Friday, December 11, 2015

Stuff I Ate & Annual Holiday Cookbooklette Giveaway!

Bloggy Friends! I've been eatin' and instagrammin' -- but I haven't been very diligent about blogging some of my everyday eats here on the good ol' VE&T. So, what follows is a long display of various culinary delights -- some made for special occasions, and some made for everyday weeknights. 


winter squash stuffed shells

For our annual Friends Thanksgiving Potluck, this year I decided to make a version of stuffed shells with a winter squash sauce. They turned out so well, and I was very delighted with myself, because I pretty much ad-libbed the whole thing, which I rarely do. I used a few sources for reference (the Mexican Casserole from The Abundance Diet, and the tofu ricotta from Voluptuous Vegan), and then I took it from there. The filling inside the giant shells had pureed cinderella squash, tofu ricotta, caramelized onions, a pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper, and dash (or two) of sherry. The sauce on top was cashew-based, with lots more pureed cinderella squash mixed in, plus a healthy dose of nutritional yeast. It was really good. This isn't the most beautiful picture, because I forgot to take a photo on the night of the party. Instead... this is my big bowl of leftovers for lunch the next day! 


giant green salad

We had a nice family Thanksgiving this year, smaller than in many previous years, but still festive. I made more than I needed to, including a giant green salad stuffed to the rim with every veggie I could procure at the farmers market. In the end, it only got a little bit eaten... which meant we had excellent leftovers the next day. The salad was a little wilted, so I used the extra dressing and massaged a bunch of kale, and it was a great way to freshen up some old salad. I kinda like old salad, y'know.


my Thanksgiving Day plate

Mmmm. Here's what we've got: My mom's rice pilaf, vegan stuffing, the mushroom pie from VegNews (with a wild rice crust), mashed potatoes, green salad, creamed onions (with cashew creme and nutmeg), and roasted Brussels. Not bad! Plus a little pitcher of homemade gravy, loosely based on Kristy's recipe here. I never make gravy from scratch and I loved this so much!


Happy Thanksgiving! (ex post facto)

I love the vegan pumpkin pie recipe from Voluptuous Vegan (it's the same one in Vegan Pie In The Sky). For some reason, this year I was REALLY looking forward to pumpkin pie, and this didn't disappoint. Except that just looking at this picture has me wanting to make another one. It's so good. I also appreciate that it's soy-free, because we have a soy-freebie in our family (and she also loves pumpkin pie!). My family is pretty darned cool about letting me make the vegan dessert, so that we can all share and enjoy it together. I really appreciate that!

At the end of the evening, right before people started to leave to go home, we adjourned to the living room, in front of a nice big fire, and we all sat in a circle and said a little about what we were thankful for this year. It was my favorite part of the whole evening. The big things and the little things all add up, and it was so nice to have a chance to express my gratitude to my family, and also to hear their reflections. Thanksgiving can be pretty good, when you get lucky.


the bright pink pudla

You know about Kittee's Pudla scene, right? Lately I have been seriously tearing through these pudlas. I make a big batch and make one every day. I like to stuff them full of veggies and do crazy things like add a big scoop of ajvar too. Damn that's good. Plus, my new favorite is to add a giant roasted beet (all diced up). It turns the whole batter bright red and it's so pretty and tasty.

Plus fuyu persimmons, which I love like a fool, and which I have been consuming at the rate of at least one per day. So good. So crunchy. So orange.



I didn't actually eat Footiekins, I just thought I'd share a picture of him. Pretty much every single thing he does is adorable. Sometimes I really trip out on the fact that animals don't even know about the concept of "cute," and yet they so fully embody it. He is such a great cat. After a long time of being solely interested in Mr. VE&T, Footie has finally taken a (slight) interest in me, and at least once a day he comes and sits on my lap and purrs for a while. I love it so much!


soupy soup soup!

Generally, Mr VE&T and I have "Giant Salad" every Tuesday and Wednesday night. This is because I teach late on those nights and don't often get home before 9:15 or so. For years I found it so stressful to try to think of quick and healthy dinners that I could throw together at that hour, only with rare success. At some point, we settled on giant green salads on those nights. It's a nice solution because I don't have to think about it and it's quick and easy to prepare. 

All that said, it's been cold and wintery lately... and Mr. VE&T suggested that it wasn't really "green salad for dinner" weather, and he was right. So, I opened the fridge and threw all sorts of random veggies and greens and beans into a pot and made this totally delicious soup... quite akin to minestrone. This was another proud moment for me, since I almost never wing-it without a recipe ( and when I do, the results are not always that tasty, ha ha!). Plus I got to use these amazing little pastas in our soup. I got them at a fancy food shop when we were in NYC. When they cook, they sorta turn into mini-gnocchi or something. They are so fun and tasty in the soup! I'll have to hunt down more when we run out of this baggie.


roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup

Oh my gosh, this recipe. I blogged about it once a couple of years ago, and I was so happy to make it again. Have you ever had sunchokes? They are so delicious, and I especially love them roasted. This soup is so fantastic because it's basically just a bunch of roasted sunchokes, a whole head of roasted cauliflower, some roasted onions & garlic -- all blended up with some broth and a little seasoning. Somehow the result is so rich and so bursting with umami. It's amazing. I especially love her suggestion of garnishing with roasted hazelnuts for a little crunch. The first night we had this with some sliced apples from our tree... but the second night we went out and got a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread and had toast with it. Soup and toast is a match made in heaven. 

~~~~~~ Annual Holiday Cookbooklette Giveaway! ~~~~~~~

If you've made it this far, you really deserve a prize. And guess what?? I've got something to give away! It's that time of year, and I've got a piping-hot-off-the-press edition of this year's homemade, hand-drawn cookbooklette featuring my favorite recipe discoveries of 2015, and oodles of doodles of yours truly and my gang. 



This year I'm going to pick 15 winners -- and this giveaway is open to everyone all around the whole wide world. Just leave a nice comment here on this post -- tell me about holiday crafts, holiday traditions, what you like for breakfast, or really, whatever you feel like telling me. And make sure to include an email or I'll skip over you and pick a different winner instead! (holiday threats!)

Thanks for reading my blog after all these years! I really enjoy blogging -- especially the opportunity to make and sustain friendships with all of you. So it's fun to offer my annual giveaway and have so many winners.

62 comments:

  1. Anich2@unh.newhaven.edu12:35 PM

    We started a new tradition last year of making a vegan braided sweet bread for breakfast on Christmas morning, based on an old recipe from
    Vegetarian times. I'm looking forward to tweaking it this year!

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  2. Your pumpkin pie letters are adorable!

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  3. Yay! It's Holiday Cookbooklette time! ;-)

    All the foodz look so good. Esp that beet pudla. God, I love pudla. Also, I wish my family would eat pumpkin pie. My mom and dad are pumpkin-phobic, so we never have pumpkin pie on the holidays. :-(

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  4. Oh my god - we recently made sunchoke soup and pretty much only used sunchokes! We didn't know about their, errrr...side effects! Mistake! It definitely worked better over other meals than as stand alone soup. (Who knew?!)

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  5. Hedda2:41 PM

    Love your blog, and your presentation is beautiful. I've signed up to get notifications, but don't feel comfortable leaving my email here. Will be trying the winter squash stuffed shells, looks wonderful :)

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  6. Glenn-jones@shaw.ca
    I love your recipe ideas and your kitty is very sweet! My name is Pauline and my husband and I have been Vegans for about 6 months now. We're both loving it and since I love to cook the whole process has been tons of fun!

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  7. Your critters are the CUTEST! And yes, now you're tripping ME out that my sweet little Betty CockerSpaniel has no concept of "cute", yet embodies it every day. Woah!

    I love your blog - the recipes, the reviews, the adorable drawings, all of it. I even loved your video kitchen tour for this year's Vegan MoFo. Thank you for blogging so wonderfully!

    m.bayville.nelson@gmail.com

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  8. You are so much fun! The shells, pie, and footiekins look right up my alley!

    I love oatmeal for breakfast. Its an easy and healthy start in case I don't choose so wisely the rest of the day.

    Diana at veggienextdoor dot com.

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  9. I like a savory breakfast so have been eating steel cut oats mixed with miso and it is wonderful! Thank you for having the give away. My email is achathampally at gmail.com

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  10. I totally just ate but now I'm hungry again from looking at this post. I want those winter squash shells, but it's summer! :(

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  11. Yum, that Thanksgiving plate looks delicious, and your pie is gorgeous! My favorite breakfast is overnight oats, but I love it best with some frozen blueberries or cherries in it. Thanks for the giveaway! queenhoneyb@yahoo.com

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  12. Looks so good. Yum. For breakfast I love an baked blueberry oatmeal. For holiday crafts today just made holiday pillowcases, using the burrito method. Fun ! Knitting also. Thanks for chance to win

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  13. For breakfast on Christmas morning I'm planning to top homemade cinnamon rolls with an apple pie style topping. I'm too lazy to try it before the big day so fingers crossed it works out how I plan. :) Also, those stuffed shells sound amazing! I need to make something similar, thanks for the inspiration.

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  15. Today my teenage daughter asked if we could make cinnamon ornaments again this year. We have been doing this for many years now, so I guess this is our craft/tradition and I am glad she still wants to do it!
    Thanks carole.l.porter@gmail.com

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  16. I love your blog!
    I can't wait for your thoughts on the taco cleanse but I was impatient and ordered the book anyway so I hope you are giving the book an ace review.
    You have so much fun things going on, from thanksgiving, Persian new year, and potlucks!!
    Sadly now I don't have holiday tradition, living alone abroad puts tradition in my bottom list of priorities. I just indulge on reading your blog and jealously wish I am part of it.
    So please...be diligent on blogging ������

    dianalesaux@gmail.com

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  17. Soup and salad are great for dinner on yoga nights! I also teach 2 evenings a week, and while my hubby usually cooks on one of those nights, on the other I have a few hours at home between my job and my class, so earlier this year I declared Soup Night and have been trying lots of delicious soup recipes since then. However it is getting too hot for that now here, so I have decided to switch to Salad Night. You and I are in reverse - ha ha!
    miafaletti (at) g mail (dot) com

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  19. I really want to win your cookbook ... trying to convince the In-laws that vegetarianism/veganism can be an option for them... dprap@aol.com

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  20. Anonymous5:02 AM

    Reading your blog really brightens my day. I feel out of sync with my family and friends since I am the only one who is vegan - however, my nephew has just told me he now has a "plant-based diet" - I guess that is vegan. If I win a cookbooklette I plan to photocopy it and give to a few friends so they can try your great recipes. jenniferlouisehansraj@gmail.com

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  21. I am new to your site. I just started seeing it this morning, so I have some exploring to do. I would love to have one of your cookbooklets to get me off to a good start. Thank you donnacullins@gmail.com

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  22. I keep intending to make soy yogurt with the recipe on your blog, even bought a thermometer, but I have had so many failures to date that I haven't been brave enough to do so yet. Anyway, I would love to have your cookbooklet. Thank you for the chance! arose855@yahoo.com

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  23. I wanted to share something non-food! I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training in November and wanted to tell you that you are a big inspiration for me! Plus I used your yoga stick figure drawings and shared them with my fellow trainees. Mwah!


    beckysekeres at gmail dot com

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  24. I do so love your drawings and would love to win a copy of the booklet. no real holiday traditions and i'm pretty much alone now - I think I will try and get out and do some hiking w/ the dogs and commune w/ nature.

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  25. I love persimmons too! They are such a treat this time of year :)

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  26. My family has lots of holiday traditions but my favourite is a candlelight Christmas Eve supper with my favourite holiday record playing, sparkling wine and my favourite people around the table. The family recipe that my sister and I both use now is my Dad's special Christmas Eve Salad. Essentially a mix of marinated mushrooms, fresh parsley, baby carrots, green oilves and a garlicky/mustard dressing. Thanks for writing your blog all there years! It's still my happy place :) Wishing comfort and joy to you and yours! elyse1@gmail.com

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  27. I have 2 holiday traditions. There must be pumpkin pie, and I like buy some new little toys for my 2 cats. It makes me so happy to see them playing and excited about something new.
    I also want to say how much I love your blog. Your stories and drawings, your love of food and animals, and your genuine enthusiasm and excitement about all the things, big and small, give my hearth such a warm, fuzzy feeling! I am very much alone in life right now so these small connections with other people mean a great deal to me. Thank you and happy holidays! egarmon@gmail.com

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  28. I love the Footie pic! And I love the idea of switching from a salad to a soup - winter is much more soup weather :) Happy holidays!
    lburnett@alumnae.mills.edu

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  29. Yay cookbooklet! I look forward to these each year. ErinDoesLife at gmail dot com.

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  30. lydia1:29 PM

    i've only recently found your blog & it's so fun, i've been going through all the tags & have found tons i want to make.
    thanks for the pudla link, i'd no heard of those yet! happiest of holidays.
    lydia_webster@yahoo.com

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  31. It's the most wonderful time of the year... when Amey's zine comes out!

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  32. Amey, we love your cookbooklettes and your blog. You inspire us. pseltz@hotmail.com

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  33. Love your blog & your drawings! I hope your winter squash stuffed shell recipe is in your booklet & I hope to be a lucky recipient:)
    Beverleerichmond&gmail.com

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  34. I'm new to your site, but I love love love seeing all of your vegan eats.
    Sunchokes are in season now where I live, I should give that soup a try. Happy holidays!

    Chavi.Samet@gmail.com

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  35. I love making your recipes and especially love reading your blog. The illustrations are so cute! I would love to get the booklet. Either way, Happy Holidays to you and your family! zula154@yahoo.com

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  36. Hi Amey! I'm so happy to read your new posts :) I do a "stuff I ate" post most every time I blog haha! For the holidays, I do my shopping mostly online (for sanity), and make xmas cookies for my coworkers and friends. This year I'm making babka bread for xmas! Happy Holidays to you & Musty & the doggies & kitties <3 kmsullivan87@gmail.com

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  37. Oooh, I love your cookbook so please pick meeee. :) This weekend we went to the Prague National Theater to see the Nutcracker which is probably my favorite Christmas tradition. Oh and strolling around Prague looking at all the lights and Christmas markets; it's like a fairy land right now. (jolana@gmail.com)

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  38. Thanks for the opportunity for the cookbook! Great eats, love the Thanksgiving plate and I must try pudla!

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  39. I love your site and your cookbooklettes! My favorite part of the holidays is decorating the tree...i am in the midst of a move right now...so no tree this year. But i am considering a valentine's day tree just so i can decorate one soon. :) Thanks for always having such great posts and your endless pet doodles, they are the best. Happy Holidays! -sara (sara.querbes@gmail.com)

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  40. Amey I want to buy one! xoxoxoxo

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  41. And OMG SUNCHOKES FOREVER

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  42. So much delicious food! No Thanksgiving food down here, of course, but I am starting to enter full planning mode for Christmas day. I ordered a fun new roast to try and I am planning on making a bunch of exciting salads and sides.

    I think the reason that humans can never be as cute as cats is because we are so aware of the concept of cute that if we were that cute we would be so transfixed by ourselves that we would never be able to do anything else ever again except marvel at our own cuteness.

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  43. Oooh look at all of that food. Love the stuffed shell idea for Thanksgiving - very unique!
    Your thanksgiving plate looks so super delicious. The mushroom pie sounds especially yummy =)
    Your pie is so pretty!!! You did such a great job with the lettering on it. Wow.
    I like the term soy-freebie, I shall now refer to myself as that ;p
    That soup looks great too =) All of your food looks so good!
    Not sure if you are still doing the giveaway or not, but if so, I would love to be entered. My email address is rockmyvegansocks@gmail.com

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  44. I make a huge pot of soup on Sunday and it usually lasts through Thursday. I'm way too tired to cook a decent meal from scratch after a long day at work. I even do this in the summer, but I definitely make different kinds of soups.

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  45. What a cute little booklet! :) That Thanksgiving plate looks perfect, I want all the brussels. So is Pudla basically a savory breakfast pancake? Because that sounds amazing, I'll have to check out Kittee's link. We have a salad day too (Monday)! But it's usually because we eat more junk on the weekend, and want to repent. :)

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  46. I'm one of those people that don't think this is the "most wonderful time of the year". I'm not a good shopper so I've been making felt creatures for the kids to make up their own stories on a felt board. Staying creative with homemade gifts keeps my spirits up and the mind busy.I look forward to your blog posts Amey, you are such a positive influence and lucky to have a loving family. Warmest wishes to you from Alaska! ( fireweedstation@mtaonline.net )

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  47. Amey,
    Your blog has really helped me with my transition ( I emailed you a few months ago about my dilema ) Thanks to you, I actually have been (fairly) successful, and have inspired a few friends (3-but still that is something) to go on this journey with me. In fact, I have started writing a blog style cook book (I guess it is a new style) called "up for a challenge" to help them along the way, the same way that you did for me. Holiday Tradition- letting my step daughter pick out an ornament for the tree and making ornaments for the family- we went pinecone hunting this year to turn into mini trees :)
    You are awesome, thank you for the time you spend.
    Always- Becky Beccagmold@Outlook.com

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  48. Our family tradition breakfast is tofu Quiche, cinnamon rolls,eggplant bacon and fresh squeezed juice. Thanks
    Sanielj@gmail.com

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  49. I love your food and recipes so much! They are so much what the flavors and ingredients that I also lean towards. Let's see, a holiday tradition. Ours is Christmas breakfast. Traditionally it is scrambled eggs with tomato sauce and canadian bacon, but with multiple vegheads in the family now it is tofu scramble with tomato sauce and tempeh. I love my family!

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  50. I spend my Christmas morning doing brunch, drinks, and gift opening with my family. It has been a cool way to bring some vegan food to the table. I might have to jump on that pudla bandwagon soon!

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  51. I love reading your posts they're always so happy and cute! I love having tofu scramble for breakfast though I rarely make it and end up juicing a bunch of stuff daily for breakfast!

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  52. my mom and i make a zillion christmas cookies together. and now my sons help too (kind of)!!!

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  53. that pie is adorable! Everything looks amazing :)

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  54. I'm jealous of your cold weather. It's been about 0°C here and just does not feel like winter (or the holidays) at all. It's very hard to not to feel cheated right now. I want to be skiing and skating and playing in the snow right now not chilling in a sweater. Nothing but delicious holiday food can help now. (Wink,wink)

    -Midnite-hime
    Harrypotter_rox( at )msn.com

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  55. anich2@unh.newhaven.edu1:44 PM

    We started a new tradition last year by baking a beautiful vegan braided sweet bread based on an old Vegetarian Times recipe. Looking forward to doing it again!

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  56. We're making cookies and wrapping up some baker's twine trees!

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  57. Oh! Just yesterday, I've picked up a bag of sunchokes without a specific plan for them (besides roasting them, because that's just so delicious!), but now I know what they'll be turned into... That soup sounds amazing; thank you for sharing it!

    As for holiday traditions, in my family they include grandma's amazing pecan pie. Mom has been the one making the pecan pies (plural, because the family goes through a huge batch of those!) since grandma has passed away, and together we've started experimenting with vegan versions for me too, so I can keep enjoying that most awesome seasonal delight!

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  58. With each new grandchild (#8 coming soon), I buy a quilted Christmas stocking and cross stitch their name and designs. I started with my childrens birth so the oldest stocking is 42 years old now. They are used every year.

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  59. Sorry, my email to the above Deborah K email is dkerick1@yahoo.com

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  60. Hey! Count me in! I wish I had as much energy as you. Not quite vegan, but incorporating more recipies in my family's diet. One sneaky entree at a time. I don't drop in here enough and when I do, I enjoy catching up with you and yours.
    Peace and Blessings this Holiday Season
    courtlykimatyahoodotcom

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  61. OOh not very exciting, but every year we buy something new (often food related) for our festive Christmas tree.

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  62. Oh oh! I only just discovered your site and commenting on the off chance that it's not too late to go into the draw to win one of your gorgeous looking zines ... but also to say a big old thanks to you for your reviews of cookbooks. I am transitioning to veganism and getting really excited about cook books and blogs and recipes and want to try everything! Currently working my way through Vegan Richa and loving every single recipe I have tried. Your blog is hugely inspiring and I think you are tops!

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