Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunny With A Chance of Bacon Cheeseburger Hash-YUM!

Today, Joe & I are making foods again! It's been too long (vegan MOFO awhile ago!) so Joe & I are back and making hash, bacon cheeseburger hash in fact. It's from "Betty Goes Vegan" by Annie & Dan Shannon and we LOVE it! We've made a few recipes but this is the first we are blogging about. So let's get to it!

 The Recipe:
 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 dashes liquid smoke
1 cup vegan ground beef, crumbled
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 lb frozen frozen home fries
2 tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar Daiya cheese
Vegan bacon bits

 In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Once the olive oil is hot, add the vegan ground beef and a dash of liquid smoke. Fry the vegan ground beef until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer the vegan ground beef to a small bowl. To the heated skillet, add another tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion, home fries and liquid smoke. Brown those for around 5 minutes. Once they start to get little crispy edges, toss the vegan burger back in. Add the Bragg's, tomatoes, parsley and Creole seasoning. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, flipping occasionally. Turn the heat down to a simmer and toss vegan cheese on top. Don't mix it in and allow too melt, around 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle some vegan bacon bits and serve with pickles!  

The Reviews:  

From Joe: "Pretty good! I couldn't find home fries and so I used hash-browns instead. Next time I would add some spinach when I put in the onions & hash-browns. The recipe says to add liquid smoke to the oil but all that did for me was result in splattering hot oil over everything. An easy and delicious dinner (or breakfast)!"  

From Alex: "Pretty great! I'm not a huge tomato person so I would have used smaller dices (it's a texture thing for me) but other than that I really liked it. This is something you could easily add more veggies to if you wanted like spinach or artichokes or something for more texture and different flavors. It was a very comfort food kind of meal and I enjoyed it!" So there you have it folks, some delicious vegan comfort food for your plate and tummies! Here is some food pics for you to enjoy and thanks to the Shannons for a delicious recipe from their amazing cookbook! :D

Also I forgot to mention in my last post I got my parents' old VCR and some of my family's old VHS tapes so check out what I watched:

Jealous a bit? You should definitely be! Alright have a great day chickens :D


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunny With A HUGE Surprise!!!

So here is our SUPER GIANT HUGE [I can't believe I kept this secret from the "public" for as long as I did] SURPRISE:

 We're having a baby! WHAT?! That was baby's first ultrasound on 6/19/13. Here is baby prepping to be a ginger and eat souls on 7/6/13:

We thought we saw a kielbasa in between those legs but we aren't for sure. Here is our latest scans on 7/17/13:

We are currently estimated at a due date of 1/18/14 (my little sister G's bday) but our E.D.D. has been moved 3 times already so I am just taking it as this baby will come when it wants to come. We are very, very excited but this journey started out pretty rocky. I'm going to get real about it & how scary/hard that first month was.

In Paris on our last day in the city I love I got SUPER sick, like puking all day, want to die, crying in a ball in a W.C. sick. I thought I had food poisoning from the Louvre cafeteria. It was so bad just even typing about it or talking about it makes me feel like I'm going to barf. I was also sick the entire 12 hour plane ride back to the states the following day. My poor seat mate (not Joe) hated me as I needed to keep running to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so. The car ride back to our apartment was torture. But then the food poisoning didn't go away. For a week. And so we took some pregnancy tests which read in the "normal" range [a.k.a. 2 lines but one lighter than the other] so naturally I shouted "you're a liar E.P.T., you're a lying liar and I hate you! I'm pregnant! CRAP!" Then I called my almost sister in law. Who works with preggo mommies. She advised to wait 48 hours to let my HCG levels double and re-test. So I did. The test read pregnant. Then I panicked. I just had a VERY expensive spinal surgery, to fix my screwed up for the past decade spine, I was only two months post-op! Could I even have a baby right now? Would my surgeon let me? If he advises against it do I want to possibly mess up this million dollar surgery that I thought I might die in? AHHHHHH!

So I did the sensible thing, I left multiple panicking messages with increasing intensity on my poor surgeon's office voicemail in almost tears for three days. Poor guy & poor office staff. They finally got back to me to move up my appointment to see him and discuss this news but they couldn't get me in before our trip to Michigan, so I begged to just talk to him via phone the next second he had out of surgery (he's got a super busy schedule since it's summer, everyone wants summer surgeries!). He called, I barely was able to ask if I needed to terminate, he reassured that I have healed better than anyone he's seen & to treat this like any other normal pregnancy and that I would be fine and probably champion through any back discomfort better than most women do from my decade of experience with back pain being at a level 25-40. I thanked him got of the phone and started to bawl. Joe wrapped me up in his arms and asked me if we needed to call to schedule an appointment, I told him we could keep the baby and admitted how much I really wanted this little one. We hugged a long time. Then I got really excited and Joe panicked because he was officially going to be a dad! See how we balance each other out? I panicked & he was fine, then I got elated & he full blown panicked about changing diapers. I love that guy. He's amazing and ridiculous! I've been changing diapers since I was eight, we got this babe!

Then we saw my ob/gyn whom I adore. I got officially confirmed as pregnant, we took levels in my pee & blood, we chatted about my vegan pregnancy (which by the way she is in full support of so don't panic I get enough protein & vitamins and am on a vegan prenatal), and we planned our first ultra-sound. That first ultra-sound a few weeks later was amazing, there was our little R.G.B. (rice grain baby-we call it by its size this week it's lemon baby) with a 183 heart rate. It looked like a little tiny alien inside me. The second ultra-sound baby's heart was at 166 and was waving at us. It literally waved its little arm at us! And we begged our tech to write "Hi. I will eat your soul!" so we could take silly photos since I'm pretty sure it will be a ginger baby. Hey, we may be almost parents but we're still us! This third ultra-sound we checked the neck measurements and did a huge blood panel to check for downs syndrome, chromosome 18, chromosome 13, and a bunch of other genetic issues. Baby's neck looks great but this child is already a stinker & didn't want to stay still to get measured and kept flipping and squirming and waving so I am now 95% positive this child is a ginger!

We brought our doula (who is our pal and also a RN in the ICU & NICU here at UCLA hospitals) and she met with my ob/gyn. I have a great team in my corner and we are all working together to plan for this January arrival! I am really excited and Joey and I are making decisions (cloth diapers and breast feeding for us) and planning away (I need a job & we need a bigger apartment!) so we are busy bees. This was a rough start not feeling like we had a choice about the baby [let me tell you that now that I've experienced a "I have no choice in the matter" moment I SUPER stand by every woman's reproductive rights even more now] and then being sick for 6-8ish weeks with constant nausea and vomiting was AWFUL (& I am glad that part is over) and now we're just so excited and over the moon to welcome our little guy or gal in 2014. We are embarking on quite an adventure and after this past year (married, surgery prep, surgery, surgery recovery, pregnant) nothing can phase us, we got this universe. We got this!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunny With A Chance of Heatwave & MI Trip Pics

So we are back in Los Angeles, yay! It is also hotter than hades, UGH! We've been taking it pretty easy since we've been back but I'm working on getting a new job, Joe's looking at new apartments for us, and we've been calling hotels in Mount Pleasant to book blocks of rooms for our October Anniversary Party. So easy but kinda busy via phone and internet.

We had a busy but fun time in Michigan. Here are some pics of our visit:

That adorable little bug is my nephew, whom I am in love with. He took two naps in my arms whilst we listened to (and I sang) Disney songs. The kid knows what's up, I'm just saying. Joe and the pups fell in love with him too. This is the only small child that Zebbie has ever liked and not barked at (he gave him so many little kisses on his feet and hands and twice on his ears which my nephew was not so much a fan of). My little mustache man kept petting Colonel Mustard and trying to crawl to him. He has rolling over down but crawling not so much yet. He's almost there though! We got to see my cousins (on both sides), my grandparents, my cousins' kids (on both sides), Joe's folks & his sister, loads of old friends that we reconnected with. I even got together with a couple gals I was good pals with back in elementary school and had a huge Parkdale reunion. That was amazing and so great to catch up with the ladies as adults and recall all our ridiculous kids' stories!

It was also so great to see old MHS Drama Club pals celebrate our teacher & director as she retired. It was covered by the local paper but it was so amazing just to be there and share that night with her and with my fellow former drama club kids. We laughed, we reconnected, we remembered, it was so lovely and touching. It reminded me what such a lovely family we were and are still. It also broke my heart that one of our members recently lost his life, he was one of the first to welcome me to the Drama Club, to make me feel apart of that family, to be a friend and pal to me, and to make me feel accepted into the world where I felt I belonged. My heart still aches that he is no longer with us. So many pictures were there, so many folks sent in videos about our Mrs. L that made me cry, Mrs. L spoke and it really made me cry. I'm just so happy that I could be there. I also got to have lunch with an old MHS DC member and pal and meet her adorable daughter for lunch. It was amazing to see her again, to see her sweet Mama skills, and to catch up & reconnect! Such a great time. :D

So there is my trip. My surprise is coming soon, just waiting on a few pics from my pal Karri. Cannot wait to show you our pics and thus, our surprise. Hope all is well with you dear chickens! Coming next is a delicious recipe review from Joe & I on a vegan delight from our "Betty Goes Vegan" cookbooks that we are OBSESSED with! :D