Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lasagna & Homemade Soy Milk!

Today I made lasagna for the first time and it was a success! O told me he liked it, then said, "did I mention that I like it?" So I'll take that as a two thumbs up. Yay. Here are the things I had around that I was able to use up in making of the 9x13 & 9x9 lasagnas

1 quart homemade tomato sauce that some friends gave us
approximately 12 rice lasagna noodles
1 10 oz bag organic frozen spinach
1 locally grown organic purple onion
1 locally grown organic yellow onion
1 10 oz bag organic frozen bell peppers
about 3/4 cup dry tvp (which I rehydrated)
1 small bulb locally grown organic garlic (approx 4-6 cloves)
some extra virgin olive oil for frying
some leftover cashew cream (made by soaking raw cashews & blending them with water)
the pulp leftover from making a batch of homemade soy milk in my newly acquired Soyajoy4
some organic tamari

9x13 lasagna - Since I didn't cook the noodles first, I put some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish, then added 3 lasagna noodles the long way & broke approx 3/4 of another noodle off for the end of the pan that extended beyond the length of the other 3 noodles. I cooked the onions, garlic & spinach together in some oil in my frying pan and layered 2/3 of that into the pan on top the first layer of noodles. I mixed some tamari into the soybean pulp to give it some saltiness, then stirred that into the cashew cream. The combination of those two was kind of like ricotta cheese. I layered 1/2 that on top the spinach/onion/garlic mixture. Next I put another layer of noodles. Next, I added another layer of tomato sauce. In the frying pan, I added the tvp & and frozen bell peppers to the onion/garlic/spinach mixture & cooked that. I added that on top the tomato sauce layer, then added the other half of the soybean/cashew cream mixture on top of that. I followed with one last layer of noodles, the rest of the tomato sauce & sprinkled with a little bit of vegan shredded cheese. This lasagna was inspired by my new friend Yaneiri, our pastor's wife.

9x9 lasagna - I opened another jar of tamato sauce for this one, used a few less noodles, did similar layering, but since I had used up most of the spinach/bell pepper/onion/garlic/tvp mixture, I added some sliced shiitakes for one of the layers. Since I had used up the soybean/cashew cream mixture, I crumbled up some grilled tofu & mixed it with 1/2 container of tofutti cream cheese and poured in a little bit of the homemade soymilk & used that for my cream layer. I left off the vegan cheese shreds on the top also, since this lasagna is just for O, my mushroom lover.

I baked both lasagnas at 350 for 1 hour with parchment paper covering them.

About the homemade soymilk: as you can see, I have cooked with both the milk & the resulting pulp from making the milk, but I haven't actually tried it yet on cereal or anything. O had it on his granola this morning and couldn't put his finger on what he thought it needed (whether salt or sugar or something else), but he said it was somewhat similar to the Better than Milk Soy Original milk that we had been making from a powder. I will have to have it on my granola tomorrow morning. This morning, I had my granola in some coconut milk yogurt, since I was in a hurry.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unrequited Love

"The consciousness that His compassion was unappreciated, His love unrequited, His mercy slighted, His salvation rejected, filled Him with sorrow that was inexpressible. It was such developments as these that made Him a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." DA 393.2

Have you ever struggled with unrequited love? Jesus understands. He has experienced it too.

*[[Isa 53:3]] KJV* He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To Do List Item: Be Happy - Check!

I'm the geeky kind that likes to make to do lists & check things off. We have three main locations for them.

First is our monster sized white boards - yes there are more than one of them. We keep them near the door so that we can see them when we are coming & going from the house in case of grocery lists etc. We photograph grocery list on the whiteboard & take our phone with us so we can refer to the picture while at the store to be sure we didn't forget anything.

The other location I like to use is my Google tasks. Once I mark things off, I move them to the "completed list" so they can stay sorted by date, but not stay at the top of my main list pushing my current items down out of view where I would have to scroll to find them.

The third location I just recently started using is a spreadsheet I made in Google Drive. I have a column on the left that list the daily tasks I would ideally complete and columns to the right for each calendar day. I put "be happy" on that list and today I'm checking it off. Some days are just good days - days I feel happy inside for no apparent reason and today ended up being one of those days. I wonder if there will ever be anyone as dorky as me. I just remind everyone that this is why you all love me. Well, most of you anyway :). If you didn't, you wouldn't bother to read my blog.



Monday, December 9, 2013

It's not the career that defines you

"It's not the career that defines you. You are the definition of who you are. A career is just a conduit to what you want to do ultimately in life." -Andy Horowitz, stock trader, One Week Job (2010)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Back to Work I Go

I applied for a UPS driver helper job, which is for this holiday season. I thought it would be good to have a job that keeps me active. I got a phone call about that job on Tuesday and I had my interview today. Orientation is tomorrow. Can you see me in brown now? It's going to feel like being one of Santa's elves I'm sure. I'm so excited! I'm also sending my resume to a couple other places that might be a possibility, but I guess they'll have to wait until after the holidays to hire me now.

In other news, my Soyajoy G4 Soymilk Maker arrived today. I can't wait to try it out. Tonight I have to get the house ready for Sabbath since I will be at orientation tomorrow. I'd better get going...

Going Back to Work - the Backstory

In my recent journey of self discovery, a.k.a. me trying to figure out what I want to do, I feel that God has been giving me some hints & clues about what I could do that I would find fulfilling. One of the reasons I quit my job was that I wanted to provide domestic support for my husband. We've recently listened to the audio book "His Needs, Her Needs", which listed domestic support as one of man's deep emotional needs. I felt that in our nine years of marriage I had not excelled in providing this for him, so what better time could there be than this time of transition after moving across country to improve my homemaking skills? He admitted it would be nice to have dinner on the table when he got home from work, so this was my goal - to provide healthy, home-cooked meals every day, and spend some much-needed time unpacking from the move and de-stressing.

I used Tess's Two Week Wellness Solution to get me going with a few recipe ideas. Olin loves the Black-Eyed Peas with Kale, much to my delight & surprise, so that went into the meal planning rotation, along with pot pie, copycat Panera black bean soup in a bread bowl, hummus wraps with tofu & salad, Tess's Sexy Saucy Noodles, homemade veggie burgers, Indian food, and today I added chili & corn bread. Please share any other ideas you might have for us.

Ironically, once I began providing home cooked meals, Olin said he was gaining weight & just wanted to skip dinners now. This leaves lunch as my main meal to plan, since breakfast is granola most mornings.

Within the past week or so, my Facebook friends have shared a couple of articles about getting up early - 5 Steps My Lazy Butt Has Used To Wake Up Before 5AM including one about getting up early to pack a lunch for your husband - Why I've Packed My Husband's Lunch For 15 Years. The lady indicated she had a career herself. I've decided I'm still not quite ready to have children, so staying at home just doesn't seem necessary in order to fulfill my domestic support goals, even though I'm really enjoying it. Olin let me know he was missing the paycheck, and would like me to get another job. Friday I started looking to see what was in the help wanted ads locally, and this week I updated my resume, wrote a cover letter & sent a couple out.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tears of Horror

Have you seen any of the following or related articles?

Child taken from womb by social services

Child taken from womb by social services:it's not always wrong

'Operate on this mother so that we can take her baby’

I read them today and they left me in tears of horror. The last one was the most upsetting for me. Especially the part where since the judge "could not risk a failure to maintain her medication in the future, he ruled that the child must be placed for adoption". It's like saying that since there's a possibility you might do the wrong thing someday, I'm going to punish you for the rest of your life by giving your own flesh & blood to some random stranger.

Not only did they conveniently decide the "unborn child" was more than just a fetus and go against the popular "women's right to choose", they literally cut her open & HARVESTED her fetus without her or her family's consent whatsoever, and she wasn't even a citizen of the country! I cannot fathom it. Not even a little bit. People with mental illness are people too. I understand that there must be details I am not privy too. However, I just wonder if anyone understands the precedence that is being set here. It's literally terrifying. It makes me tremble and look to heaven for deliverance from the madness of this world.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today I want to start with gratitude. I'm thankful my phone battery is still alive (long story). Some highlights from yesterday: the teenage neighbor girls stopping by to borrow some aluminum foil (wow I think I'm lonely), and finding the box in the garage that we packed the potato chopper in (I've been looking for that). I've been struggling internally, and I thing being grateful and counting the small successes is a good place to start. That, and prayer. On that note, I'll sign off til next time. May the Lord bless you today and may you know you are loved.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pot Pie!

So this is what I'm up to nowadays. Olin says he's gaining weight, though, and wants to start eating lighter suppers or no supper. Thankfully, this was lunch. I started at about 10 a.m. & it came out of the oven around noon, so I was happy, until we took our first bite - HOT! Maybe I need it to come out a 1/2 hour or so before lunch, so it has time to cool slightly before we attempt to eat it. Let's see, how did I make it? Well, it was my first attempt, and my go-to website is vegweb.com, so I always pull up several recipes (eight, in this case) when it's something I haven't made before.

I started a little scattered, but thankfully it all came together in the end. 

This morning I found the mixing bowl for my Blendtec Mix'N'Blend (we're still unpacking from our recent move to Maine), so I decided to make the crust in that. I put in 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tsp salt & mixed those up. While it was mixing I drizzled in about 5 oz of oil (5/8 cup). I then drizzled in  2/3 cup cold water while it mixed. I took it out & formed a couple of dough balls. One I wrapped in plastic wrap & put in the fridge, the other one, I took off a chunk & rolled it with my marble rolling pin between two pieces of waxed paper & smushed it into the personal cobbler dish & cut off the extra dough. 

I chopped up an onion & sauteed it in water, adding 5 cloves of garlic once the onions had cooked for a little while. Then I chopped 3 or so small carrots & two potatoes. I cooked the carrots first & later added the potatoes to 2 cups of french onion soup from a carton I had on hand. I chopped one stalk of celery & added that to the stew, along with some chicky baby seasoning, some chik'nish, some marjoram, cumin & basil. I added some whole wheat pastry flour to thicken as well as some arrowroot powder. I also added some earth balance and several scoops of Better Than Milk Soy Original powder (which I will leave out next time). I added the onions & garlic in next. I forgot to add the peas & almost forgot the salt (but added it just before I finished filling the 2nd pot pie). Once the stew was done, I filled the cobbler dishes, then I rolled out some tops for the pot pies & pinched the edges & scored the top. I baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Below is the finished product. Click the pictures to see a larger view of them.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Soup in a Bread Bowl

So I found this recipe: Copycat Panera Black Bean Soup Recipe and tried it out on Olin, much to his delight (he LOVES Panera). He said he would eat this meal every day. We had it with a chocolate chip cookie, some grape juice and salad that was topped with grilled tofu and some homemade avocado cucumber dill dressing. Here are the pictures:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Direction

It's been a tumultuous year so far. Earlier this year, things at P started going downhill, leading to my moving on. I got a great new opportunity at N, but after 2 1/2 months there and one big cross-country move from Colorado to Maine, I decided to be a housewife. It seems crazy to sum it all up in just 3 sentences like that, but there it is. Anyway, today I took some time out of unpacking to experiment in the kitchen with a salad dressing, so here's what I threw in there so that I don't forget:

1 ripe avocado
juice of 1/2 organic lemon
2 inch slice of cucumber, peeled
1/2 tsp turmeric
celery seeds
dried chives
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
very small garlic clove

It turned out a bright yellowy green, and was quite tasty, although O said it could use more salt.

We had it on a salad with some cooked tofu and that was our supper. Also today, we went for a drive up on top Cadillac Mountain (didn't think to wear a hat & it was COLD). Below you can see how our two tripod-assisted selfies turned out since we finally hunted down the mini-usb cable. By the way, I am very happy with my current situation and I thank God for this opportunity. Life has been a struggle for the better part of a year now, but I've gotten some closure on a few things that were haunting me, so I'm feeling a lot of peace and freedom now.

Friday, July 26, 2013


It's time to thank those who have hurt me, even hurt the people I love. It's made me do the things that I needed to do but didn't want to. It made me leave. To stay is to enable. I'm still sad, but I have to be thankful for all the things I've learned, all the opportunities I've been given. Yes, I'm left with a heavy but thankful heart.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


In light of the above video, Olin & I were discussing "points" yesterday. We've budgeted ourselves to going out to eat once a week, which is a real treat since we used to be on a budget of going out to eat about once a month. The reason for the increase is that we've discovered how much we love the Thai Chilie since it has changed owners. Going there once a week means we usually go there on Mondays, because it's a new week & we can't wait to get our Pad Thai, Thai Roll w/peanut sauce & Massaman curry. We've gotten really efficient. We order as soon as we sit down & hand them our credit card before we get the check, so we're in & out of there in 25 minutes. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, so I talked Olin into going for a walk with me afterward, and he was asking how many points he'd get. One, of course. If he would hold my hand, he'd get an extra point, but that was too restrictive, so no bonus point for him. I told him marriage could be restrictive too. He gave me a funny look. He gave me a kiss, since that was an extra point. Last night we were reviewing points & I told him that him taking me out to eat was a point too. I think he's slowly getting the hang of it. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ping Pong

Today was full of fun and laughter. Coworker friends are back in town. Plans for tomorrow's potluck breakfast are underway & I got to play ping pong with my buddy after work. It was a good day :)