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! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seagull Fun in Northern Michigan!

Greetings from Michigan! Yep, we're still in Michigan. I hope you don't mind if I keep bombarding you with travel photos until Mr. Wing-It and I go home and I can cook some decent food. I made a lovely peach sauce during our last stay-cation but I cannot find the recipe anywhere, which means that I probably left it at home in my messy recipe notebook. Oy! That's OK, we're going home for a few days next weekend and I will post it then! :)

This time I would like to bombard you with pictures from our recent trip to Mackinaw City, Michigan. We actually stayed in St. Ignace which is across the bridge from Mackinaw city. St. Ignace isn't quite as crowded as M.C. and hotel rates there are a little less expensive. Double score!

Do you like seagulls? I *LOVE* them! And so does Mr. Wing-It! He likes to feed them and I like to photograph them, so we make a great seagull-stalking team! The seagulls in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace are the friendliest birds I have ever met. You can click on the pictures to zoom in on their seagull awesomeness (it takes you to my flickr)

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
I'm too sexy for Milan, New York and Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
This picture needs a background sound effect: screeching tires

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
I love this guy! Thanks for posing, buddy!

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
No problem, ociffer. I am not drunk, I can line a straight walk...

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
Sunrise on Lake Huron

Sunrise Seagull - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
One is the loneliest number...

Sunrise Swans - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
Mother and baby swan enjoying the sunrise

Family of Swans - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
Father Swan never wandered too far from his family.
Lake Huron looks very blue in the afternoon!

Lake Huron (from the bridge) - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
View from the Mackinac Bridge.
I love how the water has two distinct colors...

Lake Huron (from the bridge) - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
Blue and green!

Where are the pictures of Mackinac Island?! Well, we didn't go there! We would have had to take a boat ride, and I don't do floating things! :D

If you want to see more of our seagulls, I just finished a separate page with pictures of seagulls from around the US and you can check it out here.

That's it for Michigan! Hopefully next time we meet we will be home and I will be able to share that elusive peach sauce recipe. Peach sauce = Gilmore Girls Geekery! YAY!

PS: We won't be able to check into our next hotel until this afternoon, so I won't be able to reply to your comments until then :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Travel Update: Yellowstone National Park!

Thank you so much for the warm welcome-back! As Sal would say, you guys rock socks! It feels great to Wing-It again! :)

Is it Halloweegan yet?... How 'bout now?... How 'bout now?... Now?... Now? Oh, come on! I am SO ready for it! *sigh* A couple of days ago I organized all the old Halloweegan posts into a neat index and it only made me long for the spooky season even more.

Speaking of neatly organized indexes, I also made one for the E.A.T World challenge and it was awesome to see just how many entries there have been so far! It's never too late to participate, there are no deadlines or rules and anybody is welcome to join us and play! :)

Anyway, have you ever been to Yellowstone National Park? Mr. Wing-It and I have been there five times and it never gets old! There was one disappointing trip when most of the animals were hiding and there wasn't much to see there for a couple of seasoned Yellowstone visitors like us, but that was the only time that it wasn't as exciting as it normally is. This year we weren't lucky enough to see bears or baby moose, but it doesn't take much to keep us entertained!

This year we were entertained by this dashing raven:

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Isn't he handsome? He was happy to pose for the camera in exchange for peanuts, so I took lots of pictures of his shiny awesomeness. You can click on the pictures if you want to see their larger versions (clicking on them takes you to my flickr account)

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Overexposed Raven

Overexposed! I think this guy has pretty much perfected the Magnum. He was such a dashing raven that I even made a little video of him being a total rock star. It's 48 seconds long, and just in case you're at work - you might want to mute it because it has a fun song playing in the background! :)

**Blogger is now being a cretin and the video might not play properly**

**OK, I had to remove the video because it's messing up the whole blog. You can still watch it here though! :) **

We also saw this pretty crane that flew away seconds after I took the picture. His wingspan was huge, I wish I could have photographed that!

UPDATE: A-K just told me that this is actually a great blue heron. Thank you A-K! :)

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Crane

Look at this tiny beaver! It's a terrible picture because I had to zoom in all the way and it was windy and shaky, but I still think you can see the cuteness all the way from here! :)

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Tiny Beaver

There seemed to be a shortage of buffalo this year. Every time we go there we get stuck in a buffalo-jam, but this year the roads were almost buffalo-free everywhere. The few buffalo that we saw looked a little sad, I think they were ready for springtime to come and melt the snow away.

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Peeking Buffalo

The views in the northern part of the park were beautiful! Everything was white and snowy and shimmery!

Yellowstone National Park 2010

Yellowstone National Park 2010

It makes me wish it was winter already! Can't get enough of Yellowstone? Wish you were there? Maybe this will help - I made a separate page with Yellowstone pictures that we have taken through the years. There are baby animals, itchy buffalo, sleepy elk, some nice sceneries, and more Yellowstone goodness!

We are in Detroit now, and luckily we are leaving tomorrow - this city a far cry from the loveliness of Yellowstone. Did I mention that I am not a big city girl? *hermit*

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wing-It Is Back, Baby!

Greetings from the land of fickleness! Wing-It is back! Yes. I realize I am fickle, but what kind of a woman would I be if I never changed my mind? Right? So I changed my mind and gave up the other blog. For those of you that haven't been following my nomadism, the other blog is The Crafty Kook. I am still kooky, but now I will be kooky here instead. Again.

I have been missing this dusty old blog for a while, and at first I thought that maybe I could bring Halloweegan back just for the month of October and then go back to The Crafty Kook, but what I really want to do is move back here for good! It all was decided yesterday when I read some super kind words that Bianca had to say about Wing-It Vegan. It was the final extra push that I needed and it made me realize that this is where I want to be! Thanks Bianca! It's good to be home! :)

I feel a song coming... reunited and it feels so good, reunited 'cause we understood,there's one perfect fit, and sugar this one is it...

It really does feel like coming home. The Crafty Kook never felt like home, and now I can't even remember clearly why I wanted to change. I had some reasons, but now they all seem stupid. This is so exciting! I have been constantly smiling like an idiot since yesterday! No need to make a pro-con list, this is what I want! :D

Hopefully my flip-flopping won't be too confusing and annoying for you. I have imported all my posts from The Crafty Kook so there will be no hopping around from blog to blog if I link to an old Kook post. I also replaced all the "Mr. Kooks" with "Mr. Wing-Its". YAY! I have even missed calling the hubster "Mr. Wing-It!"

So here we are again. Do you like my new layout? I drew the little icons and the cupcake myself, which is very strange because I cannot draw! It was some sort of fluke, I'm sure. The drawings were clumsily inspired by the Simon's Cat videos, which I love!

What else? What else? Right! I am working on a recipe index so all my recipes and external links to other recipes will be neatly organized and easily accessible.

Did I mention that I'm bringing Halloweegan back this year? Whooooo!! This time it will be about Halloween themed crafts as well as food. And I intend to join Vegan MoFo again! From now on I will try to keep blogging once a week even if it's not about food or crafts or travels, just to keep the blogging flow going until we go home for Halloweegan. I'm excited! I can feel the mojo! Bring on Halloweegan!! Bring on Vegan MoFo!!

This post is getting long, so let me wrap it up with my very first E.A.T World entry on Wing-It Vegan. This time, we're going to Spain for some Tortillitas!

E.A.T World: Spain, Tortillitas

Tortillitas are basically a chickpea flour pancake that is naturally egg-free! Score! The problem is that they are seafood pancakes. *Sadface*. Not to worry! This veganized version is made with mushrooms instead. The recipe calls for half chickpea flour and half all purpose flour, but I replaced the white stuff with more chickpea flour. The tortillita broke a little when it flipped it, but I didn't expect any less! *I haz a clumsy* I followed this recipe by Mark Bittman, and there is even a handy little step by step video here. Like I said, I made mine with thinly sliced sauteed mushrooms and it was the bestest!

E.A.T World: Spain, Tortillitas

Well, I guess I've done my damage here. Can you believe it's almost the weekend? I hope you guys have an awesome one!

P.S: Is anybody out there still reading this dusty old blog? :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cookbook Spotlight: Viva Vegan!

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Wing-It and I took a few days off from our travels and we went home to "rest" for a while. How was I supposed to rest when I went on a psycho baking and cooking frenzy? As soon as we arrived home I baked a batch of Eureka Brownies. We got there at 3 p.m, and the brownies were done one hour later! This was amazingly fast considering that first we had to unload the car, unpack the cooler, open a couple of boxes of Amazon.com goodies, start our laundry and do other miscellaneous first-day-at-home-after-months-of-travelling things. The brownies were only the beginning of the insanity. I felt like a mostly-indoor dog that goes totally wild when she gets to go to a park to run around. You know, tongue hanging to the side of my mouth, eyes popping out of my face, crazy wide smile, you get the picture! The beast was unleashed! :D

One of the Amazon goodies that was waiting for us at home was Viva Vegan, a fabuloso Latin cuisine cookbook by Terry Hope Romero. There were so many recipes that I wanted to try but there wasn't enough time for all the dishes I had planned to make. As always, this isn't a review (that's too snobby for me) instead it's a spotlight of the awesome recipes that I did get to try.

Let's start with the sweets first! Who wants some Churros?

Viva Vegan - Churros

I loved the churros! They are basically deep fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and they are deliciously fun to eat! Oddly enough they weren't as hard to make as I expected. I am used to baking everything with whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour, which the recipe called for, so they weren't as soft as they should have been. This was totally stupid of me because churros are deep fried! Who cares about using a slightly more healthful flour when you're going to deep fry the stuff anyway?! *Sigh* Sometimes my brain doesn't work properly. Next time we go home for a while I will make them with all purpose flour and they will be even more delicioso!

Anyway, I also made the yummy Chocolate para Churros to dunk the yummy sticks of goodness. Muy rico! :D

Viva Vegan - Churros and Chocolate para Churros

More sweet stuff straight ahead, capt'n! Hmmm. I don't know why I just started talking like a pirate there. Check out the Alfajores!

Viva Vegan - Alfajores

Alfajores are Buttery Cookies with Thick Dulce de Leche Filling. The filling is sandwiched between two cookies, and then the sandwich is rolled in shredded coconut (or crushed almonds I think was the other option.) I love them! They are sweet and tasty and so very purrrdy! Here's an inside shot:

Viva Vegan - Alfajores

I was way too stingy with the Dulce de Leche filling, so I just spread some dulce on the cookies as I ate them for extra awesomeness.

Viva Vegan - Thick Dulce de Leche Filling

Now it's time for some tamales! I made tamales! I felt pretty badass after accomplishing such a feat. Don't they look like little presents waiting to be unwrapped and devoured?

Viva Vegan - Black Bean - Sweet Potato Tamales

Devoured they were! Viva Vegan has a few different recipes for tamale fillings, and the one that I chose was the Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales. They were muy sabroso! Black beans and sweet potatoes make a great team, and the corn masa was perfect! Inside shot:

Viva Vegan - Black Bean - Sweet Potato Tamales

Looking back, I don't think it was that much work to make the tamales. It seemed like it at the time because it was my first time making them and I had a lot going on with the filling, and the masa, and the corn husks, but I think it will be easier next time.

Next up - Chimichurri Baked Tofu! Don't you love that word? Chimichurri!

Viva Vegan - Chimichurri Baked Tofu

I adore this recipe! The tofu was baked to perfection in this amazingly tasty chimichurri sauce and it was the best tofu splurge ever! I did manage to mess up the sauce a little and it didn't turn out as green as it should have. Here is some extra Chimichurri Sauce with Smoked Paprika atop a perfect bite of tofu:

Viva Vegan - Chimichurri Sauce with Smoked Paprika

One of the side dishes I chose for the Chimichurri Baked Tofu was the Quinotto (Quinoa-Oyster Mushroom Risotto)

Viva Vegan - Quinotto (Quinoa-Oyster Mushroom Risotto)

It was the perfect side dish to compliment the Chimichurri Baked Tofu! Sometimes I get tired of quinoa, but this dish was different and it was like I was rediscovering that yummy old grain.

The other side dish that I had with the Chimichurri Baked Tofu was the Ensalada Chilena (Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions)

Viva Vegan - Ensalada Chilena (Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions)

I have a rule: I only make recipes that I am pretty sure I am going to enjoy. Dammit I broke my own rule! This salad was very tasty, but I just cannot eat raw onions without paying for it later with some major heartburn. It doesn't matter how long I soak them in ice water, they always turn into lava when I eat them. If your digestive system can tolerate raw onions, then definitely try this dish because before it set me on fire it tasted great! :D

There were so many recipes that I didn't get to try, like the Steamed Red (and white!) Seitan, Tempeh Asado, Arroz con Gandules, Empanadas Humitas, Coconut Tres Leches Cake, and the Vanilla-Coconut Flan. There's always next time! Check out more Viva Vegan goodies at Mandee's blog, Cupcake Kitteh, and visit Terry Hope Romero's and Viva Vegan's official website for more info about the cookbook. Thank you Mandee for making me drool over all your Viva Vegan goodies and making me want to buy this gem! :)

Definitely check out Viva Vegan if you want to add some wonderful interestingness to your menu. I give it two thumbs arriba!

I'm not sure exactly when we will take our next break, but whenever that happens there sure will be another cooking frenzy. Isn't it funny that we go home to take a vacation from work? :P

Thursday, July 1, 2010

W.I.P Wednesday and Gilmore Girls Geekery! (Luke's Diner Shopping Tote)

W.I.P Wednesday on a Thursday? I was supposed to publish this last night, but the Sleepy Time Fairies sprinkled some sleepy dust on me and I had to surrender to their magic powers and go to bed. Blame the Fairies! Let's make up for the lost time and jump right into the craftiness!

Let's start with this Wabbit Coin Purse that I made for my buddy Becks... a wabbit for the Wabbit! :)

What a slowpoke blogger I am, I made this little coin purse over two months ago! Anyway, the little wabbit is my own design and I am extra proud of myself for pulling it off. The purse is lined with beige felt, and it has dark brown blanket stitching all around it. Yes, I am 31 years old. Why do you ask? :)

The next project is even older! I made this for Mr. Wing-It's birthday back in February, but I never blogged about it because I am frustrated with myself about the lack of swirly swirls in the sky. It's Starry Night! It's supposed to have swirly skies!! Duh!

Remember the Seagull Wallet I was working on a while ago? It's all done! In spite of its wonkiness, it has earned me a couple of compliments from two complete strangers! Score!

And here is my latest finished project and the first of many Gilmore Girls inspired blog posts - a reusable (and reversible) shopping bag!

Gilmore Girls Geekery - Luke's Bag

It's a Luke's bag! For those of you who are not familiar with the TV show "Gilmore Girls", let me tell you that it is only one of the best shows ever created! I am quite picky about my TV shows, and this one is my favorite - along with another little show called "FRIENDS".

What's with Luke's, you ask? Luke's Diner is a fictional diner in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, where Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory live. Stars Hollow is a lovely little place full of cute little shops and wonderfully quirky residents. Quirky and nosey! The writing is brilliant. You can't just sit there and zone out through an episode because you will miss dozens of fun pop culture and historical references. Oh, and there's food! Lots and lots of food! So, if you're a foodie, if you like quirkiness, if you enjoy obscure (and not so obscure) references, and if you love to laugh, then you have to give this show a chance! You will be hooked and you will find yourself making your own Luke's reusable shopping bag in no time! :D

My bag is made of four cotton bandanas from Hobby Lobby: two brown bandanas and two pink and white polka dot ones. This is the tutorial that I followed to make the bag. It was fairly easy to make and I will probably use the same tutorial again in the future. I printed out this picture of the Luke's sign to outline and cut out the letters and mug, which are made of felt. It's not quite finished yet because at some point the lining/reversible side will have a "Doose's Market" logo.

The bag will be even more awesome if you make it while you watch your favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls! I smell snow! :)

This is my first official contribution to my very unofficial "Gilmore Girls Geekery" blog series. You can expect to see Gilmore Girls inspired craftiness, food, and general geekery in the near or not so near future. We're still traveling, so blog posts are still sporadic. Feel free to join in and start your own Gilmore Girls Geekery series! I'm off to do some shopping now. I need some cornstarch from Doose's Market, purple hair dye from Stars Hollow Beauty Supply, and a meowing pot holder from Le Chat Club. Bye! :)