Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday fun!

The holidays are rapidly approaching and honestly, I have been too busy to post! But I will share some pictures of the last 15 days.
Our live Christmas tree is a 7 foot tall potted Norway Spruce.

We did get a pretty wreath that will eventually need to be composted but the tree is going to be planted in the back yard with our past five years worth of trees. I must admit, this is our biggest one yet! Though I think year #2 tree might have grown taller than this one is now. One of the perks of buying a loved one's home when they move is if you planted things in their back yard, they are once again yours! Whee.

Also tonight I received an envelope that made me squeal like an excited cheerleader. Something I do not even vaguely resemble.

My package from the VegWeb Secret Santa Exchange! This awesome collection came from Saskia in Southern California. She included an awesome black gift bag, a great note on spooky Emily stationary, five beautiful beads that I plan to make into a fab bracelet or necklace tonight, six lemon zinger cookies that are out of this world AND an annual subscription to VegNews! How unbelievably awesome is that?!

I already ate one of the cookies. It was everything a lemon cookie should be. Soft yet firm enough to hold up to being mailed, tangy yet sweet enough to prevent a pucker and perfectly chewy with a slightly crunchy exterior. Wow, if I had not been actively making dinner for LB, these would have been my main course! As it is, I am trying to distract myself from them by making this post! Sooo good!!!

Thank you Saskia! I do agree, we have loads in common. And I love my gift and will enjoy it all year. You rock!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I slack!

But look, food!
Bean and Teese Nachos! Soooooo good!
Bacon Spaghetti and oven roasted garlic brussel sprouts!

Cilantro Lime Tofu with black beans!

Cranberry Pear Tart!

1 (16 oz) bag fresh Cranberries
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Red Wine
2-3 cups sliced Pears - I used Seckle!
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Orange Juice
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ground ginger.
1/2 cup water
2-4 teaspoons cornstarch

Simmer everything but the water and cornstarch for 30 minutes over medium low, until the cranberries all pop and cook down some. Stir the water and cornstarch mixture together, use more starch if the pot seems thin, less if its already pretty thick. Pour into a pie crust or your favorite cookie mix. Personally I made a Lemon Tea Cake cookie crust in the tart pans and it was perfect! Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The filling is tart, sharp and very richly bodied. The crust gives a great hint of sweet while not overshadowing the star inside it. I served mine topped with a dallop of Soya Too whip. Was perfect, though I think next time I will try to have some vanilla soy ice cream on hand!