Saturday, May 29, 2010

veggie reuben

almost a year ago i took a trip to asheville and ate an awesome vegetarian tempeh reuben at jack of the wood. it was odd that i chose that sandwich to eat because i didn't even like reubens when i ate meat. i can't remember even ever having one. but i probably chose this item off the menu because i often get tired of eating the same-old-same and the reuben was something different. and, boy, did i enjoy that sandwich! ever sice then i've thought about it and wished i could have it again.

so the other day i looked up reuben recipes on tastespotting figuring i could just adjust a meat version and make something on my own. and sure enough i found this recipe for a seitan veggie reuben. i couldn't find seitan at the grocery story so i substituted tempeh and, OMG it was amazing! it was a little pricey to make, but totally worth it.*

we ate the sandwiches on homemade rye bread and had potato chips and sauteed yellow squash as sides. yum!

*by the way the sandwiches were really pretty looking and i totally ate it up (both nights) before i thought to take a picture of them. oh well. i'll try to remember to take a shot next time i make them ('cause you know there'll be a next time!).

Radical Reuben

1 lb seitan, thinly sliced (or 3/4 lb tempeh, sliced)
1 cup pickle juice
1/2 cup beet juice (puree a 15-oz can of beets if not available)
1 tsp pickling spice
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

For the dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp finely chopped pickles

8 slices rye bread
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
Sauerkraut, for garnish

Place seitan in baking dish. Bring pickle juice, beet juice, pickling spice, garlic powder, pepper, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Strain marinade, and pour over sliced seitan. Cover and cool. Chill overnight.

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl.

To assemble the sandwiches, preheat oven to broil. Set bread slices on baking sheet. Top 4 bread slices with drained Seitan and cheese. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, or until Seitan is hot and cheese is melted. Transfer Seitan-topped bread slices to serving plates, and garnish with sauerkraut. Spread remaining 4 bread slices with dressing, and place on top.

Makes 4 Reubens

Friday, May 28, 2010

updated kitchen

i forgot to mention that when baldman went to vicksburg a few weeks ago he brought back a really nice kitchen island that his mom couldn't bring with her to the new apartment. i was happy to nab this little baby and i'm super pleased with how it looks in the kitchen. since we moved in almost 3 years ago (!) i've been using the top of a microwave on a rolling cart as my work space. it was less than ideal but i'd learned to deal with it. so this marble counter top is like heaven to me now!

kitchen island

kitchen island

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

may bee pictures

it's been a while since i posted pictures of the bees. these pictures i've got at the bottom of this post are almost a month old now so the bees have made much more progress since them. but we've not taken any more recent shots.

in these pictures you can see that they've built the comb, laid brood, and started capping honey.

frames with bees

the queen with the dot on the bottom of the frame
not a great shot, but you can see the marked queen at the bottom.

checking out the bees
the hubby checking out a frame. you can see that they've built comb down on the bottom of this frame. we have to clean that up periodically so they don't start building the frames together (which they did this last time we checked.)

capped brood and a little capped honey in the bottom left of the frame
the capped brood is all throughout the middle of the frame. capped honey is in the bottom right of this picture. the watery-looking stuff throughout the frame is honey in the process of becoming honey.

since these shots were taken a few weeks ago we have added another box (a super) with 10 more frames on top of each hive. when we checked them this past weekend the one hive was really far along in having the top box filled with honey-in-progress. the second hive is a little slower, but they're still moving along in there too. it had been over 2 weeks since our last check on the hives, so things were quite a mess. as i mentioned earlier in this post, a top and a bottom frame were stuck together, so when we went to pull the frame out it pulled the one under it too. that was a little tricky to fix. also, they attached one of the frames to the side of box so that when we took it out it ripped the entire frame. not sure if they'll be able to fix that. but we'll check this weekend and see what's happened.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


i'm afraid to post this because it'll jinx it. but for the first time in years and years of growing zucchini i finally have a fruit growing on my plant! my zucchini and squash plants have always been devoured by squash bores. i thought they got them again this year, but perhaps not. on our one zucchini plant we have one that's about 3" long, another that's about 2" and it looks like a 3rd is coming up! woot woot!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

baby strawberries

i forgot to mention in my last post that we had a bunch of baby strawberries coming up in the yard. how cute!

baby strawberries
they were like nature's little candy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

garden progress

i've been doing a lot of work in the garden over the past weeks and weeks and weeks, not that you can really tell to look at it. it's been so much work and there's always more to be done. i mean, what did i expect when i bought all those seeds?

but i finally got around to taking some pictures of the progress thus far. check it out:

tomato garden
tomatoes. i had to cover them up because our rotten cats kept rubbing up against them and killing them.

next to the driveway
either squash or cucumber. i can't remember which ones! hopefully we'll soon find out.

bee garden
when i dug up the grass for the garden i put it on the other side of the house hoping to get some growth. it looks awful but maybe someday it'll spread?? by the way, i've got some shots of the bees that i'll post at a later date.

the side garden
shot of the whole side garden(s).

a front view of the side yard
onions, garlic, herbs and teeny tiny eggplant and green peppers in the back.

side garden
another view of that shot while mokey looks on.

back side
the patsy's beans are doing pretty well in the back yard.

back garden
corn and louisianna purple pod peas and king corn are growing a little slow because of lack of sun.

back garden
the intent is for the peas to wrap themselves around the corn but the corn is so small it's not really being effective.

by the way, all these pictures were taken before the big rains this week. so everything's grown quite a bit this week! and this afternoon i planted some more okra because the first batch didn't really take too well. and i also planted some insectiary mix next to the garlic. more to come as well...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

update on the rain barrel

this afternoon as the ominous rain clouds were descending our area, we carefully studied the roof and put the barrel in a perfect spot that was right under an eave of the roof and close enough to the garden that we wouldn't have to tote the water too far.

as the rain crashed down we excitedly peered out the window to see how much water was gushing down the roof into the barrel.

none. rain was basically going everywhere except in the barrel. hrumph! guess we'll have to relocate it and hope for better luck next time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

yo, check it!

i made a rain barrel today!

my rain barrel

(this is obviously not where it's going to go. i have to figure out which eave has a good spot.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

big moves in v'burg

the hubby has been out of town all week helping his mom move. it's been a difficult week for the whole family. but i am so proud of the work that he and his sister and brother-in-law have put in. they have successfully moved his mom from a 3 story, 2,000+ square foot home into a tiny, one bedroom apartment. they've gotten everything out of the home and it's now all but completely empty. (animals included!) what a large accomplishment!

when they started the week no one thought that they'd be able to get everything done. we just thought they'd get as far as they could and at least have his mom living in her new place. but by monday night her stuff was in the apartment and she was spending the night there. the rest of the week they spent selling, donating and purging. it's been so difficult for them, but i am just so amazed and proud of the work that they've done.

and big thanks go out to all the family and friends who pitched in and helped. it certainly wouldn't have happened if they didn't have all those hands helping!

now, if you know anyone who wants to get a steal on a cute 3 story, 2,000+ square foot house, i know where you can buy one!

Monday, May 10, 2010

happy birthday, rachel

birthday wishes go out to my cool older sister. big ups, rach!

my sister's birthday party

Sunday, May 09, 2010

look at doozer

about a month ago we started letting our cats outside. up until that point they were strictly relegated to inside. but we got tired of hearing their whining so we gave in and let them outside. it was probably the best thing we've ever done with them. they love going out and socializing with other neighborhood cats, chasing squirrels, digging up my garden, and having other adventures. so now we can just leave the screen door unlatched and they can come and go as they please.

this afternoon when i stepped outside for a minute i notice this black clump next to the stairs.

doozer asleep in the yard

boy, he was out like a light!

doozer asleep in the yard

doozer asleep in the yard

so cute!

Monday, May 03, 2010

women be shopping

i hate shopping. it's just not how i want to spend my time. but sometimes it's just necessary.

and, because it was that time for me, this sunday i headed to the mall to get some new summer work clothes. it was just necessary. and i'm proud to say that i not only got some cute things, but i got great bargains! i got 1 skirt, 1 light sweater-thingy, and 4 blouses/shirts. it was approximately $243 in merchandise and i got it for less than $78 total! that's right, people! booya!

somehow i feel vindicated when i get those kinds of bargains. like they didn't "get" me so badly. so, take that, mall!