Thursday, February 26, 2009

thats why i wrote this song to sing..

How is it already thursday???
i feel like this week has just blown by me and I ended up with today. ;)
crazy-ness! 2 weeks till spring break though..which equals a week and a half of NO school work and no waitress work! i'm pretty stoked.

So since I didn't have anything last week to bring into work..I made sure I bought ingredients to bake up something scrumptious this week..
"chocolate chip cookies" is of course, a frequent request.. but theres only so many batches of cookie a girl can bake in only a short time span!
However, I will admit, I'm a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies.But wanted something a bit different..
Which perspired the idea of chocolate chip cookie bars
which actually do taste quite a bit different! in a good way though, of course.

I basically took the same ol' "tried and true" recipe from Joy of Vegan Baking (i really need to make new recipes from this!!)
and spread it out into a 13 x 9 pan.
The cooking time was a bit off..and I honestly wasn't sure when to take them out or when I did, if they were even close to being done or not.
I'd say the total time they were in was probably close to 25- maybe 30 minutes?
I checked on them a few times..decided they were still too "mushy" and would put them back..
However! They came deliciously wonderful. :)

I made a batch of chocolate chip blondies over the summer..which was not what I wanted from this recipe..and not what I it worked out well. The blondies I made were much more of a chocolate chip cake, but these were more like chocolate chip "brownies" consistency?

Oh! And I did not take any pictures..
BUT this past sunday.. I was lucky enough to go to the New Harmony Buffet!!
New Harmony is an all vegan chinese restaurant in the city, which basically has EVERY thing that a regular chinese restaurant menu would have..except everything is vegan! uh perfect!
But usually they have a $12 buffet once a month..and its usually on a monday, which I always work so I've never been able to go. But they switched it up and it was this past Sunday.. and oh my gosh i've been missing so much!! haha
The only thing that was a BIT off...was they had a fried shrimp on the buffet..
which look WAY too much like the real deal.. shape..white with pink like real shrimp..
it was quite strange, i mean of course it wasn't real..but i think it just looked too much like it, the roomie and i were a bit thrown off! haha
this is another MUST go to restaurant in philly. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

tonight we're the constant buzz

This past week so far has been kind of busy for me, but over the weekend I got to try a new all vegetarian restaurant in the city that i've heard a lot of reviews on!
We went to Mi Lah Vegetarian, which if you're familiar with Philadelphia vegan restaurants, you may know about Horizons, which is an up-scale all vegan restaurant, and people have been comparing the two. I actually went to Horizons last Valentine's day, and it was amazing. I might have liked Mi Lah better though..?

Onto the food.. the roomie and I decided to drive down there, which I do not suggest doing ever. Parking was miserable to find, and not to mention..all the parking meters in the city have gone up! So that was a downfall..and we were extremely hungry so driving around searching for parking was not a good start...

However, once we got there, we were so excited that the parking problem was just a vague memory.
We had a reservation, since we went on Valentine's day, but for lunch I don't think you really need it. Our menu was limited, since we went for lunch instead of dinner, but the options they had for lunch were enough to choose from.

To start, we both had the soup of the day - tomato bisque

The cup was pretty small, but it was quite delicious! However, I saw someone get a bowl of soup, and it looked I'd probably just stick with the cup. The tangy and sweetness of the tomatoes were perfect while we waited for our entrees to come out.

For my entree, I got the Vietnamese Hoagie which was "marinated tofu, pickled green papaya, chile veganaise, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro."

I could definitely see myself getting this again. It was so delicious, and the seasoned veganaise was perfect, as well as the seasoned tofu. There was a bit of oil/perhaps just veganaise or tofu "sauce" dripping out it, which made me realize it would be an awful date food.. the sauce dripping, the tofu falling out, the turning the head to the side to take a bite...not too attractive. However! It was so delicious, and I was with my roomie..thus it was perfect. :)

Emily's entree - Grilled Flatbread Pizza which was "white bean and tomato puree, kale, and fried shallots"

We swapped bites mid-way, and I tried was really good. The flatbread was perfectly "grilled" and the whitebean puree was delicious with a hint of garlic. I definitely would try it myself another time, as well as the other flat bread pizzas sounded really good too!

We asked for a dessert menu, and we were torn between since it was V-day, we went a little crazy and got both ;)

This would be the Oreo was two brownie consistency cakes with cream in between them..reminded me a lot of a Whoopie pie, with a scoop of Vanilla soy cream (I believe I read somewhere they used Temptation) and delicioussss chocolate ganache all over it. Heaven.

Peanut Butter Custard. It was warmed thick decadent peanut butter custard with a scoop of vanilla soy cream and strawberry preserves on top. This was absolutely amazing and I would eat it every day if i could. With a mix of the strawberry and peanut butter, it tasted like a PBJ. scrumptious!

Basically, this place was amazing. The lunch prices weren't bad either, I noticed on the dinner menu online that it is a little higher, but they have a lot more options for entrees for dinner, so i'll definitely be going back..hopefully soon! part.. on Sundays from 11 until 4, they feature a Vegan Brunch, for $20 a person, you get a cup of coffee or tea, a plate of fresh fruit, homemade muffins and scones, a pitcher of either Bloody Marys or Mimosas (uh mimosas please!)
Plus an option of the many bunch entrees they have, including pumpkin pancakes, tofu benedict, seitan and waffles, etc.
I need to request off of work a Sunday Morning and make it my mission to get there..this sounds amazing. !!

basically, if you're in philly, you must make sure you squeeze in a stop at Mi Lah.. and let me know so i can come too ;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

the bays got stories that we don't know

It's Friday!! :)
Even when I don't have plans for the weekend..just getting up to friday is always such a satisfying feeling...but luckily this weekend is jam-packed with things so I'm especially excited!

I had quite the dilemma this week though! On such a simple task - finding a heart shaped cookie cutter
And what irked me the most was that my parents got me this HUGE thing of a million different cookie cutters, including many heart ones, but I left it at home :(
Thus, I went to about 7 stores looking for one..and couldn't find one at all! It was quite ridiculous, especially so close to the big V-day!
Luckily I was at the mall wednesday night, and my friend helped me find one in this cute little kitchen store!
Problem solved ;)

So I present to you my special cookies for Valentine's Day

So scrumptious! I used the same sugar cookie recipe i used for my Halloween Cookies from the fabulous Joy of Vegan Baking.
I also used the Royal Icing recipe from the book, which i've never used before. But all it is was 1 egg replacer (I used Ener-G) a tsp of lemon juice, 3/4 c powdered sugar, a tsp of vanilla. it came out really well..although i spilt a little extra lemon juice in it on accident, and you could kind of taste the tart-ness in it..but still good! haha oh well ;)

The guys at work approved..and thursdays have now become "Tasty Treat Thursday"
haha they do get dissapointed when I don't have anything for them on thursdays... but I love when people love the stuff I make, so I definitely love bringing stuff for them!
all this talk about love..

hopefully people at our party tonight enjoy them as well..i mean seriously, what college party can you go to and expect vegan baked goods??? haha mine! :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

realization is key

Happy Tuesday! :)
Hope your week has been going good for everyone so far. I had quite an interesting and fun weekend so the school/work week has kind of been in the back of my mind.
I'm really excited for this weekend though, already, I know.. ;)

But Friday night is Friday the 13th as well as the day before Valentine's day, thus we're having a party at our apartment to celebrate! Should be quite a fun time, and the "I need a perfect outfit" dilemma is already sorted through, so no stress there.. just a fun time coming up!

Also for Valentine's Day, this is the first time in 4 years that i've been not only single, but also not with the same guy! So this is quite a self-empowerment/new/fabulous experience for me! :)
I know during the day the roomie and I have a lunch date at this moroccan all vegetarian restaurant in the city! So I'm super excited for that, and I will definitely have a review for it ;)

Okay! On to some eats!
Last week after grocery shopping, I got all the ingredients to make the Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad Sammiches from Vegan with a Vengeance. This is the first recipe I've tried from it since I got it from Emily's mom for Christmas.. (so sweet of her!!) and they came out sooo tasty!!

I used a yellow onion instead of red for the sandwiches afterwards, but for the rest of the recipe I followed it to the T. I loved the sweetness of the mangos and the spicyness of the dressing..soo perfect. Although I'd probably add some more curry powder, since that flavor was what I was REALLY expecting..and it wasn't too strong.

Heres the recipe since its just so-o delicious and really easy to put together.

Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad Sammiches (VwaV)
1 8oz package of tempeh
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup mango, peeled and chopped into 1/4" chunks
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons of vegannaise
2 tsp curry powder (might wanna up this one!)
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespooons of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp hot sauce (i upped this one too..but i love hot sauce)
For sammiches:
2 large pitas, cut in half to make pockets
thinly sliced red onions
extra mango slices

Tear the tempeh into bite-sized pieces and place in a small sauce pan. Cover with water and add the soy sauce. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer tempeh to a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Add the mangoes and scallions to the tempeh. Add the dressing; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve in the pitas with the lettuce, onion, and mango. Delish!

I'm already falling in looove with this cookbook. I have another recipe lined up for next week that i'm pretty excited to make! :)

Oh, and just to share my new favorite/weird snack..

I bought a box of Cinnamon Puffins a few weeks ago to try something different since I had only had the peanut butter ones before (which are fabulous)
they're really quite tasty, but I think I prefer the PB puffins. Butttt when you add a handful of them to your coffee...the mix is perfect! The puffins get tender and coffee-tasting...and your coffee gets cinnamon deliciousness tasting! perfect combo, no? ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

your life is hype, your love is hype

It's slightly snowing outside, nothing too bad luckily, but nothing good enough to cancel classes. hopefully tonight we'll get something good ;)
I did however have my afternoon class cancelled today, which was nice, and gave me some time to finally do laundry as well as get some delicious sushi (yes i love cucumber rolls, as boring as they are to regular sushi-eaters, i find them fabulous!)

This past weekend I found a new place to go for lunch/dinner. My roomie and I have decided that we are experts at finding awesome, new places! And it seems pretty good so far!
I found this place called The All Live Cafe
which I saw on the website, they did not have a menu on there, and that they were only open on saturdays and sundays during the day and at night for dinner. So I called and asked what their menu was like, and she told me that it was 85% Raw and all vegan! sounded perfect, no?

So the roomie and I headed out with the address, according to mapquest it was only about 3 miles away..awesome!!
We drove down the street it was on and passed the address, and did not see a all. just lots of houses! So we called again, and she said it was inside the building through a fence...... nervous.... haha but we went inside and I'm so glad we did!!

Isn't that just the cutest eating set-up ever??!

The menu was typed up on the papers that you picked up at the door, and she said that it changed a bit every weekend. They're only open on weekends, but they do a service for $100 a week where they deliver you a whole weeks worth of meals!! That's an awesome price, for AWESOME mostly raw, vegan food! I really think that'd be a great idea to do once in a while.

We were STARVING when we got there, so we decided to start with a bowl of the Chickpea Chili. It was VERY delicious! It had a hint of cinnamon in every bite, which really made it different, and very savory. perfect way to start the meal.

For your meal, you can choose 3 items on the menu for $10 and they are served in portions over a bowl of spinach mix. we both ordered different things to try a little of it all.

My bowl.. It consisted of Sangi, which was mixed veggies cooked with mild indian spices, No Meat, Nutmeat, which was walnuts, onions, and savory herbs, and Wild Rice, which was sprouted wild rice with fresh kale, peppers, onions, and herbs.
At first bite, i LOVED them all. However, after a few more bites of the No Meat, Nut meat, I was not that impressed with it, and left it in the bowl afterwards. The other two were so delicious, and blended well together!

Emily's bowl, It consisted of Marinated Cabbage, which was green cabbage marinated in savory herbs, Quinoa Salad, which was quinoa with fresh vegetables and cilantro, and Forbidden Black Rice, which was black rice with kale, marinated onions, peppers, and herbs. All of hers were really delicious too, and I wasn't sure how I felt about cabbage, but it tasted awesome! I might've liked her combo better ;)

After the delicious meal, we knew we had to try the raw desserts they had! There were a choice of three, the raw cheezecake, the raw carob cheezecake, and the apple pie. We talked to our server, and she said the apple pie was the least heavy, even though the carob cheezecake definitely sounded good...we were getting pretty full.
So we decided on the pie.

We already started eating it before I remembered to snap a picture ;) Yes, it was that good!
It was fiji apples and sweet spices in a date and almond crust.
It was perfect! Raw desserts just taste SO much better and less processed and fake tasting than regular desserts.
perfect way to end the meal.

Needless to say, we will definitely be back in a near weekend! It was amazing, the woman that worked there was very very sweet and it was just a wonderful experience. Oh, how I love finding these small little places of awesome vegan-ness. ;)