Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being Thrifty

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I braved the mornings of Black Friday.

My Sis and I had a kick-butt system to know what we wanted, get what we wanted, and managed to spend less than 45 min in a store. Boo-yah!

However, after a couple years of trying to buy things with a) less packaging b) not from China c) less plastic d) lightly used and being saved from a landfill, I decided to forgo Black Friday for 2010. Sis was in California anyway but I knew Ma was up for the challenge if need be. Alas, I didn't have to desire to shop. I really didn't need anything and I am really trying to buy clothes used. I don't need brand-spankin' new clothes (only shoes).

When Friday afternoon rolled around I was chillin' at home HOME (with the rents) and got the itch to shop. I guess being home and it being the Black Friday made me get the fever.

It was decided that Ma and I do a lil' shoppin'. (after she took her afternoon nap.) We chose to go to Salvation Army (everything 50% off!) and Joann Fabrics to get supplies for homemade Christmas gifts. So it was a very Emily 2010 shopping trip. We ended up getting bags of clothes, home decor, and other misc stuff at SA for $44! Seriously, at a "real" store all that useful shit would have cost  well over $200.

So we Ma managed to spend a whopping $60 on Black Friday. I got about 6 items of clothing and great home decor.

I even got a new tv stand on Saturday!! (Not really a black friday special but all that purchasing got me wanting a new tv stand.) $50 Ikea TV stand/entertainment center on craigslist. Bye Gramma's oak entertainment center. You served us well. You will go to a great college student home after we post you for free on craigslist. (Free because it is ugly AND we managed to shatter one of the glass window things upon removal from the living room to the garage, that shit was heavy.)

All in all it was a great Thanksgiving weekend with family, shopping, and food. (I made pumpkin pie from garden squash, mushroom/potato casserole, vegan cranberry "jello", and a cheeseball. It was good.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rediscovering Ginger

I am rediscovering ginger.

Not this Ginger....
....but this Ginger
I am sure you know all about ginger and the health benefits of ingesting it. It helps digestion, upset stomachs, and dizziness. It probably makes you smarter too.

I was using ginger a lot in my cooking a couple years ago because it is in so many Asian recipes and I LOVE Asian food. Ginger is also used a bunch in "whole food" cooking, which I was doing a couple of years ago. However, this year I kinda stopped buying it and wasn't using it in dishes. I think it may be because I have so many go-to recipes now that I just plain forgot to add ginger. It wasn't part of my main shopping list.

Alas, I used a recipe two weeks ago and lo and behold it called for ginger. I realized I had missed ginger....a lot. I also learned a new way of cooking it....when you are cooking/frying your onions at the beginning of a recipe, throw in the ginger. It will be crunchy and delicious by the time you are done!

Now I am using ginger in so much food (stir fry, veggie dishes, sushi). I am sure my digestive system loves it.

Here is a helpful hint if you want to use ginger. Buy a big tuber (that is what they are called) and cut it up into various sizes then stick it in a baggie and put it in the freezer. It will last FOREVER. When you want to use it, take out the size piece you want, peel it (one side may have a little freezer burn but just cut/peel that off), cut it up and perfect. You have ginger that is in great shape and didn't go bad after a week of buying it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Breakfast Menu

I have really been thinking about this farm business.

While I am not a farmer, I am a "chef". I put chef in quotations because I think I can cook, and cook well, but I feel like a chef is someone who went to France and learned how to cook duck. I am more of an amateur.

I have decided that I want to start a restaurant in Ferndale. I am giving myself 8 years to do this. I was thinking the other day that Ferndale is pretty boring. There is bowling (good place to see old people), Hovander park (good place for minors to drink in the brush), Lake Terrell (good place to get shot), and Chihuahuas (best Mexican in Whatcom Co). However, there isn't a good local food restaurant, kind like Boundary Bay or something similar. There is no place for people to go listen to coffee house music or no place for teens to hang out in the evenings. Sure, we have Woods Coffee but 1) there coffee is bad 2) there don't actually have any cool things going on there.

So, I have decided to open a local restaurant that serves fresh, gourmet-y type food but that also doubles as a coffee shop with local music (totally Jazz on Thursdays) and hell, maybe even a poetry reading or two.

In order to do those things though T has told me I have to talk to a local and see if there has ever been a place that tried to do what I want to do and failed. I should probably find out if I am the only one who thinks my idea is brilliant. Maybe I am the only Ferndalian that wants local food, jazz music, board games, good coffee, and art without having to drive to Bellingham.

Anywho, to jump right into it here is my Sunday Breakfast Menu:

French Toast choice of vegan or not
Chicken Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy
Breakfast Sandwich choice of  bacon or tofu
Tofu Scramble
Oh and everything comes with a side of home-fried potatoes
Coffee from Moka Joe

I would have a somewhat specialty restaurant with an emphasis on vegan/vegetarian food but daily specials of meat products. Open for breakfast and dinner on the weekends. Open for lunch and dinner during the weekdays. Appetizers only after 9p - 11p on Friday and Saturday.

You know, initial plans. Oh shit, I forgot vegan cinnamon rolls, that would be on the breakfast menu too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skype Business

Okay, so, what is all this "skype" business?

About a month ago, I was really perplexed on what all the hype was about. Nothing sounded worse than skyping. It's like talking on the phone, blegh, but the person you are talking to can see you?! Gross. I don't want people to know I am rolling my eyes, planning my week, eating spaghetti, and watching a movie all while talking to them.

As I am sure you realize, talking on the phone just isn't my cup o' tea. I'd rather see (and by see, I mean hang out once a month) people or email. Seriously, I know emailing is lame but I just don't have the desire to talk on the phone for 30 minutes. I am a serious multi-tasker and talking on the phone while doing the dishes is really hard. Plus, people do always know when you are going to the bathroom and talking on the phone at the same time. I'd rather just save myself the embarrassment. On the other hand, emails take like 5 minutes, you get straight to the point and move on to other important business. Like You Tube dances.

I recently found out that my sister started using skype with her fiance while they are in different states. Okay. Cool. I suppose that is a pretty nice thing. But what really got me understanding skype was that I heard soldiers use it when they are on deployment to communicate with their families. Now that is cool. It is free and easy to use.

My mom on the other hand doesn't use it because she can't get passed the sign up phase. They ask for her name.*scammer alert*

So although I think the US military has got a great way to communicate with family, I think I will stick to just not talking to people.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Let me just take a moment to distract all granola/hippy jokes. Yes, I eat granola. Yes, I drive a Subaru. Yes, I eat organic. Yes, I recycle. blah blah. Funny, funny. There.

Anywho, I used to buy granola every week because I love it on my morning cereal and on my yogurt. However, granola, locally made, is $6.29/lb. Granola is pretty heavy stuff too. After ranting about how much T's cereal was, I realized I should probably take into account my granola. I figured it couldn't be hard to make.

Turns out making granola is hella easy to make and totally NOT expensive. You just have to figure out what kind of granola you like...dry, kinda soft, chunky, not chunky, etc. I really like chewy, chunky stuff with peanut butter, nuts, and cinnamon. So I took some recipes online, tweaked things here and there, and now I make granola weekly.

This recipe lasts me a little over a week


1/2c sesame seeds
1/2c chopped almonds
2T dried fruit
1/2c flour
1/4c whole wheat flour
1/4c ground flax seed (I use an old coffee grinder to grind my flax)
4T butter
2T coconut oil
2T olive oil
1/3c honey
1/3c peanut butter
2 1/2c oats
2t cinnamon
2T milk (I use vanilla soy)


Preheat oven to 250.
1. Melt your butter and honey and coconut oil.
2. Soften your peanut better.
3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I use my mixer bowl.
4. Mix all ingredients together, minus the agave, (using your paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on a low speed until well combined.
5. Spread onto an oiled baking sheet. If you like somewhat chunky granola leave some chunks together.
6. Bake for 10 min. Then take out and lightly squirt agave onto top. Not too much though or the agave won't bake into the oats. Turn everything over.
7. Bake for another 10 min.
8. Take out of oven and let sit on the pan until cool.

Store in ziplock bag or glass jar.
Play with the recipe though or look at others online and see what you think.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whoa is Me

I am tired. Seriously. Tired.
I am disappointed.

This election business has me pissed right off. I am a very rational person and I believe in democracy which is why I put my signature on petitions when people want things on ballots. I believe that if we vote on things, democracy will stand. That's cool with me.
However, what I am not cool with is lying. Yea, I used to do it when I was little, like all.the.time. But when I got caught enough times riding in my friends' cars *gasp* (even though I was 16), I stopped. This is why I have a problem with this 2010 election, some politicians just didn't stop, and still haven't.

I feel like people don't look at all the facts or research things for themselves. Rather, they read the voter pamphlet exclusively or listen to tidbits of things here or there. I mean, that is what happens, people don't have time to research everything and that is why I am frustrated with the bended truth.

Here is my beef:

Republicans were running on "big spending" "huge deficit" and "employment rates". When I heard Republicans saying Obama has raised the deficit and all that shit I seriously turned to T and said. Wait, what?! That is NOT true. Seriously. Bush created a bigger deficit when he was in office and there are MORE jobs today than there were at the end of the Bush administration. Why are they saying that?! I swear to you, I honest to goodness do not understand why everyone is talking about liberal politics when things are actually improving. Oh and don't even start me on the health care bill where 90% of Americans agree with the individual policies but when you ask them "do you agree with the Obama Health Care Reform", 75% of them say no. Does that make ANY sense?! People think the insurance industry shouldn't be allowed to deny people health care. Der.

To me it sounds like people are so divided because of the words Democrat and Republican which is why I would be upset when some people are just saying things to get votes and make one party distrust the other. Granted, this time around, no one really voiced the opposition to the fluffy lies. Some did try to explain that they inherited this mess (totally true) but they didn't do a good job explaining that things are getting better. Alas, people don't listen though when the TV highlight of the night is Sarah Palin strutting her stuff and using swear words to get those white middle class folks pumped up. (I do it to be funny. SP is NOT funny.) It makes me barf. Can we please get real information?!

I just want a world with health care for everyone and services for people in need and equal rights for everyone! I don't care if I am taxed to help people. I believe that there are great programs out there. And yes, I believe in the government, businesses, and non profits. I don't need $200,000 to be happy. I do believe that regulations need to occur because not everyone has good intentions and people should be held accountable. Yes, I voted for people of both parties in 2010, I saw good and non-bullshit from both parties. But, I am pissed. All I hear on the radio (I don't have TV) is how we will turn around the deficit and blah, blah. For CHRIST SAKE, the national deficit is NOT higher than what was inherited from 2008/2009 (same fiscal year)!! Perhaps you think things should have turned around faster but really? Really? Do you remember how ridiculous things were at the end of 2008?!

However, if you did vote on other issues though, its cool. I just wanted you to know that some headliners were complete crap. Stinky crap.

I feel a little better now and I hope things will get done in the next two years because I think we were just starting to get some good momentum going.