Thursday, December 24, 2015

#160 The Case of Wishing You a Magical Christmas!

Happy New Year as well!

2016 will certainly bring new things. We know that. One change has already been announced by Blogger. It will affect you and me both if you keep up with Vegetarian Detective using Google Friend Connect. Parent company Google has announced that to continue Google Friend Connect service you will have to have a Google account.

I have a suggestion if you don't want to open a Google account. Sign up to follow Vegetarian Detective by email. I follow other blogs by email and I don't get anything more than what I asked for—notification of and links to new blog posts.

Dear reader, I hope I won't lose you in 2016. Each and every reader is important to me and I hope to continue to grow and improve and provide you with interesting content for years to come. All the best to you!


I leave you with the essential elements of Blogger's notification and a link to the entire post.

So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.


As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog...

...We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.


http://buzz.blogger.com/2015/12/an-update-on-google-friend-connect.html

Becki

PS I believe in sharing good vibes by using buttons below.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#159 The Case of Zucchini Lemon Parsley Pesto Salad

4 medium zucchini, trimmed and peeled down to the white flesh
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup lemon zest
salt
pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
I/4 teaspoon chilli pepper flakes

With a spiralizer, turn the zucchini into zoodles.

In a blender, pulse together the Parmesan, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon zest and salt to taste.

Gently toss the zoodles with the olive oil and then the parsley mixture.

Twirl the salad onto plates using tongs and grind pepper on top to taste. Sprinkle with chilli pepper flakes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Becki

PS Orange Mint Pesto is a fab dressing too!
PPS Buttons for sharing are below.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

#158 The Case of Arugula Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

 
Arugula Salad

4 handfuls of arugula
Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette (below)

Toss the arugula with the Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette, which is an adaptation of my Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette.

Makes 4 side salads.

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1/2 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
salt
pepper


Whisk or shake together the lemon juice, olive oil, agave syrup, mustard and Parmesan.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 3/4 cup for 4 side salads.

Becki

PS Buttons for sharing are below.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Case of World's First Simultaneous Google+/Facebook A KILLER NECKLACE Launch Party!

This Saturday, Oct 17, 2015, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST

On a computer or mobile device near you!
 
You—plus as many guests as you want to invite—are invited to chat with authors and win e-books at the Google+ (http://ow.ly/T8ldP) side of the launch of Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre's A KILLER NECKLACE: Fashionation with Mystery Book 2.

Doesn't matter if you have or haven't read A PURSE TO DIE FOR: Fashionation with Mystery Book 1. In fact, that first mystery in the series will certainly be one of the prizes.

At this party, chat with Cynthia but also chat with and ask questions of special guest mystery/suspense authors 'appearing' from around the world:
1:30 p.m. Lorna Gray (Italy)—author of FINDING DAYLIGHT
2:00 p.m. Patti Phillips (U.S.A.)—author of KERRIAN'S NOTEBOOK
2:30 p.m. Nanci Pattenden (Canada)—author of DEATH ON DUCHESS STREET

Sara Onnebo (Sweden)—author of VARGEN I TULISAARI will drop in if/when she can.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif (Canada)—author of DIVINE INTERVENTION will also drop in if/when she can. Cheryl is definitely offering her international best-selling e-book as a prize!

Now for the 'simultaneous' part. Meet Cynthia's friend and co-author Melodie Campbell at the Facebook side of the launch party here:
http://ow.ly/TpTG7. More authors, more books, more giveaways!
 
Becki
 
PS Cynthia says, "If on-line Google+ event technology is new to you, don't worry, it's new to me too. We'll slay it!"
 
PPS Yes, A KILLER NECKLACE is available now from Amazon, Google Play, Kobo and Smashwords. See the sidebar for all the links!      

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Case of Red Pepper Soup (Trick or Treat)

First the Treat

Picture update for Red Pepper Soup above.

Now the Trick

I heat it up right in the blender!

Yeah!

I have one of those high-speed blenders that has a soup function. The concept is that the blades are whirring so fast they create heat.

How do I avoid warming the soup above 118ºF?

Very carefully.

I have this battery-operated electronic meat thermometer that I bought at Ikea and the probe is at the end of a long, thin conduit. I hang the probe into the blender by the conduit and I secure it with the blender lid so that there is NO WAY the probe can descend into the blades. (This is not in any way condoned by Ikea.)

Too much information that I also wrap part of the conduit in masking tape so that I don't get it covered in Red Pepper Soup? Anyway...

CAUTION! WARNING!

This is important—did you read the above suggestions with extreme care?

I even hold on to the conduit while I'm blending because blenders create vortexes like tornadoes, don't they?

Becki

PS Comment and share buttons are below. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Case of A KILLER NECKLACE Cover Reveal

 
Who is the dead woman at the bottom of the stairs?
 
When Weather Network star Gina Monroe arrives in Black Currant Bay for her wedding shower, all is bliss. But happiness turns to horror when Gina and close friend Becki find the hostess with her head bashed in.
 
Strange things come to light when Gina and Becki are asked to sort through the dead woman’s belongings. Just who was this woman? And why did frumpy Louisa have a closet full of vintage couturier clothes?
 
As the investigation continues, the danger increases. Arson reveals the hiding place of a fabulous sapphire necklace, which leads to more questions and ramps up the risk for Gina and Becki. A killer is determined to keep the identity of the dead woman a secret—even if it means killing again.
 
Becki
 
PS Coming very soon!
PPS Please share. Buttons are below. Thanks.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Case of Fajitas

Fajitas

Grilled Veggies, sliced
2 204-g-packages of 6 small corn tortillas
sour cream
Guacamole (I'll share my recipe for Guacamole in an upcoming post.)

Serve up everything buffet style. I swear you'll never miss the meat!

Serves 4.

Becki

PS All the share buttons are below. Thanks!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Case of Creamy Chocolate Pudding

The results of my social media Chocolate Pudding Picture Poll are in and you overwhelmingly like your chocolate photos close up! Here is the winning shot in all its lusciousness!

Creamy Chocolate Pudding

1 avocado
1/4 cup cacao
3/8 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla

In your blender, blend all the ingredients until creamy.

Refrigerate the pudding covered for at least 30 minutes.

Pipe into dessert dishes.

Serves 2.

Becki

PS Comment and share buttons are below. Thanks! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

#151 The Case of Spring Risotto

Spring Risotto

2 cups boiling water
2 rounded teaspoons (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 shallot, minced (or an equivalent amount of minced onion)
2 carrots, chopped
3 teaspoons olive oil
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/6 cup white wine
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 cup fresh peas
1/6 cup grated Parmesan (or Pine Nut Parmesan for vegan option)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt
pepper

Prepare a bouillon with the water and vegetable bouillon powder.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the shallots and carrots in the olive oil for 2 min.

Add the rice and sauté for 5 min.

Add the white wine and stir until it's nearly absorbed.

Add 1/3 cup of the bouillon and stir, and continue to simmer, until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue adding 1/3 cupfuls of the bouillon and stirring.

With the last addition of the bouillon, add the asparagus and peas.

Add 1/3 cupfuls of water if needed and stir and simmer for a total of 25 min. or until the rice is creamy and firm but not hard.

Stir in the Parmesan and parsley.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2.

Becki

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Case of Vegetarian Detective in Italy

Buon giorno!
 
I feel like a snob saying, "I'm just back from Italy." That's me: jetsetter. Yeah, right!
 
But wow...Italy!
 
I could talk up a storm, and I surely will as I adjust to being back here, six time zones from magnificent Italia. I often ask people who've just travelled what was their favourite part of their trip. If I ask the same of myself, my answer is seeing Michelangelo's sculptures. His Pietà and The Statue of David literally moved me to tears. I just can't believe I saw "him" in person!
 
So...our plane from Toronto was delayed six hours and we missed the first day of activities, but we still visited Rome, Montecatini, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Vinci, Florence, Cinque Terre and Assisi. Quite the agenda for ten days, including the two flight days, wouldn't you say? But Trafalgar made it work. I would go on a Trafalgar trip again in a heartbeat.
 
Things I learned in Italy:
 
  • In the regions we visited anyway, large rimmed plates are not used for pasta. Bowls or smaller plates are used.
  • It's not trendy to grate Parmesan into large flakes or to top pasta with Parmesan curls. Italians grate their Parmesan very fine.
  • Italians have built their villages on the top of large hills, not nestled in valleys.
  • Each and every village warred with every other village and there are still serious rivalries today.
  • Leonardo da Vinci was not a pacifist.
  • It's very true that gelato is addictive. I'm making do with ice-cream now that I'm home.
 
Cynthia will be posting more pictures on Twitter and Google+, so stay tuned if you want to see what a Trafalgar bus tour in Italy is like.
 
Becki
 
PS Feeling social? Use the share and comment buttons below. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#149 The Case of Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Since my Chocolate Banana Smoothie appeared on the website of author Karen Doctor/K.L. Doctor, I updated it to taste lighter and more refreshing than ever!

1 banana
1/2 cup cashew milk
2 tablespoons Sunwarrior raw vegan protein powder
1 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon raw agave syrup
8 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender, in the order given, and blend.

Serves 1.

Becki

PS Feeling social?

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Case of Lemon Broccoli Soup

Lemon Broccoli Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb broccoli florets and stems (peeled and coarsely chopped)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
3 rounded tsps (for 3 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
pepper

In a covered pot, simmer the garlic, broccoli, onion, lemon juice and zest, vegetable bouillon powder, and water to barely cover, until the vegetables are tender.

Blend and return to the pot.

Stir in the light coconut milk.

Grate pepper on top to garnish.

Serves 2.

Becki

PS All the comment and share buttons are below. Thanks!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day and The Case of Red Pepper Soup

The next step beyond vegetarianism is veganism. I want to take it.

Even if I believe that it's possible to enjoy milk and butter and cheese without cruelty to the animals that provide them, I also believe that in our mass-market society, the norm is not cruelty-free dairy.

The next step beyond veganism is the raw food movement and it is utterly intriguing to me—the theory that vitamins, minerals and especially digestive-friendly enzymes are preserved by not heating food above 118ºF. Besides, when I eat raw I feel wonderful afterward. That's good enough for me!

 
Follow along with me as I continue to search for ways to eat healthy, delicious food in a cruelty-free and environmentally friendly way. I know that I'll take a few steps that make it seem like I'm moving backward. Perhaps when I crave a recipe like my Butternut Squash Risotto, that's vegetarian but not vegan or raw. But this is a life journey after all. A fabulous adventure, not a race. And certainly not a competition to be judged.
 
So let me share with you a recipe that's as kind and as close to nature as it's possible to get.
 
Try it yourself and see what you make of the raw food evidence.
 
Red Pepper Soup
 
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
3 red peppers, cut in pieces
1/8 cup red onion
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsps agave syrup
8 strawberries
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tbsp rosemary
salt
pepper
 
In a high-speed blender, blend together the sun-dried tomatoes to salt and pepper to taste until smooth.
 
Pour into a pot and heat on low, stirring constantly so the soup at the bottom of the pot doesn't boil, until a thermometer reads 115ºF. Because heat rises so quickly, remove from heat immediately so temperature doesn't go beyond 118ºF.
 
Serves 4.
 
Becki
 
PS So did you try it? Did you like it? If the button below says "No Comments", start the conversation yourself by clicking and saying hello.
 
PPS Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and The Case of Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

Oh it's entirely possible to make ooey-gooey Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches!

There are three tricks to making Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches taste even better than traditional grilled cheese.

The first is to use delicious bread. Skip the white sandwich bread slices. Easy right? You'll find tons of inventive and tasty loaves out there. 

The second is to add moisture. My only fault with meat and cheese replacement products is that they tend to be dry. I know the reason for that is they don't have all the fat that their real counterparts contain, and low fat is okay by me, but I want a moist mouth-feel, don't you? That's why I sandwich diced tomatoes right in.

The last trick is to grill or bake/broil your sandwiches instead of pan-frying them. So much crispier on the outside!

Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches

4 slices Cranberry Walnut Loaf
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick (softened)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
pepper
4 Daiya Provolone Style Slices

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

On an ovenproof pan, spread what will be the inside face of the Cranberry Walnut Loaf slices with some of the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick to taste.

Cover two of the buttered bread slices with the chopped tomatoes. Pepper to taste.

Top the tomatoes with the Daiya Provolone Style Slices. Halve them as needed in order to place cheese right out to the edges.

Lay the remaining slices of bread on top, buttered side down.

Bake until the cheese melts and the bottom of the sandwiches are golden brown, then broil until the top of the sandwiches are perfectly toasted as well.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Becki

PS If the button below says "No Comments", start the conversation yourself by clicking and saying hello!

PPS Happy New Year! Like the new look for 2015?