Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to Normal

I always feel blue when it is time to take down the Christmas decorations. Halloween through New Years is my favorite time of the year. Everyone seems to be in just a little bit better mood, they can't help it.  There are parties and family gatherings, not to mention my birthday. Best of all, Tony gets lots of time off work. We get to do things as a family. We get to stay up late, knowing we can sleep in (as much as Jackson and Olivia will allow, anyway). It's been wonderful.

Then January shows up. Tony went back to work today. Jackson had school.  Everything is back to normal.

But, as I'm trying to remember today, normal doesn't have to mean blah.

For breakfast I had oats with chia seeds, walnuts, blackberries, and a drizzle of caramel-like brown rice syrup. Super good.

Blackberries were on sale at the supermarket. This is how much I started out with...

...but as you can see, only six remained for my oats after Olivia ate her fill. Get those antioxidants, baby girl!

After putting the Christmas tree in its box, taking the wreath off the front door, and recycling the paper snowflakes, I headed into the kitchen to cheer myself up. I don't know about emotional eater, but emotional cooker? Totally. An hour later, I had a sink full of dirty dishes and a noticeably improved mood.

From Vegan Diner, which I received for Christmas, I made Old-Fashioned Tomato Soup and Smoky Curls.  If all the recipes are as good as these two, I'm going to get a ton of use out of this book in 2012. The soup has loads of basil, which is a huge plus as far as I'm concerned.

The Smoky Curls recipe is basically a method of turning soy curls into bacon. We were getting a little burnt out on soy curl tacos, so this was an awesome discovery. I piled the curls onto rye bread along with lettuce, tomato, and Veganaise, for a fantastic BLT. 

Finally, I made some Fruity Cereal Bars, from Happy Herbivore. Just like the HH pad thai I made yesterday, this recipe came together in under ten minutes. Yes!

I think I make a pretty good effort to feed my family healthy food, but there is always room for improvement. I sometimes get lazy...like giving Jackson and Olivia Nutri-Grain bars for breakfast. I know they have high fructose corn syrup and little nutritional value; I buy them anyway. I don't want to anymore. It's not exactly a New Year's resolution, but I feel like I can do better for my little dudes. This is one small change I can make.  Normal can always be improved.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions?


  1. Lots of yummy meals! Your oats look delicious and I got blackberries on sale too! I had some with my breakfast today actually :) Those cereal bars look really great too, I'll have to add them to the HH recipes that I should try soon!

  2. I am an emotional baker. I like to bake and then I try and give most of it away as quickly as possible. Though oddly I love this time of year...I really really enjoy the holidays, but when I get to take all of the stuff down I feel like my mind is less cluttered.

  3. Ugh, haha, well I for one am so glad the holidays are over. They are way too stressful for me. The soup sounds amazing, as does the BLT! I have a proof of Vegan Diner that I am ashamed to say I have hardly looked at.