07 April 2006

Where the Magic Happens

Welcome! Here you'll see our kitchen cerca 1964. Yes, these are original yellow countertops with matching cabinet handles. You will also notice a wide open space (photo taken from "computer room" which is really supposed to be the master bedroom). This space is longing almost as much as I am to have a table smack dab in the middle of it. But nope. Instead there's a crappy folding table which I use to bring to festivals to sell jewelry on and on that table is currently a lot of crap pushed back against the wall. No use. No chairs anyway except the two you see here. Ray (and Killian too) sits in these while I cook a lot (I like that) and they are also original-1960s-with-the-house-stools. I like them because they're softies and brown, oh, and they spin. If you look up you'll see the basketball net. Yeah, that wide open space is a great place to watch Killian slide around, play with him, and play basketball. Ray and I will shoot hoops once in a while... Ray shoots hoops a lot. And what almost made me not share but since it's not my fault I don't give a #%$, the (probably original) vinyl flooring, aka, fake tile sheets that are impossible to clean. The landlords (super-awesome people) are going to change the flooring but after we move out. That makes the rent go up anyway, so we don't care, for now at least... And like always, you'll see the sunshine shining in the window. This photo was taken in February, so the sun's angle is a bit different now. I love springtime.

Getting to business... The important part of the kitchen, the actual kitchen. My old kitchen was just "this". It's not even small. My house before that was even older than this (believe it or not). Bottom left is Killian's scratchy (scratch post) which is necessary for all cats especially ones who aren't streetsmart and fat and like to lay in bed under the covers all day who doesn't scratch a tree. Moving on... I use a bathroom towel holder in the kitchen and nail it into the shelf above the sink so I can hang-dry my towels, cloths and that handle-scrubber-thing. Great idea made up by me. And morning coffee stuff, cruelty-free-safe spray cleaner, and some tid-bits on the cabinets charting ratios of grains/legumes to water, nutritional info of random stuff, as well as a "vegan food pyramid", well, rather a long-horizontal chart, but it's hard to see from these photos. It's very colorful and detailed and I like when guests refer to it. I like it just for fun hanging next to my Turquoise Mines and types of turquoise map of the Western US.

And what I always have hanging in the kitchen, wherever I may live, is my Allman Brother's, "Eat a Peach" album, the best album art to me, and the tunes are great too. I love looking at it, as it makes me remember "make believe". And, below you will see probably the third cat calendar in the house. No comment.

And a bunch of stuff hanging on the fridge ranging from embarassing photos of me, random notes, receipts, to me being ServSafe certified, to torn-out media pages rippin' on George W. (dubya). And the stuff on top of the fridge, well, I sort of just put it there when I moved in and can't really reach it. What you can't see from these angles is directly across from that one spice rack is another wonderful vintage wooden spice rack that I love and fill all the spices myself in baby food jars. That's how I like to keep them and always have, but the fancy stuff was a gift. I tend to use my own "bulk" spices 99% of the time, rather than pre-packaged, store-bought.

I must mention that step-stool. First off, yes, I'm short. We established this see above. I've had that step stool since I was a young child, maybe 4 years old. It has painted on balloons and my name on two sides!

Another view... you can sort of see the water cooler (mini table top) since we have hard water here and cannot drink from the faucet. Even Killian, as he got sick a year ago from the minerals in the water. We have 7 3-gallon water jugs that we fill weekly. And just one of my bookshelves, as I have so many books. Many of them are reference books and vegetarian / vegan/ cooking/ spiritual books. I plan on posting about books soon, because even though this is a food page, I have mostly books on food and nutrition.

Fire extinguisher: in case of any fire. It's multi-type-of-fire and I have one in every room. Scared of fire, yes. You've all heard me about The Oven Thing.
Baking soda: in times when I used to use the oven to put out fires/smoke/flame, etc. Never use a fire extinguisher to put out an oven fire. It's dangerous.

By the sink... aloe. There's plants all over this area of Arizona. No need to buy any aloe at the store. Just plant some. You'll see my non-earth-friendly-soap. Sorry, no excuse on this one. It had to be used up (better than wasting, some people don't have soap). I do use Seventh Generation the lavender kind for dishes and my hands. Moving on... and there's potholders, timers, a photo of Ray and I in Sedona, my microwave that is a re-born-virgin (I don't use it)with some animal-friendly stickers and the history of the Lazyboy chair since the 1940s I think.

That's the kitchen... And now for some food.

Midweek Munchies has become End-Of-The-Week Munchies for me. I finally made it to the store (on my heavy bike, long-ride, short-distance, long story). I got some good stuff, but couldn't get milk or a few other heavy items. My bike weighs 1/2 of me without anything in it.

The List: Whole Foods only this time.
Arrowhead Mills already baked pie crust (finally...)
soy nuts
2 LaraBars (I have a side link to this one), apple pie flavor
fruit leather, organic, flavor assortment
Seduction Bread
Hazelnut Herb Cutlets (like Celebration roast, the best patties ever, go get them!!!)
rice puffs, organic
blueberry Silk yogurt and Raspberry Silk yogurt
organic kale
organic zuchini, one small guy
chocolate chips (to always have in the house!)
cashews, raw
walnuts, raw
phyllo dough- I have to check out this one. It was frozen, has no instructions, and I think I don't need to bake it. Can someone let me know, as I have so many ideas as for uses with this.
organic peanut butter stock, raw
same to almond butter
organic parsley
organic garlic
organic ginger
red lentils
baked tofu (thanks Julie!)
organic brown rice syrup
organic cameo apples, small ones
organic carrots
or. baby bok choy
or. kiwi
or. onion (can't you see I'm sick of saying organic, yet most things are and I do love it)
2 bag refunds... sweet.

Based on all this I plan on making some super-awesome stuff this week. Stay tuned.


KaiVegan said...

I've only read part of this post. Zurielle fell asleep in my arm and I have to go soon, but I just have to leave a comment in all my excitement. This post wins the BLOG AWARD! (clap, clap)
Thanks for opening up your kitchen (and some) to us!
More later...

EatPeacePlease said...

Thanks for the nice comment Kai. I have seen some other kitchens with awesome stuff (super-cool red ovens, beautiful countertops, huge open windows). I would like those people to win the award (or give me their stuff) but thank you for the nomination.

johana said...

i already feel inside your house lol, thanks for share your home with us! i will love to see post of your books , i love books ,well i love reading so much!. so im happy you will post about or from them.
i want to ask you something:
im not good in english is not my language but i think i read in one post that you are a nutritionist?
is that right? if yes can i ask you if you know what kind of blood test will be ok to do in a 4 year old girl that is vegan to know if she is ok?
yes i my baby girl but i think she is so picky that im afraid she is not so ok. her doctor dont aprove the vegan way, and here in this island the vegans are a litle population .

i will love to know if you know something about that.

soory took so long to explain and sorry for my english too,

Dreena said...

I agree with Kai!! Bravo!! I think it is just adorable how you've brought us into your kitchen and told us a little about your kitchen must-haves and how you do things! The first thing I noticed was that basketball net, how fun! I really want to see your jewellry next - please?!! :)

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Leslie, I love your huge kitchen! Seriously, I want to come to your place and have a cooking party (which is possibly one of my favorite things)...also, I aim to move my spices this weekend - thank you so much for the tip!

Dori said...

I am finally able to post a comment. My laptop has a smaller virtual memory and I have been unable to open the post a comment box because it was to full downloading pictures.... I didn't have problems on our family computor except for the fact that I live with two teenagers and have to compete for it (which I usually don't because I have the laptop all to myself).

Thanks for the wonderful compliment on my blog. I have enjoyed seeing your kitchen and getting to know you via blogland. I think I have a thought on a homemade treat for your cat... I'll do a search and see if I can get it to post for Killian. Your grocery list looks good. I used phyllo dough for a mushroom asparagus struedel as well as savory meat pockets ... I can't post a link (virtual memory). It was in March, one of my earlier posts. Phyllo is baked and is incredibly versatile! It can make an ordinary meal very elegant... I saw one creative cook just crumple a few leftover sheets on top of her stew and bake it until golden. She called it "pot pie" because it has a flakey, crispy crust.

EatPeacePlease said...

Johana, your English is clear, do not worry. I will respond in a seperate post because it will be long.

Dreena, you are super-sweet (as always). The basketball net is pretty fun. It's really cute how Killian stands under it and catches the ball. Ray thinks he's a basketball star. I may post photos of jewelry. Maybe some I have laying around the house, or some old photos of stuff that has been sold. Give me some time on that one...

Jess, good to hear you're moving your spices. You are more than welcome anytime (and Thomas too) but please, can you bring between 6 and 10 cakes!?!? I had only 1 dinner party and it was just put on me at the last minute, I had less than 36 hours to plan it, get food, make it all, etc, and I pulled it off all by myself! I would love to have another party, but the date and time planned and picked by me first. Thanks for the nice comments.

Dori, thanks for the super-sweet comments! You are so funny describing your daughters fighting for the computer because I used to fight my brother to be "First" for so many things. I am not like that anymore. I did see your posts with the phylo, thanks for the reminder. I am not a meat nor fake meat eater, ugh. I would love to make baklava, as it's one of my favorite sweets. I love it so much but have still not used my oven, going on month 4 now.

And Jess again, about the cat recipe from Thomas, thanks! I heard that actual allium family "bulbs" like onions, shallots and garlic are poisonous to cats. I read it on the ASPCA website. I do like the kale and nutritional yeast idea, as I keep both around all the time.

EatPeacePlease said...

Johana, yes I am a nutritionist. I am not a medical doctor, but I can give you some general information, but take it as you will. First, where do you live (island?), and I recommend researching another doctor or "alternative medical professional" who you feel safe taking advice from, as well as a person who is open and familiar with veganism.

What to look for at the doctor, or at least inquire about:
weight- is she at an adequate level for her age?
Blood tests: test for blood cell counts, HEMOGLOBIN, metabolic levels such as glucose, sodium, potassium, chloride serum, CO2, calcium, protiens, etc.

Also have a urine analysis done to check certain levels such as pH and microscopic contamination. Of course levels such as cholesterol (family history not just foods, although a vegan diet helps a lot), lipid levels, and probably a lot more that I don't even know about.

This is all really just off the top of my head, but you could also just make sure she has a balanced, variety of foods in her diet, is eating enough as well as complete proteins. To make iron more bioavailable, you can eat vitamin-C rich foods at the same time as iron-rich foods (leafy greens for example).

I hope this helps and you understand me this time!!! What are you most concerned about as you say she doesn't feel well and is picky? I was a picky child, but I highly suggest checking out www.veganlunchbox.blogspot.com as well as possibly making smoothies, chopping foods really small and mixing them in soups or to "hide" certain vegetables. You can also puree foods. What does she eat?!?

Vicki said...

What a cool tour of your pad! I bet Ray & Killian have a blast sitting in those swivel chairs watching you create peace in the kitchen. You make me miss having aloe vera plants around -- we had them in San Diego and they are magic plants. Can we see your jewelry?!

Julie said...

Wow! I love this post, Leslie, how awesome! I'm w/ Dreena-I want to see the jewelery next!

You carried all of those groceries while riding your bike!?! Now that's talent.

As far as the phyllo goes, I know there is a recipe for Spanakopita in Vegan w/ a Vengeance...I think it tells a little about how to deal w/ the dough.

What's the brand name of the Hazelnut Herb Cutlets? I might try them.

Oh, and I can't wait to see what you will make w/ the tofu!

EatPeacePlease said...

Vicki, Killian sits in the chairs more than Ray. Ray's usually busy and Killian is a mooch.

Julie, I do have talent! Just kidding, I practically walked 1/2 the way back and cars were crazy and I just cut through my neighborhood and rode super-slow. It ended up being not too bad but I would really like to get a wagon. Or steal a cart to bring home and bring it back later/next day.

I love Spanakopita or whatever it's called. I think it calls for baking, but I'll check the recipe. I don't know the brand of the herb cutlets but they're in the pre-made deli case at WFM and they keep secret un-fried ones in back and that's what I like. Then I fry them in my own amount of oil how I like. I think they are Celebration, something like that.

Ask Jess, because in the post where she went to the vegetarian fair in Portland she sampled all kinds of products from this company. Under "patties" or "cutlets" they have the field roast patties.

Catherine said...


I walk to my co-op a lot with my backpack and two canvas bags, (it takes about ten or so minutes to get there,) and on the return trip I always think, "WHY did I do this?" (Extra-problematic: the way home is almost all the way uphill.)

I am going to research those little granny pull-carts, too. I once saw a woman at the grocery store with the coolest cart EVER (it was canvas, waterproof, and had a flap that zip-closed at the top.) It had a telescoping handle and suitcase wheels. She told me all about it . . . and that she ordered it from, like, Switzerland or something. I'll let you know if I find anything interesting!

I should borrow the digital from work and take a photo of my kitchen -- you can all laugh at the size, and marvel how I cook ANYTHING in it! :)

johana said...

well answering your questions:
i live in Puerto Rico, i visit more than 2 kids doctor that dont aprove the vegan diet. im new in this i start this almost a year by now.

well we dont have any dairy, i make her oatmeal with silk soy milk. she dont drink it or any other nut milk i try to give to her . she dont want to eat fuits. just want to eat white rice with canned corn.

i must say is becouse my family dont aprove living la vegan that they are always sneaking her not so good food like meat and proceesed cheese and so on.

im trying to sneak her lots of things but or im a bad cooker or her tong are highly sensible lol.

i truly thank ypu for the blood info. i will try to make her some of the blood test. maybe i can give her a vegan multivitamins.
is not easy when you try to make good food and your kid want junk and your family tell you that oyu are a bad mom ;(.

i know that with patience she will do better, she is not sicky all the time in rare occasion she got a cold or something but she sometimes tell me that she feel pain in her legs. i think that maybe like she is not eating well that is why she feel like that.

sorry for the long post, thanks a lot for the info. and please keep doing the excelent work you do here.
thanks again .

Patty said...

I love your kitchen, it seems to suit you just perfect !
I have always baked my phyllo dough. I make greek pasteries with it and a spinch appitizer.
I am going to have to try the hazelnut cutlets they sound yummy.
I have noticed that my food bill has greatly increased with eating more vegan. For 3 of us, we are spending $100 a week and that is with a huge garden.

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Johana, I am sorry your family does not approve of what you are trying to do, feeding your daughter good nutritious foods. I do think you for sure need a multivitamin for her, as well as going to the doctor. If she is eating white rice and canned corn that certainly isn't nutritious nor well-rounded. Have you tried mincing veggies very small and adding it to the rice or sauce?

About her legs hurting, I don't know where to even start to think of a problem, but most diseases/illnesses are caused by lack of nutrition or malnutrition. At her age it is crucial to have proteins and vitamins to have her grow strong and develop at a "normal" rate.

I wish she would drink *some* type of milk. Maybe if you don't force her, but every so often suggest to her some milk she will try it and/or like it. You can order vegan multivitamins that look/taste like candy on the internet if you do not have them locally in PR.

Try finding a doctor for now that can just give her a basic check-up and do some blood work. Inquire about the leg pains and mention her unwillingness to eat many foods. That is a start.

For you, in the kitchen, try to incorporate foods into the rice and corn that she will already eat. Make it fun, try having her help you "stir" or add already cut-veggies and show her how fun and exciting it can be. Maybe if she is part of the cooking she will want to eat the food (just a suggestion, I don't have kids but I was very picky as a child). And I am sure you are not a bad cook. Does she eat the meats and other "bad" foods that your family gives her? If she does, maybe you can use tofu in her diet (don't tell her what it is). I always refused to eat foods that were negatively forced on me. Let her choose from 2 or 3 options (of fruits or veggies mixed with rice or another grain).

One more thing, will she eat quinoa or do you have access to it? It is a grain and it is the only grain with complete proteins and it can be a wonderful option for her. Will she eat beans? If she eats beans and rice (and corn) at the same time they can form complete proteins and it can work wonders in her diet! Or try mashing beans into a spread.

I hope some more of this helps you. Keep me posted please!

EatPeacePlease said...

Patty, thanks for the comment about my kitchen as well as the info for the phyllo. I don't know why your bill has increased. The only really expensive stuff I buy is nuts, agave nectar and super-awesome bread once every week or 2 weeks. I find that nuts and seeds are well-worth the money for so many reasons. Are you buying a lot of fake meats, fake cheeses or processed foods? That's where I find the problem.

I think it's wonderful you have a garden. What do you grow? Maybe you can shop around and depending on where you live (tell me?!) you may have specialized markets and they end up being cheaper. For example, I buy tahini, canned items, certain grains and lentils at a Middle Eastern Market/Restaurant and everything is about 1/2 the price than the co-op or whole foods or a regular supermarket. I also find that things in "regular" markets that are made vegan/organic are way more expensive than WFM or co-ops. I like to shop around, but I am lucky I have that option around here. What are your most expensive concerns? Also, I buy for 2 people, including myself.

Patty said...

we don't eat the fake meat stuff very often. I think drinking more soy milk may be one reason for the higher bill and buying maple syrup etc. Its not gone up a ton more but has increased.
We have a huge garden, lets see, we have collards, brussel sprouts, eggplant, zuchinni, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce in many varieties, snow peas (chines pea pods) asparagus, onions, tomatoes, peppers, spiniach, cantalope, watermellons, and no doubt more that I am forgetting. We grow grapes, blackberries, apples, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, and figs. I have two kinds of herb gardens, one medicinal and one culinary. We have pecan and walnut trees too.
We grow sunflowers for seed for us and the birds. Hard work but worth it.
We live in North Texas, just a bit south of Ft Worth. We have only grown organic. And lived on this farm 13 years.
We are about 40 miles from the asian markets and the middle eastern markets so shop there once in a while.

EatPeacePlease said...

Patty, wow, your home and farm sounds amazing, not to mention your wonderful photos on your blog. I wish I lived at your home and had all that goodness! I would hardly buy anything at the store. Everything you mentioned sounds so great and beautiful and yummy and ORGANIC! WOW!

johana said...

hi again:
i will keep you posted!

thanks so much for the info, really help me, i will look if i find the quinoa, i never see it but i will try to go today to any food store i can and try to locatethe grain! she love the junk my family gave to her , so I BET THATS THE PROBLEM, she dont want to eat fruits when candy taste more sweet!, butr i must say that i will make everything in my hands to raise her healthy and vegan. i think i must get some distance betwen them and us!.

i will go tomorrow to a kid doctor and ask for a blood work, well see it!

thanks again and if any here have kids and can give me some advice im all ears too!

Fiber said...

I love the kitchen, especially the bright yellow countertops. They make me happy!

Fiber said...

I love the kitchen, especially the bright yellow countertops. They make me happy!

Vicki said...

I love my red wagon...it is quite handy. Just came by to say hi again, & I was thinking that a free-throw line made out of masking tape might be fun, especially for a game of "horse"?

EatPeacePlease said...

Fiber, the yellow makes me happy too!

Vicki, you're funny! I haven't thought about that but we do have imaginary lines! Ray and his cousin play a lot more than I will play with him. I only have patience for "PIG" not "horse".

I *had* to read this comment aloud to Ray...

Sarah said...

I really enjoy looking at your page and the recipes all look great!

Your kichen is so cute. I wish I had an open kichen so I could look out at the living room and such.

I'll be back here for those super-awesome stuff you're making this week. :)

KaiVegan said...

Wow, I'm back for more. Look at all these comments, it's like a talk show here!

Hmm, I have a feeling the next post is about jewelry? (hint, hint)

I honestly think that for our Midweek Munchies we should have a code for the word 'organic'. My MM for next week is mostly organic too so that would help. lol

****Hola, JOHANA.
I'm a mom of 3 ninas and they are picky eaters, too. I bake a lot and make snacks (with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, oats, etc.) for them.
Making SMOOTHIES or shakes is a great way to sneak in fruits and milk (also flax seeds, if available.)
I could go on and on, but this is Leslie's blog. You could visit mine when you have the chance.

Leslie, thanks for the space:)

Another fun MM list here. I wouldn't mind swapping food with you!
Our grocery bills are higher too since switching vegan, it's ridiculous! Imagine getting 8 bag refunds a week? Produce (and lots of) is the culprit. And yes, nuts, too.
Okay, enough. I could have just publish this on my blog, sorry!

EatPeacePlease said...

Kai and EVERYONE, Please feel free to comment as much or as long as you would like, especially when it is helping each other out. I encourage comments, random comments, people I don't know, etc. About the jewelry posts, do you all wanna see a bunch of items together (not high quality photos) or do you want super-great quality photos of each individual item? Note: I'm not taking more than 10 pics or so! I am shy about my jewelry so it may be a while. I have already got some prepration for the book-post I am going to do.

Kai (alone), I imagine your groceries went up because you are also cooking for 5 and you are now not going for the Dollar Menu at McD's and instead, eating wholesome healthy foods that are nutritionally sustainable and they cost more. And, no more apologizing for writing in the comments. Write as much (or little) as you'd like, please!

Sarah, thanks for the comments. Actually, the kitchen doesn't open to the living room, it opens to MORE of the kitchen, aka "dining" area, but like I mentioned, it's more of a basketball court around here. Our living room is where I was standing taking the straight-on photo of the actual kitchen/cooking area. It's a big townhouse we live in.

Catherine said...

My grocery bills have been pretty constant this past year and a half, (since I drastically changed my eating habits,) but I know what Kai is going through -- Minnesota winters are long and cold, and produce is EXPENSIVE. I tend to use a little more frozen stuff (veggies and fruits) during the winter, just because they are a bit cheaper.

It's finally spring now, though! Hooray!

And Leslie, I was looking at some potential jobs for myself online today, and one of the schools I looked at listed "healthy organic snacks" as one of the preschool perks. Cool!

ningostar said...

hi leslie! i haven't commented in a while... school has been crazy busy since spring break. glad you made it to tucson, BTW. isn't epic great? thanks for sharing your home with us. it looks so bright and cheerful. i'm with the others... i would love to see your jewlery, too. thanks for a great post.


KaiVegan said...

Also, Catherine, Sam's Warehouse Club is now carrying organic stuff. You probably don't go there, but isn't it exciting to see all these positive changes around?

Lelie, I like how your comment area is so alive with different discussions!
Your blog loaded pretty quickly this time- that's the first for me.

EatPeacePlease said...

Becky (yay, I know your real name now), Thanks for the nice comments. I want to especially thank you for introducing me to Epic. I would love to order some of their treats online but I think it's more worth it to me to go to Tucson than to pay the shipping charges. The post I did about Tucson is the one called "My own personal spring break".

Kai, I like that the comment area is so alive too! Keep it up (everyone).

I think my blog loaded quickly because I made some changes. First, photos are a bit smaller. Not much, but it helps. Also, now instead of one billion posts on the first page, I have set it to only 10 and then you will have to click the appropriate month. For example, since I do most likely more than 10 posts per month, you would have to click on the same month we are on to see other weeks. Does that make sense (to everyone?)?

Shawn Powers said...

Wow! What a popular post!

It's really nice to see your magical kitchen. :) It connects your wonderful food posts to a "real person" -- and it makes the food seem that much more real.

I may have to copy you, it looks fun to give a tour of the kitchen. :) (Plus, it would force me to make sure it's SPOTLESS!!!)

Thanks for such a fun blog.


EatPeacePlease said...

Hey Shawn, I took the photos a few days after cleaning back in February. It hasn't been much to look at since. I do recommend checking out Catherine's blog (in my links) as she took a bunch of photos of her kitchen. I hope to start a trend... (hint hint to you).