That Farm Life / What’s cookin’ good lookin’

This week has flown by! 13 days before we leave , 8 days until Carl’s exam, 3 -5 days until we sell the fridge.  Its getting real, really fast! The house is clean, the donation pile is huge, the pantry is almost empty, the fridge is a little bit to well stocked and we bought some euros.  Whoohoo.  Guys, if you have some sweet euros or dollars just come visit South Africa, you will be rolling in all the South African Rands. You could probably have the fanciest holiday of your life! and you will get to see lions and stuff.  The exchange rate is ridiculous right now, R7800 got us 500 euros, for realz.

It feels like most of this week consisted of standing in queues at the bank, them charging a lot of money for a little bit of money, but hey we have some euros in cash now, so that’s something to be thankful for.  I’m thankful for this entire adventure even the hard parts, making something happen will always be a little tough, its just persevering and believing it will all work out the way it should.  I have done a ridiculous amount of planning, back up plans, emergency numbers all of it! But things don’t always go according to plan, so here’s to an unplanned adventure and not getting bummed when things don’t work out as planned.  The best memories are the ones you look back and laugh about, even if you don’t laugh right at that second.

Cows

^^ a very photogenic cow, taking a shade break.  Grazing is hard work.

South African Rands

^^ A fist full of Madibas.

Euros

^^ the fistful made this.

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^^ Its getting Christmassy all around!

Vegan Jelly and Custard

^^ Sugar free vegan jelly with spirulina custard.  Yum.

Wasabi chickpeas

^^ Wasabi chickpeas on the yoga mat.

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^^ After hike tea and biscuits.

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^^ Sugar free coconut seed cookies.

How was Thanksgiving? any plans for the weekend?

 

That potato sack looks good on you.

Yes, that post name does sound like a cheesy pick up line, but  you deserve that pick up line for making that baggy dress look good, girl.

I’ve been obsessed with baggy/loose fitting/shirt dress/ potato sack dresses lately.  I want one so bad, but I don’t think I could pull it off one bit.  I might end up looking like a  square, Frump bob square dress?  A girl can dream can’t she?  So here’s to dreaming!

 

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Spinach Onigiri

If you follow me on instagram, you might have noticed my insane Japanese food kick I’m on. If you haven’t noticed it, you should go get your eyes checked out.  I mean its just sunsets and Japanese food up on there lately!

Onigiri is  popular Japanese bento box stable, and its easy to see why.  Its the cutest triangle food you ever did see, its easy to eat and you can stuff it with anything you feel like! I would recommend you fill it with this delicious and easy spinach! but that’s just me being biased.

Onigiri or rice balls is basically the meal of choice in every anime.  Maid sama, blue exorcist, guilty crown, code geass, pokemon; well in pokemon they called them jelly doughnuts.  Please, what jelly doughnuts looks like that! I never fell for that tomfoolery!

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^^ Strange Jelly doughnut anyone?

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^^ I don’t know how I feel about this onigiri filling?

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^^ Yum

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^^ Sometimes you end up with round onigiri.

Onigiri

^^ whaaat? you want a bite?

Now, doesn’t that make you want to tuck into your own little rice ball! Or maybe name it and keep it as a pet? Yes, it is cute, but rather eat it.  You don’t want to be that person.

SPINACH ONIGIRI4 onigiri

Vegan onigiri

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly steamed short grain sushi rice.  Not seasoned with sushi vinegar!
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • drizzle sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional
  • 4 strips nori sheets
  • a bowl of water
  • salt

Directions

In a large pan over medium high heat add spinach and tamari.  Stir fry until wilted.  Remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil.  Stir in sesame seeds.

Wet your hands in the bowl of water and sprinkle with salt.

 

Scoop a handful of rice in your hand.  Make a slight indentation in the rice.

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Divide the spinach into 4 equal part.  Scoop 1 part of the spinach mixture into the indent.

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Cover with rice.

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And start forming. Take your time will forming the little triangle, using more rice as needed.  Wet your hands if it starts sticking.

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Place a strip of nori onto your little triangle.

and repeat the process.

Serve immediately or place in your bento box for a lovely quick lunch time meal!

That Farm Life / What’s cookin’ good lookin’

The farm life is coming to an end, but we are trying to enjoy every moment while it lasts.  Our relationship has kind of been feeling like a high school romance.  We’ve been cooped up in the bedroom, watching stuff on the laptop and eating all our meals in bed.  The bedroom is the only room that still feels homey, so we’ve been cuddling up in there.  The living room is super spacious now and we get to do all the yoga in it, but its really not that great for anything else, maybe a picnic? but with the slant of the house everything might roll out the door.  Food chasing is fun for no one!

Carl’s been studying away a storm, its just test, test, test around here, while I try to get rid of everything, clean the house and figure out how to travel with my tiny bag.  Life is beautiful right now, well everyday should be beautiful even the bad ones.  #blessed #Justkidding #thisisgettinglame

Blueberries and Raspberries

^^ Early Birthday present.  My birthday is 3 days before we fly to Dublin, so I asked everyone to get me nothing, because there isn’t much of a point.  I did tell Carl I want watermelon, raspberries and blueberries for a birthday treat.  He got me these, because who knows if we will find some on my birthday.  Hopefully I still get to devour my watermelon on my birthday!

Frozen bananas

^^ Frozen bananas dipped in a cacao maca cream.  So good!

Tofu Sushi

^^ Crispy tofu sushi.  This might be my favourite meal of all time.

Spinach onigiri

^^ Spinach filled onigiri.  This might be my second favourite meal.  Its also the cutest food in all the land.

What I eat

^^ Crispy tofu, gem squash lightly salted, and a sweet potato hash with  romaine lettuce. Simple meals.

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^^ Belphie getting his stretch on.  Look at those long nails.

cows

^^ Cows just grazing.  These cows are something else…

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^^ Trying to get to the house, while this guy takes his sweet time.

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^^ We had a really insane storm last night.  The storm we’ve been waiting for.  It felt like war time it was so loud.  Rain, hail and thunder.  Our poor little Christmas tree had to get planted after his ordeal last night.

Happy Weekend! I hope your weekend is filled with beautiful things and that the world and the people on it can find some peace, and be content.

 

Anime Recipes – Vegan Mapo Tofu

Its no surprise that I’m a big fan of anime.   I mean the nerd just oozes out of me, so it wouldn’t have been hard to guess. The good messages behind anime, the style of drawing, the powers and of course the fact that the creators get over it when you just get really into it and you are forced to read the manga, because you need to know what happened.  What’s not to love about it?

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Food and anime go hand in hand.  They are always eating something, more like shovelling stuff in their mouths, while starting a budding friendship.  This recipe is inspired by Angel Beats, and Kanade’s (angel) comfort food, super hot mapo tofu.  Out of all the comfort food in all the world, mapo tofu is my favourite as well.  When I moved out of my parents house my dad would stop over with some fresh vegan mapo tofu.  The heat and the flavour explosion really spoke to me.  Top that with tofu, my favourite thing ever and you have a winner of a meal.  Food is the way to a persons heart and tofu is definitely the way to my heart!

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This is my version of mapo tofu, its not the most authentic, but it sure is delicious.  Mushrooms for a meatier taste and spinach, because every meal should have green in it!

VEGAN MAPO TOFUserves 4-6

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces regular tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 salt
  • hot water to just cover tofu
  • 1 cup chopped button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup garlic chives
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili bean sauce ( doubanjiang)
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fermented black beans( dou – chi)
  • 1 tsp peppercorn powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

In a large bowl, add the water, salt and tofu.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil, mushroom, ginger, garlic and spinach.  Stir fry for 3 minutes.   Lower heat.

Add the chilli bean sauce, fermented black beans and cayenne powder.  Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the vegetable stock, drained tofu pieces, sake, soy sauce and garlic chives.  Stir fry gently for 1 – 2 minutes.  Trying not to break the tofu.

Mix the cornstarch and water into a paste.  Add into the pan with the sesame oil and swirl until thickened. Sprinkle with pepper and spring onions.  Serve over rice.

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mapo tofu vegan

Peace

peace

Hatred is a horrible thing, it breeds like a bacteria and can just spiral out of control.  I think the horrible happenings of France this weekend affected us so much, because these were everyday people.  People excited for the weekend and excited to go have a good time. People that felt safe.

Carl banned me from my phone after I got severe stress headaches and started freaking out about flying.  I’m not going to let fear control my life!   This world is filled with sadness , but it also has a lot of joy.  We only have a short time on this planet, why can’t we live with kindness instead of hatred.  Kindness no matter what religion, race or sexual group we are in? We are all people we decide to live with a heart filled with cruelty or a kind heart.  So why not choose kindness.

I will still have faith in people and live with a kind heart.  Not to sound like a beauty pageant contestant…..but let there be peace on earth!

Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.

 

That Farm Life

Things on the farm has definitely cooled down, not heat wise, its still hot as hell here, but in the crazy people wanting to buy our stuff way. I have officially taken over from Carl in the dealing with people part. For some reason 95% people used and abused him (he’s just the sweetest thing) , so I have put on my slytherin scarf and settled into the uber B**** role.  I’m usually the nicest person you will ever meet, but right now I’m in “I will not get scammed or walked on” mode.  Its going rather well, and I haven’t even had the need to be mean.  I’m just treating this like a business deal and not taking nonsense.

A lot of people have asked me if I’m going back to family when we tell them we will be travelling, apparently I have a foreign accent? and no one believes I’m really South African.  Carl and I both have very monotone accents, we were talking about it last night and Carl explained it as a very neutral american accent.  I’m really glad I don’t sound South African, gosh darn! Now that’s an accent!  I think its my rambling.  I confuse people with the amount of words that roll out of my mouth at a ridiculous rate. Its like a word vomit.

Photo time.

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^^ Gluten Free ginger biscuits.  Great out of the oven, really hard and chewy when cooled.

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^^ Gluten free bread bruchetta.  I veganized a serious eats gluten free recipe.  This is a perfect sandwich bread.

 

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^^ Cows grazing.

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I put green in my hair for that added slytherin touch.  Dip dye is a breeze!

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^^ Pretty drives.

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^^ During the week we had a crazy thunderstorm with hardly any rain.  Just really crazy wind, we looked out the window to see this massive fire! Disaster management in our area controlled the fire pretty easily.  Which was surprising with the wind and the general dryness of the fields.

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^^ A rarely documented sunrise.

Cauliflower Rice Filled Eggplant

Aubergines, brinjals, eggplant.  So many different names for this weird cone head vegetable.  Yes, when I think about eggplants I do  think about this scene:

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Love them or hate them, eggplants sure are beautiful.  They have a beautiful colour and they taste like a squeeshy heaven to me! During all the selling chaos I felt like making a fancy-ish dinner, and what is fancier than something stuffed?! It looks impressive, but without all that standing in front of a hot stove nonsense.  I decided to make a cauliflower rice, because it was quicker and it added another vegetable up in the mix.  Mostly I was just really lazy.

These stuffed eggplants are simple and filling, with a touch of pretty!  The perfect ” Look at what I made? Yes, worship me now!” meal.

CAULIFLOWER RICE FILLED EGGPLANT4 halves

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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants , halved
  • 3/4 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/350F

Scoop out the insides of each eggplant half, leaving a shell of about 1 inch.  Set aside.

Chop the scooped out eggplant.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant.  Ad the tomatoes, cauliflower, chopped eggplant, oregano, pinch of cayenne pepper.  Stir fry  lower heat and cover.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the eggplants with the rice mixture. And place on a baking tray.  Cover with foil.  Cook for 30- 40 minutes. or until the eggplant is tender.  Add cheese over the top if you like.

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Serve with your favourite sides.

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an instant of life captured for eternity

This week has been truly horrid! We are selling things which is great, but man, selling stuff on the internet is mind numbingly trying.  People not understanding why they can’t come to your house.   I mean stranger danger? I’m not taking any risks, my pepper spray skills is not that great.  Others thinking you are a shop and want everything new, or not knowing what a blender or juicer is, but wanting it because its cheap and sending you a rude message late at night, because they don’t know what its for or how to use it. People calling at a ridiculous hour for stuff. When you are selling a toaster and a person demands to know what car you have, so they can buy it, if you don’t see an ad for a car, you shouldn’t ask about it and last but not least, people saying they will meet you at certain time telling you they will be there, putting their phone off and letting you sit in a parking lot for more than an hour.

Don’t even get me started on the millions of people trying to scam us! I’m not stupid, I won’t be falling for that!  I knew what I was getting myself into, but jeez! People get insane! We’ve hardly been sleeping thanks to all this craziness.  Maybe I will be so exhausted when we get on the plane, I will sleep the 18 hour flight away.  Maybe…Probably not. On the plus side, we are selling things and our house is starting to look like a bare commune, so whoooo!  Lets get to photos!

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^^ Pretty skies makes everything better.

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^^ A house filled with things.

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^^ Nothing left except pretty light.

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^^ Eating in the bedroom, because we have furniture in there! Being a reindeer, because fun!

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^^ Belphie being pretty.

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^^ White sunsets thanks to hazy days. DSC_3434new

^^ During all the chaos we decided to take an arcade break.  Best decision ever.

 

How was your weekend? Do you have any online horror stories?

Gluten Free Zucchini Fritters

Trying to sort out the pantry and minimize the insane food clutter has been a nightmare.  I mean I have a giant container filled with all purpose flour, I don’t even eat gluten any more!  When you give up gluten its best to make sure you are running low on flour, pasta and all those gluteny things! Or you will just have a cupboard overflowing with stuff you no longer eat.  I can also not throw it away, people are starving out there! I cant throw away food people could eat.  I’m going to have to give it to someone so I don’t feel like a horrible person.

This pantry hell, has really made me try and use up the stuff in there. Well all the gluten free goodness up in the house and that’s how chickpea flour zucchini fritters were born!  I’m so glad! I could shed a tear, from complete happiness that’s how delicious these are.  Its like heaven on your tongue with side notes of pure comfort food.  Big jersey, sweatpants kind of comfort..  The chickpea flour adds something special to these delicious fried treats and the dill adds just the perfect dance of flavour on your taste buds!

GLUTEN FREE ZUCCHINI FRITTERS12 fritters

gluten free zucchini fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander set over a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the zucchini in a dish towel and wring out all the water.

In a bowl combine the chickpea flour dill, onion,baking soda, water and zucchini.  Combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Coat the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat to medium high.  Scoop large dollops of batter into the pan.  Flatten a little and fry until golden brown.  Flip and continue until all the batter is used.

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Serve with condiment of choice.

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