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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Wednesday Wordless.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ So Delicious Coconut Chippers...For Reals




So Delicious Coconut Chippers

3/4 Cup room temperature coconut oil
2/3 Cup sugar
2/3 Cup coconut sugar (or use brown)
2 TBSP egg replacer (I used EnerG)
6 TBSP So Delicious vanilla or original coconut milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 Cup flour
2/3 Cup chocolate chips

Cream the sugar, coconut oil, milk and egg replacer. Add baking powder and salt and mix well. Add vanilla and stir. Stir in flour until blended and finally add the chocolate chips. Roll dough into balls. 

Preheat oven to 350. 

I made half the batch in a 20 count silicone pan and baked them for 14 minutes.

The rest I baked on a cookie sheet for 12 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen. 

I'm entering this recipe in the Spring Fling So Delicious Recipe Contest. It's open til May 19th. Got a recipe to enter? Go there. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Fudgy, Chewy Brownies AKA Panic Brownies


I had about 5 minutes to find a brownie recipe on Friday. My day had gone differently than I had planned and I had just enough time to whip up brownies, get em baked and get out the door. I looked through 5 vegan cookbooks trying to find one. They were in there...but each called for time consuming or unavailable or texture tweaking ingredients like coffee, espresso powder, tofu, two different fat sources, bittersweet chocolate, maple syrup etc.  Sometimes brownies are cake-like anyway so I didn't want to gamble on texture. I grabbed a traditional 1,000 recipe cookbook and spied a blondie recipe. Since I wanted the chewy of a blondie, I thought that would be a definite, but I needed chocolate. 

The blondie recipe was kind of the inspiration for these brownies as the time wound down to nothing. I say inspiration because I changed every single ingredient. Seriously. And this is what came out. And they were delicious. This might be THE brownie go to recipe. A huge plus for this on that particular evening was that they were a thinner batch that didn't need to bake for 40 minutes. 

Panic Brownies

1 and 1/2 sticks Earth Balance (3/4 Cup)
1 1/3 Cup sugar
2 TBSP egg replacer (I used EnerG)
6 TBSP water or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup cocoa
1 2/3 Cup flour
1/3 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13. Mix Earth Balance and sugar until blended. Add cocoa, egg replacer and water/milk, vanilla and mix well, add salt, baking powder and vanilla and stir. Pour in flour and mix. It will be thick and more like cookie dough. Press into pan. Bake for 23-26 minutes. I believe I'll try it in an 8 x 11 and bake it for 10 minutes more and see how it does in a thicker brownie.

Frost with failed Easter candies experiment. (Ha. Ha.) That's what I did. Unfortunately,  I'm not able to recreate that easily. Nor do I want to. 

A simple chocolate ganache or frosting would be great.  



Friday, April 25, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Quinoa Muffuletta...Fun with Quinoa Part Two


Quinoa and Easter.

I took this cold quinoa muffuletta salad to one location and the ring to the other.

Follow the directions below for the basic quinoa to make either dish. The amount of cooked quinoa will be slightly over 2 cups.

1 Cup quinoa
1/4 Cup dried mushrooms
1/4 Cup diced onion
2 Cloves garlic minced
2 Cups veggie broth

Toss all in a pan and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cover and let simmer about 15 minutes.


The ring recipe is here

Cold Quinoa Muffuletta Salad

Dressing: 

3 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of agave or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of yellow or brown spicy mustard
dash salt

Mix well. 

Add the following:

1/2 Cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 to 1/2 Cup chopped green olives
1/4 to 1/2 Cup chopped kalamata olives
1/2 Cup shredded kale
The dressing 
The cooked quinoa mixture

Mix well. 


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Quinoa Ring...Fun with Quinoa Part 1




First prep the quinoa to make enough for two separate dishes. This amount makes a quinoa ring and a medium sized side salad. I'd definitely cut it in half if you only want to make one or the other. The amount of cooked quinoa will be slightly over 3 cups. If you want to make just the ring follow the directions in the parentheses and this will make approx a cup.

1 1/2 Cup quinoa (1/2 Cup)
1/3 Cup dried mushrooms (2 TBSP)
1/3 Cup diced onion (2 TBSP)
3 Cloves garlic minced (1 clove)
3 Cups veggie broth (1 Cup)

Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and cover and let simmer about 15 minutes.

Split the cooked amount into thirds into two separate bowls (one of them can be the pan) 1/3 for ring, 2/3 for salad. The salad recipe is here. 

To make the Quinoa Ring you also need the following. 

1/4 of a container of vegan cream cheese (2 oz or 2 TBSPish)
1/4 Cup chopped mushrooms
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 TBSP finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 TBSP nutritional yeast

Add all these to the smaller amount bowl full of the quinoa and mix all together very well.

Crescent rolls (1 can, make sure it's vegan) You could also use your favorite pizza dough and make this a pocket or calzone. 

To make a crescent roll ring separate the 8 triangles of dough. Lay each of the  longest pointiest ends over the rim of a large pie plate or round baker. The shorter two point ends will overlap each other and there will be a hole in the center. It's going to look kind of like a stick drawing of a sun. Press the overlapped edges in the pan together. 

Scoop the quinoa filling onto the flat inner circle of dough. Then take each outside point and pull it over the mixture and tuck it slightly under the inner ring of dough. 

Bake at the temperature called for on the can (or in your pizza dough recipe) Bake approximately 4 - 6 minutes longer to make sure everything is done. You want it golden and cooked through. 

Serves 8 slices.   


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Carrot Cake Truffles


Carrot Cake Truffles

3 small carrots (remove the ends, peel and chop)
1 1/2 Cup nuts (I used pecans)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 Medjool dates (pits removed, of course) 
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
flaked coconut or powdered/crumbed nuts

Place carrots in food processor, add nuts and dates and process. While running add cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Process until mixture is uniform and sticky. 

Roll into balls and roll in coconut, nuts or both. 

Chill a couple hours before serving and keep in fridge. Makes about 20. 




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Orange Maple Tempeh




I had to take a meatless dish to Easter dinner. The omnivores in the crowd were going to be chowing down on ham with a sweet mustardy sauce, and though that doesn't tempt me I wanted to offer something with some bite and some similarities. 

Enter tempeh, Now, this shouldn't really appeal to omni's. Tempeh is fermented grains and tofu, after all. I mean, no omni is going to order this off a menu if they could have meat instead. 

But. Can I tell you that omni's gave this a try, and two thumbs ups? I just did. Scout's honor. 

Make this the night before (or at least an hour so the marinade can soak into the tempeh.) 

Orange Maple Tempeh

2 packages tempeh (I used TJ's)
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 - 4 carrots cut into sticks
1/2 to 3/4 Nuts (optional)

Glaze
2/3 Cup orange marmalade (I used Trader Joe's)
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 Cup maple syrup
Mix together and set aside until ready. 

Cut tempeh into chunks, squares, triangles, rectangles, strips. Place in a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Tempeh should be double the thickness. 

Oil a 9 x 13 pan. 

Toss garlic chunks, tempeh pieces, carrot sticks and nuts if using into the pan/dish.

Scoop marinade/glaze over the tempeh pieces and drizzling over the dish. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  When ready, heat the oven to 350 and bake for 25 or so minutes. You want the carrots tender and the marinade to caramelize. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Lightning Predictions and Other Stuff

Easter dinner on my side of the family was held at 5:30 at my aunt and uncles. Wow. Am I the only one who is completely bored by that sentence? I feel the need to throw some pirates or riots in there to beef it up. 

Here we go: A wild-eyed family member shrieked through Easter dinner. The shrieks were intermittent, sneaking up on us like a stealth bomber, leaving behind casualties (something fell, not sure what it was) and frayed nerves that zinged into an occasional shudder or tic. 

Dinner started with a bathroom sit-in. I believe in a Hulk type frenzy the hero of the story made himself a safety fort (aka lair) by pulling a drawer out and blocking the path to the toilet. The bathroom door was open so we all could get the full effects and vibes exuded into the main area where some of us were seated waiting to enjoy our meal. I made the mistake of making eye contact. The father of said rebel stated, "you now have two angry eye shaped holes in your soul." 

This is what can happen when sugar is involved. Public Service Announcement: sugar highs have an opposite and I think we should just call those "sugar uglies." 

In between the sugar stand-offs the adults were able to have lovely conversation. (In case any family members are reading and feeling bad about their children's behavior, I'm exaggerating for my own amusement. A few holes in my soul are totally worth a good story...don't tell the others about the exaggeration thing, K?)

Before dinner we enjoyed a few minutes of lovely weather while the children gathered those evil plastic eggs filled with fuel for epic meltdowns. A table was ready for half the group on the patio since it was supposed to be nice. We had gotten forecasts for rain in the afternoon but they moved it to 7:00 p.m. Just as people got seated the sky started looking a little stormy. In the distance there was a little lightning action in the sky. The adult consensus was that the storm was a ways away. My cousin/nephew (father of above mentioned rebel) looked at me.  "So, Kelly, do you think it's safe to sit out here with the lightning?" 

"Me? You're asking me?" I said. After all, I'm the mid-generation in the group. Two grandmothers and an aunt who dabbled in decades of safe living and plenty of warning spouting were right there. Two grandpas, too. I don't have little kids or grandkids. And...this nephew/cousin is a man-child (my son's age) who at one point thought I kept heads in my freezer. But that's another story. 

"He said. Yes. I think you can make this call... and you have a blog." 

So I told him the lightning was very far in the distance. That I thought it'd be safe. Five minutes later the wind picked up and sent them all into the house. Then it rained. 

I reminded them all that he'd specifically asked about the lightning and that lightning had not hit the patio. And that I'd probably be blogging the story. I can't help but think that soul hole-puncher kid was a consequence to the whole weather forecasting debacle. Shudder.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Planting One On ...

Gotta do some gardening stuff soon. Like this weekend. Just because it snowed last Monday doesn't mean it will snow again. Right?

Here are some very interesting Infographics I found. So I'm sharing.

One I couldn't find on the website source is one I stuck on Pinterest. It's regrowing veggies from organic root bases. 




Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Graphs.net.

If you click on this one it should take you to other more interesting ones. It didn't let me embed them separately. 

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Graphs.net.

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Graphs.net.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Using Time Wisely

You know how they (let's not get into the discussion about who they is) say using your mind for things like puzzles and figuring "stuff" out is good for it? Yeah. That's what this is about.

I don't think "they" recommend that you use this technique when procrastinating. But that's beside the point. That's how I roll.

Anyhoo, while working on my mental cognition I was perusing Bored Panda to discover more tools for keeping my brain elastic and found Momo. How cute is Momo?

See my momo - Lola and then go visit Momo and work that brain.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Spicy Lady Interview For Hump Day Viewing

This is a 14 minute interview with the Frank's Red Hot Lady. "I put that bleep on everything." 

Her story is intriguing. Cancer 3 time survivor, 91 years old, used to get sick on street cars. Couldn't hear her big break in the phone call telling her she'd won the contract because she didn't have her hearing aids in. She had cervical cancer at age 33. Ummm that would be back in the day when cancer was usually a death sentence. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Tax Day and Crappy Weather... A Poem

On Saturday the breeze blew a gentle 84
The air, a bit thick with promise of rain
Lack of common sense scented the smoke tinged ozone as fools burned brush piles ignoring the warning of high chance of raging grass fires.

We scribbled in numbers on our tax preparer's form, scratching out explanations. I made my husband take the walk of shame to drop it off, alone. We are those people. Tax procrastinators that cause accountants to gray early and develop tics.


Sunday, the skies opened with rain. Sheets of rain, thunder, lightning, even hail. 
Rain. Rain. Rain. Wet feet, soggy shoes and a long nap.

Monday. Iowa played one of her favorite games. Stump the weather man, tease the birds, torture the inhabitants who have complained about the longest. winter. ever. 
Snow. 24 degrees. Snow. On top of frozen rain slicking the streets, causing delays, making for a manic Monday. 

60 degrees in 72 hours. 
This is Iowa. Spring in Iowa. Or Fall. Heck, it could even happen in winter. 

Tax preparer must talk to me today. Needs clarification. Payback. He got the walk of shame. I have to do the talk. 

There are three things that are true in Iowa. Death, taxes and crazy weather. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ True Dat or Not

This is kinda fun. 

I'll bet you don't know that I love learning weird things about personalities and human behaviors. Ok. Maybe you do. 
Cute ? True. Smells Like a Rose?  NOT!  LIE! 

I found a show on Netflix that I'm not sure I'd recommend (Lie to Me) because of content etc but it was fascinating because the main character (who was a real jerk, btw) was an expert on human tells. 

Anyhoo, this guy reads body language and micro expressions (the tiny flickers of emotion that happen before people are able to mask). People use his skills in court cases etc. 

So my friend Michelle found a video quiz that gives you the opportunity to test your skills at guessing who's lying and who's telling the truth. Proud to say I guessed right 9 times out of 10. 

You wanna try?  Here it is. 



Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Words to Inspire

A friend is going to be a foster parent very soon. She has taken the classes, passed inspections and just waits for the final dots and crosses of the i's and t's. She wants her home to be a haven, a short term or long term haven for kids who need an infusion of hope, love and peace. 

She is working on the final details for her last home visit before her certification and wants to be child ready. So I offered to help. While she worked on a reading nook (with a reading teepee) (next to a soon to be created puppet theater) I worked on the chalk wall. The upper half has the alphabet and 1 - 10, a cork board "create" and random quotes. The lower half is free for children to create.



Thursday, April 03, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Clean the Crisper Drawer Roasted Cabbage Potato Soup


 Uhhh. I had a problem. Potatoes in my pantry growing eyes, limp celery and a chunk of purple cabbage needing to be put out of it's misery. 
So I said. "Self, let's make soup." So I did. 


Crisper Drawer Roasted Veggie Soup

2 stalks celery diced or minced 
1 small or 1/2 a medium/large onion diced
2 cloves garlic
3 potatoes (eyes removed) diced
1/2 medium cabbage sliced/chunked
mushrooms
chopped shaved broccoli stem etc.
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice (I used balsamic)
2-3 TBSPs of nutritional yeast. 

Preheat the oven to 425. Drizzle grape seed or other oil on cookie sheet. Roll potato and cabbage thru so each is coated with a bit of oil. Grind several grinds of sea salt over the potatoes and cabbage. Roast for 25 or so minutes till there's some goldening going on and potatoes are getting tender. 
In a large saucepan dump a wee bit of oil in bottom of hot pan then add the garlic, onion and celery. Cook until browned and beginning to grow translucent. Dump in brocc stem bits or mushrooms or both. Add the veggie broth, vinegar/lemon juice. Bring to simmer. Add the roasted veggies. Simmer until everything is tender. Add nutritional yeast. Serve. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ Fran Costigan's Vegan Chocolate Cookbook Review

A publisher sent a copy of Fran Costigan's Vegan Chocolate for my review and opinions. This cookbook is gorgeous coffee table art. The photos and recipe titles are drool worthy. 

So much chocolate, so much eye candy. 

I flipped through the book, almost afraid to touch the pages, they are that beautiful. I also set it aside until I felt brave enough to cook from it. 

Seriously, this is a real deal cookbook. Gourmet treatment, serious attention to detail. These are recipes to make when you want to knock someone's socks off. I didn't have an event planned or opportunity coming up that required a beautiful, glorious dessert of this caliber. Just like I look at Julia Child's epic cookbook as above my skill levels, Vegan Chocolate intimidated me. 

Then I got a touch of cabin fever. I've spent the last two weeks doing a whole lot of resting trying to kick a viral hybrid of yuck. And Sunday afternoon I decided I needed to do some cooking. So I flipped through this gem and picked some recipes for which I had the ingredients. This was a challenge based on the whole two weeks virus thing. I haven't been spending much time in the grocery store. 

For my experiences with the recipes and my opinions keep reading. 

Recipe 1... Graham Crackers. Store bought graham crackers are sure nice and convenient when you can find a vegan version. However, they don't touch the flavor of homemade. And honestly, these are delicious. I didn't get fancy and cut disks and make them cute like in the cookbook, I ran my knife over the flat sheet of dough and poked some holes. Nothing gourmet on my end. But this is an easy recipe and one that is the base for her Magic Cookie Bars, Smores and Moon Pies. I can only imagine how off the charts those are going to be based on how great the other desserts were. 

Recipe 2... Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I dare anyone to guess these are vegan. No way. These are chewy, crispy, chocolatey and delicious. The recipe doesn't make a huge batch and that is probably good. Just sayin. 

Recipe 3...Almond Cookie Crust. I put this together for a base for a chocolate cream pie made with her chocolate pudding. Let me talk about the crust. Yum. It would be a delicious base for just about any filling you could come up with. Cookieish and pie crustish at the same time and tasty. 

Recipe 4... Okay. The piece du resistance. Almost Instant Chocolate Pudding. Holy moly. Wow. This took me back to 8th grade Home Ec when I struggled over home cooked pudding. The horror of eggs being put in the pudding was replaced by finally getting it cooked without floaty nastiness...once. This Almost Instant Chocolate Pudding tasted so much better with no eggs and it really was easy. Easy. And honestly...so delicious. I consider the price tag on this book worth it for that recipe alone. It set up amazingly as chocolate cream pie. I can't wait to serve it for guests down the road. Off the charts creamy and decadently chocolately. 

With these recipes turning out to be so delicious I can't wait to try others. Yes. This cookbook calls for some ingredients you might not have in your cupboard. Yes there are steps to many of them that seem intimidating. But with results like I got, I am so ready to embrace vegan gourmet chocolate desserts that could absolutely make an omnivore weak in the knees. If you are tempted by this book, I don't think you'll be sorry for hitting "add to cart."