Wednesday, December 16, 2009

M.I.A., but still thankful

Wow. It's been a whirlwind of a week so far. In fact, I spent all day reminding myself that it's Wednesday. For some reason (maybe the crazy nature of the week) I had convinced myself it was Saturday. Anyway, more on the storms later - let's talk about food!

To be quite honest, when I was drafting my menu, I was more focused on how many cookies I could foresee myself making between now and Christmas (and how to prioritize those 200 glorious pages of recipes) than on what's for dinner. I managed to whittle my list down from "all of them" to 4 special and relatively easy recipes. Also, despite an ardent desire to make the Magical Coconut Cookie Bars, I wanted things that could be packaged and taken places to share. As much as I would love to eat them all, I don't like shopping enough to go out and buy a whole new (bigger) wardrobe.

Before I babble about whatever I haven't babbled about this week, let me share with you my bizarre menu (it has an equal number of dinners and cookies - unusual for me).

First, dinners:
1. P.B. Thai - this is my own recipe, and I swear I must have made it before, but I can't find a corresponding blog page for it and I never cleaned up the recipe page. Normally, each recipe I write has two pages - one full of my chicken-scratch with words crossed out or written upside down and quantities changed or inserted, and then the second page, which displays the finished recipe in perfect, school-teacher-legible printing. This only has the first page. In any case, I guess I'll get to share the recipe this time!

2. Peppered Pasta - I hemmed and hawed about this. On the one hand, it's very tasty and Mister is always happy to see pasta in his bowl. On the other, it's a lot of slicing. I actually find the slicing rather therapeutic, but it sure does take a while.

3. Arborio Rice with Roasted Red Peppers, Pine Nuts & Basil from The Vegan Table. When I was flipping through my little gold book of chicken-scratch and pretty printing, I came across a particularly horrendously messy page - it was my attempts to create this dish before I knew Colleen beat me to it.

4. Potato Corn Chowder from The Accidental Vegan. I tried not to have soup on the menu, but this one is just so good. I want to make it tonight, but it's Wednesday, so a veggie burger it is.

Now for the cookies:
1. Sparkle Ginger Cookies from Vegan With A Vengeance, because they were so amazing when I made them a week ago or whenever that was. I need more. I dream of these cookies.

2. Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. What an amazing combination. I'm surprised Ben & Jerry haven't turned it into an oddly named pint of ice cream.

3. Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, also from VCIYCJ. I keep thinking of that horribly cheesy Savage Garden song, "I knew I loved you before I ate you." Okay, I changed the lyrics a little. The point is, these are going to rock. Or they are going to be profoundly disappointing due to the way I have been building them up in my brain for weeks.

4. Chocolate Agave Trailmixers - like trail mix in cookie form...mmm....

Go get the book. NOW.

I haven't been writing because my schedule has been off and I haven't been cooking as much. I did make my other dinner from my sister's hippie cookbook last night. It was a lot spicier than I thought it would be! Mister liked it and I can add rice to the list of things for which I am grateful.
Speaking of addition to my Operation Gratitude Attitude list, I wanted to share some lyrics to a song that has made me cry at least the first time I've heard it every Christmastime since 1998. Thanks, Celine...

The Magic of Christmas Day
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
It's the season to be jolly and be thankful for all that we have

All the lights and decorations put up in anticipation of the joyful celebration that's on its way
We're counting the days 'til it's time for Christmas day
God bless us everyone - The good and the bad, the happy, the sad
God bless us everyone - Here's to family and friends
It's good to be here again

On the streets there's children laughing
People smile as they are passing
Christmas time is here, our waiting is done
Wishing it could last forever not just twelve days in December
Through the year let's try to remember that special way that everyone feels

It's the magic of Christmas day

So fill your heart with love and joy
And through the eyes of girls and boys
Share their wonder, live through their joy - It's easy to do
Just open your heart,
the spirit will come to you

I want to cry just reading those lyrics. Granted, part of it is because I can hear her singing those words with every last bit of her soul when I look at them. Over the decade that I have unashamedly owned this CD, I have had various life events occur that could tie into that song, so in addition to the amazing sentiment portrayed through the lyrics, I've managed to attach a great many memories. I hope you enjoy the lyrics as much as I do, even if Celine isn't your cup of tea.

1. I am grateful I had today off and was as productive as I could be.
2. I am grateful that the upper management sees fit to throw a holiday party for us - we're not entitled to a holiday party, no matter what my colleagues think.
3. I am grateful for sites like to pull my husband out of whatever funk he was in earlier.
4. I am grateful that I will finally get to tell the world my big news very soon. You think it's driving you crazy not to know - imagine knowing and not being able to tell anyone.

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