Friday, June 29, 2007

Sweet and Sour Seitan and Vacation Pictures

Tonight I made Seitan Baked in Sweet and Sour Orange Sauce from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. This is so delicious! I used the extra sauce to make a delicious stirfry of onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, cremini mushrooms, bok choy and zucchini. I subbed lemon juice for the vinegar, arrowroot powder for the corn starch, and chipotle powder for the chili sauce. I also left out the sesame oil. Yum!

Now, here are some lovely vacation pictures:

Here is a picture of our first glimpse of the ocean.

Now here are a few from various places in Olimpic National Park:

And here is a very brave deer. This deer let us get about 5 feet from her without even flinching.

And here is a banana slug. Banana slugs are only found in Olimpic National Park!

One last thing before I end this post: ever time I try to log in to my blog, I have to reset my password because for some reason my old password will not work. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No, I didn't give up on this blog...

I've just been really busy as well as lazy these last few months. Now there's so much to blog about! I worked really hard this last semester, but it really paid off! I finished the school year with excellent grades in all of my classes and completed my service hour requirements for NHS. In UIL, I made it to district and regional and came so close to making state in Science. At district, I got 5th place in Calculator and 2nd in Science, and at Regional, I got 5th in Science. If I had just got to 3rd place, I could have gone to state! Oh well, next year I will surely go to state! I also took three AP tests. I haven't gotten the scores yet, but I feel pretty confident that I did well, especially in Chemistry.

I have been out of school since May 25th. A few days after school ended, my parents, my oldest brother and I went on a three week long vacation to the Washington/Oregon area. My other brother stayed home with the animals. Not that he minded- he hates vacations! Too much driving! It was great, and I literally have hundreds of pictures, which I will probably post some of tomorrow. We saw Seattle, Portland, Olympic National Park, Orcas Island, and numerous beaches. It was a great vacation, but maybe it was a little too long. By the end we were all getting on each other's nerves.

Then, I came back to Texas. It has been raining and raining and raining ever since I came back! When my dad and I went to volunteer at the humane society today to find out that the dog area had flood with a foot of water last night! At least the rain has kept it much cooler than usual though. The highs have been only in the 80's since we came back, which is very unusual.

Also, guess what else? In April, my parents went vegetarian! They did this in honor of my 17th birthday and have been vegetarian even since! Unfortunately, they are not vegan. I honestly don't think my mother could ever be vegan. She really enjoys chocolate and candy and store-bought baked goods, as well as cheese, and doesn't like soy milk on her cereal. My dad might be able to though. Just have to wait and see...

I've recently bough three vegan cookbooks: Vegan with a Vengence, The Everyday Vegan, and Vegan Lunchbox! I also checked out six cookbooks from the library, so be prepared to see a lot of recipes from cookbooks in the next few weeks. Here are three recipes I have made over the last few days:

First up, Red Curry Vegetable Stir-Fry from Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott.

Very good and very spicy. Tofu, green beans, japanese eggplant, basil, red pepper, curry paste. I also added add handful of bean sprouts, though it was not called for in the original recipe. Served with steamed kale.

Next, Auntie Bonnie's Lively Lentil Stew from How it All Vegan! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.

This soup is really delicious. I really like lentil soups, and this one was no exception! I used several handfuls of spinach, rather than the half cup called for, and added in a few green beans we had layng around in the fridge.

And last but not least.... Lentils Rice Balls with Sneaky Momma's Tomato Sauce from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann.

These balls came together so well. They were easy to form and held their shape so well. And they were so delicious. The sauce was so flavorful! I used a can of crushed tomatoes instead of the tomato paste and whole canned tomatoes called for. I served the Lentil-rice Balls and Tomato Sauce along with some steamed broccoli for a lovely, delicious meal.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I will post tomorrow with more about the vacation as well as a delicious recipe.