Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Been a Long Time Gone

Whew! I haven't posted since mid-November. Time got away from me during the holidays. Tim, Brennan and I hosted a vegan Thanksgiving dinner at our house for his side of the family. My mother-in-law made a seitan "turkey" with sage stuffing and puff pastry. I contributed three pies: apple-blackberry, pumpkin and pecan (all vegan of course) and we all collaborated on the sides: green beans with shallots and breadcrumbs and a sweet potato casserole. It was all delicious and cruelty-free! Brennan had an awesome time playing with her cousins, Mea and Lil and Tim and I got in some excellent baby-snuggling time.

We just returned to Louisville from a whirlwind visit with family in West Virginia and Ohio. Brennan and I were there a little longer than Tim. My stepmother helped me finish some gifts and I used her kitchen for my holiday baking: ginger cookies, Earl Grey tea cookies and pecan sandies. I've promised my friend Erin cookies, so I'll be doing more baking soon. Tim, Brennan and I spend a lot of time in the car on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day visiting various branches of the family. On Christmas Eve we visit with my maternal grandmother, Tim's parents, sisters, their husbands and our two nieces and then my paternal grandparents, along with various cousins, an aunt and uncles. Then we wake up Christmas morning at my dad's (my stepmother always makes her wonderful cinnamon raisin biscuits with cinnamon icing), head to my mom's house around noon and then on to Tim's parents' house around 5pm. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. This year at my in-laws we decided to start a new tradition. We are all contributing a dish to Christmas dinner and then putting the recipes in a family cookbook. My mother-in-law went a delicious, but non-traditional route for the entree: vegan country stew (similar to beef stew, but made with tvp). My sisters-in-law were in charge of the appetizers. Michelle made vegan stuffed mushrooms (her own recipe) and Paige provided us with some vegan "chickie" salad and crackers (also her own recipe). I'm going to ask their permission to share the recipes here because they are simply delicious! I was asked to make vegan oatmeal cookies. They all love them (so much so that we once sent my father-in-law on a treasure hunt to find them) and none of them will make them for themselves. They are actually just a veganized version of the recipe that is on the lid of the Quaker oatmeal container. How funny is that? Anyway, it was all delicious and stress-free.

So now we're back home, but only for a short while. My brother, sister-in-law and nephew are visiting West Virginia from North Carolina and Brennan and I are going back to visit with them for the weekend. Tim has to stay in Louisville and work, so we will be missing him.

Oh, and I almost forgot (how I could forget this, I have no idea), LB got her first stitches while we were visiting with family. We were at my in-laws getting ready for a holiday party and she ran down the hallway and fell into a door facing. She had a deep gash over and in her eyebrow. We went to the ER and she had three stitches. She was such a trooper. She didn't freak out at all. The ER staff was prepared for a wrestling match, but she just laid there and let them numb her and stitch her up. They were all talking about how they had never seen anything like it. That's my girl!

I've got a few pics below of our holidays and plan to post some recipes soon!

LB helping me cut out pastry leaves for the apple-blackberry pie.

The seitan "turkey" (yes, I know my oven needs cleaning).

The girls in their Thanksgiving jammies.

My nephew opening gifts at my dad's house Christmas morning.

Brennan and Mea Christmas night at Nannan's and Poppy's.

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