Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Very Snuggly Halloween

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It’s Halloween and in the House of Snuggles that mean it’s date night! Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love planning costumes and getting together with friends for frolicking. This year, we are taking it low-key and having a super spooky movie night! So to get in the mood, I popped some homemade kettle corn, which as it turns out, is super easy, and picked out my top 10 movies scary movies.

Top Movies That Get Me in a Halloween Mood:

  1. Rob Zombie’s Halloween (1&2)
  2. Stephen King’s It
  3. 28 Days Later
  4. A Tale of Two Sisters (Kept me awake at night for two weeks and I saw this as an adult)
  5. Rosemary’s Baby
  6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  7. The Strangers
  8. The Omen
  9. Poltergeist
  10. Evil Dead

As I was compiling this list I realized there quite a few classics that I haven’t seen before. Maybe you all can let me know if they are worth seeing:

  1. Nightmare on Elm Street
  2. (The original) Halloween
  3. Friday the 13th
  4. Dawn of the Dead
  5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

So pop some popcorn and sit back with a comfy, fluffy pillow and a blanky. Turn out the lights and grab the closest warm body (whether it is boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife or cat/dog) and get into the spirit of Halloween with a pulse pumping tale.

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Even Michael Myers loves Kettle Corn.

What movies get you in the mood for Halloween?

Vegan Breakfast: Pumpkin Waffles

A great way to start your day: Pumpkin Waffles!!

A great way to start your day: Pumpkin Waffles!!

Hey there, it’s Sunday morning. I woke up this morning feeling a little bit like I needed more pumpkin in my life. After making the Sell Your Soul Cookies, I just felt that it wasn’t enough. As I took my pup for his morning constitutional I gave it some thought. The sun was just peeking over the mountains, just slightly warming the chilly, desert air, and it came to me: pumpkin waffles. Oh boy, the awesome deliciousness of pumpkin pie but in breakfast form? (You see, I’ll get that flava any way I can without actually making a pie-insert sad pie bird here). So I wondered back home and began creating this delicious delight. A little bit of pumpkin, a little bit of cinnamon, and a little bit of sass. That’s right, sass, it’s very important. So I went through my cupboards to find the fresh jar of cinnamon that I bought yesterday only to find that dummy me bought cinnamon sticks, not ground cinnamon. (I guess it pays to slow down and read the label…) So I put on my problem solver pants and came up with this solution: I’ll just throw that shit into my coffee grinder and see what happens. Seeing that some of the bark was a little thick, I threw a couple of sticks into my food processor to break it down a bit, followed by fine tuned grinding in the coffee grinder. To my surprise this crazy plan actually worked and is actually better than the pre-ground stuff. Sweet. Not only do I have awesome smelling ground cinnamon but the traces of it left in my coffee grinder created cinnamon flavored french roast. Double bonus!!! A word of caution though: if you try this, do not, I repeat, do not get the fresh ground cinnamon in your eyes- that shit burns!!!!!! (I swear I need fucking goggles when I do anything!)

Try a short stack!

Try a short stack!

OK, so back to the subject at hand: pumpkin waffles. I flipped through Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan With A Vengeance because I vaguely remember seeing a recipe for pumpkin waffles in there and low and behold I was right! The recipe makes a lot and since it’s just me that will be partaking of this sweet, breakfast delight I had to cut it in half. Over all, a great end result and my tummy is super happy. Only complaint that I have is that waffle irons are kind of a bitch to clean, especially if you get overly excited at the end and overfill the plates-like this girl right here did and it oozes out the sides and gets stuck in all the cracks.

Unlike the cookies, this recipe does not require you to reduce the pumpkin which is good if your really hungry since reducing pumpkin takes some time. This recipe also called for oil and didn’t specify. I used coconut oil just for kicks and it turned out pretty scrumptious. I ate these with just a drizzle of maple syrup but you could probably top these with a dusting of powdered sugar or make them super healthy and spread some type of nut butter (I’m sure almond would be fantastic) in between two waffles and make a sandwich. Or turn them into a dessert and put vanilla ice cream on top (now why didn’t I think of that when I was eating them…) Either way, use your imagination to make these super exciting-not that having a pumpkin waffles isn’t already exciting.

Nom nom nom nom get in my belly!

Nom nom nom nom get in my belly!

Vegan Baking: Pumpkin Cookie Delight

You know nothing says Halloween season like pumpkin (aside from the giant bags of candy at Target, scary movies, and dressing up in a fun costume.) Of course, pumpkin under normal circumstances is nutritious and delicious. Why would we want to go that route though? I will probably get to the healthy stuff eventually seeing as there are more pumpkins in my future but this time is going to be a sweet adventure.

You see, pumpkins are awesome cancer fighters. They have the antioxidant beta-carotene which is one of those put-up-your-dukes kinds of antioxidants. A half cup of cooked pumpkin also has 24 calories, 6,115 IU of vitamin A, 282 mg of potassium, and a whopping 6,012 micrograms of carotenoids just to name of a few of the benefits. Pumpkin is also crazy versatile, meaning it can be dessert, it can be dinner, or it can be a snack(Mmmmm seeds, drool.)

So anyways, I just happened to have a can of pumpkin puree and I sat down to think about how I could transform it into something for my sweet tooth. For me, it’s too early in the year for pumpkin pie. As I flipped through my copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (I know, I know, when I get some extra cash I’ll invest in a new book). I stumbled upon a recipe for “Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies.” Sell your soul, you say? I accept the challenge. Without any hesitation, I whipped these beauties together and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Not only did they deliver on their promise to be good enough to part with your soul, they were also like pumpkin pie but in a cookie cakey form. Needless to say, this batch of cookies did not last very long. This batch has also convinced me the Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero know what the fuck they are doing, so if you haven’t checked out any of their cookbooks yet you should probably do that.

Have some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and a can of pumpkin puree just laying around? Why not throw it into some cookies? Or something else pumpkiny... or something...

Have some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and a can of pumpkin puree just laying around? Why not throw it into some cookies? Or something else pumpkiny… or something…

Looking for other ways to turn healthy veggies into something desserty? Check out this post on carrots.

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year: 10 Reasons Why Autumn is Awesome

No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about Autumn. In my opinion, it really is the best season ever. Since it is so short-lived it’s important to squeeze every moment from every awesome, leaf filled day. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be bringing you my favorite things of fall. I really have some exciting stuff planned and yes it’s mostly food based (I know, I’m obsessed. Get over it.) I also know I’m a little late to jump on this hay wagon but better late than never, am I right? To start it off, here are my top ten things I love about the autumnal months:

1. Apples- cider, pie, fresh from a tree, you name it, it makes me drool
2. Pumpkin Spice Everything
3. Cozy Sweaters and Fluffy Hoodies
4. Red, Orange, and Yellow leaves
5. Cool, Gloomy, Blustery Days
6. Halloween!!!!!!!!!! (aka my wedding anniversary)
7. Thanksgiving Dinner
8. Comfort, Stick to Your Ribs, Food
9. Cozy, Snuggly nights
10. November 13th. International Me Day (aka my birthday)

Ok, I know some of those are personal but really, my list is pretty awesome. A lot of this stuff I miss out on only because I live in the Great American Southwest and Autumn is more of a celebration of “freedom from your air conditioner until next April” than chilly, gloomy days. Anyways, here’s to Fall!

This is what Autumn in the desert looks like.

This is what Autumn in the desert looks like.

What do you like about the Fall months?

Reflection

KRYSTLES PHOTOOOOOOOOOOOO

One day my alarm went off. My eyes fluttered open and I shuffled to the kitchen to make that ever important first cup of coffee. “God, I hate my job. I hate my boyfriend. I hate my life.” This is pretty much how everyday started. But on this particular day, I was in an especially foul mood. I sat down and gave myself a very harsh reality check. I graduated from college, was still working as a server in a sports bar, having failed relationship after failed relationship, watching as everyone else moved on and do great things. Overall, I felt hopeless. I couldn’t take the feeling of hopelessness anymore. I don’t like feeling like I’m drowning, with a boulder tied around my ankles, dragging me down into the cool, watery depths of nothingness, where I would be lost and forgotten forever. Sounds dramatic, I know, but these are the thoughts that were going through my head. So I decided that I needed a big change. I needed to move. Not just anywhere, but far away, a fresh start. I choose the Arizona desert because I knew one person there and I figured that knowing at least one person might make this crazy plan a little easier. After seeing if it would be cool to stay with him and his wife for a bit, I put my diabolical plan into action. Nine months before I was to leave, I told my parents what I was planning to do. I started working every shift I could pick up and closed whenever it was offered to me to make as much money as possible. There was no time to waste. My boyfriend at the time was a little bit confused. I offered for him to come with me, as kind of test, to see if we really belong together. Needless to say, he failed, miserably. He pleaded with me to reconsider and he just didn’t understand why I would want to do such a thing. He definitely wasn’t the adventurous type and couldn’t see himself more than a few miles away from his family. So, that relationship ended, kind of ugly, but it was to be expected. I received a lot of resistance from a lot of people. Mostly, friends that didn’t want to be so far away from me. I assured them that I would come visit and I felt, in the depths of my being, that this was the right decision.

Bacardi Koshka

Bacardi Koshka

Calypso (aka baby girl)

I even sat down with my two cats, Koshka and Calypso, and explained that we were going on a fantastic voyage (Coolio reference here) and that they were going to become desert kitties. They looked up at me with their sweet faces and they seemed to understand.

The hardest part was explaining to my dog why I was leaving. She lived with my parents because she was old and my father took care of her. I went over there two days before Christmas to spend some time with her and I explained my plan. She looked at me with her tired, brown eyes and white muzzle, and I knew that she understood. Two days later, she passed away. I felt like my heart was ripped out. A lot of people don’t understand that connection you can have with a dog. She was my best friend for 14 years, she was always there when I needed comfort and was my constant companion. I was sick the day I had to move out of my parents house because I couldn’t take her with me. I knew she was in good hands because my dad loved her just as much as me. I felt that her passing, was another sign that I needed to go. Devastated, I stayed strong in my resolution to move and start living. Six months passed and moving day arrived. I had managed to save $3,000 which I felt should last me until I could find some type of job. I was only taking what would fit in my car, which meant some clothes, some books, my spices, and my cats. On departure day, my dad came over early to change my brakes and make sure that my car was in good working condition, like awesome dads do. When it came to say goodbye, I was filled with hope and sorrow. I was going to miss him a lot. Pushing forward, I started my car and drove a way to start this amazing journey.

Three years later, I look back. I’m still here in the desert. I am not friends with most of the people I was friends with, including my one friend that lives here. I have experienced what it means to be so completely broke that you’re not sure how you are going to pay your bills and eat. I have experienced extreme heartache over actions of my loved ones but living so far away from everything I have ever known has granted me a new kind of perspective. I have an outsider view of what my life was like back home. I have quite a new perspective on how things should be and what I want out of life. Without the intention of having any romantic relationships, I have since met my husband, who is probably the most amazing person I have ever met and he inspires me every single day. I have learned that the key to happiness is living, breathing and doing your passion. I have since discovered that my passion is food, animal well-being, and trying to make the most out of everyday. I have learned to give more of myself than to take, that animals really do have personalities and emotions, and that people think it’s OK to ride horse down a city street (only in Arizona).  I didn’t know what to expect when I started this journey and I still have no idea how my life will unfold. This is an ever continuing story and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter will be. If there is one thing you can take away from this, dear Reader, it is this: chase your dreams and dare to take a risk, you never know what will happen, but in the end you’ll be glad you took it.

Thanks for reading.