Monday, December 29, 2008

year end review

I cannot believe the year is over already.  It's been a whirlwind, folks.  I graduated from grad school, had an awesome show of my work, then got a terrible 9-5 job to pay the billz, went vegan, started blogging, had a miserably hot summer, a tragically short fall, and am well into a topsy turvy winter.  It was 70 degrees (F) on Saturday, and we were 3 hours north of where I actually live!  What!  Anyway, I know I've been gone for a little bit from the blogosphere, but I'm back now.  This post will probably suck because it's mostly just going to be a bunch of pictures of food from the past week or so, and they are all really bad pictures because it just got darker and darker in my kitchen until a week ago, so...  pardon that.  Also, I had a couple recipes in my head, but then never wrote them down, time passed, and I've forgotten what they were all about.  I plan on remaking them though, so look forward to yumminess in the future.  Without further ado....

Christmas food first.  
cookie craziness

The only thing crazy about these were how awesome they were.  My mom made these special family cookies vegan for me and they were WONDERFUL!  Upon her own admission, you cannot even tell the difference.  Score one for team vegan!  The gingerbread guys are crispy and buttery and spicy and just wonderful.  The candy cane cookies have just a hint of peppermint and are soft and delicate.  My mom rules hard.  Just wait.
makeshift pizza time

Well, when I went to my parents' house for Christmas the weekend before actual Christmas, we were having pizza for lunch.  Everyone else had a frozen number, and they got me this awesome shell that's all crackery crispy (yum yum), but...  Mom and Dad had no veggies in the fridge.  Apparently things had been busy around there (imagine that!) and veggies had been overlooked (seriously an anomaly in our house).  So I made this thing up.  It's kinda mexi-style.  There's tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, black beans , some green peppers I found in the freezer, some chipotles in adobo (spicy!  spicy!), some garlic powder, cumin, and nutritional yeast.  It actually turned out fricking awesome, for a complete fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type deal.
holy hello, cinnamon rolls!

So yeah, I told you my mom rules.  Those are cinnamon rolls and they are amazing.  They are identical to the cinnamon rolls of my youth.  In fact, sometimes I think that my mom just says that things are vegan to make me happy, that's how good she is at veganizing stuff.  Like, she's way better at it than I am.  Maybe someday I'll be as good a cook and baker as she is.  We also did some of the minicrustlesstofuquiches (what a mouthful that title is, jeez).  They had very few veggies in them and didn't photograph well, so no pic, but they were really delicious too.  I brought leftovers home to Michael and he asked me if they had cheese in them.  Um, no.  Duh.  But they were really rich, so I could understand his doubt.
perfect xmas brekkie

Just look at that.  It's crazy how awesome those were.
foodie gifts

Michael and I teamed up for presents for my brothers and their wives by making kahlua (me) and biscotti (Michael).  We got to eat the overdone (burned?) bits of biscotti and thought they tasted pretty rad.  The kahlua wasn't anything to scoff at, either.  It was especially good in some cocoa on xmas morning.
lasagna for xmas eve

My family has always had lasagna for Christmas eve dinner.  This year, even though the day was different, the food was not.  I made a sillyradtastic lasagna full of a tofu ricotta concoction that started with homemade tofu and then combined the two ricotta recipes from Vcon.  So...basil-y and cashew-y and very rich.  I put FYH mozzarella on about 1/3 of the dish so that if anyone else wanted to try it, they wouldn't have to eat vegan cheese.  We all know that that stuff is an acquired taste.  I like it, though.  All was very yummy.

For actual Christmas dinner, Michael and I got a tofurkey roast so that I wouldn't have to spend all day in the kitchen when I could be sitting on the couch drinking mimosas instead.  Still, we spent a nice bit of time on the side dishes and all.  Here she is nestled amongst loads of roasted veggies, including broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and carrots.
beets like to spread the love

The veggies were perfection, and the roast wasn't half bad either.  Best of all, it was easy peasy.  I did make a nice stuffing that had dried cranberries and some cayenne, but no crunchy nuts this time.  It was moist, in a good way.  I thought my Thanksgiving stuffing was a tad dry, so I upped my veg broth a bit.  The gravy is Roasted Garlic and Shallot gravy from the cookbook Michael got me, The Idiot's Guide to Cooking Vegan.  Jerk-y name, but a really good cookbook, actually.  If I'm gonna judge it by the gravy, it's fanfuckingtastic.  Yum.  And so low fat!  No roux!  Shocking!
big ol' plate of yumminess

That's it for Christmas food, but here's something cool:
not dope!

Those little bags contain teas that my parents and my grandma got for Michael.  It's called Numi Tea and it's the kind that blooms when you brew it.  See?

It's tasty, too.  Jasmine.  Yummmm.

So...I'm running low on blogfuel, even though I have like 8 more pictures of food to show you from my meals surrounding the holiday.  They are going to have to wait until tomorrow, methinks.  Until then, tide yourself over with a picture that totally sums up Michael and my first Christmas alone together:

That's season 4 of LOST on the tv, a mimosa slurped through a silly straw, the xmas tree, and some completely awesome giant sunglasses.  Oh yes.  Multiply that by 10, add in a dash of sleepiness, subtract any motivation to move and you get a perfectly laid back Christmas day.


Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

The food pics look awesome!! Love the sunglasses... and that flowering tea?!?! Too cool! Me wants!

Bex said...

I love your little baked gift packages. I wanted to do this but ran out of time, maybe next year. Everything looks great!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the year is over too! It went by too fast.

Great cookies, cinnamon rolls, lasagne, and tea!

Can't wait for the recipes =)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I have some of that blosseming tea too! It's quite lovely in a glass teapot like that isn't it?

Anonymous said...

You're right, your mom does rule! Those cinnamon rolls look amazing! I also think you look pretty funky fresh in those wicked shades. Too cool for words, too cool...!

Alison said...

I've been thinking about making cinnamon buns lately, I miss being able to go to Cinnabun. I was recently in the airport and caught a whiff of Cinnabun, ever since then I can't get the thought out of my head!

That's awesome that your mom is so good at veganizing things. Mine would be terrible. I can imagine sitting down to eat and as I would be chewing a big mouthful of food she would say something like, "Eggs are vegan, right? Because I used 4 in this recipe with just a dash of honey."

Hannah said...

Oh my god, YUM! Everything looks ridiculously tasty... And I love those glasses, too. ;)

Sal said...

OK, sillyradtastic is my word of the day today!!

All that food looks amazing, I'm really craving lasagne now!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I know where to begin!?
You (and your wonderful mum) rock!

pixiepine said...

What a fun post! All that food looks amazing. The tea is so pretty too!

jessy said...

sounds like you two had the most rock'n xmas day! LOST is the best, and mimosas are too! yay! i think the sunday after christmas we stayed in our pjs allllll day - gotta love time together like that! i love the silly pictures.

jeebus, your mom is the best! those cookies rock so hard! and the cinnomon rolls, holy batman - fuck'n awesome! :D

nice job on making a super delicious pizza on the fly. i totally wouldn't have been able to pull that off. nice!

i still have yet to try those mini crustless tofu quiches. my friend emily said hers got all stuck in the muffin tin, but she said they were stellar. now hearing it from you i know i've gotta give 'em a go! yay!

homemade kahlua & biscotti!?! you too are the best ever! wow! totally gonna try kahlua in some hot cocoa now. mmmmmm!

and good call on half FYH & have sauce - FYH is an aquired taste (i super love it now, didn't used to though). your lasagna sounds sooo tasty - especially the basily-cashewy part. hells yeah!
another good call on the tofurkey & the roast. well played, indeed! did you totally make the best sammies with the leftover tofurkey?! mmmmmmmmmmmm!

i'm gonna have to put The Idiot's Guide to Cooking Vegan on my wishlist. i agree - jerk title. but kudos on the rock'n gravy!

those teas are crazy - so pretty looking! how the hell do they do that?! madness/awesomeness! yay!

thanks for sharing all the holiday gloriousness! superw00t!

allularpunk said...

jessy - leftovers? what's that? i believe there was one leftover slice of tofurkey that michael had for lunch the next day. right before we cooked it, michael exclaimed 'they should make these bigger...i could eat an entire one by myself!' so yeah...leftovers are usually pretty skimpy in my household hahaha...

miss v said...

llooooovvveee the glasses! i think i used to have a pair when i was like 8... xmas awesomeness.

we have lasagna every year too,... for xmas day.

Chelsea said...

I am totally overwhelmed by all the awesomeness of this post! Your Christmas day sounds (and looks!) perfect. And I am jealous of those cinnamon rolls! haha

Laura said...

I love when families are supportive...and make good food!! I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast on christmas too. I agree, they are perfect! Do you know what recipe your mom uses? They look great. Isn't tofurkey a God-send?? It's my reason for loving thanksgiving sometimes.
p.s. LOST f-ing rules! i heart desmond :)

Anonymous said...

Woah, awesome post! I love love love the tea!! I can't believe it blooms like that, so awesome!

Anonymous said...

Your "not dope" comment has me giggling!
Your dinner plate looks stupendious! I am so jonesing for some of your leftovers! And all that good food...gimme some of that lasagna next time? Pleeeezzzzeee?

Susan said...

Oh wow! That is fantastic looking food. I am going crazy with cravings from all the cinnamon rolls people are showing off at the moment.

It's great that your family is totally rocking the vegan foodage with you!

aTxVegn said...

I think those are the best looking cinnamon rolls I've ever seen. Everything you cooked for the holidays looks incredible!

Eric said...

Awesome Tofurky roast! I had that as well and it was deeeeelicious.

Those cinnamon rolls looks sooooo good.

I love that flowering tea from Numi. I have some at've inspired me to make a pot after work :)

K.E.N. said...

that tea flower is damn awesome!
also, i wish my mom was that supportive. i once told her that she didn't have to make anything special for me and she truly took it to heart. i got into a couple arguments with her while i was home, mainly over her refusing to make things with earth balance instead of butter so that it would be vegan or not try something b/c it was vegan. sigh...