A few weeks ago we visited New England for a dear friend’s wedding (have I mentioned this already? I think perhaps I have). It was so nice to be out in the country and around trees and quiet. Mostly it was nice to spend time celebrating with old friends. We were able to drive around in the days following and explore a few states I’d never been to. I wasn’t too sure what the vegan choices would be like in more secluded areas, but we managed to find some great restaurants all over. Here’s a little round up of where we went:
First, we found the lovely Riverbend Cafe, conveniently located across the street from the motel we stayed at in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. We were surprised to find a spot with vegan french toast, not to mention bagels and tofu cream cheese. I had some super tasty oatmeal with peaches and brown sugar. The setting here was idyllic and the food was great. Plus we got to spend the morning catching up with Agatha which made the whole thing extra awesome.
Randomly, we stumbled upon a farmers market where there happened to be some goats hanging out. I love goats!
As our travels continued, Shawn once again proved he is the vegan pizza finding master. I had us routed to a spot in Northampton, Massachusetts which ended up being closed. He tracked down Pizzeria Paradiso which not only had vegan pizza, they used Follow Your Heart, which made me extra happy.
In Keene, New Hampshire we stopped in at Country Life, a Seventh Day Adventist buffet spot. Even though it was sort of vegan 1.0, it was really good, and felt really fulfilling. They also had a cute little market.
Concord, New Hampshire had some great vegan spots. First we stopped in at Hermanos Cocina Mexicana which, while not a vegan restaurant, had some superb vegan options. They had some spicy seitan for their burritos, plus all the fun stuff like soy sour cream and vegan cheese. I had some truly amazing enchiladas.
Also in Concord was Cafe Indigo. We stopped here for a great lunch and picked up a ton of sweets. A giant box of cookies, blondies and more for about $10. It was awesome. I had a wonderful ToFishy sandwich and Shawn had their infamous Rachael, a vegan reuben, both of which we loved.
Our last stop was in Boston. We ran into the Clover food truck and picked up some chickpea fritters and a soy BLT. It was a pretty good snack for a hot afternoon in the park.
Last but not least, we hit up a double whammy of vegan pizza and ice cream. First, Piece o’ Pie served us a fantastic margarita pizza with tofu ricotta, which kept me fed for our entire flight home. I think if we could have stayed longer, Shawn would have tried all the pizzas here.
Right next door was FoMu, a decadent vegan ice cream shop. It took forever for me to choose a flavor (I went with espresso) while Shawn went all out with a sundae. They had some really neat flavors and I wish I could have tried more.
Okay so there were a few more spots along the way, but this post is too long already! And yet there were still places we missed. I guess we’ll just have to go back.
I originally shared this recipe as a guest post on the wonderful Glitter and Ganache, but thought I should share it with you all in case you missed it. Mainly I just love this cake and think about eating it all the time. It’s a great summer recipe because it pairs well with fruit and coconut cream, but you could also have it with simple powdered sugar or frosting and chocolate ganache.
Vegan Almond Cake
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vinegar (apple cider or white)
1 cup plus 2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your cake pan. Whisk the vinegar into the almond milk and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, extracts and almond milk mixture. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir until just combined and only a few clumps remain. Pour into the prepared cake pan and cook for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the edges brown and pull away from the pan. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing from pan and letting cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
I love to bake. I love to bake because I love to eat sweets. I love it because I enjoy experimenting and trying to create things I’ve never made before. I love following instructions and coming out with something a little bit magical. I like to try recipes until I find the right one. Baking is relaxing for me (mostly).
Sometimes when you love to do something you have to step away in order to find your love for it again. If it becomes to routine, the joy is lost. So there hasn’t been a whole lot of baking happening in my life of late. And yet these cherry hand pies called to me to be made. After my last cherry pie, which left me unsatisfied, I had to tackle them again. So small pies were the plan, something a little different, something a little more fun.
I didn’t worry too much how these looked in the end. I just put them together in a way that pleased me. They weren’t perfect looking but the filling was almost divine. I admit, I made a mistake or two in the preparations, but I learned something wonderful: tapioca makes an amazing pie filling.
So here is to adventures in baking, whether they yield glorious or disastrous results.
This week we got our first CSA box and I’m possibly a little over excited about it. The truth is I’m really awful at shopping for vegetables, and it’s rare that I buy fruit ever. So having someone else pick out some perfect organic fruits and veggies and deliver them to my door is the best. I feel like this is the impetus for my diet to be transformed from 90% carbs to maybe a little bit lower percentage. Granted, I am already dreaming of making cherry tarts and zucchini bread (I blame these ladies for posting zucchini bread instagrams for that) which isn’t quite the healthiest way to prepare these fruits and veggies, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Mostly I’m just happy to have really fresh and delicious foods. It’s easy to forget how good simple foods can taste when you’re used to drowning them in sauces and seasonings. Yet it’s entirely pleasing to just eat a peach or a cobb of roasted corn.
The other perk is getting creative with foods I wouldn’t normally buy. Celery for instance. While I’ll occasionally purchase celery for a recipe, it’s not on my usual slate of vegetables. Since we got some in this box, I was inspired to make some chickpea salad. It’s a recipe I make all the time, but leave out the celery. Who knew that the celery actually makes it taste way better. So here is to expanding my vegetable vocabulary. And to celebrate, here is my easy chickpea salad recipe.
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1/4 cup vegenaise
1 Tbsp mustard
1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
In a food processor, mash the chickpeas until they are sort of mushy. Add the other ingredients and blend until combined. I like my chickpea salad on the smooth side, but you can go chunky too.
Ever since we had our Twin Peaks marathon I’ve been thinking about donuts. A lot. In fact, yesterday I told Shawn I am going to open a tiny donut shop, just so I can have them whenever I want. Ok, not really. I would like to try out some recipes though.
I’ve always liked my donuts light and fluffy, and fried. The best donuts I ever made were spudnuts (potato donuts) that were soft and airy. If only I had written down the recipe. I’ve vowed to try again sometime. On the other hand, I’ve been dying to make these beignets forever now too.
The thing with fried donuts though is that they’re really only good for a little while. It doesn’t take long for them to get that weird old donut texture, so unless you’re eating them right out of the fryer, they’re not as awesome. So despite my love of all things fried, I am really starting to like baked donuts. I guess I’ll have to get a donut pan to make these.
Plus if I get a donut pan, I can make rice crispie treat donuts. Or maple donuts. Or any kind of donut I want. Donuts forever!
Do you have a favorite kind of donut?