A New Direction for Veggies….

 View from our kitchen window, on a cloudy day, just before the leaves really started changing color and falling…..


How time is flying these days…already November, hard to believe. Still no snow in sight…and that’s a good thing! I need new boots and they are still on the way!!!!    😉

 I’ve been happy to be back to blogging in the past few weeks but it just isn’t the same as it was, before I went on hiatus this same month, last year.

I did want to continue to keep in touch with all of the bloggers/blogs I like and that are still online. Sadly, a lot of them no longer are.

For me, comments do make the blog-world go round. I love the discussion aspect of blogging a lot, I miss that now on a number of blogs I visit and also at Veggies…. I am happy though for all of you who have gained a lot of readers/visitors in the past months, while I was away. 

 So, I’ve come up with a compromise, which I think will be workable, not too time-consuming and will still allow me to post and visit, just not as much.

I’m going to try doing a once-a-week post, ‘wrap-up’ of some of my week’s activities and interests. Not a particular topic. Of course I’ll still sharing recipes, crafts in progress and feline news, etc…. as before.

 So, with that in mind, here goes:

As is usually the case, I’ve been doing a fair amount of cooking and ‘tweaking’ recipes, during the past week.

Working on two new cookbooks right now, one a revised,updated version of Not Just for Vegetarians. The other, a meatless burger cookbook. Slowly but surely, these are coming together, but lots and lots of work. Fun stuff though when you love to cook as much as I do!    🙂

 Today’s lunch was from Not Just for Vegetarians, Savory Veggie Casserole, with a bit of adapting in terms of adding a few more spices to the original recipe. It turned out great and was delicious and satisfying.

This is a main dish recipe that was a mainstay for me, when I use to attend a lot of pot-luck suppers (I loved going to these, haven’t had the opportunity to do so for a long time.  

BTW, are there still pot-luck suppers where you live? Not as common as they use to be, it seems.

Back to the recipe….you can easily make this in two smaller casseroles or one larger one (2 Qt.) as I used today (actually it was a large lasagne pan but what the hey!!!) All the  layers  including the rice and veggies cook in the oven and its such a colorful dish too, I like that part as well.

Here’s some of the steps along the way:

Sauteed veggies….

Almost there…..

The finished results, yummm…..

I’ll include the complete recipe at the end of this post, hope you enjoy this recipe too.

I also made some delish old-fashioned peanut butter cookies this week, remember the kind your mom made, with the criss-cross fork marks on top? Simple can be wonderful. Found this cookie recipe over at Teri’s Kitchen.

Here’s a link to the recipe and (some of!!) my finished cookie batch:


The Cookie Monster aka Joe, took care of quite a few before the photo was taken LOL!

Speaking of cookies, here’s a lovely quote which I read over at Miss Woolly Knits which is so true.

 “Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
~Barbara Jordan

Thanks for all the posts and pics Mary Anne, love stopping by on Fridays to see what you’ve been up to. Your garden is amazing!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting too. A lot of projects on the go, including: Joe’s Lopi Cardigan (finished except for putting it together) ditto for my Cropped Cardigan.

Also working on several Christmas presents including: hats, scarves, mittens, hood scarf….and trying very hard to stay with my stash as opposed to buying more yarn.I’ll have pics to share as these come off the needles and hook!

 Finally dusted off the sewing machine too and plan to work that stash down as well. My dear mom always said (and she was a wonderful seamstress) ‘don’t cut fabrics ahead of time, until you are ready to sew’ . Such good advice, I didn’t always follow in the past. Styles change so quickly but with the fabric intact, it’s like a fresh canvas, waiting to be brought to life. I really, really love to sew, look forward to getting back to this wonderful relaxing hobby very soon.

I’ve also been looking into taking a hands-on soap-making course, something I’ve been interested in for a long time but never got around to pursuing before. So far, haven’t found any classes available in our area but did send out some email queries today, to several soap-making supply companies in Canada. Any suggestions? Any soap-makers reading this? If all else fails, I’ll be looking for an online course or DVD to start with but I really don’t think it would be nearly as helpful or informative to start with.

This is getting quite long so I’ll say goodbye for now.

Wishing you all a great week.    🙂

I’ll be stopping by to visit when I can and look forward to ‘seeing’ you here at Veggies….too.

Here’s the recipe for Savory Veggie Casserole:


This is a very colorful and delicious main dish, ideal when company is coming or to take to the next potluck supper that you attend. Vegan friendly too, use options given. Makes a generous amount, use two casserole dishes and freeze one for later.  Complete recipe serves 8-10 generously.

  2 T. melted butter or Earth Balance margarine

1 1/4  C. uncooked brown (preferably) or unpolished white rice

2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped

3 C. vegetable soup stock

4 T. light soy sauce

½ teas. freshly-ground pepper, to taste

 1-2 teas. (to taste) Mrs. Dash Original Blend OR Spike Seasoning Blend

2 teas. crushed thyme leaves or savory

1 teas. Chinese 5 spice blend 


2 T. vegetable oil

2-4 cloves garlic to taste, minced

2 C. broccoli florets

2 C. cauliflower florets

2 red sweet peppers, cut in strips (or use one red, one green)

1 C. cashews, coarsely chopped

1 C. grated sharp Cheddar or vegan cheddar cheese 

(Note: If fresh broccoli and cauliflower are not available, a similar blend of frozen mixed vegetables can be substituted. Unthaw and drain but do not pre-cook, before using in recipe.)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large 2 quart casserole (or 2-1 qt. casseroles) combine the melted butter, rice half the chopped onion, vegetable stock, soy sauce and seasonings.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes if using white rice) until most of liquid is absorbed by rice. 

While casserole is cooking, heat oil in a large frypan or wok and sauté remaining vegetables for 5 minutes over medium heat, remove from heat and set aside.

Remove casserole(s) from oven. Cover rice layer with sautéed vegetables evenly . Cover, return to oven and bake 10 minutes more.  

Remove casserole(s) from oven again, sprinkle evenly with cashews and grated cheese. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and get ready for compliments! 

Reprinted from Not Just for Vegetarians, Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way by Geraldine Hartman. All rights reserved.

9 responses

  1. It takes time to build up a readership…even after a hiatus. I think the readers will return and new ones will discover you. Hang in there! There are so many blogs our there now that we are all suffering from fluxuations in readership. It’s been a big discussion on many sites these days. My own Bloglines stats have gone up and down quite a bit lately. I think that the days of large readership might be a thing of the past what with there being so many choices for readers now. But, I’m happy to have my small circle of friends and content with my small audience.

    Meanwhile, I continue to look forward to your posts so do keep blogging as time permits!

  2. That casserole sounds great. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Things have been a little slow all over, I think – but when you’re gone a bit, it IS hard to bring folks back – you should have an RSS feed to Bloglines, so folks can see when you update and not have to remember to go look, it just miraculously appears!

    I missed you and will put this newest recipe to good use – stop by Nana Sadie’s Place (http://nanasadiesplace.blogspot.com) to see my newest attempt at cooking?

  4. I’ve thought that the once-a-week posting idea is one I should consider… it may actually make me be more consistent about posting. But then again, I get so darn gabby sometimes, I can’t imagine how long I would ramble on! I do know that I look forward to that lovely Friday visit with MaryAnne so much.

  5. G., first of all this is a great post–you have managed to have a long post without sacrificing quality, and I know first hand that that’s not always easy to achieve as a blogger.

    As for your new blogging strategy, I think it’s a good plan too. I took a hiatus earlier this year, though not as long as you did, and I felt the same way when I came back. I have never been able to actively engage readers on my blog so I have to just be content with helping the occasional anonymous gardening “surfer” here and there.

    But I think that’s OK…going back to my first comment, it puts a focus on quality blogging rather than quantity. Not to imply that your previous posts lack in quality…that’s not what I mean. But I know that when I was trying to blog every day, there were many, many times I found myself searching for something to write about. I think it’s better to save up a bunch of things for one post (like this one) or to write a lot when you have time or when you have something to say!

    I’ve noticed that some people start blogs and then slow down as time passes (myself included). Also some people start out spending a lot of time reading blogs and then they cut back as time goes by (myself included). At least in my case–even though I value my blog and my blog friends–I found that so much blogging and reading blogs was taking too much time away from my “real life.”

    At any rate, good luck with the new direction, and I’ll look forward to my weekly visits.

    P.S….I love the new poppy header, and your kitchen window view is beautiful! Can you tell me where that is?

  6. Everything looks lovely ad so colorful. I have not made a casserole in a while. You’re
    readership will pick up. I had the same problem when I took a three month blogging
    break. 🙂

  7. Hi G,

    Love the picture from your window! 🙂 We used to look out upon the High Desert, now the view is of long, flat buildings with tall, bright lights. 😦

    You always manage to keep SO Busy on a variety of things….so fun to read about, and love the recipes you share….always so yummy.

    I am delighted to be teaching my qigong classes here in town, but unfortunately that means I don’t have as much time to write posts …and my original posts often take several days of research….or read blogs anymore, either, but I still get around a bit, and am happy you are back online.

    Seeing Caroline’s response above makes me a little nostalgic for the “old days” when we visited and commented on each others posts on an almost daily basis. I think I will try to schedule one morning a week just to visit friends’ blogs and see what’s up in the world again! 😀

  8. Hi Sheep, Thanks for the encouragement and insights. I really enjoy stopping over at Sheep’s for a read and many chuckles. Your readership has steadily increased from what Ive noted. I have been told repeatedly though that taking a hiatus does make a big difference in your regular readership. That’s ok, Im still very glad to be back to blogging.

    Hi Nicole, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is a very yummy casserole, hope you will give it a try!

    Hi Knitnana, I am on Bloglines, thanks for the heads-up. Ill be looking forward to your latest recipe adventures!!! 🙂

    Hi Cynthia, I think the once a week post idea will work for me. And yes, I really agree with you, Mary Anne’s is a great destination, every Friday.

    Hi C, Oh contraire my friend, EFG is definitely not all about anonymous comments and helpful hints. You have plenty of loyal readers who love your blog, yours truly included. I am amazed at the diversity and depth of knowledge you provide in the gardening realm. Just wonderful! And I havent even got a green thumb. 😉
    Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, again it means a lot.

    Hi Opal, So nice you could stop by. You certainly have a lot of loyal readers too and so MANY blogs to take care of. Talk about a busy lady!!!

    Hi M, And so nice you could stop by too. Your posts are so interesting and helpful, I look forward to the latest installment and TRY to incorporate some of the good advice, in my de-stressing strategies…thanks for all your advice, encouragement and being a friend.

    Huggs, G 🙂

  9. That’s the view from your kitchen window?! How beautiful! I look out over my daughter’s old swingset and my neighbor’s house. 🙂

Thanks so much for your comments!

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