Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Tis the Season; Concerts and Cookies

I don't know how all my fellow Bloggers do it! These past few pre-Christmas weeks have been INSANE!! BUSY!! I haven't even LOOKED at my computer!

Let's start with the last two nights alone: 2 concerts, dozens of cookies and all manner of Holiday craziness. But I guess that's typical of this time of year...

First of all, a huge deal to my two teens, I let them go to a pop concert BY THEMSELVES for the first time. They've been looking forward to this for months now!

OK, cast aside all images of smoke-filled crowds swaying to The Grateful Dead, it was only The Jonas Brothers, pretty tame Disney Channel stuff and all.
And maybe I AM overprotective and "everyone else" really does get to go to these things without their parents... but still, it was after dark, in a huge arena, in a large city; makes an ol' fashioned mom a lil' nervous, you know?

Despite my fears, things turned out fine and the girls even came away with some great photos (if you care anything at all about The Jonas Brothers, which I don't much but hey, I remember back in the day... I would have KILLED to have 6th row seats at Duran Duran...).

Two nights after the auditorium of screaming fans, in drastic contrast - we toned things down tonight for a traditional and beautiful Children's Chorale Christmas Concert.
My two youngest Sprouts are Chorale members and the entire evening sparkled. Call me nostalgic and old fashioned, but seeing all the kids up front with velvet skirts, shiny hair bows, starched collars and sharp bow-ties; hearing traditional carols, the soaring pipe organ accompaniment; it all makes me a bit misty-eyed. Yeah, I'm a little weird that way, but I like Christmas with the old fashioned Christian symbols, celebrations, routines and traditions; not turned into some generic Winter Holiday.

But I digress; After the Christmas concert there was a short reception with coffee, cocoa and cookies donated by parents... You knew I couldn't blog without some FOOD, right?

So in good vegan form, I made basic spice cookies with cream-cheese frosting. All vegan. And gone before any of the other sparkley-sugar-coated Holiday offerings, which made me feel pretty good.

Soft Ginger- Spice Cookies

3/4 cup Earth Balance
1 cup sugar
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 1 egg
1/4 cup molasses, honey or corn syrup (I cannot STAND molasses so I use something else... the cookies are less "gingerbread-like" but still very good)
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp finely grated ginger ( I use an orange zester, it takes a while, make sure and include the ginger juice too!)
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the margarine, sugar and egg replacer until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough in to 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done. Cool on wire rack.

Frosting (which isn't pictured, I added it later):
8 oz. Tofutti cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Earth Balance
3 cups vegan powdered sugar (Whole Foods and most health food stores sell it)
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract

Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, cream the Tofutti and margerine. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled cookies.
I'll be back sooner, I promise. Christmas craziness is settling down around these parts...


Veggie said...

Duran Duran, I would have loved to have seen them in concert too.

I don't think you're being too overprotective, my parents' would not have allowed me to go to any concert alone at that age.

Vegetation said...

I'm not particularly religious however I like the traditional kids school celebrations too! I'd much rather go and listen to the carols than a bunch of songs about surfing and the weather!

Mmmm soft ginger spice cookies? I HAVE to try those and very very soon! All my ginger cookie recipes make super crunchy hard cookies, but soft one's are my favourites.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Hi! I am so glad to see you are ok and not washed away!

When my girls were the age of yours I was an overprotective mom too! Shoot, still am and they ae 28and 30. Once a mom always a mom. I love Christmas for what it is meant to be. Our church had their Christmas program last weekend and I was teary through the whole thing. Seeing the children sing and the traditional songs just do that. I was out today and said Merry Christmas to every clerk and got have a nice day in response. How said is that. Surely one of them celebrated Christmas. Darn, I have a Jewish friend who even sent me a Christmas card.

I have not baked any Christmas cookies or goodies yet. I will be a busy beaver next week for sure. Too busy today making meals for the upcoming week. Your cookies look good and inviting. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

KNH said...

What is Earth Balance? I'm very new to the veghead scene, so I don't know all the ingredients.

Thank you!

Rachael said...

I am so happy I found your blog! I LOVE it! I love your positive attitude and your lovely pictures and fab sounding recipes! Happy!