The magical art of silence

I’m late to the party of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The author already has written a sequel to her first book. Luckily, the quietude of our new surroundings (and the fact that exterior home improvement has to wait for a better month than January) is now allowing me to catch up with things I’ve meant to learn more about. This is Marie Kondo’s answer to excess: Toss almost everything and keep only what sparks joy (which may or may not spark joy tomorrow, so more stuff to toss). For many, it seems draconian. Really, it’s common sense. Her best advice is to start with culling your clothes and move up the chain of possession sentimentality; I actually think that’s smart because I lived it last year without even knowing I was practicing “KonMari.”  Continue reading “The magical art of silence”

New year, new house, new recipe

Hello! What happened to me? Well, last year we sold our Olympia house and moved to Key Peninsula. We bought a new house (new to us, it was built in 1998) and it was only December when we reached a point that we could take a small break from the endless upgrades we’ve been making to the place. I normally write about plant-based living in this blog, but bear with me on this one. I will veer back to food by the end of this. So read on. Continue reading “New year, new house, new recipe”

Chocolate frosting from beans

IMG_1831This is lightning in a bottle … or frosting on your cake! Better than store-bought frosting and you won’t be able to tell the difference by taste. This cost me a grand total of 79 cents to make for the can of beans purchased. You can buy boxed packets of stevia for under $10. I use NuNaturals. Continue reading “Chocolate frosting from beans”

Don’t let the wind carry you away

A perfect meal for a windstorm when you could lose power at any minute.
A perfect meal for a windstorm when you could lose power at any minute.

So we had a windstorm the same day I’d planned to host a Meetup for a raw vegan group. Our friend Carol showed up (she lives within walking distance) so we had her vegan scalloped potatoes to go along with Happy Herbivore’s Chile Mole  and my rice/lentils tomatoes classic dish. No, it wasn’t a 100 percent raw meal, but it all sounded good on a blustery night. 

Continue reading “Don’t let the wind carry you away”

The bean scene

IMG_1757Every week I prepare a slow-cooker’s worth of beans. Navy, pinto and black. I add half a bag of frozen pearl onions, two dashes of cumin and maybe chili powder if I want a more chili bean base. Otherwise, I will sprinkle in just garlic and onion powder. There was a time when cooking beans without ham was unheard of in this house. Continue reading “The bean scene”

Fall hikes and cooking

Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We have been taking what weekends we could to hike in the Northwest. Last weekend we hiked Latourell Falls outside of Portland.

Latourell Falls — Photo by Jim Cockrell
Latourell Falls — Photo by Jim Cockrell

Since we like to hike and eat, I’ve been working on recipes. The weather has been markedly colder, so today was Shepherd’s Pie. I look for as many shortcuts as possible with other people’s recipes, and it was this recipe that inspired me to do a different version. Continue reading “Fall hikes and cooking”