This is a picture of Thursday's leftovers and the food I set out for my sis who was coming in from New York on Friday. On the peninsula top from left to right: I made Bryanna's chedda' cheese (the recipe that uses tahini) with crackers spread around it, soy and seitan roulade slices, corn from our freezer (we grew), romaine salad with purple onion/ carrots/radish slices, an apple slices tray with a sweetened soy cream cheese dip, seedilicious bread slices, (foldable table): potatoes (we grew and canned these), squash/ pear/ cranberry baked dish, sun dried tomato stuffing, Dori's favorite fresh Cranberry Relish, gray bowl had pickled cauliflower/ carrots/ red peppers (we grew these and I pickled them for the county fair), and a wonderful fabulous Pumpkin Tunnel Cake from Bryanna's latest vegan feast newsletter.
DORI'S FAVORITE CRANBERRY RELISH
Place the following into the food processor and chop to the size of rice:
1 lb package fresh whole cranberries
1-2 peeled oranges, removing most of the pith
2 Tbsp orange zest (fresh if using organic oranges)
1-2 medium apple, cored
Add the following to a medium mixing bowl along with the processed mixture above:
1/2 C crushed pineapple (more if you desire or omit and add one more apple to processor in step above)
1/2 C chopped pecans or light English walnuts (I use 2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (opt)
- opt 2 tsp fresh ginger minced - I use this when I can or cinnamon when I'm out
- OR 1 tsp KAL brand stevia powder = 1 generous cup of sweetness*
- I use KAL brand stevia, it is not bitter like other brands I have tried. One could easily use their choice of sweetener.
Whenever I find a great buy on cranberries I make a bunch of this up and freeze it in addition to just freezing the berries. I add it to muffins, put it in salad dressing, and directly onto the salad when I want color. I also add it to sandwiches, stir into my morning oatmeal, and top cornbread with it for an interesting change. Even after it has been frozen it has an acceptable texture. As you can tell this is my favorite. I made a variation of this last year that had cumin and jalapeno peppers in it, yet was still sweet. We place it in a tray over the top of soy cream cheese and surrounded it with crackers.
Here's a close up of the tunnel cake before I drizzled it with a thickened powdered sugar drizzle tweaked with a bit of almond extract. For the cake I adjusted the recipe and made mine sugar free. The cake batter recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, I used 1/2 cup of applesauce to replace the bulk of the sugar and 1 tsp KAL brand stevia. The filling is made with a cashew / silken tofu blend and is also sweetened with stevia (no applesauce filler). It turned out very well.
I tried something new this year: PUMPKIN BUTTER
In the crock pot and from the book by Robin Robertson, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow cooker. Mine is sweetened with the KAL stevia extract in place of sugar and it is fabulous! Matthew made carob chip pancakes for breakfast Thursday morning. It was my niece's birthday so we invited her up to eat breakfast with us and we used the pumpkin butter to top them with ... what a grand feast.
About eight years ago I was depressed and went through a soul searching time. Prior to this time I claimed a religion but fell prey to the Santa Claus and materialistic ways of the world. More than materialistic ways I realized that there was a lot about holidays that I didn't like, so I began to change. I am still connected to my spiritual roots, but I realized that I wanted the holidays to express our connection, not distance and cheap gifts to be returned the next day nor the debt to be paid away on until April AND I wanted to anticipate the "connection" just as much as my children. Here's are some of my favorite changes:
I bake. From now until the first of the year I will bake every imaginable goodie (some I will freeze and we will enjoy these throughout February). My kids do to.... the most important part of my holiday is sharing and it is expected at each holiday gathering or meal that they bring something. This Thanksgiving Melissa made the apple dip and sliced the apples. Matthew took the corn from the freezer and cooked it. Dave washes up, pulls out special dishes, sweeps, and cuts/slices, rearranges, etc. ... he always leads our family into a prayer of thanks and continued blessings before we eat. They both will make something substantial at Christmas time also. Last Christmas season Melissa chocolate's a BUNCH of goodies, we splurged on an after the holiday sale of "the chocolate factory" from the year before and stored it away. Matthew made a crock pot corn pudding and muffins and cleaned up Melissa's chocolate tools (with his tongue).
Now begins the "holidays" in my family. I will share more about our holiday practices as well as food in the upcoming weeks. For now I will get this posted and prepare for the day.
I hope this post has found you with much to be thankful for!