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Archive for the ‘Troy goodness.’ Category

One morning while walking back from brunch, we noticed how chilly it had become over the previous week. I then thought that I should put out extra feed for the birds to enjoy; I did after all have to winterize the porch. And then the idea of a vegan alternative to suet came to mind.

While understanding that most birds in the ‘hood are indeed omnivores, I’d prefer not to purchase any products made of animals and bring them into our living environment. I quickly turned to the Internet for a recipe and took to the kitchen early yesterday morning. It was the chilliest day yet!

Veggie “Suet” Blocks Makes four blocks

  • 2 cups of veggie shortening
  • just over a cup of bird seed
  • about half a cup of peanut butter (it’s all I had in the cupboard)

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Melt the veggie shortening over a low heat to prevent it from burning. Once completely melted, turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Then stir in the seeds. Pour into a mold (I used an aluminum pan) and cool until solid- I put the pan out on the back porch and it only took about thirty minutes to harden. Cut and put into feeder; I had a leftover suet cage from last winter. Hang and watch the birds gobble it up!

Oh, and you can keep the leftovers in the freezer until the next time you need to refill.

This was a softer recipe and next time I think I’ll try adding a little chickpea flour to firm it up more- but it did hold it’s shape well. I love having birds around and jump out of bed in the morning when I hear them in the (glass) feeder. I’ve only seen one blue jay this year and he was gorgeous! Don’t get me wrong, the little chickadees are darling but I’d love to have mister blue come to visit again this winter. Here’s to lending a helping hand and enjoying every bit of nature, even while living in the city.

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In celebration of the seven hundred and thirty days that the beau and I have known each other, I got a little special something made locally for our wall of art. We both agreed on no gifts but I still wanted to make this a surprise. It was a last minute idea and Petra over at Anchor No. 5 Boutique made it happen.

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A Scorpio constellation hoop! I love the idea of having mix media hanging up on the walls and this little installation looks perfect up with our favorites that we’ve both collected. Does that YOU + ME print look familiar?

These little hoops would make the cutest little gift for any birthday, nursery or as a holiday decoration. Aren’t any good at embroidering or in a hurry like myself? Hit up Petra or better yet sign up for one of her upcoming embroidery classes. So cute!

{This was not a sponsored post.}

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“hi friends! vito here!

it’s that time of year again! you know, the time when the air is crisp and the zombies seem to roam the streets of downtown troy at night. it seems as though the kitty kitty cocoa puff and i have an annual tradition of hanging out during this weekend (whether he likes my company or not). i tried extra hard this visit to show him my appreciation; i brought him his drug of choice disguised as a banana: catnip. let me tell you, he is not a happy user. he was giddy for about ten minutes then decided to sit up by the back porch and stare at me. no joke. i thought a zombie got to him; i’ve never seen him sit up so straight.

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while he was coming down, i helped out in the kitchen. i had missed dinner but knew by the smell of things, that veggies were near. i helped put their most recent delivery away.

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in the bag:

  • orange, yellow and white carrots
  • broccoli
  • mesclun lettuce
  • mutsu apples
  • braising mix
  • hidabeni turnips

once i heard them talking about their cooking plans, i knew it was going to be a cozy weekend. carrot soup with crunchy chickpeas are my favorite! broccoli with garlic sauce is my favorite! the unstuffed squirrel that i throw around and off the couch is also my favorite!

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anticipation of good food kept me up thursday night and i couldn’t sit still… i had to build up an appetite! i did this by running as many laps as possible around the bachelor pad. i finally crashed around three a.m. when coaxed under the covers… but not by kitty. he scrambled into the other room, geeze.

other than snuggling in and getting plenty of belly rubs, i’ve been exploring the streets. early morning walks before the sun comes up are my favorite but good grief! those crows! they stir in the sky; i’m thankful that i’ve got speed on my side. don’t believe me? i’ve been sprinting every other block to build up endurance… or to tucker myself out so that i sleep more soundly.

on today’s list: more belly rubs, a possible trip to our favorite farm (sweater on of course), carving a couple of pumpkins while drinking hot cider and vodka water not from the toilet and listening to the halloween party radio on pandora. i forgot to bring my costume so i’ll be staying in to continue the festivities with kitty, but am looking forward to the possibility of french fries in the morning.”

to read previous diary entries from vito, read here and here.

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eat fresh

In this week’s bag:

  • savoy cabbage
  • broccoli rabe
  • chiogga beets
  • mesclun
  • roma tomatoes
  • parsnips
  • honey crisp apples
  • ground cherries

Here’s the post where I confess I am craving a lot of non-vegan food! For example, last night I *almost* had the beau drive me all the way to Hudson for Mexican (Mexican Radio). The plus side of that place however is that they have many vegan options… but I wanted cheese, so we didn’t go. Instead the beau whipped up our favorite “cheese” sauce made of cashews and veggies and we had loaded nachos! Refried beans, salsa and avocado were the toppings of choice.

But my cravings don’t end there, nope. Pre-vegan I HATED candy corn. This year, I think because I can’t have it, I want to grab a handful each time I pass the candy bowl at work. Or just one kernel would do. I know I would HATE it just as much as last year, so I’ve been bringing a sweet option for me to snack on at work in the afternoon (fresh fruit).

I must also note that my office is right next door to the break room with the microwave. So when someone heats up chicken cacciatore at ten o’clock in the morning, I want it. ASAP. I don’t know what it is lately, but I think it’s a sign that I need to spend more time in my kitchen and less eating out. Which is exactly my goal for the month of October: no eating out during the entire month. Not only is it going to save me some cash, but it’ll also save my waistline. Four days down, twenty-seven to go!

On to this week’s delivery: the ground cherries are already almost completely gone; they were a delicious afternoon snack today. As was an apple this morning. These beets are my favorite (because of the pink and white swirl when you slice them) and will most likely boil them and toss ‘em in vinegar. The only other real plans I have are for the parsnips- because they have such a strong flavor, I’m going to toss them in a little EVOO and balsamic vinegar and bake them. The beau makes a killer tomato sauce, so that might be what happens to this week’s delivery of  tomatoes.

We are both extremely busy this weekend between work, traveling and hiking. As of right now, Sunday is off for hiking because of the rain forecast but only time will tell. I honestly am looking for a day off to clean– I must have hit my head along the way, right? Hope you all have a productive weekend and reach all the goals you set for yourself!

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In this week’s bag:

  • green acorn squash
  • arugula
  • yellow, green and dragon tongue string beans
  • broccoli
  • red bell pepper and red sweet aruba cubanelle mux
  • tuscan kale
  • bartlett pears
  • chardonnay grapes
  • gala apples

What a great week of produce! As soon as I got the bag, I messaged the beau and proclaimed my excitement for dinner! At the time I didn’t know what we were having, I was just excited by the options. The result: a creamy acorn squash alfredo sauce!

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photo 1 (2)Leave it to Pinterest, I found this recipe and tweaked it a tiny bit because we didn’t have everything on hand at the apartment. Going into meal prep, I knew we only had half a box of pasta and would have more than enough “alfredo” sauce. So, I sauteed some other veggies up too to add to the pasta and make it a little more filling. We had some leftover mushrooms from earlier in the week and then used half of the kale and a pepper. It turned out great! The beau and I each had two servings and didn’t have any leftovers.

My plan for the rest of the produce: eat it all up as soon as possible because I won’t be home for the next three days to enjoy it! The apples will be coming along with me on my trip as fuel and the pears will continue to be perfect snacks. I’d love to make a bean casserole next week; the beans always hold up good for a couple of days in the fridge. Now those grapes are sweet but have multiple seeds… so they will most likely be enjoyed in a shake. Tonight to prepare for my trip, I’m going to make a big hearty serving of my favorite coconut kale with brown rice. This is my version of carb- loading.

I’m looking forward to many more weeks of squash and root veggies. Do you have any favorites this season? 

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In this week’s bag:

  • peaches
  • baby bok choy
  • concord grapes
  • spaghetti squash
  • edamame
  • cauliflower
  • salad mix

The other night while I was working at the store, there was a print party going on with a bunch of gals celebrating a friend’s birthday. They brought beer, wine, chips and salsa, a bean dip, fresh fruit and a DUN DUN DUN buffalo chicken dip. It was seriously difficult to avoid the snack table. Ever since that night, I’ve had a hankering for something buffalo… and when I saw what was in this week’s bag, I knew I’d make buffalo cauliflower! Paired with a big green salad, so good!

I still have the concord grapes from last week, so tonight I’m going to make grape juice as I clean the apartment. If I’m remembering correctly, they do need to simmer for a long time = the apartment is going to smell sweet. The peaches are great pre-running fuel and afternoon snacks- they surely won’t go to waste. The edamame will be boiled and seasoned to perfection. I personally like this “island” seasoning mix my mom brought back from the Caribbean a couple of years ago; it’s sweet, salty and a little bit smokey.

This weekend I’m going to be heading downstate to check out my little sister’s new house! She and her boyfriend bought a condo last month and I finally have a free weekend to go see the place and the city that she now calls home. My mom and I are leaving super early tomorrow and I’m bringing the spaghetti squash with me so that I can teach her how to cook it. I know that she doesn’t like squash, but I think this will be an exception. I love to bake it, then scrape it out and fry it up with fresh garlic and black pepper. Oh, how I love autumn root vegetables!

The three of us are going to head to the beach (the same one we visited last year) AND we are going to IKEA! Wahoo! My mom has never been and I have a bookshelf to pick up for the apartment. Super excited to get a home for the boxes of records filling up the living room and to have the record player up off the floor.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay active, stay happy and give someone a hug!

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In this week’s bag:

  • concord grapes
  • braising mix
  • broccoli
  • roma tomatoes
  • yummy snacking peppers
  • sweet corn
  • seckel pears

The beau and I were both super excited to see/smell the concord grapes in the bag because last year when we got them, I ended up making a big batch of fresh grape juice. It was delicious and lasted us a week or so; we diluted it a ton because neither of us is use to drinking juice on a daily basis. I may throw some into my morning shakes for an extra pop of flavor!

The sweet corn will be tasty in some sort of stir fry, possibly with the onions and peppers I plan on cooking up tonight with tempeh for “fajitas”.  The broccoli I’d love to steam up and enjoy with the eggplant parmesan I plan on making this weekend, layered with fresh tomatoes and basil. The beau tasted one of the peppers this morning and said it was good; paired with some homemade hummus and sriracha, they will become a perfect snack. Lastly, those pears. We were advised to let them ripen a few more days- after that, I’m poppin’ them in the oven for a sweet treat with cinnamon. Nature’s dessert.

This morning I ran my last run, five miles, before the race this Sunday. I ran alone and only spoke once to myself as I was nearing the top of Congress Street; no I’m not going to quit! My meals over the next 48 hours are going to be “strict”- as clean as possible with tons of vegetables, complex carbs (my favorite, short grain brown rice) and plenty of water. I am a no meat athlete and truly thrive on clean food!

I can’t wait to spend time with my sister and see her cross that finish line; this will be a tricky course for both of us (the hills!). Hope you all have a wonderful and rewarding weekend; send positive vibes!

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