Happy Halloween

Hello everyone and welcome. We have now come to the last part of the year, the holidays. For me, the season begins on Halloween, a favorite of mine. I love pumpkins, both pie and jack-o-lantern. I love to make baked goodies with the pie ones and cut faces into the latter.

Halloween

As a child, I would dress up and go trick-or-treating around my neighborhood. As I got older, my costumes became more elaborate. One year my folks helped me make this warrior helmet. I think my favorite year was when I was in high school and dressed up as the grim reaper, complete with a rubber mask.

More recently my wife and I decorate the front porch and pass out candy each year. Our neighborhood has been blessed with over 300 kids. It is fun answering the door and giving them their treats. Over the years, we’ve seen some really unique and beautiful costumes. We are looking forward to this upcoming Tuesday night.

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In addition to the Halloween spirit, I love to create my vegan homemade pumpkin bread. I prefer to use pie pumpkins because they taste better than canned. This recipe is easy to prepare.

½ cup vegan butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 pie pumpkin
2 Tbsp. apple sauce
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove)

Cut up the pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the seeds. You can use these to make baked pumpkin seeds later. Put the pieces into a Dutch oven and bake at 350° for one hour.

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Mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Then blend in the butter and applesauce and set aside.

The pumpkin is done when you can easily poke a knife into it. Peel off the skin and put the insides into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Then add the sugar and pumpkin pie spices and mix evenly.

Add the pumpkin mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.

Grease a 9” x 5” baking pan with butter.

Put the batter into the pan and bake at 350° for one hour. I recommend checking it at 45 minutes depending on your oven. The bread will be done with you can poke a toothpick all the way through and have it come out clean.

Take it out of the pan and let cool. Enjoy.

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Creating lanterns are fun because you get to cut up the pumpkin and put your own touch on it. However, it involves careful planning so that you don’t cut yourself by mistake. I would recommend buying the pumpkin carving kit that is available at most stores. I make happy faces to represent how the season makes me feel.

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Halloween represents letting go of the old so that the new can come in. I like that it is at the beginning of the season because by the time Thanksgiving comes, I am already in a different space. I use this time to focus on gratitude and what I can do to make the season as best as it can be, whether it be donating items to our church or else let a busy mother go in front of me while we are waiting in the checkout lane at the store. I am grateful for a lot of things. Most important is my health and my wellbeing.

Halloween happens right in the middle of the fall harvest. This gives me an opportunity to give thanks to all of the summer produce that was grown this year.

What are your plans for Halloween this year? What are you grateful for?

Stay tuned for next week as I will be featuring author Blake Everstone (‘Ominous Tales’ and ‘Jane/John Doe’). You are going to want to stop by and meet her and see why her efforts have made a difference in the world. You can check out her facebook profile here.

Blake Everstone FB

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

End of Summer Fun

Hello everyone and welcome. It has certainly been hot summer here in SoCal as well as other places. I love barbecues and family get-togethers, especially the ones we host. For me this is a special time and I really cherish the moments I spend with family and friends. It’s fun to catch up with them and see what new is going on.

 

I chose to feature my mural picture because it is a place where I’d like to have a get-together. I could just imagine my small barbecue grilling up veggie burgers and dogs for everyone. I’d like to thank the artist, Ed Altomare for recreating this beauty for us.

As it is getting closer to fall, I wanted to share with you a summer dish that everyone loves – my potluck rice dish. It is easy and fun to make, since I get to use my food processor.

VeggiesRice

Here are the ingredients:

1 cups dry short grain brown rice
1 small white onion diced
12 Shishito peppers
1 Jalapeño chili finely chopped (Add more for taste)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-pound ripe tomatoes diced
Sea salt to taste
Grapeseed oil

Cook the rice to instruction. I recommend short grain brown rice because it really creates a unique dish. The alternative is to use your favorite rice.

While the rice is cooking, start cutting up the peppers and onion. I would recommend using a dicer when chopping them. I have an attachment that I connect to my mixer. Dice up the peppers and onion. Put these and the garlic into 2 Tbsp. of grapeseed oil and sauté for about five minutes. I prefer to use this oil since it has a high burn factor and doesn’t change properties when heated.

While the peppers and onion are cooking, dice up the tomatoes and set them aside.

When the rice is done, mix in vegetables and tomatoes. Add in the spices and tomato paste and stir well.

As a side note: for variation, you can add carrot slivers. Just add them to the pan when you are cooking the peppers/onions. They cook down nicely and add a nice flavor to the dish.

This dish goes great with homemade refried beans. Or you can have veggie burgers and corn on the cob. Don’t forget your favorite beverage.

I’d like to hear from you about your favorite summer dishes.

Enjoy!

Rice dish

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Vegan Chili on a Cold Winter Day

Good afternoon, friends. It is so great to see all of your smiling faces today. Now is that time of year where the weather is cold and rainy, or snowing. It is perfect to try my homemade vegan chili and you are going to love this one. This recipe is a family favorite that I’m passing on to you.

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Here are the ingredients:

Beans

1 cup     dry navy beans

1 cup     dry kidney beans

1 cup     dry pinto beans

1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans

 

Veggies

10 medium sized roma tomatoes (or your choice of tomato about 48 oz)

2   peppers (any color)

1   large white onion

1   large Jalapeno (add more for more kick)

4   large cloves of garlic

 

Spices

4 tablespoons oregano

1 table spoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon ground pepper

 

Last ingredients

1  fresh ear of corn (cut kernels off cobb)

16 ounces ground vegan crumble

 

I prefer to use raw ingredients as opposed to those in a can. The first thing I do is gather them, with the first being the beans. Put all the beans in a crockpot and cover with water and soak overnight.

Rinse thoroughly the next morning and put back into crockpot. Put in enough water to cover the beans and cook on low. I like to use my slow cooker because it doesn’t overcook the ingredients.

 

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If you have a food processor, this is the fun part – Dicing. Use the dicing blade that came with yours. Cut all of your veggies into a few pieces and make sure the centers of the peppers are free of seeds, that is unless you want a more heated finished dish. Put veggies into food processor.   I love watching the machine dice up the tomatoes and onion. No crying on my part. I’ve had my fare share of slicing mass amounts of onions and those days are over. So are cutting up veggies by hand.Mix in the veggies with the beans. Then add the spices (add more to taste if you’d like) and continue to cook on low for about 8 hours. It is best to come in and stir it occasionally, but you don’t need to.

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The time is now yours. Good time to curl up with a good book. I just finished two great reads: Breanna Hughes’ A Fine Mess and Samantha Jacobey’s Christmas Eve. Breanna’s book is a dynamic romance story and Samantha’s is the sequel to Christmas Candy. My review for Christmas Candy can be found in the blog archives here and on blogspot.com. I am looking for discussions for both books. If you’ve read them, share what you liked about them and we’ll go from there. Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews.

book-coverchristmas-eve

The last ingredients to add are the corn and the veggie ground. Remove the kernels from the cob and add to the chili. Stir in the veggie ground crumble and let it cook for an additional hour. The beans should be soft, but not squishy. You can cook for additional time if you’d like tender beans.

Chili is done and time for you to enjoy. Invite your friends over for this treat. Feel free to share your favorite recipes with us. Also I’d love to hear your chili story.

 

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Seasonally yours,

Lynn

 

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Photos provided by CharliWhiskey

Copyright 2017