After 46 days of being Vegetarian my new eating habits have become normal. Smoothies, nuts, extra fruit & salads have all become daily occurrences. It really would have been harder to give up chocolate than meat. 

Even though I decided to go Vegetarian for 2011, Jarrod & Cadence did not. To accommodate the different eating habits we will make a meat meal one night & then a veggie meal the next. On the meat nights I'll eat leftovers or a salad. It seems that this set up is creating more leftovers in general.

I got a bit salty about this predicament a couple nights ago. Jarrod & Cadence got to hear me go on & on about how I hate to waste food. And they need to eat the meat infested food. Well, that night Jarrod had made his Mom's BBQ. Cadence didn't want anything to do with it. This left Jarrod with a pound of BBQ to eat all on his lonesome. Jarrod isn't usually a leftover fan - unless it is a meal he loves - which his Mom's BBQ is. The next day he packed his bag with a leftover container & a bunch of buns. He figured he would eat some of it & share the rest with his co-workers.

Once Jarrod got to work he went to put the BBQ in the fridge. On the way to the fridge he was marveling how none of it had leaked out during his bus ride. And then he realized the lid was loose. He opened the mock tupperware & to his dismay there was a large red onion inside! No BBQ. Needless-to-say his boss bought him a sandwich for lunch & he ate most of the BBQ for lunch & dinner today.

Speaking of lunch. For four days straight last week I ate an Avocado Reuben. Freakin' delicious. I don't think I've ever had a normal Reuben so I couldn't compare it. I wanted to share the recipe with you. It is actually a Vegan recipe, but I used normal mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Avocado Reuben - Makes 1 sandwich
Give beef the boot and try our take on the classic Reuben sandwich—made with creamy avocado and our tangy, easy-to-make Thousand Island Dressing.

2 slices whole-wheat bread
Thousand Island Dressing (see recipe below)
Mustard (I used honey mustard)
1⁄2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and mashed
1⁄4 cup sauerkraut
• Spread the mustard on one slice of the bread and spread the Thousand Island Dressing on the other slice.
• Place dry side down in a lightly oiled skillet. Top one slice with the avocado. Top the other slice with the sauerkraut.
• Over medium heat, grill for approximately 5 minutes, until lightly browned and hot. Put the sandwich halves together and enjoy!

Vegan Thousand Island Dressing -
Makes 2 cups
It has all of the zing of the original without the fat and cholesterol.

1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1⁄3 cup ketchup
1⁄2 tsp. onion powder
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 Tbsp. minced stuffed green olives
• Blend all the ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl or a blender.


Create: Form & Value

Three Hands, Two Holding Forks, Nuenen: late March-early April, 1885. Images © Stichting Van Gogh Museum.

Form is a three dimensional geometrical figure (ie.: sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, etc.). There are two types of Form: geometric – a skyscraper and natural – the hands above. Whereas Shape is two-dimensional, or flat, like the drawings you created while interacting with Line
The illusion of Form on paper is created by using Value, the relationship between light & dark. Value will define objects depth & perception. For example, the drawing by Van Gogh above uses Value to create the three-dimensionality of the hands. 

Interact with Form & Value
Find two photographs that represent the two kinds of form: geometric & natural. Try to draw these photographs using value to create depth. You can do this by pressing harder or softer on your pencil or by layering the lines on top of one another.


Whole Food, Not Whole Paycheck

What I learned in one hour at the Champaign Public Library from the general manager, Jacqueline Hannah, of the Common Ground Food CO-OP in Urbana, IL:

Processed foods are not your friend.
Bulk bins, your new best friend.

Many people will complain that eating organic is too expensive to do. Jacqueline addressed this & said when shopping at a natural foods store you need to veer towards the bulk bins instead of buying the organic processed foods. Her two examples were:

Can of Organic Black Beans: $2.67
Same Amount of Bulk Black Beans: $0.28

Switch your carbs from Bread to Rice:
2 slices of organic bread: $0.73
1 c. organic rice: $0.45 (+ 1/2 the calories & no sugar)

Cook It Yourself

Example: Two Servings of Lentil Soup
Campbell's Lentil Soup: $1.69 (on sale!)
Large Cup of Lentil Soup from Deli: $3.49
Homemade & Organic from your kitchen: $0.79

Jacqueline addressed the fact that not everyone is comfortable in the kitchen. If you live in the CU area you can check out the full version of Healthy Eating on a Budget for FREE on either Wednesday, February 23rd from 10AM-1130AM or Saturday, March 26th from 1030AM-Noon. Call 217.352.3347 to register.

Cook in Bulk

 • Learn the restaurant rule 
when you triple a recipe or more you save time making it... especially soups
• Package easy to use portions
• Label everything well
• Keep track of what you have on the outside of your freezer

"Like a Condiment"

• Use less of the expensive favorable  organic ingredients: ie cheese, meat & nuts
• Cut the amount of cheese a recipe calls for in half (WHAT?!)
• Buy Triple S farms meat & only use 1/2 in stews & soups. You won't even miss it since the flavor is so much better than store bought meat.
• And finally with nuts, add or eat 1/2 as much as you normally would & your expensive snack will last longer.

Beans & Whole Grains

Add them to your diet. They are cheap & good for you.

And finally, I picked about five Food For All recipes to try out in the next two weeks to put some of these things I learned into practice. Here is the one I'm the most excited about. I will be making the black bean burgers, but not the millet. I'll write out the whole recipe in case anyone wants to try it. And if you do, please let me know!

Black Bean Burgers & Southwest Millet
These black bean burgers are so delicious and they freeze well, so think about doubling or tripling the batch. They're perfect with flavorful Southwest Millet, a healthful & economical alternative to wheat buns. About $1.15 per serving.

Southwest Millet
2 tsp veggie "Better than Bouillon"
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced fine
1 c. millet
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Black Bean Burger
2 1/4 c. cooked black beans
3/4 c. quick oats, bulk
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tbsp Woodstock Farms applesauce
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

For cooking
4 tbsp cornmeal
Canola oil

Mix the broth concentrate with 2 cups boiling water. Stir in the tomato paste, spices, and salt.

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft & translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add millet & garlic, stir to coat, and saute for about 4-6 minutes longer.

Pour the liquid over the millet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover & cook for 20-25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow it to sit, covered, for about 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or with a potato masher until well mixed, but not a paste. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Spread a little cornmeal on your hands and try shaping a small handful of the burger mix into a ball. If it's not holding together well, process or mash just a bit more. Form into four large, flat patties, or eight smaller ones (smaller are easier to handle when cooking).

Spread cornmeal on a small plate and dredge the burgers. Oil a frying pan as lightly as possible with canola oil and heat over medium-high temperature. Once hot, place your burgers in the pan. Fry until browned on both sides, turning gently with a thing metal spatula.

Pile each plate with a quarter of the millet & center the burgers on top.

Delicious Additions:
1 avocado, diced
Mildly Sassy salsa


Join Team Race:Well

We need $4,000 to build a well like this one.
The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, 
but one who has insight draws them out. 
Proverbs 20:5

Join Team Race:Well, within Team ActiveWater, in running, walking or cheering* for Clean Water in Mapalo, Zambia, Africa during this year’s Illinois Marathon events over April 29th & 30th. You can pick between a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon or Full Marathon. Or come down on race day & cheer* from the curb!

We are looking for a team of 50 athletes to run/walk & fundraise $80 each. When we meet this goal our team will have raised $4,000, enough to provide a well to a community in Mapalo, Zambia, Africa! Kristina Conner at Team ActiveWater will be helping us make this goal a reality.

If providing clean water for people who are going without is not enough of a reason to join check out these incentives from ActiveWater:

ActiveWater will equip you with an online training plan.  The plans are offered by their sponsors, Active.com, and are normally sold for $40.  But, with the Team ActiveWater coupon you will receive this training plan for making a $5 deposit into your personal fundraising page. Those of us on the team who are using active.com's training plans have only good things to say about them. 

• Your Personal Fundraising Page will be an amazing tool to lead your friends to ActiveWater’s official website to learn about the water crisis and even invite them to become a part of the movement by joining the team or by making a secure donation to Active:Water’s current project for Mapalo, Zambia.

Here are links to Jarrod, Jessie & Joe's Personal Fundraising Pages (While you are checking out our pages give a dollar or two. One dollar provides clean water for an African for one year!)
• Once you successfully fundraise $250 or more, you'll receive an ActiveWater T-shirt for race day.  If you fundraise $550 or more, Active Water will send you an official ActiveWater running singlet.  If you fundraise $850 or more, they will send you the matching running shorts!  It's ActiveWater’s way of saying thank you for all your hard work.

We take clean water for granted everyday. Let's come together to help out those who don't. Please send Jessie an email if you have any questions or want to run with us. Walk the race if you don't wish to run. Or cheer* on race day! Most of all, please GIVE to our team in prayers &/or donations.

Thank you so much for your support.
We look forward to sharing this race with you!
Jarrod & Jessie Scheunemann

*If you are going to be in the cheering section we will be selling t-shirts you can wear on race day. Also, please pair up with an athlete to fundraise with if you want to help us build that well. We can help you find an athlete if you don't know someone racing.

NOTE: The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon and Team Race:Well are not affiliated with one another. You will need to sign up for your race & then join Team Race:Well through Jessie or Jarrod.


Retreats at the Lake House

Make Art Retreat: November 13th - 15th

The Make Art Retreat brought Jessie Marie Studio's beliefs to life: creativity, harmony & relationships. Five women participated including myself. None of these women had met each other before, but all knew me. Therefore, most of them have heard about one another which helped in people bringing certain questions for certain people. ie. one women used to work at a camera shop so my other girlfriend brought her camera with questions since she is starting up a side business of taking wedding/family photos. All had projects that they were working on that they needed guidance, brainstorming &/or an outside view. We were able to talk art, make art & eat awesome vegetarian food during the weekend. We made these portabella muschroom sandwiches on focaccia bread that were AMAZING! 

I personally worked on my Acadia Children's book & was able to get another illustration done over the two days. I think it is the best one to date. Each women critiqued what I had already completed as well - which was nice. We kept the following loose schedule:

Loose Schedule of Make Art Retreat
Saturday, November 13th - weather forecast: RAIN/44º high
Jessie & Leslie arrive mid-afternoon
Unpack. Set up studios if need be.
Between 6PM & 8PM Dinner
Chit Chat. Make Art.

Sunday, November 14th - weather forecast: PARTLY SUNNY/42º
Early Morning - (if awake) Leisurely Breakfast
Morning - Take in Art. Chit Chat.
11AMish Pack Lunches & head over to Calumet County Park for a hike/nature photo shoot (weather permitting)
Afternoon - Make Art. Chit Chat.
Between 6PM & 8PM Dinner
Chit Chat. Relax.

Monday, November 15th
Clean up. Gather our Art.
Return Home.

The hike got axed since it was sleeting all day Sunday. All in all I really hope to make this a yearly or bi-yearly event. It was refreshing in a geeky art kind of way :)

Fat Camp 2011: January 28th - 30th

The Four Blonde Crew enjoying their fond due.

A group of four of us from high school get together annually at what we fondly call Fat Camp. It is a time of eating good food, catching up & maybe even going for a winter hike or doing an exercise dvd inside. We met much farther south this year at my parent's cabin on Lake Winneabago rather than in Upper Michigan. There was a comment that it wasn't remote enough since we had internet & cell phone reception. The best take away from the weekend: when grumpy put on some high heels & make up. You are sure to feel better.

And for you foodies out there a review of the menu.

Friday Night
A pot of Italian vegetable soup will be on the stove for you to enjoy when you arrive. Along with a side salad & bread. Matched with a Merlot.

Saturday Breakfast

A light breakfast of fruit, chocolate chip bagels, tea & juice

Saturday Lunch

Leftovers from Friday night.

Saturday Dinner

Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches with Tomato & Basil Tortellini Soup. (Check out Whole Food Recipe App for this one!)

Sunday Breakfast

Brunch style. Omlets, toast, sausage & fruit.

Snack Ideas

Snickers Bar Fondue with wine as afternoon or late night snack. Matched with a Muscat (white dessert wine).
baked chips and / or whole grain goldfish
cheese & sausage tray with a local brew.

Bring winter gear if we want to go out. Bring workout gear if we want to stay in. Bring only pajamas if you just want to sit on the couch all weekend!