Monday, December 29, 2008

The After-Christmas Gift Fairy

It's a running joke in my family that Christmas never really ends after December 25th. Allow me to explain:

My mother is an expert gift hider as a result of my sister's continued attempts over the years to find and peek at her Christmas gifts. In fact, my mother's hiding skills are so advanced, she often manages to hide them from even herself. Thus, in the days and weeks following Christmas Day, Mom bestows presents as she incidentally finds them throughout the house. Thus far, I have received a green sweater as well as a gray dress and a purple turtleneck.

In addition to my mother's after-Christmas gifts, I also received a few presents in the mail today from fellow food bloggers. My Secret Santa package arrived from Sarah. Judging by the plentiful Z bars, Spirutein packets, and Kashi products, Sarah has got my taste preferences pegged:) Thanks so much, Sarah!
I also found a package from Futter's Nut Butters on my doorstep this afternoon. Inside I found a lovely gift basket from VeggieGirl! I am super-psyched about trying these almond butters. Thank you, VeggieGirl!
I spent my weekend catching up with friends and relaxing, but I managed to create a few tasty dishes along the way:

I busted out my fave cookbook, ED&BV for dinner Friday. White Bean-Walnut Bruschetta was on the menu for the evening, but I didn't have any bread (!), so I improvised with an Ezekiel pita. I also had broccoli and a salad with pom seeds.
My love of cherries continues to plague my tastebuds with a vengeance. Yep. It's another cherry Spirutein smoothie. Delicious, as always.
I went out to breakfast with "the girls" at Original Pancake House on Saturday morning. My mom, sisters, and I met up with some family friends for a morning of chit-chat and pancakes. Since cutting eggs out of my diet, the OPH has limited menu options for me, but I am always happy to order their phenomenal oatmeal. Somehow, oatmeal prepared in restaurants and hotels achieves a wonderful glue-y consistency I can never re-create at home. Anyway, since I have ordered this before, I didn't bring my camera along. Check out pics of other OPH visits here.

We spent the afternoon shopping the post-Christmas sales but returned home empty-handed...and hungry. I made a simple Tofurky-Peach-Walnut Roll Up with vegan mayo; I also had a salad with dried cherries and an assortment of crudites. Recipe for the roll-up is from Rudi's here.
I've had an acorn squash staring at me on my counter for the past few weeks, so I finally put it to good use by creating a squash-kale saute with navy beans and herbs de provence. I also had salad, broccoli, plus an apple with PB for dessert.
The shake of the evening was a chocolate-covered strawberry, in liquid form: strawberries, soymilk, unsweetened chocolate Spirutein, and chocolate syrup.
Before heading to church, I gobbled down some overnight oats, topped with Brazil nuts and chopped dates. The travel section made for excellent reading:)
I reunited with an elementary/middle school friend at Starbucks for the afternoon. I am so glad we re-connected--we still are very compatible! Anyway, as a result of our lengthy chat, I didn't eat lunch until 3:30. I scarfed down a taco salad with chili beans, a snack pack of guac, salsa, and corn tortillas; thats a dish of clementines and pom seeds on the side.
In an attempt to use up more of that squash, I made a leftover vegetable casserole with squash, kale, navy beans, low-sodium V8, and a topping made up of bread crumbs and ground walnuts. Delish.
I had another chocolate-covered strawberry shake last night, this time using hemp protein instead of Spirutein. Yummers.
Following an intense and chilly run this morning, I fired up the griddle and made some vegan banana pancakes. I spread them with chocolate PB--just like chocolate chip pancakes! Check out my awesome winter spatula and my uber-girly polka-dot plates.
Due to a busy day of errands with my dad, I didn't get a chance to eat lunch until nearly 5! Needless to say, I was rather famished. Here's what I gobbled up: black bean burger (from frozen) on whole wheat with guacamole, squash fries with organic catsup, and a clementine with grapes.
I just hopped out of the shower before typing up this post. I used my favorite shower gel ever, Child. I reluctantly retired my Candy Cane body wash (by Philosophy) for the year:( What kind of shower gels do you use?

Ciao for now!


VeggieGirl said...

Haha, such a cute tradition/joke!! :-D

Fabulous secret santa gift!!

HOORAY!! So glad that you received the package in one piece - I hope that you enjoy the almond-butters :-)

Lovely eats and beverages, as always!! You continue to inspire me, girl.

OH MY GOODNESS!! I've been looking everywhere for those guacamole packs, but can't find them!! I'm envious :-(

Love the dishes, spatula, cups, etc.!!

**I use this shower gel:

shelby said...

Delicious oats! And that brushetta sounds amazing. I will try that recipe soon.

haha My mom is the same way with gifts at Christmas or just about any time of the year. SO forgetful

ktshadley said...

Is Child Philosophy? Anyway, I use Depth brand by Whole Foods, the scent is Sea Berry, it rocks and they make shampoo, conditioner, and shave cream in addition to the body wash.

Erica said...

That is so funny about your mom! That totally cracks me up!

That bean bruschetta sounds fabulous! I want to try something like that!

I am a soap body wash ;)Dove!

K said...

Haha what a cute "tradition" and hooray for the gifts!! Let us know what you think of the PB :)

Chocolate covered strawberry shake - YUM!! I love how creative you are with your leftovers!

Love the mug too!

My shower gel: Black Currant Vanilla from Bath and Body Works

eatingbender said...

Haha your mom = my mom. She ALWAYS hides presents from herself! Especially gift cards from other family members. My brother and I always get at least one Post-It in our stocking that says something like, "Cosi card. Once I find it!" Gotta love moms :o)

Great Secret Santa gift and birthday present from VeggieGirl!

I looove your polka dot dish and mug! Fabulous! And, like VeggieGirl, I have looked EVERYWHERE for those guacamole packets and can't find them!

Emma said...

oooh yummy! I especially love the look of those pancakes with choccie dip!

mmmm! Love the spatula too- that is soo cool!

Vegan On Stage said...

haha i love christmas.. after christmas!!! nothing better than getting a gift a couple of days after the fact. Im glad you still reaping the benefits of your sisters curiosity ahha.

your food looks amazinggggggggg as usual

lauren said...

That is so funny about your mom! Your White Bean-Walnut Bruschetta sounds great.

I use Dove soap and body wash - the same scent for both - grapefruit & lemongrass, Energize!

Marianne said...

Love the spatula! Very festive.

And that wrap looks mighty tasty. I would never have thought of putting peaches in my wrap, but I might just have to try that.

Megan said...

I feel the SAME way about restaurant oats - I love the "glue-y" consistency. I'm not quite sure what I can be attributed to - more liquid? cooking a big pot and keeping it warm? different oats? They're so good!!

K said...

Girl - your cottage cheese comment made me laugh out loud! It does sound a little sketch but I don't care!! As for the sweet v. savory = BOTH! Sometimes I'm a little cinnamon girl, sometimes I'm a little hot sauce and pepper girl :) You? said...

that is too funny that u made a choc covered strawberry smoothie too! great minds think alike :) yours looks even better than mine - i love the choc at the top!

happy new year :)

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: Thanks SO much for the gift! I am really excited to try the nut butters!
I found the guac at Wal Mart
That shower gel looks heavenly!
Shelby: That's def one of my fave recipes from ED&BV
ktshadley: Child is not by Philosophy, although I am not sure how to get it because it was a gift.
Erica: Way to keep it simple! Dove is good stuff.
K: Ooh! I might have to check out that shower gel soon since they are having a HUGE sale now.
EatingBender: Haha good to know that my mom is not the only forgetful one!
I found the guac packs at my local Wal-Mart of all places!
Emma: Nothing better than chocolate in the morning!
Vegan on Stage: Thanks! I hope you're able to enjoy the holiday tomorrow!
Lauren: Ooh! That Dove Energize sounds great!
Marianne: Yeah, I thought the peaches was a strange idea at first too, but it ended up being delicious!
Megan: I think it's probably the longer cooking time that makes the restaurant oats so good--maybe I should try making them in a slow cooker one of these days!
K: I have actually never eaten cottage cheese in a savory way--let me know if you have any suggestions!
LoveofOats: Happy New Year to you too!

K said...

Savory way - I take some toast, spread some hot sauce on it, plop on the CC, and put a few dashes of pepper on top. It may sound strange but it's good :)