First, here's our Christmas pizza. You might remember from years past that our tradition is to make large quantities of pizza on Christmas Day with Mike's family. This year things were a bit delayed because of snow. Above it is kids' pizza. Mike a I opted for a gluten free crust with mozzarella Teese, artichoke hearts, onion, green olives, capers, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, green pepper and fresh garlic. I added some phoney pepperoni to mine. We might have gone a little overboard with the toppings...
Mike's mom always has fun games for us to play at holidays and this year we did one where there were 3 people to a team. One person was the "tree" and the other 2 decorated the tree. We could only use one hand each to safety-pin netting to the tree and then hook 15 ornaments and hang them on the tree. Challenging, but fun!
Mike was a little worried about me pinning the netting to him.
For New Year's Eve I headed over to Madison, WI to visit my friend Brandon and his sis Ashlie and bro-in-law John. Fun! Brandon and I visited the capitol, which was really gorgeous with huge statues, paintings on the dome and carved wood throughout, including this freaky looking badger, which you can see above our heads.
We ate REALLY well on this holiday. On NY Eve we went to the Green Owl for an amazing meal. I forgot to take pictures of our appetizer- Crabby Cakes! They were really delicious, but I could have used more than 2 cakes.
I chose the seitan Italian "beef" sandwich with pickled vegetables- It was really awesome- The seitan was dripping with rich broth and it soaked into the crusty roll. The pickled vegetables had a serious kick and the roasted potatoes were served with house- made ketchup.
Brandon had the secret recipe Schnitzel with green beans and roasted potatoes. None of us really knew what a schnitzel was until the server told us- we were sure it involved sausage, but nope. It was a seitan-type patty crusted and pan fried, then smothered in mushroom-y gravy.
Ashlie chose the Barbecue Jackfruit sandwich- The sauce was really good and it came with coleslaw on top. (Yes, we all shared bites of everything!)
For dessert we chose to share the chocolate pie with raspberry coulis. At the first taste, I was a little disappointed because the texture was very silken tofu-like and didn't have a very rich mouth feel. But then the intense cocoa flavor hit and I was won over. This pie packed some serious chocolate flavor! The crust was a bit hard to break through, but was my favorite part, as usual.
On NY Day we went out to breakfast at Monty's Blue Plate Diner along with 1/2 of Madison. It was worth the wait, though. I ordered something called the "vegan heathen shoplifter's delight". It was a tempeh, portabello, and avocado sandwich that really hit the spot. Their seasoned waffle fries were super crisp and well seasoned- I dipped mine in dijon mustard! Brandon got the vegan tempeh hash with scrambled tofu, which was also very good.
Not pictured is the super amazing curried vegetable dish we made that night (from How it all vegan) that was swimming in rich coconut milk. Also, the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that Ashlie made (and that we finished off in about one and a half days). And then the Mediterranean tofu scramble and skillet potatoes with homemade ketchup the next morning. Yum!
Now I'm at home, drinking water and relaxing and trying to figure out my new year's resolutions one day late.
And to follow up on the laundry detergent post, YES! It cleans great and gelled up nicely. I don't plan on buying laundry detergent again!