Biscuits and Vengeance with S.O.S

Okay so I’ve heard about the Post Punk Kitchen, but don’t consider myself post-punk (it’s a rock genre, too) nor much of a punk-kitchen-ish type.  It’s where vegans go and talk and tweak and read reviews, techniques, and recipes for super delish food.  I’m not armed with exotic kitchen skillz and though I recreationally read (oh, about 2 a week) cookbooks from cover to cover, I usually pick only one recipe to try out.  Here’s that one try! Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa-

I’m in love with biscuits.  I know I said I’m a potato girl, but biscuits are in close competition for second place on my list of yummy starchy foods.  I like biscuits for breakfast in all their pb&j glory, as well as using them for dipping into soups, substituting them for sandwich bread, and even for S.O.S.

What’s S.O.S. you ask?  In the layman’s language, it’s “shit on a shingle” or for the rest of non-foul mouthed America (does that exist, really?), it’s biscuits and gravy.  Or biscuits and sausage gravy.  Or the English folk like beans on toast. Or the most popular: creamed chipped beef on toast.  All of the above are s.o.s. and SO tasty.  Unless you’re vegan.  Strike out if you’re trying to get anything at a restaurant or beg your non-vegan mom to make it for you sans any meat/fat/dairy. Sad face.

So Isa Chandra Moskowitz has an easy biscuit recipe at the beginning (first chapter) of this cookbook. And it’s simple, easy, and way cheaper than buying a tube of Pilsbury at the store.  I remember making biscuits when I was little and it requiring lots of kneading and sitting or something.  No way, not at my house at least.  So we started with sifting the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, some salt.  Then we cut in the shortening (Crisco) and vegan margarine (Earth’s Balance)- which I did the el-cheapo way; by using two butter knives.

Then I had to alter it- because the original recipe called for soy or rice milk but neither of those are to my or Sillyboy’s liking, so I used almond milk and it worked well.  Oh, and I guess I had another alteration way back in the dry ingredient add-in; we had half a cup of leftover wheat flour that I mixed in with some regular baking flour.  Maybe I’m more post punk kitchen-ish than I think?  Okay not.  After I added in the cold milk, I worked it into a dough with my hands, rolled it out and used a drinking glass to cut out pretty circles.

I placed them (about 16 small biscuits, half an inch thick) on a greased cookie sheet, then baked them for about 12 minutes at 450 degrees.  You can kind of see the wheat flecks in the biscuits up close- which I think made them a tad drier than I like, but they were SO yummy.  Sillyboy even asked for another one as we huddled by the oven eating freshly baked biscuits before the husband wandered through wondering what we were eating so late at night.  (Vegan is good anytime is what I say).

Before the baking part, I’d say the entire recipe took me about 5 minutes to make.  Maybe 6 if you include gathering the few ingredients.  I couldn’t find the actual recipe on the ppk site or online, but I’ll be sure to share it- because there are many variations of vegan biscuits that mostly try to replicate the good ol’ buttermilk ones -which aren’t necessary for what we eat them with.  But it was late at night, I was in a pinch, so I proceeded to heat up a can of Bush’s Baked Beans- the Vegetarian version rich in brown sugar but perfect and heats up in about 3 mins. I had s.o.s. for dinner and considering I had made homemade vegan biscuits, it was the best s.o.s.

Have you ever made biscuits from “scratch” or would you ever try to make the vegan version?  Do you happen to have your own version of s.o.s.?  I hear it’s different depending on which state you grew up in, but since I grew up on a military base it’s quite common for the creamed beefy version.


Baby Led Weaning Round 1

BLW time here at casa de’ LunchingMom.  Bambina just hit the half-birthday mark and has been working on her sittin’ up skillz (skills with extra umph right there).  And since I’m a crazy potato girl (sweet potato that is, though I try to limit our nightshade veggie intake), I thought she might enjoy some roasted or sauteed sweet potatoes.  One of the goals of baby led weaning is that your child will eat with you, instead of eating before or after or not be present and part of the family meal time. Here’s a great essay that simplifies BLW in a nutshell from

I remember when Sillyboy was little, the husband and I thought we were so awesome at tag-teaming at meals.  Except one of us always had to reheat our food. No one wants to nuke a freshly prepared whole-food meal of goodness (see radio wave lunch here)!  So for two nights we had a sweet potato side with dinner- and no one minded at all.

I washed and peeled two organic sweet potatoes then sliced them up into sticks so Sillyboy could regard them as having fries for dinner, and Bambina would have a good size to hold and munch. Then sauteed them stove top in a pan with a touch of sesame oil (try it- because it’s an amazing compliment to the sweetness).

Most of the articles and videos I’ve watched recommend the bigger the better in slicing shapes for BLW.  Think spear shapes or potato wedges.  This way your baby has something to hold onto in either hand, and adequate area to gum the food. Once they get the pincer grasp down (8-10 months-ish) you can hit up the smaller slices.  A lot of U.K. families swear by leaving the peel on most fruits and veggies, which is really helpful when handling avocado (a first favorite here and abroad) and bananas.  Babies learn which side has the good flavors pretty quick.

Baby’s food and the fam’s food done at the SAME time= #win.  I placed about 3-4 sweet potato slices on her highchair tray (no plates  or utensils needed) and tried not to stare Bambina down intently just waiting to ooh and ah.  So we all said our dinner prayer and chowed down.  I did peek at her from the corner of my eye as did the boys- to keep an eye on her for fear of choking and/or taste-bud delight.  It could go either way, really.  Luckily she loved it!  She was really quick to grab a piece at a time and start gumming it.  She smeared it around, she threw some pieces on the floor (aka gave the dogs some snackage), but managed to chew a few pieces off- eat some and spit some out.  Every time she’d run out of big pieces, I just handed over more until she was totally not interested which was about when we were all done eating.  Then I had to clean.

Clean I did.  I cleaned the tray, the floor, the seat, and what?- How did sweet potato get smeared inside her onesie?! I didn’t realize until she was having her bath she had smeared it in her hair above her ear. wth.  I did purchase a fancy long sleeved bib cover I plan to use when we’re out and about (Ikea makes super cheap useful ones that you can purchase on Amazon, because Ikea doesn’t have online purchasing for most of their kid items, especially not to Missouri), but she gets a bath after dinner every night so it’s one less thing for me to wash.

I feel like it’s one more stepping stone on this different kind of food journey and I’ll try to keep you posted.  Have you tried anything like BLW before?  Do you stick to purees (homemade?) and just give baby a nosh every once in awhile of your food?

The Old Switcheroo

Getting green= by taking baby steps.  Here’s a quick and easy baby step for getting green and it involves your eyes.  Or, more accurately, making your eyes green.  No, that’s confusing, too.  I’m pulling the old switcheroo and suggesting that you pitch your old reliable mascara and try an organic one.

ImageIt’s not too crazy of an idea, because technically a tube of mascara should only last you about 3 or 4 months since the black goop gets dried out and harbors germs in there.  So you could try a tube of Physicians Formula (which can be found at Target, CVS, and Walgreens in the regular make-up aisle!) mascara and if you don’t like it, you could go back to your originating brand.  Why?—>

Physicians Formula Mascara is 100% organic, all-natural, and doesn’t test on animals in case that helps makes you feel warm and fuzzy about switching. 🙂  It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t flake, and it’s free of parabens (scary things your body actually absorbs), and the packaging all recyclable (double bonus).  I’ve been using mine for a week now, and the first thing I notice is that it’s super easy to put on with a slick, smooth formula.  It’s easier to take off in the evenings, and takes up the same amount of space in my makeup bag.  Easy peas-y.

Try it and let me know- are you game for taking the leap and trying an organic make-up product?  Most people are too chicken, and don’t want their money to be wasted.  After perusing a few make-up blogs, and some Youtube help (yes, they teach you to style your lashes with said product), every single person thought it worked out well.  What other daily organic products do you use?  How well do they compare to the chemical laced versions?

Green Machine Gets Smoothie

Okay, bear with me on this “add one more green thing” food excursion, because it’s just not as easy as it sounds.  So what we’re doing, it just having that one green thing until we get tired of it and then we plan to replace it with something more awesome that’s green.  And by “we” I mean Sillyboy and I.  The husband is just a observer because he’s not sure how long our little pact will last.

Juices are all the rage- or at least they were last year.  And now- history repeats itself and the smoothie is back ya’ll!  (Yes, I say ya’ll on a random basis- don’t hate, hater!).

I was skimming through either the latest issue of Babytalk or Parenting magazines and found a small recipe section for easy smoothies.  I’m all about easy- and easy to me is 5 ingredients/steps or less (think Claire Robinson).  I attempted to find the online version of the page, but since they are melded together on one site, I haven’t found it yet to share the official copy with you.  But share I will, because I totally tore out half the page and promptly stuck on the fridge.  Out of the 3 fruity recipes listed, only one met my criteria because it was both green and vegan (i.e. no yogurt or milk).  And it was awesome-sauce.  Except Sillyboy is freaked out by the bits-o-green that float around.  Back to juicing kale instead?

Here’s the supply breakdown:


Green Machine Smoothie

1 cup organic kale (washed and chopped- no stems please!)

1/2 green apple (peeled and chopped)

1/2 banana (peeled and chopped)

1/2 cup of orange juice

3 ice cubes

And there you have it- stick all the ingredients into a blender for about 30 seconds- the Green Machine.  I used our Magic Bullet for the one-drink occasion.  This is NOT to be confused with Naked Juice’s green machine that contains seaweed and some other many green ingredients.  It is delish/sweet/not tangy/fresh/frothy goodness.  And a bit textured.  Just a tad.  If you’re the kind of person who can handle pulp in your orange juice, you wind mind the kale crumbles in there.  But if you can’t handle it and pulp makes you gag (like the husband), maybe pouring it through a piece of cheesecloth will work better (like for Sillyboy’s anti-pulp drinking case).

ImageYou get your fruit and green servings in there at the start of the day- which is helpful in case you decide to pig out on onion rings later when the kids are in bed.  We love us some late night greasy (albeit not often) trips to Sonic.  Viola!  Green is good.  have you figured out any other ways to fit some healthy green food options into your family’s meals?

Fried Sweet Potato

We are definitely a potato family, I just try to steer us away from french fries. But since nightshades aren’t all that glorious (another reason french fries are the devil, besides all that grease), the better- and way healthier option is sweet potatoes. I haven’t found a sweet potato I don’t like. Not to be confused with yams- which aren’t a nightshade, but also aren’t grown in the U.S. I try to come up with different ways to serve sweet potatoes, including mashing them with a bit of orange marmalade (great idea from Rachel Ray), baking fries in the oven, and sauteing them with some sesame oil as a dinner side. But another super easy kid friendly way, is just to fry them them in pan.

We grabbed a large sweet potato, scrubbed, and peeled it. Then I sliced it into thin, flat rounds.

Then in a small bowl, I combined some salt, black pepper, and about a 3/4 cup of flour. We added some water and mixed, just enough to get a good moist batter. If you’re not worried about the vegan route and prefer a crispier batter- use 1 egg instead. Dipped each slice in and fried it a lightly oiled pan.

Each side cooked for about 3 mins. and then rested for a minute before we scarfed them down. It’s a great way to get some more vitamin A and C in your system, especially instead of drive thru french fries. And the sizes are perfect for a non-fancy finger food at snack time.  If you ever get to eat tempura battered appetizers at Asian restaurants, this recipe is pretty similar with a few less steps (and less heavier batter).  Now, if we could just get rid of the oily part completely….What’s your favorite battered-at-home recipe?


I can get serious with a 5 year old, this is true.  Even with the bambina, I’m not a baby-talking high pitched voicing person coercing my baby to smile.  I’m not so much the helicopter parent my husband is.  I try my hardest to be vegetarian.  Some days it’s great, some days I have sushi, and others I’m vegan.  With both of our family histories filled with overweight, diabetic, heart-attacking, cancerous relatives, we try harder some days and less others.  So we went halfsies on our kids, who are halfsies of us.  So they consume dairy, eggs, fish, and poultry but never pork or beef meats or products (except that one time Sillyboy forgot to ask about some rice and porky beans at school, and now he knows better). It lets us think about our food.  Just like making a decision between a brownie or a lemon bar, it might just be a preference.

I provide this little disclaimer/info note on our family because I was surprised that the Today Show had a quick segment on vegan kids.   They featured a new children’s book being released this month called Vegan is Love.  They also criticize Alicia Silverstone and Mayim Bialik about their parenting habits near the end to shock parents.  I’m surprised that the segment keeps mentioning how controversial the entire idea is but the article below it says it’s all good as long as you stay smart.  Watch and read here:

TODAY Moms- Should kids go vegan?

I have so many questions!  What do “regular” meat-eating families tell their children about where the food comes from?  I know several people who grew up on Midwest farms and learned at a young age where all their food came from.   Nothing about hatching, raising, butchering, cooking, or eating farm animals shocked them (except maybe the pig castrating example back in 4H).  Sillyboy understands that we raise animals to eat them, just like we grow vegetables.  I’m not sure how the Vegan is Love book would create malnourished children.  Are parents hiding the fact that hamburgers come from cows?  Parents should be there to provide information, guidance, and answers to kids about what they eat and how they grow.  Not everybody should or can be vegetarian or try veganism, but any education beyond McDonald’s and pink slime could help everyone eat healthier, or at least I believe it.  Why should something you eat everyday scare you?

Kosher Kugels

If you asked the 6 y/o Sillboy what a kugel was, he’d think for a minute and say it was “a fancy hashbrown.”  So, if you look at it from his point of view, he’s kinda right.  We love potatoes at our house- sweet, yukon, red, russet, the list goes on.  While searching for vegan potato recipes (i.e. no cheese or even pretend cheez, sour cream, etc.), what do you know?, a recipe from Mayim Bialik‘s blog on Kveller came up!

The recipe is kid-friendly, vegan, kosher, and just tasty for a “fancy hashbrown.”  It wasn’t too time consuming to prep and taste the best snack right out of the oven.  I remember having warm latkes from corner cart vendors on a visit to NYC, and this reminds me of that.  But it’s the baked version (kugel) versus the fried one (latke).  Disclaimer here: I’m not Jewish but enjoy Kosher (non-meaty, of course) foods.

Start with a few ingredients and tools:


Then once you’re done with the grating and mixing, stuff the oiled muffin tin!  This step is very kid-helper friendly even though it can get a tad messy.

ImageBake as directed, and when they’re done- they are a warm, crispy goodness that makes a great side for dinner or just for a snack.  They pop out easily with a spoon and keep their shape pretty well.  Plus, the leftovers are great reheated for breakfast and/or running out the door.  This is definitely going on my list of potato recipe favorites.