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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

20 minute challenge


My tea...
 These are cards that are available in my shop on etsy that are part of a series I am doing. The idea is the drawing portion of each one has to be completed in 20 minutes. The idea for this came about because, I make cards for friends and family and they really like them. I like the idea of an original piece of art that also contains a message. I tried to make some cards to sell as originals in my shop and they came out pretty good, but, I took too long making them to be able to sell them at a reasonable price. I mean I did sell them at a reasonable price but probably too low for the amount of time I spent on them. But, I still liked the idea of a unique hand made card so, I decided okay, I am going to set a timer and see how much I can draw in 20 minutes. I was actually very surprised to see how much I could draw and also how with the time limit I tend to produce a more fluid line. I think because, I don't worry as much. I hope you like them as much as I like making them!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

East meets west vegan baked potato fusion...

If you have been following this blog you may have noticed a lot of stir fry. That is not all I eat but, I happen to like stir fry and we have been eating alot of it lately. Stir fry over baked potatoes was my daughter's idea and it is really good! We melted Daiya cheddar on top. I like it with out the cheese but with the cheese is good too. I made the stir fry a little differently then traditional stir fry to make it compatible with baked potatoes. Some dinner plans that don't include stir fry are coming soon but until then here are some weird but really good baked potatoes...

1/2 a head of cabbage
1 1/2 cups  of snow peas
1 portabello cap
1/2 an onion
1 jalapeno (optional)
2 stalks celery
Daiya cheese
Soy sauce
worcestertshire sauce
liquid smoke (optional)
3-5 cloves garlic
3-4 russet potatoes
Black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons flour

First wash the potatoes, poke them with a fork multiple times, wrap them in foil and bake them at 400 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour. When they are almost done make the stir fry.

1. Slice onion, snow peas, cabbage and celery into thin strips.
2. Mince garlic
3. Cut portabello in half, slice halves into thin slices. Mince jalapeno.
4. Heat oil such as canola in large sauce pan.
5. Brown the portabellos. Then add garlic and saute briefly.
6. Add onions, celery, jalapeno and snow peas.
7. Saute until softening.
8. Swirl in some mirin, swirl in some soy sauce, then just a splash of worcestershire sauce.
9. Grind some black pepper over it.
10. If you add the liquid smoke (we haven't tried it with this yet but think it would be good) now would be a good time.
11. Sprinkle with flour and toss to combine.
12. Cut across the tops of the baked potatoes and pinch to open, cover liberally with stir fry and cheese( if you want). Place back into oven briefly about 7-10 minutes.

As I said we haven't tried the liquid smoke yet, but think it would be good. We have tried them with and without jalapeno which were both good. Also we had them with vegan field roast apple sage sausages which was really good. Another note: more sauce is better in order to saturate the potatoes. See you later!

Vegan vegetable soup with beets...

This soup is the result of another community farm share. I basically cut up the entire share put it in a pot with salt, pepper and cooked it with some noodles I made.. It came out pretty good so, I thought I might share it. I love beets the taste and the color. I put the noodles in thinking they would turn pink which they did but not as pink as I thought they would. Oh well. I would suggest making the noodle dough first and then making the rest of the soup while it is resting. Here is the soup...

4 small red beets and their greens
1/2 a head of cabbage
1 green pepper
A handful of green beans
1 entire white onion
1 large carrot
3 stalks celery
1 vegetable bullion cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Water to cover and then some

1. Bring water to boil with with bullion cube reduce to simmer.
2. Peel and wash beets cut into cubes and add to water.
3. Wash beet greens, cut into strips, add to soup. Don't use stems.
4. Dice white onion and green pepper, add to soup.
5. Slice celery very thin add to soup.
6. Cut carrot into small rounds add to soup.
7. Cut cabbage in half, cut out core, cut into quarters and cut quarters into strips, add to soup.
8. Throw in handful of frozen green beans.
9. Salt and pepper to taste.

The noodles...

1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup water

Okay, I didn't write this one down but, I think that is right. I suggest adding your water a little bit at a time though. 

1. Stir semolina flour and all purpose flour together,
2. Add water little by little until it comes together but is not sticky.
3. Knead about 10 minutes until smooth.
4. Rest about 15 minutes under damp towel.
5. Okay, I cheated I didn't roll these out, I sliced thin slices off of the whole ball and then slice them into little strips. Probably the result would have been better if they were rolled out. These are something between a dumpling and a noodle. If you slice them off like I did or roll them out which would be better they should be very thin. Also I did not use the whole dough I used about 3 quarters of it.
6. Bring the soup to a boil again and sprinkle noodles in it, reduce to simmer. Then simmer about 10 more minutes.

Lentil Sloppy Joe's, vegan and delicious...

Lentil Sloppy Joe's
 This is a recipe for lentil sloppy Joe's. There are a whole lot of vegetables hidden in these sloppy Joe's including some that my daughter doesn't like but she eats it anyway. The secret is that they are really, really tiny. In fact if you want you can even pulse them in the food processor a few times instead of dicing them by hand. So this recipe is a good way to get a variety of vegetables into a pickier eater. I change this recipe all the time depending on what I have available and you could too. So here is what I put in the last time I made it...

1 large carrot
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
3 celery stalks
1 jalapeno
3-5 cloves garlic
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP dijon mustard
1 TBSP Brandy
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato paste
2 cups lentils
4 cups water
1/2 veggie bullion cube

1. Check lentils for rocks, rinse and put in pot. Cover with 4 cups water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Add 1/2 veggie bullion cube.
2. Clean all vegetables and cut into 1 inch chunks
3. Mince garlic and jalapeno add to lentils.
4. Pulse each vegetable in the food processor about 8-10 times. Add each vegetable to lentils and water.
5. Increase heat bring to boil again and reduce to simmer again. Simmer about 10 then star checking lentils for tenderness. You may have to add a little more water periodically before lentils are tender
6. When lentils are tender and most of the water is gone add tomato paste and the rest of the seasonings. Simmer for about 10 more minutes until it is pretty thick.
7. Salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings.

*You can change this around pretty easily, We've made them with bourbon and more brown sugar, you can add tobasco, use whisky, liquid smoke has been good, you can also use different vegetables.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My afternoon at the coffee shop...

I haven't gone to a coffee shop in a long time but, today I spent the afternoon there drawing my tea. I had forgotten how nice it is. I really like the way this one came out so I am posting it everywhere. Still working on lentil sloppy Joe's. I took new photos and wrote down the recipe so, I will be posting it soon. See you later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Between, Collage with card stock and sharpie marker, contest entry

 Every once in a while I feel like I am a spirit which strangely puts me in a good mood. For instance, I was walking home once in the summer and the air seemed to be the same temperature as I was and it was very windy. It really felt like I was either part of the wind or the wind was blowing right through me. I think a bit about spirits and a lot of my drawings look kind of like spirits who are here but not here.
This one is called Between because the woman is a spirit who is existing between places. In my imagination she is a very old soul whose natural state is as a spirit most of the time. She was separated form her friend and so, returned to a favorite and familiar place to wait for them where she has been waiting for a long time.
This drawing is for sale in my shop on etsy and is also an entry for a doodling contest that sharpie is having. Here is the address to the contest if you want to take a look... http://showcase.sharpieuncapped.com/pages/showimage/808949 See you later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Deceptive Virgin, doodling challenge painting

This painting came about because of a doodling challenge for the team I am on.  The doodling challenge was midnight in the garden of good and evil. At first I couldn't really think of anything because I didn't really feel like thinking about evil. Then my daughter and I came up with this. During medieval times not only did people believe in unicorns they also believed that their horns had magical qualities.  Because, of this people were always trying to catch them.  According to the mythology of the times one could lure and tame a unicorn with a maiden. I gathered this information from a book I have had since I was young called The Unicorn by Nancy Hathaway. This scene is inspired by the chapter about the medieval unicorn and the story there called The Hunt of the Unicorn.
In the scene I painted the hunters have lured the unicorn to this garden with this young lady who does not feel very good about what she is doing. But, the unicorn has caught sight of the not very well hidden hunters and she is going to be long gone before they can catch or harm her in any way.
This story had to have a happy ending for me because this unicorn is actually a horse I know named Terry.  Terry is a somewhat shy and gentle person so, I wanted her to run away without having to do battle or get caught. I painted this picture from a photo of Terry all lit up from the sun looking like she could be a unicorn.
This painting is for sale in my shop on etsy.
Hello again adding something to this post. One of the photos I used for this painting is now above the painting. Doesn't she look like she could be a unicorn?

Vegan Caterpillar and Kitchen sink curry

This meal I am calling caterpillar and kitchen sink curry.  This one originated because my mom accidentally left her share from a community farm in my refrigerator. I found it thinking she had left it for me. When I asked her about it she was embarrassed and refused to take it back. Anyway, I decided to make curry out of it and share it with her. 
The caterpillar aspect of this meal comes from the fact that unfortunately Grandma's vegetables came with (as far as I could see) a single caterpillar. My daughter refused to eat any of it even though the caterpillar never made it into the curry but was actually found alone on a plate where some vegetables had been. Of course everything was washed and inspected.
The kitchen sink part comes from the idea that if you have a lot of vegetables lying around you can  make curry out of them very easily.  As in I put everything in except the kitchen sink...
  The spice measurements are rough estimates because my daughter was in charge of putting in the seasoning and did not use measuring spoons.  Also I had to use dry garlic and ginger because I was out of the fresh variety but it is definitely better to use fresh so that is how I wrote it. If I were to make it again I would definitely like to add some cauliflower and  maybe some red hot pepper flakes. As is this recipe is not very spicy. This recipe is really more of a jumping off point for using your own large quantities of vegetables.  You could use what ever vegetables you have lying around and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Olive oil
4 tomatoes diced, peeled and with seeds removed
3 stalks celery diced very fine
1/2 head cabbage cut into strips
1 onion diced very fine
1 jalapeno diced very fine
1 green pepper diced
1 red pepper diced
1 diced and peeled potato
2 small zucchini diced
1-1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 TBSP flour
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
tiny dash of all spice
1 tsp coriander
3 cloves garlic
3 tsp fresh ginger

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the tomatoes in for just a few seconds. Allow to cool. When you can handle them peel the skins off, take the seeds out and dice them and set them aside.
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet add onion, garlic and ginger saute on low heat until it starts to brown.
    If you use dry ginger and garlic don't add it now add it with the rest of the spices later.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables except the tomatoes.  Saute until they start to get soft.
4. Add the seasonings and saute briefly.
5. Add the flour, stir, then add the vegetable broth and the tomatoes.
6. Simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables have reached desired tenderness.
7. Adjust seasonings and serve over rice.

Should I not tell people this caterpillar story?  I am pretty sure there were none in our curry but my daughter ate a hot dog instead. For anyone who has been keeping track the photos for lentil sloppy Joe's and east meets west baked potato fusion can not get from my camera to my computer without special software. I took them while the camera was in demonstration mode and the memory card was not in it. Those recipes are on the way as soon as I make them again. Sorry!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Doodling contest entry...

Hello everyone!  Every week the team I am on on etsy has a doodling contest.  Normally I post them in my shop.  However this weeks assignment is a logo for the team and it is not for sale so I am posting it here.  It is supposed to be an abstract tree and a dip pen with a drawing coming out of it underneath the word doodle.  Thank you for stopping by!  See you later.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Love for Japan, ink and water color illustration, Japan relief

This is a print of an Aceo sized water color and ink illustration of the word love. This print is available for sale in my shop on Etsy. Proceeds from the sales of this print will be donated to Americares for earthquake relief efforts in Japan.
Recently some one bought one of these prints and wanted to know what the story is behind it. I wrote it out for them and posted it with the listing in my etsy shop. I thought I might post it here as well...
Originally I did not include the story behind this one because I was kind of embarrassed about it and I am not great at writing. However some one asked for the story as to how I came up with the idea for this print and I decided to share it because other people might be interested. The story is as follows.
During the time of the earthquake I was working at a Japanese/French cafe called Cafe Japon. So, I really wanted to do something in order to benefit people in Japan.
My first idea was a book mark with cherry blossoms and a Japanese saying that I had heard "fall down 7 times stand up 8". I really like this saying and still do because it is very applicable to some aspects of life and during certain times. I picked a book mark because it would be both affordable and useful. The prints came out terrible and after reading a little I decided I did not know enough about Japanese culture to really understand the significance of cherry blossoms or the saying well enough to use them. I started to think some of the earth quake victims may not want to stand up right now, they might want to lie down and be covered with blankets until they get well. I began to think that different things are needed at different times.
I tried a few other designs. I made 2 Aceos depicting cats a gray cat and an orange cat. I liked the way both of them looked but I wasn't happy with those either. They looked nice but they didn't really mean anything aside form I am trying to help which is good but, I like the people I work with a lot and I wanted to say something as well as make something I thought looked really good.
I decided on love because it covers everything. Life and love kinds of reminds me of the Kenny Roger's song about playing cards...You've got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them , know when to walk away, know when to run...Different things are applicable in different situations...Sometimes you have to fight for what you love, sometimes you have to compromise for what you love, sometimes it is a good time to stand up again, some times it is time to surrender. Love heals, up holds, creates, and provides what is needed.
Originally I wanted to write it in Japanese but, I really wanted to finish it and I wasn't confident in how well my Japanese writing would come out. So I decided that English would be okay.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The art that got away...

This one I am calling secretly he likes mice.  I call this one the art that got away because I didn't really have a plan and it ended up being kind of strange.  I was taking a break from making a giant alphabet poster I am working on which is tricky because, it has a lot of detail and a plan.  So I wanted to do something without a plan.  I started out with the cat. I wanted him to be hiding in shadows.  I kind of liked him so, I thought I'll add some details in ink that will show where he is hiding.  At first it was going to be furniture but then I thought wouldn't it be more fun if he were out side. So I drew some plant life and then thought what would he be doing outside.  If he is anything like my cat he might be up to no good.  I decided to add a mouse and they would be unlikely friends gossiping to make it clear he was not up to no good.  Unfortunately when the mouse was just ink he was scarier then the cat so I fixed him up and made him less scary with acrylic paint.  I wasn't going to post them anywhere at first because I thought it came out a a little weird but since then I have had some positive feed back.  My brother thought my cat did look friendly in a cheshire cat sort of way and we are both going to try to write a story about how this friendship came about. I really like stories about unlikely friendships myself.
So far we have just developed the characters a little bit.  The cat is named Sam. He is a barn cat who doesn't come inside very often.  He likes to hang out on the porch.  He is mostly gray and very thin, kind of middle aged for a cat.  He loves to be petted and is very friendly but does not like to be picked up.
The mouse is named Whispers because he is very quiet.  He is kind of a quiet lonely little guy.
We were figuring that the cat should be kind of scary and intimidating in the first part of the story and then in the end there should be a plot twist and he turns out to be a friend.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes, these are really yummy!

This recipe is based on the basic chocolate cupcake recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I posted this photograph before when I posted the candied hot peppers recipe that they are garnished with.  At that time I made them without writing anything down and couldn't remember what I had done.  Well, my mom requested some for a potluck at her work so I made them again.  They came out great (someone at the potluck even asked if I could make some for her wedding rehearsal dinner,yay!)and this time I wrote it down.  The recipe is as follows...


1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vinegar white or cider
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup co-co powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne

1. Preheat oven to350 degrees
2. Put paper cupcake cups in pan.
3. Whisk together all liquid ingredients.
4. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to liquid.
5. Whisk until most of the lumps are gone.
6. Divide between about a dozen and a half cupcakes.
7. Allow to cool before applying the ganache.


1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond milk

1. Add chocolate and almond milk to double boiler, melt whisking occasionally until smooth and shiny.
2. Put on cupcakes immediately.

The candied hot peppers are in a previous post Called Yaki-tofu-don

*I like to use almond milk because, I like the taste and also feel that it sells better to non- vegans. Almond milk sounds kind of classy instead of sounding like a substitute for something else.  You could easily use soy milk or rice milk in this recipe instead.  Almond milk is just my personal preference.
*Also you should put the candied hot peppers on right away if you use them.

See you later!  I am off to make some more art, may be back later.  Also sorry about this I did mention on twitter that I was going to post a recipe for lentil sloppy joe's which is really good but, unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures so that will be coming later.  I'm going to make them again probably next week.