Saturday, October 29, 2011


It's that time a year again when all things scary come out!  Boo! 

This is such a fun time a year, I love seeing all of the original costumes people come up with.  I especially love all of the scary movies playing all month long.  The classic black and white monster movies are my favorite, but then again I love all of those classic movies.  Getting back to the old monster movies , I really love to watch them all.  The music and the way they acted were just so cool.  Some of my favorite black and white monster flicks are Nosferatu(1922), White Zombie(1932),  Vincent Price movies, Bela Lugosi's Dracula,and Frankenstein to name a few.  The other day I watched for the first time Curse of the Demon(1957)with Dana Andrews, the demon in it was pretty silly but for back then these were scary movies.  Then there is the Uninvited, A Ghost Story with Ray Milland.  The list goes on and on and I'll watch them all plus so many in between then and now.  Carrie with Sissy Spacek....great one.  Then there is the fabulous movie...The Shining with Jack Nicholson, even Dave will watch this one and he does not like scary movies AT ALL

Oh and how can I forget The Nightmare Before Christmas!  Tim Burton movies rock! I even have The Nightmare Before Christams mug that a friend got me a few years ago and a couple of t-shirts.  Wear them every Halloween, the t-shirts that is. Then there is Casper and Hocus Pocus which bring back memories of the first time my son Keaton and I watched them together,then every year after.
What are your favorite Scary/Horror movies if you are into them?

Yesterday Keaton attended his last Halloween dance in middle school..(tears).
I made these Spooky Fingers. 
These were alot of fun to make and you make them plain or gory like I did.  Although I think some of the kids were leary because they were more on the gory side.  I found the recipe a couple of different place but the one that shows how to roll the dough is here.    These would be fun to make with kids.


by Novel Eats
adapted by dreaminitvegan

•1 cup vegan butter, softened

•1 cup Earth Balance or other vegan butter (I believe Earth Balance makes for better baking)
•1 cup vegan confectioners’ sugar

•1.5 tsp Ener-G egg replacer with 2T. water, whisked together

•1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

•1 T. soymilk or other non-dariy  milk

•2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

•1 teaspoon baking powder

•1 teaspoon salt

•3/4 cup whole, blanched almonds or pumpkin seeds.

Combine the vegan butter, sugar, egg replacer,  and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer.

OnceAs it is mixing gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt
Once your dough is well mixed, refrigerate it for 30 minutes. This will make the dough easier to handle when you are shaping the witches fingers.

Just before you take the dough out of the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the dough from your refrigerator, and using a teaspoon or tablespoon scoop a heaping spoonful onto a piece of wax paper. Use the wax paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie
Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail.

Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance
Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets, being sure to give each cookie a little space so that they do not bake into each other.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 min. or until the cookies are slightly golden in color.

Tips: Rolling the dough on the thinner side will give you more cookies and since they do puff up quite a bit while baking.

Optional Gore: After you have allowed your cookies to cool, remove the almond from the end of each cookie. Squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel (not all decorating gels are vegan, so be sure to check the ingredients).  I melted chocolate and spread it on the back side of the cookie to give a nice contrast in taste.  Then I dabbed some chocolate under the almond(it helps the almond stay on better) added some red gel then pressed the almond back on.  I stuck the fingers in crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, so having the chocolate under the almond kind of looks like they are dirty.  Yuck!  You can also add some green tint to the dough to make them look like Witches fingers.  So many ideas!

Let me know if you have  made these before or if you do.
Have a fun weekend everyone!  Stay safe and don't drink and dirve if you are going to a party.

Next Post will be my Halloween B-day cake that I  make for myself each year.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pet Food

Wow I've just been slacking in my posts these last few months.
  Hello all I hope you are having a good autumn day.  It's been quite cold and foggy these past couple of mornings.  We are pretty lucky it clears up mid morning to a beautiful sunny day.

Just when I think I'm starting to deal with controlling my emotions regarding the loss of our dog Cleo we receive a cremation certificate from Oak Hills Memorial Pet Care.  It brought up all of my emotions again but at least I know she was treated with care.  I'd like to share with you a bit of what the card said. 
"You may be assured that your beloved pet Cleo was treated with dignity and consideration during our special process.  We have placed your pet's cremains beneath a stand of great trees in a serene country setting."  I feel now I can truly move on knowing she is at peace and was taken care of.

Regarding pet food, I've always tried to feed my animals the best food while not breaking the bank.  When Cleo got cancer I took another look at her food.   Researching all of the sites on canine cancer I found when it came to feeding dogs with cancer they all mention getting off store bought pet food and making your own. sounds like with  humans, fresh whole foods are just healthier.  It totally makes sense!

The first dried biscuit for dogs was processed in 1860, right after World War II bagged and canned pet food became popular in the U.S. because it was more economical.  Before that time dogs ate table scraps, vegetables etc.  You can read about the history of commercial dog food all over the internet or at   History of Dog Food  Like with people, the more processed food you eat the unhealthier you become.  Also the more organic ingredients the better as well.

If you can't feed your pet a completely fresh diet try to feed a higher quality kibble then add fresh veggies to it like I've been doing.  You can mix all kinds of veggies, omega oils, etc.  Wheat, corn and soy are the biggest allergens for dogs.  Wheat especially is not good for dogs.  Sweet potatoes are alot better than white potatoes which are real starchy.

  This is a mix of kale, swiss chard, carrots, peas, quinoa and a bit of barley.  Ace loves this stuff!

Some of the research I've done has been on finding companies that also use organic ingredients. I've e-mailed quite a few regarding their ingredients. I'm surprised to find that Halo the one Ellen Degeneres recommends, doesn't use hormone free chicken or eggs from small farms.  There are a couple of companies that carry dehydrated food which is made using very low heat but enough to kill pathogens.  Here are a couple of those-  Dr. Harvey's  you would add a protein to it.  Alicia Silverstone has been feeding her dogs for years using this food and for a protein she adds lentils, beans or tofu to it and her dogs are healthy as can be.  You need to add an omega oil to this food as well as l-creatine and taurine if no meat is used.  Then there is The Honest Kitchen , one of their food items is all veg.  This food is alot pricer especially if you have a bigger dog like our 80lb Ace dog.  Carna4 is a  newer line of baked kibble from Canada.  They had a great response when I emailed them regarding where their chicken came from.  They say they choose the freshest like they do for themselves. You can truly see that the owners care about their pets.  Now while I'm vegan I don't believe in factory farming but most of the meat in dog foods come from factory farms. So when even buying a kibble that has some meat in it I prefer organic ingredients.   Petguard Organic Pet Food  is good and they have a vegetarian option as well.  

Amongst my research I found that Natura Pet food brand which includes EVO, Innova, California Natural and Karma( 90% organic)was bought out to Proctor and Gamble.  Here is a company that was supposedly a high quality pet food yet they sell out to a company like Proctor and Gamble.  It's also interesting that there was a class action lawsuit against them filed regarding their claims regarding the description of their dog food.  It's always good to research a pet food before you purchase.  I also don't get the addition of cottage cheese in some of these dog foods because just like people alot of dogs can have an allergy or be lactose intolerant.  Milk is for babies is what I say.  If you feel you want to give your pet yogurt because it contains probiotics then add a capsule or two of probiotics.

All in all when it comes to your pets, fresher is better.  If you have a question regarding a product e-mail the company they always reply rather quickly.  
What do you feed your dogs?