The Spring is My First Love

So much to catch up on! What with the end of Spring and all of its festivities, I've been backlogged with exciting vegan happenings, ...

So much to catch up on! What with the end of Spring and all of its festivities, I've been backlogged with exciting vegan happenings, food, music and news :). I left you all somewhere in the beginning of May, when the weather began to slowly soften and become friendly to New Yorkers and East-Coasters alike. It's been slow going, but I'm enjoying every cool breeze I can catch before the unbearable third-floor heat hits my skin for three. straight. months. I've been procrastinating putting in my air conditioner, in part because I think I might drop it. But also because I'm hanging on to Spring's last dying breaths, telling myself its not time for sweltering heat yet. 

So since you didn't stop by for a dramatic weather reading, I can share with you some of my food projects during the month of May. Mother's Day was nice, since I got to spend it with my mom in New England. We did yoga together, went food shopping, other shopping, and had a nice Mother's Day lunch. As per tradition, I made cupcakes. These are Coffee Almond Chocolate. 

For a week or two I tried to follow an all-raw diet. I had been feeling sort of sluggish and felt like I ate too much after every meal, and generally that I wasn't putting the best food possible into my body. I ran into trouble while in transition, often feeling light-headed and tempted. Mostly hungry. Hangry, even. I was in a bad mood a lot. I think the key to a raw food-exclusive diet is to keep full throughout the day. Snack often and never let yourself get so hungry that you crave other food. I think it's also something you really have to stick with, then it gets easier with time. I'm really just rattling off ideas here, because as I said, I only lasted a couple weeks. 

I've been trying to limit sugar and eat more salad, but still somehow find myself eating pasta all the time. I made and drank smoothies for breakfast for a couple months too, all from Kathy Patalsky's 365 Vegan Smoothies! Anyone have words of encouragement/discouragement for a raw diet? 

We hit up the shop-up, obviously, in mid-May. This time I got Yeah Dawg! which are homemade hot dogs made from sweet potato and vegetables, topped with homemade sauerkrauts and pineapple! It's all about the pineapple.

That's Sriracha, not ketchup!

I found myself making dinner late one night, the BF out of town. I was trying to eat up some leftovers in the fridge but couldn't force myself to eat what I didn't crave-- pasta. I ended up with what I guess I am calling "Sweet Potato Alfredo" over fettuccine. It was really sweet without all the added nooch, and a good handful of parmesan crumbles made from almonds and lemon zest. But after the toppings, it really did hit the spot for creamy, salty, doughy pasta cravings.

Later that week, we went to see 2 shows, one was planned, the other was a surprise! The first was Mirah, one of my old favorites. I feel like her music probably saved my life in college, and has been inspiring me ever since. She just put out a new record, which I bought on vinyl, our hipstery tradition. She was really great and it had been years since I'd seen her last. She's such an inspiration for independent women of all types. 

The second show was a complete surprise, my BF picked me up from work and sprung on me that we were heading upstate for a show. He told me to look in the glove compartment, in which I found two tickets for Death Cab For Cutie, a band we saw just over ten years ago, our somewhat unofficial first date. The significance, is that at the time of this show we were 3 days shy of our ten year anniversary. I always associate this band's early music with high school, the early part of our relationship, and a reminder of all the fun times we have had over the years. He's been a pretty great person to grow up alongside. This show was just a really amazing reminder of that. 

We didn't have plans the next day, and I got off work late, headachey and tired. He decided we should go out anyway and that there was a new place he wanted to try, another surprise of sorts. We took the subway and I kept trying to guess where we were going to get off, since I had no clue where we were going. It was an interesting route, and three boroughs later, we got off the train in Brooklyn Heights, just in time for a sudden downpour and lightning storm. We ducked into a bar for a minute to try to wait it out, but it really didn't look like it was letting up anytime soon. We made a dash anyway, but had to stop under the BQE underpass because it was pouring almost comically in heavy waves of water. We hung out under there for a good 30 minutes, and I suggested we go to his new place another time, given the weather. He was persistent and said we should go anyway, and so we ran. We ended up in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which has the most beautiful view of the city, in my opinion, especially at night. 

It was virtually deserted because of the rain and we had the place to ourselves. We walked all the way down pier 5 and pointed at the statue of liberty and the east river ferry and wowed at all the pretty lights. I looked into the viewfinder to see if I could get a better view, but actually just saw dripping water through it-- then I looked next to me, and Alex was on one knee. (!) I had no words.. I actually forgot to say "yes" because I was so speechless. I did of course say yes after. 

We left for DC as planned the next morning for our annual anniversary trip. This trip was extra special, not only because we had just got engaged, but because it was our ten year anniversary! Yup, double digits. 

We spent some time hanging around Adams Morgan the first night and had a few beers at Libertine just after getting Ethiopian at Meskerem, another tradition. We celebrate all holidays, achievements, any event worthy of celebration really, with Ethiopian food. And God, do I love that tradition. 

Sambusas with Tikil Gomen, cabbage & potato

Sambusas with lentils

The next day we went hiking for several hours in Rock Creek Park, which is surprisingly impressive for us, since we are amateur hikers at best, i.e., we've never gone hiking before. 

The hike was filled with "get the gear" Portlandia jokes and "chickshaw migratory path" and other quotes from Moonrise Kingdom, offerings of expert hiking techniques, lovely photos and lots of exercise.

We walked all around the city afterwards and came home utterly exhausted. We rounded out the evening with drinks with friends and fun hangs at our hotel.

Before we left, we made sure to hit up Brookland Cafe, a small spot offering a bunch of vegan sandwiches and platters.

I got the vegan shrimp basket, because how can you not, and was totally blown away. I really had to check if it wasn't real shrimp. The texture was so spot on it was creepy, in a good way! I think they used glutinous rice… That's only a guess, though. 

Now we are full swing into June and I have Salad Plans that we are executing to a T. More about salad, Salad Samurai, in particular in the next post.
Thanks for reading everybody, and thanks for all the wonderful comments and love you have given us during our special time being newly engaged. I feel so much love for you all.

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  1. Don't forget about all the delicious vegan wings we consumed!!

    Btw, you're so brave for trying raw. You have my utmost respect.

    1. Thanks <33 the wings are not to be forgotten! I will try to do mostly raw again soon, especially since now I need to fit into a wedding dress...

  2. Great pictures! Yay, Moonrise Kingdom! And congratulations on your engagement! :)