Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spruced Up Cedars

While running errands this weekend, we stopped to take some pictures of some particularly well-dressed cedar trees.

It seems that people have taken to decorating random trees along the highway.

 Don't the trees look happy, with their festive trimmings? I hope they bring a smile to commuters' faces.

One of my errands was to replenish my tea stash. Now that winter is just around the corner, I'm drinking countless mugs of tea all day long to keep warm! Natural Grocers was having an awesome sale on Yogi Tea. Better than turning up the thermostat!

 Another thing I crave during cold weather is oats. I loved this bowl of oat bran with chia seets, cacao nibs, and of course a big scoop of peanut butter.

Here's the first meal I made from a cookbook I just purchased -- Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan. I'm a big fan of Robin's recipes, and of course I'm also a big fan of meals that can be on the table in half an hour or less. I loved the subtle flavor of the tahini-sesame sauce in this Farfalle with Sesame Cabbage.

One morning, Jackson and I made Magical Coconut Bars. They will be a Christmas present for his daycare teacher.

When I was small, I helped my Granny make these bars every Christmas. They are the first food that comes to mind when I think "Christmas."  So I was really excited to make them with my little one. Granny called them Hello Dolly bars, and she made them with sweetened condensed milk. This recipe calls for coconut milk, which makes the bars super coconutty and awesome.

Tonight, Tony is watching the Cowboys game, so I thought I would make a "game night" meal. First I made spinach dip in a bread bowl. I got the spinach dip recipe off the side of a silken tofu package. I love using recipes that I find in random places -- especially when they turn out this good! Tony loved this dip. We all did. I'm sure it will make another appearance before the holidays are over.

I also made another recipe from Quick-Fix Vegan, called Muffaletta Pizza. Muffaletta, if you didn't know, is a sandwich that originated in New Orleans. It's typically loaded down with meats and cheeses, and dressed with a tangy olive salad. In this recipe, you top the pizza with a spicy chickpea spread, artichoke hearts and avocado, then you spoon the olive salad on top. Since it features several of my favorite pizza toppings, I was loving this pie. Now I'm totally looking forward to trying more of Robin's quick meals.

My goal this coming week is to greet every morning with a smile as big as the ones you see below. The fact that I stocked up on all those yummy teas should make that goal a little easier to accomplish.

Hope your week brings lots of big smiles, too!


  1. So nice to see some happy trees outdoors!


  2. All of the food looks amazing! A sesame tahini sauce sounds especially good.

    How fun that someone is dressing up random trees like that. :)

  3. Those trees are great! I can imagine someone pulling over on the side of the road at night and really quickly decorating them before someone notices. Cute.
    The Muffaletta pizza sounds amazing! I've seen a couple vegan versions of the sandwich but haven't felt up to dousing bread in oil and packing in the filling etc to sit. The pizza sounds like a much quicker and healthier way to get all the flavor.

  4. I would probably flip over that pizza. Everything looks greeeaaat.

    I can't imagine a better goal.

  5. Those trees look so great and cute.

  6. That dip looks like just the ticket!

  7. Yeah, I've been wanting to make dip as well. Although, I know I would wind up eating the entire loaf of bread.

  8. Yum spinach dip is one of my favorites! That pizza looks tasty too :)