vegan Harvest on my list for when I see it on sale again!

My frig and freezer are looking pretty bare these days.  I guess it's good because I have been eating what I'm buying but then when I am hungry and too lazy to shop I don't really have much to go on that is in-house.

What is one of the most crazy vegan meals you have eaten over the last few months because you have been too lazy or not able to go to the store?

Monday, December 4, 2017

What's In My Kitchen For December

Thanks to a few of my blogging buddies for reminding me to hurry up and post my 'What's In My Kitchen' for December!  I'm going to TRY not to repeat too much here, but, this first one I MUST!  The first item on my Top Ten for this month is Grapeseed Oil.  I recently stocked up on the Natural, Garlic, and Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oils from Wildtree as we will no longer be reps but I still LOVE the product!



#2 on my list for this month is Organic Liquid Smoke which also happens to be raw vegan!  I have had this in my pantry for a while and I seem to go in spurts when I use it but for the past month, I have been tossing a dribble or two in many of my dips!  A little bit goes a long way!  This is my FAVORITE brand!


I've blogged about this before.  This is my #3 for this month.  It's Sesame King's Tahini but more specifically their Garlic flavor. 

As many of you know I'm garlic obsessed and will try just about anything that is vegan that also has garlic in it! 

Not shocking that 2 out of my top 3 contain garlic, eh!? 

This is also my secret weapon when it comes to my most recent vegan cheese sauce!


#4 is Dill.  I have been adding a dash of dill in almost everything for the past month or so.  I LOVE the aroma of dill and the taste.

#5 is Chickpeas.  This really isn't a surprise, I realize that but when I don't know what else to eat I bust out a can of chickpeas and throw something together - real quick and easy!

Plus I thought this graphic was a wonderful comparison!  Less Fat, More Fiber, ZERO Cholesterol, Less Sodium, WAY MORE Potassium and Calcium, and More Iron than chicken!  Knowledge is POWER!



#6 is Justo Mayo.  I realize this is a convenience item but it's pretty darn good.  The price is right.  And it seems to be more and more available in my area than any other vegan mayo.  That and if you have followed their battles in the last couple of years I have had a soft spot in my heart for their company and how hard they fought their competitors to stay afloat and get where they are today!  They have been able to educate a lot of people along the way about plant-based foods not having to be more expensive, too!



#7 on my list is Amy's Kitchen VEGAN Soups.  I have to admit that I'm not sure if all 6 pictured are vegan because I have never come across a few of them but I LOVE they have as many vegan options as they do!  And those few days I was sick and didn't feel like making anything or even moving - I was grateful I could find them locally.

#8 on this months list is Potatoes!  Plain and Simple.  Potatoes!  Hillary got me on the bandwagon, finally!  Thanks, girl!


#9 is Bragg's Liquid Aminos and/or Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos!  Since I'm not much of a sea person I like to add these two items to my sauces, dips, vegan cheeses, etc to give it a little more savory flavor while still incorporating more aminos into my foods! 

#10 has to be these Bare Coconut Chips.  They have moved out of my kitchen and into my office.  I like to snack on them while at work!  Yum!

Scroll down for a 2nd post today and swing by the Kitchen Link-Up, too!


 

Field Roast Vegan Mini Corn Dogs & Odwalla Vegan Shakes

I normally don't care for fake meats because I never liked the taste of real meat growing up.  Going vegetarian was overly easy for me because of that.  However, with all of the new vegan products coming out these days I'm not opposed to trying them at least once.  You never know unless you try, right?  There are very few vegan meats I would buy often.  I could probably count them on 1 hand, actually.  But then there is what I would consider 'convenience and social' storebought vegan foods.  By that I mean, if I am going to a BBQ or camping I might buy them just to have them to be more social.  I think this is one of those items.  Field Roast Mini Corn Dogs.  They were one of the more tasty products I have found but I would put it on that 'convenience and social' list of things.  I wouldn't eat this product every week but I'm glad it's an option.

2 other items I have tried for the first time recently have been these two Odwalla Vegan Shakes.  They are made with Almond Milk and are clearly marked VEGAN.

The first one is the Mocha Latte.  It was ok.  I didn't love it so much that I have to buy it over and over again but I was grateful I was able to find it locally and chug it down last week.  I really thought I would ADORE it but it was just 'ok'.

I'm not loving the press photos of these shakes because they look a lot lighter in color than they actually are when you hold them in your hand.  The photo is a bit misleading, I think.


Oddly, the other one I grabbed was this Snickerdoodle one and I thought I would try it and not love it but I ended up liking it way better than the Mocha Latte one. 

In other news - I'm having a hard time getting into Christmas Shopping and the Christmas Season this year.  One of these days I will elaborate on that more but not now.

This past weekend we attended our last craft/vendor show as Wildtree Reps.  We were involved with the product for 9 years and thought after MANY corporate changes this past year we would call it quits.  It was nice while it lasted and we still LOVE the product line but with everything else going on such as our full-time work, lots of volunteering, my niece and other family happenings, we thought the time has come to move on.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Office Plant Update!

I know it has been a full week since my last post but I have had some really upsetting news as of late.  Perhaps one of these days I will share it but I'm not there yet.

In addition, I had some sort of weird flu bug from Saturday thru Monday.  At first, I thought it was a frozen flatbread pizza I had bought and not cooked right but after a couple of days and the way my body responded I knew it wasn't the pizza. 

Perhaps I was in denial or maybe it's because I'm NEVER sick.  I don't know...but it confused me.  I bet I haven't had the flu in at least 12 or 13 years (maybe more).  Plus, in 19 years of working at the place I currently work at - I have only taken a total of 4 sick days and 2 and a half of them were because of Sammy (our late dog) in 2009.



Anyhow, I thought I would do a post on my plants! 

It's been a LONG while since my last update.  The first photo above - is my treasured Ponytail Palm.  To see what it looked like when I first obtained it take a look at THIS POST from May of 2014.

In this 2nd photo, you will see a Praying Plant of some sort.  At dusk, it will rise upward like it's praying. 

This is one of the plants I recently transplanted.  Out of all of the ones I did attempt to transplant this one is the droopiest. 


These next two photos are of the same plant that I had a 'baby' or an 'offshoot' of and when I was transplanting the plants decided to try and break them up to be their own beings from here on out.  So far - so good!

You can see this one has the 'babies' that are traveling.

In the next photo, you will see how I separated them.



We re-use planters and mix old with new soil.  I use tea water, mostly, to water the plants, too!

Because we have obtained a lot of decorative tins and used box tops around the office, we now re-use these to place under the bottoms of the plants to catch any excess water.

I will never underappreciate the natural sunlight that shines thru my windows at work - I adore it!  Before I switched jobs here I was in the main office and nowhere near a window.

I'm not sure the exact name of these plants but I'm thinking they are some sort of spider plant.



I think this is some sort of spider plant, as well.  I've had this one for a while, too, but the first 6 months or more it just kept growing taller and floppy and nothing else, really. 

And then it happened!  Offshoots!  You can see two of them towards the floor.  I was thrilled!  I hope I start seeing more of these so I can try and re-plant the 'babies'.

This plant was so HUGE I wasn't sure where to put it so the last time I transplanted it (which was almost a year ago) I decided to place it on a chair.

If you know any of the names of these plants please let me know and I will surely update this post!



This one was a gift from my parents almost 4 years ago now.  They got it for me when I switched jobs.  Same company.  Different Job, that is. 

I thought it wasn't going to make it but once I started watering it with tea water it seemed to save it.  I've transplanted this at least 3 or 4 times already.  It keeps growing like crazy!

At one point it had a neat little white pouch of a bud and flower but that only lasted 3 days.

I noticed yesterday that this one has another plant growing in the same pot alongside of the BIG one so at some point I might try and start a new pot for the little one.




I don't care for the name of this plant.  It's not very P.C. so my co-workers and I decided to give it a new name instead.  Before taking this pic I had to untangle a lot of the vine.  This one seems to be doing extremely well, too, but, there isn't a real rhyme or reason to how or where it's growing.  Just every which way, really!

I LOVE the two-tone leaves on this.  Green and white on the one side and the underneath side is a rich purple color! 

I might have to find a hanging basket for this guy at some point. 

And speaking of having to find a hanging basketing for a plant - check out the next and last photo! 




Yup!  Here's an Ivy Vine Plant of some sort and it's growing and traveling and going a little nuts, too!

This started as a leaf from another plant that a co-worker gave me.  She actually gave me 3 leaves of her plant to try planting on my own.  After months the leaves weren't doing ANYTHING but after I removed the 2 weaker leaves the 3rd one started budding and traveling!

How cool is that!?  This is now about 5 feet tall (or long) - depending on how you look at it I guess.  And the only way I know it's about 5 feet in length is because I'm just over 5 feet tall (or short in my case). 

I don't see this one slowing down any time soon!  Do you have any house or office plants that are doing well at the moment?  I would love to see and/or hear about them!