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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Spicy Cabbage Stew

The boys like this soup, Jackson and I love this soup.  It is a hearty soup that has a little bit of spice to it.

1 quart pureed tomatoes (I used my home canned tomatoes)
1 quart vegetable broth
3 cups organic tomato based vegetable juice
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 medium head of cabbage chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 TBSP thyme
1 TBSP oregano
2 tsp paprika
S&P to taste
(I added above ingredients to a slow cooker and cooked on low all day, about 12 hours, you could simmer on stove top for about an hour instead.)

About an hour before serving (if using slow cooker) add 1 cup brown rice
1 package Quorn crumbles

While the rice is cooking I toast up 1 package of vegan chorizo in a pan.  Once rice is cooked, add the chorizo, stir and serve.  

You could easily use ground beef and chorizo.  I also think kidney beans would be a great addition.  If you like things really spicy add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Berry Cobbler

This is a crowd favorite and a quick and easy dessert.  I have made it for the boys many times and for picnics, and cook outs.  I use any berry that I happen to have, three weekends ago I made the boys a blackberry cobbler and then the next weekend it was blueberry.  Jackson picked some blackberries this past weekend so I made another blackberry cobbler.  A month or so ago I used rhubarb and it was delicious!

Start out with about 6 cups (maybe 8 cups depending on your casserole dish) of whatever berry you want to use.  I add about 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, more sugar for something tart like blackberry, or rhubarb (even though that isn't a berry), and less sugar for blueberry. Then add your favorite spice. I might add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and/or a pinch of nutmeg, or 1/4 tsp cardamom. Or nothing but sugar is fine as well.  Then add 1/4 cup flour, or a gluten free flour mix.  Mix all that together and put it into an oven safe casserole dish.  Top with shortcake dough.

Shortcake recipe:
(This is actually half of a short cake recipe, but more than enough to top a cobbler)

1 cup flour, you can substitute a gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk or vegan milk alternative

This recipe is just as delicious gluten free and vegan.

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl, cut in the shortening with two knives or a pastry blender until crumbly. Then add the milk (or vegan milk alternative).  Stir with a fork, this will be thicker, like a biscuit dough NOT thinner like a cake batter. Spread the dough on top of the berry mixture.  I just take it by the fork full and pull it apart a little and set it on top.  It does not have to cover the entire top.

Cook in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.  The top will be slightly brown and the shortcake will be cooked through, while the berries will be bubbly and smell delicious!

If you double the shortcake recipe, place it in a 10 in square baking dish, cook at 425 for 20-25 minutes and it is great for strawberry shortcake. I just cut into squares and cut the square in 1/2 and layer with strawberries and whipped cream (this is my husbands favorite as it isn't too sweet).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I enjoy it as the summer gets rolling along and everything is coming into season.  I just feel like there is so much abundance, and that makes me feel safe for some reason, secure.  Violet helped me harvest some oregano yesterday. Here she is, I think she enjoys the process as much as I:

And here is my oregano.  We use so much oregano throughout the year, so any that I can grow here at home, is fresh and delicious and it is oregano I don't have to buy at the store.  Love oregano.  Love going out and harvesting.  And the house smells so delicious as it dries.

My youngest, Phillip, and I harvested blackberries yesterday as well.  These are wild and just grow on our property....all over our property.  But of course we had to earn our blackberries, as these have THORNS from hell and are also mixed in with poison ivy.  This morning I can see a couple of poison ivy patches welling up. 

We did manage to harvest enough for a blackberry cobbler, although I didn't have a chance to get a picture as it was gone within an hour.  They were not all ripe yet, so many still on the vines that are red, maybe later on in the summer I will have enough for some jam, as well as another cobbler for the boys.

I hope you all are having a plentiful summer, get out there and see what is growing, head to your local farmer's market and talk to the local farmers, see what they have growing.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Great garlic harvest this year!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

German Sweet Chocolate Cake

German Sweet Chocolate Cake 1, that is what it is called, but in all our time in Germany, I don't think we ever had a cake as sweet and gooey as this one.  Hmmm.  Here is Phil's requested birthday cake.  I only made one change to the instructions.

You can find the cake recipe here at the All Recipes Site, German Sweet Chocolate Cake 1

I did not use squares of German Sweet Chocolate, as I didn't have any at the house.  So I used chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup, melted.  I did not mix the chocolate with the water.  Instead I added them separately to the batter.  The picture on the site is a round layered cake.  But I used a 9X13 pan as the directions said, and it worked great.  Phillip loved it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wow What an EGG!

My hens have been laying for a couple of years now, so we have seen our share of large eggs, double yolk eggs and even tiny eggs.  But this is the LARGEST egg I have seen yet.  SO HUGE!  I feel for the poor hen that laid this egg.  Whew, what a hen! As a comparison, most of the other eggs in that carton are also large, so large that the lid does not shut.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Phillip's Granola boys have vastly different personalities and tastes.  They do not like the same cereal, so I make two different granola versions.  This one is Phillip's Granola.

-4 cups oats (not the instant or quick cooking oats)
-1/2 cup craisins
-1/2 cup dried blueberries
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
-1/4-1/2 cup honey

I mix this all together in a large bowl, starting with 1/4 cup honey.  I add a little more honey if I think it needs it.  I want everything to be mixed nicely.  You will see how you like it, there is no right or wrong way.  Does it look coated with honey enough for you?  

You can add any other dried fruit, nut, or seeds, you like.  I will post Dallen's recipe in the future.  

Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Cook at 275 degrees for 10 minutes, then take it out and turn it over, mixing it up, with a spatula and put it back in for another 10 minutes.  Keep repeating this until it is nice and golden brown, like my picture.  It generally takes me about 30 minutes of cooking.  Then just let it cool completely before storing in a container.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mustache Wax

I am posting this here so I can find it again.  I saw this on an essential oil facebook page, and thought I would try it. I have one son growing out his mustache and he was commenting about the undesirable ingredients in so many commercial products.  So I decided to make this for him to try.  It is called a "beard balm" but if you want to use it for a beard you would need to use less beeswax.  I would probably use 1 tsp beeswax and see how that worked.  As is, it is very much a harder wax, than a balm.  But it is perfect for a mustache.

I don't know who the gentleman is in the picture, and I can't read the web site imprinted above his head.  So I can't link it here. If anyone else can read it please leave a comment.  I am always so happy to give credit and link back to the original source to increase traffic to useful web sites.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Vegetable Stir Fry

Again Jackson made this dish.  He doesn't remember how much of each ingredient in the sauce, he used, but here is what he did use.

So I guess you will have to wing it like he does.  Next time he makes this I am going to have him write it down, because this was a dish I would like to make again and make myself.  It was quick and easy and so yummy.  You can use any vegetables you have in your refrigerator, and he used tofu.  But if you are a meat eater, chicken would be a great addition.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vegan Tamales

This was a recipe Jackson found and tried.  We all enjoyed the tamales but they were a bit salty, so he thought he would adjust that the next time he made them.  Also Jackson left out the cheese, so they were vegan, which I appreciated.

He said he basically followed this recipe for Vegetarian Tamales.  But he doesn't remember any modifications, other than the cheese, that he made.  It did take him most of a day to prepare, so this dish is labor intensive. I reminded him that if he ever wants to replicate a dish he needs to jot down what he does differently, then I can add it to my blog and we will have it for next time.  Oh well.  It isn't a dish I am going to make so maybe he will be able to make those modifications on the fly again next time.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Jackson made this dish.  And he used the Taste of Beirut- Falafel recipe.  He followed the recipe pretty much as is.  You can see he had his with tomato, onion and yes...pickle.  That would be Jackson for ya.  All in a pita pocket.  He did bake these and did not fry them.  Just preheat over to 350 degrees and place the formed falafel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  About 10-15 minutes then flip them over and an additional 10-15 minutes on the other side.  The falafel were delicious.

Wrap falafel in a corn tortilla and this is gluten free and vegan!  I like this with some sliced avocado, adds that creamy texture I love.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leek and Nut Pesto Pasta

This is Jackson's recipe.  I think it was a "clean out the freezer" type of recipe, but the boys really liked it. So he wrote it down to save.  I am not sure what he did to the photo but the dish, in person, had much more color than the photo.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Carrot Soup

This is my own recipe, we all love carrots here and soup is "our" thing.  So here ya go.

-12 carrots, more or less depending on size.  Do not peel just wash, cut the top of and slice or cut into chunks
-1 medium onion chopped
-2 medium potatoes chopped
-2-3 inches ginger minced
-3 cloves garlic minced
-Tbsp Lime juice
-1 can coconut milk
-3 cups vegetable broth
-S&P to taste

I added everything to a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.  Then use an immersion blender to blend it up. Or you can add it, a few cups at a time to an upright blender.  I use this recipe when I know I am not going to be home during the day, so fill the slow cooker, turn it on low and I have soup when I get home.  You could cook on the stove top in a large soup pot.  It will take about 30 minutes, or simmer until the vegetables are knife tender.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Crunchy Chickpea Tacos

This is a delicious taco recipe, and one we will be turning to for lunch frequently.  So simple to throw together and I made only a few changes to the original recipe.  I am linking the original recipe, it is from the Blissful Basil blog and originally from the Plantpure Nation Cookbook.

Here is the recipe with my changes:

  • 6 small corn or flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cook garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 small diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup Vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced

Mix all ingredients, except tortillas and avocado, in a bowl.  Heat tortillas just a bit, to soften them slightly, make them more pliable.  Enjoy!  I serve the avocado separate so each person can decide how much, if any, they want.  In the photo is my son's taco, he prefers the whole wheat tortilla and no avocado.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cauliflower Soup

This was another delicious soup, we all love soup here, especially on cold nights.  I am assuming everyone loved this soup as it is ALL GONE, no leftovers.

-1 head cauliflower, I used most of the head, including some of the stem, cut into chunks
-2 cups whole kernel corn
-1 large celery spear chopped
-2 large potatoes, cubed
-3 cups vegetable broth
-1 can coconut milk
-2 tbsp lime juice
-1 tsp turmeric
-1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
-S&P to taste

Add everything to a soup pot and cook about 30 minutes or until all vegetables are fork tender.  Use immersion blender to blend.  Or you could add a few cups at a time to an upright blender and blend.

*As a bonus I get to use my favorite bowl.  Isn't it beautiful and just makes this soup look like a bowl of sunshine.  This is one of Hamilton Williams, I love the size of his bowls!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Vegetable Curry

This recipe is delicious and you can add any vegetable (or meat if you want).  So I think this is a versatile dish, and a "clean out the veggie drawer", dish.  Great and we all enjoyed it.

-1 diced onion
-2 minced cloves of garlic
-2-3 inches of ginger minced
-1 TBSP curry powder
-1 1/2 tsp garam masala
-2 TBSP lime juice
-2 TBSP nutritional yeast
-1 can coconut milk
-3 cups vegetable broth
-5-6 potatoes cubed
-2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
-2 large handfuls of spinach
-S&P to taste

Add everything, except spinach, to a large soup pot and cook, about 20-25 minutes until potatoes are knife tender.  Add spinach and cook another minute or two until spinach wilts.  DELICIOUS.  I added everything, except spinach to a slow cooker and let it cook for about 8 hours on low and added spinach at the last minute.  It still only takes a minute or two for the spinach to wilt.  I use this dish on days when I am out of the house for most of the day, great slow cooker dish.  I fill the slow cooker in the morning and everything is ready when I get home.

In the picture you can see rice, I did cook up some rice to go with it.  You could, or not, delicious either way.  And I think the taste is even better the next day, so I love having left overs of this curry dish.

*as a note, I am not sure why this picture looks so pale.  My husband took the photo.  The curry is much more yellow and has more liquid, which I like.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chocolate,Chocolate Chip Cookies-Vegan

Here is the recipe for the cookies I made yesterday.  Friends enjoyed them, although my boys said they were just a little dry.  I liked them! Hard to find a gluten free vegan cookie that everyone likes.

You can find the original recipe here...One Bowl Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies.....I am copying it below in case that site disappears (have had that happen before), with my changes.  But please visit the site, there are so many recipes on there that I want to try.

Wet ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water (let this sit for a few minutes)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 1-2 TBSP non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter...I needed 1 1/2 TBSP)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
I will say I did not want to take the time to cut up a chocolate bar, like in the original recipe, so I just tossed in a handful of chocolate chips.  Next time I would use more.  Which is why I put 3/4 cup in my altered recipe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Black Bean One Pan Enchilada Dish

I have no idea what to call this (Phil said it tasted like an enchilada without the tortilla) but it was delicious and everyone here enjoyed it so I need to write the recipe down.

1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup frozen corn
2 diced zucchini
2 large handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2-2 Tbsp taco seasoning

Cornbread and brown rice as desired.

Add everything except the zucchini and spinach to a saute pan and simmer, covered, until onion and bell pepper are cooked, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini and spinach and cook another 5 min or so until the zucchini is cooked.  Easy peasy.

I served this with brown rice and corn bread.  Really if you wanted to you could add the veggies to a casserole dish and top with the corn bread batter, then cook in the oven 400 degrees, for about 20 to 30 minutes until corn bread is slightly browned.  But since I can't eat the corn bread I made that separately. You can see I had mine with rice, the rest of the family topped theirs with corn bread.

And here is my mom's cornbread recipe, you can see it in the bowl to the right in the picture above.  The only change I make is I use 1/2 the sugar called for (I use 1/4 cup).  This is my boys' favorite cornbread.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Leek and Potato Soup

This is a quick and easy recipe but OH SO DELICIOUS!  I could eat this daily.

-5 medium sized potatoes cubed
-3 large leeks (or 4 smaller ones) chopped up, use the white and light green part
-1 medium onion chopped
-3 cups to 1 quart of vegetable broth, I used enough to almost cover the vegetables but you don't want too much broth
-1 can coconut milk
-1 heaping TBSP dill (in summer I would probably use fresh and use about 2-3 tbsp but in winter dried is just as nice)
-S&P to taste

YUP, that is it.  I just cooked the veggies in the broth for about 45 minutes.  Bring to a boil then turn the heat back and let the veggies simmer, (checking a couple of times to make sure there is enough broth).  Once that is done I added the dill, coconut milk, S&P and used my immersion blender to blend it all up. You could add the soup to an upright blender and blend in batches.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Banana Pancakes-Gluten Free and Vegan

There are a lot of gluten free pancake recipes out there, but this is the one I like best.  I made just a couple of changes from the original recipe, but you can find the original one HERE, you do have to scroll down, down, down, there are like 10 pictures of the same banana pancakes before you get to the actual recipe. Here is my adaptation.

  • 2 cups gluten free baking mix
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bananas

Some day I should learn more about taking photos, when I have a free minute.  Or maybe just read a bit and practice more.  Hmmmm.  But they were delicious.  Phillip was not as much of a fan, they are denser than my regular whole grain pancakes. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Potato-Vegan Chorizo Sopes

This is SOOO delicious.  But again takes more time than I am willing to put into a recipe.  Jackson, however, enjoys making these more elaborate dinners on the weekend when he is off.  So this is one that he has made and we ALL enjoy.  I think we have had it three times in the last month and a half.  Here are the links:

This is the original recipe HERE 

And here is the site where you can find the Vegan Chorizo 
I omit the avocado crema because of my dietary issues, but this is an easy one to make completely vegan by using a non dairy replacement for the crema.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Facial Wash

Every time I go to make this facial wash, I can't remember where I saved the link, so I save it again....somewhere....and move on.  I dislike searching for it every time, so I am linking it on my blog.  My son really likes this facial wash and I like that it contains ingredients I know and can pronounce.  Here is the link, but I am copying it below just in case the link disappears in the future.

1/2 cup (125ml) Lime Hydrosol OR Lavender Hydrosol (my son prefers the lime)
2 tablespoons (30ml) Vegetable Glycerin
2 tablespoons (30ml) Aloe Vera gel
3 drops Petitgrain essential oil
3 drops Lemongrass essential oil
3 drops Tea Tree essential oil
1 drop Chamomile OR Ylang Ylang essential oil (I use Chamomile)
5 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (natural preservative)
- See more at:

Please visit the site and let them know how much you enjoy this.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016


I grew up eating Needhams.  I was talking about them this year just before Christmas, and my boys thought it sounded "gross" to have potato in a candy.  So I decided to make some.  Every recipe I found online was the same.  The Portland Press Herald has the recipe so I am linking it here.  But here is the recipe with my dietary tweaks.

3/4 cup hot mashed potatoes
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (2-pound) bag confectioners sugar
2 cups firmly packed shredded coconut
12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (dairy free for me)

And here is my picture of the end product. I blended all ingredients except the chocolate, in my mixer, I did not heat it in a double boiler as the recipe suggests.  I also don't think I used quite as much confectioners sugar, I just kept adding until it was a nice and thick.  I just pressed the coconut mixture in a 9X13 pan and the poured the melted chocolate on top. (OK so maybe I changed the recipe just a bit) Refrigerate and then cut.  That seemed easier than dipping each one.  Delicious and just like I remember.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Squash Mac and Cheese

This is a recipe I have made several times over the last few weeks.  My boys prefer this to any regular mac and cheese.  I have made a couple small changes but otherwise cook as is.  I will post my changes but here is the original recipe so check it out.

    1 acorn squash 
    1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth 
    1 cups skim milk
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound whole wheat spirals 
    1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
    2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
    1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

    I precook the squash earlier in the day.  I just pierce the skin with a knife in a few places and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes or so, or in the microwave for about 6 minutes.  To tell if it is done I just feel the skin, if it is soft the inside is done.  I let it cool then it is easy to just cut in half, discard the seeds and scoop out the flesh.  So when I am ready to make this I just combine the squash, veg broth, milk, seasonings and cheese in a bowl.  Wait for my pasta to cook, then drain and add the pasta to the mix.  Put it into a casserole dish and sprinkle with a little more parm cheese and bread crumbs and it is ready to go into the oven.  375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  EASY!