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.