Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Kid's School Lunches

3 mini "uncheese" (from Ultimate Uncheese) sandwiches, apple chunks (rubbed with orange juice), carrots & celery, Brazil nuts, and a Clif White Chocolate Macadamia Crunch Bar

salad (garbanzo beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, bell pepper, sweet potato, olive oil, spices), back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers, Brazil nuts, and an oatmeal raisin Alternative Baking Company cookie (Those 480 calorie cookies are good for his skinny 10 year old self.)

A Quinoa Spinach Salad purchased from Whole Foods, apple Crisps, garbanzo beans, lime Silk yogurt, and half of a Dark Chocolate Almond Dream bar

leftover homemade cheese and olive pizza, extra olives, broccoli, blueberries, lime yogurt, and back to Nature Multi-Seed Gluten Free Crackers

brown rice & beans with avocado, olive oil, and spices (plus ketchup because their father has conditioned them into believing beans aren't beans without ketchup), blueberries, salad (lettuce, avocado, sunflower seeds, almond slices and Vegan Caesar dressing), and a Surf Sweets gummy worm

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Four Fun Facts

I've been tagged by Heather at Where's the Beach?. Here are my Four Fun Facts:

Four TV Shows I Watch:
*Friday Night Lights
*Grey's Anatomy
*Private Practice
*The Bachelor (I'm just being honest.)

Four Things I'm Passionate About:
(These aren't necessarily the 4 things I'm MOST passionate about, just 4 OF them.)
*traveling around as much of the world as possible, also sharing that with my kids
*my food choices
*my kids' health and well-being; making sure they feel loved, supported, and challenged
*Brad Pitt. And Ryan Gosling. But only after my husband, of course.

Four Words/Phrases I Use Too Much:
"Awesome," maybe? I don't know if I use any word or phrase too regularly. Ryan can't think of anything for me, either. Sisters, any ideas? I do use "like" (as in "it's, like,...") and "so" too much in my writing.

Four Things I’ve Learned From The Past:
*It's important to guard your heart. (Above all else, guard your heart...Proverbs 4:23)
*Be careful of your word choices during arguments, because you can't take it back.
*Holding onto bitterness against someone isn't good for you. (If you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop, in order that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your own failings and shortcomings and let them drop...Mark 11:25)
*I have a bad habit of setting people up to disappoint me. I tend to see the world through fairy-tale lenses. This isn't fair to other people, and I'm not doing myself any favors.

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To:
*warmer weather
*another Hail Merry Raw Chocolate Tart, the next time I go to Whole Foods!!!
*visiting these places (among others) one day: Italy, France, England, Greece, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Yellowstone, and the Dakotas
*Every day I look forward to that moment of crawling into bed with my husband, relaxing, talking, laughing, and watching one of our shows; we just finished season 4 of Big Love.

Four Things I Love About Winter:
*I like Heather's answer:
Um, pretty much the only plus is getting to wear boots.
*I also like wearing sweaters and the clothing choices, in general, during winter. I have a bad habit of wearing cardigans in the heat of summer.
*I like witnessing my kids' excitement the one or two times a year it snows here.
*Christmas and my daughter's birthday in February

I am supposed to tag some people. I'm going to go look at my blog roll and tag the first blog that's showing up right now...well, it's Heather so I can't tag is Shenandoah Vegan. Well, I KNOW she will LOVE being tagged and telling us so many more things about herself. :)

I'm also tagging someone new I've been "following," but I'm just "getting around to" adding to my "roll."

Vegan Georgia - Her blog is fairly new; go over and say "hi!"


My Hippy Pack
Carissa at Coffee & Sunshine created something called "Hippy Packs." She exchanges vegan friendly gifts with someone, and I thought it sounded like fun! Who doesn't want to get a box of vegan goodness in the mail? Thanks, Carissa, for a fun swap. (She wrote about my package here.) I think the world of this girl.

Here is what was in my box from Carissa: Color Drip Candles & chopsticks(fun!), Mama's Special Organic Kettle Corn (yum! didn't last long with the kids plowing in, too), Mareblu Naturals Cashew Crunch (yum!), MacFarms Hawaiin Macademia Nuts, Mrs. May's Almond Crunch (yum!), Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice mix (haven't cooked this yet but looks good!), and a cute beverage cup!

There were also bags of Hops Flowers (She wrote that when made into tea, these help with insomnia, fevers, and digestion.) and Chamomile Flowers. I was excited that she sent these because this is one of the things I love about Carissa. She's always growing something and concocting something. She creates a lot of things naturally, from scratch; I love it and want to make more things the way she does.

She also sent me several packets of tea. This was perfect timing since one of my New Year's Resolutions was to get in the habit of drinking tea. I'm definitely not a drinker of any sort. I've mentioned before that I don't like soda, alcohol, coffee, tea...I have a hard time even getting my daily intake of water. I want to start drinking tea everyday, though, for the health benefits. So , thank you, Carissa, for the nudge in the right direction! I've been drinking my tea, adding in a dash of orange juice, and I like it that way.

She included two flowering teas. She wrote about them here on her blog. You just add hot water.

And look what happens! It's so pretty! The kids and I greatly enjoyed watching them "bloom."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food Face Plates: How Fun Are These?

The kids received these Food Face plates from us for Christmas and have had lots of fun eating on them.

My 10 year old originally saw these in the catalog and included them in his "Dear Santa" letter. They are from Hearthsong and sell for $9.98 apiece. They are made from a very thick, seemingly durable (well, you know, unless dropped on the floor, of course) high-fire ceramic and are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Aaaangry bell pepper strips and spiky carrot hair. Clearly this isn't enough food for my 10 year old. He likes to make a face, eat it, then make another face, etc.

And here is one my 5 year old designed.

The plates come in a sturdy box with several ideas for inspiration.

And here are a few of my plate creations:
organic baby corn, sunflower seeds, avocado, tomatoes, and baked sweet potato rounds

This plate belonged to my 10 year old, and his little sister also got the same. (My 5 year old won't eat tomatoes, avocado, or sweet potato, though.)

broccoli, mashed potaotes, and Field Roast

black beans, Kabocha squash, and Amy's Daiya macaroni & cheese

My 10 year old also has bell pepper chunks (and you can't see his squash I buried under the macaroni because I was running out of places to put it), and my 5 year old has an apple smile. At top, I tried mashing the squash into my 5 year old's macaroni so he couldn't tell...well, he could tell obviously and was not pleased. He ate it, though...something like dessert must have been on the line.

We love our Food Face plates! (I'm not being paid to say that.) And, hey, no judgment here if you get one of these plates even though you don't have kids! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Very Vegan Christmas

Excitement about seeing their cousins is one of the kids' favorite parts of Christmas.

Is it too late for a Christmas recap? I mostly covered Christmas on my other blog. Here are some of the "vegan aspects":

For Christmas with my parents and siblings (and their families), we went Italian. Mom made vegan lasagna (and non-vegan lasagna), along with Rising Moon Ravioli plus sauce.

Tracy brought bread from Boulevard Bread Company.
And for dessert, of course, it was the thumbprint cookies and pumpkin cake from my last post.

My kiddos:
Ryan requested a "traditional" breakfast with tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, and biscuits and gravy for Christmas morning brunch.

My parents bought me three vegan cookbooks, Viva Vegan!, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and Vegan Brunch. This was my first attempt at making an omelette (from Vegan Brunch). I have some more practice to do, but the kids were wolfing them down. I filled these with broccoli, spinach, and a little seitan and Daiya.

We made cut-out cookies, using Cherrybrook Kitchen "D.W." Sugar Cookie Mix. We don't use artificial food coloring in our house, but we can still have fun!

How about this angel beauty?

My 5 year a little interested in body parts right now.
He said, giggling, "My snowman has boobies!"

Aren't they...fancy? :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Two Fabulous Holiday Desserts

While my family was getting together for Christmas, my sister Cary stayed up late one night to make these two fabulous holiday desserts. Thank you, Sister!

Pumpkin, Fig, & Pomegranate Upside Down Cake

The recipe for this cake, along with a helpful step-by-step pictorial, can be found at Daily Garnish, one of Cary's favorite blogs. This was a very unique cake. It was good! The texture was almost like a really thick cheesecake. And I love pomegranate, so you can't go wrong there for me. I don't think it was a breeze to make - turning it upside down onto the plate was nerve-wracking, but it had an impressive quality to it.

Life-Changing Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

That's what they're called over at I don't know if they changed our lives per se, but they were eaten up pretty quickly. They tasted healthy (but not in that, "Hmm...these taste healthy." non-compliment sort of way). I thought they tasted like a packaged cereal bar but even better. I like the way she ground the almonds into a finer powder than the ones on the website. I thought that made them seem "fancier." These are also fun because you can make a batch and fill them with an assortment of jellies. Cary used 365 brand fruit spread in Apricot and Black Cherry flavors.

Happy New Year!

I'm not quite sure how I let 3 weeks pass by without a post. The month of December hasn't included my most shining moments as a wife, mother, friend, or blogger, apparently. I've been sort of unmotivated and blue and down-in-the-dumps and pathetic. Sometimes you just want to BE blue or lazy or pathetic, but the hard (and actually, good) thing about having kids is: you've got 6 little eager eyes staring at you at 7 in the morning, "What's for breakfast?", "What are we doing today?". You have no choice but to remain on top of things for their sakes.

I said to my husband one night, "I have a confession to make. I didn't get out of bed until 9, then I just stumbled downstairs just long enough to make oatmeal bowls for the kids and turn on a movie for them, then I stumbled back upstairs to watch t.v. until NOON." Maybe other stay-at-home moms do this regularly (and, hey, no judgment here!) - but not me. (I'm also their home school teacher; we have a lot to do!) That day was me at rock bottom. I've slowly crept my way out of my fog, and hopefully I'm back to myself. This is the perfect time for a few New Year's Resolutions.

But is what New Year's Eve looked like for the vegan and so forth family.
Homemade Pizza

Whole wheat crust, marinara sauce, kale, shiitake mushrooms, black olives, garlic stuffed green olives, chopped broccoli, cheddar and mozzarella Daiya, tomato slices, and spices. The kids had alternative versions. My 5 year old doesn't like kale or tomatoes, and my 10 year old wanted cheese, olive, and mushroom pizza, with the veggies raw on the side.

Root Beer Floats

...for Ryan and the kids (I abstained.) - this is a HUGE treat because we don't generally let them partake in carbonation of any sort. Organic Vanilla So Delicious and Virgil's Natural Root Beer ("so rich and creamy, you'll swear it's made in heaven" - so says the bottle).

And several rounds of Pix Mix!

Pizza, floats, and Pix Mix! - we know how to party around here.

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays - I've read several posts so far, and I look forward to catching up on your others. I have OCD enough that I do things like, "Well, I can't blog about today because I haven't blogged yet about yesterday." etc., and then before I know it, 3 weeks have went by. So I'm jumping back in, and hopefully...I'll even be back...tomorrow, perhaps? Have a great New Year's Day!