Sunday, January 2, 2011

Elementary school essay, anyone?

Hope everyone had a great holiday week.  With all that packing, unpacking, decorating, un-decorating, wrapping, unwrapping, boxing, storing and stuffing, I think we are all ready for a vegan lunch break.

But, first, let's recap in the form of the elementary school essay, "What I did over my Christmas vacation," starting with Santa plunder, of course.  I did QUITE well this year, so I must have been very good.  Let me show you what Hubby-Santa got me:


Hummmmm, you wonder, what's that?  Well, folks, it is the amazing TofuXPress, a handy little spring-loaded press for all your tofu-pressing needs.  It is fast and works wonders.  No more piling my biggest cookbooks on top of plates for me!  They have it on Amazon if you'd like one from your Hubby-Santa your Wifey-Santa or your Partner-Santa.  Various other Santas, including the all-knowing, all-important, Santa-Self, helped me procure the following: some vegan cookbooks (The Joy of Vegan Baking, American Vegan Kitchen, Nonna's Italian Kitchen), a new waffle iron (can't wait to try it! from Sister-Santa), a new stainless steamer/saucepot from Mommy-Santa (already used 2x), some desperately needed new baking pans (NordicWare's commercial grade aluminum pans) in 9x9 cake pan, jelly roll pan, and loaf pan as well as an extra Silpat so I can alternate two cookie sheets when baking my cookies! Oh baby!

Next, perhaps you are wondering what I ate over my Christmas vacation.  Well, folks, it wasn't exactly vegan.  I haven't quite figured out how to accomplish that as a first year vegan, so we do vegetarian/pescatarian for vacations (about 10 days or so a year).  Anyhoo, this year, as for the past 17 years, we went to this lovely place:


Where's that, you wonder?  Well, compliments of my mother-in-law, it is the view from our room at Mohonk Mountain House, home of the gods :-) nestled in the Shawangunk Mountains in New Paltz, NY. Thank you, Mom B!!! It receives my highest recommendation in all areas of vacationing, including being uber family friendly.  Here are some of the things I ate there:



Okay, well, I didn't eat ALL of those waffles, my kid ate some and my hubby ate some.  Mohonk was kind enough (upon request) to always serve us soy milk for our coffee and soy milk for my son, but we definitely ate eggs/milk/butter baked into a few things such as these waffles and a few dessert items.  We always ordered the vegetarian dinner option (one night it was VEGAN, all three other nights had cheese/dairy of some sort in it).  We could pretty much eat vegan for lunch and everything else for breakfast (fresh fruit, grains, etc.) was vegan.  But the waffles were irresistible.  I wish they knew they could make them vegan!  It was kinda funny, at the dessert bar they had everything labeled with "D,E,G or N" signifying dairy, eggs, gluten and nuts.  EVERYTHING had D&E in it.  Mohonk has a bit of work to do in that department...desserts are very easy to make vegan!  Perhaps I will email them to that effect.

After the last snowstorm of 2010, we safely made it to my family's Christmas lunch. I got to see my sister, my sister-in-law, my niece, and my parents!  My mom, Mom C., had an amazing spread of vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian items.  Be forewarned, some pictured items are NOT vegan! ;-)





You can see the olives, hot peppers, pickles, bread, cheese, macaroni salad to the far right, and my son's hand reaching for the pepperoni which he tried to eat but spit out, probably because of the chewy texture.  There were also stuffed clams, crab cakes and fried artichokes (to the right of the stuffed clam).


                                Thanks, Mom C. for the amazing feast! 


At yet another high-point of gifting, my sister gave my dad a metal detector. He was excited. He just loves presents!  I'm sure he'll try to plunder the Jersey Shore this summer.



Once we made it back to South Jersey, we shoveled ourselves out (not too much snow left, it had melted a bit before we got home) and made this guy here:


Then on New Year's Day, we went to my brother's house and made this guy below, with the THREE FEET of snow he got (only 50 miles from us!):



That's me in the red sweatshirt.  It was a mild day.  My niece and nephew on the left, and I am holding my son.

Made a few things this week as well, once we got home.  Here are my phyllo triangles w/ vegan mushroom creme and crumbled tempeh inside:


And my New Year's Guacamole with a bit of Tofutti Sour Creme:




As you may have noticed from the pictures in this post, I have officially moved on to my Sony DSLR.  I'm not sure why it took me so long (I bought it two years ago) to make it my primary camera.  Wait a minute...I think I know:


Well, hope you all enjoyed my essay.  May you all feel like this in the New Year:




                                                     What did you do over your Christmas vacation??



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