Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

Visit the home of MPM for more menu ideas!

Check back over my last few blog entries for recipes and photos from last week's menu.
Monday Campfire Family Club potluck
4-bean salad - a mix of 2 Guy Fieri recipes - Black Bean Salad and 4-Bean Relish,pineapple salsa and tortilla chips (organic white and baked blue)

Tuesday Pumpkin Carving
Coconut Broccoli w/ tofu & Brown rice

Wednesday HALLOWEEN!
Pumpkin casserole and salad

Falafel patties, tahini sauce, flatbread, salad

whole wheat flax spaghetti with no-meat meatballs or italian "sausage" & sauce, salad

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chocolate banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Cupcake recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen - Chocolate Banana Cupcakes. I got my batter all ready and then remembered I had thrown out my old, hand me down from my parents' wedding nearly 40 years ago, cupcake pan a while back - so these ended up being mini cupcakes. SO CUTE! I baked them for about 11 minutes vs. the 20 minutes recommended in the recipe.

Peanut butter frosting
1 tablespoon Earth's Balance, softened
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons soymilk
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Whip together butter and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and whip to combine, adding soymilk as needed.

More Oatmeal Muffins

I made a double batch this time - healthier kid version with raisins and a "mommy" version with chocolate chips and pecans. Yum. They were a huge hit at playgroup. Recipe is here\.

Soyrizo & Potatoes

(the leftovers)

1 package soyrizo - soy chorizo
1 very large sweet potato, peeled, diced and cooked (I microwave steamed)
4-5 medium baking potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked(I microwave steamed)
3 green onions, chopped
thick handmade corn tortillas
vegan sour cream (recipe follows)

In a large non-stick pan "fry" soyrizo until heated through. Remove from pan. Spray pan with oil and add potatoes. Cook potatoes for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add soyrizo back to pan and cook on medium-high for 20-30 minutes, stirring just occasionally so that soyrizo and potatoes get nicely browned. Add green onions in the last few minutes of cooking.

Serve in good tortillas topped with vegan sour cream.

Sour Cream recipe coming soon*

Oat Waffles with Fruit Sauce

Oat Waffles
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups soymilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grind the oats in a large food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon on to an oil sprayed, hot waffle iron. Made about 3 fillings of my standard waffle iron - about 12 waffles.

*Adapted from The Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Fruit Sauce
a mix of 3 cups frozen mixed berries & mangoes
1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Defrost or heat in pan the fruit enough to whirl it through the food processor. Process in to a smooth but chunky sauce. Heat in pan, add syrup. Pour over waffles.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Green Week

William's speech therapist wanted us to work on a color for the week. This last week was green week and we wrapped it up by making a green poster.

Menu Planning Monday

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Check out Laura's blog for Menus!

another try with amazing vegan oatmeal muffins for plaqygroup
impossible pumpkin pie (Thanksgiving test recipe)
chocolate banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

steel cut oats with berries, apples or pumpkin
oatmeal muffins
whole wheat flax pancakes

salad & soup
bean burrito

Mussaka with whole wheat couscous and broccoli
potato & black bean soup, cornbread (from a vegan mix), salad
Soyrizo & potatoes in store bought hand-pressed corn tortillas with tomatoes and (homemade) tofu sour cream
tempeh "chicken" salad (will add dried cranberries) sandwiches, couscous veggie salad
vegetable and "sausage" calzones and salad
Thai rice noodles with fresh mint

Amazing vegan oatmeal muffins

I started with Diana's Awesome Oatmeal Muffins from Recipe Zaar, a great base oatmeal muffin recipe that contains no egg or dairy. I will definitely try this recipe again with other liquid/pulp/spice combos.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups 100% apple juice
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon*
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3+ tablespoons flax seed meal*
1/3 cup chopped raisins
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

*flax and spices were eyeballed - measurements are estimates

preheat oven to 400*
in a large bowl soak the oatmeal in the juice for 10-15 minutes to soften the oatmeal
add the apple sauce, stir well
mix together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices, sugar, flax seed meal and add to the large bowl
stir in raisins - making sure they don't stick together
add flour and stir just until combined
fill mini muffin tins that have been lightly oiled and bake for 6-8 minutes
cool on a rack


Next time I think I will do orange juice and pumpkin and add pecans. I may try this as a savory muffin too - maybe pureed veggies as the pulp with soymilk as the liquid.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Healthy (vegan) brownies

Yum! I am so impressed with this recipe! It is altered from this Vegan Brownies recipe on Carl and I were both really impressed with the chocolaty goodness of these moist cakelike brownies. They were excellent warm out of the oven and even better cold (this morning *blush*).

Blissful Brownies
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour (next time I might do 1.5 white and .5 whole wheat)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Splenda (this stuff freaks me out but I figure on occasion it is ok for Carl and I - the kids don't eat chocolate so I felt ok about using it in this recipe)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghiradelli)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup light soymilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (the original recipe called for 1 teaspoon but I love good vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350*
Mix dry ingredients together.
Mix wet ingredients together.
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Spray 9x13 baking pan with oil. Spread mix in pan. Smooth top.
Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting in to squares.
While baking lick the spoon and bowl - there are no raw eggs - enjoy the batter!

The label game

I love how a 4 year old can be convinced that nearly everything is a game! This week we played the label game. The boys told me what items around the house they wanted to label, Zachary helped me sound out the words on to cards and then they taped them up (we are loving painter's tape for taping stuff up around the house!).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
click graphic for more info

In high school some friends and I started an environment protection club. For some reason, in recent months I have thought about that club but for the life of me I cannot remember the cute name we made up for the group. Regardless, my radical idealism as a 16 year old suburban high school student looks quite different than my everyday life as a 33 year old SAHM of 2.

My everyday environmental actions are subtle. I am not marching for global warming or picketing at the doorstep of companies that pollute. Instead we quietly use cloth diapers, buy organic when we can, limit processed foods and over-packaging, recycle, walk for errands and teach our children not to litter.

What did you do today to keep the world a greener place for the next generation?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

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I picked up a new vegan cookbook at the library - Vegan Planet: 400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World by Robin Robertson. This week most of our recipes come from this cookbook. I am also trying out some holiday type of recipes to decide what to bring to my parents' for Thanksgiving. My brother is a vegetarian (has been vegan in the past) so there are always some dishes made animal free but not dairy/egg free. Today I tried to make a carrot-mushroom "loaf" with vegan gravy. Ohmygoodness, it was HORRIBLE :( I spent 2 HOURS cooking and had to throw most of it away. Thankfully I also made a big tray of roasted red, purple, yukon gold and sweet potatoes and we had beautiful farmer's market tomato slices with cracked pepper, sea salt and balsamic so dinner wasn't a total loss but I could have spent 15 minutes prepping potatoes and slicing tomatoes instead of all the time spent chopping, shredded, mixing and cooking veggie loaf ingredients.

Hopefully we don't end up with too many more disasters this week.

steel cut oats with berries and cinnamon
leftover pumpkin pie pancakes with almond "cream"
leftover pumpkin biscuits with vegan sausage

homemade hummus with veggies to dip
soups & salads

Monday - Seitan Stroganoff, pasta & broccoli
Tuesday - Roasted corn chowder, asian coleslaw & pumpkin biscuits
Wednesday - Savory spinach bread pudding and salad
Thursday - Orange & Thyme scented white bean & “sausage” chili, salad & cornbread
Friday - Take out or leftovers

small batch of Texas caviar
apple spice cake
if time allows - try a pumpkin pie recipe

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Last week I was asked what we "do" when we homeschool. I usually find it hard to define. We talk. We play. We read. We go places. We investigate and discuss. We play with friends. We meet new friends. We play on the computer. We do not do packaged curriculum or have a set schedule or a daily goal to meet. But we do have some workbooks because they like them and so we use them on (rare) occasion. Yesterday was one of those days. Zachary asked to do some workbook pages and his "30 minutes a day" preschool workbook held his interest for over an hour an a half. William colored in an old workbook and generally wrecked havoc. As a retired classroom teacher I think I expected to do more "school at home" but as I think about it more, get to know my kids better and what works for our family - I think we are definitely more on the unschooling end of the spectrum, for now.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Playing Catch-up

I have been taking my 365 pictures - I just haven't posted them.

I left off on Friday 6/365

Last week was tough and I was excited to get out to a ladies' craft night. I stopped at Target on my way and spent a blissful 1 hour shopping A L O N E. It was lovely. I got to church at 7:30 and by 9:30 was almost done with the tutu I was making for a birthday party on Sunday. My phone rang and a very sad "come. home" greeted me. My poor babe cannot go to sleep without momma. I got home and he was out within 2 minutes of touching me.

7/365 Saturdays are for Soccer

This picture is awful... but it isn't about the picture. It is about the memory. Arriving at DS1's soccer game and DS2 seeing Grandma and running to greet her.

8/365 Sunday birthday party day

The kids eating cake and ice cream. The family of the birthday girl are our very special friends. It was so nice that they even had cupcakes and soy ice cream that William could eat.

Outtake... the kids made leaves on tees with their hands and fabric paint...

Menu Planning Monday

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After a health scare we have adopted a vegan diet to hopefully reverse some medical concerns. This is our first week of Menu Planning Mondays - Vegan Style

fruit smoothies
scrambled tofu w/ vegan "sausage"
banana bread or pumpkin muffins
steel cut oats w/ apples and cinnamon
steel cut oats w/ soymilk and berries

black bean burritos
cheater soups
veggie sandwiches

banana bread or pumpkin muffins
attempt rye bread

Monday - Campfire Potluck - Texas Caviar, blue baked tortilla chips & organic white corn tortilla chips
"Texas Caviar."
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cups defrosted white corn
1.5 cups defrosted roasted yellow corn
3 cans mild Ro-Tel, drained
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1.5 cups fresh salsa
Salt, garlic powder, chili powder to taste

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill and serve.

Tuesday - Black bean soft tacos & zucchini w/ red peppers
Wednesday - Potato, sweet potato & black bean soup (I will add some sweet potato to the recipe) & Arugula salad (I might try my hand at some fresh bread as well)
Thursday - (Soccer Practice) - vegan chili in the crockpot, baked chips, green salad
Friday - baked tofu sandwiches, low fat vegetarian coleslaw
Saturday - take out for a picnic in the park
Sunday - leftovers or something wonderful

Friday, October 05, 2007


Thursday's picture is private for now. I may be ready to share it later.

I really wanted to do the Thursday Thirteen but life got in the way... hopefully next week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


We are trying to eliminate naps but he fell asleep on the ottoman while watching sesame street at 4pm. It is going to be a LATE night.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Today was dental check ups for the boys. Their teeth looked good although we need to brush better on their back teeth. Zachary has a little looseness in his front bottom teeth - suggesting he could have a loose tooth soon. How is that possible? He isn't even 5 yet. My baby!

Monday, October 01, 2007


Carl is 33. Our pumpkin patch plans were foiled by rain and a last minute doctor's appointment but we still took time to decorate bowls of ice cream (rice dream for W) with sprinkles.

Homeschooling 101

This is where we are at - 101. Figuring it out, making plans, rethinking, reassessing. The only thing we are sure about is that we will be homeschooling. While unable to sleep tonight (this morning) I found this quiz -

What Type of Homeschooler Are You?

Salvador Dali Melting clocks are not a problem in your reality. You are an unschooler. You will tolerate a textbook, but only as a last resort. Mud is your friend. You prefer hands-on everything. If your school had an anthem, it would be Dont Worry, Be Happy. Visit my blog:
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code



This weekend I decided to start a 365 photo journal. I will take a picture each day for the next year. I thought I would start on Oct. 1 but while making breakfast on Sunday a bagel begged to be photographed. We celebrate "birthday weekends" in our house - the birthday person gets to pick all meals, all outings and all activities for the weekend closest to their birthday. This past weekend has been Carl's birthday weekend. His breakfast of choice this morning was fresh whole wheat bagels with cream cheese and lox. While schmearing his bagel I discovered that the hole was a heart. A heart shaped hole in my love's bagel. How sweet.

Menu Planning Monday

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I decided to try this whole blog meme idea and found a site that promotes Menu Mondays - great idea! So here is our dinner menu for the week:

Monday (Carl's Birthday) - cheese ravioli (vegan ravioli for William) and salad
Tuesday - chicken marsala (TJ's marsala sauce), dairy free mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus
Wednesday - linguine with seafood sauce and salad
Thursday (soccer practice) - crockpot black bean chili and salad
Friday (I might go to a craft night at church!) - take out
Saturday - dinner at an organic farm festival (or on the way home)
Sunday - TBA