Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Woooooooo Child.....

Wow. What a week so far! I feel like break was far too short, and find myself wondering what the hell I did with all of my time. 

I have enjoyed most of my classes. PreK-12 Sexuality Education and Psychology of Human Adjustment on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Group Composition, Ballet II and Music Labs on Mondays and Wednesdays with a sprinkle of Measurement and Evaluation for an online class have is filling out my Spring '11 schedule. I think that I will end up finding my Tuesday/Thursday classes the most enjoyable and my Monday/Wednesday class the most challenging.

In the down time that I do have I have been in the kitchen. Last night Matt and I made Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls again. I tweaked the combination that makes up the "spicy tempeh" by adding a little smidge of soy sauce. After tasting, that is what made them purse-your-lips-and-kiss good. Combine that with home-mixed wasabi paste, and you have one tasty meal on your hands.
The veggies (green onion, avocado, and cucumber) for the rolls and 2 apple cider vinegar shots with OJ chasers.
Tonight, after a long day away from home, I wanted to try a new recipe. Baja Style Tempeh Tacos. Grill or fry up a little bit of tempeh after marinading for sometime (the marinade was a mixture of Corona, lime juice, crushed garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, peanut oil, and soy sauce. The marinade only called for 6 oz of Corona, so needless to say there was a lot left over from the 24 oz bottle that Matt and I got to drink. The fried tempeh went on top of a white corn tortilla, a lime creme (tofutti cream cheese [the original recipe calls for soy yogurt but the grocery store did not have any], lime juice, grapeseed oil, and fresh cilantro), and a homemade taco slaw (white cabbage, carrots, apple cider vinegar, jalapenos, and pepper). With a side of refried beans and blue corn tortilla chips, we had ourselves a vegan fiesta!

Baja Style Grilled [Fried] Tempeh Tacos
Tomorrow brings another crazy day of class and work, but Bubs is going to make venison burgers that my Dad gave to him and vegan burgers for me. Yum yum yum. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tour de Brew

The first 6er
The second 6er.
The Beers-
1. Shiner Bock
2. 1554- New Belgium
3. In-Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen- Flying Dog
4. Bell's Pale Ale
5. Mothership Wit- New Belgium
6. Long Hammer IPA
7. 2 Below- New Belgium
8. Moosehead Lager
9. Redhook ESB Original Ale
10. Honey Brown Ale
11. Two Hearted Ale
12. Howl Winter Seasonal

The Testers-
1. Joe "Joe Cool" Alba
2. Matthew "Albasauce" Alba
3. Ashley "Bubby Hamms" Haan

Each beer was rated on a (worst)1 - 10(best) scale. 


1. Redhook ESB Original Lager
       Joe- 4.0- [no comment]
       Matt- 6.9 - MMMMMMMMMMMMMmHmmmm~ said Matt. Cold, amber, crisp, little bitter, but I could picture myself guzzling this after shoveling the neighborhoods worth of driveways and hanging with a few pals.
      Me- 6.7 - Has an I.P.A. crispness. Yummy.

2. Shiner Bock
      Joe- [comment unavailable- he was playing Wii]
     Matt- 4.2 - Light for a bock, like a light tea. Makes me think of watermelon on a summer day. I bet this would taste real nice but I am not really feeling it in this weather...NEXT.
     Me- 4.4- Light taste for being named a bock, has more of a lager taste. Reminds me of a more refined version of Budweiser. Not the biggest fan.

3. 2 Below Ale- New Belgium
     Joe- 7 - "Because it's not bitter. It was smoooooooooth."
    Matt- 8.1 - This is a lovely, hoppy, kick around beer. Although it is cold it seems really earthy and I would love to drink this one bare-footed on a mound of freshly tilled earth. Not quite the country club beer that it is advertised as. That's what makes it so damn good.
    Me- 8.7- This is the light social beer. The kind of beer you want to enjoy only amongst the best company. This is the beer you want to associate the fondest memories to. Yummy yummy in my tummy. 

4. Honey Brown Ale
      Joe- 5 - "Don't. Taste. Honey."
      Matt- 5.3 - I would drink it again... I feel as if this would be a substitute for someone who drinks a lot of Red Stripe. There is a tinge of honey, but not enough to call it "Honey Brown". Could see this beer out on the ice fishing for a bit this winter. This is for sure.
     Me- 6.6 - Strikingly familiar taste. The honey flavor is not present, but there is a subtle sweetness. The sweetness is very complimentary to the lager. Not overly carbonated. To me this beer tastes like a mixture of Leinenkugels Honey Weiss and Fireside Nut Brown.
5. Moosehead Lager
      Joe- 4 - "Goes in a 4, comes out a 7" [That's what she said]
     Matt - 6.5 - Its a bit of a skunk going down, a bit like a Stella or a Heine. The after taste is very pleasant. Sort of one of those "blast air back into your nose to try it over again" beers. I want to drink this while I blast elk with my Gatling gun. (Palin reference) Hell yeah Canada!!!
     Me- 4.5 - Harsh going down. Smoother after taste. If it was in a can I would shot gun it, but that's about it. 
6.    1554- New Belgium
     Joe- [no comment- he was sleeping- shew shew shew]
     Matt- 9 - Really nothing but good. This is the darkest beer we had all night. Although this isn't very "burly" of me to say, but I usually I am not a fan of this sort of beer. That being said, I can taste the loving care in this beer. Sometimes that harshness makes my eyes water but it keeps me good and warm feeling inside. Its late in the night so I am lost for words, but I would like to say that I would entertain beginning an evening with this beer. 
     Me- 8.6 - This beer tastes like coffee. I <3 coffee. Very full bodied. Seemingly mild at first, but KICKS you afterward. Love it. 

7. Howl Winter Seasonal
      Joe- [no comment- still sleeping- shew shew shew]
      Matt- 9.3 - This beer is AMAZING. It is so tasty and I think that it should come in 12 packs just like Pabst. It is a bit neutral so I feel like even though it is delicious and suppose to be seasonal, I would happily drink this beer anywhere and I wish there were more of them! On to the next!
      Me- 9.4 - Now I understand why [you] are $8.99 a 6pk. This beer is DELICIOUS. You taste like a better version of 1554. This could be because I am drunk, but I don't think so. 

8. Two Hearted Ale
       Joe- [no comment- he is dead to the world at this point- shew shew shew]
       Matt- 10 - This was LEGENDARY! I wouldn't have enjoyed this beer even a few months ago, but because of my conditioning and excessive beer drinking as of late, this Ale from Michigan is amazing. I think I will be drinking this one from now on. I know it costs a bit but its worth it. 
       Me- 8.7 - Tastes like Laguna I.P.A. Reminded me of our California vacay.
 [Cliff's comment after tasting -"Really? Are you that drunk?" needless to say he didn't like it]
9. Bell's Pale Ale
     Joe- 5 - "Not bitter going down, but bitter afterward"
     Matt- 5- This is a tasty beverage. I would drink this beer in excess... it is an easy beer to drink and I like some easy I.P.A.s. It isn't as openly bitter as most I.P.A.s. 
     Me- 6 -Good, but not strong enough to be considered an I.P.A.
10. In-Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen- Flying Dog
    Joe- 2- "I can say that it has a nice label."
    Matt- 3 - I usually drink any beer and am not very picky, but this one is sort of not very good. It has a really icky taste and leaves a bit better. With the right atmosphere this taste may improve. The Flying Dog is an attractive label. I would like to try more beers from this brewery. 
    Me- 3- Tastes like diluted nail polish. 
11. Long Hammer I.P.A.
      Joe- [no comment- sleepy sleepy]
      Matt- 5.5- Gimme a six pack of this anytime please.
      Me- 6.4- This beer was good, but it was very mild. Had that lovely "I.P.A. hoppy" flavor, but was not as good as other I.P.A.s. 
12. Mothership Wit- New Belgium
     Joe- [no comment- down for the count- sleepy shew shew]
     Matt- 6- I wasn't that impressed compared to other New Belgium brews. It was tasty, but the flavor was not what I would expect, and that wasn't really a good thing. 
     Me- 6.5- Strong wheat taste. Puts hair on your chesticles. 

Joe- WORST- In- Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen
BEST- Coors Light

Matt- WORST-In- Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen
BEST- Two Hearted Ale

Me- WORST-In- Heat Wheat Hefe Weizen
BEST- Howl Winter Seasonal

Last Coffee Morning In So Bo

Coffee, writing, and viral videos. Here are some of the favs-

California Reminiscing- Hi Gordon!!
                                          Llama Lovin
                                          It's a Banana Slug!

Friend Rock!!-              Hold Me

Last night I made little itty bitty vegan peanut butter cups (thanks Claren for the recipe!)
Cliff doesn't like peanut butter and refused to try my creations, so I made him these-
Annies Bunnies with Melted Chocolate
He enjoyed these very much.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Add Whiskey and You Have the PERFECT cold solution.

Good for cleansing- Apple Cider Vinegar
After taste testing, this is probably best chased with whiskey. 

Music, writing, coffee, and viral videos filled our morning/afternoon. Here is one of the videos that got us moving :)

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on Letterman

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



The prep phase-
The first completed spicy tempeh nori roll!
Matt and I remembered halfway through eating that we didn't take a picture.
Bubs likes the miso soup and rolls!
I feel very accomplished!

Another accomplishment of the day:

My Favorite Recipe- Vegan Style!

Kristen's Pasta Sauce (Vegan Style)                  

Pasta Sauce-
1 28oz. can of diced basil/oregano/garlic tomatoes (Hunts No Salt preferably) 
1 8oz. pack of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (dairy free)
3 large fresh basil leaves
2 pressed garlic cloves
3 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of red wine vinegar

1 box of whole wheat whole grain pasta (linguine is ideal!)

Stir in "Cream Cheese" and tomatoes until combined. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Keep on low to medium heat and simmer for an hour. (If you are making other dishes along side the pasta dish, make the sauce first and allow it to simmer!)

Halved Brussel Sprouts and Portbello Mushrooms

Crazy Marinaded Portobello Mushrooms and Brussel Sprouts

Heat up liberal amount of olive oil in a large skillet.
Once oil is heated up- add minced garlic
Once garlic is browned- added halved brussel sprouts
Once brussel sprouts are becoming tender- added sliced portobello mushrooms
Once mushrooms are added- pour on marinade
Marinade- add desired proportions of soy sauce, olive oil, grapeseed, pure maple syrup, red wine vinegar (just a shake or two), and stone ground mustard
Cover veggies and let simmer and cook on low/medium heat

Little Asparagus!

Yummy Simple Asparagus!

Heat oven to 425
Wash and break off ends of asparagus
Drizzle olive oil over the top of asparagus
Sprinkle minced garlic over asparagus
Sprinkle garlic pepper over asparagus
Pop in the oven and cooking length will depend on the size of the asparagus. Just keep an eye on it! 

Big plate for Bubs for when he got home from work.
Mini sampler plates for Joe, Jean and Cliff

 Ask me, I will cook this for anyone anytime!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It's Official! My facebook existence is forever gone! Matt and I grabbed the last of the photos that we desired off of our accounts tonight, made our final attempt at leaving our contact info and then with several clicks of the mouse, PRESTO CHANGO! 

Here are some of the PRIZED [tagged from others] pictures from facebook that had to live on in my internal computer memory-

Had an amazing new years, despite the 8.5 hours of working into the wee morning hours. 

I am very thankful to have been surrounded by such great people!

Today I extended my vegan adventures by venturing to Choices Natural Market in Rockford, IL. Got some essentials needed and some new items for new recipes! I hope to test out the spicy tempeh nori rolls tomorrow!