Post 97 – Christmas eats

You want to know something weird and cool? I have been obsessed with documenting my food way longer than this blog. Surprised? No, probably not. Upon visiting my sister in Ohio, she returned a journal of mine that had somehow gotten mixed up in her stuff. I flipped through it and found notes from a trip to the South that I took in high school, most of which consisted of the meals I ate as we traveled along. I guess some things haven’t changed…

I have eaten a lot of good food these past few weeks leading up to and during the holiday time. I enjoyed a wonderful time with my family eating and hanging out and having an overall good time and thought I’d share some meals with you. Here is the story of my stay in Ohio as told through food pictures.

Early Christmas dinner at my sister's

Early Christmas dinner at my sister’s

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Rum punch made by Sam

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Sweet potato salad

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The master crescent maker

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Family recipe from-scratch crescent rolls!

Delicious Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with friends in Columbus

Delicious Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with friends in Columbus

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Lunch at Olive – an urban dive in downtown Dayton!

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Falafel and sweet potato fries - yummy!

Falafel and sweet potato fries – yummy!

More cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast

More cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast

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Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner – Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and cranberry sauce.

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Christmas Blueberry Pie

Christmas Blueberry Pie

Gingerbread decorating creativity

Gingerbread decorating creativity

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Hipster close-up

Hipster close-up: note skinny jeans, hipster glasses, and V-neck shirt.

Six-pack abs

Six-pack abs

Hope you had a Merry Christmas! I can’t believe it’s almost 2015!

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Post 96 – Raw Vegan Carrot Cake

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I don’t know about you, but I have been eating way too much sugar lately. WAY too much. Like I went to a holiday party today and saw cupcakes and wasn’t even interested. Cupcakes! This time of year often becomes all about sweets – Christmas cookies, chocolate candies, gingerbread men, parties and hot cocoa and everything sugary sweet.

I love sweets. I have a great big, dangerous sweet tooth (teeth?) that keeps me going back for dessert again and again, but sometimes even I get fed up with all of the ultra sweet options. Sometimes I just simply want something sweet, but not too sweet. Something that won’t make me feel sick later.

Enter Raw Vegan Carrot Cake.

I want to tell you all the things it is, but I also don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Yes it is gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, and raw, but I am not one to boast a bunch of labels just to impress you. It may be free of a lot of things, but it is also full of a lot of things – flavor, texture, sweetness, crunch (flavorful, textureful, sweetful, crunchful?) Anyway, let me introduce you.

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Fresh carrots, Medjool dates, almond meal, unsweetened coconut, and cinnamon. It’s that simple.

Pulse all of it in a food processor until it comes together and voila.

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You should get a nice sticky, but not gooey texture that you can shape with your hand. You might find you need to break up the carrots and dates a little first and then knead it all together, but this will depend on the strength of your food processor. Then once it’s done you shape it into whatever you want (see the “layers” below). You can even make a delicious frosting or just decorate it with coconut.

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I also decided to make it into carrot cake snack bites or for the sophisticated carrot cake truffles. Now don’t you feel fancy?

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Enjoy the holidays!

Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

adapted from MindBodyGreen

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 cup pitted and halved dates, about 10

3/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

additional coconut and pecans for decorating (optional)

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it holds together. Shape into layers or truffles as desired. If making layers, use the icing recipe below. Refrigerate for best results.

Easy Coconut Icing

(I have made this before with much success but I have never measured – oops! Do it to taste and keep in mind that the icing will harden a lot in the fridge. You can use the following measurements and go from there.)

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 T. raw honey (or maple syrup for vegans)

Mix coconut oil and honey (microwave for 10 seconds at a time if the coconut oil is cold). Taste and adjust as desired. Spread on your carrot cake and refrigerate until semi firm.

Post 95 – Food Snapshots

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas will be here any minute! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Turkey, Wild Rice, Salad, and Mashed Potatoes. We have been enjoying other delicious foods since then including pizza and cupcakes to celebrate Sam’s birthday. Here are some photos of some of my latest good eats.

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America’s Test Kitchen Quicker Cinnamon Rolls

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Thanksgiving Apple Streusel Pie

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And homemade chocolate sauce…

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Gingerbread granola with crystallized ginger, cranberries, and raisins.

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Homemade pizza in the works

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Yum! Leftovers!

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Cran-Raspberry Birthday Muffins (for Sam)

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Holiday Lava Fudge Cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake – mmmmm!

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and are almost ready for 2015!