Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter vegan-ish sandwich bar

 I had to put the "ish" because we had to use some hard-boiled eggs up, and we got mayo and cheese out for my brother and sister-in-law, but it was an amazing spread.  My dad made sun-dried tomato and chickpea hummus.  I don't know what recipe he used, but knowing my Dad I think he probably winged it.  We had fresh veggies and baked sweet potato fries, a simple olive tapenade I made using black and green olives and sun-dried tomatoes, my vegan pesto --sorry, I need to post that recipe it's awesome, maybe tomorrow. Also, roasted garlic cloves mashed with olive oil into a spread, and homemade 12 grain bread with flax, chia, sesame, etc. --I also need to post that recipe --eesh. 

 I made Mama Pea's grilled tofu --but used barbeque as a flavoring instead of her marinade --awesome!  So good.  I'm with her:  if you don't like tofu you haven't had it cooked right.

Then I roasted a ton of veggies:  red bell peppers in the oven so I could char and peel the skin, and also red onions, asparagus --oh yes it CAN go on a sandwich, zukes, and yellow summer squash.  I should have taken a picture of Jeff's sandwich.  It was HUGE.  Then we did strawberries with a leeetle bit of ice cream for dessert.  Then I went back and ate a second bowl.  Then I ate some of Kai's Easter candy.  Sigh.  At least Easter's only once a year.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

John Updike at Easter

Thanks go to my sister for sharing his poem with me.Sorry --the first time I posted it, Blogger "fixed" the stanzas for me into one big long mush without me noticing.
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
—John Updike, “Seven Stanzas At Easter,” 1964

Friday, April 22, 2011

Acupuncture and cornbread "quiche"

 I went to the acupuncturist yesterday.  I've been fighting this stupid Graves stuff for so long, and still go into remission, and come back out.  She said there's a procedure in Chinese medicine for treating it, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Here's hoping.  Although she did an acupuncture treatment on me yesterday (-like a free sample!), she's going to be doing moxibustion treatments on me instead.  The needles?  Didn't hurt.  I always thought people had to be lying about that, but I'm serious.  They were in my ears, feet, hands, neck, I don't know what all actually because I kind of got really relaxed and stopped paying attention.  Weirdest thing--I was talking to her about my symptoms and history and stuff as she started, and then I stopped being able to think about it --it was like I was going to sleep. I just lost focus and let go.  Huh.  Go figure.  Here's the link to the clinic I went to. I'm hoping to get some cool pictures of the moxibustion treatments because I think that will look cool.  Then I'll explain what the heck it is.

I came home and made this cornbread quiche for dinner.  I got the idea of of Healthy Tipping Point, but then went my own way.  I crumbled up leftover vegan "meatloaf" (from Oh She Glows), wilted down some spinach and chopped it up and squeezed it dry, added a tablespoon or so of Italian seasoning, and mixed two free range eggs (from our neighbors!) and three egg whites together.  That was the top (except for some sprinkled cheese for the kid's half --they'll eat anything with a little cheese).  For the bottom I used my standard cornbread recipe:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. sugar or honey (our new honey still needs to be opened and brought upstairs so I cheated)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 egg whites
1 cup almond milk
2 T. oil
 Mix together your dry ingredients, add your wet, put it in a greased pan and bake for 20 minutes at 400, then pour the egg/spinach mixture over the top, and bake some more --try 15 minutes.  I can't remember to be honest, just checked until a toothpick came out clean.
 With a dense main dish like this, I usually do a salad, and then top it with the main dish.  That's what I did last night, and used home-bottled marinara for my "dressing". 
Jeff and I also recently splurged on this vegan parmesan--here's the link.  It's a little pricey, but way yummy topping the whole thing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's this garden started/ birthday downtown.

 I promised pictures of my garden starts quite a while ago.  Here's what looks the best:  my wheat grass.  Too bad I'm too scared to juice it.  It looks pretty, but I've got too deeply rooted memories of doing wheat grass juice shots with my mom --and struggling not to retch --to actually USE the wheat grass.  Maybe I'll pony up before it actually grows seed heads on it and attracts a threshing machine...

 Here's my real garden starts.  They were looking fantastic, but then I got a little carried away with the liquid fertilizer, and think I choked my tomato plants with the salts.  The peppers look like they love it though.  These are just the stuff I start early.  All of my squash, corn, beans, I put in later, as seeds, and the lettuce and spinach and peas, and onions, are already in!  Look at my onions !(OK --but don't look at my weedy raspberry patch next to it.)
 For my birthday my mom and Jeff asked me what I wanted, and what I really wanted was another weekend downtown.  Salt Lake City may not be the biggest, most cosmopolitan city in the world, but it's got a great deal of international influences because of the Mormon church headquarters there, and has a great feel to it.  We were going to go about a month ago, but my husband got second degree burns all over his hand trying to help a little girl last month --I'll write about that some other time --so we couldn't really go.  Anyway, my mom took the kids for us, and Jeff covered hotel as my present, and the rest we put into our date budget (yay!).

 We stayed at this beautiful Marriott.  I was pushing for the "category 5" one because they had great pictures of their weight room online, and this one only showed cardio machine city.  I know it's nerdy of me to always choose hotels based on their weight room.  But eventually I realized I was making Jeff annoyed, so gave in to the "category 4".  Guess what?  BEAUTIFUL weight room!  No free barbell, but hey, they had a Smith machine at least, and dumbbells, and and and...  I was vindicated for being nice. 
 They even upgraded us to the Vice Presidential suite which was gorgeous with a big screen TV, separate bedroom, and dining room. 
 We talked about going to a movie, but decided to go to the planetarium for a dome show because we can't do that here.  We saw Led Zeppelin (which was a little before my time musically, but U2 was sold out).  Honestly? I think these shows are where graphic artists go to practice and figure out screen savers.  BUT, we were sitting next to a group that had had a few beers, and knew all the words to all of the songs.  They kept saying "I LOVE this song" and singing in little quiet voices and cheering and they made ME have a good time!  It was like being with my friends in high school at parties where I was drinking sprite and they were a little goofy on alcohol.  Funny that I'd be nostalgic about that sort of thing.

 We also finally went to "The Melting Pot" for dinner.  I voted to skip the entree, and just share an appetizer and dessert, because why do you go there? For the cheese and chocolate of course!  Who are we kidding?  We got the Artichoke Spinach Cheese, and the Dulce de Leche and Dark Chocolate with sea salt (the iodine of which had me buzzing all night --I didn't even think about it duh!).  I highly recommend this place.  Unless you're vegan.  Then avoiding the cheese would just make you sad.  Hooray for free night!

OK, it kind of turned into free weekend, and I have the extra pound and a half to prove it.  Worth every ounce.  We went to Red Iguana the next day for lunch.  Not the prettiest place, but then, that's kind of the charm.  Think Frieda Kahlo meets Tijuana.  
The best thing --and I mean the BEST, is their selection of "Moles" (say it mo-lay.  I'm not talking about small furry animals here.)  I could eat anything with these sauces.  I could drink these sauces.  The only problem was that after I tried the sampler plate, I wanted all of them with my dinner.  The waiter broke down and weaseled me two different sauce cups --so nice of him.  We didn't box up our leftovers, but I took every drop of that stuff home to my mom as a thank you.  Kind of a wrench to give up :), but I'm going to try to recreate them at home.  They use so many cool ingredients: pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, golden raisins, pine nuts, tomatoes, chiles....

We also went to the University of Utah's Museum of Art.  I really didn't care for the Smithson exhibit  as he was "obsessed with the idea of entropy".  Really?  Entropy? There were pictures of him pouring glue down a hill, and piles of dirt on the floor as art.  Right.  I was much more interested in the Helen Levitt photographs, and the ancient Chinese dishes and vases (did you know they thought bats were beautiful decorative animals?), and the old European holy family paintings. I always love those --where they make the infant Jesus look like a tiny man instead of a baby --and sometimes there's the infant John the Baptist too carrying a cross 5 times the size of him.  Fascinating.

But yeah, I came home quite a bit more ummm-- substantial --if you will.  Silver lining?  PR on deep back squats of 115 for 5 reps when I got home!