Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Tonight is the longest, darkest night of the year and it marks the beginning of winter. So I celebrated by opening gifts with my six cats and my dog, Datsun. Here's Polaris getting into the holiday spirit:

Yes, I'm one of those people who tortures her cats with silly costumes ...

Datsun loves to unwrap gifts! Here he is unwrapping a new rope ball - one of the only kinds of toys that he cannot destroy in five minutes.

The kitties — Akasha, Pandora, Polaris, Gelfling, Ozzie, and Seymour — shared a stocking filled with catnip mice, jingle balls, and other goodies. Pandora especially loved the fluffy cat teaser:

Seymour preferred the toy mice. He's the baby kitty, and he's painfully shy. He prefers to eat in a separate room away from the other cats and he hides when anyone comes over:

Yesterday, I went to my Me-Maw's for a Christmas lunch with my mom's side of the family. I brought the Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes from Pudge-Free Holidays by Happy Herbivore:

I was a little scared to make cupcakes without oil, but they turned out great. They totally didn't taste low-fat, and my family loved them. They were super-duper minty because I subbed Vitasoy Chocolate Peppermint soy milk in place of the regular chocolate milk in the recipe.

Last night, I made a batch of Pecan Pie Truffles from VegNews to give out with my Xmas gifts:

Sorry for the crappy photo. My borrowed digital camera wouldn't focus for some reason, even though I used the close-up feature. It doesn't have the option of manual focus. These are phenomenal though! They only have a few ingredients — pecans (I used local ones from my uncle's farm), bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup and graham cracker crumbs. My chocolate shell isn't as pretty as it could be, but hey, it was my first time making truffles.

Finally, I made the Fruitcake Muffins from VegNews to bring to a Solstice potluck tonight (before opening the gifts with the pets):

Wow! I love these! They're made with whole wheat pastry flour and no sugar. The only sweetener is maple syrup and they're chock full of dried fruit, walnuts, and pecans. I had a few leftover, so I know what I'm having for breakfast.

34 comments:

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I love your pet photos! I still need to "visit Santa" to do a little shopping for my Scout. And your chocolate cupcakes are so colorful!

Ricki said...

You are definitely not the only one who dresses her pet in costumes! (The Girls are just rolling their eyes as I type this. . . ). I've been dying to try Hannah's truffles since the recipe was published in VegNews. . .they look spectacular.

Have a great holiday!

shelby said...

Oh my gosh everything sounds so amazing!!! I've been wanting to try those 2 cupcake recipes so I'm glad that they are good. And those truffles...wow!

Aww, your cats are so cute. I used to have a lot of cats but they ran away when one of them had kittens. I keep asking for a kitten for Christmas, hopefully Santa read this ;)

Shenandoah Vegan said...

Excellent post! I dont know how you were able to get such great shots of all your babies. I'll have to pick up VegNews now.

VeggieGirl said...

Cute animals + scrumptious treats = best post ever.

brandi said...

yummy! and your pets are so cute! i'm glad my doggy isn't the only one that likes to open presents!

jessy said...

happy solstice to you, too! it's awesome having winter "officially" here! yay!

your kids are just too cute! datsun is adorable opening his rope toy! awwwww! we also find that rope toys aren't destroyed as easily with julie either - but if you give her a stuffed toy - she'll have it fluffed out (complete with a big 'ol fluffy mess) in a matter of minutes. silly dogs!

i love the frosting on your pepperminty cuppies, Bianca! a nice touch! and those fruit muffins - glorious! totally gonna have to give those truffles a try, too - yours look mighty fine to me!

happy holidays! :)

pixiepine said...

Oohhh what a fun post!! Spoiling the pets is fun! My cats and dog have presents under the tree too :)
Your cupcakes look amazing also!!

eleanor said...

The photos of your pets are darling--too cute Bianca! And those cupcakes! they're so "perfect" haha

anyways, i just got back to the states, and have a huge fully stocked kitchen just begging to be cooked in, so if you have any tester recipes, i'm ready to go!! :)
happy holidays!
--Nora

Summer Fae said...

Your pets are adorable. You took some great pictures!

Happy Solstice to you too. The goodies look mouthwatering.

twoveganboys said...

Your babies are so cute. The treats you made look awesome.

Chelsea said...

I love all your cutie pie pets! Seymour is so cute in that photo with the mouse and totally reminds me of my Zoey cat, she's terrified of the world, too. Happy solstice!

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

Your kitties are so cute! And Datsun--I love how his paws look like actual hands opening the present haha!

Those cupcakes are tres adorable, by the way! :)

Melody Polakow said...

Happy belated Solstice! Your animals are just beautiful.. and the cupcakes look delicious!

River said...

Your furry buddies have the most awesome names! Seymour just stole my heart, I love shy kitties!

The truffles and the muffins look delicious! The peppermint chocolate cupcakes are so pretty and Christmassy! They are definitely going on my list of links to vegan Christmas goodies!

Theresa said...

Happy solstice! Winter solstice for you means the longest, brightest DAY of the year for me :)

Megan said...

awww, your pets are the cutest!!!

everything you make looks so scrumptious :)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Awww, animals + presents! Too cute.
Mmm, food + photos! Delicious.

The Veggie Guy said...

Yay for cute kitty pics. And the truffles look delicious (so does everything else, but I happen to love pecans).

Great blog, BTW. I've added you to my blogroll.

Happy Holidays!

Lee, The Veggie Guy

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I have been wanting to try those muffins! They look delicious! Glad to hear they're great. :)

Your kitties are adorable, too.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Fruitcake muffins! I must have missed that recipe. Yours look super darn delicious. I am so excited that you posted about the peppermint chocolate cupcakes, too! I think those would be great to make for our huge family Christmas dinner. The glaze is droolalicious. Hahahaha.

Yay for dressing up your cats! Sometimes I think they deserve it for all the trouble they get into. I'm at my aunt's house right now and one of her cats keeps climbing inside the Christmas tree, up the branches.

Jen said...

hey bianca,
happy solstice to you too! it's not too often that solstice, chanukkah, christmas, and kwanzaa all fall in one week. your petz are adorable--i love that you named your dog datsun. cupcakes without oil? get outta here! you've shown me it's doable.

happyherbivore.com said...

YAYAYAYA! I celebrate winter solstice too (its our holiday since we dont celebrate xmas) -- I'm so glad you liked the cupcakes - they look frickin' awesome & thanks so much for your comment on my blog, totally made my day!

Vegan On Stage said...

those truffles are amazingggggg!!!!! your pets are adorable too.. hehehe its ok to dress them up as long as you give them presents!!!

Urban Vegan said...

I stopped saying "bah, humbug" the moment I read your post.

Lauren said...

aww your cats are SOO cute! haha i dress up my kitten too..got him a santa hat and jingle-bell collar! haha its just too cute.

your cupcakes looks awesome...i've been meaning to try that recipe when i first saw it. chocolate + mint is usually always a winner.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Your kitties are so cute! Those truffles look to die for...

bakedbambi said...

OH! I love your puppy and christmas kitties! so cute, and the food looks great, especially the truffles.

I'm also one of those people that dresses up their pet. My pup has had a christmas sweater on for the last week, but I think she is starting to like it. Well, I hope so. haha

Megan said...

Your baby kitty made my heart swoon! Or was it the cupcakes...

jessica said...

I've been wanting a subscription to VegNews for a few months now. That truffle cinches it. Too bad you can't get a referral fee. ;)

Cyn said...

Awwww, your doggy and kitty are so cute! My parents gave my cat Sophie a toy mouse for Christmas, but she's not super into it.

Those cupcakes look delicious - I love minty stuff.

Veggie said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who gets presents for my kitties, I even have stockings for them and read them 'The Night Before Christmas' of course they won't sit still but I do give them treats afterwards.

Veggie said...

Happy Solstice!

Sheridanna said...

Yay pecan pie truffles!!! Those were A-mazing! Ok, so I think I'm almost caught up. I remember these pictures, but I'm gonna keep reading to be sure.