Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Up Goes the Tree

Since we did our Thanksgiving traveling last week, visiting family in Oklahoma, we are looking forward to a long, relaxing weekend at home. To make things feel a little more festive, we decided to go ahead and put up our Christmas decorations.

This is Olivia's second Christmas and, for the first time, she's big enough to help put up the tree.

However, she was a little more interested in the decorations. Like her mama, she is all about the sparkly.

Jackson has learned to wink, it cracks me up. He is such a cheese ball.

Somehow, all the trimmings eventually ended up on the tree.

I still haven't decided which is my favorite soup recipe from Appetite for Reduction -- the Arabian Lentil & Rice, or the Smoky Split Pea.  Rather than force myself to choose between them, I'm making both soups this week. Here is the Arabian Lentil & Rice. I love the strong lemon and cumin flavors.  Sorry for the shadowy pic -- it gets dark early now.

 I've started keeping bars in my diaper bag at all times, for when the kids get snacky in the car. I picked up these seasonal Clif Bars -- Peppermint Stick, Iced Gingerbread, and Spiced Pumpkin Pie. I don't really want to share the Peppermint Stick with them, but I do.

I also picked up some time-saving frozen falafel balls and Cedar's stuffed grape leaves. The only thing I made for this meal was the hummus.  The grape leaves are awesome! They're filled with rice that has been seasoned with dill and lemon juice.  I've also had the kind that are flavored with tomato sauce and cinnamon, and I'm not a fan. Lemon and dill is where it's at!  Have you ever made your own stuffed grape leaves? I am thinking about giving it a try.

Next day for lunch, we had a few more falafels and stuffed grape leaves to finish off, so I made a couple more finger foods to go along with them. I put my oven on double duty, baking a tray of Alexia sweet potato puffs and roasting a head of broccoli.  The sweet potato puffs are amazing! They're basically tater tots made from yams -- is that the best idea or what? The only thing is, what do you dip them in? I don't really like the combination of sweet potato and ketchup, so I was just eating them plain. Maybe some kind of Veganise-based dip? I am open to suggestions. :)

Today, while out with the kids, I picked up a popcorn tofu po'boy from Wheatsville. This sandwich is so huge, it provided lunch for all three of us, along with some ginger tempeh pasta salad on the side.

And now, I'm off to make a vegan cheesecake! Since it's just our little family at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, we can make whatever we want. Tony doesn't do pumpkin pie, so cheesecake it is.

I know I have so much to be thankful for, tomorrow and every day. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



    Also, the Arabian Lentil is one of my favorite soups ever!

    Good job with the tree J&O!! :D

  2. Maybe the tots would taste good dipped in a tahini sauce? But that's my answer to everything. Or a spicy veganasise, maybe (Dynise's mixed with harissa)?
    The po boy looks amazing! As does everything else, including those little kidlets.

  3. Everything looks tasty (except for your children, ha, that would be weird)! The Arabian lentil soup is excellent--haven't tried the pea yet. I bought grape leaves in a jar about a year ago. Never used them, and I think I need to throw them out now, as they are looking a little tired.

  4. Aww, the tree and the kids look great! I'm totally into soups now too, I'll have to give those recipes a try. The falafel/hummus/stuffed grape leaves combo is one of my favs! I eat stuffed grape leaves all the time as I'm sure you've seen. The po boy looks SO GOOD and the sweet potato tots! That sounds like heaven! No clue what to dip it in though.

  5. all looks so yum, I will definitely be looking for those cliff bars! i'm actually with you on the plain sweet potato puffs, i always just eat them plain when i order sweet potato fries at restaurants. could go baked sweet potato style and mix some earth balance and brown sugar?

  6. maud, i love that harissa sauce, good idea! and sarah i never thought about a sweet sauce, but that would be yum too, since the tots are kind of sweet anyway.

  7. Try vegenaise mixed with maple syrup for the tots...that was what they did for the sweet potato fries at a restaurant I worked at years ago! Now I want to make tots....