Thursday, January 31, 2013

Delicious Creamy Vegan Pie!

I have not had a lot of luck with vegan desserts since going vegan about two months ago. BUT this pie is amazing. I have made it three times so far and it has gotten better every time. I love that it doesn't rely on things like vegan butter and tofu and egg replacer. Things just taste better when they are whole foods, and not super processed replacement items. 
This recipe is from Kristen's Healthy Kitchen Recipes. I bought her book at the Immersion I went too. Everything I've tried so far has been really good! She led a cooking demonstration with her six kids and husband and was super inspiring. 

 Here are the ingredients you will need for this creamy chocolate pie. 
                                      4 ripe avocados
                                      1 cup date paste (pitted dates and water blended until smooth)
                                      3/4 cup cocoa powder
                                      2 tsp vanilla
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It is super easy. You just mix all the ingredients in a food processor until they are creamy. You add as much water as you need for your desired texture. I never have to add very much. You can serve it as a pudding, or put it in a crust. I used a store bought crumb crust that happened to be vegan because I have not tried making my own crust yet. I want to try it with a nut crust! 
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This pie turns out so rich and delicious! The avocado is packed with delicious fat and the dates add the sweetness. I brought this pie with me to a family Christmas and those that were brave enough to try it loved it! (I'm trying to teach Travis not to go through everything that is in the food we're making before asking someone to try it. Hearing that it is avocado makes a lot of people not even want to try it, but if they didn't know, I doubt they would think it wasn't just chocolate.)
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This time I had the bright idea to put some fresh raspberries on the piece I was eating and it made it even better! I'm probably going to do that from now on! So there you have it, a delicious, rich, dairy free pie! And even though this is pie is made with healthy whole foods, it is in no way a low fat recipe. Let me know if you try it! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Wonderful Sale!

I went to two great sales this weekend, plus the flea market! It was hard to decide what to show you first! So I'll start with what I picked up at an amazing sale in Ashland City. It was about 45 minutes from my house so I was hoping it wouldn't be a bust like the sale we drove almost an hour for the week before. It was put on by Family Tree, which is my favorite estate sale company in town. And when I walked in the first thing I saw was Jamie from Owl Really! Must have been a good sign! Look at all this amazing Christmas!

This was the third day of the sale, but apparently most of this was buried in a box and they didn't putit out until then! It was my lucky day! This is my favorite kind of thing to find! I love the little pipe cleaner Santa on that felt mitten.

Pretty peacocks still in the package!

Usually I find one or two little spun cotton figures at a time. I was so happy to find all of these together!

Such a sweet little Santa, and look at that mailbox!

I love the sweet little pipe cleaner muffs too. And the pink leaf behind that snowman.

Some tiny mercury picks and sugar bells!

I have a plan for all these things. Hopefully I'll actually make it happen.

I got a nice little stack of honeycomb bells. I like the pink ones! 

And some little honeycomb trees and bells and stars.

And here is the little pile of none holiday stuff. That fat little pig makes me think of the pugs. I got a unicorn change purse and and bunch of buttons. The MD thing is a little measuring tape, which I thought might come in handy while we're shopping for stuff for out bathroom.

Travis came with me and got himself a little something. These are some dog tags from WW2.

And finally, this silly umbrella! 

Man, what a great sale! I wonder what I missed the first day. I know a few other Nashville bloggers went to the same sale, and I hope they post what they found!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Too Kind

I've been meaning to post this forever. Before Christmas Laura over at Boo Bobby sent me the sweetest package. Really, these are all things I would have picked up for myself. First of all, look at that pair of pugs! She posted recently about her great built ins and she has a matching set and I love that it is almost like we have one of those heart friendship necklaces or something. Ha! Some internet friendship pugs.
This poodle book is KILLING me. I have another one about poodle hair cuts, but this one is cuter, and look at that sweet thing holding up his paw to get it clipped! I hope that I can get a little old lady poodle someday. It really is just a matter of time.
This guy made me laugh! It is like she is in my brain! I have a duckish guy like this, to hold recipe cards. But I don't LOVE the duck one, and was wishing I had something more my style. And this rooster is so perfect! Look at that felt! I love a craft, especially when it involves pinking shears and felt. 
So thank you Laura! And guys you should go check out her blog! She is a vintage lover and a kind soul and even though she hasn't been posting as much since she finally got to move into her new old house, it brightens my day whenever she writes a new one. 

And thank YOU for reading my blog and leaving me nice comments and saying hi if you see me out and about in Nashville (I met Jenna and Elizabeth at the flea market today!). I love blogs and the kindness I have experienced because of them. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bathroom Remodel

Our house was built in 1939 and the same family owned it pretty much since it was built. They didn't do many updates, which is fine with me of course! When we first moved in we put in central heat and air, and added some cabinets to the kitchen and painted every room. You can see a few posts about our house when we first move in here and here. I really wish I had documented more how it looked before! Can you believe that? Or at least saved the pictures from the reality listing!  I really love our house though. We have a lot of plans for it, but kind of lost steam after doing a lot at first.

We are going to tackle a bathroom remodel shortly, and sadly it isn't just because we want to. There is a window in our shower (which I love!) and we took the curtain off that the previous owners had over it so we could enjoy the natural light. We didn't think about how the window is wooden and water could seep into it. So water has gotten back to the old plaster walls behind the tile and the tile almost falling in. Sooooo we are looking at a complete redo of the walls and a vinyl window to prevent any more damage. Such a bummer. Here are the few pictures I could find of the bathroom. The top on is the most recent.
I love all the light that the window lets in.
We have to tear the cabinet out because there is tile behind it. I'm hoping to at least save the hard ware and reattach it. We are going to a salvage yard tomorrow to look for bathroom cabinets, or we'll get a custom one that matches. It is hard to tell in these photos but the bathroom counter is a gold flecked thing of beauty and when I asked about keeping it, the contractor said it is pretty much the lowest grade thing you can build with now, and if we are going to get things redone, why not get them done in a way that will last a long time. And Travis agrees so I guess it will be going away. Wah. I kind of want to keep the medicine cabinet too. Modern ones just don't have the same look. I'll make sure to get pictures of everything before it gets ripped out.
 Of course my dream would be a pink bathroom! I even have a pink toilet in the bathroom that was picked up for free from a craigslist ad that Eartha Kitsch brought to my attention. But a truly vintage renovation can get very expensive very quickly and we need to do this sooner rather than later. So I've been looking for inspiration online so I can have a 1940's look, but not spend a fortune. Here are a few pictures I've found.
Lauren over at Apron Strings Vintage posted this picture of a house they looked at during their house hunt and it is really inspiring me! We are doing tile to the ceiling and I like the black stripe around the middle to break up the white. I also really like this tile floor and I hadn't thought of doing a tile counter top until I saw this one. My contractor really likes this idea, and says that tile holds up really well on the counter top. 
Here is a modern remodel that has a few things I like. The black tile in the middle of the wall again. And the window in the shower. I don't like pedestal sinks though. I need storage!
I love the floor is this photo. And that rug! OH my gosh, anyone want to buy me a REALLY nice present? That rug is on etsy right now. The whole bathroom is great. I would kill for a green tub! 
I found this blue bathroom along with a really great post from some people who did a 1940's style remodel just last year. Again, the tile countertop. And that same great floor pattern. 
So we'll see how it goes. We already have some estimates and now we are looking at tile and sinks and looking for a vintage cabinet. I have a vintage light fixture I want to see if I can get rewired. There is a vintage light in the bathroom already but it isn't the best bathroom light. I wish this was something we could do ourselves because even not making it my dream pink bathroom it is going to be a hefty chunk of change. But I think we need a professional to tear out the walls. I really hope we can keep the vintage look. I know that isn't what is popular now, and not what most contractors are used to doing, but the guy I think we're going to go with is into doing it, and came with great recommendations. 
Do you have any remodel tips? We're going to have to move out and board the cats while it gets done so lets hope it moves fast!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Collection 18: Chalk Carnival Prizes!

It's time for another collection post! I've been wanting to do this one forever, I just hadn't taken the time to photograph it! This is one of those that I started accidentally. I picked up one here and there and suddenly it was a collection! These little statues were given out as carnival prizes, starting in the great depression through the 1950's. There are some from the 1800's too, but those are usually actaully meant to be art. But I love these guys, and especially how the colors age. Here is my little collection:
Of course dogs make up the majority of my collection. That teeny poodle one is from the world's longest yard sale and the guy in the hat was from the Nashville Flea. A guy walking by was INDIGNANT when he heard the price the guy selling it asked. He said "Well if you are just going to GIVE it away!" Haha. 
So sweet. I love his expression. 
A little Pekinese. 
I found this collie like dog recently. I really like the blue bow, and her eyes are silver and at first I thought they were jewels! If only. 
Other than dogs, I have a few squirrels. I don't smoke but I couldn't resist this squirrel ash tray. 
And last but not least, this big red squirrel started it all! We bought this on a little birthday antiquing trip a few years ago. He is about a food and a half tall and lives on our refrigerator.
This is one of those thing I collect that I don't seek out actively, but I pick up any cute ones I see if the price is right. I've never paid more than a few dollars for them. I really don't see carnival chalk stuff that often, but they seem really plentiful in Kentucky. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Recipe Round Up!

I got this idea from Heidi over at My Paper Crane. She occasionally posts the links to recipes she has tried lately. There are so many recipes online that it can get overwhelming trying to weed out the good ones, so I love getting recommendations from people I know and like. We are eating pretty much vegan with limited salt and oil and added sugar. I'm still loving it and feeling great! I have a green smoothie and steel cut oats with raspberries and walnuts for breakfast, then for lunch and dinner I have a big salad with some kind of entree. I can't' believe how much I'm loving making salads. I start craving it as it gets close to lunch time at work, this is a BIG change for me. 
 Here are some of the things we've been loving lately. You will see lots of soup. I'm not a super confidant cook, but I know I'm good at soup. It is also easy to pack the leftovers to lunch the next day. Click on the name to go to the source and get the recipe!
Travis has made these twice and they are SO GOOD! I think it is the sweet cranberries that really put it over the top for me. He made them once with purple sweet potatoes and they looked really cool. These are perfect for making a big batch then taking half of one for lunch the next day. 
I saw this on Jen Loves Kev in 2011 and have made it many times since. The flavor is wonderful and I love that you add cocoa powder to it. I have made this more than once for a non-vegetarian crowd and it got rave reviews. I've never added shredded cheese to it though, even when I was eating cheese. I don't think it needs it. 
I made this for the first time last week and have already made it again. I wasn't sure about the brussel sprouts but decided to be brave and try it. I'm so glad I did! The sprouts simmer with all the spices and peppers for half an hour and are perfect in the chili. It tastes even better the next day. The first time I made it I used one chipotle with the seeds in and it was pretty spicy. I'm going to try two next time.
This is another one I've been making for a while. It is perfect comfort food. I actually might cut out bread sometime in the future (I've noticed a difference when I occasionally eat it now) but for now this is a great way to have veggies with some carbs. I haven't tried it with mushrooms yet, but I want to try soon. I also want to experiment with growing some fresh herbs in the spring so I can pick stuff to season my food. 
This soup is really light and healthy and tastes great. It isn't hearty enough by itself, but I love the flavor. 

I use my pinterest a lot to keep track of recipes I want to try, you can see that here if you are interested. I love using it that way because Travis likes to browse my pins and make stuff for me. Do you have any really good vegan recommendations? I'll be back whenever the weather finally gets less gloomy to show you this amazing fudge pie you make with avacados and cocoa powder, and I'll show you the healthy pizzas we've been making. I don't even miss cheese, which I never thought I would say. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A few photos

 I showed you the perfect vintage photo of my mom with Santa as a baby on Christmas. While she was looking for that one, I got to see some more photos of her! I just had to share a few. These are actually ones I would have probably picked up if I'd seen them for sale somewhere.
Here she is as a brownie scout, complete with popsicle stick frame! Do you see the mirror surrounded by branches on the ground? I vaguely remembered a brownie ceremony where you had to turn around and look in the mirror so I looked it up. It is the ceremony to induct a new brownie scout! You have to say this:
"Twist me and turn me, 
and show me the elf, 
I looked in the water 
and saw MYSELF!"
How cute is that? I still have my brownie sash. My mom sent my patches to my grandmother in Florida so she could sew them on for me, since my mom didn't know how to sew.
 Look at her fancy little hair do! That kills me. And that art behind her. My mom fondly remembers this as her Buffy dress. It was a line of dresses like the ones Buffy wore on Family Affair. My mom says it made her feel very fancy and grown up.
 Here is my mom with a roadside chief! She couldn't remember where this was, but I'll just pretend it was Cherokee, North Carolina. I need to find the picture of me around 12 with one of the chiefs.
And another Santa picture. How cute was she? And how weird and fake is that Santa's beard?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Finds of 2013

Oh man I feel like it has been SO LONG since I was able to make one of these posts! There haven't been any estate sales and I'm over thrift stores in my area. This little haul is from about 5 different places over the last two weeks. I can't wait for the flea market to get going again, and for garage sale season. Here is what I have picked up recently. 
 Still in love with paint by numbers. There was another horse one that would have made a pair, but it was weird and damaged.
 A little vintage glass with a cute gorilla painting a zebra and look at those huge glasses! They probably hold 40 ounces! I love vintage glassware but Travis likes a big glass so we have a few ugly modern plastic ones. I had never seen vintage glasses this big, but I saw them three different places in Louisville this weekend! They will be great for smoothies too, I always seem to make too much for my glass.
A sweet Dream Pet bulldog, and a poodle in my favorite style! He is my first one with jewel eyes!
I've been looking for cute vintage valentines but for some reason I don't see them much around here. I was happy to find these cute ones! I love the turkey getting cooked the best. How romantic. 
 A pile of photos as usual. And check out that cute goat pennant! 
 Totally in love with this pin! I want to put it on my jacket but I'm scared I'll lose it!
 I love seeing these two photos together. She is loving it in the second photo! I had a swing set like that when I was a kid. It was blue striped and the slide on it would get SO HOT in the summer!
 Check out these two posing in this boat cut out. I was looking at it and said to Travis that there was something weird about it, then the pointed out it wasn't a real boat. Haha!
 I was super stoked that we found this one! It is an old tin type with a hidden mother in it! In Victorian times since kids had to sit still so long for a photo sometimes the mothers were draped in the backdrop and held the kids. I LOVE looking at them online and am so happy to have one in my collection. You can see more examples here and here.
 I also found my first we missed you at church postcard! i wasn't totally sure that it was one at first, but then I saw the bible verse at the bottom. I love how passive aggressive they are. I saw them on Eartha's blog and have been on the lookout since.
This book isn't in the greatest shape but the illustrations are SO CUTE and it was cheap so I couldn't leave it behind. I need to make Phyllis and priscilla some costumes like that. 
And last but not least, a few kokeshi dolls. I love them and they look so cute grouped together. At the sale the had one that was two feet tall! It wasn't in my price range though.

Hopefully it won't be so long between finds next time!
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