Vegan Summer Stew

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
As some of you may know,  I've always been into cooking.  Since I've moved into our new apartment I've been cooking a lot more and getting more creative with it.  After giving up meat and having a vegan boyfriend to cook for, I've been having a lot of fun coming up with new meal ideas for us every night.  I cook almost every night for us, and I haven't had a bad review yet!  I mainly just use fresh veggies to create meals, but sometimes meat substitutes are fun too.  I just got a new crock pot today (yay!) and had to try it out immediately. I've had crock pots in the future, so I wasn't a total stranger.

Most of my meals I make up completely and only use recipes for basic reference, and I rarely measure out my ingredients (which will make sharing recipes kind of tough).  I'm going to start sharing more of my recipes here, and I definitely want to encourage people to put their own personality and taste into all of them.

I mainly just want to share my vegan and vegetarian recipes with everyone so they can see that this kind of healthy, plant-based diet is super easy and fun and nothing to be scared of or intimidated by.  I know a lot of people who turn up their nose at "fake" meat and cheese and it's really not bad at all, and I've even found a few meat and dairy substitutes that are as good if not better than the real thing. But hey, I'm not going to impose my lifestyle on anyone, so if you like a recipe but prefer to make it carnivorous, go ahead!

So here is my first recipe:

The Kitchen Witch's Vegan Summer Stew (Brew)

 Veggies and Fresh Ingredients:
Baby Carrots
Chopped Garlic (about 2 cloves)
Chopped Rosemary
3 Green Onions
New Potatoes (cut in halves)

Dry Ingredients:
Sage (can be used fresh if you have it)
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper Corns
Garlic Salt
Corn Starch (or flour, as needed to thicken sauce)

Liquid Ingredients:
Vegetable Stock
Liquid Smoke (just a splash!)
A little bit of water, if needed

Optional Meat Substitutes:
Gardein brand Beef Tips 
(Brown these before throwing them in, they should be the last ingredient) 

Like I said, I rarely measure ingredients and especially for crock pots, since everyone has a different size.  Crock pots are easy though, you just throw everything in it and let it cook.  Keep checking on it and make sure the sauce is thickening up and everything is going nicely.  I also taste it every so often to see if I need to add more salt or seasoning or vegetable stock/water.  Trust your taste buds, you know what you like. 

Let this baby cook for a few hours and VOILA!
You've just witched your way to a perfect summer stew. Not too heavy for the hot weather, but substantial enough to satisfy (and easy to modify depending on the seasons!)

Home Away From Home

Monday, August 15, 2016

Every year as a kid I would go with my family to visit my grandmother in Georgia. I can still remember the first time I went there, at age 4. Boarding my first plane and freaking out when we had to land in one of the biggest thunderstorms I've ever seen, even to this day (and I've seen a lot). I was born and raised in California, but I will always feel a sort of kinship with the South and still retain a lot of southern traits.  I love barbecue anything, sweet tea, I say please and thank you always, and I always smile at people on the street (even though in LA, they almost always never smile back).

Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters

Friday, August 5, 2016

On display until November 27th, "At Home with Monsters" is an exhibition at LACMA that showcases Guillermo del Toro's extensive collection of horror ephemera, fine art, and oddities mixed with various costumes and highlight reels from del Toro's visually captivating films.