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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Thursday Thoughts

1. My New Year’s resolution isn’t going so well.

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Remember my plank challenge? Yeah, I’m totally not doing it every day and at this point my record is 40 seconds. That’s embarrassing. My upper body strength is abysmal. (quick Friends reference – who does this remind you of?)

2. I made these brownies and just about fell over they were so good.

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The main ingredient? Quinoa. Totally vegan. Totally gluten free. Totally delicious.

3. Miss Rae’s new thing? Sucking on her hand. Her whole hand. All of those fingers up in her mouth.

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Gross.

4. I finally bit the bullet and bought some cycling shoes. I go to class twice a week, I need to stop looking like the amateur that I am. And now I’m all stressed out that I won’t know how to lock into the pedals. Any other cyclers out there? Help me!

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Maybe YouTube has some demos…

5. Just because it’s lactose free, does that mean it’s vegan?

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I had a sample and it tasted like the pineapple whip you get at Disneyland. So good.

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The kiddos seemed to enjoy theirs also:)

6. I have a new blog that I love. Not only is Sarah an elementary teacher, but her “Vegan with Benefits” philosophy is exactly where I am. She commented on my blog a few days ago, so I checked out her site and I’m so glad I did!

7. If I haven’t mentioned it before, my baby reaches a milestone tomorrow…

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Now.

And Then…

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My lil’ peanut on his first birthday…

Time flies when you’re having fun…:)

Happy almost Friday to you!

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“Normal” and Gingerbread Lemon Scones

Is it normal to go to the beach in January…in Oregon…with two young children?

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We did it.

Is it normal, after almost two years, to continue taking pictures of your children sleeping?

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I do it.

Is it normal to crave gingerbread after Christmas?

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I did.

Is it normal to then drizzle said gingerbread with lemon glaze?

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I did that too.

Gingerbread and lemon seems like a weird combination, I know. But in my head it sounded great and in my mouth it tasted better.

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As all scones are, if you use a food processor, these were fast and simple.

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The usual suspects are there: flour, baking powder, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. The simple swap of earth balance for butter and almond milk for regular milk help in the vegan effort. Molasses is a key player as is egg replacer powder. You could probably use a flax egg, but I didn’t try it.

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The scones are great unadorned. The fam enjoyed them, for sure.

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But I have a hard time knowing when to stop…powdered sugar and lemon juice were a perfect duo.

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If only coffee and scones constituted a “normal” day…

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Who am I kidding? We have no concept of what “normal” is…

P.S. the above picture is J Man modeling his new bike helmet. He wore it all morning long. Inside. While playing with his puzzles. Safety first…

Gingerbread Scones

Ingredients

1 cup AP flour
1 cup WW pastry flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
6 TBS earth balance (butter), cubed
3 TBS molasses
1/4 cup almond milk
1 egg equivalent (1.5 tsp egg replacer + 2 TBS water)
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

In a food processor, combine flours, baking powder and spices. Add earth balance cubes and pulse until sandy in texture. Add remaining ingredients. Pulse until a thick dough forms. On a floured surface, pat into a circle and then cut into 8 wedges.

Bake at 375 for 20-24 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 TBS lemon juice. While scones are still warm, drizzle with lemon glaze if desired.

What I Ate that gave me a headache…

Lets talk about danger.

Matty B + his new soda stream? A little dangerous. He’s disciplined enough that he took it downstairs for a few days, but it has recently made a surprise reappearance. I’m just happy he’s not drinking the straight soda concentrate. You think I’m being overly dramatic? If only…

J Man got some roller skates for his birthday. Kinda dangerous, if you ask me.

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See Miss Rae jealously lurking in the background? Also dangerous…

And my danger factor? Dark chocolate, Ann Taylor and Friends reruns could all qualify.

Today my “danger” is bread. On a normal day, bread might be dangerous because I can’t stop eating it. But today, could it have made me sick?

I’m totally not a low carb girl. I think it’s silly. I’m currently experiencing the most horrible headache. I’m not typically a “headachey girl”. You know one of those people, I’m sure. That friend or relative who always has a headache, who’s always so tired, who’s never feeling well. I’m not that girl.

So tonight, as I was popping the Advil, I looked back on my eats for the day, wondering if there might be a connection?

Breakfast was a summer yogurt bowl-

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1 container of Chobani, strawberries, grapes, banana and a handful of granola.

Coffee. Yes, caffeinated coffee.

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Enter the bread.

Lunch was New Seasons WW bread with 1/4 avocado, 1 TBS roasted red pepper hummus, tomato, cucumber and romaine.

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Snacks looked like this…

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And this. Note: there used to be hummus in that container. My baby carrots and Miss Rae’s baby fingers took care of that…

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And another sandwich for dinner. Roasted Kale chips alongside the same WW bread, panini style with pesto, marinara, portobello mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. This was good. Even better? My whole family ate the kale chips…:)

I drank my normal amount of water. I went to spinning this morning. I got my normal amount of sleep (about 7 hours).

Moral of the story? For me, my meals today had a lot of bread. Could this be the cause of the pounding headache?

And trust me, I’m not at all excited about experimenting with a gluten free diet, but could that be the answer?

Could I be jumping to conclusions? Absolutely. And in retrospect, bread probably isn’t the “danger”. My baby girl? Yeah, she’s danger.

This girl could give bread a run for it’s money in the danger category…

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What do you think? Are any of you gluten free? What’s your experience been?

Birthday Bonanza

It’s possible that the following statement doesn’t shock you as much as it shocks me, but…

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Blows. Me. Away.

Just moments ago, my sweet boy looked like this…

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I blinked and he grew up.

As you might be aware, my boy is…unique:). The theme of his birthday party? Thomas the Train? Nope. Bob the Builder? Who’s that?

His birthday party theme was geography.

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We decorated with flags from different countries. And we did our best to make food not only from different countries, but we tried to make said food look like flags. Yes, I’m one of those moms…

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In addition to mini pizzas made to look like Italian flags, there was lefse (Norwegian flatbread), Italian Sodas and NY Cheesecake (thanks, Unk C!)

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And of course, a party isn’t a party without a veggie tray modeled after the Ghana flag…

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Dutch Apple Pie is the obvious choice for dessert .

There was musical chairs set to “50 Nifty United States”, followed by a rousing game of “Pin the State on the Map”-

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And some quality time with the fam.

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We all had a great time!

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I’m just hoping next year’s theme isn’t algebra. Although, dessert would be easy…

Pi…

Check out Marvelous in my Monday for other great Monday link-ups!

Cheese

Let’s talk about cheese.

Let’s do it.

Here’s my story: I like cheese. And I think it’s safe to say that 90% of the USA, and maybe even the world, like cheese.

But I’ve been disappointed- Disappointed in the vegan cheese world. And I think it’s safe to say that 90% of the USA, and maybe even the world, are also disappointed in vegan cheese.

My number one complaint?

It’s gross. I tried to make vegan fondue at Christmas with Daiya cheddar shreds and Daiya havarti. It was almost the worst thing I’ve ever made. (To see the worst thing I’ve ever made, check out this post right here…)

My number two complaint?

It doesn’t melt. See above fondue disaster…

And so be perfectly honest, of all the problems I deal with on a daily basis, cheese isn’t at the top of the priority list, so rather than whine, here’s my solution:

I don’t eat cheese.

There are worse things in life.

But I was talking to my friend Bev, sharing my cheese woes, and being the doll that she is, the next day she brought me a gift.

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I have previously shared my Trader Joes love. And now, now, they offer a solution to my cheese dilemma.

Trader Joes has not asked me to write a review. They have not compensated me in any way. And other than being known as the crazy lady who brings her young children into the store and lets them both have their own miniature shopping carts, they don’t even know who I am. Nevertheless, a quick review of TJ’s mozzarella shreds.

A quick pinch out of the bag gave me a mouthful of dry, almost gritty, fake cheese. I was dubious. However, the true test of time?

Pizza.

I have relegated my past pizzas to piles of veggies and sauce, in an attempt to make up for the cheese (or lack thereof…). Today could go a myriad of ways- I hoped for the best and piled it on.

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I have weird kids. They don’t like pizza. Nor do they like French fries. I don’t know.

I cracked the code with the pizza- they need smiley faces, apparently. Also, J Man doesn’t like marinara sauce, so he got pesto. I used this crust recipe. They gobbled these up! Is it weird that they both went for the eyes first?

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Interesting that the kidlets have more toppings on their pizza than Matty B….hmmm…

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Mine had BBQ sauce, veggie meatballs, onions, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini.

And the cheese?

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As you can see, it totally melted. And the flavor was good- it tasted like…well, like cheese!

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I will say, it had a little bit of a slimy mouth-feel. Nothing gag worthy, but not identical to real cheese either.

So I’d probably give this product an 8/10. Definitely better than other “cheese” products I’ve tried.

P.S. Trader Joes? If you ever want me to review some of your sea salt caramel dark chocolate, I’m in…

C3PB

the veggie nook

All the cool kids use acronyms.

New Kids On The Block? That’s NKOTB to you. (Side note: these guys are touring again? Really? I guess they really are “Hangin’ Tough”…)

Creedence Clearwater Revival? Thanks to my dad I’m aware that those “in the know” refer to these guys as CCR.

ABBA?

BTO?

Am I dating myself?

My gray hairs are proof that I’m old. My musical taste is proof that I’m classy. This recipe is proof that I’m 100% obsessed with peanut butter.

Introducing C3PB, also known as Cocoa Coconut Chia Peanut Butter.

I did that. I made up the recipe and I came up with the name. I should be the boss of naming all foods.

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I don’t blink an eye at paying $10 for a jar of peanut butter. Well, I blink, but then I buy it anyway because good peanut butter is worth it! Maranatha, Justin’s, PB & Co. – they’re all so good!

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I didn’t realize how insanely easy it was to make your own gourmet peanut butter! The food processor is your ticket to PB success. And when you’re making it yourself, you can put in all the crazy stuff you want.

Like cocoa powder. And coconut. And chia seeds.

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I used raw peanuts and unsweetened coconut- the big flakes, not the small flakes (although the size probably doesn’t matter). After letting it run for 5ish minutes, I added the cocoa powder and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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My assistant’s pudgy finger did all the hard button pushing. She’s an expert.

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She’s also an expert taste tester.

After the PB is as drippy as you desire, (I think the longer you process, the more liquified it becomes), stir in the chia seeds. I didn’t process this because I wanted the crunch of the seeds.

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So good. This is no Skippy. It’s better. It isn’t super sweet, so you could add some agave or maple syrup if you want, but I prefer it au natural.

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I gave this C3PB a little TLC…

(For those of you from the 90’s, that’s T-boz, Left Eye and Chili…)

C3PB – Cocoa Coconut Chia Peanut Butter

Ingredients

2 cups raw peanuts
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 TBS cocoa powder
2 TBS Chia seeds
Sprinkle of sea salt

Instructions

Process peanuts and coconut in food processor until desired consistency- 5-8 minutes. Add salt and cocoa powder and process until combined. Stir in chia seeds with a spoon. Scrape into jar and refrigerate. Lick spoon.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts

J Man is going through this “baby talk” phase. I get it. Miss Rae is learning to talk and she gets lavished with praise for saying “up, peas” instead of just whining that she wants to be picked up. J is a smart kid. She gets kudos for talking like that, maybe it will work for him too? Driving. Me. Crazy.

But it’s just a phase.

Matty B is going through an “eat nothing with calories” phase. He’s trying to drop a few pounds and is eating corn tortillas, lettuce and skinny cows, exclusively. People, don’t even get me started.

It’s just a phase.

Miss Rae is going through this “my way or the highway, I’ll kick and scream and it won’t be pretty, trust me” phase.

Oh wait. That’s life in general with my angel.

My phase is apparently chocolate peanut butter.

Just a few days ago I gave you pancakes and you can’t overlook my truffles in December. Not long before that there were chocolate peanut butter cookies and I’ve never been shy about my love for chocolate PB ice cream.

So if you look at today’s recipe and say “enough already!!!”, I get it. I’m there with you. I understand.

But I still can’t stop myself.

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This recipe is adapted from The Edible Perspective, a blog with beautiful photography that I can only hope to achieve someday.

The original recipe is non vegan and gluten free. Thus, my tweaks were in the form of soymilk, fake eggs and carob, along with the transfer of regular AP flour for coconut flour, rice flour, etc.

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The bones of the recipe are golden however, because even with all my changes, we were so pleased with the results!

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Obviously.

Miss Rae’s response? “Mo peas.”

J Man’s response? “Mo peas.”

Matty B’s response? “How many calories in these?”

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It’s just a phase…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts
adapted from this recipe
Ingredients

1 cup AP flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 TBS applesauce
1/2 cup soymilk
2 tsp egg replacer
4 TBS water
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter

Glaze
1 cup carob chips
2 TBS peanut butter
2 TBS soy creamer

Instructions

In separate bowls, combine wet ingredients (milk, water, vanilla, egg, applesauce) and dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder). Combine the two. Melt peanut butter and add it to the mix.

Bake in a doughnut pan at 350 for 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, make glaze. Melt carob chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments for 90 seconds. It will be thick. Add creamer and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over doughnuts. Let rest until chocolate has set.