Saturday, May 29, 2010

Schooooooool's Out.For.Summer!

Good-bye school year...Helllllooooo Summer!!!!!! Even as an adult I still love the feeling of school being out for the summer. There is something freeing and fun about it. Glad I can relive that feeling again!
During this summer, I am hoping that I can spend some time designing more unique jewelry and designing more girly accessories and getting them on Etsy for the public to purchase.

The whole class of 8
(5 fun rambunctious boys and 3 artsy princesses)

Katie, Lexi & Hannah

Charlie, Joel B., Tucker, Joel S. and Jacob

I helped to start and complete a Home Schooling Co-op Preschool with 5 other moms this year. We have had fun teaching the kids along with the kids having fun with each other. They learned many many life lessons, built friendships and learned basic preschool education. This was our last day of school. We had group pictures and individual pictures, field day and lunch with a short little "graduation ceremony". I am blessed by the other moms and just being able to do this with Hannah. She came out of her little shy shell and has made some really sweet friendships that I am grateful for. We'll most likely get together for some play dates this summer for the kids to play with each other and I will definitely be capturing some shots on the camera. Until then...later!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Taking Pictures of my Dad and Joan's Visit

My dad and Joan (my step-mom) came to visit us from sunny Miami, FL and I wanted to get a nice picture of them with the beautiful scenery in the background. One didn't look like my dad was enjoying this. See...just a 1/2 of a smile.

Very good...a full smile but you still do not look like you are enjoying this. Can you show some teeth, Dad?

Ok, we are getting better, Still don't see enough teeth. Joan looks beautiful, though. (Side note: I made her necklace! Pretty, ay?)

Ok, dad, that was way too much teeth. I am scared!

Now, we are enjoying this!!!

Ahhhhh, PERFECT! Thank you!! What a cute couple!

Tofu Tenders

I had such a great day of being at home...not going anywhere and spending time with my family and cooking different meals. It's been quite a while since I have made something "fried" so I decided do make this meal....which by the way, Hannah and Jonathan BOTH enjoyed. I guess if you fry anything they will eat it?? Hannah dipped her tofu pieces in Ketchup. And we squirted Braggs Amino Acids (Tastes exactly like soy sauce..just much better for you and less salt) on ours.

Side Note: I don't measure anything...unless I am baking and sometimes when I follow a recipe. So, below are all guesstimates.

Tofu Tenders
1 container of extra firm organic tofu
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup of almonds, chopped finely
1 -1/2 tsp of Italian herbs
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Put the flax seed and water in a bowl and mix. Leave it in the bowl while getting the rest of the ingredients ready. (This allows the mixture to get a "sticky" consistency to act as eggs would when you want the bread crumbs to stick to the tofu). Occasionally swish the mixture.

Use two paper towels to wrap around the uncut tofu to squeeze the water out as much as possible being careful to keep it from falling apart. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Set aside

Combine bread crumbs, almonds, herbs and mix.

Dip tofu into flax seed mixture and then coat it with the bread crumbs and set on a plate. Coat all tofu pieces and then place in a large with the heated olive oil. You have to turn each piece so each side gets cooked to a nice golden brown.

In the mean time....steam broccoli & sliced carrots or other veggie of choice.

I also made thin rice noodles and mixed Earth Balance with it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vegan Strawberry Breakfast Crepes

These crepes are amazingly yummy and amazingly easy! They are vegan but taste is not lacking at all! They look as good as they taste. I got this from a cookbook called, The Garden of Vegan. I checked out of the library and I keep renewing it because I love the recipes so I think it may be time to buy it since every recipe that I make, I love.

I just bought Ener G Egg Replacer because it is easier to use with certain kinds of recipes and if you don't want your recipe to taste like banana and apple sauce, which replaces eggs, you can use Egg Replacer. I didn't want to spend the $4.50 at MOM's but now looking back on it, it is MUCH cheaper than buying eggs or egg whites. It doesn't have protein in it, though. For a 16 oz box you can get 113 servings, which would be 113 eggs, which is about 10 dozen eggs at $2/dozen (I don't buy eggs so I am not sure what the cost is now for a dozen) that would be about $20. So, in reality I save $15 because I bought this box of Egg Replacer. This will save my marriage from friction too when my dear hubby is trying to make his absolutely scrumptious chocolate chip cookie recipe. He feels like he can't add apple sauce or banana to his recipe, which I understand.

Anyway, here is the recipe:
(Let your batter sit for 1/2 an hour before cooking to make sturdier crepes.)

-Powdered egg replace to equal 2 eggs -1 cup Soy Milk (or other milk)
-1/3 cup water
-1 cup flour

-2 tbsp dry sweetener (I used organic cane sugar)

-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp Margarine (I use Earth Balance)

In a blender, food processor or Magic bullet combine all ingredients and blend for 20 seconds. Not too long so it doesn't gummy. Portion about 2-3 tbsp of batter into pan and then lift and rotate the pan so the batter evenly coats. This is a key step for crepes. Cook until almost dry then flip with a thin spatula. Adjust the heat as necessary. Makes about 8-12 crepes.

3 apples (or 10 strawberries sliced) peeled and sliced or lightly chopped
1 tbsp liquid swee
tner (I used Agave Syrup)

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of water
Put all ingredients in sauce pan and boil then simmer for 2-5 minutes.

For each crepe I added about 1 tbsp cream cheese (I used Tofutti, non-dairy cream cheese) and spread it sporadically on the crepe. I also used the cream cheese to "seal" the crepe closed and give it a creamy taste.

To Fold:
I folded the bottom lip about 1/2 way then folded the sides about 2 inches then finished folding it. This keeps all of the fruit and juices in the crepe. Dribble a little fruit on top for decoration.

Hannah's request her filling was:
a little peanut butter
a little jelly
a little cream cheese
and folded like a burrito

My house still smells de-lish!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What About Calcium?

I took Hannah to the doctors for her 4-year check up and I was questioned about where she was getting her calcium from. Hannah has eczema and I notice when she has excessive dairy she will break out. So it isn't worth it to me to give it to her for the calcium. PLUS...I don't buy dairy cheese, dairy milk, dairy ice cream. On very very rare occasions do I buy it. Don't get me wrong, I love the taste of it but after not eating it consistently I notice that it affects my stomach, so I try really hard not to eat it, which means, Hannah doesn't eat it either. Not to mention there is cholesterol in it.

I do buy Soy Ice Cream, Soy Milk, Tofu, Soy Cheese, and Rice Cheese. I have learned to enjoy it and not get upset when I make a pizza with the soy cheese and it isn't as "gooey" like real cheese. It does the job and the whole family eats it. It has less fat..NO cholesterol, which is my main goal and it actually tastes good to me. I don't struggle as much as I use to when I first limited the amounts of cheese in my diet.

So back on Calcium....Hannah's doctor questioned her calcium (She made NO reference to veggies that had calcium in it and the walls in the dr. rooms are plastered with charts with dairy all of them.) and this made me think..."Where is she getting her calcium from?". Where does calcium come from? Well, we eat lots and lots of Kale and Spinach and broccoli. Her and I drink Soy Milk.

I am not a complete crazy when it comes to cheese. I would prefer not to eat it but there are worse things out there. Although I do have a problem with the way the dairy farmers treat the cows and the anti-biotics that are given to the cows just so that they can eat the corn that they give them. But that is not the point of this post. The point is to educate myself and you about other forms of calcium in real foods.

Blackstrap molasses 2 Tbsp 400
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 357
Tofu, processed with
calcium sulfate*
4 ounces 200-330
Calcium-fortified orange juice 8 ounces 300
Soy or ricemilk, commercial,
calcium-fortified, plain
8 ounces 200-300
Commercial soy yogurt, plain 6 ounces 80-250
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 249
Tofu, processed with nigari* 4 ounces 80-230
Tempeh 1 cup 215
Kale, cooked 1 cup 179
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 175
Okra, cooked 1 cup 172
Bok choy, cooked 1 cup 158
Mustard greens, cooked 1 cup 152
Tahini 2 Tbsp 128
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 94
Almonds 1/4 cup 89
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 86
Soy milk, commercial, plain 8 ounces 80


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