December 27, 2012

Oh no. I forgot the arms!


We were on the East Coast for a week, enjoying visits with friends and family in Philly. (My last post was written before we left home and was published automatically.) We don't visit our hometown often enough, visits always seem too short, and it's hard to leave loved ones behind when we return to the PNW. We got back Monday night and are settling back into the rain and gloom routine.

The food highlight of our trip was dinner at Vedge, which I'll post about soon — still have to organize the photos and figure out what dishes they are. But today my post is about our family dinner on Dec. 25. We don't celebrate Christmas, so it wasn't a super festive holiday meal so to speak, but I thought it was pretty tasty. The appetizer, shown above, was my take on one of the spectacular dishes from Vedge, sweet potato paté, which I tried to re-create. I'll post a recipe when I write about our Vedge dining experience.

River, from Wing it Vegan, and I, sometimes have a synchronicity thing going on where we comment on each others posts at the exact same time, so I was only mildly surprised to see that we both planned almost the same dinner. Of course, her version was much more creative and clever than mine, but still.


I made beet loaf shepherd's pie and she made beet burgers in muffin tins topped with snowmen — same idea, with a little more creativity on her part. But, she inspired me to make Miss E's dinner a little bit cuter than the rest of ours — I baked her loaf in a mini tart pan and formed her mashed potatoes into a snowperson of sorts, thinking maybe she would actually be motivated to eat it. (You should check River's post to see what the snowmen should really look like!)


Miss E was quite elated with her dinner, though she didn't eat the burger part, only the potatoes. I used olive tips for eyes, a carrot for the nose, a pickle piece for the scarf and sun-dried tomatoes for the mouth and buttons. But, I forgot the arms, which River had made from parsley.


Just for the record, beets aren't the primary ingredient of the loaf, but lend a red color and delicious flavor; it's mostly beans and millet. I served it with cashew gravy made from a handful of cashews blended to creamy smoothness with the leftover bean-cooking liquid, plus sun-dried tomatoes, and assorted other ingredients. It was simmered with sautéed sliced mushrooms, and I thought it was delicious. (Because I forgot to take photos at the dinner, the shepherd's pie pics with the excepti9on of the snowman, are actually leftovers from the next day.)


For dessert I made the  oat/almond cookies that I've grown very fond of, left the chocolate chips out, pressed them as thin as possible and made them into sandwich cookies. Before flattening them, I rolled the chilled dough into same-size balls and chilled them in the fridge for 10 minutes to make them easier to flatten. I flattened the balls with my fingers.


I added the chocolate the lazy way. When the cookies were done, I removed the pan from the oven, and quickly paired the cookies for size. (I had tried to make them all the same so this was pretty easy.) Then I turned one of each pair over and covered the flat bottom of the over-turned cookie with chocolate chips. When all the cookie bottoms were covered, I carefully placed the cookie sheet back into the oven for a minute. When the minute was up, I removed the cookie sheet, covered each cookie with its mate, pressed them together with a little twist, and voila! Sandwich cookies. (The chips don't look melted when they come out of the oven, but they are.) After the cookies cool, the chocolate hardens.


Here is Miss E modeling the tutu her Philadelphia cousin Rebecca made for her and sent back with us. Miss E loves tutus. Becca also made her various hair ornaments. (Becca sells the tutus and bows, so if anyone is interested, just let me know!)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

20 comments:

  1. That snowman and Miss E in a tutu are just about the cutest things I've seen this Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, though the compliments rightly belong to Miss E's parents and River! :)

      Delete
  2. The snowman is almost as cute as Miss E!

    The cookies sound really terrific, too. :)

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    1. I didn't catch him at his best angle — my photography slips when I'm trying to coordinate dinner for more than just me and my husband — but he impressed Miss E, and that's what counts. ;)

      I love the cookies — very simple to make and very versatile.

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  3. I cannot believe how much Miss E has grown! She's a beautiful young lady now!

    I LOVE your mashed tater snowman! That is just precious. And hey, the more men who aren't bearing arms these days, the better, am I right? ;-)

    Don't you love those synchronistic moments? Molly and I have them often, and call them our "vegan mind-melds." :-)

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    Replies
    1. She looks much bigger in pictures than in real life, but yes, she has grown.

      I wish I'd thought about bearing arms before I posted the title. Ha. Funny and not funny, right?

      Yes, I'm a big fan of synchronicity, and I'm amazed how many times I find I'm leaving a comment for someone just as they are leaving one for me. River and I have crossed paths many times in the synchronisphere.

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  4. Miss E is so grown up! Adorable. And I think the burger snowman is cute even w/o arms. ;) Sounds like a delicious dinner. I've made beet burgers but never a loaf--maybe that will be my next loaf attempt.

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    1. I wish I'd paid more attention when everyone was making beet burgers but the word "beet" had me worried. I know better, now, so I'll have to go back and try the recipes I previously ignored. In my first post about beet loaf I included a link to your blog with instructions to search for beet burgers. I will follow my own advice!

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  5. He's a very handsome snowman! It's not surprising that Miss E was elated with it, even if she didn't eat the beetloaf. I think your snowman looks fabulous without the arms actually, and I love his big eyes! Speaking of big - Miss E has grown a lot since you last shared a picture of her! What a fancy ballerina she is! :)

    What a smart trick! I will keep that in mind next time I'm too lazy to melt chocolate for sandwich cookies. Thanks for the tip!

    We do have a synchronicity thing going on sometimes, don't we? It always freaks me out when we do that! :D

    Thank you so much for the snowman shout-out. I'm so glad you're a beetloaf lover now! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comments about my snowman; I'm sure next time I'll do better. :)

      I think Miss E looks big because of the photo — she's really quite petite. I should share a photo of us together so she appears more in scale.

      I love synchronicity! Yes, now we're both beet loaf lovers. I should try your ppk recipe.

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  6. This is so odd...I have been leaving comments on your last few posts, and none of them have been showing up! What is going on?!? I left a comment on this one yesterday and it isn't here. Strange!
    All of your food looks amazing, as usual!

    Courtney

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    Replies
    1. I found this comment in the moderation file, but there weren't any others there. I have no idea what's up but I'm really sorry it's happening. I enjoy reading your comments and miss you when you're not there. The same thing has happened to me when leaving comments on blogs, and it's frustrating, especially when the comment is a long one. I'll keep checking the spam files for comments — sometimes I forget to do that, though I don't know why your comments would end up there!

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  7. I am not sure what is happening, but rest assured that my comments that disappeared were extremely witty and clever ;-) Hopefully future comments will show up!

    Courtney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Courtney, I would assume no less.

      I've been noticing the comments have been fewer but I thought it might be the holidays — maybe it's the comment eater.

      Delete
  8. I think it's cute even without arms. Glad you had a good time in philly! Happy Holidays!

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    Replies
    1. Happy holidays to you, too, Bitt. I think a little sunshine would make the season brighter, so to speak!

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  9. Can't wait to read your Vedge recap! Was it your first time there?

    The tater snowman is so cute. And the sheppie pie looks insanely tasty. Happy 2013!

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    1. Yes, it was our first time there — fabulous food! I just wish I could identify all the food pics but I was focused on eating not blogging.

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  10. I'm glad it's still winter so I can make these snowmen for my kids. She is so beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. I should go back through your blog and look for fun food ideas to try with Miss E. She's a picky eater and is very limited in what she'll eat. I need to be more creative. The snowman was impressive, though, and brought shrieks of delight.

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