About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,
Suzanne

Friday, December 03, 2010

Celebrate a Compassionate Hanukkah


The following post is by PETA celebrity marketing coordinator Lauren Gordon.
Hanukkah, O Hanukkah! Hanukkah is one of my favorite holidays—and not just for the obvious reason (presents!). It is a time to rejoice with family and friends while observing the traditions of our ancestors, such as lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, singing festive songs, and feasting on seasonal dishes.
Jewish tradition places importance on treating animals with compassion, and the Jewish concept of tsa'ar ba'alei chayim explains that humans should not cause animals pain. A fabulous way to have a compassionate holiday and take a stand against the mistreatment of animals on factory farms is by celebrating with a vegan Hanukkah.
Make Hanukkah sweet for your taste buds and for animals by baking some festive vegan treats. This jelly-doughnut cupcake recipe is a modern twist on the classic sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts) and a delicious new way to celebrate compassionately. Try these simple sugar cookies and use Hanukkah-themed cookie cutters to create fun shapes. Get some vegan Hanukkah gelt to share or top gifts with. Most dark chocolate is dairy-free, so look for dark-chocolate gelt (it is often the silver-foiled coins).
My Hanukkah celebration isn't complete without latkes, aka potato pancakes, and I am looking forward to cooking some this year. Since the main ingredient in latkes is potatoes, the dish lends itself to being vegan. Apple sauce and nondairy sour cream make great toppings. Try out this easy latke recipe:
Vegan Potato Latkes
3 lbs. peeled baking potatoes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. unbleached flour
Canola oil for frying
  • Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the moisture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes with all the remaining ingredients except the oil.
  • Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet. Place 3 tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet for each latke. Use a spatula to flatten the mixture to form the latke. Fry over medium heat for approximately 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels and serve hot with apple sauce and nondairy sour cream.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Happy Hanukkah! What vegan dishes will be part of your celebration this year?


Egg Replacements

There are plenty of egg substitutes available for baking or preparing a dish that calls for eggs. Ener-G Egg Replacer is a reliable egg substitute for use in baking. It is available at health food stores and most grocery stores.
Tofu: Tofu is great for egg substitutions in recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like quiches or custards. To replace one egg in a recipe, purée 1/4 cup soft tofu. It is important to keep in mind that although tofu doesn't fluff up like eggs, it does create a texture that is perfect for "eggy" dishes.
Tofu is also a great substitute for eggs in eggless egg salad and breakfast scrambles.
In Desserts and Sweet, Baked Goods: Try substituting one banana or 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg called for in a recipe for sweet, baked desserts. These will add some flavor to the recipe, so make sure bananas or apples are compatible with the other flavors in the dessert.
Other Egg Replacement Options
• 1 egg = 2 Tbsp. potato starch
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup puréed prunes
• 1 egg = 2 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1 egg = 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed simmered in 3 Tbsp. water
• 1 egg white = 1 Tbsp. plain agar powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water, whipped, chilled, and whipped again
Egg Replacement Tips
• If a recipe calls for three or more eggs, it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (i.e., binding or leavening).
• Trying to replicate airy baked goods that call for a lot of eggs, such as angel food cake, can be very difficult. Instead, look for a recipe with a similar taste but fewer eggs, which will be easier to replicate.
• When adding tofu to a recipe as an egg replacer, be sure to purée it first to avoid chunks in the finished product.
• Be sure to use plain tofu, not seasoned or baked, as a replacer.
• Powdered egg replacers cannot be used to create egg recipes such as scrambles or omelets. Tofu is the perfect substitute for eggs in these applications.
• If you want a lighter texture and you're using fruit purées as an egg substitute, add an extra 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Fruit purées tend to make the final product denser than the original recipe.
• If you're looking for an egg replacer that binds, try adding 2 to 3 Tbsp. of any of the following for each egg: tomato paste, potato starch, arrowroot powder, whole wheat flour, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, instant potato flakes, or 1/4 cup tofu puréed with 1 Tbsp. flour.

Don't forget to check out our vegan shopping guide and delicious recipes.

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