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Ok, blog vacation over…

I am sorry I have been absent. I took a much needed holiday from all things that were not directly involved in my everyday life.  Kids, work, house, life…have all been put in order and organized and I can finally breath a huge sigh of relief.  

In my hiatus, a few things have changes in my little corner of the world.  I have moved from the vegetarian path I was on to a full blown vegan lifestyle.  The changes in my body and Chi have been amazing.  So naturally, the blog has a new direction.  Occasionally you will see a butter and sugar laden treat, but I would like to share with everyone the tasty vegan food I have been whipping up lately.  Maybe the odd non food post will be thrown in there too.  Please bear with me as changes are made and feel free so e-mail me some of your favorite vegan recipes too!

Chalkboard Fridge Tutorial!

I have been meaning to get this up for a while.  But as you can see, I have been busy making marshmallows and cookies.  It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.  Anyway, I have an old house, and an old kitchen…an old ugly kitchen, an old, ugly, only partially functional kitchen.  I have one, yes one drawer and base cabinet.  And yucky appliances.  Who knew RCA made both tv’s and refrigerators!!??
I am also a single mom, and a corset tight budget.  A kitchen re-do is as far in my future as my only probable retirement.  So I have to do small projects that make my kitchen look refreshed and less, well , ugly.
This time, I opted to paint my fridge with chalkboard paint.  But, I made my own chalkboard paint!  How cool is that…well I thought it was pretty cool.  Here is my little tutorial for a chalkboard fridge.   Oh yeah, if you have stainless appliances, don’t do this..not that you would want to anyway!

To start, clean off your fridge of all the kiddos pictures, forgotten shopping list and other random junk.  Take off the handles, and give it a good cleaning.  I used a vinegar/water solution so I didn’t leave a chemical residue.

Next, take a fine sandpaper, I used 150 grit, and give the entire front a good sanding.  You really only want to remove the shiny top layer, and create grooves for your paint to stick.  To make your own chalkboard paint, you pick whatever color paint suites your fancy.  Make sure its an interior water based paint.  You won’t need that much, so you can get away with a quart.  You will also need some UNsanded tile grout. Choose a white or light color grout, so it wont change the color of your paint.    Mix 1 cup of paint with 2 tablespoons of the grout, and viola!  Custom chalkboard paint!  I only made half the mixture per coat, because the paint thickens in the time it takes for the previous coat to dry ( trust me, i only know because it happened to me!)  In case that wasn’t clear, I only mixed 1/2 cup paint and 1 tablespoon grout at a time!

With a small roller, roll on your paint, going with the grain (if your fridge front is textured).  Keep the coats relatively thin…you don’t need a lot of paint, several thin coats are better than fewer thick goopy coats.  Let each coat fully dry, 2-3 hours, before painting again.  You will probably need 2-3 coats to get a nice slate finish.  Let the final coat dry for a full 24 hours.  When its completely dry, condition it but rubbing chalk over the entire fridge and just wipe it off…All done!

You can still use your lame magnets!  I opted not to put the handles back on.  I think its looks neater with out them.  The kids love using it, and its great being able to see what I need and write it right on the door!

P.S. Sorry for the awful pictures.  My kitchen is a hole, with almost no natural light!

10 best of 2010

Because its almost New Years, and between 2 jobs, 2 kids, birthday and New Years planning, I am fresh out of ideas…so instead, I will swipe some one else’s.  If you know me personally, you know that 2010 has been a big year of change for me and the things…I got separated, and divorced, and started my road in nursing.
Its all been challenging, but worth it.  So her are my 10 best pictures of 2010.  Happy New Year!

Vegetablearians

The things and I have started a new journey.  We have been vegetarian light for a while, but we have ventured over to the other side.  We have dumped meat all together.  As in no.meat.ever.  Its been something Thing 1 and I have been discussing for a while, and given her adoration for all things fuzzy and scaly, it was easy for her to make her decision.  So friends, now you will be seeing some veg recipes, and as always, I welcome suggestions and comments!

Love the breeze in my knickers

Ok, so I don’t literally love the breeze in my undies, I do love what line drying does to my unmentionables, as well as all other clothes.  I started line drying my clothes a few years ago, to both save some green ($) and to save some green (Gaea).    Admittedly, I haven’t given up my dryer all together.  I do use it for some bulky items, or for when I need an item of clothing dried fast.  I’m asking Santa this year for an umbrella clothes line, and I ‘ve been extra good…well for the last few days anyway.
I usually put my clothes thru an extra spin at the end of their washing cycle, to help the drying time.  I keep my loads relatively small, and bring in items as they dry as opposed to waiting for the whole load to dry. What tips and/or secrets do you have about line drying?

Sunday Anecdote

This is a totally non food related post and  I can do that because this is my space so there!  Ok, now on to the mature part of the post.  So I was sitting with thing one the other day.  She crawled onto my lap and was looking at me funny.  (She’s 4, and has yet to acquire that self censoring thing that stops us when we are going to say something offensive or insulting, so you know when she is looking at you a certain way, to brace yourself for some brutal honesty.)  Then she says, “Mom, you have a little hair on your lip, are you growing a moosestache?” I explained to her that no, in fact I was not growing a moustache, and tried to explain about hormones, pregnancy ,age blah blah blah..ultimately that sometimes hair grows where we don’t want it so we shave or wax it away.  Her response was “You should go shave it off, it’s creepy “.  Of course I promptly went and remedied the problem.  I agree though moustaches are kind of creepy …unless your Burt Reynolds or Tom Sellek.

Autumn Flavors

In Florida we don’t really have a change of season.  Sure it get slightly cooler, and the humidity drops, but nothing significant enough to make it really feel like fall.  Being a northern girl, I miss all things autumn; hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, sweaters and the amazing colors.  So I am creating my own “fall” with my cooking.  The kids and I have visited a few pumpkin festivals and pick-your-own farms and have gathered some fresh ingredients.  I have made and canned some applesauce, pickled green beans and sweet potato butter.  Today I made a delicious applesauce cream cheese bread, finished a pumpkin raisin bread I had proofing and experimented with some bagels, my favorites being my pumpkin pie and apple cinnamon versions.  I think tomorrow I’ll work on some Butternut Squash soup! We may not be able to experience true fall, but we can eat like it!  I’ll post recipes and give more detail tomorrow. 



Amazing applesauce cream cheese bread