8/29/12

Juicing with My New Omega Juicer!

My New Omega J8005 Juicer!
A few weeks ago, I was using my juicer getting ready for a one day juice fast, and I noticed smoke coming out of the "juice shoot." It took a few minutes for me to realize my juicer was on fi-yah! I ran it outside, came back in, and accidentally knocked the juice collection container over and subsequently, all the precious kale juice poured all over my counter. If you've ever juiced greens, you know how tragic that is. I think I may have cried.

In any case, since I was juicer-less and so began my 2-week-long hemmin' and hawin' over which juicer (if I was even going to buy one, the other side of the debate). Do I save money and get a centrifugal juicer again or do I go for broke and buy a twin-gear machine? In the end, I decide to compromise with a masticating juicer. The juice produced from a masticating juicer retains it's nutrition at a cellular level (which it can lose in a centrifugal juicer) and is a faster and more economical than twin-gear.

Having previously used a centrifugal juicer before, I can say it was WAY faster and less time intensive because it could take most fruits and veggies whole, so no chopping. The masticating juicer does, however, produce more juice and therefore, the pulp is much drier.

The Omega model I decided on is commercial grade, so it can make nut butters, juice wheatgrass, whirl out pasta, and create frozen banana ice cream (yay!). Because the feed shoot is narrow, you do have to chop your produce fairly small. That is the biggest drag for me. I do, however, love that it comes with a filter to keep any foam from entering the final juice--something that my Breville did not have. So far I am happy with it, but I have only been using it for about 1 week.

In the end, if you are a casual juicer, just go with a much cheaper centrifugal juicer, but if you are juicing for cleansing or health, go with a masticating juicer.

Oh, and by the way, I am on day 4 of my own version of the Martha's Vineyard Detox. Lots of juicing going on here! I plan to end it tomorrow. So far, I feel great, but I am excited to finally chew food again!

8/27/12

On Raising Veg Kids & Vegan Meal Ideas for Children

Both of my little ones said "Ooooooo!" when they saw their dinners.

I often get questions about wether it is difficult raising my kids vegetarian and my answer is always, "Nope!". I have been vegetarian since 1995 (and lacto-veg since 1996), so it feels like all I know and I don't find it hard at all! Both of my children (ages 3 and 6) are very aware of their veg-ness and don't feel like it is a hinderance in their lives. In fact, my six-year-old considers it a point of pride to be a little different. The only time it is really an issue is at birthday parties when I have to bring a cupcake for them. But, overall, I am quite happy that being veg means that my kids eat pretty healthy and they are exposed to lots of different kinds of foods. They are growing perfectly well, above average heights and at healthy weights. So, if you personally have any doubts about raising a child vegetarian, you need none; just arm yourself with info and everyone will be fine. I have countless numbers of friends raising their kids with the same type of diet and all of them are thriving, happy, and healthy as well.

I took this picture of a very simple meal I made them for dinner tonight: Cubed baked tofu from Trader Joe's (my son especially loves it!), basmati rice, raw carrot sticks and steamed broccoli. They had apple slices after dinner.  All organic. Cooking and prep took about 20 minutes. Even if I was not a vegetarian, I would chose this type of meal for them any day over chicken nuggets, french fries and soda! So much healthier!

8/26/12

Color & Lights at Longwood Gardens










This weekend, we had a "cram it all in before the kids go back to school" sort of stay-at-home vacation. On Saturday evening, we headed to one of favorite pure-veg Indian buffets, Devi and then made our way over to Longwood Gardens to view the "Light Nights" installation by Bruce Munro. The displays (some of which winded through wooded areas) were simultaneously beautiful and eerie, reminding us of the movie Avatar. I had fun trying to capture the images with my new Nikon and the kids just had fun wandering around fields in the dark.

8/21/12

Make-it-yourself Back to School Gift Ideas for Teachers


Apple for the teacher? Let's try chocolate bark instead! Preparing chocolate bark is super simple and a great way to involve the kids in making a gift for their new teacher.

Method: Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (takes about 1 minutes - 1.5 minutes) stir until smooth and creamy. With a rubber spatula, spread melted chocolate on parchment paper (about 1/4 inch thick). Have your kids sprinkle the topping on the melted chocolate. I used toasted almonds and dried cherries. You could use white chocolate chips, other nuts, other dried fruits, shredded coconut, granola, broken cookie pieces, candy coated chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows, or other fun toppings. Make sure the toppings are firmly set in the chocolate by lightly pressing on them. You could even drizzle more melted chocolate on top!

Place baking sheet in fridge over night. Once set, have the kids break the bark into irregularly shape pieces. Box them in a nice pastry box and have the kids design a label to affix to the package or use free printable labels like this one or this one.

8/20/12

Simple Grain-free Quinoa Veggie Burgers (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Topped with walnut basil pesto and fresh tomatoes, the quinoa patties made an perfect light summer dinner.
One day, I left a pot of cooked quinoa sitting too long before it was served and I realized that quinoa will form a solid mass if you don't fluff it (just like oatmeal does). I decided I had to use that discovery on a later date to make a grain-free and bean-free veggie burger.

The quinoa patties before baking on an oiled parchment paper lined baking sheet.
The method is simple, cook quinoa according to package directions except add about 1/4 cup more water and cook for a few minutes longer (or until all the water is absorbed). A few minutes before the quinoa is done, add spices and/or herbs. For mine, I went with an Italian theme and added finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce, a splash of balsamic vinegar, finely chopped fresh basil and oregano, marjoram, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and black pepper. You can easily adjust the flavor profile by adding Mexican, Indian, or American spices instead; any would work. Remove from heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes, but longer is best.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with oiled parchment paper. Scoop 1/4 cup-sized balls of quinoa from of your cooking pan and flatten into patties. Place on prepared baking sheet. Wash hands and repeat until all the cooked quinoa is gone. Bake for 15 minutes and let sit for a few minutes out of the oven. Fry in an oiled pan until both sides are crispy.

I served my patties on a bed of lettuce and topped them with a simple chunky walnut basil pesto and diced local tomatoes. Simple, light, tasty, and delicious!


8/14/12

A Whole Lot of Summer; Part Two

The last set of summer pictures that I finally released from my cell (not-i)phone. My Nikon finally arrived today and I can't wait to put it to use!

 Trying on sun hats at Anthropologie with my beautiful daughter.


Surviving the most aggressive dealers at an auction with two kids in tow. See the green Danish candlesticks? Those are going to be in the Scissors and Spice shop soon.


My daughter sketching things she saw on the auction table as she and her little  brother patiently waited for me.


 A lot at the auction: Leroy II  Lettering Set.


I found this piece, and the one below, at the Goodwill. I have no idea what country they are from or who did them. They look Asian, but not sure from which country. They are hand painted.


Both depict the process of making fabric and our now happily in our hallway. I love them! What a great find. If you think you have any info on them, please let me know.


A new favorite snack, great for kids: Stuffed bananas filled with peanut butter, raisins, and toasted almonds.


Love the colors in this image from a vintage children's book I found at the flea market.


Fresh juice at the farmer's market!


 Ladies' brunch date at Sprig and Vine in New Hope, PA. Playing it healthy with the quinoa salad.


Chutzpah board game at vintage store in New Hope. I really wish it wasn't $50 because that is one board game I would want to play!

8/13/12

A Whole Lot of Summer; Part One

I've finally released photos from my phone and thought you'd enjoy a cell phone tour of my summer. More to come in part two (and maybe three!). Hope you are all having a great summer. Have fun!


A whole lot of soy sauce from Gong's Market in Malvern, PA. Watch this vide by Vegan Road Trip.


A whole lot of reunion shows. Promise Ring at the Unitarian Church in Philly.


Buddhas in Rehoboth Beach. I would love this piece in my garden.


Classic DE beach spot, Dolle's.


The Paratrooper at Funland. Nope, never again!


Swirly amusement park lights make for pretty pictures.


I really wanted these, but they didn't have them in my size.


Hearts, stars, and unicorns for over 12 years!


In Delaware, you don't go to the shore, you go to the beach. So says my plumber.


Lots and lots of Whole Foods Salads. My daughter has finally developed a love of soups! Hoo-ray!


A whole lot of crazy weather happened in the past few weeks creating awesome cloud formations and crazy thunderstorms.


Our GPS has it out for us and sends us through some off-the-beaten-path routes. I have to admit, we find lots of interesting things that way though, like this mural somewhere near Fairmount Park in Philly.


Though I have been really limiting the amount we eat out, I always make room for a whole lot of Su Tao veggies. The broccoli stems and pickled purple cabbage are to die for!

8/9/12

Something New, Something Green

Follow me on Instagram: scissorsandspice

I'm rounding up some pretty great stuff for the next round of stocking the Etsy shop. If there is something you see you just can wait for until then, let me know! There are some Catherineholm bowls, Arabia of Finalndia, Danish teak, wooden vikings, and lots of vintage table cloths and tea towels (not pictured).

I'm also hard at work at a new handmade Etsy shop. It will hopefully be up in October; just in time for the holidays!

Oh! And my new Nikon is on order, so no more inferior pictures are in my future!

8/8/12

See Something You Like? Sale


If there is something you like that is still in my pretty bare shop, please shoot me at email (lynnatscisssorsandspicedotcom), make me a (reasonable) offer and we'll see what we can do! I've got a ton of very awesome merch to stock the shop with in September and I want to get the shop emptied out before I do. Nothing like a clean start to head into the holiday season (yes, it IS around the corner and will be here before you can say Halloween)!

Take a look at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScissorsAndSpice and let's make a deal!

8/6/12

In the Night Kitchen Banana Muffins (& Bread!)

Baking muffins while the kids sleep. Shhh!


I admit, I can be pretty lazy. I can barely muster up the energy to make oatmeal for my kids in the morning, let alone make them a home-cooked breakfast every day. But, if I am going to make something from scratch for their breakfasts, I want it to at least be healthy-ish. So, when I saw three bananas on my counter just hollering to be baked into something, I decided to teak a sweet bread recipe of mine by lowering the sugar content and adding more fiber/whole grains. The result was wholesome, but still yumdidliumcious.

I baked the kids some muffins and used the rest of the batter to make my husband's office mates a loaf of banana bread (with dabs of peanut butter and chocolate chips plopped in the middle as a baking experiment). The peanut butter was a tad too salty, but I'll try tweaking it again and see if I can get it right next time.

A little sprinkle of Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips before baking will certainly help say, "Good morning, Sunshine!"


In the Night Kitchen Banana Muffins Recipe (vegan)
makes about 24 muffins or 1 loaf of bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup AP unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (Grind oatmeal into a fine powder)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan yogurt (the thicker the better)
  • 1/8 cup melted Earth Balance
  • 1/8 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 3 very ripe, very mashed bananas
  • chocolate chips for garnish or to be mixed in to the batter (about 1 cup)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients and then add bananas.
  4. Combine wet to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. To make muffins, add about 1/4 cup of batter to greased muffin tins (when using muffins liners, I still like to give the liners a very quick spray with non-sitck cooking spray). Bake about 20-22 minutes.
  6. To make bread, grease bread pan and add batter. Bake about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Sometimes with quick breads, the outside may seem to be a little burnt, but the inside is fine, so don't worry if the outside of the bread seems done before the center.)


8/5/12

A Diary of Things Left Behind


I love the thrift. It's like a treasure hunt! Honestly, though, my house can only hold so much, so here's a pictorial diary are some unique pieces I recently found but left behind to maintain my organizational sanity.

8/4/12

Vintage Lovely Ladies of Philadelphia

Photo of Miss Philadelphia 1921 from Old Images of Philadelphia

My new favorite obsession is the Facebook page, Old Images of Philadelphia. Lots of images of people of yore, lovely architecture, and great hand painted advertising signs. If you are on Facebook, give them a like!

Speaking of lovely vintage things, make sure you enter the Fresh Pastry Stand giveaway. Contest ends on Tuesday! And Deva's VERY close to her Kickstarter goal! Give her a shout out and holla with your dollas to support her fledgling business!

8/2/12

Creamy & Crunchy Vegan Peanut Butter & Apple Asian Coleslaw


Most of my dinner creations come together, no pun intended, organically. I'm not a meal planner. I like to just look at what's in the fridge and/or in the pantry, see what works together, and go from there. When I whipped up this meal, I had coleslaw mix from Whole Foods, apples, and some leftover homemade sesame noodles sauce. Perfect!

After shooting the coleslaw, I mixed in shredded baked Trader Joe's tofu and tons of baby romaine to make a more complete meal. Mr. Scissors loved it.



Creamy & Crunchy Vegan Peanut Butter & Apple Asian Coleslaw Recipe


Ingredients

  • 3 cups coleslaw mix (or a mix of shredded cabbages and carrots)
  • 1 granny smith apple (peeled and diced)
  • 3 TB sesame noodle sauce (recipe here; use water or veggie broth and more ginger)
  • 2 TB Veganaise
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TB mirin (or neutral tasting liquid sweetener) 
  • crushed peanuts


Directions
  1. In a bowl, combine coleslaw mix with cubed apples.
  2. In a small container with a lid, mix sesame noodle sauce through mirin, and shake vigorously until well combined.
  3. Pour dressing over coleslaw and mix well. Let marinate in fridge an hour (or over night) before serving.
  4. Top with peanuts before serving.