Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I had a big post planned for tonight but time got away on me so I'll save it for a really big post in a few days.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Raw cashew ice cream

The other day at the store Ollie talked me into buying this ice cream for her (she didn't have to work very hard to convince me!).



Its the Blue Mountain Cashew Creamery ice cream. We picked the strawberry flavour to try and I'm surprised by how much i like it. I'm not a huge ice cream eater or even dessert eater but one thing i really use to enjoy in my pre vegan days was cheesecake and this ice cream had a real cheesecake taste to it imo. The kids were a little put off by the colour (it was kind of purple-grey in colour) but they got over it as soon as they tasted it. It was a real crowd pleaser. Very filling - a very small bowl is all you need which is good because it was $8.50 for a little container but like I said a little goes a long way. I'd like to try the mango flavour as well.

So if your looking for a raw ice cream or if you want to switch up your usual non dairy ice cream you might want to give this one a go. We've only tried the strawberry but we give 2 thumbs up and we'll definitely buy it again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Salad, cookies and a special green smoothie!

Another Christmas has come and gone and I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. Christmas dinner was excellent and everyone loved all the desserts. It was a great to spend time with family and friends and the kids don't have school for 2 weeks so now we can really relax!

After all those big meals we were feeling like something a little bit lighter so I made this taco salad. It has all the usual suspects in it - romaine lettuce, taco "meat" (I use some field roast veggie ground), chopped tomatoes, green onions, black olives, kidney beans, and some green peppers. the dressing is a mixture of hummus and salsa and I aaded a scoop of guac to mine and put some crushed pico de gallo chips on top. Everyone loved it of course - whats not to love?!



Next up is a few long promised pics of the candy cane cookies. These are the chocolate mint melties from ED&BV with a few changes. Instead of a mint dark chocolate bar I used mini chocolate chips and then followed the recipe as usual. Then at the end instead of putting some chocolate bar squares on the top of each cookie I crushed a few candy canes and "dipped" each cookie into them. Then bake as usual and presto - candy cane cookies! The kids love these and I've made about a million batches of them this month alone.




I also finally made the Oatmeal Raisin cookies for ED&BV. I'm not sure what took me so long to try this recipe but I really wished I had made it before - they are awesome! Of course I added some chocolate chips to them. I made some for Christmas Eve this year and everyone else really liked them too.


And finally a green smoothie with a twist. I love avocado and so does my youngest but my oldest won't eat it. But i think avocados are just too nutritious to miss out on. So yesterday I decided to add half an avocado to our green smoothie and see if she would notice. This one had pineapple, frozen peach slices, dino kale, half and avocado, some frozen banana, a scoop of vanilla coconut milk yougurt and a little water. When I asked if she liked her smoothie she said it was really good! It made it kinda creamy and it was a little more filling which was nice so I think it will be a regular addition to the green smoothies from now on.


Some people have mentioned to me that their kids won't touch a green smoothie because it looks weird. Since the kids have been little I've always given them a special name. For instance above is a Shrek the Halls smoothie. I usually call them Shrek smoothies but I went with something a little more festive for the holidays. I've also use monster smoothies, dino smoothies, slime smoothies (halloween), etc. If your kids are put off by the colour maybe try the name thing. Works like a charm for us!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Making a list and checking it twice...

I know I promised to post my Christmas menu yesterday but I had my littlest's party yesterday all morning and then the cooking/crafting/wrapping/cleaning continued all day so I was wiped last night. Every year I say I'll be more organized next year but every year I seem to be rushing right to the last second. Maybe next year will finally be the year!

Anyways now that christmas is here I'm putting all the craziness to the side and just enjoying being with the kids and dh. Tonight we go to my parents house for supper and so I give you this years Chirstmas menu!

Dinner

Gardein Savoury Stuffed Turk'y
Mashed potatoes
Mushroom gravy from The Vegan Table
Tossed salad
Roasted veggies
Spinach salad
Buns

Dessert

Cappuccino mousse pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky
Coconut raspberry squares
Double chocolate candy cane cookies
Oatmeal Raisin cookies
Coconut date balls


I'm usually not a fan of mock meats and as a rule we don't eat them - we are a beans/legume family but I bought some of these gardein turk'ys to try and the kids loved them and I quite liked them too so I thought we have them for christmas this year. They are a seasonal item but i really wish they had them year round cuz they are really quite delish ! I made all the desserts plus the tossed salad, and the gravy so thats why I've been so busy in the kitchen these last few days. Plus I'm bringing a huge veggies and dip platter to my in laws on Christmas Day. but now its time to put all that aside and focus on whats really important - family. And with that I'm off to watch Elmo Saves Christmas with the kids (again!)

I hope all of you have a fabulous Christmas with all your friends and family too - Merry Christmas!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Almost there....

I have been swamped with marathon Christmas baking, crafting, gift wrapping, concerts, etc. Both girls have their last day of school tomorrow and both have their school Christmas parties tomorrow so I'm off to put the finishing touches on the cookies for them (both girls requested double chocolate candy cane cookies - pictures coming!).

I will be back tomorrow with my Christmas dinner menu - it looks good and we can't wait for Christmas to be here!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Not to me but my Dad. Its his birthday later this week and we were going to have a big family dinner tonight to celebrate but my sister, brother in law and their 4 kids are all sick, my other sister had to work and my brother and his 2 kids are sick too! So we just had my parents and my niece over here tonight for a quiet birthday celebration. Unfortunately my camera is sick too (battery died on me - good to know 2 days before the school Christmas concert!) so I don't have any pics for you.

Since it was on a bit of short notice I decided to go simply with the meal. It was a chilly day out (december in canada - go figure!) so we had Monkey Minestrone from ED&BV (I know, I'm slightly obsessed with this soup - its so good!), a big tossed salad, and the garlic toast from The Vegan Table (best garlic toast ever!). It hit the spot along with some tall glasses of Silk True Almond Dark Chocolate Milk. My Dad loves dark chocolate so I also made the chocolate mint melties from ED&BV but with a twist. Instead of using a mint chocolate bar I just put some chocolate chips in the batter then I crushed up some candy canes and sprinkled them on top of the cookies right before I baked them. I also made the raspberry coconut squares from the everyday vegan and both were a huge hit! So dinner was a success - thanks mostly to Dreena's fabulous recipes!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What we're eating

With the colder weather coming I've been making a lot of soup. I like soup because its so versatile - you really don't need a recipe just start with some carrots/celery/onions and some veggie broth and go from there. I like to pair legumes and grains for a hearty and healthy meal. Plus it only requires one pot to cook so it makes after dinner clean up easier!

One of our favs is the Monkey minestrone from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. The kids aren't too fond of tomatoe based soups but they love this one. I use kidney beans and navy beans and the tinkyada little dreams rice pasta. The kids love the different little shapes and it think it holds up well in the soup. Below is a pic of my bowl from the other night.





Since the soup comes together so fast I try to pair it up with a few different sides since i have extra time. This time i made some kale chips, pita and hummus and babaganosh and veggies & dip.


Here the table shot with all the goodies out for the picking. I find the kids eat a pretty good variety of foods when served this way.


Of course some nights we feel like pizza and we often make pita pizza (as you've seen many, many times on this blog!) but now we have another choice - Famoso! They make the best crust in the world and they have daiya cheese as their vegan cheese! So after a crazy saturday of running errands and the kids to birthday parties we decided to treat ourselves to some of their awesome pizza!



I can't remember the name of the one i had but it was loaded with artichoke hearts, peppers, kalamata olives, sauteed mushrooms, red onion and daiya. So good!


The kids opted to have a simplier pizza. Marinara, pineapple and green olives with fresh basil. simple but good!

Halloween Recap

I know this is pretty late but I wanted to make sure I got this pictures posted. Halloween is always such a crazy busy day and this year was no exception. The day before was beautiful and the kids had a blast doing up their pumpkins. We were going crave some cool designs into them but our craving knife broke so I just let the girls use markers and draw on their scary faces. They loved it and I think we might go that route again next year.











Halloween day was filled with lots of excitment. Ollie had her party at the preschool in the morning so i stayed for that. It was lots of fun - they did halloween crafts, played boo bingo and their teacher read them halloweiner (which was a book that Ollie brought in to share with the class. its a really cute halloween story and we've read it almost every night in sept/oct!).

After Ollie's party was done we oicked up lunch and went to Gabbie's school. We had lunch with her at school and I dropped off cupcakes for her school party. She had a halloween parade in the gym that Ollie and I stayed for to watch and then she had a party in her classroom. Then it was home to relax for a few hours before we had a quick dinner of split pea & barley soup and out the door trick or treating. The kids had a good time getting their candy which they left for the halloween fairy. She left them each a book, bookmark and a few vegan candies and they were thrilled!

Halloween was a little extended this year because the kids had no school they next day (they never do - its always a pd day) and our group had a playdate the next day. The kids dressed up again in their costumes and my friend had some halloween crafts for them to do and I went grocery shopping that day and they had all the leftover pumpkins out for free so i grabbed a whole bunch of smaller ones for the kids to take to the party so all the kids could decorate them with markers and stickers. it was a fun filled 2 days but i'm glad its over now because it wore me right out!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

After a long day of Halloween parties for both kids (I was with Ollie all morning at her preschool party and then off to Gabbie's school in the afternoon) and a night full of trick or treating I am wiped! But I wanted to do a quick post to finish off MOFO. Obviously I didn't post everyday but I am happy that I posted more than a typical month. I have a camera full of pictures so expect a big post tomorrow!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 15 - there is a whole lotta screaming going here....

I've missed so many days already I didn't want to not post tonight but I don't have much for you. One child woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and is screaming her head off right now for reasons unknown. I've had a busy day getting ready for tomorrow which will be a super busy day - we have friends coming for a visit in the morning and then lunch, Ollie starts soccer after that then both kids have a birthday party right after soccer so I spend today cleaning and cooking for tomorrow (monkey minestrone soup and veggies & dip for lunch tomorrow with some chocolate oatmeal cookies), buying a birthday present, grocery shopping, etc. Pita pizzas for supper tonight - they were good and I do have a pic for you but I'm too lazy to get it off my camera!

On a more upbeat note I ordered Thrive Foods for amazon today - super excited for it to come!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 14 - Mahalo

Today I went with Ollie's class on a field trip to the Scarecrow Festival. It was a lot of fun and I wanted to upload a few pictures but my phone is being difficult.

As promised I have a few product reviews and I thought I'd start with this yummy treat I picked up the other day. I'm sure many of you have had the Go Max Go chocolate bars. I've tried almost all of them now but the last one I had to try was the Mahalo.

So how was it? So so good! Previously I thought the Joker (kinda like a snickers) was my fav but I think its tied with the Mahalo now. How could it not be - just look at this picture!




How awesome does that look! It was every bit as delicious as it looks. So if you've been looking for a great vegan candy bar reminiscent of some of your past pregan favourites give these a try - you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 9 - falling behind

Day 9 for me, day 11 for those who have it together and are posting every day for mofo! Busy days and fighting off a cold have left me drained the last few days but I think I'm winning the cold battle and I hoping another good night of sleep will leave me feeling peppier tomorrow and with motivation for doing a post!

We're having a yummy stirfry for dinner tomorrow with a little treat I picked up at Earth's General Store plus I have 3 product reviews coming up as well so stay tuned!Publish Post

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 8 - Getting Ready

Tomorrow we are having my family over for Thanksgiving supper so today has been a busy one try to prep what I can. I'm excited to say that we are having a vegan Thanksgiving this year which is pretty much a dream come true but it also means that I am doing 95% of the work. I'm keeping it simple this year and going with dishes I know will be crowd pleasers.

I wish I could blog more tonight but to be honest I'm wiped right out after a late night last night at Padmanadi's. It was so excellent and everyone enjoyed it but but I ate a little too much and didn't sleep as well as I thought I would last night and after a busy day today I'm running on empty. So I'm off to bed to recharge and start fresh tomorrow morning!

I'm pretty sure I won't have time to blog tomorrow but I'll be taking lots of pictures and I'll have a big Thanksgiving post for Monday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 7 - Padmanadi

Well it didn't take me long to fall off the wagon did it?! With Thanksgiving this weekend I had so much to do last night I really had to prioritize and I just didn't have the energy to blog after all was said and done. I had to make some fall cookies for my friends children (there's 9 kids all together) so last night I made sugar cookies in the shape of maple leafs for them and this morning I iced them and put some fall sprinkles on and put them in pumpkin bags tied with some shiny red ribbon to give to them this afternoon. Then I had about a million loads of laundry to wash and put away and the list goes on and on.

But tonight I'll getting a break. The 3 or my girlfriends and I are heading out to Padmanadi's for dinner. I'm the only vegan in the group but they all really wanted to try it out so I'm happy to oblige! I'll try to get some pictures for you all.

This weekend might be a little dicey for blogging as I'm having everyone here on Sunday for Thanksgiving but if I don't get a chance to blog over the weekend I'll have an extra big post on Monday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

vegan MOFO Day 5 - TLT'S

Wednesdays are a super busy day for us so suppers are usually pretty relaxed. I started the day off with a trip to Planet Organic for a few goodies. Today I scored some more coconut milk yougurt (strawberry, vanilla and plain), some organic cauliflower, organic strawberries, organic raspberries, organic salba, organic apples, some tempeh bacon, earth balance, some vanilla coconut milk, organic pears, organic tomatoes, organic oatmeal, and a few lara bars (they were on sale).




And i couldn't resist picking up some of these red bananas to try. Pretty cute! Too bad their hard as rocks. I'll wait awhile and hopefully they soften up. or are they suppose to be hard? Does anyone know?


Like I mentioned wednesdays are really busy for us so supper tonight was some tlt's (tempeh, lettuce and tomatoe) on silver hills sprout whole grain bread with a side of kale chips. I added some guacamole to mine which really takes it over the top imo.

Not the fanciest dinner but everyone was pretty happy with it! Of course both kids had to have a pickle on the side - thats what takes it "over the top" in their opinion!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 4 - Treats from Karmavore

Last week Karmavore had a 40% off sale and I figured it was the perfect time to order a few things i had been wanting to try.


Sorry for the terrible photo - I tried to arrange it so you could see everything. I ordered 3 of the Food for Lovers Vegan Queso. Has anyone tried this yet? I've heard great things about it! Also I got some vegan jello in strawberry, lemon and raspberry, some sweet and sara mini marshmallows (perfect for hot chocolate!), a Bonvita rice milk chocolate bar with coffee crisp and as an extra special treat for myself a box of assorted nuts and chews chocolates.

I'm excited for all of it but I'm really excited to try the queso. I love spicy food. I use to get the Natural Desserts vegan jello from Karmavore and it was excellent but they don't carry it anymore so I'm also excited to try the new brand their carrying. I'll report back on what I think!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan MOFO Day 3 - Guess what I found....

Today was a today I have been waiting 2 years for. Today I finally got my hands on some So Delicious Coconut Milk Yougurt!

Here's the proof.....




Do you see the giant smiles on their faces? I'm not the only one who has been waiting forever!

So after all that waiting how did it measure up? We have only tried the strawberry one but it was AMAZING! Now granted I haven't had dairy yougurt in 4 years but it tasted just like dairy yougurt to me - only better! It was thick and creamy and not too sweet. I liked that it has 8 grams of fibre per serving and that its fortified with calcium (unlike the beverage here in Canada). The girls loved it too and would have eaten the whole container if I had let them. I foresee a sharp increase in our grocery bill.....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan MoFo - Day 2

It was a typical fall day today so what better to do then spend some time in the kitchen?

Fresh cranberries are finally at the store so I picked some up to make some orange cranberry muffins from Vegan brunch. Love these muffins - and so do the kids! Perfect for snacks and lunches this week.



I haven't made cookies for a few weeks now (much to everyones surprise!) so I made some of the Chocolate Oatmeal cookies (or something like that - I'm too tired to go check the name) from Vegan Cookies Take over Your Cookie Jar. i added some cranberries and coconut to them and they are nice and fudgy!



And last up - the White bean and Leek Cassoulet from Veganomicon. Always a crowd pleaser the kids and DH had 2 bowls each and I saved enough so they can each have a bowl for lunch tomorrow. Here's a pic of Ollie - she was pretty happy to see what was for dinner tonight!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan MoFo - Day 1

Let me start by saying I'm not officially signed up to do Vegan MoFo - we all know my blogging is less than consistent - but I'm going to try to post every day this month and I'm hoping that will help me become more consistent in my blogging. They say it takes 30 days to establish a habit so hopefully they are right!

Today was a crazy busy day. We had a lot of running around to do and got stuck in traffic everywhere we went. We had to head down to MEC to get everyone outfitted in new hats and mitts for winter. Love their stuff - its such a good quality and we love going skating and sledding in the winter so we need warm clothing. We walk to school everyday and we've been finding it a bit chilly out the last few mornings so we decided to make sure we got all our stuff this weekend - you never know when they weather will turn! Then we had to stop in at Planet Organic for a few groceries and make a few other stops before we finally got home.

After all that running around I was less than motivated in the kitchen tonight so we decided to have a fun supper - nachos while we watched a movie with the girls. We used the Que Pasa organic tortilla chips and put some pepperjack daiya on as well as some chopped tomatoes, olives and green onions. Probably not the healthiest supper but a treat is nice every once in awhile.



I promise to try and make something a little more wholesome for dinner tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adopt-A-Turkey!

Quick post tonight - wednesdays are a super busy night for us!

Today was a very exciting day for us. Today I did something I have been wanting to do for a few years now.



Meet Daphne - the turkey we adopted from Farm Sanctuary this year! I have been meaning to do this for a few years now but for some reason or another it never got done but I decided that this was going to be the year it happened. When Ollie and i went to the site yesterday it had the 2010 turkeys up. Thanksgiving is a little sooner here so they don't have the 2011 birds up but that really didn't matter to us. The girls liked all the birds but really fell in love with daphne so I called Farm Sanctuary today and we were able to adopt her. I can't wait for her picture to arrive in the mail - they addressed it to the girls!

If you've never adopted a turkey or if you've never heard of it check it out here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rebar eats!

Happy September everyone! Sorry for my absence - we've been in a crazy rush of getting back to school and all the activities. Its a full schedule but I love it!

When we went to Victoria this summer we had the chance to eat (a couple of times) at Rebar Modern Food. I've had their cookbook for a few years but had never made anything from it. Not everything in the cookbook or the restaurant is vegan but they have a lot of things that are or are easily veganized. One of the things we loved the most was their house bread - a Rosemary Garlic Focaccia bread. We all agreed it was the best bread we'd had and my husband also loved their caesar salad. So when I came home I pulled out their cookbook and got to work.

First up the bread. It's a really simple recipe and it turned out excellent except that I used spelt flour in place of the white that the recipe called for and I think I would make this with white flour next time as a "treat".



Here is it pre baked

And here it is baked. it was probably the simplest bread I've ever made but make sure you start well in advance of when you want to eat because it needs a bit of time to rise.

The second recipe I wanted to try was their caesar dressing recipe. This was a big one because I've never found a vegan caesar dressing recipe that we all liked. The original recipe isn't vegan but it was really easy to veganize since it didn't have any eggs in it just cheese which you could replace with a vegan parm but I just used ground walnuts to replace it. It turned out awesome and finally we have a vegan caesar that we all like!


Here it is in my new salad bowl (which I am also in love with)!


And a close up just because my food pics are usually so crappy but this one was pretty good!



And here is the whole meal served together. I always start with some organic jarred sauce and add a bunch of shredded veggies to it. this one had shredded carrots, zucchini, diced red and orange bell pepper, and some cremini mushrooms.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Double Chocolate Brownies...Yes Peas!

A few weeks back I got an email from amazon.ca with some book suggestions for me. I was going to delete it straight away because we're tightening the belt around here and I didn't want to tempt myself but I just couldn't resist a peek. First book on the list ways "Peas and Thank You - simple meatless meals the whole family will love." I don't really need a new cookbook I told myslef but I decided to take a look at it on amazon.ca anyways. In the description they talked about the blog so I decided to check it out.

Love it, love it, love it! I'm probably the last person on earth to read the blog/website but if you haven't checked it out do it! Funny funny girl that Sarah and her two girls....well lets just say I can relate to many of her stories as I have two girls the same age with the same flair for the dramatic and a love of dresses and skirts as well.

So of course I ended up ordering the her cookbook (as well as Colleen Patrick Goudreau's new book the 30 day vegan challenge - looking so forward to this book and as a side note my sister and her family are going vegan and her in-laws are as well so I may be buying a few more copies of this one for them but more on that in another post) but unfortunately it is delayed a bit and won't be here for a few weeks but no worries - Sarah as lots of reci"peas" posted on her site so I decided to try a few out this week.

First up was the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. My friend Kirsten and her daughter come for coffee on Monday morning and it was a chilly day here so I decided to try these out. The house was filled with the scent of sugar and cinnamon and coffee - pretty close to heaven for a couple of fall lovers like us! We had them warm out of the oven and they were really good! The girls ate the rest of them (recipe said makes 6 rolls and I got 10) and loved them too.

Last night I decided to make the Double Chocolate Single Chin Brownies. I had my doubts when I looked at this recipe due to the high amount of applesauce it called for but decided to try it anyways because it was easy to make and a short list of ingredients (all of which I had in the house). So glad I did - my new favourite vegan brownie! So moist and delicious and pretty healthy for a brownie - I made mine with whole grain spelt flour but other than that I followed the recipe. Kids loved these too and we finished off the pan today.

I have a few more reci"peas" marked to try out soon and I'm really looking forward to it. I've sent my sister the link to the site too as the recipes are pretty easy (she's not a fan of cooking and needs simple recipes) and so far they seem to be crowd pleasers. If you haven't checked it out peas do (sorry couldn't help it - lame I know but once you get started with the pea thing its hard to stop!) I think you'll enjoy site and recipeas too!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beautiful Butterfly

I was looking through my pictures and I can't believe I forgot to post these! Back in June I was picking Ollie up from preschool one morning when she said "look mommy, look at me!" and a butterfly had landed on her hand. So I grabbed my cellphone and snapped a few pics. I thought the butterfly would fly away but it stayed on her hand the whole time we walked home (about 10 min) so when we got home i grabbed my Nikon and snapped a few more pics and it still stayed with her. Finally I took it and put it on our weeping caragana in the front. It stayed there for most of the afternoon before it left. Ollie thought it was pretty cool and so did I!





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back from Victoria!

Actually we've been back for about a week and a half now but the day after we came back we had family from out of town staying with us for a week so it was a little crazy around here!

Back in June dh and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary and originally we had planned on going to San Francisco to celebrate but then we ending up doing some renos to the house (and some renos led to more renos...you know how it goes!) so San Fran was out. But we decided we still wanted to do something special so we decided to go to Victoria, BC for 5 days with the kids. Victoria is near and dear to s because its where we honeymooned 10 years ago.

So we got a really good deal on a hotel and ended up staying at the Fairmount Empress which is right on the harbour. The hotel was awesome, the staff was super friendly and very nice to the kids and the location was excellent - walking distance to everything we wanted to do.

We hit the Victoria Bug Zoo (best attraction for the kids imo) and we went to the Underwater Sea Gardens which the kids LOVED! We also went to the Royal BC Museum and watch Born to be Wild at the imax there and we took a tour around the harbour in a boat which was also a lot of fun. One day we hot Beacon Hill Park which was beautiful to walk around. And the hotel had a pool in it so of course the kids loved that (and it was a free thing for them to do which was good cuz it can get expensive going to all the touristy things!).

But for me one of the highlights of the trip had to be ReBar. I've had their cookbook for a few years now but I'd never made anything from it - which is a real shame cuz I was missing out! I told dh that I one place I really wanted to eat when we went was ReBar and we actually when there for supper the first night.

Wow - amazing food! If your in Victoria I highly recommend you try to make it there. Not everything is vegan but there are a lot of options and the staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. The kids where so excited to have so many options to pick from and finally a restaurant that serves a non-dairy milk other than soymilk. None of us are fans of soymilk and they had soy, almond and rice milk! It was so good we actually ate there on our last night too. Needless to say since we've been back I've made a few things from their book and its been awesome.

Pics to come next post!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last day of school!

Gabbie had her last full day of school yesterday (today is a half day for her because they are having a family picnic of hotdogs so we obviously will not be dining there!) so i tried to pack her a special lunch. Raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers, carrots, pepper strips, a granola bar and for the main entree an amy's california veggie burger on a whole wheat bun. She was pretty happy with it!

As much as I love that planetbox I gotta tell you i am so happy to be washing it and packing it away for the summer. Bring on the lazy days!!!



Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Dh and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week. It was a busy day because it was also ollie's last day of preschool but I managed to get a decent meal on the table. The farmers market had beautiful asparagus, potatoes and cherry tomatoes. We had marinated portobello mushrooms on the grill and we also marinated (in balsamic vinegar) some thick slices of red onion and cherry tomatoes and grilled those too. I pan roasted the asparagus with garlic and lime juice and I also roasted the potatoes with lemon, garlic and dill. Then we just tried to arrange it all fancy on the plate. It was delicious - not bad for a rushed night!




Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here I am!

We we're feeling like a treat the other day and I was looking back at an old post on Dreena's blog about Maple Banana loaf and as luck would have it I had all the ingredients so we decided to try it. Except when i went to bake it i realized i don't have a loaf pan! I know I use to have one so I'm not too sure what happened to it - good excuse to treat myself to a new one i guess! So instead we had Maple Banana muffins. I made one addition to the recipe (other than changing it into muffins) and that was to add some chocolate chips. They were excellent muffins and i liked that they really used very little oil. They were very moist though!







The other night I felt like pancakes so I set everything out for the morning so i could make blueberry pancakes for breakfast, I always use the pancake recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Its such a simple recipe and the pancakes turn out great every single time. I always use spelt flour and I add a little extra (1 cup of whole wheat flours = about 1 1/4 cup of spelt). They turned out perfect (this recipe really is foolproof - try it if you haven't!) and it was a really treat for a weekday breakfast.



Quinoa is so good for you and so fast to make I like to use it whenever I can. One way I incorporate it into our meals is with a stirfry. We also really like brown basmati rice so I don't use it every time we have a stirfry but I like to alternate our grains. this strifry is a simple one of broc, onions, mushrooms and a crumbled up smoked apple sage field roast sausage. I make a simple sauce of tamari, grayed fresh ginger, grated garlic, rice wine vinegar, toasted seseame oil and a touch of sugar. Delish!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Peter Puffin and the International Children's Festival

The last month of school is here and boy is it a busy one! We started the month off by attending a fundraising concert at Gabbie's school. The school has been fundraising for a new playground and they have a new one going in this summer. When Peter Puffin heard about the schools fundraising efforts he offered to do a benefit concert and donate all the proceeds to the school for the playground. The kids were super excited to go and loved the concert. By the time the concert ended we had to hurry home and give the kids a quick bath and get them to bed because they had another big day - the International Children's Festival. Ollie's preschool had a field trip their last Thursday and we were able to purchase extra tickets and we pulled Gabbie out of school for the day and dh even took the day off work to come with us!




This was my first time going to the festival but it certainly won't be the last! What a great festival - we all really enjoyed it! We left around 9am and drove out to St. Albert were the festival was being held. Then we took the free park and ride to the festival site. Our first show was at 11 am so we had a little time to look around the festival site before we had to line up to get our seats.

The first show we saw was Splash n' Boots. Excellent show - very interactive and lots of singing and dancing for the kids. Even the adults really enjoyed it.


Then we had a stop at the storyteller tent before lunch. It was ok - not bad but not great either. Then we had a picnic lunch. I packed hummus, crackers, strawberries, raspberries, grapes and veggies and dip to eat. We were all hungry and ate up but the kds were disappointed because there was a hotdog stand that was selling veggie dogs and they really wanted that. Actually there was a few vegan options at the festival - an ice cream place that had all dairy free ice creams, a veggie panini, and veggie dogs.


The next show we saw was excellent too. It was a glow in the dark puppet show presenting The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle favourites. It was put on by the Mermaid Theatre from Nova Scotia and it was so, so well done! They had a Q&A afterwards and explained to the kids how the show works with black light and how all the puppets work. Really interesting and entertaining!








As a treat after all the shows were done we bought the kids a veggie dog - they topped it off with ketchup, mustard, raw onions, sauerkraut and pickles! It was a great day and it made me excited for all the fun things we're gonna do this summer!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Pita Pizzas

The weather has finally been nice here and we're taking full advantage of it! Lots of walks and bike rides and stops at the playground. Of course since we've been taking advantage of the nice weather and spending so much time outside I've neglected a lot of the indoor stuff that still needs to be done so I spend evenings trying to catch up on all of that. I'll be glad when school is done - we are all looking forward to a break! I'm tired of the same get up, make lunches, get out the door routine and I know the kids are too. Bring on summer!

Due to my daytime laziness we've been in need of some quick suppers. I've been keeping a lot of salads on hand in the fridge (bean salads, grain salads, green salads, etc) and veggies and dip too and something that has been popular lately had been pita pizzas.



Heres a picture of mine from the other day. It has sauteed organic mushrooms, olives, yellow peppers, onions, pineapple and fresh tomatoe slices all topped of with pepperjack daiya. If you have not tried the pepperjack daiya yet get thee to the store stat! Its fantastic on pretty much everything and makes the best nachos ever!



I like to make my own pizza crust but I find it so simply and handy to have some whole wheat pitas on hand (I usually keep a pack in the freezer) and they make a nice personal size pizza that everyone can personalize themselves.

What is your favourite quick supper?


Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes with lemon frosting

I made these cupcakes for Easter. They are the Strawberry cupcakes from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I made the buttercream frosting in the book to go with them and made it a lemon buttercream by adding so lemon zest and lemon extract. It was a great combo and all the neices loved the butterfly decorations and of course the sprinkles - no cupcake is complete without sprinkles right?!


Good Friday before Easter my sister had a little easter party at her house for all the kids and wouldn't you know it - the Easter Bunny showed up for a little visit! The kids were so excited they were jumping up and down and screaming - it was funny to watch! Of course the Easter bunny brought some treats for them. The girls got a few vegan goodies.


Meals lately have been pretty simple. Kids are really digging sandwiches lately which is fine by me! Below is my sub - hummus, guac, lettuce, onion, tomatoe, green peppers, cucumbers, black olives and pickles. And because it was a friday night and we felt like a treat we had a side of sweet potatoe fries.


I've been trying to keep some quick meals in the fridge to make life a little easier. We've been munching a the quinoa, mango and black bean salad for the last few days and I just made the white bean and artichoke salad tonight for Color Me Vegan which is actually the first recipe I've made from this book even though I've had it since Christmas! I'm sure it will be great though because Colleen's recipes have never let me down!