Everyday Life: Week 3

The third week of this year has looked something like this:

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Winter skies in Southern Oregon.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Sometimes you just need very chocolatey chocolate chunk cookies.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Egg salad. With veggie bacon. Just do it.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
One of my favorite pizzas from pizza night. Potatoes with pesto, caramelized onions and goat cheese.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Rain-watcher.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
A super easy dinner. Mashed potatoes, gravy, Trader Joe’s veggie chicken sausages, corn and peas.


Percy is learning new tricks!

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
This dude is clocking in at just above 5’6″ at 11 1/2 years old. WHAT.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Leftover mashed potatoes make good breakfast potatoes… with scrambled eggs and Quorn meatless sausage.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Somebody trying REALLY hard to get a little bagel bite.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Some days…

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Re-organizing.


Just steps from my house, the Women’s March that happened Saturday was inspiring.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Sometimes you get two hours of sleep. And then use a cocoa avocado skin food mask…and it’s perfect camouflage for SnapChat’s deer filter.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Dinner-prep helper.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Everyday Life Week 3
Veggie chicken and biscuits (filled with cheddar and rosemary!).

Hope you’ve had a lovely week!

Everyday Life: Week 2

Here’s a look at what week 2 of 2017 looked like:

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

I am working on the art of vegetarian Chicago style deep dish pizza. This one’s 5-cheese with the crust made from whole wheat and hempseed flours.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Lazy BOY.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Sometimes your husband wants to eat oatmeal for dinner. So you eat a very simple cheese omelet and some toast for dinner.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Future smoothies.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Percy is the best snuggler. She sleeps in our bed nearly every night (in Silas’s when he’s here). In the morning, she tends to get up when my husband’s up (too goddamn early). Then! After an hour or so, she’ll climb back into our bed where I’m still asleep and snuggle up! My favorite.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

My husband used to run an open mic every Wednesday at a restaurant here in town. We’d both get dinner included with the job. My favorite thing to order off the menu? “Kitchen Guys Pasta.” Whatever pasta they had the most of, lots of garlic, parmesan, basil, tomatoes, chicken, andouille or chorizo sausage, prawns, lots of red chili flakes. The restaurant’s been closed for a few years, so I haven’t had my pasta… but! This homemade vegetarian version was the closest in flavor to the original, yet! I’m very excited about it.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

The creeks and rivers have been so full and so fast after the snow and rain we’ve had. LOVE it.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

On our afternoon walk, checking out the duck pond that’s currently frozen over!

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

A snack of cinnamon raisin english muffin with a bit of macadamia nut butter. So good!

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

On this day, Jumpy decided he really liked hanging out in the empty laundry basket…

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

It soon led up to this apparent game I happened to find going on.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Unplanned dinner date out with the husband.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

One of this week’s best Vitamix combos: frozen mangoes, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas and vanilla Siggi’s kefir. Simple and delicious!

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Percy likes to find the biggest stick possible and then carry it for the entirety of our walks… Haha.

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

Silas had a sleepover the other night with one of his buddies and that buddy’s little brother. It made me realize that as I’m getting older, I increasingly think about what it must’ve been like for my mom to raise 4 kids (3 of us, barely a year apart). Sleepovers happened almost every weekend (usually my sister’s friends), which my mom handled very gracefully. I welcomed this weekend’s sleepover with lots of silent F-bombs and a couple tequila shots. Luckily, they’re good, well-behaving kids…so even if I wanted to pull out all my hair at the sound of “bruhhhh!” dropping every 2 minutes, or the sound of bottles flipping over and over and over again… I didn’t really mind the whole sleepover thing…

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

10 months old this week and this is the attitude she gives about “Percy, it’s time to get up!”

Forbidden Rice Blog, Photos, Photographs, Everyday Life, Everyday Photos, Photography, Ashland, Ashland Oregon

This was delicious. Quorn ‘naked cutlets’ baked with avocado oil, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, sea salt and a bit of oregano. Slapped in a sammich with spinach/baby greens, tomato, avocado, mild cheddar, vegenaise and some spicy brown mustard on locally made whole wheat sourdough. Easy dinner!


Silas’s basketball season started this weekend… Here’s one of numerous baskets for the day!

I hope you had a good week! : )

Everyday Life : Week 1

Here’s a look at what the first week of 2017 looked like:

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
We got a lovely dumping of snow this week!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
New Year’s ‘good luck’ food, Southern style.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
This little love nugget is almost 10 months old and experienced snow for the first time this winter (she’s an eager fan!).

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Obvious appropriate snow day attire for an 11 year old. Within a couple hours, there was an additional 7 1/2 inches of snow accumulated on the ground.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Recently lunch is made up of whatever happens to need to be consumed. Toast topped with hummus, spinach, goat cheese, avocado and an egg.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Baby.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Note the “feels like” temperature.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Kitchen buddy, watching every move.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
We bought a Vitamix as a Christmas present to ourselves. Favorite concoction almost daily: frozen bananas, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole milk (or vanilla soy milk), and peanut butter. So damn good!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Morning working. With a side of coffee and cat.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
My healthy adult dinner of mac and cheese from a box plus freshly steamed green beans then sautéed with a lot of garlic and pepper.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Icicles.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
I love this time of year.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Favorite morning routine. Snuggle.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life - Week 1 - 2017
Winter storm weather calls for soup, and this vegetarian udon noodle soup was no joke.

Two Month Hiatus?

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When I began this blog five years ago, I told myself I’d keep the writing, recipes and photos going, as long as it was fun for me. It’s not that for the last two months, blogging has been less fun — things have simply been busy. I am a step-parent to two busy kids. Baseball season, meaning games and practices, took up anywhere from 3-5 days of the week up until this past Saturday. Every damn week. He also just graduated from elementary school today and will be eleven on Monday! Shall we mention this fella is clocking in at 5’5″ and 120 pounds — both taller and heavier than me, despite our almost exact 20 year age difference?! And he’s got a weekend baseball tournament coming up Saturday and Sunday?

Royals - Championship Game (41 of 75)

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And the other kid? He’s now graduated from high school. As life unfolds, he’s also headed off to college two months earlier than anticipated in order to train with the water polo team at Long Beach City College. (As in, he’s set to leave next week. We are driving him down, then coming back in a whirlwind trip in order to be in Oregon for a music gig my husband has booked.)

Vincent - AHS Graduation 2016 (1 of 2)

Vincent - AHS Graduation 2016 (2 of 2)

Somewhere in there, we had to put down our two german shepherds. They both had degenerative myelopathy and towards the end of their lives, my days consisted of many doggy-diaper changes, constant attention and of course love–on top of the every day things that living within a family with kids entails. These pups were nearly 13 years old and I had known them just as long as I had known my husband (nearly a decade now).

Dogs - DOD 5-18-16 (1 of 2)

Dogs - DOD 5-18-16 (2 of 2)

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I’ve spent many days in our gardens, rebuilding, creating, planting, and not too long from now, there will be immense amounts of harvesting (which I am SO stoked about!). There are 7 types of tomatoes steadily growing, broccoli, collard greens, baby lettuce greens, gigantic spinach, leeks, beets, cucumbers, a few different types of peppers, eggplant, purple pole beans, basil, strawberries, numerous flowers and herbs. I’m excited about this year’s gardens. Mainly because I’ve put, and continue to put, lots of time into them and the potential harvest feels that much sweeter.

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Shall we add more to the chaos? YES! We knew we’d eventually get another dog. Ideally, a puppy. A lab puppy is what both my husband and I wanted, with the intention of Silas being key in raising her. We also intended to find said puppy after we’d moved Vincent to Long Beach. Then all of a sudden, locally, I found some border collie/chow chow pups who were 10 weeks old on Craigslist. We said we’d “go check them out.” NOTE: YOU CANNOT GO CHECK OUT A PUPPY AND NOT BRING ONE HOME. So, barely two weeks after losing both of our dogs, we found ourselves with a 10-week-old puppy. And… she’s the most mellow, sweet, easygoing puppy ever in the history of the world. Hands-down.

Percy (11 of 11)

Percy (2 of 3)

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I am turning 31 tomorrow. I’m not sure how that happened so quickly. While the next couple weeks will also be extremely busy, I figured I’d just stop in and say “hi!” And to also note this blog hasn’t gone dormant — I intend to get back to recipes, photos of recipes… so stay tuned.

Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (5 of 8)

Everyone should have some recipes in their go-to repertoire. Things you KNOW you can make that everyone will enjoy eating. Around here, the go-to staples probably revolve around Mexican food. Enchiladas? Hell yes. Tacos with homemade corn tortillas? Indeed.

My husband is a big fan of soups. I’ve learned to keep a few go-to soup recipes at hand (even though I am not a particular soup enthusiast). One flavor that goes over particularly well in our house, even with the kids is potato leek soup.

I think a good soup encompasses layers of flavor. Enriching the flavor of each ingredient can help to deepen the complexity of the final soup. For that reason, this potato leek soup includes oven-roasted potatoes, roasted shallots and roasted garlic. The potato still adds creaminess while the roasted shallots and garlic add a faint sweetness. The combination of flavors is delicious!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (7 of 8)

Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
4 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
6 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme, plus more for garnish if desired
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (6 of 8)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the diced potatoes, shallots, and garlic in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Toss until everything is well coated. Spread the mixture on a large rimmed sheet pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are lightly browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (2 of 8)

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so as not to brown.

Add the potato/shallot/garlic mixture, broth, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (3 of 8)

Remove the thyme sprig and bay leaves, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender or work in batches in a high-speed blender, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add water or more broth to thin it out to your liking. Gently bring back up to temperature and serve hot.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (4 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Vegan Roasted Potato and Leek Soup (8 of 8)