Saturday, December 11, 2010

New shop location.

By popular demand, the shop is opened for the holidays!  You can find us at  Several new candles have been added with more to come soon. Solid fragrances, fragrance oils, lip balms and pocket mirrors are being added throughout the coming week.  The Etsy shop remains closed for now.  I was reluctant to change the shop location from Etsy to Big Cartel, but I have to say I am really loving the design freedom  Big Cartel offers. I still absolutely love Etsy.  But from a shop owners perspective with Etsy it always seems like "Etsy" comes first, with Big Cartel my shop comes first -if that makes any sense. Check it out and you'll understand what I mean.  Your purchases still go through paypal and are subject to all of the protection paypal offers.  The holiday candles will be available through New Years.  Any outstanding Etsy business will of course be honored.  I'm still catching up so wholesale orders are on hold until after the new year.  As always, please feel free to contact me at anytime about anything.

Not only did our shop move,  we moved too.  We got the keys to the new place 3 days before Mike's surgery.  With Mike not well and surgery looming, moving wasn't exactly on our agenda at the time.  With all of the doctor co pays,  missed work  and the online shop closure (after several screwed up orders I had to close the online shop until things settled down) we had a moving budget of exactly; zero!  Plus, Mike was soon tied up healing from his neck dissection and thyroidectomy. The actual physical "move" was left to the kids and I.  We spent the next two weeks moving like the  band of white trash Gypsies that we are; we loaded all of our belongings into dozens of black garbage bags and piled up the minivan (cause we're classy like that!)  It took about three thousand round trips but we got it done.  It was during that hectic chaos that I realized how truly blessed I am.  The children worked their butts off helping me move.  It's not right to expect people so young to do so much, but they did it without even so much as a whimper.  I probably would have ended up in the loony bin if it wasn't for them.  Thankfully we walked away from the toxic house that we were living in, which by the way still sits empty.  Since moving I found out that the family before us also left that house due to health concerns.  Our landlord knew about the mold and the problems it caused and never informed us, bastard!  That will never happen again.  We went to the local building inspector and gave him a copy of the air quality report. The building inspector issued a citation so the landlord would have to have the house properly and professionally cleaned up.  No more sick families-woohoo!

There was one little unfortunate mishap during the move.  On a  late Sunday night moving spree we hit a deer with the van.  Actually the deer hit us I swear.  After hitting us the deer ran away fine.   Our van on the other hand was a different story. That deer left our van a mess -he left us a mess too!  It had to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I never hit an animal before, it's been hard to shake off emotionally and financially.  I'm pretty sure there's over a thousand dollars worth of damage. Fiberglass and Styrofoam do not hold up well against a 200lbs+ deer.  I'm not kidding when I say that behind my broken fiberglass bumper was a big block of black Styrofoam.   How is Styrofoam suppose to protect people?  Dodge sucks.

Cancer update: Mike has his radiation appointments this coming week.  He'll get a shot on Tuesday, a shot on Wednesday and a radioactive iodine pill on Thursday.  On December 23 he'll have a full body scan, he should be completely cancer free.  By Christmas we'll most likely be able to put all of this behind us -fingers crossed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thyroids, mold, moving and lumps.

Sadly, this holiday season Tattooedgeek and I will not be at this years Bust Magazine's Holiday Craftacular.  The Bust Craftacular is by far my most favorite vending event of the holiday season, unfortunately we didn't apply this year.  Actually we won't be vending at any holiday events this year at all. 

As I mentioned in previous posts the last few months have been a little rough on our family and subsequently  Tattooedgeek.  Several simultaneous events brought our whole world to a complete halt.  Most importantly; after being sick for a large part of the summer Michael (Mr. Tattooedgeek) was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Secondly, our landlord put the house that we were renting on the market without informing us.  We found out on a Tuesday morning in July when a team of Realtors showed up at our door at 9:00 am demanding a walk through.  The next 6 weeks were a literal whirled wind of doctor appointments and Realtors. At one point Michael was seeing 7 different doctors. The exact day Michael was diagnosed with thyroid cancer we were informed that our house had a buyer and the buyer had scheduled an inspection for the following weekend. 

The house our family had lived in for almost 2 years drastically failed it's inspection.  The buyer quickly backed out of the sale.  Afterward the inspector came to Michael and I and asked if any of our family were ill.  We told him what Mike was going through.  The inspector said that the house had a serious mold infestation in the basement and the air quality was seriously compromised because of it.  He insisted that everything, even the thyroid cancer, was a direct result of poor indoor air quality in the home.  He strongly suggested that we have an air quality test preformed.  We did and the results were off the charts.  While an average home has about 500-1000 airborne mold spores at any given time, our basement had a whopping 36,000!  Mike's office/studio had 9,600 and our bedroom had 5,700.   We forwarded copies of the air quality report to all of Michael's doctors. None of the doctors would confirm that the mold caused Michael to become sick but every single one of them said to move A.S.A.P.  So we did.

Whether or not mold spores and poor indoor air quality were the cause of the thyroid cancer we're still not certain.  On October 11, 2010 Mike had a complete Thyroidectomy and 19 lymph nodes removed from his throat.  What started out as a small lump in late July had quadrupled by October.  The right lobe of the thyroid had been completely replaced with a malignant tumor.  10 of the 19 lymph nodes removed had also turned malignant.  The second week of December Michael will have radiation  treatments   We'll find out after the radiation treatments how successful the surgery was.  Thankfully NO tattoos were harmed during the thyroidectomy and Mike handled the surgery amazingly.  He was already making faces and joking about going home in the recovery room.

Moving 7 people 3 cats and a Great Dane is no small task.  Fortunately we found a place that allowed the animals while keeping the kids in the same schools fairly quickly.  We started to move 2 days before Mike's surgery.  Unfortunately the place is less then half the size of our last home and now half of our stuff is in storage.  The actual move itself was a completely different traumatic experience that I'll save for another day.  "Didn't you know about the mold?" is the question most people ask us.  No, we truly  didn't. The largest source of the mold was in the basement behind a closed door in a room we didn't have access to.  Living in the house we didn't notice any moldy odors.  After we moved though we noticed that everything we owned smelled like mold.  What couldn't be washed was thrown out.

With Mike's surgery complete and our family moved into a nice mold free home I thought the only thing left to do was settle in and set up my work space.  However within days of moving into the new place I started to notice the base of my neck was feeling somewhat different.  A routine sonogram for a pre existing condition  confirmed that my thyroid had grown a little.  The growth was very little and my Endocrinologist wasn't concerned.  But then earlier this week I felt like maybe there was somewhat of a lump forming at the base of my neck.  A sonogram this Tuesday confirmed that there is indeed a new small little lump (nodule) on the right side of my thyroid that was not present just a few weeks ago.  What that means I don't know.  I am seeing a new, highly recommended Endocrinologist in a few weeks. Hopefully she'll have some answers for us.  So far all we've been hearing is that the odds of two people in one family experiencing significant thyroid growth at the same time are none.  But yet here we are,  both of us with thyroid growths at the same time.

The purpose of this blog post was to explain why we didn't apply to this years Craftacular.  Some of you have been kind enough to ask.   Even though we won't be there this year  many of our favorite shops and good friends will be.  A list of New York vendors can be found here:   Be sure to stop by the RockLove, Pulp Sushi and My Zoetrope booths! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2010: Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles is an absolute family favorite. We use the Peanut sauce on just about everything, even salads.  Use a little less vegetable broth and the Peanut Sauce can be used as a perfect party dip, serve with toasted pita triangles or baby carrots. 

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cups non hydrogenated peanut butter (either crunchy or creamy works well)
2 tbs pure maple syrup
1/3 cup Bragg's liquid amino's or soy sauce
fresh ground pepper
1 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
Either 2 tbs of red pepper flakes or a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce
Optional: toasted or raw sesame seeds for garnish
Mix together vegetable broth, lime juice, Bragg's and maple syrup
Melt peanut butter in a sauce pan over medium heat
add the broth/lime juice/Bragg's and maple syrup mixture
whisk until completely blended and smooth (about 3 - 5 minutes)
add fresh ground pepper, optional cilantro and red pepper flakes (or hot sauce)
simmer another 5 minutes
Remove from heat and serve over anything your heart desires. If serving over noodles you can thin the sauce a little with a bit more vegetable broth
top with optional sesame seeds


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2010: Big Fat Biscuits

Soups and stews have been on the menu for the last several days here. This evening we decided to make biscuits to enjoy with our brothy leftovers.  I made three different  types of biscuits: green onion, savoury red pepper & onion and a simple plain biscuit.  The savory red pepper & onion biscuit recipe can be found in the pages of Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard's The Garden of Vegan.  The green onion biscuit is identical to the plain biscuit with the addition of  1/2 cup chopped green onions. The plain biscuits were tonight's family favorite (recipe to follow.)  Biscuits are so simple and quick to make, why anybody would buy the toxic rolled up kind from the grocery store dairy section is beyond me.  Toxic??? Hell ya!  Even if you can find a dairy free version they will still be loaded with hydrogenated oils, refined flours and several laboratory created completely unnecessary ingredients.  Do yourself and those you feed a favor and steer clear of them.

Plain & Simply Biscuits
2 cups unbleached flour
3 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup melted earth balance (or other non hydrogenated, non dairy butter substitute)
1 cup plain almond (or soy) milk mixed with 1tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Mix lemon juice with non dairy milk then add melted earth balance.  Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients  and knead until you have a large ball of dough.  Pull apart the large ball of dough into 6 medium balls or 12 small balls. Place the dough balls onto an oiled cookie sheet, and slightly flatten the tops down.  Bake 10-15 minutes. Will make 6 medium biscuits or 12 small ones.
Optional:  brush the tops of the biscuits with a little melted earth balance before you bake them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2010 Day 3: Hearty (Un)Beef Stew

Mike's trip to May Wah was a rather fruitful one.  Not only did he bring home last nights vegan ham, but he also brought home two bags of "beef" chunks!  Today we made an impromptu unbeef stew with the chunks.  Tomorrow no fake meat, I promise.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegan Mofo 2010 day 2: Black Eyed Peas, Collard Greens & Sliced Vegan Ham

The sliced vegetarian ham from May Wah is by far our favorite fake meat. For those of you not familiar with May Wah you can find their extensive and wonderful products here:  Even though they list their products as vegetarian most are actually vegan. The kids favorite way to have the vegetarian ham is baked with sliced pineapples and an apricot glaze, my favorite way is with black eyed peas and collard greens - since I do the cooking and 99.9% of the dish washing this time my favorite won. Hurray for me!  You don't need the vegetarian ham to make a yummy batch of black eyed peas and collard greens, a good liquid smoke is all you need. In my old age I have become very loyal to several products, STUBB'S Mesquite liquid smoke is one of those products. In a deep pot I  saute a large sliced onion with a couple of table spoons of Earth Balance, when the onion is soft and somewhat translucent I add 2 cups of vegetable broth, some Annie's natural organic vegan Worcestershire sauce, a couple of dashes of the Stubbs mesquite liquid smoke and salt & pepper to the pot. I bring it all to a boil then throw the collard greens into the pot and simmer until the greens are nice and wilted. Then I put the black eyed peas into the pot and continue to simmer for 15-20 more minutes, if I have the vegetarian ham I'll slice it into pieces and toss the pieces into the pot the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once everything is finished  I sometimes use any extra liquid to make a gravy for mashed potatoes, or I'll leave the broth with the greens and black eyed peas and serve with fresh biscuits. Canned black eyed peas work well in this dish and will cut your cooking time considerably, however I prefer to use fresh or frozen. If you decide to use either fresh or frozen make sure you soak your black eyed peas long enough so when you cook them they will be nice and soft.  Before cooking the collard greens you should remove all thick stalks then wash and chop the greens into bite sized pieces.  Ooooh, I almost forgot the hot sauce!  Keep a bottle of good hot sauce on the table when serving black eyed peas and collard greens.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello Vegan Mofo 2010!

This years Vegan Mofo arrived  not a minute to soon for me. The last two months were a bit rough for our family. We're all fine now and hard at work getting back into the swings of things, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a tad bit of residual post traumatic stress disorder.  Halloween and the Mofo were just what I needed to shake the little black cloud that's been following me around the last few days.

Black Bean Soup is the perfect companion to a chilly night of trick or treating.  I topped each bowl of soup with a teaspoon of a sour cream like blend of Vegenaise, tahini, lemon juice, almond milk, garlic powder and sea salt.  

The kids dressed up in their usual homicidal best, except for Em. She went the old Hollywood route.  We didn't carve pumpkins this Halloween for the first time in 18 yrs. - a decision I deeply regret.  Next year we'll have to carve two each to correct this injustice. 

Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween. Be sure to check out some of the other blogs particapating in this years Vegan Mofo.  You can find a list at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SweetLeaf & Israeli Couscous

My biggest vice in life comes in a bottle. Not a beer bottle, nor a wine bottle - a Snapple bottle.  I love Snapple iced tea.  I love most bottled ice tea. I've been addicted to bottled iced tea for a minimum of 20 years.  I'd walk to school past the corner bagel store and pick up a Raspberry Snapple on the way, and then again on the way home.  By the time high school was over I was up to 4 or more bottles a day.  As a "grown up" I got a membership to one of those big bulk stores, you know the kind that sells cases of Snapple Iced tea for dirt cheap.  Oh god did I buy tons of the junk!  Until recently bottled iced tea's still remained the greatest source of empty calories in my diet.  I am finally happy to report that I've just about kicked my bottled iced tea addiction! Don't get me wrong, I'm still addicted to iced tea.  Only now I make my iced tea at home and I sweeten it with SweetLeaf stevia. 

When I sat down and really reviewed my diet I had no choice but to come to terms with the fact that the bottled iced teas had to go.  But what to replace them with?  I drink water but sometimes you need something more then just water.  Anything with chemical sweeteners was completely out of the question!  I'd rather be overweight then load myself up with aspartame.  I like the taste of Agave nectar, but some research indicates that Agave nectar isn't much better for you then high fructose corn syrup; therefore making Agave nectar seem like too much of a lateral move to be worthwhile.

That brings me to Stevia.  Stevia is an all natural plant derived sugar substitute with zero calories and zero carbohydrates. Stevia doesn't adversely affect blood glucose levels and may be used freely by diabetics. There are several commercial brands of stevia on the market now, but be careful - not all stevia products are equal. 
SweetLeaf is the only pure stevia product that you can purchase in packets, shaker or tablets.  The other two major Stevia brands are loaded with fillers like cellulose powder and undisclosed natural flavors.  They also contain processed ingredients such as Erythritol and isomaltulose. Erythritol has been associated with digestive upset, diarrhea, and bloating.  Isomaltulose (sometimes know as Palatinose) is a disaccharide that is commercially manufactured enzymatically from sucrose via bacterial fermentation. (In other words, they're a Frankenstein like concoction pushed through the FDA by the two major soda manufacturers Pepsi and Coca Cola as a knee jerk reaction to the growing concern over findings linking chemical sweeteners and various cancers.)   Some of the reported side effects of Isomaltulose are similar to those associated with a Candida (yeast) overgrowth such as mouth soars, a thickening of the tongue, upset stomach, diarrhea and in some extreme cases full blown yeast infections.  SweetLeaf on the other hand has two ingredients, inulin soluble fiber and stevia leaf extract.  The side effects are typical as with any natural herbal supplement.  If you have allergies to various herbs then maybe Stevia isn't the sweetener for you.  But in it's purest form (such as SweetLeaf) Stevia can be a invaluable tool when trying to lighten up your caloric intake. Plus it tastes great in fruited teas and lemonades!

Orange Iced Tea is my favorite with Strawberry Lemonade a close second. The girls are head over heals in love with Iced Green Tea with Mint.  Mint leaves added to any Lemonade or Tea is super refreshing. The best thing about using Stevia as your sweetener (as if being an all natural zero calorie sweetener could be topped) is that a little goes a long way. Three teaspoons sweeten two whole quarts!
You can find more information about stevia, Sweetleaf and other stevia products (including recipes) by visiting the follow links:
Before I end this post I wanted to share with you a salad that I've become obsessed with this summer. It's an Israeli couscous salad that combines slivered almonds, dried cranberries, parsley and a raspberry vinaigrette.  It can be served chilled or as I prefer at room temperature. 

Israeli Couscous Salad
2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Israeli Couscous
2tsp turmeric
1tsp salt
1 cup Slivered Almonds
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Small bunch of Italian Parsley finely chopped

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
*1/2 cup raspberry infused white balsamic vinegar
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp dried oregano
2tbs pure maple syrup (agave nectar is also good)
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
optional:  2tbs prepared dijon mustard

* If you can't get your hands on raspberry infused white balsamic vinegar you can use either of the following substitutions:
 1/3 cup raspberry juice and 1/2 white vinegar
3tbs seedless raspberry preserves mixed with 1/2 c apple cider vinegar

Prepare Raspberry Vinaigrette and set aside
Bring vegetable broth, turmeric and salt to boil
Stir in Israeli Couscous and let simmer for 8-10 min (or until all water is absorbed)
In a separate large bowl mix together slivered almonds, chopped parsley and dried cranberries
Add  prepared couscous to bowl with almonds,parsley and cranberries
pour in raspberry vinaigrette and mix well
chill stirring occasionally until salad has cooled to desired temperature

Monday, July 12, 2010

Give away!

*--*--*--*--Wanna win a trio of our 2oz candles?--*--*--*--*

Rebecca from is hosting a giveaway of 3 of our 2oz candles in ADDITION to one of her awesome bars of soap (some of which seem to be vegan friendly) on her blog  Stop by the blog for more info and to enter the giveaway.

Also...... a great big shot out and thank you to Creepy Queen Magazine for posting an interview with me in the hot products section of the Creepy Queen blog! Go to to read the interview.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Leaving NYC and moving 75 miles north doesn't always seem like it was a good idea.  The lack of vegan restaurants, the snow and simply being an hour and half away from NYC can really get on my nerves.  Then the 4th of July comes around.  When the 4th comes  I remember why we moved to the Hudson Valley.  Our little town here closes the main streets to vehicles allowing children to have the run of the place all afternoon and most of the night.  I usually skip the afternoon festivities of parades, animal contests, races and street vendors.
But I always show my face for the fireworks. This years fireworks display did not disappoint, in fact I think those in charge of the pyrotechnics might have stepped up their game some. There was definitely a few new kabooms added last night - much to my delight!
After a few hours in the a.m. preping orders to ship I spent the rest of the afternoon cooking for Mike and the kids. I made a very Patriotic potato salad for lunch.  I combined purple (hoping they'd pass for blue) potatoes, red plum tomatoes and sliced sweet white onions.
 I parboiled the potatoes whole leaving their skins on.  (Leaving the potatoes whole with skins on helps them retain their vibrant purple color, if you peel them first they will turn an ugly grayish color during the parboiling process.)  I peeled  and quartered the potatoes. I sliced the onion and quartered the plum tomatoes. I added some fresh chopped Italian parsley and tossed everything in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing.
I'm still not sold on Purple Potatoes.  Visually they definitely add something, but they are rather costly and I'm not certain I like the texture of them.  I find them to be kind of grainy, actually mealy might be a better description.  Without a doubt I prefer red skinned or good old fashioned white potatoes.
I also made Philly Cheese Stake wraps with a homemade cashew "cheddar" cheese sauce.  I sauteed Tofurky Philly style steak deli slices (  with sliced onions and peppers until everything was browned and crispy. Before I wrapped up the sauteed stuff I smothered everything in "cheddar" sauce.  I firmly believe that creamed cashew's can replace just about any dairy product.  We finished the 4th with a very patriotic dessert. An apple pie?????
HELL NO! An extra super chocolatey chocolate cake. As far as I'm concerned chocolate beats apples any day of the year, even the 4th of July.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sale Time!

I'll be listing several sales the next few days.  The first of which is up and running.  I've listed 5 of my 2oz candles for $12.00 plus $5.00 flat rate shipping.  My 2oz candles make great gifts.  They're also great for traveling with.  There are dozens of scents to choose from, and I'll be adding a few new ones over the weekend.

My iterview with NUOK & The Jersey Shore Saga: Friggin' Twilight

A few weeks back I was interviewed by the very lovely and very patient Fran from the Italian blog NUOK. The interview is up on the blog now. If you ever had any questions about me or Tattooedgeek this interview probably answers all of them.

And, well this just cracked me up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Balms away!

I am so happy to share with you the newest additions to the Tattooedgeek Inc. product line.

The first addition is my new series of fragrance oil rollers.  My fragrance oil rollers glide on smooth, absorb  almost instantly into your skin and smell wonderful!  I'll be adding more fragrances over the next few days. You can expect to see a matching fragrance oil roller  for every one of my candle scents as well as a few new surprises.
And now for the Balms!  I'm adding dozens of  new lip balms to the shop.  My lip balms are super moisturizing and come in lots of great flavors.  Most are flavored with pure essential oils and a touch of Stevia for a bit of sweetness.  Needless to say both of my new fragrance oil rollers and lip balms are completely vegan, they are also free from all petroleum by-products.   

Friday, June 4, 2010

Great Gifts for Girl Grads!

Graduation time is here and I thought I'd highlight some great gift ideas for the Graduation Girl in your life.  Give your Grad the gift of luck with these inexpensive picks from a few of my favorite Etsy shops. 

Crazy Lucky Dice

Silver Lucky Horseshoe Studs

Lucky 13 Antique Skeleton Key Star Necklace
(FYI: Bella Smiles is a vegan owned and operated shop)

Lucky Cat Glass Pendant

Lucky Love is a Devil Tattoo Pinup Girl

Cute Cupcake Magnets
If your Grad is dorm bound help ward off the home sick blues with these super cute felt magnets.  I mean seriously, what girl wouldn't feel lucky with a  cute little cupcake magnet on her mini fridge smiling back at her!
**P.S. (everything listed is $30.00 and under!)  

Monday, May 31, 2010

Growing Pains

Almost two whole month have past since I updated HSVH last. My blogging time has fallen victim to Tattooedgeek Inc., which by the way I'm pleased to report has been doing well.  My sales are increasing, especially wholesales orders.  I've had the pleasure of working on several sets of wedding favors including my favorite, the Sugar Skull Lip Balm favors pictured below. 
I was asked to create a custom aftercare kit for a local tattoo parlour. The kits include a 2oz cruelty free rosemary and lavender glycerin soap.  Rosemary essential oil is excellent for minor skin abrasions, it helps stimulate healing.  Lavender essential oil is a natural antiseptic.  I've been told that over 50 of the kits have already  sold.
My daughters and I were able to vend in Brooklyn on May 1st & 2nd as part of the Brooklyn Lyceum's Spring Food and Craft Market. We brought my new line of 3.5 inch pocket mirrors to the Market.  I brought 27 mirrors and came home with just two.  The mirrors will make their shop debut sometime this week. 

I love vending in Brooklyn, it's always a great experience.  Not only was the Spring Food & Craft Market fun, but I also got to meet customer/fellow etsyian and vendor Darlene from Ursula and Olive (,
Just as their banner promises, Ursula and Olive offers up really fun and bold  geeky goodness in the form of necklace pendant combos, earrings and a few other awesome products, all extreamly well crafted.  We brought home one of Ursula and Olive's Mr. Spock necklaces, next time I'm getting the "Snape is sexy" pendant. (And now you know where the geek in Tattooegeek comes from.)
Food has been another causality of Tattooedgeek's recent growth spurt. There has been many a 9:00p.m. microwaved Amy's burritos as of late (we like the breakfast ones, they're vegan and really good.)  Michael's birthday provided a much needed respite from all of the frozen vegan food.  I put aside work and made Lemon Pepper Seitan Medallions with steamed string beans and a wild rice blend.  I formed the Seitan as if I was making sausages to get the medallion shape.  I dredged the medallions in organic corn starch then fried them until golden and crispy.  I then smothered the medallions in the Lemon Pepper sauce.
Not being much of a cake person myself, I opted to make super chocolaty cupcakes. Nobody complained!
I really need to figure out how to manage my time better.  One decent cooked meal a month is completely unacceptable.   Any suggestions?  How do you handle family, work, food, homework, cleaning etc....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sleepy Easter Bunnies.

Easter provides me the perfect opportunity to share with you another one of my true loves, children's books.  One of my all time favorites is The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich.  The Easter Bunny That Overslept is an adorable story about the Easter Bunny sleeping in one cold rainy Easter Day.  When he finally awoke Easter had come and gone. The Bunny still tries to deliver his Easter Eggs, but nobody wanted the Bunny's eggs - Easter Eggs are only good for Easter after all! The rest of the story follows the Bunny throughout an entire year as he tries to deliver his eggs. 

I first came across this charming story in it's original 1957 printing with Adrienne Adams illustrations.  It has since been reprinted and now features illustrations by Donald Saaf.  While not nearly as whimsical as it's original version, the reprint is still a very good children's book.
Now I know Easter Eggs are not exactly a welcomed Vegan topic.  But in this sweet holiday fable the Easter eggs are delivered by a rabbit and are always approached as the rabbits "eggs", other then that the eggs origins are never discussed and the eggs are never eaten.  Speaking of  eating......
For Easter dinner we ate Apricot glazed vegan ham and pineapples, black eyed peas with collard greens and roasted garlic mashed red potatoes with gravy. I also made Rice Krispy treats for the first time, they were good but very hard. I used 1cup light Karo syrup, 1 cup organic sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 stick of Earth Balance. I melted everything together and tossed in 8 cups of Rice Krispies, mixed until the Rice Kripsies were completely coated with the sugar/Karo syrup mixture. Then I spread the coated Krispies into a pan coated with Earth Balance and left everything to cool.  When everything was cooled down I cut into squares.   Next time I'll try making the Rice Krispy treats with Dandies - I'm certain they'll be better that way.  The best thing we made was this awesome Pear, Ginger and Pecan Quick Bread from The Garden of Vegan (pg.172).  The bread was very easy to make and extremely delicious.
Pear Ginger Pecan Bread
                         2 cups flour                       1/3 cup olive oil
                         2tsp baking powder          1 banana, mashed
                         1/2 tsp baking soda           1 large pear, cored and cubed
                         1/8 tsp salt                         1/2 cup pecans, chopped
                         1/2 cup dry sweetener        3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
                         3/4 cup apple juice

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in sweetener, apple juice, oil, banana, pear, pecans, and ginger.  Stir together gently until "just mixed." Pour batter into a lightly oiled bread pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  makes 1 loaf.