Sobriety Update!

It’s beenΒ  3 1/2 weeks since I last sipped the silly sauce. I thought I would be KILLING for a drink by now, but the break has thus far been quite pleasant. My productivity has skyrocketed! I have more creative thoughts and ideas than I’ve ever had in my adult life! And the best part is that I have the energy to actually follow through! (I am a great project starter. Finishing ANYTHING is usually not my style.. <- Those days are gone!) I’ve been crafting during work, after work, on the weekends. I’ve made a skirt out of a couple tee shirts (I apologize in advance for the crappy phone pics):

Sewed a pillow:

Taught myself to tie dye:

A little endorsement never hurt anyone… πŸ˜‰

This is my newest creation:

Back:

Ooooh yeah! Overalls dress!!! And that’s just a little slice.. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of slices.. I better get back to this pizza dough that’s proofing in my kitchen. Brief synopsis – so far sobriety has been fun! (Though I have had my share of red wine cravings. >.<) I am still planning on sticking it out until Mayo, but hey, I might have made myself a whole new wardrobe by then! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Advertisements

Your Filthy Kitchen’s Worst Nightmare

The Suspects:

The Offender:

(I wish I could say I planned this. In my defense, I was really sick that week. :))

The majority of the stove I cleaned with just the Apple Cider Vinegar and a sponge. For a few of the really tough spots, a little sprinkle of Baking Soda and a dab of elbow grease does the trick!

Seriously, it’s amazing!

The Result:

Look ma, no chemicals!!!! πŸ˜‰ The best part is that you can use this method on any surface! I clean my entire house with this powerful duo!!!

Oh yeah, and Happy Chocolate/Teddy Bear/Roses Day!

Heh ❀

 

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Okay, okay. Hold the jelly. I didn’t make any of that… Yet! I did, however, discover THE BEST thing just now: Fresh nut butter made in seconds by my trusty Magic Bullet!!! (Got one of these bad boys for Xmas and it’s seriously amazing! It can do ANYTHING!) I hadn’t attempted a fresh nut butter before, now I’m just wondering WHY?! I will never go back to buying prepackaged nut butters with their expensive price tags! The process is so simple and rewarding! Here’s what I did:

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

(These directions are intended for the use of a Magic Bullet. Any blender will do – the more powerful, the butter better. ;))

1/2 oz Peanuts (I used half of a 1 oz can of salted party peanuts. If not using pre-salted, add salt to taste.)

1-2 tbsp Grapeseed Oil

1 tbsp Honey

A few dashes of Cinnamon (I used around 2 tsp)

Using the flat blade of the Magic Bullet and the smallest container, roughly chop peanuts. Add the additional ingredients and then mix w/ the cross blade until creamy and well combined. πŸ™‚ THAT’S IT!

I will definitely be making my own nut butters from here on out. Macadamia with a hint of vanilla.. Chocolate almond butter… Oh man! It’s gonna get nutty around here!

That’s all for now.. Time to get bakin.’ πŸ˜‰

60 Second Vegan Ranch Dressing

Do you love ranch dressing but dislike consuming MSG? Are your carrots lonely because you’re vegan and can no longer eat traditional ranch? Worry no more! Regardless of the reason, if you find yourself with a craving – I have your simple solution! 60 second vegan ranch! This couldn’t be easier!

Now you’re going to learn as I post my recipes, I don’t always measure. In fact, I rarely measure. Nonetheless, here’s the recipe:

60 Second Vegan Ranch Dressing

(all measurements are “guesstimates” :))

1/4 c Vegenaise (or any mayo substitute you prefer)

1-2 tbsp Coconut Milk (I use So Delicious unsweetened)

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Season w/ Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Chives, Oregano, & Dill (The herbs can be fresh or dried, whatever you have. Also, feel free to use fresh garlic if you’ve got it! ).

Mix with a whisk until well combined. Season to taste and add more mayo/milk to get desired consistency. Then dip your favorite veggies or drizzle over a salad! YUM! πŸ™‚

No Drinko til Cinco de Mayo

Two days ago I started something profound. I am pledging to quit drinking for the next 3 months. Now, I know that may not be that big of a deal to some people. Hell, pregnant ladies have to go 9 months or longer without the booze. I however, am not pregnant. I am a normal 24 year old female. By normal I am implying that I get drunk a few times per week. Seems natural for most people my age. I wouldn’t specifically call it a problem.. Though the hangovers and blackouts might beg to differ. I also only weigh around 108 lbs, so a couple of drinks should be plenty. Stopping at that “couple” proves to be the hard part. I usually drink a six pack of quality beer (that is to say it has a higher alc. content than most run of the mill beers such as Miller or Budweiser, double gag) to myself or a bottle of red wine alone. Yeah, I guess that’s a little excessive for someone of my stature. :/

I also feel like alcohol has had some role to play in the emotional cycles of my life. I go through deeply depressive stages sometimes. I’ll isolate myself and my self esteem just plummets. It’s like, I know the world is great and full of wonder – I can see it through this plexi-glass shield – but for the life of me I cannot break through to the lighter side. This happens more frequently than I’m willing to admit. Almost like the negativity is so ingrained, deep in my soul that I cannot escape myself when it rears it’s ugly head. I have all the tools needed for a healthy, happy life – yet I still get sucked into these patterns that I know I am ultimately in total control of. My boyfriend sees this internal struggle, no doubt, and bless his heart for sticking by me. I owe him a lot. πŸ™‚

I am very aware that alcohol is a depressant. I am not aware, however, how greatly it has effected MY depression. Since I turned 21 I have been drinking quite heavily a few times per week. Not once have I attempted to quit completely for an extended amount of time. This is something I feel like I need to do though. I think that getting rid of alcohol, or at least for the time being, will allow me to delve deep within myself and find that ball of light that I know is shining luminously. I can really dig and hopefully find the root cause of these issues that have plagued me for so long. I can also learn to better control my impulses and addictive qualities. After all, alcoholism, albeit socially acceptable in our culture, is not something to be taken lightly. It is a powerful, mental and mood altering substance. A drug. Not the kind that was grown organically either. Never once have I blacked out or gotten into a car accident from smoking too much. Why alcohol is legal and marijuana is not is still beyond me. Like the late, great Bill Hicks once stated, “Not only do I think pot should be legalized, I think it should be mandatory.” I think he was on to something… πŸ™‚

Genius.

I’ll keep you posted on this sobriety endeavor. I know certain times will be very trying, but I have complete faith in myself. Like my 2 years sober co-worker said yesterday, “It’s all in your head.” That and so much more….

Time to get baked! πŸ™‚

 

 

Baked Love

Welcome to my new blog! I’ve decided to leave the old one behind (theneuroticyogini.wordpress.com) and start something fresh. Something more ME. πŸ™‚ While I am neurotic and I do love yoga, I feel like when I started that blog I was trying to prove something to the blogworld or be someone that I am not. Here are a few things I am: creative, innovative, analytical, high-strung (working on that!), and a lover of all creatures (homo sapiens being my least favorite). I want this blog to showcase my various talents and passion for creating things of all kinds. Vegetarian favorites, do-it-yourself projects, and political/economical debates are just the beginning. Time to get baked!

For my first recipe, I’d like to share with you my very favorite bread recipe. I found this on a blog called Farmgirl Fare and it is the BEST bread recipe for a white loaf I’ve come across, bar none! Here goes:

Best Ever Bread Recipe

(makes 3 large loaves)

4 cups All Purpose (AP) Flour

1 1/2 tbsp Yeast

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Oil (I use grapeseed, not to be confused with rapeseed aka canola oil. Yuck.)

4 cups Warm Milk or Filtered H2O (I use 2 cups coconut milk/2 cups H2O)

1 1/2 tbsp Salt

6 cups Bread Flour (this # is approximate, mine is usually between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 cups)

Directions: Mix yeast, AP flour, oil, and milk/H2O. Rest about 20 min. Add salt and bread flour until the consistency is right. Knead and allow to rise until doubled (about 1 hour) in a warm area. Shape the dough (I usually flatten the dough and then roll it up like a burrito almost, pinching the ends in and the bottom until there is no seam.) Place in bread pan ‘seam’ down and allow to rise again for another hour hour so. (The dusting of flour on top is optional, I just like the way it looks.) Bake @ 375 degrees F for around 35 minutes until tops are nice and brown.Β  πŸ™‚

Since I only own two bread pans currently and this recipe makes three, I will do one of two things: Put the leftover dough in a large tupperware (must be very large as dough will continue to rise) in the fridge and use throughout the week for fresh bread anytime! (Makes a great French loaf or dinner rolls.) Or I will just make a free form loaf and bake that! They turn out just as wonderful as the sandwich style loaves, plus I like the way they look. I’m currently getting into the habit of making these loaves once a week so we do not have to purchase bread from the grocery store. We’ve been doing well cutting out processed foods, and bread is just another one of those things I’d very much prefer to know what exactly goes into the process. Besides, I believe that the main ingredient in all my meals makes the most difference – LOVE!!! <–Okay, okay cheesy I confess.. but you know what that means.. πŸ™‚

That’s it for today! Until next time, stay baked my friends. ^.^