Tag Archives: family

Christmas Recap

27 Dec

Howdy Ya’ll!! First of all, I’d like to say sorry it’s been so long! The two weeks before Christmas were originally supposed to be really busy for me, but then I got caught up in a pretty nasty gallbladder attack, which made things even worse and take even longer. There was lots of presents to get ready, work to be done, and food to prep for Christmas!

Thankfully, All the business is over, and my gallbladder is finally coming out on Wednesday. I can’t wait just to chillax in bed and watch movies while high on pain meds.

I thought I would give you a little recap on how my Christmas went! I didn’t take very many pictures, most of them were just cell phone picks, but I really wanted to spend the holiday with my family, and not worry too much about blogging.

To start out with, I want to share with you my awesome Secret Santa gift from Caloric and Crazy. Not only did I get some awesome stuff, but now I’ve got a fun new blog to read!

Here’s what I got:

Cute earrings, some fun new beauty products (I’ve tried them all, and I love them!) an adorable little manicure set (Which is perfect, because normally when I go places and pack my manicure scissors I just throw them in my bag. Not a good idea, I can’t stress it enough. Now I have some in a cute little pouch!

She also sent a cupcake book, which not only has some amazing cupcake recipes (Including a vegan one!) but some really neat and creative decorating techniques that I’ve never seen before. I can’t wait till I get all healed up from surgery, then I’m definitly going to dive into this book!

Now on to Christmas… We drove up to Detroit to spend it with my family, which is always fun! I didn’t get many photos of the food, but here are a few I did get.

Some WF sourdough bread toasted, with walnut butter and jam. Yes, I’m “that kid” in my family who brings my own nut butters when I travel places. Wait, every family has one of those, right?

Cashew loaf and mushroom gravy. The main dish for my Very Vegan Christmas. They were both amazing. I also made scalped potatoes with cashew cream and eggplant bacon, fresh bread with dill spread, and roasted lemony broccoli.

On Christmas Eve we did a fun dinner of a whole bunch of appetizers. (veggie) pigs in a blanket, bean burger sliders, veggies, crackers, and dip, taco dip, and a bunch of other things. Everything was so good!

I also made one of my families favorite Christmas treats. Chocolate covered potato chips. When we used to live in North Dakota, we bought them from a local candy shop, but since we moved, we haven’t been able to find them anywhere, so I took it upon myself to make some!

(Sorry about the horrible photo!)

And that was pretty much my Christmas… I had such a blast hanging out with family. We all decided that next year we were all just going to go to Florida for the holidays, so it’ll be fun to see if that actually happens!

Oh, and one last point. I just finished reading Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” And I loved it!! She is so hilarious. I think she might be my new girl crush. (Because all girls have those, right?)

So so so funny. Seriously, Everyone needs to read this!!

Did you have a great Christmas? Have you read any good books lately? 

Thanksgiving Recap

26 Nov

Howdy ya’ll! I hope your Thanksgiving’s were a blast, I know mine was! I’m still soooo full, from having leftovers! (I wrote this post last night…) I had so much fun hanging out with my family, I can’t wait until Christmas!

I didn’t take a lot of great photos… (And of course, I didn’t take any of any humans. Silly me.) but I wanted to share with you all everything I made for my Very Vegan Thanksgiving!

TONS of prep work and chopping where involved…

I made this loaf from Oh She Glows: (BEST loaf ever, it didn’t crumble or anything!)

I made roasted brussels sprouts… pretty easy, just roasted them with a little onion and salt and pepper.

I also made mashed cauliflower, from Appetite for Reduction… ummm, probably better than any cream and butter laded mashed potatoes EVER. Soooo good, I can’t get over it.

And of course, I made stuffing, but I think I’m going to save that recipe for another day. It was pretty simple, but once again, soooo good!

I also made the chickpea gravy from Appetite for Reduction. I can even explain how much flavor this stuff had. Definitly a family favorite. At least between my mom and I.

My plate, before I dumped gravy on everything. And I mean, everything.

For dessert, I made the Apple Cider Cupcake recipe from Vegan cupcakes around the world, but I made it into a cake instead.

It was a little sweet, but really good. It tasted just like apple cider, no joke!!

For having some serious food differences, my family gets along pretty swell, even at the dinner table. I was a little upset though, I made some homemade bread (Does anyone else think that homemade bread is the greatest thing in the world, like me?) And my extended family only ate the loaf of bread that had in the freezer from Walmart. I’m all about eating what you want, but I was a little sad. : ( Homemade bread is so good. Oh well I guess, more for me!!

Whether homemade bread was consumed or not, I had an awesome day! (Or two days I guess, and there’s still more leftovers!!)

Do you eat the same things as  your family on Thanksgiving, or do you make different food? Do you like homemade bread? 

Chocolate Covered Goodness

23 Nov

Why is it that almost anything (broccoli excluded) that’s covered in chocolate amazing? Have any of you ever had these?

Chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joes. So so so amazing.

Unfortunately, these babies contain milk, which, is not my best friend. And, the nearest Trader Joe’s closest to me is an hour and a half away. So I don’t get there often.

So the other day, I had the genius idea. Probably almost as good as this great idea (Which is also covered in chocolate and has peanut butter!)

You don’t even need that many ingredients!

1 bag chocolate chips (I used the vegan semi-sweet chips from Whole Foods)
Peanut butter
waffle pretzels

First, melt the chocolate. Then, you need to sandwich some PB (or any other nut butter!) between two pretzels.

Then, dip them into the chocolate, and let dry! It’s that simple!

They taste JUST like the ones from Trader Joes! I’m so excited that I can now make these at home, and make them dairy free. And they’re even relatively healthy. At first I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find vegan pretzels, until I started looking at labels, and I realized most pretzels are vegan. I guess you learn something new everyday!

I’m super busy cooking today for my Thanksgiving feast, which I’m excited about! We’re driving out to Michigan tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with the family, I can’t wait to see all of them and eat some amazing food! I’m definitly taking some of these pretzels, hopefully I don’t eat them all in the car and have some to share!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? Do you have any favorite Trader Joe’s products? 

The “I don’t make it as good as…” Family Recipe

4 Nov

Every family has one. A dish that only grandma can make. If you try to make it, it’s just not the same. My mom can never make potato salad like her mom. It’s just a fact of life. It’s like my grandma puts something secret into the mix, making it taste so much better. It’s almost nerve racking.

My aunt is an awesome lady. I’m actually 60% certain that she’s my real mother. We have a lot in common. She’s not the kind of person who is going to spend all day in the kitchen cooking dinner, but there are always a few things I request when we visit.

And one of those things is this fantastical bean, corn, and avocado dip. It’s more like salsa, actually. Because it’s chunky.

Just looking at the photo of it makes me salivate. Every time we go to my aunt’s house I’m hoping she’ll make this, because it’s just that good. She even buys me whole wheat tortilla chips to eat it with, which is huge in their house, because they’re not fans of whole grain anything. (Which is totally cool… to each his own!)

It’s totally easy to make too. There’s some chopping involved, but the end result is totally worth it. It makes a ton too, which is fine by me, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Aunt Starr’s Corn Salsa

16 oz bag frozen corn (thawed)
1 small can black olives, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 avocados, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Put all of the chopped ingredients into a bowl and stir. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, and pour over the veggies. Stir, and dig in!

I contemplated adding “1 T secret ingredient” to the list, because there has to be something she’s not telling me! Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is amazing, but somehow it’s just 100 times better when she makes it. I’ll never know. I’ve even watched her make it. She’s a sneaky one, that’s for sure!

Is there a recipe that someone you know makes better than you for some reason? What are some of your families food favorites? 

A Much Needed Vacation!

30 Jul

Hello everyone! Sorry it’s been ages since I’ve posted, but I’ve been on vacation in Silver Lake Michigan for the past week. And it was aaahhhhh-mazing!

Except for the fact that I got sunburned the first day. : / The woes of being a ginger I guess.

Anyway… on vacation there was a lot of things. For starters, there was a lot of sand.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes!

Lots of water badminton…

My brother and cousin diving for the birdie, and lil cousin smiling away!

Lots of exploring and dune buggy riding with the family…

My cousin, brother, and myself on a dune buggy.

And lots of hanging out and just having fun with the family!

My cousin, her son, My other cousin, me, and my brother

There was also a lot of apples to apples and spoons playing, as well as shopping and eating! (of course!!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for a post on some of the yummy foods I ate while on vacation, and some tips on dining out, which is just slightly more difficult (but not much!) when you’re a vegetarian/vegan, or have intolerances.

Have you been on a family vacation this summer? Where did you go? What was your favorite part? 

Tablespoon Sized Confessions

26 May

Hey Ya’ll! Soo…. yeah… It’s been over TWO months since I last blogged. I don’t know what it is. Or why I haven’t blogged.

I guess I’m just trying to figure out a few things. Since my last post a few things have happened.

I did not get accepted into Teach For America.  Sad I know. But I still think it’s a really great organization doing great things across the country. I just wasn’t right for them.

That’s not going to stop me though. I realized through all my work for their interview that I really want to be a teacher. So I’m going back to school. That’s right- I just graduated from college, and now I want to go back. Hopefully, I will be getting my Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Science Education in 2-3 years.

I also quit my job and moved with my parents. They just needed a change, so we packed up our cars and headed out to Michigan to live with my Aunt, Uncle, and Grandma until my mom found a job/house. And she did! We will be moving to Small Town Indiana, in 2-3 weeks. It’s so much fun being around my cousins and their small children! It’s never dull. Or quiet, for that matter.

In August, I will be heading down south for an internship on an Alpaca farm (I know what your thinking- Whaaatt?? ) But I’ll be doing a lot of baking for the farmers market and hanging out with Alpacas- which If you knew me personally, is a dream come true.

And Lastly- my stomach has been cranky lately. Like for the past few months lately. Sometimes it hurts so bad when I’m sleeping it’ll wake me up. So I’ve decided to strip a lot of common stomach-upsetters from my diet for three weeks and slowly add them back in one at a time.

These things include:

Alcohol, Caffeine, eggs, dairy, gluten, yeast, peanuts, fruit juices, mushrooms, corn, tomatoes, citrusy- fruits, chocolate (sooooo hard!) soy, sugar, and processed foods. This whole process will take almost 3 months. ugghh. It’s difficult finding things to eat sometimes- but I’m being creative.

This is a wordy post, I know. : ( But, I’ll be back tomorrow (I promise!) with some pictures, and then after that hopefully a glance into the foods I can eat!

Random Question of the Day: Although I’m not ready to make the leap to veganism just yet, I do take being a vegetarian pretty seriously. Recently, I’ve been going through all my cosmetics and making sure that they aren’t tested on animals. Do any of ya’ll have a recommendation for sunscreen? Badger brand always seems to come up under really good sunscreens and it’s not tested on animals, but a 2.6 oz tube is $16!!!! That’s cray-cray. So, if you know of any, I’d love to hear! (p.s.- I’m a super sunburn prone ginger. SPF 10 won’t cut it for me. Sadface.)


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