Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finally the Disneyland Post

Thought I'd finally get around to posting some Disney pics, just when I should be posting Christmas pics. Oh well. We really had a great time on our trip, which was a minor miracle because I was working with a spouse that hated the whole idea of Disneyland, and I was having panic attacks and nightmares that someone would steal one of our kids, or highjack our minivan.

This was the entrance to Disney California Adventure. Jeff loved this sun. Probably because the real sun wasn't super warm the whole trip. We were comfortable with our coats on, it wasn't COLD, except for the first day when it rained. But the rain? Great for crowds. We walked onto most rides that first day. We were so good with it, especially since we could go home and dry off whenever we wanted. My Disney expert neighbor found us THE hotel for being close. Seriously as close as the Disney ones, closer in a way because it was right by the park entrances. Also, the lines weren't bad any of the days with my Disney expert neighbor's written park plan. Seriously, she took a whole afternoon and typed up a schedule for us, and as long as we stuck to the plan we did great.

OK this ride though? We got a little too wet. We put all of our coats in lockers so they wouldn't get soaked, and we were fine to start, it was probably our warmest day there, but man, here's what we looked like at the end:

Here we are on Pirates. I love this ride. It's always been one of my favorites, this and Haunted Mansion. They've added Captain Jack into it, and Davey Jones, but they's still got the bald guy in the well, and the fat lady chasing a pirate, and the dirty pig guy. All the old good ones. Haunted mansion I was disappointed with this time. They redid it with Nightmare Before Christmas stuff, which is a big draw for some people, in fact, Nightmare merchandise was all over the park. Huge this year, but they just threw this Nightmare Before Christmas all over the regular haunted mansion ride, and it made kind of a big mess in my mind.

These were fun rides. Buzz Lightyear and Toy story Midway mania. They were both shoot-as-you-go and keep score rides, which was a fun idea, although Jeff kicked my butt every time. Kind of discouraging, but I beat Kai...barely.

We stayed for the fireworks our second to last night, and it was SPECTACULAR! I wasn't expecting much. I think if you've seen one firework you've seen them all. Not this show. It was all done to Christmas music (yes they even did some religious ones), the castle was amazing that they shot them over, and the fireworks were new and amazing--- I never have seen these before. I told Jeff, it was so worth paying for, just that all of us at the park that day paid enough so that they could really go all out on those explosions. I didn't think the parade was that great, they got a slow start, and there were big gaps in it, which might have meant they had some technical issues that day, but I loved the firework show.
Anyway, Santa did good this year. He put a picture of Disneyland in each of our kids' stockings to help them remember what they got this year, and they each got a couple of treats, and that was all. They were OK with it. I was kind of worried Christmas would be a bummer with the trip already over, but it really wasn't. Maybe Santa does such a bad job every other year, the kids didn't miss his (her) fumbling attempts, but whatever. I'm glad we did this instead.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kickin' it!

I just got the call that I'm picked up to teach Tae Bo at BYU next semester! Yay me! Break is OVER.

Two catering whirls.

First off I have to apologize for the lighting in all of these pictures. I switched my camera back to daylight setting and then forgot to change it back when the light was low in these rooms, so nothing looks as exciting and sparkly.

I had two catering jobs this month, one right before Disneyland and one right after. That was a little tricky, but you know I'm always up for a party, even when I'm "the help" :) These pictures are actually from the most recent job, a dinner party for a friend's company. It was a small group, but still a fun job. I got to try some new stuff, and they still decided on a buffet display, so that was fun. The above picture was of the main dish, a chicken stuffed with a mixture of wild mushrooms, fresh thyme, and Parmesan and drizzled with a tomato-cream sauce. First time too for the sauce, and I liked it. Not health food though :). I didn't get a picture of the wild, brown and forbidden rice pilaf. I love that forbidden rice. I love the name of it. It's pretty too --kind of a purpley color when cooked.

Roasted root vegetables. I used three types of beets from my garden (!), and parsnips and carrots (garden again yay!) along with a few other kinds for color. I love all the caramelizing that goes on in the roasting oven.

Here's the centerpiece. There are candles in the middle of all the cranberries, but we hadn't lit them yet.

The cheesecake to end all cheesecakes. I went to cheesecake factory a few months ago, and wanted to order every kind because I didn't think I could ever replicate them at home. Well that's kind of been bugging me ever since, so for this job, four of the six dessert options I gave them were cheesecakes with names directly copied from the Cheesecake factory's menu. Yeah. They picked one:
  • Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake: white sponge cake base soaked with raspberries, lemon cheesecake filling, loaded with raspberry ladyfingers, topped with a white chocolate lemon mousse and garnished with raspberry coulis.

I had to learn how to make a sponge cake, find a lemon filling recipe, figure out the whole ladyfingers thing again (I had made them a while ago for tiramisu), get hold of some marscapone --which I ended up "making", and make the mousse and coulis. Then figure out how long to bake it . Then there was the whole presentation issue: what would it look like at the end. It took me a whole day, not counting the test recipes I made, but I felt like Julia Child when it was done, so way worth it.

The first job was for my friend's husband's work party, and it was all appetizers and mini desserts. Not health food, but that's the point of a party in my book --party food! I had a tragedy on the way in the door though, and the mini pitas with basil pesto rotisserie chicken salad and roasted peppers ALL FELL OUT OF MY CAR when I opened the back. This was extra rotten, because it took me days and a trip to Salt Lake to find the dang mini pitas. Luckily I had some back up mini deli bread things, and we were able to whip up a few in the kitchen before serve time.

This was Artichoke two cheese fondue, with french bread chunks. I was so happy to find an artichoke in the store for the center. The fondue isn't super pretty without it.

Cranberry-Orange meatballs. Those are orange not lemon slices around the edge (told you the lighting for these was screwy).

Shrimp Cocktail with fresh mango chutney. I tried a different recipe for this party than the last wedding with the chutney, and I was really pleased with the flavor. I've been using it for a salad dressing mixed with a little tahini at home --which is also good. You can barely see the corner of the chutney jar in the picture (the shrimp platter was prettier).

Here are the "back-up" sandwiches, and also the Spinach-Italian sausage savory tartlets. We were so lucky to have late frosts this winter. All of my herb garden was still in full swing for this party, and the rosemary smell filled up the kitchen. If they ever make a rosemary perfume that smells like the real thing I'll buy it. As it is, whenever I'm working with it, I rub it all over my hands and arms. It makes me happy. Like catnip I guess.

This was a Praline-cranberry marscapone dip with sugar cookie dippers. A couple of them got a little brown, but they needed to be a little crisp to dip. I loved this dip. I do think it was better with the praline chunks crispier, so if you ever ask me for the recipe, leave those out until the last minute, and stir in just before serving.

Eggnog with fresh grated nutmeg --the fresh grating makes eggnog 2000% better. In fact I realized a couple of years ago I liked eggnog just BECAUSE of the nutmeg, and started putting it in milk, protein shakes, you name it. When it's fresh it's just yum. There are also some streuseled apple pastries in this picture. These were fast and good too. Anyway, the catering and vacations are done, and now it's on to Christmas! (Oh heaven help me :) )

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cornhusk Nativity (Thanks Kelli!)

I've got a lot of posts to catch up on, a couple of catering ones, and our family trip to Disneyland (!) but first things first, and we did this first. Please check back and comment on the other posts, they should be going up in the next couple of days.
My friend Kelli recently posted on making cornhusk dolls, so I begged a tutorial off of her. I then proceded to invite myself and all of my kids over to her house for her to show us her secrets. She was very nice, and didn't kick us to the curb which she probably wanted to --just a couple days before Thanksgiving. We had a second session at my house to finish up a full nativity for both families. The kids had some GREAT ideas too on making animals and crowns. Here's ours.

Tia started first with her shepherd. All the other dolls looked like buff giants next to it, so we made him a shepherd instead of Joseph so Mary didn't get a fat complex. Then the neighbor girl had an idea for a sheep --if you squint, and it's next to the shepherd you get the idea right?

This is our Mary and Joseph and baby in the manger. You can't tel with this picture a little washed out, but there's a little head peeking out of the "swaddling". I did the baby and Tia did the manger. Ari did Mary (with a little help) and I did Joseph.

These are the three kings. Aren't they cool? Tia had the idea for the crowns --maybe with the neighbor's help.

OK, this was my favorite. The neighbor girl had this idea, and I was doubtful it would work at all --but the three kings need a camel right? I love it.

Almost forgot the angel, but we had enough stalks just to finish her. Come over next fall if you's like to make some with us next year. It's a really fun family activity.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Simple Family Dinner.

OK, I know this doesn't look like the prettiest food, but it really satisfied our needs tonight. I've got to revamp our regular dinner rotation menus. Our dinners now most of the time need to be 1. Cheap
2. Have some major vegetable protein
3. Nutritious and vegan (although we're still putting cheese on the table for the kids --they'll eat anything with cheese)
I'm doing a lot of prep cooking for a job for this weekend and with church stuff too, our meals need to be made fast.

I saw this recipe on 101 cookbooks today, and it inspired me to copy --with my wing nut personal touch.

4 cups broccoli florets --drizzle with a couple t. olive oil and roast for 20 minutes at 450
2 cups tvp chunks --soak in hot water (or broth of your choice) and drain
1 big onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 can great northern beans rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or winter squash (already cooked) (I used my kabocha)
1t. salt

saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes, and add the tvp. Keep sauteing until you see a few crisp brown parts on the soy. Your broccoli can be roasting at the same time, and add it at this point. Stir together and combine, then add the pumpkin, salt, and a little bit of water. You can serve with parmesan, but it didn't really need it.

My kabocha was really sweet, and really creamed together the flavors of the other vegetables. It may not have looked really pretty, but was yummy and very satisfying.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving! (do all of my titles have exclamation points?)

We all got together for Thanksgiving at my Mom's this year. I wanted to host(ess), I even used it as an excuse to get some more dishes (any excuse seems to do), but my brother drove in from Reno with his three little girls, so bummer to make him drive an extra hour. I was a little apprehensive for Thanksgiving this year, because we were doing a family party the next day too, and I usually completely break down in self control after a day. And there's pie. And there's Lion house rolls.

The table looked beautiful. I had a picture of the other half, but my camera has been acting up lately, and that picture (along with a lot of other ones) turned out all blurry. I figured out last night my camera had been set to slow shutter speed. Little too late.

Yeah. These are the rolls. We were still setting the table at this point --but I gave up resisting and snitched the smallest one. Yuuuuum! (Yes Deja --way better than last year even).

Gotta take pie pictures. This was the black cherry. Kai saw it and said: "that looks just like a pie!" ummm...yeah. Made me feel good though because it must look like the "iconic pie" if he recognizes it. My brother in law liked it --and his mom is the best cook in the world.

Pecan-Cranberry. I got this idea out of this month's Better Homes and Gardens. Then of course the recipe went out the window and did my own piecrust that I trust, and changed amounts.....blah blah blah.

OK, stupidly this year I asked for votes via email on which pies to do. Eight different pies got one vote. Right. I'm not doing no eight pies. But the one that got two votes was Chocolate Mousse. I use this mousse for catering and I love it --it's so rich. Whipped cream, melted chocolate, cream cheese.... I finished this pie with a cookie crust, real whipped cream, and chocolate leaves.

No one wanted this pie but Ari. I don't know why, but about a month ago she got obsessed with the idea of "Key lime pie! It's my favorite!" So we had to do it for Ari. Then on Thanksgiving --she got a piece of chocolate instead! It turned out pretty good though --Jeff said it was his favorite. I do a graham cracker crust, no merengue --whipped cream instead. I may do all merengue pies next year. I can't do a stinkin' merengue pie to save my life. I think I overthink it --I always wonder if the whites need to be cooked all the way through, or if they need to be beaten longer. I'll master it by next year.

Growing up, especially as teenagers, our favorite place to congregate and talk was always my Mom's bed. We'd lay there all Sunday afternoon all at different angles, and talk and sometimes kick each other in the head. It was fun to see the next generation all in my Mom's bed after dinner watching a movie. They were ALL packed in here at one point.

So you're probably wondering about the vegan thing for Thanksgiving. Nope. It's not a religion for me and Jeff, it's something we try to do day to day for health. I'm not skipping those rolls or pie because of the butter. I've been looking forward to them for weeks. Turkey? meh. Not that big a deal. Jeff didn't have any. I had a little bit of dark meat, honestly just to say I did. Stupid reason wasn't it? The stuffing on the other hand is my favorite. You know, if I HAD stayed vegan yesterday and Thanksgiving day, it would sure have helped me eat a lot better. Man. Avoiding butter alone (which has got to be the worst dairy there is --well, maybe heavy cream) would probably saved me 1000 calories or more. I think though, knowing myself, I would have regretted missing those rolls, and the pie for a long time. So, good decision for me.

In other news, I started getting serious about training for the Wasatch Back I'm doing next June. I know it's a long ways away, but I did a long run Thanksgiving day (long for me anyway -7 miles), and do you know what my average time was? 11 minute miles. I basically suck. I just get out on the streets with my book on mp3, and go into a doze or something. Just autopilot. I was thinking lately that the treadmill at 10 minuter miles seemed tough lately, and when I put the Garmin on for the run outside I found out why. I guess I need to start pushing it again. I push a lot harder in spin and Tae Bo classes. My heart rate on this run stayed at about 125 or so. Pretty pathetic workout. I still remember running with my mom in High School and we got down to 8 minute miles. In my brain? I still run that fast.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally! a stevia I can use.



YES! Finally a Stevia that works. I took the recommendation of a fellow blogger, and finally tried this kind (after HATING the other two kinds above) and it works. If you want a zero calorie sweetener that won't hurt you, and actually tastes good, I recommend this stuff unconditionally. The serving size is 1/4 teaspoon, but even if you quadruple it (like in a blender full of smoothie) you won't taste the bitter. Love it. It also actually makes things sweeter, which isn't really the case with the others (at least with my taste buds). I thought maybe there was something wrong with me, but no, I just like sweet when I'm promised sweet.

In other news, I started the yoga thing. There's a girl that teaches classes in the city next door to us, and I've been going Thursday nights. It is so intense! I really get a muscle workout, and she's so good about walking around adjusting everyone into place, which I really need, since I've got a few wacky joints. I then found a place online that podcasts free 20 minute yoga routines everyday (for free! --I'm all about free): here so I can just do a little on my own everyday I've got a little extra time. I usually do a short cardio sesh in the evening (I'm trying to work off a few Halloween parties), and maybe I'll do one every other night. I don't know. I know yoga may not burn as many calories as a hard cardio, but I really feel I'm getting some usable, functional strength and balance doing it. It just feels GOOD. At least with this teacher, It's a real intense class. Have you ever tried yoga? What do you think? My experience has been that it really depends on the teacher.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pineapple-Chocolate Chili

I know the research in the China Study indicates that we don't need that much protein, but as a bodybuilder (can I say that? I mean I lift serious weights five days a week) I'm really nervous about protein to rebuild my muscles after I stress them out. I also had a friend that really lost some muscle going whole food all plant-based, who is about as serious with exercise as I am. Anyway, the things I cook lately have a lot of beans or tvp (soy protein). I eat a serving for dinner, and one other time through my day I'll have leftovers from the night before. This is one of those recipes. My sister was raving the other day about pineapple. She had it in a chili at a church thing and was blown away. When she asked for the recipe though, it was barbeque sauce, ketchup, all of these processed sugary things.

I decided to make it tonight, and started with Cooking Light's All-American Chili which I remembered as a sort of sweet-spicy recipe. Then all heck broke loose. What I ended up doing wasn't close to that recipe at all. Now, this isn't a vegetarian recipe, because I use beef bouillon. If you object to this, you'll need something with umami to balance out all of the sweet. I could suggest a miso, or liquid aminos, or even a mushroom or olive paste/pate. I had the bouillon, and since my object in going meatless is for health reasons I didn't have a problem with the boullion. No cholesterol or animal fat or protein.

2 cups chopped onions
8 cloves garlic -pressed
1 chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped hot peppers (anaheim -if using a hotter pepper you might want less)
2 T. chili powder
2 t. cumin

saute these up. Then add:

3 cans diced tomatoes -undrained
16 oz. concord grape juice
3 cups tvp (dry measure. cover with warm water to rehydrate)
1.5 T. beef bouillon
2 cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder mixed with 1/4 cup water
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in it's own juice undrained

Bring to a boil, stirring to combine, and let simmer for about an hour. I left it on low and took Ari to speech therapy. When we came back almost two hours later, driving into town I saw a big smoke plume rising from what looked like my neighborhood. But, yeah, it wasn't my house and the chili turned out great.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Email discussion on food.

My friend sent this link to me and a couple of my friends, and it really struck a nerve with me. It's about food, and its significance in our lives. I thought I'd publish it here and see what you all had to say about it. After the link is my response, then the responses of two of my friends. Each paragraph is someone new. What do you think?

Me: OK it's true. But saying it's true doesn't change my feelings most of the time. I found when I was starting the diet with Sandy this summer, that I had a true mourning period -- I said this before I know: I would drive by pier49 pizza and remember the time Jeff and I got a pizza to split at home while watching a movie --still remember which movie, at BYU I remembered truffles I ate while reading art books in the bookstore, EVERYWHERE I went, I had to let go of the good times I'd had with food. I would use food as a sensory pleasure to enhance a good time --almost always. What I found was that having control over my eating was also a really good feeling --a real powerful feeling, and I could create great memories without food, and it really didn't seem like these memories suffered from the lack. I went to the Springville MOA without chocolate in my pocket and it was still a wonderful time. But is it wrong to feel good about the control too? I would argue no. I think with something as prevalent in our lives, something that takes up a good deal of our time and is so strongly involved in our social lives, it is going to be associated with our happiness. Think about it, sunshine is another example. We have a lot of memories associated with sunshine, and summer. The truth is that it warms our bodies and gives us the vitamin D we need and that's all. True, but it will be strongly associated with our happiness. Food is what we create our bodies out of! Our whole material being is created and maintained with food. The China study guy argues that it is the most intimate way we interact with our environment and I agree. To say this is a small role is a statement of denial in my opinion. Sensory input is the major part of our mortal experience, and food uses ALL FIVE senses. Facing it is smart. I agree with what she says, I really do, it's just that I've heard similar things before, and looking for your happiness outside of food isn't as easy as it sounds. I would say be aware of emotions, and why you're eating, but to disassociate happiness completely from your relationship with food is not going to happen. hhmmmm --maybe I'll post this on my blog.

Friend 1: You're right too, of course. And she says on a post right after that that's part of what she meant, that she was trying to uphold the complexity of it even as she made her point. I just know for me, it was an important reminder that food is not my friend or my enemy. That's huge, to let those go. And difficult. The sunshine is an interesting and apt comparison, I think.

Friend 2: The biggest truth about food is that it is hard to erase old habits. So much of what we eat and how we feel about it are habits. If you spend the time to change the habit, you can create good memories around the new habits.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ginger Salad dressing

Can I just quickly post the bestest salad dressing! 1T. tahini, 1 T. miso, fresh grated ginger --about 2 tsp.,about 1/2 cup lemon juice, and some sweetener to balance to taste. Yum. Two salads today cause I loved it so much.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkins and Beans

Well, we carved our pumpkins this year for the first time in three years. I always put it off until Halloween is over, and am secretly a little pleased that I have a few more pumpkins for decoration through Thanksgiving. Aren't I an awful mom? OK, but I repented this year and we carved, The kids made the faces, and we did our best to try and carve them. Tia did hers by herself. She's so cool. Ari got a little sick this week so we were so grateful Halloween was a little warm, and the neighborhood "street of treats" was earlier so she didn't get too chilled. If you know Ari's personality, she would have had to have had two broken legs to keep her from trick or treating.

Made some cool recipes this week. This was a Lentil-Carrot loaf. It turned out really yummy. We sliced it on toast (and the kids added cheese ---I find I can serve them just about anything as long as it has cheese on it. My mom says it was the same for her.). Here's the recipe:
2 cups carrot (from my garden yay!)
1T. evoo
2 cups vertically sliced onion (from my garden too yay!)
1 T. minced fresh ginger
2 cups cooked lentils
2 T. ketchup (I tried not to think about this I hate ketchup)
1 T. mixed Italian herbs
2 egg whites, 1 egg ---(I just bought xanthan gum: 1/4 t. plus 1/4 cup water =1 egg white)
1/2 cup quick oats (I used old fashioned with a quick pulse in my spice grinder)
1/2 cup garlic and herb breadcrumbs (I added my own garlic and herbs)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 t salt
cook carrot until soft, saute onion and ginger until soft, blend everything in food processor except walnuts, oats and breadcrumbs, then stir these guys into the rest. Put in a oiled loaf pan at 350 for an hour. The ginger with the herbs is really good. Who'da thunkit?

I did the vegan brownies Meesh. I called them " Chocolate banana bars" for my family though. The banana flavor really comes through. They LOVED THEM. OK this is really cool, because no added fat except for the nuts on top, and no processed sugar, although my bananas were a little green so I added a pinch of ground dates to sweeten it up. I am SURE with ripe ripe bananas I wouldn't have needed it though.

Here's the reipe again:

1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
2 bananas
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup agave (or honey)
1 T. (yes tablespoon) cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup quick oats (I used my spice grinder on old fashioned again)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

blend all ingredients except oats and nuts in food processor, then stir in oats, and spread batter in greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle nuts on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I added a little "date sugar" maybe a quarter cup.

In other news, I finished "The Mysterious Benedict society" Cute book. It reminded me a little of Wrinkle in Time without as much spacey stuff. I had a nice binge on Halloween Treats while I read it. I beat myself up about it for a day or so, but realized, I really enjoy reading a good book and eating treats. I've got to face my problem and accept it if I'm going to move on right? I'm glad I had such a good book, and such good treats if I'm going down anyway. Might as well look at it as a GOOD memory and not a bad one. A full pound heavier the next day. Really. I decided, I the only thing to do is get back on track, and eat a lot of greens the next day to kind of cleanse all of the sugar out of my system. I don't know if this works physiologically, but if I stick to green drinks and salads the next day, my sugar cravings go away that much faster for me. So I'm back on track and feeling pretty good again. But then Kelli came over yesterday with the sequel....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden harvest, and Audrey's party.

I pulled in my garden's harvest yesterday, and I was so pleased. We really got a good stand of carrots, beets, and onions. I did the tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, and potatoes a couple of weeks ago, but I was putting off bringing these guys in. They say to wait until the onion tops fall over to bring them in, but they never did, and I was worried they would freeze. I'm hoping they will be OK. It's going to be hard waiting for them to dry out in our garage though. Peeeuw. Maybe I can move them outside on warm days, and back in at night? Anyone done this before?

Lots of beets. I'm excited. I did a variety pack of seeds, so there are golden beets, and the candy striped ones, they should be really pretty roasted. I love beets. Remember the beet cake I made for my harvest dinner a couple of years ago? Beats (ha! no pun intended) carrot cake all hollow.

Bonus --beet greens! should make nice "Cullen Juice" --you know, with the red stems it will make my morning smoothies all bloody looking.... muuhaaahaha!
Look at all of these carrots! It really seemed like we weren't getting carrots this year because they took so long to come up, but when they came they brought all of their friends! It was really nice to have the raised beds this year. For the first time, I had carrots that weren't all twisty and mangled looking.

After I brought everything in, i had to finish my costume for Audrey's party. "Party of the year". Every year someone in our neighborhood hosts a party, and Audrey and Kris did themselves proud. They even had crafts and a pinata for the kids. ...and EVERYONE dressed up! People really get into their costumes around here and I love it.

Here's Audrey and baby Leia, and Lisa. Audrey's whole family dressed up together as Star Wars. I wanted Jeff to dress to match me, but.... you'll see why he didn't.

All the girls were in the dining room talking, while the guys played rock band, and the kids did their thing in the other room.

Here's my costume: I'm "The girl who was on fire" did you read the book? I told Jeff he could be Peeta --(I teased him he could be the Flaming boy :) ) but he went to the BYU game. He'd been planning on it for months, and I didn't realize it was the same night. Communication. Our marriage's biggest strength. Sigh.
Here's the kids. Ari has wanted to be a Goth since last year, we revamped Tia's witch costume for 2009, and Kai was the Alien he's dreamed of being all of his life: "Do not destroy my planet!" he kept saying.
I also was going to tell you I made the granola again with only half a cup instead of a full cup of agave, but it didn't clump together right, so don't try that. Maybe three fourths a cup? Or maybe some pumpkin puree for half of it? Hmmm. I'll let you know. But I made the Oat milk again with only half the oats, and strained it, and it worked great. I know almond milk might be really tasty too, but frankly, oats are cheaper (both money and calories).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Laate dinner...Rustic tomato tart and Italian chickpeas and vegan sausage.

Didn't get dinner on the table until late tonight, but it was worth waiting for! Rustic tomato tart with whole wheat and cornmeal crust made with Deja's raw zucchini dip as the wet, and sliced multicolor tomatoes from our garden.

Based this off an Italian white bean and sausage recipe, but used soy crumbles, chickpeas, zucchini, red bells, and lots and lots of garlic and italian herbs. Yummy. Dinner was a little heavy though with these two dishes, I probably should have done just one and a salad. I had a salad for lunch at least, and we all had salad for dinner last night with just some quinoa on the side. It's just harder for me to portion control with denser foods. I had to stand up and leave the table while everyone else was still there. Oh well.

On the vegan diet front, I read the critical article written about the China Study that my friend sent me, and the author highlights some jumps in logic that the China Study author made. Honestly, they were nothing major, this was a man in hard science for decades, but he does draw a few personal conclusions. When we looked up the credentials of the guy that wrote the article though, it turns out he only had a bachelor's in history. He also was a member of the "Cholesterol for Health" group, so he may have had his own axe to grind. Don't we all? Take home message: still read the China Study if you're considering it. It is an amazing amount of important info. However, you don't need to be scared that any animal protein will promote cancer in your body. That may not be true. A LOT of animal protein, yes, I'd still say was a bad idea, but this is something we all knew if we're Mormon (see D&C 89. Does "eat meat sparingly" mean eat a little every day? I'm doubting that that counts as sparingly--but make your own decision).

On the totally unrelated news front, I had a breakthrough in my Halloween costume. It's going to be SOOOO COOOL!!! (OK maybe not, but I'm hopeful now.). Love you guys --thanks for reading.