Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Trip to Bard Valley in Search of Medjool Dates + 6 Vegan Recipes Using Medjools

Medjool Dates Harvest in Yuma, Arizona 2015 #medjooldates #travel #Arizona

Last month I was among a group of 14 lucky bloggers invited to attend the Natural Delights Medjool Dates Blogger Summit in Yuma, Arizona. I jumped at the chance for a number of reasons, first and foremost because I am a big fan of Medjools and I was eager to see these natural, sweet delights growing right on the date palm trees in the hot, hot, heat of Arizona.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

I'm starting off today's What I Ate Wednesday with this wonderful sandwich that my husband made recently. It's a thing of beauty, don't ya think? Tofu slices cooked in barbecue sauce, topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions. A little bit of lettuce and a sauce of ketchup and vegan mayo with a dash of Bragg's Liquid Aminos. And a delicious ciabatta bun. Simple (especially when you didn't make it yourself), vegan and delicious.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Owl Lidded Dish & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #56

Sorry I crapped out on last week's Vintage Bliss Tuesday. My family and I were being filmed for a VisionTV Christmas special! I can't wait to tell you more about it (like when you can watch it - gulp). More later. In the meantime, let's get on with the Vintage Bliss Tuesday fun, shall we?

My sister very thoughtfully picked up this lidded dish at the thrift store for me recently. She knows how much I like owls. In fact, I recall having some other dishes with this pattern when I was younger. I don't know if I eventually broke them or decided to donate them, but it's kind of fun to have this pattern around again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Products We Love - Delicious Medjool Date Rolls from Natural Delights

Delicious Medjool Dates made by the folks at Natural Delights. A great, healthy snack on the run (or sitting with a cup of #tea!). #vegan #glutenfree #pumpkin #medjooldates #dates #healthy #groceries #productswelove

When I travelled to Yuma, Arizona last month for the Natural Delights Medjool Dates Blogger Summit, I had the opportunity to sample some of Natural Delights' delicious date rolls. At that time, I told the group of bloggers and Natural Delights reps assembled that I really hoped my kids would enjoy the date rolls. They would make a wonderful, healthy after-school or on-the-run snack. I myself really love the taste of the date rolls, but you know how kids can be - the more you want them to love something, the less chance they actually will!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vegan and Gluten-Free Thai Red Curry Tofu & Bok Choy Stew (with a Saffron Road giveaway - CLOSED)

Thai Red Curry Tofu & Bok Choy Stew - #vegan and #glutenfree - Get a healthy dinner on the table in under 30 minutes with the help of Saffron Road's all natural simmer sauce.

It's a constant challenge at our house to plan and prepare easy weeknight meals that are also healthy and tasty. In this way I'm sure we are no different than most busy families! With evening sports activities and music lessons to get to, plus homework to be done, how many of us have the time to create complex meals on a daily basis?

The good news is that, with a little planning in advance and a thorough shopping list, we can make healthy family meals in under 30 minutes. Like this vegan, gluten-free Thai Red Curry Tofu & Bok Choy Stew. Put some brown rice (or whatever rice you favour really) into a rice cooker or pot and whip together the stew while it cooks. In under half an hour you have a lovely entree complete with protein and veggies in a delicious sauce.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday, with our vegan Thanksgiving dishes

We are still enjoying the loveliest of falls. I have been regularly reminding myself of how much joy I got from this beautiful season when I was younger, until the fear of winter took hold of my heart. I'm trying my hardest to live with gratitude in the moment and see the beauty in each cool fall day without focusing on what's to come.

Part of what makes a day particularly beautiful for me is warm muffins and hot beverages, like my breakfast of vegan berry muffins and decaf coffee with coconut creamer, above. A cup of tea never hurts either. Lately because I have a bit of a cold, I've been easing my throat with hot water with fresh lemon juice and a squeeze of agave for sweetness. For a nice hot chocolate after a long woods walk, try this vegan warm cocoa recipe that my family enjoys.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blue and White Floral Baking Dishes & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #55

I hope that all my Canadian peeps enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend. We certainly did. We started off by visiting the drive-in movie theatre on Friday night, for not one, not two, but three movies! I actually managed to watch the third movie, but only because I slept a bit during the first. We hadn't been to the drive-in this year and we figured this past weekend would be our last chance. We had to turn the car on now and then for a bit of heat but other than that it was good. We also had two Thanksgiving dinners this weekend, one at my parents' house and one at my in-laws' place. Lots to be thankful for!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Apple Picking Fun & 5 Vegan Apple Recipes

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

Oh wonderful, wonderful fall, if you could please stick around just a teeny bit longer! More sunny, bountiful days with trees full of ripe apples might just be enough to get me through winter. We were fortunate to have some free time to go apple picking with family and friends a couple of weeks ago. We headed to Avalon Orchards in Innsifil, Ontario, where you can pick your own certified organic apples.

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

It was a nice outing for us all - including the kids, their cousins and a friend. Everybody pitched in to fill our bags with gorgeous organic apples.

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

How beautiful are bunches of fresh apples on the tree?

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

Here's my boy with his eldest cousin. There is a four-year age difference between them, but they get along famously, partly because they both have fun, mischievous sides.

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

One of my husband's lovely sisters.

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

My girl and her new braces. (Two kids in braces now - equals a monthly payment that could buy a car!)

apple picking at Avalon Orchards (organic) in Innisfil, Ontario

I am missing Avalon Orchards already. I think it's time to search out a great pumpkin farm where we can stroll through fields, hopefully enjoy a bit of sunshine and pick out the perfect pumpkins while soaking in nature's beauty.

5 vegan recipes featuring apples - use your abundance of fresh-picked #apples to make a wonderful dessert or a #healthy #juice. #vegan some #glutenfree

If you find yourself with an abundance of apples following your visit to the apple farm (or the grocery store!), may I humbly suggest making one of these five vegan recipes with apples? Clockwise from bottom left (above), try this healthy Pom Pom Juice with apples, pomegranates, cherries and plums; a Pineapple Spinach Smoothie benefits from fibre-rich apples; this decadent Apple Fritter Cake is a tribute to my favourite donut; freshly juiced apples are the base of this Strawberry Lemonade Juice recipe; this Apple Crisp with a Twist pairs apples and strawberries for a yummy yet healthy dessert.

Have you been apple picking this year? What do you like to make with apples?


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #54

My four-month purge has become a six-month+ purge and I am hesitant to buy anything more until I'm finished. So, in other words, no new thrifty finds to share this week. But I am happy to highlight some of the awesome finds that were linked up at last week's Vintage Bliss Tuesdays party.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Idiot's Guides - Organizing Your Life & Knitting (Book Review)

Lest you find the title of this series, Idiot's Guides, offensive, publisher Mike Sanders says these books are simply meant to help us in our ongoing quest for new knowledge. And that's always a good thing. "We find really smart people who are experts in their fields and then we roll up our sleeves and get to work, asking lots of questions and thinking long and hard about how best to pass along their knowledge to you in the easiest, most accessible way possible," says Sanders. In other words, you are most definitely not an idiot. But nobody knows everything.

I have plenty to learn, so I picked out these two fun titles from the DK's Idiot's Guides boutique - Idiot's Guides: Organizing Your Life and Idiot's Guides: Knitting. I'm always looking to better organize my home and our daily functioning and I'm always hoping I'll do more (or any) knitting!

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