Monday, March 30, 2015


WOW!! What a weekend it was!! We have been Zippityin’ and Doo-in’ and Dah-in’ since Thursday with the WORLD FAMOUS Sweet Potato Queens. Chapter upon Chapter of Sweet Potato Queens descended on the Jackson MS area and commenced their annual celebration of laughter, fun and raisin’ money for the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.  Our own BOSS Queen, Jill Conner Browne, leads this effort with her own brand of humor, wit, wisdom and passion. Her string of BEST SELLING books attest to the fact that she ain’t no flash in the pan. If you need more information or just plain curious...try here:
We have much to show and tell!! So, with apologies to HRH Jill Connor Browne’s wonderful talk yesterday, “let’s get all up in it”.  First up…food stuffs!!
Our FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe this week was Tofu and Vegetable Cacciatore . We decided to take advantage of Big Solid being away on a work assignment to enjoy two of our favorite vegetables…EGGPLANT and SPAGHETTI SQUASH. And enjoy we did—check it out!!
We sauteed the onions!
 Then added the veggies and tofu...
Next up were the diced tomatoes

It simmered and got all good and then!! Then we plated with the spaghetti squash.

Then added some vegan Parmesan cheese and gobbled it up like it was manna from above!
Y'all have NO idea how much fun we are having with Susan Voisin's wonderful FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipes. We have most certainly expanded our horizons (but NOT our waistline) with her EXPERTness! SOOO...for this week’s recipe, we are already salivating over Vegan Sausage and Mushroom Etoufee...

Y’all also know that we love to bake and cook for people and on Wednesdays we always try to take the special folks out at the Animal Rescue Fund No-Kill Animal Shelter a treat of some kind. Most everybody likes sweets, so we usually take cookies or some kind of sweet somethin’. This week, the Elf tried a new recipe called Ugly but Good Vegan Cookies and damn if they just aren’t the best cookies we’ve made in a while.
There is some labor intensity involved but when you consider the results, the nutritional values (very low sugar) and the few number of ingredients, it’s worth every second. So, here’s a looksee at these great cookies. If you try them, please go over the recipe site and comment…we want to give credit where it’s due, for sure.
First we got the almonds ready in the processor
 Then we ground those suckers up til they looked like big sand and added the ground oats and spelt flour

Next, we added the melted coconut oil and maple syrup (oh the aroma!!) and mixed it up really good. Then it sits for about 15 minutes to get nice and workable
 Next up is rolling in a walnut sized ball and filling with whatever yummy jam you want and baking
When you take them out and let them cool, you just pile up your plate with them and consume! we did, make another batch the next day and fill with a vegan chocolate concoction (after they had baked and were pretty cool). HOLY MOLY GOOD!!
Actually, the chocolate filling was about a cup of vegan chocolate chips, a couple of tablespoons of vegan butter (Earth Balance or your own favorite) melted slowly in the microwave. We then took a small plastic baggie, poured the chocolate mixture in and cut off a small (emphasis on SMALL) piece of the tip. We then used that to fill the small holes in the cookies. It was all we could do to wait for them to cool enough to eat! 

Now..y’all know that the Elf has been cookin’ up a storm in ANTICIPATION of ‘spend the night company’ for a while now. We simply MUST share some of the fun from this past weekend and food, as well. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen my brother…he lives in a galaxy far away (Raleigh NC) and has many irons in the fire. So, the Elf was DELIGHTED when he and his sweetheart, Suzanne, arrived at the Elf-house to enjoy, work and otherwise rabble-rouse through Zippity Doo Dah weekend with the Elf and the Sweet Potato Queens. So, we’ve been a bit of an ‘Elf-lander’…out of our kitchen element for a few days.
My brother (he's the guy), Suzanne (his honey) and The Elf at the Bathrobe Brunch to round out the Zippity weekend.
Celebrity Mannequin, Mail Order Annie, was on hand for ‘Selfies with Annie’. She had so much fun helpin’ to raise money for ‘the chirren’ by posing with the various queens (members of the various chapters of Sweet Potato Queens), virgins (a first timer to the Zippity Doo Dah weekend and parade), and sluts (well, no longer an event virgin).  A bit of history--Jill Connor Browne started the Sweet Potato Queens about 30 years ago by declaring herself the SP Queen and throwing sweet potatoes out of the back of a truck at the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jackson. Since then, over 6000 chapters of Sweet Potato Queens have been established WORLD-WIDE. Y’all there is even a chapter of Sweet Potato Queens in Saudi Arabia—their motto is “No Veils for Us”. 

Little Bay Queens and winners of the Big Hat Contest with KILTGIRL Annie!
This Berry Queen brought her very own Selfie Stick!
And on the fourth weekend in March, many, many of those chapters descend on Jackson MS for the Zippity Doo Dah weekend and parade. Last year’s parade and fund-raising efforts resulted in the purchase of a special van which would allow the palliative care children at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital to go on field trips. We will happily report out the final effort of this year’s parade and activities as soon as the final results are in. This year's Zippity Doo Dah theme was 'Bravehearts for Batson' with the Parade Grand Marshall none other than Randall Wallace who wrote the movie Braveheart!! He was so busy we didn't get a picture with him but he does look mighty fine in his kilt!
This is Queen Pippa (one of THE SWEET POTATO QUEENS!) and The Elf!
 These gals are from The Villages in Florida!
And finally, The Elf got a special treat in the form of A MUG with her MUG!! Compliments of her talented and cool brother. We LOVE it!!
OK folks..that will do it for this week. We have much to do to catch up…bread to bake, cookies to make, sausages to concoct, FFVK meal to do, Shredded Chikun to restock, ARF pups to walk and pet …and so it goes. It is a great week ahead. Thanks for joining us and we hope you’ll return. Til next week, y’all, breathe deep, eat plants and love life.
The Elf


  1. HI! I'm breathing deeply and eating lots of plants :) The cookies look great. I love the chocolate idea because, well, chocolate. You rabble rouser you.

  2. Thanks for reading the Elf!! We love rabbe rousin'