Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Wrap Up & Catch Up

It was such a busy month, I didn't even get to post about everything so here's a quick wrap-up to catch up.
The teen had her honor society induction ceremony.
 The tween had her Irish dance competition.
I couldn't resist taking a photo of the fancy solo dresses and no, we didn't buy one.
I love the dance shoes and now she's got sparkly poodle socks too.
I think I've finally figured out the hair piece.  Yay, Mom!
Happy dancer with some medals!
I babysat my niece a couple of times. She's one of my favorite models!
Tween's instrumental concert. She's playing clarinet on the end.
We celebrated my mom's 70th birthday in the city.
She wanted to try Dom Perignon.
We toasted her (the kids had sparkling cider in case you're wondering)!
Dinner was amazing....here's some food porn for ya.
You're welcome!

A view of the restaurant and a swanky looking couple.
More food...
at dinner..
 the wine..
Dessert (this was a basil-lemon tart).
Creme brulee
I forget what this was but it looks dazzling.
The tree in the lobby of the hotel-wrapped pillows on top of presents...neat idea!
Then we had the winter chorus concert.   I took a few pix before but not during so I could live in the moment and enjoy the show.
We visited a cute street where they decorate for the 12 Days of Christmas...


The houses are all so pretty.
Finally it was the last day of school before break!
But this one still had a game to cheer for--lots of fun!

The kids did some chocolate dipping...

and lots of baking.
 We visited our good friends in their gorgeous home.  I should crash it someday to show you all it's fabulousness.
And we had the pleasure of hanging out with these two lovely boys. {we just met the baby-isn't he presh?}
 

And finally, last night we celebrated Christmas with my husband's side of the family.
During a rather intense round of "Cut throat Christmas".
Some of the cousins opening their gifts.

 I'm tired just reliving it all but it sure was fun!
Have a safe and happy new year!
Can't wait to see what 2012 brings!
one year ago....Homemade Andes Mints
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Stocking a Vegan Kitchen

Both of our girls are vegetarians but one sent me into a mini tailspin a few weeks ago when she decided to go vegan before going off to college like we she had originally planned.
What's a mom supposed to do?  I had adjusted to vegetarian cooking but the idea of no dairy or eggs in my cooking had me a little stumped. In all fairness my daughter said she'd do all of her cooking but I knew I had to buy things she would eat. So of course I did some research to see what other vegans do.
I was pleasantly surprised that our local supermarket had a pretty good selection of vegan items.  She was already eating both of these "chicken" products and they happened to be vegan.
We haven't tried this yet but I'm thinking it would be good in recipes?
She's been trying different non-dairy yogurts, like this one made with almond milk. 
I thought she'd miss cheese but she hasn't really. We have these two options if she does.
Unsweetened almond milk has been a staple in our kitchen for the last year.  
I was stumped for an egg replacement but this has been working great in baked goods.  We've since found out you can also make egg replacements with crushed chai seeds or flax seeds but we haven't tried them yet.
What about pizza?  Well she can always make it/order it without cheese but I also found this vegan pie from American Flatbread(the best pizza ever if you ever get to their farm/restaurant in Vermont!).
She says this tastes like fresh strawberries with a touch of coconut.
This spread is buttery and good. They even make sticks for baking.
We've been experimenting with tofu as seen here and these dry roasted edamame are a tasty soy snack.
Fast food=any of these quick pouches.
Here's another product that we haven't tried yet but we'll let you know how it is.
If we don't feel like baking, we have these cookies for a sweet treat.
We took a trip to WholeFoods and found even more options for her --I will follow up with a part 2 and some vegan cookie recipes.  I know you can hardly wait! 
one year ago....Photo Inspiration Board

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