Monday, August 27, 2012

Classic Tofu Salad Sandwich

Here is a really simple way to remake the egg salad sandwich.  I simply subbed the tofu for the eggs and used all the familiar ingredients like I did in the old days.  We have this sandwich several times a year, and it's a great dinner to make when you don't have much time.  I've been making this for sooooo long, and it's still good every time.  Served with greens on the side, it makes for a healthy lunch or dinner.

Classic Tofu Salad Sandwich


1 12-14 oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, water-packed, drained
1 cup of vegenaise
2 Tbs. yellow mustard
1 Tbs. dill pickle relish
Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium bowl, mash the tofu with a masher or fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the bread.  Stir well.  It should be creamy but spreadable, not runny.  Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.  Chill if you have time, or if not, serve immediately.  It's good either way.  Spread on a slice of bread and top with another piece.  It's that simple!  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Monday, August 20, 2012

200th Post Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner, and her name is Nicole, commenter #17!  Her blog is Musings, Ramblings and Mumblings , which follows her life as a mom and other adventures.  The problem is she hasn't written a post since 2009!  So, Nicole, maybe this is just the impetus to get you writing again.  :-)

Thank you to everyone who participated and especially for your supportive comments.  I read each and every one of them.  I started this blog to mark down my best recipes for my children, and it's been great to see it have an effect on others as well.

Nicole, take a shower with the rose petal soap, paint your nails and read your new book while the water comes to a boil for the pasta.  Enjoy your prize!  You just need to let me know where to mail this.  E-mail me at 

Thank you!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

200th Post Giveaway!

Hello, and once again welcome to another giveaway!  The other one was only a year and a half ago :-).  Really, it seemed like it took FO-EVAH to get to this one.   With all the Blogger problems I had last year and with my struggles with my own energy this year, I am just thankful I finally made it to 200.  Whew.

So, the major thing that I did to my blog since #100 was that I added pages at the top.  I linked all of my recipes there, and I haven't counted, but it's close to 200.  The remaining posts are things like restaurants, garden shots, awards, product reviews and such.  I'm still tweaking the Travel page and the Other Fun Stuff page, but I'm happy overall with my pages.  If there's anything that can make my blog more user-friendly, please let me know.  You can reach me at:

Soooooooo, before I show the pic of what I'm giving away, you have to suffer once again through Memory Lane: a short reminder of some of the highlights of the last 100 recipes.  No fair jumping to the end.  If you want to read any of the recipes that are pictured, just click on their captions.  Enjoy!







You made it, congratulations!  I hope that wasn't too long or boring for you.  But, it's nice to see the journey from 100 to 200, don't you think?  If you want to check out more recipes, just click on the Recipes tab above.  And again, I'm available to answer any questions at my e-mail.

Now, you ask: what am I giving away?  Here's the photo and the description below:

What we have here are:

  • Two boxes of Road's End Organics Dairy and Gluten-free Penne and Chreese, cheddar style.  You need two boxes to feed five hungry vegans.  I would also suggest adding a bit more soy milk than the box suggests for a creamier sauce.
  • Cruelty-free nail polish by Zoya.  I didn't know until after I purchased it that all the colors are women's names.  This one is Kali.  Had I know beforehand, I would have found one with my real name as the color.  But, I don't know if they could fit Supreme Amazing Modest Esmerelda Laquisha Hoppenboffer-Dippendorf on the label. Next time, I'll check it out just to be sure.  But, I've been wearing mine for a week now, and it is amazing - barely any chips!  I'm impressed.  With my small number of male commenters, perhaps, if you don't want to wear this shade, you may have a sister or mother or friend that might appreciate it.
  • On that note, I also have Rose Petal-scented soap by One with Nature.  This Dead Sea mineral soap lasts so long!  I love it, and they come in so many realistic scents.  I let my girls pick out their choices first when I come home with them.  We haven't found one yet that we don't like.
  • Finally, you get a copy of John Robbins' The Food Revolution.  I'm really looking forward to reading my copy right along with you.  It's supposed to have made a real impact on so many people who have read it.
No photo of me this year, sorry!  I know, I know, I hear your tears.  To make up for it, when I reach 1000 posts, maybe I'll let you fly me pay for my road trip out to your city and we can celebrate!  Yay!  Ha ha!

That's it!  I hope you like the gifts.  Who is this open to you may ask?

  • Anyone!
  • Followers
  • Non-followers
  • Lurkers
  • First-time viewers
  • First-time commenters
  • People who have stumbled across me by accident
  • Domestic (U.S.) people
  • International - why not? - It's only once every year and half!
If there's anyone I've missed, and you're in that category, you can also try and win.  The rules?  Easy!  Last year, I had people number their space in the comments, but that didn't work out so well.  If I ever get over 50 or near 50 comments, I'll worry about numbering at that time.  Just comment - ONCE.  You are only allowed ONE entry.  I will NOT be responding to your comments or questions on the comment space on this post.  If you need a response, I will come to your blog.  If you don't have a blog, and you need a response, e-mail me at  That's all you have to do: comment ONCE.  I will go to and pick a winner from the list.  This will be open until midnight Sunday, August 19th, 2012.  I will announce the winner on Monday, the 20th.  I need to have a way to reach you, so I can let you know you've won, and you can get me your mailing address. If you have a blog, I'll reach you there.  If not, I'll be posting the winner on my blog, as well.  If you are the winner, you can e-mail your address.

Just like last time, no pushing and shoving.  Everyone will have a turn.  Good luck!  Have fun! And thanks for reading my blog!  I appreciate all of you!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Savannah Cake, Watermelon Cake, Hulk Cake and Birthday Dinners!

Some of my regular readers may remember that every July I have a few days where I am on birthday overload.  SR's and JK's b-days are six days apart; my dad's is a week earlier, and my mom's is a week later.  For the kids, I have a long day where we have two birthday parties back to back.  It's fun, but we always take a deep breath when it's done.  I always let the Blessings pick what kind of cake they want and what they want for the birthday dinners.  Since we eliminated artificial colors and flavors and preservatives, along with the already eliminated msg and corn syrup, a couple of years ago, they only get to have the "bad" stuff on their birthdays.  They can pick anything they want to eat at their parties.  With that in mind, two of the cakes below have colors in them, but one is all natural, and I'll share what I did with that. Enjoy the birthday tour!

SR turned 15 on July 20th, which was the same day as her acting class.  I made these cookies 'n' cream cupcakes for her to share, which we have at least once a year.  They are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

SR wanted to go out for her dinner and picked one of our family's most favorite restaurants: Andy Nguyen's II.  Do not mistake this for Andy Nguyen's, which my mom took me to on my birthday; this is No. 2, and although it is not a vegan restaurant, the veg choices there are excellent.  It is so unfortunate that this shot came out blurry because their Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup is outstanding.  We always ask for extra tofu to be added.  Some of the fam likes to add steamed rice to their bowl with the soup.

These are their Vegetarian Rolls - so good.

These are their Crispy Noodles with Tofu - awesome.

This is their Vegetable Fried Rice without egg - yums.  Andy's is located at 10145 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova, CA.  Their phone is (916) 362-2270.  They know us so well that when I call them up, Vinny the co-owner, says my name before I can say who I am.  A nice touch.

The next day was the birthday parties. JK turned 6 on the 26th and said he wanted a Savannah cake for his party.  Savannah cake, hmm?  Well, I first tried to find a little bag of toy animals that were Savannah-like to decorate the cake, but no luck. So, GR and I made the animals from play dough.  GR made the giraffe, crocodile and snake, and I made the tiger, elephant and lion.

 For the cake I used my recipe for my White Cake with White Buttercream Frosting .  I baked it in a 9x12 pan.  I made the frosting as usual - I took about 1/4 of it out and stirred in 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of turmeric into it.  I divided the rest in half; to one half I blended in 2 Tbs. of cocoa.  I spread the white sky on first, then added the hilly brown, then used a fork to spread on the Savannah grass.  I thought this came out pretty cute.  JK got to keep his little animals.

SR remembered GR's 10th Birthday Cake  and wanted that again but wanted it to be deliberately made to look like a watermelon cake.  So, I made the cake the same way, but I put in 2 cups of chocolate chips in the batter and skipped the sprinkles on top.  This is such a moist cake. To avoid artificial coloring, you could use sweetened and reduced asparagus water for the frosting and pureed strawberries for the batter.

We actually left for camping on JK's birthday, and we had a blast celebrating it in the woods.  For his dinner, he picked tofu fried his favorite way: plain.  He likes to dip fried tofu in ketchup and raw tofu in soy sauce.  :-)  He wanted a banana and strawberry salad and Kids Love It! Potato Salad

He wanted a Hulk cake, so Mommy did her best with a butter knife and fork.  I made the White Cake with White Buttercream Frosting again in two cake rounds but added 1/2 cup of cocoa to the batter.  I saved a a small portion of the frosting and kept it white and added various amounts of green coloring to get his hair and skin.  I tried to make him grimace - what do you think?  I brushed his hair very nicely, though.  :-)  Normally I would have used asparagus or artichoke water to make the coloring, but with my energy levels lately, I copped out... But he only got colors on his birthday!

I had the clever idea of putting the candles in Hulk's eyes and teeth.  Creepy!  Hulk on fire!

Here's what a slice of Hulk looks like.

We had a great time camping and celebrating little ones' birthdays!  Thanks for sharing the memories with us.