Spotted: Vintage Macrame Skeleton

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween! We brought our kids out for trick or treating and I fell in love with this macrame skeleton a neighbor of ours had on his front door. He said his mom made it in the 70s! How cool!

Vegan Mocha Chunk Cookie Recipe

Like this teak Danish tray? It's available in the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop!

Hurricane Sandy just passed, and even though we were in the eye of the storm, my family and house came through unscathed. We didn't even lose our power! So grateful and happy. Many of my friends in NYC and New Jersey didn't make it out so well and my thoughts are with them. I hope you all made it through the storm safely.

The morning of hurricane, we were busy battening down the hatches with nervous energy. I decided I needed to bake to calm down. I came up with the chewy and soft, almost brownie-like cookies based on a recipe I use often as a base. More coffee flavored than chocolatey, they will certainly help soothe your soul in times of distress (or ate least satisfy your sweet tooth!).

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe (vegan, eggless)
makes about 2 dozen (depending on size)


  • 1 cup of old-fashioned oats (Ground into a fine powder via a blender, coffee grinder, etc.)
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 2 TB instant espresso powder or finally ground coffee grinds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup margarine of choice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup yogurt of choice
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp coffee extract (If you don't have, you can leave out or use 1TB strong coffee.)
  • 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chunks (You can use the bagged kind or even better, chop up your favorite chocolate in irregular pieces!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Using a mixer, combine wet ingredients. Once combined, add dry ingredients in batches and mix. Beat dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  4. Scoop out 1/8 cup sized balls from the dough and place, unflattened, on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 12-13 minutes. The cookies should look very slightly undone; this gives them their chewiness!
  5. Let cool on a wire rack.

20% off in The S&S Etsy Store! Take that, Sandy!

While we batten down the hatches here in Delaware in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, I decided to throw a sale! 20% off everything (including clearance!) in the shop until November 4th, 2012. Use coupon code SANDY at checkout. Check out the shop here!

Please keep in mind, we may be without power for awhile, so I may not ship for a week or so. Thanks! And I hope everyone in the Northeast stays safe! XO!

Vegan Vietnamese Num Nums from Lan Cafe, New York City

A well cared for altar anchors the cafe
The ham salad (this was delicious, a new favorite!)

Crispy Spring Rolls

BBQ Seitan

Seitan Bahn Mi

Lemongrass seitan udon bowl (The #26!)

We've luckily been up to New York twice this month (the best month to visit NYC!) since my husband was teaching weekend workshops at Cooper Union. I tried to eat light-ish during the day) knowing that we would have indulgent dinners (thank goodness for bodegas everywhere offering freshly made juices!).

On his last day of teaching, we were able to dine at my favorite vegan hole in the wall, Lan Cafe. I've reviewed them before, but I thought I'd give you some new food eye-candy to drool over. If you live in the city or are visiting, make sure you check them out. They have funky hours, so make sure you call to confirm they are open.

New in the Etsy Shop: Kokeshi Doll, Vintage Toys, Bullet Planter

All these great items are available at

Check out the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop! Some cool new items are available like kokeshi style Korean bride and groom dolls, vintage recipe tins, a 1960s tripod floor planter, Japanese tin mailbox bank, Swedish viking toys, and vintage Creative Playthings wooden toys!

I'm going to adding gifty items and Christmas linens/decorations in the next month. If there is a vintage item you have been looking for and just can't find, shoot me off an email, and I either probably have it in stock or can find it for you!

Scenes from New York

Thompkins Square Farmer's Market on a beautiful fall afternoon.
Vote for Obama street art on East 6th Street.
Poetic bike decay.
East Village traffic signal mosaic.
Confessional graffiti.
The story and history of the buildings in this area is dense and beautiful.
Like a flourished piece of Italy in color.

Thank Goodness for Whole Foods Vegan Birthday Cakes

I can't tell you how grateful I am that I now I have a Whole Foods close to my house. When you are lacto-veg or vegan in the suburbs in, you generally have to either travel to a city to buy a vegan cake or make your own. Even though I had thrown a birthday party for my husband's 40th, I still wanted to have a small family birthday for him on the actual day. Seeing how the day was insanely busy, I decided to use my new resource, the Whole Foods in Glen Mills, PA to do the cake baking for me! I called in the morning to see what vegan cakes they had, had them customize one with a message and picked it up later in the day. Perfect and easy!

Autumn & Thanksgiving Decorating Inspiration from Terrain

One of my happy places is the oasis that is Terrain in Glen Mills, PA. One can stroll the grounds, browse thoughtfully curated store, and grab a coffee all in a densly-designed, well-manicured, Shangri La of a shopping experience.

On a recent trip to the store, I snapped some pictures of the exterior displays for inspiration in decorating for fall events. Though some of the installations are too large for the indoors, they can easily be scaled back for use in your house. For example the pumpkin tower could easily be created by adding a base of Spanish moss and miniature pumpkins to a tiered pastry stand. Smaller gourds could be strung on twine (using a sturdy doll or canvas needle) and hung from a mantel. Shelves filled with seasonal pottery and gourds could be the highlight of your living room. One reigning theme of these displays is consistent: go for impact! Grouping many of the same item will always look purposeful and stunning.

Restaurant Review: Zen Palate | New York City (Union Square)

Zen Palate, Union Square

Last weekend my husband was conducting a design workshop in New York City, so the kids and I came along so we could spend some time outside of our normal suburban environs. It was an unusually chilly day (I had to buy gloves!), so when we met him in Union Square, after he was done teaching for the day, we wanted to find a place to eat ASAP to get out of the cold. He remembered that there was a Zen Palate nearby so we headed over in a hurry.

We hesitantly walked in;  the atmosphere was inviting and cozy and with tables oh so very close to one another (so close that we could not get away from over hearing a really awkward first date) spiking my mommy-anxiety, "This is totally not a place for kids!" However, my belly took precedent over my fears of a child uprising, and after looking at the menu, we decided to stay.

Super yummy crispy noodles with sauce--can't remember the name
Lots of the dishes at Zen Palate are more on the natural side, so picking a dish for my 3-year-old was a challenge. I was going to order him Singapore noodles, but our server told us that they couldn't really be made not spicy, so he recommended another noodle dish. My son ate lots of the veggies from it, but wasn't so into the noodles. Oh well, the mister and I loved it. the sauce and the crunchy noodles reminded me of New England style chow mein, so I was quite happy.

For my normally more adventurous daughter, we ordered her a veggie burger, which she didn't like and she didn't like the sweet potato fries. Crazy talk! Her brother ate all the sweet potato fries (which were nice and crispy) and we later had the mildly flavored, almost sweet, burger for dinner the next night. What did she eat? The veggies from her brother's plate and the spring rolls from our fixe prix dishes! Meal-swapping at its finest.

Curry Supreme
Mr. Scissors ordered the curry supreme fixe prix (with multigrain rice and crispy spring rolls). He thought it was OK. The wheat gluten that they use in this dish is a bit like Indian "nutrela" which neither one of us are fans on. The sauce was a little weak in flavor. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't something he'd order again.

Sesame Medallions in BBQ Sauce
I ordered the sesame medallions in BBQ sauce. Again, it was OK, nothing to write home about, but decent. The sauce wasn't really a barbecuey, but more of a brown sauce. The crispy spring rolls were also acceptable.

Overall, I don't know if we'd go back. It's not the fault of the servers (they were very attentive and super nice) or the food, or the atmosphere, it's just didn't have the wow-factor for me. There are just so many choices in New York, and we are not there so often, that it wouldn't be the first on my list. BUT--if we were in the neighborhood, sure, I wouldn't mind going. Decent, just not, as I put it, crave-able.

Zen Palate
115 E 18th St. 
New York, NY 10003
(212) 387-8885

It's in The Details

Whoo! It's been crazy busy around these parts. Travel, birthdays, tons of first grade homework, Etsy-ing... I don't have as much time as I would like for the blog. So sad!

To make up for my absence, I thought I share some detail pictures I took during our recent visit to The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I could spend days there and still not be able to view everything. So much to see and admire. It's classic and beautiful.

Easy Fall Dinners: Tempeh Bacon Brussels Sprouts Potato Hash

One of the things that I love the most about the cooler weather is that I can fire up the oven; that means baking! And baking isn't just for cookies and sweets, it's also for making a hands-off, easy dinner.

We love roasting veggies for dinner. It's a simple, nutritious dish and practically cooks itself. Instead of just vegetables, I decided to up the ante and add tempeh bacon to the veggies. Voila! Tempeh bacon hash!

To make, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop up potatoes with skins on (I used yukon gold), red bell peppers, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and tempeh bacon and place in a bowl. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over veggies and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. Toss ingredients together and make sure veggies are well coated. Dump the mixture onto a large sheet of aluminum foil that has been placed on top of a baking sheet. Fold foil over on all four sides and press down to seal any open seams. Bake for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Easy!

Tip: If you would like to add the flavor of gravy without all the calories and fat, sprinkle a bit of tamari over your plate! Works like a charm.

Have Pot, Will Travel & S&S Etsy in Use

I'm sure this idea came from a parental figure, but I'll take credit! Pic via Instagram!

We had a small potluck party at my house last night as a pre-celebration for Mr. Scissor's birthday. Let me tell you, it was AWESOME. So much yummy veg food! We centered the dishes around an Indo-Chinese theme (I'm sure I'll do a post about the dishes with pictures soon). Bhel puri, gobi manchurian, hakka noodles, fried rice... see, pretty awesome.

As my bff-ers was leaving with her pot, with some leftover sweet and sour tofu still in it, I dashed off to my junk drawer, grabbed some rubber bands and whipped her up one of my patented "keep your lid on in the car" chains. Who wants sweet and sour all over your trunk or to hear a lid jingling all the way home? A cheap and easy solution for traveling to and from a pot luck.

And, not only is she my friend, she is also a Scissors and Spice Etsy shop customer! Look at those lovely salt and pepper shakers in the background. Kitchy-fabulous!

Denmark is One of the Happiest Places on Earth!

Dansk Jens Quistgaard Large Teak Tray

Rectangular Teak Tray

Round Teak Tray

Kalmar Designs Teak Chip and Dip or Candleholder 
Danish Teak Cat

Did you know that when scientifically ranked, Denmark is reported to be one of the happiest places on earth? It's true. We watched the documentary "Happy" yesterday and they did a segment on the country. Besides always being cared for (free schooling, free health care) it is common to live in communal housing where lots of families will live in a larger house or building in their own private space, but share common duties like farming or cooking. But, I think one of the biggest reasons is because they have the best design in the world!

I've been slowly listing items in the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop before the holiday season shopping rush, and recently added a bunch of Danish mid-century modern teak trays and animals. Here's a small selection of current listings. Please stop by and share the items with your friends! Pin 'em, Facebook 'em, Tweet 'em! Thanks! And happy looking!