Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just finished sewing these for CraftHope project 7. These bean bags along with alphabet sets, number sets and color sets will go to help students in Liberia. I may make a set of numbers as well.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

21 days is well and over but.....

    As of today I have lost 17 pounds just by giving up cheese and dairy.....that's 17 pounds since March 1st!!!! That's .65 pounds per day!!!! Take that Jenny Craig!
    I didn't feel deprived or hungry all of the time (like my family thought I would) I even ate out a couple of times. I must admit there were a few days there around day 15 when I was really tempted to just eat a grilled cheese sandwich. I didn't and I survived.  In fact I feel great. I'm sleeping better, I have more energy and I have re-discovered some foods that I had not thought about in a long time.  I have enjoyed using the extra energy by walking and biking.

Summer break starts in about 70 days and I can hardly wait for jet-skiing weather. The cat seems unable to wait as well.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


    As part of my plan to treat myself better in 2010 I decided to join a walking group.  I found one via Meet Up that meets right here in Vancouver. Today we walked part of the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail. The whole trail is 8 miles and we walked just shy of 2.25 miles one way.  I will definitely be using that trail again. 
   I'm heading into week 3 of the 21 day vegan kickstart and I am holding strong. Yesterday I got up and made my version of a tofu scramble. It made a really great breakfast burrito with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow. Dinner was some chili over rice and a bowl full of raw veggies.

   In the past I have avoided bathroom scales like the plague!  I know what I weighed on February 26th. And today I am .......(drum roll).........  12 pounds lighter! I must have been eating a ton of cheese! I've also noticed another wonderful side effect. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have always been very hard to get up and moving in the morning. Well not anymore, I am sleeping better so, when the alarm goes off I can actually get up with minimal whining. I also think the cheese and milk were weighing me down making physical activity harder.

The walking group meets only every other week so I think next Sunday I will try and convince  on of my children to come with me.

Friday, March 12, 2010


   I love sitting in front of the computer and searching for new crafts to add to my To-Do list on my day off.
Today I found these

   I'm planning to make a whole "herd" of them to hippity-hop around the house this spring.
Follow this link to Cheeky Magpie and download the pattern for yourself.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week one of the 21 day vegan kickstart is in the bag!

Week One is in the Bag

So far so good. I have not felt deprived (for the most part). I do really miss the ice cream. I know I could get soy ice cream but I figured this is probably as good a time any any to work on my sugar habit as well. I also decided that I am brilliant! ant to know why..... of course you do!
I left potatoes until the end of the week because honestly I could not figure how to eat a baked potato without sour cream or cheddar cheese. Still not sure how to do that....if you know a way please let me know. I did however remember a couple of other things to do with potatoes. Last night I had Bubble and Squeak, a vegan bar-b-que rib-let and roasted carrots for dinner. Bubble and Squeak is such a silly name for such a great English staple. I learned to make it from a British cooking show called Two Fat Ladies (that is now available on DVD). The two women ,Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Wright, were so funny it made the show really entertaining. At any rate they made it in Episode 3 cooking it in a tom of lard. I made it for my family that very night and it was a big hit, even with the kids. It is so simple and so great on a cold wintry evening.

Here's how I make mine:
One medium potato per person One head of green cabbage (possibly one and a half if you are making more than 6 servings) Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes into chunks (size is not terrible important except that the smaller they are the quicker they cook) and boil until just tender. I under-cook mine a bit so that they will not turn to mush in the 2nd step. Drain the potatoes and set them aside. I cook my cabbage, that has been washed and quartered) in the same water as the potatoes because I use a spider to remove my potatoes from the water. If you don't have a spider you should get one. This is what they look like.... Cook the cabbage in boiling water for about 5 minutes....it should still be kind of crisp. Again using my spider I scoop out the cabbage and set it to cool. When I can touch it I roughly chop it, my pieces are usually about 2" X 2" Now comes the best part:
Heat a large skillet and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil (not lard and not nearly as much as the Two fat ladies say to use). Let the oil heat until just before the smoking point and add a handful of the cooked potatoes. Drop a handful of the cooked cabbage on top of the potatoes and leave it alone for a moment. Next add freshly ground pepper and a dash of salt. Next I use my pancake flipper to smush (totally technical term) the cabbage down into the potatoes. Now just like wonderfully crispy hashbrowns the key is get good contact with the pan, turn the heat down a bit and leave them alone. Once they are nice and brown you mix the cabbage in and smush it down again. Doing this gives some piece the opportunity to get really browned (the part my family likes best) while others stay softer. In the Fat Ladies recipe you keep adding lard as it cooks, since I use a nonstick pan this is not necessary. I opt, instead, for lower temperature and plenty of smushing to get good surface contact. Once it is browned to my satisfaction I transfer it to a pie plate that is in a warm oven to wait for the successive batches.
Give it a try !
Wish I had thought to take a picture of the finished dish but believe me there are several good ones on Google images...some people even formed theirs into cakes and fried them that way......may have to try that for a fancier presentation some day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Making the final push to Vegan.

Starting March 1st I am doing a 21 Day Vegan Kickstart. I have heading towards vegan for quite a while....no red meat, then no seafood, then no chicken. But I have been really struggling with dairy. I mean "I LOVE CHEESE". What's a burrito without cheese? I discovered (or rather re-discovered) that it can be amazing.
Many years ago my mother changed her spiritual path and part of that change was going vegan. Let me put this into perspective; this was 1970 something....tofu was not available in every grocery store in town. Skipping a fast food meal was akin to not watching television while eating dinner and cable television was a gleam in some TV executives eye. It sucked! I was the only kid at my school that ate rice cakes with almond butter for lunch EVERYDAY. I jumped at every chance I could get to visit my grandfather. My grandfather was from Georgia and fried everything in lard and covered it with gravy. Ahhh lard ohhhhhh gravy.
At any rate here I am many years later and hopefully a bit wiser. I'm heading right back where my mom pointed me years ago (sorry for not listening sooner mom). Giving up meat was not a biggie for me although I have had my share of relapses. I made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without starving ,though I did get a few looks from concerned family and friends.
Now, I don't make resolutions (I can never keep them anyway) but this year I did decide to take better care of myself physically and emotionally. To that end I have decided to chronicle my 21 vegan adventure as a way of keeping myself motivated (I like to read my own writing). So if you are out there and need something to read for a moment or two for the next 21 days....

By the way if you would like to give it a try here's the website that pushed me http://www.21daykickstart.org/ .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

No new years resolutions for this girl!
Traditional resolutions have never worked for me so, this year I'm just making a super jumbo and ever changing To-Do list. Every time I think of something I want to do or really need to do I will add it to the list. As I accomplish things on the list or decide that they are no longer important enough to belong on the list they will be removed.

1) Finish the "Not really freeform...But totally not from a pattern" afghan I have been working on for the last 3 years.
2) Workout for 30 minutes, 3 times a week for one month. Thinking I need a chart or something to track this...maybe something with cute stickers like what people use to potty train their kids.
3) Get myself a good pocket sized camera. The D3000 will have to wait.
4) Learn to drive a stick. Why I suddenly feel the need at my age is beyond me but I do.
5) Finally knit a sweater for myself. Why is it that we crafters never make things for ourselves?
6) Try one new vegan recipe per week. I'm nearly there but I have to say I'm having real trouble with cheese....I like cheese Gromit.

Okay so right now it's not so jumbo but it is going to be changing.....