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This Journal is Friends Only.

Some of the things you will find inside are recipes, tales of what's happening in my life, spontaneous outings, links to shinies from very talented people that I want to share and anything else that catches my fancy and I decide to post about.

So, after all of that, If you would like to enter my world, please comment here and let me know *grin*



All comments on this post will be screened.


Edit: As of March 2010 I have made the recipes in this blog public access.

I'm a bit backlogged with typing up recipes and posting recipe photos.
Photos will be added as I make dishes again, since I tend to rotate through making my recipes pretty frequently. I just need to remember to take photos of the things I make ^^;

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Feeling: thoughtful thoughtful
Listening to: Robert Miles - Fable (Message Version)

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My friends, Ryan and Abby have a really fun game called Sum Wars. If you follow my blog, you have heard me mention the game a few time since we helped beta test it. Now they are trying to raise funds to produce 'real versions' of the game.

What is Sum Wars, you may ask?

Sum Wars is a fun scrabble like math game in which each player has a set number of random number tiles and they have to create mathematically sound equations with all their tiles. Once all the tiles are used up, the first person who can create a valid mathematically sound board is the Sum Wars winner. Now, most games once someone wins that's usually the end of the fun, not with Sum Wars. With this game, the fun continues, if you choose to continue to play with your board after the tiles are finished to see if you can make your own board mathematically sound. :D

"Challenge your friends (Math Geeks & Number-Phobes, alike) to a tabletop battle of numeric agility with a hint of vengeance!"

Watch the short video below of Ryan and Abby talking about the game and to see how it is played.




Ready to join the Sum Wars Army? Click here for the Kickstarter page. For a mere $5, you receive a pdf copy of the game instructions along with instructions to make your own game. For $20, you pre-order a copy of the physical game. There are other rewards at higher levels with lots of shiny things. So check them out!! As with all Kickstarter projects, you do not get charged for your pledge level until the project meets the minimum goal, which in this case is $15,000.

Help us make Sum Wars a reality!!

Please feel free to share, link and repost this. Thank you.

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Listening to: Edifice - Exodus

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Apple Kale Smoothie

Yield: ~28-32oz
3 apples, washed and cored
1/2 bunch Kale(~6-8 leafs), chopped(steams optional)
~1.5-2 cups Coconut(or other plant based) Milk
Dash of cinnamon

Blend all the above in a high power blender until
Add more milk until you get desired consistency

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In honor of Spring, Food Matters is offering a free screening of their film Hungry for Change. You can sign up on their main page and the they will email you a link to access the film. It's cookie based, which is why I'm not posing the link here.



It's a good introduction film for people not familiar with the benefits of eating a mostly plant based diet**. If you have seen Food Matters, than there will most likely not be much new information here in this film.

If you would like to know more of the science behind why eating a mostly plant based diet** is beneficial, then I highly recommend watching Forks Over Knives. This is my favorite film to recommend about educating people about the importance of a high plant based diet because they actually have the scientific studies and tests to back up the results and answer the questions of why some foods that have become so mainstream in our culture are not good for you.




Now, if you watched either of these films and are wondering. 'That great, I should be eating more plant foods, but do not know where to start.' or think it just means eating more salads, I have another recommendation. Head over to Forks Over Knives and check out their Recipes.

For fresh produce, the best prices are when it is in season. Also, if you have a CSA by you, it is an affordable way to eat healthy and it supports your local farmers. For me, I have a local CSA share that gets delivered to my door, which costs about $50/month for 6 months and has enough veggies for 2 adult people. If you are looking for a CSA supported farm near you, you can check out Local Harvest, but keep in mind that the the list may not be all inclusive of all farms in the area that offer CSA shares.

Personally, I have yet to find a recipe that I do not like. Today, I have plans to make White Bean, Kale and Potato Stew and later in the week Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Rustic Parsnip Crust.

Most of the recipes are quick and not very expensive. They also have really nice printable PDF layouts with photos of the dishes. If you would rather not used canned foods in the recipes, they are easy enough to switch out with fresh or even switch out with other ingredients you have on hand. For example for the stew, I don't have white kidney beans, but I soaked some dried white beans that I received from my CSA share last year, and plan to cook them up.

Enjoy, Experiment and Have Fun :)

**I'm using the term 'Diet' here with the definition of: "The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats."

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Garlic Steamed Broccoli

Yield: 1 person, if used as a meal

2 heads of broccoli, chopped (makes about 4 cups)
1 tsp Ghee(or butter/oil of choice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to taste(optional)

Steam broccoli to desired tenderness and remove steamer basket from the base steamer pot
Discard the water in the base steamer pot and rinse out.
Place back on stove and add Ghee
Once Ghee is hot, add garlic and peppers and saute for a minute
Add broccoli, mixing well.
Serve in bowl and top with Parmesan cheese, if using.
Enjoy!

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Listening to: Haikaa - Work of Art

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Yield: 2 servings if as a meal

1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
~1 Tbsp oil (I used grapeseed oil)
Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degree
Place the cauliflower, oil,pepper and minced garlic in a large resealable bag.
Shake to mix.
Pour into a 13x9in rectangle dish.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through or until desired tenderness.
When done, top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Eat it on it's own or over a bed of greens.

Note: Since the cheese is optional, this is being categorized as vegan

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Listening to: Silbermond - Alles Gute

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Roasted Root Vegetables


Note: I don't have measurements because I just cut everything up and tossed in a 13x9 glass Pyrex dish

Carrots, cut into long pieces
Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
Parsnips, washed and cut into slices
onions, chopped
Beets, cut into chunks
kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
Garlic, minced
Olive oil
Rosemary
thyme
basil
oregano
pepper
red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put all the vegetables, herbs and spices in a large baking dish.
Drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook.
Stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown.

Serve as a side or standalone meal with salad.

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Vegetable Pasta



Yield: ~6

1-12oz box of pasta (I used vegetable shells because it's what I had on hand)
olive oil
1 - clove garlic, minced
1 - medium onion - chopped
3 - carrots
1 - bell pepper
2 - squash(Zucchini, yellow squash), chopped
~4oz - mushrooms, chopped
sun-dried tomatoes
~4 Tomatoes chopped
basil
oregano
parsley
thyme
red pepper flakes
black pepper

Cook pasta according to directions
Heat up oil with the red pepper flakes
Saute onions and garlic
Toss in carrots, cook for a few minutes
Add bell pepper, squash, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes.
When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tomatoes and spices.
Cook for several more minutes
Serve over Pasta.
Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Soup

2 TB butter
1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped,
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, or equivalent, chopped
1 small celery root, peeled and chopped
4-6 cup vegetable broth (enough to cover the veggies in the pot)
pepper


Melt the butter in a large pot(I used 8qt pot), and cook the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash for about 5 minutes.
Pour in enough of the stock to cover vegetables.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
Using a potato masher, mash up the soup.
Transfer 4 cups the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth.
Return to pot and mix it up, if you want creamer soup blend up more soup until you reach the desired consistency.
Season with pepper.

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Listening to: Treasure Planet - I'm Still Here

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Vegan Aloo Baingan (Potato and Eggplant)



1 medium eggplant (baingan), un-peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 medium potatoes or equivalent (aloo), un-peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 medium tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups peas
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 chopped green chili adjust to taste
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Chop up potatoes and eggplant
Line baking sheet with foil and grease
Put potatoes on tray and bake in oven until cooked ~10 minutes
Take potatoes off tray when cooked and put on plate
Cook eggplant the same way
Put on plate to cool
In a small bowl, mix the ginger, green pepper, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of water to make a paste.
Heat the 1-tablespoon of oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready.
Add cumin seeds and after seeds crack add the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute until you see the oil start to separate from the spice mixture.
Add chopped tomatoes stir-fry for a minute.
Add onions and peas cook for a few minutes
Add potatoes and eggplant mix it gently, let it simmer for three to four minute on medium low heat.
Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro mix it well.

Enjoy!

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Listening to: Zircon - Speed of Light

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The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe has put together a campaign to raise money to buy Tesla's lab Wardenclyff in Shoreham, NY and get it protected as a historic site and turn it into a Tesla museum which I believe will be the first Tesla museum in the US. If they reach $850K they will receive a matching $850K grant from NYS.

Right now they are working on getting more prize levels up, but you can donate here

Also, check out this comic about Tesla from The Oatmeal: Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived

When I first heard about this, I was psyched. I was talking about Wardenclyffe about two years ago with my father and we were discussing what a shame that it was that the property has fallen into disrepair and how it should be preserved as a historic site and turned into museum. Tesla deserves a museum to educate others about all that he contributed to society. I'm really hoping that they manage to raise the funds and are able to purchase the land.

I'll be donating and keeping an eye on this to see what becomes of it :D

Edited to add: I made this entry public, so feel free to repost and share the information. :)

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Listening to: Placebo - Twenty Years

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Mushroom and Peas



Yield: 2-4

2 Tbsb Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 Clove garlic minced
2 C Chopped tomatoes (~2 tomatoes chopped)
~1/2 C Chopped Onions
1 tsp Ginger
1.5 tsp Garmin marsala
1.5 tsp Hot Curry powder
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
4-8 C Sliced mushrooms (8oz whole mushrooms =~4C sliced)
2 C Green peas
2 Tbsp minced cilantro


Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium high heat.
Add the cumin seeds. As cumin seeds crack add garlic, ginger, Garmin marsala, curry powder and pepper flakes.
Stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add tomatoes and onions. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and reduce to half.
Add mushrooms and peas. After coming to a boil reduce the heat to medium.
Add cilantro after mushrooms have cooked half the way about 4 minutes.
Cook until mushrooms and peas are tender.
Serve hot.

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Listening to: Khakee - Dil Dooba

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Vegan Banana Nut Muffins




Yield: ~12 Muffins

3 ripe Bananas, mashed
1/4 c. Coconut Oil
1/2 c. Sugar
~1/8 c. Maple syrup or molasses
2 c. Whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon
nutmeg
ginger
cloves
~1 c. Finely Chopped Nuts (I used pecans this time)
~1 handful course chopped nuts for topping

Preheat oven at 350.
Line muffin pan with paper liners
Cream the coconut oil, sugar and syrup, add the bananas and mix well.
Stir in the flour,salt, soda, spices and the nuts. Mix well (the consistency should be like thick bread dough like)
Spoon into muffin pans until they are ~3/4 full
Top with remaining nuts
Bake for ~15 minutes
Remove to cooling rack
Enjoy!

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Listening to: DCD - Sanvean

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Vegan Whole Wheat Naan

Yield ~8 Naan



2 cups of white wheat flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of baking soda
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons vegan yogurt
3/4 cup lukewarm Almond or Rice milk
1/8 cup flour for rolling
Melted butter or vegan alternative to bush on the top on the naan.

Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Mix well.
Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.
Add the milk/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.
Knead until the dough is smooth.
Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees with unglazed baking stone** for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot.
If you don't have an unglazed baking stone, line a baking pan with foil and grease (preheat oven to 500 degrees but don't put the pan in yet.)
After oven preheats, turn the oven to high broil.
Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
Take each piece of dough, roll in flour.
Then roll into 8-inch oval shape.
Place onto your baking stone into the oven, or on your foil lined pan and place the pan in the oven.
Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, depending upon your oven. The naan should be golden brown color on top.
If using foil pan, after the top is light brown, take out and flip over for about another 30-45 seconds until the bottoms are also light brown.
Remove and brush the top with melted butter. Place on cooling rack.
Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.
Enjoy!

Notes:
** Make sure that your stoneware is heat resistant to 500 degrees and broil.

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Listening to: Krishna Das - Kainchi Hare Krishna

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Vegan Potato Cabbage Soup



Yield: ~9 to 10 servings

3 Tbsp coconut oil
~2 Cups chopped onions
1 Clove garlic, minced
~6 Carrots, chopped
5 Large potatoes diced (I used 3 red & 2 Yukon potatoes)
3 Heads of cabbage(I used 1 Napa & 2 white)
6 Cups vegetable broth
Red pepper flakes
Black pepper
Thyme
Oregano
Sweet Basil
Parsley

In large pot, heat coconut oil and saute onions, garlic carrots and red pepper flakes
Add the Potatoes, cabbage, spices and broth. The broth should just be enough to cover everything in the Pot, if not add more water.
Let cook for about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes.


From here you can make it two ways.

1) Creamy Potato Cabbage Soup:
Remove about 3 cups of soup from the pot.
Put in high speed blender and blend until desired consistency\smooth.

2) Just leave the broth and chunks of veggies as is


I made this almost 1/2 and 1/2 with half of the soup creamy soup and the other as just whole veggies. It freezes well, which is why I usually make my soups up in large batches. ;)

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