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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mo-Fo Fourteen, Festivities and Another Giveaway

It's been pretty warm here in NY this past week (not complaining) but I am trying to remember that the holidays will soon be upon us.
I pretty much have in mind what I'm contributing to the Thanksgiving meal (vegetable tart, chickpea cutlets (not stuffed), maybe some veg side, and white gingerbread from the VegNews Holiday cookbook) and I'm planning mostly on baking or crafting for Christmas presents.
However, the early Christmas spirit apparently lit upon me as I slept (I dreamt of sewing cushions or something) and I woke up and made lunch with the few vegetables we have in the refrigerator:

Spinach, arugula, chopped mushrooms, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes. I topped it with the red wine vinaigrette I've been liking a lot lately and some hemp seeds.
Dinner was pretty much the same, except way better and maybe one of the best salads I've had lately: no cauliflower, but it included chopped black olives and the stuffing from the other day sort of as a croutony/roasted vegetable addition. SO good. I wish I'd taken a photo of that instead.
So ALSO, I made Kris' Cheesecake for Your Pumpkin Piehole Muffins in keeping with the Harvest festivities. These are good...I perhaps healthified them a bit too much (about half the filling, no oil, less sugar), but they will get eaten. Mine aren't as pretty as hers either because I don't have a pastry bag, and the filling wasn't so thick so it kind of ran everywhere.

I'm also a dope and didn't add those delicious looking pumpkin seeds because I don't have any. I usually like a lot of add-ins, so this bit of crunch would have been welcome. But like I said, they will get eaten (look out, co-workers).

When there are generous, talented bakers like Kris sharing so many recipes online, why do I have so many cookbooks?? Because I love them. And you do too. Right?
So enter my next cookbook giveaway: This time, I shall part with Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegan.
This cookbook includes quick recipes with what also looks to be a quick clean-up: lots of one-pot cooking, curries, and stir-fries. If you can believe it, I haven't made a single thing from this book but damned if Orange-Scented Lentil Ragout or Cabbage and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce don't sound like they'd be worth it even if there were no shortcuts. Gingered Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Beans also sounds great.
Now I'm almost wishing I could keep the book around just a little longer, but I know that's foolish on my part and selfish when one of you lovely folks could be enjoying this. Sass also has a few easy desserts, but less baking than I usually tend to like. There are tips for storing for the long run (heat and eat - homecooked!) as well as interesting food history tid-bits and trivia.
It's good stuff! All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to keep with the holiday festivies: Tell me one of your favorite holiday memories.
Personally, I look fondly back on the Thanksgiving my mother first tried to make gravy and thought it was too greasy, so she threw lettuce leaves into the pan to soak up the oil and my aunt, thinking my mother knew some fancy trick totally let her continue. Man is my family ridiculous. And wonderful.
Okay, good luck. The winner will be announced on Sunday.


  1. Okay, even though we ARE in cahoots, I won't enter this one. But I do love your memory. That's hilarious.

    yay for warm NYC weather although I may have packed a little too much cold weather gear.

    You've given me a great Christmas meal idea with the green, red, and white salad. We're very theme-y.

  2. Great story about the lettuce in the gravy to soak up the oil. Your mom sounds like mine, LOL.

    Narrowing it down to one favorite holiday memory is tough. The one I remember most is the time I decided to make a pumpkin pie using a fresh pumpkin. Wow was that a lot more work than was necessary. Wait, then there was the time I decided to make my own puff pastry. I won't do that again either. I tend to go overboard on holiday food in case you didn't see the theme. LOL


  3. Those cheesecakes do look yummy!
    My favourite holiday memory is making and decorating a gingerbread house under my grandma's supervision when I was something around kindergarten age. Everything got sticky, but I was utterly blissed out.

  4. I think those muffins looks great! Don't be a hater to your own food! :D

    So, memory, hmmm, a tradition with my mom is always trying 1 to 2 different and new recipes to go with turkey, except now that I do not eat turkey, 3 NEW recipes are tried aduring this time.

  5. My favorite holiday memory is the year when I was 5 years old. My family was pretty poor, so big gifts were not the norm. That year Santa brought me a brand new bike. It was electric green with a black banana seet that had matching green racing stripes. We lived in IL and there was snow on the ground, but we took that bike with it's training wheels outside. I was thrilled to ride my awesome new bike in the cold and snow.

  6. That is hilarious! Lettuce? To soak up grease, too funny! One of my fondest memories was when I was 5 or 6, it was my aunt's first time making dinner and she put a charlie chaplin style hat on the turkey. Not vegan but one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of it. That and the year I dumped the corn everywhere and my Dad was so sweet, he ran to the store to get more because I was devastated and thought I had ruined thanksgiving.

  7. One of my favorite holiday memories was spending Christmas in Brazil. We all gathered at somebody's house, had a potluck, and sang Christmas carols.

  8. (entry for Nik who e-mailed me a comment - so I don't forget)
    You all have some really sweet memories. Keep em coming!

  9. My favorite holiday memory is walking to church in the blistering cold with my 3 day old son and my husband on Christmas morning. We were living in London at the time, we had no car, and no family around...but it was our first Christmas as a family. We both come from large families, so our Christmas' now are filled with lots of fun and family...but that day was quaint, quiet and simple :)


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