Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Best Blog Tips
From center L around the front, L to R: Tofu pot pie;  traditional sage and onion bread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce with port and orange; No-Knead  Fluffy Hazelnut/Bran Dinner Dinner Rolls;  vegan brown gravy;
Back: sauteed Brussels sprouts with homegrown yellow patty-pan squash and red pepper; seitan turkey; Fireweed's mashed Denman island potatoes; roasted red beets and golden beets with olive oil and za'atar
(Not shown is Fireweed's delicious Gazpacho starter course, which we had already devoured; my Smoked Tofu Cheese Spread appetizer, which I had developed for an article in Alive Magazine; and the roasted sweet potatoes, which I forgot to put on the table until after we had taken pictures!)

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends on Sunday night.  I found it one of the most relaxing Thanksgivings in a long time, since we only had 9 of us (as opposed to around 18!) and I cooked most of the more complicated stuff (or the components) the day before.  I even had time to go for a walk on the beach in the wonderful autumn sun with DH, 3 granddaughters and Pheobe the dog in the afternoon!  It was great spending the day with them (and some time with 3 more granddaughters at breakfast), spending time with friends we don't seem to see very often, and welcoming daughter Sarah back from completing the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, beating her time from last year! (My daughter-in-law Amber ran in the same marathon (her 1st) and they had very similar finish times.)

I am thankful for my husband and partner Brian, best Grampa to my beautiful grandchildren, Levon, Savannah, Kate, Zoe, Hannah, Faith, Mariah, Cleo and Logan; and for my wonderful children, Bethany, Sarah, Justine and Tim, and their partners and co-parents, Parker, Ben, George and Amber. I'm thankful for my stepsons Sean and Laurence, plus Brian's brood of Lamarre stepchildren (Patsy, Mimi, Kathy, Tommy, Pierre, and Baba) and their families. I'm thankful for my super-sister, Karin and her husband Allen, and the best brother ever, Tim, and his wife Louise, and  my lovely nieces and nephew, and a wonderful, large open-minded extended family on all sides!  I'm thankful to have had my beloved parents, Alejandro Jaime Urbina and Eve Tonge Urbina, both now passed on. I'm thankful to be in contact with a half-sister from whom Karin and I have been separated by many, many miles and complicated circumstances for all of our lives.  I'm thankful for the beautiful, peaceful place in which we are privileged to live and the bounty on my vegan table. I'm thankful for good, intelligent, playful, and kind friends.  I'm thankful for good neighbors.  I'm thankful for my companion animals, Sadie and Ringo the cats, and Pheobe the dog.  And for so much more!

More photos of our feasting (photos by Fireweed, mostly):

From center L around the front, L to R: Traditional sage and onion bread stuffing and my seitan "turkey", stir-fried Brussels sprouts, home-grown yellow pattypan squash and red peppers; roasted red beets and golden beets with olive oil and za'atar; tofu pot pie; my homemade palm-oil-free vegan Buttah; vegan brown gravy; mashed Denman Island potatoes brought by my friend Fireweed.

"Yours truly" carving the seitan "turkey", stir-fried Brussels sprouts, home-grown yellow pattypan squash and red peppers
Top: Roasted red beets and golden beets-- the red ones sprinkled with balsamic vinegar; the golden with rice vinegar; both drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za-atar herb mix.
Bottom: sauteed Brussels sprouts with yellow patty-pan squash and red pepper

L to R: Tofu pot pie, traditional sage and onion bread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce with port and orangeNo-Knead Fluffy Hazelnut/Bran Dinner Dinner Rolls

Traditional sage and onion bread stuffing and my seitan "turkey"  
 The dessert table-- L is a new (divine) Flourless Chocolate Cake by my friend and fellow author Betsy DiJulio (recipe here) that I was testing for her. 2 of my vegan Pumpkin Pies (recipe here [I use only 3 tablespoons cornstarch now]), and a bowl of whipped Mimicreme. (At the link to Betsy's cake recipe is a fabulous, lowfat, easy homemade vegan whipped cream recipe!)
See the accidental stylized vegan "V" symbol at the top (composed of a swirl in the filling mixture and a crack after baking)?
New (divine) Flourless Chocolate Cake I tested for Betsy DiJulio, author of the wonderful book, The Blooming Platter Cookbook, and a slice of vegan pumpkin pie with Mimicreme. 



KitteeBee said...

I'm so glad you had such a lovely Thanksgiving, Bryanna! I'm thankful for so many things as well, and for wonderful friends I've had a chance to get to know over the years (even if mostly online).


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Me, too, Kittee!

in2insight said...

What a lovely looking feast.
I am thankful that we have you to guide us with such great recipes and cooking tips!

urban vegan said...

Wow, Bryanna. You truly outdid yourself. That's quite a feast and it all loks fabulous and comforting.

James said...

Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Veganism Community? Our members will appreciate it.
Members include: Vegans, Veganism Experts, Vegan Lifestyle Advocates, Vegan Cooking, etc.
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Articles, News, Photos and Videos if you like.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
Please feel free to share as often as you like.
The Veganism Community: http://www.vorts.com/veganism/
I hope you consider sharing with us.
Thank you,
James Kaufman, Editor

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks for writing, James-- I just joined and shared!