Saturday, November 22, 2008

crashing through the parlor doors, what was your first reaction?

so I've been eatings lots of really delicious food lately, however, not too many of it has come from me making it.
tonight however, my sorority has its thanksgiving dinner, so I'm going to make mashed potatoes for it. My roommate is making green bean casserole using a vegan cream of mushroom soup, so theres two things I can eat. haha it'll be fun though.
I'm using Happy Herbivore's recipe for the mashed potatoes, and I'm also going to be making them for thanksgiving next I'm sure they'll be really delicious. :)

I went to the philadelphia library today to pick up a book for my class that I needed and I typed in vegan just for funsies to see if they had any good cookbooks there..and they didn't have many, but they did have Eat Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena I'm really excited to try some things out from it! I've been wanting it for a while.
Also, in the walk to the library I saw a sign for a nutritional/dietary food store in Germantown. (yes, germantown the place that also that vegetarian restaurant was that seemed so sketchy!) haha but I went in and the guy that worked there was super friendly and they had a lot of different vegan groceries and vitamins! It was really nice.. although a bit pricey since it was such a small health food shop. I did however pick up this packed of Hain pure food vegetarian brown gravy mix. It says to just add water, so i'm a little skeptical haha but I figure I can make a bit for tonight and see how it tastes. I've never heard of it before..

how bad could it be right? ;)

So this morning I really wanted something warm for breakfast to start my day, and our kitchen is quite limited right now since we're leaving for thanksgiving break in few days. So I concocted an oatmeal breakfast :)

I used 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of water, about a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a good amount of raspberry preserves, and a little bit of chocolate chips. Soo delicious! Tasted like chocolate covered raspberries..yum :) i love oatmeal.

okay well off to re-write a paper.. only a week and 1/2 left of classes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

and i was your silver lining as the story goes

So last week my roomie and I were deciding where to go for lunch and we thought of this place that was near our old apartment last year..that we always talked about going to but never actually went to. (you know how that goes..)
We used to live right near outskirt of Philadelphia that isn't exactly the nicest neighborhood..and I remember seeing on menupages that there was a vegetarian restaurant right on Germantown Ave called The Nile Cafe. The menu online showed many different sandwiches, salads, mock meats,..even a questionable veg roast duck and spicy fish. And..a dessert menu which instantly wins me over anyway. ;)

So we finally went. And we walked inside and at first you walk into this store which has lots of different things such as books, cds, incense, different body treatments, etc. It was pretty cool.
And then you walked past it and to the restaurant..which is really just about 7-8 tables past the window where you ordered, which you could see the entire "homey" feeling kitchen.

It says it's a juice bar as well, though I did not ask, I didn't really see any place where they would've made different juices, but hey maybe it's hidden.

Anyway, I asked the woman at the window to see a menu, but she said they didn't really have one, and that they just cooked up different things basically all day and you could choose from what was already there. She had enough soup left for my roomie and I to share a cup while we waited for our food. It was a Lentil Vegetable soup..and quite delicious!

We weren't sure what we wanted..but she told us that she had a creole, another vegetable dish that I don't remember because I don't think I liked that kind of vegetable, mockmeat of fish, mockmeat of duck, and mockmeat of BBQ chicken. She nicely let us sample each of the mockmeats to choose which one we wanted, and we decided to go with the bbq chicken, though they were all quite good! We shared a plate because we were saving room for dessert, and it came with the chicken, rice and we chose the creole.

Everything was awesome! the sauce on the chicken was the best bbq sauce I think i've ever had, and it felt like such a home cooked meal, i loved it! The woman was also super nice and made us feel really comfortable with the stuff knowing it was our first time there.
We finally got the dessert, and I chose a scoop of vanilla caramel and a scoop of cookies n cream ice cream. Emily got a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of mocha ice cream. Both choices were really really awesome. :)

This place was such a different atmosphere than the usual vegan cafe's that i've been to in philly, and I really appreciated that. I know I'll definitely be back, especially since it's so close and I'm excited to see how they change up the lunch menu everyday! :)

Okay so I've been tagged by two super wonderful blogs for the 7 facts I'll do it ;)

1. I'm really really into the Twilight series and sometimes I admit it and sometimes I don't haha but everytime I see a commercial I get really excited and I can't wait to see it in theatres!

2. My ipod is full of underground, compelling, indie music that I really really enjoy.. but I have a seperate artist folder called "Stuff" which I have all my rap that I like to listen to when I feel gangster or get ready ...or just in the mood for it haha but I keep it all under there so it doesn't look like I just have a bunch of T.I. or Lil Wayne haha.

3. I have a bit of an overwhelming lust for Nick Thomas, the singer of the spill canvas. I first heard their song "the tide" about 6 years ago(yes wayyyyy before mtv had ever even heard of them) and I fell in love with them ever since with what talent at composing such heartfelt meaningful lyrics they had. But I really like Nick a lot even though everyone says he looks like a bear :(

4. I hate rainy days. I'd prefer to just stay in bed watching a good movie all day..but mostly I hate them because they make me have ugly hair all day.

5. I love having dreams. I get really dissapointed when I wake up and I don't remember any from the night before, but I love waking up and rethinking about them all day and trying to analyze them. A bit of a Freudian, I know. ;)

6. Freshman year of college I was sooo determined to transfer back to my hometown and finish school there, but luckily and thankfully I did not. Now I couldn't ever see myself doing that and I think I've learned a lot from being up here instead.

7. I honestly don't even know how I wound up with Psychology as my major, I mean I was interested in it in high school but I guess I just wasn't interested in anything else enough. I really hope to go on to do something with nutritional psychology. Though it does make me really really nervous when people tell me that there isn't hope for a good job with just a bachelors in psych, and that you have to basically go all the way. But we'll see ;)

So a lot of people have already been tagged for this one, but if you haven't been...then I officially tag you because I love reading these! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it keeps getting better

so i've been a bit mia for the past week or so...mostly super busy with school! from now until thanksgiving, i have more presentations/papers/exams then i know what to do's a bit overwhelming, but once thanksgiving break gets here, I'll pretty much be carefree. can't wait :)

I did have time to bake last week though, so that was fun. On Thursday my sorority had a bake off..and yes, i'm the only vegan in the sorority, so not much for me to taste-test..other than my own. Butttt other people got to try what I made so that was exciting for me. :) I wanted to try again from VCTOTW, since the icing on the cookies n cream one didn't work out too well for me. I chose the Peanut Butter Heavencakes since who doesn't love a good pb and choc combo??
It was the same basic chocolate cupcake recipe as the cookies n cream one, but instead you fill the middle with the peanut butter cream frosting and then you're supposed to make a chocolate ganache for the top..
welll... leave it to me to have to change the plans.

I was excited once I put them in the oven because the frosting for the middle tasted awesome and I was just hopeing they'd come out right. After baking when I checked on them, the peanut butter cream was just ooooooooooozing everywhere! All over the pan bursting out of the cupcakes. hmph. :(
I didn't use that much in each cupcake, I'm thinking maybe I just had them too full in general? I thought they were a nice 2/3's full...hmm. maybe next time only 1/2?
Well anyway, so I scraped the frosting away off the pan and there was still a nice amount still in the cupcakes. But the tops were sunken in and they didn't exactly look that pretty. So I knew that just having ganache on top wouldn't make them look any better. So I whipped up some more of the butter cream frosting and just frosted them all with that, adding a few chocolate chips to the tops instead of the ganache.
Needless to say, they tasted awesome, and isn't that what matters? ;)

So even though I couldn't try anyone else's delicious looking treats at the bakeoff, I had more than enough of my own, so I'm glad they were so delicious! :)

On Friday I finallyyyy got to try this vegetarian restaurant in Germantown that noone has ever heard of..and it was amazing. So once I get the pictures off of the roomie's camera I'll give a review of was quite an interesting place!