Cook It!

It’s no secret I love Michael Pollan.

I could write sonnets about Michael Pollan.

Ok, maybe not a Shakespearean sonnet, but Petrarchan, for sure.

Ok, not even Petrarchan. I suck at poeming.

I could do a haiku.

Michael Pollan now.
Eat Food, Most Plants, Not too much.
I’m His Sycophant.

Ok. That sucked.

How about a LIMERICK?!

 

There once was a man from Long Island, Who wrote about food with style and, He had a dilemma, about foods full of chem, a journalist with a grand stemma.

BETTER!

Awkward as the first time after prom in the back seat of Ford Escort, but better.

The object of my literary affection. The author of one of my favorite books of the first decade of the 2000s,  has a FOUR-PART DOCUMENTARY ON NETFLIX.

Split into the four elements, it focuses on the very nature of how our food is prepared! He argues that cooking is essential to humanity. It’s possibly the biggest step in the evolutionary process.

Each element has shaped how we prepare our food, and Michal Pollan and director Alex Gibney take the viewers on a lushly beautiful world trip and forces us to explore our relationship with food, while educating us on its history and relation to the other souls who people this planet.

It’s relentlessly gorgeous and thought-provoking.

I have watched each episode, and I am gobsmacked. I love cooking. It is essential to ME, but to really learn why it is essential to us is a revelation.

Everyone needs to watch this.

To go along with this incredible series, I thought, well, I need to do plants and fire. Yes, yes, yes.

Grilled Tempeh Summer Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Satay

Grilled Tempeh with Sweet and Spicy Satay Grilled Tempeh with Sweet and Spicy Satay Grilled Tempeh with Sweet and Spicy Satay Grilled Tempeh with Sweet and Spicy Satay

Grilled Tempeh Summer Rolls with Sweet and Spicy Satay

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 45 minutes-1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: grill appetizer side entree snack vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (10 summer rolls)

  • 10 Rice Paper Summer Roll Wrappers (10″)
  • 8 oz tempeh (I like flax tempeh)
  • 1 bunch washed cilantro, leaves removed from stems
  • 3 sheets of seaweed (I like salted and sesame)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup sliced radishes

for the satay sauce

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

for the tempeh marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tbsp wakame flake
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Instructions

slice the tempeh lengthwise and horizontally into 1/2″-4″-3/4″ strips

combine all of the ingredients of the marinade together in a shallow dish

set the tempeh in the marinade *submerge

let marinate overnight.

on a grill pan, sprayed with cooking spray, grill the tempeh for 2 minutes/side on medium high heat

to assemble!! follow this guy’s instructions with the ingredients I listed. I swear, it’s easy here

for the satay sauce

it’s easiest if you pour it all in a blender.

Just mix it all up with a whisk otherwise.

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It should be mentioned, I re-read his entire canon before writing this post.

Really, it was for research, I swear.

#Vegan Grilled Tempeh Summer Rolls w/Satay Sauce and #Cooked on @Netflix #streamteam Click To Tweet
Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.
Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Heroines Who Kick Ass.

Today is a NEW DAY! A NEW SERIES! *I’m getting to the point with series, where I’ll need to figure out how to code a drop-down menu.

And happy birthday, JGL. You have NO IDEA who I am, but judging by your lack of aging, YOU, SIR, are a singing vampire!

Woman Crush Wednesday

Isn’t it just SPLENDID!?

Ok, so, I’ve been reading a fuckton of historical literature. (As in literature from antiquity, not the latest rom-com starring Chairman Mao and his brief, but horrent affair with his pet llama, Sunny.) On top of that, I’ve read my normal span of novels–mostly romance–and I’m ten shades of sick of reading lapdog heroines. They’re not even heroines at this point. They’re creepy crappy Stepford political wives who just smile blithely as they listen to the press tell them how their husband was caught choking a hooker in a Motel 6 while dressed like one of those plural wives from Colorado City.

Because of this, I’ve been revisiting my favorite boss ladies. So much so, I’ve decided to give them their own series. These women take no shit, give no fucks, make up their own mind, and generally kick ass. 

Not me, Leslie. Not. Me.

Today’s #WomanCrushWednesday belongs to Charley. Charley Davidson of the Charley Davidson series.

Charley is a particular lady. She likes her car miserable, her margaritas strong, her coffee sweet, her men hellcats, and her dead people–well–dead, I guess.

Because Charley Davidson is the Grim Reaper.

 

Don’t RUN!! You have PLACES TO CROSS TO!!

Charley first appears in:

I read this gem all the way back (a long time ago) and re-reading it reminds me it’s just as bitingly wonderful as it was the first time I experienced it.

Charley is an independent woman who has few close friends, but they are as close to family as makes no nevermind. She’s smart. She has a heart of pure gold, and an aura to match. She fights for truth, justice, and…wait, wrong series. Fuck it, it applies. She really, truly cares about the little guy, even to–and frequently to–her own detriment. She is self-sacrificing for those who deserve it, not to some douche bouquet who belittles her. In fact, the man she’s chosen as a life parter, who may or may not be (is) the son of Satan, believes in her strength even more than she does.

Darynda Jones writing of this funny, strong, kickass heroine is so precise and gripping that every installment is like a cut in time. The time without? The time between novels? It all ends up in those weird gravitational folds they just found. Or it’s wherever hair ties go. (Where DO they go? I swear to Satan’s sexy son I just bought a pack of FIFTY!)

Charley Davidson is exactly who you wish could don a fun lycra (or fleece, because comfort is important) unitard and fight the world’s evils with Aquaman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Charley Davidson is the kind of character that I wish I could pull from the sexy romance novel and into a graphic novel to read to my daughter and say “HEY, BE LIKE HER!!” She may be the gateway after death, but she values the innocence and experience of life and all its virtues.

She’s also a kickass audiobook. As you may recall, I discussed Charley in her narrator’s auralgasms post. Lorelei King is such an amazing narrator, that even thinking of Charley, I think of Lorelei reading “Right?” or this gem:

Charley Davidson

I can hear her say “testicles” right now. It’s so soothing. Or, you know, whatever.

Do yourself a favor. PICK UP THESE BOOKS.

And now?

Recipe, Please!

Ok, for this lady I had three options: mochalattes, tacos (of the macho sort), or margaritas.

Guess which I picked?

I LOVE TEQUILA!!

I also love creamsicles, and since going vegan, no creamsicles. So I made a creamsicle margarita. With clementines.

Clementine Creamsicle Margarita

#womancrushwednesday Heroines Who Kick Ass.Feat. @Darynda & Clementine Creamsicle Margaritas,… Click To Tweet

clementine creamsicle margaritas #vegan clementine creamsicle margaritas #vegan clementine creamsicle margaritas #vegan

 

Clementine Creamsicle Margaritas #vegan

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: beverage vegan

Ingredients (2 cocktails)

  • 4 oz GOOD tequila
  • 4 oz clementine (or orange juice)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Coco Lopez (microwave for 10 seconds to liquefy) or 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • splash vanilla extract

Instructions

shake ingredients with ice.

strain into glass.

garnish with clementine segments

drink.

responsibly.

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What Are You Listening To? The Ten Best Erotic Audiobooks.

When I first started really listening to audiobooks, (more than casually) I tended to listen only to adventurous novels with pesky life-or-death situations, a possible Cornucopia, and maybe there were a few young wizards…Eventually, I started listening to Stephen King novels like The Stand, and favorites like Good Omens. 

I avoided erotica like the clap. Both in its written form, and in audio. It’s not that I’m a prude–quite the opposite–it’s just that they had a pretty negative connotation in my mind. Like women who read and/or enjoyed erotica were those women. I am not one of those women. I am a strong woman who fully realizes her own sexuality and fucking owns it.

Until I realized I am not. I am a woman who wants to fully realize her own sexuality and fucking own it, and the fact that I judged the women and men who read these books based on that criteria made me a giant fucking hypocrite. Also, no one BATS AN EYE when men talk about pornography–and this is no where near the same thing, no matter how many times people call 50 Shades or Bared to You “mommy porn.” No, “mommy porn” is shirtless coffee served to me in bed before the children get up for the day, and he’s already brushed his teeth, and the door is locked. THAT is mommy porn.

Erotica is, well,

I’ll admit, I didn’t much like it at first. Much like the action of the content itself, the first time, if one chooses a partner badly, can leave much to be desired.

But then I listened to one borderline novel…and then another. And another. And it wasn’t bad! In fact, some of it was quite readable. Listenable? Either way.

Honestly, I will probably ALWAYS listen and read more to adventure and the less X-rated novels, but I no longer discount the genre, and I can even appreciate it.

Yes, it sometimes makes me blush red as poppies, and I’ve gotten into some sticky situations with them…like say, listening to it on speaker in your office, that you think will remain occupied only by yourself all day, and then your boss walks in, and sits back for awhile so he hears it, and then scares the ever-loving fuck out of you by tapping your shoulder and falling over onto the sofa in a fit of giggles like a 12 year old boy instead of a man somewhat later than mid-life.

Or maybe you’re listening to it while you’re baking. And you’re hearing impaired. And the kids are asleep. So it’s loud. And you’ve paused your scooping, entranced, listening. And your husband walks in. You don’t hear him. He gets quite quite the earful of Tavia Gilbert in flagrante delicto with…well…herself, and he walks behind you saying “is it hot in here because the oven is on, or because THAT’S A VERY INTENSE DESCRIPTION OF ORAL SEX?”

“um, I dunno. both? Want a snickerdoodle?”

Totally not embarrassed at.all. He probably loved it. He probably has an entire file folder on his ipad filled with Jeaniene Frost fanfic.

Though, I think a straight male may write an oral sex scene like handbook plays.

“You see, first, I had to scope out the field, get the lay of the turf. Then, I dug in and made sure I had room to circle the goal. I was ready for the long play–the hard-won finish!”

Sebastian York could still make it sound sexy.

Only, that was a vampire novel, so, throw in something about biting and blood.

So I’ve compiled the Ten Best Erotic Audiobooks I’ve listened to. *and I love audiobooks like whoa.

The Ten Best Erotica Audiobooks

Listen at your own risk.

WHAT are you listening to? The Ten Best #Erotic #Audiobooks Click To Tweet

1.

Narrated by Grace Grant, this book is very sexy. It hits a few of my “feminist miss” buttons, but the narration is so great, and the rest of the story is so fun, that it didn’t make me want to burn my bra or my audible gold membership.

2.

This is PNR that has mucho mucho mucho sexytimes. As usual, Tavia Gilbert, is amazing. The book is hotter than hell, and the story is great.

3.

Unexpected, wonderful narration by Juanita McMahon, and a story that will leave you in stitches. Truly spectacular.

4.

This series is really, really, really dirty.

This series is great. It deals with kinbaku, aka Japanese sexy bondage. It also has some REAAALLY unexpected bits. In some really unexpected places.

The series is narrated pretty evenly between Rachel Vivette and Luke Daniels. Trust me, it does have a good storyline. And not just in the way that Playboy has articles.

5.

This is my favorite of the series. All narrated by Max Bellmore, this series is super intense, but funny and sweet as well.

6.

This series. Oh, this series.

Narrated by Jill Redfield, this series is not only wonderfully hot, it’s LOUD AS HELL, so proceed with caution.

7.

SO UNEXPECTEDLY WONDERFUL. Really. I promise. The narrator sounds very young, but her timing is really good, and you can hear improvement through her catalog.

8.

This is my favorite book in the series. It has some of the issues that #1 book on this list has, but it’s so adorable in places, and so steamy in others, it’s really worth the listen.

9.

Kirstin Potter does a wonderful job in this series. It’s dark and sexy but, oddly, friendly? Gah, that sounds daft as I read it aloud, but I swear that it is. It’s happy hot? Saucy Sappy Sexy?

10.

The heat is as good as the sweet in this novel. The protagonist is so fucking swoon-worthy I may never regain composure. Johanna Parker is a delight, and I think she may have removable testicles somewhere, because GATDAMN, WOMAN!! So good.

What are you waiting for? Have some happy alone time with your earbuds and your battery operated buddy! No, I didn’t mean that. Wait.

Type A (Positive) Personality.

One word: Venice.

It even sounds romantic. Italy in general holds a nigh universal appeal as the most romantic country on the planet. Ok, mostly. The piazzas, the slickly fashioned men with swooning women. Gelato. Pasta. Tiramisu. Wine. Risotto. Pizza. Truffles. Grappa. Blood.

wait, blood?

Um…

Um, Yes.

Ok, not like the bloodied hands of Brutus, or the the chill in the blood of a visitor to an ossuary in Milan, not even all the scenes in Italy in The Godfather. 

The drinking kind!!

Um…

Yeah!! Italy is OLD AS OLD GETS!! There’re bound to be many

interesting characters.

THANK G-D, AMIRITE? I am a very pale, introvert bookworm. I can only take so much daylight. I also have more ADHD than an entire elementary school, so I have energetic needs. 

And while I’m normally more of a fan of shifters, the exception to the rule exists a few places, most especially, in anything Elizabeth Hunter writes. AND I AM IN LOVE WITH TENZIN. She has freaking permafangs that don’t retract. She’s ittybitty and can kill an army of dudes. She flies. She is ruled by no one. She’s awkward and intrusive and full of piss and vinegar. Ok, not piss, she’s a vampire. Blood and vinegar. Salt and vinegar blood. She’ll make a new crisp flavor!

Which is why I’m so excited that today is the release day for this beauty:

I am singing the Benzin song I made up. It’s a great song. It is to the tune of “X-Gon Give it to Ya.” It fits. Just sub Tenz and Benz every other line for “X.”

The blurb:

All Ben Vecchio wanted was a quiet summer before his last semester of university. Was that too much to ask?

All Tenzin wanted was a cache of priceless medieval coins that had been missing for several hundred years.

And some company.

Phrases like “never again” don’t mean much when you’ve been a vampire for several thousand years. And promises made in the heat of anger don’t outweigh the lure of gold. Ben Vecchio thought he knew everything there was to know about the immortals of Italy. But when Tenzin tempts him into another adventure finding a cache of rare gold coins missing since the nineteenth century, he’ll discover that familiar places can hold the most delicious secrets. And possibly, the key to his future.

happy dance. Benzin song. Salt and Vinegar blood! or not that last one. I’m a vegan. It’s also almost Lent, so, Fridays are out for Carwyn. What does a Catholic vampire eat during Lent? TOO MANY QUESTIONS, BACK TO BENZIN.

A good, heathen vampire. Because I like my vampires like I like my moonshine–entirely lawless and probably poison.

Once again, Ms Hunter’s ability to spin worlds from the closely packed microfilaments of her abundant imagination stupefies the senses and tickles the tender parts of the reader’s intelligence. Elizabeth Hunter’s world-building is so uncommonly spectacular, it’s apparent she’s become a standard to which other writers must reckon by. She continually outdoes her previous installments, and Imitation and Alchemy maintains and expands on that trend. It’s not a romance, per se, but everything about it is romantic. The setting, the people, the nigh folkloric atmosphere of the prose and intelligence of characters is reminiscent of the great Gothic romances of the past. Only entirely more badass. With 100% more Monty Python references.

I love watching Ben and Tenzin’s comlex relationship construct itself into something more. It’s challenging to all of my expectations of what a possible *or not* HEA might look like for them, and it whets my appetite for the next installment like that first beer at the pub. I love how Tenzin manages to pull Ben into the most insane schemes. I love how Ben doesn’t take a bit of her shit without giving it back. He’s not scared of her, even if he should be. They’re like this:

Ok, bad example. Let’s try again:

Imitation and Alchemy is an astonishing fantasy-filled adventure topped to the brim with intelligence, suspense, and delicious, yet morally questionable decisions.

Five stars.

Imitation and Alchemy by Elizabeth Hunter review.

Amazon • Kobo

Review of Imitation and Alchemy by @E__Hunter and Recipe for Cauliflower Risi e Bisi on Reader/Eater.… Click To Tweet

For the recipe?

It’s Venice (sometimes) bitch. Gotta be Risi e Bisi. Only better. Cauliflower Risi e Bisi. Not so risi, then. SCREW YOUR EXPECTATIONS! It’s a Venetian dish typically made with rice and peas. Mine uses riced cauliflower for a new flavor exploration and fewer carbs. It’s so good.

delicious cauliflower risi e bisi

 

 

Cauliflower Risi e Bisi

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: saute gluten-free low-carb paleo vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower, chopped into a fine dice.
  • 1 leek, topped, tailed, and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tbsp butter or earth balance spread
  • 1 cup cubed and cooked pancetta or 1 cup chopped and sauteed porcini mushrooms (saute in a bit of oil without salt on HIGH until browned) (about a large fist full, my UK friends. Or a cuppa.)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

DO NOT PRE STEAM YOUR VEG

heat fats on stove on medium high

stir in leeks and cauliflower

cook 5 minutes

lower heat to medium low and add garlic

stir

slowly add stock, a little bit at a time until absorbed

stir in mushrooms or pancetta

salt and pepper to taste

stir in peas and remove from heat.

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Move With Me

I am a complete music nerd. I’m NOT a music snob. Just…nerdy. I love love love everything from Dvorak to Debbie Harry. Much like books, I don’t really care what you’re into, as long as you OWN it, and listen. Music is so much more than background noise. It’s the heartbeat of motion and action. It’s the … Read more…