Currently viewing the tag: "butterfly"

Flashback to summer & the butterfly bush.IMG_2226


“And the one big eye just blinked…”IMG_2267

Oreo pancakes were a bit of a fail…IMG_2252

Morning pink.IMG_4084

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Having a yard is like having your own park that no one else can visit… unless they’re invited of course. I love watching all the life go on in the yard. And I much prefer to see its critters than those urban critters (i.e. millions of people) in NYC. Then, there’s the flora.

Full frontal flora. IMG_0926

The Preying Mantis is so cool, eating his flies.

My mostly backyard videos. (The bird eating from my hand is from Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge and the circling hawks were in Bath, New York.) Look out National Geographic!

Another Mantis. This one camouflaged to the fence post.

Sorry, Mantis, for invading your space.

An elusive yellow Monarch, less flirty than the orange Monarch.

And inside: A cat high on catnip.IMG_0674

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Dad & Sister coconut whip, blueberry, strawberry chocolate cake parfaits. Happy July Birthdays!IMG_8773

Fluff keeping cool in the shade. IMG_8369

Collaborative craft for a special Momma. 5 people are better than 1!IMG_8419

Symmetry is a kind of beauty.

This salad is from The Purple Elephant in Northport, Long Island. This Buffalo Cauliflower Salad was over $17. Yes, 1-7. The all-organic, best vegan restaurant in metro NYC (Candle 79 in Manhattan’s Upper East Side) also has salads for $17. DSC_0015

Treeline Treenut Cheese is one of the nut cheeses sprouting up in markets with in-the-know buyers. And I love that these options are expanding vegan cheese possibilities beyond them Daiya shreds.  IMG_7824

These are sweet relief on a day like this. Think fresh pressed juice in pop form.
PicMonkey Collage

We were not the only folks looking to doorbust for one of the all-vegan breakfast options at Pingala Cafe & Eatery in Burlington, an Earthy spot for simple vegan fare. Two minutes after opening time, there was a line at the counter. Perhaps if this sculpture and the wild flow of the Winooski river out back hadn’t drawn me in, we could have beat those do-good vegheads to the punch! PicMonkey Collage

So I had to get the Tofu Benedict, given that rule of mine. I love this dish because it has it going on–variety of textures and tastes. This version was less dynamic and lacked a bit of seasoning, but was completely enjoyable. PicMonkey Collage2

After breakfast, we headed to Stowe to see the gorgeous Moss Glen Falls. Situated painlessly on the side of road, no hike is required to view these–which was slightly disappointing considering the sedentary itinerary of yesterday and today. DSC_0014


The falls were completely isolated upon our arrival. So I finally utilized the supplies that have been in my trunk at all times since several years ago for this exact purpose–the ability to swim spontaneously as required. A quick, clumsy change into my suit and swim cap in the backseat and I was ready to go. PicMonkey Collage3

It was a deliciously invigorating dip, and just in the nick of time as more visitors were rolling in.IMG_7605

Back at the car, a beautiful umber and sienna toned butterfly flirted and fluttered.IMG_7593

Here’s a cool cluster of outhouses nestled in the green mountains.

Lunch brought us south to the King Arthur Flour‘s Vermont campus, which hosts a shop and cafe. I was excited to visit, thinking back to my trip to Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store in Oregon last year. But we weren’t the only tourists excited to stop by! The place was swarmed. Though the cafe’s menu isn’t super vegan-friendly, I was relieved to see that all of the sandwich ingredients to the veggie option were sold in containers with all ingredients listed. So I could order confidently. PicMonkey Collage4

Though simple, the Sweet Chili Baked Tofu sandwich was packed with Vermont organic tofu and a yummy Asian slaw–and that is all it needed. It was bright, fresh and delicious. I also had a delectable watermelon, cucumber, and arugula salad with cashew and radish. Such a yummy lunch!PicMonkey Collage5

Later, we got to Northwood, New Hampshire to check out the in-the-middle-of-nowhere Susty’s Cafe, a bonafide 90’s style vegan eatery. PicMonkey Collage

I had my eye on the deep-fried Tofu Fries… and then I devoured way too many of them. Who wouldn’t?! (The Electrician wouldn’t, actually.) Perfectly fried and crispy with ample seasoning, they were kind of dangerous. PicMonkey Collage2

Lastly, my dinner. A Pepper Seitan wrap. The seitan was tender and oozing with flavor. Maybe too much? IMG_7644

And since I hadn’t had a something sweet all day, I got the chocolate brownie (though really a cake) to go. A pretty retro dinner from start to finish.IMG_7653

As the fireworks begin to sound here in Manchester, New Hampshire, it is time to say goodnight again. More from the road tomorrow…

It’s going so fast. I am trying to savor each day, but that seems to make them fly by even faster. Here are some images I’d like to hold on to.

I become obsessed with the Electrician‘s butterfly bush as the the summer rolls on. Monarchs start fluttering around dancing in the air like a child is erratically pulling them with a string. There are a few, then there are many. Here is a rare Swallowtail eating some tasty nectar.

Mr. Blue Sky. The view from my hammock.

All my favorite fruits are in-season. A sweet, juicy retreat before the dense, starchy Autumn.

Splitting time between Long Island and my apartment in Brooklyn, I get the best of both. They both reinforce each other’s better qualities.

The maritime motif of the Nautical Mile, a few blocks from The Electrican‘s house.

I have the time to play tourist. The Grand Central ceiling is one of my favorite city-isms.

And I eat. A lot. Some people lose weight in the summer and bulk up in the winter. I do the reverse. Here are some treats I picked up from Champs Family Bakery to fuel Ladies Night.

And at the end of a long day in the sweltering NYC heat, there’s time to cuddle up with my special buddy Frankenstein

I ❤ summer!

I kind of fell in love with this vibrant compilation of summer recipes. It got me thinking more creatively about what would be an tasty snack during these high temps. Easy, fresh, and colorful were musts. I diced some mango and basil and doused with fresh lime juice, the first summer bruschetta option.

Bruschetta number 2 was a diced avocado and jalapeno with a shower or lemon juice and lime zest. Not much tampering is required to create something delicious when one has a perfectly ripe avocado. Ah avocado, one of the Earth’s most perfect jewels.

Of course a sliced baguette drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt then toasted, brings both of these fantastic toppings together. The perfect pool-side snack.

And check out my Evil Under the Sun look. Now I am all ready to spend the day riding inflatables.

Is there anything more relaxing than drifting in the water with the sun on your back?

A hungry Bumble Bee feasts on lavender.

Sweet treats for all! This huge, gorgeous Monarch gets first dibs from the butterfly bush.

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You’re kind of the most beautiful thing ever. And I kind of want a black polka-dot face.

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1. Watching the butterfly activity around the Electrician‘s butterfly bush.

2. Collecting hugs.

3. Trying to return to baking. Here is a two-layer orange cake with lemon glaze icing. For my Pop’s birthday.

4. Weekending in the Hamptons. That’s an outdoor shower next to the “Love Shack”.

5. Seeing the family.

6. Eating A LOT of pancakes…
…and French Toast.

7. Making videos of my “best of” baking endeavors.

8. De-cluttering.

9. Making tons of lists.

10. And my all time favorite, bothering Frankenstein.

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After crashing hard from the evening before, morning had us ready to hit the road for reals. We had a loose destination, an eatery in Fort Worth, Texas about 3 hours or so north from Austin. But after that… the unknown… kinda. We were going to take it one day at a time, like alcoholics. First, a goodbye to Texas Leslie, Friday the doggy, her cute brightly colored things and a newborn Swallowtail butterfly resting on the stems in her butterfly garden. 
We needed a hearty breakfast to quick-start the day. After some Austin errands, we hit Mr. Natural, a 100% vegetarian authentic Tex-Mex eatery. Mr. Natural has a huge bakery case with mostly-vegan baked goods, too! Though the food looks like a sopping pile of prison food, the Tofu Migas (crispy tortilla strips simmered in ranchero sauce and a tofu crumble served with 2 warm fresh corn tortillas) was very tasty! I had to tack on some potato nibbles for an extra 99 cents and a wonderful spinach-pineapple juice. This place reminds me of a breakfast spot I hit in Guadalajara (post here) when I was in Mexico last October.

Besides sampling their pineapple empanada, strawberry bar and a chocolate chip cookie, I had to purchase their Don’t Mess With Texas cookie. Mmmm, panhandle.
It was then time to head north. We pulled up to Spiral Diner & Bakery in Fort Worth quite excitedly. Maybe it was the huge “vegan” painted on the side of the building and the ton of other v-bombs in the front windows that fueled our appetite, but I was all of a sudden starving. Spiral is 100% vegan. 100%. There is a giddy overwhelmingness to perusing an all-vegan menu. Besides a ton of great food options Spiral hit all the other high points. They use only vegan and biodegradable cleaners, source recycled materials, donate to grassroot orgs aligned with their values and excess food to shelters. They also had Oogave fountain sodas, a Colorado-based agave-sweetened beverage company, reported on here
I tried to order light so to leave room for dessert. I had the “Chik’n-Less Salad San’ich”: diced seitan, chopped apples, cranberries and pecans tossed with a creamy herbed mayo/mustard dressing topped off with lettuce, tomato, and mayo and served on toasted multi-grain bread. I chose a side of greens with Ranch dressing because, really, when can a vegan gal get vegan Ranch? The sandwich and greens hit the spot perfectly. Fresh and flavorful, hearty and multi-textured. 
CandyPenny opted for something a bit more belly-blasting. After pledging no more Daiya, for digestive reasons, she couldn’t resist ordering the chipotle tofu quesadilla, packed with thin slices of flavorful tofu, corn and Daiya with two blobs of guacamole and tofu sour cream.
We had to get dessert. Spiral makes their own ice cream. THEY MAKE THEIR OWN VEGAN ICE CREAM. And they had chocolate chip cookie dough. We ordered their standard sundae: a heaping helping of the good stuff topped with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream and coconut flakes. Absolutely delicious. Their ice cream was way creamy and packed with huge globs of soft and yummy chocolate chip cookie dough. Stick a fork in me.

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