Monday, December 31, 2012

Double Creamy Fruit Salad and Christmas, 2012!

Yes, I know, I'm barely squeezing my Christmas post in before the end of the year!  But, I'm just glad to be doing it.  I have been disgustingly sick for three weeks, and am carving out a spot of energy to do this post.  Actually, without GR and G, Christmas wouldn't have been the same.  GR baked all of our cookies and the Happy Birthday, Jesus, cake, set up the tree and its lights, and decorated inside and out.  She is my Christmas-loving girl - remember her bedroom?  And, G somehow made our tired out carpets look new with his obsessive vacuuming.  Thank you, both!  As usual, my parents came over for breakfast, and we also had two extra guests this year, so it was really nice to get that extra help.

Also, as usual, we had a dinner potluck with the larger, extended family, and I decided to make a salad I veganized from a gathering a long time ago.  When I was in college, I belonged to an environmental club, and at one of our potlucks, a guy brought this simple unnamed fruit salad that had this amazing dressing on top.  It was such a great group, and he was such a cool guy.  He was actually the first person to give me an article on how animals raised for food are treated: it was a one-page article with a photo of a veal calf.  That was the first meat I gave up.  I tried once in high school to become veg but didn't stick with it.  Anyhow, I have saved that weathered article all these years because it was so life-changing for me.  So, that was the guy, and that was his salad dressing, but it was dairy-based.  He didn't seem to really measure anything, I was chatting with him as he  basically just plopped stuff in a bowl, but I've gone strict and offered measurements.  I know some of this fruit isn't in its proper season, but it still tasted great.  Maybe he'll see this and rub his chin with the memory.

The rest of our day's food went like this:


Our first gingerbread house
Cookies by GR:  Tiger Balls, Chocolate Chip, Holiday Cookies
Happy Birthday, Jesus, cake by GR
Chocolate hearts by GR
Loaded Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast Potato Skillet
Sausage and Cheese Muffins
Amazing fruit platter by my mom (unpictured)
Juices, Hot Cider and Coffee


I brought:
Double Creamy Fruit Salad

We also could eat:
Green salad
Baked Beans - recipe passed down for generations
3 types of cookies and an apple pie
No complaints here!

On with the pics and recipe.  Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  My goal is to definitely amp up my postings.  Hopefully, all the craziness and sickness are behind us now.

Our first gingerbread house!  GR and I mainly did this with JK's little hands "helping" as he could.  GR was surprisingly bossy with this thing.  It was a blast to make it with her.

Our breakfast table.  The fruit platter didn't make the shot.  All was delicious, of course.  :-)

These didn't make the earlier shot either.  GR made these chocolate hearts for us.

Our annual trek to the fire station to deliver cookies.  I love our station and all it's crews!  GR's cookies are being held by the firefighter standing next to SR.  JK's in front with some new Christmas wrestlers, GR's wearing her new Big Bang Theory shirt, SR's wearing her new Christmas dress, and she'll be getting that cast off in a couple of weeks.

A serving of Double Creamy Fruit salad.  A white dressing, in a white bowl on my mom's white counter wasn't the greatest combination, but trust me, this is so good.

Double Creamy Fruit Salad


Can be flexible here.  Use several cups of your favorite fruits.  I used:

1 pineapple, chopped
2 Fuji apples, cored and chopped
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup of blueberries

1 cup vegan sour cream
1 cup vegan vanilla ice cream


Put all fruit in a large bowl.  Ten minutes before serving, take out the ice cream from the freezer and set on the counter.  After ten minutes, add the dressing ingredients to the bowl of fruit and gently fold in.  Do not stir with a hard hand.  You don't want the dressing to become liquidy.  Keep it creamy and billowy.  Serve immediately.  So good you won't believe it.  It's a nice twist on the standard fruit salad.  Feeds five hungry vegans and more!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sauteed Mushroom-Topped Burgers

Hah, I guess we're traveling through Burgerville.  If you'd like to join the trip, then All Aboard!  Right after enjoying our delicious Chili Cheese Burgers , I whipped up a batch of my Sauteed Mushroom-Topped Burgers, another easy recipe.  I'm into easy these days, I guess.  I like to keep the condiments simple on this one, so as not to compete with one of my favorite things to eat: the beloved mushroom.  Served with a side of veggies, it makes for a complete meal. Enjoy!

Sauteed Mushroom-Topped Burgers


1 Tbs. olive oil
12 - 14 button mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil for frying
3 pkgs. of vegan Boca Burgers - enough for seconds and/or leftovers 
1 red onion, sliced into rings
Mustard - I love me some plain yellow here
Favorite burger buns


Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  When heated, add the mushrooms.  Cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the seasonings.  Let them reduce a bit first.  After adding the seasoning, cook for another few minutes, until they are tender and you can't resist them anymore.  In the meantime, heat the canola oil in large pan over medium heat.  When hot, add enough burgers to make a layer in the pan.  Cook for three to five minutes, then flip, and continue with another three to five minutes, until they have browned.  Finish with the rest of the burgers.   Spread your Vegenaise and mustard on the buns.  Add a burger, some onion slices and a couple of spoonfuls of your shroomies.  Top with the other bun half.  Open wide and bite.  So good!  Serve with a side of veggies.  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chili Cheese Burgers

This meal follows shortly after my Chili Cheese Dogs and is even easier to make than the dogs were!  I'm not going to apologize for using shortcuts.  Feeding a family on a regular basis, homeschooling my children, and keeping busy in so many other countless ways justifies me in taking a break every now and then in food preparation.  This is a kid-friendly meal, and we all gobbled them up.  Treat yourself to a break too, and make these soon.  :-)

Chili Cheese Burgers


Vegan Boca burgers - enough to feed your family.  I use three boxes: enough for seconds for some and leftovers.
Canola oil for frying
1- 29 oz. can vegan chili beans or 2 - 15 oz. cans
Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet cheese, cheddar style, sliced somewhat thinly
Your favorite burger buns


Heat a couple of tablespoons of the oil in large pan that has a lid over medium heat.  (Don't put the lid on, yet.)  When hot, add four to six burgers, however much your pan can hold in single layer.  Brown on one side, three to five minutes.  Flip burgers over and add the slices of cheese to the top of each burger.  Add the lid to the pan and cook until the cheese melts, another couple of minutes.  In the meantime, heat the can of beans in a medium pot over medium heat.  When the burgers are done, place them on the bottom half of a burger bun, scoop a spoonful of chili beans over the top, and add the top of the bun.  Finish with the rest of the burgers.  Serve with a side of veggies for a complete meal.  Feeds five hungry vegans.