A New Food Experience

I know that it seems like I’m only posting every other day, but that isn’t the case, I simply post really late at night (or really early in the morning, depending on how you look at it). I am just trying to make a post every night before I go to bed. Today I wanted to share with you a new food I tried tonight for dinner. It was tofu. I’ve had tofu once and it was alright, so I thought I’d try making it at home to see if it would be any better. I got this really awesome-sounding recipe from Post Punk Kitchen (the recipe is here). I wanted to try a dish that was simple (as it was), sounded delicious, and had been tried by others before I ventured on my own with a new food. I have to say that the end result to this has nothing to do with the recipe. So here are some pictures…

Cooking up wonderfully, or rather, blackening.

On my plate, as a finished product with the garlic polenta on the side.

Now I have to admit I’ve never had polenta either. But, they tasted just like grits, which I love, so they were fine with me! The tofu had the consistency of scrambled eggs. I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. I simply didn’t care for the taste of the tofu. The recipe was great, and I will use it again, possibly with eggs (for a yummy breakfast) or shrimp, or simply by substituting in vegetables. At least I know now, and I can say I have experimented and tried something new, even if I didn’t like it! That is my aim – to discover.

A Bigger Challange Than I Expected

1700 words a day is actually a lot more than I thought it would be. So instead of aiming for a word count, I think I’ll just post ever day in an effort to get used to writing every day. I sort of ran out of time to post today, but I wanted to talk about something that came up today, as it does most days. It still surprises me that people are so taken aback because of something so simple and much more common than they think. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t think it’s a big thing, or an accomplishment of any kind, but every time I am around my family, they always act like I’m some sort of alien or something. It’s actually kind of humorous. The will invite me to dinner and say, “We are having chicken!”, and my answer is always, “Any vegetables?” They kind of give me that look, like when people are weirded out or confused, and I just have to remind them that I don’t eat meat. Meat is the only thing I don’t eat, I still eat eggs and dairy, and occasionally seafood. I had considered going vegan, but I don’t think I could live without yogurt or cottage cheese! I guess it’s because I live in the south, so people think that animals are the only source of protein. I read some place on the internet (I don’t remember where exactly) that cutting animal products from your diet would help the Earth more than driving a hybrid car for a year, and if a family of 4 did this, it would be like not driving a car at all for a year. That is a part of what motivated me to stop eating meat, as well as the fact that it’s pretty bad for your body. I was a vegetarian before, in high school, and my mother refused to serve anything but what she normally served -meat as the main dish and then whatever sides she wanted. Understandable, so I lived off of poptarts, salad and baked potatoes for a year. Then I became anemic and had to stop. The point of this post is to make others aware. Vegetarians are not as uncommon as you might think, and most of us are healthier than you might think too. Animal meat is not the only source of protein, and you will not die without it. I love being inventive in the kitchen, so it’s fun for me to plan my meals and figure out new things to do with as many whole foods as I can. Maybe vegetarianism isn’t right for everyone, but it is possible that it’s right for you. You can’t knock it until you rock it!

Prepare for National Novel Writing Month with the Post a Day Challenge

Prepare for National Novel Writing Month with the Post a Day Challenge.

I am going to be writing a post every single day for the month of October to get ready for November’s National Novel writing month.This will be my first go at this, and I entered a little late in the game, but I feel that it’s worth a try, and might be just what I need to get focused and get out of my writing rut. I will aim for the 1700 words a day mark! Things may be really random for the next month, but hopefully interesting! If you have suggestions or something you’d like me to write about, feel free to comment or message me!

Joining the Round – My New Addiction

First, I’d like to say…Yaaaaay!!! Ok, it’s not that exciting, but still. I write for Helium, and my article made it to the front page! *victory dance* Ok, I’m done… This is my about me page, and you can read my articles there

So, while I was gone, I learned something new. I learned to knit. I know many of you will probably look at this and say “What? Knitting is so a granny thing…”, but I have news for you. Knitting is actually pretty popular with people my age, maybe a little older. Have you ever gone to a craft store and realized that there is a huge section for yarn? Yes, that would be due to knitters. For some reason, there is a misconception about knitting and everything it involves. Although I’ve only been doing it for about two weeks, I can see why people love it, and also why older knitters have arthritis. I am addicted. When I am falling asleep, all I can see is knitting (maybe my brain is practicing?). When I am driving, all I’d rather do is knit. It seems so strange because I haven’t managed to finish anything yet, but I have started over again so many times. Apparently it’s something that practice makes perfect. If you’ve ever considered learning this craft, I have compiled a list of things you should know before you begin.

10 things I wish someone would have told me when I learned to knit

1. You don’t always use straight needles. There is something called knitting “in the round” (hence the title), which is used to make circular things, like hats and leggings, and can also be used to make flat items.

2. There are A LOT of different stitches you will need to learn, and even more abbreviations.

3. There is a huge difference between acrylic yarn and other yarns, like wool or alpaca. It makes a difference to the way your finished product feels. When you start knitting though, start with acrylic so you don’t waste your money.

4. Practice. Don’t think you can just learn to knit and then make a fantastic item right away. You have to work to that. It’s not that knitting is necessarily hard, it’s just that it can be frustrating and takes a lot of patience. Take your time and learn thoroughly.

5. Go slowly. At first anyways. Take your time and you can prevent dropped stitches and tangled yarn and getting things backwards.

6. Learn how to pick up stitches and fix mistakes. For example, I didn’t know that while knitting in the round, before you join the round, all the stitches MUST BE STRAIGHT…if the stitches are twisted around the needles, the finished product will end up all wonky. That is seriously not cool.

7. Make sure you read your pattern thoroughly before you begin, and that you have a adequate amount of yarn and the right size needles. Nothing is more disappointing than finding a project you’d really like to do, then realizing you have the wrong needles or yarn in the middle of the night when the stores that carry them are closed. Plan.

8. The Internet is a great resource for knitters. There are communities and blogs out the wazzoo on the web, as well as many many videos on YouTube, that can help beginners learn stitches, provide free patterns, and teach you how to choose yarns and needles.

9. If you are young, older people may look at you crazy. I have already had old women look at me funny when I am sitting in my car knitting, or when I pick up a pair of needles at the store. It’s okay, and maybe you should start a conversation with one of these people, they may know a lot more about knitting than you think, and may be able to teach you.

10. Knitting is not going out of style. Although it is a lot less prominent than it used to be, there is still a huge network of knitters around the world, most of which are willing to share their wisdom. What’s better is now, they are connected by the web.

That last one is really important. We were walking through the mall the other day, and I stopped short, almost stunned by what I saw in the window of the GAP store. Knit sweaters, on mannequins, with ribbing and cables and the whole nine yards. I was seriously shocked at this, and I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because knitting has gotten a bad rap for being out of date and something for old people to do. But not anymore, no sir, Knitting is BACK! And I’m pretty sure it’s here to stay, at least for me.
Some things you should read:
Dull-Roar
Spindles and Spices
Ravelry

Tonight’s Project

Tonight, I spent a little time with some friends and family. Usually when we get together on normal nights, we spend some time crafting. Lynne, one of our close family friends (she is like a mother to me!) is opening a shop, hopefully by this time next week! I am so excited for her. She has worked very hard and made a ton of jewelry, including earrings, bracelets, but mostly necklaces. We have spent many long, albeit hilarious, nights in the craft room, with huge cups of coffee, slaving away at something that we love to do! Tonight was the same, and this is what I created

 

It has the sweetest tree pendent on it!

 I’m sorry about all the blurry photos, but I absolutely love it!

I am working on a pair of earrings and a bracelet to make a complete set. I still have a little work with you, but hopefully I will have them done soon.

Sharing a song…

 

Random Stumbling…

I love this, it’s very sweet…


Found it at: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/27gIT0/pics.livejournal.com/goodbyemagpie/pic/0000fyc8/s640x480

Let’s Begin…..

Do you want to know a secret? Well that would be great if I had one. I just want to share. Everything I know and everything I love will soon be found here. This is one of my favorite songs, and you will find a new one here every single day. There will be other things too, like questions, videos, discussions, recipes, and other fun stuff. Can’t wait to post again!