Friday, September 23, 2011

Well Hello There

Hey guys, what's going on? 

Thanks for your sweet comments and emails on my last post. Sorry it's been awhile. I'm still having some health and anxiety issues but I'm taking the necessary steps to get them taken care of. I'm supposed to get physical therapy for vertigo (it's an inner ear imbalance, so they contort your head into all kinds of positions to get everything back where it should be -- crazy huh?) and I'm going to the other kind of therapy next week, for the first time, to talk about some stuff that's been worrying me. I chickened out and cancelled my first appointment that I made a few weeks ago, but I rescheduled it and now I'm actually kind of excited about it. I strongly believe in listening to your body's cues and being your own advocate when it comes to your health, whether physical or mental, so that's what I'm trying to do. 

In other exciting developments, Jackson started school!

It's just a Mother's Day Out program a few mornings a week, but it was a huge step for him and me. I've been lucky enough to either work from home or be a stay-at-home mom since the day he was born, so this is our first time being separated. He had a lot of tears the first week and it was extremely difficult to leave him when he was crying, but the staff is wonderful and he loves it now. He tugs on my arm to hurry up and get in the car and go! And when we turn into the drive, he says eagerly, "This is my school!" Ahh, little man. You make me so proud.

While J is in school, it's nice to spend one-on-one time with Olivia. She gets sillier every day.

Sometimes she cracks herself up, too.

My awesome mom came to stay for a couple weeks. I wish it could have been longer. The kids totally adore Grandma.

I planted a fall garden. I planted beets, carrots, green onions, Swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens. The chard was the first to sprout through the soil. Grow, little guy! You can do it!

I also did a mini-herb garden on my kitchen windowsill. I have basil, sage, oregano, and thyme. I'd like to get some mint and dill, too.

I've been cooking a little, here and there. Sometimes I don't feel up to it and eat cereal. I haven't been eating strictly vegan, either.  Some people want noodle soup when they're sick -- I want Little Caesar's and Taco Bell.  With the nausea that comes with vertigo, these childhood comfort foods are sometimes all I can stomach.  But since I don't feel like changing the name of the blog right now, I'll just post the vegan stuff.  Time will tell if it's a temporary lapse. I don't really feel that being vegan has contributed directly to any of my health issues, but to be honest, I've dealt with more illness during my past year of veganism than in any of my 25+ previous years as a vegetarian and I'm wondering if that might be the better path for me.

Anyway -- the food.

BBQ Tempeh Hoagies with Chipotle Mayo from Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations. The BBQ sauce was sweet and smoky, but the chipotle mayo was my favorite part. You'll have to buy a whole can of chipotles in adobo sauce to make it, but it's easy to freeze the leftovers for later use. Place one chipotle pepper in each square of an ice cube tray, and spoon the adobo sauce evenly over them. Freeze, then pop out and store in ziploc bag. Now that they are portioned out, you can thaw them as needed.

 After other great results from Uncheese, I decided to try Joanne Stepaniak's recipe for French Onion Soup. It may look funny with those globs of "gruyere" on top, but oh man, is it good. I opted to caramelize the onions instead of just boiling them in the broth as the recipe instructs. I feel they have more flavor that way. And the creamy, salty, slightly sharp Gruyere melts right into the soup, while the crisp toast soaks up the broth. Ahhhh. So good

Here is the Labor Day cookout we had to welcome my mom. Actually, because of the scary wildfires in our area, we cooked all of this indoors on my little grill pan! Clockwise from top left: baba ganoush made from grilled eggplant; grilled zucchini, summer squash, and onions; toasts for the baba ganoush; potato halves and portabello mushrooms.

Minestrone, another kind of comfort food. I always stir in some basil pesto to amp up the flavor. I could eat this for a few days in a row. Oh wait, I did.

Well, that's all my news. What's new with you?


  1. All right. That's it. You have me breaking out my Uncheese book now :)

  2. I am so sorry that you are suffering with the inner ear mom suffered terribly from "Meniere's syndrom". Not sure if that is what you have, We found that taking manganese daily helped her considerably.
    The onion soup looks delish!

  3. The onion soup does look great. It used to be one of my favorites. Hope both the physical and mental problems work themselves out. Maybe with more time to yourself, now, with your son in school it'll help.

  4. I always love it when they're so excited to go to "school" with their little backpacks. Even though I'm always too "cheap" to take part, I'm a big believer in therapies of every kind - to do whatever you can do to help different situations. I hope the best for you. I'm addicted to chipotle mayo; I always freeze my peppers, too. But I wash off the sauce first because I don't eat sugar, and it still tastes good. I've never made that onion soup before; it looks so good!

  5. I hope you feel better! Do whatever you need to do.

  6. Glad you're back. Hopefully you'll feel better soon. Your kids are cuties, as usual. :-)

  7. Your kids are adorable! And they have my absolute favorite names for a girl and a boy :) Glad to have you back and glad that you are working on taking care of yourself. I hope that you feel better soon!

  8. I love your blog and loved seeing a new post from you, but most of all am glad you are taking care of yourself! Too easy to overlook that with all of the commitments we pile on ourselves. Happy fall:)

  9. I'm so sorry you haven't been feeling well with vertigo inner ear issues. I suffered from that a few years ago, and what worked was physical therapy. I hope it helps you. I'm glad your son adjusted to pre-school well, and am definitely gonna drag out by Uncheese cookbook now. Hope you are feeling better soon. Please take care!