Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vegan Thanksgiving 2012

Hey guys! Yesterday was the second annual "Way too early to actually be a Thanksgiving party vegan Thanksgiving party!"  Friends drove in from around the state, and many wonderful noms were had (amidst the videogaming and drinking of wine and spiked cider, of course).

Now let me just say that I have never been a modest cook.  I know what I do well, and I do those things in abundance, but I have never before had a table of (mostly) omnivores clap for me.  Twice, I might add.  It was weird and slightly uncomfortable, but in retrospect my ego is having a field day with it.

BUT ANYWAY, you're all here to see the food, right?  And to steal the recipes I used?  Good.  Here they are!  (And I'm sorry, but in the insanity of getting everything put together yesterday, no pictures were taken, so you get shots of my leftovers.)

Here's what's left of the spread.  There were also pumpkin cinnamon rolls (more on that later) and some crescent rolls with Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter (and oh holy god, go buy some and put it in your mouth).

First up, the stuffing:
This recipe is one that my family has used for years (but they use actual sausage and turkey instead of my tofurky stuff).  I don't know that I've ever actually used a recipe for this, but I'll do my best to guess accurately.  Really, go with your gut, and always use more sage than you think you should, and it will turn out exactly like my dad's.

Sage stuffing mix (the rough equivalent of two boxes of Stove Top stuffing (but theirs has chicken in it; bleh)
Vegetable broth (one cup more than is called for by the stuffing)
olive oil (at your leisure, Thanksgiving isn't about eating healthily)
1 onion, diced
1 - 1 1/2 cups of diced mushrooms
1 pkg Tofurky turkey slices (optional), diced
1 pkg Tofurky beer brats (not even slightly optional), cut into half circles
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
at least 1 tablespoon of sage

Dump stuffing into large bowl, pour in all the broth (including the extra cup, should be quite wet).  Sautee the onions and mushrooms with the seasonings, add to stuffing.  Sautee diced turkey slices, add to stuffing.  Brown the beer brats (or other vegan sausage) in the pan and add to stuffing.  You may have to do it in two batches depending on how big your skillet is.    Mix everything together really well, and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight.  Next day, bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 (uncovered) and then eat everything.  (You may actually add more liquid before you bake it.  It should be pretty wet before it goes in.)

 Moving on, we had some green bean and corn casserole!
I used this recipe (here)  but with some adjustments.  First off, I doubled the green beans (two cans instead of one) and added a can of corn (it's a little soupy with just one can of beans).  Then, I nixed the carrots, and used flour to make a roux with the veggies before adding the milk instead of mixing cornstarch with water.  Then, in place of the french fried onions, my family likes to crush up toll house crackers and cover the top with that.  This is also one I like to make the day before (without the crackers) and then bake the day of to save myself some time/sanity.  Crackers go on right before it goes in the oven, and this stuff is delish.

I don't have a close up of the sweet potatoes, but essentially, I peeled, cubed, and boiled two large sweet potatoes, drained the water, added about 1/4 cup of soy milk, some vegan margarine, and about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and then mashed the hell out of them.  So good.

Also unpictured are the cranberry sauce and the roasted cauliflower.  The cranberry sauce, I say without shame, came from a can.  As far as I'm concerned, it's kind of the fruitcake of Thanksgiving.  No one is excited about it, but you kind of have to have it.  The cauliflower you just chop, toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake at 375 for about 25 minutes until it's golden brown.

Now, the best part.  Pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  Sadly, this is the only picture I have of them.

 I take it as a testament to their goodness that they are the only thing I had no leftovers of.  Also, I only made eight (and there were seven of us, and Tristan had the other one for breakfast).  However, the website I got the recipe from (here) does have some lovely pictures.  Oh, they were perfect.  Totally a new tradition.

And my favorite part, scarfing down all the leftovers.  This is what Thanksgiving is all about it.  Well, this is what hosting Thanksgiving is about.

Look at all that glorious food.  Nomnomnomnomnom.

Oh, and here's the spiked cider I mentioned.  Well, this is just cider.  We heated all the cider in a big pot on the stove, and then you pour some vanilla vodka into a glass and top it with this, and it tastes like apple pie.  I preferred the Malbec I had with dinner (Hell yeah, Yellow Tail), but this was wonderful as an after with the cinnamon rolls.

After dinner, we all rolled ourselves to the N64 to play Super Smash Bros. and MarioKart, and a lovely time was had by all.  Tristan and I finished the night off by watching It's a Wonderful Life, and then fell asleep to the storm that rolled through town.

So that was my Thanksgiving up here at school.  The family one will be much closer to actual Thanksgiving, but this gives me a test run on all my recipes and lets me eat all the leftovers, so it's definitely a tradition I'll keep up for as long as I can. 

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving is as tasty and lovely as mine was!

Friday, September 28, 2012

That before and after thing

S'up, bitches? :D

Okay, so I know I told y'all I'd be doing a before/after thing of the 300x30, but it seriously did nothing (outwardly visible.  My abs are noticeably stronger).  But I did start running seriously at the end of August, and here's what happened between then and now!

So yeah, that's pretty bitchin'. 

Now then, onward to research projects!  Huzzah grad school!  This is getting progressively more sarcastic!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

All the worst parts of goodbye

Losing someone you didn't have to lose and knowing you'll never get them back is one of the worst feelings in the world.  "Goodbye" is the hardest thing to say.

Love every moment you share with those around you.  Never leave words unsaid.

(P.S., everything's fine with the fiance.  I had to say goodbye to a friend who I may not be able to speak to for a very long time to come.  The last two days have been a constant bombardment of all the worst parts of nostalgia.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crunches, India, and Coffee

Day 17 of 300x30, and I could be more impressed.  I have seen minimal changes to my body thus far, and most of them are coming from outside exercises (running, weights).  Still, daily crunches isn't a bad habit to get into.  I'll still finish out the 30 days and do comparison pictures.  It could just be that I can't observe changes that gradual without comparing photographs.  Meh, whatever.

On the job front, I'm SO EXCITED for this week!  We had to forgo talking about Mexico last week because our class was double-scheduled for camps and we never had time with the kids together (they're two ages groups, but we teach them together) and I never saw the older group outside of lunch.  BUT!  That should all be changing this week and our country is.... India!  Tuesday they'll get a powerpoint covering general facts and interesting things, lots of pictures, etc.  Wednesday we'll probably watch some Bollywood clips, talk about song and dance.  Thursday we'll probably talk about clothing and holidays.  And then Friday, I'm bringing them roasted chickpeas and maybe rice with yoghurt, and we're going to have our own festival of colors!  I'm coloring flour this week to use for the event, and we'll ask our kids to dress in something old that they can rough up a little (since I don't know if my flour dye will stain their clothes).  I really hope they're as excited about everything as Rachel and I are!

Now, it's off to enjoy my morning and a cup of coffee.  If captain lazy pants ever wakes up, maybe we'll go play some tennis. =)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Woo!  Day 10 of 300x30 and I'm feeling awesome, and yesterday Tristan and I settled on a church and a date!  The wedding is officially officially happening!  Can't wait for June 29th, 2013. <3

In other news, I really need to start posting some of what the kids I work with say.  For example:
Student: Miss Lisa, what's "the bush"?
Me: In what context?
Student: Like, if someone said "I'm going to punch you in the bush."
Me: @_@

I seriously had a minor heart attack trying to figure out how to reply to that.

Well, gotta go pack a lunch and head off to the monsters for the day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Thus Far

Woah, I'm not quite sure what to do with this new blogger format. It feels like Wordpress in an uncomfortable way. =\ Meh, whatever.

SO! Sorry that I haven't posted anything in forever. It's been a hell of a few months. First, I finally graduated with my BA in art, and now I'm taking summer classes to kick off my graduate degree in education. Along with that, I have a summer job as summer school teacher. The kids, while stressful and, well, kids, are amazing and I love my job. We're doing our lessons in an "Around the World" theme, so last week was Kenya and this week is France. Next week, we're headed to Mexico! :D I'm seriously loving this. As I type, I'm reviewing a movie for them to watch on Friday (our "free day" in which they get to watch a movie, eat some French food, and play outside).

 Also, I'm doing the 300x30 challenge, which is where you do 300 crunches a day for 30 days. It's day three, and I've completed my first 100 (I do them in sets to keep from hating everything). So far, so good. I imagine the first week will be the hardest (usually is), and if I can make it past day three, I can do the whole thing. Today should be the day I am most sore, and boy do I believe it. Also promised one friend we'd do weightlifting at the rec this afternoon and another friend that I would go swing dancing with him tonight, so I'm probably going to just collapse into bed as soon as I get home. Today will be long, tiring, and incredibly fun, so here's to coffee, the cool breeze coming in my window, and the promise of sleeping in tomorrow because my boss doesn't need me to take over the class til 11. :D

 In regards to the 300x30, I will post before and after pictures, but bear in mind that I'm also weight lifting and occasionally dancing and always eating a healthy vegan diet during this, so who knows how much my results will vary from the norm. So yay! That's my summer thus far. Tristan will be here on and off (currently off, D:), but otherwise it's just me and the students and the spiders in my house (whom I've sadly grown accustomed to). Ciao!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Okay, semester from hell, everything is crazy, but I have to leave you with this song. It is keeping me going and calming me down from the psychotic mess that has been the last four months.