Feb 29, 2008


This is a cool recipe I just found. I really want to try it. I have been wanting to make hummus but I never have any Tahini. This is the first recipe I found that doesn't have Tahini as required.

Karen’s Hummus

For each can of chick peas:

1 - 6 cloves garlic

1/4 cup lemon or orange juice (frozen orange juice concentrate works really well)

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cayenne

freshly ground black pepper.

A little Tahini can be added too, if you like.

Feb 28, 2008

17 Weeks and Doctors appointment

I had a doctor's appointment today. It went really well (well at least part of it did). The baby's heartbeat was wonderful and strong and easy to find. I am measuring fine and my weight is fine as well. Unfortunately my iron is low and I appear to have two separate infections which will require two new medications plus iron pills. I had to get another test to confirm one of my infections so I still have some hope for that infection. I am actually relieved to find out that my iron is low, I am going to be getting a supplement and hopefully I won't be so darned exhausted all the time now.

You are 17 weeks pregnant.

Your baby's weight has doubled in two weeks and now weighs about 3.5 ounces! The crown-to-rump length of your growing baby is 4.4 to 4.8 inches. If you spread your hand out opened wide, you can see about how big your baby is.Your uterus is moving up and is now approximately 1.5 to 2 inches below your navel. You are showing more now and there is a noticeable swelling in your abdomen. At this point in your pregnancy, a 5 to 10 pound weight gain is normal. Other people can probably feel the difference in your lower abdomen if they were to rub your tummy. To be the most comfortable, you should be wearing maternity clothes or clothing that is too large for you. You may have felt your baby move already. However, you might not feel it move every day at this point. As your pregnancy progresses, movements become stronger and more frequent. Feeling your baby move can help reassure you that your baby is doing well. You might also notice that your gums or nose bleed occasionally. This is from the increased blood volume that puts pressure on small blood vessels and capillaries.

Huge changes continue to take place within your developing baby. This week fat begins to form and will continue to do so until he is born. Fat is important to the body's heat production and metabolism. Right now, at 17 weeks, water makes up about 3 ounces and fat 0.018 ounces of your baby's body. In a baby at term, fat makes up about 5.25 pounds of the total average weight of 7.7 pounds. The placenta is continuing to grow at an amazing rate. The placenta will continue to develop in tandem with the fetus and it will weigh more than a pound at birth! By this week, the placenta is large and well established with a network of blood vessels that exchange nutrients and waste.

The eyes are facing more forward. The ears are now close to their final position.

Your baby is more flexible with ability to move head, mouth, lips, arms, wrists, hands, legs, feet, and toes.

Fingerprints are forming now.

Feb 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday–Silly Poses

Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants.

Jolly Green Princess

Princess just keeps getting taller and taller. I went up to get her some pants for gym today and she had outgrown all four pairs in length. I can't get her to gain an inch around her belly to save her life, but taller, she can do. I swear she is going to be supermodel when she grows up.


I have been really enjoying soups lately, and bonus, I haven't burned any yet. Here are two that I am going to try. I made the first one for my lunch (I added a little veg bullion and 1/4 cup of leftover veg chili before I took it off, but I don't think it is necessary.) The other I will probably make tomorrow. I have to say, I love the tomato one, I can see it as a base for all kinds of ideas. It would be fabulous with a few macaroni noodles thrown in.

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

17 min | 3 min prep | SERVES 4

1 medium diced onion
1 teaspoon corn oil
1 (27 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion and allow to sweat for 5-6 minutes.
Add can of tomatoes, water, brown sugar, salt and and pepper.
Check for personal taste on salt and pepper and add more if you wish.
Bring to boil and turn down.

** At this time I use my immersion blender to puree the soup a bit. If you don't have one, you can pop it in your regular blender, of if you like it chunky, do not do this step**.
Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Garnish with (vegan) sour cream, chives or croutons.


Creamy Potato Soup


2 tablespoons of oil
1 med. chopped onion
2 large or 3 med. potatoes
3 1/2 cups of water
3 1/2 teaspoons of veggie better than bouillon
2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/4 cup of water
12 oz of soy or rice milk
bacos (optional)
green onions (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, once heated add onions. Cook until they are tender. Add potatoes, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
Next stir in the water/flour mixture then the rice/soy milk and heat.

Feb 26, 2008

What’s that smell?

I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I should NOT be trusted near a stove these days. Last time I was pregnant I got forgetful as all get out, now I can stand in my kitchen and watch my food and still burn the heck out of it. Before I was pg, I NEVER EVER burned anything, but now . . . I have burned too pots in three days!! I can be trusted to cook for my family it is never until I get to my own supper that I burn the heck out of it. I am so frustrated with myself. I have no idea what the heck is wrong with me. I have only been cooking my entire life, I know you can't cook with a burned pot, I know you have to watch your food, I know you don't cook on high. So what the heck is wrong with my pregnant brain that I seem unable to cook a pot of oatmeal for my breakfast without completely burning the heck out of the pan!!!! Someone take away my cooking lisence, I should be banned from the kitchen! Now excuse me I have to go close open the windows a little further to let the smoke out.

Feb 25, 2008

Menu Plan


My Family's menu plan:

  1. Monday: Beef Stew
  2. Tuesday: Roast Chicken and Rice
  3. Wednesday: Pennsylvania Dutch Ham & Noodle Casserole
  4. Thursday: Chicken and Fries
  5. Friday: BBQ Ribs and Rice
  6. Saturday: Pineapple Pork Chops
  7. Sunday: Spaghetti and meat sauce

My Vegetarian Menu Plan

  1. Monday: Cashew Garlic Alfredo Sauce
  2. Tuesday: Susan's Dirty Little Secret Soup
  3. Wednesday: Curried Corn Chowder
  4. Thursday: Rotini (or Penne) All'Arrabbiata
  5. Friday: Purple Potato Soup
  6. Saturday: Homestyle Pot Pie
  7. Sunday: Easy Spinach Lasagna

see below for the vegetarian recipes Cashew Garlic Alfredo Sauce 1/2 cup raw cashews (not roasted) 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I don't measure, just a good squeeze) 1 1/2 cups boiling water 1 clove garlic (or more to taste) 1 Tbsp. extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tb. nutritional yeast (optional) Pulverize raw cashews in the food processor until very fine. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water. (*The BEST way to do this, is to make the sauce while the pasta cooks - scoop out 1 1/2 cups of lightly salted pasta-cooking water and use it - the starch from the pasta-cooking water thickens the sauce PERFECTLY!) Add water to cashews and process until smooth... this will take several minutes. Add nutritional yeast (optional - my kids prefer it without), garlic clove, olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. Process again until smooth, another couple minutes, it'll start to thicken a bit too! Makes a decadently creamy sauce. Serve over cooked pasta. This stuff is wonderfully simple and tastes SO very good. I often add sauteed mushrooms, chives, chopped olives or sundried tomatoes, depending on my mood. Susan's Dirty Little Secret Soup Some people eschew frozen vegetables, but they are often more nutritious than fresh ones that have been shipped from far away. They're usually flash-frozen at the farm, resulting in more nutrients being preserved; vegetables that are allowed to age before cooking lose some of their nutritional value. 5-6 cups vegetable broth (I use Imagine No-Chicken) 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes 2 16-ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (I usually use 1 Great Northern and 1 Kidney Bean) 2 1-pound bags of frozen vegetables (my favorites are California Blend [cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots] and Italian Blend [zucchini, Italian green beans, broccoli, red pepper]) 4 cloves minced garlic 1 teaspoon basil 1/2 teaspoons oregano 1/2 teaspoon thyme a shake or two of hot pepper sauce (Tabasco) black pepper and salt to taste OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup small pasta OR 2 cups diced potatoes OR 1 cup frozen corn or other starchy vegetable OR 1/2 cup of quick-cooking grain (pearled barley, millet, or quinoa) or cooked rice Put 5 cups of vegetable broth and all remaining ingredients into a large pot and cook until vegetables are done, about 20-30 minutes. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. This can also be made with 2 pounds of whatever fresh vegetables you have in the house, as in the photo above which includes zucchini, cauliflower, and kale. This makes at least 8 servings, and though the nutritional breakdown will vary depending on the ingredients you use, if you stick to vegetables-only (no pasta or packaged meat substitutes) I think it constitutes a Core recipe for Weight Watchers and if not a "free food," a very low-calorie one on most healthy eating plans. Curried Corn Chowder (from the cookbook “The Great Vegetarian Cookbook: The Chefs’ Secret Recipes” by Kathleen DeVanna Fish) 2 onions, finely diced peanut oil for sauteing 2 tbsp red curry paste 1 cup water 3 tbsp garlic, chopped 3 scallions, chopped 3 tbsp ginger, ground salt & pepper to taste 2 cups corn kernels, frozen or fresh 2 cups potatoes, finely diced 3 cups vegetable stock 2 cups heavy cream In a large pan, saute the onions in peanut oil until translucent. Dilute the curry paste in water and add to the onions. Add the garlic, scallions, ginger, salt and pepper. Saute until the mixture is well-cooked and aromatic. Add the corn and potatoes and stir. Add the stock and the cream. Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour. Pour into a food processor or blender and puree. Season to taste. Rotini (or Penne) All'Arrabbiata 2 tsp. olive oil 3 tsp. garlic, finely minced (use fresh, not the jarred; trust me) 1 - 1 1/2 tsp dried red pepper (use less if you don't like spicy) 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes salt 8 oz pasta (penne or ziti preferred) 2 Tbs parsley, chopped Sauté the garlic and red pepper in the olive oil for about 3 minutes; do not brown the garlic! Use a blender to puree the tomatoes. (I use a hand blender right in the can and leave them slightly on the chunky side.) Stir the tomatoes into the garlic mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain. Toss with the sauce and cook for a couple minutes more. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a good crusty bread. Serves 4. Purple Potato Soup Ingredients: 6-8 small - med purple potatoes 3 carrots 2 stalks celery 1/4 cup chopped white onion 1 clove garlic 1 tsp. dried parsley 1 cup plain soymilk 1/8 c. flour salt & pepper to taste Directions: Dice potatoes (leaving well-washed skin on) and carrots. Place in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to med/low. In a small skillet, add heat oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until onions turn clear and add to soup. Dice celery , add to soup. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and soymilk, and add to soup. Stir everything together. When potatoes are soft, soup is done! Serve with toasted bread, and warm your tummy after a wet and cold day! Homestyle Pot Pie Seriously, Talk about comfort food. this was comfort to it's highest. So simple and savory, it's sure to please your family's taste. Filling Ingredients: 2-3 large potatoes, diced 3-4 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 onion, diced 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup frozen peas (or corn, or both) 1 cube veg. bullion 2 tsp parsley Biscuits Recipe Ingredients: 2 c. flour 3 tsp non-aluminum baking powder 1 tsp salt 1/4 c. non-hydrogenated margarine 1 cup sour soymilk (soymilk + 1 tsp. vinegar) Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook veggies in broth water until soft. Meanwhile, make the biscuits recipe for the crust. Roll or press dough into casserole dish (the above recipe makes enough for one 8x8 dish, double for larger casserole dish- you will have plenty veggies), make sure to get the sides. Spoon cooked veggies with a little broth into the casserole dish, over the dough. Cover the veggies with the remaining dough, poke a few holes with a fork and bake for about 40-45 mins, depending on your stove. Remove from oven when biscuit mixture is cooked completely. Add salt and pepper to taste. Easy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 tsp. chopped garlic 2 tbsp. water 2 26-oz jars of spaghetti sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce) 9 lasagna noodles (regular lasagna noodles, uncooked) Soy Parmesan (optional) Sliced black olives (optional) Filling: 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1 lb tofu (firm, reduced-fat recommended--not silken!) 1 tsp. salt (optional) 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (adds a cheesy taste) 1 1/2 tsp. oregano 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. basil 1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper Sauté the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat in the 2 tbsp. water until tender; cover between stirring to keep them from drying out. Remove from heat and add the spaghetti sauce. Place the tofu and thawed spinach in the food processor and process briefly. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth. (You may do this without a food processor by using a potato masher on the tofu.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x12-inch pan. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce, using three dry noodles and leaving a little space in between them. Spread half of the tofu mixture on the noodles (I drop it by spoonfuls and then spread it). Cover with another layer of 3 noodles and then spread the remaining tofu mixture over them. Top with a final layer of noodles, and pour the remaining sauce over this. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with soy Parmesan and sliced black olives if you want. The lasagna will cut better if you allow it to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Feb 24, 2008

Getting Organized!

I have decided that I have gotten really behind on my household cleaning and on keeping my house organized since being pregnant. I have also been lax in teaching Princess the importance of tidying up after ourselves and of keeping our own spaces clean. So I have created a schedule for me and one for her. She is very excited. I am putting them both up on the fridgeand she will get stickers for getting things done. Hers has pictures because she can't read all the words yet.

My Schedule

Princess's schedule

Feb 23, 2008

Homemade cleaner recipes

Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

In the kitchen, use vinegar-and-water spray to clean countertops, lightly soiled range surfaces and backsplash areas.

In the bathroom, use vinegar spray cleaner to clean countertops, floors, and exterior surfaces of the toilet.

For really tough bathroom surfaces such as shower walls, pump up the cleaning power by removing the sprayer element and heating the solution in the microwave until barely hot. Spray shower walls with the warmed generously, allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse. The heat helps soften stubborn soap scum and loosens hard water deposits.

Undiluted White Vinegar

Use undiluted white vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush to remove stains and odor. Use a pumice stone to remove any remaining hard water rings.

Add one cup of undiluted white vinegar to the laundry rinse cycle instead of commercial fabric softener. White vinegar softens clothes and cuts detergent residue--a plus for family members with sensitive skin.

Baking Soda

Baking soda's mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for harsh commercial scouring powders. Put baking soda to work in your organized home:

Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanities, or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink. For tougher grime, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Dirt, soap scum and deposits soften and are easier to remove.

Slow-running drains? Keep bathroom drains running freely by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and dribbling just enough hot water to wash the solution down. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then flush thoroughly with hot water. The deodorizing effect is an added bonus! [Do not use this method on blocked drains.]

Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Furniture Polish Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice

Shake well and apply a small amount to a flannel cleaning rag or cleaning cloth. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.

Feb 22, 2008

Saturday Photohunt–Wooden

Theme: Wooden Become a Photo Hunter

The theme this week is Wooden. When I saw this, I thought of Princess's trip to the farm in the fall. There was lots of wooden things there to see. Prince Charming's favorite was the last pic!

Feb 21, 2008

Awesome soup!

Vegetarian Cream of Broccoli Soup

I made this soup yesterday for lunch. It was fabulous and easily a soup that I will make again. I just loved it.

Serves: 4
Cooking time (approx.): 9 minutes
Style: Continental Vegetarian

2 tablespoon(s) butter (or vegan margarine)
1 medium onion(s) chopped
2 cup(s) broccoli florets (or frozen broccoli)
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoon(s) plain flour
2 cup(s) milk (or soy milk)
salt and white pepper powder to taste

Heat half the butter in a pan and saute the onions lightly till they are transparent. Add the broccoli and stir-fry till glossy. Add the stock and cook for about 4 minutes or till the broccoli is tender. Cool and make a puree.

In another pan, heat the remaining butter on low heat till just melted. Add the plain flour and stir well for about only a minute so that it does not become brownish. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix in the salt and white pepper powder. Pour in the puree and heat through.

Garnish with a sprinkle of your favorite herb and spice powder.
Serve hot with: Garlic Bread

Feb 20, 2008

16 Weeks!

I am 16 Weeks pregnant now and I am feeling pretty good. My headaches are less often now and as long as I stick with my vegetarian regime, I don't have very much nausea at all. I am tired but I don't mind. I looked outside yesterday and the snow was melting, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. It just made me smile. I LOVE spring. I love warm spring days. I always have. This year I have even more reason to love spring. Spring comes before Summer and my baby comes in the summer. I am almost halfway through my pregnancy and I am so happy.

Tonight I am eating Bean Chili and I am so looking forward to it. I love love love chili and a nice veggie chili is really going to make me happy.

Bean Chili

2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5tsp paprika
1tsp dried or fresh thyme
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tin tomatoes
2tsp tomato ketchup or puree
A good splash of Tabasco sauce
Sprinkle (0.5tsp) chilli flakes
200g cooked kidney beans (or 1 tin)
200g cooked chick peas (or 1 tin)
1tsp cornflour dissolved in cold water (optional)

Saute the onion, garlic, paprika and thyme very gently; add the peppers and allow to soften without browning. Add the remaining ingredients, and let the whole lot simmer for a good, long time. Taste for seasoning. It may need a pinch of sugar, a squeeze of lime juice, or extra Tabasco.

Dish up the chilli into bowls, sprinkle more coriander over the top, and serve with nachos, wild rice, guacamole, and creme fraiche. Or just bread. Who cares when the chilli's this good?!

You are 16 weeks pregnant.

Saying hello at 16 weeksAt this point of your pregnancy, your baby is approximately 4.3 to 4.6 inches long and weighs 2.8 ounces. Not only is your baby growing, your uterus and placenta continue to grow to accomodate the growing baby inside of you! Just six weeks ago, your uterus weighed about 5 ounces. This week it now weighs 8.75 ounces! The amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby is increasing and there is about 7.5 ounces of fluid. You will easily be able to feel your uterus approximately three inches below your navel.

This is an important week for testing and you will most likely ahve an AFP test done. This is a harmless blood test that is done to detect abnormalities such as Down's syndrome or spina bifida. This is a non-invasive test and it carries no risk to your developing baby. Most doctors will offer the test, but in most cases it is completely optional.

Your milk glands start production at this time and this causes some tenderness and swelling in early pregnancy. Your veins will become more visible because there is an increaed amount of blood flowing to the breasts.

Five and a half inches tall and only six ounces in weight. The child can grasp with his hands, , or even somersault.At this time, your baby is holding her head erect. Because her muscles are developing, she can make some faces now. Your baby is able to squint, frown and open its mouth. There is enough calcium in the bones that they will show up on an x-ray. Your baby's fingernails are well formed now and the legs are longer than the arms. Because your baby is moving well now, you may begin to feel his movements! Some women say that the early movements feel like gas bubbles or a slight flutter. If you have not yet felt the baby move, don't worry. Fetal movements are usually felt between the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy.

You may feel your heart beating 'louder'. This is because there is a lot more blood in your body than normal. (about 20-25% more)

Feb 18, 2008

Belly Pic

Here is my latest Belly pic. You will have to forgive me, it is just taken with a timer, but here it is. Taken a few minutes ago.

Here is my belly pic at 15 weeks 5 days.

15 weeks 5 days

Menu Plan


My Family's menu plan:

  1. Saturday: Beef Stew

  2. Sunday: Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Corn, Gravy

My Vegetarian Menu Plan

  1. Monday: Creamy Carrot Soup (see below for recipe a friend gave me)

  2. Tuesday: Split Pea Soup (see below for recipe I have had a few years)

  3. Thursday: Bean Chili

  4. Sunday: Mashed Potatoes, Veggie gravy, veggie burgers


Creamy Carrot Soup


3 cups water
4 cups carrots, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 potato
1 parsnip
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 vegetable bouillion cube
1 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk


In large saucepan, bring water to boil. Add all remaining ingredients except milks. Reduce heat and simmer 40-45 minutes, or until onion and carrots are tender. Remove from heat and blend mixture in food processor; return to saucepan. Reduce to low heat and stir in the coconut milk and soy milk, heating until warm. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with chopped green onion or chives.

Split Pea Soup


2 cups split peas
6-8 cups vegetable stock
1 large onion (2 cups)
1 carrot
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3-5 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp minced rosemary
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper


Place the peas and 6 cups stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and partially cover.

Meanwhile, chop the onions and carrot and sauté in butter/olive oil for about 10 minutes, until onions are somewhat translucent. Add the garlic and rosemary and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture into the peas along with the salt and pepper. Simmer for another 40 minutes or so, until the peas are mushy and falling apart. If at any point the soup seems too dry, add more water or stock.

If you like a thick, hearty soup, you can purée some or all of it.

Easy Peanut Noodles

1/2 cup vegetable or veggie-chicken-style broth
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger root (substituting dry ground ginger will NOT work well here)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy, chunky, plain, natural style, whatever)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup or agave necter (or corn syrup works in a pinch)
1 - 2 teaspoons hot chile paste (like Schiracha - from an asian market or well-stocked supermarket) or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cloves garlic, pressed thru garlic press
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice or red wine vinegar

8 ounces noodles of your choice: Udon noodles, Buckwheat Soba noodles, thin vermicelli noodles or rice sticks (like for Pad Thai), plain ol' unseasoned Ramen noodles or whole wheat spaghetti!!

-- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
-- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
-- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

First cook the noodles according to package directions for whatever type of noodles you have.
Drain and set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Meanwhile, (or while noodles are cooking if you can do two things at once) combine broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, syrup, chili paste, lime juice and garlic in a small saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add noodles, and toss to coat.

Garnish with toppings: green onions, cilantro and peanuts. It's these garnishes that REALLY make this dish special!

Build Your Own 'Frito-Pie-Taco-Salad'

There's no recipe, just pile your favorite ingredients on your plate and enjoy.

  • 1 head lettuce, shredded or chopped small mixed with:

  • 1 cup shredded green or purple cabbage (I use green so it blends in - but purple is prettier)

  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped and mixed with:

  • 1 bunch green onions/scallions, chopped

  • 1 chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 minced jalapeno peppers (pickled or fresh, your choice)

  • 1 can sliced olives

  • 2 chopped tomatoes

  • salsa

  • Vegan 'sour cream' (homemade or Tofutti)

  • shredded vegan cheese if you want

  • 2 cups chili (homemade or canned) mixed with 1 cup pinto or black beans

  • 2 cups crumbled 'burger', whatever kind you like, mixed with Taco Seasoning and a little salsa

  • 1 bag Fritos or your favorite chips

Set all ingredients out in serving bowls.

Pick and choose and make your own Taco Salad.
We like to start with chips first.
My kids like the burger and chili on the chips, I prefer the chili on top the salad greens and salsa as 'dressing'....

Cashew Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Cashew Garlic Alfredo Sauce:

1/2 cup raw cashews (not roasted)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I don't measure, just a good squeeze)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tb. nutritional yeast (optional)

Pulverize raw cashews in the food processor until very fine. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water. (*The BEST way to do this, is to make the sauce while the pasta cooks - scoop out 1 1/2 cups of lightly salted pasta-cooking water and use it - the starch from the pasta-cooking water thickens the sauce PERFECTLY!) Add water to cashews and process until smooth... this will take several minutes.
Add nutritional yeast (optional) , garlic clove, olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. Process again until smooth, another couple minutes, it'll start to thicken a bit too! Makes a decadently creamy sauce. Serve over cooked pasta.

This stuff is wonderfully simple and tastes SO very good. I often add sauteed mushrooms, chives, chopped olives or sundried tomatoes, depending on my mood.

Veggie Gravy

28 oz. Vegetarian "beef" or vegetable broth (I use "Imagine" Foods in the aseptic box, but you can mix your own from bullion and water or do whatever you want).
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
2 T. all-purpose flour

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil;cook 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Strain brothmixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.(I know, sounds wasteful - if you want, you can make chunky vegetable gravy and leave them in, in that case, use ike 2 cups of chopped mushrooms).

Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add flour, and cook 2 minutes or until browned,stirring constantly. Transfer flour to a large bowl, and cool completely.

Add 1/4 cup broth mixture to flour; stir well with a whisk. Add remaining broth mixture, stirring well with a whisk.
Pour mixture into skillet; place over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, veggie burgers, or "meat" loaf.

To make this into Stroganoff:

Make above gravy. Add 2 cups sauteed mushrooms. Stir in 1/2 container Tofutti Sour Cream and heat gently. Serve over rice or noodles. YUM!

Feb 17, 2008


There are quite a number of recipes I am just dying to try once I get some more groceries and of course I have been torturing myself by purusing recipes I don't have the stuff to make. LOL Soon.

Here are the recipes I want to try:

Vegetable Tempura
Artichoke Quiche
Thai Curry Vegetables
Spicy Tofu with Broccoli and Cashews
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable Chow Mein

Banana Smoothie!

I made Princess and I Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothies for Breakfast this morning. It was super yummy! Here is the recipe I came up with:


Banana - 1

Peanut butter - 2 tsp (I used a sugar free one)

Sugar - 2 tbsp

Cold milk - 1 cup (or Soy Milk)


Blend all together till smoothie is foamy. Serve it immediately.

Feb 16, 2008

Saturday Photohunt–Free

Theme: Free Become a Photo Hunter

The theme this week is Free. When I saw this theme, I immediately thought of my Princess. She is such a FREE spirit. She makes me laugh every day. The other night, when she was supposed to be sleeping, she was tearing her dresser apart, but i couldn't get mad because she made me laugh as she kept coming out in all these weird combinations of clothing, thinking she was beautiful and feeling like a superstar. I held my laughter and told her she was indeed a superstar and then took pics. She, of course, feeling like a supermodel had to pose for the pics and it was funny to see all the poses she chose. The angles of the pics were funny and it was a bit dark but the pics of my little FREE spirit are just to precious not to share.



Feb 14, 2008

Looking forward

One of the things I am really anticipating is taking pics of my two children. I can't wait to take pics of my new baby and of Princess interacting with the new baby. I am so anxious to see my little one. I am less afraid now. I am feeling better and more secure. I am feeling very pregnant but since I stopped eating meat, my morning sickness has almost disappeared. It makes the occasional appearance in the morning before I eat anything but other than that, I am doing amazingly well. Now if I could only convince these headaches to join my morning sickness in leaving me alone, I would be a happy pregnant girl. LOL

Feb 13, 2008

Funny Princess and 15 Weeks

Princess had a few misconceptions on where babies come from after our conversation. I had carefully explained in 5 year old terms that mommy has an egg in her belly and daddy has a seed. Daddy's seed joins with Mommy's egg and a baby is created. However Princess kept discussing how the egg hatched in my belly and that now that the egg had hatched the baby could hear her talk to my belly better. While this was amusing, I thought I should clarify that no egg hatched in my belly. So I explained again that the seed and the egg joined together and became a baby, nothing hatched. After my explaination, Princess looked at me quizzically with a look that said she was trying to decide if this could possibly be true, if I was crazy or if I was trying to fool her. After a full five minutes she looked at me tilted her head to one side, put her hands on her hips and firmly announced, "Eggs HATCH mommy!" (There wasn't much she knew but she figured she knew how eggs work) LOL LOL

Here is my plan for my supper tonight. I think it sounds yummy!

Winter Solstice Soup

Submitted by: Sara Mayes
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 25 members
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Yields: 4 servings

"Cooked potatoes, onions and carrots are pureed with milk in this soul warming soup seasoned with thyme, bay leaf and parsley."


2 tablespoons margarine

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste


1.In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter or margarine and saute the onions for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the carrots, potatoes, water, salt, parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
2.Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.
3.Puree the soup in a blender or food processor in small batches and return to the pot. Stir in the milk, mixing well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

I am 15 weeks pregnant today. I feel pretty good. My headaches are still a daily battle, but with my change in my diet, the morning sickness is much better.

You are 15 weeks pregnant.

Your baby's crown-to-rump length is approximately 4 inches and she now weighs approximately 1.75 ounces. Your baby is close to the size of a softball and you can easily tell that you are pregnant now! If you wear maternity clothes or a swimming suit, other people will be able to tell that you are pregnant also. You can probably feel your uterus about three to four inches below your bellybutton.

Your baby, 25 weeks to go.....

If you do not yet have a due date, your doctor can easily determine an accurate due date based on the measurement of your baby's head. This is done by an ultrasound examination. Your doctor will be discussing upcoming tests and procedures with you around this time that are able to diagnose or confirm birth defects and other abnormalities.

Your baby is growing at an amazing rate and looking more like a human every day. Because your baby's skin is so thin, you are able to see blood vessels through the skin. Lanugo hair covers your baby's body, but it will be gone when your baby is born. The hair on the eyebrows and head continues to grow. Some babies are born with little or no hair and others have a head full of hair! If you have an ultrasound at this point, you might be able to see your baby sucking its thumb. Even though the eyes continue to move to the front of the face, they are still widely separated. Your baby's ears look like normal ears and continue to develop externally. The bones that have already formed continue to get harder and retain calcium. The baby is very mobile and flexible at this point. She can bend her arms at the elbows and wrists and she can also make a fist with her hands.axtirx

Feb 11, 2008


I have an idea on how to track my nutrition to make sure I am getting enough of what I need. There is a website: Babyfit that allows pregnant women to track the food they are eating. You enter all your stats, your weight, etc and then the tracker tells you the reccommended Calcium, Protein, Folate, Iron, Calories, and Fiber that you need for you and your baby and how what you have eaten compares. This will give me a tool to make sure I am getting the foods my baby needs. I am going to do this every day. That way I can go ahead and eat vegetarian and I am not relying on my silly morning sick body to tell me what I need. (because I am pretty sure pickles and hot peppers are not the sole requirements of a pregnant girl LOL)

On the upside, I did find a really yummy veggie pea soup that I ate last night for supper that was fabulous! I had it with a couple of slices of whole grain bread and it hit the spot perfectly. (I left out the celery, veggie meat, and the peppercorns but it was still wonderful)

SPLIT PEA SOUP (From http://veggiesyarnsandtails.wordpress.com/ )

Wonderful on a cold, rainy day with freshly-baked bread or buns. Full of flavor and stick to your ribs satisfying !!! Serves 6-8 generously. Freezes well.

3 T. vegetable oil

2 large carrots, diced

1 large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional but adds a lot of flavor)

½ (155 gr.) pkg. vegetarian ham or pepperoni, diced,

6 C. vegetable soup stock

2 C. dried yellow or green split peas (washed and drained)

1 T. Dijon mustard

1- 1 ½ teas Mrs. Dash Original Blend OR Spike Seasoning Blend

10 peppercorns – Note: Remove peppercorns before eating soup. If desired, tie them in a muslin bag, and remove them all at once from soup, before serving.

Garnish: 1 carrot, grated. Chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Saute the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and veggie pepperoni or ham for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer,covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep soup from sticking. Soup will be thick but add a bit more water if necessary, for desired consistency.

Garnish each serving with grated carrot and chopped parsley and serve.

Feb 10, 2008


I have discovered a connection between my morning sickness and my eating. It seems that every time I eat meat of any kind I get sick. This morning, I looked at the chicken on the counter and got sick. Now, I have been a vegetarian in the past, and I really enjoyed it. But I was worried about being vegetarian and pregnant, so I kept eating meat. But now, it seems as if this little Baby Bug of mine has his/her own ideas. I have been either avoiding the meat portion of our meals or getting sick afterwards.

But this leads to another concern. If I am simply just making the normal meals for our family and not eating the meat part, I am probably not getting the right nutrition. So, now I am off to do research to find out about vegetarianism and pregnancy. I would like to have a healthy pregnancy. I want to have a healthy baby.

So I need to find out a cost effective way to create food that I can eat and have a healthy diet for my baby.

Feb 9, 2008

It's Baaaack!

I am happy to report that I went for about 4 days without a headache. I am not so happy to report that it is back again today. Uuuggh!

On the upside, morning sickness is easing off. So that is a good thing.

I am not further along than I had thought and I love that too. I am now 14 weeks 4 days. woohoo.

You are 14 weeks pregnant.

Your baby's crown to rump length is 3.2 to 4.5 inches long and he weighs approximately 1 ounce now. Your baby is about the size of the average fist.

Now that you are into your second trimester, you may be starting the best part of your pregnancy. You will probably start to feel more energetic and you may get the `pregnancy glow`. Your uterus is beginning to swell week by week and you can follow its progress by locating the top of the uterus. The position of the top of the uterus will continue to gradually move up your abdomen, from beneath the pubic line to above your navel. Maternity clothes are probably necessary now.

Bones are formingAt this time, your baby's face is becoming more developed. The cheeks and bridge of his nose appear and the ears move from the sides of his neck to much higher on his head. The eyes continue to come closer together. A big development from this week onward is the development of lanugo. Lanugo are the fine hairs that grow over almost all of your baby. The hairs grow in whirled patterns that follow the grain of his skin. These patterns later give way to your baby's fingerprints. The lanugo will be shed before birth and replaced by thicker, coarser hairs. Your baby's thyroid gland has matured and starts to produce hormones. If your baby is a boy, the prostate will appear and the ovaries descend from the abdomen into the pelvis in baby girls.

The embryo`s soft cartilage is now being replaced with ` real` chalk bones.

Your baby has eyebrows, but no eyelashes. Fine, light hair also begins to grow.

Feb 8, 2008

Appointment update

I was really nervous as the appointment got closer.

I did hear the heartbeat and when I did, I cried. The baby is measuring fine. They changed my due date to Aug 6 because of my U/S and so I am now one week further along than I had thought. 14 weeks 2 days instead of 13 weeks 2 days.

The doctor does want me to get some tests done. She is concerned that according to the little test she does every appointment, I seem to have a UTI and she wants to check my blood sugar levels and my iron levels.

Feb 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Things about Twisted Cinderella

  1. I have a doctors appointment today. Wish me luck I am nervous. I just want everything to look good.

  2. I am going to ask about my headaches.

  3. Princess has a field trip next week, she is looking forward to it.

  4. I have a headache again today. Ugh.

  5. I am embarressed to tell the doctor how much I have gained. But I am being healthy so I am not going to worry about it.

  6. I haven't been doin' scrapping lately. I need to get back at it. Maybe when I get my U/S pics.

  7. I have been thinking about how I am going to lose weight after I have the baby, trying to plan which plan I am going to use and what will be healthiest.

  8. I am planning the nursery too. I am thinking a nice pale yellow would be pretty.

  9. I haven't bought any bedding or anything for it yet.

  10. I want to do quite a bit of furniture moving in the next few months.

  11. I want to rearrange my living room.

  12. I want to switch rooms with my dd so that we can be next to the babies room.

  13. I need to get the nursery ready.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Feb 5, 2008

13 Weeks!!

I am in my second trimester!

Woohoo!! I am so glad to be in my second trimester!!

I have gone a day and a half without a serious headache! I am thrilled. I am not even dreaming that the headaches are leaving for good, but I am certainly glad that I can now get some manageable headache time. I can handle morning sickness if I don't have to deal with these headaches.

You are 13 weeks pregnant.

13 weeks

This is the first week of your second trimester and your baby weighs 14 to 20 grams. The crown-to-rump length of your growing baby is 2.6 to 3.1 inches. Your baby is now about the size of a peach. Fetal growth is amazing from now through about the 24th week of pregnancy.

At this point of your pregnancy, there is a steady flow of pregnancy hormones in your bloodstream. Your body will adjust to the changes and morning sickness might stop and other early symptoms will begin to ease. Because you are in the second trimester, feelings of anxiety or nervousness may also diminish. You have probably gained some weight by now. You are losing your waist and your clothing is probably fitting snugly.

There is a milky membrane that surrounds your baby. It is pierced by the umbilical cord and is made up of two layers, which are fused together. Your placenta provides most of the nutrients and oxygen that your baby needs. By this week, the placenta is well formed and ready to take over hormone manufacture from your ovaries. The placenta will produce progesterone and estriol. These hormones will be crucial in the maintenance of your pregnancy. Tissue that will form your baby's bones is being laid down, especially around the head and limbs. The nose and chin are becoming more prominent. Your baby's eyelids meet and fuse together and they will not open again for nearly four months. The eyes started out on the side of your baby's head and they are now moving closer together on the face. The ears come to lie in their normal position on the sides of the head. If examined outside of the womb, you will be able to distinguish male from female at this time.

The sockets for all twenty teeth are formed in the gums, and vocal cords are beginning to form.

Wonderful Book–I am beautiful

Blog Book Tour

We Are More Than Beautiful

46 Real Teens Speak Out about Beauty, Happiness, Love and Life

by Woody Winfree


The new book, We Are More Than Beautiful for teen girls is the latest addition to the work of the I Am Beautiful Project, an initiative committed to producing creative and educational works that encourage personal growth and discovery for women and girls of all ages. Author, Woody Winfree says the project's mission is simple: to create a world in which every woman and girl can proudly proclaim, "I AM BEAUTIFUL!"

What is the I Am Beautiful Project all about? It is about changing the definition of beauty in our culture – one girl at a time, one woman at a time. Quite dramatically, the mass media has chipped away at our sense of beauty and well-being by presenting a singular, narrow and distorted image of female beauty: super-thin bodies, topped by large, perky breasts, with flawless youthful faces surrounded by shiny bouncy hair –and of course, sparkly white, perfectly straight teeth! This suggestion of beauty is not only wrong, it is a LIE. In truth, only three percent of the U.S. female population has the genetic makeup to look like this ideal. That means 97% of us are spending billions of dollars, untold hours of our lives and huge amounts of happiness in an attempt to pursue this distorted ideal.

In sum, the I Am Beautiful Project is about books and films, and workshops and seminars -- and anything else I might think to create along the way – that help guide women and girls to change their perspective about the definition of beauty. Beauty is NOT the size of our waists, or the cascade of our hair. Rather, beauty is the sum of our talents, accomplishments, intellect, contribution to our families and communities, and every other measure of living a life that deeply matters.

Where did the idea of this project come from? With the creation of my first book for women, I Am Beautiful – A Celebration of Women, the hope was to give our daughters – mine and yours and every other American girl --- a tangible work that they could hold onto. To expose them to images of women that are as real, interesting, diverse and beautiful as real women are. The success of this first book (that is now available in a gift edition), naturally led to creating a book just for girls: We Are More Than Beautiful. The seed for this work, however, was planted some years before book ideas ever came into my head. When my now 23-year-old daughter was five someone asked me if she could model for a photo-shoot for a leather goods product ad. I thought this would be a fun experience, so off we went. At the time we were living in rural Connecticut. My daughter was a frog-chasing, tree-climbing nature girl almost completely free from the mass media – billboards, magazines, TV, etc. But the second the photographer bent down to take a few test shots, my little nature-girl struck a provocative pose of hip out, lips pouting and a come-hither stance, while her dumb-struck mother looked on! Where could she possibly have learned to do this? Why did she think that this is the natural relationship that a woman has with the camera? I came to believe that her weekly journey through the gauntlet of fashion magazines on the grocery check-out aisle is where she learned this "un-truth."

Tell me about the new teen book. Who is in it? Where are they from? What stories do they tell – and how is this important to other girls who read the book? The girls in the book are ages 12 to 19, from all walks of American life, facing and exploring all types of issues with self-acceptance and self-esteem. Each girl responded to my query – "Tell me why you are beautiful." At once, every story is unique to the individual girl's experience, but universal to the experience of American girls everywhere. Each girl is presented with her picture in an artistically graphic and colorful layout over two pages. This presentation is, not only contemporary and exciting to girls raised in the most visually stimulating culture ever but, affords the reader to enter fully into each girls' "world" and experience her journey of claiming her beauty. Bottom line, experiencing other girls' stories is important because it supports, helps and guides the reader to learn how to ask and answer that question for herself. The book creates a classical "peer" environment for sharing information, even trading secrets in a safe, supportive way. It also teaches girls to learn that they have a "right" to their sense of beauty and how to formulate conversations with their own friends on the subject.

Can the book be used by mothers with their daughters? Absolutely! My hope is that mothers and daughters will read it together and use its stories as a springboard for ongoing conversations. Conversations about:

The true definition of beauty

How the culture distorts that definition – and why

Why a narrow, distorted definition is harmful

Who are the women and girls in our lives that we find most beautiful – and do they embody the cultural ideal of beauty – or a deeper, more meaningful definition?

How we can enjoy the fun and frivolity, even the consumerism, of American life without buying into notion that we must alter our natural features in order to feel beautiful, make friends, get good grades, get ahead and on and on. I encourage mothers and daughters to write their own essays together, to deeply contemplate what makes them beautiful, then write it down. Share it with one another. Put their written answer in a place where they see it every day – maybe next to their toothbrush, or on their nightstand. Read it again and again. Slowly, over time it is my promise that this simple act can have powerful results. Proof positive of this is seen in my own two daughters. Because I have been working on projects related to this subject for more than 10 years, my daughters have been raised on a nutritious and bountiful "diet" of ways to define their beauty. Like any belief or idea that one is exposed to, affirmative ideas of who they are have shaped how they see themselves. Further, 1,000 "teaching moments" over dinner conversation or watching TV or looking at magazines, have raised their awareness of how and why the media diminishes women. And, knowledge is power. Oh sure, they have "bad hair" days and times when they are knocked off their stride – just like we all do. But at their core, they have a deeper sense of self and an expansive measure of their worth to draw on. This is the gift I work to share – one girl at a time, one woman at a time.

Why do you believe that naming our beauty is so essential? When we give "voice" to anything, ascribe literal words to a thought or idea, a major shift begins to take place. It might be ever so subtle in the beginning, but in time the act evolves into a concrete declaration of fact. I also believe that we deserve to know and feel our beauty. I believe it is our right, our spiritual right. Can we reach our full potential in this one precious life we have been honored with if we are chasing an artificial ideal of our self-worth? This is the ultimate question that we must ask ourselves – and guide our young daughters looking up to us to do the same.

What else are you up to with the I Am Beautiful Project? I speak frequently to various audiences of women and girls on this subject. From colleges and universities around the country to high schools, at companies and more. These seminars and workshops are designed to dig deeper into the issues we have explored in this interview. These events are listed on my website: www.iambeautiful.com My website also recommends other books and web links on this subject, as well as tips on building better self-esteem. Please visit! Please write with any questions.

Feb 3, 2008

So far so good

So far today, I have only a little nausea and only a little headache. I know that given the last few weeks, it could go downhill fast, but I am going to keep my fingers crossed.

Question: Which is harder do you think; Parenting or Marriage. I was reading a debate on this and I find it interesting to read other opinions.

For me, the answer was simple parenting. It is just so important to do it right. If I get it wrong, I screw up the most important people in my life. With my marriage, it is so much of a give and take, we are partners thing. We struggle, but we work it out together. With parenting, it isn't a partnership really. It is my job to do it right and not to screw up my kids. Even if I screw up my marriage, it is still my parenting that I am most concerned about and how it will effect my children for the rest of their life.

I am so tired

I am so tired of having headaches and vomitting. It is truly all worth it for my baby, but in the last few weeks, I have been headache free for one full day. I vomit every single day. It is truly exhausting.

I know it can't be helped, I just had to complain for a moment. I will now go back to being thrilled that I am pg after five years of waiting no matter what the symptoms are.

Feb 2, 2008

Saturday Photohunt--Narrow

Theme: Narrow Become a Photo Hunter

The theme this week is Narrow. Right away I remember this pic of Princess. she had put all her stuff in the shelf under the coffee table and then had climbed in herself! A narrow squeeze to be sure. LOL

under the coffee table

Feb 1, 2008


Doing the cake for Princess's birthday the other day, made me realize that I want to do that more often. I used to decorate cakes for a living. I did it for eight years. I haven't really done it since. I was pretty good at it. It was fun. I would like to do that again. Even if it is just fun cakes for her birthday.