Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Ah, New Year's Day. Hangovers, clean slates, good intentions.  How is 2011 treating you so far? How was your New Year's Eve?  Did you go out to a fun party, or celebrate at home with family?

Our evening was pretty mild, as you might expect when two little ones are involved.   The only party I attended was a pajama party with Olivia!

The day was eventful, though. Monster, our dog, got to check out a new dog park. According to Tony, this is not just any dog park. It was designed by a guy called Paul Jr., who is on a television show called American Chopper.  Tony is somewhat obsessed with this show. He has already taken Jackson to check out their shop.

Even though Paul Jr.'s dog park is 45 minutes away, it'll be worth it to take Monster there on a regular basis now that we know about it. When we lived in Austin, we took him to monthly Boston Terrier meetups at a local dog park, and he was always so excited to run and run and run with the other Bostons.  Bostons aren't really outdoor dogs -- most of the time Monster is content to lay on the couch with us -- but every so often it's good for him to get a lot of exercise and socialize with other dogs. It makes him so happy.

Jackson had fun, too.

Happy New Year, Monster.

The other excitement of the day was that I got to try out my new toy -- the Tofu Xpress.  It's pretty easy -- you just stick the block of tofu in, place the lid on top, and leave it alone for an hour. I was surprised at how much liquid got pressed out. It works!

Here it is, pressing away.  Strong like Hulk!

For our New Year's Eve snacking, I made a bunch of finger foods from American Vegan Kitchen, which I recieved for Christmas.

First up, Tempting Tofu Dippers with Pineapple-Pomegranate Dipping Sauce. I could definitely see the benefits of the Tofu Xpress here. My pressed tofu sticks were very firm (heh) and held together just fine during the entire breading and baking process.  This was also the first recipe where I used herbes de Provence.  It's got lavender in it, how crazy is that?  I love this appetizer. It's got a lot of exotic flavors going on, but is easy to put together. 

Next, Baked Poppers with Lime Cream.  Of course this was one of the first recipes I chose to try out from my new cookbook.  In my pre-vegan days, I loved jalapeno poppers.  When I lived in Oklahoma, there was a Mexican restaurant that served them with raspberry jelly. You might not think that would taste very good, but you would be totally wrong.  It's the best thing ever. In fact, now I'm thinking I should've bought some raspberry jelly.  Next time!  These jalapenos are stuffed with a smoky, cheesy filling and coated in panko breadcrumbs.  They are superb.  I was a little nervous about the breading process, because it called for three separate bowls and seemed really involved. But you just need to follow the #1 Rule of Breading -- always keep one hand dry. 

Finally, Lettuce Wraps.  Um...I'd never seen a lettuce wrap, let alone eaten one, and I quickly realized I had no idea how to roll a lettuce wrap.  Iceberg lettuce might not have been the way to go.  Maybe romaine would be easier to roll. Anyway, I just ended up serving these as lettuce cups. I loved the sweet, spicy tofu and veggie filling.

This morning, I started off my new year with a bowl of Carrot Cake Oatmeal, courtesy of Angela at Oh She Glows.  Soooo good.  It tastes really decadent, but you know it's good for you, since it's like 2/3 carrots.

Happy 2011!


  1. I've never had a lettuce wrap either, but I find that it can be hard to roll cabbage too, due to the thick stem in the middle. I usually just cut if out, and roll away!

    That tofu press looks great, I've always wanted one myself. Happy New Year!

  2. My family adopted a Boston Terrier when I was 12, and I adored him. Such a funny little dog, he loved to ride in the car and go on adventures outside.

    Your New Years Eve food looks delicious! Happy New Year.

  3. Oh my goodness! SO much good stuff! I love your pup having fun in the snow. I LOVE boston terriers :)

    I wanted a tofu press for so long when I first became a vegetarian. It looks awesome! Have fun with it! I try not to eat soy anymore though.

    Happy new year!!!

  4. Incredible finger foods. I'm seriously in awe. Happy New Year!

  5. Those finger foods are majorly impressive. I'm glad to hear you like your tofu press, because I've been leaning toward getting one.

  6. I want those tofu sticks! They look so good! Love your green plate I have the same one... Dollar store baby <3

  7. Andrea & Carissa - Bostons are the best! They are such little clowns, and great with kids.