Lovin’ and Wantin’ – 10 Random Things

In the interest of total randomness, 10 things that I’m currently loving (or really wanting to love) right now. If you read my list the last time I did this, you’ll see some consistent themes!

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses – This is a fun read. I’m not going to say it’s the best book I’ve ever read, but it kept me entertained and it resonated with my own experiences growing into a yoga practice.

Vegan in Bellingham’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies – I made these for the hurricane (yes, hurricanes require baked goods) and they were so delicious.  I subbed 1/2 wheat flour, because it was what I had and they came out quite lovely.  Yum!

Oral-B Smartseries 5000 Professional Care Rechargeable, White/Silver – This is my second electric toothbrush.  The first was a Sonicare and the level of vibration made my teeth feel really uncomfortable, even painful.  So, I decided to give this a whirl (ha ha – see what I did there?) while there was a 50% rebate.  I love it so far!  My teeth feel great after I use it.

Words with Friends – If you don’t currently play this on your iPhone, Droid device, or Facebook, and you are a geek, you probably should.  It takes a bit of adjusting if you are used to traditional Scrabble, but it’s worth the effort.  Fun!

Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System – It might seem a little odd to say that I love a kitchen appliance, but I’m not above being odd.  I love some of mine enough to name them.  I have 2 Keurig machines – 1 at work and 1 at home (Katie Keurig and Billy Keurig-again). I had a feeling before I got the first one that I would like it. After all, I’m a coffee fan.  But, I didn’t anticipate how much I would love it, and how it would change my day. You see, coffee in the morning was a done deal. I was going to have a few cups whether that happened from a pot at home or Dunkin Donuts.  So, the morning hasn’t changed much.  But, now I don’t have to have the same coffee for those morning cups.  I can spread them out more.  And (AND!) I can have a cup of decaf in the evening without making more than I want.  Nice.

Sitting Meditation Buddha Statue – This, I don’t have, but I want it. I’ve been creating a little yoga area in my basement and I think he wants to be there. Don’t you think so?

Kale –  NOM NOM NOM!  Kale is the wonder green.  It’s good in in smoothies, it’s good in pea soup.  It’s delicious with lemon and miso.  It’s fabulous in a curry.  It makes a great snack.  And those are just a fraction of the ways that I use it.  Is there nothing that green can’t make better?

Hugger Mugger – Zafu – This is another “gimme” item for me.  I’ve been trying to increase my meditation, but also struggling with a little bursitis issue in the left side sit bone.  I feel like this little bit of comfort could make all the difference.  And besides, how adorable is it?  It’s like a tiny little bean bag chair.  I saw one the other day with a very cool paisley pattern, and that was super gorgeous, but I would settle for a pretty plum.

Fagor Futuro 6 Quart Pressure Cooker –  How did I ever live without a pressure cooker?  What was my big problem that I didn’t get one?  I love this kitchen tool.  Monday night, I made pinto beans (for refried beans) in SIX minutes.  Holy bean!  I made garbanzo beans for hummus in under 20 minutes.  It’s like a whole new world of cooking has opened up for me.

Thich Nhat Hanh –  His writings are beautiful and sensible.  They make me think and make me feel so peaceful.  I understand things about Buddhism and mindfulness in a whole different way after I read his work.  My first favorite was Old Path White Clouds, but there are so many other works that he has done that I feel connected to.  Currently, I’m reading Peace is Every Step.

There you have it – 10 random things that I’m loving and/or wanting right now!  How about you?


Vegan Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup

I got a new pressure cooker yesterday – my first.  He has been appropriately named (Bowie) and today I took him out for a spin.  This recipe was adapted from prior split pea soup recipes, so I can’t tell you exactly where it came from.  However, I can tell you that JL Goes Vegan has one that looks really amazing that begins with making your own juice.  Nice!  This is a lot (served six with plenty of leftovers), so you may wish to half it for a smaller family.  As usual, I forgot to take a picture.  I’m very bad at that.

2 pounds dried split peas
2 large (or 1 very large) onion, diced
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped kale
1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
8 cups water
1 T liquid smoke
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

In pressure cooker, coat bottom with olive oil.  Add onions and stir on medium high until soft and somewhat carmelized.  Add carrots and garlic and saute another 3-5 minutes.  Place remainder of ingredients in pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 10 minutes and then remove from burner to allow to naturally depressurize.  Serve with fresh bread.  Yummy.