January 22, 2012

Yummy Vegan Coconut Cupcakes

Oh my gosh, these are good. Those were words from my husband and I every time we split one of these last night.  So glad I immediately popped most of them in the refrigerator.  That way they aren't in our view to pick up every time we walk in the kitchen. We really do have to give these away today because although they are vegan, they do have lots of sugar.  We shouldn't be eating all of these. My friends Christy and Les are moving today.  They have lots of help, I am sure, she has at least four children around as well as some cousins to help.  I'll drop a dozen over for a nice treat for the hard working crew, her large family.  They'll know what to do with them.

Our local vegan/vegetarian potluck is next Friday so I thought I'd practice a dessert.  There are lots of guests at our potluck who are new to plant based eating and I do like to lure them in with the sweets.  I want to let people know that eating a plant based diet doesn't mean just chewing on raw celery, carrots, and broccoli.  There are so many fun things to enjoy, but many of us in the U.S. just weren't raised with cakes and cookies made without eggs and milk.  I was surprised when I learned to bake vegan six years ago.  I had no idea I could get a beautiful, moist fluffy cake without using dairy or eggs. These are a winner and I plan on making them next week: Coconut cake with coconut creme Frosting.  The cake is rich and fluffy and the frosting creamy and full of flavor. This cake rose very nicely, a challenge for most vegan cake baking.  I've had quite a few cake attempts become 'brownies' or 'bars'.  Fresh lemon juice and zest are added to both the batter and the frosting so they have a nice citrus flavor burst.

The recipe I used is from a blog post I recently ran across called Vegan Thyme.  I bookmarked it immediately.  She makes other items, but so far I haven't gotten past her cakes yet, beautiful tasty cakes. It looks like a blog similar to my own.  The author says she created her blog to remember.  I understand that, so many things I have cooked in the past I'd like to make again, but don't remember all the ingredients because I didn't really measure and I didn't write anything down.  Keeping the blog has helped me record some of the creations I make as well as keep recipes and links I'd like to reference again.

I made cupcakes instead of a layer cake.  This recipe yielded 24 beautiful cupcakes.  I baked them for about 25 minutes at 350º.  I toasted large coconut flakes and added a little lemon zest to the top of the cupcakes. I didn't flatten the batter to make it even in the cupcake pans as the cake recipe suggests.  I just used a 3 oz. scoop and let the cake do what it does.  As you can see, it turned out just great.

Vegan Coconut Cake
*Adapted from Ina Garten
Makes two 9-inch cakes

3 sticks unsalted vegetable margarine (cut into cubes and set out at room temp. for 30 minutes)
2 cups sugar
5 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replace mixed with 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup of water (or the egg replacer of your choice equivalent to 5 eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350.

Line two 9" cake pans with parchment paper, then spray with non-stick baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl (the stand mixer works best)--add the room temperature margarine and sugar and beat on medium speed for about five minutes until the mixture is very light and very fluffy.

Prepare the dry ingredients in a separate bowl--the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Mix together the egg replacer powder with the water. Now, add this to the sugar mixture and beat on medium speed for another two minutes. Add the extracts to this and mix well. Now you add the milk and flour mixture in the following manner: first add a third of the flour and then a third of the milk to the sugar/egg mixture. Mix well after each addition--about fifteen seconds of mixing--then add another third of the flour mixture, another third of the milk and repeat this step until the flour and milk are all used. Remove the beaters from the bowl and fold in the shredded coconut and lemon zest to the batter with a spoon. Don't overmix it!

Spread the batter in the cake pans and flatten with a spatula to make sure the batter is even on top. Bake for 45 minutes. The edges of the cake should be golden brown in color and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely on cooling racks.

Vegan Coconut Butter Cream Frosting

5 tablespoons vegetable spread
5 tablespoons unsalted vegetable margarine
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
3 cups of powdered sugar--or more if needed
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (*this is a key flavor enhancer!)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut (for sprinkling over the cake after it's frosted)

Cream together the first three ingredients then begin adding the powdered sugar one half cup at a time. Continue adding the sugar until the desired consistency of your frosting is reached. Add the extracts and lemon and zest. Mix well. If you see that you need more powdered sugar, add only about a quarter cup at a time.

January 14, 2012

Raw Butternut Squash Soup

This is a variation of the Carrot-Ginger soup in Vegan Fusion's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw.  I had a butternut squash that I've been wanting to make into soup for a couple weeks now.  It's the last one from our garden last year.  I peeled it, chopped it, and pureed it in the blender with some filtered water to make a thick juice.  It came out very tasty and my blender on the soup setting blends it fast enough to come out steaming and warm.  It can be eaten warm or cold. It's got great flavor and fits into my green smoothie 'clean up'.

Raw Butternut Squash Soup

4 cups butternut squash puree, pure the squash with filtered water to almost a juice, a cup or more
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 small avocado, mashed
2 TB ginger, minced
2 tsp. Shoyu
Juice from one lemon, I used a Meyer lemon, very nice!
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. dry dill
Pinch cayenne
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Place 1 cup butternut squash 'juice', nuts, and avocado in a blender, and blend on high speed for 20 seconds or until mixture is smooth.

Add ginger, shoyu, lemon juice, curry powder, dill, cayenne, salt, and pepper and blend on low to medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds.  Slowly adding remaining squash 'juice' through the top while blending on low.  I used the soup setting on my Blendtec which blends it for a minute and a half at high speed.  The soup warms up, but it doesn't cook. 

I used fresh beet pure, fresh beet julienne strips, a little cilantro, and chopped scallions for a garnish.

Vegan Meal Plan ~ Start with Basics

A woman I've come to know through our local Vegan/Vegetarian potluck asked me to help her get started in her efforts to change her eating habits.  She wants to eat more plant based meals, but doesn't know how to get started and encourage her husband, who is not so willing to try new foods, to try the vegan meals she's cooking up.

My first thought when answering her question, "Where do I start?", was make a pot of beans.  That's how I start out each weekend.  I start with the basics, protein (beans), grains, and greens. This is what I did this morning.  I do this kind of preparation every weekend.

I put on a pot of black beans that I soaked overnight, 2 cups beans to 6 cups water. Very simple, sauteed an onion and some garlic, threw in a few spices: ground pepper, cinnamon, a little curry, and a dash of oregano. 45 minutes to 1 hour cooking.

I put on a pot of quinoa and black rice, 1 cup each. 20 - 30 minutes cooking time

With those things cooked I can make a variety of meals. I combined the rice and quinoa and added a simple citrus-pumpkin vinaigrette. I can eat it by itself or mix with veggies during the weekend.

I also put the ingredients to soak for trail mix cookies, raw almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds,  pumpkin seeds, and some dried plums. (Plums from my friends tree that I dried myself.)

I usually add a very large salad to the menu, with at least ten vegetables in it. For a dressing I cut up avocado very small, (that makes the oil), and the juice of one whole lemon or orange.  If I want to change it up, I'll add some balsamic vinegar or sometimes nuts and seeds or dried fruit.

Since we are doing mostly green smoothies this week, that's about all I'll cook for this weekend.   But with those things made, I have a good base for any simple meal.  Greens, grains, and protein, that's the basics for a vegan meal. The cookies make a great satisfying snack with no added sugar.  There is food already made so when that urge to eat hits, the healthy stuff is handy.

Black Rice and Red Quinoa with Citrus Pumpkin Dressing

Trail Mix Cookies - Ready Tomorrow

Eating Clean Up

It's January and everyone has cleaning up their act, physically, on their minds.  The ads are full of fitness tips and programs.  There are quite a few detox and vegan kick start programs written about on the blogs and webpages I browse.  I recently saw Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and thought maybe I could add more green to our smoothies and even more green smoothies to our daily meals.  Sounds like a good idea to me.  I could use a little clean-up.  Not so much a cleanse, but an 'eating habit clean-up'.  I've been getting a little sloppy in my eating habits, tasting items I know I don't want to eat.  Having my son downstairs with cheese and bread in his refrigerator doesn't help when the urge arises.   I watched this movie last Saturday morning, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and I had already had beans cooking, cookies made, flax crackers drying, cashew cheese resting, and the meals for the week generally under way.  I decided I could start with adding more green, vegetables, to our morning smoothie, drink a very large whole green juice for lunch, and eat a sensible size vegan dinner.  Then next week, pare it down to green juice smoothies all day and if I really want to munch on something, I'll stick as close to raw as I can.  I'll try it for ten days.

I did pretty good last week, losing the five pounds I had put on during the holiday months.  I also feel like I have much more energy.  Last night after work, I cleaned the refrigerator from top to bottom.  Of course, a refrigerator that holds pretty much just fruits, vegetables, and nuts isn't too hard to clean. 

Today I did very well with the green smoothies.  I'm having fun with it, mixing up different fruit and vegetable combinations. A couple weren't very green in color, I made a beet based juice this afternoon with celery, sweet lime, garlic, apple, garlic, and cilantro.  It was very red and very good too. I also tried a raw caramel smoothie I saw on Vegie Head's website for a breakfast smoothie last week. Amazing!  Just fruits and nuts and I felt like we were having ice cream for breakfast.

Not 100% convinced I won't stray and look for something in the kitchen to munch, I think I need a little bit of something prepared on hand.  I made a simple pot of black beans and a Quinoa and Rice salad with a citrus-pumpkin dressing.  My son does live here too and I don't want to send him to the fast food option because there isn't anything prepared and easy to grab and eat.  I feel like I'll sabotage the effort if I don't have anything available.  For that sweet craving, I also have a batch of trail mix cookies in the dehydrator.  They have no added sugar, the banana and plums take care of the sweetness, and since they consist of nuts and seeds, they're a good protein blast.  I think one would satisfy any 'sweet' craving I might have. I am usually satisfied with one or two of these cookies.  They are more like a granola bar than a cookie.  We'll see how it goes. I am going to do this for ten days, maybe longer if I like it.  Hopefully it will all help me get on track.  I certainly like how I feel so far.

January 10, 2012

LV Vegetarian/Vegan Potluck January 27

Vegetarian & Vegan Potluck
Friday, January 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm @ Payton's Produce
1132 Washington Way, Longview, WA 98632

Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about enjoying a plant-based diet. After dinner we’ll be showing the movie Forks Over Knives.
FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
For the potluck, please bring a vegetarian (plant-based with dairy or egg) or vegan (plant-based with no animal products, including honey) main dish, salad, or dessert; a card listing its ingredients; and plates and utensils for your use. Need plant-based ideas? Email There are great things you can do to improve your health, your budget and your environment! For those who bring a dish, if you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4–6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. This is an alcohol-free event.
A donation of $2 per person is suggested, but not required, to help cover the expenses.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

This is the beautiful pie I put together this weekend.  One of the two recipes I tried out of the latest Veg News.  It's very rich, so I don't eat a very big portion of this pie.  It's pretty wonderful though, the chocolate shortbread crust is like a crunchy vegan oreo cookie and the filling is like chocolate candy mouse.  Probably because it is candy, with a little bit of coconut milk cream blended in.  I added some toasted almonds and a nice topping of cherry tamarind sauce.  I warmed some frozen cherries with a little maple syrup, some tamarind water, and a little Agar to thicken.  I used very dark organic chocolate as I like that barely sweetened chocolate flavor.  If you want it a little sweeter, you could use sweeter chocolate and/or add a little Agave to the filling.  I don't have a tart pan, I just used a shallow pie pan.

It's pretty easy and would be a great dessert to bring to a party or potluck.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart
a recipe by:  Beverly Lynn Bennett

Makes one 9-inch tart.

For the crust:

3/4 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup almond meal
2/3 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup vegan margarine

For the filling:

1 1/4 cups vegan creamer (I used So-Delicious coconut milk creamer, my favorite)
1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 3-ounce dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla or 2 tablespoons alcohol such as rum or whiskey

Topping suggestions:  vegan whip cream,  toasted shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, sliced fruit, or berries.

Preheat oven to 350º

The Crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, sugar, cocoa, and arrowroot powder.  Add margarine and stir well to form a soft dough.  I used my food processor for this, very quick.

Into the bottom and sides of an ungreased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, press dough 1-inch deep.  Bake 12-14 minutes, or until slightly puffed.  Allow to cool completely on a rack, and then remove outer ring.

The Filling:

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring creamer to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add remaining ingredients, and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Pour filling into prepared crust and chill for 1 hour or until firm.  Garnish outer edge of tart with vegan whip cream and your choice of toppings.

Warm Chana Dal for Dinner

This weekend I made a big pot of Chana Dal using the Madras Rasam spices Timothy gave me for Christmas and some of my home canned organic tomatoes.  Oh it turned out so nice.  I quickly put half of it in the freezer for an easy warm meal another day.  This is a mildly spicy soup or stew, depending on how thick you make it, just right for a cold afternoon or evening.  I'm looking forward to a nice warm bowl right after this post.  I love the first few tastes of this soup because I really feel and taste the smokiness of the toasted spices I added at the end. 

Chana Dal with Tomatoes

    * 1 c. chana dal
    * 7 c. water
    * 1 t. salt
    * 1/4 t. each cayenne, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder
    * 1 T. vegetable oil
    * 1/4 t. black mustard seeds
    * 2 clove garlic, chopped
    * 1 large can of tomatoes, chopped raw tomatoes works great also, about 2 cups
    *  4 teaspoons Madras Rasam powder

Measure the dal into a bowl and sort through it to remove any dark dal, small stones or other debris. Soak the chana dal in 4 c. water for 2-3 hours, then wash under running water and drain.
Bring 3 c. water and the salt to boil in a medium-size pot. Add the chana dal and wait for the water to begin its second boil, then cover the pot and cook over medium-to-low eat for 30 min. At this time, remove the cover and stir up the dal. To the open pot add the cayenne, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and the madras rasam powder. Stir well and allow to simmer uncovered while you prepare the next step. I added the tomatoes at this point. 

In a separate small pot or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over low heat and add the mustard seeds and chopped garlic to it. When the oil gets hot, the mustard seeds will begin to pop (really. and they may spatter a bit.). When they have ceased popping, add the oil mixture to the simmering pot of dal.

Cayenne, Coriander, Tumeric, Cumin, Garlic, Madras Rasam, Black Mustard Seeds, and a Dash of Curry Powder

Immediately cover the pot and keep covered for 2 min. while the dal continues to simmer. Then remove the cover and stir once with a spoon to mix in the new ingredients. Cook uncovered for another 5 min. and the dal is ready to be served with rice or bread.

I made some brown and wild rice to serve it with this week, but so far I've just had the soup.  I almost thought the bowl in the freezer might have to come out right away.  A very easy and tasty vegan dish.

January 7, 2012

Vegan Adobo Stew

I thought I'd better get busy trying a couple recipes out of my latest Veg News.  The new issue is about to come out and I've hardly cracked this one.  I've read a couple articles, but I hadn't cruised the recipes yet.  It didn't take long to find a couple I wanted to make today.  I made the Authentic Adobo and a Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart.  The tart pictures will have to be posted tomorrow.  I want it to chill all night.  The recipe says one hour in the refrigerator, but I want to make sure the truffle filling is really firm when I cut it for that 'slice of tart' photo.

 Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

 At first glance I thought Adobo was a Spanish dish, Adobo being a Spanish word.  I was thinking it was something like Chili Colorado. I use a can of chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce once in a while and I thought that sauce was really spicy, must be the influence of the chipotles. This dish is a bit spicy, but not hot and not a Spanish flavor. There is a Spanish style Adobo but as it turns out this Adobo is a Filipino dish.  Adobo is a very popular cooking technique in the Filipino kitchen.  It's an ancient cooking method that preserves cooked food in hot climates by simmering vegetables in a healthy dose of vinegar. And as the Veg News article mentioned, the vegetables and seitan respond beautifully to this trick with the blend of vinegar, soy, and garlic.  This dish would satisfy a Veg-curious omnivore. I love the quantity of garlic in this dish. Finally, I thought, a recipe in proportion to the amount of garlic I still have from the garden last year, 3 tablespoons. **smiling**

The original name of the recipe is Seitan Adobo Stew, but I had these nice soy curls made locally.  I picked some up at the Portland Veg Fest last September.  I just soaked the dry curls in filtered water for about an hour and drained.  They sauteed nicely.

Seitan Adobo Stew
     Terry Hope Romero

1 cup small red potatoes, diced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cups Asian eggplant, cut into thin slices (I diced mine in about 1 inch dice)
10 ounces seitan, diced 1/2-inch thick (Soy Curls will work well for this dish)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup mild soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 bay leaves


1 cup diced red cherry tomatoes
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
2 scallions, white parts removed and green ends thinly sliced (I used all the scallion)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup white or brown rice

  1. In a small pot, cover diced potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes,until potatoes turn tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil.  Add eggplant, frying for 4 to 5 minutes, on both sides until brown. Remove from pot and set aside.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and brown seitan or soy curls, flipping occasionally until edges are golden.  Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add remaining oil, garlic, and pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Return eggplant, seitan or soy curls, and potatoes to pot.  Pour soy sauce and vinegar over vegetables, then add brown sugar and bay leaves.  Bring to a bubbling simmer, and gently stir a few times.  Reduce heat to low.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, occasionally stirring.  Sauce will reuce and eggplant should be very tender.  remvoe from heat, partially uncover, and let stand for 10 minutes.  to serve, ladle stew into serving bowls.  Garnish with tomatoes, banana, scallions, and cilantro.  Serve with a side of steamed rice.

I was really apprehensive about the banana garnish, but it was excellent with the other flavors.  I'll make this again.  It's a very flavorful and satisfying meal.

Madras Rasam Veggie Bowl

I received a package of Madras Rasam powder for a Christmas gift.  Madras Rasam Powder is made with coriander powder, red chilli powder, redgram, black pepper powder, fenugreek powder, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Rasam is a thin, spicy South Indian dish made with toor dal lentils, tamarind and jaggery (brown sugar).

I couldn't wait to try this mixture.  I made the Rasam sauce with the organic tomatoes I canned last summer and fresh garlic from the garden.  I poured it over steamed vegetables and brown basmati rice for a New Year's day treat.  It's got that great Indian flavor without being too spicy. It's a pretty fast and easy meal too. 

Madras Rasam Sauce

3 cups filtered water
4 medium sized tomatoes, medium chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons Rasam powder
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon curry

Bring the water to a boil, add the tomatoes, garlic, and Rasam powder.  Gently sauté the mustard seeds, coriander, and curry in about 1 teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan. Cook just a few minutes until you can smell the spices.  Add them to the sauce mixture and simmer for about five to ten minutes.  Serve over rice and vegetables.

I steamed together some fresh organic carrots, peas, broccoli, leeks, and chopped red onion and served with some brown basmati and wild rice. 

A little spinach Mango salad went very well with this dish.

Baby spinach leaves, Romaine lettuce, chopped mango, grated carrots, chopped celery, the juice of a sweet lime and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

January 2, 2012

My Magic Boots ~ They Cause Smiling

Christmas is all put away, and I start out the new year slow and comfortable.  We spent a quiet warm New Year's weekend at home together. Most the cooking is done for the week and it's a peaceful day. My big plans are to make a salad, finish a crocheted hat, and maybe make it out to take some winter photos in the woods a bit.  My last Christmas ornament, my blog picture, needs to be changed, but I have one more holiday story to tell.

This has been a blessed Christmas having our son home.  I haven't felt like participating in the whole season's traditions and spirit with a whole heart for three years.  It still took awhile for me to pull it out this year, but I got there.  I had a lot of help from some colorful boots I purchased recently. Not out of the ordinary for me, I like art, bright colors, and I like hand made, but pretty wild for some.  My jackets, hats, and scarves are always bright and cheery, especially around the holidays. I put on these warm colorful boots and went around doing my business.  I noticed very quickly that my day changes when I wear these boots. These wild boots make people smile.  I mean smile out loud.  I've had people walk across the room and ask where to get these boots and want to talk about the Mola prints.

I've found that Quilters know these fabrics.  Many women stop me and ask if my shoes are Molas.  Pretty fun, "Yes, they are."  I'm calling them my magic boots.  I cannot go out with these boots on and NOT smile throughout the day.  I have left the house in a normal mood and come home just about laughing while thinking about all the fun I just had going to the post office or grocery store.

The best day was two days before Christmas.  In the process of making sure there were gifts mailed on time, cookies made, and all the things I wanted done for the holidays, I had forgotten to plan our own Christmas dinner.  This meant I had to go to the grocery store two days before Christmas, Yikes!  I had a long list of errands this day and set out to get it all done.  I wasn't thrilled about so much to do on an afternoon 'off work.' I had already heard stressful horror stories about angry people in the local market.

When I got there the parking lot was completely full. So many people were circling, it was like rush hour in a big city. It was hard to stop and scope out an area.  I found a place pretty close after circling only about ten minutes and went inside to find it bumper to bumper shopping carts.  I am lucky that the whole food ingredients I use for cooking are considered the 'health food' section and that's right near the produce, I'm not going to be long.

You could feel the stress in the air. I could tell if I stopped the cart in the isle for any length of time someone might offer some cross words.  As I was shopping a very old gentlemen came up to me and hugged me and told me how much he loved my boots.  Soon after I had another inquiry about my colorful shoes from a lady who said she walked across the room to check them out. Her seven year old daughter was very giggly over them.  They introduced themselves and we exchanged Christmas hugs.  How awesome was that?!? This followed suit throughout my day.  Each place I stopped someone asked about the boots and admired the colors, the animals, and many asked to feel them.  I was laughing out loud by the time I got home. I loved this feeling, I was laughing for a change and feeling that Christmas fun and love in my heart.

I'm not a fashion queen, I consider myself a modest dresser and thrifty shopper.  I'll cruise the discount and thrift stores for deals. I live in jeans most the time, but I love adding lots and lots of color and fun shoes. I love art and I do love wearing art.  I will spend a little more to wear someone's original art. I do like to be comfortable and colorful, very colorful. 

In an effort to live a more vegan life, I've decided not to purchase leather items.  My purses are made from recycled material and so are some of my shoes now.  Last year I came across a website for some really colorful shoes while reading a Veg News.  Kuna Prints has a fun variety of handmade, colorful shoes. I couldn't resist, I purchased a pair of their moccasins right away.   I love art and I love hand made, these are made from hand made Mola fabrics. I saw the fabrics on The Amazing Race when they went to Panama this last season.  I watched for the fabrics on the locals.  I saw them, mostly as those tiny, tight wrap around shorts or sarong things worn by the local native men. Made me wonder wear my Molas had been before I had them. Oh my! They are made with recycled materials. **giggling**
I've had some fun wearing these shoes, but not half as much as when I wear their boots.  People have stopped, asked where to get them and even taken photos, but I make a new friend EVERY time I where the boots. They are magic, they cause Smiling. Some are laughing at the wild clothes I wear, I do border circus clown sometimes, I know it, but either way, they are smiling.

Santa saw fit to put another pair under the tree this year.  These showed their magic the first day.  My husband broke his arm a month ago and I'm sitting and crocheting while waiting in the doctor's office during his check up, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked where I got my boots.  I handed her one of the business cards I found in the package and she said, with a big smile:  "I'm getting some today!"

I noticed lots of magic this season.  We bought our son a nice used bicycle for Christmas.  Not too expensive, but nicer than the one of mine he's been using for his only transportation.  It was stolen while he was working three days later.  Two days after that someone brought a men's ten speed to work for him that they hadn't been using.  We grabbed the same bow and re-created Christmas.  Life is good.

Happy New Year!

This is just a story about my experience, no one paid me to write about these shoes.