Perfect Pizza!

We have had mix success with vegan pizza at home.  Amy’s Soy Cheeze pizza is not quite vegan and not too bad.  There are lovely pizza recipes that turn the idea on its side from the Pizza Hut pizza I grew up with – warm roasted vegetables and wheat crusts that are lovely to look at, but don’t satisfy my desire for meaty, cheesy pizza.  What does is Waldo Pizza – so here is my recipe for Perfect (vegan) Pizza.


1. A charming family, including a stepdaughter who will eat the vegan pizza with you when those rat boys order something called the “Butcher’s Block”.  <sigh>

2. Place order for pizza with hipster waitress: original crust, daiya italian blend, vegan italian sausage, roasted red peppers, basil, black olive.

3. Wait for pizza.



One of my 40 before 40 goals is to create a cookbook of my favorite 40 vegan recipes.  I am not going to invent 40 new recipes, but capture my favorite recipes modified to be vegan or my favorite recipes from vegan cookbooks.  And I am going to make each recipe three times the same way to make sure it is right – and not take lazy shortcuts in the name of “creativity”.

One of my first challenges will be cream of mushroom soup.  Being white and from the midwest, some of my favorite recipes use this pantry staple.  I have a bead on a white mushroom sauce recipe that I recently found.

And there will be lots of potato recipes.  Here is my planned list:

1. “Chicken” in pastry

2. “Chicken” crepes

3. “Beef” Stroganoff – my favorite food ever

4. Fourth of July Chocolate Cake

5. Snickerdoodle Bars

6. Comfort Casserole

7. Bangin’ Breakfast Sammie

8. Banana Splitted and Cherried and Chocolated Bread

9. Perfect Pizza

10. Deli Samich

11. Those Aren’t Enchiladas

12. Perfect Taco Night

13. Avocado Quesadillas

14. Cute Quiche

15. French Onion Soup

16. Grilled “Cheese” and Mater Soup

17. Blasphemous Barbecue

18. Lovely Lettuce Wraps

19. Sloppy Gingers

20. “Parmesan” “Chicken”

21. Really Vegan Oreos

22. French Toast

23. Apple Crisp

24. Peach Cobbler

25. Spankin’ Spring Salad

26. Stupid Summer Salad

27. Awesome Autumn Salad

28. Bodacious Balsamic Basil Maters

29. Biscuits and Gravy (hopefully a guest post from my husband)

30. Fettucine “Alfredo”

31. Baked Pasta

32. Apples and “Sausage”

33. No Carrots Pot Pie

34. Whipped Potatoes

35. Twice Baked Potatoes

36. Fried Potatoes

37. Roasted Potatoes

38. Sweet Salsa

39. Fancy Dip

40. Chocolated Puffed Rice Cereal


Goop and shit…

Just call me Gwenny… here are some things that I love so much and I think you should too.  And none of them are $300 boots…

1. Siri for iPhone.  So cool and useful.

2. Backgammon… such a fun game.  Have you played recently?

3. Dance Central on Kinect.  We had some people over recently and it was a super duper fun night of dancing.  And DH still hasn’t danced, not once.  Poor me.

4. The big purse is dead (for me, anyway).  Long live the Big Buddha Meredith wristlet.

5. This recipe for lentils and wild rice salad.  F’ing yum and not too bad for you.  I used cherries instead of currants, and no chevre, it doesn’t need it.


It is about dern time I updated this dern thing. Monday was our first wedding anniversary. We had grand plans to go camping or a short trip to Iowa City, but we have been so busy, that I just wanted to stay in town and work in the garden and sit on the porch, and DH accomodated me.
Here is a list of what we did together this weekend to celebrate:

(list 31) What DH and I Did To Celebrate Our First Anniversary

1. Cleaned the gutters. They needed it. And nothing says life-long committment more than cleaning gutters together.

2. Loaded a 20-ft dumpster with yard waste. This is our second one. Our back yard now is clear of rogue poison ivy and other vines and weed trees. It really was an overgrown wasteland. It looks perty darn decent – which if you have seen our backyard before we did all this, you know that is saying something. Still a little wild, still A LOT of trees – but manageable and pretty in its own way.

3. Went shopping for our gear for our Montana excursion in July. We each got appropriate boots/shoes and DH got a very cool photographer’s vest sort of thing with lots of pockets. He loves pockets.

4. On the night of our anniversary, Bill made me his delicious vegan lasagna. Second only to his delicious vegan biscuits and “sausage” gravy.

5. After our excursion shopping, we hung out on the porch and had some cocktails. I invented Porch Beer – I highly reccomend it –

Makes 2

1. A bottle of Mexican lager, like Tecate.
2. 1/2 an orange or tangelo or a whole clementine, cut in half or quarters
3. A lime, cut in quarters
4. Two shots of coconut rum (like Malibu)
5. Four frozen or fresh strawberries
6. A cup of limeade (Simply Limeade is the best.)

Directions: Squeese the citrus and smush the strawberries. Divide the fruit into two TALL beer glasses. Add a couple ice cubes to each glass. Pour in 1/2 a cup of limeade into each glass. Pour in a shot of run into each glass. Top with beer. Stir and enjoy.

6. Planted some hostas, a bleeding heart, and a coral bell in our shady garden in the back.

7. Potted some flowers and peppers and tomatoes on our back patio.

8. Exchanged gifts – I gave him a bottle of scotch (men can be easy to shop for) and he gave me supplies to make my own books – something I have wanted to do for a while – and perfect since the 1st anniversary is the paper anniversary.

As you can see, a lot of house and garden work – but I actually had a great time. It was so good to get that stuff done. And so cool to see the backyard looking so dapper after living there so many years with it being really overgrown.

The first year of marriage has been challenging and wonderful. I never thought I would ever get married – I am a hard-core individualist who can be stubborn and a lot to take. Top that off with being an only child – and I am a *real* treat. I married someone who can handle all of that and still respects and loves me. How lucky am I?

Here is what I have learned about marriage this first year:

(list 32) Stuff I have learned in the first year of marriage

1. You have to try every day. You can never phone it in. Well, you can, but there will be consequences.

2. Let go of some stuff. A marriage is a huge commitment (duh), and if you are going to make time to do it right, there won’t be time for other things.

3. Say “Thank you.” and “I love you.” whenever possible.

4. Always kiss when you say hello or good bye.

5. It is ok to not agree on everything – but make sure you say what you need to say.

6. Everbody’s marriage is different. You can seek advice from your married friends, but at the end of the day, you have to decide what is right for the two of you, even if people may judge you harshly for your decisions.

7. Marriage doesn’t change who you are.

8. It is really reassuring to have someone to cuddle next to when I get scared in the middle of the night. At least once a week I have worrying thoughts or scary dreams that wake me up and threaten to keep me awake. But once I cuddle next to DH for a few minutes, I am calmed down. I don’t know how I survived without that.

9. It is hard to make time to do things without each other, but it is absolutely important.

10. It is essential to still have dates – I always thought this one was overblown – but without the occassional romantic nights in or out, you run the risk of becoming just congenial roomates.

And, as a final note, I really am glad the wedding is over. It was a stupendous day – but not planning a wedding is a good feeling – I don’t know why it is so much work, but it really is.


Last Saturday, DH, the twins, and I hosted a tea party at our house. After getting over the initial pressure of all the preparations, we had a great time fixing the fancy food and setting the table. (And I got to use all of our teapots!)

And here is a list of what we served:

(list 20) What We Served at Our Tea Party

  1. Cucumber tea sandwiches – if you ever make tea sandwiches, I highly recommend the very thin bread from Pepperidge Farm. It worked wonderfully for us.
  2. Pear and faux cream cheese and toasted walnuts tea sandwiches – DH found this recipe in a little tea book he had – they definitely were the hit of the party!
  3. Rosewater and pistachio cupcakes with faux cream chese frosting – from the fantabulous Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!
  4. Dried red fruits scones
  5. Blueberry stilton
  6. Blackcurrant Black Tea
  7. Pomegranate Grean Tea
  8. Passionfruit and Strawberry Red Tea

All of it was vegan and delicious except for the blueberry stilton, which was just delicious.


Some time in the not-so-distant past I lost the ability to know what’s cool. Now, for sure, I was never a hipster, not even when I was young enough to be a hipster. I am a huge rule-follower and a morning person – two of many reasons that excluded me from being a hipster. But, if I passed a group of hipsters and they were talking about movies or music, I knew what they were talking about. That is no more, like the ability to enjoy (or even watch) The Real World, this ability and special knowledge has evaporated with age. I still listen to the hipster music on my sattelite radio and know that it is depressing that Target now sells Converse, but other than that I am pretty much a wash-out.

But then in the last few days, I have stumbled across some things that I am pretty sure the hipsters also like, and here they are, in no particular order:

(list 15) Stuff I Think Hipsters Would Like

  1. Vegan ricotta cheese substitute – Isa Chandra Moskowitz once again changes my life – DH put this in lasagna and it was WONDERFUL!
  2. Playmobil Pirate Music Video – My brother-in-law found this one. It is really cool. The song is good, and the Playmobil pirates are adorable. I have a special fondness for this art because of the many hours (at least a few dozen) putting together Playmobil for the twins. I would have been totally frickin’ awesome on the production team for this video.
  3. Vampire Weekend – Of late I prefer bands who sing about how hard it is to work everyday (like Modest Mouse), but this band has captured my heart with their quirky lyrics. My favorite is Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. The beat and guitar sound seem like they are lifted straight from some Paul Simon song I can’t quite place, which makes me an instant fan.
  4. Tiny Mix Tapes – I was a devotee of this site for awhile, but fell out of the practice of checking it out. I am back in! I love the themes of the mixes (for example, Sad Songs That Will Make Me Want To Dance In Public) and the music suggestions seemed to be made by hipsters who know what they are doing. I don’t get it all, but I feel better for trying.

Check ya later, dudes!