About Me

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Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Yoga and reading are my passions - followed closely by jewelry-making and cooking plant-based meals. My husband is my guinea pig for my recipes and thankfully he's a willing subject! Be sure to visit my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBookishYogini?ref=search_shop_redirect

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Comfort Food...

In our household, our favorite comfort food is pasta.  Not just any pasta, but Pozza's Pasta.

Growing up in Springdale, Arkansas, near the Italian community of Tontitown, I learned at an early age that the only good pasta is homemade, thin, egg noodle pasta.  I'm not even sure that I ever tasted that semolina "crap" until I was grown and moved away to some place that didn't have Pozza's Pasta.  I love this stuff so much, that when we lived in Massachusetts, I ordered a case at a time shipped to my home!

Of course, you can cook your noodles and serve them up covered in a delicious marinara sauce, but on an evening when you're tired, and just want some comfort food, this is how I serve it up.

Boil your noodles until they are soft, but not mushy.  Drain the water, but keep the noodles in your hot boiling pan, but not on the stove top.  Add a good dollop of the butter of your choice (we like Earth Balance), then add a good bit of grated Parmesan cheese and stir until the butter is all melted.  Sprinkle with some garlic salt, stir.  Then divide it up onto plates, and sprinkle dried parsley on top (mostly for decoration!).  Yum, yum  -  comfort food!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Recently CBS aired an item about the "new" popularity of audiobooks in the literary industry.  Here is an older episode they aired:   Audiobooks Give New Life to Literature.   The one thing they failed to mention was the ability to borrow and download audiobooks FREE of charge from public libraries.

Personally, I have been listening to audiobooks for at least 13 years, maybe longer.  When I first started listening to audiobooks, it was by cassette tape.  Remember those? Almost always I would borrow them from my local library.  Once in a while I would purchase audiobooks, but they were generally more expensive than the hardcopy book.  Then along came audio CD's and MP3's, and my favorite of all time - downloadable audiobooks - a FREE service from my local library.

If you want to try downloadable audiobooks, just go to the website of your local library, for instance, Bentonville Library.  Then click on the tab Downloadables, then choose Library2Go

and begin your search for reading material.  You will need a current library card number and PIN # to log in and download your book.  If you don't have a card, your library's website will guide you how to get one.

Several people have told me that they "just can't listen to audiobooks because they put me to sleep".  This can be a problem that, in my opinion, is directly related to the voice of the narrator.  A good narrator can lead me to listen to a book that ordinarily I might not have read in print.  A good example is Charlaine Harris's  Sookie Stackhouse series.  I may never have chosen to read this series if I had started with the print version.  The audiobook, however, read by the very entertaining Johanna Parker hooked me immediately with her quirky, southern drawl.

In my search for entertaining audiobook narrators, I have come across several websites that allow you to listen to snippets of each narrators' reading style.  The following sites are a good resource for this purpose:  AudioFile Magazine,  Tantor Audio Audiobooks, and Audiobooks by Reader.  The Library2Go website also allows you to listen to a sample of your selection before downloading.

There are many ways to listen to audiobooks.  My favorite device is my iPhone.   (It is ridiculously easy to download audiobooks from the library to your iPhone.)  My husband bought me a wireless Bluetooth  device that works great for listening since there are no pesky wires, and I can easily answer any incoming phone calls with the push of button, pausing my audiobook.  So -  I can clean house, work in the yard, or cook while listening to a book!  Multi-tasking!!   I also listen this way while driving - which is much safer than earplugs, as I have one ear open to traffic, and it's totally hands free.  

Have I convinced you to try audiobooks?????

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Yoga Class For Active Adults Starting

Breaking News!   Beginning September 10, I will begin teaching a new class: Yoga For Active Adults, from 4 to 5 pm each Tuesday and Thursday at Bella Vista Village's Metfield Clubhouse, 3 Euston Road.

The class will offer a flowing style of Hatha Yoga that helps create core strength and increase flexibility and balance.  Poses flow one into the other linked with the breath. Suitable for students of all levels and experience.

Students should bring a yoga mat.  Other optional accessories are a yoga strap, yoga block, and a blanket or cushion.

The cost is $3 per class or $25 for 10 classes when a punch card is purchased. Class participants, without a photo identification card issued by the Property Owners Association, will be required to pay the Metfield facility fee of $2.25 per class.
For more information, or to register, call 855-8165.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Homemade Ice "Cream"

Growing up, we had a tradition that on each of our birthdays, we would have cake (usually Betty Crocker) and homemade ice cream.  Our ice cream recipe made the MOST DELICIOUS ice cream.   In actuality it was closer to ice milk than ice cream, as it had no eggs in it.  

Since adopting a vegan/vegetarian eating plan, I have adapted my Mom's recipe to be vegan.  It tastes pretty darn good, especially with chocolate syrup and chopped peanuts on top.  (Fred would disagree on this count!)  

Here's my recipe for 
Cuisinart Dairy-Free Ice Cream:

3 cups non-dairy drink (soy, almond, rice, or hemp milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup organic evaporated cane sugar

Today I used 1 1/2 cups West Soy Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk and 1 1/2 cups Rice Dream Rice Milk.

Mix all ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. It you're not ready to freeze this, store in the refrigerator until you're ready to turn on the Cuisinart.


After about 30 minutes or so, the mixture should be frozen. Transfer your ice cream to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer immediately if you want a harder ice cream.

This ice cream freezes pretty hard in the freezer section of your refrigerator.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jalapeno, Bell Pepper, and Bean Salad

My husband found another tasty looking recipe for us to try on Facebook.  I adapted the recipe a bit to suit our taste buds.  The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar in the dressing, which involved cooking the dressing in a pan on the stove top until the sugar dissolved.  Why add more empty calories and one extra step to the preparation, when it tastes quite fine without the sugar?

Jalapeno, Bell Pepper and Bean Salad

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 jalapenos, minced
1 red onion, diced (optional, I will leave this out next time)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup organic canola oil
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in fridge several hours or overnight.  One serving is equal to about one cup.  Makes about 8 cups.

Jalapeno, Bell Pepper, and Bean Salad
Makes a HUGE bowl!

Look at all those veggies!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Very Chocolatey Brownies

In honor of Caitlyn, who is leaving the Library and moving far, far away, on Wednesday I baked my first recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (which Caitlyn gave me).  A copy of this book is available through the Washington County Library System or Carrie's personal library :-).

Holy moly!  These are VERRRRRY Chocolatey Brownies!  Delicious, if you love chocolate.  My husbands' response to tasting them was "Yuck, these taste like you dumped a can of cocoa in them."  He's not so far from the truth, as they call for 3/4 of a cup of cocoa!

This is a definite repeat recipe, although I have not calculated the nutrition facts yet - that may make them a once-in-a-while treat.  The good thing about them, is they are oil-free, egg-free, and dairy-free!  Yes!  But not sugar-free!

With a little coconut ice cream...