I’m Back!!!

Apologies for the long absence from blogging…I was away in Panama for 3 weeks and while I did have sporadic Internet access, I was unable to upload pictures from my camera while there.  So now it’s time for a little catch up 🙂

I left on July 5th so I was at home to celebrate the 4th of July.  My daddy and I made something special that we’d been dying to try.

Smoky Red Peppers ‘n Beans Gumbo from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

We roasted a red pepper in the oven and used two tomatoes (also roasted) from our garden for a portion of the part of the recipe that calls for diced tomato.

Green food (this was “the trinity” plus okra)

Red food (this was the finished product)

This was SO.FREAKIN.GOOD.  As you can see from the pics, the recipe made a large amount of gumbo, and every last drop of it got eaten.  We ate it over brown rice.  I will definitely make this again!  It will be especially good during the cold Boston winter months that I will be facing in the near future…

Before I left I also made a batch of gigantic Super-Charge Me! cookies from Eat Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.  I took these with me to Panama to use as breakfasts or to take with me on ecotours (I did alot of outdoor activities including very long hikes so these were perfect).  I love these cookies!  This batch was made with raisins, chopped dried banana, chopped dried apricot, and chopped dried guava, and without chocolate chips (since I didn’t have any)–instead I shaved in a little dark chocolate for flavor.


I did a tiny bit of cooking in Panama, but I should come right out and say that I was NOT vegan during my trip.  This would have been nearly impossible in the environment had I just been visiting as a tourist, but added to the fact that I was living with a local family and wanted to be as respectful as possible, it was truly impossible.  However, they did not serve me meat, and for the most part I was able to fend for myself, especially because I came prepared with my super-charge me cookies as well as tons of cliff bars, dry vegan soups, and other such marvels.  Now that I am back, I cannot even describe how good it feels to be back to my normal eating habits! My body is definitely happy…

Anyways on to the cooking!  I made chili for my host family, which they loved, and of which I did not take a picture 😦  I also made home fries, of which I do have a picture. 

This is my own creation: it’s just some nice potatoes boiled and then fried up with some onions and red pepper in a little canola oil with salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano.  These were a hit!  It was pretty amazing to be able to share ultra-American foods like chili and home fries with my Panamanian family, while they shared quite a few things with me as well, including cilantro rice, stuffed challote (a delicious soft pear-shaped green vegetable), and patacones (deep-fried plaintains)–my new specialty!  I will make these soon and post pics 🙂

All in all, it is good to be back and I am excited to catch up on everyone’s blogs and leave comments soon!


Last night I made the Super-Charge Me! cookies from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.  I’ve seen these so often on Jenna’s blog and thought they would be a great thing to make and have on hand for a quick snack.  But of course half the time when I feel like baking I want something a little more “decadent” so I had put off making them for a while.  However I can now say that these are decadent in their own way!!  I thought they would be kind of like granola in a cookie form, and they sort of are, but they are soft and sweet and much tastier than granola would be if you just baked it into a mound :b  So I will definitely be making these again!!


This variety included raisins, chopped dried apricots and bananas, and peanut butter.  I looooove how you get the sweet flavor of the maple syrup and the peanut butter when you bite into these.  And they definitely are super-charging–I ate the equivalent of about 3 of them last night (between batter and a few bites of the baked ones) and my stomach was SO full.