Sunday, February 26, 2012

My First KZMU Playlist!

I hosted my first KZMU show on Friday, and boy was it exciting! Patrick came along and helped out. We were real nervous, but we got through it, and managed to play lots of good vinyl. The studio recently acquired a 2nd turntable so that they can have all-vinyl shows which I am hoping to do some day. However, the 2nd turntable was not hooked up yet on Friday, so we had to improvise here and there. Here is our playlist:

Lindsey Buckingham - Someone's Gotta Change
The Egyptian Lover - I Cry (night after night)
Head East - Never Been Any Reason
CCR - Bayou
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs - Stay
Nick Lowe - (I love) The Sound of Breaking Glass
Nunzio Fattini - Cousin
Spacemen 3 - I Love You
Paul Newman - Cool Hand Luke - Plastic Jesus
ELO - One Summer Dream
F.R. David - Music
Celebration - Holiday
Sebastien Tellier - Roche
Astrology Report
Bjork - Charlene
Riz Ortolani - Oh My Love
The Chromatics - Tick of the Clock
Thompson Twins - If You Were Here
The Cars - You Are the Girl
Robert Palmer - Johnny and Mary
Melanie -
Harry Nilsson - Jump Into the Fire

We had such a great time and can't wait to do it again! You can catch our next show on Friday, March 9. I'll post more info about it here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February Photo A Day Challenge: Catching Up

Ok, I haven't been slacking on taking these photos each day, just slacking on posting them here. Let's take a look at the last week...

Day 10: Self Portrait. This is me standing in the bathroom, and that's my favorite towel  behind me.
Day 11: Makes You Happy. These guys only come by once every few days, so it's always a treat.

Day 12: The Inside Of Your Closet. I couldn't bare to take a photo of my clothes closet, so here's a pic of the pantry. 

Day 13: Blue. My favorite shirt in the dirt.
Day 14: Heart. Lots of 'em.
Day 15: Phone. I keep this thing on hand in hopes that I will someday fix it up and use it. In the meantime, I find it very soothing just turning the rotary dial. It's a weird OCD thing I have.

Day 16: Something New. Christy and Adelle, my brand new friends in town. These ladies are the real deal.
Day 17: Time. Found these beautiful lichens while on a shed hunt the other day. Lichens can  be preserved on rock faces for up to 10,000 years according to Wikipedia. I wonder how long these beauties have been here.

Day 18: Drink. Morning coffee brought to you by the French Press. I prefer Melitta myself, but the press works in a pinch. #coffeesnob

Day 19: Something You Hate To Do. I am still trying to come up with this one.

Say Aaah... Say Aaah...

A night at Willie's from Patrick Munger on Vimeo.

Here's a video made by Patrick two years ago featuring a luscious track from Sebastien Tellier. The photos follow us through a night of karaoke at Willie's. Such sweet memories Note to self to make more of these videos happen soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Awesome Light Fixture for the Kitchen

Last summer our vegetable garden was a great success. We planted 14 or so tomato plants, and all but two were productive. Needless to say, we had a lot of tomatoes, which lead to my first attempt at canning. Now, six months in to the post-canning season, we have a dozens of empty canning jars taking up space in the kitchen.

We've been using the pint jars in place of proper drinking glasses, and using the quart jars for dry food storage, sprouting, homemade sauce/leftover storage. Even with all these alternate uses, the ever-growing emptied canning jars have still managed to take over the cupboards... until this morning when I had a sudden burst of motivation to do something about it. .

We had kept a string of white Christmas lights in the space above the cupboards to use as a night light, so this was already in place. From here, I placed the tops and lids on the bottles, and placed them lid-side-down on the cupboard in front of the Christmas light string. Placing them lid-side down will allow the light to escape through the tops of the jars, letting the light glow and bounce off the ceiling.

So, my canning dilemma turned from irritating to awesome with minimal effort. Word up.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kane Creek Blvd and Moonflower Canyon

Went on a lovely little hike yesterday up Moonflower Canyon. I drove up Kane Creek Blvd a few weeks ago while exploring around town. I was so pleased to find that not only did the road continue outside of the subrubs of Moab, but it went up several miles and contained all kinds of surprises including camping, cave houses, petroglyphs, a log climb, and several hiking/biking/4x4 trails. Oh how I love this place.

To get to Moonflower Canyon, locate the McDonald's at the south end of Moab on the comer of Main Street and Kane Creek Blvd. Follow Kane Creek Blvd west for 3.1 miles to Moonflower Campground (N38° 33' 14", W109° 35' 15") located on the east (left) side of the road. There are Petroglyphs and a log climb located behind the split rail fence on the south side of the parking area, but we decided to do the log climb another time since the sun was going down and it was getting cold.

The hike starts with a massive tree right near the parking lot. You can walk underneath the huge branches that reach to the ground.

We followed the creek up the canyon, which was frozen in many parts. 

Frosty Leaf
Frosty Cactus

More frosty leaves

Once past the frozen part of the creek, the canyon turned from red sand to grassy/mossy marsh.  

Patrick wandered off and found a little cove with icicles melting in to the creek. The dripping water made the most wonderful echoing sounds in the empty canyon.
At the end of the canyon is a large pond surrounded by boulders for climbing. There was a teenage couple making out, so we decided to give them some privacy and didn't explore much in this area. 
View from a boulder into the pond below. Purdy!
Can't wait to come back in the spring/summer and see what all of this looks like. Maybe we'll even see some Moonflowers. 

Make out couple's sweet 'stang
The drive further up the road reveals what appears to be a community of modern day cave dwellers as there are several trailer homes parked out in front of man-made caves in the rock. How effing cool is that?! Living in a cave home has become one of my dreams ever since we visited Hole 'N the Rock back in December. 

Here is one of the finished homes sans trailer outside and a full-fledged front door and window set up. 

February Photo A Day - Day 7: a button

I hit this one several times each morn.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February Photo A Day Challenge: the first six days

Day 6: Dinner. Warm goodies on a cold night: Thai curry with peas, rice, a tortilla, and lots of Sriracha of course.
Day 5: 10am. Grandma's quilt made with swatches taken from 50 pairs of polyester pants (or at least that's where I like to imagine the fabric coming from.)
Day 4: A Stranger. I thought this one was rather creepy until I spotted the harp player at the Grand America that afternoon. I was there to celebrate my sister-in-law's B-day. 
Day 3: Hands. Creepy doll pile found at the Sandy Deseret Industries.
Day 2: Words. Went down to Sandy Beach to write love letters to the universe.
Day 1: Your View Today. It was a gloomy day out here in CV, but the view is always lovely.
Day 1: Your View Today. Decided to post two of these since the view inside was toasty warm. PS - that's the ultimate potato soup turned vegan cooking in the dutch oven on the stove.

Theme of the Day

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk and Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup Turned Vegan

This week I finally attempted something that has always seemed to be daunting yet worth while. The task: Homemade Almond Milk. Having spent the last year or so trying to avoid dairy in any form as much as possible, milk was always the easiest thing for me to give up. The fact that there are a slew of milk alternatives available today makes it easy. Nowadays at your friendly grocer you can find coconut, hemp, rice, almond, and of course soy. 

The only time I cheat on milk/dairy is when drinking coffee. Sadly, the skimmy consistency of milk alternatives always leaves it tasting (insert fart sound.) I know that Silk makes soy milk coffee creamers, but in all honesty, soy milk tastes funky to me - especially when mixed with coffee. Blech! Part of the hope and dream I have attached to making Homemade Almond milk is that it will taste as good if not better than cream in coffee. Could it be possible?

Before we find out, I want to mention a few misconceptions I had when it came to prep for nutmilk making. I was under the impression that I needed to use raw almonds, and I needed to buy them in bulk in order to make it  worth-while and cost-effective. I read up about purchasing raw almonds and found that truly raw almonds are illegal in the US, and I didn't want to bother tracking down an out-of-the-country source for almonds as this would defeat my cost-effective purpose. 

After reading Genna's "Raw 101: Homemade Almond Milk" post from, I noticed there was no mention of "Raw" almonds, or even organic (though I'm guessing that part is implied.) I decided to drive to my local organic foods market, pick up a 2 lb bag of organic almonds and dive in.

Starting with a small batch I soaked 1 cup of almonds overnight. 

Waking up the next morning, I strained the almonds and dropped them in the Oster with 4 cups of milk, 2 tbsp agave, and 1 tsp vanilla. After blending it all for about 5 minutes, I used cheesecloth as finding a nut milk bag has proved to be difficult here in Moab. Due to lack of supplies, I used a quart mason jar with a rubber band holding the cheese cloth about 3-4 inches inside the bottle. This proved to be a bit slow-going, as I could only get so much in the small pocket created inside the limited amount of space of the mason jar. 

45 minutes and several small strains later I found myself enjoying a delicious glass of almond milk while gazing out at the creek outside. Aah... Later that evening Patrick and I finished it off with Jesse and Jillian mixed into some White Russians. 

My 2nd batch was even more successful. This time, I used dates to sweeten (6 for every 4 cups) along with a tsp of vanilla and a touch of nutmeg. I used my Melita coffee pot and coffee filter holder with cheese cloth to strain the milk, and it worked real well.

Blending it up for 4-5 minutes

Look at that frothy goodness!
Rainbow prisim nut milk blessing

The finished product
stored in a freshly polished Monopolowa bottle. ;)

  • As soon as my 2nd batch was ready, it was time for my quality test: using it as coffee creamer. The milk was fantastic, and gave a nice sweetness that didn't taste artificial or strange as is usually the case with non-dairy coffee creamers, soy milk, or store-bought almond milk. Quality Test #1 result: Success!!!

Tonight I tried it out in a roux in the following Bacon Potato Soup turned vegan recipe taken from I have provided my vegan-altered version below. I have to say, this is one of the better soups I have made. 

  • Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken vegetable stock, or enough to cover potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter Earth Balance 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream homemade almond milk
  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 leaves Swiss Chard for garnish (optional)


  1. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance to a dutch oven on medium heat, saute the celery and onion until onion begins to turn clear. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add enough vegetable stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. In a separate pan, melt the remaining Earth Balance over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the almond milk, tarragon and cilantro. Bring the roux to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the roux mixture along with the liquid smoke into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup using an immersion blender (one of the . Adjust seasonings to taste. 

I served this up with chopped swiss chard added when dishing the soup up. The chard wilts but doesn't lose it's color and adds a nice crunch to the soup.

In closing, here is what I know: 

Nut milk - nothing to be afraid of. It's fast, easy, delicious and well worth it!
Bacon Potato Soup can easily be made vegan and still be yummy. 

Give one or both a try and enjoy!