Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Holiday Gift Giving Season is in Full Swing! (Plus a Giveaway)

Thanksgiving has passed and that means this holiday season is in full swing, and I couldn't be more excited!  If you know me, you know I love the holidays.  All of them.  Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for the rest of us!) and any other winter celebratory day you can think of.  I love the music, the food, the drink, the tacky sweaters, the decorations, the hustle and the bustle, the cold winter nights, the lights on the houses, and the gift giving.

My family has done away with the giving of gifts in the traditional sense.  We no longer buy presents for each other.  We have everything we need.  One half of my family donates the money we would have spent on presents to a charitable organization instead, and the other half has decided it's okay to give each other a little something, as long as it's home made, and if you can eat it, even better. WOOHOO!  Home made food presents are my favorite!

Hearty Pasta Soup with Chik'n Mix in a jar ready for gifting.  Photo by Celine Steen.  Recipe from Vegan Food Gifts 
I love making vegan food gifts so much, I even wrote a book about it...Vegan Food Gifts.  Haha.  And to get you all in the vegan food gifting spirit I am going to not only provide you with a super fun recipe for gift giving this holiday season, but I am also going to give away a signed copy of the book to one of you.  Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite (or not so favorite) thing about the holiday season and I will choose one at random on Friday, November 30. 2012 at 9:00 am PST.

CONTEST NOW OVER!  CONGRATULATIONS TO #11,


LADLELADY, WHO SAYS:

AND I COULDN'T AGREE WITH HER MORE!  PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH YOUR SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN GET YOU YOUR BOOK ASAP!



Hearty Pasta Soup with Chik'n from Vegan Food Gifts (page 97)
Now on to the recipe!  This recipe not only makes a great gift, but it is also a great mix to make up ahead of time, and store in the cabinet for quick and easy weeknight suppers.  And what better way to warm up on a cold winter night than with a hearty bowl of soup?

CLICK TO ENLARGE AND PRINT



74 comments:

  1. I love that your family has done away with the traditional gift giving and replaced it with donations or (edible) homemade gifts. I've been trying to convince my family to go that way for years now; I'm hopeful we'll get there one day...

    My favorite thing about the holiday season might be that my birthday is on Christmas Eve and I get to be a kid all over again on that day! :)

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    1. A Christmas baby! What a special present you were. I'm glad you love it now, as a kid you probably hated it. One present= happy birthday and Merry Christmas!

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  2. Some favorite things: tastefully lit homes, gaudily lit homes, silly decorations, serious decorations, the works :-) Oh, and home made gifts, of course!

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    1. Haha. I love it all too. Especially the silly and gaudy stuff.

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  3. It's hard to think of something I don't like at the holidays ... I love it all! My favorite part is when my mom + I get together to bake treats to give as gifts each year.

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    1. I'm looking forward to following along in your holiday baking adventures, miss Four-Eyed Girlie! Your treats always are dressed to impress.

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  4. oh my, so much. i love christmas lights. anywhere. i put them on everything. my favorite thing is to just sit on the couch with some hot chocolate with just my christmas tree lights. i can pass the whole evening that way (with a book, too!)

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  5. My mom decided that we'll start doing crafts on Christmas. Last year, we painted leg lamps, a la A Christmas Story. It was super fun, and I have a cute painting to show for it!

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    1. How fun! I'd love to see those paintings.

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  6. My favorite holiday thing is probably how acceptable it is to have hundreds of cookies in your kitchen.

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  7. I love watching my 4 year old nephew get excited about Christmas.

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  8. My favorite thing is baking with my sister. She 's a real clown in the kitchen and it's great fun!

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  9. My favorite thing is all the smells! Pine needles, gingerbread, peppermint... I love it all!

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  10. I love that December 25th is the one day of 365 that my family shuts our used book shop and spends it together drinking coffee, eating popovers and laughing to exhaustion. It's the best day ever.

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  11. My least favorite thing is having to pick just a few recipes to make for dinner with the family, when there are so many delicious things to cook!

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  12. Love this! Picking up your book at the library today (I requested it ages ago!) so I would love a real life copy for my own :)

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  13. my favourite thing is definitely the copious amounts of food!

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  14. I can't only pick one favorite thing about the holidays, it all goes together! ;) The decorated houses with lights etc. outside, different smells of baked goods, pine trees, hot cocoa... I really miss the crisp cold air & snow here too right now!

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  15. One of my favorite things about the holiday season is always having a good excuse to bake loads of treats for friends and family!

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  16. One of my favorite thing about the holiay season is to have good meals with family members that we love. I also like when there is some snow falling and take a walk at night.

    Thanks for that giveaway :)

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  17. My favorite thing about the holiday season is all the food -- from my grandma's persimmon pie to my tata's tamales. Yum!

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  18. This will be my first holiday season without my grandma, and she was the ultimate Christmas fan. She started decorating in October, and the decor wouldn't come down until February.

    That has always been (secretly) my favourite part of the holidays.

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  20. My favorite thing about this time of year is the holiday spirit that seems to be everywhere and within everyone.

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  21. My favorite thing is all the Christmas lights everywhere. Especially nice when it is so dark on those winter nights!

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  22. Sadly, one of my favourite things is having a few days off work. More positively best of all is all the food, the vegging out in front of the TV then a nice long walk to blow away the cobwebs!

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    1. Me too. Haha. I only get Christmas day off, and I cherish it! No shame in that!

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  23. My favorite part of the holiday season is spending time with my nieces. They are both in college now and the only time I get to see them is around the holidays - so I always look forward to that time with them!

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  24. I LOVE Christmas, but our family keeps it very simple, focusing on family, friends, and helping others. I'd have to say that my favorite tradition is the homemade Christmas ornaments we make each other every year. I started the tradition when we moved into our own home, and it's everyone's favorite now. We all cherish the decorations we've made each other over the years. This will be our 5th one. :)

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    1. That's an awesome tradition. And helping others is a great way to celebrate.

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  25. What a great giveaway...perfect time too!

    I love just being with family for the holidays. I live far away from my family, and Dec is the only holiday time I fly to see them all at once...I was even alone at Thanksgiving. So I really look forward to being able to see my family!

    Courtney

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    1. Being around friends and family is way better than presents!

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  26. I love trying to find the perfect gifts for my niece and nephew.

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  27. Looking forward to seeing my two year old son playing with his cousins and grandparents. And looking forward to making a huge bunch of vegan food for Xmas dinner.

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  28. The holidays for me are now completely about my son, who, since he was 3, has started decorating for Halloween in September, then Thanksgiving on Nov. 1, then Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. It's like someone flicks a switch on and he's happy and inspired and productive for four months straight. He's 8 now and this weekend he assembled a whole artificial tree by himself... the stakes are clearly raised from now on. I'm sure there were holidays before he was born, but who can remember?

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  29. What a fantastic idea for a book! I have been collecting these types of books, magazines, pamphlets for years and love that you have written one (with photos, the best part!) for vegan gift giving! I don't have to 'veganize' these! Congrats!

    My favorite thing about the holidays is the quality family time my family shares. Whether we're making cookies, wrapping gifts, out looking at lights, or in a car driving to VT to see family, my husband, daughter and I do it as a family and absolutely cherish our time together! My husband is in the military and we don't see him very much, so the holidays are especially cherished!

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  30. There are lots of things I love: listening to holiday music (only Thanksgiving until New Year's!), holiday baking, holiday food, fresh snow, running outside with my dog in a completely reworked landscape.

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  31. I love how excited my kids (4 and 2) are for Christmas this year. Decorating the tree, breakfast with Santa, watching Christmas movies...I love starting these new traditions with them.

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  32. My favourite things about holidays are: Lebkuchen, marzipan and Speculoos.

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  33. My favorite thing about the holidays is having a week off between Christmas and New Year's! (I work in a school.)

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  34. I've seen your gorgeous book, and it's on my Christmas list! If I don't win the giveaway, I hope that Santa is good to me! :) My favorite thing about Christmas is the music. I just love playing my old, crackly childhood Christmas albums while looking at the twinkling lights on the tree.

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  35. I of course love being together with my family. However, since my transition to being a vegan a bit over a year ago, there's often not a lot for me to eat when I am with them. But some of my new healthy habits have rubbed off, and my parents, although not vegan strictly speaking, are definitely now plant-based, and eat very little in the way of eggs, dairy, and meat. They have both lost quite a bit of weight and are already starting to feel the benefits of better health. So I am looking forward to potato latkes this year, made with egg substitute instead of eggs!

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  36. My favorite thing about the holiday? The sparkles. It looks like a Bedazzler threw up in my house!

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  37. Carefully choosing/making gifts for my loved ones...& the food!

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  38. Hmmm, best thing about the holidays? Family is nice and all, but I think it has to be the food! My family and my wife's family have all evolved new traditional Xmas meals over the last decade or so that we are vegan (and they all eat a lot more vegan). We always save some favourites for around Christmas-time and they are always a special treat, especially around the big table with everyone.

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  39. I like the extra baking I get to do though I hate extra pounds I pick up every winter!

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  40. My favorite thing about the holiday season is all the different smells! Pine, cinnamon, roasting squash, fresh bay area rain and chimney smoke. I love it so much.

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  41. The best thing about the holidays is finally getting to see my family, friends, and home again. I'm blessed to be able to go away to school to get a good education, but not only am I learning things in my daily courses, I'm also learning how much those I care for mean to me and how grateful I am for having them in my life. Being able to spend time with them after not seeing them for so long, and bonding over cooking and hearty dinners that I definitely don't experience here at school, gives me such comfort and relief so that when times are tough, I'm reminded of what I'm putting in the hard work for and the reward of finally seeing my loved ones when the holidays come back around.

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  42. I love the holidays! I love the smell of pine, the sparkly lights, the zillions of craft fairs that are going on, and getting to go home to see my family! :)

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  43. My least favorite part of the holidays is that it doesn't snow here! I grew up with cold, snowy winters and to me it just doesn't feel like the holidays if there's no snow.

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  44. What a lovely tradition!

    My favorite party of the holidays is spending time with my loved ones, as cheesy as that is :)

    The food is a close second!

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  45. Playing Scrabble and Apples to Apples with my family!

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  46. I love getting to make tasty veggies goodies to send out to friends and family <3

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  47. My favorite things about the holidays have changed a lot since I've grown more in line with my ethics. So I have new things to love now!

    I love present hunting for others. It's most pertinent at the holidays because my family has a lot of birthdays around this time of year too.

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  48. My favorite thing about the holidays is the food! Chestnuts, and cranberries, and apple everything!

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  49. My friends or my family going out of town is not my favorite part of the holidays, since I'll miss them, but my favorite part is taking care of everyone's pets! I love getting all the playtime, hugs, and kisses that the usual caretakers have to give up while they are on some exotic holiday!
    However, getting to cook and bake in some glam kitchens doesn't hurt, either!

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  50. That sounds fantastic - wish my family would get behind that! My favorite thing about the holidays is the food, of course! Eating it, but also being in the kitchen together chatting and making delicious things and being warm and happy. Definitely the best part.

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  51. My favorite thing about the holiday season is the excuse to get together with friends and family. My least favorite thing is the stress.

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  52. My favorite thing it looking at the holiday season through my son's eyes. He notices every decoration, song, etc. Least favorite is exchanging gift cards with people. There is no thought involved and it's so impersonal!

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  53. Unfortunately I must mention a least favorite thing about the holidays. As the only vegan (no vegetarians either) in the family it is difficult to share a meal at any family members home. I always bring a dish hoping to convert someone and have something I know I can eat. But usually I hear all the usual excuse to not eat vegan. So I would love to give them all gifts of vegan food from your new cookbook!!!

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  54. I love the holiday season! Love listening to super cheesy holiday music and seeing all the twinkly lights in the evenings.

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  55. My favorite thing about the holidays is all the gut busting laughter my family and I share. Also. it's been a cool experience seeing everyone get into (and actually *love*) vegan versions of our traditional side dishes.

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  56. My favorite part of the holiday season is baking and decorating cookies with my Aunt Abbie. Every year since I can remember, I have helped her bake several different kinds of cookies, then we sit together and decorate the sugar cookies with piped icing and sprinkles. I love it.

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  57. I have to say my favorite part is the kids out of school and the extra time off to spend with them. Being a single mom there isn't enough hours in a day to run around with my two little ones.

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  58. How do you get those lentils to cook in 12 minutes? It usually takes much longer than that for brown lentils. Anyways, I'll definitely be picking this book up. My favorite thing about the holidays is going home to see my family.

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  59. I love the sneaky-ness of keeping gifts a secret till the 25th. :) It's fun to try to come up with something really surprising that my husband won't expect. I also like that over the years my dogs have learned to recognize what we're doing when we open gifts on xmas and that they've become experts at opening their gifts, tearing just the paper, not the present inside. They think it's the greatest doggie game. :) I'm sure they don't get the concept of a holiday, but they've got "Once a year present tearing open day" down pat.

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  60. I love decorating with a real tree & all the sparkly lights!

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  61. I am having fun building vegan menus to replace the family menus that were used in the past. Some I have veganized and others, like turkey and brisket, need straight up replacing. With the recent release of vegan holiday cook books I'm enjoying the process of looking through them to see which recipes we should try and eventually having "the menu" for years to come for each holiday.
    I saw Vegan Food Gifts at my local Whole Foods and it's on my Amazon wishlist now!

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  62. funny enough, my favorite thing is to make food gifts for people. Where I live now, nobody else bakes and when they get holiday cookies, they tend to think magic was involved.

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  63. Nice post.
    A valuable information and snap here.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Gift Baskets NZ

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  64. I am making this and the Southwestern Soup from Vegan Food Gifts for presents this year. I was wondering if you could recommend a veggie broth powder? Is there a place you can buy it in bulk? The containers at my health food store are only 4 or 5 oz. Thanks for your help!

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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni