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Archive for January, 2013

One night a week I work the reference desk until 10pm. Which means I always take supper with me to work. This particular night I made a beet and orange salad, which also included broken pecans, thin onion slices, green bell pepper, mixed salad greens, sunflower seeds, and a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar – which was particular tasty mingled with the juice from the orange. Really, there are beets in here!
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The following dish I sorta made up myself. Using a crockpot, I cooked some of my favorite vegetables (which means there is lots of corn πŸ™‚ ) in vegetable broth. I also added pieces of Upton’s sietan and dried thyme and rosemary. I chose those two seasonings because they are often used when cooking poultry, and I wanted my brain to think “chicken”! (Sage could also work, but sage is not one of my favs.) After cooking for several hours, I scooped out a serving and placed it in a pot on the stove, turned the burner up pretty high to get it to boil and added a simple thickener of flour and water. I wanted hash.

It worked. So scrumptious! Treated myself to freshly baked vegan bread (from the store) and sopped up what I couldn’t spoon up!
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Continuing on my walk …… The mall was full with port-a-potties, tents, various news vans, stages, and other structures preparing for President Obama’s second inauguration on the following Monday. There was also a lot of Alison Krauss coming out of the speakers – which was great because I love me some Alison Krauss!


Two pictures of the Capitol being prepared for the big day with tons of people
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Continuing my walk to the true highlight of my day – lunch with a fellow librarian from the Library of Congress (LOC). Before calling him from my cell to let him know I had arrived, I saw this tree on the 2nd Street side of the Jefferson Building that someone is trying to save. Don’t know how it will work, but it is always worth a try!
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Next I waited for just a few minutes outside the Adams building. I had never before noticed the bronze carvings in the doorway. There are various figures of people in our past, such as Sequoyah (American Indian) & Tahmurath (ancient Persian) that had much to do with the progress of the written word. And this bronze against the white marble is particularly interesting. And the lamp fixtures? Oh I love them!
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After our lunch and conversation at a delicious Thai restaurant, he went back to work and I continued on my quest for beautiful things!

Took the metro to Georgetown where I visited a few clothing boutiques and furniture stores. Even though I spent some time looking at the modern furniture, I’ve always also been a fan of Baker Furniture’s more traditional. Following are two pictures of seating that caught my eye – a contemporary version of a Jacobean arm chair (at least that is how I describe it!). And a formal bench with a dining table and chairs.
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There was a rest at Starbucks, along with a nice warm cup of coffee. And as I walked back toward the metro I was swept into Dean and Deluca. Well, right now, as you know, I am not eating fish or eggs, but I truly adore caviar. A lot! So here is my beautiful picture of a favorite food. Actually, if it had been available to me, I would have eaten it – “falling off the wagon” as they say. So I texted my darling son Kevin to see if he would buy it for me for my birthday. He did not answer !!! dang.
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Yesterday was my birthday. Yay me! Celebratory time! However, I celebrated the day before just doing stuff I really wanted to do because I could. After all – it was my birthday weekend!

I took the metro into DC and arrived at the Smithsonian stop just two minutes before the Freer and Seckler Galleries opened. Had never been before, but a friend of mine recommended the “Road to Arabia” exhibit in the Seckler, knowing I am fascinated with the early cultures of that part of our world.

I began in the Freer Gallery and looked at that collection first, and I was allowed to take a few pictures:

17th century Japanese silk screen. Amazing color and detail
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John Singer Sargent’s Breakfast in the Loggia. I usually prefer sculpture and architecture over paintings, but here the brush strokes were amazing
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Do not remember exactly what the following object was called, but it was a piece from within a larger structure, symbolizing the direction to Mecca. Notice the various shades of blue
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From here I went to the Seckler for the Road to Arabia exhibit. Could not take pictures of this particular exhibit, but I found these stairs fascinating!<

Before leaving the Seckler I was treated to a tour of their small research library. Fascinating! Lot’s of compact shelving in the back. πŸ™‚ I love me a serious research library. After, I walked toward the Capitol and passed by The Castle, also part of the Smithsonian Institution. As you can see it is going through repairs, but I surely love this arch and all the detail. Yes, I should have waited for this woman to walk through, but it was cold cold that day and I just couldn’t stand the thought of waiting!
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There is more to tell and show, but the afternoon pictures will come next time!

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The advantage to cooking at home? I can adjust seasonings as I prefer and leave out those, like cilantro, that I do not like at all. So many foods these days include cilantro. Ugh. Tastes like soap to me. I have learned to eat it because when I go to a restaurant it is often already in the food, but I don’t enjoy the meal nearly as much.

Of course, adjusting the spices may take one or two tries to get the taste just right, but that can be fun, too! Figuring “it” out exactly – a new puzzle. Like the other day with the Aloo Gobi – another dish to perfect another day!

Following are a few of my recent vegan meals made in my kitchen:

I once loved a Rueben sandwich, and here is my new Rueben with a Lightlife Smart Dog. Sliced lengthwise into thirds and fried in a very little bit of vegetable oil, placed on top of one slice toasted rye bread spread with Grey Poupon mustard, then smothered in warmed yet still crunchy sauerkraut. You can surely add another slice of toast on top, but I prefer the knife and fork method!
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Yum! Delicious tacos with crunchy corn shells, seitan cut into bite-size slices and lightly fried with a little chili powder, garlic, cumin, and finished with a little salsa. Added some of my favorite veggies such as tomato, onion, and fresh salad greens.
< My first try with seitan and I added too much chili and cumin. Will adjust this puzzle next time!

And yes, even as a vegan I have my junk snack foods. Vanilla Oreos and banana. Yes, world, Oreos are vegan! And the vanilla ones eaten with a slice of banana? Banana pudding in a finger food. Oh my, thank you Nabisco! <

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Librarian on the go

Last day of the work week, and starting it off with a tasty and simple vegan meal for the awesome librarian (that be me πŸ™‚ ) – Virginia peanuts and 1/2 toasted bagel with organic raspberry spread. Oh my goodness! I’m ready for whatever comes my way! See below …

Full disclosure – in about 3 hours there will be 1/2 of a white chocolate/macadamia nut MOJO bar. Just coz I like to break it up like that!

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Have a great weekend everyone. And try to learn at least two useful bits of info before Monday morning!

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Last night I made my second attempt at preparing an Indian dish. And this one? Absolutely delicious! Aloo Gobi – cauliflower and potatoes cooked in a wonderful mixture of spices. Turmeric, garlic, mustard powder, garam masala, ginger, and more. Had to change the recipe a bit because I truly wanted to try this dish but didn’t have fresh ginger (only had ginger powder), so I couldn’t make the garlic/ginger paste, and the recipe calls for mustard seed and I used dried mustard, and etc.). The color was a little off, so there is no picture. But the flavor was magnificent and I will try to improve next time!

No naan or any other flat bread in the house, so I substituted for that as well.

I like to “visit India” now and then, and I’m learning to enjoy the food. It is so very different from the foods I grew up with and it is taking some time, but there are so many vegetables used in Indian cuisine. And so many friends that love to eat really good Indian food and I want to be able to join them for such a meal.

But today I settled back down to my little apartment in Annapolis and enjoyed a meal from my Southern roots! Sweet potato, turnips, and green beans. With vegan cornbread on the side. Delicious! And that is Earth Balance Original buttery spread melting on the cornbread and sweet potato.
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Today I am helping a friend move to Annapolis. She and all her …… uh ….. younger friends will be driving in with all her stuff, and I will assist in moving boxes. I can move 300 hundred pounds as well as anyone half my age, but it is important that the 300 pounds be divided into various boxes. And that my dear friends, is where I come in!

To ready myself for the day I prepared a healthy breakfast – the first smoothie I’ve made in a long time. Delicious! There is orange juice, a banana, pineapple, rice milk, soy protein powder, and bright green fresh kale. So very very tasty and extra healthy for the day ahead.

In a cup my family friend Laura gave me last summer while in California. See how pretty?
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On moving day when Brianna is busy with thoughts of what goes first, who watches her sweet little doggie at what time, and wondering all of what is in which boxes, she was kind enough to prepare some foods for her little elves to enjoy. But I agreed to fix my own snacks so she wouldn’t need to think about vegan for me today. Therefore, there will be peanuts, dried fruit, crackers, and a few carrots in my own little box from home.

Looking back a few weeks, just before Christmas, I made cupcakes for the grandchildren. What fun! Multi-colored cupcakes with white icing and chocolate sprinkles!

Here are a few pictures I took along the way. No pictures of the finished product. Somehow I forgot that part!

Making blue batter:
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There was green:
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A little purple:
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And here is how they looked coming out of the oven!
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