A Wintry Mix

I know the first day of winter isn’t technically until the 21st, but over the weekend I really started to feel winter closing in.

Today began with a lovely drive to work through gross, wet snow.
December 013

On a more positive note, this has made its way back into my morning rotation:
Wintry Blend 2
[Source]

And, as of approximately 8:43 a.m. Thursday, I am officially able to tolerate hearing Christmas music!  As of approximately 3:19 p.m. that same day, I daresay I am even seeking it out.

All of our holiday decorations (apart from the tree) are up!

H and I also fit a LOT of winter-related fun into this past weekend.  On Friday night after work, we drove down to my parents’ house in New Jersey, arriving just after midnight.  My sister M was also visiting from Maryland, so it was fun spending some time with her, and then on Saturday morning my brother J arrived from South Jersey.  So it was a little holiday reunion!

M and I got takeout from Good Karma Cafe (fave!!!) for lunch:

December 002

Cajun Seitan (one of the best things on the menu imho). Oh my God it’s so good.

December 001

Pineapple Tempeh (I have the leftovers of this for lunch today and I could not be more thrilled)

After eating, we were sure to fit in the season’s first dance to Wizards in Winter:
December 004
December 007

And later that evening enjoyed post-Chanukah (which ended Wednesday night) festivities with the rest of the family:
December 010
December 009

H and I headed straight back to Massachusetts after the Chanukah party so that we would be up Sunday morning in time for the Pats game!!

December 012

So. Many. Layers.

It was my first cold weather game this year and MAN did it make me realize that winter is coming.

giphy

We had a ton of fun as always, although for me the experience was dampened by Gronk’s season-ending injury in the third quarter.  I don’t know if anyone who reads this blog gives a crap about football, but I really, really do and this is bumming me out majorly.

But I digress.

For the rest of the week I will be consumed with preparations for our annual holiday party this Saturday.  I’ve made an affirmative decision to be less of a psychopath for this party than I was for our summer barbecue, and only make 2 things for each course (2 appetizers, 2 mains, etc.) instead of like 12, and buy the rest of the stuff.  Okay, I’m making 3 desserts.  But it’s a major improvement and I’m hoping will allow me to stress a whole lot less over the coming 5 days.

Expect a full recap of the veggie holiday food selection early next week.  In the meantime, this Wednesday, December 11th, I will be providing a stop on the Happy Herbivore Light & Lean blog tour.  Please stop by then to check out my review, read a Q&A with author Lindsday S. Nixon, and enter to win a copy of the book!

Advertisements

Peanut Passion

Well, I knocked out my take-home exam yesterday, so today I’m going to finish my short paper and then get crackin on the long one.  All I really want to do is go for a run and spend the rest of the day drinking margaritas.  At least I have a mini-Cinco de Mayo fiesta with H to look forward to tonight.  I’m making Ancho Lentil Tacos from this recipe, posted Tuesday on the Post Punk Kitchen blog.  My lentils are currently simmering away, which I find very exciting.  We’re also going to have guacamole (duh) and Coronas.  Hooray!

Anyway, I don’t have that much time to post but I was feeling antsy about blogging so I am putting up some pictures of peanutty goodness that I recently enjoyed.

First up is the Love Bowl from Good Karma Café in Red Bank, NJ.  Menu description: Sautéed seasonal greens, brown rice, black beans and your choice of tofu or tempeh. Topped with your choice of sauces: Thai coconut, spicy peanut or sweet mustard sauce.

Photobucket

I chose tofu with spicy peanut sauce.
Photobucket

Good Karma is a vegan restaurant with alot of raw options and is close to my parents’ house so I gave it a try when I was visiting them for Passover a couple weeks back.  This thing was really…nourishing.  I mean, it tasted nourishing, if that makes sense.  The greens (I think they were collards) were quite bitter but the tofu and beans balanced it a little.  The sauce was really thick and filling.  Definitely not spicy, and I would have added hot sauce if I could have done so without having to travel past my grandmother’s watchful Passover eyes (tofu, beans, rice, and peanuts are all “kitnyot”…not strictly kosher for passover for many people) to get it!  I also think I would have enjoyed this more if the peanut sauce had been thinned and sweetened with a little agave for a better balance of flavors.  Overall, though, I liked it, and I’m looking forward to visiting Good Karma again next time I’m in NJ and trying some of the other yummy-sounding things on their menu.

Next we have my Easter dinner.  Ha, yes, I’m transitioning from Passover to Easter just like that.  H and I went to his family for dinner on Saturday night of Easter weekend and I was feeling a little awkward beforehand, since at that time I was contending with not only vegan food restrictions but Passover restrictions as well.  Hence, I brought my own dinner.  I felt like maybe this was a dick move, but his family was totally cool with it, and relieved too, I’m sure.  I hate being an inconvenience when other people are going out of their way to be nice and have me over for dinner.   Anyway, it all turned out fine, except that, like a fool, I left my camera at home so I don’t have a picture of the assembled dinner. But here are some of the components of what I ate:

Photobucket

This is my version of the Maple Ginger Mango Tofu from the Love Veggies and Yoga blog. It is Maple Ginger Peach Tofu, since I used this:
Photobucket

I sliced the tofu reeeeally thin, as instructed:
Photobucket

The veggies in the first pic are from the frozen packaged Trader Joe’s “Harvest Hodgepodge” mix.  Genius.  I always have this in my freezer.  I enjoyed the tofu and veggies over rice pad thai noodles, topped with Peanut Passion Sauce from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan.

This is the sauce:
Photobucket

It is awesome.  Like, really friggin’ awesome.  I do not make it that often, because it is so high calorie, and H and I are both on the wedding diet so it’s not really a wise thing to keep on hand.  However, a batch of this is incredibly tasty and versatile, as you can use it as a dip for veggies or a spread for sandwiches or a marinade for tofu, etc. etc….or you could do like I do and mix in some coconut milk and then slather it all over some pad thai noodles.  That’s the stuff. I used part of this batch as noodle sauce, and contributed the rest of it as an appetizer (with crudité) for the Easter gathering at H’s house. It was a big hit!

Then I ate the leftovers (noodles, Peanut Passion sauce, veggies, and plain old sauteed tofu, since I finished all the Peach tofu at Easter dinner!) for lunch over the next week:
Photobucket

Photobucket

With a buttload of chili garlic sauce, obvi:
Photobucket

Finally, though it’s unrelated, I thought I’d share the fact that last week, the search engine term “me want honeycomb” was used four times to find my blog.  Yeah…I don’t know.

Woo! Much longer post than I’d anticipated writing.  That’s just how these things go!  Back to writing things that are not fun at all…