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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rachel's Holiday Party

It's still the Holiday SEASON, so this isn't really a late post :)
My friend Rachel lives in South Brooklyn, in Ditmas Park, where people own HOUSES. (Okay, so, she only has the first floor of a house, but it's still a HOUSE.) She even has a porch! It was too cold to sit out on the porch on that evening, but it was very cheery inside for her holiday party. She even had a tree like a legitimate grown-up.
I made two kinds of cookies to bring:

                                   Jae Steele's Chai Pumpkinseed cookies, from Get it Ripe

             and Nava Atlas's Multi-seed Crispies (not so crisp) from Vegan Holiday Kitchen

                                                          I also brought clementines!

                              She had little crisps out with a pepper jelly that was really good.

Rachel is vegetarian, not vegan, and she loves her cheese. I made sure to bring a Daiya wedge. I think I ate most of it myself, but someone else had a piece and came back to announce, "I just had the weirdest cheese!"

We used to work at the bookstore together. Here is a small selection of her books, along with an old sign from our department.
This all, plus Fleetwood Mac and Broadcast, plus seasonal beers were a perfect way to start the Holiday week.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Not too late yet for a round-up, I hope.
Christmas breakfast before some baking:

                                                   Kashi cereal, clementine, coffee
Then to the folks'. I didn't get a picture of the tree! But it looked nice.

My sister, Liz, is back from Spain again, the first Christmas she's been here in maybe 3 years? 4? Not sure, but glad to have her back - not only because she made me a Spanish aperitif at, like, noon:

Then presents, then family, then food.
I've been sick so my mind was not on top of things enough to cook a component of the meal (just dessert, which will tell you something about my priorities.) However, there is always plenty of vegan food.
Liz made a curried butternut squash soup:

The main plate:
Kale with onions, sundried tomatoes, and cannelini beans; roasted broccoli and cauliflower, steamed green beans. The kale and sundried tomato dish was all my dad's doing, and was incredible! Very umami and chewy.

My aunt made a lettuce, endive, watercress salad with pomegranate arils and walnuts with a vinaigrette dressing. Fancy, fancy. There was also brie that she put on top, but I scooped from the bottom.
I guess I make it a point to bring vegan desserts, even when it means the dessert spread is huge, because other desserts aren't always so easily vegan. I made two different kinds of chocolate bark, and Tiramisu cupcakes from VCTOTW.

                         cupcake, fig/fennel/walnut bark, pistachio/apricot/cardamom bark.

Then my sister brought out like five different kinds of liqueurs and whiskey. So, that was Christmas.
My parents bought me a nice armchair. Here is Haxan figuring out what she thinks of it:

That's all! Hope you all enjoyed yr holiday.  Tomorrow I'll do a post on the holiday party from last week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Healthy Pre-Holidays

Keeping the party going:

Lunch with a co-worker at a nearby bar. Yes, this is bar food! Soft pita, cucumbers, olives, and two huge scoops of hummus, for 7 bucks! And a Sam Adams seasonal, because they had a hard time getting Goose Island out of the tap? Whatever. We needed a lunch beer during the busy holiday season. He asked, "Did you just take a photo of yr lunch?" "Yes, now, hush."

Grocery shopping from last week, which reminds me of how little food I currently have in the house. Collards, 2 Snapdragon apples, and Jerusalem artichokes, all from the Union Square farmer's market.

Trader Joe's stop: crackers, pound of chocolate (to make bark, if I hurry up,) Speculoos cookies, 2 packs of tempeh, Gluten-Free bread.

Sundried tomatoes, since I'm sad about the lack of lycopene all winter long, raw sunflower seeds, cucumber, Black mission figs, tofy, dried apricots, Everything bagels.

                          Toasted TJ Everything bagel with mashed avocado and black salt.

Had to break into the Speculoos cookies, after all the raves. I'm proud of how I'm pacing myself on these.
    Collard wrap with roasted beet, cucumber, tempeh, hummus, and sriracha. Times two.

                                                                   A snapdragon snack

                                           GFtoast with avocado, cayenne, and black salt.

This is an underwhelming photo, but the salad was very good. Spinach, bell pepper, tempeh, farro, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, roasted beets, and figs. Put a lemon-tahini dressing on top.

                                  Up early one morning after some rain. The sky looked nice.

After wasting a lot of time looking out the window, I scarfed down some warm oatmeal with goji berries and molasses.
I really waited last minute on these posts, huh? Probably won't post tomorrow, but will have a wrap of Christmas and a holiday party later. Happy Holidays, guys.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Liquids

'Twas the week before Christmas and everyone was busy as a mother.
Happy Hannukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Upcoming Christmas. I keep taking photos and not blogging, so I'll have to break up the posts. I'm feeling pretty ill right now so let's all just soothe our eyes and stomachs on soups and beverages of late:

                        Miso soup. Miso, spices, carrot, mushroom, broccoli, tofu, seaweed

Suja special edition Under the Mistletoe on sale. Really good! It tasted like raw chocolate peppermint milk. Ashwaganda tea is the last ingredient in here, which is supposedly an ancient aphrodisiac. Grab some, grab some mistletoe, and grab a warm body. Or give yrself one of those around the back bear hugs.

Another gingerbread smoothie, this time slightly pink due to frozen cranberries! So, banana, milk, cranberries, protein powder, spices, and molasses.

                                       Evolution greeeen juice. To counteract holiday treats.

Coffee!! Possibly not the best for immunity purposes, but necessary in a holiday retail season.
That's all for now. Some real food tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Birthday Feasts + Badass Friends

Hola!! Yesterday was my birthday - I'm 30 and officially old. It feels good, if slightly achy.

I took myself out to lunch at Beyond Sushi on Saturday. A spicy mang roll, plus a piece of the month (butternut squash, black rice + cilantro), and a mighty mushroom piece. Awesome as always.

I also got a black bean-sweet potato brownie to go. Very moist and dense. Very good.
After work, I ran home to shower and drop off some stuff. Then back out to meet two friends for dinner at Wild Ginger.

I got a Malaysian curry: potatoes, carrot, broccoli, soy protein with fried basil on top. After that, we headed over to a bar in Greenpoint and met up with another dear friend. It was a small group of really great people. Love you all.
My friend Alicia is the freaking best, funniest, real tawk friend.

                                                      She got me a card, zines, stickers and....

This rad cookie jar!! WITH vegan cookies inside!
Was with a friend Sunday morning, got a birthday bagel on the way back from his place.

Another pumpernickel everything with tofu cream cheese. I see them everywhere now that I know they exist. Maybe they'll make their way to Virginia.
This held me over for most of the day. I ate some birthday cookies and drank part of a green juice. Napped, read, and walked around. At 7 I got dinner with my folks at Bunna but didn't take any photos! We feasted. I'll go back soon for lunch in the natural light.
So many lovely people in my life. Thank you all. See yeh soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Good Food Day

In Shen's words, Monday was "a good food day."

I was out and about early doing errands and pretty hungry, somehow not having eaten since the previous afternoon, so I stopped at Little Skips for an everything pumpernickel bagel with Tofutti and coffee. Hit the spotttt on a brisk morning.
Blah blah, library, bank, groceries, back home to make a stir fry for lunch:

rice, celery, mushroom, eggplant, carrot, spinach, scallion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes in coconut oil.
Out for a walk, stopped at Rudy's Bakery in the hood for a vegan brownie.

There was an undocumented dinner of broccoli, tempeh, and avocado in lemon-tahini dressing that was meh but this gingerbread dessert smoothie sooooooooooo made up for it. Amazing!

Based the drink on this recipe, but mine was just banana, milk, spices (ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg), and molasses - no nuts or dates. I would love to drink this everyday until Christmas. And maybe past then.
ALL VERY ACCEPTABLE. Talk to yahs later.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hibernation food

Despite the blog post title, I've been going out a lot this week and by Friday was totally overwhelmed and exhausted from being around people. The title refers more to the fact that I feel like I've been eating less healthfully - more breads and sweets, heavier stuff. It's partly the cooling weather and general darkness, partly being busy, and partly sadness and frustration due to the Ferguson and Eric Garner decisions. If there are protests in yr areas, I urge you to attend. It may not change anything but we need to air our grief and not let it bring us down. My thoughts are with their families (and so many others affected by the same systemic issues.) Been thinking a lot about privilege and self-care in balance with compassion and supporting others and it's all too much sometimes.
So, here are some breakfasts lately:

                                         Fruit salad - black grapes, apple, orange, kiwi
I baked gingerbread scones (with cranberries) for work one day. These are from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Scones go great with cawfee, dontcha know. Love Bob's Burgers.
                                    (A sign outside of Everyman Coffee the other morning)

                                         snacks - apples, walnut/dried cranberry trail mix

                                       Raw Brussels sprout salad with lentils mixed in

A horrible photo of a delicious Mediterranean salad from Bite. Greens, eggplant, hummus, Israeli salad, toasted almonds.

Abby, I found the Theo dark cups! If you are like me, you'll need to try these if only for the sake of completeness but I must say I prefer the Justin's cups. Theo's are also a dollar pricier. Judge for yrselves, if you must.

Met a friend for coupon-induced pre-holiday drinks and passed this store on the way to Lunasa. Don't know if you can read it but it made me smile: "Real Life Version of an Online Shop."

Here's my favorite baby and me, cuz I know you guys have been missing her. We are listening to the new Sleater-Kinney singles.
Take care of yrselves, guys, and do what you can for others. Peace.