Wednesday, January 11, 2012

cooking catch-up

I've been on holiday hiatus.  Now that the holiday season has come and gone, the boys have gone back to school and we've gotten back into our school routine, my blog will hopefully follow suit.

We recently celebrated a big birthday in our house.  Mommy (aka, me!) turned the Big 4-0.  *sigh*  How can that be? 

 I'm not so sure, but I'm accepting it.  I'm getting more used to to the idea that I'm no longer in my 30's.  I'm approaching it more by thinking of what I can accomplish in my 40's now, instead of what I can no longer do now that I'm 40.  For instance, I've grown my hair out again.  There's that stereotype that older women (am I really an "older" woman?) shouldn't have long hair.  Forget that!  I want long hair again, so here it is.  Also, I'm eating healthier than I ever have in my life.  I hope to continue to run half marathons and strive to run a full marathon sometime in my 40's.


We celebrated a lovely Christmas with my Mom, niece, brother, and his girlfriend.  I also was able to visit more with my other brother and his girlfriend.  Being with family during the holidays is the best.


Now for the fun stuff.  My dear sister gave me Dreena Burton's third cookbook, Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, for my birthday.  Have I mentioned she's my favorite sister?  Eventhough she's my only sister, she really is the best.

I've been cooking my way through this fabulous cookbook, after reading it cover to cover.

I made Hempanola with pecans and dried cherries. 

It held up great in almond milk and was so yummy it didn't last long in our house.  I'll be making round two tomorrow with slivered almonds and apricots.

Another great recipe was her banana cream pancakes.  They're made with coconut milk.

I served them with her recipe for warm raspberry sauce, substituting blueberries for the raspberries since I didn't have any in my freezer.  So delicious!

I made a delicious vegan Christmas feast and I did not take pictures.  Boo!  It included chickpea cutlets, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies (brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes), and various Christmas cookies for dessert.  Delicious!

But, I did take pictures of some of our New Years Day munchies.

Pizza Focaccia:

Delightful Artichoke Dip (from Dreena's The Everyday Vegan)

Roasted Red Pepper Dip (also from The Everyday Vegan)

And, back to Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  Chocolate Mint Melties.  I had my eyes on these when I first saw them in the book.  So minty and chocolately and deliciously chewey.  I just made these last week, but I'll be making them again soon.

Now, this next photo is a sort of the best of both worlds.  It's a combination of a modified version of Fusilli Roasted Veggie Primavera from Isa Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction and Dreena's Cashew Cheese.  I used some different veggies than what Isa had in her recipe and stirred in the cashew cheese.  What resulted was a miracle in its deliciousness and the fact that it pleased all 3 of my boys!  Definitely a miracle!

One last sweet treat to show you.  Again from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan..."You Got Peanut Butter in My Chocolate" Cookies.  Yummy!  Kari, this is the recipe I sent you today.

It's getting late (after 11pm my time!) but one more thing before I sign off.  I decided we need to begin a new tradition in our home: candles at dinner.  Maybe it's because my husband is a firefighter and that's why my boys appear to be pyromaniacs, but they love a candle.  We lit candles at dinner all through the Christmas season and they ooo'd and aaahh'd over them.  I know they've missed having candles lit at dinnertime and I have as well.  So, we're starting it back up again.  Maybe I'll get a little more creative and come up with a better centerpiece.  But for now this will do just fine.

Good night for now and until next time...

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