Friday, October 31, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Friday. Yay.

 I'm ready for the week part of the week to be done and embrace some weekend. I'm going to be trick or treating with the kids and the bumble bee and spider pups. And working on some recipes and writing the article that needs to be attached. The best thing about this weekend? An extra hour. YAY! If I have some downtime I may sand and start painting my $1.00 magazine rack/puppy supply cabinet right behind Gladys's head. It's going to be really colorful. I'm thinking turquoise with striped drawers. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Peek at the 1880's

While in Nebraska City I found some sweet things. One of the best was an autograph book or maybe school memory book. I took a picture of the cover and a couple of pages. I'll put the rest on the blog later. It's kind of amazing to touch something others touched over a century ago. And see how things change and stay the same all at the same time. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Something Happened on the Way to 50 - Dog Edition

Well a load of things, actually. 

There are a few things in my life that I never expected when I was a sweet young thing and still wet behind the ears. 
Never, never, never was I a dog person. When I was a teenager we got a recycled dog. Boots was pretty much independent. We lived in the country and she loved to run. Like the wind. I don't remember ever getting to bare my soul to her while she patiently wagged and bestowed doggie kisses to soothe my teenage angst. Nope. Boots only got up close and personal while running and for some reason her favorite reach out and touch someone routine was a long snouted speedily delivered goose. Oh yes. Like I said, not so much a dog person. Oh, and there was the incident with the pampered poodle princess dog that belonged to my friend. The poodle was actually named Princess I think. My friend's mom picked me up on the way home from the groomer. Princess had blue painted nails and matching ribbons. And she sat in my lap. Around a corner we turned and Princess sat on my arm just a bit and left a sit ring which is much, much worse than a bathtub ring. 

The other thing lacking in my life was understanding dog people. I mean, what did they smoke? Letting dogs lick them, sleep with them, dress like them. Right? 

Okay. Over the years I've begun to get it. Lily and Lola pretty much turned me into a dog person. And I spoiled them (to quote their mother). But the pups. Dang. My brain is broken. Note: They sleep in their kennel. Note: I'm quite quick to gross out over certain things. Note: I often tighten up the budget and avoid spending on luxury items. 
Note: We bought (yes, we, he's nuts, too) them costumes. The first batch was too small so I even had to go to another Target store to exchange for the medium. The second cashier even rolled her eyes. 

I have become that person. I'm going to use the grandbabies as great excuses for this. I mean how precious is it that the 7 year old picked out a bee costume and we unknowingly did the same? Twin bees? And the Dark Knight sure could use a spider side kick, right? If only he'd picked Spider Man. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Holes. Oh So Scary

stupid hole! 
 Here's an odd coincidence for you. (Or coinkydink as we often say referring back to Toad Boy's early reading days.) 

One of my high school buddies is a current co-worker who also happens to be named Kelly but with an I not Y. 

Not too long ago another co-worker was headed out to a local grocery store to use her free $10.00 gift card that came in the mail. That was a sore point for me, but I didn't say anything until other Kelli spoke up. You see, I have a hole in my wall and like an IDIOT I put important things on a little metal box that is near the hole. When I say hole I mean there is no drywall covering a small stud post. The kitchen counter butts right up to it and there are working lights within this column but there is no drywall. But there is on the other side. Finished drywall that is painted. And since my talented husband is building custom cabinets the cabinets under the countertop are sealed boxes. So anything that would slide down the hole is pretty much there for life. One day while looking through my important papers on top of my cute little metal box I heard a sliding sound followed by a plasticy wooden thunk. Immediately, I knew. 

Here's something you might not know about me. I'm, like, kinda cheap. Like a $10.00 free grocery card was, like, a big deal. A big deal. That's why it was in the spot where I keep all my important things by the hole. You might be wondering if a) I'm some sort of danger junky or b) an idiot. I would have to vote b. For reals. But enough backstory. 

So Kelli says. "Hey, I got one of those. But I lost it and I'm so p________ about it!" 

I looked at her, I suppose like the duh-duh-duuuuhhhh prairie dog on Youtube, "No way! Me, too. I was so angry. But it was my fault. What happened?" 

"It fell in a hole in my wall! I was carrying it with a bunch of papers down to the car and it slipped off and fell into a stupid hole in my basement wall. I was so p____________!" Kelli may suffer from being a wee bit cheap, too. 

"Mine, too. Mine fell in a hole in my kitchen, and I was so p__________, too!" 

What are the odds? Right? Sigh. Here's to whole walls and cheap groceries for all. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare Review

Having spent years as a medium, witch and ghost hunter before reclaiming her identity in Christ, Kristine McGuire has been on both sides of the battle lines. In her new book, An Insider’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, she offers unique insight, revealing Satan’s 7 favorite battlefields (such as fear and gossip) as well as the most effective tactics he employs in the battles we face every day. 
McGuire also shares 30 battle-tested strategies for victory based on her firsthand experience with the occult and the paranormal. Some of the topics she covers include: 
• how to walk in God’s authority
• using spiritual armor
• how to recognize and avoid the influence of the occult in our culture 
• whether the Bible supports the existence of ghosts


I have made a whole lot of mistakes in my life. I really don't like learning things the hard way. So, it's always refreshing to be able to learn from someone else's journey.

Enter Kristine McGuire. McGuire spent years immersed in the Occult and even transitioned herself into a unique blend of Christianity and witchcraft. God actually opened her eyes to the choice she needed to make between Him and evil while she was knee deep in ghost hunting.

McGuire even has toxic legalism in her background as well so she has spent time in the religious realm, darkness and now has a deep understanding of grace.

An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare includes a grace-filled approach to spiritual warfare. There is a lack of fear, terror and looking for a demon in every bush and an abundance of truth. The biggest element of truth running throughout the handbook is the reality that living in Christ is the answer. However, there are so many details that McGuire gleaned from her journey that paints a picture of what that might look like in various situations. From things that permeate our culture that are open doors into evil, to our provided spiritual armor, to the destructive attitudes that are open doors for self and demonic deception.

With questions for self-assessment and consideration at the end of each chapter and plenty of help on handling different scenarios, I think this would be a terrific book for independent or group study. Overall, even though McGuire shares some detail of her dabbling the overall glorification is of God and His power and character. A curious teen should probably have a parent or another trusted adult go over the study and details of the book with them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Pup Randomness

 The pups had surgery last week. They spayed Gertie on Wednesday and Gladys on Thursday. I literally had no pups for a total of four hours. Otherwise I had one pup at a time so we got lots of quality time in. 
When I picked up Gladys I expected the pups to be THRILLED to see each other. 
Interestingly, there was growling and posturing. Really? They've been fighting over lap space ever since. 
Also. There is no evidence that either is feeling the surgery. The crazy pups are ...well...crazy. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Vegan Classic Burger Sloppy Joes

Classic Burger Sloppy Joes (Serves 8 ish)

2 Cups hamburger replacement (Gardein or Beyond Meat or homemade)
⅓ Cup ketchup
3 TBSP yellow mustard
2-3 TBSP dill pickle relish (or a mix of dill and sweet, or if you like your sloppies sweeter, go with all sweet) (I used 3 TBSP but I love pickles so use your taste buds as a guide.)
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1-2 TBSP finely diced onion (again, to taste)

Mix all the ingredients together and heat until warmed through. Or put it in a crock pot on low for 2-3 hours. Serve with buns. Add vegan bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onion or vegan cheese slices, pickles and ketchup and mustard.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Vegan Salty Caramel Apple Drizzled Apple Blondies

Apple Blondies With Salty Caramel Apple Drizzle

Blondies are brownies without cocoa so they are chewy, a touch caramelly due to the brown sugar content and delicious.

1 Cup brown sugar
½ Cup coconut oil or Earth Balance
3 TBSP applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 Cups flour
2 apples diced
Toast a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts and toss those in if desired for an extra yum factor.

Mix sugar, Earth Balance, vanilla and applesauce well. Add the baking powder and salt and stir very well. Add the flour and incorporate. Finally add the apples (and nuts if using). Grease a 9 x 13 and press the dough into the pan. Bake at 350 for 33 - 36 minutes. A knife should come out clean.

Salty Caramel Apple Drizzle
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup applesauce
1 1/2 TBSP Earth Balance or coconut oil
2 pinches of salt
1/2 TBSP vanilla
1/2 apple diced

Put sugar, applesauce and Earth Balance in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and drop temperature and low boil for 8-10 minutes until it comes together and thickens. Add vanilla and stir until completely incorporated, remove from heat then add salt and stir well. Add the diced apple and stir.

Pour the caramel sauce over the blondes and refrigerate an hour before serving. Or slice the blondies still warm from the oven, top with a blob of vegan ice cream and drizzle the caramel over that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Oops

No wordy posts today. The computer lap and rest of the couch area were claimed.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Flexi-Veggie Salad

Fresh Veggie Toss Salad

⅓ Cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 ½ TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
½ to 1 tsp of garlic powder (to taste)
½ tsp salt
6 Cups of veggies (grape tomatoes, chopped broccoli, chopped cauliflower, black olives, diced cucumbers, small dice onions, carrot medallions etc.)
1 Can (or 1 ½ Cups home cooked) drained, rinsed chickpeas

Toss everything together and enjoy. Let it sit overnight for best flavor.

To mix this up make it Greek style or Mexican style by making a few changes:

Greek - switch out the Italian seasoning for 1 TBSP each of chopped fresh mint and chopped parsley. Sub the juice of a full lemon for vinegar and toss in feta if you’d like.

Mexican - sub black beans for chickpeas. Sub juice of one lime for vinegar. Sub 2 TBSP of chopped fresh cilantro for the Italian seasoning.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Caramel Pumpkin Cake Roll

Next cake on the docket: 

Caramel Pumpkin Cake Roll

I found a recipe that I of course had to modify. Here's the original. I did a trial run and thought it was a little thin and I wanted a little more cake body. So I doubled and tweaked it to this. 

1 1/2 Cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of cardamom   
1 pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 Cup pureed pumpkin
2/3 Cup sugar
2/3 Cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 TBSP oil, melted coconut oil or melted Earth Balance

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the sugar with the oil, pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Blend well. Add salt and baking powder and stir completely. Blend in flour. 

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 11 x 15 Jelly Roll pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over the pan. Spread the batter evenly over the parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Poke with a knife and when it comes out clean, it's ready. 

Let cool for a few minutes. While cooling spread 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over the top of the cake and then cover the cake with a towel. Turn upside down and peel the parchment paper off the cake. Roll the cake, carefully, into a spiral. The towel is going to be taking the place of the frosting and it's going give the cake shape. 

Let cool on a cake rack (in the towel) for a couple of hours. The filling and frosting are: 

1/2 Cup Vegan cream cheese
1/2 Cup caramel (vegan recipe)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Cups powdered sugar
1 Cup flour (or you can use additional powdered sugar but the flour cuts the sweetness a little bit).

Blend together. 

Cinnamon sugar pecans for topping. 

1/2 Cup chopped pecans. 
1/2 TBSP sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a frying pan toss the pecans and toast over medium heat. Cook approximately 1 minutes and then add the sugar and stir until the pecans are coated. Add cinnamon and stir. 

Unwrap the cake. There may be some cracks. You will frost it so that doesn't really matter. Remove the towel. Spread frosting over the cake. Reroll. Spread the frosting over the top of the roll. Or pipe a design. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar pecans. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ German Chocolate Bundt Cake

I used a favorite chocolate bundt cake recipe from An Everyday Vegan and modified it. I've linked to her recipe and am sharing mine as I made it. Her's is delicious. So was mine. I will make a change next time though. I placed the "filling" on top of the batter thinking it would sink. Next time I'll simply pour in half the batter, add the filling and cover it with more batter. Simple fix. 

2 1/4 cups Whole Wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup strong cold coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened natural apple sauce
Filling and Topping
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips divided
1 cup toasted coconut (see below)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP cocoa
1 Cup non-dairy milk
Preheat to 350 degrees. 

Place coconut shreds on a pan. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Stir and bake another 2, check for golden color. Remove from oven. Separate 1/4 cup for topping. Dump the remainder in a small bowl for filling. Add 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Set aside. Prepare pecans. In a frying pan over med to high heat toss pecans. Stir as you heat them and when aromatic (about a minute or so, add the sugar and cocoa and stir until sugar melts and nuts are coated, about a minute or two.) Let the nuts cool for 5 mins then separate 3/4 cup into the filling bowl and 1/4 (approx) with the remaining coconut for the topping. Prepare your bundt pan with oil/margarine etc, then flour. If your bundt pan is silicone a thin layer of grease should be plenty. 

Mix the vinegar with the milk in a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes. Add the cooled coffee, sugar, oil and cocoa powder and stir well. Pour in the baking powder, salt and applesauce and incorporate. Add vanilla and stir. Completely mix in the flour. 

Pour the one half of the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Using a spoon scoop the chocolate chip/coconut/pecan mixture into the center trying to stay away from the sides. Cover with the remaining batter.  Bake for 40 minutes in the middle of the oven. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Turn the pan over onto a plate.

Heat the cup of non-dairy milk in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, pour in the remaining chocolate chips (1/2 cup) and stir until melted. Let sit for 10 minutes or so. Pour over the cooled cake and top with the remaining pecan/toasted coconut mixture.  

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

 A co-worker brought a yogurt strawberry bundt cake into the office a few weeks ago. I tasted it and decided I needed a recipe so I could veganize it and make it my own. I wanted to serve it at my brother's wedding. Why would I use a cake I'd never made for an occasion like that? Good question. Insanity? But the lemon and blueberry marriage just sounded heavenly. And I uber increased the lemon so I knew it'd be off the charts. I don't know the origin of the original recipe but if you google Strawberry Yogurt Cake you'll find lots of options. 
Now onto my Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake of deliciousness. 
1 Cup of room temperature Earth Balance
2 Cups of sugar
3 TBSP egg substitute (just the dry portion, the wet is coming up) ( I used homemade EnerG. and her recipe says rounded 1/2 TBSP to 2 TBSP liquid I go 1 full and 3 respectively for my subs, generally)
8 ounces non-dairy yogurt. The containers I buy are 6 oz. I used a full vanilla and 2 ounces from a blueberry.
1/3 Cup Non dairy milk (pretty much anything but chocolate)
1/3 Cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour (set aside 1/4 cup)
1 and 1/2 to 2 Cups fresh blueberries

Preheat over to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan unless you have silicone then a light greasing is good enough. 

Mix milk and lemon juice together in a separate bowl and let sit for a couple minutes. In a separate bowl combine Earth Balance and sugar, add in lemon zest, salt and baking powder and mix well. Add the yogurt to the lemon juice/milk blend and stir well. Add the egg substitute powder and when incorporated pour the liquid into the sugar/Earth Balance bowl and stir very well. Add the flour (remember to set aside 1/4 cup) and blend. Then toss your blueberries with the reserved flour and pop them into the batter. Stir and pour into the bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. A knife should come out clean.  

Glaze. Approx 2 TBSP lemon juice to 1 Cup powdered sugar. But. You have to mess around with that to get it to the consistency you want. The cake is very moist. In hindsight I would have added another 1/2 Cup or so of sugar (or flour) to give it more body. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ B'day Blues...and Praises

Yesterday was birthday number 52 for me. As in a full deck of cards. Finally. 

Lookin for the pony in the pile of poo, folks. 
52. I don't feel much older than 17. Honestly, I'm still that 17-year-old-girl on the inside who doesn't know who she's supposed to be and what she wants to do with her life. 

But. While I'm still trying to figure that out, life has been happening. And I have been blessed. 

I have so many people who know me and love me any way. I have little children who call me Gramma Kelly for as long as they need to. Today they gave me handmade cards, hugs and kisses and deafness in one year. 

In the past week I have had meaningful and rich conversations and time well spent with all three of my kids and my daughter-in-law. My husband gave me two cards, one from the puppies thanking me for taking such good care of them and for loving them. And one where he shared that he loves me more than ever. 

My works buddies signed a card that poked gentle fun at me but shared a little love, too. Facebook friends peppered my wall with good wishes. Texts poured in. And my Bible study girls sang to me. As did my sweet little grand babies at my "surprise" party. "Surprise" because they each spilled the beans. :  ). And cautioned each other to stop spilling. 

My daughter made my cake recipe with the kids. Toad-Boy and the Mrs joined us. It was a lovely, lovely day. 

So in spite of the fact that I awoke with a pimple on my nose and managed to spill 194 degree tea down my side and had a busy day, it was a day that I celebrated fully and I'm thanking God for providing it. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Cake Parade and Harvest Auto and Machinery Review

 Ha. Ha. So I said I'd post over my four day weekend. Yeah, right. Hope you didn't hold your breath. 

The desserts went over very well at the wedding. I didn't even get a taste of the strawberry beauty & made out of my recipe. Fortunately I was with my 7-year-old-foster-granddaughter and she couldn't finish her raspberry fudge deliciousness so I did get to taste that one. 
Thursday I was going to do a massive grocery run and get an early start on the cakes. Instead, I got to drive out to tiny town Wahoo Nebraska in between meeting my adult-woman-baby-child for breakfast, & and her 3-year-old and shopping for ingredients for the baking fest. &'s cousin, Trevor, owns a new dealership in Wahoo and he's kinda like a personal shopper for cars and trucks. If that makes sense. 

I HATE buying cars. With a passion. I've actually gotten hostile with a few smarmy used car salesman types. Rob's and my last car was new and we got it from our nephew at the big dealership he worked at in Omaha. It was the smoothest car buying session in the history of every car we've ever purchased. Painless. We send people to him because of the ease and because it's great to trust someone with your big buck decisions. Everyone raves about his knack of making car shopping simple. About five months ago Trevor moved into his own location. But with a spin. Most of his business is over the internet. Basically, you just let him know your specs (how much you want to spend, what type of vehicle, what must haves, etc.) and he finds a vehicle and gets you into it. 
He was going out of town over the weekend and & wanted to get her van before he left. So we headed out there. Again, painless. I sat in the waiting room and played with the 3-year-old until she had to take a poo. Then had to join her in the bathroom. 

The poo took longer than the paper work, I swear. 
If you are interested here's Trevor's website. Here it is. 
Back to wedding cakes...look for recipes. Coming soon. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Upcoming Bake-Fest.

I'm going to be baking up a storm on Thursday and Friday. And I'll be dodging pups who will no doubt take up residence under my feet in case I drop something. 

Vegan cakes galore. Plan on recipes soon for the following: 

Raspberry Fudge Groom Cake

Strawberry Layer Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cream Cheese Roll

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

I have a couple tried and true recipes that I'll be using, and a few ventures into uncharted territories. I'll post pictures of the creations. Hopefully they'll be fabulous.