Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Times Are In His Hands

Spending time in the Word one morning, recently, being pretty broken over something deep, I had an epiphany.  Ya know...the one you know, but always seem to forget?  So, what do I do...just in case anyone else needs to hear it, or be reminded...I post it on Facebook!  😉

This is what I believe God was reminding me about.  So, I'm throwing it out into cyber space in case you also need to know or be reminded, too...for what it's worth!

My post went like this...
Any planners out there?!? Feel like life is out of your control?? The truth is, it is...I'm learning and trying real hard to let it go and remind myself that my times are in HIS hands (Psalm 31:14-15), not mine, no matter how hard I try to plan. I felt I should post in case anyone else needs to hear this right now. I know I need to...so be at peace. For the planner, I know what it's like to, at first, feel the shock that you're ultimately not the one in control....Oh!  And then constantly having to let it go and put it back down...day after day...month after month...and years if that's what it takes...but, be at peace. When your Father is directing your steps, that's a pretty peaceful thought. That's what we planners need to hold on to...thank you for listening! 

Proverbs 16:9 AMP
A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life],
But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Really Been A Long Time...

Hi All!

Yeah it's been really long time since I have last blogged.  A lot has happened.

We've had a new addition to the family...

My Little Man
7 lbs, 20 in
born at home
October 26, 2012, 1:41 AM

Yep!  I birthed him at home!  It was all planned!  Three and a half hours of labor so he showed up pretty fast.  Pretty intense labor, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.  It was the perfect experience!  I recommend to anyone who is low risk to birth at home.  Had my baby, and after it was all done, took my baby right to my bed.  MY bed!!!  So nice!

So, yes, now, I'm finally trying to get back on my feet again.  Pregnancy wasn't very easy this time around.  You get tired pretty quickly when you have to waddle everywhere and chase a very active 5 year old and a 2 year old.    There wasn't much time where I could put my feet up and rest like they tell you to do in all the preggo books.  I suffered from back pain, achy hips, varicose veins, major fatigue, being hormonal, and nausea, but I continued to press on!  I would love to have more, but I really have to count the cost from the nine months I went through this third pregnancy.   It was no picnic!  I'm sure a few years from now I'll forget everything...Oh, boy!

In between contractions, with a smile on my face!

Why home birth, you may wonder?  I knew I was low risk first off...although I have thalassemia.  I also knew that I wouldn't use any pain meds.  Never did for my other two because I know the risks and longer recovery involved from using them, plus, I had quick labors with the other two as well.  So, not a lot of time to get hooked up to an epidural.  And the main reason is because I didn't want any hospital intervention what so ever.  I hate hospitals, and I'll be nice by saying I don't like doctors.  I feel like you're treated as a medical problem rather than a mother naturally birthing her baby.  I had good experiences in the hospital with my other two, but I didn't like the labor/birth experience, as good as they went.  I felt rushed and it seemed all so impersonal.  I have a relationship with my midwife, and she cares about me.  She was always looking out for my best interest and aloud me to have full control of my labor and delivery unless she felt she needed to intervene in any way.  She was amazing!!!    

   My midwife (my right) and her assistant

I also wanted the best delivery for my baby.  Less stress on him was the key.  I knew being at home that stress on me would be lowered to a minimum not having to worry about rushing to the hospital and getting there on time...don't want to be birthing the baby in the car...not having doctors and nurses yelling at you to push, and not having people tell you how to take care of your baby.  I had gotten yelled at for co-sleeping with my daughter when I was in the hospital for her.  I was hurt.  I know they have regulations and they have to protect their butts, but still.  It seems the hospitals don't encourage the mother/baby bonding relationship that is suppose to happen once a baby is born.  First off, they take the baby to be cleaned immediately after it's born rather than give you the baby to nurse, if you don't request to hold your baby first.  That should be common knowledge and shouldn't have to be requested!  Then they swaddle it tightly and keep it in a plastic container.  I held my baby for 3 days straight from the time I delivered him.  He remained only in a diaper those 3 days until my midwife told me it was probably time I should start dressing him!  I remained barely clothed myself those first three days as well because all I wanted to do was cuddle him skin to skin.  That bonding those first few days is so important, and I feel, hospitals don't encourage that bonding!  It's sad!  My baby is the easiest I have had.  I have no complaints!  He barely cries, he nurses very well, and he is always content.  I really feel that my decision in a home birth and the bonding time I have had with him has had something to do with it.

So, bottom line, I am a HUGE advocate for home birthing!

MUST READ...Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Her website...inamay.com  

MUST SEE..."The Business of Being Born"...was on Netlfix!!

Anyways, I think posts may still be far and few between, though, for the heads up.  My son started kindergarten this past September, and I am home schooling him, plus, my youngest being born in October; it's been a lot to take on all at once.  I want to continue sharing more recipes that I have tweaked or veganized...tried some new recipes since my last post...but I think I may want to share other things as well "for what it's worth!"

Talk to you soon!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yeah, It's Been A While...

Yeah, it's been a while...

Many reasons...

This first trimester has been very difficult (I'm currently 14 weeks).  I have never felt this nauseous and this tired with my other two.  I'm almost out of it, and I hope I can pick things up again on a more regular basis around here.

Plus, I have spent the last two weeks in Italy.  My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and we took a tour around Italy to celebrate.  What an experience!  I don't think I have ever eaten so much pasta, gelato, and pizza in 14 days straight in my entire life!  And I grew up in an Italian household!  I wanted to try every gelato flavor, every type of pasta, and every pizza at every place we stopped at.  It was all delicious!  Thank God my nausea began to die down in the beginning of the trip, and I was able to have more of an appetite.

Being in Europe was like being on another planet for me.  I've never left the country before.  Communicating with the Italians from the "old country" took some time, not knowing the language very well (I only know the Italian American version...very little of it, too).  But by the end of the trip, I felt like an expert!  It's amazing the difference in accent, language, and culture between the Italians from Italy and the Italian American culture I grew up with.  I didn't even feel like I was a real Italian being over there!  Very interesting!

Gaining 6 hours on the way there, and loosing 6 hours on the way back, I think, was the worst of the trip.  Being tired all the time as it is, that just threw me off.  When we got there, I had to wait a whole day before I could go to bed...we flew there through the night...and on the way home, we were up for 22 hours before I could go to bed.  Not fun!  And then, my hubby took a cold home with him.   Nice!

So, I think visiting Europe will not become much of a regular thing for us...I've always loved road trips cross country!!

Anyways, thank you for bearing with me!  :)  I hope that my past posts have been a help to you.  There will be more soon!

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Version of Scrambled Tofu In A Burrito With Non-dairy Cheese Sauce

 I would like to share one of my versions of tofu scramble.  I do have another version, but decided to experiment with what I had in the fridge because I NEED to go food shopping.  I sauteed some frozen chopped spinach and frozen broccoli with a medium russet potato for the filling along with extra-firm tofu and seasonings.  It came out real good!  We stuffed some tortillas, to make some burritos, with the scramble along with the non-dairy cheese sauce made with nutritional yeast.  I then placed them on my griddle to toast them a little so they would hold together for the kids to be able to handle to eat.  Delicious!

Here's my recipe...following is the "cheese" sauce recipe...

Jamie's Tofu Scramble

You can access the printable version of this recipe HERE.

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 medium russet potato, chopped

1/2 cup frozen broccoli, chopped

1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach

1 - 14 ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled by hand

salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium low.  Once oil is heated, saute the chopped potato keeping an eye it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan by stirring it around every so often.  

When potato is tender, stir in the spinach, broccoli, and tofu and heat through.  

Add in the seasonings to taste.  

Sauté until heated through and seasonings are blended well.  The turmeric is used for the coloring as well as the flavor to give it that scrambled egg look.

After I "scrambled" the tofu and veggies, I made burritos!  I browned both sides of the burritos on my griddle.

Then I turned them over...

Here's the recipe for the "cheese" sauce.  This recipe is one of my mother's creations.  I grew up on this recipe.  We used it for the tofu scramble as well as Mexican Night when we would make burritos, nachos and "cheese," tacos, or tostados.  We would also pour it over our baked potato, too, with some steamed broccoli.  YUM!

Mom's Non-Dairy Cheese Sauce

You can access the printable version of this recipe HERE.

3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (you can find this yeast at your local health food store, or at Bulkfoods.com)

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (whole wheat flour can be used, too, but the sauce becomes slightly grainy)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard

Combine the yeast, flour, and salt in a medium sauce pan.

Add the water...

...and oil and combine well.  

Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until sauce thickens.  And last, mix in the mustard and heat through until simmering and bubbly. 

PS...I'm 10 weeks pregnant and I feel GREAT...yeah, okay...And that is the reason why my posts have been slowing down, but I wasn't ready to broadcast the good news yet.  So, please, bear with me!  Morning sickness is more like all-day sickness and I am soooooooooo tired.  YAY!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ravioli's Made with Wonton Wrappers

Today was productive!  Tried some new things, too.  I made a new recipe for lunch taken from another really cool blog and then decided to experiment for dinner...

....see below for recipe...

For breakfast, we had steel cut oats with some maple syrup.  I think steel cut oats are way better because of the chewy texture.  I never made it for the kids before, but they ate it right up.  I found online, that you can make steel cut oats in the rice cooker.  So, I tried it.  Definitely worked!  You can't just set it up and walk away though.  At least not toward the end of cooking.  Once the oats start to get tender, you may want to stir it a bit and watch it until it all gets creamy because it seemed like it was going to start sticking to the bottom if I didn't stir it.  It didn't seem to take as long as cooking in the pot, so it was definitely worth the try.

To make in the rice cooker, do 1 part oats to 3 parts water...I made 1 cup of oats and added 3 cups of water...enough for my son, my daughter, and I.

For lunch, I tried a new recipe from the blog Weelicious.  The blog is full of great recipes for the entire family with a focus on babies and toddlers.  We all know it's a struggle to get kids to eat!  This blog is a help!  The recipe I tried today was Italian Parmesan Corncakes.  I didn't make them as pretty as the Weelicious picture, but they were tasty!  The kids really enjoyed them.  I used Galaxy Foods Rice Parmesan Cheese and Silk Organic Original Soy Milk.  Check out the rest of the blog when you get a chance.  You might find some good recipes that are helpful to get your kids to eat!

And last, for dinner, my experiment!  This is probably a disgrace to my Italian heritage, but I made raviolis out of wonton wrappers.  I took ideas from other recipes I had found online and did my own thing.   It worked!  And it was delicious!  By using the wrappers, I cut out the step of making the dough to save some time. 

So, here's what I did...

Wonton Raviolis  

For the wonton wrappers, I used Nasoya's wonton wrappers.  They are not vegan because they have eggs in them.  The package contains 48.  With the ricotta recipe below, I was able to make all 48 and have about 2 tablespoons of ricotta left over.

I started out by making the ricotta for the filling.  I made it vegan with extra-firm tofu.  The recipe I followed for the ricotta is from one of my favorite blogs I like to follow, All American Vegetarian.  The link to the recipe itself is Lasagna 2 Ways.  Just scroll down to the section for the ricotta, and follow the instructions there.  It is definitely a good ricotta recipe!

Follow the recipe from the link above...you'll need your food processor or your hands!

...then I set it aside...

Lay out each wrapper on a dry surface and scoop 1 teaspoon of ricotta on to the wrapper.

Then wet the edges with a little bit of water, fold the wrappers from corner to corner, and seal the edges.

As I made them I set them aside in a bake pan with a little bit of corn meal to keep them from sticking together.

In a large pot, filled a little over half way with water, bring water to a boil.  One at a time, carefully place raviolis in the pot.  Boil the raviolis until they are tender, about 2 to 5 minutes.

When done cooking, with a slotted spoon to drain water, scoop raviolis out of the pot and serve immediately in dishes.  I have learned that if you put them in a serving bowl with some tomato sauce, they still stick together.  They were hard to get out of the bowl to serve unless I was really careful.

We topped it with a favorite tomato sauce recipe and some Galaxy Foods Rice Parmesan.

 The texture of the cooked wonton wasn't exactly the same as an authentic ravioli, but it served its purpose and was still yummy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strawberries and Yogurt...Some "Meatloaf", Too

Yeah, it's been a while...I haven't been on top of my game, especially with blogging.  I haven't really tried a whole lot of new stuff either.  I kind of go through phases with new recipes.  I make something new every night and then I loose my momentum.  Please bare with me  :)  I may have been slowing down, but am not stopping.

So, today, I'll just blog what I have eaten.  It may give you some ideas to try some new stuff.

For breakfast, I had a very refreshing bowl of a half cup of Stonyfield French Vanilla Low-fat Yogurt.  My fave!...with about a cup of chopped ruby red strawberries and 2 tablespoons of my mother's Great Granola.  YUM!

Strawberries have been one of my favorite fruits these days.  I can't get enough of them!  

Lunch was leftovers...

Dinner was a new recipe I found on Happy Herbivore's  blog.  I have been searching for a really good veggie meat loaf recipe.  I thought I found one on VegWeb.com, but I think I found a better one.  Easy, tasty, and quick!  The longest part is the baking.  Since I didn't change anything, here's the link to the recipe.  You would need a package of Gimme Lean Beef-style ground "meat" to make it.  Gimme Lean can be pricey though.  When it's on sale, I grab a package or two for a quick meal when I can't make my imitation meat from scratch.

The recipe suggests baking for 1 hour and 30 minutes, but the recipe says it could be baked less and to check it, depending on your oven.  I could have baked it for a maximum of 1 hour and 15.  It was moist, but the edges got a tad crispy.  Still tasty though!  We topped it with a mushroom gravy recipe from VegWeb.com.  Another favorite of mine.

I can't wait to try it tomorrow, leftover.  I'm sure it makes a great sandwich!

We had the loaf with a side of baked potato...another fave of mine sine I was a kid...with a little bit of Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette...better than using butter, or even vegan butter...I love baked potato with dressing rather than butter.  Even when we eat out, I may ask for baked potato with some dressing on the side instead of fries to cut back on calories...and it's better for you!

I also used my new steamer today, my brother gave me for my birthday.  Great invention!  I steamed some carrots until they just began to soften and still had a bit of a crisp.  I set the timer and walked away!  The way I like it!  I do like the simplicity of the 1800's BUT I do appreciate the technology of today, no doubt!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crock Pot Vegetable Stew

Here's a  quick crock pot recipe!  I got it from the cookbook Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  The original title of the recipe is "Crock Pot Mediterranean Vegetable Stew."  My version of it is a "throw it all in the crock pot and turn it on" type recipe, which is why I like it.  I feel that if you're going to use the crock pot, why would you want to saute and do prepping before the food gets thrown in?  I don't have time...anyways, this recipe I modified and made it quicker.  I omitted some things as well.  For example; it called for a fennel bulb, but those can be expensive...even though they are delicious!  So, here's my version...

Jamie's Crock Pot Vegetable Stew

You can access a printable version of this recipe HERE.

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 large carrot, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 pound white potato, chopped (that's about 3 medium potatoes)

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 - 14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes, undrained OR 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 - 15.5 ounce canned chick peas, drained and rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all in the crock pot and set crock pot for 6 to 8 hours.  Done!

 We like to throw some pasta in, too.  I might use ditalini or some type of pasta that size.  I'll measure a cup of dry pasta and cook and drain it.  Then when stew is done, I throw it in.  But the pasta is definitely not necessary!