6/29/12

Texas is The Reason & Portobello BLTs


The Mister and I had a great time last night in NoLibs eating vegan wings and a delish portobello BLT at Gunners Run while we watched the 1980s soccer movie "Victory" on the jumbo-tron above the Piazza at Schmidts.

The best part of the evening certainly was watching Garret Klahn beautifully playing an acoustic set of a mixture of Texas is the Reason, some originals and some covers. If you knew how much Texas meant to me when I was in college, you would know how super crazy happy I was.

6/28/12

Mid-Century Roadside America (Not Made for Vegans)




A little gem of roadside America in Wilmington, DE, The Charcoal Pit on Route 202. If you are vegan, just forget about it.

6/24/12

NYC Seed Conference, Cinnamon Snail, Vegan Bodega, & Food Swings


A week ago, I was lucky enough to spend an entire week in New York. My husband was teaching at a school there and the whole family came along. Now, I always love chowing down when we are in the city, but I had low expectations on any fabulous or romantic meals since doing so is nearly impossible with two kids under six in tow. I did, however, have one, just one, culinary must-do while there: eat at the vegan lunch truck, Cinnamon Snail.

One night, while checking my email, I noticed that there was a Groupon (or other similar emaily spamy deal) for a vegan conference in NYC a few days away called, "The Seed," and then right after that, I noticed that the Cinnamon Snail would be at The Seed. Well, that seemed like a perfect fate! I too would now be at The Seed!


Since I have done a review of the Snail before, I won't go into super detail, because you know I lurv, lurv, lurv me some Snail.

We ordered two sandwiches to go (pictured above, the maple mustard tempeh), a "Cinnamon Snail" (pictured in the first shot), and two strawberry donuts for the kids. Seriously, the cinnamon bun was theee best I have ever had. The thing I love about their sweets is their non-vegan-greasy-Criscoy-ness. They are sweet without being overly sweet and natural without being overly natural.


Next, we headed into the conference. There were lots of vendors, presentations, people, excitement, yoga sessions... and quite frankly, I couldn't really participate in any of it because it was too hard to manage while also tending to the kids. It was all good, because none of us had the desire to spend too much time inside; it was a beautiful day and we all wanted to head out and enjoy the day ASAP.

Crispy wings from Food Swings and vegan caviar from The Vegan Bodega

However, despite the anciness of my family, there were quite a few things to entertain them, namely tons of free samples and food to purchase! By the end, my kids were refusing samples of chocolate. Who says no to a Jokerz bar?

Oh! One of the best parts of the show was meeting Michelle from Herbivore (why didn't I take a picture of their booth?). When I was working at House Industries, Ken and I developed an email friendship with Josh from Herbivore, so it was great meeting his better half.

6/18/12

Asian-style Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe


For dinner tonight, I made rice pasta mac, chz, and peas for my children. They never finish all the pasta in a box, so I normally keep half of the pasta cheeseless for other uses.

We just got back from NYC, and had no real food in the house, so I had to scrape together something for dinner for me and the mister. The leftover rice pasta was just screamng for Asian flavors, so I wrangled together what I had on hand plus some chard from the local semi-organic farm right near me. It turned out pretty awesome! Ok, so the end result isn't truly mac and cheese, but it was as close as it will get with an Asian flair!

You could really use any type of noodle for this dish, or even rice, so customize it to your tastes. The sauce is really what makes it. I winged it and was not intending to make a real recipe, so the measurements are approximate.


Asian-style Vegan Mac and Cheese with Baked Tofu Recipe

Ingredient Ideas

  • Drained, pressed tofu chopped into small 
  • Spray oil 
  • Cooked noodles (or rice) of your choice (about 1-1.5 cups per person)
  • Finely chopped (or small) veggies (red peppers, shredded carrots, broccoli, asparagus, peas, greens of choice, snap peas, bean sprouts, etc.) 
  • 1-2 TB oil of choice 
  • 1-2 TB fresh minced ginger 
  • Finely chopped scallions/ onions/ and/or garlic to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 1/3-1/2 cup canned light coconut milk 
  • 2-3 TB soy sauce 
  • 1/2 TB peanut butter 
  • 1/2 TB mirin 
  • 1 TB veg oyster sauce (or hoison sauce)


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with oil.
  2. Press and drain tofu. Chop into bite-sized pieces and lay in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  3. Cook noodles or rice. Chop veggies.
  4. In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil and add ginger and onions and/or garlic, then red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
  5. Add veggies to oil mixture and fry.
  6. When veggies are almost done, clear a spot in the middle of the pan, add soy sauce, peanut butter, mirin, and veg oyster sauce. Stir sauce mixture with a fork and then add coconut milk. Stir in veggies and remove from heat. 
  7. Mix baked tofu to veggies and sauce. 
  8. Garnish each bowl with peanuts and/or chopped chives.

6/17/12

6/12/12

Gunner's Run: The World's Best Vegan Wings & Walter Schreifels


I'm not quite sure how I found out about it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out Walter Schreifels (of Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, and Quicksand fame) was doing an free acoustic solo performance at a place in Philly called Gunner's Run. Our babysitter was fortunately available, so the mister and I made it a date!


We were going to catch dinner before the show at a veg-friendly place in Northern Liberties called Cantina Dos Segundos, but as we walked by Gunner's Run, Ken told me that they had a small veg menu. Hey, why not, let's check it out!


One of the things that I love about Philly is that even your meatiest reastaurant normally has a vegan/vegetarian portion of their menu (not just stuff like a lousy pasta primavera to appease "that" person in a large party either, but thought out veg options!). Gunner's Run is no exception. We ordered the cheesesteaks (vegan w/o the cheese) and the "Satan's Wings."


Holy kanoodles! Those wings were FANTASTIC! The cornmeal crust was perfect and crunchy, the seitan was soft and buttery (and not all rubbery), the tabasco was just right, and the vegan ranch was spot on. When our very attentive server (everyone at Gunner's was so nice!) asked how things were going, I told her, "Wow, these wings need to be made into a sandwich!" She told the chef, and he or she was very into the idea (so if it makes it onto the menu, you can thank moi!).


Now, for Mr. Schreifels. He played an intimate and entertaining set that was a combination between story time, covers (Morrissey, Sick of it All), and a few originals and of course, some Quicksand.

I hope Gunner's Run continues to get in great bands, because I can't wait to go back for more Satan's Wings! Oh yeah, and to hear more music.

6/8/12

C is for Cookie, P is for Pyrex, & V is for Vintage

Cookie Monster's kitchen pretty much looks like mine when I am baking! Check out the yellow and green Pyrex bowls!

Vintage children's book fun from Volume 3 of the "Sesame Street Library" featuring the letters E and F and the number 3. That's good enough for me!

6/6/12

Road Trip Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Photo taken with my phone via Instagram. Nikon is still broken. So sad.

I have been craving oatmeal cookies something fierce for some weird reason. Usually when I crave something, it's savory or bizarre; like Indian ramen noodles or salt and vinegar chips with chocolate. It was two days of wanting a dang oatmeal cookie, so I decided to bake a small batch already, geez! I left some with just raisins for the classic touch, but with the second half of the batch, I decide to throw caution to the wind and make a trail mix version. That was awesome; chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside and not too sweet. They are the perfect snack to fuel you through an entire summer-time road trip!

Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookies Recipe (vegan)
makes about 6 dozen


Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegan white sugar (The large granules of vegan sugar actually work really well here!)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 1/2 vegan sour cream (or you can use yogurt)
  • 2 TB cornstrach
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (My favorite at the Montmorency cherries from Trader Joe's.)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream together sugars and margarine. Add vanilla, sour cream, and cornstarch. Beat together until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours through salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix.
  4. Mix in oats.
  5. Fold in raisins through pepitas.
  6. Scoop rounded 1 TB balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten slightly and bake 11-12 minutes. Let cool and then transfer to a wire rack.

6/4/12

Hot Sake! I Don't Understand...

...how this cute set of little kokeshi cups are still in my shop! I know, I know, my shop has gotten bare due to my lack of time to stock it (trust me, I have TONS in my stock room though), but there is still some pretty lovely merch in there!

To make these little ladies more a bit easier on the wallet, I have put them on sale for you.  OJ, shots, sake... it all works! Makes great gift for a tiki collector! *hint hint!*

6/3/12

The Dagwood Veggie Wrap with Veganaise & Bac'n

Please excuse this Photo Booth pic. My Nikon died. Sigh.


Mr. Scissors is away, and when he's away, I fail to eat veggies. I normally subside off the crusts of the kids' sandwiches, protein bars, and smoothies. Not this time. I had a bunch of chopped red peppers and broccoli that I needed to cook before they went bad, so I decided to make a veggie heavy wrap (with Lightlife Bacon) for dinner.

Fry chopped red pepper and diced bacon in a pan, when they start to brown, add small pieces of brocolli and spinach. When cooked, add Daiya of choice and stir until the cheese is melted. Spread Veganaise on wrap, add fresh baby arugula, and top with your veggie/cheese mixture. Roll up wrap or fold in half and enjoy.