Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Making Veggie Noodles: Veggetti vs Julienne Peeler

I love making veggie noodles and I'm all about easy preparation so I thought I'd share my two favorite gadgets for making them.  I use both the Veggetti Spiral Cutter (about $10) and a Julienne Peeler (about $5).
 For carrots I don't love the Veggetti. If you have really big carrots it is easier but it is still pretty hard to make noodles with it.
 I prefer the julienne peeler.  I like to use big carrots to make long strands and the julienne peeler makes quick work of that.
 Now for zucchini, the Veggetti works a little better. You need to use smaller, thinner zucchinis though, because the opening isn't large enough for those summer garden varieties. If you have them, they'll need to be cut to fit.
 I prefer the larger noodle size setting on the Veggetti for thicker strands.  You are left with a cone shaped piece near the end that I can never seem to get through the Veggetti (even with the pointy attachment).
I haven't had much luck using the attachment.  My wrist starts hurting after using the Veggetti for awhile.
 I usually end up using the julienne peeler because I think it's easier and faster.  If I had to pick one of them, it would be the julienne peeler (and it takes up less space!).
 I stop when I get to the seeds. Sometimes I'll slice up the excess and saute it for another dish.
 To make the veggie noodles: I saute them in some olive oil or coconut oil spray and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  You can use whatever floats your boat.
My favorite way to serve them is with some homemade marinara sauce and veggie meatballs. I really don't miss the pasta!  Have you ever made veggie noodles?  If so, what's your favorite tool to make them and favorite way to eat them?
I'm taking the rest of the week off to spend time with my family. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Let's keep in touch!
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Monday, November 23, 2015

What I'm Making For Thanksgiving-Vegan Edition

Is everybody (USA peeps) ready for Thanksgiving?  I'm not hosting this year so I'm feeling much more relaxed than I did last year.  I'm still planning on making quite a few things and trying out some new vegan recipes since College Girl will home this year (one more day!). YAY!!
Let's start with dessert, shall we?  I've already made this Salted Date Caramel Chocolate Pie.  It's a frozen pie that keeps for weeks (according to the recipe) in the freezer. It's got an almond coconut crust, creamy date caramel filling and a chocolate mouse topping.  It sounds delicious!
I've also made this Vegan-GF Cornbread.  It's in the freezer and I'll take it out tomorrow to let it sit out and dry up a bit (I can toast it if it's not crispy enough) to make a vegan variation of this stuffing.
(But probably no fennel since I forgot to buy one, oops!)
I could easily eat that stuffing as my main course but I'm thinking of making this Puff Pastry Wrapped Lentil Loaf for the non-turkey eaters.  It's so pretty!
This Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball is another new recipe that I made ahead of time and can't wait to try.
The ingredients magically whip up in the Vitamix to create a creamy, cheesy concoction reminiscent of those port wine cheese balls at every 70's get together.  It's chilling in the fridge and I can either make one large or two smaller cheese balls, rolling them in nuts and or spices closer to Thanksgiving.
I've made this I Can't Believe It's Vegan Gravy a few years in a row now and it's a winner so I'll be making it again this year.
We'll be pouring that gravy over the awesome mashed potatoes that Mr. Click makes every year. This photo is from 2013, but he makes at least 20 pounds every year so I don't need to update the photo.

I think that's everything and since I'll have a lot of helpers in the kitchen, I think we can pull it all off. What are you most looking forward to?  I seriously cannot wait to have all four of us here for a nice, long weekend!

Let's Keep in Touch!
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Friday, November 20, 2015

{Fall Fun} Apple Picking

My sister and I had the perfect fall day to go apple picking.
We like going to this farm in Bucks County for picking apples (and blueberries in the summer) because it's so pretty.
 They didn't have a lot of variety for us to pick but still managed to fill up a bag (each).
 I like picking but I love taking photos of the orchard, it was a week day and not too crowded.
 The contrast between the apples and the leaves is pretty perfect.
Of course I came home and started a big batch of my Crock Pot Applesauce.   What's your favorite kind of apple?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

{Entertaining} Chili Cook-Off Halloween Party

Hosting a Chili Cook-Off Party was on my Fall Bucket List last year and one thing I didn't get to check off.

So when Halloween was rolling around this year and it was my turn to host the neighborhood get together, I decided to combine the two events. Most everyone was up for the chili throw down but those that weren't, opted to bring other goodies.
The set up was pretty easy, which was good for me since I was pretty burnt out after hosting two Sweet 16 parties for Miss High School that month (see them here and here.)  I made wooden spoon "prizes" by painting the handles in contrasting colors.
I created the ballots with some free clip art and tried to come up with four good categories (we had 4 entries and I wanted everyone to go home with a prize).  Each wooden spoon got a tag with a category.
 Then I had to come up with my costume. I kind of liked being a dark brunette.
Mr. Click wanted to be John and Yoko which we managed to pull off with only having to buy our wigs and his t-shirt (all from Amazon).
 I found a Day of the Dead cookie decorating set at Wal-Mart.
 I thought they'd be a fun activity for the guests and also a take-home favor.
We set up the dining room table to hold all of the food, which was mostly chili and fix-ins (cheese, sour cream, Fritos, chopped onions and tomatoes.
I also made corn muffins and baked potatoes. 
The tags and printables were from here.  The straws were left over from other parties.
 The mantle got a little spookier and I didn't dust for a week.
 I shamelessly stole borrowed this idea right from Bliss.
We kept the appetizers simple: tortilla chips & salsa and Angie's Pumpkin Spice Popcorn(so good!).
We used these little containers for tasting. They are the same ones I used for my Irish Night 2013 and the Grown Up Pudding Shots.
 The guests arrived and had a cocktail (I made my signature Apple Pie Punch).

The tasting and voting began.  Here, they are making notes and some tasting is happening. The tiny spoons were perfect for those little cups. I found them at Wegman's in the catering section.  I could only taste the vegetarian one so I didn't vote.
His chili was the winner of Best Overall and he was quite pleased with himself.
 After the tasting and voting, we dug into the chili and fix-in's for real.   Some guest made Chili In a Jar (though I didn't snap a photo of one).  Chili In a Jar=Mason Jar with layered corn bread, chili & toppings. They looked so cute! They also got into the cookie decorating.
The night was a lot of fun and I'm pretty sure (hopeful) that the chili cook-off tradition will continue!
Peace & Love!
Let's Keep in Touch!
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Linking up with:
Cooking and Crafting with J & J
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