Vegan Gyoza

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On one of my Asian food market runs I finally picked up some gyoza skins. I’ve make them by hand before but the filling, wrapping, and cooking is a lot of work in itself so I thought I’d give myself a bit of a break. Filling: Dried or Fresh Shitake Cabbage Ginger Green Onion Soy sauce (I used Thai mushroom soy, it’s much sweeter) Chili Garlic sauce Sesame Oil Mirin Dipping Sauce: Soy sauce Garlic Sesame oil Rice Vinegar Mirin Green Onion So if you don’t have any of the ingredients no worries, the filling has endless possibilities. Just throw in what you have, unless you wish to stock up on asian essentials (mostly japanese). Soak dried Shitake and save soaking water. Chop the cabbage finely and add to hot skillet with sesame oil and finely diced Shitake. Add all the seasonings as desired and allow to cook through. Chop the green onion into thin rounds and add a generous amount to pan after turning of burner and stir to combine. That’s all for the filling. Add a tablespoon of filling to the center of a gyoza skin. Use shitake soaking water (if you used dried shitake) or plain water to lightly wet the outer half of the skin for folding. The filling may seem stuffed and like it may fall out but just keep pinching the edges halfway around the gyoza skin (reference picture). Repeat for all filling. For cooking a non-stick skillet with a lid is best but I made due with my old skillet and a large dinner plate as a makeshift lid. Place gyoza in skillet in a circular pattern generously oiling the skillet prior if it is not non-stick. Allow to cook till bottoms are browned. Add about a quater to half cup liquid using remaining soaking water if available. Cover quickly to trap steam and allow liquid to cook off. For the sauce combine ingredients till desired taste, I wouldn’t go heavy on the mirin it’s a bit sweet. And you are ready to serve and eat :D well worth the effort, right??

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Monday Mehndi

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It’s been a while since I’ve done henna. I used to be super addicted to giving myself these temporary tattoos and also attacking others with it. I picked up this cone from a local Indian food market in Oakland if your from the burgh. This type of henna is my favorite because its ready to apply and has a plastic pin you pull out of the tip. The hole is pre cut and the perfect size *cough* for the intricate designs.

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This is what I came up with after a quick meditative session. I think I need to do another one on my ankle or thigh, it’s too relaxing! And oddly enough I really enjoy the earthy herbal plant scent it gives off. I looked up henna designs online to get an idea of the options then took my favorite techniques and kept adding lines, dots, and swirls. It’s pretty simple and a great summer pass time so you should try it out.

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Wino Corkboard

Today I took a class and made a wine cork board at Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. Pccr is a great resourse for artists to pick up inexpensive second hand crafting supplies (most of it unused anyhow). The corks and picture frame were provided with the class fee which was 10 smackeroos, can’t beat it! I also got a few little crafting supplies and a book called “Things to do before you get old and boring.” :P I couldn’t resist.

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I love the way it turned out! I’m going to paint the frame and I will post some pictures when I do. Also super simple to make. Met a really nice woman there who was sweet enough to drive me home. Nice people are my favorite kind of people.

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I went with mostly the natural corks with great imagery. I really liked the cork that read “Newton” a little nod to my physics buddy and also the “Menage A Trois” which I’ve tried before and it’s pretty tasty. More projects posted soon, hopefully you give this a try.

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“Wordy” Dark Dreamland

The art director for this music video is Sebastian Masuda founder of 6%dokidoki who also created the crazy world of “ponponpon”. His work looks like a trip in a neon macabre dream world. I love it, this is right up my alley. The artist Towa Tei is best known for their hit single “Groove Is In The Heart” (which is now repeatedly playing in your head, right?). I’m diggin the unique vibe of this track.

Not sure what was in that pink melt shot, let the video face melting begin…

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Smoothie Time

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Mango Fruit Smoothie

1 Large mango
1 small banana
3 large strawberries
1/2 cup greek yogurt
Soy milk
Honey to taste

Wash and chop fruit. Add all ingredients and blend. **add soy milk till desired consistency. Indulge in the healthy goodness

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Berry nice

Yesterday was a beautiful day in good ol’ Pittsburgh which is a rare occasion during these months. I decided to plant one of my favorite fruits, strawberries (way overly excited)! Here’s what I did…

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I grabbed two of these hot pink baskets and two strawberry grow kits from the Tar-jay a.k.a. Target dollar bins. These are Alpine strawberries, yum!

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Then I added some straw(long dead grass from the abandoned yard next door ;) and filled the inside of the basket. This keeps the dirt from spilling out of the holes. I tried a few different things but the straw was the most aesthetically pleasing.

Lastly I filled the container with some soil that was in one of my planter’s from last year and planted the seeds from the grow kit. $2 strawberry plants in cute little baskets, awwww. I also planted a lot of basil for another project I will share later. Happy planting!

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Very Humble Abode

For a while now a have been fantasizing over the romantic notion of getting rid of the majority of my possessions and living simply, naturally, and mostly self sustained. This idea was inspired by Thoreau and his Walden as well as a Buddhist mentality. I found an article on a “tiny house” sometime last year and fell deeply in love with it.

People were building their own homes from the ground up (which have always been my plans for my first home) but instead of huge gaudy houses to try to prove something in this culture of bigger is better they did the exact opposite. These homes are built from 7’x10′ to the size of a large shipping crate. Some are even made from recycled shipping crates. One website I use as reference a lot is tumble weed houses, created by a man who had lived in three different self built tiny homes. You’ll find youtube videos linked from some of the tiny house pages that are great for inspiration.

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A tumbleweed home measuring 7’x10′

I plan on building one of these tiny homes on preferably a 7’x14′ flatbed trailer, but I’ll take what I can get. I am hoping to make it from free pallets as well as leftover wood, and include eco friendly features such as a green roof and solar panels. I want to use it for traveling across country without paying an arm and a leg for crappy hotel rooms. Another romantic notion of mine, I’m just full of those! The biggest problem for me is finding a used trailer that someone is giving away or selling for dirt cheap. If anyone has suggestions on where to search PLEASE let me know in the comments. I’ve drawn my floor plan and mapped it out on my floor in hoop tape to see what itd be like to walk around in it. It was more spacious than I had imagined. And now to bombard you with inspiration photos. I’ll post my own floor plan once I find a trailer and know the project is final.

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A beautiful, simplistic interior.

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This is a green roof shed.

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A modern gypsy caravan.

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The interior of a gypsy caravan.

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A shabby chic tiny home that is my biggest interior inspiration. Love the library and storage.

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Includes an amazing loft bed which most tiny homes have.

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Even the exterior matches well, how cute!

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The bare bones of a pallet house.

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An idea of how to include my sewing machine….a must!

I have too many inspiration photos I could share but I believe I’ve photobombed this post enough. Hope this post inspires you and let me know if your building your own tiny home and how you’re doing it.

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