Deconstructed PB&J

The other day, while I was trying to figure out how to justify never having to clean the floors in my house, I started thinking about my okay friend and blog partner, Serafina.  You see, I’m worried about her.  What does she do in the winter?  How does she get her vegetables?  Worried, I quickly came up with this recipe that uses minimal ingredients, all of which you can buy cheaply in bulk without them going bad, so it’ll get everyone through the winter.  It also pairs nicely with whatever that weird drink she made that I’m probably going to start making because I no longer can sleep and wow late night recording sessions are starting to sound good now omg I’m so excited.

 

Deconstructed PB&J.

 

Now, when I use the term “deconstructed” I’m using it with the assumption that I have no idea what it means, but affirms my tendency towards trendy hipster things.

 

This recipe uses no peanut butter or jelly.  So don’t worry if you don’t have those things.

 

Here we go.

 

Ingredients:

  • Rice (I used brown, but you can use white)
  • Nut butter (I used sunflower, but you can use whatever you like)
  • Maple syrup (I guess… you could use jelly…)
  • Butter (because butter makes everything better – I used vegan butter though)

 

IMG_1171.JPG
This is the moment it was truly deconstructed, right?  Right?  Did I use it right?!

 

Directions:

So, you cook rice and put it in a bowl and add all the other stuff to your liking.  And mix it.  And then eat it.  Think about Serafina, and her dead sunflower.

IMG_1172.JPG
Mixed.  All winter long.

 

Get your vitamins from a tablet, not food.

 

-Mary Ellen

Advertisements

Energizing Elixir

We had our first frost recently. Now all the plants are dead. Tomatoes are dead. Flowers are dead. Check out this dead sunflower.

20181017_125943

It’s sad right? It was eaten by squirrels before the frost. Extra sad. It’s also dark when I leave the house every morning. Dark when I get home. So depressing.

PSYCHE!!! Nothing can be depressing when you’re hopped up on super healthy energizing elixirs!! Oh, yeah, it’s that time again. Serafina’s handing down some caffeine-induced (and whatever the fuck else is in energy drinks) wisdom!!

20181017_120952

A golden-haired nymph appeared and gave me the idea for this wondrous, soul-saving concoction. Was she a hallucination? Maybe. Probably not, because it was before I drank the elixir. I forgot to take a picture of her when she was here so I recreated it for all of you with my famous courtroom illustrator skills

magical elixir

Ingredients:

Mango Naked Juice

Energy Drink

Instructions:

Mix energy drink first and then mango, then stir.

Consume.

Conquer all obstacles. Sing a song about conquering your obstacles. Stop singing, you’re getting distracted. That sounded really good though, make a note to yourself to get some audio recording software to share your gift with the world. Go to the store and buy more mango smoothie and energy drinks before it starts to wear off. Don’t worry if you can’t sleep anymore, you should just drink more energy drinks to combat the urge to sleep.

20181017_135529

Always listen to the golden-haired nymph.

Serafina

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my “Fuck, I need to make a dessert and shave my legs and I don’t really have time for either” cookie recipe. It works well when your significant other comes home and reminds you that you have plans to go to a dinner party/game night and he told everyone we were bringing dessert.

I made these cookies in about 20 minutes and also shaved my legs in the kitchen sink while they were baking. It was an impressive display of my domestic and feminine abilities. Then I went on to win at Secret Hitler because, not to brag, but I’m pretty great at being Hitler. I know how that sounds, but sometimes you have to put aside your values because winning a board game is more important.

These are my go-to vegan cookie, but for time’s sake I used real butter which doesn’t fuck up the consistency of the cookie when you melt it.

20180810_180511
I actually had an excuse not to clean the kitchen before shooting these photos with my phone

This recipe was adapted from one of my first vegan cookbooks, How it All Vegan. I bought the book thinking the authors were lesbians and was very disappointed when they talked about male significant others.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter (if you want these cookies to actually be vegan, you obviously need vegan butter)

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

3 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (less if butter is salted)

1 cup chocolate chips

20180810_180523
Two types of chocolate chips sounded fancy to me at first, but it just made it seem like I didn’t have enough of any one kind, which might have also been true

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, margarine, oil, water and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt
  4. Add butter mixture and chocolate chips to the flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are browned

Makes 12-15 cookies

Eat enough cookies that you no longer want to murder your significant other for failing to give you adequate warning to prepare a dessert.

20180811_152124
These were two leftover cookies at the end of the night. I ate them both when we got home.

Just to be super clear, it’s only okay to be Hitler when you’re playing board games. We may flirt with being terrible people around here sometimes, but there are some lines we won’t cross, like actually being Hitler. If I think of any other lines we won’t cross, I’ll be sure to let you know.

-Serafina

 

Serafina’s flawless skin care regimen

As per usual, I bring you this blog post while procrastinating on a paper that’s due at midnight tonight (protip: it doesn’t count as procrastination if you never start the paper).

Something’s been bugging me lately, and it’s about Mary Ellen. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be coming here to talk shit. But I am, so you can all just deal with it. My problem is that she knows so much about being a girl. So much. She’s always posting things like weird creepy face masks, and I don’t understand it at all. What do the face masks do? Why does she look so scary? How did she trick her husband Annie into also wearing a face mask? Do they put face masks on her baby and dogs? This is just a list of the first few questions I have. Instead of seeking answers to any of my questions, I’m going to assume I’m an expert*** and walk you all through my own “minimalist” skin care regimen.

Step one: Shower every couple of days. More frequently if your armpits smell. But, we’re not focusing on armpit skin care, we’re focusing on face skin care which I think I implied above but didn’t really make it clear until now.

Step two: Once in the shower, ensure that you have some water on your skin. This will be important later

Step three: Wash everything with Dr. Bronner’s. I mean, everything. Face, armpits, hair, butt, feet. You know, everything. Shit, I said I was going to just stick with face skin care and then I went and told you all the other stuff. Oh, well. Now you know the rest of my skin care.

IMG_0001.JPG
Also, Dr. Bronner’s provides good reading material if you forgot to bring your phone in the bathroom to take a poop

Step four: if you live in a very dry climate, put some lotion on your skin. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but I hear that movie comes out in favor of moisturizing.

That’s it! Feel free to ditch all your other skin care stuff, because I don’t know what it is for.

All one!

Serafina

 

***Legal disclaimer: the above advice is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any ailments. Serafina Bearafina’s expertise in skin care is merely self proclaimed and she does not actually understand how any skin care products work. She’s not really sure if you should even use soap, TBH. The above advice neither guarantees nor implies that the condition of your skin will improve. Serafina isn’t sure what good skin is, but she probably doesn’t have it. Serafina recently had an infected ingrown hair, and after refusing to seek medical attention, she asked someone to explain exfoliation to her, only to promptly ignore all advice that was given to her.

Homemade vegan lip balm

Have I mentioned that I get a little ridiculously picky about some things? I probably haven’t. But last year I discovered my favorite lip balm had changed their formulation and it was suddenly disgusting and unusable. I found the lot numbers of the old lip balm recipe and I bought a year’s worth, stashing it in my fridge. Everything was wonderful until I only had about 2 left and I started panicking. I bought one of every lip balm and Whole Foods and they were all terrible. I was beside myself and fell into a deeper depression than the time my chicken was eating all of her eggs (that’s still happening, by the way, I just try not to care about it too much)

Anyway, I decided I needed to make my own lip balm and after extensive research, I have two recipes for you. One of the lip balm recipes sucks and the other is amazing and I love it.

IMG_0771

I know what you’re thinking, why bother sharing the shitty lip balm recipe? I don’t really have a great answer for that. I mostly just want credit for all the work I did. And if anyone is wondering if this was an attempt to make Mary Ellen feel bad about herself for not doing things like making lasagna and DIYing lip balm, it is. I’m amazing. I definitely didn’t almost fail out of grad school to bring you this lip balm recipe. And that was definitely the kind of high caliber sentence a graduate student should be writing.

IMG_0778
That’s a bunched up Christmas towel in the background. Everyone uses Christmas towels year-round, right?

Recipe 1: Shitty Lip Balm

Makes about 8 tubes of lip balm

1 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp shea butter

¼ tsp vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

 

Recipe 2: Amazing Lip Balm

Makes about 12 tubes of lip balm

2 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

IMG_0774
Jars are the best makeshift double broilers because you can just throw them in the dishwasher and then your pot doesn’t smell like candelilla and lavender when you want to make pasta

The instructions are the same for both recipes

Melt candelilla wax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (I just put a jar in a pot of simmering water)

Once melted, add vitamin E and essential oils and stir

Pour mixture into empty lip balm tubes or whatever canister you want to use. I used a pipette to transfer the mixture into the tubes. Let set for at least a few hours until room temperature, they will be fully hardened after sitting overnight. They turn off-white once hardened.

IMG_0781
You’d think with a pipette I wouldn’t get drips everywhere, but my hands were super shaky because I had too much caffeine that morning

May your lips be moisturized but not sticky and gross

Serafina

Q & A with Master Gardener: Serafina Berafina

Well, you guys asked for it, and we’re finally able to deliver. These are all questions you have sent in for Serafina, world-renowned gardening expert.

Q: What soil amendments do you use?

A: Well, normally I only use compost, but this year I used a little fertilizer as well. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘what about the soil microbiome???’ Yeah, I read The Soil and Health too (no I didn’t, it was way too boring) In my defense, I only used a little bit of fertilizer and I used compost as well. Most importantly, I found a cruelty free fertilizer.

IMG_0735
Vegan fertilizer: for when your vegetables don’t taste self-righteous enough

Follow up question: Can’t you just make your own fertilizer by growing soybeans?

Follow up answer: Oh, shit, I didn’t realize you guys got the internet out in Iowa. Um… Yeah, you could probably do something like that. You should just ride your tractor down the road a bit and ask your neighbor though.

Q: That was kind mean. I almost don’t want to look you up on FarmersOnly anymore.

A: That wasn’t really a question, but feel free to look me up on FarmersOnly. I’m ToplessMotherOfChickens.

Q: Ugh, fine! How are you handling the stress of chicken motherhood?

A: OMG, reader, OMG. Amelia, my golden chicken, eats all of her own eggs. Every damn one of them. I’ve tried everything. We talked about why she is acting out and whether the other girls are picking on her. My boyfriend made roll-away nesting boxes. I looked into putting up privacy curtains in front of the nesting boxes so she doesn’t feel so anxious. Nothing is helping. I don’t know what to do. I’ve started drinking heavily to cope with the lack of eggs. Everyone I talk to recommends that we slaughter my baby chicken and eat her, like you would any human child that stopped laying eggs. It’s just all too much for me right now.

IMG_0742

Q: Wow, that got a little intense. Maybe we should get to something lighter? Um, what are you growing this year?

A: Great question. I’m a little behind in my planting what with all of the woman problems Mary Ellen told you about last week. So far I have tomatoes, jalapeño, spinach, radishes, lettuce, arugula, carrots, and snap peas. Corn, squash, beans, cucumbers will be planted later this week. Also some flowers or whatever.

IMG_0733

Q: Do you have any gardening bras that you can recommend?

A: No, my boob kept popping out of my bra the whole time I was planting today. It was exceedingly bothersome until I just took off my bra and top (but then I had to apply sunscreen).

Q: Who submitted all of these questions? Some of them seem suspiciously intimate…

A: How dare you imply that I wrote my own questions and answers, don’t make me come over to whatever area of the internet you’re from and make an in-person frowny face at you!

Well, internet friends, there you have it. All you wanted to know about Serafina’s gardening (and more!)

XOXO

Serafina

Smoothie Recipe For the Days You Just Can’t

Hello, dear Eggpiers (that’s our fandom name now, just FYI).  Serafina is busy binge watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman so I pulled myself away from my own binging to post in her stead this week.  It was really hard.  I was actually still watching stuff, and I finally decided I better do it now.  If there’s a lot of typos and nonsense sentences, it’s because the show I’m watching is more important than writing this (I’m just watching Kpop videos right now and trying to dance).   I do not read what I’ve written that’s not what real artists do.

 

Now that warm weather is here, I really hate turning on the oven, the stove, or my husband because I will burst into literal flames from getting overheated.  Breakfast smoothies are always a nice way to start your day.  But what if you haven’t gone to the store in a while?  What if you have no greens or fruit or whatever the hell people put in those things to make them healthy and a complete “meal?”  Well, I’ve got you covered.

 

You do need to have this stuff on hand, but they won’t go bad in thirty minutes in your humid as hell house.  It tastes fine.  Remember this is just to get out the door and on with your life.

 

BC1A0343.jpg
I used the chocolate meal powder, but I hate it, it tastes weird.  Just get vanilla and put cocoa powder in it instead and then it’ll actually taste like real fucking chocolate.

 

Mary Ellen’s I Can’t Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 scoop meal replacement powder (see pic above)
  • 1 TBSP almond butter

 

BC1A0342.jpg
I was impressed with this blind banana shot so you have to look at it.  Look at my photography skillz!

 

Directions:

Blend all this shit together until smooth.

 

BC1A0347.jpg
It’s about time I used a different placemat I guess.  But this one is my favorite.

 

Alright guys I need to go focus on these dances or I’ll never be able to challenge one of these boy bands to a dance off. I read somewhere that dancing is 75% confidence, 20% cute outfits, and 5% abs.

 

Maybe I have the abs and confidence mixed up.

 

Mary Ellen

 

 

Vegan Chili and Love

Winter is throwing its last tantrum before it will suddenly become spring and we will no longer talk about how much winter has been a bitch where I live.  I can’t always just get drunk to drown my sorrows, so I made chili.

 

I’m just kidding, of course I got drunk too.

 

This week has been incredibly hectic because, after 20 years, I finally finished that k-drama I started.  It was horrible. I lost so many hours to those beautiful men, wasted away my youth, and literally nothing in the show up until the end mattered.  Nothing.  It was just a bunch of random stuff and then they realized they should probably just end it and then they did.  It was beautiful.

 

Sorry, I’m still drunk.

 

go-ara-2
An actual picture of me feeling tied to this show and not knowing how the hell I will get out of it but being inappropriately well dressed for the occasion. 

 

To say that I phoned it in with this week’s blog would be an understatement.  I had been planning this recipe for about a month.  I took one picture.  Here it is:

 

IMG_9405.jpg
It’s not even a good one.  I took it with my phone because I was tired and didn’t want to walk into the next room to get my camera, which was fully charged and ready.

 

Anyway, I adapted a Betty Crocker slow cooker chili recipe to be vegan.  It retains all the flavor of the meat infused one, but is a lot healthier in the sense that I didn’t have to go out and buy extra cans of chili beans because I didn’t want to go shopping.  I also just cooked it on the stove top, but I would recommend putting it in a slow cooker for 8 hours to really get the recipe correct.

 

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili to Replace your Housemate on a Cold Night (adapted from Betty Crocker)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (or use onion powder like I did because you don’t have an onion)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (again… powder works too)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 smaller cans)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (use whatever you have on hand because that’s what I did)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups frozen and cubed butternut squash (I used a small baby bag from a giant mommy bag from Costco)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

If you’re using real onion and garlic, sauté those in a pan with a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes until translucent.  Otherwise, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, and set to cook on low for 8 hours.  Eat with crackers and Beano.

 

IMG_9406.jpg
I finished off with vegan cupcakes and canned wine, because I’m classy and better than Martha Stewart.

 

There was no love in this post so I guess the title was a lie.  But now you can make lazy chili.

 

Everyone was related in the show,

Mary Ellen

 

Vegan Pancakes and Hash for Your Soul

Yes I know.  I’ve been cooking.  Honestly, a person can only get so much therapeutic benefits from an Irish health smoothie before they have to clean up their life.  That person might be me.

 

This week’s recipe is one that even Serafina’s vegetarian ass can get behind.  It’s healthy, wholesome (unlike your mom), meat and dairy free, and also guilt free, so you can shove all these things in everyone’s faces at the next family get together.  There’s no reason Easter also can’t be a holiday that families fight about food ethics.  We can do better.  Insert your jabs about Trump’s policies on deporting all vegetables from his plate, or how Bernie wouldn’t be such a commie if he’s stop enslaving cows.  There you go, I provided topics for next year to get past all that awkward “weather” talk.

 

I was inspired to create these recipes to try and get my toddler to eat something with nutritional value.  It didn’t work on him, but it did work on my husband so it’s a soft win.  This also satisfies both team sweet and savory at the breakfast table.

 

For the Hash:

BC1A0256.jpg
I am slow to prep veggies, so I put it all in together, and no one died because I didn’t cook down the onions first.  

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs yellow potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill
  • Herbamare to taste
BC1A0257.jpg
Oh wait, no I died a little inside but there’s no evidence it was because of the onions.

Directions:

Heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add the potatoes, pepper, garlic, and onion to the pan and sauté until the potatoes are fork tender.  Mash up the chickpeas and add to the pan, as well as the nutritional yeast and dill, and cook until the chickpeas are heated.  Season to taste.  Burn a little bit to the pan.

BC1A0259.jpg
Serve with salsa or hot sauce or whatever.  I chose salsa.  I guess I should have included it in the ingredients list.  Too late now.

 

For the Pancakes:

BC1A0267.jpg
OMG it seriously is hard to take these dripping batter pictures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground to a powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 – 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
BC1A0269 2.jpg
It surprisingly fluffs up, despite the lack of eggs.

Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.  You don’t need to whisk wet separately, and you need the batter smooth, no clumps.  Let it rest for a few minutes before you griddle it up.

BC1A0271 2.jpg
This was my personal plate.
BC1A0279.jpg
Tried to take another drizzle pic, failed even harder.  This is homemade cashew cream to keep with the vegan theme.

I don’t know how to end this post, but I want to go eat pudding now, so I’ll just do it awkwardly.

 

Mary Ellen

Birthday Cake for Chickens

As you all know, I am completely and utterly obsessed with my chickens. They turned two last week and we had quite the celebration. I wrote about my chickens last year as well on their birthday. This year my boyfriend called me out on playing favorites with the youngest chicken, so we celebrated everyone’s birthday mid-week instead of just celebrating on my favorite chicken’s birthday. It’s important to try to grow as a chicken-parent over time. Sometimes your co-chicken-parent provides meaningful feedback and you have to at least pretend to listen. Other times you just make the chicken cake on the day it works out with your schedule and it happens to look like you are compromising. Who’s to say?

Anyway, I do love all of my chickens so very much. This year’s chicken birthday cake wasn’t quite as big of a hit with them as last year’s (there was more fruit in last year’s), but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

IMG_0638

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Birthday Cake for Chickens

Ingredients

  • Oats
  • Water or almond milk
  • Grated carrots
  • Pecans or other nuts
  • Raisins or something
  • Cinnamon
  • Banana for serving

IMG_0615

Instructions

Make oatmeal by placing oats, etc on the stove with water/milk and applying heat. It’s not very complicated. I believe in you (I mean, I don’t really, but I also don’t feel like writing out the rest of how to make oatmeal, look it up on youtube it if you are still confused).

Put the oatmeal in a ramekin to set and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Once you’re ready to serve the chickens cake, cut a banana lengthwise and gently wrap around the oatmeal cake.

Put in the appropriate number of candles and then blow them out before you take it outside. Cut into several pieces so the chickens don’t fight over the food and everyone gets some.

IMG_0635

I still love my chickens more than you

Serafina