Hi! I'm taking a little break and it might take me a few days to reply to comments and emails. I'll be back soon! :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kitty Update, Nostalgiaville And.. No Easter Goodies?

Thank you on behalf of Kitty for all your sweet comments on my previous post! I'm quite certain that all your positive energy and good vibes are what helped him get used to his new home so quickly and happily. Mrs. Fairy Godmother has been sending us updates and Kitty pictures of him and his new furry buddy. He's doing great with his super kind new humans in his awesome new home! He wants to be outside all day and only wants to go in the house when his food bowl outside is empty. Yep, that sounds like Kitty. Check out Kitty with his new buddy!

Check out the fluffiness of his buddy's tail!

Just hanging out, being cats.

"I'm free! Now let me in people, my food bowl has been empty for five minutes!"

Our travels have been way more enjoyable now that Kitty is safe and happy. Last week we stopped by a really cool place called "Nostalgiaville" in Kingdom City, Missouri. They have all kinds of 50's and 60's memorabilia items such as I Love Lucy, Elvis, and The Wizard of Oz.

Store front. See the Heartbreak Hotel sign up there?

Heartbreak Hotel sign - Nostalgiaville
Well, since my baby left me...

Oz sign above entrance door - Nostalgiaville
This sign was above their entrance door! Cute!

Beatles and Lucy parking signs - Nostalgiaville
Decisions, decisions... which one to choose? 

Elvis and Stooges parking signs - Nostalgiaville
We're not Stooges fans so we didn't park there... just in case.

We're all maxed out on luggage, so I could only buy something small, flat, and light. It HAD to be a Lucy something...

Lucy magnets from Nostalgiaville
Lucy magnets!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, the pictures in these magnets are from an episode when Lucy and Ethel get jobs at a chocolate factory, and of course they end up clowning around and screwing things up. (Watch it!)

An impulsive last-minute purchase:

I am very photogenic
Me: Is there a problem, officer?
Officer: Yes, ma'am. That's not your license.
Me: Oops. Sorry officer, I had a little too much Vitameatavegamin. This one is mine:

Is there a problem, officer?
Don't I have a lovely profile?

Now that you're all smiling and happy I'm going to drop a bit of a bomb. I haven't been very inspired to make Easter themed foods and probably won't write a humongous Easter themed post. Every day by the time we're done working, it's already time to check into our hotel and think about what to cook for dinner, which is generally something very simple and non-fun. So no time or energy to make themed foods. Sadface.

I did manage to make these on our day off:

Chocolate basket with peanut butter eggs
Chocolate basket with peanut butter coconut-covered 'eggs' inside.

It certainly isn't perfect, but it's as good as it gets with limited utensils, ingredients, cooking space, time and energy. We didn't bring any placemats or cute kitchen towels, but our reusable Whole Foods back worked just fine as a background for this shot, didn't it? To make the basket, I spread 1/4 cup of melted chocolate chips all around the inside of a small food storage container, and let it harden in the refrigerator for an hour. Then I ran it under some hot water for just a few seconds (the container, not the chocolate!) and after some persuasion the basket-shaped chocolate came off. I did the same thing for the handle using the lid of the food storage container as a mold. I poured chocolate just along the rim of the lid (just half of it), refrigerated it, persuaded it to come off, and "glued" it onto the basket with more melted chocolate.

For the eggs I used my Happy Vegan Ghosts recipe and shaped them into little eggs. You could use pink and yellow food coloring to make them more Eastery, but I didn't have any on hand. What are those big balls (same Happy Vegan Ghosts batch) around the baskets, you ask? Well, they're... Easter Bunny Tails? :)

Peanut butter - coconut Easter Cottontails

Well, there you have it. Happy Kitty, cool 50's & 60's stuff, and my humble Easter contribution. I've taken more pictures of other cool things we've seen on the road but I'm saving those for next time! Happy April!! Y'all come back now, y'hear?* :)

*I tried to find a video of the end credits of "The Beverly Hillbillies" to along with that line but I had no luck. What's up with that, YouTube?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Kitty! A Real-Life Hollywood Ending!

Who's up for some smiles? Let me spoil the ending of this story for you so you don't have to go through a whole box of tissues while you read it: Kitty Wing-it has found his forever home!

Kitty Wing-It is the same Kitty that I told you about on my Spookitty Heads post during Halloweegan. We always thought he was a girl, but he had us fooled. Anyway, Kitty Wing-It had been visiting us for a few months, and lately he had been spending a lot of time with us. He hates being inside all day and he only stayed in when it was really rainy or snowy outside, though after it stopped snowing he liked to jump around in the white fluff chasing imaginary things.

Mr. Wing-It and I had to leave town for a couple of weeks, and Mr. Wing-It's mom (Mother Wing-it) was keeping an eye on him.

[Enter evil-neighbor that we shall call "Chancy"]

Chancy doesn't like animals and she finds great pleasure in catching them and calling animal control on them. Poor Kitty walked into one of her traps and off he went to the "Humane" Society/Pet Adoption Center (they euthanize.) Mother Wing-it was worried when she hadn't seen Kitty in a couple of days so she went to the Pet Adoption Center to see if he was there. They told her that the "owners" (Ha! Nobody owns a cat!) had 21 days to pick him up and after that time he would be up for adoption. He is a black cat that is very independent and not very cuddly, so we knew that he would probably be there for a long time, or until they decided to euthanize him. (Don't worry, the story has an happy ending!)

We came back from our trip and went to the Pet Adoption Center to check on him and see if there was anything we could do to get him out of there, though we couldn't adopt him because with us out of town so much he would most likely end up in one of Chancy's traps again. There they told us that his "owners" had actually shown up and surrendered Kitty to them. They told us that he was immediately available for adoption! We saw him in his little cage and it was heartbreaking. This big, lively, mouse-catching, squirrel-chasing, active cat looked like he was all drugged up. He looked defeated. Why do rapists and mass murderers get more cell space than poor shelter animals?

Anyway, we came back home and Mr. Wing-It posted an ad on Craigslist's pet listings hoping that someone would reply soon. He posted. We waited. Oh, the agony! There were probably three words said between us while we waited and paced around the house. Maybe they weren't even words, maybe it was just a groan, a sigh, and an unidentifiable guttural sound. Luckily someone did respond after just a few hours! Not just someone, it was Kitty's Fairy Godmother actually! From now on we shall refer to her as Mrs. Fairy Godmother.

Mrs. Fairy Godmother sounded unbelievably perfect, and her home sounded like kitty Heaven. At first she thought she wouldn't be able to pick Kitty up for about a week, but she worked things out so she could come earlier to get him out of his tiny cage. Yes, this lady is awesomeness personified and she should be the Queen of Everything. When we met Mrs. Fairy Godmother, the first thing I did was hug her. What?! But I am not a hugger of people! You know, with my social anxiety and germaphobic ways and all. Hopefully I didn't freak her out, I was just so happy and thankful that she was there! Mr. Wing-it said I was very chatty. Chatty?! If you knew me in person the last word you would use to describe me would be "chatty". It must have been all that adrenaline pumping action.

Kitty spent a total of nine days in a cage, and now he will spend the rest of his life in a home with lots of land, a couple gazillion trees, horses, other cats, and people who are kind and caring. Not to mention that his new surroundings offer him an all-you-can-catch mouse buffet. He is a big mouse catcher. It's what cats and mice do. Ask Tom and Jerry. Those nine days in a cage were the Yin in Kitty's Yang. Or is that the Yang in Kitty's Yin? We miss him terribly, but knowing how happy he is going to be in his new home is extremely comforting! I could not have parted with you, my [Kitty], to any one less worthy.*

A few more Kitty Wing-It pictures:

Kitty upside-down cake!

I love this one with the autumn foliage in the background.

Seriously over-exposed, but one of my favorite pictures.

What's a girl to do without her Kitty? Kitty replica courtesy of Mr. Wing-it! :)

Ricki's Orange-Infused Chocolate-Almond Cake
Hey! This isn't a Kitty picture!

To celebrate Kitty's new wonderful life, I made Ricki's Orange-Infused Chocolate-Almond Cake from Clean Eating magazine. As you can see, I made cupcakes instead of a cake, and I might have added a few chocolate chips to the glaze even though I wasn't supposed to. Well, I had been chocolate deprived for almost a week! The cupcakes were delicious! This recipe just became an instant regular in the Wing-It kitchen. Ricki Rocks! (you should totally change your last name to "Rocks", Ricki!)

Cranberry-Orange Rolls
Cranberry-Orange Rolls

Not being a complete cranberry-hater anymore, I decided to make some Cranberry-Orange Rolls using my Cinnamon Rolls recipe. I replaced the cinnamon filling from that recipe with 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, some orange zest and a few cranberries. The glaze on top is OJ + powder sugar and a bit of vanilla. I also added a bit more of orange zest and more dried cranberries on top of the glazed rolls. 

I hope Kitty's story made you all warm and happy. Thanks to Kitty, we will be visiting the Pet Adoption Center when we come back from our travels and we will try to find homes for as many other animals as we can. Especially black cats and dogs that have a hard time getting adopted.

OK, it's time to end this post before it makes "Swann's Way" look like a short story. Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes! 

*Mr. Bennett to Lizzy in "Pride and Prejudice."