Friday, August 28, 2009

Time to take a blog vaca

I've been feeling super busy lately, so I've decided to take a 2 month break from blogging. I'll be back in November to tempt you with all the food I've been eating as well as what's been happening with the critters. I'll miss all of you! You'll probably see some comments from me on your blogs over the next few days as I catch up on what you've been doing before I take off.

Before I go and do some yard work, I thought I'd shower you with a ton of restaurant pics.

Golden Chopsticks
This is an eastside not completely veg restaurant in Redmond. I love this place. They are really consistent with the dishes and I have a favorite waitress.

Szechwan Tofu. I ask for this with pineapple. mmmm! The tofu is fried to perfection, and I'm not typically somebody that likes fried tofu without breading.
Kung Pao Tofu. delicious.
Leftovers. Yeah, I'm the type that brings my own takeout containers.

This is the first time I've been to this place. It's a very tiny vegan place in capitol hill that serves up asian food. They have a huge menu and it took forever to decide. I don't exactly remember what we ordered, but you can still look at the pretty pictures :).

They are not kidding w/ #2.

Some kind of fake rangoon. They did a good job w/ the deep frying, but I wasn't a huge fan of the inside part. Should have gotten a spring roll.

I don't remember. Knowing Andy, it would have to be General Tso's.

Don't know the name, but the picture is on the menu. The noodles look strange in this pic, but they also looked like that in real life. The taste of the dish was good, but the noodles were overcooked. Thanks to house rule #2, I didn't need to use the big ball of hot sauce they put on top.

I absolutely love it when they give you oranges at the end of the meal.

Cafe Flora
Yeah, I know. I love to whine about this place as well as praise it. This particular visit was for lunch.

Coconut Tofu. They always have this on their menu. It is fried to perfection w/ a nice coating. The first one you eat is divine. After that the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I finally figured out that they must soak their tofu in brine, because it's always so salty. The solution, only order this if you are with a group - unless you are a saltoholic.
Polenta with sour cherry sauce. This was alright. I mean, you can't really go wrong w/ fried up polenta, can you?

Falafels. I typically don't order this in a restaurant, but their other vegan choices didn't excite me. They were good.
Surprisingly, they have a couple vegan items - including french fries!

Hummus Wrap. I didn't get this, but it looks good.

Boca burger. oddly, they have a garden burger (non vegan) and a boca burger (vegan) on their menu. be careful to clearly specify you want a vegan boca burger. then check it when it comes to the table. if it looks like their are lots of grains in it, then it's not the boca burger. I didn't write that to freak you out, just as a heads up.
If you haven't been to this veg restaurant/bar, you have to go! They make the best sandwiches - all of which are veganizable. Plus every Wednesday, they have a free trivia night at 8:30. ooh, they also have atari game consoles that you can use for free.

Beer and a really strong blueberry lemonade. Perhaps I got a bit drunk off it. Leia's Tacos. These tacos were good, but let me tell you, you should only order a sandwich because you'll be stuffed. Andy, why do you torture me by ordering too many tasty vittles?
The Lowell. This is my current favorite. Vegan ‘ham’, green chiles, baby greens, roma tomato and chipotle aioli on a toasted whole wheat hoagie bun. perfection!

R2 Pita 2. This was a sloppy delicious mess! By now, I think you are seeing there is a pattern to their naming process.
should I do one more??? why not!

This is a non veg restaurant that gets just about all of it's food locally. They don't have a huge vegan menu, but it's very good. The type of dinner that can take more than an hour.

Full Circle Farm Lettuces. Walla Walla Onion (cold) Soup. I almost sucked this whole thing down before I remembered I had to switch w/ Andy.
Pot au Feu. Pretty tasty stuff.

Risotto. I think this might be the same one that is on the menu, but I can't remember. Let's just say that they got me to love a risotto and I'm a risotto hater.

We had the sorbet for dessert, but it was nothing special. I wish they would have cracked open vegan cupcakes take over the world...


Tubs looks like he's up to no good in this pic. He might look calm in this pic, but really he's surveying the cat cage in hopes of causing some mayhem.

See you all in November and have a great September and October!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kobie picks his own blackberries

All of the eating and venturing in this post was back in June, except for the Kobie footage. I'm a bit behind as usual. I know I've cooked since, but sometimes I feel like I eat away from home too much. Oh, what a difficult life :)


This will be my 3rd time eating here. The first time was fantastic, the second so-so, the third was pretty amazing, except for the just ok risotto. I don't remember any of the names of the dishes, so I'll make them up. That's ok because they have a menu that changes.

Super delicious stack of asparagus topped with nasty bitter frisee and some lentils on a bed of lemony creamy stuff. This was back in asparagus season and I could have eaten the whole thing, but I always split my food w/ Andy.

Red Quinoa crunchy things. No idea what was in them, but they were tasty.
Sunny pasta with hazelnuts on a bunch of portobello mushrooms. The sun was starting to set and made a mess of my photos.
Really tasty asparagus on top of really boring risotto. I should never have listened to the obviously not vegan waitress when she said to not get the pizza w/out cheese because it needed the cheese. What was I thinking?

Balls that were filled with rice pudding like stuff w/ an almond in the center. on top of a bed of cherry sauce and then topped w/ crispy ginger. Pretty cool.

Chocolate mousse on top of sour cherries. I'm not usually a mousse fan, but this was really really good. We totally scored w/ the desserts. Typically Carmelita has sorbet for the vegan dessert. Hey! Sorbet is NOT a dessert. It is an in between courses palate cleanser.

They connect Lake WA to the Puget Sound. Lake WA is higher up than the Puget Sound. It's also fresh water and the Puget Sound is salt. The Locks keep Lake WA from getting salty.
I like this pic because it has some really bright neon green moss. pretty...
That bridge has nothing to do w/ locks, but looks cool. When I took the pic, I was standing on the locks (you can walk across them).
Fish ladder.

This place is in University Village. Vegan items are clearly marked. I was happy w/ the selection (meaning we had around 5 choices and could get an appetizer) and the taste. For some reason, I don't see the fresh rolls we got. Hmmmm... I'm a slacker.

Some Kind of Noodle soup w/ lots of veggies.
Tofu stir fry type deal.
I was picking blackberries on my driveway and Kobie decided to join in. Yeah, WTF. Here is a video to show you I'm not messing around w/ photoshop. Sort of a blurry video because they make it too big, but it's my 2nd youtube attempt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Random Cookery by humans and robots alike

Robots unite! First there was the Donut Robot. Now there is the ChefStack, a robot that can crank out 200 pancakes per hour. If only Asimov were around to see this.

In comparison, here are Andy made pancakes. He switches back and forth from the Candle Cafe cookbook and Vegan Brunch, so these could come from either cookbook. The blueberries are from the recent harvest.


Back in mid July, I was lucky enough to find garlic scapes at PCC. Garlic scapes aka ramps aka whistles are the flower stem of garlic. Some farmers cut off the stems before the plant flowers so that it can focus it's energy on the garlic bulb instead of making a flower. I'm all for that because I like to eat them. They have the texture of asparagus and taste slightly like garlic. I used them in a stirfry.
Next up is a veganized version of my mom's version of Rinctum Ditty. It's pretty simple stuff that might sound gross, but it's tomato cheezly goodness. If you search online, you will find recipes that ask for more ingredients and pour it over toast (as well as some disgusting definitions, ignore them). Using crackers is much easier than making toast.

  • Heat up a can of stewed/diced tomatoes (use about 1/2 the liquid, reserve the rest).
  • Add some grated cheddar Cheezly and stir once in a while.
  • When the cheezly has melted, and it's runny enough (you might need to add some of the reserved tomato liquid), pour over crushed saltines.

I had a craving for English Breakfast recently, so I fulfilled it with canned baked beans, toast, slightly fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, gardenburger brand fake sausage, and tea. Andy, if you're reading this, we're having this again for dinner tonight.

Glutino makes "Dark Chocolate Candy Bars". They look like chocolate coated styrofoam in the pic below, but they taste like kit kats! Seattle peeps, you can get them at Sidecar.


Meet my newest employee, Tubs, Chief Laundry Guard. He makes sure the cats don't get on the laundry. Hey! Wait a minute!

Kobie and I are going outside now to see if the blackberries are ready for harvest. I might as well take advantage of the plant that has invaded my yard.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Sutra was so amazing! I've been getting nagged by Jenna for a long time to go, but only recently made it there. Bad Bethany! I should have gone much sooner.

Sutra is a cozy little vegetarian restaurant with a funky cool atmosphere. The walls are painted w/ vibrant colors that I would want in my house if I could get the energy to paint.

They have scheduled seatings with a fixed menu. If you want a vegan meal, let them know when you make the reservation - you totally need reservations. It takes about 2.5 hours for the meal. It was a very animated environment, which is fun for groups. At the same time, it is easy to filter out the conversations and be all romanticky if you want.

We sat at the bar, which gave us the opportunity to see all of the prep action in their open kitchen. Well, yours truly saw it through a haze of wine - I'm a lightweight when it comes to wine, doncha know.

It was blazing hot when we arrived as it has been for weeks now. It was nice to have some frozen grapes before dinner started. If you haven't tried frozen grapes, do it. They are like a mini popsicle.
Zucchini, Avocado, Sesame, Basil, Fresh Cayenne Napoleon with a Tomatillo Nigella Sauce. Mmmmm! As you can see, the dinner is progressing nicely.
Chioggia and Yellow Beet, Sea Bean, Cucumber, Heirloom Baby Lettuce Salad with a Lemon Ginger Hempseed Dressing. Very delicious and fresh - It was assembled right before we ate it. The sea beans were interesting and salty tasting.
House Smoked Porcini Cashew Cheese Stuffed Local Anaheim Chiles with Spinach and Rainbow Chard Saag served with Coriander Basmati Rice and a Bing Cherry Parsley Chutney. The mushroom cashew cheese in chiles were incredible. I could have eaten a pile of them. The rest of the entree was great too, but I can't stop thinking about the chiles. Must try to replicate.
Flaming Fury Peach Torte with a Pecan Fig Crust and a Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg, Coconut Ice Cream. Oooh, it was like a pineapple upside down cake w/out the cake part. I really loved it because it was satisfying w/out being filling. The perfect ending to an amazing meal. Sutra - I shall return!

Now I'm off to eat a tofu salad sandwich while I dream of Sutra.


Here is Tubs, taking a break from trouble making. You can sort of see Chippy in the background on some laundry. It's cat laundry, so that's ok. Like I could stop them - well, maybe if I put it away. Nah, too much effort.