Friday, March 24, 2017

fun links

it's been a busy week and it looks like this weekend is going to be just as chaotic too.  since it's friday, here are a few fun links that i found around the internet this week . . .

1. this mom parody of the viral "bbc dad" video is too good

2. the new word that debuted the year you were born (mine is ciabatta)

3. 30 vintage photos of grocery stores that make me want to step back in time

4. i would definitely freak out if my house water turned pink

5. speaking of, the future of toilet seats

6. cute animal wrapping paper ideas

7. the most searched foods in every state

8. i absolutely l-o-v-e the way that leko smells, but i think this is going too far

9. last week's blizzard of '17 was truly insane, it even left a house completely frozen

enjoy your weekend
love, laurie

Thursday, March 23, 2017

buy a bag, give a meal

to celebrate their 30th anniversary, petsmart came up with an idea to make a difference for pets in need.  many pets live in shelters (up to 7 million each year), but others live with parents who rely on pet food banks.  so, petsmart launched their buy a bag, give a meal program.  when you buy any bag of cat or dog food (any brand, any size, no exclusions) petsmart will give a meal to a pet in need.  the meals will be distributed by petsmart charities to pet shelters, rescue groups, and food banks across the united states and canada.  petsmart is hoping to donate 60 million meals in 2017.

we shop at petsmart regularly for leko and we think this is a great program that petsmart is running.  leko and his 5 kitten cousins encourage you to buy from petmart in order to help out their fellow pet friends!

love, laurie

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

vegan apple crisp

during the crazy blizzard last week, i looked over and saw 4 sad apples sitting on the kitchen counter which had been there for a little while.  ryan suggested making an apple dessert with them in order to use them up.  thus, vegan apple crisp.

the combination of the apples baking and the warm spices filled the house with such a wonderful aroma on a snowy day.  this dessert was so delicious and so simple to make.  (it might surprise you, but there's a secret ingredient of olive oil in this recipe!)

vegan apple crisp
prep time: 10 minutes
baking time: 45 minutes
yields: 6 servings
adapted from minimalist baker

filling ingredients:
4 medium apples
1 small orange, juiced
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 teaspoons cornstarch

topping ingredients:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  peel, core, and dice apples into a large bowl.  pour the orange juice, sugar, spices, and cornstarch over the apples and toss well.  evenly distribute the apple mixture over the bottom of a baking dish.  in the same bowl, combine the oats, flour, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  gradually pour the oil over the dry ingredients while stirring to make sure everything is evenly coated.  evenly spread the topping over the apples in the baking dish.  bake for 45 minutes.  let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

love, laurie

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

celebrating the first day of spring with rita's

even though it didn't look or feel like the first day of spring yesterday (because of the cold temperatures and the remnants of that stupid blizzard we got last week), yesterday was in fact the first day of spring . . . yippee!  it's so nice to think that this gross winter weather is finally coming to an end (hopefully) soon.  to celebrate the first day of spring, rita's gave away free italian ice.  in keeping up with tradition, ryan and i headed over to rita's yesterday evening after dinner to welcome spring with free dessert!  it was a nice little monday night date after not seeing him very much this weekend.

love, laurie

Monday, March 20, 2017

thai and cinderella

this weekend, the national tour of cinderella was in town.  as usual, i barely saw ryan all weekend because he worked the load in, the entire run of the show, and the load out.  since i love the story of cinderella and since i've played the role of cinderella twice, i wanted to see the show, so my parents joined me.

before the show, we met up with ryan for dinner during his break between performances.  we grabbed dinner at one of our favorite thai restaurants before heading to the theatre.  we had great seats and really enjoyed the show.  the set was gorgeous and the on stage costume transformations were really incredible.

(a little girl sitting a few rows in front of us was wearing this tour sweatshirt from the merchandise table.  i love the saying on it and definitely think i need an adult-sized one for myself!)

love, laurie

Sunday, March 19, 2017

happy birthday!

happy birthday today to ryan's mom!

love, laurie

Friday, March 17, 2017

vegan irish soda bread (with dried cherries)

happy st. patrick's day!  i'm not irish, and i don't really celebrate st. patrick's day, but i do enjoy homemade irish soda bread once per year.  in the past, i've shared recipes for cast-iron skillet irish soda bread and irish soda bread scones.  this year, i wanted to try something different and try my hand at vegan irish soda bread.  it turns out it's super simple to make this well-known treat vegan, and it is super delicious.  i only had a little bit of raisins left in the pantry, so i added in some dried cherries (which i know is not traditional at all) and they were really great.  i love it served warm with a cup of tea.

vegan irish soda bread
prep time: 10 minutes
baking time: 45 minutes
yields: one 8-9 inch round loaf of bread

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  combine the milk and the vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes.  in a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, raisins, cherries, and caraway seeds.  pour in the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until incorporated and a dough forms.  pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed a few times into a ball.  place dough in a greased cast-iron skillet and cut an "x" in the top of the dough with a serrated knife.  bake for 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  once baked, allow the bread to set in the skillet for 10 minutes before cutting.  serve warm.

love, laurie

Thursday, March 16, 2017

anyone want some snow? we have enough!

this blizzard of '17 has been no joke (#stellagoaway).  our snow total is over 2.5 feet, with snow drifts over 3 feet, and piles of shoveled snow well above my head (i'm 5'2'').  schools and businesses have been closed for 3 straight days (which never happens) and many roads are impassable.  it has been a back-breaking task to try to shovel several times per day.  lifting shovelfuls of snow above my head is more of a workout than needed.  right about now, a hot tub and a massage sound glorious.  still dreaming of palm trees!

^the road in front of our house is an emergency route so it's always cleared during storms, but not this time, it's horrible.  i've watched so many large pick-up trucks getting stuck and sliding out.  also, our neighbors' icicles are longer than i am tall.^
^the "after" picture of our neighbor's car once she had spent time digging it out.  it really got buried by the plow trucks.  before she starting digging it out, you couldn't even see that there was a car under there.^
^narrow walkways through waist-high aisles of snow.^

love, laurie

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

blizzard of '17

well, the blizzard of '17 (#stella) hit us hard and left us with over 2 feet of snow!  work was closed yesterday and again today (which is unheard of) and there is a travel ban in effect because the roads are so incredibly bad.  it took us over 3 hours yesterday just to dig out our sidewalks and driveway only to find everything snow covered again this morning . . . ugg!  i'm so over this winter weather and i'm ready for palm trees.

love, laurie

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

pi(e) day

today is pi day (3/14), or pie day!  if you're looking for some pie inspiration for today, here are some of our favorites: banoffee pieclassic apple piedeep dish apple piestrawberry pierhubarb macaroon pieroasted strawberry mousse piepumpkin pielemon clementine pie, peaches and cream pie, and ice cream pie.  you can really get in the pie spirit and even watch a movie about pie too!

love, laurie