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‘Nother Vegan MoFo Meme

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?

I’m still moving in the direction of veganism; however, for years and years, the only meat I ever ate was hamburger – – and I haven’t missed it AT ALL!  Especially since I learned how to make the TVP taste more like “meat” and less like crap: Bring 1 Cup Vege Broth with 1 to 2 Tbl. Hickory Liquid Smoke, to a boil.  Add 1 Cup TVP.  Stir. Cover.  Remove from heat.  It is ready to use in 5 minutes.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Green Peppers!  Although, recently, I have been craving Brussel Sprouts.

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?

I really don’t eat a lot of “packaged” vegan products…

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

Sweet Tea….it’s my vice!

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?

lol…I don’t go to gatherings.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

No; however, I would probably lose more weight if I did!

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Any snacks…unfortunately, not everyone shares my desires to be vegan (but, they DO induldge me by eating whatever I make for dinner) so more snacks make it in the house than I would like.  If I had more self-imposed rules, I’d prolly be better off…lol.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Soup.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?

Spices/Seasonings.

Are you much of a snacker?  What are your favorite snacks?

Oh yeah….and they’re the devil!

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Red onion, Green Pepper and Vegan Cheese.

What is your favorite vegetable?  Fruit?

Vege=Gosh, there are too many to count. 
Fruit=Melons and Apples

What is the best salad dressing?

I like Dorothy Lynch…I know it isn’t vegan; however, I haven’t found one I like enough to replace it.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

EB with Cinnamon and Sugar mix!

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

I really like to try all sorts of different soups….it really depends on my mood!

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

Not a big cupcake person…but, I LOVE Vegan Banana Bread.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

My friend made some Pumpkin Cookie with Chocolate Chips….omg, to die for!!

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

Right now it is Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

I am the second pickiest eater in my house….so typically if I like it, the other two will, as well.   

How long, in total,  do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?

On an average day, maybe an hour or 2.

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Vegan Survey

Favorite non-dairy milk?
I like Rice Milk from the store; however, when I can afford it, I like homemade Almond Milk better.
What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Oh my, that is a tough one.  I need to figure out how to do some veganizing on some of my family’s favorite meat dishes: Chicken Noodle Soup, Runza/Cabbage Biscuit, and Pepperoni Rolls.

Topping of choice for popcorn?
EB & salt….but, I honestly haven’t done a lot of experimenting.

Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Yowsa….hhhmmm, let’s see…..I tried to make vege broth in the crockpot and apparently I added something that I shouldn’t have and it tasted REALLY bitter.  Not sure what it was….next time I will follow all of the directions/suggestions for use.

Favorite pickled item?
Pickles!
How do you organize your recipes?
On the computer and then if I like them, I print them off and they go into a blue folder.
Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
We trash anything we can’t compost or recycle.
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods… what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Dried beans, rice, and veggie stock….’cause as long as it’s a tropical island, I am hoping that there will be lots of fresh fruits and vege, year round!!  🙂

Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My Mom always makes Potato Soup and Cabbage Biscuits for christmas eve dinner….
Favorite vegan ice cream?
I have never tried store-bought vegan ice cream.  One of my goals is to get an electric ice cream maker and the book “Vice Cream”…..and make my own!!

Most love kitchen appliance?
Refrigerator….hands down!

Spice/herb you would die without?
Spice = Salt
Herb = Dill

Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I don’t even know….all of my books are currently packed away.

Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Apple Butter

Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Vegan Banana Bread
Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I have never used these items.

Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Honestly, I am not to fond of cooking….so, any meal that I can have on the table within half-an-hour is a favorite!!  🙂  I also don’t have a favorite TIME to cook, either….I do most of my family cooking in the latter afternoon hours. 

What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cereal, Medicines (my whole family has been sick lately) and sprout bag.

Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Bananas, Organic All Purpose Unbleached Flour, Blueberries

What’s on your grocery list?
Since I JUST went shopping….nothing.

Favorite grocery store?
I only have access to a couple “grocery stores” – – so among those I do most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and then Dillions.  I do LOVE Whole Foods; however, the nearest one is almost 3 hours away from my house.

Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
See Above.

Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Whatever is most recent on my reader.

Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Right now, I am diggin’ the Vegan Banana Bread.

Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Cardamom…that crap is $10 a pop.

Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Too many to count!!

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Dude! I am totally feelin’ the love!! Obi-Mom Kenobi tagged me……YEAH!!!

The rules:

A) People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs & replace any question that they dislike with a new question. (I haven’t changed any questions.)

B) Tag 8 people to answer the questions.

1. How many songs are on your iPod?
Right this minute….57.

2. What music would you want played at your funeral?
I don’t want to have a funeral. I want to be dumped at the Body Farm, Donated to Science….and if all else fails….cremated.

3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to?
Family Fun. Which will be running out soon enough.

4. What is your favorite scent?
Oh, geez….so many things smell good….Just like a Lay’s Chip…I can’t just pick one!!

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?
I would travel all over…..starting with SF, CA.

6. What is your theme song?
I never thought about having a theme song. Can any friends suggest one?

7. Do you trust easily?
No. I trust slowly, but deeply.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
A little of both. I tend to overthink the big stuff and act without thinking about little stuff.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Not really. I am actually doing better in the “happiness” department.

10. Do you have a good body-image?
Yes and No. There are MANY things that I don’t like – – but, I know that I have the power to change them – – so I am moving in that direction. I don’t think I am completely unattractive.

11. Is being tagged fun?
It’s nice to know that there are people who read my blog more than once, but I have to copy boremetotears and Obi-Mom’s answer to this one: “I think I like reading other people’s responses more than writing my own.”

12. How do you spend your social networking (Facebook, etc.) time?
I’m on MySpace. It’s good, for now.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
LMAO….internet, sugar, sweet tea……

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
I really like Obi-Mom’s views on a lot of stuff. She will clearly see that we are similar in some areas, because her answers were the very same as mine!! 🙂

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Oh, geez…I don’t remember when a song was last stuck in my head….but, I am willing to bet it was something AWFUL…no “cool” songs EVER get stuck in my head.

16. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
Hmmmmm…..I am really lucky, ’cause I like all my casual clothes. I guess I would have to say my underwear, ’cause all of my other clothes I can get at Wal-Mart, Thrift Stores, Garage Sales, other “dollar” kinds of stores…..but, my undies….I get those in the BIG city (more than an hour and a half away. 😉

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Yes, I love them…..but, haven’t had them in SOOOO long!!!

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground?
If I knew who lost it, I’d return it; otherwise it’s go to paying some bill…as does just about every extra penny that comes into contact with my hot little hands.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?
Right now, the internet, sugar and sweet tea….but, that is all about to change!!!!

20. What should you be doing right now?
Probably anything but this…..but, heck, it was fun!! 🙂 Thanks Obi-Mom Kanobi!!!

There are a lot of people who don’t “like” to be tagged….so, if you thought this was cool…and you wanna do it….consider yourself tagged…don’t forget to let me know, so I can read your answers!!  🙂

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Heart of the Matter hosts a weekly meme. This particular meme is from July: “Healthy Ideas for Picky Eaters.” Two of my three children are NOT picky – – they will eat almost anything you put in front of them – – and they will do so in earnest!! My youngest is Lil’ Miss Picky. It has been suggested to feed her things that she likes, in ADDITION to what I make normally for dinner; however, I just don’t think it sends the message **I** want my family to get: This is dinner, you may choose to eat or not; however, it is NOT a short order restaurant.

I choose ‘healthy’ cereal for breakfast. Lunch is usually leftovers from dinners. Dinner is comprised of a a balanced meal, using most or all of the food groups. Since I am also a picky eater, I am careful to plan meals that everyone will eat SOMETHING from the selection.

I also try to make some healthy snacking items. Banana Bread is our family’s favorite! Here is the recipe:

 

Banana Bread

2 C. Mashed Bananas
1t. Lemon Juice
2 C. Flour
2 t. baking powder
½ C. Butter (or shortening)
½ C. White Sugar
½ C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
½ C. mini-chocolate chips (optional) *
½ C. Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with sugar (you can also do a cinnamon/sugar mixture).
Cream eggs, butter/shortening, and sugars until fluffy.
FOLD in remaining ingredients.
Mix Well.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.
* Our family really likes the added chocolate chips to the mix!!

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There are days when we are in a time crunch – – and I totally forget about dinner.  I’m sure you can relate to this, yes?  And when that happens, we sure don’t want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary on meal preparations.  So, for another HOTM Meme, here are my two main stand-by’s for days like this:  Simple Taco Soup and Speedy Skillet Sketti.  {I don’t recall where I found the Taco Soup; however, I got the recipe for the Sketti, here.  Both are cheap, good and good for you!!  : )  I usually don’t add a whole lot to the basic recipe – – mostly because I find that when I am in the time crunch, the ‘rest’ is just too time consuming (or it isn’t even in my pantry). 

Simple Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 can red kidney beans
1 can corn or ½ bag (8 oz.) frozen corn
2 Cups Beef Broth
2 Cups Water*
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet of Ranch dressing
1 packet of Taco seasoning mix

* Additional Water, if necessary.
………….
Optional Garnishes….
Avocado Slices
Shredded Cheese (Prefer Monterey Jack)
Corn Tortillas – Cut in half, then in 1/2” strips, then fried in canola oil
Dorritos
………….

Sauté ground beef /crumbles and onion in skillet until brown. Drain if necessary.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (to dotted line) without draining. Stir and simmer for approximately 20 min. Viola!
Yield: 4 to 6

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Speedy Skillet Sketti

4 cups (1-quart) fresh water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
26 ounce can or jar Spaghetti Sauce, any flavor
8 ounces spaghetti noodles
2 or 3 slices American Cheese or 1/2-cup shredded cheese

This is one of the easiest, fastest dishes I know. You need a large skillet or 3-quart saucepan to start with. Pour the water into the skillet (or saucepan) and bring it to a boil over high heat. While it’s heating add the vegetable oil and spaghetti sauce. The water will thin the sauce significantly. Don’t worry about it. It thickens up later in the recipe.

Break the spaghetti in half. Add to the boiling water/spaghetti sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-high so the mixture still boils, but not too violently. Cook and stir the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes. The spaghetti will absorb most of the water, leaving a tasty thickened sauce in it’s place. Right before serving stir in the cheese until it melts. Spoon into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 4 servings.

This is the basic recipe. It can be doctored up if desired. For instance, if you have some flavored TVP hanging out in the cupboard then add about 1/3-cup to the sauce when you add the spaghetti. It will reconstitute as the spaghetti cooks. Italian Sausage, Beef or regular Sausage flavors all taste yummy. If you have some veggie meats in the freezer or fridge then feel free to add some, 4 to 6 ounces is usually plenty. Sausage, burger, crumbles, or even some finely chopped veggie lunch meat is a nice addition. A can of mushrooms, or chopped tomatoes or tomatoes & zucchini or sliced carrots are all interesting diversions from the main recipe. If you are teaching children how to cook, this is the best first recipe I know of. It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and gives satisfying results.

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 Heart of the Matter hosts a weekly Meme – – one of the previous meme’s was: “How You Schedule.” When I pulled Boo from Public School, I had been reviewing several “techniques” (CM, Classical, and Unschooling). I used information from Ambelside Online (Year 1) to base our basic ‘rest of the year’ curriculum/schedule. At that time, I knew that I wanted to homeschool year-round – – but, I needed to figure out if I should do “hard-core’ schooling during the ‘normal’ school-year and ease-up in the summer OR stretching out whatever the curriculum that I had chosen, throughout the year – – making it all about the same. In the last nine months, I have realized some pretty significant things: 1) Our family/Boo works better with a ‘hard-core’ Public School schedule and an easier summer; 2) Boo works best with structure (unschooling won’t work for her – – at least for now); 3) I need to be more persistent versus allowing her to lead; 4) Boo likes grades and she responds best with a perceived ‘threat’ to any grade lower than an ‘A.’

Taking all of that into consideration, I am going to have three 14 week terms – – and whatever is left (throughout the summer) will be more low key. I am basing most of the curriculum around the United States: US History, US Geography, US Civics/Elections, science in Colonial Times {in the US], three US artists, three US composers, etc. I will basically break down the material I am using into ‘workable’ chunks during the day – – starting slower and building up.


So here is an example of how I would organize a day:

9:30am – – First Wake-up call {for Boo}
9:45am – – Second Wake-Up Call
10:00am – – I get up
10:30am – – Spelling/Vocabulary {I will have more specific posts about HOW we do this and WHAT we use.}
11:00am – – I will read a picture book or two to her
11:15am – – She will test {www.bookadventure.com} on the previous books, if applicable
11:30am – – We will read from the SS text, History Book, and/or Famous Americans Book.
12:00pm – – While we eat, we will listen to whatever historical fiction/non-fiction CD that ‘matches’ the time period we are studying.
12:30pm – – We take a break
1:00pm – – I will read another picture book or two to her – – OR she will read to herself
1:15pm – – BookAdventure Test(s), if applicable
2:00pm – – We will read through the Science Text or the colonial science book
2:30pm – – We will watch the Math-U-See (MUS) lesson and then work through the lessons in the workbook.
3:30pm – – We will take another break
3:45pm – – Quiet reading (from historical fiction series)
4:15pm – – Language Arts (copywork, handwriting, grammar, etc.)
5:00pm – – We are usually done!! AND Daddy is probably on his way home.

9:00pm – – Bed time. She can read whatever she wants for as long as she wants – – provided that she remains IN bed. If she gets up, lights go out and its bed time.
She is usually asleep by 11:00pm.

Now, I want to make sure that you know, the above is a ROUGH sketch of what a day would be like – – and it all depends on her. Sometimes we are done by early afternoon – – sometimes it is early evening before we get done. I also only school four days a week, as we usually go to town once a week (or so). Once I can get a better handle on our schedule, I will post it.
If you are interested in how others schedule, hop on over to HOTM, and check out their blog posts.

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The last week of May, HOTM had a Meme: Most Exciting Homeschool Moment. As I have noted in previous posts, I have gotten sorely behind in HOTM Weekly Meme’s. Recently, we had a short day trip/doctor appointment and tomorrow (technically today: 9/6) is Honey-Bunny’s Birthday – – so we have been in FULL PREP mode. Oh, and we also completely rearranged the back room of our house, making it our new homeschool room!! Anyway, before I digress too far, I will move on to the topic at hand….
Before I answered this meme, I stopped by the wonderful homeschool blogs that had already answered this meme, for inspiration – – I was completely stumped and had a brain full of nothin’!

Luckily, inspiration was good to me….here is my list:
1) The day my oldest proclaimed proudly: “I know the answer to that because I learned it in HOMESCHOOL!!”

2) My oldest also just took her pre-GED tests and passed all but her math test. (She told me later that she got stuck on a problem and instead of skipping it and moving on, she kept at it and the next thing, she had 5 minutes left on the test). I was just SO proud of her for passing the tests!! 🙂

3) Watching the book count increase daily for my youngest. While in PS, she detested reading and it was like pulling teeth. From January 1st to today, September 5th, he book count is 360.

4) Listening to her talk to other people about being able to stay home and hang with her peeps!! I LOVE that!! 😉

5) I also suspect that MANY more exciting moments are in the future….just waiting to be discovered!!

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