Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One More For the Road

We're flying to Denver tomorrow to see family (Anna's maternal aunt, uncle and 5 year old nephew). Anna gets to talk over web-cam with them quite a bit, so she knows them quite well and is very, very excited to see them again in person.

She's also excited to go up in an airplane. I don't know if I've mentioned this on the blog before, but she is obsessed with airplanes. She loves watching them fly overhead. She's been flying twice, but she was too young to remember it. Just yesterday we were walking down the sidewalk and she started to pick up sticks and pretend they were airplanes, making them move through the air up and down and saying "zoom!"

I hope she likes flying in one as much as she loves seeing them from the ground.

While out in Denver we're all going to visit the Peaceful Prairie Farm Sanctuary. So you can expect to see a ton of photos of happy animals in the near future. Hopefully some of Anna hugging pigs. Talking to a chicken. Stuff like that.

And now for something completely different. Here's an illustration that Kaija over at Superhero Inc. did of Anna eating a tomato, based on the first photo of this post.


About the Veggie Nugget I Just Posted

I have a lot of omnivorous friends and family who I love dearly. They're great people. So, when I post a veggie nugget that says, "A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral," I fear that these friends and family will take this as me pointing a finger at them and declaring them immoral.

I'm not a big fan of the saying "hate the sin, not the sinner", but I think in the case of what you eat and wear it can apply (though I would change the word sin to "immoral action" and sinner to "person who commits immoral act"), especially since the "sin" in this case is built into the structure of society so completely that the thought of going vegan never even crosses the majority of the population's minds.

I'm also not a big fan of declaring certain things immoral, but I think Thoreau made a good point here and I'm running with it.

I feel that eating meat and exploiting non-human animals for human gain is wrong. It shouldn't happen. This doesn't mean that I think people who aren't vegan are immoral ... just that I think they are (usually because they have inadequate or incomplete information about what they eat and wear) committing an immoral act. (I think the religious right has given the word "immoral" a bad rap and that it still has a place in civil discourse.)

I commit an immoral act when I buy a pair of pants at Target or a pair of Converse on-line, since they are made in sweat shops. I'm trying to change my purchasing habits to not only eliminate animal products, but also buy fair-labor fair-trade clothing and goods. It's a lot harder than it sounds (waaaaaaay harder than going vegan).

By the way, if any of you know of any sweat-shop-free clothing stores or on-line shops, let me know in the comments.

Veggie Nugget #14

"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral."

-Henry David Thoreau from his essay Civil Disobedience

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Marshmallow Rice Krispie Bars

Tell me the truth. You read that blog title, your jaw dropped and you started salivating all over your keyboard. It's OK. Understandable. Expected, even.

What follows is a recipe that heavily utilizes this recipe for the nuts-and-bolts, and holy crap, the recipe at that link alone should be enough to cover your keyboard in drool. And it should have been enough for me.

Alas, I rarely know when to leave well enough alone. I just made these a couple hours ago.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Marshmallow Rice Krispie Bars


6 cups of rice krispies (I use the Whole Foods brand brown rice krispies)

1 package of Dandies vegan marshmallows

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of brown rice syrup (and I guess corn syrup works too, but I've never used it)

1 cup of peanut butter

2 1/4 cups of chocolate chips


-Pour the rice krispies in to a big bowl.

-Cut the marshmallows in half and throw them into the bowl with the rice krispies. Mix it up with your hands so that the marshmallows are somewhat evenly distributed throughout the Rice Krispies.

-Add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the rice krispie/marshmallow mix.

-Stir together the sugar and brown rice syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble.

-Remove pan from heat and add the peanut butter, mix together well.

-Pour mixture over rice krispies and marshmallows and stir it in until there are no loose rice krispies (it may take a while and it will get pretty stiff)

-Put all of that into a 9x13 casserole dish or baking pan and press flat (but don't press really hard or it will get too dense).

-Now melt the remaining chocolate chips (2 cups) in a double boiler (I put the chocolate chips in a sauce pan and then put that in an old frying pan with water in it). Once the chips are melted, pour it over the bars and then spread it out with a spoon. If it doesn't fully cover, or if you want a thicker layer of chocolate on top, then melt more chocolate. You can always add more chocolate.

Put in the fridge for an hour or so and then eat 'em (but leave them out for a bit before you eat them, since they can be a pretty hard straight out of the fridge). Then have your friends eat 'em. But only your really good friends. Because, really, you're going to want as many of these for yourself as you can get.

This lil guy lasted a few seconds after I was done taking photos. Yum.

By the way, you can find a list of places (on-line and off-line) to buy Sweet and Sarah marshmallows here.

I bought mine at Fast and Furless in Minneapolis.

OK, I'm going to go eat another one now. Bye.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Win a CD!

Wanna win a CD?

Three of my brothers are in a band by the name of Grampa's Amp. They're running a CD giveaway every month. Go to their website and click on "Win a CD!" to find out how you can, um, win a CD.

I don't think I typed the phrase "Win a CD" enough in this post, do you?

Win a CD.

There. That's enough.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cookbook Give-away at Vegan Soapbox

Win a vegan cookbook at Vegan Soapbox!

Because who doesn't want a new cookbook? Just comment on the Vegan Soapbox post and you're automatically entered to win.

Good night, and good luck.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Muu Bauu

Quick update on the sickies. "Muu Bauu" means we're feeling better already. (In case you're wondering, it's the lack of consonants that does it.)

In fact, Anna didn't even want to go to sleep tonight she was having so much fun playing piano and watching us dance to it. Then Jen played some and Anna danced like crazy. So hopefully she's back to normal now. Phew!

Mrrrmrrra Bflugh

That's how I feel right now: Mrrrmrrra Bflugh.

Anna and I are under the weather. It's the kind of sick where I go from walking around in my v-neck t-shirt and still sweating and wiping my brow (which my wife must find oh so attractive) to pulling my hoodie over my head and still shivering.

We have what you might call the fever.

Anna cries at seemingly nothing (if her eyes hurt as much as mine do, then that's why she's crying), wants her blankie all day long and asks to cuddle every chance she gets. Oh, and she wants to watch TV, because it gives her something to do while she's cuddling.

So we've been watching a DVD I made of our first wedding anniversary (about a year before Anna was born) and ... well, those sure were simpler times. There are milliseconds where I feel, while watching my wife and I, so carefree on the North Shore of Minnesota, hiking out on the Gunflint Trail, not worrying about nap times or how late we can stay out ... there are milliseconds where I long for those times, but then I feel Anna's head on my shoulder or in my chest or on my lap (she has a lot of different cuddling positions) and those feelings are swept away by fatherhood and the extra level of depth that it has given my husbandhood.

So anyway, we're sick now. But we're getting better.

But given the fact that we're sick and that I'm shooting a wedding this weekend that I need to pack and prepare for (it's out of town), blogging is not high on my to-do list right now.

And it probably won't be next week either, since I'll be working on the wedding photos and finishing up the design work I've been doing for a friend's book of poems.

To hold you over, and to gain your sympathy, I'll leave you with a photo that I'm going to take of myself right ... now:

Yeah, I'm in the hoodie mode right now.

Did I say gain your sympathies? Sorry, I meant scare the living bejeezus out of you with my unibomber impression.

Mrrrmrrra Bflugh.

Veggie Nugget #13

Lisa: When will those fools learn they can be perfectly happy eating fruits, breads, grains, and cheese?

Apu: Ooh, cheese!?

Lisa: You don't eat cheese, Apu?

Apu: No. I don't eat any food that comes from an animal.

Lisa: Oh. Then you must think I'm a monster.

Apu: Yes indeed I do think that. But I learned long ago Lisa to tolerate others rather than forcing my beliefs on them. You know you can influence people without badgering them always. It's like Paul's song, "Live and Let Live."

Paul: Actually, it was "Live and Let Die."

Apu: Well, whatever, whatever. It had a good rhythm.

-Episode 133 of The Simpsons