Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's Been Going On Lately

A few random, fun happenings in my life lately:

I got to meet a blogger friend! Heather from Where's the Beach? and I had lunch together (the Friday before last). She blogged about it here. Since we live near one another, we had been talking for many months about getting together, and I'm glad we finally got the chance. She's fun, and I enjoyed our lunch (although it was much too short!).

This was my first time to eat at the relatively new 4 Square Gifts, which is a gift shop plus vegetarian deli (including vegan and gluten-free options) in Downtown Little Rock. I ordered the Hummus & Tofu Wrap, which was tasty, especially due to the lemon garlic hummus and kalamata olives.

We traveled up to Missouri that weekend to watch my niece in the Branson Community Theater production of Oliver! So cute and fun!

It usually only snows once or twice a year here, but it feels like it has been snowing every week.

where we live

The kids love the snow, obviously. And I love getting a call while still in bed that says, "The Public School System is closed today due to weather...". I bet my parents wish they had automated announcements when we were growing up. Of course, they didn't have cell phones or even phones on their nightstands, so I guess it wouldn't have made a difference.

We celebrated Ryan's birthday Friday night. (Unfortunately, he was out of town on business all week, including on his actual birthdate.) I asked him to choose anything he wanted for supper. I thought he might say a big Mexican meal or mashed potatoes and "meat"loaf, etc., but instead he picked Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with homemade cheese sauce. Normally, I use the grilled cheese recipe out of Ultimate Uncheese. I used Veganomicon's cheese sauce recipe this time, since I was out of tahini. On dark, seedy French Meadow Bakery Hemp Bread.

I also made Butternut Squash Soup. From scratch. Not really. I used Pacific's Organic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.

He also requested a Delicious Choices Cheesecake. Delicious Choices was a company that would ship vegan cheesecakes to your door. Did anyone ever buy one? We bought several back in the day (always the sampler - every gigantic piece was a different flavor), and when they stopped selling them, they sold the recipes (that apparently can be found here).

I usually make the crust from scratch, but for sake of time, I just crumbled up two Wholly Wholesome Graham Cracker Crusts mixed with just enough melted Earth Balance.

I used a mixture of organic frozen strawberries, organic strawberry fruit spread, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of sugar for the topping.

Happy birthday, Ryan! Please don't go away on week-long business trips anymore!

This isn't the healthiest cheesecake recipe, but they are as delicious as their name indicates.


  1. First off - happy belated birthday to Ryan! I love that he chose grilled cheese ;-)

    And you should have had me take my badge off and put my stuff down for the picture LOL! Can't wait to get together again. I really enjoyed it - and you're right, WAY too short.

  2. Oh my goodness this all looks so great! The cheesecake looks awesome! The snow pictures look so pretty. We have had way to much snow. I am really ready for Spring!

  3. That is so great that you got to meet with a blogger friend! How fun! Happy birthday Ryan and I love his choices for food for his birthday. That cheese cake looks awesome!

  4. Happy belated birthday! I think about 85% of people I know, of all ages, including babies born yesterday, are born between mid-January and mid-March. It's birthday season!

    What a fun birthday meal. I love the vegan cheese cake. Cooking a couple of things certainly allows you to use soup from a carton -- I sure do!

  5. lucky! you got to meet another blogger!glad you had a good time! Happy Birthday to Ryan! i love how you made your own butternut squash soup..not!lol that was so funny:)

    loved the snow pictures, and your house is beautiful! great post Jenny ttysoon.
    oh one more thing,
    i love seeing plays, i bet she was so cute in it. "Oliver" would be a good one to see.

  6. Congrats on the blogger meet-up! And happy birthday to Ryan! I love the snowy pics. I had snow days from work, so I was glad to hear that schools were closed, too :)

  7. Happy Birthday Ryan! Glad he enjoyed his cheesy meal.

    No response from RFW about the antlers, I know some gurus use them for "longevity" properties.

  8. Beautiful looking cheesecake! I haven't had one (vegan or otherwise) in so long.
    Also, I have a bunch of that V'con cheese sauce in my fridge right now...did it hold up alright on the sandwiches? It's been thickening but I've been using it more as a dip. Maybe I'll try it on a sandwich - I hate to waste it.
    Cute Oliver picture, too! Is that soot on her face?

  9. happy birthday to your husband! that cheesecake looks so good. i've really been craving cheesecake lately -- i'll have to try making one soon.

    i hope our district has an automated school cancellation system when my kids start school. my parents are teachers so they always got a phone call, but everyone else had to watch the news with fingers crossed :)

  10. It's all good -- Meeting another blogger, a relative in show business, lovely house (half of it at least), snow day, grilled cheese sandwich, strawberry cheesecake, hot hubby...I'll have one of everything please!

  11. Lots of fun stuff going on!

    I remember we used to have to listen to the radio to find out whether it was a snow day...an automated message would have been pretty cool, but sometimes I think the joy of hearing about the snow day was heightened by the anticipation while waiting for it to be announced too.

    That grilled cheeze looks so yummy, and I can imagine the butternut soup went perfectly with them!

    Have fun in the snow. :)

  12. How cool to meet up with a fellow blogger!
    Happy belated birthday to Ryan!
    That cheesecake looks so good. That used to me one of my favorite desserts before I became a vegan. I need to try my hand at making a vegan one.

  13. What a fun post, with all kinds of great things going on! Happy b-day, Ryan! Okay, so you've got me confused - you've said you homeschool, but then you mention public schools. Do you do both with different children?

  14. Heather, funny. I did smile when I saw your badge in the picture (which I don't even remember seeing that day), and I enlarged it to make sure you couldn't see any personal info or whatever on it. :)

    Thank you for all of the nice comments, everyone, and Ryan says thank you for the birthday wishes.

    Jessica, you may be right. And my daughter's b-day is in Feb. and my second son's b-day is in March!

    Michelle, I love seeing plays, too!

    Maud, yes, it did hold up on the sandwiches! I made it a bit before I made the sandwiches, though, so it had a little time to thicken up sitting there. And I don't know if that was soot? I'm going to say make-up.

    SV, I did laugh out loud at your comment.

    Rose, that is true. It was always fun watching it in alphabetical order across the tv screen. You can't really replace that kind of anticipation.

    B Mama, yes, 10 year old son is in school this year. He was homeschooled for a few years. And the other two are homeschooled.

  15. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाMay 7, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    That vegan cheesecake looks amazing.

  16. It's nice to know you take time to share with other bloggers, not matter if is just for a while, most important is the fact... This showed me you're a nice person that I would like to meet very soon.