My Sister Goes Vegan Part 1

My super amazing sister is going vegan for lent. I thought what a fabulous topic for my blog. I have asked her to write a few pieces about the experience. Now, try not to like it too much. She is a published author and a far better writer than I.

ENJOY!!

 

 

I’m going VEGAN!

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and for many people that means the start of a 40 day fasting period before Easter.  I see it as a time of restraint, meditation, and preparation for the coming of Easter.

This Lent season I’ve decided to give up all animal products.  This may not seem to have much to do with religion, BUT I do think that practicing self control can manifest itself in spiritual ways… besides, my body is a temple right?

Also, I’m also kind of killing two birds with one stone here, because I’ve been slightly obsessed lately with learning about “real,” (as in unprocessed) food, and have been reading some great books, like French Kids Eat Everything, In Defense of Food, and The China Study.  I also read the 100daysofrealfood blog, and Food Babe (in embarrassing quantities), but, hey no one can say I lack enthusiasm!  Long story short, I’ve been slowly weaning myself off of highly processed foods and trying to eat more fruits and veggies.

As my sister’s “wifey,” would say “I drank the Kool-Aid,” and I’m ready to plunge in head first and try becoming a Vegan .    My plan is to fill you guys in on the struggles, rewards, ups and downs of my adventure.  Who knows maybe by the end of Lent I’ll be a brand new woman.

Here are some of my pre-Vegan thoughts that I hope to explore:
1. Will learning to say “no,” to my food impulses give me strength in other areas of my life?
2. Will not having the option of emotional junk food eating help me to grow as a person?  Will I turn to prayer or meditation, or will I replace my cravings with some other temporary pacifier?
3. Will I feel any different physically from eating Vegan?  Will I have more energy?
4. What will I do when eating over at someone’s house (I’m shy and don’t see myself liking to explain all this to people)?
5.  Will I find good Vegan options at restaurants?
6.Will this change the way I eat or view food permanently?
7.Is there any (affordable) AND tasty way to drink coffee with cream as a vegan (this is crucial to my happiness ;) ).
8.  How am I ever going to give up Diet Coke????!!!!! Blurg!
9..  And of course every girl’s constant question…. will I lose weight? lol.

There should be a number ten shouldn’t there? Dang it!
Wish me luck!  Maybe all my reading will finally be put to good use!

Peace and Cheers!
NeverContrary’s sister….
AlwaysContemplating?  SometimesVegan?  TrulyTerrific!  BlogNamesAreHard!!

When you only have time for the cheap and easy ones

I love to make candy. When I am in a tight spot I kind of cheat. My students can’t tell that I cheated and they think I am amazing because I made them candy.

Here is how to make super fast and easy candy to impress those in your life that need a little extra lovin’.

Step One:

Go to your local craft store. If you are going to say already that you don’t have time to go to the craft store, then your life is sad. The craft store is a magical place that always smells like christmas and has sparkly things. Everyone has time to go.

Step Two:

Purchase a candy mold. I have many different molds. Flowers, hearts, little thank you bars, and smiley faces. I used the smiley faces this weekend.

Step Three:

Choose on of the many flavors of their candy melts. I happen to love the vanilla and it comes in every color. But for today I did chocolate mint.

Are my photo skills blowing your mind yet?

Step Four:

Pour the candy melts into a bowl and put them in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds stir and repeat until fully melted. That means all liquidy and not hard. Is liquidy a word?

*Note this is not melted yet*

Step Five:

Scoop into your mold. My mold this time was for lollipops, so I also added lollipop sticks. Well my daughter added them. Don’t worry I threw away the ones she chewed on.

Are you drooling yet? No, me neither I don’t like chocolate. That’s why I make it and give it away.

Step Six:

Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Once they harden enjoy!

 

Look he is smiling at you. Maybe he wants to be friends. Until you eat him. Then he will be pissed. Or dead. But was he really alive to begin with? Damn lollipop, you have me questioning life and death. Just shut up and look pretty until I eat you.

 

How to bring peace to the world with a mason jar

What did you do this weekend NeverContrary?

Well, prepare yourselves,  I ran out of butter. The moment came as quite a shock. I began running through the streets screaming in horror, causing quite the frenzy. Neighbors running inside to make sure they had not run out either. How would I survive? What would we eat? I think the earth stop spinning.

Then it came to me. I could make my own butter. I could make the best butter the world has ever seen. Life changing butter. Peace throughout the world.

Of course I had to share, my life changing butter recipe with my faithful followers.

Best Butter Ever:

Heavy whipping Cream

Mason Jar

1. Let the whipping cream reach room temperature and put it into your mason jar.

so creamy and delicious

2. Shake. Shake. Shake. Should take about ten minutes. I promise.

You know it's done when it goes "clump"

3. Wrap in cheese cloth to strain out the butter milk. Run under cold water and rinse out excess butter milk. It will cause the butter to go bad. Which would be Traumatizing I can assure you.

Begin to change the world with your butter

4. Mix in whatever flavor you like: salt, cinnamon, lavender, rosemary.

Enjoy!

*This blog makes no claims your butter will actually change the world*

Mountain Dew Cake

I sold my first cake!

I love to bake. Even in high school I can remember practicing my recipes and bringing them to school for all my friends to eat. Now, I bake and bring it to my students, give it to my wife’s co-workers, or to my family. I would keep them at home and eat them, but I don’t really like sweets. Yes, just another thing I am contrary about.

I sold a mountain dew cake. It is a lemon/lime cake that is very rich and creamy. The recipe was given to me by my good friend Jessie Brown. She has graciously given me permission to share it with you!

Mountain Dew Cake

Mountain Dew Cake:

I cup of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup of mountain dew

1/4 cup of lemon and lime juice

zest from 1 lemon and 2 limes ( separate into 2 piles, one for buttercream)

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Beat Butter on medium for 30 seconds

2. Add sugar and lemon, lime zest. Beat on medium- high until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, Scrape sides of bowl in between additions.

4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl. Turn on low for 5 seconds.

5. Add the mountain dew, lemon/lime juice, and lemon extract.

6 Bake for 20-25 min ( 18-20 for cupcakes)

Mountain Dew Butter Cream:

1 cup butter

4-5 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons mountain dew

Juices from half of 1 lemon and half of 1 lime

Lemon and Lime Zest

1 teaspoon of lemon extract

neon green food coloring

1. sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment

2. Beat butter until creamy

3. Add half of the sugar

4. Add the mountain dew, zest, and lemon extract

5. Add food coloring

6. Gradually add remaining sugar

Enjoy!

Mountain Dew Cake