Who took my Christmas Spirit?

*Shyly* Hey, 'member me? I've been so fooded-out I don't even have any Christmas recipes to share today. Plus, the Christmas spirit abandoned me in the middle of December as if it had been exorcised out of me. Bad, bad blogger. Sorry.

Luckily, everyone else was all about the Holidays! Like these awesome bloggers:

Joanna from A cup of Jo made a gorgeous French Yule Log. She stayed up late making dessert after a whole day at work. That's dedication!

Sal from Alien On Toast made some awesome Christmas tree cookies. Prepare yourself for some sexy frosting licking action.

Karen from And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true had a fabulous Christmas cookie Bake-a-thon!

Joanie at But what does she eat made a whole lot of Christmas cookies (so pretty!). Joanie also made Strawberry Santa Hats AND Raspberry Santa Hats!

Katie, everyone's favorite Chocolate Covered Vegan, made the most adorable Christmas cookies. Katie made these cookies for a Christmas party for an organization called Circle of Friends. which "pairs children with special needs with a buddy, and it plans fun events for everyone to do together."

Mandee from Cupcake Kitteh made Gingerbread men and trees. Look at their little scarves! Have you seen Mandee's Candy Cane Cupcakes? Adorable!

Super fun Holiday inspired lunchboxes from Disposable Aardvarks Inc. Check out this post too. Did you see her Reindeer Cupcakes?

Ricki at Diet, Desserts and Dogs had a series of "Gastronomic Gifts", including Tutti Fruity Christmas Cookies, Jam-Filled Turnovers, and Marzipan-Topped Shortbread Cookies that she made with her own homemade buttery spread!

Diann at eat'n veg'n had a Christmas feast, including some super Christmassy Big Fat Sugar Cookies. Diann also made a delicious French Yule Log.

Another amazing French Yule Log courtesy of Bex from How to feed a vegan. Bex even had the added challenge of using only items from her pantry to make the yule log!

Too cute - this 3D Snowman Cake at In the kitchen of a tofufreak is beyond adorable!

Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil (love it!) baked lots of Christmas goodies, including my Strawberry Santa Hats and Reindeer Cupcakes!

Another amazing Yule Log by Shellyfish at Musings from the Fishbowl. Her sweet little Guppy added a perfect finishing touch with cute little star sprinkles!

Isa's Minimalist Gingerbread Men and Isa and Terry's Gingerbread Punks. You have to have Gingerbread Punks at the Post Punk Kitchen!

Mihl at Seitan is my motor made a delicious Christmas Stollen and shared a German tradition with us.

DJ and her kids at Skint Vegan made Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies for McGonnagle's Judo Christmas Party. These cookies kick butt! Get it? Kick butt? Judo? Sorry.

Bethany made some too-cool-for-words sugar cookies. Look at those zombie squirrels and kissing, giant-eyed swans! Would you expect any less from a blog with the best name ever: Spotted Devil Cat and his Vegan assistant?

Enjoy these Hanukkah and Christmas cookies from Krys at Two Vegan Boys! Krys has so kindly reminded us never to eat yellow snow!

Bianca at Vegan Crunk made these extra Christmassy Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes from Lindsay's Pudge Free Holidays e-cookbook. I love the picture of Bianca's puppy opening his Christmas present!

VeganLovlie made the most amazing Ratatouille Christmas Tree Pies. So creative!

Amanda from Walking the Vegan Line put together a video of Christmas goodies. Amanda also made a fabulous French Yule Log complete with festive vintage decorations.

I love these adorable Christmas cookies from Zoey's Kitchen. Plus, Zoey is the the cutest sleeper ever. No really, go look at her!

All of my Christmas treats are here. Though I didn't go crazy like I did with Halloweegan.

There must be so many more posts that I haven't seen yet, so feel free to let me know if you made something special for the Holidays and I'll update this post with a link to your post. (Update: I've removed the links to the blogs that are no longer with us. Sadface.)

Want to see my Christmas presents?
I've told you about my early Christmas present from Mr. Wing-it:

I now use this photography lighting set to take all my food pictures. It also has two light tents and six backdrops that I haven't had the chance to use much yet.

I've also told you that I love the Gilmore Girls and themed coffee mugs/cups. Lookit! It's my brand new giant Luke's mug!

The mug is pressed up against my nose and it covers almost my whole face, that's how huge it is! Now I can watch GGs and feel like I am sipping coffee with them at Luke's.

I also received some Christmas monies and bought myself a poor man's Kitchenaid. It's a Hamilton Beach that costs around $200, but Kohls had a sale and I got it for $100! Yeah!

How about some non-Christmas food? I made some sort of brownie things. They aren't really brownies, but they aren't cake either, or even a sweet bread. Brown-cake bread?

Brown-cake bread things

Untitled Brownie-Cake Bread Thing

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pureed banana*
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)**
1/2 cup soy milk or other non dairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
3- Whisk together the pureed banana and the liquids. Make sure the banana puree is super smooth and lump free.
4- Stir the banana mix into the dry mix until smooth.
5- Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
6- Pour the brown-cake bread thing batter into the prepared baking dish.
7- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the brown-cake bread thing comes out clean.

* This has a subtle hint of banana. If you don't want your brown-cake bread thing to have a hint of banana, replace it with 2 extra tbsp of oil.

** Mr. Wing-it isn't a big fan of coconut milk, so I compromise and only use 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 soy milk, but I bet this would be richer and yummier with all coconut milk and no soy milk.

The frosting is 1/2 cup of chocolate chips melted with 1/4 cup of coconut milk. I like my frosting soft, but if you like it firm, use only 2 tbsp of coconut milk. To make the frosting, bring the coconut milk to a boil and pour it on top of the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.


  1. Aww, it's okay you didn't get to post, I'm glad you had a great Christmas. Your gifts are so cool and that brownie thing sounds AMAZING!

    Thank you for linking to my blog, I think your treats for Christmas were so creative.

  2. River, what an amazing list! Thank you so much for compiling all this. :) I can't wait to go check out all the holiday goodies.

    And your gifts look awesome--love those lights (I know what I'll be asking for next year. . . )and can't wait to see the fantastic things you whip up on that mixer!

  3. Awesome round up. Merry, merry Christmas!
    That lighting set is amazing. Your photos always look spectacular.

  4. yay for new foodie toys! Hope you enjoy the mixer. And the round up is a great resource!

  5. HEEEEYY who could forget a "MUG" face as pretty as yours?lol!

    HAHA I am so embarrassed! My poor gingerbread men have stage fright! They are tough men. They won't crumble! LOL!

    Goodness would you look at your set-up! I can almost hear your almost cake singing Madonna "there's nothing to it ...VOGUE!"

    Baby Bear would like to play in a pool of chocolaty goodness....pls don't ask:)

    Give me names! MRBabybear will have them taken care of!

    ps:self-inviting myself over for pizza night.NO isn't an answer ;)

  6. RIVER!!!!! I've missed you!!!! :-D

    Amaaaaazing gifts; and those brownies!?!??!! Sinfully wonderful!!

  7. Hiya River! Haha I love the title for the "brown thing." You're silly :o).

    I totally thought about you this Christmas as I was decorating cookies to look like snowpeople, santas, etc.

    Merry Christmas, River!

  8. Thank you guys! You all are always so kind!

    Denise, it's Mr. Baby Bear to the rescue! He needs a cape with the initials "BB"! :)

    VeggieGirl, you're too sweet! I realize how much I've missed blogland after a few days off!

    CCV, your cookies must be so cute! Just like all your cupcakes!

  9. I love your lighting set and your Gilmore Girls mug! Also a big fan of GG here. Luke is the cutest.

  10. OH MY GOD! where can i get that mug?! i wantttttt.

  11. im glad you are back! it looks like you had a fantastic christmas! and i love your fun kitchen gifts :)

    yum, the brownie-thing looks delicious! i made something very similar when i attempt to make vegan brownies one time. but they tasted delicious!!! thanks for the recipe river!

    merry christmas and happy new year!

  12. Happy Holidays! I love a good blogger round up!

  13. Thanks for including little old me in your list. That photo setup rocks! I'm off to browse all the linked food now, yummy :)

  14. That was fun to see everyone's holiday goodies.
    What's up next...New Year's? Vday?

  15. Awwwww River you have the kindest heart. Reading your comments always makes me smile.

  16. Awww, the Christmas spirit can hit you (and leave you!) anytime of year, so don't worry. I'm glad you got yourself a nice mixer, and the brownie thingies you whipped up look so decadent!

  17. Oh! I want one of those Luke's mugs... that is so cool. I am heavily into rewatching my GG's DVDs are the moment. I'd have to fill mine with peppermint tea though.

    That is a hard-core lighting set forfood photos. I have... the 'suisine setting' on my point and shoot digital camera... heh. It is awesome though, no wonder your stuff always looks so good!

    I have a few Christmas baking stuff on my blog - I made your Santa Hats and the Reindeer Cupcakes, which were a big success so thanks for the ideas!

    I'm glad you had a great Christmas :)

  18. Thanks for linking to me! And that photo set-up is awesome! I'd love to have a set of lights like that. I use my window in the daylight, but at night, I'm stuck with a crappy old table lamp.

  19. wow, that was some post.
    thanks for wrapping up all the xmas blogging goodness. you make things way to easy for the likes of me :)

    that lighting set looks amazing. I'm going to have to start begging for one.

    Have a happy rest of the year. I know 2009 is going to be even better!

    oh and the brown cake thingee looks yummy.

  20. Wow, that is quite a round-up! Thanks for putting everything in one place for us. I'm a GG fan, as well and have even strolled through the streets of Stars Hollow! Enjoy your holiday gifts! I know I'll be looking forward to seeing what you create next. :)

  21. Thanks for the shout out, River! Your foody creations have inspired a lot of us!

  22. oh wow, thanks for all the links! Now I'll know where to look for holiday treats! And that brown cake looks delicious!

  23. I'm sorry to hear that you caught 'Grinchyitis' right before the holidays ~ that sucks! If this happens again next Christmas I would prescribe a strong dose of 'A Muppet Christmas Carol', and you'll be singing festive tunage in no time!
    I find it harder to get into the festive spirit each year too, I have to make a real effort. I still love Crimbo ~ but it's lost its romance somewhat.
    Thanks for the awesome round-up, I will check out any which I may have missed.
    And how nice to finally meet the top of your head! The gargantuan mug and other prezzies all look awesome!
    You will have to try much harder to be a 'bad blogger' in future, 'cos you are still fantabulous to me!
    *Huge Holiday Hugs* xxx

  24. Oh my goodness! Now you're a professional food-picture-taker, haha! That's so cool. And I'm of course jealous of your Luke's mug!

    A belated Merry Christmas to you!

  25. Sprankles! Yeah!! LOL! Don't feel bad about the Christmas spirit. You made lots of awesome goodies! Your gifts are super cool too. Can't wait to see more of your food photos with the new lighting kit and that's a really good deal on the mixer. How convenient that your mug covers your whole face!

    When I went vegan I lost 20lbs in a few months but I haven't lost or gained anything since. Sergio uses A LOT of olive oil when he cooks. Plus I don't exercise, I sit at a desk all day and I eat large portions. I don't think any advice I could give you would be healthy but I wish you all the best on your weight gain quest! :)

  26. I know how you feel, I am a little burnt out on food at the moment too. There's always way too much food around the holidays.

    Have fun taking pictures with your new set of lights. Maybe that will put you back in the blogging spirit.

  27. Thank you, my awesome peeps! :)

    Alaina, Mr.W got it from ebay. Isn't he the best ever?

    Robert, Valentines Day will probably be the next theme! Excessive strawberry and chocolate usage time!! I can't access your profile, do you have a blog?

    Susan, I've added your goodies to the list! I'm so glad you liked the Strawberry Santa Hats and the cupcakes! YAY!

    Dr. Becks, thank you so much for the prescription. It will come in handy next year if I am hit by another case of the Grinchyitis!

    Stacey, thanks for the best wishes! I have been using olive oil excessively too!

  28. Thanks for the mention! Worth all my hours in the kitchen :) All the best to you in'09!

  29. i love your mixer!! i don't have a kitchenaid either, but we'll both have one someday, don't worry.

    that brownie dessert looks FANTASTIC. i love anything chocolate. anything- even chocolate covered ants!! haha i'm totally kidding.

    your photography skills are bangin, my friend. i love the state of the art equipment. i just use my digital camera because i'm poor. haha

  30. thanks for the amazing list...
    i have missed your blog...
    your gifts look lovely...
    slightly jealous :)
    happy holidays...

  31. Mmmmm... brown bread cake! And how AWESOME are those christmas presents??? Best wishes for the new year, River!

  32. congrats on the Proximity award, River! superw00t!

    i'm all fooded out as well. too much eating for me over this holiday! i'm glad to be back to my normal eating now! :) i hear ya on being fooded out though.

    your lighting set = awesome! and that mugs is HUGE! i love it! it also reminds me that i still need to put season one of the Gilmore Girls on my netflix so i can watch them while dan's out with friends or playing video games!

    i think your brown-cake bread looks super scrumptious! just delightful! totally printing off your recipe! thanks, River!

    and there's nothing wrong with the Hamilton Beach mixer! my mom's got one and it ROCKS! can't wait to see what goodies you whip up with it! yay!

    happy holidays, River! now i'm off to check out all the cool links! thanks!

  33. the untitled brown bread thing looks incredible i am going to raid my fridge now >___>

  34. Miss River, I laughed SO hard at your "kick a puppy" comment. Thanks for the laugh :o)

  35. I hope you had a great Christmas! I appreciate the list of the best holiday posts - lots of amazing recipes and ideas.

    On the photo kit - I'm always curious about how so many bloggers produce such beautiful photos all the time. I'm totally dependent on daylight, but need to invest in something so I can take pix when the sun isn't out, which is pretty often this time of year.

    Hope you have a great New Year!

  36. I dig your lighting kit, and the "poor man"'s stand mixer. hugs!

  37. Chocolate covered ants! Wouldn't that be delicious! :P

    Jessy, how cool that your mom has a HB mixer too! I'm loving it so far!

    Mike, that's the problem I was having too. Not enough natural light at around dinner time. I'm really happy with these lights!

    Thank you for all the nice comments! I'm glad you're enjoying the list of goodies!

  38. thanks for the round-up homie (haha that is what I'm calling you from now on!!), awesome.

    I'm lovin the luke's mug!! :)

  39. haha stupid google reader! im glad you had a great christmas!!! and I LOVE BIG MUGS TOO... theyre so much fun!!!!

  40. Wow! What a delightful guide to all the best bloggy recipes this year! Thanks!

  41. That is one awesome list of christmas goodie links!! And thanks so much for including mine :-)

    Love your photography lights. And yay for your stand mixer!! Mine is by far my favorite kitchen appliance.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday and I can't wait to see what you have in store for the new year!!

  42. Your untitled treats look very tasty...good luck with those last few pounds!

  43. Your eh... thing looks delicious! And I want a Luke's mug too!

  44. You're not a bad blogger - you're one of the best! You have a great list here, and that cakey thingy sounds yummy, too.

    I'm in love with your mixer, and I think it is having similar feelings, so maybe you should send it to me so we can live our love story together?

  45. Thanks for the compliment on my cookies. Coming from you, it's a huge compliment, because YOU make the cutest holiday creations. Happy New Year, Miss River!

  46. Isn't it crazy what a talented and creative bunch vegan bloggers are? You got a great Christmas stash, and I think your picture studio is the coolest thing ever. Happy new year!

  47. Aww Thanks for all the sweet comments! I love logging in and seeing that someone has commented haha. And I must say, that is an AWESOME Christmas present!!!

  48. The brownie cakes sounds really gooey and delicious! yum! I like your gifts! I hope you had a nice holiday and Happy New Year to you!

  49. I came back to drool at the chocolate cake thing :|

  50. Where your husband get that photography lighting set? I'm interested in getting some more equipment but I don't think I'm ready for a camera upgrade at this point.

  51. happy holidays! hope you had a good new year - can't wait to read all about your 2009! :)

  52. thanks for all the great links, those brownie bar things (whatever they may be) look really delicious. Oh and i love gilmore girls too that mug is so cool I want one! Happy 2009

  53. Awesome round up.

    I love the photography lighting set.

  54. gaga the naners are SO good, they are small and tart, the perfect treat:D

  55. Well for not having a name, your brown cake thing looks delicious. And also, yay for the poor man's kitchen aid!

  56. river!
    I just found 10 more of my little cookbooklets! If you want one, just send me your mailing address, and I'll send one your way!
    ameyfm at yahoo dot com


  57. Ahhh!! Totally missed the tagging. Thanks again for all your blogging.

  58. I use this photography lighting set to take all my food pictures. It also has two light tents and six backdrops that I still haven't had the chance to use much.

    Wow, that is some serious equipment! Now I don't feel so bad about my amateur food photos :)

  59. can you please tell me where you found that luke's diner coffee cup?

    1. Hi Sarah! My Luke's mug was a 2008 Xmas gift from my husband, and he got it on ebay. Unfortunately, I don't think they make them like that anymore. Sometimes they pop up on ebay and I've seen the auctions go up to $75! That's insane!


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