Christmas vs. Humbug

Hello hello!  I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday and/or day off, and that you’re gearing up for a fun weekend as well.  And if you’re just rolling through a whole week off, more power to you!

As I explained earlier in the week, H and I observed Christmas last weekend with his family.  So for the actual holiday, we decided to keep it low key.

My plan was to take a half day on Tuesday to do some baking, cleaning, and last-minute gift wrapping, and then go out to dinner with H.   This plan was quickly foiled, however, when my car broke down in a random parking lot.  This set me back about four hours and, as you might imagine, several hundred dollars.  No baking, cleaning, or gift wrapping took place.  So Humbug: 1; Christmas: 0.

But I did end up having a wonderful evening with my husband at our favorite local Chinese restaurant.  Christmas cheer restored!  Humbug: 1; Christmas: 1.


On Wednesday, H and I did presents first thing!  One of my faves:
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Exactly what I wanted–my hubby listens!

Humbug: 1; Christmas: 2.  Things are looking up!

I then had a quick breakfast of tofu bacon on whole wheat toast before going to mass with H.

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So tasty! Never gets old.

After mass, I broke out one of my other new Christmas gifts, Just Dance 2014 for the Wii!!

…and promptly threw out my back.  Humbug: 2.

To be fair, I’m not sure I actually hurt my back by playing the game.  It was more that, while playing the game, I suddenly noticed that my back was broken hurting.  And then it just kept on hurting.

We went over to H’s parents’ house, where we spent the entire afternoon and evening with family members and exchanged Kris Kringle gifts with the cousins.  And Christmas dinner, made once again by my lovely mother-in-law, was delicious (albeit enjoyed through a haze of Advil):

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Fusilli with homemade marinara and roasted zucchini and mushrooms, plus salad

Christmas FTW!!!  

Yeah, kind of a predictable ending 🙂

Epilogue: my back still hurts, but I have my car again, and I get to see my family and give them their gifts this weekend, so I can’t complain!

What are your weekend plans? Any more Christmas celebrations or are you all done? 

Try This: Tofu Bacon

The running cliche is that vegans will make bacon out of anything.  A brief glance at the blogosphere certainly supports the theory, as it is overflowing with ideas on how to make a vegan version of the ubiquitous salty-sweet topper out of coconut, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, and, of course, tempeh.

But I have a new obsession: tofu bacon.  While it’s probably the most stereotypically vegan-sounding of all, it’s also so super-simple and so super-cheap that I now find myself making it all the time.

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All. The. Time.

This is what you do.  Press your tofu (I usually do half a block at a time), then slice it nice and thin.  It probably isn’t strictly necessary to press it, but I think pressing helps the tofu soak up more of the marinade’s flavors.

Get out some sort of container in which you can lay out the tofu strips in no more than two layers.  Dump in enough low-sodium soy sauce to just coat the bottom (the exact amount will depend on the size of your container).  Then add 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke and 1/2-1 tsp. of maple syrup and swirl it all around until combined.

Lay the tofu strips side-by-side in the mixture.  If they all fit in one layer on the bottom of your container, then you’re done!  If you have to go to two layers (I always do), then shake a little more soy sauce, liquid smoke, and maple syrup over the top.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.  Then you just spray a pan with cooking oil and pan-fry the strips for a couple minutes on each side until browned and a little crispy.

My favorite way to eat this is as a TLT on toasted whole wheat, with a little bit of vegan mayo spread on there.

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I’ve also had it with red onion slices and it rocks.  Also, the tomatoes and lettuce are from our farmstand, and their incredible fresh flavor combined with the smoky-sweet tofu bacon makes this my absolute favorite sandwich of the moment.

Don’t forget–Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is coming up this weekend!!!