Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 31: A Smorgasbord of Vegan Food

It's the last day of MoFo, so I wanted to leave you with a smorgasbord of yummy stuff I've eaten the last few days. I haven't traveled to Sweden, but I'm Swedish on my mother's side of the family, so there ya go.

Lemon Lentil Soup from Peas and Thank You:

Oatmeal Bread from How It All Vegan!:
Lotsa Veggies Lentil Soup from Appetite for Reduction:
Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad (with avocado), also from Appetite for Reduction:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance:
Orange-Date-Walnut Bread from 1,000 Vegan Recipes: 
Bean & Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan:
I used black tortilla chips and Daiya vegan cheddar to make it look very Halloween-y :)

I'll be back with a MoFo recap soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 29: Washington, D.C.

Today we're going to take a trip to our nation's capital. Even though D.C. is only a 7-hour drive away, I'm ashamed to say that I've only been there a handful of times in my life. Let's just say I suffer from an acute case of Rhode Island-itis. This condition dictates that anything that is more than, say, 15 minutes away is "too far" (or, as we like to say, "too fah.") What do you expect from us? It only takes an hour to traverse our state. We can pretty much have all of our needs taken care of within our puny little borders. Why on Earth would we willingly drive halfway down the Eastern Seaboard? Hmmm...something to ponder.

But anyway...the last time we ventured to D.C. was in April 2009. We drove down for a few days to see the sights and visit my hubby's family.

We were very excited to visit the International Spy Museum:

But, I must admit, we were even more fascinated by the Crime Museum. We got to see the set of America's Most Wanted and shake hands with McGruff the Crime Dog. We also got to see lots of crime instruments and tools, like these:

Yeah, I know - not too exciting, but none of the other pictures came out too well :(

I think the highlight of our trip, though, was getting to visit Sticky Fingers Bakery:

I got a cupcake and a Cowvin, a vanilla cream-filled oatmeal cookie sandwich.
The cupcake was pretty good. But the Cowvin?

We also enjoyed lots of other yummy vegan fare: spicy empanadas at Julia's Empanadas; sandwiches and salads at Java Green; Ethiopian food at Dukem; and pizza with soy cheez at Ella's Wood Fired Pizza. We loved the melting pot of different cuisines available all throughout the city!

In honor of all the multicultural restaurants and foods we enjoyed in the city, I cooked up a pot of  delicious Moroccan Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Figs, courtesy of the amazing Dreena Burton. This recipe will be in her upcoming cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan! I can't wait to get it!

The soup is supposed to have a combination of black beans and chickpeas, but I used big fat fava beans instead. I think it worked really well, and I'll make it this way from now on. This stew was so awesome!

I can't believe MoFo is drawing to an end. I hope you've been enjoying it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 28: Jolly Old England, Part 2

First, a disclaimer: this is a short post. And it doesn't have a whole lot of jolly old England in it. Or jolly old English food, for that matter. But it's October 28, and I have a bit of MoFo fatigue. You got a problem with that? Take it up with this guy:

I mean, these guys:

I pity the fool that has MoFo fatigue!

As you can tell, we did visit Madame Tussauds. And no, we're not proud of it.

We also had to visit Buckingham Palace:

And take a stroll through St. James Park:

I don't remember a whole lot about what we ate on this particular trip, but I do remember ordering Thai takeout, bringing it to our hotel room, and watching Notting Hill on the telly. I mean, why actually go out and see London (right outside your hotel room) when you can just watch a movie of it instead? To quote The Biscuit on Ally McBeal: Pleeeaaase. I can't believe we did that!

Here's a healthier version of the Thai takeout we got in London: a Thai-inspired main-dish salad.

Baby romaine lettuce, carrots, broccoli, scallions, pineapple, red and yellow peppers, peanuts, and chickpeas, drizzled with a spicy cheater's peanut sauce (peanut butter, lime juice, chili powder, and tamari).
It's about as authentic as the waxy Mr. T, but it was tasty nonetheless. Just like Mr. Grant.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Germany, Part 2

I think I got a wee bit carried away writing about Sulzfeld in my last Germany post. I promise to keep it short 'n sweet this time :)

This was the coolest hotel EVER. We spent Valentine's Day weekend 2003 in Baden-Baden in the Black Forest. This is Hotel Der Kleine Prinz. It was so expensive we could only afford to stay one night, but it was so cool. We had afternoon tea at the hotel and then visited the Friedrichsbad Roman-Irish Baths. Later that night, we got gussied up and visited the Casino Baden-Baden. People were gambling here in evening gowns and tuxedos. Very James Bond-ish!

This is a picture we took from our car as we were driving through the Alps on the way to Austria...
This is Schloss Neuschwanstein in Hohenschwangau. King Ludwig II of Bavaria lived here, and it's the castle that inspired Disney's Snow White castle.
A view from inside the castle...

This is downtown Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This town hosted the Winter Olympics in 1936.
 Here's my hubby (the man in the yellow hat...hehe) at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
This is a photo of Heidelberg. We took a day-trip here to meet up with my hubby's cousins, who were traveling through the area. Lots of cool bridges and architecture here!
This is a picture of the Falterturm ("crooked tower") in Kitzingen. Legend has it that there is a golden ball at the top of the tower that contains the heart of Vlad Dracula, and the tower is leaning toward the cemetery across the street where he's supposedly buried. Pretty cool, huh?!
Of course, one of my favorite memories of Germany is going to all the winefests. Here's a picture of the Kitzinger Weinfest. It's a tad blurry, but hey, I was at a winefest. I think that explains everything.
Here's my Dad, my hubby, and me in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg was about an hour's drive away from Sulzfeld, and we visited often. It is such a cool place!
The town gets all decorated for the Easter and Christmas holidays, especially. We took this photo around Easter in 2002.
And finally, a photo of Fortress Marienberg in Würzburg. Würzburg was the largest city close to Sulzfeld, about a 30-minute drive away. I remember once attending a formal dinner in the Fortress for my hubby's military unit. They served cold cucumber soup as an appetizer. Let's just say that it didn't go over so well, although I personally thought it was delicious :)

Let's face it - German cuisine is often all about the meat. I say, let them eat tempeh! Smoky Tempeh & Greens Stew from Appetite for Reduction, more specifically!
 You want some broetchen with that? How 'bout some Fancy Biscuits from How It All Vegan! instead?

Germans also love their cabbage. Here's some Cabbage and Fennel Salad with Apples and Raisins, along with some baked marinated tempeh and mashed carrots and turnips. Das ist gut!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 26: Paris, Part Deux

I promised we'd revisit Paris, the City of Lights and one of the most romantic cities in the world, so let's journey back there tonight. Last time I wrote about Paris, I shared the adventures of my honeymoon in 2001. This time, I'm going to write about my second trip to Paris, which was in March 2002. My parents came to visit my hubby and me in Germany, and we decided it would be fun to take a road trip to Paris. We were only going to spend 2 nights there, so we tried to see as much as we could, since it was my parents' first trip to Paris (and first trip to Europe!)

We walked along the Champs-Elysees and saw the Arc de Triomphe:

It was pretty cool underneath the Arc!

Of course, we had to go to the top. We survived the spiral staircase from hell and were rewarded with amazing views of the city:

We also visited the Musee d'Orsay, which was a real treat for me. I am happier than a pig in poo walking around art museums. The museum itself is a work of art. It's housed in a former railway station, and it's just so lovely.

The art history course I took in college really came in handy! I was basically dumbstruck coming face-to-face with literally dozens of paintings I had by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, was just amazing. I could just stand and stare at them all day!

But...I didn't. We had lots more of Paris to see, after all! Like Sacre-Coeur:

...and Moulin Rouge! We didn't go inside, costs something like $100 to get in!

We also did something my hubby and I hadn't done on our honeymoon...we visited the Eiffel Tower at night. Wow, was that AMAZING!!

I love how the only food pic I have of Paris is my hubby and I eating donuts and drinking cappuccino in the Eiffel Tower. I mean, really, people.
I didn't eat here, but how cool was this crepe stand. They have Nutella by the truckload and a bumper sticker that says "J'<3 le pop corn." LOL

We had a lot of fun in Paris. It was great to go back and revisit some things, as well as see some things we missed the first time...and eat more chocolate croissants, of course!

Tonight I wanted something French for dinner, and what is more French than pate? 'Course, I don't do the whole animal-liver thang. I opted for some tasty Walnut-Mushroom Pate from Veganomicon. I made tartines, with toasted sourdough bread, a thick layer of pate, some sliced pearl tomatoes, shredded baby spinach, and shredded carrots.

On the side, I had a hefty salad of baby spinach, celery, and carrots, drizzled with Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. I also had a big scoop of extra pate with baby carrots. Can you tell how much I love carrots?? All I needed was a glass of carrot juice to wash it all down! :)

The pate was delicious, the terrine was awesome, and it was all so much better for me than a donut and cappuccino!