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.

February 27, 2011

365: This Week in Pictures

This has been an interesting week, as you'll see in these pictures!


Sat/Sun Feb 19/20: Taken some time around midnight....this is a delicious dessert shared with my dear friend Janelle at the Global Gourmet. Chocolate + berries = yum!

Feb 21 -- mailing the taxes! woot woot!

Feb 22 -- my view for most of the day. I had a weird stomach virus or something, and I laid on the couch, sleeping, watching tv and the like all day. When I wasn't on the couch, well, let's just note that THIS picture is prettier than the others!

Feb 23-- My favorite veggie (vegan) burgers! I didn't make them this day, but I did take a picture to send to my sister-n-law so that she could buy some. I'm making them Sunday for my Oscar Watching Party!

Feb 24--Signs of SPRING! I can't wait! These are the tulips that someone planted before me at the place we rent... Did I mention that I can't wait for spring! Come'on!

Feb 25 -- A christmas gift in the making: scarf in Chiefs colors! SCORE!

Feb 26 -- My favorite breakfast at the Longbranch: Eggs Longbranch! (open-faced sandwich, with two eggs over-medium, with a hollandaise sauce on top and a side of potatoes). Delicious!

Hope you've had a great week! Did you take any pictures?

February 25, 2011

Friend Friday: HollyPop

Holy Holley! There is a holiday each time I spend time with the Happy Holley Vaughn!

Seriously, about Holley: one of my favorite people on the planet! (I know I say this about everyone, but ....What can I say, I have awesome friends!!!) We met while in grad school at the one and only (and never before referenced---read: sarcasm and humor) University of North Texas. A 4'8" (actually I have no idea how tall she actually is!) bundle of happiness, brilliance, beauty, and woot woot!! We ate Strawberry Shortcake cake together. We (admittedly) spent a great deal of time together at Rips (or as my bank card statement listed, the "University Rec Center"), Lou's, and (oh no, I just forgot the name of my favorite rooftop spot in Denton!!!). We made up songs about Habermas (wikipedia reference alert!) to the tune of our favorite christmas songs, and let's face it, we LOVED christmas songs, we loved singing, we just LOVED!

Days with Holley were (are!) groovy, baby!

February 24, 2011

Recipe Thursday: My comfort food


I've had a little stomach bug (or stress that's bugging my stomach or something) for the recent several days, and I'm glad to be getting back to normal today....I even had hunger, which totally made me happy! I ate and ate and ate (ok, that's a serious exaggeration, but I did eat, and it was delightful!).

Anyways, one of my go-to comfort foods, which for the record is probably not healthy for me in those sickly moments in pan-seared tofu. I think it's that, when prepared the way I'm going to suggest below, it's texture reminds me of my mom's home cooking (without the grease and deep-fried-ness of chicken, lol). So, what did I make?

I made a little "chicken" and rice---ok, "chicken" is really "tofu" but you get the point.

Because I've been a bit under the weather, I wasn't really feeling cooking from scratch today, so I cooked up a box of rice-a-roni long grain and wild rice. It's a simple recipe for rice, and it's vegan (when you use vegan margarine for the "butter"), AND it tastes kinda delish! And, on the side, I cooked up some tofu. But, before I cooked it, I cubed it into small-ish pieces (I like them kinda small), and then I pressed the tofu. The directions on that site are almost exactly what I do, and I really like the way the tofu cooks up. And, to cook it, I very lightly oil my stainless steel skillet and after the oil is warm, I add the pressed tofu and let it cook. Some folks have a hard time with tofu on stainless steel, but I've found that when I warm the oil and allow it to coat the pan, the tofu rarely sticks.

Once both the rice and the tofu are cooked, I mix them and serve them up! See....simple. About 30 minutes prep (mostly in pressing the tofu and cooking the rice). And, delicious!

Oh, and btw, I went to the store today: I only bought food items that are vegan. No dairy, no eggs...just veggies and things to cook fresh, delicious food. My big news to share at the moment: I'm going vegan for lent (no, I'm not catholic, I just appreciate a challenge). What might you give up for lent this year?


February 20, 2011

365: This Week in Pictures

Monday -- I'm pretty much in love with my Tibetan Hand Chimes (Tingshas). One of my instructors uses them regularly in the classes I've taken with her, and they are so calming that I had to buy a pair. I've been using them regularly since they came in the mail Monday! (I put them on my wallet so that you could see them in the picture!)

Once again I forgot Tuesday---Tuesdays are my long days this semester, where I literally go from one place to the next with little space between. Forgive me--- For Wednesday: a little light reading: three dissertations!

Thursday: the completed valentines scarf---63" of love!

Friday: Spent the night in the Westin in St Louis Friday night. Shopped during the day, Saturday escorted, bought groceries at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and then headed home. A great two days of fun with Dr.Blueberry. The Westin was literally this far from the entrance to the Cardinals stadium! We also had dinner at Pi Pizzeria, and for the record Daiya cheese is not for me.

Saturday: Lunch at our favorite STL veg place! The Shang-Ri-La Diner! This is a picture of the wall.

February 18, 2011

Friend Friday: Gigi

It's hard to believe that we're already at the letter G....7 weeks into the new year! Gigi (a.k.a. Olivia Gessella Perez-Langley) is a Groovy Guatemalan (I bet you were wondering what G word I was gonna use this week!). She, like Andrea, is a former UNT alum, which for the record is a super-duper fabuloso terminal masters program in speech communication. But, this entry is about Gigi.

Gigi is like the groove in my heart. She's a Dallas Cowboys fan thru-and-thru. She is smart, she is funny, she's beautiful, understanding, and thoughtful in her communication with others. Her wit shines through in the simplest moments, and her laughter lights up a room. She's short and tough stuff. She's a talented, talented (yes, I said that twice intentionally) performer, who is really interested in fighting global injustices. She's a former UNT alum, both at the undergraduate and Masters level, and she is now a 2nd year PhD student at SIU in Speech Communication (with me, yay!). She's always willing to have a beverage with me, and she (and her partner) always have an open door to guests. She travels and is always open to an adventure. She digs the live music. She works hard, she plays hard.

Oh, and I kinda dig her.

February 17, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Vegan Cooking Blog

What a find! I was looking over some blogs last weekend, trying to think about an upcoming challenge I'm planning (I'll share more on that topic later), when I came across this blogger. The Shannons decided to do a "Julia & Julia" style challenge, but using Betty Crocker and making the recipes VEGAN---Absolute Brilliance! They have a ton of amazing recipes, and while I haven't looked at all of them, the ones I have reviewed look simply amazing!

Hence, I'm sharing these recipes with you, while also reminding myself that vegan dining is totally possible!


February 13, 2011

365: Saturday & Sunday

I think next week, I'll return to only posting pictures once each week---I keep getting confused about what I have and haven't posted!

Saturday, Feb 12th -- at the mall petstore in Marion, IL with my friend Satoshi...birdies!

13th -- b'fast at the Longbranch Cafe in Carbondale. A pic of the table cloth, taken with my phone using the "negative" lens.

February 12, 2011

365 Pictures: VDay

Dr.Blueberry asked me the other day when "Valentine's Day became the new christmas," and I simply said, "I have a lot of things I want to give you right now!" I guess that's only sorta true.

I'll start with a story:
Dr.Blueberry eats a vegan diet, and sometimes holidays where chocolates are foregrounded (v-day, easter, etc.) can be hard for people who like chocolate. So, for the recent five or so years, I've ordered vegan chocolate candies from Rose City Chocolatier. Rose City makes ahhhhhmazing chocolates! I mean, melt in your mouth deliciosity! If you are vegan, please try them---they aren't cheap, but they are totally worth it! Ok, that's enough said about the chocolates---I don't want to talk them up too much and then find you disappointed with my suggestion, like happens to me about really hyped-up movies! Needless to say, I ordered Dr.B a fairly substantial amount of vegan chocolates this year and had them shipped to his office. Oh-so-delish!

So, he got those for v-day, and I apparently made reference to something else he's getting, which prompted the snark-a-delic comment about vday/christmas. So, yeah, he's getting one more's in process though!

February 10 -- (see my food entry for the Feb 9 picture this week!) On Wednesday, I went with my friend Molly to Hobby Lobby (YAY!), and I had seen this yarn before, but I decided to buy a couple of skeins when we were there this week. This is at the end of the first day I started it (Thursday), about 14".

February 11 -- On Friday I volunteered at the local GLBT youth safe space, and I knitted while I was there hanging out, and I got up to about 35". I don't know how many more inches I'll do....there isn't much left on this second skein, so I might have to make my way to Hobby Lobby today to get a third just in case, but the point of this story is that (I hope Dr.B isn't reading this), he's getting a hand-knitted scarf from yours truly for VDay this year. I did a simple garter stitch (I had to ask my academic advisor dood, who is a much more versed knitter than I, and he told me the kind of stitch I'm using), and for the record, this will be my first completed giveable-thing (as opposed to the amoeba-looking thing I made the first time around; oh, and I'm also working on a pair of leg warmers right now, but those will likely be for me!)!
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February 11, 2011

Friend Friday: Faizah Harbuu

On to the Fffff's....I only have two facebook friends whose names begin with F: Francis and Faizou (and, this isn't even her real name). So, I gotta come up with some good stuff for these two! But, in order to make sure I don't run out of F-named ffffffriends, I'm gonna talk about the one with the "make-believe" name fffffirst, lol. "Make Believe" may be a bit of a stretch--I actually haven't taken the time to ask her what's up with the new FB name--this is my ffffffault. Anyways....I don't want to miss my opportunity to talk about her, lol!

Taaliba (or Faizah) is FFFFFabulous! We met when I lived in Pittsburgh, PA through our mutual friend Heather (I'm guessing she'll get a "friend friday" entry at some point, as she's one of my FFFFavorite people on the planet!) and our mutual friend Tamara (again, one of my fffffaves!). How they all met, I may never know, but here's what I can tell you about Faizah. She is beautiful-inside and out. She is giving, kind, patient, and funny (such lovely qualities in any friend), and at the same time, she will T-Totally tell ya like it is (also a valuable quality in a friend)! She is uber-smart, attending a Masters program for School Counseling at Duquesne University. What else, she's a vegetarian her whole life, rode the Pittsburgh Port Authority bus system her whole life, until recently when she bought a car (yay for the Saturn!) and got her license, which from what I understand was a ffffffun experience (hello, parallel parking is a beast!)! She loves nachos.....even though she usually regrets eating them.....but this love affair also totally pleases me, as it means she'll also eat at the Mad Mex with me ANY time I visit Pittsburgh!

There's a lot to say about Faizah, but this is what I have so ffffar. How'd ya like that?!


February 10, 2011

Recipe Thursday: A Blog to Follow

My friend Kristi is such an inspirational blogger. Her blog (Eat Your Fruit and Veggies) helps remind me of the little things I already know but don't always remember or consider. She recently posted a How to Bake a Potato recipe that I promptly tried. I tried it lastnight, and recently one of my friends said he's been wanting a baked potato but has never been good at making them, so in order to help him (and perhaps others) with this somewhat daunting task, I'm sharing her recipe.

When I went to the store this week, I bought two baking potatoes (which is hard to do...perhaps Kristi can help me become a more informed potato buyer?), prepped it as she suggests (minus cutting off a bad spot or two on each potato), and added a few "vegetarian" style touches (aka I added some freshly steamed veggies to the top), and here's what mine looks like!

February 9th -- Baked potato with butter, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, and salt & pepper on top. Simple, delicious, and satisfying!

Enjoy, dear ones.

February 7, 2011

Addiction: Facebook

I'm taking my life back...I am! I am taking my life back from Facebook, starting TODAY! I think I have to admit that I kinda love Facebook. I love that it enables me to keep in touch with so many dear friends--friends from high school, friends from college, friends who are formerly students, friends who are also family....friends from a variety of walks in my life. I love this aspect of Facebook. What I don't so much love about the Book 'o Faces is that since I've been on the social networking site, I've played a variety of you.must.log.on.regularly (a.k.a. several times daily!) games, and I can spend hours reading news articles, reading notes, watching videos, and the like that these friends post. And, doing all this makes me (enjoyably) lose hours of my daily life....hours!

So, starting today, I'm taking my life back. I have an addiction. A Facebook addiction. And, though I can't chew nicotine gum, and I can't go to meetings, I can take my life back!

How? Well, that's a bit more difficult to answer... I think it starts by minimizing my time on the site. This started today. When I woke up this morning, I said to myself, I don't need to get on FB. That was a lie....right now, I do need to get on Facebook. That will change over time. So, instead of quitting "cold turkey" (what does that even mean?), I'm going to ween myself off...

Today, I only allowed myself to log into Facebook when I was in the office, which my office hours are from 8-12 Mon-Thur....I cheated on this diet already. I checked the site using my cell phone around 1:30 this afternoon, but as soon as I did it, I felt horribly guilty, so I peeked and then shut it off! I don't know why I felt guilty, I just did, lol.

The catch: I don't know how this is going to play out on the weekend, when I don't have office hours. I don't want to not ever log into Facebook...that would be silly. So, I might instead pick an hour or two during the weekend hours when I'll permit myself to log in. For instance, this Friday, maybe I'll say from 8-12 I can log in, but if I am not near the computer from 8-12, I lose that time. Too bad, so sad!

I think more than anything, this is about setting usage boundaries. Choosing times when I allow myself, treat myself with Facebook time.

So, this is where I'm starting....

Oh, one more catch: Just because I'm not on Facebook does not mean I get to use other social networking sites. For instance, I'm not going to switch to Myself or blogging (I know, sad)....I need to watch my usage of sites...across the board.

That is all for now! I'll keep you updated on how this works out, especially in the coming weekend.


(PS, you want yesterday and today's picture? Check it!)

February 6 -- I love football, so this is my Superbowl Sunday picture, of my friend Janelle, who admittedly did not have a horse in the race yesterday, so she claimed one of my faces: the Steelers! Woot woot... A great game, even though the Steelers lost...a GREAT game and a ton of great company over to watch the game!

Feb 7 -- ugh....I have such a sweet tooth at this time of the month. This is a delicious Chocolate Raspberry Cake...did I mention delicious! I clearly did not make it--I was in panic, I need chocolate, mode!

February 5, 2011

365 Pictures: For Your Viewing Pleasure

February 4 -- Not "sunny" necessarily, but above freezing and a nice day.

February 5 -- Well, I forgot to take a picture on the 3rd, oops! So I'm posting that pictures I took on the 5th....this is the tree outside my bedroom window. The snow came overnight, without warning (read: I did not watch the weather, lol), but it sure was light and fluffy and pretty.

February 5 -- the same tree outside my bedroom window, but a closeup. I love the beauty of icicles.

February 4, 2011

Friend Friday: Elizabeth

E for Elizabeth, electric, enchanting, engaging, educated, emotive, energetic, extroverted, excellent, energizing, elegant, expressive, enthusiastic, embracing, exotic, erotic, enjoyable, extraordinary, enthusiastic., exquisite....

So many words to describe such a EEEE-lovely friend...

<3 you, Eli!

February 3, 2011

Recipe Thursday: My (new) Favorite Vegan Cookies

Cowboy Cookies 

2 c quick-cooking oats
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup canola or peanut oil
2/3 cup (white) sugar
3/4 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c nondairy milk
1 T ground flax seeds
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1 generous cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup chopped toasted pecan pieces
Additional nuts and chocolate chips or chunks for decorating tops of cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350, line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I just spray the baking sheet with bakers joy).
  • In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, brown sugar, nondairy milk, flax seeds, and vanilla. Fold in half the flour mixture to moisten, then fold in the remaining half. Just before the mixture is completely combined, fold in the coconut, chocolate, and pecans.
  • For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough (about the size of a golf ball) onto cookie sheets (I use a small cookie baller). The dough will be sticky and thick (or dry, which is usually my issue, but the moisturizing to scoop and to flatten helps!). Leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Flatten slightly with moistened fingers or the moistened back of a measuring cup; repeat dipping in water for each cookie (this seems crazy, but do it!!!).
  • Bake for 14-16 minutes until edges start to brown.
  • Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to complete cooling.
  • Store in a loosely covered container. These are also ideal cookie jar cookies!
I hope I don't get into some sort of legal trouble for sharing this recipe---seriously, these cookies so so delicious!

February 2, 2011

February Gems: 365 Pictures

February 1 -- What a great way to start off February: Gloomy and Rainy and Cold! I was walking across campus on the 1st and as I turned the corner to head to class, this was my view. Pulliam Hall. A lovely shot.

February 2 -- The ball of yarn to the left is gray, and I've been working with it for the recent 4 years, thanks to my dear friend Lisa's help starting. I've done nothing with the huge swatch I started, and so after some thought I switched to the yellow yarn on the right. I'm planning to make leg warmers!