Vegetarian Cookbooks for Omnivores

The reason cookbooks continue to sell when you can find plenty of recipes online is beautiful photos, illustrations and inventive recipes. The Forest Feast has it all. The pretty and very visual format of recipes with tons of photos as well as pretty watercolor illustrations is easy to follow and ever so appealing. The vegetarian recipes are simple but also attractive, such as Strawberry Salsa, Nectarine and Tomato Salad, Corn & Cauliflower Tacos and Polenta Portobellos. There are also a handful of cocktails gucci handbags sale. Erin Gleason the blogger behind the stylish vegetarian blog The Forest Feast is self-taught and focuses on seasonal ingredients. Nothing too cheffy here. Easy, pretty and original, it's a great introduction to vegetarian cuisine for omnivores or newbie home cooks looking for inspiration for everything from family meals to cocktails and entertaining.

Vegan cookbooks are nothing new. But a vegan cookbook written by someone who is not only not a vegan but not a vegetarian? Well, that is something new. And frankly, welcome. Myra Goodman and her daughter Marea Goodman are worthy evangelists for eating organic produce, since Myra Goodman is one of the co-founders of Earthbound Farm. She has written some lovely cookbooks in the past, but Straight from the Earth is particularly special. The recipes do not feature dishes that approximate meat, but rather celebrate vegetables, grains, fruit, beans and nuts. The photography is beautiful and recipes are very enticing. There is no attitude, thankfully, just creativity and genuinely appealing recipes like Grilled Fig Sandwiches with Pistachio Pesto and Balsamic Caramelized Onions or Wheat Berry, Baby Kale Neogen Derma, Grape and Orange Salad. Some recipes require the best seasonal produce like Crostini with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes and White Bean Puree, but others use things you can easily find all year long such as Miso Roasted Eggplant.

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a doorstop of a book, with 665 pages and more recipes than you could cook in a lifetime. Deborah Madison has added 150 recipes and updated countless more to her classic volume. There’s more emphasis on tempeh than tofu, which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon your taste. But the inclusion of ingredients like smoked paprika, curry leaves and farro is definitely good thing. What I particularly like about the book is that it covers so many different cuisines vacuum bag, there are galettes, tagines, risotto, breakfast breads, hearty main dish salads and so much more. I’ve bookmarked Saffron Dumplings, Spicy Quinoa and Potato Croquettes and Braised Artichokes with Leeks and Peas. You will never again wonder what to cook for vegetarians with this book and the emphasis on deliciousness means omnivores will not get bored.

A corner dance floor

Dance floor lights flashing, music resounded through the sky. Dance floor, dozens of dancers wearing blurred, leaving brightly dressed, foot music, enjoy venting the excess of youth. Shorts lo shi, beautiful skin. Bobo always attracted a concept dancers stop tom ford sunglasses.

After dinner, walking the first point, in which flashing lights, the music in this passionate, I actually felt blood surging, as if much younger. Young nice! Nice life!

Corner of the dance floor, a woman alone in the parallel bars, side events, I saw her hands clasped iron bars, and kept doing stretching exercise, some stiff action. I liked the student movement, often in a single parallel bars on the activity, which alienated thirty years of job, I would not expect any significant further action can be made Cloud Provider??. But still want to torture your own body, then a skip step, to leap onto the parallel bars, propped up and do a few cheesy action for others to see. But after up, never lose control arm, only two, there is no courage. The woman actually somewhat indifferent to look at me, turned to continue her almost stiff action. Then, move left, then continue with hands clasped iron bars. But in her walking, I saw her body but inconvenient, so caught my attention. I saw her and I like to wear short-sleeved shirt - white foundation Leverage blue, black shorts, Ears short hair. Fair-skinned, had this beautiful face with a trace of depression and haggard iPhone 4 casing. With my intuition, she is a story of people.

Fall of Cape of Good Hope

To hold an umbrella, walking in the south of the wet streets

I don't know, I do not know which one is the way back tube amp, just wandering at every intersection

This night, lamps and candles of a myriad families

This rainy night Maid Agency, I sleep

That night, a night of rain

Tonight the wind, you are so gentle!

You roar? You roar?

Like you, I don't love

This season, I miss home autumn

In my childhood, it will be positive and small partners to pursue in the rustling autumn wind is to seek the scattered nuhart, slowly lower leaves

Laughter with falling leaves gently landing, then in the dust, quietly to sleep, next take root, green on the branches

The gentle sea breeze ah, you is not it, you are not my lovely hometown of autumn, the wind was cold, the wind was so beautiful

Now, in this land in the wind, it seems farther and farther, the more float higher

In the wind season, where is home, where is home?

The south just Inn, drift is home, borrow sit Bing Xin a paper boat, waiting for the water, to go to Cape of Good Hope to watch the last sunset

Bamboo Clams Asian-Style

Happy 2014 everyone!

A new year once again. Time to get out that new datebook and draw up plans for the next 365 days. Lofty goals, mad schemes, strict regimens, exciting getaways, plans, plans, plans. Some challenging and tough, leaving us quaking a bit in our shoes Flower shopbut determined nonetheless. Some big and exciting and wonderful, leaving us exhilarated and chomping at the bit. All mapped out resolutely, whether pen in hand or fingertips firmly on keyboard, with all the bright-eyed and buoyant intention a new year brings.

I, for one, am not immune to this dewy feeling of slate-wiped-cleanliness. And no matter how many resolutions I have hoodwinked in the past, I still like to set out, sails a-flutter, with what I’d like to do this year carried jauntily on my sleeve.

Live Simply
Minimize. Avoid waste. Focus on the things that are truly important to me and trim away the excess. Learn to say no. Consume less. Save. That’s not cube organizersto say I won’t treat myself to little luxuries…but they will be luxuries I can comfortably afford and that are truly, 100% appreciated by me. And also, it must be said, organize! De-clutter this flat and our lives.

Live More
Do more. Experience more. Laugh more. Open my eyes. Put myself in new situations that may make me extremely nervous. Say yes more (seems to contradict with the statement above but it really doesn’t – it’s all about mindfulness of choice). Live on purpose. Meet more people. Engage. Travel (even if it’s just to the next city). Make memories. Be in the now.

Be Grateful
Every day. Be conscious of it. Record it. Share it. It’s amazing how being thankful can make you feel like you are twice blessed…once for SKI TRIP the blessing and then again for the happiness of realizing it is a blessing. Nip negative thoughts and comparisons at the bud. Focus on all the amazing positives that abound!

Be Fabulous
Can you live simply and be fabulous? Absolutely! Fabulous is in the way you live, the way you are, not in the things you have. Other people like to refer to this as “awesome”, but I prefer fabulous. Under this would fall being kinder to my body. No, you won’t be seeing trendy eating regimes and fancy exercise routines here. I don’t think you ever will, truth be told. But I will be less reckless about my health. I will also be looking for ways to move more (I think my old ticker needs and deserves it) that do not involve the gym or sports or special outfits. Also, I may finally be wearing makeup this year. And perhaps moisturizer (with sunscreen). At 39 years of age, I think it’s about time. Suggestions are welcome! But most of all, being fabulous means feeling fabulous and making others feel that way too.

And, as always, there will be cooking…and eating.

Bamboo Clams Asian-Style

1 kilo bamboo/razor clams
2 tablespoons canola oil, or any mildly flavored vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 teaspoons honey
5 spring onions, sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves picked
Optional: bird’s eye chili or siling labuyo, or chili oil…if you like a little heat!

- Soak your clams in cool, clean water for a couple of hours (or more), changing the water 2-3 times until water is clear. Scrub any impurities off the shells.
- In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin, soy sauce, mirin, oyster sauce, sesame oil, honey, and chili (if using) until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic, onions, and ginger to the pan and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the clams to the pan and toss until coated in all the garlicky, gingery oil and soft onions. Add the sauce and toss until evenly distributed amongst the clams. Cover the pan and cook until the clams have opened up. This won’t take long…under 5 minutes most likely.
- When the clams are done, take the pan of the heat, strew with the spring onions and cilantro, toss, and serve immediately.

These shellfish have nothing to do with New Years resolutions but I’ll share them anyway because they’re delicious. I think these are referred to as razor clams but my mother calls them bamboo clams, and since I like bamboo better than razors, so will I. The juices here are fantastic spooned over some warm rice. This is an easy, light dish with a lot of flavor…as with many Asian, or Asian-style, dishes. Something to start the New Year on a vibrant note!

Wishing you a simply fabulous 2014 with a bounty of things to be grateful for!! What will you be doing in 2014?

Northern Exposure: My favorite bites in Ilocos

More than just delicious dishes, eating in Ilocos was also about the experience. So I decided to divide my gustatory highlights there in two – one for just the dishes themselves and one that includes the people and places. Well, that and I didn’t want to bore you to tears with too long a post…

Batac Empanada at D’Original Glory’s – Much like the dishes I named in my last post, Ilocos is famous for their empanada. A savory “meat pie”, a filling of longanisa and various vegetables (shredded unripe papaya and monggo) surround a cooked egg (hard or soft can be requested) and is ensconced in a bright orange dough…the lot of which is then deep fried>. Woo! Touted as Vigan empanda, it is actually sold in many places around the Ilocos region. We didn’t have much time for taste trials though, so we asked our guide to lead us to the best. And he did…in Batac. Here you will find a grouping of empanda stalls under one roof. At the back end of this group you will find D’Original Glory’s. And it is here where you will find the best empanda your money will buy (of course this is a matter of personal opinion and taste). We wolfed ours down, the steaming filling spattered with generous shakes from the bottle of basi (sugarcane wine) vinegar. I can’t say I tried all the empanadas Ilocos had to offer EGF, but this one was the best I’ve tried…so good it almost made us miss our dinner! D’Original Glory’s - Riverside Centro, Batac City, Ilocos Norte.

Midnight Hot Chocolate at Sitio Remedios – We checked into our resort after dinner, tired but exhilarated from a day full of sight seeing. After lazing around in our canopy beds (yes! more on our dreamy resort later…), we decided to get showered, explore the grounds, and perhaps relax with a glass of wine. As we ventured out of our villa, we were met by the resort’s charismatic owner. “Come have some hot chocolate and biscocho with us!” A session of cozy late night sweets IP Networking Solutions? The answer to that question is always yes :) So we followed him to an open-air eating area facing the sea. Soft warm lighting revealed a table strewn with native sweets, including the aforementioned biscocho, a pitcher each of hot chocolate and coffee…and sitting among the other guests, another local blogger! We excitedly introduced ourselves and immediately began chatting about anything and everything reenex. Conversation, and hot chocolate, flowed easily around the table. We sat nibbling on the crunchy biscocho and sticky rice in banana leaf packets which had been boiled in a sugar syrup mixture, listening to another guest regale us with the riveting tales of Juan Luna’s life (Juan Luna is a national artist who hails from Ilocos). A night full of pleasant surprises :)

Biscocho from Pasuquin – Now, more on that biscocho. It was a crunchy golden swirl which made for good dipping (as in the hot chocolate). As we talked the night away, the guest who had brought the biscocho mentioned that he got it from a town two hours from our resort. Another guest also mentioned that they had a soft version, which is basically the bread before it gets toasted to crisp biscocho-ness. Our interest piqued, we made a mental note to see if we could sneak a visit to this town during our next day’s activities…and we did! When I saw the fluffy white buns that were the soft biscocho I already knew I would love it. It is a soft, chewy roll with just the very slightest hint of anise. We ate from our communal bag all day…the rolls keeping us fortified through intensive sight-seeing. Chewing on these soft buns and staring dreamily out at the Ilocos countryside had an almost hypnotic effect on me. I could have eaten a mountain of these! Pasuquin Bakery - Poblacion #3, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.

Dinner at Sitio Remedios – I’ll going into more detail about our resort in the next post, but for now let me just say that it totally won me over in the ambiance and vibe department. I only wish our trip was longer so we could have spent more time there, lying about and day-dreaming…because if you had been there, you too would see what a perfect spot for day-dreaming it was. It was in this setting that we had, what was in my opinion at least, the most magical meal of the trip – atmosphere-wise. The courtyard was awash in the warm glow of a multitude of candles, on one end was the small stone chapel all lit up, on the other end was the sea with its waves providing their calming symphony. We had Ilocano specialties for dinner, some of which I have already mentioned in my last post. To think we were just two tables (one table with the 3 of us and another with a group of 5 or 6) amidst all this loveliness! This meal was truly a sum of all its parts – good food, gorgeous setting, and great company :)

Seaside lunch at Pagudpud – Although yummy, I wouldn’t say our food at Pagudpud was the highlight of our meal there. It was good yes…we had bagnet, which of course I thoroughly enjoyed (again!) and kilawin, a fish ceviche, which was pleasantly cool on that sunny day. We also had fried fish and grilled eggplant salad…food that tastes extra good when you have it by the sea. We washed everything down with fresh coconut water, sipping from coconuts that were just cut down as we placed our order stress free. Yes, a very good lunch. But the highlight for me was having it all in a hut by a pristine white beach, without the masses of people that crowd our more popular beaches, knowing that I was at the Northern-most tip of the Luzon mainland, the waves crashing on the shore with the energy of currents very different from those of the sheltered coves I’m used to. It was very calming but at the same time had a kind of final-frontier-ish feel about it – not the kind of ambiance you can find at a city restaurant.

The Markets and our take home stash – My food highlights would not be complete without mentioning the markets we visited and the bounty we brought back home with us. At the Batac market we picked up native hand towels, table napkins, and runners made with local Ilocos cotton. To get a small glimpse into the local food shopping scene, we went to the San Nicolas Market. There you can find everything from fish and meat, to piles of fresh vegetables (and local seaweed!). They have a special room for the stalls selling bagnet and longanisa. I think I got a little star struck from seeing so much bagnet in one place! Mmm :) We didn’t buy anything there as we had already commissioned the kind staff at our resort to buy bagnet and longanisa for us to bring home reenex. Among our loot were also garlands of garlic and shallots, sacks of sea salt, and liter-bottles of basi (sugarcane wine) vinegar – all typical specialties of the region. Now I can enjoy a little Ilocos at home :)

I’ll be posting my non-food highlights next…I wouldn’t want you all to think that all I did there was eat, now would I? ;)


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