Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Our favorite Thanksgiving recipe!

This is a repeat of a past post! We are Periscoping this recipe today!

As you all know, I am not a food blogger. This is only my second blog post with a recipe. There are a ton of vegan food bloggers out there, so don't fret. I even have some of them linked here on my blog for your eating pleasure.

This recipe is from my husband, who grew up with this dish. I love it. In fact I am salivating for it as Thanksgiving Day dinner approaches.

I hope you love it!

Broccoli and Vegan Cheese Casserole

Mike: I got this recipe from Idea from my sister Tammy

  • 5 Boxes Frozen Broccoli Thawed (I usually use enough fresh Broccoli to fill a 9"x13" baking pan)
  • 2 Sleeves Ritz Crackers (or another vegan version)
  • 1 Cup Earth Balance margarine (the best tasting margarine in the world and no trans - fat)
  • 6 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (the best tasting margarine in the world and no trans - fat)
  • 6 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 Cups Unsweetened Vegan Milk of Choice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Cups Shredded Daiya Cheese Cheddar Style (or vegan cheddar cheese of choice. Follow Your Hart works well too)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

  1. For the Cheese Sauce: In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the 6 Tbsp of Earth Balance. Once the Earth Balance is liquefied, remove from the heat (don't turn off the burner) and add the flour, salt, and pepper; whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan back onto the burner and slowly add 1 cup of vegan milk, whisking constantly until thickening occurs, then add remaining vegan milk 1/2 cup at a time. Cook sauce over medium heat, Whisking constantly until thickened and smooth. Add the vegan cheese and Dijon mustard and cook for an additional 5 minutes, whisking until smooth and well blended (this may take longer than 5 min be patient it will come together).
  2. For the topping: Process Ritz Crackers in a food processor until a fine meal. Melt the remaining Earth Balance (1Cup) in a sauce pan. Combine the Ritz Crackers and Melted Earth Balance and stir till combined.
  3. Putting it Together: Place the Broccoli in a greased 9"x13" Casserole Dish. Pour the Vegan Cheese Sauce over the top distributing evenly (no need to stir). Cover the top of the Broccoli and Cheese mixture evenly with the Cracker mixture and pat down.
  4. Baking: Place in the oven at 350 Degrees for approximately 30-40min until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I lost a follower today

I lost a follower today. On Twitter.

It was because of a post I wrote in support of Syrian refugees.

When they said they were unfollowing me, and why, I simply responded that if they were connected with me here and had read my blog, that the comment I made would be no surprise.

I have been surprised about the huge amount of anti-refugee speak from people in this country. Even on my Facebook page. So I decided to post this:

I must say that I am surprised by how many people I am connected with here are part of the frenzy against Syrian refugees coming to the States. I get the fear part. If you know me, you won't be surprised that I would do anything I can for these people, my fellow human beings who have suffered so much. So much, in fact, that they have left their home and everything they own just to survive and hopefully create a safe place for them and their children. And for those of you who have made comments about supporting veterans before refugees, that is super pathetic. I can, and do, support both. And the homeless, and abused kids, and people living in poverty, animals being tortured and anyone who is treated like shit just because of who they are.

This world is a living hell for many people. Most reading this live in a privilege that those seeking basic humanity can't even dream of.

I know there are many who disagree, yet my blog has always been an honest reflection of who I am and my thoughts about pretty much everything. I have always welcomed debate and I have always listened to viewpoints contrary to mine. Dialogue. And, I have always been outspoken against the constant demonizing of many just because there is disagreement.

Thank you for reading this.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I don't want free things for Veteran's Day

Or fake discounts.

Or a sale.

(I'll admit that I liked the free Starbucks last year.)

So many retail shops all of a sudden give a hoot about veterans in November.

What I really want is us, as a country, to embrace all veterans and to support them after they have served if they need the support.

Tens of thousands served in Iraq and Afghanistan. And so many came back not being the same person, either mentally or physically, as they were when they left. Many came back to endless red tape and a society that is so much talk than action.

Politicians LOVE talking about veterans. Many of them had no problem sending them to war when they were active duty.

Most folks speak highly of veterans, yet they don't support them politically.

It's time to hold politicians accountable.

And it's time to hold our society in general accountable.

And retailers? I think you need to do a better job as well. Support veterans all year.

Thanks so much for reading.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A citizen revolution

There are always two sides to a story, and when politics is involved there could be dozens of sides. Please keep this in mind while reading this post.

Two years ago, in Jefferson County, Colorado (west suburbs of Denver) three "reformists" were elected to the school board. With five on the board they became the majority and immediately showed it. They did not want to negotiate with teachers, they wanted to invest more into charter schools, they liked the idea of pay for performance (of students) and they didn't have any use for rules of how the board should work. They hired an expensive lawyer just for the three of them, a lawyer who specializes in representing school board members just like them.

My personal problems with them were that one of the seemed to be the epitome of a misogynist in action and another, because of her religious beliefs, was not fond of gay people. These things are not good when serving 85,000+ students. I also saw constant disrespect for anyone who might disagree with the "reformists" as they moved full speed ahead on an agenda that seemed to be a checklist of education "reform".

Fast forward to this year and parents, students and others got enough signatures to bring a recall to vote. This vote happened this past week and all three "reformists" were voted out, in a landslide.

I called it a citizen revolution. I was ecstatic. Not only because of the results, but because of the huge outpouring of support in the community to work towards a recall.

Those supporting the "reformists" called it union thuggery taking hold. No matter where you looked, the word union was used everywhere when speaking against the recall.

114,000 citizens voted for the recall. Yet these folks were called union pawns, stupid, mindless and many other words that dehumanize them and simplify a vote that was so much more than union versus non union.

Takeaways for me are:

When people don't vote, bad things happen. No matter your view on anything, this is true.

If you have interest in any type of activism, pay attention to politics and vote. This has been almost a life-long mantra for me.

Just because something "is" right now doesn't mean it has to be. I saw people who had not been politically active take their frustration with the school board and use it to make change.

Don't be a jerk. I ran into this a lot and called many names and judged by all sorts. Treating other people like this does nothing for your cause. If you can't present your side and stick to the facts without demonizing someone else, be quiet. Especially online, where the whole world can see how terrible you look.

Political change is possible. Again, no matter what you believe or what you see that you don't like in any forum where the participants are elected. The citizen revolution that happened in Jefferson County can happen anywhere.

No election is local anymore. Money, and lots of it, comes from everywhere. It's just how things are now.

Finally, one person can make huge change. Add them to another person who wants to make change, and so on, and you have a citizen revolution.

 A citizen revolution is possible anywhere. If it can happen in Jefferson County, Colorado, it can happen anywhere.

Thanks very much for reading.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Today is World Vegan Day

Lucy, who lives at Rooterville animal sanctuary.

We have our own day.

Having a blog that includes veganism, I get to interact with folks about veganism every day. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative.

I still get surprised when someone attacks my veganism, which is ultimately a very personal decision for me, one made because I did not want to be part of cruelty and torture that happens so to appease taste buds.

In January I will celebrate 20 years of being 100% vegan which means for 20 years I have consumed no meat, dairy, eggs, honey or any other by-product from animals. Yes, this also means that my belts and dress shoes are not leather and my ties to not contain silk.

As every human my age and up knows, life goes by very fast. It's difficult to grasp that I have been vegan that long. Although I became vegan for animal cruelty issues, the benefits of being vegan as I get older include being healthier. At 47 I ran my first half marathon. Looking forward to my third next May at age 50.

I know many who read my blog are not vegan. I hope I am able to provide here information (see all of the links) and life experience (read the posts) that show how easy being vegan is and how it is available to anyone. Myths around veganism and protein and cost are just those, myths. The benefits around being vegan, to you, the environment and to the animals, are endless.

So happy World Vegan Day.