Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Thanksgiving, 2012

I'm finally getting my Thanksgiving post up!  At least it's in the same month.  :-)  As usual, I let each member of my family pick out what they want for dinner and dessert and truly make it a meal for which we are thankful.  See below for our menu and for a new recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  This cake was super moist and delicious.  I veganized one of several recipes easily found on the web.  When I followed the directions, I found I had to make adjustments and corrections to the recipe along the way.  One thing I will probably adjust in the future is the amount of brown sugar used; I kept the original measurement in the recipe, but I will probably halve it next time I make the cake.  It was a huge hit with the fambly, though!


Tofurky with roasted potatoes - picked by me
Tofurky gravy - picked by me
Hot and Sour soup from one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants - picked by SR
Steamed rice by same restaurant - picked by JK
Jerky in several flavors - picked by GR
Purple sweet potatoes fried with facon - picked by G
Sauteed kale - picked by me
Cranberry sauce, both kinds - picked by SR
Soy nog - picked by me

Pineapple Upside Down cake - picked by G
Black Tie Cheesecake  - picked by GR

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My thanksgiving feast sans the rice.  I could not finish this meal!  So full.

Here are this year's Thanksgiving desserts.  Sorry the coloring is so orange in these pics.

I was going to put my slices on a fancy plate, but SR didn't want to wash any more dishes, so green paper plates it was!  Couldn't finish these either.  But, they were so yummy.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


1/2 cup vegan margarine (could probably use less)
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar ( could probably use less)
1 - 20 oz. can of sliced pineapple rings in natural juice
Maraschino cherries (you can find naturally colored ones at Sprouts or Whole Foods)
1 box of Dr. Oetker Organics cake mix in vanilla
1 and 1/2 Tbs. EnerG Egg Replacer
6 Tbs. water
2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat margarine over medium heat in a cast iron skillet.  When completely melted, remove from the heat.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the margarine, patting down to cover it up to the edges of the pan.  Lay the pineapple rings in a circle around the edge of the pan and one in the center.  Add a cherry to center of each pineapple ring.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl,  add the remaining ingredients, and beat for two minutes or until completely mixed.  Pour over the pineapple slices,  making sure the batter goes to edges of the pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Let cool for ten minutes, then flip over onto a serving platter.  You can finish cooling on a rack.  Very moist and tasty.  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy Fried Green Tomatoes

I grew up eating fried green tomatoes occasionally and loved them from the first bite.  Not every body is prepared for their tangy taste and eating a non-ripe tomato, but I highly suggest giving these a try.  It's another fun way to enjoy this summer fruit.  By the way, I made these a couple of months ago, but as you know, my schedule was a bit crazy, so this is my first chance at posting them.

Easy Fried Green Tomatoes


Canola oil for frying
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 - 6 firm green tomatoes, sliced thickly


Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large pan over medium heat.  While oil is heating, mix the corn meal, flour, salt and pepper into a small bowl or other container with a "flat-ish" bottom.  Take four or five of the tomato slices and dredge in the mixture, so that both sides are covered.  If it's not sticking too well, wet the slices first.  Place them in the hot pan, and cook for three to five minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.  Repeat with remaining slices.  Drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels, and keep them warm in the oven, until all the slices have been cooked.  This is a great side dish to complete a meal.  I love these just like this, without any condiments.  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FLT Sandwiches

Here is a yummy twist on a classic sandwich.  We've been making FLT's in our home for years now, and we never tire of them.  Our animal-friendly "facon lettuce and tomato" sandwiches are definitely a family favorite and so easy to make.  So, you'll note in my ingredients list that we use two packages of SmartBacon; most families might be able to get away with one, but my group loves to munch on the facon while they're resting on a plate before dinner is actually on the table.  Also, the sandwiches are so light, that Hubs and the Blessings usually have two of them.  The bread can be untoasted or toasted for a bit of variety each time you make these.

FLT Sandwiches


1 Tbs. canola oil
2 pkgs.of Lightlife SmartBacon
Slices of hearty bread, enough for your family
Vegenaise for spreading
3 tomatoes, sliced in rounds
Crispy lettuce - for this sandwich I like Romaine or Iceberg, torn into sandwich-sized pieces


Heat oil in griddle over medium heat.  Saute the SmartBacon for about one minute on each side.  You can adjust cooking time to reach desired crispiness.   Drain on paper towels.  Assemble the sandwiches by spreading Vegenaise on each slice of bread, adding three "facon" slices, tomato slices and lettuce.  I always like to put tomatoes in the center of sandwiches, and that way they won't make the bread soggy.  Crunch down and enjoy!  Feeds five hungry vegans with enough for seconds.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Personal News Update, A New Family Member - Mowr!,Vegan Picnic, And One Lovely Blog Award

Hello, Everyone!  I first wanted to assure you all that I have not abandoned my blog.  There have been some extenuating circumstances since I last posted that have kept my attention elsewhere.  I will try and encapsulate as briefly as possible what has been going on.  Since my last post, we have endured three deaths.  Unfortunately, there is a fourth one that is imminent, and when that comes to pass, I may be off again for a couple weeks.  That one is sadly related to another death that happened last year, which I didn't mention at the time.  I am trying to stay matter-of-fact, but this has been a very emotionally draining time for my family.  One of the three deaths resulted in many consequences: somebody came to live on our couch for about a month; that person also had a psychotic break while I was at home with my children, schooling them; we had to have that person removed for a short time for an emergency psychiatric evaluation, and thankfully, they are someplace safe now.  G has been running himself ragged due to all of this, and basically collapsed on the couch.  The doctor diagnosed him with medical exhaustion, and to top it off, he has a gall stone, which is causing him constant nausea.  I have been trying to be the comforter of my family, and we've been spending a lot of time in prayer.  School kind of took a back seat during some of this - my children were learning life lessons, instead.  It's been a lot to handle to say the least.  So, just to let you know, if some of you thought that I had up and left my blog without saying anything, I would never do that.  If I am off for a time, it could be any number of things: I'm sick, I'm focused on educating my Blessings, I'm having crazy computer problems, or sadly, it could be something more tragic like these events.  If I never come back on, then you can assume something's happened to me.  In any case, if I ever decide to stop posting on my blog, I will put up a post saying so; I will not just leave without a word.

That all said, one good thing came out of all of this.  One of the deceased hoarded cats and birds, among other things.  She had over a dozen birds and nineteen cats.  One of the cats is missing one eye, and needed to be adopted by a family that could keep her inside.  G and GR both have cat allergies, so I didn't give it a thought.  But, G kept bringing her up - she's such a darn friendly cat!  So, we decided to take her in on October 1st.  She's five and half years old, and so far G and GR seem to be doing fine with her in the house.  Mindy and Abby, our doggies, love her, and she is tolerating them.  Sparkly and Charlene, our two old lady kitties, are also making their way inside more and more because of their age and cold weather, so we have quite a zoo on our hands now.  The new kitty was originally named KC, but when her eye was removed at five months, her name was changed to Karma.  I didn't like that: one, I don't believe in karma, and two, I don't think a kitten did anything to deserve her eye removed, so karma wouldn't apply here.  I wanted a beautiful name for her, so I thought of how cats are revered in Egypt, and I named her Cleopatra.  She's beautiful.

This is Cleopatra (Cleo, Patty) in her new bed, which sits right on my desk.  She's resting next to me now.  Her right eye was removed when she was a kitten, but it doesn't seem to hinder her.  She's our newest spoiled kitty.

Amazingly, during all this chaos, we went to the first annual Vegan Community Picnic in Sacramento organized by a group whose name escapes me right now, sorry.  It was great.  There were several food vendors there and informational booths.  My mom joined my family and we pigged out.  I signed up to be a volunteer for next year.  JK dressed as Larry the Cucumber and joined in the Veggie Parade!

 There's JK in the center as Larry the Cucumber after the parade.  The corn was the leader.  There were about twenty parading vegetables marching around.  You've got to make this photo go full screen to see how much fun JK is having.


Ah, a few months ago, Alessandra at Vegan Recipes, awarded me and ten other bloggers with the One Lovely Blog Award.  This is my first chance in passing it on.  Thank you, Alessandra, for thinking of me!  The rules state that I list seven facts about myself and pass this on to fifteen other bloggers. 

*I will try and list seven new facts about myself that I haven't listed before.*

1.  I love playing Internet backgammon, hearts and spades.  If you see an English-speaking expert playing, it could be me...  Watch out, though, I'm good!  :-)

2.  I am thinking of starting a YouTube Channel on cooking up my recipes from my blog and/or promoting vegan cosmetics, skin care, etc.  What do you think?

3.  I'm a fledgling writer.  I've submitted four manuscripts so far, two children's books, and two non-fiction Christian books.  One was with the publisher for a year but didn't make the final cut.  I'm finishing up my first novel, women's fiction, and will be sending it to agents later this year.

4.  I've run a half-marathon, but I can't run anymore because...

5.  ...I tore my meniscus, which has led to early arthritis in my right knee.  So sad!  Won't be doing my dream of running a marathon.

6.  I'm a birth doula with no clients, sigh.

7.  I'm very romantic.  I love Love.  Passionate with a capital P.  TMI???

*The 15 Bloggers who will get this award?  If I've messed up on a link, please let me know.*

1.  My "old" friend, Andrea at Andrea's easy vegan cooking .  One day I hope to meet my Seattle buddy.

2.  Has to be SV at The Shenandoah Vegan .  She always sticks with me, even when I'm gone for weeks at a time.  I usually get a scolding, though.

3.  How about Joey at Flicking the Vs .

4.   For a wonderful outlook on life and beautiful food, there's Gluten Free Happy Tummy .

5. Someone I would like to get to know more is Ingrid at Ingrid Improves .

6.  Someone else I'm still getting to know: Rachel at Miss Rachel .

7.   Millie always cares about me over at  Nuestra Cena-American & Latin Vegan Cuisine .

8.   Let's hear it for a male vegan blogger!  Monkey Man at Simply Vegetarian .

More than halfway there, whew!

9.  Enjoying her journey, is Vivacious Vegan over at Adventures in Veganism in Midwestern America .

10.  Of course, I have to add Food Feud .

11.  Give Claire a try at Almost Skinny Vegan Food .

12.  Another homeschooling mom deserves this award - Jenny at Vegan and so Forth .

13. Why not a singing vegan?  Look at An Opera Singer in the Kitchen .

14.  A not-so-chubby vegan at Chubby Vegan Mom .

And last but not least...

15.   For a rundown on nutrition, food and homeless animals, check out, Get Skinny, Go Vegan .

Thank you all for reading this far down.  It will take me a few days to catch up on all the blogs, and even to notify the winners of this blog award.  I hope to be posting regularly again.  I've got recipes lined up in the queue to share with you all.

Take Care!!