January 2021

January 31, 2021

Green Taco Soup (vegan+)

No sentimental pish posh here. This recipe makes good food.

Vegan+ This is made according to a vegan diet and can easily be expanded to a vegetarian or meat diet.

I recommend serving this soup with crispy tortilla strips, raw jalapeno slices, and avocado. You can also add radishes, cheese, or serve with black quinoa for an extra filling punch.

Vegan green taco soup with raw avocado, jalapeños, black qionoa, and fresh tortilla chips.

½ white onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 large jalapeño chopped (or small if you want less heat)
sauté in vegetable oil until soft (about 5 minutes)
1 cup thinly shredded napa cabbage
sauté with the other veggies until soft and bright green (about 3 minutes)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
lightly salt and pepper
mix until combined and fragrant (a few seconds)
juice of 1 lime
2 cups veggie broth
2 cups (16 oz) of salsa verde (homemade or store-bought)*
mix and bring heat to medium, simmer for 5 minutes
(optional) while waiting for simmer, sauté a package of vegetarian/vegan protein to get a bit crispy: I prefer the lightly seasoned plant based Tofurky chick’n
reduce the heat of soup mixture to medium-low
add the optional vegan protein
½ can (8 oz) of small white beans (drained and rinsed)
½ cup of diced green bell pepper
cook for 10 minutes then remove from heat before serving

For crispy tortilla strips
heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan at medium-low
slice up soft corn tortillas any way you like and add to the hot oil
mix and flip the slices occasionally to prevent them from sticking together and to get all sides of the tortilla crisp (2 to 3 minutes)
remove strips when crispy and lightly golden and set on a paper towel to draw out excess oil
add the cooked strips to a bowl and season lightly with salt, pepper, chili powder, and lime juice

*Use a salsa you really like because this is where a lot of the soup’s flavor and heat comes from. I use Nuevo Tex-Mex Salpica salsa verde because the thickness is just right for soup and has the perfect medium heat.

January 28, 2021

My favorite reads in 2020

While 2020 was not my most productive year for reading, I read what I could with the mental capacity I could collect. Still, I found several favorites that aided in my much-needed escape from reality.

Follow more of my book reads and recommendations on my Goodreads profile.


Lighting the Fires of Freedom by Janet Dewart Bell

Highlighting the Black women who led the fearless charge and shaped their communities during the Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century.


The Project by Courtney Summers (publication 2/2021)

Cults, suspense, obsession, love, loss — all mystery readers from the master to the novice will find it hard to put this book down. Which, I could not.

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Blood Work by Michael Connelly

This crime mystery follows the main character through a special case that challenges his life and his career in ways that your typical “FBI agent solves a crime” story does not.

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The Outsider by Stephen King

Stephen King is the master of convincing readers that the supernatural exists all around us, no matter how adamantly we believe it is impossible. The Outsider is no exception.

January 27, 2021

Sketching in Procreate

Freehand copy of Arachne by Otto Henry Bacher.

While stuck in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, I turned to methods of meditation and creativity that would help ease the anxieties of current events. My normal day-time routines were transformed and my workplace, The Met, was no longer accessible. Instead of having the opportunities to walk through my favorite galleries during downtime or for some much needed mental clarity, I began using the Procreate platform to recreate my favorite drawings from The Met’s collection.

Freehand copy of Arachne by Otto Henry Bacher created in Procreate.
Process video for copy of Arachne by Otto Henry Bacher created in Procreate.
Otto Henry Bacher (American, Cleveland, Ohio 1856–1909 Lawrence Park, New York) Arachne Etching; Sheet: 12 1/16 x 8 3/4 in. (30.6 x 22.3 cm) image: 11 7/16 x 8 5/16 in. (29 x 21.1 cm) Gift of Mrs. Otto H. Bacher, 1938