I'm Eating Pancakes

Lunch is the difficult meal for us in this house. We always seem to have enough food for yummy dinners and decent breakfasts. Most mornings we eat farina or oatmeal because it's more substantial than most cold cereals and because it's pretty quick to make (I struggle to get up when David's alarm wants me to after being up at least once, usually twice, in the night with miss LeiLei). Dinners are usually something with tofu or meat replacements and lots of veggies and flavor.  But lunch, well if we don't have any leftovers (we only ever have any when I make soups), lunch is real chore. Half of the time I can't remember what I finagled for us to eat at lunch time. I've started trying to keep track by taking iPhone pictures. Yesterday we had a delicious concoction of pasta, homemade tomato sriracha sauce (way more delicious than it sounds even if you are a rooster sauce junky like me) and spinach.

Today I wasn't sure how I was going to manage. We don't buy bread, I make all of it from scratch which takes planning (and let's face it, I am way to scatterbrained, not to mention tired, at 9:30 in the morning to remember to make some dough) so sandwiches are usually out of the question. Also we generally only have things for PB&J on the sandwich frontier. Anyways, today I made pancakes. 

I've been experimenting with homestyle vegan pancake recipes and struggling to find one that I'm truly happy with. I just wanted some tasty, traditional pancakes without eggs and butter. After trying enough to know what things I did and didn't like about the recipes, and about how much of a flour to moisture ratio I needed I came up with my own today. It rocked our socks! Perfect, for us, pancakes (pancake preferences are a sensitive matter, David didn't even like pancakes before I made them for him). Not too fluffy or too dense, and very moist. If you've never made pancakes without a mix, you should try some ASAP, whether you use this recipe or not.


1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour (regular would be okay, just a little more dense and dry)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vegan sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon egg replacement powder* =ERP, plus 3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons vegan shortening (ie: Earth Balance), melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup soymilk

1. Mix the dry ingredients (minus the egg replacement powder) together until well combined. 
2. In a small bowl whisk ERP with water until dissolved.
3. Mix the shortening, vanilla, ERP mixture, and soymilk into the dry ingredients until fairly smooth. Some lumps are okay.
4. Pour desired pancake sizes into a skillet with vegan shortening and cook on low-med heat. Flip the pancake when bubbles uniformly cover the batter-up side.

Serve with any toppings you like. We used organic agave nectar this time around. Blueberries and powdered sugar would be amazing with these! 

Firing Up the Canon

Right now I am not so patiently (patience is not something I'm good at) waiting for the UPS man to deliver our awesome new toy. Upgrading from iPhone 3GS photos to Canon DSLR is a huge deal, for me anyways. I'm freaking stoked!

Last time we received a package, it showed up a few minutes shy of nursing Lorelei to sleep for her nap and the knock on the door startled her awake. Unfortunately because of the interruption she never napped that day and it was a long evening! Crossing my fingers that UPS doesn't show til after she falls asleep today, but in enough time for me to hit the gym.

Here's to better pictures than the high school-ish bathroom selfie above in my Canon owning future!


Out of the Photo Phunk

1. Decorating the kid. 2. Aqua ball jars, meet pretty lights. 3. She loves lights. 4. Sparkling. 5. Lounging while mama makes Thanksgiving dinner. 6. Oh, tenenbaum. 7. Gilman Village, Issaquah, WA. 8. Rain. 9. Issaquah Coffee Company, they has vegan goodies and soy, almond, and rice milk. 
I'll admit that I'm a total Instagram junky, and that I'm guilty of over processing every photo I ever take even with my digital camera. Though I don't have much (ahem, any) photographic skill or talent I tend to gravitate toward pictures that aren't fully saturated and crisp. I like the photos in this space to feel like they are a natural extension of the way the blog looks.

1. Lorelei plunking mama's guitar. 2. Trying on hats at Target. 3. Gypsy dancing in her highchair. 4. Drinking all of mama's ginger beer. 5. Earl Grey, abandoned kitty. :( 6. Playing with ma har. 7. Grocery shopping. 8. Just some toys, all over the place. 9. Trying on mama's "boodies".
As I've been blogging close to a year now, my taste and ability to make an image look how I want have changed. Okay, really I just found a set of photoshop actions that I  love. Soon loves, soon, I will hopefully be sharing kitchsky IG photos (since they most easily and readily capture everyday life) in designated posts and less processed images otherwise. Two reasons: my hubby is taking up photography seriously and will be taking 75 percent or more of the pictures you see here, and two we're moving on up from our Fujifilm S1800 to a Canon (really that's all that needs to be said to designate a huge difference) T3. *GASP* Cyber Monday got the best of us y'all. We do this thing where we spend our tax returns before we get them, it's super consumerist and bad, and we feel guilty every time, but guys it's a freakin Canon! 

1. Savory thyme scented sweet potatoes (favorite dish from T-day). 2. Cafe Latte with soy and pumpkin pie! 3. Wine glazed brussel sprouts. 4.Dau Sot Ca Chua,Vietnamese tofu dish (recipe soon). 5. Eeeeeeee! 6. Ginger Pumpkin Curry Soup, recipe: see previous post. 7. Pumpkin pie, it killed me that I only made one. 8. Field Roast Celebration loaf and baked carrots. 9. Latte.
So enjoy these Instagram pictures if you haven't seen them already and then brace your selves, photographs are coming! 


Ginger Pumpkin Curry Soup

This Thanksgiving I made every bit of my pumpkin pie from scratch. This entailed sawing open, gutting, and baking a 6 pound pie pumpkin. I had twice the amount of pumpkin that I needed in the end (sadly not more, because there are at least 20,000 more recipes using pumpkin I'd love to try). I'm not a fan of wasting food so I whipped up this recipe in my head and gave it a whirl. It turned out exactly how I imagined and like most puréed soups was stupid easy. 

Here's what you'll need (of the ingredient varietal):

1 sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups of cooked pumpkin, or 2 cans of purée (not the pie filling)
2 cans light coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup chopped spinach

Optional garnish:
Sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions.

Tools: Measuring cups, grater, knife, 6-8 quart pan, food processor/blender/immersion blender.

First things first, get out all of your ingredients and chop and grate. Doing this first makes the whole cooking process more breezy.

Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to your pot and heat on medium until the onion becomes cooked and the others fragrant. 

Next throw in that scrumdiddlyumptious orange mushy stuff called pumpkin, mix it a little, and pour in both cans of decadent coconut milk (try not to taste too much of it from the can, you need all that creamy goodness in the soup). Mix well and add the soy sauce and curry powder.

Cook until hot and pretty well combined and then blend until it's velvety smooth. Once it's blended add it back to your pot and throw in the chopped spinach. Cook it for a couple of minutes (that will seem hideously long if you're really hungry or just want all the pumpkin in your mouth like me) on a medium low heat. 

Serve hot and garnish if you please. Enjoy the rich creaminess and pumpkin-y color. I highly recommend having it with a good ginger brew, but I might be a little bit of a ginger fiend. No big deal...

Everyone should also note, and be as thankful as I am, that my husband took the pictures for me. He's the photographer in this family. 


Just Checking In Here

So, it's been too long since I posted, obviously. In my defense, I have been a busy woman what with moving (mostly on my own and with a toddler in tow) and cooking and cleaning and such. Things are slowing down now and I'm hoping to be much more present here with pictures of the new place (most likely in disarray), recipes, and maybe (no promises) some little projects I want to do with decor for our new apartment and the holidays. It already feels a lot more like home here than our last apartment ever did. We're very excited about our first solo and also first vegan Thanksgiving. Lorelei is adjusting very well, which is no surprise. She's a very adaptable little thing (like daddy). Right now I'm supposed to be cleaning the kitchen which always seems to be a mess, and also cleaning out some old 5 gallon paint buckets that we're turning into planters for our courtyard garden this spring. Since that doesn't leave me time to upload and edit pictures (most of which are on my Instagram feed @maelivefree anyways) I'm going to leave you with this sweet video that the Clarkcakes are really digging right now. :) Happy Sunday.

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