Vol. III: Things that are making me happy this week

Despite how the week ended:


Oh, beautiful snow, right? Unlike our friends who are prancing in 23″ of fluffy precipitation in the northeast (which might actually make prancing incredibly difficult, if not impossible), this is mostly ice. The less fun version of winter weather.

After spending almost 36 hours in the home, I chalked up this storm to be the brainchild of a heartless mastermind:


No running. No lunch hosting. No book club. No spending time with a bright-eyed baby. Weekend plans turned to digital dust on the Google calendar.

Oh well. It’s all about becoming a more adaptable, flexible person, right? (I can feel my Type A hands gripping at the desk chair, chanting various mantras to decrease my heart rate). And, there was much to be happy about this week. Here are five highlights:

Surprise gift!

A headline only an only child could love. On Thursday night (the eve of snowpocalypse 2016) a random Amazon box showed up for Aaron. A couple of hours later, that box was upstairs, topped with a note to me from my partner-in-crime. Aaron brought up our recent music re-invigoration conversations and the joy he had been experiencing listening to jams, new and old, through his fancy Sony headphones that Santa brought him a couple of years ago.

And now he wanted it to be my turn:

diskin headphones


Check it! These Diskin headphones are amazing! I’ve never had fancy headphones like this. I can barely keep ear buds in my life for more than three months. Not only is the sound-quality stellar, there is also a noise-cancellation feature (hello airplane flights!) and the ability to connect wirelessly.

New recipe: Southwestern Corn Pudding

It has been many moons since I had made a corn casserole. For at least two Thanksgiving meals, I whipped up one of Paula Dean’s recipes (definitely pre-vegan days) as I would guess she called for no less than 12 sticks of butter. Perhaps a slight exaggeration.

So, if you are looking for creamy comfort food with a bit of spice, I highly recommend this delicious concoction from the Veganomicon cookbook.


Southwestern Corn Pudding
Serves 6
Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons corn oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 4 cups fresh corn (about 6 ears)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 jalapenos, chipped finely
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking or casserole dish. A cast-iron pan would work here, too (in fact, to cut down on dishes, you can saute the corn in a cast-iron pan and later use it to bake the batter).

Saute the corn, bell pepper, and jalapenos in a large skillet for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally; the corn should be very lightly browned. Meanwhile, stir together the cornstarch and coconut milk until the cornstarch has mostly dissolved.

When the corn and peppers are ready, transfer 2 cups of them to a blender of food processor. Add the coconut milk and cornstarch mixture, and pule about twenty times, until the mixture is mostly pureed but not completely smooth.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix with the remaining corn, cornmeal, maple syrup, scallions, cilantro, salt, and cayenne.

Pour the batter into a baking dish (or you cast-iron pan) and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Making homemade laundry detergent


One of my goals in 2016 is to continue the transition to more natural, safe products. Whether it’s something I’m putting in my body or on our clothes, I want to find the healthiest solutions possible. So, after purchasing the necessary ingredients and waiting for a snowy Saturday and Netflix-burnout, I finally whipped up some homemade detergent.

I will most certainly report out on the success of the above product. What’s all inside? I found the recipe here. Basically, it is comprised of washing soda, Borax, Castile liquid soap, and water.

And, it was a great way to re-purpose the dozens of mason jars leftover from our wedding. EVERYONE WINS (I hope)

Giving into weather madness

Realizing that we were almost out of cat food, I dragged myself out to the retail landscape on Thursday after work. Originally, I intended to go to a pet store, purchase the cat’s food, and call it a night.

But then, I thought I would be home alone on Friday night (as originally Aaron was supposed to be working), and mock chicken salad from Earth Fare would be perfect company.

And then this happened:


Yes, I did get successfully secure cat food. And then a random host of other items (coconut milk ice cream FTW!) Disappointment stemmed from the mock chicken salad – it appears that the recipe has been altered to be a chunkier version of its former self. Oh well – you can’t win them all. Several of the above items played crucial roles in creating comfort food indulgences, including a vegan cheeseburger:


Even the seemingly worst enemies can have their moments of peace



Caught ya! Snuggle buddies for life.

Your turn: what’s making you happy this week?

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