Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Party

Lots and lots of food... This wasn't even counting the burgers, hot dogs, black bean burgers and mac-n-cheese!

"Bobbing" for doughnuts!

And Trick-or-Treating!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

I'll be honest, I hate carving pumpkins... It's seriously no fun job. It’s cold outside which means if you choose to carve/gut the pumpkin outside you’re facing a good hour of freezing, slime covered hands and a kid who's crying because they have freezing, slime covered hands... And then if you choose to carve/gut the pumpkin in the house, you end up with "cementkin". Pumpkin cement. When the stuff dries you might as well get out the chisel. I wish they'd just sell pumpkins like they do turkey's... Cut, cleaned and with the guts already in a neatly packed bag.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chocolate Chip Scones

These crispy scones have enough chocolate to seem like an indulgence. Dunk them in your morning coffee for a delicious start to your day.

    2 cups self-rising flour
    3 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup soy milk
    1/4 soft silken tofu
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

• Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a large baking sheet and set it aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the vegetable shortening until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
• In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk, tofu, and vanilla.
• Add the contents of the small bowl and the chocolate chips to the crumb mixture and blend with a fork until the mixture forms a soft dough.
• Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it 5 or 6 times.
• With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 7-inch circle. Cut it into 8 wedges and place them about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
• Pierce the top of each with a fork. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.
• Serve hot.

Makes 8 scones

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Biscuits" and Gravy

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 4 servings

4 frozen BOCA Meatless Breakfast Patties
1 pkg. (2.64 oz.) low-fat country gravy mix
2 cups water
4 whole wheat English muffins, split, toasted

MICROWAVE patties as directed on pkg.
MEANWHILE, prepare gravy mix with water in medium saucepan as directed on pkg. Chop patties. Add to gravy; mix well.
PLACE 2 muffin halves on each plate; top with about 1/2 cup of the gravy mixture.

Substitute 1 pkg. (1.8 oz.) white sauce mix for the country gravy mix. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper.

Substitute 4 biscuits, split, for the English muffins.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boca Ramen Soup

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 2 servings

3 cups water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) ramen noodle soup mix, mushroom or oriental variety
1 pouch (1 cup) frozen BOCA Meatless Ground Burger
1 green onion, thinly sliced

BRING water to boil in small saucepan.
ADD noodles and ground burger. Return to boil; cook 3 min. Remove from heat.
STIR in contents of the seasoning packet (from soup mix) and onion until well blended.

For a thicker consistency, prepare as directed decreasing water to 2 cups.

Special Extra
Garnish each with a thinly sliced small mushroom just before serving.

Monday, October 26, 2009

USA Cares

This civilian group, formed in 2003, helps families with various problems that arise during deployments and mobilizations, with a focus on helping families through short-term financial crunches. They have a program, for example, that can help families avoid losing their homes because of financial difficulties related to deployments.

Contact: (800) 773-0387;

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Navy Ball 2009

All I got... This pic... It was held on base, in the gym... And was HOT! And not like a good hot... Like 90 degreese hot... Which is weird cuz it's October... No open bar... No rediclious drunks to make fun of... Dry buffet food... I think i'm going to call this ball a bust.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I don’t know about your family, but mine loves pumpkin seeds! There are a lot of different “recipes” out there, but I thought i'd share the “recipe” that we use.


  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons "seasoned salt"
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon [ionized] salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter, seasoned salt and gerlic powder.
  • Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of salt.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally and watch carefully!

California Hoppin' John

Recipe By :Crockery Cookbook, Sunset, pg 72
Serving Size : 8

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
2 quarts plus 3 cups water
1 medium onion -- finely chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1 7 oz can diced green chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 dried or canned chipotle chile
1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
3 large tomatoes -- peeled & chopped
salt to taste

Rinse and sort through peas. In a deep 3 1/2 to 4 quart pan, bring 2 quarts of the water to a boil over high heat. Add peas. Let water return to a boil; then boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rise peas, discarding cooking water.

In a 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, green chiles, cumin, pepper, baking soda, and chipotle chile. Stir in peas; pour in remaining 3 cups water. Cover and cook at low setting until peas are tender and to bite (9 to 10 hours).

Remove and discard chipotle chile; stir in rice and tomatoes. Increase cooker setting to high; cover and cook until rice is tender to bite (45 to 55 more minutes). Season to taste with salt. Serve in wide shallow bowls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Nearly 1 million military children attend public school in districts operated by local educational agencies. School officials increasingly are working to make the transition easier for military children when they move from one school to another because a military parent changes duty stations.

Groups such as the Military Child Education Coalition and the Military Impacted Schools Association have been working with schools on a variety of issues related to military children. Defense officials also have begun working with school districts that want to learn more about helping military children in transition and in dealing with aspects of the military lifestyle.

Some schools operated by local public school districts are physically located on military installations; but the Defense Department also operates schools on some military bases.


Schools for children of service members and Defense Department civilians are located on a number of installations. The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) oversees these facilities, grouping them into two systems: the stateside Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) and the overseas Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS). All schools within DoDEA are fully accredited by U.S. accreditation agencies.

Domestic schools. The Defense Department operates 64 DDESS schools, mostly elementary, at 17 installations in seven states, Puerto Rico and Cuba, with more than 2,300 education professionals serving about 26,000 students, according to November 2007 DoDEA statistics. The schools offer pre-kindergarten through 12th grade for eligible children who live on posts or bases.

Overseas schools. DoDDS-Europe operates 90 schools in five districts — Bavaria, Heidelberg, Isles, Kaiserslautern and Mediterranean — and serves about 38,000 school-age children of active-duty military and federal civilian employees.

DoDDS-Pacific serves more than 23,000 students enrolled in 45 schools across Japan, South Korea, Okinawa and Guam.

DoDDS is free for children of service members and federal civilian employees. Enrollment is guaranteed for “command-sponsored” children, those for whom the active-duty member has official approval to bring family members overseas at government expense. Children without command sponsorship can enroll for free if space is available. Nonmilitary children also can enroll if space is available, but they must pay tuition.

All DoDDS high schools are accredited by the North Central Accreditation Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. DDESS high schools are undergoing a phased accreditation by the NCA-CASI.

Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, the DoDEA high school graduation requirement is 26 credits for students, up from 24.

Special education programs. DoDEA provides free education to all students with disabilities who are entitled to enroll in the military’s overseas and stateside schools. The school system serves children with mild to severe disabilities. Programs are offered for children with learning, physical, communication or emotional impairments.

Preschool services are provided for disabled children as young as 3. Active-duty members must enroll children with disabilities in the Exceptional Family Member Program, which helps ensure the child’s educational and medical needs can be met.

All the services have the Exceptional Family Member Program, but they’re organized differently. The Army and Marine Corps have EFMP advocates in installation family centers, while the Navy and Air Force have EFMP programs and special-needs coordinators in their medical treatment facilities.

Contact: Department of Defense Education Activity, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1635. Overseas schools, (703) 588-3051; Special education office, (703) 588-3148; The vast majority of military children attend civilian schools, and many make a transition every few years to another school when their military parent transfers to a new duty location. The Defense Department Web site is designed for students, parents, educators and military officials, with information to help all those involved make the transition easier for the student, whether the child attends schools operated by the Defense Department or public school districts.

Military Child Education Coalition. Parents, students and educators can find a wealth of information about specific state requirements and other military children’s education issues at this group’s Web site,

The MCEC looks at everything that affects education or other opportunities for military children from birth through post-secondary school — from emotional challenges related to school transitions or the deployment of a parent, to differences in state policies that make it difficult to transfer from one school to another.

All the military services, along with many school districts that educate large numbers of military children, participate in the coalition. The MCEC’s focus on partnerships encourages such flexible practices as helping a student meet graduation requirements when transferring late in a high school career.

MCEC’s SchoolQuest, at http://www, is an online tool for families on the move who want to learn about future schools that may fit the needs of their children. It asks questions about relocation plans and each school-aged child’s educational needs, then sorts through a database compiled by a team of researchers to present resources, contact information and transition advice about the school districts and schools that serve the selected military community.

SAT/ACT preparatory programs. Military families can get a free SAT or ACT preparatory program through a donation by professional football players who are part of the Victory Sports Group. Visit; click on “Free SAT/ACT Prep Materials.”

Cold Feet

In military family's it almost never seems like a good time to plan for a baby

We had originally planned to have our children 3 years apart. Well here my daughter is 3-1/2 and she still has no sister or brother... Not even one on the way.

My husband and I had been planning on getting pregnant some time this month or next. Which would put the baby due July-August... Well we're now going to have to put the baby making on hold since his recruiting school in May may not be such a sure thing. We've been waiting and waiting on orders... I've learned to only believe things when I see them... And until I see the actual dates written and signed on paper, I'm not holding my breath for anything.

We're only like 75% sure the hubby would be gettin in the May recruiting class, which would put him at a late June graduation date.... And then when I really got to thinking about it, not having a CLUE where we will be PCSing to, till 3 WEEKS prior to the move... And being 8-9 months pregnant... Hmm... That might not be such a good idea.

So we've been thinking... Maybe it would be a better idea to wait till we get the actual orders

Tomato Pasta Soup


2 small tomatoes
1 small onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
About 1.5 cups of pasta (We always use star-shaped pasta)
Oil for frying
Garlic Salt
Dash of salt
Other spices you might want (We use Mrs. Dash)
Half can of tomato puree or sauce

1. Cut the onion into slices and add to a saucepan along with the garlic cloves and the oil. Fry for about three minutes.

2. In a blender add the lightly fried onion slices, garlic cloves, tomato, tomato sauce, cilantro, and a little bit of water in case it turns out too thick. Blend until smooth.

3. In a pot, fry the pasta until golden brown.

4. Add the blended sauce to the pasta along with one cup of water. Boil for about 10 minutes until pasta cooks thoroughly. While the pasta boils, add all the spices.

5. Leave on the stove for about 5 minutes or until it cools out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Banana Muffins

1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 package ground Boca
1 lb. firm tofu
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 tsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. salt
4 cups tomato sauce

• Mash bananas (overripe ones make the best bread). Add oil/margarine and sugar. Mix well.
• Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together and add to the banana mixture. Mix until the flour is blended (do not beat).
Pour into muffin pans or a bread pan and bake at 360°F until a toothpick comes out clean.

Optional: Add a handful of walnuts, oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, currants, coconut, or all of the above!

Makes 1 Dozen Muffins

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shepherd’s Pie

If you're wary of replacing the dairy in your recipes, never fear—blended tofu makes a great substitute for soft cheese.

    1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
    2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    1 package ground Boca
    1 lb. firm tofu
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    1/4 cup soy milk
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    2 Tbsp. lemon juice
    3 tsp. minced fresh basil
    2 tsp. salt
    4 cups tomato sauce

• Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
• Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside.
• Place the tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the spinach.
• Cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of the noodles). Follow with half of the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half of the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Costco Style Chick'n Bake

So after going to costco and watching them make chicken bakes thru the window I was like hey I can make that vegan! So I asked the guy sitting next to me for a napkin and a pen and started writing all over the napkin like a crazy person haha. Today the dream was realized when I made the Chick'n Bake and let me tell you I thought it would taste good but omfg it tastes exactly like the real thing! Seriously though you need to make this and it doesn't even take that long to make so you have no excuses.

First you need to make the Pizza Dough for the outside the dough isn't my recipe I found it on VegWeb.



1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water (dissolve yeast in luke warm water)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted margarine

Mix all ingredients and leave in bowl while you prepare the filling.

Chick'n Bake Filling

Follow your heart Mozzarella Cheeze
1/4 cup Bac'uns fake bacon bits
1/4 cup Green Onion
Whole Package Chick'n Strips (I use lightlife)
1/2 tablespoon per bake Vegan Ranch Sauce

Preheat Oven to 400' degrees

Grate about a half of the block of cheeze don't put all of the cheeze in the filling bowl put a little bit in a second bowl because your going to need it later. Take the bac'uns and put them into a bowl add a tablespoon of water and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds this just softens them up so they aren't crunchy. Add the softened bac'uns to the filling bowl. Cut the green onion and add to the filling bowl along with the chick'n strips.

Ok so now your going to need the dough cut the dough into 2 pieces and roll it out flat put the 1/2 tablespoon of ranch sauce in the middle of the dough and spread it not all the way to the edges but almost. Then add half of the filling pull the dough over the filling making a pocket then roll don't fold the ends just pinch them a little. Sprinkle a little bit of the cheese onto the top of the chick'n bake and place in the oven until the whole thing is golden brown.

This should make about 2-3 Chick'n Bakes Depending on which size you make them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Recipe by Chef Lindsay
Found on


2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups brewed coffee
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soy milk, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Remaining Ingredients:
1/4 cup vegan white sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
2 cups vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tablespoons oil, shortening, or vegan margarine


To Make the Brownies:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325F. Prepare a 9×9 pan by greasing it and then lining it with parchment paper.

2. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the coffee, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup soy milk, and vegetable oil.

4. Combine the wet and dry mixes and stir well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool on a wire rack completely.

To Make the Cookie Dough:

In a large bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, white sugar, and 1/2 cup margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add remaining 2 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; blend well. Lightly spoon remaining 1 cup flour into measuring cup. Add flour; mix well. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate while preparing glaze.

To Make Glaze:

In the top of a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoons of oil, shortening, or margarine. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Carefully spoon over the cookie dough layer; spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Peanut Noodles


  • 8 oz. linguine
  • 1/3 c. lowat creamy peanut butter
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1.5 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 to 2 t. chile paste w/garlic
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 3/4 c. seeded cucumber
  • 3 scallions, diagonally sliced in 1/4" pieces to make 1/4 c.
  • 2 t. chopped cilantro (or favorite seasoning)
  • lime juice

  • Cook linguine & drain.
  • Combine peanut butter with 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, vinegar & chile paste in blender & blend to consistency of cream.
  • Add linguine and vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and lime.

(serves 6)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maple Mustard-Glazed Potatoes and String Beans

  • 2 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes (halved, about 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 lb. string beans, halved, ends cut off and discarded
  • 1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
  • 3 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. olive oil


Preheat oven to 400. Put the potatoes in a 9x13 inch casserole dish (or rimmed pan). Stir together the remaining ingredients until the mustard is dissolved. Pour over the potatoes and mix well. Cover with foil and put in oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Removed from oven, add the green beans, and toss. Turn oven down to 350 and cook for 25 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and toss again, cook for 25 minutes more uncovered. Let them cool down a bit after they are cooked so that the sauce becomes more sticky. Best served at room temperature.

(Recipe as posted at Stivers' Family Update, originally from Vegan with a Vengeance)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake!

We have an Ice Cream place out here called Bruisers that comes out with these amazing seasonal flavors. The new fall flavors I absolutely love are Pumpkin Pie Ripple, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pecan, and Pumpkin Yogurt. I wish I was less lazy and could/would make homemade pumpkin ice cream... But yeah, way too much work for me... So I settled for a home made pumpkin pie milk shake. YUMMY!
  • 2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup fat-free milk (or soymilk)
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Place the ice cream, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar and pumpkin-pie spice in a blender
  • Process until smooth.
  • Pour 3/4 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 glasses.
  • Top each with 2 teaspoons whipped topping
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon , if desired.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour ( I’ve been trying to use more whole wheat flour so I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup regular)
1 cup splinda, plus 2 tsp. more
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup vanilla soymilk
3 Tbs. melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Combine flour, splindaand baking powder in a medium-size bowl. Stir in soymilk by hand and melted butter. Fold in blueberries. Fill each cup 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Cookie Dip

Little and big children love this! Serve with graham cracker “sticks” or ginger snaps, or if you want to go the healthier rout, you can let your little ones dip apples in this! Super yummy! I've also used this on a bagel before. Mmmm... It does make bunch though, so you may want to consider cutting the recipe in half!


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow cream
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth.
  • Fold in pumpkin and cinnamon.
  • Cover, and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
  • ENJOY!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eggless Banana Bread

Eggless Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas
1/4 c. vegetable oil (I used 1/4 c. applesauce instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour (I used 1 c. all purpose and 1 c. whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (I didn’t use nuts - didn’t have any)

Mash bananas (overripe make the best bread). Add oil, vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Sift flour, salt and soda together and add to banana mixture with walnuts if using. Mix until flour is blended in but do not overmix.

Put into loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove to rack to cool completely before cutting.

Notes: My substitutions are in blue. I made muffins vs. bread and baked about 20 minutes until my knife came out clean. I think next time I’ll make the bread. They turned out pretty delish.

Candy Corn Garland

Here is a Halloween treat brought to you by Skip To MyLou!

Just download the candy corn garland pages

Candy Corn Garland page 1

Candy Corn Garland page 2

Candy Corn Garland page 3

Candy Corn Garland page 4

Candy Corn Garland page 5

Print them out on heavy card-stock, making two copies of page one. We cut them out and then made a hole with a very small rectangle hole punch on each side at the top of each candy corn and then threaded the letters onto a skinny ribbon. Next, because my craft companion is all about glitter we gave them a light coat of spray adhesive and then a helping of crystal clear glitter.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Caramel Bars

For the Crust:
1 cup of Earth Balance
1 cup light unbleached or white beet sugar
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (you can make vegan powdered sugar pulsing the raw cane sugar in your food processor or blender with a tablespoon of cornstarch)
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat pastry flour too)

For the Filling:
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup of soy milk

Start by making the crust, mix the Earth Balance and sugars using a handheld or upright mixer until creamy. Slowly add in the flour, the mixture will be crumbly but be able to form a ball if you gather it in your hands.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, and lightly spray your 9×13 pan. Press about half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake this for 25 minutes, it will still be very pale….like shortbread.

Let this cool while you make your caramel filling. In a sauce pan add all ingredients for filling except the soy creamer. Heat on medium heat stirring constantly until boiling. Once it is boiling using either a candy thermometer (or glass of cold water nearby) boil until the temp is 245 degrees F. I don’t have a thermometer and the hole “hard/soft ball” thing always scared me….after it is boiling for about 3-5 minutes every now and then you can drop a bit of the caramel into the cold water. The caramel is done when the drop in the water stays together. If you pull it out of the water it will even look like caramel! Otherwise the caramel will kind of just sink to the bottom but look sugary and dissolve a bit.

Once the caramel is done remove it from the heat. As it cools it will become thicker and stiffer. Resist the urge to just eat the caramel and screw the bars. Remember the bottom crust is already baked, might as well go through with it. :)

While the caramel is still warm and stir able add the soy creamer and stir until its fully mixed it. Then pour/spread the caramel onto the cooked bottom crust. Then take the remaining dough and crumble it over the whole top.

Bake it on 325 degrees F for about 35 minutes. The caramel will become bubbly and leak out of the sides of the topping a little bit. Best served warm!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Legal Assistance

Service members can get free legal advice for a variety of needs, particularly in preparing tax returns and in understanding any contract before signing it, from car loans to rental leases.

All service branches designate lawyers to help active-duty members and, if time and resources permit, their families and retirees. Members assigned to installations too small to provide legal services can use those of any nearby installation.

Legal assistance attorneys do not represent clients facing military or civilian criminal charges, or provide assistance to clients on matters relating to private business ventures.

Attorneys are governed by a strict code of professional ethics that obligates them to keep information provided by a client confidential.

Contact: To find the nearest office, see

Installation legal assistance offices can help service members and their families with a wide variety of legal issues — free of charge. To find office closest to you, go online to

Vegetarian Mexican Taco Pizza Recipe

1 16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup salsa
1 - 12 inch thin crust pizza crust
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
1 yellow or green bell pepper, sliced into thin rings
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tbsp chopped cilantro or green onions

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place 3/4 cup beans in small bowl and partially mash with potato masher or back of wooden spoon. Add salsa; mix well.

Spread bean mixture evenly over pizza crust. Top pizza with cheese, remaining beans, peppers and onions.

Place pizza on baking sheet; bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Top with cilantro; cut into 12 thin wedges.

Enjoy your vegetarian taco pizza!

Fleet Week 2009

Military Citizen of the Year (MCOY) Luncheon: Doors open for registration at 11:30 am. Programs begins at noon and the Norfolk Marriott Waterside. Sponsored by Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Norfolk Armed Forces Committee. Recognizes and outstanding (enlisted E-6 and below) for demonstrated active participation in off-duty community events.

Norfolk Admirals Military Appreciation Night: 7:15 pm at the Norfolk Scope Arena. Season opener versus the Manchester Monarchs. $8 per ticket for groups of 25 or more when purchased through the Admirals Sales Office. Individual tickets $9 with military ID. For more info, call 757-640-1212 ext. 23 or visit

21st Annual Children’s Festival at Town Point Park: 10 am to 3 pm. Hampton Roads' most beloved family festival is filled with more than 100 creative and interactive activities, storytelling, hands-on workshops and educational displays, cultural experiences, arts and crafts, costumed characters and more! This event is designed with children 10 and younger in mind. For tickets or more information, check out the website at
8th Annual Rumble through the Tunnels: Ride starts at 8 am. at Harbor Park and finishes at approximately 2 pm. at Bayside Harley-Davidson. Register on site at Harbor Park or pre-register at the sponsor, Bayside Harley-Davidson, Portsmouth, VA. Largest motorcycle event in the country honoring USN, USMC and USCG. Proceeds donated to Navy-Maine Corps Relief Society. Check their website for details.
Navy Day at Mariner’s Museum: Includes Navy Dive Tank and divers who worked on the Monitor recovery, U.S Fleet Forces Jazz Ensemble.
DC Olympics at the Beach @ 31st St. Park: From 11 am to 6 pm. Includes food tasting, restaurant tasting, American Idol star Felicia Barton, U.S. Fleet Forces Band performance Bodybuilding Contest Norfolk naval Shipyard. Open to military members only.

Military Appreciation Day at Virginia Zoo: From 10 am to 4 pm. Open and free to all military personnel and their families. Children’s games, music, inflatable rides, face painting, clowns and military displays. Call 757-764-5232 for more info or visit

Speaker at Vista Point: Sponsored by the Flagship, the theme is ‘Teamwork’, speaker is Bruce Smith (NFL Buffalo Bills/Redskins fame, known as “The Sack Man” a Norfolk native)

Fleet Week 5K at Dam Neck: Open to all military personnel and their families. Each runner requested to bring non-perishable food which will be donated to the Food Bank.
Fleet Week Golf Tournament @ Sewells Point Golf Course Naval Station Norfolk: Registration and light lunch at 11 am; shotgun start at noon; and BBQ dinner, longest drive, closest to the pin and door prizes at 5 pm. Free practice balls and goodie bags. Entry fee is $55 per person, $25 from every entry will be donated to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. This tournament is open to all active duty, retirees and the general public.

HRNM Lecture Luncheon @ Vista Point: Subject is “The Navy Cross: Extraordinary Heroism in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts”. Speakers are James Wise and Scott Baron (Vietnam veteran)

Outdoor Rec Day at Cheatham Annex: Includes golf tournament, fishing and 10K run (produced by MWR, open to DoD card-holders only)

OCTOBER 17 & 18
NAS Oceana Air Show: A celebration of flight, A celebration of life. Gates open at 8am. For more information, check out the website at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I know I'm totally bombarding you with recipes but Alton Brown was on The View today and had a totally genius recipe that I just had to share! I know I might be the last person to know about this, but he made "noodles" out of eggplants! HaHa. This recipe makes 4 servings with each containing ONLY 322 calories and with only 18 carbs, or if your on Adkins only 7 non fiber carbs. That's incredible for a dinner!

* 2 medium-large eggplants
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 4 small tomatoes, seeded & chopped
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 4 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
* 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
* fresh ground black pepper
* salt (for salting the eggplant)

  • Peel each eggplant, leaving 1" of skin unpeeled at the top & bottom. Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, about 1/4" thick.
  • Evenly sprinkle each slice with salt & lay out for 30 minutes on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack.
  • Rinse with cold water & roll in paper towels. Slice the pieces into thin fettucine-like strips.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic & crushed red pepper, & cook until garlic is golden & aromatic.
  • Add th eggplant 'pasta' & toss to coat. Add the tomatoes & cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream & increase the heat to thicken the sauce.
  • Finally, add the basil & Parmesan. Toss to combine. Season with black pepper but remember the eggplant will already be salty enough!

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Recipe from:

Note: A 15 or 16 ounce can of pumpkin will equal the 2 cups of pumpkin needed for this recipe.


For the brownie layer

4 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder

1 tablespoon tapioca flour (or arrowroot or corn starch)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin pie layer

1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin

2 tablespoons tapioca flour (or use arrowroot or cornstarch)

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch ground allspice

To decorate:

A handful of chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, or use a 9 inch square pan, preferably lined with parchment paper.

To make the brownie layer:

Melt the chocolate (I still don’t need to tell you how to melt chocolate, right?).

In a large mixing bowl mix together pumpkin, sugar, oil and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, tapioca, baking soda and salt and stir to combine, then mix in the melted chocolate.

To make the pumpkin layer:

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.

To assemble:

Use a spatula to spread the brownie layer into the prepared baking pan, taking care to bring the batter to the edges of the pan. Pour the pumpkin layer over it, leaving a little room at the edges if you can. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin layer looks fairly firm (a little jiggling is okay) and has cracked at the edges a bit.

Let cool for 20 minutes and then transfer to the fridge to set for at least an hour and a half. Once set, decorate with chocolate chips and serve.


I had... Well I still have my "Semi-Homemade Vegetarian Cooking" blog... Ok some of you probably didn't even know I had it... But it's been nearly a year since I've updated it... I've let it sit there thinking at some point I would come back and start posting again... But then I found myself posting all my recipes and cooking finds here... Which made my other blog pointless.

Sooooooo... In an attempt to save all my recipes, and share them with those who hadn't been following my
"Semi-Homemade Vegetarian Cooking" blog... Over the next few months I will slowley be saving my recipes here so I may delete my old blog... So I'm sure you will notive an abundence of recipes... I hope you all enjoy them, and don't get too annoyed. I will probably auto save a recipe to be posted a day, but will still be posting my regular (non food related) blogs. (-:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monkey Bread

4 pkgs Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
1 jar cinnamon-sugar mixture
Large Zip-Loc bag
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

Separate the biscuits and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.
Next, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a large Zip-Loc bag and add the biscuit pieces into that mixture... Then shake, shake, shake it all up.
Now, melt 1 cup brown sugar and 1 stick of butter together.
Put the coated biscuits into an ungreased Bundt pan. Drizzle butter-brown sugar mixture over the top of biscuits.
Bake 375 degree preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden... And...
Tada! Monkey bread. Now how delicious does this look?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Easy Hummus

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean
liquid, until desired consistency is achieved.

Friday, October 2, 2009

USO Centers

The United Service Organizations operates more than 130 centers worldwide offering hospitality in commercial and military airports, on military bases and at Navy fleet centers.

Contact: Information can be found at military family support centers, or call USO World Headquarters, Washington, D.C., at (703) 908-6400, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I just finished jotting down everything on the calendar for the month and HOLY COW!
I know my husband was hoping to find a free week where we could drive up to see his family since he's on leave for the majority of the month... But we don't even have two free days in a row!