The obvious is that I get to taste delicious food, but cooking means more to me than that. It has become something therapeutic for me and draws out many metaphors about life. I cook with spices and seasonings and I think about the different flavors that foods offer. Much like my motto for life: it shouldn’t be bland! Moreover, cooking is time I take out of my day for me – to do something I want and like to do. I think it’s important for people to incorporate “me time” in to their daily lives. You are wonderful, so why not? Cooking also has it’s financial advantages, but that’s not really my motivator. While grinding mustard seeds to a powder I started thinking. I realized that cooking has helped me get this sense of independence. Knowing that I am able to make so many things by myself and constantly learning new things is precious to me. Making things out of scratch – “hey I made that!” It’s the simple satisfaction I get after I put the fork and knife down when I’m done eating a delectable meal.
So let’s the put the fork and knife down and look at some things I’ve recently put together.
I stuffed it with a readymade chickpea dish from the Indian store and my leftover spiced parsnip and carrot puree + coconut oil.
I noticed a pear in the fruit basket that was definitely ready to be eaten. I decided to make a pear sauce with cinnamon, amaretto, and sugar. I crumbled some honey grahams on top and warmed it up. Then I remembered Jessica’s favorite nighttime snack and I put white chocolate chips on for the final touch. I love using amaretto to make sweet things!
And I definitely smiled back! I spread Sunland banana peanut butter on one slice of my English muffin and dark chocolate peanut butter on the other. Oh my goodness I absolutely loved the banana peanut butter. It was such a wonderful sweet spread. The dark chocolate one was good but not quite what I expected. I couldn’t really taste the peanuts in it – it reminded me of Nutella actually. Which is fine by me! If you go to Sunland’s website you can see all the other peanut butters they have. There are so many intriguing flavors like sweet molasses, Thai ginger and red pepper, vanilla cranberry, and onion parsley!
Awhile ago I had a cookbook by Chef Tal Ronnen sent to me. Actually, one of my Thanksgiving recipes is one of Chef Tal’s creations (not from the book though). Anyway, this book is bursting with colorful, fresh dishes and all of it is vegan. I loved reading all the stories, tips, recipes, and they even have an upscale vegan restaurant guide. One of the restaurants happens to be in my very backyard (and they serve incredibly delicious food). Anyway, this book also includes a cashew cream that is used in a lot of recipes. I loved seeing how versatile certain foods can be and how creative one can get with cooking. One thing that stuck out to me the most was in the foreword: “When I crossed over to vegetarianism as a teenager, I didn’t abandon my taste buds. I took them with me. In fact, I took them further.” That’s exactly how I feel! Even if you’re not vegan, I’m sure these recipes will get your mouth-watering with the pictures alone. In fact, both my parents browsed through the cookbook and constantly oohed and aahed.
This was so good (loved the Asian slaw) and tasted very different from what I usually have. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever tried Vietnamese food. I believe this counts as a food adventure!
Oh my goodness! Crisping capers in olive oil is amazing. I highly recommend doing this! They gave this simple dish a satisfying salty and delicious crunch!
One of my friends from Brazil said that she never understood why people put avocados in salads because in Brazil they eat the avocado as a fruit – with sugar or in a smoothie! Technically it is a fruit! It’s also nicknamed a butter pear – so fitting! I found this so intriguing and I immediately started to concoct smoothie recipes in my head. So in this smoothie I blended together some ice cubes, 2 cups vanilla soy milk, a large banana, half an avocado, and 2 large dates. I usually never measure things out (except when I bake) but with smoothies I find it helpful to measure out the liquid part. This was enough for 3-4 servings. You must try this! It’s so easy and so delicious.
The folks over at Udi’s Granola sent me an incredible package of their granolas to try out. Every flavor sounds delicious and today I opened the Vanilla granola. I had it with raspberries, Bekah’s “scented” almonds, vanilla yogurt, and crumbled Newman’s Own Organics chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I approve! This granola was like it was just made! No chunks because once their granola is done baking they massage it by hand to break it up. Moreover, they also hand-mix in the dried fruit if the recipe calls for it. Check out more of their flavors here! Which flavor should I try out next? I can’t decide!
Anywho, you know what’s funny? Remember over the summer I was on a mission to find the elusive kabocha? I checked everywhere and I finally found one at an out-of-the-way Asian market. Now the other day I went to Whole Foods and what did I see? About 20 kabochas right in front of my face. Either they’ve been reading blogs or it’s just a happy coincidence! I hope you all have a fantastic Thursday. Before you know it the weekend will be right at your doorstep!
p.s. If that wasn’t enough eye candy for you, here are some more pictures from Art Basel.
p.s.s. Check out Maggie’s vegan Bountiful Cookies giveaway. Remember those cookies with intention? Remember how much I loved them? Go check this giveaway out!