On this blog you will find... vegan recipes, products, and general info regarding vegan life. You will also find some art with the stories behind it, news of my shop on Etsy and someday hopefully some music.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colorful, work in progress...

This is a work in progress. Calling it colorful for now, haven't really decided yet.

Water colors for a silent auction for The Wild Bird Center in Ann Arbor

These 2 paintings will be for sale at an auction for the wild bird center in May 2012. They are both from a photo taken by my mom. I plan to make at least a few more by then! They are both fairly small.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brownie cake...

I don't know about you but, I have eaten some foods that I am a little embarrassed about. Some of these I ate before I was vegan and some after. You would be surprised by some of the things that are vegan. I try to be sort of healthier now in that I avoid preservatives and weird ingredients that I don't understand or don't sound like food. But, I will admit there are some things I miss.
One of the things I really miss from before I was vegan is the giant brownie, fudge and vanilla ice cream creation at Big Boy.
Well for any one else who might feel the same way I have really good news! Well, if you live in or near Royal Oak that is.
I went to eat at Inn Season the other might and they have a warm brownie and chocolate sauce creation of their own that can be ordered vegan or vegetarian and as far as I know contains no weird ingredients.Yay!
The opera cakes was great as well, unless you don't like a lot of frosting.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This was for a new blog I found through the doodling club I am on called illustration Friday. Every week you get a topic. This weeks topic was vanity. I wrote and drew these for that assignment but, I guess I missed the deadline. This was supposed to be funny! It is kind of about how thinking that you have no vanity creates kind of a paradox. According to some family members I have a weird sense of funny...The new topic is round which will probably be a little easier.
I have to stay away from topics like this!In my years of observing the world, which are not so many, I have come to the conclusion that everyone is vain. Myself,  I get no respect, so, I thought I am not terribly vain.Then I realized I might be a little vain about how vain I am not. About how I am kind of like a weeble wobble.
But, then I realized maybe that is just a reaction to the onslaught of anger and hatred I feel everywhere I go. Thinking and saying nice things about myself  to myself is some kind of self defense mechanism.
What did I do? Some one should let me in on it?
Of course, it might be kind of vain to think everyone is thinking about me. Some people probably have better things to do!
Perhaps one can gain a little humility by recognizing that one does not have it.
I had it once...Gone now...
        Ahh, it's back again, oh wait gone...
Best probably to look at some things other then yourself.
         Or really look at your self.
Recognizing that what you have may be all that you have is not vanity it is realistic. I don't have that many good qualities. Trying really hard to do what I'm best at is not vain. It's really a matter of if I don't get really good at this I am screwed. Wait, I'm not vain...I mean...See what I mean? I like what I do any way, might as well do it anyway...screwed any way, might as well do it any way...
See you later...
Just as vain to not care and think you don't have to as it is to care too much...unless you really don't care and then you think.. I am special, I don't care...Every one is special until they know it. Every one suffers is that why? maybe one reason...Or maybe we suffer to remind us not to cause too much suffering. If one person is going to suffer I guess we all have to.
Alright, I'll stop now.
     I am not vain. I know some people who love every one. I know most people are basically good people. I think I need to get out more.

A new kind of meditation...

So, the other day I realized I couldn't feel my heart beat. I had a pulse in my neck and my wrists but, when I put my hand on my chest where my heart should be again and again it didn't seem to be there.
Ah, it's true I thought. I did die. I was resurrected but, I'm not really alive...or did I leave it somewhere I can't remember...
I waited about a day not wanting to really know for sure. Finally I realized best just deal with reality whatever that may be.
I got out my stethoscope and listened.At first I couldn't find it. Then there it was on my left side right where it should be first quiet then slightly stronger...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Piano lessons!

I have spent the majority of my life working in restaurants. Lately, not going well. So, I have decided to try teaching piano. People have been telling me I should  for a long time. But, I guess I lack confidence. So, here goes... Here is the sign I made, I think it came out pretty good!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things I see while walking my dog...

Peter the Wolf

Eerie sky

Grey day

Some lovely leaves


Huge birch tree
These are some photos starting from this last summer until recently that I took while walking my dog...and also just walking down the street from the bus stop...

Vegan tomato, hazelnut cream too cold to go to the store pasta

I was watching Iron Chef and got a really good soup idea. One of the chefs had a tomato almond gazpacho. I don't know what he put in his aside from almond and tomato but,while I was watching I got an idea for a soup that I think will be really good. It was basically just going to be sort of a creamy tomato soup that would be hot with a little bit of a salad for garnish. I haven't been able to try it yet because I forgot some ingredients when I went to the store. However, some of the ingredients produced what I had for dinner tonight which is more pasta. (sorry) I promise some things that are not pasta are coming soon...In fact I have a vegan enchilada pie almost ready...This pasta once again is a really easy one but pretty good.

1/3 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped hazel nuts
1 fresh tomato
3 cloves fresh garlic minced
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP basil
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 servings worth of pasta

How I prepared this was not very chefly. I just boiled and drained the pasta. While the pasta was cooking I prepared all the other ingredients. Minced the garlic really tiny so that it would cook fast. Then drained the pasta, through all the other ingredients in stirring and heating until it is thick. If I were to do it again I would probably heat the garlic in olive oil, add the flour, then add almond milk about 1 cup, no water, fresh tomato, salt and pepper, and fresh basil, and hazel nuts and then pour it over the pasta. I was kind of grouchy today and had no olive oil white wine or almond milk. Sorry, this picture is not great and this is turning into a vegan pasta blog...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vegan creme fraiche and fresh strawberries...

I didn't measure this but I thought I would post it any way because it was really good. I guess I can estimate. This is about 2 TBSP of vegan sour cream (toffuti brand), I think it was about 1-2 TBSP of almond milk (almond dream) and about 1 tsp or so of brown rice syrup. Just whisk until smooth. I put mine over fresh strawberries but, I guess you could put it on whatever you want. Coming soon...a vegan thanksgiving past and present. In fact there may be a lot of food posting around thanksgiving because my daughter plans to come home and eat all her favorite foods in a day and a half.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The first cook book I bought myself...

Vegan with a Vengeance
This is the first cook book I bought myself. My daughter and I love to look at cook books and love to cook. In fact food has been a way for us to connect during some difficult times.We both love this one and are big fans of both Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Dahlia is a addicted to vegan pizza. In fact before she moved out this summer we had vegan pizza for maybe more then a week straight. I think she was stocking up.The recipe we use for the crust is in this book. Also the macadamia nut blondies have turned into several different really good bars. Two of which are posted on this blog. My absolute favorite in this one is the chile con carne with mole.

Merry Christmas! Blank 20 minute card!

Merry Christmas!
This one is slightly longer then 20 minutes to be honest because I drew the string of lights and then didn't get all the lights on before the timer went off. These crazy trees are very popular in my shop on etsy, In fact according to my computer they have more hearts then views. they are modeled after the sad Christmas tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas. I tend to like strange looking trees and pumpkins. Now I have a bright pink artificial tree though. Not incredibly tasteful I guess.These are blank cards running about 12.00 dollars each. http://www.etsy.com/shop/lilahjb?ref=si_shop Grrrrrr I meant to put this on the other blog!

Blank holiday cards!


These are more blank holiday cards. These are available in my shop on etsy. They are about 4.00 dollars each. They are one of a kind original illustrations no 2 are a like.These are not timed just a few minutes.

Fantasy city sky line...This weeks doodling challenge...

This is this weeks doodling challenge entry. The challenge is fantasy city sky line. I was so excited about this idea  that I had to drawn one before it was the official theme. Now I am thinking I could have been more creative so, I may make another one. But for now...

More tales...

 Came across these when I was looking for this weeks doodle entry which is going to be up here in a few minutes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More ball point pen tales...

 I don't know why I love ball point pen so much. I think that the things I draw in ball point pen come out quite a bit better then any other kind of pen. So here are some more ball point pen creations.
Heart and mind
 As soon as I can locate some pictures there will be a post about vegan Thanks givings.

Synapse trees explained...

This is another synapse tree. The first synapse drawing that I did came from my sub-conscious. It is called petals and synapses. It is available in my shop on etsy.  I did not mean to draw synapses. But, after I looked at it I realized all the things in it kind of resembled synapses. I did not feel very well at the time and I thought my brain must be trying to tell me something. In fact I was thinking my brain felt like a liquid with a few marbles floating around in it. I began to think of all of ones nerves as synapses interacting with reality. Giving it some more thought I realized that string theory really makes the phrase fabric of reality more meaningful because, all the vibrating strings might be woven together creating sort of a 3 dimensional energy fabric that we are all walking about in. That our thoughts are interacting with. Probably everyone else has already figured that out. I think I might be behind the times. I have some ideas for better looking synapse trees that I may get to eventually.

Curried cabbage...

This is my dinner. It is not the most exciting dinner I have ever made but I have a lot of spare time right now so I thought I would post it anyway. Today I went to the farmers market on the way home from work. There was not much there because it is the end of the season. So I bought cabbage and a box of potatoes. The recipe is as follows...

1 cabbage
1 potato
1 apple
1 tomato
1/2 a red onion
2 heads garlic
1 cup peas

Season with tumeric, coriander, ground cumin seeds, salt and pepper.

Sauté all vegetables in oil of your choice and sprinkle with desired amount of seasonings.

Coming soon... Vegan Thanksgivings...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vegan seitan and avocado salad

This was my dinner. Once again it is not very complicated. It is basically a cross between guacamole and chicken salad. The recipe is as follows...
1 avocado
1 tomato
1/2 a red onion
I/2 of 1 recipe of seitan.
Salt and pepper

1 part vegan sour cream
Some olive oil
Dash of lemon
1 tsp or so of brown rice syrup

1. Dice avocado and tomato.
2. Mince red onion.
3. Cut seitan into shredded chicken size pieces.
4. Combine dressing ingredients by drizzling olive oil in and stirring until it is a thick sauce. Then add everything else. Add to vegetables, add salt and pepper.

Like I said not very complicated and I am not doing anything else right this second so, I thought I might share it. I like to make my own seitan out of vital wheat gluten powder. Made at home it has a much better texture and you can flavor it how ever you want. Sounds complicated but, it takes only 5 minutes of kneading, 5 minutes of resting, then 1 hour of cooking. You can do something else while it is cooking you just have to poke it every once in a while.

Original one of a kind Holiday cards!

Don't want to go!
 Hello! This post is mostly an advertisement for 20 minute challenge cards that are available in my etsy shop. These cards are originals not prints. They are about 4" by 6" and come with an envelope in a cellophane sleeve. They run about 12.00 dollars each. To learn more about 20 minute challenge art you can look at the 20 minute challenge blog.http://twentyminutechallenge.blogspot.com/ or look at previous 20 minute challenge posts on this blog.

Winter Sunset

Young girl

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How it all Vegan, my first vegan cook book...

So, this post is the first in what is going to be my favorite vegan cook books series of posts.This is my first vegan cook book. My first attempt at vegan was in about 2000 or so. First me, then my daughter, eventually my mom as well. It did not go well. I guess everyone was to used to eating and preparing meat and we were kind of at a loss. We only ate about 2 different meals. One was mashed potato mush. Which is pretty good but, not every day. It consisted of peas, gimme lean sausage, mashed potatoes salt and a lot of pepper combined not separate. I can't remember whose creation that was. It may have been mine. The other was a seven vegetable thing from a cook book of my mom's. I want to say turine but, that doesn't sound right because it wasn't a turine. I can't remember the name of the cook book either. Any way, after a while we gave up on vegan and went back to various degrees of vegetarian. Finally my daughter handed me a book about animal rights while we were at the book store and after reading a little bit of it I realized I wasn't going to be able to eat animals any more. So, I made a rule that I could eat what ever I want as long as it wasn't an animal. This attempt went quite a bit better then the first. My mom bought us our first vegan cook book which was this one. Things greatly improved. The pancake portion of the pineapple upside down pancakes is from this book. Two other recipes I love from this book are the peanut butter cups and the peanut soup with broccoli.
Other news I think I may make the food portion of this blog into a it's own blog. I haven't decided yet. Coming soon, a post about picking wild mushrooms and eating one that tastes exactly like rare steak.

Tales upon tales...

Synapses upon synapses



Vegan summer vegetable pasta

Vegan summer vegetable pasta
Some more exciting recipes will hopefully be coming soon but, until then here is another one that is very easy but very tasty. I don't really have exact measurements for this one. The recipe is as follows...

red pepper
fresh corn
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes or jalapeno if you want
Olive oil
White wine

Alright this is a rough estimate of what I put in here. I made this a long time ago and I don't make it the same way every time.

1. Step one make as much pasta as you think you will need. For this dish I like to use a large pieces of pasta as opposed to long skinny types of pasta.
2. While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking slice all the vegetables, Zuchini and squash into bite size pieces, red pepper and onion julienne, garlic minced, fresh corn cut off the cob, diced jalapeno and chopped cilantro.
3. Heat olive oil.
4. Add garlic until it starts to bubble around the edges. Add vegetables in order of size. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. When it starts to get brownish or just soft depending upon your preference add a splash of white wine. Then add the cilantro.
6. Lastly add the pasta and toss.

You can top this with something like parmesean which I make by putting bread crumbs, almonds, salt, olive oil and brewers yeast into a food processor for a few seconds.
Coming soon vegan cook books, maybe a lasagna, some more art (which I think I might be better at then cooking) and I think I may have figured out how to post some music.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tales from my sketch book driving to Boston...

These are some sketches from my sketch book that I drew on my way to Boston to visit my daughter. The 2 cats are from a photo of our cats Grey Beauty and Tigress that I made before I left and the rest were done in the car on the way here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Doodling challenge...

This is my entry for this weeks doodling challenge for the doodling team I am on. The theme is The thing in the cup board. To view other entries you can look at the team thread which can be found here. http://www.etsy.com/teams/9581/doodlers-doing-doodles/discuss/9137753/

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Tourist Flinger

Let me tell you something about myself. Which is I don't like to drive. I really don't like to drive on expressways or in cities. However, recently I have had to make several driving trips to Boston. Believe me I am not complaining because Boston is a very beautiful city and my daughter is going to college there. One thing about Boston that you may or may not know is that driving there is crazy. The sky is full of bridges which I don't like and underneath there are tunnels  which I like even less.The first time we went for a few seconds I actually stopped the car and cried a little bit (kind of embarrassing)at a cross roads wondering which way would be worse more bridges? or more tunnels? At one point a guy smacked our car and yelled at us as he drove by.
The first time we went we stayed in a suburb called Malden, because it was less expensive then staying near the college. It was in trying to get to and from Malden that Dahlia and I discovered the tourist flinger.
It is kind of like a round about except that it doesn't go all the way around. So if you miss your exit you just have to take any exit and hope for the best.
The directions read take the second exit on the right. Basically we missed this exit pretty much every time we tried to return to the hotel. The Tourist flinger was only one way and every exit seemed to lead to a maze of one way streets so there was no way to retrace our steps. It took us any where from 1-2 hours to get back to the hotel even though our map quest directions told us it should take 20. Any way, as it turns out we misinterpreted the directions. I kept counting each road as an exit but, the first road was one way. I guess that would really be an entrance. So, it was the third road that was actually the second exit. Probably I shouldn't tell anyone this story. My daughter eventually figured it out. I mainly paniced and tried to avoid getting stuck under ground in more tunnels.
Any way, we spent so much money on parking and trying to find the hotel I have decided that staying in town is really not any more expensive then staying on the out skirts.
The above water color is a picture of the tourist flinger it is not quite as funny as I thought it would be. I guess you had to be there. Actually being there was really stressful but it was funny later.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another ball point pen creation...

This is another ball point pen creation. This is not for sale because, I am not sure how long ball point pen lasts as in, will it fade in the sun? I thought I might show it to people anyway because, it came out pretty good.