I have had a busy month! Kicking off the month of May, we took a trip back to our hometown so that I could try on my wedding dress (!!!!!) which finally after 9 long months came in, and more importantly, for our Jack and Jill, which to New Englanders is a modern wedding shower. You see, nowadays kids (adults) live in apartments so small we couldn't possibly fit another cookie scoop (or could we?) into our drawers let alone a dishwasher or juicer or whatever you get at a normal wedding shower. When my generation gets married, we need cash -- and not household items. I mean I literally own everything I could ever need that would fit into my apartment, kitchenwise. I have a vegetable spiralizer, pineapple corer, ice cream maker, keurig, panini press, waffle iron, Le Creuset pots and pans, and a collection of stolen 16 oz pint glasses. I have more stuff, I just only listed the things that are completely unnecessary to a normal life. A Jack and Jill is a party the family of the bride or groom (or both) throws as a sort of fundraiser in place of a shower. Except it's a party. So it's actually fun to go to, versus a wedding shower, which is not. Everyone agrees with me. So now that we all know what a Jack and Jill is, and that we just had one for our forthcoming wedding, we can talk about food.
So Silk came out with these yogurts, and I really have never been a take-a-yogurt-to-work kind of person, and I never really liked portioned flavored yogurts vegan or otherwise, so I am not sure what made me give these a try. It must have been the word "plant-based", or to people who like to get real, "vegan." Anyway, this vanilla flavor was so amazing and it tasted like pudding or something dessert-like. I bought this flavor, peach/mango, and blueberry. I liked them in that order, vanilla being the best.
Look, Vanilla bean seeds!
Two things occurred to me recently: that Iced Coffee Season has arrived and I am obsessed with Iced Coffee. The second thing is that Iced Coffee is outrageously expensive. Why is it always over $4?? Why do soy and almond milks separate in it??? Why does it cost $2 to add soy or almond milk? YOU GUYS ARE KILLING ME!
I drink my coffee out of a 32 oz mason jar and it is awesome. And cheap. Sigh... I'm so happy.
Alex used to be so obsessed with the Terminator that he dressed up like him for halloween in 1993. We have been lugging a VCR around from town to town for all these years and finally popped a VHS in for some throwback movie nostalgia. Everyone knows Terminator 2 is the best Terminator.
More stuff from Thug Kitchen, like this Summer Corn & Basil Chowder! It was so awesome and easy and Alex helped me make it. They keep it relatively simple with the ingredients, and it's probably easy to follow the recipes if you're new at cooking. I really dig this soup and I think I will make it again for sure. But next I have to try the flautas, and the burrito, and the torta! And the...
In addition to Iced Coffee Season, it's also Margarita Season. There's a place down the block from me that has killer margaritas. They aren't cheap, but they have frozen passionfruit margaritas and you can't exactly pass one of those up. On Mondays and Tuesdays they only cost $6. I had one this past Wednesday and Thursday, so I'm definitely looking forward to Monday and Tuesday of this week.
I am keeping it real lately with salads. I have so many salad recipes to try and I know I've been proclaiming it the season of all sorts of things, but it is also Salad Season. This salad, below, is from Isa Does it and is called the Farmer's Market Salad or something to that effect. I fell into a whirlwind of arugula from my Italian customer who has an amazing garden. He brought us butter lettuce this week, so I used up what was left of my arugula mixed with some of the new butter lettuce and made this salad with it. It has sliced and sautéed trumpet mushrooms, and boiled whole baby bliss potatoes. The dressing is a mustardy-chive blend with some lemon and agave, and it has a ton of sliced snap peas in it. The potatoes are the star of the show here. I mean, what kind of monster doesn't like little baby bliss potatoes?
Today I woke up and began the very best Saturday ever. I did a crazy Jeanette Jenkins workout for 2 hours, and then ate a cookie. Okay I ate a few cookies. Then I got a chance to try out some new vegan beauty products I hadn't worked into my schedule yet and relax a little before Alex woke up. I am an early riser, he is absolutely not. After we got up, we went to Champs, because it's Saturday, and beat the line! We didn't have to wait at all! Although we probably missed the rush rather than beat it, since we didn't get there until 2pm.
I got an Iced coffee, obviously, and a Drunken Cowgirl, an old favorite that I decided to revisit. I realized I love this dish because I don't need to add anything to it. For a while I was doing the Soltero bowl and adding guac, but that is $3 extra, and the bowl costs $13 already, so why not order the Drunken Cowgirl, that has ALL of the bases covered and pay only $12? Goddamn I am so smart lately. It must be my new Vans. They are thinking shoes.
In case you haven't ordered the Drunken Cowgirl, and I know you probably have, It's 2 slices of fluffy Texas toast, a pile of vegan bean chili, tofu scramble that has been cooked on a flat top so there's crispy bits of it, big chunks of potato home fries, vegan cheese, and a bunch of avocado. Bases covered, cowgirl. You are the winner.
After Champs, we go to Dunwell donughnuts, because ever since Champs moved, they are walking distance from Dunwell and do you think I'm an idiot? So we got one for now and one for later, but I took both of mine out for photos, while Alex kept his second flavor in the bag as a secret. I looked to my left and saw the same girls we were sitting next to at Champs sitting next to me at Dunwell, so I obviously had to make friends with them and now I know more vegans so my life is better than it was before.
After Dunwell we went to Haymaker's Corner Store, an all-vegan grocery in Champs' old residence. I picked up this cold brew, because -- well we already talked about Iced coffee.. I stocked up on Earth Balance Mac and Cheese because I have no shame, and few other things. It's such a cute little store, and a short distance from my place.
Pardon this non-food related interlude:
I forgot to tell you about our other tradition. So when we go to Champs, we usually intercut the decadent vegan food with a trip to Human Head Records. Alex and I have been collecting vinyl since college, well mostly Alex until recently. I started helping contribute to the collection only a few years ago. I've actually enjoyed listening to vinyl as an activity so much more than other methods I used to listen on, and learning more about it, I can understand what makes it better than CD or other mediums. I like putting on a record and sitting and reading to it, or sketching while Alex works, or enjoying it with friends as an interactive experience. It's not that you can't do that with CD, but I like the experience of putting on a record, because it allows me to pay more attention to the order of songs, the choice the artist made to put the tracks in that specific order, on side A rather than side B, realizing that making a double LP is badass and prolific and most artists' records aren't very long, and when you find an artist who puts 15 songs on their record, well... I realize how they had a lot to say, appreciate it all the more, and well, I just like the big artwork on the 12" vinyl rather than on a clunky plastic scratched CD case. There, I said it. I've been buying records that are new to me and ones like the one above, that I grew up listening to. Today, I got this one:
Human Head Records on Johnson Ave in Brooklyn is a favorite of mine, and one we frequent more often than most others. We dig Other Music near NYU, Earwax in North Brooklyn and Bleeker Street Records, on Bleeker street.. obviously.
Speaking of Double LPs, here is my most recent Double LP purchase, Neko Case's latest, but still 2 years old, The Worse Things Get... Totally amazing artwork/Totally amazing record. I cannot wait to see her next month at Northside!!!
This one was a deluxe version, has 3 sides, the 4th side has eels etched into it, came with several booklets, and came with a bunch of eel-themed temporary tattoos. I put one on my ankle and my mom freaked out because she thought it was real. Tricked'ya.
We have been playing Hop Along's new record pretty much non stop since it was released. We saw them at Rough Trade on their first stop on their tour. I can't say enough good things about it, so I'll just tell you to listen to it. Listen while you walk to work, listen while you walk back. Listen while you workout, listen while you type up your blog or your zine. Listen while you cook. Listen.
The album cover is painted by Frances, the singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist. It is fruit in a dish but sometimes it looks like a big pile of melting ice cream scoops to me and I like it. It makes me want ice cream. Vegan, of course. She also includes a great handwritten lyric sheet that I have read many times over by now.
So now you know what I've been spinning and what else I do besides cook and eat vegan food. Hopefully you all still like me.
More posts soon and fewer gaps in between!