(Almost) Vegan Shepherds Pie

ALMOST made a totally vegan meal but then accidentally used a tablespoon of butter instead of oil. Regardless this was super easy, super cheap, and YUMMY! This is how I did it:

Turn on the jams! Then I boiled and mashed 6 red potatoes with some salt and almond milk. I cooked ½ cup dry red lentils in water and sautéed onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, corn and carrot in a small drizzle of oil and butter. I seasoned it up with salt, pepper, paprkia, drizzle of soy sauce, thyme and rosemary. I layered the veggies, lentils and mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of paprika and black pepper on top.
I then covered it with foil and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes!



Columbus Day Weekend in CNY

Last weekend, the boyfriend and I hit a few local landmarks that we have been really wanting to check out. We knew that we had to see Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen, and while we were out there, we might as well hit up some local wineries!

letchworth rainbow

We started our trip at Letchworth, where we met up with my sister and her boyfriend for a day of hiking. When we arrived, we soon realized that EVERY person in CNY was  taking advantage of the unusually sunny and warm weekend to see Letchworth. Nonetheless, we still got plenty of fresh air and enjoyed the views. There was also a craft fair going on there that we wandered through for a bit. I suggest packing a lunch and picnicking on one of the awesome lookouts they have. We definitely want to go back for a weekend trip, we only had time to see a small portion of the huge park!

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Next stop was Watkins Glen, after about an hour in the car, we arrived at our rustic lakeside hotel. The place was so quaint, next to a giant waterfall and overlooking Seneca lake. We had drinks by the harbor and dinner in town. I had a delicious stuffed mushroom for dinner and a few local beers.

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The next morning we were up bright and early to hit Watkins Glenn State Park. While I was anticipating more of a “hike” and this is truly a walking trail, we still enjoyed looking at the beautiful gorge. We hiked to the top, then  had a picnic lunch and laid out in the sun before walking back down.

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That evening, we drove along the lakeside road to a few wineries, I just can’t get over how AMAZING the views are on every road and at every winery around there! We sampled wines at four different wineries, from dry to super sweet, and brought home two bottles. When we got back to our hotel, the owner had lit a fire in the fire pit for the guests, so we took a few beers down with us and met a few other guests. It was really nice just to see the stars and the lake in the moonlight while keeping toasty warm with a fire! Wish I brought s’mores materials 🙂


The next morning we had a hearty dinner breakfast before hitting the road. We stopped to pick apples at a local orchard, and got out for a little walk when we passed Geneva. Overall, our trip was a lot of fun! I highly suggest visiting everywhere we went. Hoping we can make it back to Letchworth to rent a cabin for a weekend next year!

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What did you do for Columbus Day Weekend?

Ginger Dressing

How to: The-Bomb Ginger Dressing


I originally shared this post on my old blog…daytodaywithmanda.wordpress.com, but I love this dressing so much I wanted to share it here too! You know the amazing ginger dressing served over salads at Thai restaurants that seems to make the salad taste SO good?Well, I am the type of person that really enjoys cooking, and as soon as I try something I like, I need to go home and try and copy it. No, my version is not the same, but it is pretty damn close and sooooo good.

Cooking has been something I enjoyed since high school. I always loved learning how to take a few things and make something really awesome. There is nothing I like better than a great farmers market haul and a quiet day cooking. But my process messy and hard to explain. I am not afraid to cook. I am not afraid to mess up, or to do something new. I go with my gut and taste as I go. That being said, I DO NOT FOLLOW RECIPES. I never really have. That is probably why I am not a strong baker..

But anyway, here is how I do my ginger dressing. If you have any questions at all, or variations you like…just leave me a comment and I would be glad to chat!


1. A nub of fresh ginger probably 3 inches long

2. Carrots, a handful or two of baby carrots will do

3. Oil, use whatever you have. Sesame is the “right” oil but I use olive because I had it

4. Vinegar, use whatever you have. Rice is the “right” vinegar, but I had white and apple cider so I used half and half

5. Onion, I used red, a 1/4 of a small one

6. Garlic, I used 2 spoonfuls of chopped fresh

7. Salt and pepper

Peel your ginger and chop up into smaller chunks, toss into a food processor/blender with carrots, onion and garlic. Look at the texture and add oil and vinegar until it dilutes to a consistency you like. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you want. Give it a taste and pour it into an old jar (hey, it’s green too!)

Pour over some lettuce and veggies and enjoy!!