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The best goldarn sammich buns. Ever

music to read by :: Sandwich (Blue Cheer)

And I am sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the eggs and sugar. Nope. No way.

I have this recipe in my old and tattered bread book by Better Homes and Garden, inherited from my mom, however I am going to write it out in my method, as I don’t use a mixer, and am just a combine stuff add flour kinda bread maker. It is listed as a hamburger bun but, trust me, you will use them for all your yummy sammich needs.

Start with your yeast – 2 tbsp, or two packages depending on how you roll. I buy my in bulk, so 2 tbsp it is. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp salt.

Pour in 1/3 cup vegetable oil, then add 2 cups warm water and stir.

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Shepherding those pesky lentils into a line – er, I mean pie.

music to read by :: Shepherd (Genesis)

One of our favourite cold weather foods, here at casa vassal, is my veggie shepherd’s pie. Why? Because it is limitless in it’s versatility, and can be customized for a variety of dietary needs.

Except for meat eaters, of course. Then it just becomes regular ol’ shepherd’s pie. And that’s not what it’s all about today.

I’m pretty sure I started out, eons ago, with a recipe. Something tells me it might have been from a magazine, but I’m not sure anymore. I work this shepherd’s pie like most my meals, doing a little something I like to call “cooking”; using what I have on hand, and flavouring to taste.

So go, now! and grab yourself some brown lentils. Do they *have* to be brown? No. Go wild! Use the green ones! Mix them up, if you’re feeling crazy! Continue reading

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Pearl Jam. Chick peas. Hummus!

music to read by :: Hummus (Pearl Jam)

Yesterday, I woke up determined to make a food I have, at that point, had no luck with.

Yeah. Me. Can’t make hummus.

I have no idea why; it’s not like it’s difficult, you know, like making butter … And it’s not like I don’t have recipes or access to the interwebs.

Hummus just eludes me.

So. Yeah. Yesterday.

I woke up ready to kick me some hummus ass, which made my fam happy as this meant there would be a better than even chance we would be having pizza.

And our pizza rocks!

Lucky for me (and, I guess, them) I had chick peas soaking in quantity for some planned falafel. I grabbed a cup of my soaked chick peas, covered with 6 cups of water, brought to a boil, then simmered for three hours.

Then I tossed out all my recipes, took a deep breath, and pulled out the food processor.

Into the beast, I tossed my chick peas, 1 large clove garlic, 2 tbsp tahini, a good drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of one very juicy lemon. Then I blended like there was no tomorrow, until the chick peas were no more, ’til all was smooth and …. well, you get the picture.

For the topping, I chopped up another clove of garlic, fresh garlic greens, and fresh onion greens, plus another drizzle of oil and some paprika. For a moment, I thought maybe I was going too wild, but hey! It’s not like it ever turns out anyway …. or so I thought.

Daaayuuum! I kicked it’s ass! I really did!

While a bit thicker than I would have liked, it tasted amazing. I might even make it again.

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Whoa! Where did October come from?!

music to read by :: October Song (Amy Winehouse)

my favourite slippers and dog

Oh, October. You snuck up on me like a thing that sneaks, and made me and my to-do list look like nothing but sitting around reading. But I still love you.

Yeah. October.

basket of homemade mis-matched guest slippers

The time of year I dig out the duvet, my slippers, the box of miss-matched guest slippers; enjoy a warm fire and tea; and still leave some windows open.

This year, it’s also the time time I look back at September and wonder just what the hell I accomplished.

I plan to blame it on the husband. Why? Because he went to Paris for two weeks and I didn’t. I think that’s good enough reason.

So.

September. Let’s say goodbye with a handshake and a wrap-up.

crappy pic of what is actually a lovely scarf

  • Yoga 2 times a week? Yep!
  • Knit two presents? Yep! A scarf for my sister and one for my mom – where I learned how to knit a fringe. Go me!
  • Knit a scarf for me? Nope. But I did make an awesome snake scarf for the kid.
  • Knit a pair of slippers for the basket? Well, one is a pair in my world so we’ll call this one a win.
  • Donate blood. Nope. And I have no good excuse …. Bad me.
  • Pottery? Did none. But did get a commission for something fun so I do have to get my ass in gear.
  • Food budget? Win! But the man was away for 2 weeks, so ….
  • Holes in bedroom. Uhm …. let’s move on.
  • The books on the living room floor are gone!

awesome snake scarf

  • Organize bookcase in bedroom? I’ve done two shelves.
  • Buy paint? Did I mention I didn’t fill the holes?

And now for October. And while I wish it could list reading, fires, tea, and watching the leaves change …. {{sigh}}

House and Home

  • put front and back gardens to bed
  • plant garlic
  • start the damn holes in bedroom
  • finish organizing bookcase in bedroom
  • paint some trip upstairs

Personal

  • yoga two times/week
  • knit one present, one pair slippers, and one scarf, plus a scarf for me
  • donate blood

Pottery

  • research and design commission. yay!

That’s it! That’s all! Plus, you know, all the other crap I have to do in a day.

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Sometimes, simple is best :: rice and falafel

music to read by :: Piya Re (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)

Many moons ago, we found our way to Egypt and spent some time hanging in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, with a sail up the Nile, sleeping on a felucca, not to mention swimming. Yes, we swam in the Nile. Yes, it was February. Yes, it was cold. And yes, it was clean, as we were not swimming anywhere near a large urban center. And frankly, we stank.

Giza Plateau, photo par moi

We ate in fancy restaurants, hotel restaurants, were cooked for by the captain of the felucca, ate on a barge, and even ventured into a Kentucky Fried Chicken run by the blind. For the record, it was the best chicken I ever ate.

But my favourite meal was some type of  ‘peasant’ food consisting of rice, lentils, beans (?), sauce, hot sauce, and who knows what else. We ate it most days in Cairo, tho getting it meant running across 8 lanes of Egyptian traffic, waiting in line with locals, and then pointing, as the workers didn’t speak english. Our hotel staff laughed at us as they could not believe we north americans would rather eat ‘peasant’ food instead of in one of the more trendy restaurants.

Sometimes, simple food is just better food. Continue reading

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Vegetarian with bacon, please

music to read by :: True Vegetarian (Clint Eastwood and General Saint)

Now, before some people get all up my business about this, I was a vegetarian for many, many years. And for a brief moment in time, also vegan.

Then I was pregnant and all bets were off.

And yes, I know, it is possible to be vegetarian, pregnant, and healthy. But not if you were me.

Because, you see, from about 4 weeks to the very morning I went into labour, I had morning sickness.

Except let’s call it … oh, I don’t know … hey! I’m awake sickness! Seriously, I weighed less at full term that I did prior to becoming pregnant.

But because I made the decision to eat meat and consume dairy I managed to stay somewhat healthy and consume enough of what my daughter needed to pop out at close to 9lbs, and grow to be almost as tall as I am  – at 9yo.

One of my favourite vertical moments from the pregnancy, was eating out with friends. The hubby ordered a vegetarian burger – with bacon. The cook came to our table before preparing our food to verify the order and to check to see if my husband was sane. His response to the cook was, “hey, you make a damn good veggie burger and I like bacon.”

Vegetarian Pizza with Bacon

Dough
This is a quick and easy dough that requires no rising. So yay! Pizza can be an anytime meal! Also, I have no counter space, so I make this (and all my bread products, frankly) in one bowl, with no turning out for kneading. You’ll need …. Continue reading

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Focus on the mayo, not the broccoli

When I was in my early twenties, and of a clubbing mentality, I would frequent a local dance club that catered mainly to the gay male of our species, and played the best club music around. As a straight female, this was a pretty safe place to hang as long as one was comfortable with co-ed bathrooms and all that implied in a gay dance club. Sure, my wardrobe probably wasn’t up to standard, but I could bust a move, and as long as I was allowed to pee in peace all was good.

One evening my to-be-husband and I decided to take our then roommate to this club, forgetting it was male stripper/dancer night.

Oi vey.

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