Thursday, May 26, 2011

Soup, Salads, and Breads

I have a new Thin Mint Smoothie addiction. I think I have had 5 in the last three days! :) What can I say, I love smoothies. There are worse things in life.

I got the urge to bake the other night, which is odd, because I don't fancy myself a baker. I don't like the precision that baking requires. When I do bake, I often curse. A lot. I don't curse much in regular life. But when I bake, I become this whole other person. Unhappy baking lady. It's not pretty.

So, yes, I was surprised I got the baking bug. I wanted to make some cornbread and some pumpkin muffins for the freezer. I actually prefer the cornbread when it's frozen - not sure why, but I do love the frosty texture!

My favorite recipe is Grandma's Cornbread Made Vegan from I have doctored this recipe a dozen different ways, and somehow, it always comes out delicious. It's truly idiot-proof. I always sub ground flax for the egg replacer, agave and maple syrup for the white sugar, and whole-wheat pastry flour for the white flour. I have served this "healthy" cornbread to countless people (omnis and vegans alike), and everyone loves it. It is fab-u-lous!!

I also baked up a dozen Pumpkin Spice Muffins. I substitute agave for the sugar, but otherwise follow as directed. These are quick and easy to make, and my hubby and son both love them!

I really liked the Caesar salad recipe I made recently from Appetite for Reduction, so I made that for dinner the other night, topped with some Basic Baked Tofu, also from AFR. Basic baked tofu is as easy as:

Step 1 - Press your tofu in the morning while you're making your breakfast smoothie:

Step 2 - Slice your tofu, then marinate it all day:

Step 3 - Bake your tofu while you're drinking your afternoon smoothie :) Then slice it into strips and adorn your beautiful salad at dinner time:

Some steamed cauliflower rounded out the meal. I put some salt and nooch on my cauli.

Last night, I made Gena's Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup for dinner, along with some salad. Moroccan food is perhaps my favorite ethnic food - I just love it. The spices, the flavors, the veggies, everything. Love it, love it, love it. I hope to visit Morocco some day - it's probably number one on my bucket list. But anyway, back to the soup. I've been making this soup for over a year now, and I've always liked it. But I've been on a recipe-tweaking-kick lately, so I decided to make a few changes to the soup. I added a chopped zucchini, a couple of scallions, a little knob of ginger, and some cilantro to the mix. I also topped the finished soup with a smattering of raisins and pumpkin seeds. I think the raisins were a great touch, because I always love having raisins or dates in my Moroccan stews and tagines. The zucchini also added some thickness to the soup, which was cool. I think I'll make it this way from now on!

Finally, tonight I made one of our favorite raw salads, a raw taco salad using two recipes from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. I make the Taco Nut Meat and the Red Pepper Corn Salsa, then add both to the top of some raw greens (I used spinach tonight) and cucumber slices. The Taco Nut Meat takes literally 3 minutes to make, and it is incredible how you can blend up walnuts, almonds, cumin, coriander, salt, olive oil, and Bragg's, and have it taste like taco meat, but it does. Ani is a genius! The Red Pepper Corn Salsa is also really easy to make. I think this entire meal takes me less than 30 minutes to make.

Here's a close-up of the salsa:

Doesn't that look delish? It's so fresh-tasting. It has tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, salt, garlic, and corn in it. So simple, but so good. That's why I'm such a big fan of simple raw foods recipes - I have a dehydrator but I hardly ever use it. I prefer simple blended soups and salads like these. They don't take a lot of time to make and they are healthy and filling. With the warmer weather approaching, it's a good time to incorporate more raw foods into your diet. Check out your local farmer's market and get inspired!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Try Something New!

I am very much a creature of habit. I suspect some of that has to do with my predisposition toward anxiety - I often get nervous in the face of unfamiliarity. However, I've been making great strides in trying to reduce my anxiety by forcing myself to try new things and shake up my routines. One area where my anxiety tends to manifest itself is in my cooking and eating habits. If I like something, I tend to stick with it...for weeks, months, even years! I tend to follow recipes to the letter, and if I like it, I'm often resistant to changing it or trying new variations. But since I'm trying to not be so rigid with my eats, I decided to change up a favorite recipe for yesterday's dinner. The result, I'm tickled to say, was a recipe that I like even better than the original!

Since it was Monday, I was in the mood for a raw soup and salad kind of dinner. However, I desperately needed to go grocery shopping first, as my produce bin yielded only a small head of romaine lettuce, a half-used bunch of cilantro, a shriveled up bunch of celery, and a knob of ginger. Yeah, that was it. Sad. I had to forgo my usual Monday morning fresh juice due to lack of supplies. Fortunately, there were some frozen cherries in my freezer, so I had a Chocolate-Cherry Smoothie to cheer myself up after yoga :)

But back to my soup and salad....

I thought I was going to make Gena's Carrot-Avocado Bisque for dinner. I'd made it before, and I certainly liked it. But after I got home from the store, I realized that I was craving more of a coconutty-flavor and less of a limey-flavor. I also had that cilantro and pathetic-looking celery in the fridge to use up. Could I improvise a little here? I thought so. I juiced my carrots and some ginger and then dumped the juice into my Vita-Mix along with an avocado, the celery, cilantro, and some Bragg Liquid Aminos. I blended it up until it was nice and smooth, then I poured it into my bowl and topped it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some dried unsweetened coconut. The result? Pure, amazing, raw soup deliciousness. All because I dared to try something different! I was so worried that my tweaks would ruin an already tried-and-true recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised that it came out so well. Give it a try!

Raw Carrot-Avo-Coco Soup (inspired by this recipe)
Serves 4

4 cups fresh carrot-ginger juice (I use approximately 4 lbs of carrots and a 1/2 inch knob of ginger)
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
2 tbs Bragg Liquid Aminos (can substitute tamari or soy sauce)
3 large celery stalks (including leaves), chopped
1/5 bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves
Cinnamon and dried, unsweetened coconut for topping

Blend juice, avocado, Bragg's, celery, and cilantro on high until smooth. Pour into serving bowls and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some coconut.

It is sooooo good! I served my soup with side salads and we all had happy tummies. My son really liked the soup and even stole some extra from my hubby's bowl! :)

Inspired by last night's success, I decided to take another chance this morning with one of my favorite smoothies, my Chocolate Mint Smoothie. Now, creature of habit that I am, I am always very, very hesitant to tinker with my "established" smoothies. There are a certain few (Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Cherry, Chocolate Ginger, Carrot Ginger) that I love just.the.way.they.are. And yet, when I opened my freezer this morning, I caught a glance of some raw cacao nibs hanging out on my freezer door. Hmm, I thought...could I improve this already-awesome smoothie?

Turns out...yes. Yes, I could.

Thin Mint Smoothie
Makes 1 large serving / 2 small servings

1 1/2 cups water
1 heaping tablespoon carob powder
1 1/2 droppersful liquid peppermint stevia
1 heaping tablespoon raw almond butter
1 tablespoon raw hemp protein powder
1 very large frozen banana
1 large handful baby spinach (optional, but it gives it a pretty, green color!)
5-6 ice cubes
1-2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs, to taste

Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and top with another drop or two of peppermint stevia and more cacao nibs, if your heart so desires. It tastes like you're drinking a glass of Thin Mints, I kid you not. The cacao nibs give the smoothie that little bit of gritty texture that makes you think there are some cookies in there. Yum!

I loved the carob in this - and the raw cacao nibs made up for the lack of caffeine :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

I suppose the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. If you've learned anything about me, you know that my breakfasts consist solely of smoothies, fresh juice, and the occasional bowl of oatmeal. That's it. I mean,  I have a smoothie for breakfast every single day - the fresh juices are added on Mondays, and the bowls of oatmeal are added after my smoothie on days when I need a little more sustenance. However, once in a blue moon, I get a craving for some "real" breakfast food - pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc. Even so, I still won't eat this for breakfast - I find it way too heavy in my tummy in the mornings. Rather, I'll make a big breakfast meal and eat it at dinner time, when I'm much more in the mood for something hearty and substantial.

Last night, I whipped up two recipes from Vegan Brunch, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's fourth cookbook and, admittedly, the one I've probably neglected the most. I cook frequently from her Appetite for Reduction and Veganomicon cookbooks; her Moroccan Vegetable Tagine from Vegan with a Vengeance is one of my favorite recipes ever; and her cookies and cupcakes from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World never fail to impress my omnivorous friends and family. But Vegan Brunch has definitely not gotten the love it deserves from me, mostly because I don't "cook" breakfast all that often. But I had been thinking about waffles all weekend, and I decided that waffles would be on the menu Sunday night. Hubby enthusiastically supported this decision :)

Since we were getting rather hungry, I asked my hubby if he'd be willing to make the Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffles while I made the Basic Scrambled Tofu with spinach, red onion, and broccoli. Both dishes required rather close attention, so I was happy to have the extra set of hands (and eyes) on the food.

The tofu scramble was absolutely amazing - easily the best one I've ever had. It was so easy to make and the nooch really added a great flavor to the dish:

I wished I'd taken some pictures of the waffles cooking, or at least a close-up of a freshly made waffle, but you'll have to settle for a picture of my hubby's plate (before he added Earth Balance and maple-flavored agave nectar to his waffles):

Here's my plate**, complete with EB/agave on my waffles, ketchup on my scramble, and some baked garlic fries:

**Plate #1, that is. I went back for more waffles and way more scramble!!

The verdict? HOLY YUM! The waffles had some cornmeal in the batter, which gave them a crispy texture which totally rocked. The tofu scramble was sooooo good, especially when I added the ketchup (BTW I never ate ketchup with my eggs when I was an omni!) The baked fries were an easy way to add some "homefries" without having to do any work. Hubby, toddler, and I all devoured our food. I don't know why I don't make breakfast-for-dinner more often, but I am going to rectify that situation!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

When an Eggplant Becomes a Mushroom

For years, I avoided mushrooms. I just couldn't bring myself to eat them. I had read something in The pH Miracle that basically said eating mushrooms was like eating a bunch of toxins, and that stuck with me. Eventually, I got over my mushroom-phobia and started eating them again. However, it was during my self-imposed mushroom exile that I got Veganomicon and was immediately (and often) drawn to the recipe for Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing. Even though I didn't like mushrooms, the salad itself still sounded awesome - mixed greens, avocado, red onion, chickpeas, and roasted mushrooms with a maple-mustard dressing. I kept thinking, if only this salad didn't have mushrooms.... And then one day I was like, well, why don't you try it with something else? Like eggplant? Ding, ding, ding!! We have a winner! So, I did, and long story short, the salad turned out incredibly awesome and I still make it with eggplant, even though I eat mushrooms.

Slicing the eggplant...

Then marinating it in a balsamic vinegar-tamari-garlic-olive oil-cooking wine mixture:
The eggplant gets roasted and becomes silky and uber-delish:

Then I simply layer the salad: baby greens, chickpeas, red onion, avocado, eggplant, and dressing. It's so tasty and I'm so glad I didn't let a little thing like mushrooms stop me from making it! It's one of my favorite recipes out of Veganomicon and I've made it dozens of times. My hubby actually requested it this week so that's why I made it!

It's actually kind of perfect: carbs, fiber, and protein from the chickpeas; healthy fats from the avocado; and the baby greens, eggplant, and red onion provide some veggie health.

Okay, it's movie time - good night!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Getting Old??

I think I'm starting to feel my age. Either that, or I'm starting to feel the cumulative effects of a lack of sleep :) Yesterday, I wrote about how I woke up early, went for a long run, and felt wonderful and energetic. Today, I woke up and felt like a 32-year-old mother of a toddler who probably ran a little more than she should have yesterday, and didn't sleep as much as she should have, and whose back and shoulders were feeling cranky in the humidity. In short, I did not bound out of bed at 4:30 this morning. I got up at 6 and wanted desperately to just stretch out my muscles (which I did). The P90X Stretch routine was the extent of my exercise today, and only because I wanted to try and stand somewhat upright today. In that regard, I suppose it was a success :)

Since I didn't exercise, I opted for a simple Chocolate Mint Smoothie for breakfast. I added some raw spinach and hemp protein to make it a bit more filling. I also shared some oatmeal with my son later in the morning. I used to eat oatmeal every single morning for, like, 5 years in a row. Then I basically stopped eating it, cold turkey, for about a year. Now I'm eating it again. I go on weird eating benders like that. I mean, I think I've had at least one smoothie a day for 2-3 years now. I'm crazy like that! I'll also eat popcorn every night for weeks on end. It's not the most balanced way to eat, obviously, but I figure as long as I'm rotating in other healthy eats, it's all good :)

Now, tonight's dinner was another one that we eat often, and I swear I had already blogged about it before. I think Blogger is eating my posts because there are other things I thought I had blogged about. I'd like to think it's Blogger's fault and not my brain going soft :) Without further ado, I present one of our favorite meals, Tuscan White Beans and Broccoli Rabe, and Lemon-Glazed Baby Carrots with Cranberries, both from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

Along with some garlic bread, this makes one heck of a simple, filling, nutritious, and delicious meal - my favorite kind!! The broccoli rabe is parboiled, then sauteed with some garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and cannellini beans. I love to top my rabe with some Cholula hot sauce, my son loves nooch on his, and my hubby adds both Cholula and nooch. I didn't even try broccoli rabe until I was, like, 30 years old or something nuts, and now I loooooove it. I could eat an entire bunch of rabe myself!
And these carrots? To die for. So easy to make, and so good. Baby carrots, agave nectar, lemon juice, dried cranberries, and some Earth Balance. Love, love, love them!

I'm almost starting to think of a meal's success (or failure) in terms of how it is received by my toddler son. Every.Single.Bite of this plate was eaten. I'd call that a successful meal!

I'm also psyched because, after nearly a month of blogging, I finally got my first comment today!! :) Unless you are a blogger yourself, you have no idea how exciting that is! I want to give a shout out to my friend and fellow blogger Jessica of The Domestic Vegan for the support and encouragement! You can click the link to check out her awesome blog, or also find it on my blogroll on the sidebar. Have a great night!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blessings in Disguise!

Sometimes life's unexpected hiccups end up being blessings in disguise. Last night/this morning, my son woke up a couple of times. The second (third? I lost count :) time he woke up was at 4:30. He'd gotten out of bed, turned on his light, and started crying. I think my poor baby had a nightmare because he was shaking :( I was able to calm him down, get him settled back in his bed, and give him some reassuring hugs. He fell back asleep, but I found myself completely awake and unable to go back to sleep. Instead of sulking in my bed (which I've done in the past), I decided to just get up and start my day. It's been raining the last several days, but I looked out the window and saw that the rain had let up for a bit. I decided to lace up my running shoes and head out for an early morning run. I am SO glad that I did! I love being out at dawn. I ran at a nice, leisurely pace and was able to cover just over 6 miles...before 6:15 am! It felt so great to get a workout in and spend some time outside while my hubby was getting ready for work and my son was sleeping. I felt energized and ready to tackle my day. I hadn't planned on being up so early, but it ended up being a blessing!

Last night, I made stew because it was chilly and rainy. It ended up being just what we were craving! This is the Moroccan Chickpea & Zucchini Soup from Appetite for Reduction:

Served over a bed of millet:

Close up:

I had made this dish once before, and while I liked it, I wanted to tweak it a little. This time, I added some more veggies (green beans, spinach, cilantro), some raisins, and some lemon juice. I think these few additions really elevated the dish from good to great! Traditionally, you would serve a Moroccan stew with couscous, but I love to use millet instead because it's a more nutritious choice than couscous (which is really pasta!) Plus, millet has a wonderful chewy texture which goes great with stews and tagines. My son loves chickpeas and carrots (which are both featured prominently in the stew), so he was happy to eat it. And that makes his Mommy happy!

Tonight's dinner was one of our favorites, Raw Tortilla Soup and salad. I've already featured this soup on my blog, but this time I remembered to take pictures of me eating it, nacho-style :)

I added some kidney beans to my hubby's soup to boost the protein and satiety:
And we had yummy salads on the side:
Baby lettuce, celery, cucumber, tomato, corn, avocado, olive oil, Bragg Liquid Aminos, lime juice, and dulse granules. Yum!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Soup, Pasta, and Popcorn

As is my Monday custom, I made a raw soup and salad combo for dinner. This raw soup is one of my favorites, Kristen Suzanne's Harvest Soup. I have been making this soup for a couple of years now, and it never gets old. I just love it. It is savory, filling, and endlessly adaptable. Sometimes I add some extra veggies or greens in there, sometimes I don't. I usually add another stalk or two of celery, reduce the salt to 1 tsp, and reduce the flax oil to 1/3 cup. And I always, always, always top my soup with some raw pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) and dulse granules. The pepitas give the soup some nice texture and crunch, and the dulse gives it a nice salty-smoky flavor.

Here are all the yummy veggies and seasonings, pre-blending:

Here's the soup, post-blending. Isn't it a lovely color? It's so creamy and velvety...yum...

Topped with some dulse granules and raw pepitas:

It's so good.

We had our soups with a simple salad of organic baby lettuces, carrots, cucumber, celery, pepitas, lemon juice, flax oil, and Bragg Liquid Aminos.

As I've mentioned, I have a 2-year-old son. I think he's a pretty good eater, but if left to his own devices, he would exist solely on raisins, Peanut Butter Puffins, soymilk, yogurt, and applesauce. Sometimes I am forced to resort to some "Sneaky Mommy" tricks in order to ensure my son is getting all his vitamins and nutrients. This is one of my latest creations that my son, thankfully, has been eating with gusto.

Maybe it doesn't look all that appetizing, but if you can get a 2-year-old boy to willingly eat a bowl full of lima beans, peas, spinach, butternut squash, broccoli, nutritional yeast, flax oil, and brown rice penne, well, you just don't give a hoot how it looks. This is a bowl full of veggies and penne tossed in my special "noochy sauce." :) Noochy sauce = nutritional yeast, Earth Balance nondairy butter, and some flax oil. My son loves it, I love giving it to him, and it takes me 15 minutes to make from start to finish. Winning!

I've also been eating copious amounts of my new favorite popcorn creation.

Spicy and Cheezy Popcorn
Makes: a lot

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Nutritional yeast (aka "nooch"), to taste
Chili powder, to taste
Bragg Liquid Aminos, to taste

Ready? Pop the kernels in a hot-air popper. As soon as they are popped, sprinkle liberally with the chili powder, then the nooch. Spray a light mist of Bragg Liquid Aminos over the popcorn in order to make the chili powder and nooch stick to the popcorn. Devour the whole bowl by yourself while watching bad reality TV on Bravo.

I'll be back tomorrow with tonight's dinner. It was a meal that I'd made once before, but I tweaked it a little and it came out even better than the first time. I love when that happens!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning the Ropes

Hey there! I had a really busy weekend so I didn't have much time for blogging :) But sometimes it's good to get away from the computer and enjoy real life!!

I'm still a newbie when it comes to blogging, and as such, I'm learning as I go. I'm also making tons of "rookie" mistakes, such as....

...remembering to take pictures of the food prep, but not the finished product. Duh.

Yeah, this was for Thursday night's dinner. Contrary to appearances, we did not eat a bowl of marinade and 3 sliced avocados. We had Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta from Vegetarian Times magazine. I think I forgot to take a picture because this is one of our favorite things to eat EVER! I can't even count how many times I've shared this recipe with others. Everyone who tries it LOVES it!! Oh well, I'll have to remember to take a pic next time!!

Another rookie mistake: going out to dinner, but forgetting to take pictures of the food. Double duh. I did remember to take one picture of my hubby enjoying our (shared) flight of beer and veggie calzone Friday night at Mews Tavern:

...but I forgot to change the setting on my camera. So the picture would, you know, come out and all. Silly blogger! And I forgot to take pictures of the rest of our food: sweet potato fries, veggie nachos, and (more) beer. Rest was all delicious!

I did remember to take a picture of the yummy new snack I picked up at Trader Joe's...

I looooooved this! I love seaweed rice crackers, dulse, arame , and wakame, so I was hoping I'd like these, too. And I did. I'll be buying more next time I'm at TJ's because they're only 99 cents - woo!

I also remembered to take a picture of my newest smoothie creation: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry!

...but in my zeal to drink this baby, I forgot to add the frozen banana. I was like, WOW, this is really tart. Then I saw my bag of frozen bananas on the counter. Tee hee. I added the frozen banana and it was So.Much.Better! LOL This is what happens when you don't sleep through the night for 2 years.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Smoothie
Makes 1 large serving / 2 small servings

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 large frozen banana
1 1/2 cups water
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 heaping tablespoon raw almond butter
5-6 drops liquid chocolate stevia, or to taste
5-6 ice cubes, to taste

Blend on high until smooth!

Saturday was a busy day with our nephew's birthday party during the early afternoon, and yard work/mowing the lawn in the late afternoon. My hubby and I weren't all that hungry at dinner time, so we decided to just get cleaned up and eat after we put our son to bed. Around 8 pm, we settled in to watch the Red Sox-Yankees baseball game and eat some Amy's frozen meals - I had the Brown Rice, Black-Eyed Peas, & Veggies Bowl, and my hubby had the Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas. We also noshed on some baby carrots, popcorn, and wasabi peas. We'd both run 5 miles Saturday morning and also each spent 1 hour mowing our lawn (we split it - he did the front, I did the back - but we have a HUGE lawn so it takes 2 hours!!), so we were hungry!

Sunday was a nice, lazy day around the house after church in the morning. Since I had time to cook, I decided to make something new, the Peanut-Lime Tempeh Bowl out of Appetite for Reduction. This is a bowl consisting of cooked quinoa, steamed broccoli, steamed zucchini, shredded raw carrots, shredded cucumber, shredded romaine lettuce, cilantro, and Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing. I preshredded the carrots and cucumber earlier in the day and stuck them in the fridge...which is why I was halfway through eating dinner when I realized I had forgotten them. *Sigh.*

At least our lunch leftovers had the carrots and cucumber. Good thing, because they made it extra yummy!

I think I'm back on track today. After yoga, I remembered to take a picture of my morning juice:

Mmmm, this may have been my best yet! This one contained a head of organic romaine lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini, ginger, and lemon juice. Definitely NOT hard core...this is a juice even a juice newbie would enjoy!

Later I enjoyed a frosty, delicious Carrot-Ginger Smoothie:

Notice no greens in the carrot smoothie...I was completely out of fresh greens :( Happily, I went grocery shopping this morning so I'm "back in the green!"

Tonight's dinner is an oldie but goodie...a raw soup and salad combo that I've been making for a couple of years now. I love to have raw soup and salad for dinner on Mondays...combined with my morning yoga and juice, it just feels like a nice way to start the week fresh. Especially after a weekend full of beer, fries, nachos, and calzones :) But, hey, I'm a big believer in balance - I can enjoy my occasional beer and pub food because I also have my juices, raw soups, and big salads. Everything in moderation!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Comfort in a Bowl

Yesterday was one of those just felt "raw" outside. Kind of cloudy, kind of damp...the kind of day that makes me want to curl up with a bowl of stew and biscuits. Fortunately, I had nearly everything on hand I would need to satisfy that craving!

I had been wanting to make the Veggie Potpie Stew from Appetite for Reduction for quite a while. I'm not sure why I hadn't gotten around to making it yet. I've always loved pot pie, and this dish completely simplifies the process - all you do is make a stew of the typical pot pie fillings (potatoes, peas, carrots, mushrooms, seasonings) thickened by a handful of yellow split peas added to the base - genius! With some Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits on the side, this was a wonderful meal enjoyed by all!

Here's the stew bubbling away on the smelled delicious!

This picture doesn't look that great, but that's because of all the steam coming off the stew!

Here are the yummy biscuits, fresh out of the oven. By the way, these biscuits rawk and I've made them a bunch of times since I got the book for Christmas (Merry Christmas to me!)

Here's a close up of the biscuity goodness. Can you believe these are made with whole wheat pastry flour and cooked, mashed sweet potatoes? Bet you've never had a biscuit this healthy! And they are insaaaaanely delicious.

Now doesn't that look comforting on a chilly spring day?

My son absolutely loved the stew and the biscuits. I love it when he enjoys a hearty, healthy meal. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy as a Mommy that my boy is being nourished with whole, healthy foods :)

I needed another giant Chocolate Cherry Smoothie this morning. My son has basically not slept through the night in over 3 months, and even back when he did, he'd still wake up at night at least 2-3 times a week. My hubby and I are starting to resemble the zombies in the Thriller video. Last night, we experimented with placing a sliding lock on the outside of my son's bedroom door in order to try and "encourage" him to stay in his room all night. Boy, did that backfire. He woke up at 1 am and then didn't go back to sleep the rest of the night...and neither did we, obviously :( I've read the sleep books, we've done sleep training, and we stick to a regular nap and bedtime routine, so I'm at a loss as to why my son feels the need to keep a vampire's schedule. I dragged my body out of bed and forced myself to go on a run this morning in order to try and clear the cobwebs out of my brain. Or, as my hubby succinctly put it, "You're going to be tired whether you go for a run or not." Good point, hubby. I told him where I was going in case I fell asleep somewhere along the route, but happily, I made it back in one piece and even ran at a decent clip. Small victory, but I'll take them wherever I can get them :)