2016: Full of Splendor and Spoilage

I never felt more spoiled than I did this year. While I always find things to complain about, people to be disappointed with, things to rol...

I never felt more spoiled than I did this year. While I always find things to complain about, people to be disappointed with, things to roll my eyes at, and vicious rhetoric with which to attack things I find shitty-- truth is, I have the best life and I am a spoiled little shit every time I act like it's anything otherwise. I will brag now, about how lucky I am, then thank glob, or whoever is responsible for exciting miracles like such. 

While I am lucky enough to live in NYC, I am close enough to my hometown in New England to visit every few months, and especially for Xmas and Thanksgiving. I don't think Xmas and Thanksgiving would feel the same if I couldn't make it home.  Every year, on Christmas Eve, I make a bunch of pierogis and golabkis, and other stuff too, but I always make a "nog" cake. I bake the cake, and my dad likes to make the icing and decorate it with cherries. It's his special duty to decorate the nog cake. It always looks really stunning. This year I made the cake gluten-free so that my cousins that don't eat gluten could eat it, but I think it was a mistake, because it came out really gummy-tasting and not a nice light fluffy cake like it usually is. My GF Baking game is weak, I guess. At least it looked pretty!

Another reason 2015 turnt down for no one, was that I discovered scallion pancakes. I know that vegan pan-asian restaurants exist all over the country, but they opened one that delivers to my work, so I have a new default love for them, and scallion pancakes are one thing, and that thing, is dope AF.
I say dope a lot for someone who doesn't smoke. If you find yourself at a vegan asian place, don't skip the scallion pancake!

I ate a lot of crepes this year, exclusively from Little Choc Apothecary, who makes great crepes. I have tried the pizza crepe, the mushroom crepe, the breakfast crepe, the apple crepe and the seitan crepe. Oh, and alex aways gets one with banana and nutella with pecans, so I get to have a bite of that each time too :)

I think tea is fun and interesting, and as I've said earlier, I get sick of coffee easily. This place specializes in tea! So it's fun to try out a little teapot full of a new kind of tea you've never heard of. When they bring it out they give you a little hourglass timer box so you know how long it steeped for. Then you can play with it the whole rest of the time you sit there.

I baked some breads to bring home with me for Xmas, including the Cinnamon swirl bread from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day. This bread is great and it's not too sweet the way some cinnamon swirl breads can be. Isn't freshly baked bread the best?

It's even better when it's been freshly baked -- by you :)

I cooked a beautiful meal for my family on Thanksgiving, everything vegan! My dad did cook a turkey and put it on the table with my beautiful spread of food but that's okay. He ate the rest of the food and seemed happy about it. Alex and I were the only ones who ate any of the Field Roast Celebration Roast I made, but it made for crafty leftover-sandwiches -- more to follow on that.

I made some roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cashew-creamed onions, cranberry sauce with pomegranates, and baked stuffing! We did some mashed butternut squash, which needs very little in the way of preparation, and peas that we heated in the microwave. It was delicious and I was really happy with everything! I was also happy to sit down to a nice meal with my close family and not have a super hectic time cooking and traveling.

A special vegan announcement: There's new stuff on the menu at Champs!!!! Tots are on the menu!!

Also, there's something called the "Mac Daddy Bowl" which was basically created with me in mind.

I also got married in 2015. And we looked real cute that day...

This is where we eat. We have an apartment that's too small to fit a dining room table, so we just eat at our coffee table while we watch shows or movies together. It's definitely a different vibe than setting a nice table for a fancy dinner, but having a casual place to eat together is nice too, plus I know things will change one day when we move or have kids and we won't have our little table and our shows together anymore. It's kind of time that we know we're going to miss someday.

I have had a large stack of books to read for a really long time. I have started reading all these books, some I've read over half-way through, some I just read the first chapter of. A couple of them, I didn't really like the beginning of, but still feel funny about not finishing. For me, I think of a book as an endeavor that I must see through, and won't feel right until I do. So as you can see from this large stack of books, I feel very off-kilter from having half-read so many! My goal is to finish all of these books in a timely fashion instead of buying new ones to read first like I did all year.

I know that last year I talked about wanting to eat more salads, and man did I do right by that resolution. I ate salads exclusively for a whole month! It was easy with the help of Salad Samurai. I never got around to making the Bento Box Ni├žoise salad from the book until a few weeks ago. Maybe I was holding out for purple potatoes. Well I finally found some! And damn-- this salad was amazing. I mean, there isn't much left to be desired. You've got your potatoes, your veggies, your avocado, your greens, lemony dressing and coconut bacon crunchies for the top (or everywhere). The coconut bacon filled a gap in my cold heart and helped me love again.

I finally tried the rainbow cookies by Sweet Maresa's this year! They are perfect in every way and I can't say anything appropriate to how good they are in this language so I will just stop.

I ate all this

Okay so this is my plate from Wigilia this year. I made those pierogies with the help of my mom, dad, and Alex helped pinch them this year too! My golabki is covered in a creamy cumin tomato sauce I made, and above that is my pumpkin-cranberry risotto, that was totally gone by the end of the night! My aunt Karen makes delicious potato pancakes, which I ate 4 of, and my cousin Sarah made this delicious Kale, pomegranate and quinoa salad that we begged her to make ever since the last time she brought it. Spoiled, right??

Alex and I are so similar and cute that we bought each other the same record for Christmas. So cute and barfworthy.

Yeah, I shredded a little bass in 2015... What of it??

My craftiest moment of the year is when I made these thanksgiving leftover sandwiches. I had the perfect storm of leftovers, and purchased nothing that wasn't already in the fridge to make it! It has (ahem), celebration roast slices, garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, chao cheese, and cilantro pesto on pumpernickel bread! I pressed it in my panini press (spoiled), and voila, the best sandwich I ever made was eaten.

My final spoilage of 2015, was my mom finding the most perfect device to fit to our very specific measurements that would hold our dish drain, and support the weight of a multitude of cast-iron pots and pans, and look cute. She scored for seriously. It looks so great and I could finally take the heavy pots and pans out from under the sink cabinet in which the floor of it caved in due to the heaviness of the pots. Kindly don't repeat that to my super.

Today marks my fifth anniversary of veganhood! It seems like forever since I went vegan, but some of my friends have been vegan for 15 or 20 years! They make me look like a newbie vegan. Speaking of newbie vegans, Alex decided to go vegan today! Yay for him! I am so excited to have yet another huge part of my life to share with him. I recognize how lucky (and spoiled) it makes me to have a vegan husband, living together in NYC, and eating at Champs once a week, Chloe's for lunch on weekends, seeing shows all the time, I'll stop, I can see it's bothering you.

Happy New Year to all the vegans of the universe! I'd never be the same without all of you.

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  1. What a great year!! As someone who lives in the Middle of Nowhere, I'm glad you enjoy how blessed you are to live in NYC. And what great news about Alex going vegan! I'm sure you will be a huge help to him.

    1. Yesss I am very excited to have him on the team!

  2. wait. I have so much to say about this excellent post!! first of all, gf baking is rough. I've made a few gummy cakes in my day too, always such a disappointment. but your cake really does look beautiful. / Why didn't I eat any fancy vegan crepes when I was in NYC?? / I gotta make that cinnamon raisin bread someday. It looks so good. I LOVE homemade bread, but I kinda can't be trusted around it, so I don't make it often/ Did you ever do a wedding pics post that I might have missed?? I want to see more pics! / OMG - all that lagustas and maresas loot. SWOON! I have never had a rainbow cookie! / Your fancy christmas leftover sandwich looks and sounds so glorious. I love pumpknickel bread so much!!! / Happy Veganiversary and Welcome to Veganhood to Alex!!! OMG. I"m a little envious on that one. 16+ years of veganism here, and Musty is holding strong to his omni ways. At least he loves and appreciates my cooking, it could be worse. How romantic though, that you and Alex will have the same veganiversary!

    1. Yay! Sometimes I've had success with GF baking using the Bob's Red Mill AP mix, but this time I bought a big bag of his 1 to 1 GF flour and it just didn't work out.. Not sure why! We'll eat crepes together in NYC someday soon! I can also not really be trusted around fresh baked bread, but every now and again I give in and make some to devour. I did post a wedding pic post, but I'll email you the link to our full gallery :) Maybe someday Musty will change his mind, haha. It has to come from within! So proud of you for going vegan over 16 years ago! Very inspirational!!

  3. What a great year! I'm even more determined to try to get back to NYC this year now, I need those crepes and a Lagusta fix!

    1. Awesome! I hope to see you when you get here!

  4. So I had a whole bunch to say, but then I was sidetracked by the tots, then the mac bowl, and then Alex going vegan!! Finally. Welcome, Alex; you're one of us now.