hiking is my life

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This is a shot from a lovely little hike I took a few weeks ago. Well, it started out lovely, but two hours later a lost and confused Beau stumbled off the trail and into a residential neighborhood. It was my first time hiking at Squaw Peak and I was supposed to meet a group for a yoga hike. When it got canceled I figured I would just hike on my own-I mean how hard can it be when there are maps and trail marks etc. Harder than I thought apparently! The nature trail proved to be a bit boring as it was not very difficult, so I started on a different trail that had "loop" in the title. I figured a loop would bring me back to where I started. This trail was awesome and I got really into the hike. However, about an hour and a half later I checked my watch and realized I had a mani/pedi appointment with my roommates. I tried to finish the so-called loop and ended up asking a fellow hiker where the Dreamy Draw entrance was, where I had parked my car. It was not close...another hour trek over the mountain. So, I leaped off the trail and headed toward a residential neighborhood...sorry to whomever's driveway I intruded upon. I had to call my roomies in defeat and have them pick me up on 24th St and Lincoln. Needless to say, we were a bit late to our appointments and I was very dirty...sorry to the poor man that gave me a pedicure after hiking for 2 hours!

Anyway, onto some delicious food recipes!! Our soup of the week a pretty simple pea soup from the Soup Bible of Course. It was very vibrant green color and tasted amazing!

Fresh Pea Soup St Germain

Ingredients:

a small knob of butter (earth balance)

2 or 3 shallots

3 cups shelled fresh peas (we opted for organic frozen peas)

2 1/4 cups water

salt and pepper

croutons to garnish

1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the peas and water and season with salt and pepper. (We also threw a bouillon cube in there) Cover and simmer for about 12-18 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. When the peas are tender, ladle them into a blender with a little of the cooking liquid and process until smooth.

4. Strain the soup and heat through without boiling. Add the seasoning and serve hot with croutons.

I made some croutons by cutting whole wheat sourdough bread into cubes, rolling them in olive oil and garlic, and sticking them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. YUM!

The dessert this week was three dozen chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I needed to gives some friends treats and also just have some goodies around the house! I used a very simple vegan chocolate chip cookies recipe and tweaked a few things. The original recipe is from Hell Yeah It's Vegan (http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/?p=2055). Very simple and easy recipe! I just added a few scoops of cocoa powder and a bit extra flour because they seemed a bit oily to me. Turned out pretty amazing!

Cannot go wrong with these chocolate classics! I also experimented with a few recipes of my own. I was going to a baby shower and wanted to bring a snacky tofu dish. Why not fry some tofu and stick some toothpicks in it? I used extra firm tofu and drained it by pressing it between two plates. Then I cut the tofu into bite sized cubes. I made a marinate with liquid aminos and sesame oil, and let the tofu sit in it for a few hours. Next comes the fun part. I stir-fried the cubes in a little bit of live oil making sure each side of each cubes was cooked until brown and a bit crusty. I served the tofu cubes on toothpicks with a wheat free teriyaki dipping sauce. I loved them...very good for entertaining!

Try 'em out! And don't get lost hiking :)