DDD #130 – Just Egg Review & Personal Loss

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the video above to watch the video.

Once again, for the 4th time in ten years, my home is plunged into grief by the sudden loss of a family member. Yesterday, I lost one of the best friends I have ever had in my life – my sweetest, sweet boy, Levi Dexter Gordon. My Dexter. He came into my life a little under 13 years ago – to help me recover from the devastating loss of my pug, Dempsey. Dexter started & ended his life very frail. He was a very sick puppy but, together, we got him right & robust & as muscular as you would expect a Frenchie to be. He cuddled my then senior pit mix, the very cantankerous Girl Friday, from behind so she could not bite him & he was there to comfort me when we lost her. In his prime, he was an only dog, and he was a huge personality – uber-protective of me, playfully tearing the pants at the ankle of many of my guests, unapologetically trying to bite anyone who dared approach me if he was in my lap & terrorizing veterinarians. Together, we drove to Michigan in the winter of 2007/8. He was my companion & comfort during my brutal month there & then spent 3 cold, winter months in Boston with me. He crossed country with me in a car twice. When Sarah MacLaughlin ads guilted me into adopting another dog – I took in twin pugs, Ella & Grisbi. I was afraid he would be jealous & unaccepting but he adored them both immediately. He was there for me when 11-month-old Ella died of a bee sting. When I adopted TEENY Moxie – he was wise & gentle enough to let Grisbi cuddle her until she was resilient enough to handle his enormous energy & enthusiasm. He was there for me when Grisbi died suddenly at the age of three. He welcomed Memphis as family immediately and gave him long & loving ear & face baths. He was there for me when we lost Memphis, suddenly. He graciously welcomed competing Frenchie, Hayden, into our home & even seemed to grow younger in the presence of her youthful enthusiasm. As important as his generosity was to the dogs I adopted into the family without consulting him – the generosity of his soul in accepting & nurturing about 15 foster dogs I have taken in and adopted out over the years was of equal impact. I could never have been a part of Road Dogs & saving doggy lives – if Dexter had not been so totally on board.

Just over 5 years ago, Dexter was diagnosed with an untreatable pinched nerve in his back which left him increasingly lame and, eventually, incontinent. My home became a labyrinth of yoga mats & rugs for traction for him & my bed was a patchwork of waterproof blankets – so he could still sleep with us each night. He handled his failing health with dignity & courage & forgave me every time I got frustrated with what felt like a life of endlessly cleaning pee & poo. I am so incredibly ashamed of ever letting him experience my sometimes frustration with something so out of his control. I am sure he was far more frustrated than I. But – he was a king among dogs & I know he understood.

Dexter was the man in my life for the last 13 years. He was my friend, my confidant, and my protector. I feel anchorless in his absence. Truly. Despite his frailty, he was all heart & bravado until his last days.

Dexter – I love you even more than you loved me. I still see you everywhere and it will take a long time for me to forget the routines that were ours. I miss your love of fashion & your pride in wearing any outfit. I miss you barking in impatience if I left you downstairs & the steps were too much for you. I miss carrying you around and looking at your face as I did so – seeing the total trust there & the blind acceptance of whatever it was I was carrying you toward. I miss your wonky, wobbly run toward me whenever I knelt on the floor & called you to me. I miss the slow & deliberate placement of your stinky kisses on my face. I miss your snoring. I miss how it feels to see you looking back at me. I miss all that trust & faith & love – directed at me. I thought we had more time. I knew it would not be enough time – but I thought we had more – measured in years – if we were lucky.

That is not what happened. You decided it was time & all I can do is accept that. You went in your sleep, on a freshly cleaned bed in a new outfit from your grandmother, Gail. And you decided to go while I was not here. I am torn about that but this was your choice.

Know I loved you completely – from the moment I saw you. I went to the breeder (first & last breeder visit of my life) meaning to choose a cream boy Frenchie from a litter of 5 cream pups & one brindle. I went home with the brindle – the boy with the biggest ears I had ever seen & the giant tummy. I was nervous because I understood the responsibility you represented – but it is a responsibility I am forever grateful to have taken on.

I loved you then & I love you more now. You are one of the very best things that ever happened to me. I am honored to have been your friend. So are all the dogs here and elsewhere who had the great opportunity to know you. None of us here could possibly have loved you more than we do. You were our patriarch.

RIP, Dexter – my baby, my boy, my man. I will forever love you as much as you loved me – times infinity. xoxoxoxox

 

Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I will confess – I am a recovering tofu bigot.  I gave up meat in the eighties – way before there were ANY vegetarian faux meats and even using the word “vegan” was a decade away for me.  The only fake meat out there was stuff like Bacos – that were accidentally vegan.  OK – fine – they had seitan in health food stores but it was bland & unconvincing & I was not yet skilled enough to make it really work.  So – tofu emerged as potentially the most versatile vegetarian meat substitute.  I experimented a bunch but the results were always iffy and, frankly, the taste & texture of tofu sorta bummed me out & seemed not worth the calories involved.  The only tofu things that were any good were deep fried appetizers doused in rich peanut sauces at Asian restaurants.  So – I kinda let tofu go.

When you are a vegetarian as long as I have been – you quickly grow increasing annoyed by the question, “Do you eat a lot of tofu, then?” and “Where do you get your protein?”

Fuck tofu!  Being vegetarian doesn’t mean I live on tofu.  And I have NEVER made any effort to increase protein in my diet.  Vegetables & beans & nuts etc all have protein but I never bought into the whole protein myth.  Look at some of the largest mammals on earth – gorillas, elephants, rhinos, hippos, cows, horses, bison, giraffes and some whales – all vegetarian or vegan.  So fuck protein &  fuck tofu.

Then, my vegan friend asked if I had a vegan scramble recipe & I did not.  Eh – fine.  I will scramble some fucking gross tofu for the hippies out there.   Tofu scramble?  Blech!  Slimy & wet – tasting all tofooey.  Ugh.  But – for the sake of this blog – I did it.  I made Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below – and they were a revelation!

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Emboldened – I get more and more adventurous with scrambling tofu until I got to the point where I would scramble some with spinach and S&P and wrap it in a tortilla & eat it with salsa every morning before work.   Scrambled tofu really is almost indistinguishable from scrambled egg whites but without all the cruelty involved.

As to this breakfast burrito – I added the things I did because I had them.  You can make yours with any of your favorite omelette ingredients.   A little turmeric makes the tofu yellow & becomes even more visually convincing that you are not eating tofu – but eggs.  I recommend trying it at least once!  You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Sorry, tofu!  I had you all wrong!

Also – I used Daiya shredded mozzarella in this.  In some photos – you can see the gooey melted cheese in the burrito.  The Daiya shreds melt very well when used like this.  The taste is distinctly NOT mozzarella but it is not unpleasant.  You can use your favorite brand – or skip cheese altogether.

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Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese

Makes 2 burritos

INGREDIENTS

2 large tortillas

1/2 block of firm tofu

4 mushrooms – diced

1 tomato – diced

2 handfuls of spinach

Shredded cheese

fresh or pickled jalapeno – diced (quantity to suite your taste)

2 TBS chia seeds (optional)

1 pinch each of: ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper

Sliced Avocado

Cilantro

Garnish with salsa

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DIRECTIONS

In a nonstick pan, or a pan sprayed with cooking oil, heat everything up (except avocado & cilantro – if using) – mashing the tofu into everything.  Really – that’s it.  Once the spinach wilts & the tofu is heated through – adjust seasonings and wrap that shit up in your tortillas with some avocado & cilantro.  Serve with some salsa!  YUMMY!

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