Thursday, November 19, 2009

My new camera!

I have the most wonderful husband... he got me a new digital camera for an early Christmas present!! It is little and cute and green. It couldn't get much better than that! I was so bummed last week when our other camera went kaput. I knew it was going to happen soon, but I figured it had a couple more months left in it. I never really liked our other camera and I had already looked at the stores several times and decided on a couple that I wanted, so I told Andy and then Bam! The UPS guy is at our door delivering me a new camera. Now I just have to figure out how to use it! It is just a point and shoot camera, so it should be easy, but it does have some different features than our old camera. I've been trying it out, but the kids are very uncooperative. Drew and Alex both run away when I want to take their photo - they've turned it into some sort of game where I have to chase them. Alex is not that fast yet, so he's the only one I've been able to catch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ravioli - vegan style!

I've been thinking about ravioli a lot lately, trying to decide how I could make some. I used to love ravioli, but it is most definitely not vegan, and a lot of times not even vegetarian. There may be a commercially produced vegan version out there somewhere, but I haven't seen any and I guess I haven't really looked. Those things, if available in a vegan version, usually come in very small packages (not for a hungry family of 5), and are too pricey for us. I usually just shop at Schnucks or occasionally IGA which does have a natural foods section, but its not that large. We do have Strawberry Fields which carries lots and lots of vegan/vegetarian/organic products, but it is so pricey I only go there about 2x a year. I love it, but you have to be rich to shop there! (I miss the co-op in St. Paul so much sometimes!)

I've looked online a few times for ravioli recipes, but I had not really found anything I thought would work. And I've never really made homemade pasta, so that scares me a little. I have made homemade lasagna noodles, but that is the extent of my pasta making, and lasagna noodles are so easy. So, knowing Andy can find anything online, I told him about my ravioli cravings and set him to work. He of course turned up a recipe and some pasta making sites as well.

We decided to make mushroom and tofu stuffed ravioli, and topped it with our homemade tomato sauce. Andy sauteed baby bella mushrooms in olive oil and white wine with salt and pepper and I mixed up tofu concoction with nutritional yeast and basil and some other spices. I used a combination whole wheat flour and white flour and rolled out some sheets of pasta. I put scoops of both mixtures on the pasta sheet, put another pasta sheet on top and used a pizza cutter to cut my ravioli. They suggested using a pastry cutter or pie cutter, but I had neither. I then used a fork around the edge to make them look a little nicer. I think they look so cute - it was a lot of work but it was actually fun too! I think we used about every bowl and pan in our kitchen, but it was worth it. They turned out awesome!!!

I didn't get a photo after they were done cooking, we were too busy eating. Drew really liked it, and Faye not as much, but she still ate it. Alex didn't eat much either, but while he was waiting he had a huge piece of homemade whole wheat bread just out of the oven, so he already had a full tummy.

The one photo I did get is not great either; my camera broke a couple days ago so I had to use my phone. Hopefully I will get an early Christmas present this year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Magical veggie loaf?

Ever heard of a magical veggie loaf? I made one for dinner, and it seemed to disappear quickly with my kids, so it was magical here. I normally make a lentil loaf (vegan version of a meat loaf) once or twice a month, but I have been getting tired of it. I like to try new things, whereas Andy and the kids could eat the same thing over and over. I did a search today and found this link:

You just select the ingredients you have or want and it tells you how much of each ingredient you need to make a magical veggie loaf. Could be scary as you don't really know what it will turn out like, but I figured why not try it? I decided to use tofu, whole wheat bread crumbs, and pecans as the main ingredients, with sauteed onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. I through in some spices and it amazingly enough turned out great! The kids topped theirs with ketchup and gobbled it up. Truly Magical!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lights out!

My kids, Drew especially, are obsessed with turning out the lights. All the lights. I thought kids were afraid of the dark? Well, my kids definitely are not afraid. It is getting dark here around 5:30pm, about the time Andy gets home from work. Drew runs around the house and turns out all the lights, and that combined with some new thick drapes (supposed to help keep the cold out) I bought for our downstairs, makes our house very very dark.

I went upstairs last night to check my email, and when I came back downstairs to make dinner I couldn't see a thing. I can barely walk around until my eyes adjust. Andy loves it since we'll be saving money. I don't mind it sometimes but wow I get really tired of being in the dark all evening! I sort of hope this doesn't last too long with the kids.

The kids had a great game of Hide and Seek in the dark last night. Even Alex joined in the fun. They used their flashlights to find each other. At least they can find ways to have fun on their own!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Learning new things

Here's Faye ready for gymnastics today. We arrived a little early, so they like to go over to the basketball court and run around before class. Faye loves to pose for pictures. She's wearing one of my old leotards I wore when I was little - her teacher commented on how much she loved it. The old ones are really cool compared to some of the newer ones. You just can't find stuff like this now, so I'm glad my mom saved them!

Faye learned how to tie her shoelaces all by herself this morning! She's been working on it for awhile, and was really close to being able to do it, but finally this morning she put both of her shoes on and did it all on her own. She even double knotted them!

When we came home from the gym they all were hungry and wanted a snack, so they had bananas. Alex wanted one too and he actually looked at me and said, "na na". I was so ridiculously happy. Its amazing how such small stuff can be so important and really make your day! He never talks and it just came right out this morning.