Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Key West Pictures

Key West Picture time!!! We took about 1900 pictures during our vacation, so of course this is only a small sampling. It's hard to choose which pics to post because there are so many great shots.

One of my favorite places, Gatorland!!!

It was pretty cold that day, and kind of rainy. We didn't stay as long as we would have on a nicer day, but it was still a good time. It's one of my favorite touristy places, so I'm sure we'll go back someday. There's a gator in that pen, but I guess you can't really see it. Sorry.

I took this picture from the car. The scenery is so beautiful, I think it would be hard to take a bad picture.

Pelicans!!!! That was one of the best things about the Keys, so many pelicans.

On Reese's birthday, she wanted to go to the Butterfly House. So we did. If a butterfly lands on you, it's good luck. Eli got one, and so did I. Nothing wrong with a little luck, huh?

I wanted to go see Ernest Hemmingway's house both because he's a famous author and because his house is home to about 50 cats. Reese wanted to go with me. There were cats everywhere, sleeping in bushes, wandering the grounds, eating out of the many catfood bowls. We found these guys on a bed in the master bedroom. Yes, the cats can sleep on the antique furniture. They can do whatever they want.

Me and my babies. That day we were hanging out near Mallory Square with the plan to stay until sunset. I can't remember if we did that day or not.

The day we did hang out on Mallory Square for the sunset, we got to see the Catman, Dominique, and his cat show for cat people. Yes, that cat jumped through the hoops of fire. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me, and I'm glad we got to see it.

One of the days we went to the Key West Aquarium. They have several sea turtles, and lots of other sea creatures. We got to watch the sea turtles and sharks being fed. Good times.

Christmas Picture with Christmas clothes on the beach! Yes, I made my children put on their nice clothes and made everyone go to the beach for pictures.

On the way home, we stopped at this beach to have some lunch and wander. It was windy and chilly.

So yeah, parts of our vacation. I'd definitely go to the Keys again. There is just so much to see and do, and it's very kid friendly. I think I'd like to go in the summer when it's warm and do some snorkeling.
I'm glad to be home though. :)

And...vacation is over.

Yes, we're back from our trip to the Florida Keys. I'll post pics as soon as I know where exactly they are, and if they have been uploaded or not to this computer. Eric is the photo guru.

Anyway, it was awesome good fun, being on vacation. We saw so many things. My favorites included Gatorland, the glass bottom boat ride, and the Key West Aquarium. I liked the Hemmingway House too, with all the cats. And the Catman on Mallory Square at sunset.

But it's awesome to be home too, although the house is trashed right now, littered with vacation bags and Christmas items. I have a feeling I'll be working on it for the next few days.

I'm also working on our homeschooling plan for the next handful of months. I'll talk more about it when I get my act together.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And...we're off!!!

It's vacation time, baby, it's vacation time!

We're off to the Florida Keys, with a stop in Orlando to visit Gatorland. Whoooohooooooo!!!!!

I'm not sure how much posting there will be until we get back, so everyone have a fantastic Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Aren't these pretty?

They're vegan too.

These are Reese's birthday cupcakes. We'll be taking them to share with our homeschool friends tomorrow. Reese is very excited, of course.

And because we'll be on vacation during Reese's real birthday, she got to open some gifts already, including the gift from Eric and me. She got...A SEWING MACHINE!!!!!!! I'm probably way more excited about it than she is, haha. I think she's pretty happy though. It's nothing fancy, just an old singer, but a good starter machine for a 6 year old.

Six years old. That's crazy. I've learned so much since I found out I was pregnant with my Reese. I hope to learn a whole lot more in years to come as well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Busy, Busy!

Cleaning the house: I can tell we're not outside as much because the house is trashed every day. I suppose folding the laundry would help too.

Making the cookies: We already did this, but we're going to have to make more. Christmas cookies are just too darn tasty. I don't mind...It's a good project for the kids despite the mess. I've always enjoyed making cookies around this time of year. I remember the good old days (aka before kids) when I'd make half a dozen different kinds of cookies. Ah well. It's fun to do the sugar cookies.

Getting gifts ready to be mailed: Ugh. The post office is a zoo. Reese and I were there yesterday and the line was almost out the door. Tis the season! I think we will be able to ship two large flat rate boxes, one to my parents and one to Eric's parents with all the gifts. That will help streamline things. I'm excited about the gifties though!

Homeschooling: What?? I'm supposed to be educating these kids as well as picking up after them?? Haha, just kidding. In math we've been hitting the math facts pretty hard, lots of games and some paper/pencil practice. I'd forgotten how boring math facts can be, so we're trying to keep it fun but also emphasizing that it's something Reese needs to learn. Eli had definitely improved with counting and we're working on number recognition. I decided that since we're going to school year round, it's not imperative to rush through the basics of math.

Reese is reading up a storm, which is really fun. I'm so glad that reading is coming easily to her. And I'm also glad the library has so many easy reader books. She's pretty much done with her phonics program, aside from maybe doing some review. We'll continue to work on word families.

One of the things I've been pondering is what to do from here. There are so many options, ranging from buying a curriculum to just going it alone. I found a curriculum online that I'm super impressed with called Ambleside Online. It's challenging reading, classical reading, and goes through high school. It's the first reading curriculum that I've been really excited about. Now that Reese has a handle on the basics of reading, I think we might try to start Ambleside this winter, probably in January. One of the things I've been busy doing is making a book list, seeing what we can get from the library and what we can find online and what we'll need to purchase. Yay curriculum!

So yeah, we're freaking busy. It's great though, we're seeing friends and still exploring this part of the world. I miss Appleton (and the people who go with it), but I'm so glad we landed here in Georgia.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cookies!!!

Oh yeah. Frosting homemade sugar cookies. Good times. And even more fun with kids who can help. Also completed this weekend were a bunch of dipped pretzels and some ginger cookies. I don't think the ginger cookies will make it until Christmas though, they're just too good. If I have time before we leave, I'll bake another batch.
Over the weekend we also visited with Santa. Our apartment community held a Christmas party with cookie decorating and Santa. The kids had a good time, shared their lists with Santa, and played with some friends.
I'm getting Christmas sewing done, slowly. Tonight I worked on a skirt for Reese until the ruffles made me too crazy. I'll try again tomorrow. Mostly I need to deal with wrapping and shipping gifts now. Tis the season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well, look at this!

That's right, I'm a winner! Actually, everyone who submits their 50,000 word novel on the NaNoWriMo site is considered a winner. But I did it! Novel written, 50,000+ words (about 300 plus, if you wanted to know), in 28 days. Most days it wasn't too awful. I enjoy writing. Some days, like the days when I had to write 3,000 words because I skipped a day, those were tough. Sometimes the plot didn't move, or it seemed boring, and I just had to keep in mind that NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality.
I hope I can get some other people to write with me next year. I hope I have a story idea for next year. I'm glad I signed up for NaNoWriMo, I'm glad I stuck with it. It helped me get out of my junk writing funk, at least for a month.
Many people have asked if I'll be sharing the novel I wrote. It's not very good, people. Really. It's lame. I'm not sure that I like the characters all that much. There's a LOT wrong with it. It's been a really long time since I did much character development or even any fiction writing. So I guess I'm still deciding about the sharing part. Maybe someday. Maybe never.
Now that NaNoWriMo is done, and I've taken a few days to NOT write much of anything, I think I'll be back to blogging regularly again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's a bit chilly in my computer area, which is in our "sunroom." I suppose a temperature of 34 combined with windows that are not at all insulated will do that. It was a lot warmer yesterday morning at this time, about 64, and I know this because I was awake before sunrise to go out Black Friday shopping.

I only went to Joann's, but if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. To me, this means setting an alarm for 4:30am, getting up, throwing some clothes on, and arriving at Joann's at 5am. I wasn't first, there was another woman sitting around outside, but at one point she left, so that made me first in line. Whoohooo! I've never been first in line outside Joann's before. The hour wait was kind of lame. It rained for a little while, but I was under a huge overhang. I sat outside the door and goofed off on my phone. People started arriving at about 5:30am and the line grew. Some people grabbed carts from outside, which was a pretty good idea. I didn't. There are carts right inside the door, so I decided to go for those.

There was a little chitchat. Some of the people in line had been up all night shopping at Toys R Us or Target. It made me glad we decided on a trip for our Christmas gift instead of having to fight the crowds to buy stuff. No one had any really good stories.

Anyway, the manager opened the doors at 6am. We all rushed in, claimed our free pair of scissors (free to the first 100 customers), and scattered through the store. I went right for the flannel, passing by the cutting table to grab a ticket. There wasn't anything specific that I wanted, my plan was 16 yards split into 4 girly prints and 4-5 boyish prints. I grabbed bolts that looked good, more than I needed, and took a minute after that to decide for sure what I would have cut. It only took me about ten minutes. By that time, the cutting table lady had started, but was somewhat delayed by her computer system not working.

I had the second number, but I ended up trading with a man who had the third number. He only had one bolt and I totally would have traded numbers with him anyway, but when he started hassling the cutting table lady I gave him my number to shut him up. He was upset that he was in line before me but didn't get his number until after I took mine. Not worth listening to him complain. The cutting table lady was grateful.

There was a huge line at the register, but I suppose on Black Friday you're bound to wait for something. I got stuck next to one of those CD displays for a few minutes, that was fun, until I figured out how to turn it down. After checking out, I went home and walked in the door just in time to have Eli and Reese wake up and start hollering about how hungry they were.

After kids had food, I took a look at my fabric score. The receipt claimed that I saved $73 by shopping the Black Friday Sale. Sounds good to me! I'm set for pants for the kids and birthday gifts for the year.

Anybody out there in blogger land have a good Black Friday story?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving is Freaking Awesome!

That's right, I said it. Are you ready for some pictures?

Here's some maple oatmeal scones. It was a last minute recipe. They got a little dark, I think, but people said they were tasty.

Sorry this pic is sideways. :( It's an editing fail. But you can see the sweet potato casserole that my friend Becky brought (it was delicious). There's also some vegan jello, cranberry sauce, and vegan glorified rice.

Here's me shaping some chickpea cutlets. I don't know why this picture is here, but I'm not moving pictures around today.

A plate of vegan Thanksgiving deliciousness! Green bean casserole, potatoes, gravy, chickpea cutlet, and cranberries.

I think the green bean casserole was my favorite. Or maybe the stuffing? Mmmmmm.

Chickpea cutlets, stuffing in the crock pot, mashed potatoes, and mushroom gravy.

A picture of the cold salads. The glorified rice is a recipe I found in Vegan Lunchbox Around the World.

The kid table, and Reese and Eli eating pumpkin pie.

I tried to make some vegan whipped topping, but it was kind of a fail. It still tasted pretty okay. The pumpkin pie was good too, nice and smooth.

We had a very nice afternoon. Lots of food, great friends. I had a lot of fun cooking a big meal, I don't do it often enough. Yay, Vegan Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day In Pictures

So periodically I do this thing on one of my messageboards called Day in Pictures. Yes, it is what it sounds like, you take pics of your day. So on Tuesday, I took these pictures.

Reese, busily doing her math.

We tried to play a math game, a variation on War with subtraction, but it was lame and we quit.
We went for a walk, too. Reese brought her bunny in a sling, and Eli wouldn't show his face for any of the pictures.

Not much going on. Still writing novel. It still sucks (haha). Kids still learning. Dinners being cooked. Sewing accomplished. These things are the reason I'm not blogging as often. Do you miss me? ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh shoot.

Did you think I forgot you? I didn't. This NaNoWriMo thing is exhausting. And I really must sew. I thought I had so long because Christmas isn't until December 25th, right? Well then I remembered that I not only have to MAIL THINGS but we're going on vacation and leaving before Christmas. Whoops! I'll get things done, it just means that I can't lollygag around (don't you love that word, lollygag?).

And how can I get things done around here when my family is doing silly things to distract me???

On the homeschooling front, we learned about Thanksgiving. Books were read, crafts done, and we all had fun. Here's Reese's Thankful Tree and her turkey:

And here's Eli's Thankful Tree and turkey.

Let's see. Nothing else fantastic enough to write about, and House is coming on any minute. So. I'll try to be back more regularly. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I've been busy sewing stuff. That is what I like to do. This fun pile of stuff is for my secret santa person on a cloth diapering message board. I know, I don't cloth diaper anyone anymore, but the people there are awesome, and we talk about much more than cloth diapering.

Here's some of the stuff laid out nicely. My person wished for placemats and cloth pad liners. My friend Denelle dyed the bamboo velour, which tops the pads. It's awesome. I included a travel kleenex holder because they are fun. And I also threw in some sewing goodies, like Diva tags. There's some tea in the package too. I'll be shipping early this week. Yay!!!

The kids and I went for a walk (well, we walk just about every day) the other day. Eli started doing this thing where he makes his hands into binoculars when you ask him to smile nice. I suppose it's better than seeing the back of his head all the time. That's the pool closest to our house. It's still open, but man, that water looks cold.

Let's see, what else has been going on? I've been sewing, mostly Christmas gifts. I'm also 10,000 words into my novel. That's right, I am 1/5 of the way through! Impressive, huh? And there's the usual homeschooling and hanging out with the family.
I am loving the "fall" weather here. Today it was 60 degrees and sunny. We're a good chunk into November and I'm not feeling the seasonal blahs like I have in the past. I miss my friends and family, but I do think this was a good move for us.
Well, time to think about dinner! I'm hoping I can talk Eric and the kids into eating chips and salsa or nachos or something. What do you like to have for dinner on weekends?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Are you scared by this mess? Me too. Gah. This is what I get for suggesting that instead of Mom writing down everything the kids think they want for Christmas, they cut pictures out and paste them on a piece of paper. I have to admit, it keeps them busy. But the mess...sigh.

Oh well. I'm busy in the kitchen. These are the last three pie pumpkins in Georgia. All right, I don't know that for sure. However, when I went to Marvin's Market, all the pumpkins are gone.

So these three are it, I think. I cut them in half, scooped the seeds, and baked for about 45 minutes. The last batch of pumpkin I baked I turned into pie filling. We used that for smoothies and pumpkin waffles and pumpkin muffins. Mmmmmmm.

I suppose we still have squash even if the pumpkins are done for the year. I bought a spaghetti squash the other day, and I have a butternut squash to use up as well.

Do you like squash? What do you do with it?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How about some Halloween pics? We had trick or treating on Saturday evening. Here's my favorite pumpkin:

Reese and Eli trying to figure out if someone was home at this place:

Reese is Little Red Riding Hood and Eli is a vampire. They picked their costumes out of a Joann's ad flyer, which I thought was kind of funny.

I think the kids had a good time. We went trick or treating with some friends in their neighborhood. Lots of candy was acquired and eaten last night, and then today during the game.
And what did we eat on this last day of Vegetarian Awareness Month? Risotto with mushrooms, red peppers, and sundried tomatoes. It was delicious. I know I talked a little bit about posting heavy on the food pics during the month of November as well for Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food), but I think I need a break from food blogging. If I come across something extra yummy or something worth sharing (like vegan Thanksgiving), I'll definitely tell you all about it. I decided this because I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo...don't you love the cutesy nicknames???) which you can learn more about HERE
It's been a long time since I wrote anything that wasn't a blog entry or some crappy junky fanfiction (that I will NOT share, so don't ask...seriously, soooooooo embarassing). I haven't totally decided what I'm going to write, but my first line is going to be: There are no vampires in this story. That's funny, right? Or only funny to me? I don't know. We'll see what happens. The purpose of NaNoWriMo isn't to necessarily write something good, it's to write something. Believe you me, I can manage to write something. 50,000 words in November, yeah!!!!!
So in November I'll be writing like a crazy person, planning an awesome Vegan Thanksgiving (and perhaps rounding up local friends to share it?? Local friends? Vegan Thanksgiving? Sounds aweosmely fun, right????), and healing my knees from a failed attempt at Couch to 5K. And I'll leave that last thing for another blog.
Got some November goals to share?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegan Omelettes? Yes!

I think if you backed me into a corner and said you would torture kittens unless I told you my favorite cookbook, I'd have to pick Vegan Brunch. I love a freakton of vegan cookbooks, but there's just something magical about brunch foods. Of course when I went vegan, I chose to no longer eat my brunch staple, eggs. Color me thrilled when Vegan Brunch came out with a recipe for tofu omelettes. I think it's pretty much the best recipe ever invented. These delicious tofu omelettes were accompianied by banana flapjacks, also from Vegan Brunch. I meant to take a picture before I started eating, but man, I forgot and had half my food shoveled into my mouth before I remembered. Sorry about that..
And here's a random, fun picture of the kids. We went on a walk this morning to mail some stuff and to take pictures of trees for a homeschool project. This is what you get when you ask the children to smile nice:

After getting business taken care of, we headed to the Sand Playground. It rained this morning, so the sand was nice and packy. Great for sand castles!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I feel like I haven't been blogging my food nearly enough. Or my kids nearly enough. Or our adventures nearly enough. Part of the reason is that we're pretty much repeating recipes, and some of the places we've gone in the past few weeks we've been to before. The other part of the reason is that I'm dealing with a stressful time right now. I don't talk about it a lot here because I don't want it to be the focus of my life anymore, but for those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed and treated for rectal cancer last year. I have a blog about that if you're interested I'm Sorry for Cursing

Anyway, I had my first post treatment ct scan last week and am waiting for results, which I will get this Wednesday. Following in Single Dad Laughing's footsteps, I feel like I need to be real about this. So I've been preoccupied and not very creative, just trying to get through the days. Prognosis is very good, so of course I shouldn't be worried, but I am.

I didn't think this all would affect me as much as it has. I thought it would be no big deal, but it is.

I hope to be back to my posty self (complete with pictures of foooooooooooood and kids and life) soon. Maybe I'll try for blogging all our dinners in November, complete with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving. That sounds like good times, doesn't it?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'll leave you to Cry It Out, you jerk.

Insert sad face here. Sad, angry face, that is.

I can overlook a lot of parenting practices that I wouldn't choose for myself and my family. Really. It used to be that everything got me up in arms, but a while ago I decided I just can't get outraged by everything. One of the things I haven't been able to let go though is sleep training, controlled crying, Cry It Out, whatever you want to call it. It just makes me so freaking sad. Babies crying alone in a dark room? How can that NOT make someone sad???

Plenty of people defend this practice. Plenty of people feel it's important to train babies to self sooth, sleep alone, go to sleep at X time.

I just can't get past the fact (yes, FACT, people) that babies cry when they have a need. What else are they supposed to do? They can't talk. Oh wait, your baby is fed, has a clean diaper, and isn't hurt...so that's that? No more needs to be met? What about the need for human contact? What about the need to have mom (and dad too!) close? The need to be held and cuddled and protected?

See why this makes me so sad?

I guess people have their reasons for doing this, whether some family member or doctor suggested it, or maybe they just can't take the nightwaking anymore. I know the nighttime parenting is the hardest part of babyhood/toddlerhood for me. Being tired sucks. But hearing my babies cry when I'm RIGHT THERE and could pick them up if I wanted to sucks even more.

Sorry, this just isn't for me. And reading about it, hearing about it...ugh. It makes me want to go stick my head in a hole and yell La La La La until it goes away. I like pretending that this doesn't exist.

In the end, I can only do for my own family though. I wouldn't have even blogged about it except it's just making me SO FREAKING SAD that I've heard/read about this more than a few times this week. I so wanted to suggest that parents read Dr. Sears' Nighttime Parenting or The Baby Book or even The No Cry Sleep Solution by Pantley. That nightwaking and needing human interaction and parenting to sleep is NORMAL. I want to share that there are options, that your babies will eventually sleep.

Really. They will. And then mama can sleep too. No one said this whole parenting thing was going to be easy. Big hugs for tired mamas!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well hello there, Delicious Vegan Cupcakes!

It's awesome to see you, looking so nomalicious!

I begged for vegan cupcakes for WEEKS (mostly on facebook...what, you're not my facebook friend?? Why not???). I got a bunch of boo hoos and a recipe. So when a friend of mine suggested we surprise another friend with cupcakes, I jumped at the chance to try these babies out. Don't they look lovely? (sorry about the rusty crappy pan they are in)

So these are an adaptation of a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. My only complaint is that the cupcakes themselves seemed a little dry. Perhaps I baked them too long? I don't know. Making cake-like things turn out well is hard for me. I'd definitely make these again though because although they look like they are complicated, they aren't. You can make them in steps, and none of the steps is very time consuming.

I'm hoping these pictures appease you, dear readers, because I forgot to take a picture of dinner last night. It wasn't anything spectacular, we had stir fry with veggies and soy curls and the same old sauce I always make with stir fry. Eric got home late and I had something to do, so we didn't even eat dinner together.

Tonight I'm making Jerk Seitan from Veganomicon, but I'm not very pleased with my last batch of seitan. I don't know how it will all work out. But I'll let you know!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday's dinner: No picture but it was basically lentils and pitas. The twist was roasted onions and the pitas were sprinkled with garam masala and crisped in the oven. It was delicious with some chutney. Nom nom nom. Kids? Didn't like it. Oh well, what can you do?

After dinner we went for a walk. Here's some pictures from our adventure, in no particular order.

Yay, he's actually riding his scooter!!!!!! (Eli, I mean, not Eric, although Eric did an awesome job riding too).

The Sand Playground. Hey, here's something kind of amusing: I check in at places around our Apartment Community on foursquare when I remember. I set up locations at places like the pool and both playgrounds. Some joker with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth took my mayorship of the Sand Playground! What the heck? If you don't do foursquare this makes absolutely no sense to you. Hah.

RIDE THAT SCOOTER for goodness' sakes!

We also took pictures of some trees for a homeschool group project. The assignment is to take a picture of one tree once a week until the beginning of November. Then we're to bring the printed pictures to Amazing Mondays the first week in November. I think it will be fun to see how the trees changed over five weeks. The kids get a kick out of standing in front of their tree too.
The plan today is to play catch up. Catch up on housework, catch up on homeschooling, catch up on everything. I hope we have a nice, relaxing day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tempeh Burgers and other Goodness

Here's another of my wacky food pictures:

You're looking at a crash hot potato (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman site), tempeh burgers, and some broccoli. It was a pretty delicious dinner. Kids demolished the crash hot potatoes, ate some broccoli, and picked at the tempeh burgers. I think if I slapped the burgers on buns, they would be more appealing.

Anyway, the recipe for the tempeh burgers comes from New Vegetarian Cooking by Rose Elliot, and can also be found on the Internets, so I'll post it here too.

Tempeh Burgers

Makes 4

You need:

7 oz package of tempeh

2 tbsp oil

1 onion, minced

2 tbsp flour

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup soy milk

2 green onions, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

oil for frying

For the coating:

2 tbsp arrowroot

5 tbsp dried bread crumbs


Boil the tempeh block for 15 minutes. Drain and mash well in a medium sized bowl.

Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion, cover, and cook for 7-10 minutes until onion is tender and lightly brown. Stir in flour and garlic, cook over low heat 5-7 minutes to cook the flour. Then pour soy milk into pan and stir to make a thick sauce. Remove from heat. Add to tempeh along with green onions and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

For the coating, mix arrowroot with 2-3 tbsp water to make a paste. Shape tempeh into four patties, dip each into paste, then into breadcrumbs. Heat some oil in a skillet, add burgers, and fry 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve at once.


Okay, I will admit I totally screwed up the whole paste and breadcrumbs thing. I don't keep breadcrumbs on hand because I'm too lazy to read a label to find a vegan brand. Since I have the handy dandy Vitamix, I usually just whirl some oatmeal in the dry carafe. For some crazy reason, I mixed the arrowroot, whirled oatmeal, and water on one plate. Don't do that. It's a huge sticky mess, although the burgers still turned out very tasty. Just, you know, READ the directions.

Anyway, these are good. I didn't have green onions so I just left them out. I used to be all "I must follow this recipe exactly!" but I'm not really like that anymore. I'm quick to sub something reasonable if I don't have an ingredient, and leaving something out like green onions in a recipe that already calls for a whole onion seems okay. Despite what we all heard growing up, it's okay to play with your food.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good Eatin'

Friday night we had pizza. I took a picture, I swear. Now I don't know where it is. But I know I've posted pics of pizza before, so you're not missing much.

Saturday night Eric said, "How about potato pancakes?" So we had potato pancakes, toast, baked kale, and bananas. Here's me with potato pancake mash on my hands. Gross!
The potato pancakes were not gross, however. They were delicious. Oh! See that jar of jelly on the righthand side of the pic? That's Moonshine Jelly from a genuine moonshiner we saw at the Georgia National Fair. It's good jelly too.

The rest of the weekend has been uneventful. I've been sewing up pants from a tester pattern, and let me tell you, they are CUTE. I mean, manly. Eli is loving them because they have pockets. I'll post pics and link to the pattern when it's finished for my sewing friends out there. The kids and I went to the front office of our Apartment Community for a kids' craft event. That was pretty fun. Today I'm making a Joann's run for supplies to make a swap giftie, and I need more elastic for pants. And the kids are bugging me to make them some Halloween costumes already. Gah. That's a lot of pressure...I'd rather head to the Dollar Tree and raid their random costume props. We'll see.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A mish mash of things

We ran, ran, ran the first part of the week, and today was the first day I got to take a breather. Let's see, I think I only missed one meal, and this is it:

You are looking at the wonder that is Seitan and Portabello Mushroom Stroganoff. This recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. I don't know that I've talked up this cookbook, it's pretty awesome. I use it a lot, and it's one I recommend to new vegans. I've made this recipe before, but the last time I subbed a LOT. This time I followed the recipe exactly. Next time, the peas are gone. I'm not a fan of peas. Kid friendly? Sort of. Like many meals I make, kids are reluctant to try new foods. Eli kept asking if the seitan was chicken (haha). Both kids took a few bites and declared it good, but didn't really eat a whole lot. I think that might just be a weirdo kid thing.

I also wanted to share the Tofu Spread love that I'm feeling lately. I found the original recipe on Pakupaku, which is an awesome resource for vegan foodstuffs. The recipe originated in a cookbook called The American Vegetarian Cookbook by Marilyn Diamond. It's pretty simple:

You need:

1 block of firm tofu (fresh is best)

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp mild flavored miso, lightly colored

Juice of 1/2 a lemon (I used about 2 tbsp)

1 small garlic clove (come on, is ONE clove enough? No. Add more)

I threw everything in the food processor and whirled until it was all mashed and combined. Here's the fun part: now add in some other ingredients to make a totally fun and original spread! Today I used a handful of cilantro, half a red onion, and a handful of almonds. The other day I threw a carrot in there. The recipe suggests such ingredients as kalamata olives, sunflower seeds, fresh dill, and ground pepper. I use this spread on wraps and sandwiches. Om nom nom nom. It's a nice change from the hummus base I usually use.

Other than running here and there, and making tofu spread, I feel like I haven't done a whole heck of a lot this week. I don't know, it's just one of those weeks. I have a pants pattern I'm supposed to be testing, signed up for a swap on one of my message boards, and probably should start thinking about Christmas gifts. Yikes. We did spend time with friends and went to La Leche League on Tuesday.

Tonight's dinner is going to be chili, maybe cornbread muffins (if I get my act together...and I might need to make some soymilk). I'm trying a new recipe, I'll let you know how it goes. And now I'm off to educate the children. Have a great day!