Menu Plan Monday April 7

April 7th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

I’ve written before on my Catzlover Cooks site about how I grew up in the 1960s and meals meant meat and potatoes. This week will be a little meat and potatoes flashback – veggie style.

We’ll be eating Shepherd’s Pie and Seitan Brisket (loaded with onions, celery, and red potatoes).


There are a lot of recipes online for seitan brisket. Wine, chipotle powder, all sorts of fancy out there. I used to cook for a Hillel and brisket (we’re talking 20 pound slabs of brisket here) was done with ketchup. Yep, ketchup. And it smelled amazing. So that is how I did my seitan brisket. And it also smells amazing. (And always tastes better the next day – just like the other kind.)

To finish things out for the week, Pasta and Pesto and Italian Herbs Tofu. Those white chunks are top are whole milk mozzarella that will melt into the pasta when it is reheated and will be ooey gooey yum.


I had some fun this week at the Huffington Post. They had a quickie quiz to determine how hardcore a vegetarian you are. My results:

I’d say that sums me up pretty well. <grin>

What’s on your menu?

Sandra

Menu Plan Monday March 31

March 31st, 2014

Another Menu Plan Monday!

On the menu this week:

Enchiladas Con Mole
Soba Noodles/Tofu/Peanut sauce
Falafel/Hummus/Pita bread
Scalloped Potatoes/Field Roast Apple and Sage Sausage

I actually did my cooking yesterday because we are off to paint again today.

But where are the food pictures? Well, after I finished cooking, I took a good hard look at everything and all I could see was brown. Mole – brown. Falafel – brown. Soba Noodles and Peanut Sauce – brown. Scalloped Potatoes – not brown, but I not that long ago posted a picture of scalloped potatoes and, let’s face it, scalloped potatoes does not merit a second picture.

How about some green pictures? I think of these as my dinners TO BE.

To be chili:


To be marinara with eggplant:


To be pesto with pasta:


What’s on your menu? (Or your menus TO BE?)

Sandra

P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the Easter Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

How Do I Know If A Blog Comment Is Spam?

March 29th, 2014

When I first started a blog I was a little confused about blog spam. I mean, the comments sounded so sincere. But, then I realized that the commenter went by something along the lines of “acid reflux” or “wholesale bags” and that had to be fake, right?

Well, I was completely amused to receive this comment one day recently. There is the blog spam formula for all the world to see.

Comment:

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than
{three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting
article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site
owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you
did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever
before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can’t}
{in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.

Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in
order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe. Thanks.|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make
some plans for the future and {it is|it’s} time
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{Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article.
I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more} things about it!|
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{things|issues} or {advice|suggestions|tips}.
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I {want to|wish to|desire to} {read|learn} {more|even more}
{things|issues} {approximately|about} it!|
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} {online|on-line} {more than|greater
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{It’s|It is} {lovely|pretty|beautiful} {worth|value|price} {enough|sufficient} for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners}
and bloggers made {just right|good|excellent} {content|content material} as
{you did|you probably did}, the {internet|net|web} {will be|shall
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{regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} {here|at this place} at this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site},
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my {sister|younger sister} is analyzing {such|these|these
kinds of} things, {so|thus|therefore} I am going to {tell|inform|let know|convey} her.|
{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really like|I like|I
love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
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Money and freedom {is the best|is the greatest} way to change, may you be rich and continue to
{help|guide} {other people|others}.|
Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this
{site|website|blog}. It’s simple, yet effective.

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on {Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}. {Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely}
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{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up
too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
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own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard}
time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding}
between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
for something {completely unique|unique}.
P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic
but I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind
letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say this blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then most.
Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet
hosting|web hosting|hosting} provider at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price?
{Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people} {come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}.
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work|stick with it}!|
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quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article} seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.

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to let you know. The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!
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{Where|Exactly where} are your contact details though?|
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{site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for {a long time|a while|some time} now and finally got the {bravery|courage} to go ahead and give you a shout out from  {New Caney|Kingwood|Huffman|Porter|Houston|Dallas|Austin|Lubbock|Humble|Atascocita} {Tx|Texas}!
Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!|
Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Los angeles|California}!
I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work
so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog}
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{great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} blog.
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{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from time to
time} and i own a similar one and i was just {wondering|curious} if
you get a lot of spam {comments|responses|feedback|remarks}?
If so how do you {prevent|reduce|stop|protect against} it,
any plugin or anything you can {advise|suggest|recommend}?

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much appreciated.|
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this particular} {article|post}! {It is the|It’s the} little changes {that make|which will make|that
produce|that will make} {the biggest|the largest|the greatest|the most important|the most significant} changes.
{Thanks a lot|Thanks|Many thanks} for sharing!|
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Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this website|this site|this web site|this amazing
site} yourself? Please reply back as I’m {looking to|trying to|planning to|wanting to|hoping to|attempting
to} create {my own|my very own|my own personal} {blog|website|site} and {would like to|want to|would love to} {know|learn|find out} where you got
this from or {what the|exactly what the|just what
the} theme {is called|is named}. {Thanks|Many
thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog
post} {couldn’t|could not} be written {any better|much
better}! {Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me of
my previous roommate! He {always|constantly|continually} kept
{talking about|preaching about} this. {I will|I’ll|I am going to|I most certainly will} {forward|send} {this
article|this information|this post} to him. {Pretty sure|Fairly certain} {he will|he’ll|he’s going to} {have a good|have a very good|have a great} read.
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has pretty much the same {layout|page layout} and design. {Excellent|Wonderful|Great|Outstanding|Superb} choice of colors!|
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points there. I {looked|checked} {on the internet|on the web|on the
net} {for more info|for more information|to find out more|to
learn more|for additional information} about the issue
and found {most individuals|most people} will go along
with your views on {this website|this site|this web site}.|
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Your {story-telling|writing|humoristic} style is {awesome|witty}, keep {doing what you’re doing|up
the good work|it up}!|
I {simply|just} {could not|couldn’t} {leave|depart|go away} your {site|web site|website} {prior to|before} suggesting that I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved}
{the standard|the usual} {information|info} {a person|an individual} {supply|provide} {for your|on your|in
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{check up on|check out|inspect|investigate cross-check} new posts|
{I wanted|I needed|I want to|I need to} to thank you for
this {great|excellent|fantastic|wonderful|good|very
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it. {I have|I’ve got|I have got} you {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} {to check out|to look at} new {stuff you|things you} post…|
{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, just wanted to {mention|say|tell you},
I {enjoyed|liked|loved} this {article|post|blog post}. It was {inspiring|funny|practical|helpful}.
Keep on posting!|
I {{leave|drop|{write|create}} a {comment|leave a response}|drop
a {comment|leave a response}|{comment|leave a
response}} {each time|when|whenever} I {appreciate|like|especially enjoy} a {post|article} on a {site|{blog|website}|site|website} or {I have|if I have} something to {add|contribute|valuable to contribute} {to the discussion|to the conversation}.
{It is|Usually it is|Usually it’s|It’s} {a result of|triggered
by|caused by} the {passion|fire|sincerness} {communicated|displayed} in the
{post|article} I {read|looked at|browsed}. And {on|after} this {post|article} I

And there you go!

Sandra

P.S. Wait for it…NEW spam is on the way!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

March 26th, 2014

Just like I have go to recipes, I seem to have go to miniatures artisans.

When I began making minis, my go tos were House of Miniatures kits and Chrysnbon kits. They were affordable and easy to find.

As time went on, I was fortunate to be able to afford some special pieces by Dennis Jenvey, Jean Yingling, George Becker, Warren Dick and a few other artisans I discovered through Nutshell News. I would have loved for some of these folks to be go to too, but alas and alack, the money wasn’t available.

Fast forward two children and a few (cough cough) years. Now I have a few new favorite miniatures craftspeople.

One of these is Kris Compas. Kris makes the BEST upholstered furniture. I saw this green furniture set and simply could not resist it.

If you notice in the pictures, I have a few pieces from Pati at minisx2. Incredible stuff and the best part is that she (as well as Kris) do custom orders.

I was a total sucker for cats for a bit. Represented are Bridget Mccarty -


And Teresa Summers – (I just love what I call the Mardi Gras cat)


And if you look close, the kitten by the coffee table is by Reve. Now I say good on her, but I totally can’t afford Reve anymore. (The kitten was thirty some dollars “back in the day”.)

I can’t remember who made a few of these pieces. There are some super fun acrylic vase turners on eBay. The white cup and saucer are part of a custom made service for 8 of plain white china from Jean Yingling. (I really treasure this set and it made through our move with out breaking.) (knock on wood)

Cue the Sound of Music – these are a few of my favorite things.

Sandra

Menu Plan Monday March 24/25

March 25th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

And yes, I know it’s Tuesday. But yesterday I was over at the old house painting all day and not cooking. This painting thing is very slow. Primer and multiple coats of paint to cover up the old colors on the walls and trim. (Who paints with all those bright colors anyway? Oops, me I guess. And trim work with dentils? Oops, me again.)

On the menu this week is “Meat” Loaf (which I managed to make last night.)


And Pasta with Marinara Sauce (using up the last of the frozen tomatoes from last Summer’s garden).

And General Tso’s Tofu and Rice.


As a bonus, I made a lot of croutons over the weekend. We like our homemade better than store bought. They are not so darn hard and we like the flavor of rye bread or multi grain bread or whole wheat bread better than plain old white.

What’s on your menu?

Sandra

P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the Easter Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Is It Spring Yet? Menu Plan Monday March 17

March 17th, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (I am ready for more green and less snow! This is Central Virginia – enough already!)

And Happy Menu Plan Monday!

Did I fix anything special for Saint Patrick’s? No, I’m afraid not. It seems I just did seitan corned beef recently (and so I am out of seitan) and my husband is not a cooked cabbage fan and there you go.

This is what we will be eating this week.

Chana Dal


The Apple Chutney I made last week will go well with this.

Macaroni and Cheese


And a big pot of Can Can Chili

Not overly exciting, but we will be back to house fixing if the snow ever melts and if it ever gets warm again (which it is SUPPOSED to do later in the week.)

I’ve been picking out paint colors to freshen up the walls. It has been an interesting experience. Not because I haven’t picked out paint colors before, but because I have to pick out NEUTRAL paint colors. I am so not a neutrals kind of gal. I semi cheated and went with what were labeled as Most Popular Colors at the Home Depot. And lots of plain white trim work. When the painting is finished, the house won’t look like we lived there any more and I think that will be a good thing.

What’s on your menu?

Sandra

P.S. I know it will get here eventually. Check out some Spring Goodies at Bry-Back Manor.

Menu Plan Monday March 10 – My Go To Menu

March 10th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

The Go To Menu Plan.

Every cook has some go to recipes. These are recipes that have made so often that they are almost mindless. Good for when the cook is indisposed, just plain tired, ridiculously busy, or three sheets to the wind. (Does anyone use that expression any more?)

I’m not trying to compete with the Drunken Kitchen this week. I just know that I need to do a lot of painting in the old house to prep it for sale and that the weather is finally cooperating with all that painting.

So my go to menu:

Enchiladas (plain old refried beans and cheese with canned sauce)

Scalloped Potatoes and Broccoli

Pasta and Alfredo with Quorn Tenders and Peas (yes! canned!)


Bonus Stuff if I am in the mood; pimento cheese (Okay, I was already in the mood Saturday and made some. Half plain and half with Chipotle Peppers – yum.)

And, since I really need to use up some apples wanting to go south, Apple Chutney.

What’s on your menu?

Sandra

P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the St. Patrick’s Day Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

P.P.S. If my pictures seem a little dark this week it may be because I took them Sunday night – no natural light.

Menu Plan Monday March 3

March 3rd, 2014

Here in Virginia we are getting more snow and extreme (I know it doesn’t compare to Minnesota) cold. Seriously? I am so ready for warm and sun and flowers and digging dirt and planting seeds and running the fans because I am too hot.

On this Menu Plan Monday I prepared not one but two soups for the week ahead. When it is this cold we want soup. So Lentil Soup and Minestrone are ready for us.


In case we get souped out, there’s Tofurkey Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and rigatoni.


For the sweet tooth – carrot cake (half of which will probably end up in the freezer for a future dessert).


Short and sweet today. What’s on your menu?

Sandra

P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the St. Patrick’s Day Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Hey! Isn’t This Supposed to be a Miniatures Blog?

February 27th, 2014

Why, yes. Yes it is.

I have only been nibbling at the edges of miniatures with the move and such. I got a few new things like this super nifty Halloween chair from Kris Compass:

See how nicely it matches the stuff on my kitchen counters!

And Patie over at Minisx2 had a sale – bless her heart – so I was able to get this chair and table set I have been wanting for a while:


I also had a momentary lapse and got the Miniatures.Com contest kit. Maybe, just maybe, I will actually get something completed in time for the contest entry? I didn’t wait until November like I did with the Fascination Station. But, I am making no guarantees.

And I spent some time over this snowy winter (for us) trying to make some sense out of the room that will ultimately be my dollhouse/craft room. This is in the crudest of organizational states.



I am hoping to get it to some fancier place at some point in the future (after the living room, dining room, bedroom, laundry room, etc.). I even have a very rough Live Interior sketch:


A built-in platform for dollhouses with storage underneath, shelves, and a work spot. I have a plan at least.

So, I haven’t completely neglected minis.

Sandra

Menu Plan Monday February 24

February 24th, 2014

Happy Menu Plan Monday!

This week’s menu started with a trip to the Oriental Market. I went for some sesame oil and for some fried wheat gluten in a jar (that is just yummy in spite of what it sounds like). If I have the time, and I did last Friday afternoon, I like to just window shop. How I missed this before I don’t know, but there was a great big aisle full of all sorts of  (not expensive) dal.

Now, I usually shop at the Food Lion or Kroger, neither of which is known for an extensive Indian food section (at least where we live). So I grabbed a bag of masoor dal and a bag of chana dal to add to my purchases. Next step – find out what to do with them. After some googling and a lot of “ooh! that’s sounds good” I had a great big bunch of recipes to try. Then I got real and paired it down to just a few for this week.

So on the menu is:

Masoor Dal with Spinach (palak)


Rotis


Cucumber Raita (no picture – it basically looked like yogurt with green bits – my husband loved it)

Aloo Paneer


And, not Indian “Chicken” Noodle Soup


I followed the recipe here to make the paneer myself. I didn’t have cheesecloth and tried using two yogurt containers to weigh down the paneer to form cubes. Didn’t work for me and I ended up using a kitchen towel and some fiesta ware and bags of beans. So my paneer was a little crumbly (note to self – get cheesecloth). Still tasty.

What’s on your menu?

Sandra

P.S. Is it too early for St. Patrick’s Day goodies?