Away we go

Lily, ready for a Colorado winter

In just a few days, the four of us– Charlotte included, of course– will begin our trek home to Colorado for Lily’s first Christmas. And although the drive will be long (23 hours, to be exact), and although Lily has just figured out how to shriek at the top of her lungs when she’s bored or unhappy, and although Char’s fur has a way of ending up anywhere it’s not supposed to be, we are so incredibly excited to know that, soon enough, we will be with our amazing families and friends.

This Christmas Eve, there will be quite a few new faces at our dinner table, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. And because a growing extended family means a number of different dietary needs and preferences, my mom and I have been working hard for the past few months to build a collecttion of  festive, healthy, and delicious recipes that everyone will be able to enjoy. We’re pretty excited to try out these vegan eggnog scones (http://peasandthankyou.com/2010/12/14/come-and-nog-on-our-door/), and we can’t wait to make these vanilla almonds (http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/vanilla-almonds-recipe/index.html). But the real show stopper will definitely be the roasted vegetables that my mom perfected a few years ago. We ALWAYS add beets and brussels sprouts (in addition to the vegetables listed), but feel free to add whatever you have on hand.

 It’s funny what you miss when you’re away. And while I know I’ll eat more than my fair share of standard holiday food while we’re on vacation this year, it’s the balsamic beets that are calling my name. No meat, no eggs, no dairy, so they’re a great option for just about everyone– and they truly make the very best side dish (or midnight snack, or breakfast) ever.

Seriously.

 Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2 slices on the diagonal
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut in 2 inch wedges (or acorn squash)
  • 2 orange bell peppers, seeded and cut in thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

 

1. Combine the prepared vegetables in a large bowl and toss with oil. Spread onto a large non-stick rimmed baking sheet. Use parchment paper if you like, but I didn’t find it necessary.

2. Roast at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring once or twice, until browned and tender.

3. Combine the vinegars and remaining ingredients in a small bowl and toss with the hot, cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley.

View original recipe here: http://www.food.com/recipe/roasted-root-vegetables-with-maple-balsamic-dressing-164303

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