Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgivng = Gambling & Guns???

First let me start by saying, I know I'm probably the last vegan blogger to get up my Thanksgiving post. Let's just move on from there.

From here on is picture evidence of a white trash Thanksgiving. It honestly wasn't but when I finally went through my pictures I just cracked up. It seriously looks like we are freaks.
First up we have Ramsey. When I'm dressed up in nice clothes the first thing that I like to do is sit in the dirt. Yes, I know she's three. All you moms out there have to admit you cringed a little seeing this.
Ah yes, it's not Thanksgiving without guns. Isaac's older cousins have gotten into BB guns. I think they might have called them something else but I can't remember. Everyone gets 1 guess what Isaac wants for Christmas now. Any one have the answer yet? I'll give you a hint. You could probably blind your sister with it.
And let's not forget about gambling. We strive to be good roll models for our children. How do you think we're doing?

On holidays we always play LRC, left right center. Everyone starts out with three 1 dollar bills. You sit in a circle and there are 3 dice. They have L,R, and C on them along with some plain dots. You roll one die for each dollar you have. If you get L you have to pass your bill to the person on the left. I'm assuming everyone understands R. If you get C, center, then you dollar goes in to the center pot. A plain dot means you keep. The last one with a dollar wins.

Isaac won $33 and Joe won $49. We only played two rounds and our family won both.
We actually aren't trashy enough to have our kid running around with no shirt on for dinner. He got a bloody nose, happens a lot, and I rinsed the blood off and Joe's aunt put it in the dryer.
Here's the husband, Joe, playing with our nephew Race. Don't you love his red hair?

Last we have Pumpkin Cheese-Pie from EDBV. The picture isn't that pretty but I took the first piece. The first one never comes out the best. I really enjoyed this pie but I would like it better with a traditional flaky crust over the graham cracker crust that was used. It was a snap to throw together and was plenty tasty. I'll make it again. Oh, and that's soy whip.

For our meal I bought the Tofurky feast. I'm not really a fan of Tofurky or most mock "meats". For future holidays I'll just bring a non-traditional dish that I know I like. Still the feast was good enough. Put enough cranberries on anything and it'll cover back ground flavors. Joe and I both really liked the potato cranberry dumplings that came with the meal. I will have to try and recreate that recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quick note...

I plan on posting tomorrow with food stuff but I had to write about a few things tonight.

1. Because of Lorien I signed up for Google's feed reader. I can't sing it's praises enough. I feel so much more in touch with the blogs I want to keep up with. It's so much faster!

2. life among the trees is my new favorite blog. So many things are posted that look good to eat and that I think my kids actually might like. Yea!

3. Nothing to do with food, I spent the day getting puked on. Ramsey has a stomach bug and it's not fun. On the bright side she is a pro vomiter. She takes it all in stride. I wish I was more that way. I get freaked out.

That's it. I should be posting tomorrow if I'm not over run in vomit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck

In a previous post I had a picture of baked squash with garlic but mentioned that it wasn't baked as long as we normally like. This picture below is much more is to our taste. Nice and golden. I'm actually baking some more squash right now, grown by my friend Erica. We are having that along side of some Celebrity Adzuki Bean Patties.
From Veganomicon, Spaghetti and BeanBalls. These beanballs aren't something that I'll likely make again. They weren't awful but they were a bit mealy. I ended up shoving mine to the side. The kids liked them well enough and Joe said that they were ok. Can't win them all.
Next up, Blueberry Muffins from The Vegan Family Cookbook. I was really craving some blueberry muffins and every recipe that I looked at called for soy yogurt. I didn't have any yogurt. After flipping through all of my cookbooks, I came across this recipe.

They were very nice, tender inside and slightly crispy outside. The recipe calls for olive oil but I think that would be better replaced with coconut or canola. Olive oil lends to strong of a flavor. Other then that I would leave things alone.
This weekend we went to a vegan Thanksgiving potluck. We met Sara from veganmomma there along with her family. I made some Triple Ginger Cookies and some Pecan Tartlets. I adapted the Tartlet recipe from a magazine, I think Healthy Living.
Pecan Tartlets

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Earth Balance
4 oz Better-Then-Cream cheese
1/4 cup canola oil

Egg replacer for 1 large egg, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tlb. Earth Balance, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the dough ingredients together with a wooden spoon, until all incorporated in a large bowl. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to reduce its stickiness.

Position rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350'.

Divide dough into 24 balls, roughly a tablespoon amount. Press each piece of dough into a mini muffin cup, making a well in the center and pressing the dough up the sides of the tin to form a tartlet shell.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide the filling evenly among the 24 tartlet shells.

Bake the tartlets for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325' and bake until the filling is puffed and the crust is lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes more. Let the tartlets cool COMPLETELY in the pans on a wire rack. Then remove from pan.
Above is a picture of my plate at the potluck. My favorite dishes were those spirally noodles. They had a little something extra then all of the other mac & cheeze's I've had. I also loved Sara's scalloped potatoes. They were great. For dessert I had a someone greasy but tasty brownie and some really great pumpkin pie. I think it might have been more a pumpkin cheese pie because it had a slight cream cheese flavor.
Ramsey and Athena were sitting right in the path of the door and the wind was blowing on them. Ramsey ended borrowing Rowans sweat shirt. It was a little short in the arms but still fit pretty well.
Isn't Rowan's hat cute? I'm guessing Sara made it, but I forgot to ask. She's multi-talented.
Isaac can't pose for a normal picture. That lesson was reinforced yesterday when we were at The Picture People.

I forgot to take a picture of the Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions from Veganomicon. The dish was slightly bland. The onions were great but I think there would be more flavor if the rice was cooked with broth instead of water. I'll try the dish again. Anything with 3 onions in it is worth trying again.

With Thanksgiving two days away my next post should have some good stuff in it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm It.

Thanks for tagging me veganmomma.

1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 random or weird things

1. I love to check out ethnic and natural food grocery stores. But if I'm doing my regular grocery shopping and am at a store I don't normally go to it completely stresses me out. I get very tetchy and have to go in a certain order when shopping and to be in a store that I'm not super familiar with pushes me over the edge. I've been near tears before.

2. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and really do enjoy cutting hair. I also think it is completely disgusting to have a lose piece of hair on me. I HATE it. I'm almost gagging typing this. Long hair is much worse then short.

3. I have a major obsession with Harry Potter Fanfiction (Snape! yum). Joe, the husband, forced me to get a laptop so that I wouldn't hog the desktop. (this was 2 years ago)

4. I graduated from high school a year early. Then went to community college for a year and took only classes on nutrition, cooking, baking, etc. After that I went to cosmetology school. I still can't figure out why I did that.

5. I know the words to an incredibly large amount of songs dating 20 years and further back but I could hardly tell you any song names, artists, singers.

6. If I'm eating some sort of little snack food, cracker, chocolate chip, etc. I usually need to eat an even number and give each side of my mouth a chance to chew. (a little OCD at work there if the grocery thing didn't give that away)

7. I abhor the sound of porcelain scraping together, & the sound and feel of chalk.

I'm tagging Lorien, Elaine, that's it. I don't want to tag strangers.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our newest family memeber -part 1

This kid was wandering around out side our house and we thought he looked enough like us that we could take him in and no one would notice. He's pretty rock-n-roll. Or it could just be Isaac wearing my friends wig and being silly.
We did get a new family member, though. And here he is.....Miso. Yes, I did choose the name and in my defense it was 100 times better then what Joe and the kids were coming up with. Mr.Kitty-Puffy-Face. Enough said. Anyway, we had been discussing adopting a cat for awhile and finally came to an agreement. We wanted to find a not kitten and a not fluffy cat that was friendly. We ended up with a four month old kitten that is fluffy. No it's not because we HAD to go home that day with a cat and just settled. We ended up having to wait for Miso to be neutered and Isaac was crying that he couldn't come home. We ended up choosing Miso because he is so incredibly friendly. The kids carry him around, he doesn't care. He loves to play. He is perfect for a house with small children.
Peanut Banana Tortilla Turnovers. That's a mouth full of a name. These are from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. These were ok. I didn't really think that they were extra special and the kids weren't over the moon. I'd make them again if I thought about it and was in the right mood. Maybe if I made the dunking sauce they would have gone over better. Next time.
When I saw these brussel sprouts at the farmers market they called my name. For years I avoided buying them because Joe doesn't like them. Only recently did I remember that I make plenty of things that he doesn't like and I could care less. Go figure. If he's still hungry after I cook, he's welcome to make himself something else.

I prepared the brussel sprouts and the asparagus according to the Roasting Veggies in the Oven section of Veganomicon. I think I have only ever boiled both vegetables and liked them just fine. Roasting them takes them to a whole other level. They were great. I added the optional garlic the last 5 minutes of cooking.

The vegetables timed out just right with another recipe from Veganomicon, Chickpea Cutlets. Joe said that the patties didn't taste like anything. The kids didn't care about flavor as they were used as a vehicle for ketchup. This time around I opted to pan fry the patties. They had a nice texture on the inside, a bit crunchy. The inside was kind of doughy, though. The directions say that they are more toothsome if you bake them so I will try that next time.
Ugghhh. That covers this pretty well. Garlicy Broccoli, Corn & Bean Burritos from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Isaac, Ramsey and her friend Tera would not eat these burritos. They each took one bite and ran. I couldn't blame them. These have an incredibly strong flavor. There is balsamic vinegar, hosin sauce, tamari, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. I didn't finish mine. Joe was the only one of us who liked them.

I don't know if the reason that these taste so wrong to me is because I live in San Diego with authentic Mexican food every 2 blocks. I love the idea of the recipe. The broccoli added in. The beans blended smooth. All the burritos baked so they hold together.

Bleh. I won't make these again.
Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes. I will ALWAYS double this recipe in the future. Yum, yum and YUM. If you don't have a copy of Veganonmicon, buy the book just for this recipe alone. I can't see my self wasting time to make traditional samosas in the future. These are so wonderful. The kids had no complaints and I was nearly in tears when I gave my mom some leftovers. These are AMAZING.

On the side is a heirloom tomato salad. Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
This had to be split into two posts.

Our new family memeber - part 2

Our new family member continued.

I don't drink very often. It was one of those nights this week. Fresh squeeze lemonade with a generous shot of Limoncello. Very tasty. It also went along nicely with our Italian dinner.
The Simplest Garlic Bread from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan really is a quick and easy side for Italian dinners. I purchased a baguette a week ago and cut it into the size I wanted and shoved the bag into the back of the freezer. Eight minutes in the oven and we had crusty garlic bread.

The main dish was Popeye Pasta, also from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. While I was cooking this I was working on 3 other dishes. One of the timers went off and I took my penne off the heat. Turns out it was the wrong dish and had to make new noodles. Macaroni was the only thing I had on hand. The dish still turned out well. I'm not positive that the kids would like it this way (they spent the night at my moms for the first time. YEAH. Got called to pick up Ramsey at 10 o'clock but it was Isaac's first time, too. He stayed the whole night) If I cut the spinach smaller they might go for this sauce.

Joe and I both didn't really care for the wine in the sauce but that can easily be replace with vegetable broth. I also made a spinach salad with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The balsamic was really easy. 3T balsamic vinegar, 4 T olive oil, 2 t dijon mustard, salt and pepper. This was slightly more tart then I like but an addition an agave nectar would probably make it ok.
Jelly Donut Cupcakes from Veganomicon. They sound a lot more exciting then how they turned out. I left them out over night, like suggested, but they were still to weird for me. The kids weren't even keen on them. To put it in perspective, we threw away 8 of 12 and one of those was only used to take the picture.

In the future I'll just break down and make real donuts.
All of us love bunuelos when we are out eating Mexican food and so I was very excited when I saw the recipe for Cinnamon Sweet Tortilla Chips in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Unlike the restaurant version, these bunuelos are baked not fried. We LOVED them. I like these better then the fried version. The baking causes the sugar to caramelize and they are thick and crispy. I've made these twice just this week. I see fried ice cream in my future using these as the outside coating.
Last but not least, I finally got around to making Goddess Bars from the O.B. People's Co-Op recipe. They taste exactly like when I buy them from People's. I'm thinking that People's must leave their nuts in larger pieces, aside from that I think I was dead on. I halved the restaurant quantity recipe and still ended up with a full 9x13 inch pan. I decided to calculate the nutrition on these babies and ended up sobbing to myself. Oh, they are high in fiber, iron and tons of other vitamins. A 2x3" square is also high in about 570 calories! Yikes. I don't think I'll make these again until Christmas. I also pawned off half the pan onto friends at park day.
Evidently you can only make your posts so long and you run out of room. I'll end by saying that I made the tempeh bacon, from Vegan with a Vengeance, to put on sandwiches. It was a little to salty but other then that we were happy with it. I'll have to play around some more with the recipe.

Have a nice week.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


This year we went up and did Mickey's Trick-or-Treat at California Adventure. We have annual passes for both California Adventure and Disneyland. (The husbands family are Disney freaks) We stayed the night at the Disneyland hotel and made a mini trip of it.
Here is my little goat. It drives me mad that Joe's hair is all long and like a dumb ass I chopped mine off.
Ramsey "had" to have her picture taken with Winnie-the-Pooh. She knew who Pooh was and Tigger but every 2 minutes she would ask me who Eeyore was.
This is our first year in the scary costume category. Isaac was very excited to be a "bad guy". I made Ramsey's trick-or-treat bag out of an old shirt of Joe's. We had a great time at trick-or-treat. They play good music and all of the characters are out. The kids just loved it. They set up little stations to hand out the candy to the kids. There was always a line but it moved quickly. I always bribe my kids to part with their load of candy. Ramsey traded her candy in for a new outfit for her baby doll, Emma. Isaac parted with his candy for $5.

On actual Halloween night we went to a small Halloween party at Joe's sisters, Jenny. I made cupcakes and she had all sorts of supplies to decorate them with. It was nice not being out on the actual night. I hope we do the exact same thing next year.
I made Cheesy Bean and Cheese Enchiladas from vegweb. Following some of the reviews I made a casserole instead of rolling each tortilla. I also used 1 onion instead of 2, 2 cans of beans instead of 3, 2 packs of corn tortillas, and no olives. These were excellent. I plan to follow a few other recommendations in the future, sauteing the onion first and adding a bit a cumin and lime juice.

There ended up being so many leftovers that I froze some portions for later. Yesterday I microwaved one of them for lunch and it turned out great.
For breakfast yesterday I made the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I also made the Warm Raspberry Sauce to pour on top. These were pretty easy to throw together and bake in about 30 minutes. The scones wouldn't have been half so good with out the raspberry sauce.

I found the scones to be not as flaky/crumbly as regular scones. I'm thinking that this change in texture has to do with the oat flour. I used unbleached wheat flour instead of the spelt flour. They were still very good. The chocolate made them a touch to sweet for me but the tartness of the raspberry sauce helped cut that. I also spread a bit of Earth Balance inside of my warm scone. I love that salty addition.
For breakfast this morning I made parfaits. There wasn't really much to them. Acai granola, vanilla Silk yogurt and sliced strawberry. For being so simple they were wonderful. I'm all out of strawberries but will try a different fruit tomorrow morning.
I didn't have my camera with me at my mom's yesterday when I made dinner. I made Simplest Garlic Bread from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I ended up adding more chopped garlic on top and roasting some garlic to use as spread. I was in garlic heaven. This is a great simple recipe.

I also made a heirloom tomato salad with just chopped up heirloom tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I think I could eat that and the garlic bread every day. We had pasta and green salad as well but I only ate about 3 bites of each. Yum!