Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I PROMISE I will start blogging more often. I have so much to say and miss typing it all down over here.

With that, Merry Christmas to all of you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Pie!!!

I've been uber busy, and I am sorry for my absence. Ever since I got a job, I've been too lazy to blog after or before work. How lame am I!

But I just haaaad to share this amazing recipe! I love fall, and I love pumpkin, and I love love love pumpkin pie. This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is so good, and it's VERY easy to make! My mom, a non-vegan, even says this is the best pumpkin pie she's ever tried.

The recipe calls for granulated sugar cane syrup, but I couldn't find any so I used regular sugar and it turned out awesome. I also didn't make the crust; a premade crust had to do and it also turned out awesome. So feel free to try that as well if you try this recipe!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I love love LOVE this holiday! I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween! Here is a picture of the pumpkins me and Phil carved earlier this week. I am very proud of my ghost :) Phil isn't too into carving pumpkins, but he did it anyway to make me happy. What an awesome guy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Screw M&M's

My sister came home from vacation today. She came over with a big champagne looking bottle filled with M&M's for my Mom from M&M world.

I know M&M's have milk in them. I know very well they are made with milk chocolate. But they were staring at me. And I caved. I ate 2 hand fulls of M&M's. And OMG do I feel like shit, not just emotionally (I feel bad I slipped), but physically. I am straight up nauseous!

Now I remember why I don't eat crap in the first place. Plus, if you haven't had a certain type of food in a while, your body is definitely gonna react funny.

Needless to say, I won't be slipping up on the whole vegan thing again! BOOO DAIRY AND NASTY SUGAR!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

McNuggets Anyone?


"Who would still eat this?"

*everyone raises hand*

.....Really? REALLY? I'm over here yacking...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Ever since I moved back to Illinois temporarily, I decided what better way to pass the time then to sign up for the gym? I've had a few gym memberships but I always cancel them usually because I rarely went. Last time I cancelled it, I was moving to Germany but I actually did go a lot. I missed that gym...but woohoo I'm back!

I signed up again and decided to try out some classes. I wont lie, me and cardio don't get along. I tried a step class and nearly died. Yeah I'm definitely out of shape, but at least I tried. So after that bad experience, I stuck to the eliptical and treadmill for cardio. I've done yoga plenty of times before, so this time I decided why not try pilates? I heard nothing but great things about pilates so I gave it a go.

Well after my first class, my entire core was throbbing. I couldn't even cough without my abs feeling sore. It was AWESOME. Obviously this class works. I now go 2 times a week, every week! It's actually a very relaxing class and I feel totally better after I leave. I will for sure keep up with this when I move back to Germany.

If you're not sure what pilates really is, check out this video. It shows pretty much what we do in class when it comes to our core. And GIVE IT A TRY!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeeee!

I made an awesome wish, by the way!

Well, Happy Birthday to me last Monday :P I turned 22 last Monday, September 13! WOOT WOOT!

Of course the traditional birthday dessert is the wonderful birthday cake. My parents bought me a delicious vegan cookies and cream cake from Whole Foods. It was so worth it! Just marvel on the beauty of this baby...

Doesn't it just look delish? I wont lie, at first I thought it was way too sweet. But I've noticed lately my sense of sweet has been a lot more exaggerated then before. I am a bit proud of this since that means I am doing well with not eating so much sugary crap. All in all, it was a very good cake though and I plan to go to Whole Foods any time I don't want to make my own cake and need one for any occasion. Go Whole Foods!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"Diabetes is least common in the population groups whose diets emphasize carbohydrates. Take Japan, where rice is a traditional staple. Prior to 1980, fewer than 5 percent of the adult population there had diabetes. But once fast food and meat started to displace rice, diabetes became much more prevalent. By 1990 the prevalence of diabetes in Japan had doubled.

In the U.S., the risk for type 2 diabetes is highest among frequent meat-eaters. Vegans have the lowest risk, and other groups (semi-vegetarians, fish-eaters, and lacto-ovo-vegetarians) are in between. The real problem seems to be not carbohydrates, but fatty foods.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by antibodies - tiny biological "torpedoes" that under normal circumstances are produced by the body to fight invading bacteria and viruses. Diabetes results when, in the body's version of "friendly fire," antibodies attack the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

What turns antibodies against the pancreas? One theory is that certain viral infections are to blame. But another possible culprit is cow's milk. Researchers are now exploring whether avoiding cow's milk early in life can help prevent diabetes. Human milk is no problem. Studies have shown that breast-fed children are much less likely to develop diabetes than children fed milk-based formula.

At one time, type 2 diabetes was called "adult-onset" diabetes. But more and more cases are showing up in children, likely the result of poor dietary habits and the childhood obesity epidemic.

Conventional wisdom long held that once someone developed diabetes, he/she would have it forever. But with the advent of gastric bypass surgery, it became clear that extreme weight loss could reverse some cases of type 2 diabetes.

In 2009, the American Diabetes Association endorsed a new dietary approach to treating diabetes - one that focuses on low-fat, vegan (pure vegetarian) eating. Many people have found that this approach leads to significant weight loss and sometimes to the disappearance of signs of diabetes. Of course, going back to poor eating habits is likely to cause diabetes to come roaring back."

I quoted this from an article I saw online. I see things like this more and more that makes me believe that the vegan lifestyle in the best, most healthy and awesome lifestyle there is! Screw diabetes, go veg!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Squirrel Friends

In our backyard, we have tons of little creatures that like to visit and take some nuts from our trees. Well, my dogs have never seen a squirrel before! You'd think there would be plentiful in Germany, but really we don't get a lot of animals in our yard like we do here. Needless to say, Meesha and Sammy have their own personal TV in front of the window.

I've noticed some old crackers and almonds in our cabinets lately, so one day I decided to feed the squirrels =D. They seemed to enjoy the free and easy to get food for the day, and my dogs sure enjoyed watching them!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I haven't had much to blog about lately. My life is kinda boring. Hopefully something fun will come up to blog about soon, haha! But for now, here is something amazing to drool over: an amazing, delicious, mouth-watering piece of vegan cheesecake. I bought a slice from Whole Foods a while back and it was orgasmic. Very filling too. Now stare and drool, then go google a recipe to make your own cause that's definitely what I did!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Farmer's Market

I lied. I didn't go to Veggie Fest this year =( I'm really bummed about it, but things came up and I just didn't want to go alone. I WILL go to Veggie Fest one year. I heard it was awesome... booo Carla for not going =(

But I did do something fun this weekend. Me and my mom went to the local Farmer's Market on Friday. It was my first experience shopping there and it was awesome. When we first got there, we saw a bunch of tents with TONS of fruits and veggies just waiting for us to buy. We definitely bought a whole weeks worth of produce. Our fridge is beyond full of yumminess. They even had a variety of nuts that we just had to try and we went home with a lot of flavored pecans. MMMMMMMMMMMMM

Friday, August 6, 2010

I've been lazy.

There is no excuse...I have been lazy. It's been a while, I know! Since I last blogged, a lot has happened but I have just not been in the blogging mood. I have grown out of my funk.

My sister's wedding was on the 31st of July and we all had an amazing time. The wedding was gorgeous, the bride was gorgeous, us bride's maids were gorgeous, and it was totally awesome seeing all of our friends and family in one building dancing the night away, not to mention drinking....a lot....

After the wedding, I have just been lounging around. The weather here in Illinois has been awesome, but the mosquitos here have been HORRIBLE! I wanted to sit outside yesterday and let Meesha and Sammy play while I read a book, but I got attacked by 500 mosquitos the second I sat down. Needless to say every part of my body itches. It sucks being inside because you are afraid to go outside and deal with the blood suckers!

I am so ready for autumn. It is definitely my favorite time of year. The leaves fall, pretty colors everywhere, hoodie weather, the anticipation of Christmas, woo can't wait!

Yesterday, my mom came home late from work and nobody really planned dinner. I told my mom that her and my father are more than welcome to eat my meat-substitutes in the freezer and we can all have a cruelty free dinner =) And that is exactly what we did!

My dad turned on the grill, we added 2 veggie burgers (one for me, one for dad) and one Gardein chik'n scallopi (mom wanted a "chicken" sandwhich). We grilled up the "meat", served it with Ezekiel hamburger buns, ketchup, mustard, onions, and lettuce and away we ate. Dad said he didn't even notice the difference. I am so happy my meat eating stubborn father enjoyed a veggie burger. WOOO HOOO!

Awesome news here in Illinois, Veggie Fest is tomorrow! Me and Mom are going and I am so excited. Admission is free, there are going to be tons of guest speakers, live music, vendors, yummy food, ect ect!! I CANNOT WAIT. I will definitely let everyone know how my first Veggie Fest went =)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life At Home Lately

It's been so awesome just spending time with my mom. I haven't seen her in so long and I almost feel like we are becoming almost like best friends. It's funny when you move out and have to deal with maintaining a household and being far away from your parents how much you learn to appreciate them.

On Sunday my dad is coming back from Poland! So I get to hang out with both my parents soon. Plus my sister is getting married in about 10 days so I will soon see my entire family all together! Woo hoo!

I discovered Meesha loves the hose! I was watering something down in the backyard and Meesha all of a sudden lit up. We have a hose in Germany but I admit I have never used it. Never really needed to...

So after seeing how excited Meesha got, I ran the hose for a bit and let her chase the water, bite it, try to eat it...haha! She is a goofball! Spunky the corgi already loves the hose. Sammy would prefer to sit this one out and just look cute.

Exciting news on the food frontier, my mother and I managed to make a healthy version of pierogis! As I've mentioned before, my family is Polish and pierogi are very popular in this house, especially around the holidays! My mom usually stuffs them with potatoes, cheese, meat, sauerkraut, ect ect. There are a lot of options for pierogi. Growing up, my favorite pierogi were the ones stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. Obviously I don't eat cheese anymore, so we tried something new!

First, I try not to eat white flour anymore at all, so for the dough we used whole wheat flour. It's the best we could do for now and it's better than white that's for sure!

Whole wheat potato, "cheese", onions, and garlic.

Then for the stuffing, we still used potatoes and onions, but this time we added some garlic for flavor and I bought some vegan cream cheese at Whole Foods! Adding that gave it just the right kind of flavor. Obviously not the same as before, but I can totally eat these every holiday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Farm Rescue

I'm pretty sure all active facebook users have heard of the game/application on facebook called Farmville. It seems pretty popular among all of my friends. I won't lie, I used to play Farmville myself. I got pretty bored of it though, then deleted the application.

Well recently I read an article about a new application called Farm Rescue. In this application, you rescue virtual hens that have been abused in battery cages all their lives and nurse them back to health. This also helps spread the word about what really happens in the egg-laying industry.

My growing little rescue farm.

I decided to give this game a try. I can't say I'm addicted to this game, but it's pretty fun. I so far have adopted out 7 healthy hens and am currently working on nursing 2 hens back to health. I can also say I have learned a lot already from this game. I knew a lot about this industry already, but this game has an option to earn more money by answering multiple choice questions about hens and the industry. Here are some of the questions I have answered...

Q. How long may domestic hens take to find an appropriate site to lay an egg?
A. 2 hours!

Q. True or False? Mother hens will gently cluck to their chicks while they are still inside their eggs, and the chicks will peep back.
A. True!

Q. Undercover investigations of United Egg Producers-certified facilities have revealed what?
- decomposing hens in cages
- sick and injured hens
- living/dead hens stuck between cage wires
- all of the above
A. All of the above.

Q. Only female chickens lay eggs. What happens to male chicks of egg-laying breeds?
A. They are killed.

Q. What percentage of eggs produced in the U.S. come from battery hens?
A. 95%

Q. How many hens are typically confined in one battery cage?
A. Five to eight hens may be confined into a single battery cage for their entire 12-18 month lives.

Can you believe some of these answers??? Some make me want to throw up, others make me smile. I love learning about hens and their way of living. These poor battery caged hens... =(

Also in the game, to nurse your hen back to health, you have to click on a few options to help them out. These include: feed, drink, nest, perch, explore, exercise, and dustbathe. After the hen has done this for the first time...a little paragraph pops up saying this:

Congratulations! You hen has EXPLORED outside for the first time! Chickens are inquisitive, curious, and intelligent animals who would spend more than 50% of their time scratching, foraging, and exploring their surroundings. Chickens in battery cages act out their strong urge to explore by pecking at each other, causing wounds and feather loss.

Congratulations! Your hen has stretched her wings and walked on real dirt for the first time! Like all animals, chickens need exercise to stay healthy, and being stuck in a tiny place unable to move is painful and causes health problems like osteoporosis.

Congratulations! You have helped your hen DUSTBATHE for the first time! Chickens need to dustbathe in order to keep their skin and feathers healthy. When your hen was in a battery cage, she tried to dustbathe on the wire floor, because that's all she had, but it didn't help.

Congratulations! You have helped your hen NEST for the first time! Hens have a strong urge to lay eggs in private. It is so strong that they will go without food to find a secret nesting place. This was impossible for your hen and her 6 cage mates when she lived in a battery cage.

Congratulations! You have helped your hen PERCH for the first time! Modern egg-laying hens are descended from the Red Jungle Fowl, who sleep perched in trees at night. Your hen couldn't perch during her 18 months in a battery cage, she had to stand on wire the entire time.

All in all, the game is entertaining and it's fun knowing I am virtually helping hens. I may not play this game for long since I'm not a fan of facebook games, but it really is a good game to spread the word about battery caged hens. Maybe invite some of your friends today ;)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Home Made Pizza!

Last night was a lot of fun. After Mom came home from work, we decided to make home made pizza so we could try out the Daiya cheese I bought at Whole Foods. We bought some pizza crust mix from Whole Foods as well. The company that makes it is called Namaste Foods, plus the pizza crust mix is also gluten free. The ingredients looked great. They included Brown rice flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, Italian seasoning, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and ascorbic acid. Probably not the best we could buy, but I think it's pretty good.

We baked the pizza crust in the oven. While it was baking, we grilled up a bunch of yummy veggies marinated in balsamic vinegar. Those veggies included zucchini, red onions, garlic, black olives, and red bell pepper. We bought those all of those from Whole Foods the previous day =)

The pizza turned out amazing! After the crust baked, we added some tomato sauce, the veggies, and topped with the Daiya cheese. Then, we baked it for another 10 mins and tadaaaa. All ready to eat!

So about the Daiya cheese, I can say that it is okay. Truly, I feel like I can live my life just fine without it. It's obviously not real cheese so it doesn't taste like real cheese. It has a good consistency and the flavor is okay. I do think it's a bit too salty, but all in all it was just okay. I don't think I will ever crave that cheese and I will maybe buy it again one day, but like I said, I can live just fine without it. I did eat the leftovers we had from last night for lunch today though. Next on our menu for this weekend will hopefully be something with quinoa so my mom can experience this little grain.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My First Trip To Whole Foods

As I promised, I will now update you all about how the Smart Dogs were last night from my previous post. THEY WERE AWESOME. After a long shopping spree at Whole Foods yesterday, we came home and heated up some Smart Dogs. We bought sprouted grain hot dog buns and organic ketchup (sweetened with agave nectar) and organic mustard. We heated them up on the stove top with boiling water, literally took maybe 5 minutes. A very quick and delicious dinner. My meat eating mother with an open vegan mind loved them. I haven't had a real nasty hot dog in forever. Eating these cruelty-free hot dogs was so much more awesome then those nasty ones.

Anyway, back to Whole Foods, I finally got to visit this popular store. I was definitely excited when I saw how big the store actually was. I was expecting something a lot smaller; I guess a lot more people buy organic and natural than I thought. That's cool =)

We entered the store and saw a butt load of fresh produce. We bought a little bit of everything...oranges, blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, kale, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, cilantro, ect ect! I can go on for a while. I also told my mom about quinoa and she is excited to try some now.

I bought a lot of the "fake" foods made for vegans so I can simply say I've tried them. I want to change my diet completely to a lot less processed foods, but I just want the pleasure of trying some fake cheese, more flavors of soy ice cream, and maybe a little tempeh (hopefully I figure out how to cook it). I'm excited about the cheese. We are going to home make a pizza crust tonight and make some sauce, add some grilled veggies on top followed by the Daiya cheese I bought! I will update later on how the cheese tasted ;)

The best part about my experience yesterday is when I asked the bakery there if they made vegan desserts. They totally did! Well, I'm not sure if they actually make them, but the lady said they special order from The Chicago Diner and they can even special order a birthday cake for me in September =D

All in all, great store! I can't wait to go back already...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smart Dogs

So being back in the states is totally awesome. Mom took me to the grocery store yesterday and I was so excited about all the selections I now have! Back in Germany I felt so limited. Now I am ridiculously excited about trying all the new and yummy sounding foods everyone keeps talking about. Fake cheese here I come...

We didn't visit Whole Foods yet, we are actually going there today! Yesterday we just visited the regular grocery store, but I am pleasantly surprised at all the good food they carry now. They have a small aisle dedicated to organic produce, which wasn't the best selection but I was happy that they even carried some. It shows people have been buying and asking for organic and that's a huge plus. Also all over the store they had a ton of organic options next to regular options, like cool is that?

So yesterday we only quickly stopped by to pick up a few things so I didn't look around the whole store. But I did pick up something I wanted to try...fake hot dogs! I have tried the veggie burgers, which I love, but veggie hot dogs sound like something fun I could bring to BBQ's too. The brand we bought is called Lightlife Smart Dogs. They look really good, and I will update with how they tasted later since we are grilling them tonight!

Today when we visit Whole Foods, I plan to buy some fake cheese, maybe some soy cream, and I'm looking forward to a lot of organic and delicious fruits and veggies.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweet Home Illinois!

Well everyone, I am home! It's been a rough few days. My daddy came to visit me in Germany for a few days and that was a grand old time! I missed him so much! He then drove me to Munich airport with my doggies and dropped us off so me and the dogs could start our journey home. I must admit, putting my dogs on a plane knowing they would be in a kennel for 8+ hours was not easy. After the worked wheeled them away I went to the bathroom, hid in a stall for about 2 minutes to let out a little cry. It was stressful and I was very worried about my dogs the entire flight. When we arrived in Chicago, I heard them in the baggage claim barking away because they saw me. I was so happy to see they were okay.

The New Pack. Sammy the collie mix, Meesha the german shepherd, and Spunky the corgi.

Now we are at my parents house, safe and sound. Daddy is still in Poland so I've been hanging out with Mommy. We've had a good first 2 days. We arrived on the 4th so I didn't really get to celebrate properly, but we did sit outside in the backyard and watched some fireworks. It was a great time.

Meesha and Sammy playing in their new backyard.

The dogs are doing well. They are still adjusting to their new environment and still getting used to my parents' dog Spunky the corgi. I missed him so much and he was so happy to see me! Meesha sits by the door sometimes waiting to go home I think...she still hasn't quite comprehended we are staying here for a while. Sammy is still skittish to a few new things around the house but he's doing much better. They absolutely LOVE the fenced in backyard! Back home, no! AWESOME!

The trio again.

My mom seems to be really interested in my new lifestyle. I made her lunch the day I arrived and she really liked the red pepper hommus wrap! Yesterday we ate a bowl of cereal together with almond milk. She decided to use coconut milk in her cereal and she really loved it. She even said she will start using coconut milk in her coffee instead of real milk! For dinner my mom grilled some potatoes on the grill. We marinated them in olive oil and really yummy spices and had a very good salad on the side. I still have roasted garlic breath from last night...haha! Tonight, we soaked some pinto beans overnight so for dinner we are making bean enchiladas! Sometime this week she will be taking me to the organic whole food market here and we will definitely be doing a lot of shopping! I'm so excited to try this daiya cheese everyone talks about...

The backyard, oh how I missed home!

Plus, Mommy even said she wants to go to Veggie Fest with me in August! I think I may have converted my mother into veganism HAHA! Well, I don't think she will give up meat completely or dairy, but she is definitely exploring healthier options with me. I am so proud of her :)

Well, I'm still getting used to the new time zone. I think I may take a nap...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Smart Balance Buttery Spread

Before I went vegan, I had to make sure the grocery store on post carried a lot of substitutes for myself so I didn't have to travel a great distance to get things like soy milk, ice cream, mock meats, ect. Even though I wish the grocery store carried a lot more than they do, they at least have the essentials.

It seems that the most popular buttery spread amongst the vegan community is Earth Balance. Unfortunately I cannot try out this popular brand because they do not sell it here. I am very fortunate to have one butter substitute called Smart Balance. I am pretty sure that Smart Balance only carries one buttery spread that is organic and vegan, and thankfully I can get my hands on it!

It's really yummy, tastes just like butter. My only complaint is that it is more salty than I would like it. But it does the job when I ever feel like I want some toast and butter. Phillip even loves having this spread on his toast instead of real butter. I love that man!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Daddy Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you daddy's out there! I hope everyone has a great day. My father is such a simple man... he never wants any sort of gift but I always get him something anyway ;). This Father's Day however I sent him an ecard online, a cute one at that! I figured since he is coming here to visit me in Germany very soon, I will take him out to dinner and show him a nice time. YAY FOR DADS!

Today my mom also asked me to give her a grocery list for myself so when I arrive in Chicago I wont be hungry when I get to the house. She's so cute, I can't wait to go home! July cannot come fast enough! She even told me there is a farmer's market very close by and she is excited to go with me. This visit home is going to rock!

Have a great day everyone =)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Favorite Food Ever...

I'm a simple girl. Really I am. Even when I was an animal consumer back in the day...I never ate anything extravagant. Simple to me is best.

I literally eat this wrap everyday for lunch. Okay so maybe I am simple and boring...but hey this isn't a food blog, this is a Carla blog so I say what I want! Ha ha ha. Anyway, when I tried this wrap it was love at first bite.

The tortilla I use could be better. It's wheat...and that's about all it has "good" wise. I just honestly don't have any better options out here for me. When I go home next month (woohoo!) I plan to try the Ezekial tortillas I keep hearing about.

Inside I spread roasted red pepper hommus, then add red onions, cucumbers, and chopped up red bell peppers. Sometimes when I'm really feeling it I add lettuce and drizzle some olive oil....cause holy moly do I love olive oil.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carla Crocker - Nutty Wedding Cookies

I know, I know. I'm dessert obsessed. Ever since I bought Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, I just get so excited to bake yummy desserts and knowing they are cruelty free =)

Phillip loves them too. I think it's great he can enjoy a cookie or cupcake and be surprised there is absolutely no cow's milk or eggs in the ingredients.

Before Phillip deployed, we spent a lot of quality time together. He got cutesy one night and offered to bake together. Totally romantic on his side since he does not like to cook or bake, unless it involves a grill. So he was my special little helper while we made these yummy cookies.

I believe these Nutty Wedding Cookies are officially my favorite cookie from this book. They are just soooo good! I definitely recommend these babies.


- 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
- 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely ground pecans (I put them in a big plastic zip lock bag and crushed them with a rolling pin since I don't own a food processor)


1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line two medium size baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift the powdered sugar that will be used for coating cookies onto a large plate, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine and shortening until light and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, nondairy milk, and half the flour and beat until ingredients are moistened.
4. Add the remaining flour and pecans. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes to form a soft and fluffy dough. If the dough appears crumby, don't fret, just keep beating the dough until it becomes moist enough to stick together when pressed into a ball.
5. For each cookie, scoop a generous tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
6. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for 8 minutes. While the cookies are still warm move 2 to 3 cookies to the dish with sifted sugar. Carefully turn cookies several times to form a thick coating of powdered sugar. Very gently tap off excess sugar and place the cookies on wire racks to finish cooling.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This place is haunted without you.

Well, Phillip is gone now. The deployment crept up faster than I wanted, but then again I wanted him to leave just so he could come home sooner. The sooner he leaves, the sooner he gets back. I'm in a bit of a rut right now. I miss him like crazy, every little thing around me makes me think of him. He truly is my best friend, the love of my life, and I can't imagine life without him.

Missing someone is a part of loving them; If you're never apart, then you'll never know how strong your love really is.

So please, if anyone even reads this blog, think of my husband and all the men that are out there in Afghanistan with him. Even if you don't believe in what they do, because I don't even know if I do. I just know I support my husband and I am with him every step of the way.

The only positive side to any of this is that I will take the year ahead of me and concentrate on myself. I got an email back from Mercy For Animals, so hopefully something good will come of that!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm home!!!

Actually, I've been home since last week. I've just been trying to adjust back to normal life! The cruise was amazing; definitely an amazing experience. We not only had an amazing, relaxing time, but we learned so much about all the countries we visited....both good and bad.

If I had to write a blog about my entire cruise, I'd be here a while. So I will break it down and try to do my best.

We first arrived in Athens, Greece on the 19th. We got there around 5pm, then immediately went out to dinner to an underground Greek tavern. That was definitely so much fun! Great food and great entertainment! And when I say great food I mean it. They had plenty of great options for me. I had this amazing bean salad that I had to ask for seconds. They had a lot of white pasta, but I knew I would be eating a lot of that on this trip. The entertainment we had that night consisted of very energetic Greek dancers and singers! They really were awesome. After that night, Phil and I could not stop screaming "OPA!" out of random.

Me in Athens at the port called Mikrolimano

OPA! Greek Dancers!

Yummy food at the Greek Tavern

We boarded our cruise that Friday. We were so excited to finally be heading out on our amazing adventure. The food options on the cruise are a different story then what I experienced off the cruise. There was definitely a lot pasta, a lot of cheese, and a lot of meat. There were a good amount of vegetarian options, but for me it was a little different. I never went hungry, but I did go feeling very blah a few days because of the amount of white pasta and white rice I consumed. After 4 days I was completely sick of pasta and tomato sauce that I would have rather just ate a huge salad! So that was pretty sad. At the end of the cruise, we had a questionnaire to fill out and at the bottom there was a space for comments, and I wrote "Please consider more dairy free options and whole grains". I feel good about that :)

So that was the down side, but they did have some good food! For breakfast I ate slices of grapefruit, melons, and wheat bread. Lunch consisted of a huge salad with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lots of random veggies, and the dressing of the day followed by some beans if they were available or whatever pasta they had available without cheese. Sometimes I would add some rice in there as well. Dinner was always different but my favorite dinner I had on the cruise was their tomato and white bean soup. It was so good that when I got home I searched the internet to see if I could find a recipe just like it. I'm still on the hunt but it won't be long. It was such a simple yet delicious soup. One time for dinner I had zucchini balls followed by stuffed tomatoes. It was so good!

Me by the Parthenon

Now I am not one to lie. I did not follow my vegan diet 100%. I would say I did a good 80% the entire time. Sometimes I did eat things knowing it was probably buttered or it might have had an egg in it. But honestly there was no room to ask for it made specially for me when it came to buffets. One time I ordered just spaghetti with tomato sauce because that was my only option, and the waiter brought it out with tons of parmesan cheese on top. The menu did not say it came with cheese so I didn't think to ask for it without. I was not about to make him take back my food because of it though, so I did the best I could to scrape off most of the cheese, but I do know I obviously consumed some. In all honesty, I don't feel horribly guilty because I know I did the best I could. I really am proud of myself for coming home and not even thinking about "well I had cheese on the ship maybe I can have a little more here..." Nope! I came home right back to my routine. I do have a little gas though so I think I'm detoxing all over...TMI I know haha!

Well enough about food, on to the fun stuff! Our first stop after Greece was Istanbul, Turkey. It rained a lot that day so that was a bummer, but we still got to see everything we wanted to see, including the famous Blue Mosque where we had to remove our shoes when entering and carry them around. Fun times. And of course we checked out the bazaar and even did a little haggling!

Istanbul, by the famous Blue Mosque

Istanbul, Turkey

Second stop was an Island of Greece called Mykonos. There we explored the island and visited the island next door called Delos. Delos is now deserted but full of Ancient Greek history. It is said to be the birthplace of the Sun God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Here I got extremely sun burned. Delos is said to be the most sunniest Island, because you can't find shade unless you hide behind a pillar!

Mykonos, Greece

Delos, Greece

Third stop was Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel. Here we saw all the famous religious sites, both Jewish and Christian. I'm not religious, but it was great to learn about their religion and what they believe in. We saw 2,000 year old olive trees and I thought that was pretty neat.

Bethlehem, Israel

Jerusalem, by the 2,000 year old Olive Trees

Jerusalem, Israel

Fourth stop was Cairo, Egypt. My favorite! Even though the country itself isn't doing great, and even though the people are very money hungry and will do anything to get your money, I still enjoyed the amazing pyramids. Phil and I got to see mummies to in one of the museums. Amazing experience!

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Final stop was the Island of Crete, Greece. Here we visited a local Olive Oil Farm. It was too awesome. These people are 100% organic and even grow their own olives, eggplants, tomatoes, ect ect! We learned how olive oil was made and got to try yummy samples of everything they offered. I bought a big thing of olive oil to take home. It really was delicious, and I absolutely love olive oil.

Crete, Greece

Yummy samples

So now I'm back home, all unpacked and back to normal life. I'm sure I will get back into blogging very soon :)