Friday, December 30, 2011


I needed something to bring for Christmas Day lunch. I found a simple recipe for sweet potato gnocchi that I thought would be great with my creamy pesto sauce.

It seemed easy-mix flour, cooked sweet potato, and salt. Roll it into a log.

Cut into nuggets and crease with a fork so the gnocci could hold optimum sauce.

Boil the gnocci until they float....Obviously I did something wrong, because they came out mushy and sad.

It was disappointing, because HOW AWESOME DOES SWEET POTATO GNOCCI SOUND??!

The end of the year overwhelms me with work craziness and hustle bustle and I was feeling frazzled, so I needed a fast plan B. I packed up some sliced red and green bell peppers, onion, and garlic, and on Christmas day I sauteed them up with sliced Tofurky Italian Sausage. I mashed up half a sweet potato with a little Earth Balance and cumin, dished up some romaine/fennel/orange salad with balsamic and called it a holiday meal. I didn't get a picture. Whoops.

I now feel like I must conquer sweet potato gnocchi. The gauntlet has been thrown.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

...and of course I made soup.

On Christmas Eve we headed north to spend the holiday with Mr. BB30's family. I wanted to bring a dish that I could share as well as ensure that I that I had something vegan friendly and filling to eat.

I had recently created a pear/turnip/parsnip puree that turned out well and went to a cooking party for my day job where my task was to make an apple/parsnip/leek soup, so I married the two ideas and the results were savory, sweet, and oh-so-merry!

Savory Pear Soup
2 Large parsnips, peeled and chopped (or several small skinny ones like I had)
2 Bosc Pears, peeled and chopped
2 (cleaned) Leeks, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1c Applesauce
1c Veggie Broth
Green Onion (for Garnish)

  • Sauté your veggies in a little olive oil until very tender, adding salt and pepper to taste
  • Add veggie broth and apple sauce (add in a little water if it seems dry)
  • Turn to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes
  • Cheat on your immersion blender and go for the food processor-you want this bad boy super silky!
  • Blend the soup in batches until it is smooth, adding water or plain almond milk as needed for your desired consistency.
  • Finely chop some green onion (or chives) with your kitchen scissors for garnish.
  • Drink in the sweet/savory goodness!
Here is a blurry camera phone pic that does it no justice.
This soup was a hit. I was so happy to be able to share a vegan friendly dish that pleased all palettes and warmed everyone up as they waited for Santa.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Squash It!

I should just have a separate soup blog, shouldn't I? Maybe one day...

In the meantime, behold a most excellent way to put a AMAZING sale on yellow squash to good use. (Seriously, I got six squash for .99!!) Smoky Squash Soup

Five yellow squash (two medium, three small), chopped
One medium Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup Bacos (bear with me)
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
2 tsp Olive Oil
4 cups veggie broth
3 large cloves of garlic, grated
pinch of turmeric (optional)
pinch of curry powder (optional)

In a large pot, saute the squash and onions olive oil. (5 minutes)
Add frozen corn
Cook on medium until veggies soften

Add garlic, turmeric, and curry powder
Add veggie broth and simmer on low for 20 minutes
Add liquid smoke
Remove two cups of the soup, set aside
Add Bacos to the two cups you set aside and allow them to hydrate

Use your immersion blender to puree the remaining soup
Add the two cups back into the pot
Revel in the smoky goodness
Bacos and Liquid Smoke are vegan friendly and add such a rich country flavor to the always delicious combo of good ol' squash n' onions. The turmeric and curry powder are optional and used mainly to punch up the color. This makes about four large entree servings or eight starters. I really like taking out some of the veggies before blending because you get the best of both worlds with a smooth base and some hearty pieces. The corn kernels really pop. This would make a great little Christmas Eve dinner with a nice piece of crusty bread and a glass of your favorite wine.

I think next time I will blend in some white beans to add some protein. It should really thicken up the soup and make the texture even creamier!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And for My Next Trick...

......I will magically REAPPEAR!


Long story short, I have a lot of stuff going on. Things in Dayjobland are not good. Add in some various other life planning obstacles, my paralyzing fear of just sucking it up and taking a leap of faith, and starting rehearsals for a new play and you have a stressed out BB30 that is dizzy and tired. Thus, my absence.

On this journey, in times of stress I have turned to exercise, but I noticed that this time, as the stress thickens, sweating it out with burpees and mountain climbers isn't making me feel better. So, I've taken to little jogs and walks in the brisk air and only taking classes I enjoy like boxing.

On Friday I knew that I really needed to get a workout in and opted to try a rowing class. Rowing machines are the only machines at my gym (it's all class based), and this particular class was called Rowing Racing. You could race a partner or just challenge yourself. I was scared to go, because I'd only used the machines as a circuit of a class once, and didn't want to look dumb and make an idiot of myself. Perfect reason to make myself go, is it not? So I went. Guess what? No one else had signed up so I had the room all to myself, and they let me turn on Netflix and watch Limitless for my half hour. Awesome. See? I stood up to that little fear and it all worked out!
After rowing, I took a new class called Cardio Step Up. You use a chair as your step and go through several different exercises for a half hour. Holy burning thighs! This was a good'n! Strengthening and Balance in one! I'm glad I tried it, and it was nice to have something new to test out.

Today is strength boxing day. The normally one hour class will be longer today and will include a 15 minute pre-class technique refresher (Yay-I think this is sooo important, and I'll hopefully be able to pin point some things I must be doing wrong and causing hip pain) followed by an extra 10 minutes of class they are adding for extra calorie burn. I always feel good after kick boxing, so I'm looking forward to it.

Through the powers of Facebook, this post from has come into my life at the most perfect time, and I simply must share it:

30 Truths I've Learned in 30 Years

Now for some Christmas music-one of my favoirte ways to stay positive!

Today in gratitude I am thankful for Mariah Carey's song All I Want For Christmas Is You. My spirits instantly lift when I hear it and I don't care who knows it!