Friday, December 28, 2012

A White Christmas

Between gifts from family and friends and of course, Santa Claus, we had quite the bundle to be thankful for this Christmas. 

My favorite Christmas present from Mike was his thoughtfulness. He stayed up late Christmas Eve and unbeknownst to me (as I was fast asleep), he tidied the house and baked all sorts of things while waiting up for Santa. 

He even took the time to write all the dishes down on the kitchen chalkboard. 

How cute is that? 

The dishes with the (v) are vegan dishes as we are striving to be more and more vegan each day. 

He baked Sweet Potato muffins (vegan). 
They were amazing! He found the recipe here.  

Take 1: 
This is the face I get when I ask Mike to pose for a picture. 

Take 2: 
This is him contemplating my request to smile like he means it. 

Here he is with his pumpkin pie made with the last of our garden pumpkins. 
He used this pie crust recipe but substituted spelt flour for the white flour. 


Anyone have a fabulous vegan pumpkin pie recipe to share? 

I spied a little still life as I wandered through his bustling kitchen and asked, "Is this wine?" 
He had poured the wine to eliminate the sediment from the older bottle, and to let it breathe a little. 

Was he surprised that I took a picture of his breathing wine? Probably not. 

This Golden Lentil Stew is a new favorite. I think the special ingredient is the chopped dates, along with the combination of the sweeter spices and more pungent herbs. 
This dish is so good over roasted herb potatoes. 
Here is the recipe, although we opted to not add the pasta. 

Outside, the snow fell and covered each and every branch and limb that the eye could see. 

The stillness of that first snow fall is always quite magical. 

I hope that the holiday season is warming hearth and soul. 


Happy New Year. 



  1. what a gift indeed! acts of kindness are way better than any material item.

    and i'm so jealous of your white christmas. no such luck here in central texas. ;)

    thanks for sharing all the recipes!

  2. I love your photograph shoot takes! That is SO real life. Thank you for sharing the funny little moment.
    The lentil soup looks absolutely delicious!

  3. Beautiful! You have one amazing husband.
    (And he has one amazing wife).

    xo's Terri

  4. What a beautiful White Christmas! Looks like a wonderful Christmas dinner. I really like the non-traditional elements too. I've always thought so, but I have to say Mike is a terrific hubby.

    Lots to be thankful for, for sure.


  5. Our vegan bakery makes a sweet potato muffin, but we have yet to try making them at home. Such a nice husband you have. Glad to hear you had a nice Christmas.

  6. What a wonderful treat! Loving the snow. No such luck here in the south.

  7. Ha ha how cute, so thoughtful... The snow looks absolutely incredibly beautiful... Lucky you to have had a white Christmas... Happy New Year...

  8. Hi Trina,

    I always enjoy the little tidbits of everyday life that you post on your blog. It inspires me always. Have a blessed New Year!


  9. Completely agree with Becky - it's the small (BIG!) things that mean the most. Especially when someone takes the time to let you know that they care. Wonderful!

    And I love the still life ... I'm always a sucker for non-people shots...

  10. The snow really does look magical.

    I wonder if spelt flour tastes different from regular. The pie looks wonderful.

    Happy New Year!


  11. Trina I love this post. How wonderful of Mike to surprise you. Love it. Have a blessed New Year with your lovely home. Our snow comes tomorrow. Can't wait!

  12. so beautiful trina. and i'm so thrilled to hear you guys are striving to be vegan. what a lifelong gift to your children. xo

  13. What a beautiful Christmas. :) I just loved that you spoke of your husband's thoughtfulness. What a precious gift in a husband you have. And I am sure you are just as thoughtful. ;) In the selfish "me me me" world we live in today it is no wonder so many marriages are failing but you and your husband are a wonderful example...him being thoughtful and you acknowledging it and being grateful. Loved reading this today!! :)

  14. Wow, that Mike is a great guy! The stew he made looks right up my alley (tomorrow I'm posting a vegan Moroccan stew which you might enjoy). I envy your white Christmas. I can only dream of snow -- I doubt we'll get any this year. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope your New Year is happy and healthy!

  15. LOL! Your hubby cracks me up! But boy is he ever a keeper. I love that he cooks (why can't ALL men learn to cook??!!) and helps around the house. Now that my guy does. :) Lovely snow! We got snow too, on Christmas Eve. Happy New Year! Kit

  16. What a wonderful surprise. It's those little things that make us love them more and more each day. Love the pictures of the snow.

  17. What a sweet hubby... and that last shot of the first snow is marvelous!

  18. what a sweet guy!! that is a great gift! I have to tell you, my jaw dropped a little- I have the exact same chalkboard! That is crazy! Happy New year to you and your family.

  19. I love this post. A wonderful Christmas you had! I think I will try your recipes. They all look delicious. "Smile like you mean it" is so darn funny. I say that around here, too. Looking forward to my next issue of CL!

  20. Must be in the air...The Honey has been actively doing things around the home front to help me out as well.

    I think the dishes sound wonderful...and the snow was beautiful.
    Happy new year! Pat

  21. Coming from the heat of summer here in Australia with every Christmas spent sweating, the snow looks so magical! How I would love to experince a white Christmas just once in my life. Your photos have inspired me to make it happen one day!

  22. Beautiful snow and great post. Husband can be so funny without trying.

  23. What a charming post, and I'd say Mike is a charming husband. What a sweetheart! Enjoy visiting A Country Farmhouse. Thanks for sharing........Sarah

  24. Beautiful first snow . . . we are longing for . . . still . . .

    Thoughtfulness, new recipes, appreciation, bountiful giving, receiving, sounds of young voices, laughter and joys.

    Christmas memories . . . treasures.

  25. Love this. Like a movie scene. You are blessed. Thanks for sharing.

  26. You have a wonderful guy there! I love when a man knows his way around a kitchen!

    Lovely picture of the snow on the evergreen out your window.

    Have a wonderful New Year!


  27. What a beautiful white Christmas! The menu sounds nice to have your hubby bake for you on Christmas. Everything looks so pretty as usual!

  28. What a beautiful post! Prettier than a Country Living magazine spread.

  29. looks cold outside but looks like Mike has everything covered. Beautiful post and pictures!

  30. Trina what great pictures I'm glad you guys had a wonderful christmas ! Happy new year !!!

  31. Trina, I hope you realize the kind of warmth your blog exudes. I absolutely love what you share. Many blessings to you and your family in the New Year!

  32. A lovely post, beautiful food. When winter comes here I am going to try some of your wonderful recipes, thanks!! The snow is gorgeous!

  33. Snow! It looks beautiful! thanks for sharing your vegan dishes, it's a good idea to incorporate vegan dishes with one's usual recipes. thanks for sharing and wishing you and yours a wonderful peaceful Christmas.

  34. This felt like such a personal post, I loved it. Rafael got the same silver car for Christmas, I actually bought it for him while I was still pregnant! :)
    Lucky you, having a white Christmas.
    xoxo Dawn

  35. Beautiful photos that capture the mood so well!

  36. I am so happy you shared these recipes as we are striving to be more and more vegan too. I can't wait to try that sweet potato muffin(!). I have a good recipe for a Vegan Banana Carrot quick bread that I practically lived off of last summer. The combo of bananas and carrots sounded sort of strange to me at first, but it was delicious. I'll send it to you if you like.

  37. I LOVED this post. I love to cook and have admired (& often tried) recipes you've posted and love the beautiful pictures with them but have always wanted to see an 'action' post (like this one) of them being prepared with the cookbooks, ingredients and cutting boards out in your lovely, lovely kitchen. Each time I see your kitchen I think what a truly wonderful place it would be to prepare meals for a family. Please consider more posts like this! (Although I'm sure your hubby is probably not too excited by that.) Hope you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.

  38. Oh I can only imagine the scents wafting from your abode on Christmas Morn! Love the post! Love the snow! Love the little old fashioned race car...Love the husband...may need to steal him for a lifetime or two...

  39. He stayed up late baking and writing out that list?!? I have no words... Oh wait- I do.
    prince charming

    I hope the four of you had a wonderful holiday!

  40. Just opened up my Country Living and found your lovely guest cottage!! Turned out so beautiful! I so wish I had an area on our property to have guests stay. Great job!

  41. I love that you are striving to be vegan! I have never regretted the choice. Your Christmas is lovely and I am glad to see that your husband makes goofy faces too when you want to get a picture of him! Mine does as well.
    I am looking for my pumpkin pie recipe, it is awesome, and I think you guys will love it, it even uses homemade pumpkin!!
    Have a happy New Year!!

  42. We are blessed by husbands who like to do some of the cooking, and they sure put up with us on the photo taking. I loved that you got White Christmas, oh do I have the memories of many white Christmas's. Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  43. I have one of those men too....
    Well, not the kind that can cook, but the kind that gives all sorts of thought catering to me :o)
    I'm glad to hear your family is heading the vegan direction early in the babies lives. I speak from experience - it's more difficult for them to adapt when they are nearly 18! She see's the results, but still misses her meat (and cheese).
    Vegan pumpkin pie... I'm sure you've already happened by the site, but she has some recipes that would fit your request.
    I'm very excited to try the lentil stew!!!! Yum!

    Happy New Years!

  44. Love that you guys are going Vegan! I've been vegetarian for most of my life and I've slowly been trying to transition to Vegan the last few years. I just can't seem to give up chees ;) Anyways, here's a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that I've found, but haven't tried it yet. It looks pretty good!

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. I just received my latest Country Living with the pictures of your beautiful guest loft!! I can't wait to see more pictures from you with more detail! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family.

  47. Mike is so sweet to write out the menu...and to cook. Very nice.

    The soup looks delicious, too.

  48. Trina,
    Mike is probably close to sainthood! Made me laugh and the pic of your little angles in front of the tree was just so precious!

  49. What an inspiration you and your family are to me! Love, love, love the pictures of your little ones and how they are growing. You and Mike are truly blessed. Also, love the spread in February issue of Country Living Magazine!
    Kim from Memphis..."Maybe down in Memphis, Graceland's all in lights..."

  50. Your husband is a real trooper & a very good cook!!! Your Christmas holiday looks perfect & I'm sure everyone had a lovely time!

    I'm not sure if it qualifies as vegan, vegetarian yes . . . but I have a delicious pumpkin pie recipe, it's at the bottom of this post I did, check it out when you have a moment.

    Everyone loves it, and I like to use a graham cracker crust from time to time, which is another little secret.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  51. Happy New Year to you, your sweet secret & funny baker Mike...and of course to your dear little ones! The snow is so pretty...we haven't had any yet, but today was gorgeous witih crystal clear blue skies...a lovely way to start off the new year.
    Byu the way, I just about fell off my chair when I read your menu board because right at this very moment, I have a cannellini-kale (and butternut squash) minestrone stew bubbling away on the stove, that's going to be topped with parmesan buscuits and turned into a funny!
    All the best...
    xo J~

  52. Great pictures and what a thoughtful hubby. My husband and I became vegan 6 months ago and the results have been pretty miraculous. I love finding new vegan recipes (I also have celiac disease so things have to be gluten free also)....we have both lost weight and have so much more energy now...the best thing we bought was a Vitamix...we have a green smoothie for dinner every night and even recently vacationed with our Vitamix, LOL. Lovely Christmas pictures - Happy New Year to a very darling little family from Catt in Kentucky.

  53. Catt, We just bought one too! I'll try and do a post on it as we LOVE ours. Love it! Best, Trina

  54. Happy Christmas Trina! I had to have a wee giggle at all your vegan dishes on the blackboard.....and then 'oven roasted turkey' !!
    Does your husband have a brother who wants to relocate to Scotland ?? ;)

  55. What a blissful life - your images tell such a story. Hope you're having a great start to the new year!!

  56. Im not a parent, so I don't really know with your (beautiful!) children's ages if this is even plausible yet... But do they have a concept of what vegan means? I love little kids' points of view on big issues :-) I'm trying to go vegan this year too. So far it's been fun! Happy New Year!

  57. Hi Stephen,
    No, they're two years old so they won't understand it for awhile. But I've thought of the dialogue we'll have already!
    Best, Trina

  58. Beautiful pictures of your home! I especially love the horse painting by the tree!! Can you tell me anything about it? Thanks!
    Wendy A

  59. Hi Wendy,
    I bought the horse painting several years ago here in Oregon. It's a favorite of mine, I just love it. The babes love it too! They neigh and point up to it - it's adorable.

  60. That's very similar to the face that my husband gives me. Too funny. lol

    You must live in Eastern Oregon if you got snow for Christmas (or near Mt. Hood?). We're in the valley (Willamette) and a white Christmas just isn't something we ever get.

    I've found a couple of recipes via Google, but wondered if you'd share your Cannellini Kale Minestrone recipe?

  61. I'm catching up after a month or so off checking blogs, and have seen your beautiful Christmas images. How gorgeous and the fallen snow on your verandah is magical.


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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