Nourishing the mind, body, and soul along the vegan highway.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun cooking and delicious meals

Yeah! Blogger finally let me on. After deleting and emptying files, history, cookies, and whatever else I could I was given the right of passage to post on my blog. I was a bit worried that I would never get logged on. Anyway, I have been cooking up a storm. It was time to defrost the big, bad, boy freezer in the garage. I usually keep a good amount of go to meals ready for weekday meals and when I saw that my stash had been deleted it was time to break out the ice pick and hair dryer. All kidding aside the blow dryer does work on those last, few, stubborn ice chunks. Next came the fun of filling the bad boy back up. I cooked up a huge batch of my marinara sauce. To achieve a great sauce I mix to sauces together. The first, is a recipe adapted from an old Mennonite cookbook that I have made for over 25 years and Melodies awesome marinara sauce for that extra kick! Sorry folks it is a test recipe, which is fantastic. Here is the sauce ready for the deep freeze.

Next, over run with zucchini I made some zucchini pancakes. I found this recipe on Su Good Sweets and they are awesome. They have a really nice flavor and they freeze really well for those on the run mornings. I can grab one, toss it in my lunch bag, and use the toaster oven at work. If you are trying to get your kids to eat more veggies this is a way to do it. I used agave in place of honey. So, so, good!

I also made Susan's favorite lasagna, which has become our household favorite. This recipe freezes really well. I freeze it in single serving portions and put a spoon of added sauce over the top. Defrost it and place in the toaster oven and you have a wonderful meal. For those of you who use the microwave it works well in it too. Sorry no picture. I packaged it up and tucked them all nicely in the deep freeze.

After all that cooking it was time to try a new recipe. I broke out my Vegan Vittles cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. Mine is the older edition. It is a wonderful cookbook. This week I made "Barbecue-Style Braised Short Ribs" on page 130. They are very simple to put together, but take an hour and a half to cook in the oven. You turn them every 30 minutes while baking. The sauteed onions, carrots, and garlic along with the sauce turn your home into a summer BBQ. Give them a try!

Finally after a few really lousy days with my back and I mean lousy it was time for a comfort meal. My dear hubby is my knight in shinning armor. He has been helping so much around the house and even helping me get dressed (I am not able to bend these days), he still had time to help make this comfort meal. I know we have all made this same meal, but it was really good today. "Buttermilk" Biscuits with cream gravy, scrambled tofu with zucchini, Vegan Dad's sausage made into patties, and good old country potatoes. I tried hash browns, but they never turn out. They just stay soggy or burn. If anyone has any great solutions to this problem please let me know. DH loves hash browns. And to top it off, my DH did all the dishes and boy were there alot. Thanks babe!

Lastly a smile from our grandson. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finally back in the kitchen with homemade bread

I am back! It seems as though I am finally out of the fast lane and can stop to smell the roses. It has been a very hectic 6 weeks or so. Saying "good-bye to my parents was very difficult. Packing them up had some pretty emotional moments, but they are happily and safely living in Rosharon, Texas with my younger sister. I have popped in on your blogs as much as I could and it is safe to say that I am way behind. While packing my parents I pretty much lived on bean and potato burritos, falafel, and toast. I am so ready to eat GREEN!!!!! I miss living food. After checking so many of your blogs I don't know where to start. You are all such wonderful and inventive chefs! Thank you to all of you who kept checking in on me and not forgettng me. Look out kitchen here I come! It is so nice to back in your own kitchen with the supplies you need to make VEGAN meals.

On a perfect note, our grandson is doing wonderful. Growing like and weed and melting our hearts every time we seem him. He has spent the night with Gma and Gpa twice and slept through the night for us on both occasions. He has rolled over from his tummy to his back and is now beginning to grab for things. Especially Gma's hair. :o)

Mommy leaving her pride and joy overnight with us for the first time. Poor Brandie was being brave, but was crying before she walked out the door. Just in case you all wondering, Brandie and her husband had a wonderful time together even though they missed there little one immensely.

Here we are getting ready to leave for church. We had to wake him up to dress him for church. I don't think he really woke up until we got to church. Gma loves her little man.

Gpa isn't proud or anything is he?

Being so ready to get back in the kitchen I was asked to demonstrate homemade bread at the ladies preparedness night at church. I did not want to do it, but I just don't ever say no. It was good to be cooking again and had a blast doing it. Just the kind of therapy the doctor order. I used the Dave's Killer 100% whole wheat Bread Recipe over at Everyday dish. Julie has amazing guests and recipes for all of us to try. Stop by and check her site out. I only have 2 bread pans and was on a roll so I improvised and made "whole wheat french loaves" and "whole wheat muffins" along with regular sandwich loaves. I made the recipe as it is written for the sandwich loaves, but went from molasses to honey for the "french loaves and muffins" This bread is KILLER bread. Thanks Dave and Julie!

Tradition Sandwich Style Bread

French Style

Tasty muffin or roll style