Merry and Bright

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Hello!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been insanely busy since Christmas.  My to-do list keeps growing (clean car, write and mail thank you notes, organize my recipes, BLOG) and I just can’t keep up.  I’m definitely going to take some time next week to relax.

How was your Christmas?  Ours was fantastic!  The kids had a blast, my vegan butternut squash lasagna and sticky toffee pudding rocked the house, and I received some really awesome gifts.

This lasagna was really good.  I doubled the recipe and the sauce was kind of a P in the A, but it all came together and tasted delish in the end.  My first recipe from Spork-Fed was a definite success!

This sticky toffee pudding is now a new holiday tradition for my family!  I will definitely be making it again next year…

So moist and gooey and sweet!  Absolute dessert perfection:D

The boys got me Vegan’s Daily Companion, which is absolutely gorgeous and incredibly inspiring.  B got me this apron, which I’ve been wanting for over a year.  I also got a silicone baking liner, Blissful Bites (hooray!) and a donut pan (which I have been looking everywhere for), among lots of other cool stuff.  I will be making these donuts for breakfast on New Year’s day, and I’m pretty excited about it.  :)

Tuesday was E’s birthday.  He is 6 years old now!  *sob*  I took him to see The Muppets, and then we headed to Whole Foods for lunch:

I don’t buy/serve dairy at home, but I do let the kids eat cheese and eggs occasionally.  E really wanted some pizza, so I bought the birthday boy a slice of cheese.  (Aside: I got the boys this book for Christmas and it is really touching and beautiful!  E really took to it and is starting to think more about his food, where it comes from and what’s in it.  Naturally, I am thrilled.)  I opted for the salad bar and loaded up on veggie goodness and tofu:

I noticed that the bakery had individual slices of vegan cake, so we split one for dessert…

Man, it was good.  I believe it was called ‘apple harvest cake’ and it was heavenly- perfectly spiced and moist and slathered with thick, rich, creamy frosting (the best part- duh).

Did I mention that E is SIX!?  And O will be 3 in February.  Lets not think about that now…

This week I made persimmon bread for the first time using this easy recipe.  I’ve only made a few things from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog, but everything has turned out fantastic!  For the record, I omitted the raisins and walnuts and used applesauce instead of oil.  This recipe is especially awesome because it uses 100% whole wheat flour, and agave nectar is the only sweetener.  This was my first time baking with persimmons and I found them to be easy to work with and really delicious!  (Persimmon cookies, anyone!?)

Persimmon mash

+applesauce

+agave nectar

+flour and spices, etc.

All mixed up!

Yeah, buddy.

Slathered with some Earth Balance, this was definitely kid-approved.

I scored a couple of foodie finds this week that I wanted to share with you.  Very exciting stuff.  ;)

First, PB2:

Have you guys tried this?  I first read about it on the Daily Garnish blog and was immediately intrigued.  It’s powdered peanut butter that you rehydrate with a little water.  I tested it this morning:

The appeal of PB2 is that a 2 tablespoon serving (2 tablespoons of the powder mixed with 1 tablespoon of water) contains a mere 45 calories and very little fat, whereas regular peanut butter has around 200 calories and 16 grams of fat for the same serving size.  I’m a whole foods kind of girl and typically don’t purchase or consume low or fat-free “diet” foods, but I decided to give PB2 a try because 1) it was on sale and 2) it has only 3 ingredients: peanuts, sugar and salt.

The verdict?

I put some on my steel-cut oatmeal and it was crazy-good!  It didn’t taste *exactly* like regular peanut butter, but it totally satisfied my peanut butter craving and I would be lying if I said that the low calorie content wasn’t an added bonus.  I’m not going to stop buying regular nut butter, but PB2 definitely has a place in my pantry.  :D

Next up, a coffee replacement.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about Yerba Mate, so when I started running low on coffee I decided to pick up some tea bags instead:

Also tested this for the first time this morning and loved it!  It has a mild flavor that reminded me of a cross between green and black tea.  Though it contains just a third of the caffeine of regular coffee, I didn’t miss my usual cup o’ French Roast at all.

Lastly, I finally broke down and bought some Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Man, these are ridiculous.  They’re super freaking tasty and packed with nutrition but cost a fortune.

I’ve been eating them with salads for lunch and have decided that they are totally worth the price.  I’m officially hooked.  And Mary must be one rich lady!  ;)

Yummy stuff planned for next week!  Sunday night we will make The PPK’s Black Eyed Peas with Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples, which looks freaking amaze.  I’ll also make this protein-packed lentil bowl for dinner one night, and this salad for lunches throughout the week.  And I am seriously looking forward to making my own donuts!  I’m also stoked to cook from Blissful Bites.  I spent some time drooling over the gorgeous food porn on Christmas Day- the book is packed with big color photos- and I can see this cookbook quickly becoming one of my faves.

I can’t believe that 2012 is only a day and a half away!  Are you making any resolutionsI decided that I must stop swearing so much.  I’m also working on doing away with perfectionism, which is something I’ve struggled with for pretty much my entire life.  Also?  I vow to eat more carbs in 2012.  That’s right.  :)

What would you like to see happen in the New Year?

I’m off to read while the tot naps… Happy Friday!  :)

xo,

Sara

3 responses »

  1. I love Yerba Mate tea. We have the very one that you pictured and it’s ROCKET FUEL. In the new year I want… fewer earthquakes, a tidy house and lots of time to relax.

    • I hope 2012 is a quake-free year for you! Man, I’m so glad I finally bought that tea… do you still drink coffee? *runs off to check your blog*

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