Well, the Mad Men premiere party was a success. I managed to make all the dishes on the menu we planned (despite my kitchen sink breaking the day before, sad times). On top of that, Shawn set up a photo booth and made some awesome Mad Men masks.
I loved the episode and it was nice to have all the characters back. More so, it was fun to watch with friends and I was super happy that everyone dressed up. I see more tv theme parties in our future. A Twin Peaks marathon has already been discussed.
This week, after seeing two recipes for risotto show up in my blog reader I thought to myself, maybe it’s time I try to make some myself. Despite needing a bit of attention on the stove, it was very simple to make and so rewarding to eat. One of my favorite meals is rice & broccoli, and this risotto is basically just the fancy version of that. This dish will easily impress any dinner guest.
I followed this recipe and just subbed out the zucchini for broccoli and asparagus (and of course, left out the pesto). It was creamy and so full of flavor, I just couldn’t get enough. I might have to make risotto all the time now. I’m ok with that too.
There are some places we have to visit every time we visit New York. Los Angeles has amazing vegan food, but there are some things we don’t have here on the west coast.
For one, we always go to Foodswings for some DISCO FRIES. You know what I’m talking about. Fries + gravy + cheesy sauce. They are so good. While places out here have tried to replicate their deliciousness, none of them measure up.
A new favorite of ours is Champs. We visited there for brunch and oh my god they have vegan monte cristo. A faux ham and cheese sandwich made with french toast. Dream come true.
The thing I miss the most out here is Vegan Treats. Officially the bakery is in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but it’s available at nearly every veg restaurant in New York. The most decadent cakes and pastries you’ve ever had and the cutest decorations too. Look at those carrot cakes!
No one makes a better donut. You have to know when the deliveries are to get these, they sell out fast.
We also tried Blossom for the first time. These raviolis were amazing. Perhaps I am biased because I love ravioli, but these were by far some of the best.
We stopped by Blossom in a rain storm right before going to see Margaret on one of it’s few theatrical runs. You should definitely see this movie. It’s crazy but really good. I’m really glad we were able to see it in New York too, since it is really about the city in a way.
What are your favorite places to eat in New York? One day I want to go of a dedicated food tour of the city.
For instance, this fantastic Spinach Dip that came together in about half an hour. I ate way too much of this stuff, but it was just so good, I couldn’t help myself. Not only is this recipe fast and easy, it’s missing a lot of the ingredients that freaked me out about other similar dips (like mayo, which sounds gross). Also, it has sauerkraut as a main ingredient; therefore, it’s extra awesome.
The other thing I’m learning is that you don’t have to make everything. Sometimes ordering native wings from Native Foods is the way to go. Pair that with some chips and guacamole from Trader Joe’s and you’re set. Now that’s easy.
Do you have any favorite easy recipes to share? Something good for sitting around and watching a movie with friends?
While traveling back east, Shawn and I visited this charming restaurant, Sprig & Vine, in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Their all vegan menu had a different vibe than what seems to be popular at the moment; an exciting change for me. Each dish focused on the local fresh vegetables and grains and combining flavors and spices rather than trying to emulate more traditional recipes.
We opted to order a handful of the appetizers for the table and began with the grilled oyster mushrooms. They were gently spiced and perfect to start. Next were the roasted gold beet crostinis topped with black beluga lentils and smoked cashew ricotta, my favorite of the lot. We also tried the green onion pancake rolls filled with roasted mushrooms and sesame-tomato jam. Each plate had it’s own distinct flavor and style and I loved each one.
For my entree, I couldn’t resist the pecan and kabocha squash ravioli. I was totally surprised at how many vegetables they packed into this dish, each one perfectly cooked and seasoned. Every bite was a distinct collection of flavors. The raviolis themselves almost took a backseat to the amazing pieces of roasted squash and delectable Brussels sprouts.
To finish things off, we all shared the peanut butter and jelly french toast. It sounds simple enough, and delicious enough, but it was quite unexpected. The peanut butter was actually as sweet powder and the jelly was a wonderful fruit compote. Though we were all quite stuffed, it was a nice treat.
I would love to visit again and try some more of the dishes. I loved that there were so many fresh vegetables in each plate prepared carefully and thoughtfully. I wish more places would focus on including such a wonderful selection of vegetables in their menus.