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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 20: Farmer's Market, Quantum Leap

Heyyy Happy Final Day of MoFo, guys! We did it. It was a TOUGH month, but here we are.
Monday afternoon I met up with my dear friend Patrick, who is one of the craftiest, smartest, funniest dudes I know. We see each other so rarely now - he's a teacher, but he finally let me harass him into getting a meal together.
I had to go into the city to copy up some zines n' stuff, and I milled around the Union Square farmer's market waiting for him to get outta work.

                                         Here is a dude with a sign: All Animals are Equal

                                                                  Fairytale eggplants

                                                                     Husk cherries!

Edamame. I had never seen these at the market before, and I've definitely never seen them in bunches on the vine like that!

                                                                      Young ginger
I started walking down towards Quantum Leap, which is where we were meeting to eat, and passed Grace Church on the way. It's a calming oasis in the city, and I need all the calming down I can get these days.

Then I saw that baby boy with his bleached blond crew cut and I knew it had been toooooo long. Missed that dude. We both got a beer with the meal, cuz that's how we do.

I got a burger with a salad and fries. Ate half and took the rest home. Not bad for 10 bucks. Patty got a buffalo (vegetarian) chickun wrap. On the way back to the train we stopped into Peanut Butter & Co, which is where we met when we worked together, like, 8 years ago. Those crazy days.
THANK YOU FOR HANGING OUT WITH ME, ALL MY FRIENDS ALL MONTH LONG. You guys mean so much to me. Let's not let this end, xoxo.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014: Behind the MoFo

Like I said, I've been busy. Work was part of that, as I had a huge order to fill and process:

What's one more pile, anyway?
Luckily there were leftovers from the dinner party, so I didn't have to think too much about meals:

                                                           Pasta salad with greens

                                                                       more borscht

                                        Spinach, lentils, zucchini, tomato, cashew cheese

It got hot again for, like, two days, so there was a breakfast smoothie. This was spinach, frozen banana, lemon, protein powder, and soy milk.

                                                                  Cat burrito, do not eat.

                                   Quick breakfast: toast with Earth Balance and fig jam.

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 18: Adios, Hermana

Hola. Miguel and my sister have gone back to Spain! We had one last dinner with the folks before they left. We all met up in Astoria at a Greek seafood restaurant, which meant a lot of side dishes for me. It was fine, and I understand that my parents wanted to make sure Miguel really experienced all the diversity of the city.
On the way over, there was a rainbow and an amazing sunset:

Once we all got there, we started with bread and a big salad for everyone to share. And white wine.

Then some grilled vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, pepper.

Liz with the plate of veggies.

Everyone ordered some fish. I ate more salad, plus some of these lemony roasted potatoes. They were very good.

Here Liz is showing the onesie Miguel bought for his niece! Too cute.

We finished the meal with ouzo with ice water. Liz, Miguel, and I went into Manhattan to meet up with some of her friends at a bar. I stayed for a couple more beers and that was that! It was so nice to see her after so long and so nice to meet miguel. I hope to make it to Spain sometime to visit them.
Also, sorry I have not been posting as much as I'd like to. I have been busy, though not always in friend or food ways. I want to make it to 20 posts for the MoFo month. I'll have another post up later today, and hopefully one tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 17: Fig Bran Muffins, and a zine

No friends tonight, but maybe I can make some with these muffins. Surely they'll make me popular with the over-50 crowd, at least.

These are fig-bran muffins, but they are not dense or bland at all. They have fresh figs, fig jam, orange zest, and chopped pistachios in them as well.
My mom sent me the recipe to veganize almost exactly a year ago so, obviously, I am on top of things. If this is something that appeals to you, the recipe is here. To veganize, I used coconut yogurt, maple syrup instead of honey (and extra zest for that "wildflower feel",) 2 large TBS soy flour for the two eggs, and a flax egg for the egg white, plus a little extra water. I was not altogether very precise, but muffins are very forgiving.

They make a wonderfully filling and seasonally appropriate breakfast when served with extra coconut yogurt.
I finished my latest zine, issue 27 of Marmalade Umlaut, the other day, and copied some up yesterday. If you'd like a copy, let me know! There are more recipes than usual, thanks to my kind friends who sent some.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 16: First Day of Fall Dinner Party

Sunday, mi hermana y Miguel, Greg, and my friend Kirsten came over for dinnnnnerrrrrr. It was relatively low-stress, since the numbers were small and since I didn't even think about it until the day of, haha. Maybe not the BEST plan but usually, the longer I have standing plans, the longer I have to imagine everything that could possibly go wrong.
Anyway, I started out lounging in bed with some cookbooks, thought about filling food, fall food, and what I already had on hand, and went from there.

                                                 steamy pasta ghost cooling the window

 Tricolor pasta salad with lentils, artichokes, carrot, onion, zucchini, capers, and some spices

Autumn Tempeh Salad from The Vegan Table (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau,) which was a huge hit! I loved it. I used sweet potato instead of squash - roasted and mixed with steamed tempeh, onion, celery, raisins, Autumnal spices, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Probably the best dish of the night. I guess I used to entertain more, or cook more elaborately. It's been a long time since I've pulled this book out last, and everything is still always so good.
A last minute addition was Babushka Borscht from Isa Does It.

Swimmin' in it!! So pretty. Very simple recipe, and tasty. Greg felt a little sick so I think he enjoyed a hot soup. LEFT OUT THE DILL til the end because he hates dill. Noticed while we were all eating this that this apartment does not have a ton of spoons. Not even 5, really. So it's good that it was a small gathering.
There was also a small side salad, pita chips and olive hummus. Here is everything minus the borscht all plated up:


              And my sister modeling the dinner. This is not a blurry photo, she just looks like this.

ALSO the party was a dry party. Liz and Miguel couldn't find beer at a nearby bodega, I felt kinda sick, and Kirsten doesn't drink so we drank seltzer! With lemon bitters. And it was fine! Delicious and refreshing, even. Cleaning up post-party (not that it was a ton of work) was way less stressful not having been drinking all night. And it's a testament to them all being super chill people that I was not nervous or anxious around them while sober.
I didn't have time to make a dessert, so Greg brought Peanut Chews. And that was that. We talked about capitalism, climate change, food, punk rock, Galicia, writing, etc. I had a really good time. Hope they did too. Thanks, guys, for coming and being.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 15: Peach Cobbler

Greg loves peaches, oh yes he do. I'm not sure where the idea to bake them into a cobbler came up but I am SO GLAD it did.
Greg bought a bag of slightly bruised last of the season peaches and I found a cobbler recipe! The one we used came from Julie Hasson's new book, Vegan Casseroles (out October 7 - we get copies in to work a little early sometimes.) It is actually a nectarine cobbler recipe, but same diff. Super easy recipe, and it came out amazing!

You pour the batter into the dish and lay the peach slices on top and it bakes up around them. We used coconut oil in the batter, and everyone knows that coconut oil makes everything delicious. The texture was kind of like a clafoutis? And a really nice delicate vanilla-lemon flavor too.
Stoked to use this basic batter with EVERYTHING though, changing the fruit up by season.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 14: Lunch Date

On Thursday, my friend Stella and I met up for lunch. It was a busy day, so it was cool to hang out with her. She's like an oasis in a desert!
Stella actually forgot her planned lunch at home, and I took a photo of mine but it disappeared! Not that it was all that pretty anyway. Lentils, tahini, avocado, tomato, and zucchini. She bought a salad from Paradis that I decided to recreate:

mixed greens, cucumber, roasted beets, treeline herb cheese, lentils and pepitas! The Paradis version used goat cheese but OBV I don't eat that. Also it didn't have lentils, but I like my legumes.

This is unrelated, but I thought it was such a fun piece of art! It's on a random pillar in Downtown Brooklyn, where I went to go hear some cartoonists read from their new books.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014: Day 13: Bunna & Legume, plus Musing

J. Legume is leaving soon! It was so rad to meet her and hang out. She even introduced me to a lot of awesome vegan places in New York that I am just such a creature of habit that I'd never go to on my own, or as a local am too busy with my head down powering through the crowds, I'd never know were there - The Bagel Store, the Dr. Cow vegan cheese store, Norbert's, and finally: BUNNA!
Bunna is an Ethiopian place RIGHT NEAR MY HOUSE! And it's gorgeous and huge inside, and the food is amazing, and priced just right.
OK weird story - this was Tuesday night, the last time Julia and I'd be able to see each other before she went home to Portland, but a friend e-mailed during the day and said she was having a hard time and asked to get drinks. This month so far has been pretty cool and I've gotten to know certain friends better. I also appreciate them for being game when I randomly asked to start hanging out - and then their putting up with my complaining, occasional crying, ranting, and general awkwardness. So Rachel and I were just closing on last minute plans for a quick drink after work (she is a former co-worker and works across the street) when THE STORE WAS EVACUATED!! Wild, right?? Rachel could see all the firetrucks from her building. So then I KNEW we had to have drinks. And I'm glad we did. We got some REAL TAWK did and I hope she felt better just having aired her feelings. That's a tangent but my point is - I hope I'm learning to be a better friend this month. And thank you to everyone so far who has let me invade their life. I hope you all know how much you are helping.
SO ANYWAY, I got to Bunna a little late (I'm sorry Julia!!) and slightly tipsy. This is the one blurry, dark photo I got.

Injera and 5 samplings - mushroom tibs, two kinds of lentils, kale, and roasted beets.
So, yeah. I will be back. Thanks again, J. Legume. Bon voyage. See you on the West Coast.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 12: Pickle Shack

Monday I biked down to meet my friend Erica at Pickle Shack in the Park Slope-ish area. Erica and I met eating pickle and peanut butter sandwiches when we worked at Peanut Butter & Co, so this dinner date was fitting. We've dated, traveled the world together, drank too much together, cried together, made zines together, stolen shit, and probably danced lots of weird goth dances together. In the words of Le Tigre, "I'm proud to be associated with you."
We don't see each other too much these days - we are really similar in just wanting to be at home with our cats. But as with most best friends we have a mystical brain connection that we will probably have forever, and whenever we meet up it's awkward and wonderful and validating and powerful.
So, Pickle Shack:

I don't know how long this place has been here, but I never knew about it!! Despite having been to Oaxaca up the block and Mission Dolores, a cool bar across the street, a fair number of times. So thanks to Erica for opening my eyes.

Pickle barrel above the door. Open window seating in the front. Patio to the back. We sat in the back.

They have a ton of beers on the menu. I got a Dogfishead 60 Minute, and Erica got an Evil Twin ciderish beer. In a magic goblet.

                             Fried pickle chip appetizer! With vegan cashew cream, I guess.

I got the smoked tofu banh mi with avocado, cashew cheese, and pickled carrots. Plus hot sauce. The bread hurt my mouth so I didn't really eat it. But the sandwich was awesome otherwise.
Erica got a vegan grilled cheese, but I didn't ask to take a photo. They actually screwed up her order and gave her regular grilled cheese (the entire menu is vegan, and everything is veganizable with cheese they make themselves) but were very apologetic and promptly brought out a vegan replacement.
The patio at night:

Erica, thanks again. For talking and hanging out. And for being you and showing photos of yr cats. And for introducing me to PICKLE SHACK. And Witch Hunt.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014, Day 11: Family as Friends

Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here! My brother got into town on Friday night and my mom gathered some other family members together on Sunday since we're all together so rarely. Aunts, uncles, second cousins, and third cousins ate:

                                     carrots (with guac to dip), green beans, potato chips

                                                    Grilled squash, flax tortilla chips

Not vegan!!! but so pretty I couldn't not take a photo. This is a traditional Galician empanada that my sister and Miguel made. You cook red bell peppers and onions in oil with paprika as part of the filling and the oil is used in the dough as well, which makes it orange tinted.

                    Bean salad with corn, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, and chipotle powder.

                                                               La tabla with bread

                                                     my first plate with Galician wine

     second plate with a ratatouille my aunt made. Guess I didn't get a separate shot of that dish.
The centerpiece brought from a Galician ceramics factory:

 In the background my brother is talking about his drone work in some mines in CA. Here is a tiny drone he brought to show us:

 And its controller. Not depicted, the massive external hard drive he brings around. WILL DATA.

                              Also a fossil from the Boron mine. Buncha smarties in the family.
 I had to sneak away and get a few cat shots, because what's a trip home without a black cat?

                                                      Seneca curled into a sleepy ball.

                                                       I wrangled Cicero at the table.