bourgeois gal

the day to day life of me, the bourgeois gal. this blog is a space for me to write about my daily life, including my vegan and vegetarian cooking, baking, and dining experiences, the research I do, the travel I embark upon, and other random things in this little thing we call life.

June 26, 2011

365 Pictures: New Mexico Vacay!

Here's a good two-weeks worth of pictures. On this trip, Dr.Blueberry and I went to Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Albuquerque, and Roswell in New Mexico. Then we drove through Big Spring, TX to visit a college friend, and then we headed home to Carbondale, IL... Some of the photos below are labeled!

Near Angelfire

Driving across New Mexico

A view from the top of the Sandia Peak
Me, enjoying a delicious glass of sangira!

B'day boy...enjoying a scotch and a cigar

a HUGE alien statue in Roswell

Oh, Texas!

Big Spring....soft, marshmallow-y clouds!

yum, edamame!

June 25, 2011

Friend Friday: Wendy

There are probably a lot of things I could tell you about Wendy....but, well, let's face it, they aren't appropriate for internet documenting.

So, I'll just tell you that we've been pals for many years... We started working together back in 1997 (wowza!) at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but we probably became good friends in 1998/1999. We've had a lot of good times over the years, and I'm glad that even though I no longer work at the paper, we've been able to keep in touch!

<3 ya, pal!

Recipe Thursday: A Rare Find...Pizza!

When Dr.Blueberry and I were in Taos last week, we went to Taos Pizza Out Back for dinner one night. What a find... So, this week I will not share a recipe, instead I'll share this rare find! If you're ever in Taos, please check it out.

Here's the thing that makes this place amazing...the crust and the soy cheese. Ok, so I have to admit that since becoming a vegetarian and since becoming a vegan, I've never had pizza as good as this. The crust was thick, the veggies (We had the Pizza Primavera without the feta and mozza, add soy cheese). We ordered a large, which usually is not a problem for us to put down... We each had two pieces and had to box it up to bring back to the lodge we're staying at. Seriously, it's so thick and delicious, make sure you have a fridge you can put the leftover deliciousness in when you leave the Out Back!

Here's the pizza we ordered...

Hope you can make it there someday to enjoy this find!

June 17, 2011

Friend Friday: Vincent

Oh, sweet sweet Vincent...

I met Vincent at a conference. He is a dear, and he is a dear to e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. he meets--it's amazing, I've never met anyone as gracious as he is. And, he gives the best big bear hugs, which makes him just a little bit more awesome!

What are the things you might want to know about Vincent....? Well, he's a talented performer. He's a great teacher. He's kind and understanding. He's the best cheerleader a friend could want. He's, well the long and short of it is that he's, FAB!

I <3 Vincent!


June 16, 2011

Some thoughts...about Taos Pueblo

Dr.Blueberry and I are in Taos, NM for a conference this week, and tomorrow (which also happens to be my birthday), we're headed down to the Pueblo Reservation. We're going as a group with other conference-goers, and some of them are a little fussy about not being able to take pictures (it's a visual communication conference, so they are all about the visual imagery).

They're upset about pictures, while I'm struggling with the idea of going to look at people, as though they are caged (like animals in a zoo, for instance) and there for my viewing pleasure.

I'm feeling a bit dramatic about these feelings, and my dearest friend suggest I might blog about it, rather she suggested I might make some notes about how I'm feeling and make some sort of research project out of the experience. It's a really great idea, but honestly, I don't know how I feel about that either. So I'll start with the blog for now, and see where it goes.

About the picture taking: The Pueblos are saying that because we're academics who study visual imagery, we're professionals, which means instead of the $6 camera fee, the fee is around $300. And, the $6 camera fee is only for amateur photos that will be used only for personal use--no academic use, no publication, no reproduction, etc. allowed. This leads me to the conclusion that I cannot take a camera at all. I am by no means a professional photographer; some of the conference attendees clearly are. But, I blog, I post the pictures I take, I sometimes use them for academic purposes, etc. etc. So, the decision is easy: Remove the temptation to use photographs by not taking photographs. And, we can buy postcards with pueblo images at the reservation. Yes, they might cost a bit more money than if I took it myself, but given that selling "things" is a way for the Native American nation to make money, I'm ok with that!

It's the spectacle that concerns me most: the event, the scheme, the image that is regarded only for its impact. Spectacle, academically, is associated with Aristotle's tragedy. I wonder about the tragedy of Native Americans, who had their lands taken from them by white folks....I ponder the tragedy of living off the land that was theirs, was not theirs, and is now theirs again, but only by paying taxes to a government that barely recognizes them as natives to this country, let alone as human. And, then I think about the tragedy that the only reason the Pueblo Indians invite us (spectators) onto their reservation is because they need to make money to pay the government (there is a charge, after all, to visit the reservation).

This post will not be the end of this conversation...I'm really struggling with this issue.

Recipe Thursday: "Butter"Cream Frosting

Last week I shared a recipe for a delicious lemon cake. This week, I'll share my veganized buttercream frosting recipe...I wish I could say it's a "never fail" kind of recipe, but well, sometimes, you gotta work with this one!

1/4 c softened vegan margarine
2 1/4 c powdered sugar
2 T soy milk
1 t extract (lemon, peppermint, vanilla, whatevs!)

Mix margarine and powdered sugar in a bowl using a fork. When well-mixed, add 1 T of soy milk and mix. Then add 1 T of soy milk and mix. Mix to a thick, spreadable consistency (you want it to be able to hold it's position when you stop stirring, otherwise it will run when you spread it on the cake); if needed add more powdered sugar, 1 T at a time, to the desired consistency. When you're ready, add the extract of your choice and spread onto a COOL cake!

June 12, 2011

365: Some pictures from this week...

Though not all. Prelims are due tomorrow, and then vacay (Taos, NM). So, lots of pictures next Sunday! :)

My view for the recent several weeks!

My anniversary gift to Dr.Blueberry. Scherrensnitte. (german paper cutting, framed)

I went to the post this week to get stamps to mail bills. The postal worker asked me what stamps I wanted. I replied, "Meh, just give me something noone else wants...I just stick them on bills anyways." She turned to the page of Ronnie stamps, and said..."Are you sure...?" I laughed and laughed and laughed! 

June 10, 2011

Friend Friday: Uuuuu

I don't have any friends whose name begins with U, and since these are the final days before I turn in my exams, I'm going to skip today!

See ya next week!

June 9, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Vanilla (Lemon) Cake

From How it all Vegan.

If you're eating a vegan diet and haven't ventured out to buy the three How it all... books, just do it! The recipes are super simple, the author/s offer lots of sweet little tips to help with conversion, and the recipes are delicious!

I made this little gem for the first time last week to celebrate Dr.Blueberry's and my one-year anniversary.

It was pretty darned amazing! It was, like so many vegan cakes I've made over the years, a bit dense, but the flavor was fab, and I made a last minute conversion from "Vanilla" to "Lemon" Cake. Today as I look at the cookbook, I notice a Lemon Cake recipe directly below it...I admit that I totally missed it when I made the cake last week. I told Dr.B that I was taking a bit of a gamble and adding lemon extract instead of vanilla...oh, how I do love experiments. And, it was perfect! Here's the recipe!

Vanilla Cake, p. 147.

1 1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 c dry sweetener (I used regular sugar)
3/4 c soy milk
2 t vanilla extract (I used lemon)
1/4 c oil (I used canola)
egg replacer to equal 1 egg (I used Ener-G egg replacer)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sweetener, milk, vanilla, oil, and egg replacer and mix (I used a whisk) together gentle until "just mixed." Pour into a lightly oiled (I use Bakers Joy spray) cake pan (I used a 9" round) and bake for 25-35 (I did 20, and it was perfect) minutes. Check with a knife (toothpick) to see if done. When cooled, ice and serve....

As always, I modified and added my commentary to the directions... I topped with a vegan-ized (read: sub vegan butter and soy milk) buttercream frosting (next week's recipe? perhaps!) and instead of vanilla extract again used lemon. We also topped our cakes with fresh sliced strawberries when serving!!

Such a yummy treat!

June 7, 2011

Friend Friday: T-t-Traci!

And, by Friday, I clearly mean Monday...ugh, this writing Prelims stuff is taking over my life! One more week.

Ok, on to the friend!

Traci. I only reconnected with Tracy via FB, but I'm so glad that we connected. We met at Texas Tech University many many moons ago during our undergraduate years. We used to have so much fun together, but then I decided I didn't want to live in the Panhandle and left that place. We lost touch for...let's just say too many years...

In light of our recent reconnection, I'll simply say this: Traci is kinda awesome. Our year together at Tech was rad. I'm glad we reconnected. She still seems pretty rad. And, if her FB speaks the truth, she is celebrating 8 years with her love today.

Yay for reconnections!

June 5, 2011

365 Pictures: Happy Anniversary!

That's right...this week in pictures, reminders of a year ago today--the day Mr.Blueberry and I got hitched.
For our anniversary, I baked a lemon cake and lemon buttercream frosting (all vegan, of course), and it turned out GREAT. We've been slicing fresh strawberries to top it with. I'll definitely be sharing this recipe!

Our anniversary dinner...prepared by Dr.Blueberry...Asian themed (sushi, fresh spring rolls, spicy peanut sauce, noodle goodness)

Anniversary calla lillies

flowers on our wedding day

our lovely ceremony!