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.

March 31, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Vegetables...

A comment on my last post helped me work through the post I wanted to do this week----recipe Thursdays do not always come easy to me. Vegetables. I don't like them all; though I am, at the moment, eating a vegan diet, and I have been vegetarian, off and on, for the recent 8 years now. So, I thought I would share some of my favorite vegetables and maybe a few tips for how I like to cook them this week...

Avocado: I love to just fresh slice avocado and eat it...maybe squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it to heighten the flavor a bit. Yum! The slices are also a nice addition to black bean tacos, with maybe some bean sprouts....
Asparagus: My favorite way to cook asparagus is to pan saute it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with pine nuts... Something about the intense vinegar taste and the asparagus works for me! And, if it's a bit crispy, I'm much more fond of it---so, it must be fresh!
Broccoli: I love was the first vegetable that I loved as a child--my mom always knew I'd eat it, I think. So, I'll eat it steamed, pan steamed in vegetable oil and soy sauce with some tempeh, fresh, baked into lasagna, tossed with pasta...doesn't matter, I love it!
Brussel Sprouts: I don't recall ever eating brussel sprouts when I was growing up, but I guess it's possible I did. Anyways...when Dr.Blueberry and I moved to Pittsburgh, we were at the farmers market one day, and saw them, hanging like bells on a strip of ribbon. It was like the angels were singing. We bought some, and cooked them, and I've been in love ever since! How did we cook them: sliced in half, brushed with a bit of olive oil and an herb or two (maybe some basil or italian spices), and a quick roast in the oven.
Bell Pepper: Bell pepper, of a variety of colors and styles, goes in almost everything I cook: stir-fry, tacos, chili, salad, etc...I'm not picky when it comes to bell peppers!
Artichoke: I don't think I've ever bought artichokes, but I do love pasta, usually an oil-based pasta, rather than red or creamy sauce, with other tasty treats, like capers and black olives, and broccoli. Yeah, I should buy some. But, I need to investigate how to buy them: canned, or fresh....thoughts?
Garlic: Like bell pepper, garlic goes in everything. The.end.

And, in case you're wondering, this list is not comprehensive. I also love lettuce (romaine), celery, carrots, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and sooooo many other veggies. I'm curious what your favorites are and how you cook them! Share a recipe with me!

Peace, love, and veggies.

PS Don't ya just love Wikipedia?! I was trying to think of veggies that I eat regularly, and I did a Google search for vegetables, and this Wikipedia site appeared in my search findings!

March 27, 2011

This week in Pictures

One of the scarves I'm currently working on...

My friend and colleague Ashley, carrying all her Wally World goods...

This week's meal--see recipe post here


The pear tree outside the Comm Building on looks pretty, but it smells awful!

Off in the distance a bit, a beautiful pink magnolia tree. Spring was here for a few days this week, and it was RAD!

My new set of knitting needles. Bought on overstock, such a great deal!

Friday I sat out at the winery and did a bit of writing. It wasn't the prettiest day--a little rainy and cold--but it was perfect for me. I had the Venus!

Saturday, Janelle came over, and I made vegan brownies--we used her self-rising flour, and they got a little poofy, but they tasted delicious!

shhhhh----happy birthday, dear friend! Bought from thirty-one gifts, via my friend Kristi.

Dr.Blueberry's grandparents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next Friday (yes, April Fool's Day), and I finally decided what I'm going to wear: black slacks and this FAB shirt and scarf. I'm thinking it's going to be a bit too chilly for me to wear a skirt, unless I put on hose, and I'm just not prepared to do that yet, so pants it is!

Hope you had a good week!

March 25, 2011

Friend Friday: Liz

I first met Liz-Laughs-a-Lot in the Gender in Higher Education course, offered by Dilley during the summer session 2009. She was coughing, coughing, coughing from a nasty summer cold, and I casually passed a cough drop to her from one side of the room all the way to the other, using the person-to-person method---we were sitting in a circle. It's quite the humorous "how we met" story IMHO (in my humble opinion).

Since then, she and her hubs have attended our Festivus gatherings, and we've attended her New Years and Halloween gatherings. Dinner at Midland, hanging with mutual friends, wineries, oh! so.many.happy.Liz.memories.

Needless to say, Liz is her, love her, hang with'll be an awesome time!


March 24, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Quick Asparagus Pasta

I followed the recipe, so delicious, and really rather easy!


Serves 4

What You Need:
  • 4 quarts water
  • 8 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
What You Do:
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add farfalle and cook until just underdone, about 5 minutes. Place a steamer basket over boiling farfalle, and steam asparagus for 2 minutes. Remove steamer basket and run asparagus under cold water to stop cooking. Drain farfalle and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat oil and non-hydrogenated margarine over medium heat. Add garlic and nutmeg, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about two minutes. Add farfalle, asparagus, and pine nuts and stir. Add salt and pepper, tossing to combine.

Remove from heat and serve.


Enjoy! It's really quite delicious, and the nutmeg was a fun flavor in pasta! Yum!

    March 20, 2011

    365: This Week in Pictures

    Yeah.....I didn't take any. It's been a rough week.

    I'll take extras this week to make up for it.

    Friend Friday...on Sunday!

    It's been a long week--spring break and a string of "bad" news have enabled me to be a lazy sack of poo this week. Which means...I forgot to do my Friend post this week. "My Bad!"

    Let me just start by saying that Krista is keen! I met her when I first moved to Pittsburgh, PA. Krista grew up and is one of the best friends of my dear friend Rachael, who I met in grad school; so, when Dr.Blueberry and I moved up there, Rachael suggested we meet. Our meeting story is kinda funny....we went to Harris' Grill in Shadyside. Dr.Blueberry went with me--hey! she coulda been a psycho-killer or something, so I wanted him to protect me (j.k., Krista!)---anyways, she was expecting me to be alone, and though we had looked at pictures of each other, she didn't look the same (to me) and I didn't look the same to her because I was with someone. So, for a good 15 minutes, we sat pretty close to one another on the patio not realizing that we were who we were looking for (oh, come'on! forgive the's a story!). Anyways, one of us called--I can no longer recall which one--and that's when we figured it out and connected. We had such a nice chat that evening, and many more in the two years I lived in Pittsburgh. And, she and I both no longer live in Pittsburgh, but we still chat oh....monthly!

    She's totally awesome. I love me some Krista, and yeah. That's all I got!


    March 17, 2011

    Buffalo Seitan

    Going vegetarian was not easy for me---I'm from the south, Texas more specifically, and well, pretty much everything I ate growing up (as shown my my girlish waistline) was meaty and fried (fajitas, fried chicken, bbq, etc.). And, I gotta admit: I kinda love those things. So, as a vegetarian, I try as much as possible to recreate comfort foods--foods that I grew up with but with a vegetarian (and during Lent at least, vegan) twist.

    Near the top of the list of favorites is "buffalo chicken wings." You may know these from places like Hooters and Buffalo Wild Wings. And, let me be completely honest about this....I.Love.Buffalo.Wings. So, I consider myself lucky that a friend introduced Dr.Blueberry and me to Spak Brothers Pizza and More. Spak Brothers is in a trendy and up-and-coming part of Pittsburgh--explaining what I mean here requires an entirely different post--lots of hipsters have moved into that part of the city, and hipsters (as we all know) like to do trendy things, such as "go vegan." (oh no! does this make me a hipster!!!?)

    So, Spak Brothers makes "Seitan Wings" and on-the-cheap, too! And, being the wing connoisseur that I am, I had to get me some of those wings....and STAT (um, and like everytime I go to Pittsburgh, ummmm.....yeaaaaaah, I'm kinda an addict now!). Ok, since I don't live in Pittsburgh anymore, I had to figure out how to make these dudes.

    So, now to the recipe for-the-sharing!

    (for two)

    1 box Westsoy Seitan (the box looks like this, and you can get it at almost any grocery store)
    1 jar Franks Red Hot Sauce
    vegan margarine

    Deep fry the seitan, and while that's cookin' mix up the sauce by following the recipe on the back of the Franks bottle (the recipe is easily modified to vegan by using the vegan margarine AND seitan instead of chicken, lol). Fry the seitan to your desired crispyness, and when done, pour sauce on top and serve. It's best when served hot, but it does keep and is pretty good cool too!

    Seriously, could it get any easier than this?!

    March 13, 2011

    365: This Week in Pictures

    It's been a fairly eventful week....enjoy!

    Sunday---A glance at what is to come this week! eek!
    Monday--Dr.Blueberry and I went to get our hairs cut at JCPenny Salon, and we came upon this tshirt (and so many other fun ones). This one reminded us of our friend Satoshi, one of whose nickname is Yoshi!
    Tuesday--Another picture (courtesy of my brother this time) of my adorable nephew playing his first ball game! He's too cool!
    Wednesday--Apple Crisp (see this post for recipe!)
    Thursday--the cost of a pitcher of PBR at The Cellar! SCORE!
    Friday--afternoon (what a beautiful afternoon!) spent at Starview Vineyards with Dr.Blueberry. I finished the knitting of this little gem, which will be a gift (for some occasion) for Dr.Bs step-father!
    Saturday--this is a picture of our television, with the wii game Michael Jackson: the Experience. (borrowed from our friend Andrea). Hands down AWESOME!

    March 11, 2011

    Friend Friday: Janelle

    I have sooooo many FB friends whose name begins with a J, and I'm feeling very torn about who to choose today, but given that Janelle just texted me, I guess she wins!

    Janelle is jolly, jolly, jolly--she's got lots of energy. We met at SIUC in our graduate program, in the Fall 2010 semester--well, really, we met in the Spring 2010, but we are more than just acquaintances since her visit to the campus and department. She is just swell. She is sassy. She keeps me on my toes. She loves to eat. She loves to run. She loves to laugh--she has an awesome laugh! She comes into my office everyday ("The best part of [her and my] day") that I'm there to say hello and visit before she goes off to her next commitment. She's always up for a challenge (I think, as much as she loves meat, she's removing meat from her diet for Lent) or an event (Superbowl, Grammy's, Emmy's, movie, drink, etc.), unless it's after 9pm, which essentially means we're soulmates given that I'm also in bed around that time. She watches NCIS with me, and Criminal Minds, and Law and Order, and so many other shows that I love, and even when we're not together watching them, we're texting while they are on.

    So many things to say about my dear, dear Janelle!

    March 10, 2011

    Recipe Thursday: Apple Crisp

    My friend Lisa recently posted an Apple Crisp recipe that was fabulous and easy to make, so I thought I'd share it here.

    My notes:
    • It can easily be made vegan by using vegan butter.
    • I definitely recommend two batches of the topping.
    • I used a large round casserole dish, but in the future, I'd recommend a 9"x9" pan. The large round meant that the apples were either over- or undercooked, but I think in a less deep dish the apple cookness might even out...
    I took a picture, and I'll post it Sunday!

    March 6, 2011

    365: This Week in Pictures

    A picture from 2nd Helping--Monday, I think? And, do you remember Andrea (my first Friday Friend?) This is her...

    Another picture from 2nd Helping...

    um...Tuesday or Wednesday? I honestly don't know Monday from Thursday at this's been a long week. I was sickly, with a headcold (which I didn't find out until I got in to see the doctor Thursday), and I was taking pictures in the Kleinau all week (yay for performances!).

    Wednesday (I think)--live musical performance before the show.

    I finally went to the doctor Thursday---this is my medicine regiment: for 3 days (only!) nasal spray, then after that switch to the saline spray (in the middle). Plus every day until the symptoms are gone: sudafed (sudogest) and advil. The Theraflu is my favorite of medicines, and I was taking it until I went to the doctor---geez my throat was killing me for those first few days because of all the sinus drainage!

    Saturday---I didn't take this picture, my sister-n-law did. It's of my adorable (middle) nephew ready for his first baseball game! Isn't he a cutie!

    March 4, 2011

    Friend Friday: No I's

    So, I realized today that I have no FB friends whose name begins with an I. I'm a little surprised by this....I know lots and lots of people, and in my brain, I can think of none---even in this very moment---at all!

    I guess I get the week off!

    Do you have any friends whose name begins with an I? If so, tell me about them!

    March 3, 2011

    Recipe Thursday: Asparagus

    One of my friends/former students/fellow blogger peeps recently posted an Asparagus recipe. In honor of that, I'd like to talk about my love for asparagus and share a recipe as well!

    I don't have a recipe title....I guess "Balsamic Asparagus & Pine Nuts," but here goes anywho!!

    asparagus--cleaned and trimmed
    EVOO--about 2 T
    balsamic vinegar--about 2T (or to taste)
    pine nuts--1/8-1/4 c

    Add EVOO and balsamic vinegar to a large skillet and warm on lowish heat (just enough to warm the oil). Add the pine nuts and increase heat; cook until they have a toasty look. Add asparagus and cook until it's tender.

    Serve warm with Match Ground Chick'n or Polenta cakes or Tofu Steaks or something of the like.