Curried Cauliflower Soup with Rice and Avocado and Watercress Salad

The soup: Heat and serve. Top with the green onions if desired (chopped a la Gryffin- mince if preferred). I’ve included 3 cups of soup in jars for the kids with no spice or curry powder.

The rice: Day old rice is never very good so I’m sending dry rice. It cooks up pretty fast-plan for 20 minutes or so

The Salad: To preserve freshness, I sent the watercress in it’s rooted state. Cut off roots, rinse leaves and coarsely chop. Add baby arugula, avocado slices and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with dressing.

We left the table with bellies full. Enjoy!


Tomato Soup, Blue Ribbon Bean Salad & Pomegranate and Pink Grapefruit Salad

This time ’round I wanted to make recipes that would hold up well overnight and re-served the following day (and dare I say, even improve after 24 hours in the fridge). All three recipes came from children’s cook books so I’d hoped the flavors would be palatable for the kids. I’m not so sure now though.

This is my first home made tomato soup. Cedar helped. It has a mild kick to it (more than I thought it would actually). The recipe said it made 4 servings so I doubled it, naturally. In the end, I have 4 quarts to put into the freezer, plus your pyrex full and what we ate tonight. Golly.

Gryffin made the bean salad. I’m curious how it will taste tomorrow… something was bitter today. Too much onion I think. It might mellow out overnight.

The fruit salad is something different. Tasty, but different. It’s a winter fruit salad… grapefruit, grapes, pomegranate, marinating in a sweet agave dressing, with walnuts mixed in.

We ended up making vegan grilled cheese too, to dip in the soup. Not included here, but make some if you think you’ll like it!



Garbanzo Bean Soup, Paella and Spanish Green Salad

This dinner is so pretty, I’ll say that.

The soup: Reheat on stove top. Add 1/2 stick earth balance before serving (really. be sure to do this. we ran out of earth balance or it would be done already. we ended up using real butter in our portion). Instructions say to serve soup with croutons on top (not included).

The paella: Reheat via stovetop. Serve with roasted slivered almonds on top.

The salad: To assemble, tear the pre washed lettuce into bite size pieces. Add the prepared watercress to lettuce. Add the tomatoes, Spanish onions and olives. Dress with the lemon/oil dressing and serve. Add more croutons if you must. tehe



Pah Thai, Tom Kha, Candied Citrus Peel

Tom Kha: Heat and serve. Remember to pick out the galangal, lemongrass and the whole chilies as you eat.

Pad Thai: I want you to have the freshest noodle experience possible, so the pad thai will take some assembly.

1) soak noodles in cold water 1 hour

1a) chop Chinese chives into 2″ pieces

2) Drain noodles

3) Heat wok or large saute pan over medium heat, add 2 t vegetable or peanut oil, and fry minced shallots about 10 seconds. Add pinch of chili flakes (or omit for children) and salted radish.

4) Add noodles, turn heat up to medium-high and stir fry 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until noodles are soft, translucent and brown in color.

5) Add prepared sauce. Stir 30 seconds, until sauce is mostly absorbed.

6) Add most of the bean sprouts and Chinese chives (save some for garnish) and cook another 30 seconds.

7) Serve topped with crushed peanut, chives, sprouts and lime juice.

Candied Citrus Peel

Some are not chocolate coated for Loti. The container is layered orange peel and lemon peel. From top to bottom, Lemon, Orange, Lemon, Orange. I think.


If I remember, this will be our annual New Year’s Day meal.

Shepherd’s Pie with Gravy, Cranberry Chutney and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Reheat instructions:

Shepherds pie
Add a few dollops of butter to top.
Reheat in oven until hot and bubbly. Vegetables are only al dente so heat thoroughly.

Heat on stovetop to warm.

Mashed potatoes
I ended up w way more spuds than needed for the topping so I sent some along. Reheat in oven if you don’t mind a crunchy top layer. Add dollops of butter to lessen that effect.

Cranberry chutney
Serve cold.

Have been frozen so bring to room temperature.

Garbanzo Quiche, Home Fries and Baked Apples

Take two of the garbanzo quiche. To reheat, pop it in the oven, uncovered-350 degrees, 30-45 minutes. After 20-30 minutes, brush top with earth balance and bake remaining minutes. Gryffin helped me chop the cauliflower and peppers and stir up the garbanzo sauce.

I’m sending you whole potatoes that have been par-baked, for you or Neal to make into home fries. I didn’t want to send the home fries already fried, for fear they’d get soggy and soft. Once upon a time, Matthew made home fries with left over baked potatoes and they were the best texture ever. I’m sure y’all have your favorite way to prepare your home fries, so all you’ll have to do is cut and fry. They shouldn’t take long as they’re already baked.

Same with the baked apples. I didn’t want to send them baked, as they’re sure to be better fresh out of the oven. I’d put them in the oven at the same time as your begin to reheat your quiche so they can either finish baking while you eat or cool a little. The apples are stuffed with walnuts and topped with earth balance, brown sugar and cinnamon. Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream. I just love the syrup that forms in the bottom on the pan while baking. Matthew and I cored the apples (hopefully getting all the seed cases/cartilage), and Gryffin prepared the rest.  Bake until apples are soft and syrup is bubbly.


Recipes: Garbanzo Quiche, Home Fries, Baked Apples

Beans and Tortillas with Red Chili Sauce, Quelites, and Bizcochitos

Cedar brought home an American Girl Doll cookbook from Becker Library featuring Josefina and her New Mexican cuisine so we thought it would be fun to pick dinner share recipes from it!

Beans: Straight up, simple pinto bean recipe. I used a few new techniques I learned from watching Martha Stewarts Cooking Show yesterday and turns out the same techniques were actually described in the actual recipe in the Josefina cookbook. I learned the beans should be stored in their cooking water in the refrigerator so that’s how I’m sending them to you. To reheat, simmer beans in their liquid on stovetop. Strain beans with slotted spoon to serve.

Tortillas a la Gryffin: Gryffin made the tortillas. We think they’re wonderful. To reheat, I might wrap them in tin foil and place in oven for 5-10 minutes. It’s possible they’ll dry out a little and crack upon folding, but, still yummy.

Red Chili Sauce: I’ve never made this before. It has a little kick to it, as you’d expect. Personally, I only liked it with a small skim of it on the tortilla. If I used too much, I found the flavor to be too much.

I sprinkled some Daiya cheddar cheese on mine and liked it. (Not included)

Quelites: I’ve no idea what the translation is on this. It’s steamed spinach with mild fire roasted hatch chilies and onions. We used it as a topping in the beans and tortillas although it makes a nice side too. To reheat I’d just bring to simmer on stovetop and remove from heat. Drain before serving.

Bizcochitos a la Cedar: Cedar made the cookies and in true meal planning fashion, we picked out this recipe first. We happened to make these GF for my mom to enjoy, which she did. (The tortillas are not GF). The little cookies are unusual and very good. We rolled them out in almond meal which was not in the recipe and I loved the taste of almond in my mouth followed by the slight anise flavor, enhanced by the cinnamon and sugar. Not something I’d make regularly, but they were easy and fun for Cedar to make.

The kids exclaimed this was their best dinner share meal EVER. They do love beans and tortillas though. Overall, it was not too time consuming to make. The  cookies and the tortillas were most time consuming and I had help with them. The beans and the chili sauce were a breeze. I will say that this is the best batch of beans I’ve ever done. Such great flavor to me.

Hope you enjoy! As always, can’t wait for the review!

Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Orange Mashed Yam Crust, Skillet Roasted Limas with Italian Herbs and Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


To reheat:

Shepherd’s Pie: Heat in oven to browned and bubbly at 350 for 30 minutes or so. Uncovered

Limas: Drizzle with olive oil and heat in the oven to warm. Uncovered. Top with pesto if you like.


Skillet Roasted Limas with Italian Herbs Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Orange Mashed Yam Crust Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


Quinoa Tabbouleh Stuffed Roasted Peppers, Falafel, and Lemon Snaps

I woke up Sunday morning excited to get to play in the kitchen with a couple of new recipes. I prepped the veg for the quinoa tabbouleh Saturday night so that whipped together very quickly and was able to marinate all day. I’ve made this tabbouleh recipe many times. Cedar likes it a lot. Like I mentioned, I’d never made falafel before. Overall, I was pleased with how they came together and the overal simplicity of the recipe. I thought they were a little too dry and I really wanted a tahini or hummus sauce to dip them in. I was really excited to try the lemon snaps. I’m not a big fan of ginger snaps but I knew I’d love the lemon. I was loving the texture of the cookies, chewey AND crunchy, best of both worlds. I have a feeling these cookies will be a staple cookie in the Toavs house for years to come. YUM. I hope you enjoyed them too.