We Just Can’t Do Traditional If We Try


I really hope that everyone had a very wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas.  And if you don’t celebrate, hopefully you’re having a very relaxing and happy weekend.

The whole weekend for us has been pretty low key, though most of our holiday’s are since we don’t have any family in VA.  Friday I spent much of the day cooking, working out, wrapping gifts, and puttering around the house.  D spent most of it (successfully) fixing the dryer!  Yeah, my handyman!

He had to take it apart…twice…but it stopped squeaking!

I busted out another workout video (another P90X one), and then went for a run.  It was a little chilly, but I found I over dressed and quickly over heated.  I wore long yoga pants, a long sleeve technical shirt, a hoodie sweatshirt, and a running jacket.  I was comfortable when I headed out, which should have been a clear indicator that I’d get hot.  Oh well, it was still a nice run and felt good to get some fresh air.

I made a couple loaves of fresh bread and rolls.  It was fun to make 3 loaves at once in the kitchen aid.  It certainly makes quick work of it, that’s for sure. That appliance has gotten one heck of a workout lately with all the power baking, but it’s always being used.  D was picking on me today that my 25 lb bag of flour from Sam’s Club is getting close to needing replacing already.

Bread cooling.  One loaf for sandwiches, one for freezing, and rolls for dinner.  It’s a yummy bread recipe from Vegan Lunchbox, called Blue Ribbon Bread.  You can use any cooked leftover whole grains in it.  In the past I’ve used polenta.  This time, I used quinoa.  Came out wonderfully, and everyone loved it.

A big green salad with dinner.  With all the treats and junk food, it felt very cleansing to have a huge salad.  I craved one so much, I made another one just like this for Christmas morning breakfast (for just me though….)

Christmas Eve Dinner!  Tofurky, roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion, and a beautiful eggplant “gratin” made with vegan cheese and a homemade tomato-orange sauce.  And red wine of course.  Need to get those antioxidants in!

A couple of days ago, I started a batch of sprouts.  I soaked the sprouts over night, rinsed them a couple times a day, keeping them in the dark.  Then the last day (day 5), the cover comes off so the sunlight through the window can develop the chlorophyll and make them bright green.  Unfortunately, there was no sun, and I was left with some pretty sad looking sprouts.  They didn’t grow nearly as tall as normal, and they’re a pale green instead of being vibrant. 

Between cooking and working out, I hung out in my bedroom wrapping a big portion of the family Christmas gifts.  I had done a good job of keeping up with buying and then wrapping within a day or two…until the past 2 weeks.  Since most of the gifts were ordered online – and many came while I was in FL – I had a bunch to do.  D did all the big boxes though, which was perfect for me.  He’s better at wrapping anyway, and usually gets stuck with the lion’s share (it’s a fair trade since I do most of the shopping!).

Bumble decided that the best way to help me was to eat the ribbon.  I guess it kept her from crawling inside the tree and knocking all the ornaments off.  Anyone else have a cat and realize you can’t have any ornaments on the tree on the bottom foot, or they end up on the floor??

We have a tradition in our family on Christmas eve.  Everyone opens Christmas Eve jammies, and a family game.  This year’s game was a combo pack of Clue, Scrabble Slam, Sorry, and Monopoly Deal.  We played a game of Clue and had a blast.  It took forever and has changed a great deal since I was a kid, but it was still much fun.  A won…it was Professor Plum, in the Theater, with the Rope. 
After the game, it was time to shuffle the kids off to bed so D and I could get to work.

The tree and all the gifts positioned in the Green Room (called such since the walls are green and we didn’t know what else to call it!).

Had to throw a picture of Bumble disappearing into the pile of presents.  I don’t know if she was looking for hers…or going after a nice big bow to munch on.  I’m guessing the latter.

We went to bed around 1130, and fell quickly asleep (at least I did).  D’s been sick the past few days (flu-like sinus garbage), and since he’s on call, is a little leery about taking NyQuil for fear of sleeping through his pager going off.
The kids roused us around 730, which wasn’t too bad.  The coffee was already ready to go, so we went to the green room to see what Santa brought!  The carnage was over pretty quickly, and I think everyone was happy. 
After breakfast was over, I caught up on some blog reading and then did another P90X workout.  Typically we go out to the movies on Christmas, and D and I had decided we were going to go out to dinner rather than cook.  Unfortunately, D is just getting sicker, and going out wasn’t in the cards.  I went out to Blockbuster, rented a few movies, and then came home trying to figure out what the heck to make for dinner.  I’m out of pretty much everything, and nothing is open (except 7-11).  After going through the pantry and the spice shelves, I decided to make a variation of this – curried lentils with roasted vegetables and some lemon rice.  For the lentil recipe, I used 4 carrots and 4 Yukon gold potatoes instead of the mushrooms and bell peppers (I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand, and D doesn’t like bell peppers).  I also skipped the cayenne pepper (the little one wouldn’t be able to eat it).  It came out amazing, and everyone really liked it.  D even had 2 huge helpings, which is saying a lot when it comes to my “hippie” food.  The lemon rice is my favorite.  I soaked 2 cups of basmati rice for a half hour, and then put it, 3 cups of veggie stock, and 4-5 whole garlic cloves in the rice cooker.  When it was done, I fluffed the rice, added 4 tbsp of vegan margarine and 4 tbsp of lemon juice.  I put the lid back on, let it sit for 10 minutes, and stirred it up.  It has such a good flavor, and I love making it when cooking any Indian inspired dishes.  It may not have been a very “traditional” meal, but that’s no big deal to us.  Heck…our original plan was to go to our favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner! 
The rest of the evening was relaxing and feeling sorry for D.  He’s been a heck of a trooper, but it’s time to put him (and the rest of the kids) in bed and call it a day.  While today was a fairly “normal” Saturday, we truly did have a nice Christmas and I can’t complain at all.
Good night to you all, and I hope your day was just as wonderful

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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