Currently viewing the tag: "dumplings"

Sometimes the green skin of a vegetable dumpling is comforting. It says, “there’s definitely not pork in here.” And the bamboo server says, “I’m a superior dumpling.” IMG_3251

SunSpire is the maker of this delicious bar, a long time no need to pack it in the grocery bag favorite. And I don’t think I ever mentioned this in my blog. It’s like a Mounds bar, which I used to love. Just make sure to get the one in the red package.IMG_3360

The red house is all dressed up for the holiday season.IMG_3266

Then it was time to top the Volvo with the Balsam Fir. IMG_3384

Frank is always excited when the tree comes. He loves the smells, the texture-y rubs, and the new water dish.


The outside kitties stay warm in their makeshift nest, the wintered pea bush. IMG_3260

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My very dear and talented Artsparrow hosted a book release party for her first published book, The Zombie Autopsies. But first! 200 undead mini-cupcakes were needed, grey in color and with bright pink brains.

The gals and I spent the evening before working through the particulars–multiplying fractions, whipping up VCTOTW‘s no-fail basic vanilla and taking the occasion to feast on some grub from Vegetarian Palate. Though I spent most of the evening with stained red hands, I managed to photo-document some the action.
My favorite ladies Artsparrow and CandyPenny spoon in some batter.

Eat brains!

The spread from Vegetarian Palate, including Caribbean chicken, a variety of spring rolls, scallion pancakes, tofu and veggies, spinach dumplings and brown rice. This place is very close to Prospect Heights’ Zen Vegetarian House (see here) mock meat delights.

My compartmentalized plate. This heavy meal did me in! I had little to offer after chowing down.

The man of the house (sorry TimX) ran a tight ship, watching us intently from the computer chair.

If I blogged even 1/4 of the times I’ve eaten Thai, my blog would explode. I eat it at least twice a week. So much do I love Thai food that I am often half-way through a dish before realizing my camera is right there next to me. That I could have captured the glistening sweet drizzle on my saturated spring roll… the shreds of tarot and bean sprout… the sloppy broad noodle drenched in sweet soy sauce… is a regret lost by the next bite. So, though I rarely blog about it, Thai is one of the cornerstones of my food life. Of course I also feel less inclined to blog about Thai food here in the States because I blogged daily from Thailand for two months. Taking advantage of the favorable exchange rate, I feasted like a princess on sought after “Jai” food in countless eateries and bit off more than I could chew on the regular at the street markets. I may have blogged enough Thai to last several lifetimes, but… here I go, blogging about more Thai.

After catching a glimpse of Sookk‘s dessert menu, I recruited my pal CP for another tasty Tuesday expedition. Why would we treck all the way to 102nd street and Broadway? I’ll tell you why: kow dom mat. Kow dom mat was my obsession when I was in Thailand. And I have never seen it on any menu here. (Maybe because it’s referred to as Kao-Thom-Mud, like on Sookk’s menu?) Anyway, we made it all the way up to the Upper West Side and battled the posh spot’s lukewarm service for a taste of the authentic Thai sweet treat. Here are the details:

Dumplings are a must. Always. Sookk’s veggie dumplings (or Green Leaf dumplings) were delicious, stuffed with hearty vegetables. The thin skin of the Thai dumpling makes them my favorite kind of all the Asian cuisines, however tears and holes and a flood of hot water is always a risk. A big plus is a Thai joint that garnishes with dried garlic. Bring on the heat.

Two days in to an already hectic week, CP and I split the Detox drink for two. It had sake, other tasty things and, obviously, lychees. It was potent.

I ordered the Tamarind Dish with a nice firm tofu. It had great flavor and texture: sweet tamarind-chili sauce with sweet peppers, crispy broccoli, scallions and cilantro. Very good but a bit tofu-centric. I wanted more crisp veggies to balance out the huge, firm chunks of tofu.

There is the kow dom mat! Sweetened sticky rice encased banana wrapped in banana leaf. By the time it was served, the lights in the restaurant were dim, draining the photo of some life. But this sweet thing was absolutely amazing. The taste, like nothing I’ve had before or after my brief obsession, transformed me. It was magical. I may soon have to return…

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My dear friend Artsparrow knows her medium. As a food lover, an illustrator, aspiring photographer and all around artist, she knows color equates emotion, the visual evidence of a feeling. Gathering with her near and dear, we celebrated her birthday at Nahm Thai Kitchen in Park Slope, Brooklyn with vibrant, colorful and tasty Thai cuisine.

The amazing Vegetarian Combo appetizer had so much to choose from: summer rolls, pan-fried veggie dumplings, fried tofu and chive pancake (one of my favorite bites of street food when I was in Thailand).

Of course the steamed veggie dumpling, my cryptonite, was also on the table… and spring rolls in the background.

Since I was sick and congested, I need a dish that would break through my compromised senses. The sweet sauce from my sweet & sour did the trick.

On a spring day that brought us hail, snow, snow again and huge thrashes of thunder, Artsparrow’s dutiful man brought the cupcakes! Yes we were all surprised when our friendly servers brought out the plate of CowGirl‘s cupcakes… a gesture that raised TimX‘s stocks sky high.

Andrea Sparacio, queen of the zombies, with her cupcakes.

Six years of self-funded undergraduate school in the CUNY system while working: $ 18,475.95

Two years of graduate school loans at a prestigious Ivy League school: $ #!,%@#

Having summer days to spend with friends tasting the city I love: Priceless.L-R, T-B: Pineapple sweetened ice water, KZ, mock shrimp dumplings, panfried dumplings, mock roast pork bun, dumplings & Buddha bean curd roll, KC, rice flour rolls with mock shrimp. All at Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown.

So Oklahoma City, yeah. This trip has officially come full-circle. We passed through Oklahoma at the start of our trip 12 days ago but did not stop. Even though I had discovered the raw restaurant 105 Degrees via ye olde google search, time was not on our side and we’d have to waste a good deal of time to try it out. We pledged to come back on the return trip. I mean, c’mon… gourmet vegan dining in Oklahoma City?! We needed to get to the bottom of this.

As it turns out, 105 Degrees’s menu was is created by New York City’s Pure Food and Wine‘s Matthew Kenney. The space houses a living cuisine academy and boutique, another unique destination on our vegan roadtrip. Starting our day with some thrifting we worked up an appetite that grew through our attempt at finding the restaurant’s space. But it was well worth the wait and folly. I started with a first course of kimchee dumplings in a pool of sea foam and sprinkle of black sesame seeds. The dumplings were amply stuffed with a delicious kimchee medley.
My main course was their Arrabiata, a potato gnocchi in a hot chili-tomato sauce around a bed of wilted spinach and some dollops of aged raw chevre. The portion was heated (not above 105 degrees!) and the perfect portion to leave a spot for one of their yummy desserts.
That dessert, a citrus poppy seed cake with vanilla bean cream frosting topped with a blueberry compote. It was the perfect end of a very impressive meal. Here I am below with a cheek full of the cake’s delicately-texture “cake”. I couldn’t put my finger on what the base of this dessert was. I stopped trying to figure it out and quickly became a member of the clean plate club. Check CandyPenny’s blog for details on her special raw Oklahoma City meal.After lunch we headed back towards Texas. On the way we spied a billboard for The Toy and Action Figure Museum in Paul’s Valley, OK. Another exciting and interesting road find, we had to check it out. The museum was home to local artist and collector Kevin Stark’s personal collection. It exhibited over 10,000 pieces including a very extensive bat cave jam-packed with a ton of Batman artifacts. This was the most impressive and extensive exhibit. There were also showcases of DC, Marvel and WWF (WWE?) action figures, a GI Joe section and a relatively small Star Wars wall.
The museum also had a display of Alternative Baking Company‘s vegan cookies! Here the friendly museum employee poses with the cookies. Best action figure museum snack ever.
Oklahoma soon gave way to the Lone Star state. The end. I’ll have one more day in Austin before heading back home to my life, sans car. But not without a few more vegan eats inland…

Throughout my 8-week stay in Southeast Asia, I pined for New York comsumables as if long lost lovers. Foods that supplemented my hungry senses short walks or subway rides away ranked high on the collective pang unit of my new daily life. But, arriving to New York and whisked to a room sweetly stocked with vegan goods, I transitioned quickly back to the world of my former tastebuds. Amongst many Babycakes, Lifethyme‘s double chocolate cake and a huge toll house cookie, my favorite packaged vegan cookie (Uncle Eddie’s), the delicious orange chocolate chip pound cake from Karen’s On Astor, Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch and even a ziploc-ed soft pretzel from the streets of NYC, I was truly home.

The days that followed were also food-focused. With a date to Caravan of Dreams, brunch at Organic Grill, a stop at my favorite local Thai restaurant Lily Thai, an {evacuative} evening of mission figs, papaya and magic bulleted hummus at the Warren kitchen (complete with golden cupcakes with cookies and creme frosting a la Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, compliments of Tim the budded vegan pastry chef) and my family homecoming with Merrick’s Thai Station, I’m ready to finally go food shopping and resume my position in the kitchen. Here’s to my baby steps back into being my own meal-maker.

Caravan of Dream’s Unchicken nachos with vegan sour cream and a chip in there somewhere.
My raw entree, The Ecuador. A bit dissappointing.
My “date’s” spinach raviloi covered in “creme-pesto-alfredo sauce”. Served, oddly, with an “avocado”.
Note to Caravan of Dreams: A pancake is not a crepe. Sweet hot banana encased in whole wheat pancake kerplunked with Rice Dream scoops. The description was more drool-inspiring than the real thing.
Organic Grill’s tofu omlette breakfast is one of my favorite comfort foods. Pick 3 fillings or only 2, like me: vegan cheese (one of the best I’ve tasted) and broccoli.
Lily Thai’s vegatable dumplings are my favorite in New York City. They’re absolutely perfect. A distant second is Thai super chain, Spice‘s.
Pad See Ew at Lily Thai. Delicious… now, with a new ingredient: nostalgia
Sweet sticky rice, coconut pie (aka gelatinous wonder) and fried banana at Thai Station in Merrick, Long Island. Nowhere near as good as the authentic but cheaper than a flight to Thailand.