Thursday, December 9, 2010

Excuses and hummus!

Happy Thursday all!!

      Holy have I been a bad blogger! But wait I've got a boat load of excuses for my absence. I was travelling for work. Heidi and Bitt too bad I didn't have more time for a visit as I was in your neck of the woods! I got sick..again!! So frustrating I must say. I should have armed myself better, right Laury? The hubby caught a bug from work and he so kindly passed it on to me. That's love isn't it? Plus my class is getting pretty complicated and is requiring more brain cells than normal.

That's enough of my pity party, wouldn't you say?

Moving on to more exciting things...I got an interview for school!!! Not everyone who puts in an application gets an interview so I'm so excited I advanced to the next step. I've never had an interview to enter school before so it should be interesting. All I know is that I will be interviewed by 5 or 6 different people in separate rooms. I'm glad it's separate versus having a panel of people. Now that's intimidating! My interview is on January 6th so I'll be sure to update you all on how it goes!!

Now for some festiveness!! We finally got our tree. Every year a reality business provides a Christmas tree to their customers. Our friend's mom received the coupon for the tree but she lives in a condo and they aren't allowed real trees (sad, I know!) so they gave it to us:) Thank you Cam and Danise!

She's a beauty too:)

Are you a fake tree lover or does it have to be real?
I don't think I could ever have a fake tree. Growing up they were always real so it's all I know. Although those trees with pre-strung lights are tempting at times. The next picture will explain why...

How many guys does it take to add lights to a tree? Apparently more than this as Danise and I took down the lights and strung them up a minute:)

This year is a silver and red theme!

 But there is always room for some classics on the tree!!

These are from Ryan's childhood:)

Some more decorations! That tree is an ancient thing that I got from my aunt..but I love it!! It really is like a festive light-bright. All those colorful pieces fit into holes on the ceramic tree. Place a light bulb underneath the tree and voila! a light-bright tree!!!

I still have a lot to decorate so I'll show you the final product soon:)

Now for some eats! I made a first over the weekend..almond milk. I always thought that it was going to take too many almonds to make it worth it. They ain't cheap in B.C.! But I was way wrong. I followed Ani's instructions for vanilla almond mylk which only used 1/2 cup soaked almonds.

Nice and plump!

Pulp! I'm thinking of making some kind of cookie with it. Any ideas?

So good!! I didn't add as many dates as Ani recommended so it wasn't too sweet.
The hubby loved it and this jar was gone within a day:) He was quite the milk lover as a teenager.

I will definitely make almond mylk again! I want to experiment with other varieties of nuts.
Maybe even make a chocolate mylk.

In other news, I finally found some dry chickpeas. I looked in multiple big grocery stores and none of them had the dry version. I think the city has gone hummus crazy!!. Luckily my local health food store keeps rations for times like these:)

I had a serious craving for some hummus so I went ahead and made two versions, classic and roasted pepper. As it turned out, Angela just posted a recipe called The Hummus That Changed Everything.
 How could I resist? all that paprika!

This was really delish! Thanks Angela!

My lab assistant was talking about her roasted red pepper hummus all week and she had me drooling! I didn't have red peppers on hand, but I did have orange ones!

Such a great flavor!! My hummus craving has been deliciously satisfied!

Since I had some leftover cooked chickpeas, I went for a sweet treat from Averie.

I actually just noticed that I forgot to add the flour. They were still great anyways:)
A great treat to have on the table if guests are over. Are there chickpeas in Aruba, Averie?

I'm getting the itch to do some Christmas baking.
 I love shortbread, ginger cookies, and all the chocolate and nut buttery treats!!
I just received an email from Heidi of 101 cookbook's Christmas cookie recipes. I'm sure to find some goodies in there! 

 Do you bake/un-bake your favorites each year?

I usually do a plate of different goodies, some for us, lots for family!
 We shall see what makes the cut this year:)

Have a great night everyone!!


Katie said...

Yum to everything! I've been addicted to hummus going on years now. Its not a bad one to have, as far as addictions go.

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Hi Sweetie!!
thanks for the recipe linkage..and glad you liked the chickpeas!

There are chickpeas here but it's too dang hot to run the oven...hahah!

Your tree looks awesome and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

kelli said...

pretty photos!

we are done with trees but i still like to make vegan treats, cooked and raw for the holidays. i may make biscotti again (using almond pulp!). if i do i will post the recipe - it's a nice way to use the milk pulp!


Hayley Lauren said...

Your Christmas decorations look so beautiful! I've never had a Christmas tree in my life, real or fake. My family is Jewish, but not at all religious, and we've never really made a big deal about the holidays. We use them as an excuse to escape the harsh Canadian winter lol. I get jealous sometimes when everyone else gets completely into the Christmas spirit. And I do love some holiday baking, even though I just use the holidays as an excuse because I enjoy new baking experiments so much. Your chickpea adventures look like fun! And home made almond milk is awesome. Ani has a recipe for strawberry almond milk that I love. It reminds me of the strawberry syrup I used to stir into my (lactaid) milk as a kid, but it doesn't taste artificial or have an icky aftertaste like the Nestle stuff.

bitt said...

I'm so happy you got an interview! That is a good sign.

I usually prefer the real kind of tree I guess. We might just stick with a wreath this year. I keep it simple. Are the cats getting into it?

As for almond pulp, you probably don't have enough for a lot of the recipes I've seen for bread and cinnamon rolls. IF you have a dehydrator you can just dehydrate it and keep it on hand. I've even baked with it.

Nelly said...

i love your new bloggie set fresh and clean!

too bad you weren't able to meet up with bitt and heidi...that would have been such a fabulous meet-up!

i just adore the holidays...dressing up the house and trees...and i love the feeling of being cozy...and it all comes with the holidays.

hope you're feeling better...and congrats on the interview, that's amazing...and you totally deserve it.

i love baking...this year i want to try my hand at shortbread for the first time...and i am going to be making a classic ukrainian cookie for john's dad this weekend, and was thinking of making extra for the rest of the's apparently not the easiest cookie to make...and i have mastered it...whoop!

have a beautiful weekend my friend.


Melissa said...

Hey Katie- Yes, I'll take hummus as a positive addiction. I've got some catching up to do I think:)

Hey Averie - Thank you for dropping in on your vacation:) Your welcome for the link love!! Yes, oven in the tropics doesn't sound like a good idea..I would go for a chi chi instead lol!

Hey Kelli - Ohh do share the biscotti, sounds wonderful!

Hey Lauren - Nice to hear from you!! Ohh escaping Canadian winters sounds A-okay too!! Wish you were near..we could bake some goodies together:)Thanks for the strawberry mylk reminder..I should make that next time!

Hey Aimee - Thanks hun!! I have a good feeling about school too:)
Oh man..Oddie is all over that tree! He's broken a few balls already. He sits under it and looks up at all the lights lol! I bought him some toys yesterday so hopefully that will keep him occupied. Ooh I might bake with it and see what happens! Thanks for the tip.

Hey Nelly - Thanks for the blog love!! I feel a breath of fresh air when I see it now:)
Yes, I wish I was on my own for the trip because then I could have stuck around. Enjoy decorating and getting much fun!! Thank you for your kindness about the interview..fingers crossed:)
I LOVE shortbread..I'm thinking of making some fun varieties as well!
Congrats on dominating the Ukranian cookie..have fun showing them your stuff in the kitchie this weekend:)

Angela (the diet book junkie) said...

love the new blog theme!! :)

to tell you the truth, i've never had a real tree, so i wouldn't know if i like it or not. as for baking, i don't really do very much (er, at all...) i think i like the idea of baking more than the actual act. however, i did try making gingerbread once. unforunately, i couldn't find molasses in Australia, isn't that insane???

Anonymous said...

That almond milk looks great! I might endeavor to make some.

As for chickpeas, you can always find them in Superstore in the Indian section (huge bags!)or any little Indian market. They're cheap too! You probably know that but I thought I would mention it just in case!

Torri :-)

Lori said...

I could eat ANYTHING hummus or chickpea related every. single. day. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Melissa said...

Hey Angela - thanks for the blog love!! And you couldn't find molasses? Let me know if this is ever a problem again and I will ship you some..seriously!!

Hey Torri - You must try the almond delish!!
Thanks for the tip for Superstore!! I went there but didn't check the ethnic food aisle. Thanks!!!

Hey Lori - me too!!!