Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

I just want to wish everyone a happy and peaceful New Year! We stayed home and watched the ball drop in NYC - at 11:00 here - so that was funny - we drank our Champagne and Sparkly Grape Juice then and went to bed - and counted the New Year rung in. We had black-eyed peas and collard greens (which were shipped to us frozen by the MIL because we can't get them here).

We've spent a few hours on the Sledding Hill -
- This is our little hot-doggin' snow boarder - We sledded Saturday with the snow still falling - it reminded me of sledding at Mom's with our cousins when we were little. Then home for Hot Cocoa YUM!


  • Apple Jelly

  • Applesauce Cake

  • Asian Potstickers

  • Black Beans and Rice

  • Blackberry Cobbler

  • Blueberry Muffins

  • Broccoli-Cranberry Salad

  • Bunny Cake

  • Celery Soup Casserole

  • Chocolate Chips - Vegan

  • Comforting Soup

  • Communion Bread

  • Constant Comment Cookies

  • Cornbread Stuffing

  • Corn Dogs

  • Corn Salad

  • Cranberry Tart

  • Everything Cream Cheese

  • Flaky Pie Crust

  • Flour Tortillas

  • French Dressing

  • French Toast

  • Fried (really baked) Apple Pies

  • Friendship Bread

  • Graham Crackers

  • Green Bean Casserole

  • Guacamole

  • Harvard Beets

  • ICE CREAM - Vegan

  • Juanita's Lefse

  • Mom's Lasagne

  • Lentil Stew

  • Lime "Jello"

  • Mamaw's Gingerbread

  • Microwave Fudge

  • Mom's No Bake Cookies

  • Oatmeal Cookies


  • Parker House rolls

  • Peach Pie

  • Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • Shake and Bake Tofu

  • Slice And Bake Refrigerator Cookies

  • Split Pea Soup

  • Southern Cornbread

  • Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • Tabouleh

  • Tofu Sour Cream

  • Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

  • Vegan Golden Layer Cake and Caramel Icing

  • Vegan Oreos

  • Vegan Reuben

  • Vegan Tacos

  • Vegan Waffles

  • Whole Wheat Pastry Crust

  • Zucchini Bread
  • 2006 FOs

  • Easy Cotton Socks

  • North Country Hats - 2

  • Camouflaged Sweatshirt

  • Dish Cloths - 7

  • Sacha Slippers

  • Easy Triangle Shawl

  • North Country Hats - 4

  • Scarf Cowl Combo

  • Tae Kwon Do Scarves

  • Easy Socks from Great-Grandma's Knitting Book

  • North Country Hat and Camo Scarf
  • Thursday, December 28, 2006

    Ice Skating = Fun Times

    I don't know if I mentionned that I got ice skates for Christmas - Yay! It took quite a bit of searching to find vegetarian ice skates - even the ones with pvc uppers had a leather lining - but these have a tricot lining and they are pretty comfortable - These came from Amazon and a store called Skatebuys.

    I've been ice skating about 3 times in my life - if you don't count the strap on skates we used to skate on the pond in the horse pasture when we were little - it's amazing that it used to freeze solid enough for that - Global Warming - I guess. Anyway - we went ice skating during family skate night last night and we're going again tonight. The Man-Cub already had skates - and he had a ball skating. There's also an outdoor rink that is only about 4 blocks from our house - so we'll be bundling up and going there after the Christmas break - then they will only have family skating on the weekends.

    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    Friendship Bread

    A lady from Church gave me a baggie of Friendship Bread Dough/Starter - for which I thanked her kindly. Then when I got home I tossed that - but immediately made a vegan version of the dough/starter:

    1 package active dry yeast
    1 cup soy milk
    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar

    Just mix that all up and put it in a ziplock bag. So - this is day 1


    Then I followed the instructions on the sheet she gave me with the starter:

    DAY 1 Receive fermented starter in ziplock bag. Do nothing! Put bag on counter.
    DAY 2 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 3 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 4 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 5 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 6 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup of soy milk. Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 7 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 8 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 9 Squeeze bag several times.
    DAY 10 In a large non-metallic bowl, combine batter with 1 cup soy milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix with wooden or plastic spoon. Take four one gallon ziplock bags and pour 1 cup of starter in each. Give these four starters with a copy of instructions to family and friends.

    1/2 CUP SOY MILK
    2 LARGE EGGS EQUIVALENT - I used Red Mill Egg Replacer

    Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the batter and sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    The bread was very moist and sort of heavy - a nice warm breakfast bread - YUM.

    Then I gave away three of the bags of starter and kept one for us. It's fun.

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    Hopefully the last North Country Hat. . .

    The Man-Cub on his way out the door to play in his new hat and his camo scarf - I think the hat is a little too long - as it comes almost to his eyes - but he likes it that way - it's almost like a balaklava - still I may take off a few rows from the top - but unraveling from the top on this pattern would be like bottom up unraveling - not fun.

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    Merry Christmas!

    Whew - we spent all morning opening gifts - when you live this far away from family and friends - and everything is shipped to you - not opened piecemeal as it is when you live close - you get quite a mountain of gifts - and it was all good! Now the tree is empty again and it will still be about a week until I take the decorations down and I like the house to stay Christmasy as long as possible.

    I did finish the Man-Cub's North Country Hat - but not in time for Santa to put it under the tree - I knit while he quietly worked with his Legos - Christmas music playing softly in the background and no TV - it was nice.

    I veganized a Parker House Roll recipe for our Christmas Lunch:

    2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
    1 cup soy milk
    4 tbsp Earth Balance
    2 tbsp sugar
    2 eggs, equivalent - I used flax see goo - but now I have Red Mill egg replacer thanks to Karen
    4 cups unbleached flour
    2 tsp salt
    melted margarine to glaze

    The usual mixing instruction - let rise 1 hour - roll out and cut into little rectangles - overlap them a little in the pan - and glaze with melted margarine and bake at 425° for abut 15-20 minutes. The recipe said the yield was 16 rolls but we got many more than that - probably about 24 - they were delish!


    Have you tried this herbal coffee - YUM - and absolutely no caffeine - YAY!

    Sunday, December 24, 2006


    The Children's Christmas Pageant was this morning. The Children did a wonderful job and sang several songs - the Man-Cub was Melchior - one of the Magi - it was just a traditional retelling of the old old story.

    We had our Candlelight Service tonight and it was very nice - there was a Tenor Solo of Oh Holy Night - it was all very moving.

    We got home about 5 til midnight - just in time for Santa to come - Merry Christmas to all!

    Saturday, December 23, 2006

    Ta Daaa! The socks are a fait accompli

    I love these socks – they are surely my favorite ever. So cozy and warm. I like the yarn even though I can’t remember what it is. It was in my stash forever – I mean years – I had started a crocheted cloche in it at one time (years ago) and I unraveled that to start this pair of socks. I enjoyed knitting with it more than the cotton – which lacked elasticity - now the #2 dpns are free for a new pair of socks. I think I started these the end of September and pretty much only worked on them during Tae Kwon Do – so about 1 hour per week – no world speed record here.

    Cub Scout Bake Sale Day 2

    After work yesterday – I baked 3 more pans of bars – that’s a funny word for me because I never heard a pan of brownies called bars before we moved up here. We just didn’t call baked goods “bars” down south. Anyway, I made Lemon Bars and Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – with the normal substitutions.

    And I wrapped the rest of the Santa presents too. After Thursday’s stressful rush to finish the scarves I feel like I can breathe now. I don’t think it would seem like Christmas to me if I didn’t stay up until the wee hours of the morning finishing someone’s present. I’m going to start another North Country Hat for the Man Cub today – they are really quick so I may get to wrap it up for Christmas too - and I’m just a few rows from finishing my Tae Kwon Do socks (only called that because that’s the only place I knit them) – so I may finish them today too. As soon as I have those off the needles I’m going to cast on for a pair for the Man-Cub – he’s been wanting me to knit him a pair of socks and I’ve been reluctant to – only because he outgrows things so quickly.

    Friday, December 22, 2006

    The Closest Present Call Ever

    I was knitting up to the very last minute - literally. This picture was taken on the back seat of my car - right before we walked into class for Tae Kwon Do. The Man-Cub and I worked the table at the Cub Scout Bake Sale from 4:45 - 5:30 and then we were a few minutes late for Tae Kwon Do. I finished the duplicate stitch on the second scarf while we were at the Bake Sale and then sewed the final seam in the car before we walked in - and just managed to snap a picture on the back seat before we stuffed them into their gift bags.

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Cub Scout Bake Sale

    I almost forgot about the Cub Scout Christmas Bake Sale - we are trying to raise enough money to buy a new track for the Derby in January and we don't have long. I made a recipe for zucchini bread that is supposed to make 3 loaves - but I only have 2 loaf pans - so I made the rest of the batter into cupcakes.

    Then I made some slice and bake refrigerator Sugar cookies:

    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup margarine, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 egg equivalent – I used flaxseed goo
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon lemon extract

    Just mix that all up – you’ll need a heavy duty mixer – as it’s a very stiff dough. Roll into 3 logs about 1 foot long and refrigerate overnight. Then slice and dip into sprinkles or sugar and bake at 350 for about 7 minutes.

    Both recipes were easily veganized.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    I have been tagged

    I've participated in several meme's - usually just with family and friends though -

    I like meme's - it's the word me twice me me and it's also the French word for same -même because everyone answers the same questions.

    Sarah from tagged me so here goes.

    THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”Six weird things about me:

    N.B. Of course I don't think any of these things are "weird" - if I did I probably wouldn't do them...

    1. I can still touch my nose to my knees with my legs straight – although it seemed easier when I was in Jr. High.
    2. I kiss my dogs on the nose – I always have – and probably always will.
    3. I also anthropomorphize everything – my car is called Mopal – the one before this one was called Nellie. The Man-Cub named Mopal – some sort of contraction of the color listed on the tag – Moss Opalescent Green, i.e., Mopal – so you can see that I perpetuate the anthopomorphization as well.
    4. I dance by myself (fairly often) – and that’s probably a good thing.
    5. I also sing by myself (also fairly often) – and that’s definitely a good thing.
    6. I always said I would never be a list maker – but I am now.

    I'm tagging Karen for now. I'll have to think of who else to tag.

    What to do with the World's Hottest Onions

    Somehow we grew the world's hottest onions this year. I was so angry with them that I left them sitting in the garage until last night. I don't understand how the same soil could grow the world's sweetest beets and the world's hottest onions at the same time. Anyway, the onions were no good for anything except cooking - and I couldn't leave them in the garage any longer or they would freeze - I'm actually pretty lucky they weren't frozen already. So, last night after the Man-Cub went to bed - And when I should have been knitting - I brought them all in - 52 really strong onions - dumped them in the sink and peeled them under water - hoping that it wouldn't burn my eyes. Then I put them in the handy dandy food processor and chopped them up. The whole house reeked of onion - and our eyes did burn. The Man finally opened all the windows - did I mention that it was about 9 degrees outside. Now I have these neat little baggies of really strong onions to flavor soups and such this winter.

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    FO - North Country Hats

    The 4 North Country Hats are finished - Only the Man-Cub is without a hat right now - I'm going to make him another one but it will probably have to wait until after Christmas. Each hat is a little bit different - in case all the kids are together they can (hopefully) tell them apart.

    The Man-Cub decided to give all of the support teachers/staff at his school some of the apple jelly he helped make in the fall - Yay! - that was an easy present - already done.

    The teacher's scarf is also finished - not as long as I would like it to be and there is no way I could stretch it into a poncho - but it is what it is. I guess my yarn subsitution was a failure here - the Bernat eyelash is not a good sub for Red Heart Foxy.

    Anyway I edited the picture of the pattern to include only the two ways she'll be able to wear it, and I'll include that and the washing instructions from the band in the package.

    Over the weekend I started 2 more scarves for the Man-Cub's Tae Kwon Do instructors. One is almost finished and I have until Thursday night to get the other one done - it's simple stockinette stitch over about 65 stitches - so if I knit during all my waking hours I should be done by 5:00 Thursday when they have to be gifted. I'm using Caron Simply Soft in heather grey and I'm duplicate stitching the letters TKD on one end of each.

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    Blueberry Muffins

    Yesterday, I made a quick batch of our favorite muffins for breakfast. Anything on Sunday morning has to be quick - the Man has to be at the church by 8:00 - the Man-Cub and I wander over about 9:00 - so our Sunday morning is a bit more leisurely.

    It's an old recipe from a Betty Crocker Cookbook - easily veganized:

    3/4 cup milk - I used soy milk
    1/2 cup oil - but I used applesauce instead - your pick
    1 egg equivalent - I used flaxseed goo
    2 cups all purpose flour - I used 1 cup AP and 1 cup Whole Wheat - you could probably use all whole wheat - but I've never tried it - it might be a bit heavy.
    1/3 cup sugar
    3 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries - the recipe says to thaw them but I don't - they seem to hold up better frozen. Also, I don't mix them into the batter when I do mini muffins - I just drop 3-4 berries on each muffin and press it into the batter with a spoon. When I'm making big muffins I do mix them in.

    Heat oven to 400°. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or 24 mini muffin cups. Bake until golden brown. There is also a note that if you are using Self-rising flour to omit the salt and baking powder - but you probably already knew that.

    In other news the caroling with the youth went well.

    Friday, December 15, 2006


    Our Youth Group got together to bake cookies last night - they will deliver these Sunday when we go caroling - and they had made Christmas Cards at a previous meeting.

    They had a good (and noisy) time and baked 12 dozen cookies.

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Christmas Cards!

    I love Christmas Cards! I love getting them and sending them. These finally went into the mail today - they have a lot further to go this year. I loved the Madonna and Child stamps this year, and our Thrivent rep sent us some pretty return address labels with some pretty seals.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Santa Lucia Crown

    Saint Lucy was a martyr from Syracuse in about 304 CE. Her feast day is tomorrow - Dec. 13th. You can read more about her here

    I made a St. Lucia Crown (saffron bread)

    I used the recipe here with obvious modifications - Soy milk for the milk and Earth Balance for the butter - and flax seed goo for the egg. Oh, and I couldn't find saffron powder here, but found the threads so I just ground those up in my little mortar and pestle. The bread is very good, but very saffron-y - so if you don't like that flavor, maybe don't use the full 1/8 teaspoon.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Things that make me smile...

    Here are some holiday pictures that warm my heart this Christmas Season:
    The Christmas Teapot my sister gave me years ago - it makes its appearance on the counter every year - I'm having a cup of Earl Grey as I type...

    The Man-Cub decorating the tree - he has so much fun doing this - almost as much as me...

    Vanilla Candles in the dark...

    Our little house...after dark...

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    Quelle Surprise!!!

    Guess what was delivered at 9:00 this morning? A Cable-Nelson upright piano. I've been playing it just about ever since it got here - but I had to come and do a quick post about it - I love it so. So now I know what the Man was sneaking around talking on the phone about.

    The bench is from the Kohler & Campbell piano that I played when I was growing up. Thanks to Mom and Karen for sending that to me. I don't think they had any idea that it would be paired with a new piano.

    The piano is used and has all of the dates of service penciled in under the top. When I find out more about it's history, I'll post about that. It has a nice tone 'though and some light wear on the keys. I can't wait to give the Man-Cub his lesson on it this afternoon.

    I love-love-love my new piano.

    The Stockings are hung...

    We we have no chimney - so they are hung...on the bookcase...

    Tonight we'll finally put all the ornaments on the tree. I have put up stockings and the wreath, and the little blue candles in the front facing windows. So, by Christmas Eve I should have just about all the decorating done. The first two stockings were knitted during our first year of married life - which technically makes them antiques - and the Man-Cub's stocking wasn't knitted until he was two - we had a little felt Baby's First Christmas stocking the first year - and somehow I didn't get one knitted for his second Christmas so we used the First Christmas one again - sad I know...

    I am, of course, frantically working to finish 4 North Country Hats for 4 of the Man-Cub's friends and the 3-way scarf that he picked out for his teacher.

    I'm knitting it in a pink variegated from Bernat 35003 Funky to match her coat - picture here

    Have I mentionned that the Man-Cub is crazy about Legos. He gets about 15 minutes of free time on the computer each day - he can spend longer on educational sites. He spent about a weeks worth of days, paging through the instructions on to make this creature. He's really proud of it - I am too!

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Tree's Up

    The Man-Cub picked the perfect Christmas tree this year.

    It's a Balsam - and it smells better than any Christmas Tree we've ever had - the whole house just smells like Christmas. So the tree is up and it has lights on it,
    but no ornaments yet and I don't know that we'll get to them before the weekend this week is cram-packed with events. We had two funerals yesterday - nothing like standing at a graveside with a -20 windchill.

    Tonight we have the WELCA Christmas party and I'm in charge of the program. I'm showing a video "Women of the Early Church". It's pretty good, then we'll have some discussion and a potluck dinner.

    I'm taking a tray of fudge - it's super easy Microwave Fudge. I've made a couple of batches now and it turns out perfectly.

    Microwave Fudge
    3 cups confectioners' sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa
    2-3 Tablespoons soy milk
    1/2 cup Earth Balance
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup chopped black walnuts

    Just put it all in a microwave for 2-3 minutes until bubbly - then pour it into a greased dish, let it harden and cut it into squares.

    And I'm also taking my pretty divided snowflake dish with peas on one side and glazed carrots on the other
    - it seems like they never have enough just plain veggies at a potluck.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Finished Object - Cozy Shawl

    I finished a soft and cozy shawl - this was a quick weekend project - started when I should have been finishing - socks - or Christmas presents - or even working on the stashghan - I need to post a picture of that 10 year old project as well - as some of you may remember it from when I used to cart it around with me in a cardboard box - LOL. I also finished the Man-Cub's Camo Scarf. But I saw the pattern and wanted a shawl just to drape over my shoulders when I get chilly in the computer room.

    I love it - it's very cuddly. The pattern is free at Lion Brand it's the Easy Triangle Shawl Lion Brand® Homespun® Pattern Number: 60301 - I used Deco and just a little over 1 skein. I think you have to register to see the pattern -

    I'll seam up the Man-Cub's Camo Scarf tonight and post a picture later. Sadly, the North Country hat, that it was to match, has disappeared - the Man-Cub says it disappeared from his cubby at school. Whoever has it will never be able to wear it in public in such a small town - someone will know who it really belongs to. Now, I'm going to have to buy more camo yarn and make another one - he liked it so well.

    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Vegan Oreos

    I have fond memories of Oreo Cookies – you know they used to have lard in them - now they don’t but they still aren’t vegan. I also know that no vegan mom wants their vegan child to feel excluded. So the Man-Cub and I came up with OVEG cookies. It was a lot of fun and the Man-Cub loves them.

    First of all – the Man-Cub got one of those little packets of Oreos in his Trick-or-Treat bag. We made some salt dough and made an impression of the top of one of the cookies. Then we took a toothpick and changed the OREO to OVEG – do a mirror image thing here. Let it dry for several days – until it is quite hard.

    Vegan Oreos or OVEG's

    1 ½ c. flour – I used all purpose – but you could probably use rice flour too
    ¾ c. cornstarch
    2/3 c. cocoa
    1 t. baking powder
    1 t. baking soda
    ½ t. salt

    Whisk all this together in a medium sized bowl.

    Then cream together:

    ¾ c. Earth Balance
    1 c. sugar – I used turbinado
    ½ c. egg replacer goo – I bring ½ c. water and ¼ c. flax seed to a boil and then strain the goo through cheesecloth.
    1 t. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350° . Add the dry ingredients to the wet - I used a heavy-duty mixer to mix this dough and it is quite stiff. Then make little balls of dough.

    Dip your little cookie press in flour – you have to do this each time you use it or it will stick – then tap off the excess flour and press the little ball until it is quite flat. Oh, and make sure you use parchment paper to line your cookie sheets. The cookies are very thin and take only about 5 minutes to bake. Let them cool a little bit before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet.

    While they are baking – make the filling.


    2 c. confectioner’s sugar
    2 T. canola oil
    1 t. agar agar powder
    Approx. 2 T. water

    Mix together and fill a pastry bag to pipe the filling onto the cookies. I’m sure you can just spread it with a knife too – but the Man-Cub loves the piping thing.

    We got 51 ½ cookies from this batch – and from a little distance – you can’t tell the difference.

    What a nice snack!