As promised I received the book I am going to blog this year.  Drumroll please.......Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  So far I have enjoyed looking over all the recipes and was excited to begin.  In addition to the recipes in this book I will also prepare random recipes I either find online or make up myself.  ALL will be vegan and delicious.

In the month of January I have made veggie pizza (my recipe), green goddess puree (from book) for manicotti, veggie soup (my recipe), sauteed portabella in balsamic vinegar (from book) for a delicious salad, fettucini (Hungry Girl book & only vegetarian) with mushrooms and broccoli added, and last, but definately not lease, best ever pumpkin muffins (from book).  Pictures to follow.

In any case that I had to share my tasty creations I did.  My husband, and self satisfied carnivore LOVED everything.  He is not one to express his likes or dislikes much at all but I am very happy to say that after each first bite a smile crossed his face and the best words ever crossed his lips. "It's really good honey!" Never have I been more pleased.

Other words of encouragement came from two coworkers who really enjoyed the Green Goddess Puree manicotti and one who so enjoyed the Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins so much that she wouldn't even share with her fiance.  The pumpkin muffins also won over my step brother-in-law, dad, and grandparents.  So much so, that my grandpa even asked me to give my grandma the recipe.  Anyone who knows my grandpa knows how picky he is and what a compliment he has given!  ;-)

Further blogs won't be so clogged up and run together. (Cooked alot all at once and got behind on the computer part.)  So until then...

Enjoy!


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Hi Everyone! I wanted to let you all in on my new project for 2011.  Anyone ever seen the movie Julie and Julia?  Well in case you haven't, here's a quick rundown.

It's basically about a women who is in a rut and decides to blog about cooking her way through Julia Childs entire cookbook.  I wanted to take the same idea but base it upon a VEGAN cookbook!

So, for the year 2011 my goal is to find at least one (maybe even more if this works out) vegan cookbook(s) and make EVERY receipe in it.  I will blog about my trials, hardships, and victories but especially about the tastiness!  I will also let you know how my husband (self-proclaimed carnivore) and co-workers felt about the delightful dishes. 

So look forward to reading about this new adventure I am so excited to be taking.  Also, let me know if any of you have tried an awesome vegan recipe that you want to share.  I will be very happy to try out any sent to me.

Thanks to all of you who continue to support me in my ongoing efforts to grow and learn.
 
Happy Eating!
Shari
P.s As a side note, thanks to all of you who have supported me in my blogging adventure.  I'm still learning the best ways to blog.  As always I really appreciate and advise or comments you leaveI hope that I have informed but not bored you.   Looking forward to getting better at this.  ;-)
 
Caffeine Crazy 12/19/2010
 
Ok guys I know most of you out there can't even begin to think about starting your day without a cup of hot coffee first.  Some of you even have a soda to begin your morning.  The majority of you say you need the caffeine boost or you just can't get going.  Well according to wikipedia caffeine is "a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, enjoy great popularity. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but, unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily."  Yikes!  While I don't personally need the pick me up to begin my daily regularly, I have experience days that I might need it.  If you are among that 90% that does consume some type of caffeine on a regular try drinking black or green tea instead of that cup of coffee or soft drink.  It has the same amount of caffeine, but you won't feel the crash of energy during the day.  Spot of tea anyone!
 
 
In today's society "meat" is what's for dinner.  When did the veggie start playing second fiddle?  An how about the bean or the whole grain?  Todays kids don't even know what a whole grain is!  And they wouldn't know what a fresh veggie (much different than a canned one) tasted like.  I'd like to challenge everyone to go one day a week with out meat on the menu.  Go to www.peta.org , click on living, then on vegatarian living and you can get helpful information and even recipes to help you along with the challenge.  You will be so surprise by the yumminess that awaits you.  Get your kids into the act too by checking out www.petakids.com for info about their fav singers and why they chose to be vegetarian.  There is also games and contests for them to enjoy.  Also, check out www.thekindlife.com for more ideas.  This site was founded by Alicia Silverstone and it's great.  Now I'm saying you guys should just drop everything you know and become vegetarian or vegan but just start out with one day a week and see how it goes from there.  Baby steps if you will.   If all you do it start to incorporate more of the healthier more delicious stuff like veggies, beans, whole grains, fruits and stuff in your diets that would be awesome in itself.  This gives you a resourse to do just that but in new and exciting ways that your taste buds will LOVE you for and so will the planet.  Tell me about your fave recipes!  Happy Eating!
 
Poochie Clean 12/19/2010
 
Being green is not only for you and the environment, but also for our furry friends too!  I have an English Bulldog and I spoil her like crazy.  She gets the best of the best.  Holistic food and treats. Comfy bed and love love love.  So why wouldn't I give her the best in fur-care.  I am a hair stylist for goodness sakes.  Well I don't know how many of you price shampoo for doggies, but it's crazy.  I decided to google around for homeade recipes that would leave my poochie clean, fresh, and smelling great.  I did find one in general that I like and works great. Even takes care of fleas.  Her coat is shiny and smooth.  The white on her is bright and she smells fantastic for days.   The recipe follows:

Equal parts Dial soap and white vinegar.  That's it.  Put in an old shampoo bottle or container of choice and use as needed.  This doesn't lather very much but she is clean and happy.

My only complaint is that the soap contains Sodium Laural Sulfate (product added to create lather) and I am TOTALLY against that.  I would LOVE to find a substitue for that but one that works in the same fashion.  If any of you have ideas for me please let me know and I'll give it a try.
 
 
This is a great alternative to the call in and deliver or grocery store pizza that is not so yummy.  It's much more inexpensive that you might imagine and the results are even tastier too!  You can use whatever ingredients you like and enjoy the wonderful aroma that will fill your house and make your mouth water.  Here is my personal recipe below:

Tomato Sauce
Black olives
Fresh spinach leaves
Portabella mushrooms
Jalapenos
Monterey Jack cheese (I like extra cheese)

Pizza Crust:
I cheat and use a fresh ready to go cheese pizza from Sprouts or Pillsbury Pizza Dough (thin crust). *Personal size is a fresh ready to bake pizza from Sprouts also (Foccia dough smells great while it bakes) Yum!
Assembly of the pizza is pretty simple. Then just bake as directed. Enjoy!
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Family Size
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Personal Size
 
 
Ok well it might not exactly be futuristic shampoo and conditioner, but it IS great stuff that most of you might not know about.  I have tried this myself and I love it!  I only wash my hair once a week so having an oily scalp used to be a problem.  Well I'm here to tell ya that with this new method of cleaning my scalp I no longer have to worry about it.  Now before any of you say EWWWWW just lock the lips, listen, and try it out first. Then you make your decision.  I will concede that this method might not be for everyone.  We've all been brought up to believe that lots of lather makes for clean hair.  Well I say bull hockey.  That is a chemical added to the shampoo to make it lather.  It doesn't make a cookies difference on the cleanliness of your scalp or hair.  So without further ado here goes.... All you need it baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water.  TADA!!!! Most of us already have this stuff in our homes.  If you don't you won't have to drop a gazillion dollars to get it.  Recipe is as follows:

1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 to 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

In shower dissolve baking soda into 1 cup warm water until clear.  Taking care to concentrate ONLY on the scalp, pour mixture over head. Let stand for about a min. (I massage very gently if I have any product or color buildup) Then rinse. (Hair might be a bit haylike at this point, mine wasn't.) Then mix apple cider vinegar in 1 cup warm water and repeat procedure.  Allow to sit a minute or so and rinse out or leave in.  Rinsing out is an totally optional when it comes to the vinegar.  You WILL NOT smell like a pickle!!!
     You WILL enjoy fresh clean hair and scalp without having to wash everyday or even every other day.  See just how long you can go between shampoos.  Its not nasty but actually good for your hair NOT to shampoo too often.  Obviously adjustments can be made for length and thickness, but remember we're concentrating on the scalp.  The hair will get the overflow.   I have found most recently that this method might fade your hair color.  Use with caution.  Also, sorry my lovely African American ladies, this is apparently not good for you.  But I would love info on healthy natural ways to clean your hair to share with others. I look forward to reading your feedback. 
 
 
     The change in seasons is fasinating to me.  I love to look at the way the environment changes so beautifully all around me.  But the change in seasons isn't so great for some.  I'm talking to you allergy sufferers.  I can empathize with your pain.  My poor husband was just like you once.  The change in seasons was followed by itchy watery eyes/nose and sinus pressure galore. 
     Luckily, I was told about the Netty Pot!  It is a miracle in compact form.  The containers look either like a genie lamp or an old tea pot. 

*You simply fill it with warm water and a special saline packet (comes with pot and sold separately). 

*You lean over the sink and place the spout in one nostril and tilt your head so the solution  (about 1/2 pot) can flow through the sinus cavitites and exit the opposite nostril.  You have to breath through your mouth while this is going on.  The process is a bit ackward at first but after a bit you get the hang of it. 

*Then you lightly blow your nose and repeat on other side.
  
                               The resulting relief is UNBELIEVEABLE!!! 
I have also tried this myself when I had horrible sinus pressure that just wouldn't go away.  I never take medicine so that wasn't an issue with me, but my husband was a fanatic about allergy meds.  He tried this process for about 1 month and now he no longer has issues.  If any DO happen to arise he uses the Netty Pot and relief comes quickly.  Only 2 flair ups in the last year.  And he had serious issue before.  
     You can get this products reasonably cheap.  I got mine on sale and with the solution packets included paid around $10 and it's lasted about 1 year.  Can you say the same for your so called allergy relief medicine?  Try it and let me know how it works for you!  Happy breathing!!!
 
 
Here are a couple of safe, healthy and inexpensive hair conditioning treatments that I have found and tried.  They work great and as a hair stylist I recommend them to all my clients.
Both treatments involved the same process but used different products. 

*Start off by shampooing your hair as normal. 

*Rinse and stop there. 

*Instead of using normal conditioner, try using either smashed avacado or olive oil.

*Apply either product (but not both at on time) to your towel dried hair and bundle it all up under a plastic bag.  (For a more thermal treatment also wrap in a towel.)

*Leave on for at least 2 hours (if you can leave on overnight that would be awesome) then rinse out. 
 
     Some people feel they need to reshampoo if using the olive oil but if you just rinse really really well (about 5 minutes) it is usually ok. I usually recommend the olive oil method for thick or really dry or color (or chemically) treated hair and the avocado method for somewhat healthier hair or fine/limp strands. These are awesome treatments that you do 1 or 2 times a month.  Try them out and see how great you hair feels even after only 1 treatment!!!!!  If you have any questions please leave a comment and I'll get back with you asap! 
 
 
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I want to say that I have never professed to be the end all of green things.  I am constantly looking for new ways to improve myself and the way I interact with the wonderful world around me.  I've made mention before that I like to either bike or walk back and forth to work on pleasant days.  I thought I was doing a very good thing.  I was saving unnecessary emissions from the air, not wasting fossil fuels and just doing something nice for mother nature in general.  For all purposes I was, I mean am.  At least I thought I was doing all I could in that area.  Texas is hot and I mean H-O-T hot in the summer.  While my house isn't that far from work, it is far enough to work up quite a sweat.  I never considered still biking/walking during the summer days.  But after a very pleasant bike ride with my friend "Megan" yesterday, I got to thinking.  Am I doing enough?  I don't think she even realizes that she made such an impact on me to question this.  We were just two people out getting some exercise and enjoying, not only each others company, but the beautiful scenery around us as we biked through our town.  Talking about movies, a recent event we both attended, and other things, we finally began talking about being more active and healthy.  During the conversation she asked a very simple question when the topic of more people walking or biking came up.  Knowing that I had been walking/biking to work she simply asked, "So your driving now?"  It didn't occur to me then when I answered, "Yes, It's just too hot out right now" that my answer would later keep me up asking myself why AM I driving.  I should practice what I preach. (Not that I preach too much as make suggestions.)  Why should I bike or walk to work ONLY on pleasant days?  Being green and caring for the planet should be done all the time, not only when it is pleasant or convenient for me.  I would benefit me so much more if I just got my rear end up earlier and started my day instead of lazing around. So I got up this morning, got my gear together, and set out to work on my bike.  I feel great about my decision.  Will I never drive to work again, I can't say that.  Some circumstances might require a car, but I will be more aware now and put more effort into biking/walking to work whether it's pleasant outside or a scortcher? Absolutely!!!  I look more to the benefits (while keeping my health in mind).  I get my daily dose of Vitamin D, well needed exercise, a chance to meet and greet a few neighbors, sweat out a few toxins, and best of all I get at least 15 minutes each way to just enjoy the best that mother nature has to offer.  Seems like a win/win for me and planet earth.  I even plan to keep it going during the winter months as well.  So thank you "Megan" for encouraging me to be a better me without even knowing it.
 
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    About Me

    This is an ongoing view of  how one persons' change can make a difference.  I want to be a positive influence on all those around me so that they may pay it forward and so on.  I want to find a new me everyday!  Will you come on my journey with me and discover A NEW YOU too?

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