Josie wants to get in on the computer action so if she is awake, I am not on the computer except for very small spurts of time. She is also down to one nap a day and for some reason it is usually while we are out and about and if she is napping at home, I use that time to spend some quality time with the boys doing things which are hard to do while she is awake (like play board games, read long books, etc.), thus no quality computer time for me these days. No complaints from me, but I will say that I blog in my head daily, but sadly it will probably not ever get set into pixels for all to see. This time is fleeting and I'm happy to have less "me" time and more "family" time right now.On top of all that, most of you know my business website went down a few months ago and it turned out to be bittersweet. I have to enter ALL my products again (I still have a couple hundred entries to go!), but I like my new website much better (especially since I finally have my logo on the site which was created by Rainer-Media Group a few years ago...I know, I can't believe it took me so long to get it up on the site). This just means that any time I am at the computer, I am trying to get another product entered before the boys ask to use the computer or Josie comes up and starts pounding away or gives me that little look she has and lunges for the switch on my power strip. Oh how she giggles at my anguish when she turns off the power to my computer before I have saved my work. Luckily, my ole iMac is very forgiving.
I have taken a few food pics over the last couple of months so here are some odds and ends in no particular order whatsoever. It makes me feel better that the pictures (as bad as some of them are) were not taken in vain and it may inspire some vegan cooking out there.
We had a very low key Thanksgiving this year. I made several soups and we had a little open house. Friends, family, and neighbors stopped by anytime during the day and had some hot soup and bread while we caught up. I have a couple friends who fast for Thanksgiving and think of the native peoples who were killed and displaced by the Europeans who came to this land. I thought a simple meal of soup and some family discussion was what we needed this year. We've been studying US history this year in homeschool so the kids have been asking lots of questions and reading lots of books about the early US and the native peoples who lived on this land before we brutally took it from them.
Top left to bottom: Thanksgiving soups: French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme from Veganomicon, Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Vegan Planet, African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew from Vegan Planet. This is a picture while I still had to use my iPhone for photos. Really everything was quite tasty. I didn't have apple juice so I subbed orange juice concentrate in the Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili (it wasn't butternut either, but another kind of squash which I don't remember now which we received free from our friends Kit and Emily at a wonderful harvest celebration/bonfire at The Great Pumpkin Patch where we learned from Steph how to roast bananas and chocolate instead of s'mores for which I will be forever grateful). I used the rest of this unknown type of squash in the African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew instead of sweet potatoes and I added spinach because I like greens, especially in an African stew. All our visitors left full and they enjoyed trying each of the soups. As the evening progressed I made the Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance (no picture, sorry). I don't make chocolate chip cookies often because they just seem so completely void of nutrition, but it was Thanksgiving after all and Rob was off at a movie and there was a lull in the visitors so I thought "why not?". I was surprised because the dough was very, very dry and I didn't have time to search blogs to see what others had experienced so I went on and they were good, but I would add more liquid next time. Gita and her family came over as the cookies were baking so I decided not to stress about the dough and enjoyed the company. It was nice to have a relaxing day.
I've blogged about Vegan Dad's Peanut Tempeh with Noodles before as Sunbutter Tempeh with Noodles, but here I go again. I never make this the same way twice. Above it is with udon noodles and some vegan frozen meatballs someone gave us a while back. Parker was suspicious of the "meatballs" although I assured him they were vegan he wouldn't eat them, but Dema ate Parker's share.
Here is is again, but I made the tempeh into Vegan with a Vengeance Tempeh Sausage Crumbles before adding it to rice noodles. This is Dema's dish with hot sauce on top.One of my favorite chili recipes is Cashew Chili from The Best of Bloodroot Volume Two. I don't make it enough, but when I do, I'm always happy. Chili should always have cashews and raisins in it. This time I didn't have the ingredients for homemade cornbread so I found a long lost Bob's Mill cornbread mix I found in the back of the cupboard.I made the Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars from Vegan with a Vengeance for a dinner at Gita and Seth's before the holidays. Our friends Matthew and Sandra made these for a party at our old house years ago before they moved to Portland and I still remembered them fondly. I didn't, however, remember what they looked like. I was so thankful to have blogs to look at when it came to the top. I thought it was supposed to completely cover the pan, but it so obviously was not going to and I almost whipped up some more dough. Instead, I checked out some blogs and the pictures helped me figure out what it was supposed to look like. Oh how I love vegan food blogs. This is another one of those desserts which really has no nutritional value, but Dema has been asking for me to make more blondies for weeks. I'll have to break down and make some for Christmas.Homemade black bean burritos. Burritos are so much better at home. This one is on a sprouted grain tortilla with black beans, sauteed sweet peppers, salsa with corn, and avocado. Yum!Here is another fast and yummy family favorite. Whole wheat pasta with Esme Sauce, peas, and Crunchies. I've blogged about it many times before and I have several friends who are now also addicted to his sauce...the simple stuff is the best.Pureed Curried Squash and Yam Soup from The Everyday Vegan (I have two cookbooks by this name, this time it is Dreena Burton's) topped with a couple drops of hot sauce and crunchies. I made this with more squash from The Great Pumpkin Patch and it was super yummy. Give me an orange soup this time of year and I'm in heaven.On my birthday last month, my uncle Frank (mom's brother), my grandfather Clifford (mom's dad), my mom's cousin Nancy (she's my cousin too, but I always forget if she is once removed or a second cousin, but I love her and always enjoy her visits), my brother Jim and his girlfriend Carol (they live in town, but we don't get to see them often so it was a present to have them over!), my sister Karen and her boyfriend Stuart, and my dad all came over. Stuart took the picture so he isn't in the photo. I should have had Rob take the picture since he was already in his soccer uniform running out to play his last game of the season. Feel the love, people, feel the love. I made lunch and we visited. It just happened to be my birthday...it wasn't planned that way. My uncle offered to bring over my grandfather since they live a couple hours away and I love to see them. Nancy was going to go visit my grandfather and found out he was going to be at our house so she drove a couple hours to our place instead. It worked out beautifully for me because I can't think of anything better than cooking and having a house full of people I love on my birthday. My grandfather recently moved into a nursing home and my uncle is cleaning out his house. My grandfather used to fix furniture for people and has lots of furniture accumulated from many family members over the years. The resting place for a lot of this furniture is my house. I'm happy to have things around me which are probably not worth much as antiques, but are useful and belonged to a great, great grandparent or a bachelor great uncle. This time they brought a piece of furniture with shelves and doors which I quickly decided would be a great new home for my cookbooks. It is nice to have them all alphabetized and in one place. Yay! Another great birthday gift! Having all of them neatly in my living room has inspired me to crack open a few cookbooks I haven't look at in a while. It is like reconnecting with old friends which is another reason I don't have as much time to blog...I've become addicted to Facebook, but that is perhaps a post for another time. Whew, I guess you are all caught up.