Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ And I Won't Even Get a Visit From the Tooth Fairy...

A little whine with my's the deal. I'm going to write what I know. And tonight it's going to be a crybaby saga. Feel free to click out now. It won't get any better. I do promise NOT to post pictures of my future dental moments though.

Commencing whining...

My face hurts. No, this is not an opening for someone to say..."that's funny cuz it's killing me." Though I might laugh because I think that's a great line.

My face has hurt the past few weeks. I thought it was my tooth. A crown was bestowed upon me a few months ago. The tooth next to the crown needed a touch up and that area has been a little sensitive. Lately, there's been some extra crabbiness in those parts. I thought there might be a problem with one of those little guys so went to the dentist. NOT my favorite place to go, I must say. However, I do like mine. He thought my bite was causing irritation and he ground down a bit of tooth.

Then I went on a trip, and while there, especially on the ride home my whole face was not I thought I had an inner ear thing going on or sinus issues. So I put tea tree oil in my ear and took a few shots of oregano oil. Crazyily enough, after the burn wore off and I could see through my watering eyes, my ear was feeling clear and good. But, my face still hurt. Then, I bit down at dinner and bam! I knew something wasn't right. Heat and cold, no problem. A tongue or soft food barely touching the surface of the furthest back molar was agonizing. I kept myself loaded up on pain relievers went to work (last day of the month....and a busy lab day...oy) and called my dentist. They could've put me in first thing in the morning...but as I said, last day of the month, lots of x-rays and bone scans. So they made room for me at the end of the day.

I told him I knew the exact tooth and what it was doing. End of discussion. It's called something with the word percussion. It means the nerve is dying, is dead, or is working on an abscess. Two choices. A root canal and a crown or pulling the darn thing.

He gave me an antibiotic. (I am wanting to freak out...oh, no, my good bacteria.) I made an appointment to get it pulled. UGH. I'm going to be drinking lots of kefir, kombucha and not looking forward to the appointment. On the flip side, I do want to eat, sleep and smile without face pain.

Ummm. I would be such a baby if I had to deal with chronic pain or some major health issue. Another reason to remain proactive with health. I think I want this to be the last procedure I ever need to have done.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Serials and Scenario's Brendan Brazier's Thrive Foods~ Reviewed

Thrive Foods
Brendan Brazier

From the Author
In the Thrive Foods, I introduce something called the Nutrient-to-Resource Ratio, which considers the amount of each natural resource that goes into food production in exchange for the amount of nutrients that food offers. Based on these findings, I then make suggestions as to what foods are most beneficial to personal health as well as environmental preservation. The goal is simple: get as high a level of health-boosting micronutrients from food, while expending the smallest amount of each natural resource to do so. (Essentially, it's a mathematical way of saying plant-based whole foods make a lot of sense). There are also 200 recipes, including a few from my favorite North American restaurants, as well as a few of my favorite chefs.

About the Author
Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and the creator of VEGA, an award-winning whole food product line. Recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition, Brazier is a guest lecturer at Cornell University.

My Thoughts:

I haven’t checked out Brendan Brazier’s previous two books, but, since my public library had Thrive Foods, I did indeed check this one out.

Brazier’s why to go plant-based is very compellingly presented. He has done some serious homework. The first 100 or so pages of Thrive Foods is focused on the realities of nutrition and why the Standard American Diet is not a recipe for health. Brazier then tackles what animal products contribute to (or actually take from) the environment. He offers solutions. I.E. go plant-based, and he offers the how to do that. Finally, in an attempt to “boil down” foods to the most nutrient rich/best overall choice he’s come up with a formula. Now. I’ll be honest. Though I was intrigued with this formula and the end result, my inner math-phobe rebelled a bit and I went into my high school math class induced happy place. But, since I've matured and survived radiation math I pulled myself back out and decided I needed to learn what he was patiently teaching. It's fascinating and horrifying. His top Thrive food choices added a positive spin after the bad news, so I ended up feeling hopeful that one person, one choice at a time, does make a difference. I was also thrilled to see that many of his go-to power foods are ones we already incorporate into our lives. He introduced me to several more.

Finally, Brazier offers loads of recipes, some his own that are tried and true. Others from chefs and restaurants he respects. Most of them sounded delicious. Brazier makes his own sports drinks and bars. And his athletic abilities prove that his diet is indeed part of making him the machine that he is. Since my time with the book was short-lived I didn't actually make any. However, these are the recipes I want to try. His Lemon-Lime Sports Drink, Kombucha Mojito, Candied Grapefruit Salad, Cream of Asparagus Soup, Energy Bars and Gels, Roasted Garlic Quinoa, Rustic Sweet Onion Flat Bread, Bok Choy Couscous with Sacha Inchi, Live Falafels, Live Seasoned Cashew Cheese, Live Cashew Sour Cream, Pecan and Dill Pate...okay. I want to try a lot of the recipes, and I'll be buying the book.

Alas, now the library version of Thrive Foods has to go back to the library.

I recommend this book to those who really want to go the next step from whatever diet they eat into whole food veganism. Athletes or manly men who wonder if they can find enough protein in plant food to survive and thrive should also check into Brazier’s books. Newbie or transitioning from standard Vegan to whole food Vegan would benefit from this book as well. It's also going to be a great resource on what foods are the richest Thrive foods and how to prepare them. Folks who just wonder if a Vegan lifestyle is realistic, contains what the body needs, or palatable might want to score a copy. Finally, if you are eager to green up your life and reduce your carbon footprint, you should find his calculations fascinating.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Sing-Song

Photo credit: paulabflat from

A bird does not sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.

Chinese proverb

Friday, February 24, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Pinch Those Buns...

See yesterday's post if you're curious about the bun background story. Do you buy buns? Uhhh, they are stinking expensive. But if you make your own with organic ingredients and good grains, they aren't expensive at all. I will now be making all my buns. These are really easy and tasty. I'll tell you a little secret...& experimented with some delicious desserty type spread and we tried it out on these. Uh. I'll share that with you soon. Think Texas Roadhouse rolls. Not kidding.

But back to the buns. Buns.


6 Good sized, 8 medium and 10 or so slider buns.

3 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 f)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour + additional to knead into dough as needed. (I used mix of unbleached white and whole wheat pastry flour)
Sesame seeds or spices.

Put yeast in bowl and cover with 1/4 of the cup of water. Stir and add sugar. Let sit for several minutes til it foams. Add oil, salt, remaining water, flour. Stir until mixed well. It will form a soft ball. Add another 1/4 cup of flour or so, knead that in (in the bowl works just fine). Repeat that step two or three more times until the dough doesn't stick to you and it forms a nice ball. Knead it a minute or so. Let sit in a warm spot for 1/2 hour or 45 minutes, it will double in size. Preheat oven to 425. When ready form the dough into 6, 8 or 10 similar sized balls. Flatten each ball slightly and place on a greased cookie pan or stone. If you want to sprinkle spices or sesame seeds, damped top of bun with water then sprinkle, press down slightly with your finger...mine didn't all stay on and I didn't sprinkle or press. Let sit another 10 minutes or so. Place in the oven and bake 22 minutes for the 6 larger buns, 18-19 minutes for 8 normal sized buns and 15 minutes for 10 slider buns. When cool, slice in half and serve with favorite sandwich fillings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Great Grain Obsessions....

I've gone on and on about the garlic bread I discovered via serendipity.

I'm not through going on and on. 

I'll be honest. Bread scares me. It feels like it's such a fussy thing that I'll be certain to mess it up. But this garlic bread recipe base is so easy to work with and non-intimidating that I've been experimenting.

I made a loaf of French/Italian style bread and I made it with Flax and sprouted wheat flour.

Freakishly good. And easy. Really.

Great Grains This Bread Recipe is Well, Great.

3 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 f)
1 teaspoon sugar
1TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP ground flax seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 cup flour + additional to knead into dough as needed. (I used mix of unbleached white and whole wheat pastry flour)

Put yeast in bowl and cover with 1/4 of the cup of water. Stir and add sugar. Let sit for a few minutes til it foams. Add oil, salt, remaining water, flour (the sprouted wheat and the 1 cup of other) and ground flax. Stir until mixed well. It will form a soft ball. Add another 1/4 of flour or so, knead that in (in the bowl works just fine). Repeat that step two or three more times until the dough doesn't stick to you and it forms a nice ball. Knead it a minute or so. Let sit in a warm spot for 1/2 hour or 45 minutes, it will double in size. Preheat oven to 425. When ready form the dough into a long log. Mine was about 10 inches long. And flatish. Lay on a greased cookie pan or stone. Cut 7 or 8 diagonal slits down the top of the loaf. Don't go all the way through. Let sit another 10 minutes or so. Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes give or take.

That's it. It's tender, tasty and has a great texture.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Bit of Truth for the Journey...and One More for the Road

One more for the road...

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?

And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:25-34 Amplified Bible

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Bit of Truth for the Journey

If you think you are on your path all alone. Without someone to watch over you. Think again.

Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's leave (consent) and notice.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31 from the Amplified Bible.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Laundry Time, Soul Starch...

My friends are all in various stages of life, and each of us has our own unique set of problems.

I was discussing this very thing with two friends the other day. One has a multiplex of relationship issues and is in the midst of trying to sort out the details, the other, well, she has some relationship issues, too.

Another friend doesn't speak the same language as her husband. Wait. That likely describes every married woman I know. Let's just say that her communication failures seem extraordinarily confusing. Another. Well. We probably all struggle with the fine balance of supporting, loving and respecting our men with varying degrees of success and failure waning and waxing with the phases of the moon and/or hormones. 

And that's just the marriage struggles. Pile on work issues, church issues, children, budgets, extended family, friends, health...oh we can have some problems.

As my friends and I chatted we all looked at each other and said things like, "I could not have survived what you went through." or "I think my life sucks, but it's nothing compared to yours. How can you even get out of bed?' Or, "I'd have locked and shut that door a long time ago." And an old story came back to me. Three women hung out laundry to dry. They compared their items, they lamented with the others stains and struggles, gave advice and listening ears. In the end, they all chose their own laundry, folded it and took it home.

When I look at the lives of others, I am amazed at what the human spirit can endure for love, or for sanity or for survival. Amazed. And when they look at mine, they may well wonder why I've made the choices I have.

Bottom line. We humans are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. The will to live, survive, thrive and love is a strong one indeed. When given the choice to choose faith over substances, peace over numbness, joy over bitterness, the survivors in life choose faith, peace and joy. 

Bottom line. Our paths are ours. And given the choice, we will still pick our path over our neighbor's. Our laundry may be stained and dingy, but it is ours and is permeated with our essence. We who will continue to live will choose our journeys no matter how difficult they may become.

So survivor. Put those feet on the floor, pray hard, slide on the freshly laundered big girl panties, make one decision at a time, and go thrive on that path. It's all yours, and for all it's bumps, potholes and ruts, you know you'd choose the same one.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Herd Mentality

Trying to blog with a herd of animals surrounding me is a challenge of epic proportions. Trust me. Especially if two of said animals have the need for scritches, scratches, constant attention or want what you are eating/drinking. Oh. And their heads are the size of my lap top.

Duncan may have been on my list several times (read daily) this week. But, I have a feeling he's taking home some different and possibly as annoying (ha, more annoying than stealthy pooping on the floor, doubt it!!!) habits. He's run with two big dogs (and manages to join their wrestling matches without fear or injury) all week, and he's made a frenemy of Feral.

Feral thinks he's part of the pack. And he pretty much is, however, Lola is always annoyed at Feral's ability to jump onto small spaces to get closer to the humans, and often head butts him or slugs him. Duncan is a little more up close and personal with Feral and he can get to places that Lily and Lola couldn't even consider, leaving Feral with a very unwanted shadow more often than not. Feral has done a lot of growling (yes, he growls... weird cat trick...he growls when someone knocks on the door) and running.

Duncan also has discovered the peanut butter knife ritual. Every morning I make Rob and I a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. And every day the girls get to lick the magically delicious peanut butter spreader. Duncan now lines up with them and sits, waiting his turn for a lick of doggie nirvana proportions P B and J. 

He'll leave tomorrow and I'll kind of miss the little nugget... but not his stealth nuggets, mind you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Presto-Chango...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.?.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. 

James 3:17
But the
wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:16-18 

Duncan is still pooping on the floor. Check. This has not changed. Even though he is using the outdoor facilities almost as often.

The girls still stop everything when it's time to make peanut butter sandwiches because they get to lick the "spoon".

Chocolate Covered Katie's Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Pie is delicious for dessert and for breakfast. 

No. These things have not changed.

My hair has. Drastically.

And there is a big decision in our future and Rob and I are praying for wisdom. After three and a half years we may be opening our home again to someone who needs us to. And it's really scary. I crave peace and my home is a place where that emotion reigns. Even when it's a mess (often), hurried/busy/harried (yep, often there, too), more often than not I breathe a sigh of contentment when I walk through my red front door. 

But, our home has not always been that haven. As a matter of fact it has been a battlefield.  And I remember having to put emotional armor on before walking through the door. The conflicts had grown subtly so that the intensity of the ugly didn't fully become apparent until the big battle ended with lots of casualties. In the absence of shells and bombs, we noticed that peace was creeping back in.
self portrait with crappy camera hair.

Our decision is probably already made. See the verse in James above. The details will need to be ironed out, decided and fully agreed upon. But our hearts are already longing for this to be the thing that helps and brings restoration and healing to a past combative, present tolerable relationship with our child. 

I have no idea what this new change is going to look like and what it's going to cost me. I am struggling with the concepts of helping vs enabling, toleration vs. acceptance, selfishness vs. what I know to be right, hope vs. fear. 

This week that the world touts Random Acts of Kindness...I feel very convicted that a deliberate act of kindness toward someone I love is required of me. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Dig-Doggity Day

If something fails to make sense in this post (more than usual) it might be because I'm being leaned on by a needy big dog.

We have a visitor. Day 5 of said visitor. The girls are still adjusting. 

Meet Duncan. 

& has a dog-sitting/house-sitting side job that is booming. Duncan is part of that.  Usually she stays with to-be-sat-upon dogs and we get the girls but every once in awhile the dogs come here. 

Duncan, with his gray bouffanty Dutch boy haircut and his shifty human-like eyes is quite the character. Rob is keeping count of the times I have told Duncan that he's on my list. This is why he's on my list....he keeps stealth-pooping on my floor. 

Why stealth-pooping? Well, it would be because we will spend long, long periods of time in the great-out-of-doors, the frigid great-out-of-doors, I must say, doing all the things we think might entice him to use the said great-out-of-doors as a potty.

Until yesterday (Day 4 for those of you who are keeping track) he had only been enticed once. (So, if you are doing the math, that would be seven little piles in various assorted indoor locations.) Often those little piles are right upon returning inside after twenty minutes spent out. 

It's not the frigid temps, or the snow. I know this because he will bound and hop and play and pee with great doggie gusto. If he cowered near the door and whimpered to go in I'd assume he was delicate and couldn't handle the cold. Oh no. That's not the case. But yesterday, and so far today (well, yesterday after the early morning gift his defense it was Valentine's Day and I guess he was feeling generous.) he has used outside four times. This is a cause for much joy. I'm sure the neighbors are enjoying the high-pitched celebrations that we've been throwing. 

And. All this "clean-up in aisle 5" business is making our girls seem like perfect, perfect doggie angels, so I guess it's win, win, win for them, too. 

Here's hoping you don't find special brown, fragrant gifts in your life today...unless they are brownies, that is.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Kindness of Strangers and Ginger Pear Kindcakes

Day two of Random Acts of Kindness...

Here is something I thought was pretty cool. If you are a writer, or love getting letters, this might be just right for you.
More Love Letters
It's a group that sends out handwritten letters to people who need a little boost. I know that a written note can make all the difference to someone. Words and the feelings behind them are important and I think they bear eternal weight.

Yesterday & and I took the dogs outside and began shoveling the driveway. I was working the edge of the driveway where it meets the street and picks up all the nasty ice accumulation. I wasn't really paying attention to the cars driving past. All of a sudden I hear. "If you step back, I'll get that for you." A guy in a pickup with a blade had stopped. He had a kid and a dog in the backseat. I told him thank you and backed out of the way. He scraped away the ice and dirty snow, backed up and made a pass at the driveway, and again. I sent & in for some cash. And He waved it off, told me to have a nice day and rode off into the sunset. Super cool.

So. Two big blessings on the first day of Random Acts of Kindness. I guess I'll call these pancakes...

Ginger Pear Kindcakes...

2 Cups flour (I used half unbleached all purpose, half whole wheat pastry)
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 and 1/2 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP and 1 tsp cinnamon
3 Cups non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond)
2 pears small dice
1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

Mix all dry ingredients until incorporated. Add applesauce, syrup, milk until mixed thoroughly. Add diced pears and walnuts. Prepare as you prefer to prepare pancakes. : ) Eat up. Makes about 20 medium sized pancakes. Freeze the extras, they are great popped in the toaster.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Feeling Like a Winner on This the First Day or Random Acts of Kindness Week....

Didn't know this. Did you? 

It's Random Acts of Kindness week

And according to Milkshake and their daily updates there is one more fact I didn't know. 

"A single smile can generate the same level of pleasurable brain stimulation as up to 2,000 bars of chocolate, according to British researchers. Smiling can also reduce your stress levels and overall blood pressure. So go ahead, smile at a stranger—doctor's orders!"

That's a pretty amazing "fact" especially when we all know the value of a good piece of chocolate.

So here's my smile-maker of the day. I am beaming 2,000 bars worth of chocolate, the really good kind, insert your favorite brand here, because I won the Forks and Beans Best Tasting Recipe category.

Ironically, most of my recipes have flour, and this one was required to be gluten free. I worked and worked on those cookie/bar recipes to make them just right. And at the last minute remembered my Thanksgiving Salted Caramel Pecan Fudge Pie recipe. And guess what? It won. 

Here is what the judges had to say.

"Rich, fudgy, incredibly sinful! The caramelized pecan topping is enough of a reason to make this; as well as the filling would be simply delicious served as a parfait. But combining all of these flavors together? Sheer chocolate heaven!"

Grin. 2,000 chocolate wattage grin. I was up against these recipes. Including Chocolate Covered Katie's Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (which is to die for.)

So join me and have a very happy, very smiley Monday. And if you aren't smiling now, make a dessert, with lots of chocolate and share the love. :  )

Friday, February 10, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Lame-da, Lame-duh Recapped Week

such a "poem" deserves such a picture.
Week in summary in freestyle kind of random poemish type verse. Scarily, there was a cadence in my head as I typed. And Scarily is probably as creative as it gets...

Cat's on the table, what a nasty trick
Finally got winter snow was nice and thick

Germs fill the household, the nasty kind
Had a birthday party, and spent some fam time.

Tweaked a few recipes. Read a few lines.
Watched old TV episodes on Netflix
While  "shopping" ideas on Pinterest. 
Went to a funeral, The sixth in the past few months.

Walked a few dogs. 
Supported a few grocery stores.
Read a few blogs. 

Going to meet Toad-man for coffee at 6:15.
Ugly time of morning 
but such a blessing.

Hope you didn't gag at the lame-o poem.
And I'm out of words. And out of steam. 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Super Bowl, Smooper Bowl, Bring on the Garlic Birthday Bread...

My mom's birthday landed on Super Bowl Sunday. Happy Birthday again, Mom. So we had a shindig over at my place. Vegan lasagne (which passed with flying colors with the omnivores) a big salad with lots of topping choices, garlic roasted cauliflower, a lemon cake made by my 94 year old grandma and a raspberry lime concoction of a cake made by &.

And bread. Brought by my brother and his girlfriend. Delicious, yummy, really good bread. It wasn't quite at the point where it was ready. Well, let's just say they brought the dough and their toppings and put it together and baked it in my oven. And since it was SO good, and since they left the photocopy of the recipe they used behind. Here is a summation of my thought process. "Recycle recipe in the paper bin? Or.... delicious bread recipe that is Vegan but needs a little tweak or two to make it work with what I have on hand. The recipe is in my hand, and they made it in my oven so I know it's going to work and be exactly the texture I've been looking for in garlic bread, rolls, pizza crust. Oh my."

No contest. I have claimed this sucker as my own. And last night, I made the final tweak, wrote down the exact measurements, and even made half the batch a pizza crust. (More on that later...) (as well as the recipe for the requested "cactus bread" -- an addictive cinnamon sugar bread that could possibly call this recipe "mother".)

Here is my version that is every bit as good as my bro's bread. (And Matt, if you want that recipe back, it has seen better days, just sayin.)


3 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water (110-115 f)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 TBSP canola or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour + additional (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) to knead into dough as needed. (I used mix of unbleached white and whole wheat pastry flour)

Italian Garlic Deliciousness aka Topping:

1 TBSP Earth Balance at room temperature
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Italian seasonings
3/4 TBSP red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

Vegan Mozzarella if you wish (Or Vegan Parmesan) or both.

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water in a medium mixing bowl. Add sugar (you need the sugar to feed the yeast, don't leave it out). Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. (it will bubble and foam like a freaky science experiment.) Add the oil, salt, water and 2 cups of flour. Stir into a soft dough. Dump onto a floured surface, sprinkle more flour on top and knead until smooth and elastic (6 minutes or so). You will need to sprinkle more flour as you knead. Don't over do...a TBSP here and there. Place the dough into a bowl (either greased or floured). Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled. 30-40 minutes.

Grease a pan a 9x9, a pizza stone, or a jelly roll pan. (I used a baking stone and totally recommend the texture, a little spray of cooking oil will help, too. Just a bit.) Preheat oven to 450. Put dough into the middle of the pan. Press dough evenly flat about 1/3-1/2 thick, you don't want it real thin. Will make a round circle that won't stretch all the way to the edge of the pizza stone, or a rectangle about 3/4 the size of a jelly roll pan. Let dough sit for 5 minutes. While it's sitting combine the topping ingredients. Spread on dough. Add cheeses if you are. Bake at 450 18-21 minutes til it's golden brown and gives off a heavenly smell. If you are using cheese and want it bubbly, you could broil it to finish it off. Slice with a pizza cutter into wedges or squares. Serves 4-8 people.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Love You Latte Bars or Bites...

Fruit of Recipe Contest # 4

Love You Latte Bars or Bites

1 can white beans or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups from scratch.
15 pitted dates (I used standard, you'd need less with Medjool) or 3/4
heaping cup raisins
1/2 cup and 1 TBSP Cocoa
1 TBSP espresso powder (or 1 TBSP freshly ground coffee beans)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP apple sauce
1/2 Cup vegan and gluten free white chocolate chips and/or dark chocolate chips.

Additional white chocolate chips and/or dark chocolate chips for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all items (except chocolate chips) in food processor until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chips and roll cookies into balls about 1 TBSP each (makes approx 20. Bake 10-11 mins. When removed from oven press an indentation in the cookies with the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill indentation with two chocolate chips of choice. Cool and store in fridge.

If you prefer bars. Put batter in a greased 8 x 8 and bake for 21-24 minutes.

If you really want to go another layer of decadent. You can add a bottom crust to the bars.

1/2 cup coconut flakes or bits
5 dates
2 TBSP cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 TBSP coconut oil.

Process all ingredients in food processor until the mixture is uniform and sticks together well. Press into the bottom of the greased 8 x 8 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. (1/4 cup or so) dollop cookie layer batter over it, smooth. Bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ My Heart Beats for You Sweet Bites...

Fruit of the Recipe Contest # 3

My Heart Beats for You Sweet Bites

1 can white beans or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups from scratch.
15 pitted dates (I used standard, you'd need less with Medjool) or 3/4 heaping cup raisins
1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP Cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP all fruit cherry preserves
1/2 Cup vegan gluten-free white and/or dark chocolate chips

Additional white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and cherry preserves for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all items (except chocolate chips) in food processor until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chips and roll cookies into balls about 1 TBSP (makes approx 20). Bake at 350 for 10-11 mins. When removed from oven press an indentation in the cookies with the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill indentation with additional toppings. A dollop of cherry preserves and two chocolate chips. Cool
and store in fridge

Monday, February 06, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Orange You Glad We've Got Each Other Bars Etc.

Fruit of Recipe Challenge # 2.

Orange You Glad We've Got Each Other Bars


1/2 of an orange's zest (zest whole orange, put 1/2 aside
for filling)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 TBSP coconut oil
5 dates (regular sized)
3/4 cup coconut raw flakes


1 can white beans or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups from scratch.
15 pitted dates (I used standard, you'd need less with Medjool) or 3/4 heaping cup raisins
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP coconut flour (or pulverize shredded raw coconut)
Juice from one orange
Zest from 1/2 orange (zest the whole thing and put 1/2 aside)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegan gluten free white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 if making bars or cookies.

Combine all crust ingredients in food processor until combined, uniform and holding together. Press crust into bottom of 8 x 8 pan.

Filling: Combine all items (except cranberries and
chocolate) in food processor (no need to rinse after using it for the crust) until all ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in chips and cranberries.

Bake at 350 for 21-24 mins. Cool and store in fridge. Can also be rolled into cookie bites. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Press cranberry and white chocolate chip on top. Keep in fridge. Also, unbaked, this is a great dip. Follow all directions for filling, and put in fridge to chill, use gluten free/vegan cookies/crackers. You may also roll the dough into balls, chill, then roll them in the crust mixture and make truffles.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Peanut Butter Mocha Smooches...

Sarah commented about my post yesterday. She said she believes it is a rumor. Interesting. Here's a link she sent me. I will be reading the whole thing.

However, Trader Joe's and Costco could still provide my list of items. :  )

Here is a recipe for you.  Peanut Butter Mocha Smooches (Gluten free, Vegan, and no added sugar/fat)

1 can white beans or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups from scratch.
15 pitted dates (I used standard, you'd need less with Medjool) or 3/4 heaping cup raisins
1/2 Cup  plus 1 TBSP Cocoa
1 TBSP espresso powder (or 1 TBSP freshly ground coffee beans)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 TBSP Peanut butter
2 TBSP Apple Sauce

Additional Peanut Butter (Approx 1 TBSP and dark chocolate chips (Vegan) for cookie garnish.

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all items in food processor until all ingredients are incorporated.  Roll cookies into balls about 1 TBSP (makes approx 20). Bake at 350 for 10-11 mins. When removed from oven press an indentation in the cookies with the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill indentation with a dollop of peanut butter and a chocolate chip. Cool and store in fridge.

If you prefer bars. Put batter in a greased 8 x 8 and bake for 21-24 minutes.  

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Harvest of Disappointment

So. I was discouraged to read parts of this yesterday! I didn't have time to read the whole article. And I've been told that it isn't quite as it appears. That I should read Whole Foods's rebuttal. Which I will do.

However. My first response is to say I will never shop there again...that I can no longer trust them. I know this is knee jerk and I don't want to be a jerk.  So I will pause and wait until I have a chance to read it and look into the decision that these corporations made. 

I do feel ashamed to be an Iowan, though. I understand the importance of farming and need for farmers to make money etc. etc. But I also think it's important for farmers to be able to make money producing food that is actually food. 

Trader Joe's. Here is a suggestion for you. Capitalize on the choices made by Whole Foods. I already buy my organic produce (off season) at Trader Joe's. I also buy lots of other organic products. However, Trader Joe's you lack the following items and if you'd sell them I'd not need to go to Whole Foods.

Gluten (organic)
Silken tofu (the shelf version)
Dried beans and lentils (organic)
Organic whole wheat pastry flour
Nutritional yeast
Coconut or almond milk based yogurt

Costco. Take note as well. Add more organic items like oatmeal, beans, lentils, whole wheat pastry flour.... 

Just sayin.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Recipe Score!!!!

 So. Just a teaser. I've got my recipes ready to enter into the contest. Here's the end product in all their glory. 

I'll post recipes, as soon as I know when I can, and I think you are going to love them. Healthy, check. Tasty, two thumbs up. Or six if you count Rob and &. 

Let's just say you won't have a chance to try any if you drop  by because they are officially gone. 

It took about 6 tries to get the tweaking done. One try ended up with & spitting her bite out into the trash can. Seriously. Last night, she was way, way more complimentary.
 The flavors are: cranberry orange, white chocolate mocha, peanut butter mocha and black forest.