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Showing posts from 2009
The Goal Which One Acts On...

It's really difficult to take it easy and try to just maintain weight because technically one is not supposed to diet during pregnancy - but the aim is to overcome the natural tendancies to eat junk food and instead eat good healthy food. That has pretty much been my goal for the longest time - to have self control over myself!

the goal which one acts on: the realm :) ha ha

anyways, the goal is to have a healthy pregnancy and body so that when the baby comes i weigh less then than i do now.

yes, it is confirmed - the pregnancy test is positive - the approximate due date is aug 22 -

i'm hoping for a girl... but a boy will be welcomed as well :)
ARGH... it's getting tough.

so last Thursday I step and the scale and again - an all time low 205.5... but then I'm up again after the weekend. Not a problem really because by my usual weigh in day I'm down again... but it just goes to show that "eating normal" on the weekend does not mean eat as much chocolate as you want - sometimes I feel like I have no control once I start in on it though which means that I should not start - but it's real hard to say no to the things you "love."

okay, a new dilemma though - I reveal something to all who read this blog - those that don't read will just have to wait till a later - more confirmed date - but here it goes - I've been trying to get pregnant for a while. And back in September I did get pregnant - but then I miscarried pretty quickly... again I find myself not having my period when I should be - so I'll take a home pregnancy test tomorrow and see what it says - but it's just that I feel l…

The number is going lower - the weight is slowly coming off - it's noticeable - especially with my clothes - they feel looser.

So, I've been doing the most difficult days on Monday and Thursday - the reason being that those are the days I weigh myself... Monday's because that's when my friend does it and Thursday because that is the day I've always done it (since the beginning of this year at least).

There was one thing I did differently today. It was delicious. In place of the 200g fish I could eat - I had a warm bowl of vegetarian pea soup with salsa. I had leftover salsa and it tasted awesome with the pea soup - just delicious! Then I had this whole wheat rye cracker. I'm eating those now in place of the beschuit to help keep me more regular. Well, that bowl of soup was maybe only 1 1/2 to 2 cups at the most and it was so filling. So I may make that a regular thing - eat some kind of lentil or bean soup on "Day 5" to replace the fish - which I&#…
Never the same cake twice...

is the name of my newest blog venture. This is where I will display cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes and anything related to that from now on. A link is found by clicking on the high lighted "blog" just 1 line up or by clicking on the link in My Blog List.

The idea of this blog is to illicit orders for cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes or whatever. It's also a place where I can share some ideas for others. You don't have to order a cake through me - you can just get some ideas there.

I'm really looking forward to the holidays. I have big plans. We have a ward Christmas dinner coming up - I plan to make a cake shaped like a Christmas tree - and I'm thinking cherry chocolate cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting - yum! And then for actual Christmas day I want to do a cake similar - with dark chocolate, almonds and cherries but with more of a chocolate glaze and topped with a pile of cake ball truffels. Then my birthday is a few days a…

The diet I'm doing - is going great. Today I was rewarded with the pain of hard work when I stepped on my scale and saw the number hit 208! Yes - two hundred and eight pounds is a lot - but it's lower than I've been in a long time. And I'm not satisfied with staying here so I'm gonna keep losing more. I'm sticking with this diet for as long as I can.

The beautiful thing about this diet is - I can work with it and it works for me. Today I didn't even eat everything I was allowed to because I was too full! Yep that's right I'm still full from my healthy dinner that I don't have room for my two oranges and yogurt. But not too worry, I will make up for that on Saturday when we celebrate Sinterklaas :)

Tonights dinner was so delicious. I made home made salsa to replace eating only a tomato - I served my salsa over my veggie patty on a bed of lettuce and I had a beschuit with it. Then I drank lots of water. That's it - and I'm still full :)

Forever Strong.

Recently I saw the rugby movie - Forever Strong - about the Highland Rugby team and coach Gelwix. It was a feel good movie similar to Remember the Titans. I really enjoyed the movie. On the DVD are some extra's - one of which is Life Lessons from Coach Gelwix. He talks about several things - Don't play with snakes, Attitude and Effort are Everything, Choose Wisely, No Regrets and Focus on the final score.

I could immediately apply all of the life lessons to my life - but I can apply three of these life lessons to my weight loss goals. First, don't play with snakes. Okay for me this would mean don't look at cook books with chocolate cake recipes, cookie recipes, etc while dieting - because it's just too tempting and will not help! Okay that's pretty obvious right? But here it is December and I'm thinking about which cookies, what fudge recipe, etc I'm going to make for neighbors and friends for delivery on Christmas eve - so it's only n…

This is the diet plan that i've been following the last couple weeks. I'm doing it together with a friend and that makes it so helpful - to be accountable to someone besides yourself. This is the one where you eat very strict monday through friday and on the weekend you can relax a little - eat normal - a bit of ice cream and a slice of pizza if I want to.

Each day is a bit different in the plan. I've tried doing day 5 on Monday versus on Friday to see how I feel. So far I think it is better to do it in reverse. I like to mix things up a bit. Today I ate day 4 menu and I had a good idea for it - went really well. Typically on Day 4 I would consume for breakfast: 1 orange, 1 beschuit, 1 glass tea; lunch: 1 pickle, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 tomato, 1 beschuit; dinner: 1 apple, 2 tomatoes, 1 beschuit, 1 beef steak = 125g.

Here is what I do to make it interesting and achieveable for me! For breakfast I usually juice my orange or I switch it evenly with 2 mandarins. I can also ha…
Cakes -

So, I baked a Dora Cake last week for a friend's child's birthday. it was fun. she said i should do it for a business... i thought, i'm too busy for that... but i thought about it and it is something that i am into - i once tried to put together a website for selling American-style fudge - we called it fudge-a-rama! well, i also thought a while a go about doing a store for cookies - calling it yummy cookie -- now i think i'll do the cake - i was thinking Melissa-ABC: as in American-style Birthday Cakes... do you like that name people? or do you think i should go with something like: Yummy Cakes?

Let me know, i will be setting up another blog for the cake biz - thanks.
"Never to late"

Well, it feels like forever since i've done a post... i've been busy - Mom of two - takes a lot of time! I'm back on again on the hospital diet aka ziekenhuisdieet. It's going well. I'm down seven pounds since the beginning of November and I hope to keep it going until the new year at which time I may switch over to Weight Watchers again... this time not the online version - I've got a 365 days book in which to follow - less planning and thinking about it.

It's 10pm on a friday night and i'm tired... i just really want to go to sleep...

but a small update first about my activities - i've been working hard on many projects - today I finished a birthday cake for one of Kailea's friends and I can't wait to give it to her mom tomorrow - i think she will be thrilled with the results - it was a difficult cake but it turned out pretty good: Dora and boots!

I've also put together a little something for my sister in law wh…
The Hospital Diet ~ my way! ZHD - complimentary photos

Het Ziekenhuis Dieet
The Hospital Diet

It basically consists of the essentials you need to live – but it is a crash diet – resulting often in the yo-yo effect – in other words, return of previously lost weight.

Why I decided to try it – lots of weight loss promised.

Does it work? Yes. I did it for 3 ½ days and in that time I lost 5 pounds.

Why I stopped or basically adjusted what I was eating: I heard that I was doing my body more harm that good. I was essentially starving my body, slowing down my metabolism, and my body was using muscle not fat to create energy. I also had no energy or at least very little – and when you are a Mom of two and need to run a household you absolutely need energy.

I decided that I like the idea of following a strict diet though. In the past I have done WW and although I do believe it works and it had worked for me in the past, it wasn't working for me now. I didn't like the idea of counting points anymore – where as before I had time to do that... n…
Photo by Mark Daams

Last time I talked about the pumpkin cinnamon rolls briefly - here is a photo of them... these ones had chocolate chips in them. I probably wouldn't add the chocolate again because it really overpowered the pumpkin flavor. But they were good.
We had our annual Talent Night at the church in Eindhoven. I don't ever perform musical talents which are generally what people do at talent nights. The first two years here I brought my art to share with people and it was on display in another part of the building but I felt kind of odd being the only one that brought something when I know there are quite a few good artists in the ward - photographers and quilters. Last year I made 4 kinds of cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. This year I made 3 kinds. I kept it a bit simple because I also helped the Young Women make cinnamon rolls and those where quite popular - to my surprise - more popular than the cupcakes... which reminds me of something else - but more on that later.

So, I made the "Mexican Hot Chocolate" cupcakes - which where more adult cupcakes - with a pinch of cayenne and the almonds - they were tasty and good... but actually I like the cinnamon rolls better too... and I prefer my Mexican Hot Ch…
Last week we went to Spain. This trip was paid for - house and plane tickets by my husband's parents as a gift to themselves celebrating 40 years of marriage. They also invited their daughter and her boyfriend along. So they rented a villa in Moraira off the white coast (Costa Blanca) with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It over looked the Mediterranean and the place had a private pool, too. The first couple of days: rain. But it cleared up and got sunny enough to get a tan and go for a swim. We played Boeren Bridge (aka Mormon Bridge) in the evenings while the kids slept and we had a BBQ just about every night.

Moraira is about 1 hour south of Valencia and 1 hour north of Alicante. We flew from Eindhoven to Alicante as this is cheaper than flying into Valencia. From Rachel's blog I've seen that Valencia is quite pretty and has really cool architecture. I didn't see much of Alicante but mostly I just saw a lot of houses that all looked the same - you know Spanish style with…
* Weight Watchers UPDATE *

I've hit a plateau in my weight watchers - I've actually officially quit WW online and I'm doing it solo. I figure I know what it takes to lose weight - I just have to do it - on my own. Sitting down everyday and recording what I ate just didn't do it for me anymore. So, I started it solo some time ago and things were going pretty good but I've sort of stayed the same bouncing back and forth between 213.5 and 216 every other week... so I decided to finally start exercising regularly... not just my regular walks back and forth to the grocery store or to drop Kailea off at pre-school - but actually aerobics - working out in front of my tv screen and sweating hard.

It's been going pretty good. My goal is to workout 5 times a week. So far so good. It's difficult though because sometimes I have to work out when Kailea and Ella are awake and around and they are constantly bugging me... but the last two nights I got to do it at night and t…
Flowers for Rachel

So I got a special request for flowers. I went to the store and picked out square canvases with the flower drawn on - and I got to do the fun part - fill the color in - that's my favorite part of painting - you know - painting... coming up with what to paint can be kind of hard so I was grateful to come across these canvases.

Rachel said she liked darker colors - and I think I've accomplished that except for the daisy - it's a bit colorful with those shades of yellow.

I've really enjoyed working on these and now I must say - I want to paint more :)

Which one is your favorite? Post comments for feedback - thanks!

Mediterranean-style Cashew-cucumber Dip
page 66 Veganomicon (V-con)
Recipe Review - and a new way to enjoy it my way!

This is a dairy-free variation of the classic Greek cucumber yogurt dip tzatziki and it is oh so good. First I made it and paired it with Greek-style Tomato-zucchini Fritters with Fresh herbs page 52 V-con. That was good. But then I found a new and even better way to enjoy this most delicious dip. I paired it with fried eggplant - which is something I've been eating together with hummus and tortillas a lot. But now I've found a really good bread - which isn't too hard to find here in the Netherlands - from of all places, the Lidl. They call it Sunflower Panini bread - although it's quite big and very filling. So I make a batch of the Cashew-cucumber dip, then I slice and fry my eggplant and then I eat this all week long for lunch with my bag of Sunflower Panini bread - it's enjoyable every time - and to mix it up I just eat different fresh fruit with i…
Chocolate Lovers Cinnamon Rolls... test 1.

I was told from a friend - a true chocoholic - that yeast and chocolate don't go together... but I wanted to try it anyways. The result - they didn't really rise - so she was right. However, they were good enough... and we will try it again... during test 2!

Anyhoo... this is what we did:

using my regular recipe for cinnamon rolls - I merely added cocoa powder to the dough... doubled cinnamon in the cinnamon sprinkle and added chocolate chunks to the cinnamon sprinkle and finally I added cocoa powder to the glaze... giving us chocolate 3 times... a true chocolate lovers cinnamon roll. The taste - very chocolatey and perhaps not cinnamony enough... so in test two we will use less cocoa powder in the dough - so hopefully it will rise more and add much more cinnamon to it - maybe cinnamon in the glaze!

The other thing I would like to try is White Chocolate lovers Cinnamon Rolls... I have some good ideas for that - and tuesday - is a good eno…

A while back I made Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and they were delicious... I was sitting here this morning trying to figure out what to do with my zucchini crop thumbing through my cookbook when I see the cinnamon rolls... I thought - if I can do those with pumpkin puree - why not zucchini puree? So I emailed the recipe to my sister in law because she has tons of fresh zucchini in her garden and I thought she would enjoy a different kind of way to use up the zucchini. Then I thought - what the heck - I'm gonna try it out too. So I scrap the idea of making zucchini enchiladas for dinner - we just ate leftovers... and today I made the Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls. And... I'm happy to report that they were delicious... I even had a friend - Catharina help me and she was very skeptical - but she loved 'em. And my new friend Vanessa even called me something of a Goddess. So - they've passed the test! We made them two ways - one just plain cinnamon rolls - the o…
Masala... and muffins!

I met this other mom at Kailea's pre-school a while back. She seemed different from most of the other moms there - different in a way that I can best describe only as "cooler" than the others - or atleast, perhaps - more like me. One of the better English speakers -that probably had something to do with it. Well, she's got a little girl Kailea's age. And now that it's summer vacation - we set a time up for our girls to play together. I noticed a lot of buddha's in the house. I asked if she practiced Buddhism. She said no - I practice Hinduism. Oh. Tell me about that. So she told me a little bit. She said we eat vegetarian once a week. I think she's not too into it because she loves fish and shrimp and stuff like that. But she gave me a bunch of vegetarian Indian products to try because I told her I was vegetarian - but Latter-day Saint. I'm really excited to try some of the stuff she gave me. The Chickpea curry mix looks so …
Mmmmmmmmm :)
The best cookies ever... I was just scrolling through my blog to see my previous posts because I sometimes am about to blog about something I've already blogged about - and here it is: the peanut butter and chocolate cookie from Dreena Burton
But anyways, I will post one more photo of this delicious cookie which gets made regularly at this house - and a new way to enjoy it as well :P yummy.

In V-con - they suggest making Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches. So I've done that with the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie - and I've sandwiched them together with the Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe found on page 262 of V-con. The only vegan ice cream recipe I've enjoyed from V-con. All the berry ones were too sweet but not creamy like ice cream should be. But the Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe here reminds me a bit of Sonic's Peanut Butter Shake - which I see is no longer on the menu - too bad because it's one of the best.

Cookie Monster

Kailea turned 3 this year and I made her a cookie monster birthday cake - after getting some ideas here. Then I also made an Oscar the Grouch pinata for the kids to smash and get all their candy out of. It was a really fun birthday party. All of her favorite friends were there and the cake was yummy - and it impressed everyone especially because most Dutch people just buy a cake or pie for birthdays - so I impressed everyone - even myself :)

Blogging Again - Food Blogging :)

It's been a few months since my last post. I haven't really been that busy - it's just we've moved and my main computer sat at an empty house until we actually had a place to put it in the lived in house... and then about a month ago we got it all set up and it's taken me until today to organize my photos - and to decide to do the food blog again - for my one faithful follower - and just for me, myself and I - so i can easily reference the stuff I did and did not like... not that this is entirely just a food blog - but come on now - that's what i'm mainly doing these days - cooking... and loving my babies :)

so, one of the things I finally got to make was Seitan - or gluten. I did make it one day with regular bleached flour - and it was okay. But then my Mom came to visit me from the states and she brought with her some of that Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour which makes making Seitan a cinch. And according to the…
Update: 2009 resolutions/goals.

One of my goals - to finish the Fall conference edition of the Ensign. Just signing in to say I'm done! And I enjoyed it so much I think I might read it again... maybe.


We are moving to our "new" house next weekend and I'm so excited about it. We also will not have internet for the first two weeks so I think I will have time for activities like reading... but I may be very busy organizing the new place. Hoera!
Scrambled Tofu: A recipe review From: Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, p 12

This is the first recipe in the book. And when I first saw it I scoffed at it. I mean, I can see not using eggs in recipes like Spanokopita and muffins and cupcakes - but to totally use tofu in place of a 100% egg recipe - that's just ridiculous... or is it?
So, I was talking to my sister about it and we laughed it off. Then as time went on and one day when I was enjoying some spiced up store-bought tofu reepjes - I was thinking - this does kind of have an egg-like texture to it and it tastes so good. So it got me thinking about this recipe.
So, I tried it!
I left out the mushrooms and added in yellow paprika. I didn't have any nooch (nutritional yeast) but used Parmasan in it's place and oh my! This even looks scrambled eggish - but the suprising thing is - it tastes so much better - it's better for you - and best of all - it was so filling. One serving of it on a large tortilla wit…
Ella is Born!

Ella Antonetta Maria

I finally gave birth to my second child - January 6th she arrived. Phew - glad that's over... little did I know that my attempts to breast feed second time around would fool me - it started out so pleasant - but now I feel the pain - in the nipples. I hate it now. I'm thinking if I continue to give breast milk it will be via the bottle/breast pump... otherwise, I see no problem with switching to formula. I hate that everyone says "breast is best" or "borstvoeding... natuurlijk" - yeah, I agree - it is cheaper and natural - but who is to say it's better. I'm not sure the pros out weigh the cons of this practice. I can still bond with the bottle - I know just how much she is getting - Dad can help feed - no leaky breasts - and the pros go on and on! I mean the only pros for breast are cheap and natural - that's it? Come on - I don't buy the whole it's healthier and the baby doesn't get sick as much beca…
Late... but not too late for next year.

Well, I wanted to make a new stocking for Mark as well... and I finished after Christmas. So it's completed way early for next Christmas - his last stocking was a bit too small to fit much of anything in it - except for white chocolate (his favorite). I wanted this stocking to capture his personality. He is one of those guys that would rather be not working, and be some place warm, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and holding a camera... since photography has become his new passion... so that's why I made it the way I did.

Perhaps it could use some Christmas ornaments in the palm trees - to dress it up a bit... or maybe just some coconuts :)
Baked Potatoes & Chili
Something so simple that has become one of my favorite and easy to make dinner recipes is the bake potato with chili. You can serve this up for anyone, a Vegan, an Omnivore, and a vegetarian. I make my chili vegan style. Then I serve it with shredded Cheddar cheese and sour cream. Those are both a must in my opinion. My husband eats his completely veganized. Now for some delightful food fotos:

With shredded Cheddar, sour cream, fried onions and steamed broccoli

No milk products, only fried onions, fried mushrooms and lots of steamed broccoli

The Juice Maker

Well, one thing I received for Christmas this year that I really like is a juice maker. It's not the best juice maker on the market - and because of that I cannot really make fancy juices with wheatgrass and stuff like that - but it was a gift and I cannot really complain because the whole idea of juicing stuff is still so new to me. I remember back in September that I did a post on home made grape juice. That was the best juice I had ever made. So delicious. So, getting a juice maker is lots of fun. For our first test - we just juiced two Elster apples. It was very sweet apple juice... a bit foamy, too. Apparently, the really good juice makers on the market collect that extra foam for you. We just sort of skimmed it off. For our second trial - we juiced a pineapple, apples and carrots. Wow, so yummy and the color so wild! For our third trial we juiced only carrots and then mixed it with orange juice from concentrate - added a tiny hint of honey, vanilla extract and…
The Black and White Cookie

"If people would only look to the cookie, all our problems would be solved" -Seinfeld

I love this cookie. I remember eating them regularly at The Daily Grind -cafe/coffee shop in Baltimore. So yummy. So, I came across a recipe for them on I've made it twice now and I gotta say both times I've been disappointed with it. So, I've set out to find other recipes for this delightful cookie. I've found one from and one from I will try them both and report back. Despite my not really liking the vegweb recipe - I still took photos - and we still managed to eat them all... they are just not as delicious as the orginal ones you get in a NY deli or coffee shop.

Last year's and this year's resolutions. I bet there are a lot of bloggers writing their goals in today... it's a good day to do it - there really is nothing else to do on January 1st - besides eating, watching movies - and in our case - we've been building a fort out of blankets and pillows in the front living room. I just hope Kailea can focus on Shrek and leave the blogging to me :)

So taking a look at last year's goals - i had many! I had goals in every part of my life: spiritual, temporal, weight loss - with conditions, artistic, etc. Some goals will definitely carry over into 2009.

(1) 2008 goal: give up refined white sugar.... I did. Well, I don't buy it anymore or bake with it... it's definitely still in store bought or out-to-eat treats - but we don't buy it ourselves and we don't bake with it. I've been buying rietsuiker - aka raw sugar. It's brown. At the beginning of my pregnancy the smell of it really grossed …