Blame Apple

Um, yeah, blame Apple that you’re about to see way more photos than you’ve ever wanted to see.

This picture sums up our vacation. EVERYONE in my family on their computer except for me. :( Good thing I had my trusty camera to occupy me.

Since the hard drive on my brand new MacBook Pro peaced out a couple weeks ago, I obviously haven’t been able to blog, and consequently, I have an insane buildup of photos. A rational person might just forget those photos, and start blogging from the current moment, but my holiday photos are so much fun, I can’t bear not to share them!So here it goes. Expect way more photos than text. :)

When my semester ended (well, my semester personally just ended this morning at 3 am when I emailed my English prof my Austen seminar paper that I had to take an incomplete on, but I’m talking about Pomona’s semester), my sister, mom, dad, and I headed off to Philly to visit my dad’s family for a belated Hanukkah.

Our first night there was the giant blizzard (second biggest in Philly history?)

I think we got 23 inches. My uncle even went out to measure it!

Some Hanukkah action:

My wittle cousins, Nir and Tal.

Gorgeous (and incredibly classy) sister!

My mom made Dreena Burton’s Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake because it was my grandma’s birthday too!

My cousin Matt and my dad played some pattycake…

Tal and my uncle Adam made a snow (wo)man complete with a nice rack:

And then, Tal and I took a wee nap.

My aunt Donna made some delicious vegan chipotle chili. It was so spicy, it took me like an hour to eat and my eyes were watering the whole time. ;)

Oh, and this is my dad. Embarrassing.

Fortunately, my family is very supportive of my veganism. Take the following photo as an example. There was a tomato mozzarella salad at our big Hanukkah party, and someone was kind enough to provide me with this alternative:

I’m sorry, I was very touched that they thought of me, but really? Is this a dish that’s really worth veganizing? That was maybe the funniest thing ever.

To be fair, that wasn’t the only vegan option. My grandma ordered a feast from Whole Foods, which included General Tso’s vegan chicken and tons of roasted vegetables.

My mom kept cozy in her socks.

After we were all Hanukkah-ed out, we headed to Long Island, NY to visit my mom’s family for Christmas (yes, my family’s a bit of a cultural hodgepodge).

But first, we stopped in NYC for the day to see a musical–In the Heights–and do some fine (vegan) dining. My mom had made lunch reservations at Candle 79 weeks ago at my request. :)

We shared two appetizers. Polenta Fries

And the Guacamole Timbale: Chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber-jicama salsa, tortilla chips, ranchero sauce.

I made my dad get the Seitan Piccata because I’d heard so much praise for it, and it seemed like something he’d love (no, I don’t always order for my dad…)

Creamed spinach, grilled potato cake, oyster mushrooms, lemon-caper sauce.

My mom got the Live Celeriac Ravioli: Spinach-cashew ricotta, pine nut pesto, sundried tomato sauce, citrus marinated broccoli raab, olives & capers, which was super annoying because I had originally wanted to get lunch at One Lucky Duck, a raw restaurant, but my mom had said that she didn’t want raw food in the winter. Then, she orders this–the one raw entrée–at Candle 79. What gives, mom?!

Liv got the Burrito 79: Chili-herb grilled seitan, caramelized onions, sautéed greens, chipotle black beans, brown rice, cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream.

My entrée was obviously the best though. ;) The Wild Mushroom Stuffed Tempeh.

Wild mushrooms, sautéed spinach, brussels sprouts, sweet potato sauce, apple-pomegranate salad. They had me at sweet potato sauce.

Finally, we shared a dessert–Chocolate-Peanut Butter BlissChocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse, chocolate shell, berry coulis.

It was good, but 12 dollars for a dessert the size of a pill canister? Really?

While in the city, my dad and uncles and I also visited High Line Park, a mile-and-a-half long elevated park on the West side that’s built on former freight train tracks. It was pretty deserted given that not many people are crazy enough to take a stroll on an elevated, exposed platform on a blustery NY winter day, but I’m glad that we did.

And no holiday trip to NYC is complete without a stop at the Rockefeller Tree!

After a great day, we left the big city (calling it the big apple would be overkill in this post, wouldn’t it?), and headed to Long Island for a quiet(ish) Christmas.

Our first night in Huntington, we were greeted with hugs and heaping plates of pesto pasta made by our uncle Mickey! Walnut pesto, broccoli, and peas on TJ’s brown rice spaghetti. Heavenly!

It was sad not to be with Rupert for Christmas, but luckily, my two aunts had their dogs there to soften the blow. Tucker:

And Chickie:

Despite some minor–but expected–family altercations, Christmas went smoothly.

Can you see me? ;)

We had our traditional Christmas Eve Chinese take-out, but, not so traditionally, my aunt, uncle, and I got ours from a different place: the all-vegan Green Melody! I’m always a little skeptical of the veganness of food at non-vegan ethnic places, even when assured of it, so getting our own separate feast was a huge relief.

My favorite thing was the Rainbow Bowl! Roasted root vegetables in a beautifully carved and steamed kabocha squash! :)

I left PB cookies and soy milk out for Santa, like a good vegan.

And even roasted some chestnuts–though in a closed oven, and not over an open fire…

I got some great gifts this year. Tons of kitchen things–a spoon rest, a spiralizer, a cutting board (my sister got me a personalized one with a picture of us on it!), vintage salt & pepper shakers–and some new cookbooks–The Candle Café Cookbook, Raw Food Real World, and Sweet Freedom (by our own Ricki Heller!). Plus, the cutest Anthropologie dress in the world. Thanks, mommmmm.

My grandma got a Celtics Snuggie to match her pillow. Don’t let her sweet looks fool you–this woman is an avid and competitive sports fan. :)

And a trickster. Every year, she gives my mom the same gift as a gag. A 30+ year old box of petit fours. It’s disgusting and very Miss Havisham-ish, but hilarious.

Chickie got bored watching everyone else opening their gifts…

And then I had wayyy too much fun with my camera, shutter speed, and Christmas lights…

I call this one, “Donnie Darko’s Christmas Tree.”

And then we time warped to next year’s Christmas. ;)

Last, but not least, our decadent Christmas Dinner!

I made Swell Vegan’s Vegan Haggis, and it was a huge hit. Seriously, I knew it would be good, but I had no idea that my family would finish off this baby as fast as they did. :)

Since it was akin to a nut loaf (it also had oats, mushrooms, and root veggies), my mom started calling it a hagloaf. Hahahahaha.

I whipped up some extra-peppery PPK Mushroom Gravy to go with it (though I think a sweet, fruity sauce–like the one A-K made in her post–would be even better).

My sister made some sweet potatoes from Vegan Comfort Food, my mom made some green beans with almonds, and I made Ricki’s Quinoa, Roasted Beet, and Walnut Salad as well (seems random, but with the beets and cilantro, it’s Christmas colors, y’all!)

Mine turned out a lot redder than Ricki’s, but everyone thought it was beautiful and it got gobbled up. My uncle Adam even requested the recipe so he could make it for his New Years party a few days later.

Whew. I’m done. I hope this is the longest post I ever have, and regularly scheduled blogging shall recommence shortly. Book review coming up, too! :)

Thanks for all your kind words on my last post, and for your patience as I got my life back on track! I’m so glad to be back.

About these ads

18 responses to “Blame Apple

  1. Great photofest, Nora. Pictures are better than words any day. That's quite a handsome wheaten terrier, that Tucker!

  2. Wow, so much to this post! I really like your pictures of the snow, and the train tracks, and the Christmas trees, and the Christmas tree ornaments. And go Celtics.

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful time! The food all looks soooo good!Debra @ Vegan Family Style

  4. Beautiful photos as always Nora, and thank you for all the cooking you did over the holidays and for making us all look good and appear semi-normal and well-adjusted haha! I always get the warm fuzzies from your depictions of us!

  5. Awesome pics… loved going through them… specially the eats :)

  6. Yo, that was a ton of gorgeous shots. Love the one of Chickie yawning and the one of your dad in the mask. And the food from Candle 79! Oh my! I gotta get to New York someday.

  7. Just catchign up on your computer news — bummer. But good on you for getting your thesis submitted! Congratulations! Happy Hannukah and Happy Christmas to you and your family, it looks like you had a great, delicious trip.

  8. I'm sure glad you're not one for bagging your backlogged photos and starting over from the present moment! We'd have missed out on way too much fun, beauty and deliciousness! You take such wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing your holiday festivities, family and food adventures with us! (And I hope Apple makes good on that hard drive!)Happy New Year!

  9. Dairy Free Betty

    Your photos are amazing! What kind of camera do you have? Looks like a fantastic holiday!! Jessica

  10. Elizabeth Jarrard

    what rational person would NOT post all their pictures??? love them!! especially the tree!!! and candle 79 rocks-mmm those polenta fries look so good

  11. Great photos! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 23 inches? That sounds like shoveling gets the first prize for best endurance sports this year.Your pictures are so gorgeous, Nora!

  13. Wow–I don't know where to begin! Your family parties sound fantabulous (I'm a bit of a cultural mix myself) ;) . And all that snow–whoosh! Your feasts, both at home and at Candle 79, sound totally delectable (I must try that hagloaf, too!). And I'm glad everyone liked the beet salad. :) The reason mine isn't as red is because I used mostly golden beets for the one in my pics–that's what I had on hand. But I love the really crimson one better! And finally, those light pics are just too psychedelic, man! Love 'em! ;)

  14. omg what a fun post! Love it, and now I'm starving! :) Happy New Year!

  15. Don't ever feel you have to apologise for long posts and lots of photos, Nora! This was a great one and I loved seeing your different holiday celebrations, great food and cute dogs (though not as cute as Rupert, obviously!)

  16. What a fantastic post! Looks like you had a really good time over the holidays, and love the pups!

  17. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

  18. Well, i came here to say pretty much what the last person in the comments said: “Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…”
    Plus: your photos are very cool and beautiful. congrats :)
    Juliana – a vegan gall from Brazil :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s