Monday, 31 August 2009

Jimmy Buffett

A couple pictures from this weekend:

Jimmy Buffett is kinda like Mardi Gras for middle-aged people (I saw a lot more of our tailgate neighbors than I ever wanted to). We had a good time, except for that whole concert part, ate good food and didn't allow the rain to get us down. Will we be back next year? Probably not.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

"On Wednesdays, we wear pink"

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

I had a dream that a family I babysit for got a pet snake, and they kept it in a shopping bag in the car. As I was driving with them, the mom pulled it out of the bag during its "nap." Needless to say, it was then awake and kept trying to get out of the bag. I am more than terrified of snakes and woke up drenched in a cold sweat. It was not a good start to the day.

The weather in Chicago is also beyond awful today. I can't be bothered to do anything besides pilates and watch Mean Girls.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Today was a great day in my unemployed life:

1. I got an interview at Chicago Home and Garden, a dream come true
2. My vegan cookies turned out wonderfully
3. SVU marathon

It's amazing the odd jobs you pick up while unemployed. Today I got an interview for a real job, but also got a dog/house sitting job, built a fortune teller to show to my mom's third grade class tomorrow and made two lunch dates for this week. When you have no conflicts, your schedule fills up pretty quickly.

I have also found the time (hehe) to train for a half marathon that my sister wants me to run and am happy to report a very successful interval training session today. If anyone has any good training tips, feel free to pass them along!

Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got these cookies off of Thanks, Denise :)

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
cinnamon to taste (optional)
vegan chocolate or carob chips - put in as many as you like
1 cup raw sugar (turbinado #1, sucanat works too but sucks up a lot of the moisture)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It will work if they're not at room temp but it works MUCH better if they are. Also, while your oven is pre-heating put the cookie sheets you are going to use on top of the oven so they get preheated as well. Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (if you choose). Add chips. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil. Mix it well. Add the vanilla and then add the water. Mix it well. Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if you need to. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Put them in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets.(top to bottom,and 180 degree rotation) Bake another 4 minutes and check them.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool. I usually go in two minute increments from here untill they get to where I like them.

Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks. If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to the racks.

Serves: almost two dozen


Okay, I didn't have vegan sugar and did have to add another 1/4 cup of water to get the batter to stick together. Also, I discovered we didn't have any chips while I was making the batter, so I put it in the fridge overnight until I got some. When I was ready to cook them, I took the batter out of the fridge and let it warm to room temp for about 45 minutes.

If you look at the comments, cooking time can vary greatly. I cooked them at 350 for 4 minutes, then rotated the cookie sheet 180 degrees, then cooked for another 4 minutes and they turned out great!

Also, the addition of cinnamon is key :)

Here is the original link with all the comments people made (there were some interesting substitutions):

Monday, 24 August 2009

Yet Another "Gap"

So, I have come to yet another metaphorical gap in my life and can think of no better way to get through it than blogging about it.

Today was the first day of school for (what seemed like) everyone beside me. It was the first time that I too wasn't going back to school, and it didn't feel good. I have been searching for a job since April, to no avail, and today was only a reminder that while everyone else is starting anew I remain stationary in a life where there is no difference between the week and the weekend.

But, I am going to take advantage of this "gap" too. Being unemployed allows for lots of free time for projects, including vegan and vegetarian cooking projects. Today I am trying out a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. I just started, but when they come out of the oven, I'll let you know what I think.