Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I got a wild hair and put on Christmas music the other day (which I usually don't like) and decorated my house.  Everything seems so early this year since Thanksgiving was earlier than usual - seems like the weekend after Thanksgiving is usually the first weekend in December but not this time. I have never been this far along by the end of November.  Kind of nice for a change. I am trying to embrace the holiday's this year. I have had too many bummer holidays to be honest. Here is a sneak peak - not too much this year, but enough to make it seem like the holidays. Not so great photo of my wee tree, it was dark in the room and I didn't want the flash used.
My vintage skaters had to go up, every year I must have them to honor my Aunt Mary who was so kind to give them to me - I even put up the lights!
I love my kitchen shelves that my Dad put in, they are a great place to stash little holiday things.
I even was motivated enough to swap out my dishes...yes, I have holiday dishes.  I don't get them out every year, but wanted a change so I did it this year.
Nothing says your old like bringing up boxes of decorations from the basement and putting them back down there once you have taken out what you want to use. For those of you who have seen it, I have a tiny staircase to my basement that curls on the way down which is a little scary when you are carrying things. But I did it! Phew!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving.
I hope you all had a great day.
Small and simple here at our house since Tim had to work.

I didn't keep gluten free but I did stay vegan and it was super yummy.
Here is a sneak peak...started off making a pumpkin pie on Wednesday night.
Still had the baking bug, so I made some rosemary rolls - this recipe plus rosemary salt on top (mix 50/50 salt and rosemary with a mortar and pestle).

Then came the real food - I decided to make stuffing and added sauteed onion, celery, apple and kale.
I also made some cheezy garlic mashed potato casserole, steamed green beans and veggie gravy. Oh, don't forget the cranberries.  I love this meal so much, I could have it every day!
Hope you all had some great food and fellowship.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day

To all of the Veteran's out there - Thank you for your service and Welcome Home!
My Dad during his time in Vietnam.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

GFV Gingerbread

GFV Gingerbread
Modified from Jim Fobel's recipe called Grandma's Gingerbread.
Preheat oven to 350

::  2 Cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
::  1 tsp Xanthan gum (imperative in GF baking)
::  1 tsp Baking Soda
::  1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
::  1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
::  1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
::  1/2 tsp Salt
::  5 Tbls Earth Balance (vegan butter) - melted and cooled to room temp.
::  1/3 Cup Honey (I still eat honey - I'll never stop)
::  Ener-G Egg Replacer equal to one egg (mix together and set aside)
::  2/3 Cup Dark Molasses
::  3/4 Cup Almond Milk

Grease a 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan (9x9 preferred, I used 8x8 and it needed a little more time baking).
In a bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, beat together melted butter, honey, egg and molasses.
With a spoon, stir in the dry ingredients into the wet alternating with the milk - starting and ending with the dry.  Just stir until blended like a cake, you don't want to over mix or it will be tough.
Turn batter into baking pan, smooth the top to make even and bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  If you use a deeper pan (like I did) you may need to add 5-7 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
Serve warm with your favorite topping - whipped topping, nondairy ice cream, whatever tickles you fancy.

Friday, November 09, 2012

MIA Strikes Again!

Oh Boy have I got to catch up!
I do think about this blog every day, I just don't ever get to it.  I know I have done this before. I think when things get hectic, this is the first thing I cut off my to do list. It all started with Manic Monday disappearing and then my posts all together...eeeek.  I am not comfortable with long silences so I will try to pick back up where I left off.  Like old friends, you can pick up where you left off without any hard feelings, right?
What have I been up to?  Well, I am taking the second part of my memoir class (started in October and ends in March) and have been writing a LOT.  This has really taken away from blog time for sure but I am making progress and can't wait until I can announce that I got a book deal (thinking positive here).
My day job has also kept me very busy as of late with expense reconciliation, video editing, blog postings (another blog), presentations, meeting planning, travel booking, etc. - basically all of the things that come along with assisting an executive who travels all the time who I never get to see plus some extras.  I really like my boss and that is important when there is a ton to work to do.
Keeping house as much as I can.  Now that my living room and kitchen have been painted I am a bit obsessed with keeping them as tidy as I can, but don't have a lot of time. I think need an assistant myself!  Hey, how do I get an intern?
Anyway, I have been making some pretty good food to fill my belly and stick to my bones (as my Mom would say) during my long working days.
Here are a couple of my favorites:

Greek Tomato Roasted Potatoes
Preheat oven to 350
:: 2 lbs of potatoes (cut into wedges)
:: 2 large tomatoes (or the equivalent)
:: 1/2 large onion
:: 4 Tbls Olive Oil
:: Salt and Pepper
:: 1 tsp Dried Oregano - rub between hands and sprinkle on top
(toss together the above ingredients in a deep baking dish)
Place baking dish on middle rack and pour 2 Cups of water down the side of the pan, as not to disrupt everything too much.  Jiggle the pan a bit to make sure water covers the bottom and bake for about an hour and 30 minutes until most of the water is soaked up and potatoes are golden brown.  Turn the potatoes every so often while cooking so they don't stick on the bottom. My potatoes got nice and creamy inside and were deeeelish.
I will have just this for a meal and be totally happy!  Fry up leftovers in a skillet with breakfast and you are good to go. Potatoes can do no wrong in my book.

Tim has been working most evenings so we don't have dinner together much anymore so I try to make things that are easy for him to reheat as well (without a microwave).  I made this soup last week - recipe here. I didn't use the crock pot though since peas cook so fast. I also wanted more green so I added an entire 1 lb bag of organic frozen spinach - yumm.
No matter how inundated with projects I get, I do feel it is super important to fill myself with good, wholesome food.  This is the time of year we almost always have soup (with leftovers in the freezer) and some sort of beans going on the stove top or crock pot.  Yumm.

As busy as life is (and let's face it, no one is busier than anyone else these days), I am a true believer in taking time for myself whether it be for a nap, writing or cooking (which mellows me out). I no longer give myself a bad time about it either. Life is too short. If I can't be good to myself, how can I be good for anyone else. Right?

This little cutie reminds me to take breaks as well and gets me out walking a couple times day which I love!


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