Y2 – Day 66 – Creamy Carrot Soup

Adapted from Goudreau’s recipe, I would improve it next time for my tastebuds and add more ginger (maybe triple it).  I used less onion than called for because less is more here but use your own judgment.  She uses tahini and I used sunflower seed butter.  Serves 2.

4-5 peeled carrots, cut into rounds

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cups vegetable stock

1 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter (or tahini)

1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used soy)

Salt and pepper

Add carrots, onions, ginger and stock to a 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, covered for 40 minutes or until the carrots are soft when pricked with a fork.

Blend with a hand blender right in the pot or transfer to a conventional blender – add butter and milk and combine until smooth.  Season to taste.  I sprinkled on paprika for color but feel free to garnish with freshly ground pepper.

What is great about this soup is – it is oil free.  It is very low in calories even with the addition of the sesame or sunflower butter.

Y2 – Day 65 – Snack, Soup and Sweet

It rained this morning and I was intrigued to try three new recipes I could tweak from Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and bring them over to share with a friend I was visiting later.

The snack was found on the Internet actually (My New Roots) and wasn’t as good as I thought it sounded like when I read it initially.  But I could see myself re-working it at a later date with different spices and perhaps virgin olive oil instead of the coconut oil.

Chickpea Crisps

3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, well rinsed, towel dried and de-skinned (they come off easily).

3 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. coarse sea salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. smoked paprika or ground chipotle pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine skinned chickpeas with oil and seasonings.  Spread chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, stirring two or three times until golden crispy.  Serve at room temperature and store for up to one week.Tune in tomorrow for Soup and saving the best for last – the sweet treat – next day.

Y2 – Day 64 – The Wizard of Oz

From start to finale, from whimisical characters and dreamy sometimes nightmarish settings to memorable witty dialogue and from black and white to technicolor and back – The Wizard of Oz is an all time favorite story, movie and now touring stage musical.

Wicked is based on it, OZ the great and powerful is a completey different take on it – L. Frank Baum’s original and imaginative book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  America sang about the Tin Man in 1974 and Elton John dedicated a whole album to the Yellow Brick Road back in 1973. We grew up with this adventure of lost and found, a commentary on finding yourself, a statement about authenticity and the power of believing.

We (ML and I) had the pleasure of experiencing this spectacle of our annual TV watched staple this Sunday at the Segerstrom Hall where our kids went for years to learn, listen and have ice cream socials at the Symphony for the Youth Program.Although there’s a strong imaginative aspect to the Wiz, it is based on solid, grounded values.  And although it appeals to children of a bygone era, its innocence and symbolism draws the mature audience in as well.Home is where the Heart is – there’s no place like Home and we must aspire to and be inspired by the Intellect, Love and Bravery.

“We could accomplish many more things

if we did not think of them as impossible.”

-Jacques Rousseau 

Y2 – Day 63 – February Harvest/Cindi health report

Yup. That’s right.  February is still bringing it in.  We have Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Parsley, Lettuces and way too many Meyer lemons (they are sweeter than commercially grown Eureka) hanging heavily, bending our two dwarf trees and a smattering of smaller tomatoes that taste homegrown and sweet.

Sorely needed rain is predicted for Thursday through Sunday (at least five inches).  

Cindi update:  Poor baby.  Thanks to J’s knowing and super sensitive nose – she smelled Cindi’s ears and predicted ear infection.  Lo and behold, she had a terrible yeast outbreak in there and the vet lubricated her inner ears with a combination antibiotic, steroid and something else.  This should last for two weeks.  If when she goes back for a check up, it’s not all cleared up, which is possible, then another dosage is given.

Meanwhile, directions for itching:

1. Bathe one to two times/week with moisturizing liquids (I have been using Aveeno Baby Wash and Mane and Tail conditioner).

2. Children’s Benadryl dosage twice/day since it is allergy related.

3. Wipe her down and all around with Baby Wipes (I got her specifically the ones for moisturizing with oatmeal) at least twice/day and if I want every time we come in from outside.

4. Change her food to just two and different proteins/carbs she has never had so she has never had the chance to become allergic to (Dick Van Patten’s Duck and Potato).  No more treats (darn!) and no deviating from the plan for six weeks.  The food should be canned because it is more hydrating.

We are hoping this relieves her so she doesn’t form lesions from scratching.  Plus, she has gained one full pound and that’s too much.  She is exercising plenty (2-3 miles/day walks) but I need to be feeding her less.

Whew!  I never knew having a doggie was such a learning curve!  It’s very similar to having a new baby.  I am grateful I am home with her just like I was with our munchkins!

I hope the above information helps someone else who may be having same issues.Awww!


Y2 -Day 62 – February Flowers

In honor of a wonderful week with my ML, superb weather, fine vegan food, incredible moments and much eyeball honest chatting – here’s some bouquet pictures just taken this month.

Aloemestria and feathery ferns from garden in blue bucket and Red Dutch Tulips.Red Roses and Blue Thistle for Valentine’s Day.  Ferns, pittosporum leaves, freesias of various colors, sweet peas, aloemestria, lilies and purple vine flowers from my garden.

I have certainly enjoyed our leisure time together fully and creatively reflecting on Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “If man is to be liberated to enjoy more leisure, he must also be prepared to enjoy this leisure fully and creatively.

May blessings abound and all be well.

Y2-Day 60 – Queens

We were lucky we got to take the Arrowhead Queen out for a spin on the lake tour.  The wooden beauty had been out of the water for the last three months for the first time in 26 years for a thorough face lift.  She had been back into the water and up for service just one week when we walked across her plank.  Captain Nick described homes, facts about the lake and its history.  The only two children on board had the honor of steering for small segments of the trip.   The water was choppy and dark blue as we made our way around the perimeter of the shoreline.

We believe it may have been Cindi’s first time on board any water vessel, certainly it was my first time with chi weenie Queenie Cindi.For her good behavior, we took Cindi to The Three Dog Bakery for treats and ML and I finally got a picture of ourselves without it being a phone selfie.  Two more queens lapping up the joy of another day!

To think that over thirty years ago, after meeting in college, we were just starting our teaching careers, were unmarried and partied hard together and now, our children (that we never thought we’d have) are in or done with college.  It’s good to have people in your life you learn from and change, have fun, share and grow older with.

Y2- Day 59 – Dining Out Vegan in Arrowhead

We originally called ahead and were told we could bring Cindi to the Thai restaurant with lakeside seating.  When we arrived, they were about to seat us inside and were going to just tie up Cindi outdoors.  NO go!

We changed plans and headed up to the top level of Lake Arrowhead Village for some scrumptious veggie pizza instead and not such a bad view either.  To their original vegetable pizza we deleted the cheese and added artichokes and extra sauce.  The crust was thin and crispy without it being burnt and the pizza already included peppers, onions and olives.  We ate outdoors in their vast seating area alone (weekdays up here sans snow is just locals) till eventually two young couples with two behaved small dogs joined us outside at a distant table.

 We took a stroll by the shore and a look see inside the Resort, asked about dining with Cindi and then came back home to regroup and drop off our leftover pizza.  Later, we returned to the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa for dinner.  Although only service dogs are allowed inside the dining establishment, they were willing to feed us in their sumptuous lobby with various sitting sections which was actually much more private and entertaining.  We hit the gift shop first of course, each of us always enjoying it since we egg each other on with compliments or honest critique.  We shared a mixed green salad with cilantro/guava dressing minus the goat cheese. Roasted eggplant, onions and squash accompanied by a garlicky variety of olives sat alongside a healthy dollop of well-seasoned, rustic hummus that we dipped into with grilled pita and thin diagonal cucumber slices.  The Sole sparkly water was a classy, refreshing touch.  From our vantage point we could people watch and Cindi could comfortably, quietly rest on soft, designer carpet.The restaurant inside the Resort.

Loving each other up right in front of our dining location in the lavish lobby.

Y2-Day 58 – What a Glorious Day!

Every day is a glorious day but yesterday was exceptional.

Cindi had her first known boat cruise around Lake Arrowhead and had sea worthy legs!There was much duck feeding and duck chasing!A healthy dinner of vegan teriyaki beef skewers with roasted garlic, raisin pecan brown rice and a salad made with grilled artichokes, home grown tomatoes, red cabbage, Bitchin cilantro sauce, kalamata olives all mixed into a field of greens.Sharing new experiences, new places, and new foods.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Y2-Day 57 – Mystery Solved

After arriving to the treehouse ravished, we dove into raw garlic hummus with broccoli and black bean chips, a quick glass of San Pelegrino sparkly water, threw perishables into the refrigerator, walked Cindi around, put on the heat in the house and jumped back into the car and headed towards the center of town in Lake Arrowhead to catch the second outing of the Arrowhead Queen boat tour.  Dogs are allowed as long as they are behaved and Cindi made us proud.

After we meandered throughout the three levels of shops and restaurants ( Mountain Arts Co-Op, Three Dog Bakery for treats, Leroy’s for fashion, Tea and Coffee Shop for outdoor cafe-ing and a much loved boutique), essentially an outdoor mall, we called it a day, again famished.

On our way to the parking lot, we met a couple with two dogs who stopped to ask if we knew what breed Cindi was.  “Nope, not a clue.” we responded.  She declared Cindi a chi weenie, a half chihuahua and half daschund, a designer breed apparently, after observing that Cindi looked just like her Delilah (Samson, her toy poodle’s housemate).  Sure enough, Delilah was brown and a little bigger but her owner pointed out that the facial markings (which makes them look older than they are due to it looking like a gray haired condition), donut tail and all over look was identical.  Delilah barked.  She sounded just like Cindi even with the final ‘Hrrrmph’ exclamation point.

Well, what do you know?  What was the likelihood that at the very moment we were leaving and this couple was entering the main square, someone would inform us with living proof what Cindi’s origins must be – after all our speculations?

After looking on line, Chiweenies run the spectrum of hybrid appearances making it hard to believe Cindi could be one – but our two girls in Arrowhead had an uncanny resemblance.  Mystery solved.