Monday, February 22, 2010

photos from the weekend

although the weather was nice this weekend i didn't really get out and enjoy it. eric and i were kind of on opposite schedules, and i enjoyed my time alone at home.

i've never really lived with anyone, so i am used to being alone and having my quiet time. moving in with eric completely changed that. we like a lot of the same things so we do a lot of things together.

so i took full advantage of hanging out, reading without disturbance, and watching trashy tv while he was out riding his bike.

eric has a juicer, and i would like to start using it more, but it's so expensive to buy produce just to juice it. grapefruits were on sale last weekend so i picked up a few with the intention of juicing them. oddly enough, grapefruit is something i really miss about texas. it's grown there and you can get it extremely cheap. here is so expensive!

the cats enjoyed all the sunshine this weekend as well. we have two windows in our kitchen, but they only like to lay in the sunlight of one window and take turns lounging.

we ended up going out to dinner at memphis taproom.

flight of beer
eric and i like to order a flight of beers and share them. it's $10 for 3 and let's us try some new beer.

memphis taproom
eric and i ordered the same thing for dinner, the veggie burger with smoked coconut. their veggie burger is amazing. it's a quinoa/white bean mixture, and the smoked coconut just puts it over the top.

sunday eric went out riding again, which left me plenty of time to get busy in the kitchen.
i started out by preparing things to put in the dehydrator.

raw/vegan/gluten-free macaroons
i made some more macaroons. unfortunately we couldn't eat too many because i made these for someone.

carrot falafel
i also made carrot falafel from . it doesn't really taste like falafel, but it's still good and i plan on doing a greek night this week.

corn fritters
i also made corn fritters! i used about 2 cups of corn, 1 cup of almond flour (ground almonds), some cilantro, salt pepper and cayenne. these turned out great, and a lot better/healthier than traditional corn fritters.

energy bars
in addition to all the raw food i made some cooked food as well.
we both really enjoyed the energy bars i made last week so i made them again.

homemade energy bars
the only difference? this time i added goji berries! i really liked the addition of the berries. i had bought some a while back and forgot about them. i was happy i remembered to add them to the energy bars.

and i made my favorite bread ever.
quick rise no  knead
no knead! i used the quick rise version, recipe here.
but instead of bread flour i do half whole wheat and half white whole wheat flour. i also add in about 1/4 cup of nuts/seeds. this load had sunflower, pepitas, sliced almonds and poppyseeds.

no knead bread
i could barely wait to have a slice lathered in pesto.

eric eventually came home bearing gifts!
vegan treats!

one of his bike friends had gone to vegan treats and picked us up doughnuts. so awesome!

vegan treats donuts
these were demolished.

no kitta pictures this week, but here's another picture of grissom!
griss sleeping

Thursday, February 18, 2010

With all of the snow and the lack of outdoor things to do we have been doing our fair share of trying new beers. We have excellent bars by us and beer stores that let us try more or less whatever we want. I have always used barnivore to see what beers we can drink since some have non-vegetarian and non-vegan ingredients. So last week I got sick of waiting on other people and started emailing companies that were on my list. I started sending them to barnivore and they should be posted in the next week or so. Anyways the list so far:

PA local breweries
Stoudt's - all are vegan minus Maibock - which we tried the winter last week. Wasn't a huge fan due to the bitterness but I will try others. Also want to head to the brewery.
Yards - all are vegan minus Thom Jefferson. I had thought all the revolution series had honey as an ingredient but ended up talking to a brewer and later contacted the owner to make certain about this. I was told only the Thomas Jefferson had honey, the others molasses.

Elsewhere, mostly Belgium
St. Feuillien - which we recently tried the cuvee de noel during our valentines dinner.
St. Bernardus - will be trying a few hopefully once we finish our mix 6 pack from last week
Trappist Westvleteren Blonde, 8, 12
nogne-o (which I am really excited to try) all are vegan minus Sahti
La Chouffe
Cantillon website
Ayinger, Lindemans, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, Green’s, and Zatec. The only thing from Merchant Duvin that isnt vegan is Traquair House
De Dolle Brouwers (which im also very excited about) website
Everything from The Abbaye des Rocs Brewery

I plan on contacting more breweries but as of now im contempt. I usually lurk through the beer menus at some of the nicer pubs we go to as well as the beer selection at the foodery and now have many new beers to try.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Philadelphia Runner & Mi Lah

on monday we headed into center city to get a few things done. one of the things on the agenda was to go get lauren some running shoes. i had read up that philadelphia runner was the place to go in philly.

philadelphia runner

i wanted to get her some running shoes for her birthday in january but wanted her to get fitted. since we have been getting so much snow/been so busy, we didn’t make it to the running store until the other day. anyways happy belated birthday lauren.

new running shoes

i had been wanted to start running so i figured why not, and picked up a pair as well. we'll see how this goes…

eric got running shoes

since we made food at home for valentines dinner, we wanted to go out monday. one of our favorite vegan restaurant in philadelphia is Mi Lah Vegetarian. we have only been for lunch since we really like that menu compared to the dinner, and they only have brunch on the weekend so monday was a perfect opportunity to go.

we started out with sweet potato fries. they are fried and crisp but still fairly large and topped with cilantro to give them an asian feel I guess. they are really good but I think if they had a sriracha type of dipping sauce they would be amazing.

lunch at mi lah

i never can make up my mind at restaurants when there are multiple vegan items on the menu, especially here. I gave our waitress a choice between a few and ended up with the vietnameese tofu hoagie, a great choice. i usually am not a fan of tofu anything but, this is an exception. the tofu is cooked in strips, and topped with carrots, cucumber, jalapeƱos, cilantro and a spicy chili mayonnaise atop a fresh hoagie roll. i think they used a spiral cutter this time for the carrots (or maybe I am not remembering the past times correctly) which I thought took some of the crunch away that was needed in the sandwich, but other than that it was good. my goal later on next week is to replicate the hoagie…. its just that good.

lunch at mi lah

lauren got the stir fried brown rice with vegetables, tempeh, and cashews. the portions are big especially if you share an appetizer between two people. and therefore i was luckily able to take some of the stir fry home and had it for lunch the next day. it was yummy.

lunch at mi lah

over all im a big fan.. we have never been for dinner/brunch so i can't say about that, but during the day the staff is always very friendly and attentive. the portions are large and i've never had anything i didn't like so far. so if your ever in philly and looking for a good asian-fusion meal, i would definitely recommend Mi Lah.

Monday, February 15, 2010

photos from the weekend

despite there still being tons of snow on the ground, eric and i wanted to make the best of the weekend and get out and do some things.

we started off saturday morning with brunch at cantino dos segundos.
cantina for brunch

cantina for brunch

we eat here quite often, and one of the reasons is they have amazing chips and salsa.
cantina for brunch

i always say i am going to order the french toast, and never do, but saturday i was craving it.
this is the best french toast i have ever had, hands down. it was so delicious that it was dangerous. it tasted similar to a funnel cake, which i did not mind.

cantina for brunch

eric went with a burrito that included tempeh bacon, rice, beans, tofu and avocado.

cantina for brunch

his burrito was gigantic. it was the size of my head.

cantina for brunch

no seriously.

cantina for brunch

after brunch we walked a few blocks to check out a farmer's market they just started in our area. but we were only greeted by snow. i guess they canceled it?


later in the afternoon we rounded up some friends to head to yard's, a local brewery that is a few blocks away from our place.

we started off by tasting a few of their brews.

yards brewery

eric and i had gone on the tour before, but it was still fun to go again.

yards brewery

yards brewery

yards brewery

yards brewery

saturday evening we met up with more people and went by an art show in our neighborhood.

art show at toothless cat

art show at toothless cat

but i got side-tracked when i found out i could get a free beer at PYT, next door.


after hanging out at the art show we all went to dinner at cantino dos segundos! yep, we ate there twice in one day.

cantina for dinner

cantina for dinner

cantina for dinner

cantina for dinner

we woke up sunday morning not feeling our best, but i eventually got up to make heart-shaped pancakes in honor of valentine's day.

heart shaped panckes

and for lunch we were feeling lazy and just made fried rice and spring rolls.

spring rolls

spring rolls are our way of cleaning out random veggies in the fridge.

spring rolls

after being lazy most of the day we decided to get our lives together and figure out something to make for dinner.
we pulled out some old favorites and some new ones.

trying to figure out valentine's day dinner

we ended up relying heavily on the conscious cook, which has some great recipes!
i decided to make the focaccia.

fociccia recipe

making fociccia

while the dough was rising we headed out to get a few last minute details.
there is a great tiny grocery in our neighborhood. it's pricey, and only has a few things, but everything is fairly high quality.

almanac market

almanac market

and then we got to cooking!

we started off our meal with a new brew by bell's brewery called cherry stout.

bell's cherry stout

pouring brew number one

this beer was very nice. it was dark, but not too dark.

first brew, bell's cherry stout

and we had arugula salads. eric made a blueberry vinaigrette that he adapted from the conscious cook.

valentine's day dinner

and we had our salads with some focaccia, which turned out really declicious.


our second beer of the evening was a st. feullien cuvee de noel. eric enjoyed this beer but i was not as big a fan.

second brew, st. feuillien cuvee de noel

we also had asparagus, artichokes and quinoa pasta with arugula pesto that eric made.

quinoa pasta with arugula pesto

and on the side we had twice baked potatoes with cashew cream on top. we got the idea for this from the conscious cook. eric and i sliced the potatoes very thinly and cooked them in the oven till they were almost done. then we topped them with cashew cream (which is simply cashews that have been soaked then placed in the food processor until you reach a creamy consistency). we then seasoned the cream, some had salt and pepper, some cumin, some cayenne pepper and a few rosemary and salt. we then broiled the potatoes until the cream started to brown.

twice baked potatoes with cashew cream

they were delicious and gave me a bunch of ideas for other ways to use the cream.

all in all a very delicious valentine's day dinner without the cost or crowds of a restaurant.