Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and we are nearly half way into December! Life truly flies. I am impressively almost done christmas shopping, I have a large christmas cookie plan for 2 weekends from now, have begun to plan my wigelia and christmas menus and am looking forward to another New Years in NYC! While snow has yet to grace us here in this city, I caught up with several inches of it while I was back in New England for Thanksgiving. My boss has been cranking the Christmas tunes for at least a month now, and I have got to say, the Christmas Rock station on iTunes Radio is pretty good! Some Decemberists, Death Cab, and Weezer Christmas jams are a new but nice tradition. I have a teeny tiny little Christmas tree for my teeny tiny little apartment and I love it. I'm feeling pretty cheery despite the rainy weather we have been having and despite my shoulder injury, which has kept me from yoga for over 6 weeks! But I am slowly beginning to ease back into it and I don't mind the weather, I've got scarves and caps and sweaters...
You guys I made a ton of pies for Thanksgiving! They told me I didn't have to cook any food, and in hindsight, I really should have, but I figured I could at least supply the desserts. I did make a seitan roast and some cashew-creamed onions (which were an inexplicable hit) but they were so easy it was like I didn't cook at all. These pies on the other hand, weren't. I'll explain:
My family on my mom's side has a lot of food allergies. I'm vegan so I'm guilty of being a pain in the ass but we also have a variety of dairy allergies, that I suppose I willingly encompass, so that lets them off the hook. But we also have some corn allergies -- which are trickier than you'd think if you consider what contains cornstarch, corn syrup, cornmeal... powdered sugar! I've figured out how to dodge that one but that's another story. The biggest allergy offender of all is that eight of my relatives on that side of the family don't do gluten. Some of them choose to avoid it (I think?) and some of the kids are super allergic, and I could never live with myself if I made a little kid sick by feeding them something that was accidentally contaminated. So: what made this pie process so difficult and lengthy was that everything I made this with needed to be either run through the dishwasher or soaked in boiling water. It was otherwise easy, since I only had to swap out one or two ingredients to make these pies gluten free. So about six hours later I emerged with these cheesecakes and pecan pie. I served them with the new SO delicious coconut cool whip and they loved it. In fact, my little cousin put only the cool whip on her plate for dessert.
Alive with the glory of pie...
I've been in curry mode lately. It's all I've wanted to eat, being in the spirit of winter and all... I'm pretty sure that curry was invented for the purpose of winter. There is nothing like eating a spicy hot curry on a freezing cold day, and having that heat in the back of your throat to warm you up. I still haven't made a bunch of the curries and soups from Isa Does It, so I've been digging up on that chapter lately. Above is Chandra Malai Kofta, which I have already made twice this month. It's basically these zucchini meetballs over some rice with a spicy curry sauce over the top. I like to make the kofta into mini meetballs instead of big footballs, for maximum zucchini meetball impact. I also sauteed up a bunch more zucchini and threw that in as well for some vegetable nice. It really is aromatherapy and I suggest you make it NOW.
This is truly the year of the persimmon! I had never tried them before, but since everyone keeps raving about them I decided to delve into persimmony mystery and grabbed one of each kind, a soft acorn-shaped hachiya, and a small firm fuyu. The hachiya I used in this orange/pear/hachiya smoothie above, which I ate while reading food network mag. The fuyu I just sliced up and ate with a bowl of apples. It was good, but the hachiya was more mysterious and I liked it better I think.
It is open season for chili. This is me doing what I do best, which is pile guac onto things, eat cornbread and drink beer while watching Twin Peaks.
We had ourselves a serious Meatball Weekend. Saturday we went to the first of two Holiday Shop-Ups in Bushwick, where we got beers and macarons. Five, to be exact. The flavors I picked were pecan pie, french vanilla quince, gingerbread and I also got two hot chocolate marshmallow. I ate them all within ten minutes. Okay I shared some with the BF. But I could have eaten all five. Swear.
We decided to skip the food at the Shop-Up and deliberated whether we wanted Champs for lunch or to try somewhere new. We passed Roberta's on the way to the car, and I'm like, "Hey! Everyone talks about how good that place is!" And so we went in and got pizzas! The only vegan option is the Rosso, which has red sauce and garlic -- HOWEVER, This sauce is out-of-control good, and the sauce is clearly what makes or breaks a pizza. I added mushrooms to mine along with a ton of chili flakes and this chili oil that they have on the tables. It was amazing. I ate all of it. The next day we were hanging out with a friend and mentioned we'd been there the day before and loved it, and he said he loved it too and that we should go right away for dinner. So I literally went again. The very next day and got the very same thing. Meatball.
We found the strength to tear ourselves away from beer and pizza for a quick second to eat some doughtnuts from Dunwell, too.
Sunday we did some Christmas shopping and fueled for lunch at Terri in the Flatiron area. I got the chicken caesar wrap and Alex got the vegan meatball sandwich (meatball weekend). I liked his better I think. My chicken was too chickeny. I'm vegan, so...
Monday I made a giant batch of Down Home Curry from Isa Does It which couldn't have been more perfect for warming the soul. It fed us four times each. Also I have been tearing it up on bass. More to follow.