Midweek Musings

This week 12.3.12

Christmas lightssweetclipart.com; Brussels sprouts photo: Food Network

In this, the third week of Midweek Musings, we are firmly into the time of year when you can’t escape the holiday season…even if you desperately want to. And if you’ve come here looking for a respite, you’ll be sorely disappointed. (I’m sorry, I’m only human. And I can only resist for so long…)

What have I been up to this week? Read on…

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Midweek Musings

Happier is not too far away from its first birthday, and so, naturally, I’ve been reflecting on the first  months of its life. Blogging, as I have discovered, is a learn-as-you-go kind of thing. I was been pretty sporadic about posting for most of the year, and there were a few pitifully sparse months in there. Lately, though, I’ve strived to be more regular about it. And I want to keep that momentum going. As such, I’m going to try something out, an experiment of sorts. My habit seems to be weekend posting, so I thought, why don’t I take a walk on the wild side and start trying to post regularly during the week, too? This is my very first attempt at an ongoing series…Midweek Musings, in which I will talk about complete nonsense. Care to give it a whirl with me?

Let me start by acknowledging that none of the items on my list are new…just new to me. This is typical where I am concerned…I generally need time to talk myself around to trying whatever people are buzzing about. Rarely is the buzz enough on its own. (I’m very stubborn this way.) Why do I like these things enough to spend more time than I imagined making them into a graphic? Well…

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Soup Season

Colder weather has arrived for us here in the mid-Atlantic, and with it two of my favorite cooking pastimes: roasting vegetables and soup. While there is nothing to stop a person from roasting or souping during the warmer months, my air conditioner consistently loses the battle against my oven and/or stove, and so these are pleasures I hoard for days when the leaves crunch underfoot.

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Healthy Treats (or Tropical Storm Cookies)

Last September, a tropical storm was in the forecast. For whatever reason, I took it more seriously than previous threats, so I stocked up non-perishable goods. At the time, I was newly vegan—so I found myself challenged at the idea of coming up with a mix of things that at least pretended to be nutritionally balanced. I’m not sure I succeeded at this, but among other things I ended up with  peanut butter and a bag of trail mix from Target with dried cranberries, golden raisins, almonds, and some kind of seed. And some dark chocolate (anything with a cocoa content of at least 72% is vegan…and while it’s not strictly healthy, there are antioxidants…plus, it’s no fun to stock up for a storm without at least one treat…right? Right!)

In the end, I didn’t lose power, so the exercise was moot. But it was a dark, stormy Saturday night, and I found myself craving cookies. Not willing to venture out to a store, I made do almost entirely with things I’d picked up for my emergency stash—and so these no-bake cookies were born.

I have made them several times since then using whatever I have on hand. What follows is my most recent version, with some nutritional kicks-in-the-pants.

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Month of Kale: The Recipes

By request (and because, really, I should have done it in the first place), I’m going to share some of the recipes that I made during my Month of Kale.

Most of them came from my current favorite cookbook: Appetite for Reduction. It’s a low-fat vegan cookbook by the brilliant Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I know that, for many, either the low-fat or vegan label would be enough to scare a person off—let alone both together—but I have been cooking from it almost exclusively for the past two months, and I have been remarkably satisfied. That woman is a genius with spices—really, it’s alchemy, pure and simple. In other words: keep an open mind! And read on for the recipes…

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