Lower East Side Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

All I have to say is the VegOut app by Happy Cow is going to be the death of me. Reports to come. So much food. Such easy access. Holy crap.

Follow Scissors and Spice on Pinterest!

I've started a Pinterest board. What's Piniterest you ask? It's a fun way of online bookmarking cool stuff you find on the interwebs. It's all automated; once you sign up for an account, you install a "Pin It" bookmark on your bookmark toolbar and pin away. You can follow your friends' "pins" too. Check it out and follow Scissors and Spice! Can't wait to see what you all start pinning!

Follow: Scissors_spice on Pinterest

Really Must Try This Recipe: Smoky White Bean Quesadillas

Smoky White Bean Quesadillas from VegWeb. Head on over there! Yum! I have lots of nooch to use so this is perfect!

Mega Sandwich from Grindcore House

Kakopopsta (or something like that, sorry I forget the name) sandwich with Fieldroast. Yum!
If you are a hungry vegan on a budget and you happen to be in Philadelphia, check out Grindcore House. Their sandwiches are huge, inexpensive and big enough to feed two.

Design Inspiration: Chipped Paint

Design Inspiration: Pretzel Pattern

From the best pretzel booth at the New Castle County Farmer's Market.

Photo Essay: Saturday in Philadelphia and Delaware

Tropical looking E. Passyunk Avenue

East Passyunk Avenue Indian Chief

Urban Jungle brick wall garden. Awesome inspiration for my backyard,

Penny for your thoughts, a nickel for your kiss, a dime if you tell me that you love me.

Italian market, Philly.
Highway. One of my fav dresses and my new Fabric Horse custom bag,
Mexican street food, corn on a stick, hold the mayo. NCC Farmer's Market.

Delaware pennant (Delware, Ohio that is.)

Scissors Craft: Book Project, First Round

I'm not cooking tonight so no recipes, but I thought you might like to see a bit of this.

If you remember, from my collage post awhile back, I am working on a book with my friend Kara. I have it for awhile, fill it with bad poetry, short stories and art work and she does the same when it is her turn (except her poems are actually good). Before I gave it back to her a month or so ago, I quickly snapped some photos of a few of the pages. I made a sleeve to keep the book closed and painted (with a toothpick!) the paisley on the front. Oh yeah, and I painted the edges of the paper pink and made a book plate and library card & card holder too. I think it's pretty cute! Now, I'm coming up with some more ideas, Kara, *cough* *cough* so you better hurry up now, ya hear?

Mr. Scissors Challenge: Mole Plantain Stuffed Baked Poblanos

This stuffed poblano is stuffed with sweet potatoes, Mr. Scissors favorite version. What does he know?
As if I don't have enough to do, my husband came up with the "Mr. Scissors Challenge." Read: He buys things that I haven't cooked before and challenges me to use it in an interesting and unique way. We both agreed that this one was a winner. I adjusted the recipe after we tested it. It needed more heat, salt and extra sauce! Both versions, plantain or sweet potatoes, were delicious. The mole sauce was, well to toot my own horn, brilliant. Let's see what he comes up with for the next challenge.

Plantain Stuffed Baked Poblanos with Black Bean Mole Sauce Recipe (vegan, gluten-free)
serves 4; prep time: let's just say, have time on your hands

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 cups of cooked white rice
  • 2 ripe (read: mostly all black) plantains*
  • double quantity of this recipe for Easy Vegan Mole Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB vegan margarine
*As an alternative to plantains, you can used 2 medium sized baked sweet potatoes in their place. Mr. Scissors actually preferred this alternative. I preferred the plantains. 

  1. Preheat oven to 450. 
  2. Wrap ripe plantains in foil. Bake in oven for about 30-45 minutes. They are done when the flesh peels away from the fruit and the fruit is mushy. Shut oven off.
  3. While the plantains are baking, cook rice. (Tip: I added 1 tsp of cumin powder and salt to the water before I added the rice.)
  4. Make double the quantity of my "Easy Vegan Mole Sauce" and then add black beans to sauce.
  5. While your rice is cooking and your sauce is simmering, cut the tops off the pablanos, remove seeds and cut them in half length-wise. (Tip: Though the poblanos are not hot, their oil is. You may want to handle them with rubber gloves and make sure not to rub your eyes!)
  6. Remove plantains from oven when done. Let them cool and then peel away the skin. Place both peeled plantains in a small food processor or mash by hand with the cinnamon, brown sugar and margarine. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Start your assembly line. Fill each pablano half with rice, then a few TB of black bean mole sauce, then smear each top with the plantain mixture, repeat until they are all filled (eyeball it to make sure you have enough filling for each pepper half). As a lazy alternative or if you are making in bulk, combine about 1-2 cups of rice, add half the mole and the plantain mixture in a bowl. Add that mixture to each plantain half.
  9. Spray an approximately 9x13 baking dish with oil. If you have extra rice, you can line the baking dish with it. Place each poblano filling side up in the pan and then cover with the remaining poblano  sauce (you can leave the extra sauce off if you want and just use it for plating the poblanos. Up to you.). Cover dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the peppers are softened.
  10. If you want, you can then sprinkle the poblanos with vegan cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes, but I thought they were perfectly perfect without any cheese on top!

Spice in the Kitchen: Easy Vegetarian/Vegan Mole Sauce Recipe

Looking at recipes for mole sauce, I realized they can get pretty complicated. I came up with this cheater one on a whim. It's pretty easy to make and tastes just like the mole sauces I have had at Mexican restaurants.

Easy Vegetarian/Vegan Mole Sauce Recipe*
makes about 2 cups; prep time: 10-15 minutes

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely minced pablano peppers (or in a pinch, use green bell peppers)
  • 1.5 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB cumin powder
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 TB cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TB brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (fire roasted if you can find it)
  • 2 TB finely minced, mild pickled jalapenos

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute peppers in olive oil for a few minutes, add spices and saute for a minute.
  2. Add cocoa powder and cinnamon. Stir. When mixtures starts to clump, add water and stir.
  3. Add  salt, pepper and brown sugar and then add tomato sauce and pickled MILD jalapenos. Don't use fresh jalapenos here or the sauce will be too hot.
  4. Continue cooking sauce until it thickens. If it becomes too thick, add more water. Adjust salt to taste.
  5. This sauce works well as a topping to fried or baked plantains (just add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the sauce). Use it as a dipping sauce or to marinate seitan for tacos. Yum! 
*This recipe is a component to the Scissors and Spice baked poblanos recipe.

Photo Essay: Circa Vintage Ware, New Bedford, MA

Chris Duval, owner of Circa Vintage Ware

New Bedford, city by the sea, how did I not love thee? That was back when I was a hot shot, 17-year-old skate betty/straight edge/aspiring writer/punk/artiste/know-it-all. I wanted to be gone and as soon as I graduated, I left and went to school in Boston. I did know, even then, that there were a few cool things in New Bedford and one of them was Circa Vintage Ware. Back n the 90s, it was in a cute little store front in a neighboring town, Fairhaven. My friends and I would often go in and try on lots of dresses, boas, sunglasses and hats and probably annoy the hell out of Chris Duvall, the owner. My drama club would rent costumes from him and when prom season came, and I knew there was one place to go to assert my obnoxious "alternativeness," Circa. The vintage raspberry cotton lace dress I wore to my junior prom was a hit and something I would still actually wear. (And hey! I can still fit into it!)

Fast forward about a decade, a move a few states away and I'm now working at House Industries. Through a weird twist of fate, Chris contacts me at work with an inquiry about the Neutra chair. After a trip home, Chris, my husband and I became friends, and every time we come back to New Bedford, we stop by for a visit.

Now that New Bedford is a bit hipper, and I am a bit older, it doesn't seem so bad to me anymore. The downtown area is buzzing with young creative energy and great eateries. A few years ago, Circa moved to New Bedford into a larger space inside the New England Demolition & Salvage Building (another great store to visit when you are in the city). Chris has thousands of pieces from several decades for sale. He's got everything from casual t-shirts to 1940s suits. There are racks of vintage prom and bridesmaids dresses, stacks of hat boxes, rows of worn-in cowboy boots, cases of sparkly jewelry and one-of-a-kind outerwear. Though Circa's outfitted movies and has received press from major newspapers and magazines, it still feels like a hidden gem. I can only imagine if the store was in Brooklyn, it would be swarming with fashionistas and everything would be double the price.

If you find yourself on the Southcoast of Massachusetts, make sure you make time to shop at Circa. Then stop by downtown and grab a burrito at No Problemo and walk around on the cobblestone streets that I cursed as a kid, but now find so endearing.

Circa Vintage Ware
(inside New England Demolition & Salvage)
73 Cove Street
New Bedford, MA 02744
(508) 997-9390

PS! More pics of Circa on my Flickr page.

Spice in the Kitchen: Easy Vegan Mock Tuna Salad

Ok, this doesn't really taste like tuna at all, but it has all the elements of tuna salad. It's super yummy and a perfect cold salad for hot summer days. Oh yeah, it's got lots of protein to boot! You can prepare it ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a day or two.

Easy Vegan Mock Tuna Chickpea Salad Recipe
serves 2; prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 ribs of organic celery, minced
  • 1/3 cup Vegenaise
  • 2 TB sweet relish
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 TB finely minced onion (optional, or 1 tsp hing)
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • dash of cayenne (optional)

  1. Combine all in a bowl.
  2. Serve on a toasted crunchy bread, in a wrap with lettuce and tomato, in a pita pocket, or eat it over a salad or as is! The possibilities are endless.

Vintage Wool Trainer, Sarasota Bicycle Club

Love their monogram.

Vintage Children's Books: Ask Me Another Riddle, 1979

I noticed a book on my niece's shelf and immediately remembered that I also had the same book when I was little. The illustrations both fascinated and repulsed me. There's something about 70s creations that is slightly unsettling. More pics of my Flickr page.

From Finland with Love!

Nothing is better than coming home from an exhausting trip than to find that your favorite Finns have mailed you a package that includes your favorite chocolate licorice from Porvoo. Kiitos!

Spice in the Kitchen: Strawberry Basil Balsamic Salad Dressing

Hey! I grew that lettuce!

Strawberry Basil Balsamic Salad Dressing Recipe
about 4-6 servings


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 chopped strawberries
  • 1 TB finely minced basil
  • 2 TB honey (or for vegans, use any mild tasting liquid sweetener or just granulated sugar)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or 1 tsp hing) (both are optional)


  1. Bring vinegar, strawberries, sweetener, basil and salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and let reduce in volume by 1/2. Let cool.
  2. Using a hand blender, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until served.

Restaurant Review: Brick Pizzeria, New Bedford, MA

Brick Pizzeria

Insalta Focaccia  
Pizza Margherita 

"If I lived in New Bedford again, I would eat here everyday!" I exclaimed.
"But, wouldn't that be too much flour?" my sister asked.
"Hell no."

Last summer, on a trip to see my family in New Bedford, MA, Mr. Scissors and I had the privilege of sharing a couple of pies at Brick on Union Street. If there is one thing you have to understand, I so wanted out of New Bedford when I was a teenager. There was nothing I wanted more than to leave that seaside town. But, after I left, UMass based their art school downtown which instantly breathed new life into an area that was on a highway to nowhere. Hip businesses like Java Bean and Solstice also sprung up in the late 90s. Then came No ProblemoCalico, Artificial Marketplace, and last year, Brick. Finally, something to draw you to downtown that didn't involve Portuguese food, scratch tickets, whaling or cobblestone streets.

This past week, my wonderful niece graduated from high school, so I ventured back home to celebrate with her. Brick was on my short list of things to do while in New Beige which also included eating at No Problemo and to shop at church thrift stores.

Brick's pizza is genuine. Cooked in an 800 degree brick oven, the pizzas come out fast, hot, delicious and nearly perfect. Their menu is simple, which to me, generally proves that a restaurant is good. When you have a quality product, you don't need to throw straw dogs on the menu. They also serve craft beers and wines, gelato and just started serving a pizza-based brunch on Sundays. Whaaa? A sweet ricotta cream, banana and walnut stuffed calzone with nutella? I may have to go visit my family again sooner than later! Try my favorite, the insalata foccacia. A nice and crunchy salad on hot crispy bread? Yes, thank you!

Sometimes businesses like Brick make me think that maybe New Bedford isn't as horrible as I remembered and maybe I should buy one of those old dilapidated whaling mansions near the waterfront to renovate... now I am getting my family excited, so let's just say, that's probably never going to happen. I still love you though.

Brick Pizzeria Napoletana
163 Union Street
new Bedford, MA 02740

Happy Father's Day

Papa Joe, my dad
Happy Father's Day, Mr. Scissors, you are the kindest and most loving father, an adoring husband and overall awesome human being. I love you.

And happiest of father's days to all the other wonderful daddies out there.

(Vegan) Raspberry Chocolate Chip Brownies

I've been wanting to try this recipe for fudgey brownies from Basic Vegetarian for some time now. I finally had an excuse to bake, so I gave it a shot. They turned out pretty well. Though the recipe is not vegan, I veganized it.

I made a few changes:

  • sugar: 1 used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 vegan
  • chocolate: I added 1/4 cup of chocolate to the Earth Balance/sugar mixture and let it melt.
  • raspberries: I added 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries that I bought from the local (organic) farm near me, Highland Orchards. There were some black raspberries in that quart that my kids were not fond of, so I wanted to use them up!
  • chocolate chips: I folded in about 1/3 of a cup into the batter.
  • milk: I used chocolate almond milk.
  • Espresso powder: As always, with everything chocolate, I added 1 tsp of it!

Check the recipe out for yourself!

It's Gettin' Real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot!

This video from Smog and Fog films is hilarious (and so very true about the Whole Foods shopping experience). "Paid $80 for the 6 things I bought!"

Vintage Maps: New York and Brooklyn

I love New York. I love the history of New York. I love ephemera. This map was like a trifecta find! We saw it at a flea market. If I remember correctly, the map was from 1896, though I may be making that up. 1910 maybe? I am pretty sure it was from the 1890s though.

Click on each pic for better detail.