Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Vegan Feast of Thanks

This was my first vegan Thanksgiving meal and my first Tofurky Roast. I followed the recipe on the box this time, but will be on the lookout for a different basting sauce for the next time. I found the recipe for the dressing online, and between suggestions from my husband and my own ideas, will make some changes next year. The recipe for the gravy (Basic Brown Sauce) comes from the book, 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson. I've made it many times, but this is the first time I've used it as a gravy. It's delicious! The two recipes below are mine to share. The others are in the books I've mentioned. I've been a vegetarian for a very long time, but I was determined to make the entire meal free of any animal products.  I have made the pumpkin pie a number of times but this was the first time I've made a basic crust in decades. Until last year I was able to find frozen crusts using vegetable shortening. They all have lard in them now. This forced me to get over my fear of failure and make it myself! My only difficulty was in rolling it out to the ideal 11" round shape needed. It wasn't perfect looking but it tasted a-okay! 

Several of the key ingredients are not available even remotely close to us, but with planning I was able to have them on hand. I am so pleased it turned out as well as it did, and next will be better!!! 

Tofurky Roast w/Roasted Veggies, Dressing Made With Homemade Anadama and Italian Breads, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Steamed Veggies

Garlic Mashed Potatoes


  • 8 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes
  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ - 1 cup plain soy milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup vegan parmesan (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot.
Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes and drain.
Place drained potatoes and garlic in a mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients; beat with mixer until smooth.

Serves 6 to 8. 

Pumpkin Pie and Crust from Scratch!

Pumpkin Pie (Egg free)


1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup soy milk
¾ cup organic sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash salt
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
½ tsp. ginger, ground
¼ tsp. cloves, ground
9-inch pie shell (easy recipe in 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek)


  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into crust and smooth the top.
  3. Bake 15 minutes at 425°, then reduce oven temperature to 350°.  Bake until filling is set, about 50 to 60 minutes. (You may want to put a ring of foil over the crust after it's browned to perfection to prevent it from getting too dark.)  Chill.

Makes 8 servings.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Rustle of Leaves

"Time is an old firmly rooted tree; we are the breeze rustling its leaves." ~ Terri Guillemets
Digital photograph by Virginia Travis taken with a BlackBerry 9670 on 21 Nov 2011. Some Rights Reserved (please see Creative Commons License in the sidebar.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Music to My Ears

It's been five months since my last new music update and I'm thrilled with the awesome new tunes gracing my library and iPod. Alternative, rock, pop, and a soundtrack...REALLY good stuff!  I especially feel "with it" when my teenage daughter wants to listen to my music! w00t!

Broken Bells
The Ghost Inside (video)

The Civil Wars
Barton Hollow (video)

Florence + The Machine
Shake It Out (video) - (REALLY looking forward to having the entire Ceremonials Deluxe Album!)

The Fray
Heartbeat (video w/audio only) (their new album, Scars & Stories, is due out in February 2012!)

Jane's Addiction
Twisted Tales
Irresistible Force (video) - (these are my favorites so far...of course, I want the ENTIRE album!)

Jason Walker (the little known {why is that!?} pop artist from Illinois NOT the other guy!)
*Jason Walker (Down video w/audio and lyrics only)
*Midnight Starlight (Echo video w/audio and lyrics only)

Nothing In My Way

Kelly Clarkson
*Stronger (Mr. Know It All video)

Pearl Jam 
Nothing As It Seems
I Am Mine

Brand New Day (video)
Desert Rose (video)
A Thousand Years

Switchfoot (this band from San Diego has become a favorite in recent months)
*Vice Verses (Dark Horses video)

Various Artists
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I (A Thousand Years official video)

Woman (first heard this during a commercial for Covert Affairs)

*denotes entire album/EP