Daily Archives: January 26, 2009

Barak-li Peanut Soup (I couldn’t resist)

posted by ebean

Even though the best cookbooks are usually the ones that make you drool over awesome flicks, How it all Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer is a must-have.  Alas, the aspiring vegan or health buff must conjure up their own imagery to accompany the amazing recipes, however, those who persevere are amply rewarded.  I have had my copy for a few years now and it smells like a heavily used cookbook should — an odd mix of all things spilled on it in the process of making wonderful food.

The Ginger Peanut Soup is one of my favorite recipes.  I have adapted it a bit…
There is no relation to the President except that Barak sounds like the first part of broccoli.  Just so you know.

Broccoli Peanut Soup

Barak-li Peanut Soup

Barak-li Peanut Soup

Broccoli (stem and florets, chopped)
Onion if you have it, chopped
Ginger (fresh is best, but I used powder)
Garlic (as much as you can handle)
Cayenne
Salt
Pepper
Oil
Water
Can of tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce, whatever you got.  28 oz is ideal.  if you only have a small can, substitute water)
5 HEAPING tablespoons of peanut butter (organic and salmonella/partially hydrogenated soybean oil free)

Directions:
In a big pot, saute broccoli, onions, ginger, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper in oil.  Add everything else, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Garnish with peanuts.

Purging 101

posted by unsinkablemoo

I know that it’s not yet Spring, but all I wanted to do is reorganize and purge the things in my apartment.  I felt overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” I had accumulated and my room always felt messy. The problem was too many things and not enough storage.  I tried to tackle it myself but just felt overwhelmed.  Now my room feels much more relaxing and even a bit lighter.

Here are my four easy tips on how to go through your stuff:

1. Get a friend

Having an impartial judge is necessary when you’re looking at sentimental clothing your grandmother bought you for last year’s Christmas.

2. Make a list of Categories

I divided my room up into sections and went through each grouping.  Sections included: yoga, singing, guitar, knitting etc.

3. Put aside the things you want to keep, then get rid of the rest.

Focus on the things you love and need in your life.  Get rid of everything else. Don’t even look at it.

4. Give your stuff a worthy home.

I posted my things on the New York FreeCycle group on yahoo.  It is easy and free and now someone who needed a new duvet came and picked up my old one.  I took the extras to the Salvation Army.

Happy Cleaning!

For more stuff purging ideas, check out these NYC sites:
Google search “How to get rid of your stuff”
Recycle Brooklyn
Recycle This! NYC
Per Scholas

Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot

posted by ebean

Rocked!  I had never read a proper adult horror novel before and was blown away.  A big fan of the horror film, I was shocked to find that the printed word could actually give me the chills.  It did.  Reading horror is completely different from watching horror.  When you watch horror, you loose the visual uncertainty that reading allows.  You are presented with images that you can contextualize in time, space, reality, fiction, etc.  When you read, your imagination runs wild.  And it isn’t over in 2 hours.  It is a long lingering shiver that makes you feel like you are going nuts because you are the only one on the subway totally creeped out.  Whereas in a theater, everyone jumps when the ghost appears in the medicine cabinet mirror.

All that said, the quality of writing in Salem’s Lot is superb.  The story is classic.

I admit, I wanted to know what was going to happen and started to watch Salem’s Lot the movie but had to stop.  It just wasn’t the same experience at all.  It was interesting to see the similarities and differences and to think about why the film was made the way it was.  To put it into the context of the time it was made, its place in horror film and general cinematic history, and to ponder Stephen King’s screenplay adaptation of his own book.  Now that I’ve finished the book I’ll go back and watch the movie.

Mr. King, you rock!

The Year of the Ox

posted by ebean

The year ahead according to Earthy Family:

The Year of John Entwistle

The Year of John Entwistle

  • The OX year is a conservative year, one of traditions and values. This is not a year to be outrageous. A slow but steady year.
  • This OX year will bring stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off.
  • This is a year of Harvest – when we reap what we have sown. Take care of business this year, do not let things slide.

Theories on how to feel wonderful (even if you don’t)

The Monday morning pep talk.

1.  Wake up with an alarm happily or without one with vigor.

It is all about setting the tone for your day.  Make a choice to be content and at peace with even the stuff that really burns your grits.

2.  Take a morning poo or don’t be upset if you don’t.

3.  Practice yoga.  Unless it is a moonday.
Ashtanga people have days of full or new moon off.  This assumes that one is actually practicing as much as possible.  It is not just an excuse to be lazy.  Lazy is not fierce.

4.  Eat your favorite healthy breakfast and drink lots of fluids.

5.  Get groomed:  apply face mask, pluck brows, Nair ‘stache, floss, file nails, blow dry hair, whatever makes you feel put together.

6.  Wear something that fits well and makes you feel fabulous.

7.  Make your bed, clean your toilet, or do some other long forgotten household chore.

8.  Try to do 5 nice things for other people, even if it is only sending out positive thoughts.

9.  Listen to your favorite music.

10.  Smile in the sun.
Sun = Vitamin D = Happy
Smile = Happy
Soak it up!