Forever Fifteen New Edition Paperback out on Createspace, under $10!

Deluxe paperback only $9.70, ships everywhere. As I have mentioned, I have wanted to go back and professionally edit my paperbacks for a long time.  So I have started by professionally editing & re-issuing the deluxe paperback version of my first novel, Forever Fifteen.  If you have bought Forever Fifteen as a Kindle ebook, it is…

Source: Forever Fifteen New Edition Paperback out on Createspace, under $10!

Jackfruit-Stuffed Cucumber Timbales Recipe

Cucumbers are great and I don’t eat enough of them — they’re very refreshing and cooling. They are special in Ayurvedic medicine for reasons I don’t really understand, maybe because they have a soothing-cooling effect. They go really well with jackfruit, which isn’t sweet even though it’s a fruit. Lots of people use jackfruit as a vegan “pork” but I think it’s better used in cold salads like this one.

I came up with this recipe based on a similar one from Jazzy Vegetarian and combined it with a recipe I saw on Pinterest.

Everyone thought these were delicious and could not get enough of them — hollowed out fresh cucumbers stuffed with flaky, savory jackfruit, roasted walnuts, and delicate caper puree. A fun way to eat your salad and (savory) fruit in a little drum shape.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 large cucumbers, peeled
1 can jackfruit in brine, drained OR 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed), green olives, or pickle relish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2/3 cup vegan mayo such as Vegenaise or Just Mayo

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the cucumbers and cut them into 3/4 inch slices, set aside.

Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes, keeping an eye on them. Once they begin to release a nice fragrance, toss them and roast for a minute more. Turn off heat and then them sit.

Drain the jackfruit and combine jackfruit, roasted walnuts, green onions, Old Bay or other seasoning, capers, and mayo in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until everything is minced and blended but not all the way into paste.

Hollow out the seeds cucumber rounds on one side with a small spoon so the filling can sit in there. Stuff with the jackfruit blend and serve as an appetizer or in the place of a salad.

Riding my bike in the forest

The autumn weather here in Illinois has been beautiful so I have been obsessed with riding my bike in the forest.  There’s a nice forest preserve by me with stony paths.

Wooly bear caterpillar friend who hitched a ride on my leg. She's scared so she is curled into a ball. I put her in a pad of grass so she would not get hurt.

Wooly bear caterpillar friend who hitched a ride on my leg. She’s scared so she is curled into a ball. I put her in a pad of grass so she would not get hurt.

Can you see the wooly bear caterpillar on my leg? She's in the hollow of my knee on the left side. I ended up re-locating her in a big patch of field.

Can you see the wooly bear caterpillar on my leg? She’s in the hollow of my knee on the left side. I ended up re-locating her in a big patch of field.

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I love the deciduous forest.

I love the deciduous forest.

This was a day of heartrending beauty.

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I heard an animal back here but I could not spot him/her.

I heard an animal back here but I could not spot him/her.

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The lake at the end of the trail.

The lake at the end of the trail.

Sweaty. I took off my helmet for the last few minutes and let my hair fly free. It felt good.

Sweaty. I took off my helmet for the last few minutes and let my hair fly free. It felt good.

White Castle’s Vegan Burger is Really Tasty

white castle vegan slider

White Castle is a burger chain by me in the Midwestern US.  They started offering a vegan burger about a year and a half a go and I didn’t really pay attention because sometimes I like to pretend I eat healthier than that, LOL.  I just tried their vegan burger for the first time today and it is FANTASTIC!!!  Now I’m mad at myself for not going sooner.

The burger itself is by Dr. Praeger, which is a frozen brand of plant-based burgers.  The specific type used is the California Veggie Burger, which has cute little chunks of carrot and eda mame (soybeans).  Praeger’s website says the whole line of burgers are “Certified Vegan”.  Nice.

The manager of the White Castle I went to was really sweet and he informed me that the veggie burgers are cooked on their own separate meatless grill.

Even better, the bun is already accidentally vegan:

(From Foodfacts.com)

Traditional Bun ingredients (29)

white castle vegan slider
Of course I got it without ranch sauce.  They also come with optional onions and pickles.  They had a ton of other accidentally vegan sauces to put on it, but plain old accidentally vegan ketchup was perfect.

My Long Black Haircut

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  August Fools!  I didn’t actually chop off all my air.  It’s an updo.

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See?  Bobby pins.  If I do a better job and wear a fall to hide the back, it looks like I actually have short hair.

Here is my hair a couple of days after the hair cut.  It gets curly when I let it air dry.  As you can see, it’s a few inches shorter.  What you might not be able to see is the ends have been layered nicely so they aren’t so bulky now.

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My Really Long Hair (Getting a Haircut Tomorrow)

my giant hairYeah I’ve got that halfsie Japanese, Italian/British whatever the heck I am hair.  It’s big, it’s thick, and I’ve let it grow really, really long.  I haven’t cut it except for trimming it myself with a manicure scissor since I was 37 years old and it wasn’t short back then.  I turned 42 a few days ago.

So I’m finally getting it cut.  Not a whole lot, however, as you can see there is a lot of hay-like looking straw at the ends I want gone.

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The time I threw it over my shoulder like a continental soldier.

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The ends are very straw-like and they’ve faded a different color than the rest of my hair.

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Tried to straighten it and then... humidity.

Tried to straighten it and then… humidity.

Plus I’d like some layers.