welcome, welcome to peppermint mocha season

happy holidays y’all, it’s been so long! before i start anything, i’d like to welcome everyone to peppermint mocha season!!! it is finally hear, that wonderful window between thanksgiving and christmas when the peppermint mocha is at all times acceptable and expected.

i’ve been running through ideas for posts for the last couple weeks, only to put them aside and just continue to panic about moving. after a week i was just planning on a post similar to this one, so i put that off for another week too. seemed smart at the time. additionally, for the last couple weeks i’ve been on a training trip, which means…not a lot of food choices that aren’t meat or fried, and only a couple of nights at home to cook for myself. in the military, food is maximum calories in a small package based, and it works for the most part. on ships, we are lucky to also have the option of salad bars, so most meals i find myself with a heaping bowl of lettuce trying to make fruit act like dressing to avoid the ranch.

we all know it’s a tricky game.

we made it home in time for thanksgiving, which was wonderful to spend at one of our guy’s house, dan, eating some incredible food made by his sweet wife, katie. while it’s not easy to be away from our families during the holidays, i think we all take a lot of comfort in the families we make in our ships, squadrons or units. watching dan’s daughter run loose and gathering up around the fire pit with full bellies made us all feel very blessed and we said grace for our friends (and my B.) deployed around the world, and their families back home waiting for them.

during the two weeks of blog silence, i did manage to eeekkk out a couple recipes and an unreasonable amount of photos. first, some vegan crandberry (chocolate chip) walnut muffins inspired but emily marone at daily garish. i read her blog daily, and the only tweak i made was to add chocolate chips. they went directly in a care package bound for B. so fingers are crossed they get there in twelve, edible pieces.

most of the players

delicious muffins!

and 12 muffins leaves enough batter for a loaf

then, spaghetti squash pad thai from mandi at lux hippie. while the recipe was very simple, when she says use a wok or large skillet, do not just use the biggest pan you have. or, like me, you will end up having to use another pan and get spaghetti squash everywhere during the transfer. that sucker needs to be big. i also didn’t want to buy (find) tamarind paste and have to throw it away during the move, so I did lime juice substitution and cut out the water from the pad thai sauce like one of the commenters suggested. it worked great. since i am not a food photographer, the end result wasn’t beautiful, but it was delicious and i plan to make this for the family back in texas during the christmas holiday.

who knew this would be a pretty struggle?

warning: already overflowing, before adding squash

i also mixed a kale bowl in there, namely a fridge clean out of kale mixed with black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, some 5 minute cook couscous (near east is my favorite brand), and a type of slaw made of minced carrots mixed with mango and avocado.

but for the most part, the last two weeks consisted of my go-to vegan foods when i am away- lots of brown rice bowls mixed with annie chun’s seaweed snacks (the guys like to snipe my wasabi ones), amy’s soups (can’t get enough), raw almonds, the salad bar and lots of fruit.

whew, that was a catchup. do you have any snacks, tricks or tips for when you travel? good luck on your christmas shopping everyone! i’ll be back with some ideas that have helped me this season so far.

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