Sunday, December 16, 2007

Declutter: December 02 tables and 50 items

Just a quick declutter update: The tabletops have remained clear!

And, I've surpassed the goal of "selling or donating 50 items:"

This is sew sewper, dewds :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ice, ice baby.

Such a pretty drive to work today...

It took me an extra hour to get into the office because I couldn't stop pulling over and snapping photographs. Everything was beginning to melt so big drops of water were falling on and all around me. Hearing and feeling rain, having the sensation of rain, without actual rain was pretty wild. And made me smile fabulously :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fresh Tofu Scrambler

Every good vegetarian has a recipe for a tofu scramble tucked in her or his apron. It's probably one of the very first dishes a new vegetarian learns to prepare, and puts to rest any misgivings one has about not liking tofu. My first introduction was about 17 years ago in a dinner lovingly prepared by mom using a Fantastic Foods mix and served on English muffins. A meal that is now one of my all-time comfort foods.

It's one of those perfect, reliable eats - a dependable friend during meal planning. Always there for you, like lasagna or a stir fry, willing to use up any veggies you need to move out of the crisper; always a complete source of nutrition and whole foods; always willing to be brunch (with toast), dinner (in a tortilla), a snack or anything in between; and, thanks to Fresh Tofu, always ready to show of its local flavor.

One of my favorite discoveries during One Local Summer, Fresh Tofu has been supplying the east coast with organic tofu since 1984 and is distributed throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I purchase mine at a local natural food store (Plumsteadville Natural Foods), though Whole Foods carries it as well. It truly is a superior product, living up to its name and consistently giving great texture and taste to my favorite bean curd recipes. If the gourmet mecca that is Horizon's uses Fresh Tofu, you can safely bank on it awesomeness. Besides, anyone with a flying block of tofu for a logo has got to pretty much rock, right?

Although creating and perfecting a great tofu scramble recipe is one of those must-experience kitchen intimacies, everyone needs a place to start. Vegan cookbook author extraordinaire, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's, version is a great place to do so and provides the base for my recipe below. Her spice combination is so colorful and the flavor can't be beat. If you're not vegan or vegetarian, that shouldn't stop you from honing your scramble skills. In fact, one of my favorite versions is a cilantro-heavy one made by an omnivore friend.

Tofu Scrambler
serves 4

1 pound organic Fresh Tofu, drained and pressed well
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped kale (or other dark, leafy green)
1/2 cup chopped peppers, carrots, and/or any other veggie in the fridge

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
hot sauce to taste

spice blend:
3 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Crumble in tofu and mix well. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much.

Mix in kale and other vegetables, cover for five minutes, allowing steam to soften them. Stir in hot sauce to taste. Mix in nutritional yeast.

Serve with toast (Bakers on Broad Complet bread was used above) and fruit for breakfast, or in tortillas with guacamole and salsa for dinner.

Although this is my standard recipe, it's really more of an outline. I can't say I've actually ever made the same scrambler twice. Everyone seems to find their own special ingredient, whether it be a spice or veggie or secret sauce, so don't be afraid to experiment!

> Cross-posted at

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I have the best coworkers on earth. This fact was most recently proven by the fact that I found these pictures in my email inbox early this morning.

Avery's art teacher is my coworker's wife, (got that?) which means that AC's latest art project, Rico the Sock Monkey, came for a visit to the office :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Declutter: December 01 computer armoire

As part of my overall mission to live simply and sustainably, one of my ongoing 43Things is to get rid of stuff. For almost a year, I've been removing items pretty consistently and have been really good at not bringing in anything. I've kept a donation bag in the closet to catch clothes that I no longer like or haven't worn, and a bag on the porch for miscellaneous household items. Recently though, I decided that I needed an opportunity to do a big purge instead of this slow and steady drib and drab removal of stuff.

MotheringDotCommune has a Mindful Home Management forum under which a Decluttering, Organizing and Simplifying topic exists. I've been watching the group's monthly de-clutter challenge and decided to join in for December. Yay!
I'm linking this months challenge with one of my 43things goals, "get rid of stuff." I just love it when things connect like that Our goals for this month are:
  • Keep coffee table clutter-free for the month.
  • Keep dining table clutter-free for the month.
  • Clean out and organize armoire/computer desk; designate places for the stuff that keeps cluttering the coffee and dining tables
  • Finish dressing room organization (hang up vision boards, purge clothing) and trim work (crown molding, quarter-inch round molding, caulking, painting).
  • Donate or sell 50 items.
This is our first de-clutter challenge, and it’s hard to know where to draw the line. I don’t want to overestimate our ability, but at the same time, it is a “challenge,” right

Also, the clutter around the house is due in large part to organizational issues. We wanted to take a holistic approach and actually solve the problem, opposed to just the symptom. I’m thinking that it’s unreasonable to say “keep the tables clutter-free” without addressing the issues of why the tables are cluttered. The stuff has to go somewhere, right?

Okay… here we go Clutter be gone!
So far, I've been kicking ass. I worked from home on Tuesday and was able to take care of the computer armoire. It was actually a real nice balance going back and forth between the physical work of cleaning out, and my work work at the laptop on the dining room table. Here's a shot of the desk around 10am:

And then around 1pm:

I threw away an entire trash bag full of old papers and other nonsense and marked a few items to donate.

We've also done some work in the dressing room, I put a large box in the living room for donations and marked a bag for items to sell on Ebay. Though, I'm starting to wonder if I should just save everything for a spring yard sale instead. Giving away so much stuff seems a bit irresponsible financially-speaking, but listing everything on Ebay seems a little unreasonable. I'm open to any suggestions and opinions :)

So far, so good. It feels really great and to have this task complete and I'm absolutely motivated to get onto the next task!

Monday, December 03, 2007

My kids

The football-, lacrosse-, basketball-playing skateboarder:

The goes-with-me-everywhere, loves-to-visit girl:

Sigh. They're the best! :)