Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's a wrap!

So it's the end of another year! A time that we all seem to sit back and reflect on.
I have to say with the issues of the economy and how's it's affected so many of us. I actually think that it has brought more people in the communities together. People seem to be stepping up to help others out and I think that is a great thing. It also makes you think about what is really important. Wants or needs?

I'm sitting here typing and I'm getting a bit emotional because this year I've seen my son who will be turning 12 next month grow up so much! He has made some really good friends up here in our new town of just over a year. He started 6th grade at a new school that he loves and that is accommodating of his academic needs and is forming these kids to be kinder, giving and confident. His love of playing guitar has really increased as well, which I noticed in September. Even though he is becoming more independent he still loves to cuddle with us, hold our hand and give us a kiss in public. I'm hanging on to all of that.

My husband has found a dealership that actually appreciates him and is finally letting him make good changes for them. He no longer comes home not wanting to go to work. It's nice.

I don't really make any resolutions but there are some things I hope to do.
Taking even better care of myself. Try some new things. Try to be more confident, be more positive and enjoy life more! Also I hope my husband and I can become friends with some couples, even one, that we can hang out with.

A new love this year, Mighty Leaf African Nectar. My son was very happy to see this in his stocking and since it's on the pricey side I haven't had one cup, it's all his. It's so good though. You must try!

I hope for the animals this next year that people will WANT to be more informed about how animals are treated and that animals do feel. There have been some great books out this year and more in the news about the factory farms and how animals are treated. One question still remains. Is there such a thing as "humane" treatment of farm animals for food? I'll leave you with that thought and continue next year in another post.

Thanks to everyone for all of your comments on my blog and also for sharing your blogs with lot's of great food and information.

I also want to thank my girlfriends and those who have come to visit us in our new town! Love you all!

Have a very Happy New Years Eve!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Monday after....

It's Monday and the family has gone. My in-laws left Saturday afternoon. My sister and her family(from Arizona) arrived yesterday afternoon and left this morning to go visit my parents up north. My dad has a lung condition, kind of like that mesothelioma, and it's getting worse. He coughs all of the time and there is no cure. So my sister wanted to go visit because she doesn't know when she'll be able to go back up there. are some Christmas pic's of the family.

My mother in law in her Christmas pj's. My father-in-law has passed over the job of being Santa to my mother-in-law. He says he's retired. I guess retiring from work also means retiring from a lot of other things as well. lol!!!

One of the sweaters we got for my father-in-law. He's a Football coach at Pierce College and he's always wearing the Pierce College sweat shirt, all of the time, even going out. So now maybe he will wear a sweater when they go out with their friends.

A very cool cast iron tea pot for my mother-in-law. She loves red, can you tell? lol! She drinks alot of hot tea and this will keep her water hot. I really wanted to keep it because this is the type of teapot i've been wanting for many years . Oh well.

My son opening up the "big gift" he got from us. He got a microphone and stand that he can hook up to his amp. Cleo dog being nosey as always.

After riddles from the in-laws that took us all over the house. We found an item covered up in the back of their explorer that we had to carry in. What is it?

Our first flat screen tv! Whoo hoo! They got one to fit into our cabinet. My father-in-law kept telling my mother-in-law that he knew they should've gone bigger. I just told them that there is always next year! hee hee hee. They got our first t.v. for us when we got our condo. way back when. Christmas dinner was nice. Plenty of food left over. Let's see there are fresh green beans, grilled asparagus, easy seitan cutlets with chimichurri sauce, bread, stuffed portobellos, butternut squash risotto and roasted root veggies. Yum it was all good!
We had a very nice Christmas as we usually do. It's also nice when you can stay home and don't have to drive anywhere.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Well it's almost Christmas and wow I'm tired. So busy lately baking, shopping, wrapping & cleaning. I need to get as much food prep done before my in-laws arrive later today. Tomorrow my sister-in-law, niece and her boyfriend will arrive.
My husband is cooking something on the bbq spit for all of those carnivores. I will be making seitan steaks, stuffed portobellos, butternut squash sage risotto, salad, roasted root veggies and bread. Apple pie and lots of cookies.
I wish all of you a very happy, warm and safe Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yummy holiday treats....

Howdy everyone! I'm running on lack of sleep today, who isn't right now eh? Yesterday I was busy making cookie dough, doing errands with my hubby and shopping. Then last night baking for my son's teachers. More coffee please!!! No I don't really need the caffeine from the coffee but the warm and strong taste hits the spot. Here are some of the baked goods I whipped up.

Pistachio spiced brittle. I'm really not a big candy eater. I do love a good dark chocolate, mabye a bit of caramel and I do love peanut brittle. I've tried to make brittle in the past but it was frustrating and burned just a bit. I was determined to try it again after seeing a picture of Hannah's Chai brittle on her blog. I found this awesome peanut brittle recipe and I got to tell you, this was so easy to make and didn't take long at all! Click here for the recipe. Alterations on the recipe were that I subbed Earth Balance for butter, golden syrup for corn syrup and used organic sugar.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies(Martha Stewart) & Rumnog cookies(VCON).
I so look forward to making and eating these ginger cookies every Christmas. If you love ginger well these use fresh & powdered ginger, and then chocolate!!!! Oh they they make my mouth happy! :) The only change on the recipe is using Earth Balance to replace the butter. There are no eggs in the recipe. I hope you try them you won't be dissapointed!
My next post I'll be teasing you with some pic's of some recipes I've been testing out out for Celine and Joni's new cookbook they are working on. Yes another cookbook from those wonderful girls.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gluten free noodle kale soup and new products

This soup is made with Tinyada brown rice elbow pasta, kale, tomato, carrots, onion, celery, veggie broth, white wine and herbs. Nice & warm.

I decided to give these treats down here to the left
from Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs Sea Salt a whirl since they were on sale.My first bite or two I wasn't so sure about the taste so I put the bag away. Then later when my son got home and I
took out the bag for a treat I tried it again and I changed my mind it's pretty good. They are real crunchy and have a ton of good stuff in them like flax seeds, amaranth, quinoa, chia seeds, etc. I would love to try some of there other flavors.

Then check this out! I found this new product from Wild Wood, it's tofu made with Sprouted Soybeans! How cool is that!!! It doesn't really taste any different from other tofu and since this one is superfirm it would be great grilled or used sliced up as tofu steaks. Now you can feel alot better about eating tofu!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quick, easy & tasty...

I hope everyone had a good weekend. We felt this weekend went by so fast! Our town had it's tree lighting on Friday and Christmas Parade on Saturday.
It's raining today, yay! We didn't even have to do a rain dance, but I was so ready to.
I was really craving this meal. It's so easy to make and is very me anyways. I don't have measurments it's just all by taste.
Cook up some brown rice, set aside. In a large pan, saute onion, few minced garlic cloves. Next add in a chopped bell pepper, shitake mushrooms, once these are getting soft add the brocolli. You make the sauce right in the pan. Sauce: tahini about 1/4-1/3 cup(I love tahini so I had more) a little white wine(dry sherry), ginger, soy sauce & veggie broth. Just stir around with the veggies until warm and add a can of garbanzo beans & 8 oz. cubed extra-firm tofu. Stir until all warmed through. Serve on a bed of rice or grain of choice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hubby's B-Day gluten free dinner

Goodmorning to everyone. I'm sitting here waiting for the house to warm, just to get the chill off, don't tell my husband, before I work out. You see it has to be flippin' cold before my husband turns on the heater, but secretly I have turned it on a couple times in the morning. We've been using our fireplace lots lately. Anyhoo, let's move on shall we. My husband had a birthday monday so let's see what I made him shall we?

Dave loves a good veggie loaf, mashed taters and greenbeans mixed with peas. I wanted to change up the loaf a bit since I do make them quite a bit, always making them different, there are one or two I will always go back to but I found this one that absolutely turned out awesome!
I found it at I Am Gluten Free orignially from Gluten Free Goddess. Thanks girls!

Karina's Veggie Loaf
Serves 8
adapted by Ellen A.
and re-adapted by JoLynn

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz cremini mushrooms, diced or sliced
5 large leave Swiss chard or any greens( I had on hand about 6oz. of frozen spinach)chopped.
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup oven-roasted grape tomatoes (or sun-dried tomatoes)
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 cup cooked brown rice, packed
½ cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
½ cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp wheat-free tamari
1 egg-replacer equivalent (Ener-g or I used 1 tbsp flaxmeal + 3 tbsp water, whisk until frothy)

Maple Sauce:
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
½ cup Ketchup
2 tsp. honey mustard or whole grain with a bit of agave added.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and cook the red bell pepper. Once the bell pepper is almost soft add the mushrooms and your greens, cook until until soft. Remove from heat and put into a large bowl, set aside. Put the raw carrot, cooked brown rice, and nuts in a food processor and mix until the mixture forms a coarse meal. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERPROCESS UNLESS YOU WANT A MUSHY LOAF. Toss into the mixing bowl with the other vegetables and the breadcrumbs. Add the herbs and spices, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari. Add the flax meal mixture(or egg) and stir until well-blended. Press the mixture evenly into an oiled loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients with a whisk. Pour the maple sauce over the top of the veggie loaf and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to cut, though it will still be a little fragile.
My son loves the leftover loaf for a sandwich.

Dessert for the birthday guy was chocolate chip cookies. I was going to make him a carrot cake but he loves chocolate chip cookies and when I usually make them I add oatmeal and stuff that he doesn't care for. He prefers the good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie. So I broke down and used Soy Free Earth Balance and ener-g egg replacer to make these. He was very happy indeed! Yay!