Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning

So it is spring in Naples! Since the weather is mostly chilly and rainy, you really wouldn't be able to tell if it weren't for my itchy swollen eyes, runny nose and full body rash that I get every time spring time comes to Naples.  With spring, comes spring cleaning.  Anyone who knows me and has seen my car, or my room or my work locker knows that I'm not big on cleaning.  If it's going to take me longer than five minutes, my  attention span drops to zero and you can find me reading a book or watching TV, or cooking, or trying to learn a new language... literally anything other than cleaning.

However, this year it's going to be different.  I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things that I own.  I wear maybe 5% of my clothing on a regular basis.  I have so many things that are purely decorative.  I took part in a community flea market on Saturday with my boyfriend and while we unloaded a lot of things, it's still ridiculous what I have that I am NEVER going to wear.  Why don't you just get rid of it? you ask.  Well, the truthful answer to that is I have no idea.  On one hand, it makes me a little angry that I purchased this item and I didn't wear it and will probably never wear it so I essentially just wasted my money.

The beginning of my "good-bye" pile
 On the other hand, I am a little bit emotionally attached to all of my things and I just need to let it go and grow up!  There are people that travel the world with just a backpack!  I'd like to think that I  could do that.  But for as long as I can remember, I have been personifying inanimate objects.  Like, I feel bad when I have to throw away Mr. Toothbrush because he is more than 2 months old and then I feel bad for Mr. Corkscrew because I called him a POS.

 Yesterday at the flea market, I realized that I probably wasn't going to sell all of my stuff, so I gave some of it to the women that were selling things to benefit TNR which is a local organization that assists the local stray population by Trapping, Neutering and Releasing them.   It's kind of killing me that I didn't get any pictures of the flea market but it is what it is.

Glad to get all of that gunk off of my brushes.ewwwww
 Today I cleaned my makeup brushes out the way I usually do because it has been TOOO long, I could probably just apply my makeup using the residue on my brushes:
-1 part water
-1 part hyrdrogen peroxide
-few squirts of soap.
 
This time I used Dr. Bronner's Hemp Lavender Pure-Castile soap because I was curious about it.  Have you ever read the label on that thing? It's like a cult handbook.  Kind of creepy.  But it worked really well in my brush washing and now my brushes smell like lavender. 

Also, something terrible has happened to me.  I ran out of/can't find my Vital Wheat Gluten so I can't make any seitan and I am very upset about it.  I ordered more but who knows when it's going to get here.  I don't have anything that I want to put in wraps or on salads and it is not a good time :(

So I've been compensating by making baked tofu bites marinated in balsamic vinegar.  Here's the gist of it in a recipe but I usually just wing it.

Balsamic Baked Tofu Bites
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Press your tofu.  I use the EZ Tofu Press.  Then cut it into cubes or triangles or however you'd like, but I have realized that the smaller the pieces are, the better it is because the pieces are more seasoned, here are what my pieces looked like.
Not very aesthetically pleasing, but so tasty!
Mix together the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl that can be covered and sealed and then add the tofu.  Cover the bowl and shake it up.  Let sit for a bit.  The longer you let it marinate (with occasional shaking) the more flavorful the pieces will be.  I usually let mine sit for like 30-45 minutes.

Then place them on the baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees F for 30 mins, flipping over halfway through.

I really like them to add flavor and protein to salad or wraps.  I tried to make it as a copy cat of the balsamic tofu that you can find in Whole Foods' salad bar, but I haven't had that in so long because I've been overseas and this recipe has evolved so much, it's probably not similar at all. 

I'm sorry I don't have a finished picture of the batch, but they basically look like what I posted above just a little crispier.

Also a few nights ago I made THE BESTTTT dinner ever.  I used the basil tofu that I picked up at Mondo Bio in Sorrento, sauteed it with some garlic and then added it to some Newman's Own tomato sauce to make a kind of "meat" sauce.  I served it over the vegan raviolis I picked up there too.  So good.  Even my omnivore boyfriend loved it!  

The ravioli, not sure what was in it but is says Vegan!

The basil tofu tomato sauce


Anyways, pretty uneventful week for me, but I really enjoyed it because who doesn't love to relax? and also I got to spend basically 24/7 with my boyfriend, so that was magical. Now I have to get back to adding to my pile of things I do not need or want anymore!

ciao ciao! -xo Katelyn

ps. My friend and hairstylist Brittany did my hair and it's awesome. I did ombre again but there are highlights too.  Honestly I have no idea what she did to it, but it looks fantastic and really natural.  Also there was the bonus of a puppy being present for my appointment (she does hair out of her house).

No makeup and I still look good

Not sure what they decided to name her, but I called her Banshee
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