5/31/12

Warm Mediterranean Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula & Aparagus


When I cook dinner, I like to prepare healthy, vegan, and gluten-free whenever possible. I also seem to have a tendency to make one-bowl meals since they are not only easy to prepare (no need for a recipe!), they are hard to mess up, and are really satisfying.

Quinoa has always been a favorite of mine. It's nutritious (a great source of iron!) and super easy to digest and it's nutty flavor is is very adaptable. Just add veggies, protein, and any flavor profile, and you've got yourself a meal!


Warm Mediterranean Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula (Rough) Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • Quinoa (use about 1 dry cup per 2 servings as a main dish) 
  • Olive oil 
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Vegetables (chopped in bite sized pieces; use veggies of your choice like asparagus, broccoli, arugula, spinach, cauliflower, kalamata olives, red peppers,  etc.)
  • Fresh arugula and chopped tomatoes


Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat oil in pan, add crushed red pepper, and garlic, sauté. Add veggies. Cook until tender, but still crispy. Add basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to the pan with veggies, add salt and pepper, and sauté for a few minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. To plate, either top arugula with quinoa salad, or top quinoa with a garnish of chopped arugula. Add chopped, fresh tomatoes and serve.

5/29/12

What We Ate: Memorial Day Weekend


A dear friend of ours is heading north for greener pastures, so a few of us met for brunch at Mi Lah. I ordered my old standby, baked tofu with hollandaise sauce and miso braised kale.


Waffles with Yard's beer-battered seitan, ordered by Åsa.


Vegan taquitos and quesadillas for Miss Kara.


Ladies chatting over vegan cake at Grindcore House in Philly. Most of that cake went home to the little ones; I was stuffed! (Oh, and they have Grindcore House hooded sweatshirts now... I predict that Mr. Scissors will be buying one real soon!)


Mr. Scissors cooked! Well, he made a salad for a family gathering. We joked that it took him an hour to make so we affectionately called it, "The One-Hour Salad."


I made ganche stuffed espresso cookies for a family cook out. They were a hit. Recipe up soon!

5/25/12

Take a Number and Get Hitched


If you know someone having a birthday, getting hitched, or celebrating a June anniversay, this vintage Danish Bjorn Wiinblad "Juni" plaque is a perfect sentimenital and thrifty gift for them (and now at a lower price!).


These quaint, hand-painted vintage metal house numbers, originally sold as a set, are now available for individual sale. Three different styles available. Pick yours here, and here, and here.

5/24/12

Keeping it Local at Highland Orchards


'Tis that time of the year! Time to buy local produce! We're fortunate to live not too far from a local farm in Delaware, Highland Orchards. During the summer, I try to buy as much produce from them as possible. Fresh, local strawberries put all those semi-red, white-in-the-middle grocery store strawberries to shame! There is no comparison.


Highland sells lots of baked goods as well. Most have eggs, but their cider bread is vegan and my kids ate about half of the mini-loaf on the way home.

5/23/12

Random Thursday: Food, Food, Food, Moons & Flowers


The view from my hotel room during my mom's day getaway.


Peonies! Peonies! Beautiful peonies in my backyard!


My little adventurous eater testing my "White Bean Mediterranean Hummus." Parents of picky eaters, have faith! This girl used to be so picky and she will eat most anything now. I'm really happy how much she has changed.


The thyme in our backyard is doing very well. It survived from last year, all through the mild winter and is quite happy back there.


Udon salad from HipCityVeg picnic in Rittenhouse Square on a Saturday afternoon.


A quick mixed green salad with baked Gardein.


A non-fish sauce papaya salad from a new take out in Wilmington, DE, Southeast Kitchen.


Mr. Scissors had a man-date tonight, so for dinner, I made a quick dinner of chickpea "tuna" salad with tomato and mache lettuce on sesame Ezekiel bread. So good!

5/22/12

Etsy Find: Misako Mimoko



I'm not exactly sure how I came across Barcelona's Eva Monleón's Etsy shop, Misako Mimoko, but whenever it was, it was certainly love at first sight! Her whimsical and happy designs (like Gertrudis, the decorative wall hanger) are so clever and inspiring, it will make you want to start crafting yourself... or at least snatch up one of her creations for yourself! Head on over to her shop to check it out!

She also runs a super cute blog: www.misakomimoko.blogspot.com

All images are by Eva Monleón

5/20/12

An Entire Weekend Without a Camera






Sorry I have been MIA lately. The weather has been too beautiful to blog! Plus, with the end of the school year coming up (whaaa?), my son recouping from strep, and having to pick of the pieces after my wallet and phone were stolen out of my car, it's been a little busy around here.

Since our weekend schedules are pretty jammed until the end of the summer, we used our last free weekend to set sails for a close-to-home adventure at Ft. Delaware on Pea Patch Island in the middle of the Delaware River. It was originally built as a union fortress to protect Philadelphia and Wilmington, but was used to house confederate prisoners during the civil war. Really interesting history. We all had our favorite parts of the trip, and mine was the boat ride. I just love being on the water; I think it's a part of my Azorian DNA. Totally forgot to bring a camera, but fortunately, Mr. Scissors had his phone and I snapped off these photos with it.

5/17/12

Vegan Brunch at Mi Lah in Philadelphia, PA

Well, hello Billy Penn!
Vegetables wrapped in phyllo dough on top of mashed potatoes, kale, and cashew gravy.

Coconut bronzed oyster mushrooms
Vegan French toast
Indonesian breakfast plate
My lovely family took me out for brunch at Mi Lah in Philadelphia on Mother's Day. Since I've done a couple of reviews on the restaurant (here, here, and here), I thought I would just show you a few new dishes (and that lovely French toast--always a favorite!).

The prize winner of the day was the Indonesian breakfast plate. Both Mr. Scissors and I agreed that the coconut curry was out of this world. Little Spice ate most of the tofu, which she said was now her favorite. The potato croquettes we nice and crispy, but could have used a dipping sauce to accompany them.

The phyllo dough plate was kind of a mix of American comfort food mixed with a slight Asian flair; it was interesting. Some of the best vegan mashed potatoes I had were hidden under the kale. The gravy was mild and I thought could have a used a bit more deeper of a flavor, but overall it was still very tasty.

After brunch, we strolled around the Rittenhouse Square and had a relaxing time sitting on the grass with all the other families. It was such a nice day!

5/16/12

A Little Spring Cleaning Sale


Help me clear off my virtual store shelves! Visit the Scissors & Spice Etsy shop and use the coupon code GETITOUT to save 20% on your next purchase! Good until May 23, 2012.

A Quick Visit to HipCityVeg

This weekend, the family and I were hanging out in Rittenhouse Square in Philly, and before we headed home, my husband suggested that we grab a quick bite from HipCityVeg, a new plant-based eatery on 18th Street. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical because some friends of mine had a few things from the cafe, but weren't impressed. However, Mr. Scissors assured me that an associate of his is a regular there and loves it.

We ordered a "Crispy HipCity Ranch" ($8.50) and the "Curry Tofu Wrap" ($8.00). Holy. The ranch chicken sandwich was ay-may-zin! Mr. Scissors took one bite and said, "Oh yeah!" I grabbed it from him, took a bite, and exclaimed, "Oh my god! That tastes like KFC!" The best part of the sandwich was the char of on the chk'n patty. Now, I know there's a connection between Vedge/Horizons and HipCityVeg (HCV is owned by a former Horizon's employee and Rich Landau from Vedge consulted on the menu), and I could taste that connection through the style of the char. If you ever had the pleasure of having the seitan at Vedge or the former Horizons, you know that is the simply world's best. That charred patty is reminiscent of that seitan.

Next, I tested the curry tofu wrap with sprouts, spinach, tomato, cilantro-white bean purée, and cucumber raita. Now, I cut my cooking teeth learning how to cook Indian, so I may be a bit harder on this one. The tofu was awesome. Soft, but with a bit of that nice char flavor. The curry was tad grainy, but overall the flavor was really nice, mellow and balanced.

I was particularly interested in the raita and how it would work in the wrap. It seemed less of a raita and more of a chopped, crunchy cucumber. I felt the crunch was more distracting than complementing. If the cucumbers were peeled, grated, drained and then combined with the yogurt (and perhaps some dry roasted black mustard seeds for a bit more of flavor kick?), it would have meshed better with the tofu. Overall, I thought the wrap was good though, it just needs a little tweaking. And, oh yeah, the wheat wrap itself was really cold; it should have been warmed more before it was grilled.

Would I go back? Yes! The cafe is in my favorite part of city, just down the block from Anthropologie, right near Rittenhouse Square, and it's so nice to have a vegan place to grab a reasonably-priced bite. I can't wait to go back and try more!


HipCityVeg 
127 S 18th St Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 278-7605 
http://hipcityveg.com

5/14/12

Baked Tofu with Stir-fried Spinach, Water Chestnuts, & Soba Noodles

Truth be told, I barely use cookbooks, except for baking, but since I barely bake anymore, my cookbook shelf is pretty neglected. With busy schedules, kids running around, and lack of the desire to do real meal planning, I wing every meal for the most part. Sometimes that approach works, sometimes it doesn't. This time it did.
 

Baked Tofu with Stir-fried Spinach, Water Chestnuts, & Soba Noodles (A loose recipe!) (vegan)

I had some baked tofu on hand and I started by roughly chopping it and sauteing with lots of fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, and a touch of sesame oil until it developed a char. Then I add water chestnuts, two bags of baby spinach, and then deglazed the pan with Bragg's liquid aminos. When the spinach wilted, I added hoison sauce, mirin, and Sriracha. Originally, I had planned on serving this either by itself or with rice, but it was caling out for buckwheat soba noodles. Once the noodles were cooked, I added them to the veggie/tofu mixture, coated the noodles with the sauce, and then topped each plate with with sesame gomashio. Mmm! Warm, healthy, and comforting!

5/13/12

Summer Party Place Setting Inspiration for Your Table


I am not quiet about it, I heart West Elm. Since we were in Philly this weekend, I decided to swing by their lovely store on Sansom Street where I fell in love with this creative and easy to duplicate tabletop display that would be perfect for a summer party, bridal or baby shower, or even a casual backyard wedding.

The place cards (which also could double as a party favor) were simply coffee mugs filled with a tiny planted succulent accented by a wooden popsicle stick and name tag. The centerpiece is unexpected and festive; fill a series of glass bottles with various shades of colored water and stagger them down the center of your table. So easy, right? You don't even need to be crafty to decorate for your next party!

5/12/12

Happy Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies, hope-to-be-mommies, and soon-to-be-mommies. You all work very hard and deserve some pampering this weekend. X and O!

 Mr. Scissors is an awesome dad and husband and is gifting me 24 hours to myself for mom's day. So I am hanging out with my girls, relaxing in my hotel, getting my nails done and will be perusing the Art Star Craft Bazaar! On Mother's day, we will be dining at one of my favorite places, Sprig and Vine! The weather is supposed to be great this weekend, so I am very happy, so I guess that means everyone is happy! :)

See you all next week! What are you doing special for your mom or what great things did you do with your kiddos this weekend?

5/9/12

Spotted: Cooking in Style on Mad Men

Photo Credit: Viral Vintage


Mr. Scissors and I are having our Monday night viewing of Mad Men and I scream out, "PAUSE IT! REWIND IT!"
"Why?" he asks.
"MEGAN! She's cooking with a Dansk Kobenstyle pot!"
"Sigh..." he, well, sighs.

Get the look! There are some great deals on ebay, like this yellow 5 Qt. yellow Kobenstyle Dutch oven being sold by Viral Vintage.

If you prefer not to cook with used pots, well, you are in luck because Crate and Barrel will be carrying Dansk's new Kobenstyle line in the near future! (I love, love, love you Crate and Barrel! I seriously want to move into the King of Prussia store.)

5/7/12

Potato Hash with Brussels, Bac'n, Rosemary, & White Beans Recipe


Mr. Scissors is easy to please; he'd just eat steamed vegetables every night if I could be that simple. But, I just can't. So, instead of just steaming potatoes and brussels for dinner, I decided to make a baked hash and added a healthy dose of protein with tempeh bacon and white beans. With an unexpected combo of balsamic vinegar, mustard, rosemary and sage, the flavors all mesh together to create a comforting, satisfying, and earthy dish.


Baked Potato Hash with Brussels, Bac'n, Rosemary, & White Beans Recipe (vegan)
Serves 4

Ingredients 
  • 2 TB mustard (preferably brown)
  • 3 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tsp dry sage
  • sea salt to taste 
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • about 5 cups of shaved (or finely chopped) brussels sprouts
  • 4 small to medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 package of tempeh bacon
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped and sauteed (optional)
  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, oil, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. Toss in brussels, potatoes, and onions (if using) and mix well.
  3. Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, toss in beans, and mix. Cover with aluminum foil and place back in oven for 40 minutes (remove once during the final baking time to stir).
  5. To serve, dress with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar and top with walnuts.

5/6/12

Getting Ready for the Next Round of Etsy


My dining room table is overflowing with goodness getting ready to be listed in the S&S Etsy shop. Lot of globes, curiosities, and Pyrex.

5/4/12

Just Listed: Baby Wearing Kokeshi for Mother's Day


So sweet! A perfect gift just listed in the S&S Etsy shop for your favorite attachment-parenting, baby-wearing momma on Mother's Day. A unique vintage kokeshi showing the precious bond between a mother and child. Little baby is fast and peacefully asleep as he is worn on his mother's back. Mom's head gives a little bobble and swivels. Priority shipping is available--just message me!

Friday Favorites: A Baking Mother's Day Gift Guide


Mom likes to bake and you want to show her how much you love her this Mother's Day? Well, the these thoughtful gifts are sure to bring a smile to her face. She may even bake you some of her famous chocolate almond fudge cookies to say thanks. That's just something moms do!


These West Elm nesting owl measuring cups are sure to bring a hoot to mom's kitchen. I'll take a set in white, thank you. (Photo: West Elm)



Mom knows that baking is a science and to get the best results, you should weigh your ingredients. This OXO food scale at Williams-Sonoma will help her get professional results. Maybe now she'll even start that bakery she's been talking about. (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)



Brighten up her kitchen with some snazzy new Vera Neumann dish towels from Crate and Barrel. (Photo: Crate and Barrel)



And because Mom knows what's up, she knows that using ethically sourced baking ingredients is a must, she'll be delighted to use organic cocoa powder from Equal Exchange.

You know what, every baker likes to take a day off every now and then, plus, it's Mother's Day! Let mom undo her apron, kick up her feet, and cozy up to a vegan brownie like this amaretto almond one from Allison's Gourmet! (Photo credit: Allison's Gourmet)



Mama's going to need a pretty place to display all her creations at her next tea party, so these pastry stands from Fresh Pastry Stand featuring vintage dinnerware will do the trick quite nicely! (Photo credit: Fresh Pastry Stand)



Now, we all know moms love to cook for their kids, but now that you are eggless, dairy-free or vegan, what is she to do?. She's certainly tired of making you wacky cake all the time and would like to expand her repertoire, so make it easy on her. With over 150 recipes, "Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale" will broaden her baking horizons. Who knows, maybe with a few of these treats under her belt, she might just cross over to the dark side. ;)