Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween Memories

I always remember facing the approach of Halloween with a feeling of anticipation.  My sister Ele and I would always go out with either Mom or Dad.  Whoever was not on duty with trick or treating was back at the house giving treats to the other little ghosts and goblins.

The earliest evidence I’ve found of Halloween in my life is this photo.

Here I am at probably a year old.  The photo’s not marked (I’ve discussed before how my family rarely noted dates and names) so I can only approximate.  The actual photo is quite blurry, probably because I was wriggling around with excitement.  The scan came out better than the actual photo!  Don’t the slip covers and wallpaper go well together?!? 😉

There I am in all my glory, dressed as Aunt Jemima, I’m told.  Perhaps since one of my first Halloween costumes involved food this may have set the tone for my entire life! 😉  I actually still have this costume.  It’s at Ele’s house but I didn’t think about using it until yesterday and I didn’t have time to find it.  See, my family never throws anything away!

Although our family had the inclination to dress Ele and me alike in real life, I don’t recall that they ever did that for Halloween.  There are so many photos of us together.  For this particular Halloween, Ele wore the dress she had worn as a flower girl in a family wedding.  I remember her one time being a toy soldier and one year there’s a photo where we both look like Southern belles.  Those photos are still around…I’ll have to do a search.

One of my favorite Halloween memories is helping my Grandmother prepare the treats for the little visitors. She used these…

Little bags that looked like lunch bags…

I borrowed a witch’s hand to lend perspective to the photo.  They really are tiny!

We would line them up, side by side until Gram’s entire kitchen table was covered with these little things.

It looked like a tiny paper bag army!  Ele and I would each be given a bag of candy…Tootsie Rolls, Mary Janes…and we put one in each bag…row after row.  I think Gram also put a coin in each one.  I remember a quarter but it was probably a penny or a nickel…there were lots of bags so it couldn’t have been quarters!

I don’t remember how many different kinds of candies went in there but there was quite a selection.  When we were finished, the top of each bag was carefully folded over to keep every thing safely inside.  We used to have so much fun doing this.

Why you may ask do I still have these little bags to show you?  I live in what was my Grandparents house…remember the people who never threw anything away…Why do I still have them.  I don’t have a clue!  I’m just amazed that I remembered where to find them.  In all of my sorting and tossing and packing passion…these are something that I will not be able to toss out.  Why?  I don’t think I have to explain.

So here we are…Halloween 2011.  I’m no longer allowed to go door to door asking for candy…not without fear of a restraining order, anyway! 😉  In fact one of my errands today is to go out to buy the Halloween candy.  I’ve learned over the years not to buy it any sooner than I have to.  If it’s not here, I won’t be tempted by it.  I also try to buy candy I don’t like.  And, today…it’s likely to be on sale!

What will I be for Halloween.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was making food choices blindly, without much thought to new and different options.  I referred to myself as the Zombie Vegetarian.   Well, word to the wise, don’t say something like that around someone who likes to do cartoons…especially someone like Ralph who has a really warped sense of humor.

I present to you…The Attack of The Vegetarian Zombie…

I was going to wear something slinky and vampy, but I guess I’m stuck with this…at least he made my hips look smaller…I should be grateful…

Hope you all have a Memorable Halloween!!!


Meetings and Weddings And Snow…Oh, My!

Saturday did not start out so well but definitely improved as the day went on. Another fitful night of sleep left me rather groggy, but ready to start the day because I knew it would be a happy one.

I was off to my Weight Watchers meeting as usual.  For my efforts this week I was rewarded with a quarter of a pound loss.  Doesn’t sound like much, but as I used to tell my members when I was still leading WW classes, every loss no matter how small is a step in the right direction.  I’m below goal, but I want to get back to where I was before vacation.  I have not gotten back into my routine yet, although you’d think a month would be enough time for it.  Monday I take the steps (literally) to get myself back on track.

But enough talk about me…how about another Wedding!!

The wedding was held in the wonderful town of Haddonfield.  It is a charming OLD town filled with beautiful houses, wonderful shops and much tradition.  The wedding was held at the Haddon Fortnightly

The Haddon Fortnightly









I had to snag the photo from their website because there was no way I was getting my own photo.  Pouring rain laced with snowflakes was what greeted us on our arrival.

Beautiful Fall decorations.

Ralph, my sister Ele and Bill, Father of the Bride.  Bill is Ele’s brother-in-law.

The groom, Matt, waits nervously with his best man.

Here comes the Bride, Crissy!  She was so beautiful!

Who gives this woman…

Dearly beloved…One wonderful thing about the ceremony is that it was performed by Matt’s Dad, Pastor Bob.  It was wonderfully emotional and he had a hard time getting through a few pieces of the ceremony.  We got the chance to get to know the Pastor at the reception and he’s a great guy.  Get him to tell you his story about driving his ’57 Chevy on the NJ Turnpike…hysterical!!

The Vows

You may kiss the Bride!

Time for photos!!

Ele with Crissy…they have a very special bond.

Crissy and Matron of Honor, Lisa taking a break and sharing a laugh before the reception.

Crissy and Matt with Matt’s parents.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the Happy Couple with Crissy’s parents.

Ele with her sister-in-law, Judy, Mother of the Bride.  They have always been very close.  They’ve always looked like sisters to me!

Billy, brother of the Bride, Ele and Bill, Father of the Bride.

Judy and Bill, Mother and Father of the Bride.  Getting Bill to cooperate for a photo is a major undertaking.  Judy’s good at dealing with him…she’s been doing it for 41 years!

Cutting the cake…

Ceremonial feeding of the cake.  No cake smashing for them!

Oh, yes…the Cake…where is it?!?  Well as with the wedding I attended two weeks ago, I think I’ll save all of the goodies from the wedding for What I Ate Wednesday.  Makes it more festive I think.  For the moment I’ll just say it was delicious, very vegetarian friendly thanks to the Bride’s Mom, Judy and I was in pain when I finished!

To Crissy and Matt…the very best of luck to you!  We love you both!

Now for a day filled with Birthday Parties!!

Happy Sunday!



Cookies On The Run

Good Morning Everyone!  This will have to be quick today.  After not sleeping since about 10pm Thursday night, I was able to get some sleep last night.  Now I’m up early to go to my Weight Watchers Meeting.  I’ve got a wedding this afternoon and wanted to check in quickly before rushing off.

AND We’re having a Nor’ Easter!  After being up all night, I felt strange all day, on Friday.  When it got to be breakfast time I thought that oat bran sounded good.

Unfortunately, oat bran Never photographs well!  I was delicious though and just what I needed.

I went out on a few errands and when I was driving I could really feel the effects of no sleep.  I got home quickly so not to get myself in any trouble.

I tried all day to get some sleep, but all I ended up doing was watching TV.  I even turned it off and one point and couldn’t sleep.

Dinner time came and I knew I had to eat but I almost didn’t feel like it.  I just felt so weird!

Dinner was predictable and easy.  I was too tired to do many photos and almost two tired to eat.

Spring mix, tomato, red bell pepper, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ranch balsamic dressing mixed together and my Cabot cheese.  Got more when I was on my errand…thank goodness! 😉

So as I said this has to be short and sweet.  One quick Fall picture for you…

That one was really on the Run!

I’m off to my WW meeting…wish me luck!  I have no idea how I did this week.

Tomorrow’s post will be much more interesting.  We’re off to a wedding this afternoon…in the rain!  That’s supposed to be good luck, right?!?

Happy Saturday!

A Sorting Machine

I realized Thursday as I was getting my dinner ready that I had not been out of the house in two days except to put the trash our or go to the recycling bin to make a deposit.  I did go out into the back yard to take a few photos, but otherwise that’s it.  I am…A Sorting Machine! 🙂

It’s hard to explain exactly what this project entails, but let me just say that we have a lot of “stuff” which needs to be sorted through, then determination needs to be made what to do with it, then if we’re keeping it, it needs to be packed, if we’re not keeping it, do we try to sell it or give it away.  That’s a lot of determining to be done, but I’m up for the challenge.  I’ve made quite a dent in it since I started last Thursday.  I intend to keep denting and keep sorting!  Stick with me! 😉

Fairly early on Thursday I decided to get myself something to eat.  I decided this because I think I waited until around 1pm to eat on Wednesday.  I have to get back on track with three meals a day.  It will keep me from thinking about snacks, especially the kind that Ralph likes to bring into the house. 😉

So breakfast was…

Honeycrisp and Almond Butter.  Thanks to those of you who explained to me that I’m supposed to mix the oil INTO the nut butter.  I still made a mess, but I did it.  First time for almond butter and it was very tasty.  I don’t think it tastes as distinctive as sunflower butter, but still very yummy.

I’m running out of fun ways to display the apple and nut butter.  I’ll have to keep trying or find some new dish options!  This is actually the fun part to me, setting up the food.  When we get to New Mexico, there will be more opportunities for fun food displays.  Hopefully by then I’ll have a better camera too!

Worked all throughout the day.  I stopped for some cottage cheese and sweet relish, but forgot to photograph it.  I should keep that in the fridge more often, it’s very satisfying and good for me.  Put it on the List!

Dinner was another quick and easy without much thinking involved.

Crock pot pinto beans, pre-made bulgur, frozen corn and store-bought salsa.

The bulgur was warmed up in the microwave with a little garlic powder sprinkled on top.  The salsa, corn and beans were heated together on the stove.

Topped with the last of the pecorino romano cheese.  Boy do I need to go Shopping!!  It was really delicious and kept me full without snacks all night. 

I have been on track all week, so I’m hoping for a good result at Weight Watchers on Saturday.  Of course, after the meeting on Saturday we have the second of our two October weddings.  Then on Sunday we have TWO birthday parties…neither one is mine… 😦

I got a few lovely Fall photos today.  The Fall colors always seem to stand out when it’s been raining.

I am enjoying Fall so much this year.  I do miss seeing all of the trees along the highway as I drove to work, but not enough to have to deal with the commute again.  I can just take a ride if I want to see trees.  We’ll get a lot of chances this weekend.

I haven’t really slept all night, so I think I’m going to head back there to see if I can get a little shut-eye.  I need my rest if I want to remain…A Sorting Machine!

Happy Friday!! 🙂

Hand Me Down Tofu And Salads And Salads

Never let it be said that I’m too proud to take something that someone else doesn’t want.  Have you seen my basement?!?  Well, that’s beside the point.  I’m talking about food here.  My best friend Gail is also vegetarian.  She’d never tried tofu and thought she try it.  Now that she’s tried it, she KNOWS she doesn’t like it.  And she’s the kind of person who can’t be swayed if she doesn’t like something.

Therefore…Hand Me Down Tofu.  Gail bought some and tried it and I wish I had a photo of her face when she described how she felt about it!  Not Good!

All seasoned up and ready to enjoy.  I got together a few salad-y things…

Sautéed up the tofu…

Chopped it up…and added it to my salad…

Very tasty and not bad for Hand Me Down Tofu!

Wednesday mid-day, because I hadn’t had the chance to get anything to eat, I was drawn to my latest obsession…

Sunflower butter and Honeycrisp apple!

So Good…mmm

While I worked on sorting and tossing…and I got a LOT accomplished 😉 I had a crock pot full of pinto beans crocking away.

Fresh beans mean…another Salad!

The usual suspects along with a fresh batch of bulgur.  I’m so happy that I found a good way to make it easily.  1 cup of bulgur, 1 and 3/4 cups of boiling water, cover and leave it alone.  I put it in the microwave just to keep it out of the way and I think being enclosed like that might keep the heat in and make it fluffier.  Anyway, it comes out perfectly every time now!

Chop, chop…

Cup o’ beans…Cup o’ bulgur…

Almost there…

Added in my wonderful Cabot 50% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese…and it was a perfect, delicious Salad…in my Big Purple Bowl, of course! 😉

Sadly, the LAST of my wonderful Cabot cheese…

All gone… 😦  I’ll have to head out today to get some more.  I really am impressed with this and can’t believe that I never found Cabot before.

My Birthday Flowers are still going strong after a week.  How nice to have that spark of color around the house.

Rainy Thursday…lots to do.  Ralph has a dentist appointment.  I’m hoping to stay home in order to continue my projects.  It feels so good to say I will accomplish something today.  I finally seem to be getting things done.  I LOVE IT!!

Happy Thursday!

A Nutty Kind Of WIAW…Plus Brussel Sprouts!

It’s always fun when it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday.  What is WIAW you ask?  Why it’s the fun invention of Jenn at Peas & Crayons, that’s what!  When you’re finished getting all of the fun you can from BCDC, be sure to stop by at Peas & Crayons to check on and comment on all of the other lively blog participants.

Today, my version of WIAW is a little nutty.  I didn’t intend for it to be, but it’s like life, some days it’s not what we intend it to be.

I mentioned the other day that I finally had the opportunity to have overnight oats in a jar the way it was meant to be…in an almost empty peanut butter jar.

What did I think about it?  Do these next photos answer the question??

It was delicious!  Probably because of the protein in the peanut butter, it was much more filling and stayed with me longer than the overnight oats usually do.

Last night’s dinner was something that I thought about all day.  Sometimes that turns into something that doesn’t taste very good, the idea of thinking about it too much.

I had Brussel sprouts in the fridge since last week…oops…forgot about them.  I trimmed them and cut them in quarters.  Started to sautee them in olive oil and garlic.  While this was cooking up, I put a large potato in the microwave to partially cook.

Cut up some zucchini…

sautéed some more, then topped it with chopped scallion, salt and pepper and dried basil.  I cut up the potato and added it.

Sautéed some more and then added my new favorite, Cabot 50% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese.

It was just delicious.  It smelled wonderful, too.  Ralph even commented on how good it smelled!  I will make this again!  Probably this week so that I can finish off the Brussel sprouts! 😉

This morning I was still dreaming about these…

The Honeycrisp apples I got yesterday.  I realized while moving some things around in a cabinet that I had Sunflower Seed butter!

I had gotten it several months ago on my pilgrimage to Trader Joe’s.  I noticed there was a lot of oil on top.  I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to mix it in or not.  I tried rather unsuccessfully so I just poured it off.  I thought later that I should have saved it and used it for cooking. 😦

Anyway, the sunflower seed butter and the Honeycrisp made a great breakfast combo!

Very filling, protein again, I know!

The SS butter was so good that I thought it sounded like a good option for a quick lunch…

…on rice cakes. 

So good!  Please note that I did measure it out.  The nut butters are a little pricey on Weight Watchers.   It’s 3 Points for a tablespoon, and I can get carried away with them so I measured.  4 points each but very tasty and filling.

A note for all of you who had to hear me whining yesterday about losing my CVS coupon.

I did go into my severely full recycling bin and went through several bags.  Of course only after doing that did I think to look in my wallet.  I remembered I tried to use it yesterday on prescriptions and that’s not allowed.  I had put into my wallet after not being able to use it.  I was so excited, but I sure wish I’d thought of it before diving into the bin!  Sometimes you have to get a little dirty!

So that’s my distinctly nutty version of WIAW.  Please hop over to Peas & Crayons and check out what everyone’s eating today.  It can only be an adventure.  I find the most interesting things when I visit over there! 

And watch out, because I also found Almond Butter in the cabinet!! 

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

An Errand-ous Day

Monday was a busy day with places to go and people to see.  I needed strength and fortitude to get through it all.  Where did I start??

My free Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee for the month of October, pumpkin spice of course.  Every Monday, I get it for free.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go there last Monday, so I was not about to miss it again.  I’m so glad that my friend Gail found the coupon and gave it to me.  Dunkin’ Donuts is good about putting out coupons.  We usually find them in the local newspaper which is great.  It started my day off right!

When I have a lot of errands to run, I try to map the route out in my head to make my travel as efficient as possible. My next stop was the CVS to pick up Ralph’s prescriptions.  CVS has a program that I like.  It involves this little tag…

I keep it attached to one of my cloth bags and keep it in the car.  I give it to the cashier along with my CVS extra care card and after 4 visits I get a $1 off coupon.

Like this one.  This is a wonderful thing.  It’s supposed to be given to the customer because they brought their own bag.  However, they give it to people who only bring the tag and I find that frustrating.  Fewer bags used is supposed to be the whole idea.  I’m additionally upset at the moment.   I had a $2.50 coupon which I thought was in my bag.  I apparently put the coupon in the recycling instead of the useless part of the receipt.  I have so much in my recycling now, I’m not likely to find it.  When it gets light out, I’m going to give it a try though.  I’ll update you all later.

My next stop was Verchio’s produce.  I needed lots of things, especially fruit.

Let’s see if I can remember everything…potatoes, Roma tomatoes, carrots, plums, grapes (not so good), yellow squash, pears and scallions.  That wasn’t even everything.  This time, I wrote down what the price was of everything in order to do a better job of the Thrifty Vegetarian.  I like it when I know that I’ve gotten a good meal for a good deal.  How poetic!

Gail had gone to Sam’s and picked up some the salad mix I like and some Honeycrisp apples.  I had mentioned that Alice had given me one and how good they were…

They are so delicious!  I had never tried them before and they are a little pricey, $7.00 for the bag, but I Know I will eat them all.  They’re a great snack and a portable one too!

I visited with Gail for a while making some plans for some upcoming adventures.  She also gave me a great coat that had been her Mom’s.  It’s sporty but could be worn for dress if needed.  It’s really beautiful and fits perfectly.  She told me her Mom would be happy that I was able to wear it.

When I got home, I put all of my goodies away and got started on more sorting.  I was doing well until I had an avalanche of things which I had already sorted fall off of the table and on to the floor.  Of course this happened just as Ralph and our grandson, Alex were walking in the door.  I was able to get it together without too much difficulty. 

On this subject,  I’ve joked to my sister Ele and to Gail that I’ll need an assistant to put out the recycling today.  Now I have to dig in the bin to look for that darned Coupon!

For the moment, I’ll just enjoy sharing life with all of you…

…and drinking my own pumpkin spice coffee from the wonderful mug that Ele gave me.

Time for dumpster diving!!

Happy Tuesday!