Sharing Ava’s Father’s Day gift

This is what Ava gave Jody for Father’s Day this year. I took the pictures for the first one last year, but only printed them on our crappy printer and never had it done nicely. So I had them both printed as 10 x 20 storyboards, mounted on styrene. They look quite nice if I do say so myself. 😉 My goal is to do a new one every Father’s Day for at least a few more years. And next year, there will be two munchkins for the pics. Fun! 🙂

We didn’t do anything spectacular to celebrate Father’s Day, though I made breakfast and dinner (we went out to lunch) and did the dishes (something Jody usually does) all day long. Oh yes, we also went to the “big” mall (Jody’s idea) and walked around for a bit, which was a good way to get out of the heat. I told Jody that he and Ava should have their pictures taken in one of those photo booth things (it cost $3), so they did that (which is good because – bad Amy – I didn’t take any pics of them with my camera – doh!). The pics are pretty cute. It was nice just to spend some family time together.

This week is going to be crazy I’m sure with my family getting into town Wednesday, Ava’s actual birthday on Thursday, our ultrasound on Friday, then Ava’s birthday party on Sunday! Busy, busy!

Baby kicks, “Childbirth Revolution,” trucks, pics, and more

I felt the baby move from the outside this weekend and I think Ava felt it too! Unfortunately, Jody wasn’t home at the time, but I’m sure he will get to feel it soon enough himself as well. Exciting!

I got in touch with my friend’s midwife and am scheduling an appointment to chat with her and learn more about homebirths so I feel like I’ve fully explored all of my options.

On a related note, I saw this article – about how England’s government is supporting women to have homebirths – posted on another person’s blog. Here’s a bit of what it said. “Pregnant women are to be advised to give birth at home as part of a revolution in childbirth policy that will reverse decades of medical convention.

Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Health, is to “challenge the assumption”, prevalent since the 1970s, that the safest place to give birth is in hospital and that home births can be dangerous.

In what is being billed as a historic shift in the politics of childbirth, doctors will be told to offer all pregnant women the chance to deliver their baby at home with the help of a midwife and their own choice of pain relief.

The Independent on Sunday can today reveal that the Government is planning a “strategic shift” in childbirth policy away from hospital delivery and towards births in the reassuring surroundings of home. It has commissioned research to support the case for home births and “challenge the assumption that births should take place in hospitals”.

The Secretary of State wants to “demedicalise” pregnancy and challenge the “presumption” that birth should take place under the supervision of a doctor.” … (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article448999.ece)
I find it all absolutely fascinating and wonder if such a shift will ever be possible in the U.S.

I didn’t end up getting to take Ava’s 2 year pics this weekend, but we got our new bed delivered (which is nice, but going to take some getting used to) and went to a “Touch a Truck” event where kids get to see, climb into, play on and honk the horns in trucks, buses, construction equipment and emergency vehicles of all kinds. Ava thought the double-decker bus was pretty cool (and we went up on the top level), but I don’t think she was all that impressed with everything else. She’s been getting into construction equipment lately (always asking me “What is that?” when we are out and see something) so she got to see some things up close and personal. But the whole thing wasn’t as big a hit with her as it was with the kids of some of my friends (who are boys – go figure). I’m sure it didn’t help that someone honked a school bus horn right as she was standing in front of the bus (which scared the crap out of her and reduced her to tears). Poor pookah. The cool thing (IMO) about the event was that there was a plant nursery there giving away free flowers, so I got a whole flat of petunias. Score! 🙂

On Saturday, Jody got out bright and early to “window-shop” a few garage sales and came home with a Little Tikes kitchen, complete with a bag full of play food and dishes – all for $10. We’re saving the kitchen for Ava’s birthday, though she already got into all of the food/dishes since Jody had them out to wash them. We have to find a good way to store all of that. What a mess when it’s all out over the floor! Eep. 😉

Yesterday I photographed my friend Brandy’s newborn son. The shoot went really well and I’m happy with many of the pictures. After we got done with pics, Brandy and I sat around and talked a lot about homebirth and her experience with it. It was good to learn more from her while the experience is still very fresh in her mind.

Now that we are down to less than two weeks before my family gets into town and Ava’s birthday party, I’m starting to clean the house in earnest and make food to freeze for the party. 🙂

Here’s what I finally came up with for Ava’s party invitations:

And now for a few pics of my chickpea. 🙂
Here’s Ava playing outside (her favorite place to be) earlier this month:

And stopping to smell one of our flowers:

16 weeks today :)

16 weeks pregnant today! I’m feeling great! I don’t really have a need to nap every day like I did during the first trimester, which is great because I can get caught up on other things (like proofing pics) that I didn’t have time for before.

I’ve scheduled my ultrasound for when I’ll be 19 weeks. Only 3 weeks away! It’s crazy how fast this pregnancy is going.

With Ava, I felt like she was a girl and it was no surprise to me when the ultrasound tech announced that she was. With this baby, I’m really not sure. Part of me wants to say it’s a boy just because this pregnancy feels so different from my last. But I also know from a few friends who thought they were having the opposite gender of their first baby because their pregnancies were so different and ended up having the same gender both times, that that doesn’t always mean a darn thing. The other part of me just feels like it’s another girl. I guess we will hopefully (if baby cooperates) find out in a few more weeks.

Jody and I have been talking a lot about names lately. I think we have tentative names picked out for both a boy and a girl, but those will be kept under wraps until baby arrives. 🙂

Ava and I just took a mile and a half walk (each way) to that park/lake we picnicked at this weekend. I’m going to try to do that walk with her more regularly because I know the exercise would be good for me. We’ve done it once before as well. Just packed some PBJ sandwiches, fruit and water and made an afternoon of it.

I’ll leave you with a few belly pics from this pregnancy. I haven’t been nearly as good about taking them this time around, but you can still see a big difference from 7 weeks to 15 weeks (taken last week).

And one of me and Ava (showing off her baby belly too):

Our trip to California (super long, with oodles of pics)

Long post ahead. Here’s what we did on our trip to California, along with tons of pics (click the pic to view it larger). I tried to save you by not posting too many “scenic” pics, but mostly pics that had us in them. I honestly didn’t take *that* many pics on this trip and didn’t get artistic with any of them. It was hard not having my camera of choice with me. ;oP

(Also, a disclaimer to all my veggie readers… I figure some of you probably missed the post where I said that I’m no longer vegetarian so I wanted to say it again so it doesn’t come as a shock to you all that I’m eating poultry and fish. I decided to follow what my body tells me I need with this pregnancy. I’m still cooking primarily vegetarian meals at home, but if I’m at a restaurant and I want chicken or fish, I order it.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We caught our flight at 5:22 p.m. from Denver to San Jose. Ava did great on the plane. We sat next to a very nice, friendly woman who enjoyed talking with and entertaining Ava for a good part of the flight. The view as we flew over the Rockies was amazing.

We picked up our rental car but the agent had trouble finding the right size carseat for Ava. She finally tracked one down but it didn’t have all the parts and, because of this, we weren’t able to fully secure it in the car. Arg.

After some confusion with our room at the Hotel Avante in Mountain View, we got checked into the right room. By that time it was after 9 and we hadn’t yet eaten dinner so we headed out in search of something. I spotted a Baja Fresh (Mexican grill food) and remembered reading good things about it on Julie‘s blog, so we stopped for dinner. It was really good and reminded us a lot of Wahoo Fish Tacos (but better because they had fresh guacamole and avocado slices, mmmm).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Jody got up early to go into work at Google for a few hours before they went out for a team building trip horseback riding, with a tour of a vineyard and dinner.

Ava and I got up and ready and went out to breakfast at Denny’s. After that, we went to Shoreline Park where we went for a walk, watched geese and Ava threw sticks and rocks into a lake.






Then we picked up some lunch and headed back to the hotel for a nap.

That evening, after Jody got home, we went out to dinner at Frankie, Johnny, and Luigi’s for some awesome pizza. We stopped at Baskin Robin’s for some shakes on the way back to the hotel.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Jody went into work again, while Ava and I slept in. Then we got up and ready for the day. I packed up our things and we checked out of the hotel. Then we drove up to the “Googleplex” to join Jody for lunch in the cafeteria. It was a bit overwhelming. There were so many foods to choose from. I ended up having a big salad (loaded with avocados) and some Indian food.

Then Jody took us on a little tour and introduced us to some of the people on his team and in the area he works while out in CA. The campus is so big, your first time there is kind of like being a freshman back at college. Ava wowed everybody with her cutiepie charm.

Jody went back to work for a little while, and Ava and I headed over to a Trader Joe’s to check it out since I’ve heard many good things about them. I don’t know it they are all pretty small, but the one we found was on the small side (IMO). It seemed like a great store though and definitely reasonably-priced. We bought some organic strawberries and ate a few in the car.

Then we picked up Jody and started our drive to San Francisco. Traffic was horrendous at 4:30 p.m. (go figure). Unfortunately, Ava was really tired at that point and was having a hard time falling asleep in the car. She did get to nap for a little while, but not as long as she (or we) would’ve liked.

Jody dropped us off at the Argent Hotel while he went to take back the rental car. Ava and I got checked in and went up to our room on the 26th floor. The room was very nice. We had a lovely view of the city and could see the Bay Bridge from our window, as well as a little bit of Alcatraz.

After chilling in our room for a bit, we walked over to Chinatown for dinner. At the recommendation of the hotel concierge, we went to the Great Eastern Restaurant. Our dinner consisted of egg rolls, vegetable fried rice, sweet and sour chicken and cashew chicken, with orange slices for dessert. It was all delicious. That brings us to the present, where we are back in our hotel room. Chinatown was bigger than I thought it would be, with lots of neat looking shops. I hope to stop back in there another time to browse a bit.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What a busy day!
We started it off by heading to the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. It’s definitely an impressive farmer’s market.

We walked out to the water and stopped for a peanut butter cookie before catching the trolley up to the Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 area.

We stopped to look at the sea lions (which Ava originally called “dogs” – from all of the barking, of course – LOL).


Then we had lunch at a restaurant – Neptune’s Palace – overlooking the sea lions and bay. I had a salad and bread bowl of clam chowder soup and Jody had fish and chips. We also split some crab cakes (which Ava devoured).

After lunch we decided to take a ferry ride that goes around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. By that point, Ava was getting sleepy, but she did ok on the boat.




There was a group of Asian women on the boat who were totally enamored with Ava. A couple of them gave us “treats” to give to her, but if I couldn’t read the writing on the package (it was Korean I think), I wasn’t going to give it to her. Still nice of them though. There was also an Asian man on the boat ride who was using his electric razor to shave his face while we were out on the water. Strange. I took his picture. 😉

After the boat ride, we had a heck of a time finding a bus that would get us back to our hotel, so we ended up waiting 45 minutes to catch the historic trolley.
Ava was so tired at that point that she actually fell asleep on the trolley, despite it being quite loud with the trolley car driver ringing the bell left and right.

We hung out for a bit in the hotel, then decided to head out for some “American fare” (we got some suggestions from the hotel concierge) for dinner. First we walked over to the Metreon, but none of the restaurants there appealed to us. We did, however, pass a new cream puff place on the way and figured we’d head back there for dessert after dinner.

After walking around way too much and still not finding anything that sounded good, we came across Tad’s Steakhouse. It was very reasonably priced at like $6 a meal, though seemed a little shady, but we decided to stop anyway. We ended up getting a tuna melt and a turkey melt, both came with a baked potato and salad, and it was all, surprisingly, quite good. It was nice to only spend $15 on a tasty dinner after dropping at least $40 on previous meals.

We tried going back to the cream puff place for dessert, but they had closed at 8. So we walked around some more (and saw another guy stick-shaving his face in the middle of the sidewalk – what’s up with that?), finally stopping in a 7-11, which was just about the only thing open, for some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which we took back to our room.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

We got up this morning and caught a bus over to the Haight-Ashbury area (known for it’s huge hippie population in the ’60s), where we had a late breakfast at a place called All You Knead (recommended to me by Amy). I got poached eggs covered with avocado slices and Hollandaise sauce on English muffins and Jody got an omelette. Both came with potatoes too. We split it all with Ava. The food was awesome.

After eating, we walked along Haight street for a bit and stopped in a few stores, before it started sprinkling rain on us. We had planned to go to Golden Gate Park, and walked in it for a little ways, because I really wanted to see the Japanese Tea Garden, but the rain kept coming down harder and harder so we decided to head back. By the time we left the park, it was a downpour and we were soaked. Ava had the umbrella over her stroller so she was kept partially dry, but Jody and I were drenched.

We caught a bus into the Mission district, then had to get off there and wait for another 20 minutes for another bus to get us back to our hotel. The wait outside was quite cold and it continued to rain.

On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at that cream puff shop from yesterday (Beard Papa’s – it’s Japanese) and picked up some cream puffs to take back to the room. They were tasty.

We got changed into dry clothes and Ava and I took a nap while Jody went out and bought himself a Play Station Portable. (I guess I shouldn’t leave him alone when he’s within walking distance of a Sony store. Oy.)

After our naps, we caught another bus to Little Italy where we had dinner at Caffe DeLucci. Jody got ravioli and I got fettucine with seared Ahi Tuna. Yummy! We all split a cannoli for dessert.

Then we headed back outside to catch the bus back to our hotel, I would’ve liked to walk around a bit, but it was raining again. On our walk back to the bus stop, a car came within inches of hitting Ava’s stroller (that she was in) and my leg. They just kept on driving too like they didn’t even see us. Thankfully, we were OK, but it was pretty scary.

Monday, May 22, 2006

(Ava playing in bed before getting up for the day.)

We got up and dressed and packed up our things before walking over to a little restaurant called Oh La La for some lunch (which we took back to our room). Jody got a chicken salad wrap and I got a falafel sandwich. We also got some of those “Naked” drinks. They are expensive but quite tasty and mine (which was a protein blend) had something like 37g of protein in it. Wow.

(One last pic in our hotel room.)

After eating our lunch and gathering up our things, we checked out of our hotel and caught a bus to the CalTrain station. We got our train tickets, and caught the train to Santa Clara where we then caught a bus over to the San Jose airport.


Once at the airport, we still had a good 2 1/2 hours before our flight so Ava played a bit in a kids’ play area and we got some lunch and let Ava run around.

The flight back to Denver had a lot of turbulence over the Rocky Mountains, but Ava slept for the last half of the flight, which was good – she needed to get a nap in.

It’s good to be home and getting back into our routine. 🙂

———————————————————
All in all it was a really nice trip. California is a beautiful state and I can definitely see the appeal of living there (avocados – wink, wink), but I still prefer Colorado. 🙂 While having some humidity in the air was nice out there, I guess I’ve grown accustomed to the dryness here.

It would’ve been nice if the weather cooperated the whole time we were in SF, because we would’ve gotten to see more of the city, but c’est la vie. I am sure we could’ve spent several more days there and still not seen everything we wanted to. (And we would’ve gone broke trying! LOL)

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and help with things to do while in CA. I appreciate it! 🙂

As an aside, Jody and I were talking about how well-traveled our li’l kid is. Just on this trip alone she rode on a plane, boat, bus, trolley and train (the boat, bus, trolley and train were all a first for her). It took me 31 years to get to the western U.S. coast and Ava’s been to both coasts before her 2nd birthday. I guess the world is a smaller place now than it used to be.

What a great day!

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday. 🙂

It started off with Jody having breakfast ready when Ava and I woke up in the morning. Then I got some cards from Jody, Ava and my parents. And Jody and Ava got me some nice oven mitts (which I was desperately in need of since mine had holes in it and has been caught on fire, etc.) and a lazy susan (which I really wanted) for all of my spices. Jody said he also wants to get me a gift certificate for a pregnant massage, but he didn’t have time to track down someone who specializes in that.

After that we went for a walk around the block to a lilac tree near the park (lilacs are one of my favorite smelling flowers) and Jody took some pictures of me and Ava (and belly baby) and then I cut some lilacs to take home and put in a vase.




Then we stopped at Starbucks for some frosty beverages (that blackberry green tea frapaccino they have is so tasty – Ava agrees too) and went to Vitamin Cottage to pick up some things for our trip and for a recipe I have for banana muffins (which I plan to make today).

In the afternoon we headed into Boulder for some lunch, which we ordered “to go” and then had a picnic by the Boulder Creek. Ava ran around in the grass while Jody and I ate, stopping by every now and then for a bite herself.



After that we went for a walk on Pearl Street Mall (a great outdoor pedestrian “mall”) and shared a brownie. Then Jody took some pictures of me and Ava in front of the tulips which we also did last year. 🙂


After walking around for a bit, we headed back to the car and came home. I thought Ava would go down for a nap since it was quite past her naptime, but she was content to stay up. So we went to the grocery store and picked up some food for dinner (stuffed salmon and potatoes which we had accompanied by broccoli) and some other things we needed. Jody grilled the food and we had a nice dinner.

It was a very full, very nice day. It’s amazing to me to think that next year at this time I will be a mommy of two. I’m a lucky woman. 🙂

By the way, Ava’s outfit (dress and matching diaper cover) is something Grandma just made and sent to her. It’s pretty darn cute.

P.S. These pictures were taken with our old P&S (point and shoot) camera. I decided not to take my Olympus on the trip to CA since it’s really primarily for my business and I’d be up a creek if something happened to it while I don’t have a good back-up camera yet. So I dusted off the old P&S to play with yesterday. It’s not nearly as fun (nor are the pictures anywhere near the quality) as my Olympus. ::whine:: I’m such a camera snob now. ;oP

Let them eat cake

Here are a few pics from my birthday yesterday.

I made this super yummy carrot cake from scratch, using my friend’s mom’s recipe. (It has pineapple between the layers.) It turned out sooooo tasty! The recipe made a lot of cream cheese frosting, but I decided not to put it all on the cake, since it was already so decadent, and tossed a fair amount.


Excuse my no make-up face. I had a headache for much of the day and didn’t even shower until about 5 p.m. Thankfully my headache cleared up and I was able to enjoy our takeout dinner from Old Chicago and the cake that I made. Also, I’m not sure what’s up with the weird shadowy things on my chest in these pics. I guess they were a reflection from the candles?

And yes, Ava is poking her finger fingerS into the cake and licking them off while the pics are being taken and Jody is singing “happy birthday” to me. 😉 She usually loves to sing happy birthday, but apparently not when there’s a cake in front of her. LOL She and I split a piece of cake and she ate as much as I did. It’s amazing she slept last night.

Other than the headache, it was a nice birthday. Jody made breakfast and lunch, changed all of the diapers all day (woohoo!), I got to take a nap alone in the morning, Jody and I got some alone time in the afternoon while Ava napped, and I even got some presents. 🙂 I can’t complain.

Thanks for all the birthday greetings. 🙂

Pics from the day (mostly egg hunt)

As always, click the pic to see it larger.

Daddy and Ava having deviled eggs.

And now for more egg hunt pictures than you ever cared to see! Ava enjoyed finding the eggs so much (and mommy enjoyed taking pictures) that we had to do it twice. 😉








And lastly, Ava sitting with mommy, checking out her egg hunt loot. (Pay no attention to my nappy, growing out, looks like crap hair. I am SOOO in need of a haircut, it’s not even funny.)

Mexican polenta casserole – recipe

This proved to be a very tasty dinner for us on Thurdsay. Ava gobbled it right up. Hope you enjoy it as well. 🙂

Mexican Polenta Casserole

Ingredients:
1 package of polenta w/ green chiles and cilantro (it comes seasoned that way)
1 can of refried beans w/ green chiles
1 C Quorn grounds (warmed and seasoned with taco seasoning)
1/2 C salsa
1/2 can black olives (sliced)
3/4 C cheese (I used sharp cheddar and monterrey jack)

And 1 or 2 avocados (and whatever you put into your guacamole) to make into guacamole. I used lime juice, Spike seasoning, pepper and cilantro.

Instructions:
Spray the bottom of your casserole dish w/ some non-stick cooking spray.
Soften and mash the polenta by adding some water and microwaving it until it softens.
Spread 1/2 the polenta into the casserole dish.
Spread a layer of refried beans (use the whole can).
Spread a layer of the Quorn grounds (that have been warmed and seasoned w/ taco seasoning).
Put down a layer of salsa, then black olives.
Spread on the other 1/2 of the polenta.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 min., then follow up with the casserole under the broiler for a minute or two.
Top with guacamole and serve.


By the way, the Indian food (palak paneer) we had for dinner last night was sooooo good. 🙂 Ava loved it too and had leftovers for dinner tonight as well. Yum!

Oh, I was mixing up some guacamole tonight to go along with my dinner leftovers (of the Mexican polenta casserole no less). I asked Ava what I was making and, clear as day, she said “guacamole.” Then she repeated it about 6 times. Can’t tell that we like our avocados in this house, can ya? 😉

Tahini tofu stirfry with saifun bean threads – recipe

I’ve had these Saifun bean threads sitting in my pantry for months and months now. I bought them by accident, thinking they were rice noodles, and then wasn’t sure what the heck to do with them. So when I decided to make some sort of tofu stirfy for dinner last night, I thought I’d give them a try instead of brown rice.
They look really weird after being boiled, as they are these clear noodles, looking almost like soapy bubbles.
(I found this site that has descriptions of various Asian noodles including bean threads.)

The meal turned out pretty well and was quite tasty, though see my note below.
Oh! I have to thank Jess of Get Sconed! for her tips on getting your tofu to cook just right. Basically you don’t touch it until it’s time to flip it. I cooked it over med-high heat and I think that helped a lot too. I was so proud that it finally looked good instead of like mush. 😉

Tahini tofu stirfry with saifun bean threads

Ingredients:
Saifun bean threads
Tofu
Olive oil
Sesame oil
Tamari
Garlic powder
Cayenne powder
Red swiss chard
Sesame tahini

Instructions:
Cook tofu in olive oil, sesame oil, tamari, garlic powder and cayenne powder. Set aside.
Cook the chard in olive oil.
Combine the tofu and chard. Add about 1/2 cup tahini and more tamari, as well as some water to thin the sauce.
In the meantime, boil the Saifun bean threads for about 20 minutes. Drain and cook a bit longer with some vegetable oil and tamari.
Place some bean threads on a plate, cover with the tofu/chard/tahini sauce. Enjoy.

Note: This meal was a LOT heavier than I thought it would be, perhaps due to the amount of oil I used. I didn’t think it was a lot, but if I make it again, it will be with less oil.
Also, sorry I didn’t specify amounts much for this recipe. It really was an “eyeball it” kind of meal.

I had a lot of bean threads left over (since I made two packages – oops), so after dinner I gave a couple handfuls to Ava on her tray and she had a ball playing with them and eating some as well.

Two recipes – Polenta Lasagna and Carrot Casserole

Thanks to my friend Sonja for turning me onto polenta and sharing this recipe with me.

Polenta Lasagna

Ingredients:
Tomato sauce
Polenta (I used the kind with sun-dried tomatoes and garlic)
Basil
Vegetables (optional – I used red Swiss chard and black olives)
Cheese (I used Monterrey Jack)

Instructions:
Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your dish to prevent sticking. Spread a layer of polenta (you can soften it in the microwave first). Add a layer of sauce. Sprinkle some basil on the sauce. Add the vegetables (which should be cooked a bit first to prevent crunchy vegetables in the lasagna). Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and melty.

This was my first time cooking with polenta (which is corn meal mush). It was easy to use and quite tasty. Reminded me a bit of grits, but more flavorful, especially in the lasagna. I was also excited about the meal because it was entirely organic, except for the black olives. And Jody and Ava liked it as well. I love it when my meals are a hit. 😉
While I was at Vitamin Cottage today, I also bought some polenta with green chiles and cilantro in it and will prepare some sort of Mexican meal with that one. Mmmmm. 🙂

———————————–

The next recipe I got online (somewhere??), but modified it a great deal, so I kind of consider it an Amy original. 😉 Unfortunately, I don’t have pics of it, but it was very tasty and enjoyed by all three of us. 🙂

Carrot Casserole

Ingredients:
8 C sliced carrots
1 large onion, diced (Since I didn’t have one at the time, I left it out)
Quorn “meat”balls (Looove the Quorn products in this house)
Veggie crumbles (I used Morningstar Farms)
A few shakes of garlic powder
1/2 jar tomato sauce
1 T butter
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 1/2 C grated cheese (I used cheddar, but I think just about any would do)
1/2 C fine dry bread crumbs

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and place in a 2 qt casserole dish. Cook “meat”balls and veggie crumbles in the microwave. Season with a bit of garlic powder. Cut the “meat”balls into smaller pieces. Stir in onion, butter, cream, salt, pepper, “meat”balls, veggie crumbles, tomato sauce and cheese. Mix well. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 50 min.