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“Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
On April 11, 2012, I made my first blog post. I was inspired by words from a podcast.
Now, one year later, this blog continues to be an enjoyable endeavor. I appreciate every blog follower and visitor.
In this anniversary post, I’m still inspired by podcasts. What can I say…I listen to lots of them!
The following quote, from Vinnie Tortorich’s Angriest Trainer podcast, really sums up the FREEHEEL VEGAN lifestyle.
“Put life into living, and do it with enthusiasm!”
FREE YOUR HEELS…
PLAY IN SNOW…
BE SILLY & LAUGH…
APPRECIATE THE “LITTLE” THINGS…
HANG OUT WITH A BUDDY…
LEND A HELPING HAND…
FREE YOUR MIND. FREE THE ANIMALS…
“Put life into living and do it with enthusiasm!”
I love that quote and I love Vinnie’s podcast. But, I have a little more to add.
Yes- put living into your own life. But- also allow others to live their own lives.
To the fellow listeners and fans of the Angriest Trainer podcast:
Don’t be a “carnivorous vegan,” be an actual vegan. You can do NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) VEGAN style!
Adopt the FREEHEEL VEGAN lifestyle…and do it with enthusiasm!
I don’t have many pictures from the current ski season, so here is a backcountry trip down memory lane…
The time was January 1-2, 2011.
The place was the “Back Bowls” of Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, in Wenatchee, WA.
The weather was bluebird.
The solitude was magical.
The skiing was exceptional.
The snow was our art canvas.
Our Telemark turns were the brush strokes…
DAY ONE – JANUARY 1
DAY TWO – JANUARY 2
The conditions were a little different when we came “Back” to the bowls this year, Skiing Among Burnt Trees.
January 5, 2013 – Mission Ridge Backcountry
In lieu of skiing in-bounds on Saturday, we decided to spend the day further exploring slopes we like to call the “Back Bowls.” Eric modified our climbing skins so they would fit our new(ish) skis. Yay!
The last time we skied the “Back Bowls” was January 1-2 of 2011. At that time, we were treated to absolutely perfect fluff on a bluebird day.
Saturday…not so much. You could describe the avalanche conditions as “welded.” HA! It was fun, but in a different sort of way. It was immensely enjoyable just being out there exploring. (Truth be told, we did find a few soft spots.)
We skied into some trees that were burned during the huge Ellensburg/Wenatchee forest fires of Sept/Oct 2012. The fire line stopped just short of the Mission Ridge ski area. Whew!
There is something starkly imposing about burnt trees that remain standing after a fire goes out. It’s fascinating how something beautiful and impressive can emerge from such destruction. The black char against white snow in winter is particularly striking…
WOW…what a fabulous first day of 2013 at Mission Ridge!
This is a little place we like to call “Kevin’s”…
December 2012 was an epic month for snowfall in the Pacific Northwest…
And the beverage of the month was The Abyss, by Deschutes Brewery…
Several weeks ago, I spotted this Gardein Holiday Roast on sale at my favorite grocery store (the Skagit Valley Food Co-op, in Mt Vernon, WA). Of course I had to buy a box, since I’m always eager to try new vegan food products.
Since we’re skiing for 4 days over this New Year’s holiday weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to cook up this animal-free treat. The roast will feed Eric and I for 3 dinners. The box suggests that the roast serves 8, but I think 6 servings is more realistic and appropriate.
Preparation is a snap…
1. Keep the roast frozen until you’re ready to cook it.
2. Prepare the (optional) Basting Glaze from the recipe on the box…
Whisk together: 1 T tamari, 1 t vegetable oil, 1 T orange marmalade, 2 T orange juice, 1 t Dijon mustard and 1/4 t dried thyme.
(I didn’t have orange marmalade, so I used the apricot jam that I already had in my fridge. I also used all of the juice from a fresh-squeezed orange.)
3. Place the frozen roast on top of your choice of veggies with about half of the glaze. I chose onions and carrots. My loaf pan was perfect for the job.
4. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Drizzle half of the remaining glaze over the roast and bake another 15 minutes. Repeat one more time, for a total of 60 minutes.
Instead of baking the potatoes in the glaze (which probably would have been better), I baked 3 potatoes in a pan.
The roast includes a 14 ounce gravy packet that you simply thaw and heat. Note that we ate the whole packet of gravy in one night! We didn’t need to skimp on the gravy since I made extra (Mmm…that would be the Mushroom Gravy recipe out of “Big Vegan,” by Robin Asbell.)
If you follow this blog, you’ll recognize this Pineapple Cranberry Sauce:
We rounded out the meal with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. After I took this picture I drenched everything with more gravy!
Finally, I must NOT forget to mention that the Gardein Holiday Roast is absolutely, utterly, and wonderfully delicious! YUM. I look forward to my next 2 dinners!
Speaking of forgetting…
I forgot to prepare a dessert…oh, BOO. Instead, a spoonful of Wax Orchards Classic Fudge will have to do!
I can’t believe it took me this long to discover the Wayward Vegan Cafe. I should have listened to my BFF sooner. She and other vegan friends on Facebook seem to eat here regularly. I finally had to see what the hype is all about.
O-M-G…The menu has so many choices that it’s nearly impossible to make a decision!
This is “vegan food” that could make a vegan out of any fast food-loving omnivore. Don’t expect to lose weight eating here!
I’ll add pics to this post, while I work my way through the 100% vegan menu
CHIGGEN IN A BISCUIT
PULL NO PORK
VERY VEGGIE OMELET
“FISH-ISH” TEMPEH FISH & CHIPS
YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN A VEGAN RESTAURANT WHEN…
(VEGAN) CHICKEN PARMIGIANA
November 3-4, 2012
Portland Road Trip to see The Lost Boys Live!
We drove south on I-5 from Seattle. At Longview, WA, we headed into Oregon via the Columbia River Highway (#30). It made the last hour of the trip less boring because we’d never taken that road before.
We checked into the Hotel Monaco in Downtown Portland. Thanks to my Visa card rewards program, the room was free
Our room was a King Suite.
I really loved the decor of the bathroom.
From 5-6 pm, the hotel offers complimentary wine and beer tasting.
After that, we walked a few blocks to eat dinner at the Veggie Grill.
The Veggie Grill is all vegan. There are multiple locations in California, Oregon and Washington.
I ordered the All Hail Kale Salad because Mariann (from the Our Hen House podcast) keeps talking about how good it is. (She’s right!)
Eric ordered the All-American Stack.
Finally, we were off to the main event of the weekend:
We saw the closing night show of The Lost Boys – Live at the Ethos/Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. My sister’s friend Michael played the part of David.
Oh, MY– I didn’t expect to laugh soooo hard! My cheeks were sore before the middle of the show. Hysterical!
Look, if everything that Bad Reputation Productions does is this good, then I’ll definitely be back for a future show!
Before we left Portland on Sunday morning, we stopped for some espresso at Public Domain Coffee.
Oh, my–> Major discovery here!
While doing my regular grocery shopping at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op yesterday, something caught my eye on a high shelf in the baking section…
Something about peppermint, fudge and fat free REALLY does it for me.
I went in for a closer look…
Vegan?…Check! The fruit-sweetened part intrigued me.
My first instinct was to get the peppermint flavor, because I love mint combined with chocolate. But, I decided to buy the classic flavor first.
The texture was nice and thick…
The Classic Fudge flavor is utterly delectable. The fruit juice sweeteners provide a subtle background flavor. They are noticeable, but not overpowering.
Today I went back for the Peppermint Fudge flavor. The fruity note definitely hides behind the peppermint. Delicious!
Check out the Wax Orchards website for their story, their Fudges (I need to try the Orange Passion flavor!), their Berry Syrups, and their Gift Box. It’s also nice to know that these guys are from my home state of Washington.
I plan to eat this stuff one spoonful at a time, right out of the jar.