Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blizzard Time!

Snow Snow Snow.  We got crushed in Maine on Tuesday.  At our house we got just shy of 2 feet of snow.  Fortunately, it was light and fluffy, I despite the really wet, heavy snow.  Sadly, as I got the snow blower out and ready for action on Tuesday morning, the augers were not working.  I tinkered, called my dad, but nothing seemed to work.  We were in a jam.


The snow kept piling up, drifting into our yard, and blowing off the roof.  In some spots in the yard we had well over 3 foot snow drifts.  They following morning, Ashley and I got the snow blower to work!  Four hours later, the driveway was clear and I come in to have some hot chocolate!  There is nothing like being cold from the snow and having a hot cup of chocolate.


This was the girls first serious Maine snow storm.  They were a little overwhelmed but handled it well. With both of the girls off, it was a few days of typical Maine snow storm: snow castles, shoveling, eating, and board games.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My 900th post! Celebrate with me!

Too often I miss these types of blogger milestones, not this one, not today.  This is my 900th post.  I have been writing his blog since 2008.  What started as a random thought has turned into a montage of my life.  Cooking, traveling, punk rock, the growth of Kaleigh, a major move, and so much more.

My readership has fluctuated and at times my content has suffered but both are on the upswing again.  I have more dedication and time to cook, write, and live than I have in years.  There are some big things coming in the next few months and I really appreciate the opportunity to share them with the blog world.

Let's all eat some vegan cupcakes and write another 900 posts!  Thanks for reading!



Below are a few links to my most popular posts:








Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tubing!

Coincidentally,the day after Kaleigh's 8th birthday party we went up the road to the snow tubing place with some family.  It was Kaleigh's first time tubing.  Honestly, aside from a little local sledding, it was her first real fun Maine winter event.  She loved it.




To my surprise, we jumped right in the tube and went down without hesitation.  Then it was off to the races.  She, Ashley and the rest of the family went down the track for well over 2 hours straight.  Kaleigh went down non-stop.  She went down connected to other tubes, went solo, went on her belly, she did it all.



I hope this is a place we can go more often, I think this made some great memories for Kaleigh.  Ashley, although sore at the end, had a great time as well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kaleigh turned 8!!!

Friday, Kaleigh had her 8th birthday.  We had a plan to take her out to eat but since it was just going to be Ashley, Kaleigh and I, we gave her the option and she said she wanted to rent a movie and have our usual pizza friday.  She wanted "salsa" pizza with fresh avocado on top.  We have a unique 8 year old.




We let her stay up late, eat popcorn and watch a movie,  She had a great time.  The following day was her party.  It was snowing and we were concerned that folks might not show due to weather but it all worked out.  They had a wonderful time bowling, opening presents, and eating the treats I made.  Kaleigh requested my double chocolate cupcakes, my peanut butter balls, and my peppermints.




Then it was a relaxing evening home with another movie she wanted to see.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Deep Fry Friday!

Today is Kaleigh's 8th birthday.  I am really excited to be able to share another birthday celebration with her.  She is really looking forward to her special day/weekend.

In her honor, today's post is based on an idea she came up with shortly after I got my deep fryer.  Its Deep Fry Friday!  Here we go!


I made seitan chickin nuggets.  It is something I make fairly often in the house.  I make a basic chickin seitan then marinade the nuggets in sauce, usually BBQ.  Then bread them up and drop them in the fryer!  Delicious.  Kaleigh has been really into kale chips recently so we added some to the plate with another favorite of hers, mashed potatoes.  The tossed some green peas on the plate to top it off.

It has been a crazy few weeks with what seems like disaster after disaster but I hope this weekend will be a nice reprieve for Kaleigh to celebrate her 8th birthday!

Happy Birthday Kaleigh!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bar-B Que rubs me the right way

I am a huge Bar-B Que guy.  Other than mustard, it might be my favorite condiment.  I use it often when making seitan.  Recently, I have been using a lot of "rubs" to add directly into my seitan recipes.

Since I am not a Bar-B Que connoisseur I have been getting rubs from the store and trying them out.  The ones I enjoy, I have been studying the ingredients,  Last night I made my first rub.  It was surprisingly easy to make and simple to store as well.


I am not sure I have perfected my recipe for it yet and will share when I do.  However, for now, this rub is quite good.  Now to make some foods to experiment with it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Belated holiday get-together

Due to vacations, work, illness, etc. the Robinson extended holiday get-together was nearly a month after the big christian holiday.  It was fine with us though as it is always just nice to get together and spend time with family.  The gift giving was just a bonus.

Ashley made me a vat of vegan french onion dip!  It was really good.  We ate nearly the entire thing with a big bag of chips!  I feel like it would have been an incredible sandwich spread as well.


For Kaleigh, I made her a plaque with reclaimed wood that was ripped from the side of our house in the remodel.  I cut, smashed, burned a "K" into the plaque for her.  I thought it came out pretty cool and she hung it up in her room right away.


I used the same wood (former siding on the house) to build Ashley a dining room table.  My father helped with the building as well but I did most of the cuts and labor.  He has immense wood working knowledge and guided me through the process.  It took a few weeks to completed but came out looking nice!


It was a great evening, I got to see my uncle whom I had not seen in about 16 years, I got to eat 6 slices of pie, and got to see a lot of family.  It is always nice to have these get-togethers, something I did not appreciate when I was younger.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cooking with Kaleigh; Part 18: Veggie Broth!

It has been a long time since we filmed an episode of Cooking with Kaleigh.  We had not given up on the videos, life had simply caught up with us.  A move across the country, a new kitchen, and many more changes put the web series on the back burner (so to speak).

Not anymore!  Veggie broth has been something I have been making with Kaleigh for years now.  It has always been a fun afternoon and is a great way to reuse food that would often otherwise go to waste.  It is great for her to see how many time we can use a vegetable before it goes back into the earth.  It is wonderful for her to have such an appreciation for food at such a young age; considering most first world adults do not have it.

Well, here it is: Veggie Broth!  Cooking with Kaleigh episode 18!



For the first time, we opted to can/jar our broth.  In the past Kaleigh and I had simply put it in the freezer but we wanted to see how well this would work out.  We will let the world know when we see a shelf life.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Curry tofu!

I have been working on making my own Asian sauces to keep in the fridge.  Sometimes it is a pain to have to go out to the store each time I need more chilies, lime, or some other ingredient that I use less often in the kitchen.

I recently made a green curry.  It actually came out more yellow when added to the actual sauce but the curry paste itself is more certainly green.  My first dish with my stored homemade curry was a curry and veggie dish with cashews and fried tofu.


It amazes me how much Kaleigh's palate has developed over the years.  She really liked this dish which was extremely layered in different flavors and textures.  She has come a long way with tofu as well.  A year ago she would not eat it unless it was in a scramble.  Not she likes it just about any way I choose to make it.

Having a kid that is such a good eater with such a developed palate makes cooking in the house (and preparing her lunch the following day) so much easier.  We are lucky.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

(more) Wordless Wednesday!

fried apple chips

beans and rice

baked potato soup

chili

fried tofu, salad, and mac and cheeze