Giveaway: Fresh Pastry Stand! (Now Closed!)

Enter to win this über cute upcycled pastry stand from Fresh Pastry Stand!

My friend Deva is a one-woman powerhouse, in between lovingly preparing multi-course gourmet vegetarian meals for her family of five, canning her own jam, and designing a line of vintage inspired candles, she has managed to successfully turn her love of quirky vintage dinnerware into an innovative and attractive Etsy business, Fresh Pastry Stand. With the help of her husband, she crafts these delightful, one-of-a-kind serving pieces and jewelry stands in her Florida workshop.

Now, for the fun stuff! Deva is offering the pastry stand pictured above (appropriately named "Scissors and Spice") to one lucky Scissors and Spice reader! Use it to display your baked goods or appetizers, organize your jewelry, or decorate your dining room table with it's loveliness (imagine it loaded with flowers in tiny vases!).

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Congrats to Kaitlin who won the giveaway!

-Leave an additional comment on this when you like Fresh Pastry Stand on Facebook.
-Leave an additional comment on this when you follow Fresh Pastry Stand on Twitter.
-Leave an additional comment on this when you like Scissors and Spice on Facebook.
-Leave an additional comment on this when you follow Scissors and Spice on Twitter.
-Leave an additional comment on this when you visit Fresh Pastry Stand's new Kickstarter Project!
-Leave an additional comment on this when you share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.

Contest ends on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 @8 PM Eastern Time. The winner (chosen by Randomizer) will be announced on Facebook and Twitter and right here! So check back on this post next week!

Good luck and happy commenting!

Restaurant Review: Wildflour Vegan Bakery, Pawtucket, RI

A big box 'o vegan sweets from Wildflour Bakery.

Their info on the bakery box. Very wise--it is surprising how many bakeries don't do this!

Peanut butter chocolate cupcake! The bomb!

Lime tart. Sweet and tangy with a flaky crust.

"What are you typing so excitedly over there?" asks Mr. Scissors. 
"A text to Åsa! She lives around the corner from a bakery that I have always wanted to check out, but they'll probably be closed tomorrow, so I'm going to ask her to pick me up a sample box!" 
He then asks me, "What are you going to do with a big box of sweets?" 
"Um, eat them!" Dur!

In the beginning of July, when the family and I headed home to see my family in Massachusetts, we took a little detour to see our friends Åsa and David who just moved to Providence. Luck has it, it turns out their apartment is right around the corner from Wildflour Vegan Bakery! Since it would be Fourth of July when we got to their house, I asked her if she could pick up a random sampler from the shop the night before. I could hardly contain my excitement when she pulled out the bakery box from her fridge!

I totally, totally had the intention of placing the sweets out at a BBQ my mom was having that day, but it never made it to the table (intentionally?). So the next day, we had a tasting party.

Even though the goods were a few days old before we tasted them, we were blown away at how awesome everything was. My mom kept asking, "So this has no butter or any eggs or any dairy?" My sister-in-law who can't eat wheat loved the gluten free coconut cookie and the kids were very into the smores cupcakes. But, for me, the star was the decadent, rich and super fudgey brownie. Seriously, perfection. You will never tasted a better vegan brownie (or regular brownie for that matter!).

So, if you are cruising up to New England on a roadtrip, take the detour and head over to Wildflour, you will not be disappointed! You may even run into Åsa, David, and their kids!

Wildflour Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar 
727 East Avenue 
 Pawtucket, RI 02860

Restaurant Review: My Thai Vegan Cafe, Boston

My Thai--all the way on the 2nd floor!
The view as you ascend the stairs. Nothing pretty.

Coconut Soup: Tom Kha Gai

Spring Rolls

I think this is the Pad Thai

And I believe this is the veggie duck

When Mr. Scissors and I were in Boston a few weeks ago, it turned out that our hotel happily was right near my old college dorm. When I went completely veg my junior year of college, I often frequented a vegetarian restaurant called "Buddha's Delight" that was right around the corner from my domicile, so I was quite excited that we'd be able to visit it for old time's sake. Many 'o hardcore show I attended were wrapped up by large groups of tattooed, sweaty teenagers making their way over to Buddha's. Oh! Memories!

Buddha's Delight used to be right on the corner of Beach and Tremont (in Chinatown) on the first floor of a building. Then it closed and re-opened in a building next door and then all the way up onto the second floor. Then that closed, and reopened as its current incarnation, My Thai Vegan Cafe, with a, you guessed it, a more Thai-inspired menu. I believe the owners are the same. For it seems like it has had the same staff since the beginning of recorded time.

I don't think I need to do an extensive review on My Thai--it is what it is. You won't get ambience or gourmet food, but what you will get is reasonably priced, reasonably good, hot meals. Their menu is extensive consisting of lots of appetizers, various noodle and rice dishes, and lots of mock meats.  It's not a place to take a girl to impress her with your prowess, but it's 5th or 6th date material. Everything I have had their has been delish, so no complaints from me, but I am sure Gordon Ramsey would have a field day critiquing the place! Definitely worth checking out if you are in the neighborhood.

PS: They close pretty early, so no late night dining, Romeo!

My Thai Vegan Cafe
3 Beach Street, 2nd Floor 
Boston, MA 02111 
(617) 451-2395

Scissors & Spice on Etsy in Action: Take Me to the Prom!

Lauren, a super fantabulous Scissors and Spice customer shows off her vintage fashions at the prom!
Her fairy tale vintage 1980s glass slippers!

Look at my beautiful customer, Lauren! She wore the awesome 1980s blue kitty heels from the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop to her prom! I feel so honored to have something from the shop accompany her to the prom. Awww!

If you have something from the shop you'd like to show off, send me a picture and I'll feature you here! Just email me (my contact info is in the side bar on the right!).

You Can Cook Simple & Easy Indian Food!

My "pav bhaji sabji" all steamy and cooking in the pot!

I know that for some, cooking Indian style food can be a little intimidating. There are lots of complicated techniques, deep frying, oil and more oil, ingredients that you would be hard pressed to find, and tons of spices! But don't despair, one of the easiest way to make some pretty authentically flavored curries (or as we call them, sabjis) is to find some masala (mixture of spices) packets at your local Indian grocery (they can also be ordered on-line). Most of them have recipes on the back that are easy to follow; all you will need to do is supply the chopped veggies and oil!

If you have ever had pav bhaji  (a type of mushy potato and veggie curry served on hot buttered bread), you know how addictive it is! Problem for me is, it is full of fat and carbs and I am really trying to cut back on both of those things. Instead of putting the curry on bread, I decided cook the veggies (cauliflower, peas, tomatoes) as more of a stew and used MDH brand pav bhaji masala for flavor. All the taste and a bit more diet-friendly!

To make my pav (minus the pav) bhaji sabji, I sauteed about 3 TB of pav bhaji spices in a bit of oil, added a whole head of chopped cauliflower (diced potatoes work well here, but again I was making it less carby) and fried it until the spices were absorbed. I then added about 3/4 cup of peas and 2 cups of petite diced canned tomatoes. After those fried for awhile, I turned down the heat and added salt, black pepper and about 1 cup of water. After simmering for about 20-30 minutes, it was ready. Super simple Indian food. And, I have to say it was really good!

Diets Make Me Cranky. This Soup Makes Me Happy.

Soup in the summer? You bet! BTW: I still don't have an SLR. I'm ordering a new one soon.
Yes, I'm on a diet. Ok, I like to think that it is not a diet. I'm not just drinking chemical shakes out of cans or just eating grapefruits, but I'm eating healthier (not that I thought I didn't eat healthy before, I think compared to your average American diet, I ate pretty freaking healthy). I have a low-functioning thyroid, so even though I eat well and exercise and take my thyroid meds religiously, I still gain weight easily.

Diets make me cranky. I like to eat not think about it. I like to cook and bake. I like to eat out at veg restaurants. When you are on a diet, yes, you can do all those things, but you really have to cut back. This is such a pain in the ass. Whine, whine, moan, moan. Whatever. See, I'm grumpy. BUT! The upside, I've lost almost 6 lbs in 3 weeks.

Last week, I made this AWESOME virtually fat free, lower-ish carb vegetable soup. The base is what made it. I sauteed a bit of red pepper flakes, red bell peppers, garlic (or use hing for non-garlic eaters), and about a cup of fresh herbs from my garden (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme) then I added a veggie bouillon cube and about 2 cups of water. Then with my immersion blender, I pureed that mixture. Then I added whatever veggies on hand (of course, tons of zukes because they are in abundance now, cauliflower, kale, celery, and carrots) and about 5 cups plus more of water and a generous amount of sea salt and black pepper. When It was nearly done, I added some diced tomatoes and red kidney beans. Normally I would add potatoes and pasta to this type of soup, but I was trying to reduce the carb content.

That's my diet food. Healthy real food. High in veggies, lower in fat and carbs. It was delicious and was even better the next day. My picky kids even ate it.

I miss baking, so now I am fishing for catering "jobs." This week, I've got an order for 48 cupcakes. Vanilla, filled with chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate ganache. I can't wait to dust off my mixer!

Say This with a Boston Accent

Part of being married to a typeface designer with an interest in sign painting means I always have my eye out for great signs. I was just going through my photos of out trip to Boston, and this sign made me laugh. I can't help but saying "pahk he-ah."

An Old-fashioned, Down-home Vegan BBQ

Right before we headed up north to see my family, we had a few close friends over for a vegan (and mostly gluten-free!) "barbecue." I put that in quotes because nothing was actually cooked out on a grill and we stayed inside (except the kids who played on a slip and slide) due to the crazy hot temps.

Even though the event was super casual, I still had to take advantage of these vintage mason jars I picked up at a flea market and use them to make an easy centerpiece. It's just who I am; I can't leave anything simple!

On the menu was: BBQ tofu (using Robbie's BBQ sauce and Trader Joe's extra-extra firm organic tofu), KFC style coleslaw (recipe here), a vegan and customized version of this classic potato salad recipe, smoked southern-style collard greens, a cucumber salad that our friend Pete brought, and for dessert, a vegan chocolate and cherry mousse parfait (OMG!). I think everyone was fully stuffed by the time they left our house!

Tip: Make as much as you can the night before. I made EVERYTHING the night before. There is nothing worse than having guests and being stuck in the kitchen the whole time. Plus, when I cook, I need solitude and a quite kitchen. I lack the ability to carry on a conversation and cook at the same time! Funny, because I am such a multi-tasker.

I also took advantage of some Pyrex and a lovely set of vintage dishes I have been hoarding to set the table. I can't believe I didn't have any nice cloth napkins out! Anyway, who wants to stain good linens with BBQ sauce anyhow!

I'm Stocking the Shop!

I'm back! Over the next few weeks, I will be stocking the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop. Look at this couple. Perfect wedding or engagement present for your favorite quirky vintage-loving friends.

Back from Beantown

Swanboats  at rest for the night in the Boston Public Garden.

Not Paul Revere!


The Charles River overlooking Cambridge

Me in front of my old dorm at Beacon and Arlington--across the street from the Public Garden--with views of the Charles.

Over the week of July 4, we drove all the way up to Massachusetts to visit my family. Since my sisters were kind enough to watch my little ones, Mr. Scissors and I ventured up to my old haunt of Boston for a little relaxing time away. I truly miss Beantown and can't wait until we can head back again!

What did you do over the holiday week? Any travels or good food?

Quick & Healthy Meal Idea: Asian Lettuce Wraps

Everyone knows that eating with your hands is way more fun. As an added bonus, Ayurveda considers it essential for proper digestion! In any case, I wanted to make a lower carb dinner the other night and decided to recreate one of my favorite hand-held meals from Su Tao named "In the Forrest."

To make, what Mr. Scissors called "Asian Tacos," dice veggies of your choice into super small cubes and fry in a mixture of oil, sesame oil, seasonings (garlic, ginger, red pepper, and any other Asian-styled seasonings you would like), and tamari or soy sauce. Add similarly cut pre-baked and marinated tofu pieces to the veggie mixture and fry a bit more. Serve on washed lettuce leaves (Romaine or Boston works well), top with something crunchy (almonds, peanuts, cashews, fried chow mein noodles, etc. ) and Sriracha and maybe an extra sauce (I used a ginger dressing). I included a hoison sauce for dipping, but a plum sauce would also work. Total time from start to finish, about 20 minutes and totally better than fast food.