December 7th, 2014


Stingray City, Antigua

I have tons of pictures from this cruise I took in November! My parents are the best in the world, and they took me on the holiday of a lifetime around the East Caribbean. I want to start with the morning we all agreed was a high point of the trip ~ snorkeling with stingrays in Antigua. I had three diving experiences during this cruise, but this one was with my parents, and it was the most surprising, and the stringrays were so beautiful and exciting.

The Royal Princess

A picture of our souvenir pictures. I didn't want to pick up a stingray without obtaining its consent to do so, but I found it difficult to resist when one was handed to me and remained docile in my arms. It was cuddly.

My friend Mauricio took these on his GoPro.

You probably know this about me, but snorkeling is my favorite thing. After skating... or maybe tied with skating. I could do it every day. I love to chase fish, fish doing fish things, pretending I'm a fish.

Mauricio selfie.

Me selfie.

Stingray doing stingray things.

Beauty in the sea.

Really huge brain coral.

Don't you love them up close?


I Made A Pie Without A Recipe

Ever since a couple of weeks ago when slfcllednowhere posted about her casserole with potatoes on top, I've been wanting to make a shepherd's pie. The vegetarian kind, no doubt.

I used these ingredients:
A carrot
A celery stalk
A yellow onion
A can of green lentils
A can of mushrooms
1/3 a loaf of Gimme Lean vegan sausage
Potatoes. I don't know how many grams, sorry. Equivalent of ~10 new potatoes.
Ten cherry tomatoes
Four ketchup packets
Fresh parsley
Dried rosemary
Dried thyme
A glass of leftover red wine (I used Nero d'Avola)
One red chili pepper, seeds removed
Small amounts of ground cumin and asafoetida
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Several tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Almond milk (just a splash)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

This is what I did:

I peeled and boiled the potatoes in salted water, with 1/4 of the carrot and a little bit of celery. Next time I'd leave out the celery, as it didn't mash like I imagined it would.

I sauteed the onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil, with a little salt. When the carrots started turning yellow, I added the Gimme Lean sausage and continued sauteeing. Washed and chopped up the mushrooms that came in a can (a houseguest left them here), added to the pan. Rinsed the lentils and added them, too. Added the tomatoes and ketchup (again, left by houseguest, and I didn't have tomato paste), also added a hefty splash of red wine from a bottle I opened two days ago. Chopped a big handful of parsley and added that, along with dried rosemary and thyme (I rubbed these into powders with my fingers as I added them). Added cumin and asafoetida, and let all this simmer.

I drained the potatoes and mashed them in a bowl with a spatula. To make them creamier and "cheesy," I mashed them a splash of almond milk, a hefty scoop of nutritional yeast, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon. The lemon made it sort of tangy; I love it, but I really love lemons.

The bottom layer: green lentils, chopped mushrooms, and vegan sausage. Made tastier with celery, carrots, herbs, and red wine.

Creamy mashed potatoes cover the "meaty" part. I used olive oil, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to make them creamy and a little tangy.

The lentil mixture became the bottom layer, and the potatoes became the top layer. I used a fork to make it prettier, then roasted the whole thing for 20 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Then I turned on the broiler for another ten minutes.

It was the best shepherd's pie I ever tasted. Am I allowed to say that?

I ate too much, and still have lots of leftovers. 10/10, would pie again. Who needs a recipe when you're feeling inspired?