Today is the first day of Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food). The deadline to sign up for this month-long blogging adventure is November 2. Since I struggle to complete one post a week, I'm curious how this is going to work out for me.
But I'm optimistic, and I've got giveaways! I have plans for about 4 of them this month! My first giveaway will be for a $40 CSN gift certificate. (You know, CSN, where you can buy everything from knives to nightstands!) I have enjoyed working with CSN, and they always have great customer service. I'll start that giveaway tomorrow!
Read more about Vegan MoFo here. The goal is to post at least 20 times during the month of November about...well, vegan food. My favorite topic. (Other than my children and husband, of course...so you'll probably see bits of them throughout the month, as well.) I'll tell you more about me and my vegan "story" tomorrow. (I even fancied up my site with a new border for any "company" who come to visit.)
I'm actually not a huge Halloween person (I'm not even really sure how I feel about the whole thing.), but my kids are hyper-aware of its existence so I do try to make it fun for them. We usually have a full themed meal, but I was too tired and too busy to even attempt it this year. I did do a couple of things, though.
First, I made Monster Shakes. I saw the idea for decorating kids' cups on this blog. For ours, I cut face shapes out of sticky back foam ($.79), then colored in the eyes with crayons. My 10 year old son saw me making them, so he made the one on the left. The foam stays on really well, and it peels off really easily after you're done.
Our Monster Shakes consist of bananas, avocado (one whole big one!), a kiwi fruit, frozen kale, frozen mango, soymilk, a couple of squirts of agave nectar, and 2 tsp. of organic sugar (I only added the sugar because it was very avocado-y, and my 5 year old doesn't like avocado - he was the first to finish his shake, though!)
Tofu Pumpkin Pie
1 can (16 oz. pureed pumpkin)
3/4 cup organic sugar (or 1/2 cup maple syrup): see my remarks below about cutting this down
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2-3 TBS cornstarch
1 package (10-12 oz.) silken tofu
1 9 in. unbaked pie shell
Preheat oven to 425 F. Blend all ingredients. (I use my BlendTec.) Pour in pie shell, and bake 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 F. and bake for another 60 minutes. Chill (the longer, the better).
I rarely follow the spice measurements exactly because I use Pumpkin Pie spice. Also, I use the refrigerated type of silken tofu (which is 1 lb. per pack, and this worked.) since I realized the boxed kind contains soy protein isolate. I doubled this recipe to make two pies, and I CUT THE SUGAR IN HALF. We did notice a difference (not as sweet) by only using 3/4 cup sugar for two pies, but Ryan and I both agreed that it was totally worth it to have less sugar. And the kids were shoveling it in; they had no complaints.
So obviously we went with the Peter Pan theme: my 5 year old was Peter, my 3 year old was Tinkerbell, I was Captain Hook (the female version), and Ryan was one of my pirates. My 10 year old (being the creative, original guy that he is) adamantly wanted to be a television set. (He saw this idea on ActivityTV.com - a great fun site for all you parents out there.) He agreed to let Peter Pan be playing on the screen. :)
I said that Halloween isn't a huge deal for me. (We didn't even dress up last year.) I like to protect my little ones' eyes from all the scary stuff, and since it's mostly about the trick-or-treating, which isn't too great for us, we usually do our own thing at home. The kids did dress up this year for our local library's storytime, and we did let them Trick-or-Treat at a few houses (including my parents' house above). They were really getting into it, despite the fact they knew they weren't going to eat the contents of their bags. There's just something about knocking on somebody's door, declaring "Trick or treat!", and having someone tell you how cute you are before they fill your bag with gifts.
This is what we do with some of our Halloween candy - and any other candy that gets put in my wee ones hands throughout the year: I stick it in the freezer, and we use it to make a gingerbread house at Christmas.
The kids do not object at all to switching their treat bags with treats I have purchased for them ahead of time. (We also avoid, if at all possible, artificial food - coloring, etc. so I'm not crazy about the mainstream candy that happens to be vegan, either.) I ordered the Whizzers, Spun City Cotton Candy, and Allison's Gourmet caramels from Vegan Essentials. I'd also gotten a bag of Surf Sweets sour worms from Whole Foods.
And THESE are the treats my parents gave them in goody bags...Gogo squeeZ applesauce on the go, Surf Sweets vegan worms, Clif Twists, Stretch Island fruit leather, and stickers. Thank you, Momma, for the health-ier, vegan treats!