Monday, December 24, 2007

So yummy, you won't mind cleaning up after Santa!


1 C. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. Earth Balance
7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
2/3 C. white sugar
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. plain or vanilla soy yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl. Melt EB in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa and both sugars. Transfer to a large bowl and add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Drop by level tablespoons two inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want. Cool on pans for 2 to 3 minutes or until firm, then transfer to wire racks. Makes 19 with my medium cookie scoop.

*Adapted from Alice Medrich's recipe in Cooking Light Jan. 2002 issue.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Special Lunch @ Native Foods

We were going to have lunch with one of my favorite people..... KAREN!

We were meeting her at Native Foods in Costa Mesa. The girls and I were early, so we explored The Camp, which is the eco-friendly shopping mall where NF resides.

The girls enjoyed running up and down these steps, relaxing in the hammock, and listening to giant wind chimes up above.

After enthusiastic greetings and photos-ops, we sat down to lunch.

Karen and I shared nachos, pizza, and edamame, all of which was very delicious.

But, it was more than food. We were excited to see each other and catch-up. We had a lively lunch full of conversation, and laughs, and the patio was a perfect setting to celebrate being together again.

I was super impressed with the children's menu!

This is what Abi had: "Save the Chicken" Nuggets, with brown rice, dipping veggies with Ranch, and a mango smile. Abi really enjoyed this, and I would have been perfectly happy with this meal myself. She let me have a nugget, and it was delicious!
Liv had the "Cheese" Pizza with banana slices on the side, which was also quite tasty.

After lunch, we took Karen with us to The Farm at The OC Fairgrounds. This is a favorite stop for us and you can see more about the farm here and here.
Karen had a special way with the animals. They must have sensed her warm and caring spirit. They'd go to her, and she would rub their heads or scratch their ears and talk to them dearly.

We were all happy piggies that day! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

San Diego

Fall disappeared while we were gone, and this photo was taken before going to CA. It's 'Banana Crumble' from The Joy of Vegan Baking. It's super easy to make and fun to serve in individual dishes. You must eat this dish warm with a scoop of Soy Delicious vanilla. Really, you must!

Thanksgiving was spent in Irvine with the extended family. Art and I brought a Tofurkey, and the relatives thoughtfully made a special portion of dressing without chicken for us. Now that's love!
After the festivities, the G-pa's took the girls and Art and I headed to San Diego. We found a bargain on Craig's List, and this was the view from our windows. There were as many dolphins as surfers out there everyday!

We rented bicycles and left the car parked the entire time. We peddled to Vegan Zone to get food.

We know what we like, and ordered the same thing as always. Art is partial to the 'Pineapple Burger' and I dig the 'High Protein Salad'. This time, we also shared the 'Sate'.

This restaurant is a great beach alternative to the regular junk. I highly recommend it.

We scooped up the girls later in the week and headed back to San Diego for some kid touristy activities.

Don't our little spuds look like So-Cal locals sitting below a palm tree wearing shades?!

We went to SipZ because we were starving after playing all day. This is the best food, ever! For real. As you can see, the ambiance is nothing special, and the service lacks unless Karen is with us. But doesn't matter because they have fabulous food! Check our parade: the person seating us, Art (hand extended in the middle), Liv, Abi, and me following with a camera. Hard to fly under the radar with this procession! :)

We ALWAYS order the 'Sweet & Sour Chicken' and this time, we ordered two more to go. For the chicas, we got a plate of steamed veggies and rice. It was a somewhat peaceful meal because the girls were entertained by the fish swimming beside us.

The girls and I spent a day with Karen, and I plan on sharing some photos next time. Lately, I've been a bit out of it, literally. Some major dental work, and some narcotics to go along. So, not much cooking happening, mostly just maintaining. Hope you're doing well!!