Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sorry its been so long since my last post I have been absolutely swamped with work and kids! I love working from home for myself but lately it feels like when I'm not with the kids or cooking or doing laundry, etc, I'm working. I guess its good that I have lots of work to do but I still haven't figured out a schedule for myself. I guess it will take some time to find out what works and what doesn't.
So since I've been so busy we have had to have some pretty quick suppers. And even thought supper has to come together quickly I don't want it to be nutritionally lacking. So I've tried to make a few things ahead of time and make extras. Here is one such supper.
Brown rice pasta with Lemony Cashew Pesto
The Lemony Cashew Pesto is from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I liked it but the kids weren't too crazy about it. I ended up mixed some tomato sauce in with their and they seemed to like that a bit better. I think it was too much lemon for them. The garlic toast is from The Vegan Table and it is the BEST garlic toast I've ever had! We all love it and its a fight to see who gets the last piece. If you haven't tried this recipe yet go make it. I promise you will not be disappointed. Its a real crowd pleaser. The greek salad was you basic greek salad ingredients minus the feta cheese. I love anything with olives so I really enjoyed it. And if you were wondering about the dora cup in my salad picture thats my daughters dora sigg - not mine! Both my kids have siggs and they love them - they take them everywhere, including the dinner table!
Also just listened to Colleen's new podcast a few nights ago. Its called "The Favours we do Animals" and its great. One of her best I'd say. So if you have heard it yet go teh www.compassionatecooks.com or to itunes to get it.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I know I promised I would post this on Monday but things got a little crazy over the holiday weekend and I needed a few days to catch up.
My plan for Thanksgiving this year was to come up with a compromise between the vegan and the omni's. There was a turkey served by my Mom but everything else on the menu was vegan. The verdict? Everyone loved it! Not to toot my own horn but it was possibly the best Thanksgiving dinner we have ever had. Because all the dished were vegan I did most of the cooking, althought I am very fortunate that my sister- in- law knows a thing or two about vegan cooking and brought a couple of dishes and helped me in the kitchen all night.
Below are some lovely pictures of all our Thanksgiving goodies with my personal rating out of 10.
VCons Roasted Portobello Mushroom Salad w/ Mustard Vinegrette
Golden Mushroom Gravy - The Vegan Table
10/10 - best gravy ever!
Mashed Potatoes (earth balance and almond milk)
Mashed Root veg w/ Fresh Herb Infusion - The Vegan Table
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Peaches and Cream Corn
Can't rate corn from a bag!
Steamed Green Beans w/ earth balance and fresh chopped mint
Steamed broccoli w/garlic butter and cashews - The Vegan Table
10/10 - excellent broccoli recipe!
Roasted brussel sprouts with apples and onions - The Vegan Table
Pumpkin Cheese Pie - ED&BB
CranApple Maple Pie
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie - ED&BV
My plate at the Thanksgiving table
My plate with all the yummies!
I was a little nervous because I was making some of the dished for the first time but everything was delicious! In fact my brother didn't even eat turkey because his plate was so full of the veggies that he didn't have room for turkey and by the time he was finished he didn't have room in his tummy for any! If that isn't an endorsement for a wonderful vegan dinner I don't know what is. As you can see I had a huge plate of food and I was stuffed by the end - but not too full for dessert. I loved the Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (so did everyone else) but I wasn't fond of the Pumpkin Cheese Pie. Everyone else liked it but it wasn't my favourite and I don't think I'd make it again. The CranApple Maple pie was excellent - the filling part anyways. The pie crust was terrible and I actually scopped the filling out of the shell at the last minute and served as a compote with non dairy vanilla ice cream. I loved it and would definitely make it again.
So what would I change for next year? I want to make a vegan stuffing for next year and I'd like to do a phyllo dish as well. I also think I'd make Dreena's Festive Chickpea tart to serve. And maybe a corn bread and possible a stuffed squash. For the dessert I'd do the Chocolate Pumpkin Pie again for sure but I think I'd make do a crisp to go with it or maybe put that CranApple Maple compote into phyllo and bake it and serve with ice cream. Iloved how I decorated the table and everyone else thought it looked really nice too. It sounds silly but I think it added to the whole experience.
I'm already thinking about the Christmas dinner menu......
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Another busy day is done! I am almost ready for the big day tomorrow. Still a little more laundry to do and a little bit of last minute tidying but food wise I'm right on schedule.
Today I tackled the desserts. We're having 3 different pies. I made the Pumpkin Cheese Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Pie from ED&BV and the Cranapple Maple Pie from More Good Great Dairy-Free Desserts. For the Chocolate Pumpkin Pie I used the Cocoa Walnut Crust recipe from Extraveganza. Basically its just ground walnuts with cocoa powder and agave and oil. And for the Pumpkin Cheese Pie and the Cranapple Maple Pie I went with a traditional pastry crust. The pie fillings turned out great, especially the Cranapple filling - its the best fruit filling I have ever tried but I was seriously disappointed with the pie crust. I was going to use the one in The Joy of Vegan Baking but then I decided to try the one in More Good Great Dairy-Free Desserts. It is the worst pie crust I have ever tried. I am so disappointed but I don't have time (or money) to remake the 2 pies. At least I know for next time. I should have went with my instincts - I trust Colleen's recpes 100%, they haven't let me down yet! I'm sure everyone will still like the pies - the crust are terrible but the good news is that they are super thin so they won't have much impact.
I won't be blogging tomorrow cuz I already know I'll be way too busy but I'll be sure to post on Monday and let you all know how the big day went.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I love the Fall. I love looking at the leaves changing colour, I love the warm fall days and crisp fall evenings and of course Thanksgiving is in the fall and Thanksgiving just happens to be one of my favourite holidays.
Now if you were to look out my window you would not think that its fall, it looks like winter. It snowed here yesterday and I had to bring out all of our winter coats! Its not just crisp out folks, its damn cold! But thats ok because it will make Thanksgiving all that more cozy right?!
In my family we spilt hosting the holidays and since Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favourites (its a tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas but really I think Thanksgiving wins) I host it at my house. Let the fun (and work!) begin.
Thanksgiving is Monday here but we are celebrating it with my family on Sunday. We are celebrating with my husbands family on the holiday Monday.
To kick off the festivities I decided to treat myself to a soy pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Then it was a quick trip to get the groceries before I had to pick my oldest up from Kindergarten and then the girls both had haircuts. Then we headed home and I put a movie on for them while I got to work in the kitchen. I always have the same strategy for hosting big family dinners - prep everything I can ahead of time so I'm not stressed the day of. In fact I actually plan my dinner menu with this in mind. I try to pick things that I can make ahead of time and cook the day of with minimal effort. So today I started by cleaning out my fridge and organizing the kitchen. Then I washed and chopped all the veggies. I got as much laundry done as I could (there is still some left but tomorrow is another day) and I made double the supper tonight we can have leftovers tomorrow.
And now its time for me to get to bed. Today was a busy day and tomorrow will be too but it will all be worth it on Sunday when I'm actually enjoying myself with my family instead of being stuck in the kitchen the whole time.