Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vegan Summer Lasagna

Moving over from Rooted Vegan....

It is that time of year. You know, the time when you ask yourself, "WHY, why did I (or my friends and family) plant so many squash and/or zucchini?!?" It seems that this time of year I am always slammed from my own garden or the gardens of loved ones. I have a hard time turning away free food so I have to become a little creative with how I use it. Recently a friend bestowed us with a lot of yellow squash. I have used it in a variety of ways from breakfast scrambles to lasagna. My stomach is still uncomfortably full from tonight's lasagna. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Vegan Garden Lasagna by __________________
Lasagna noodles, enough for two layers in your 9 x 12 casserole dish (I used 6, but I always make extra so I cooked 9), cook according to directions

Veggie Sauce
1 T olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow squash, diced
6 baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes in juice
1 can pizza sauce

For the tofu mixture
1 package of extra firm tofu, crumbled
4-5 basil leaves, shredded or chopped
1/3 c nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced

You'll also need a bag of Daiya mozzerella shredded vegan cheese.

 1. While your lasagna noodles are cooking heat a large skillet over medium high. Add the oil and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
2. Once the onion is cooked add the garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring. Add the squash, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook for a minute or so.
3. Add the fire roasted tomatoes in juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juice cooks off. Add the pizza sauce, reduce heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes. Set aside

Tofu Mixture
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. I enlisted my 3 year old to mush it all together.

Assemble the lasagna
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a lightly oiled 9 x 12 casserole dish add a layer of noodles. Cover with half of the tofu mixture, spread evenly.
3. Add half of the sauce mixture. Cover with vegan cheese.
4. Repeat layer of noodles, tofu. sauce, cheese.
5. Pop it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vinyl Profiles with E.K.: The Cure: Happily Ever After

Today my husband Eric has written a post about...well, I think you will get some insight into my husband from this post and maybe learn a bit about a record in our collection... so without further ado, here's Eric.


Today’s profile is not just about a great vinyl record, but a journey through space and time. Our story begins with a young boy filled with wonder holding tightly to the promise of a better tomorrow. The small trooper was just leaving his tween years at the tender age of 12, but already he was becoming a man, perhaps a man child, but a man none-the-less. His travels had taken him to a mysterious relic of the past known as Tower Records located in the earliest foundations of New Orleans. Within the walls of this ancient tower was a book that held great power and wisdom. As the small child/young man clutched this manuscript in his hands he could feel the power running through his veins like a comet passing by the rings of Saturn. The boy dared not read the title out loud for he knew not of its powers but suspected it could bring harm to those not ready to receive its truth. He raced home as though he was being chased by goblins or phantoms. Once safely within his own private kingdom (technically speaking it was an apartment my sister was renting) the boy removed the book from his Tower Records bag and uttered the words quietly…”The Cure on record”… again, but louder and with more excitement, “THE CURE ON RECORD!!!” Just then lighting struck, thunder roared and the sky parted. What the boy did not know at the time was that by speaking those words aloud he had set in motion a series of events that are still revealing themselves to this day.

The Cure on Record

Feeling like he was soaring on the wings of a dragon, he began looking through the pages. They revealed image after image of every known vinyl record from a band placed by the gods on the English isles some years earlier. The fearless warrior studied the ancient text and knew then that it was his destiny to seek out the vinyl records documented within the pages of this musical scripture. 


And so it was, time did indeed pass and the boy grew into a healthy, strong, very handsome and charming young man. Nearly a decade had elapsed and the man was still seeking out the truth and knowledge of the sacred book. Then, one beautiful fall morning, amongst the woodland creatures of the Rocky Mountains, the fierce fighter found a highly sought after jewel hidden under a hipster dragon’s watchful eye. He held in his hand the record Happily Ever After by The Cure, released only in the supernatural realm of America, it contained not one, but two enchanting albums, Seventeen Seconds and Faith.

And so it was written in the chronicles of kings and the kings of kings, guaranteed to survive several millennia, that the man, once a boy, had found Happy Ever After and it was indeed good. Murals and monuments were created in his honor and the world was forever changed. 

All of which I have just revealed is not for the weak or weary. I ask that you use caution when passing on these ancient tales to your kin. Just as the elders predicted, the power of this story could reverse time and undo all the beauty of this earth if even a single word is uttered before the internal truth and wisdom has been bestowed upon the mind of the chosen prophet.  


So to sum up, the 1981 compilation Happily Ever After by The Cure took a long time to track down but was well worth the wait.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I am going a little Martha Stewart on you today and sharing a few random good things. Odds and ends that are making my life happy as of late.

Over the past week we had had more than a few lovely meals with a slew talented artist friends. We really know some fascinating and gifted people. I am always inspired after being around other people who are filling their lives with their passions. It got me to thinking, would you be interested in a feature blog where I introduce you to some of the amazing and creative people I know?

While meeting someone new the other day someone told Elise that she was adorable. She folded her arms across her chest and replied,"I am adorable."

Cordelia has been writing and illustrating books. Her most recent book involved our new kitten Lucy and a cat wedding.

I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out and organizing the girl's bedroom and closet. They have acquired a bit too much of the stuff, you know the kid stuff that seems to multiply overnight. I have tons of books that have been outgrown to pass along via donation. Clothes to trade for store credit  at the local kid clothing exchange and then plenty for a thrifty donation as well.

Eric and I have a ton of painting deadlines looming ahead so we spent much of the weekend painting. We locked the family and cats in the studio and worked and played and watched kitten antics.

I took a long hike with my bestie for her birthday. Just what the doctor ordered.

Lucy, the new kitten, is about as sweet and spunky as you could possibly hope for.


I am currently enjoying two good books.  Rules of Civility by Amor Towles has such delightful writing that I find myself just re-reading beautifully scripted sentences for enjoyment. The second book is entitled Sightseeing by Rattawat Lapcharoensap, a new friend and gifted author. The book is a collection of short stories that are completely engaging! I have been rewarding myself throughout the week with a story for completing mundane tasks. Have you read either.

My garden is growing quite well this year! I am so happy to be improving my gardening skills a bit more each season.

What's good with you?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Quote: Joy is You


Joy is you at the deepest level, and your joy is one with the infinite timeless joy of this unbound universe.

~Robert Ellwood

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Week in Phone Photos

Another week, another load of photos from my phone. 

Betty Sprinkles, lounging.

Backyard painting

A visit from one of my childhood and adulthood friends, Lanie.

Sam turned 21

We adopted a sweet kitten. Her name is Lucy. I will give an update on her progress next week!

Elise eating dinner like a boss.

A morning visit to the waterfall for play and picking wild raspberries.

Looking out over our town.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Vegan Recipe: Roasted Basil Cherry Tomatoes

Here is a great way to use some of those garden goodies that you have grown or grabbed at the farmer's market. Moved over from as I continue to transfer content.

roasted basil tomatoes by

My tomato plants have been bursting! I have cherry tomatoes coming at me from all directions! I love them in salads. My kids eat them raw, but sometimes I like to actually do something with them. Coincidentally my basil is also getting out of hand.

The result is a simple and satisfying side.

roasted basil tomatoes by

 About 24 cherry or grape tomatoes
Olive oil
4 basil leaves
1 T balsamic vineagrette
pinch o salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Toss all ingredients together,omitting the basil.
3. Bake for 25 minutes or so, until the skin begins to burst.
4. Add the basil,let cool for a few minutes before serving, those bad boys hold their heat!

roasted basil tomatoes by
~Maria Rose

Thursday, July 24, 2014

100 Food Vegan Challenge


My friend Teresa (click here for her blog) is a vegan, but she mentioned that her family was doing a non-vegan hundred food challenge and she was participating when possible. I looked at the list and saw things like alligator and eel and thought that I should probably come up with a vegan food challenge.

We vegans are known for being creative in the kitchen and I think it is easy for us to forget that fact. So, here is my list. I have included both ingredients and dishes so do what you will with that information.

How many have you tried? Please leave a comment for things that I should add to the list for people interested in trying new things.

100. Kale

99. Tempeh

98. Swiss Chard

97. Vegan pot pie

96. Vegan Cheese

95.Heirloom tomatoes

94. Homemade cashew cheese

93. Chapati

92. Quinoa

91. Saffron

90. Amaranth

89. Tofurkey

88. Vegan lasagna

87. Vegan egg-less salad sandwich

86. Cauliflower steaks

85. Vegan caramel

84. Parsnips

83. Vegan sushi

82. Ras el hanout

81. Roasted beets

80. Hummus

79. Vegan Bacon

78.  Vegan "Eggs" Benedict

77. Edamame

76. Vegan wine

75. Field roast

74. Chia Seed

73. Sprouts

72. Salted soybeans

71. Kambocha

70. Dolmades

69. Kasha

68. Polenta

67. Stuffed cabbage

66. Vegan dulche de leche

65. Tahini

64. Vegan Pizza

63. Miso

62.  Freekeh

61. Egg replacer (in a baked good)

60. Vegan chili dogs

59. Vegan Beer

58. Vegan enchiladas

57. Vegan pancakes

56. Pearled Barley

55. Eggplant

54. Veggie Burgers

53. Pepitas

52. Vegan bread

51. Flaxseed

50. Vegan cupcakes

49. Vegan mayo

48. Portobello burgers

47. Jicama

46. Goji berries

45. Almond Milk

44. Vegan yogurt

43. Vegan sour cream

42. Vegan Pad Thai

41. Puff pastry

40. Rice Milk

39. Vegan curry

38. Oyster mushrooms

37. Harissa

36. Farro

35. Coconut Milk

34. Turmeric

33.Nutritional yeast

32. Vegan jerky

31. Lentils

30. Vegan meatloaf

29. Wheat berries

28. Vegan crepes


26. Agave

25. Pure Maple Syrup

24. Vegan mac and cheese

23. Kimchi

22. Chutney

21. Seitan

20. Couscous

19. Scrambled tofu

18. Vegan chocolate chip cookies

17. Coconut bacon

16. Vegan cake

15. Hemp seed

14. Vegan donuts

13. Vegan frittata

12. Soy milk

11. Vegan chocolate

10. Hemp milk

9. Vegan canapes

8. Vegan chili

7. Vegan latkes

6. Vegan quiche

5. Vegan ice cream

4. Vegan cream cheese

3. Vegan hot chocolate

2. Homemade vegetable broth

1. Tofu

Now, please add to the list in the comments!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

About Loss and Lucy

A little over a year ago we said goodbye to our beloved cat Mia (read here) and it hurt deeply, if you are an animal lover you certainly understand. While we were very sad, there was one of us who was hurting more, our other cat Ophelia. She went through a mourning period that lasted months, she would mournfully meow in the way that she always did when she was looking for Mia, the two were exceptionally close.  She became withdrawn and isolated herself. Once Ophelia seemed to settle into the fact that Mia was no longer with us she settled into a deep and lasting depression. She does very little and shows very little interest in most everything.

Eric and I have been trouble-shooting for ages trying to get Ophelia back in action. Yes, she is an older cat, but she is in excellent health so there is no reason for her general malaise...beyond depression. We took her to the vet and he ruled out possible health concerns that could be at the root of her behavior shift. We have tried to keep her more engaged and we have tried new ways of stimulating her, but nothing has really worked. We were pretty sure we were not going to get another cat as there is obviously no replacing a relationship like those two had with each other.

Then, we stumbled upon a few articles that made us think that perhaps a second cat might actually help her. First, let me start by saying that I do not recommend this as a move for every person with a depressed cat, some cats prefer a more solitary style---but not Ophelia. She is not a loner, which made her mood all the more heart wrenching for us. So we decided to take a leap of faith and after some discussion we decided to get another cat.

We were looking for a kitten. Generally we don't adopt kittens or puppies as those tend to find homes more easily than older cats, but as we are already dealing with an older cat our research led us to believe a younger cat would be more easily accepted by Ophelia. We found her at the Humane Society a tiny kitten-- part Siamese (familiar, but not too much like Mia) with startling blue eyes. She was sweet and playful without being intense about it, she wasn't terrified by the girls which was a plus. So we went for it and brought her home yesterday afternoon.




Meet Lucy Scratch-N-Sniff Sparkles Wimmer, mostly just Lucy.

We are going slowly, the cats have only met while Lucy is in a very large dog kennel, otherwise she is free roaming in the guest room while she learns about her litter box (perfect so far) and gets used to the sounds and smells of our loud and busy house. The initial meeting between cats went well, Lucy was totally calm and Ophelia was nervous, but interested---more interested than she has been in anything for over a year. We want them to get used to the smell of another cat. We want their introductions to be peaceful. Cats don't bond in minutes the way dogs sometimes seem to, they take their time and we want to foster a relationship between these two girls and let them become friendly, if not friends. Hopefully Ophelia will remember that she isn't alone and some young blood will help her to feel more like herself. That last sentence made it sound like Ophelia is a cat vampire, she's not.

Ophelia meets Lucy

No matter what we have given another living creature a home in which she will be cared for until the end of her life. Welcome to the family Lucy.

Oh and if you are wondering, Cordelia and Elise are sooooo far beyond excited that I am pretty sure their brains melted a little bit. They are kind and gentle and Lucy is already crazy about them!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


My baby brother Sam is 21 today. I have been laying off the mention of family birthdays lately as I have a huge family and extended family, but twenty-one is a noteworthy birthday. I am so lucky to have two great brothers whom I completely adore. For many years it was just my brother Ben and I, then Sam came along when I was 12. I cannot even believe that it has been twenty-one years since that day. Sam I love you. Happy birthday.

Uncle Sam

Monday, July 21, 2014

Project: Art with Kids

My husband and I are both artists so it is no surprise that our kids seem to share our affinity for the arts. For goodness sake the girls are more comfortable in art museums than most adults we know. With that said, I think that anyone and everyone can and should benefit from the arts. I am not suggesting that you set your kid on a career path, just trying to raise well-rounded kids is the goal.  Eric and I have been making art with our kids since they had the ability to grasp a crayon and we have a few tried and true techniques that might be helpful to you if you want to introduce your kids to the arts.


The most simple way to begin, of course, is to sketch. Cordelia (age 4, almost 5) likes to bring along a sketchbook when Eric and I take long walks. Sometimes instead of walking she will still hitch a ride on the double stroller and sketch everything that she sees or dreams of along the way. She loves to show us her work. Elise (age 2) is happy to scribble and adorably holds up each scribble and declares, "I made a tornado!"

When Eric and I are at the art supply store we will often let the girls grab small canvases which are in the $2-$5 range. Then when the time is right we break it out and let them create. Sometimes they want guidance and other times they just want to do their own thing. If you want to give this a go there are a few things you will need:

pencil (or crayon or whatever)
canvas or watercolor paper
acrylic or watercolors
palette or a paper plate or really anything that can hold paint without leaking
Drop cloths if you are indoors, hose if outdoors

How to get started
1. If this is your first try just give your kid a paper and a pencil and let them have at it, just create without any end goal beyond the act of creation.

2. Depending on your child's interest/age/ability you can start with a simple sketch of something that she/he plans to paint. We learned that if you give a kid paints and a paintbrush before they know what they want to paint you will end up with a brown sludgy mess; totally fine for the little kids, but slightly older kids are more proud of an actual image. Although even Elise is able to do more than you might expect. She, before age 2, was able to make a mark with green paint for a stem and a colorful blob on top makes a flower. I suggest that you ask your kid what they want to paint and think of the most simplified way to achieve that goal. Much as we begin drawing people as stick figures trees can be brown with green on top, grass is is just a green smear, rivers a line of blue, simple stuff. Once your kid shows that they are ready for more you can up the ante a bit and you definitely don't need to be an artist to teach your child the basics, just think simple.

3. When you are done with the sketch, it may take 30 seconds or 2 days, depends on your kid. You can break out the paint and canvas. Sometimes I let them go crazy on a piece of paper first, just to get the wild thrill of painting out of their system before they are ready to focus on a project. I lay out the paints on a palette or whatever I happen to be using. I get a small amount of water for washing brushes (you can skip the water part for little kids). I make sure the area is secure, either there is some sort of ground-covering or we are outside with a hose at the ready. I usually strip the kids down, they enjoy it and it really helps with clean-up. In the summer I will use a water soluble, washable, paint and they inevitably paint on themselves before running through the sprinkler at the end of the painting session.


4. Guide your child a bit, this isn't a time to sit back and check Facebook. Give your kid tips. Teach them about mixing colors:
red+ yellow= orange
blue + red = purple
yellow +blue = green

You've now covered primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary colors (orange, purple, green). You can experiment with the color wheel even more if you like! Rainbows are great ways to use these colors too.

5. Encourage your child to step away too, to let paint dry, to come back and see what she/he might want to add. You can talk about the shapes that make up our world (sun is round, mountains can be triangles, houses can be squares and triangles). Encourage your child to look at the elements that comprise the big picture and then let them go. Yeah, sometimes you have to bite your tongue as they do something weird that might "mess up" a perfectly good picture, but the end result isn't really a painting is it?

6. Finally, give that kid praise---for their painting, patience, creativity, whatever and display their work proudly!

Sunset by Cordelia

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Quote: A Girl Should Be


“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
~Coco Chanel

Saturday, July 19, 2014



We have had a few evening storms this week. I love this time of year when hot days are wiped away with a fast and wild downpour. We live in a hilly area, so the roads become rivers rushing downward. The normally loud birds become silent. The thunder rumbles through and the rain falls down over everything. Summers in Wyoming are so lovely.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Week in Phone Photos

Well I don't know about you, but we have had a great week here. Both Eric and I have been super busy with art deadlines, but we have managed to also have a great week. 

Cordelia dressed Eric up as a prince (top hat and bow tie) and told me that I got to be her maid...

My mother returned from a trip to help a family member recovering from surgery. The girls were all over her!

Elise started potty training and is totally killing it! I want to say she is pretty much potty trained at this point, just have a little refining to do.

Eric had an interview published in Western Art Magazine!

Warm weather means outside art for the girls. This means no clothes and inevitably they paint all over themselves before I hose them down. It is great fun.

This little rocker.

How has your week been?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vegan Recipe: Vegan Black Bean Pie

Moving over another recipe from Rooted Vegan. I did not realize how many I have over there!

black bean pie with follow your heart shreds by
1 package of Follow Your Heart Fiesta Shreds
3 Large tortillas
1 can black beans, drained
1 T olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1/3 c roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 c lettuce chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F. On a lightly oiled pizza plate lay out one tortilla and spread 1/2 of the beans on top. Cover with a layer of Follow Your Heart Fiesta Shreds.
2. Meanwhile: In a medium skillet heat olive oil. Add the onion and cook until transluscent. Add the squash and red pepper. Cook until the squash is soft. Add cumin and garlic powder. Stir until evenly coated.
2. Back to the pizza pan. Lay a second tortilla on top of the bean and Fiesta Shreds. Evenly spread the squash mixture on top of second tortilla. Cover with more Fiesta Shreds.
4. For the final layer add the third tortilla, 1/2 can of black beans and the rest of your Fiesta Shreds.
5. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with tomato and lettuce. I also added a dollop of my favorite vegan sour cream.
black bean pie with follow your heart shreds by 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I am off in a rush of appointments this morning. How are you today? 

Fun fact: Elise started potty training on Monday and I would say she is at about a 65-70% success rate!
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