VeganMoFo: Postcard Swap

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One of my favorite bloggers, Cadry of Cadry’s Kitchen came up with a great idea for this years VeganMoFo…a postcard swap! Any one could join and all you had to do was send a postcard or letter to someone else. I remember the joy of getting a card, letter or invitation in the mail when I was younger and it’s definitely something that doesn’t happen much anymore. Most invitations are through pages like evite or even facebook. Want to write someone a letter..email is instant.  Computers and the internet have made everything so convenient.

The opportunity to sit and write a letter to someone else, who I didn’t know, was really nice. Telling someone about yourself isn’t alway’s easy but it was fun. I shared a recipe for my Lemon Mustard Tofu, since the card was tofu themed. :) I love writing on paper with my favorite pens. I want to do more of it…beside recipe writing which for me is all done with pen/cil and paper. Writing about how much I liked it over on twitter has gained me a pen pal. I can’t to start writing to her.

This opportunity also gave me a chance to start using my art skills again. My whole life was about drawing and painting when I was a young kid to my early 20’s. I miss it. My creativity for art was transformed into a creativity for food!  Since I didn’t have a postcard to send and wanted to send something with a vegan message on it I decided to make my own. I drew that sweet little tofu saying “hello!” up above. This mini project has also made me hope to be more creative in the near future with more then just food. 

The day I received my mail from the swapper who got me was very exciting! I want more letters from strangers! Especially ones who share their favorite recipes. The person who wrote to me shared her love for Tomato and Mayo sandwiches which happens to be all I eat in the summer

VeganMoFo: The Cinnamon Snail

So happy right now!

I don’t often get that many chances to eat at the Cinnamon Snail. They mostly spend their days in NYC. For us in NJ they are at the Red Bank Farmers Market on Sundays which we won’t go to in the summer because the traffic home is an absolute nightmare! On Thursdays they are in Jersey City at the Grove Street Farmers Market. We are close to J.C., my sister lives down the street from the market, but it’s still rare that I can go. 

I usually try to go when my sister is teaching a craft class at her friends shop called Kanibal Home. The keyword in that sentence is “try”. Even when I’m in town on the right night I usually still miss it because parking takes forever, the lines are crazy long and then I’ll miss the class I’m taking. Last night though everything went perfectly! We found 2 parking spots right away. (One picking up my sis and one in front of our friends shop). Since we were early from not circling for 1 hour looking for parking I left everyone at the store and speed walked to the market. The market wasn’t there but the Cinnamon Snail still showed up! Thank goodness because I was starving! 

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The line also wasn’t as long as other lines I’ve encountered there. I’ve waited 30 minutes to order and just as long or longer to get my food. Its worth it though! 

For dinner I chose an old favorite of mine the Lemongrass 5-Spice Seitan. It has curried cashews and wasabi mayo among other things. Its incredible! 

I really wanted to pick up some donuts, especially a creme brule donut, but by the time I got there all the donuts I wanted were sold out. Most of the pastry case was empty. It was quite a sad sight. I decided to try 3 new pastries that I haven’t ordered from them before. 

Berry and cheese Danish from the cinnamon snail. #vegan #inkstainedhands

First up for the pastries was a berry and cheese danish. I had it as a late night snack when I came home from the class with ink stained hands. It was really good! I never was a fan of Danishes in my pre-vegan day’s. I love them now though!

Pear Turnover w. Lavender from the Cinnamon Snail. #vegan

Breakfast today was a Pear Turnover with Lavender.  This was even better then the danish above. I was wondering what they did to get the lavender flavor that was so prominent, in a good way, so I opened the danish up and saw actual lavender flowers mixed in with the pear filling. I’ll definitely be buying this again.

Raspberry Chocolate Danish-The Cinnamon Snail.

The one pastry I haven’t eaten yet is a Chocolate Raspberry Danish. I’m sure it’s just as great as the other pastries I’ve eaten in the last 12 hours. :) I might even share it with my husband tonight after the kids are in bed. 

For anyone visiting NYC or NJ if you have a chance to eat from The Cinnamon Snail please do. You will not regret it. They are amazing! You also need to visit my friends Kristen’s shop in JC called Kanibal Home. She stocks it with amazing refurbished vintage furniture, clothes and curiosities among other things. 

VeganMoFo: Pad See Ew take 2

Vegan Pad See Ew www.good-good-things.com

 

My dream of making a perfect homemade Pad See Ew is getting closer and closer! After finding Pad See Ew noodles for sale at Whole Foods I’ve had 2 goes at it so far. The first attempt was ok. Didn’t remind me of what I get at the many local Thai places near us. Plus the noodles overcooked even though I followed package directions. boo. The second try was much more successful! I cooked the noodles for a much shorter time and changed the sweetener in my sauce ingredients. 

The problem with making Pad See Ew at home, besides finding Pad See Ew Noodles, is finding the dark sweet soy sauce they use. So I’m trying to fake it so the home cook can make it too. 

I can’t wait for take 3 of the Pad See Ew to happen the next time I pick up a few packs of the noodles! 

VeganMoFo: What I Ate Wednesday

For today’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m changing up. The last two weeks I posted what I actually ate that specific Wednesday which accumulated to 3 posts in a single day.  I’m a little under the weather today so I’m going to do a Jersey Shore edition of WIAW. 

Tents at Ocean Grove NJ

We spend a week every summer in Ocean Grove, NJ. Its only an hour away from our home and it’s perfect. While we don’t stay in the tents pictured above, there is a 20 year waiting list for one, they are easily recognizable to anyone who’s been to OG. 

I’ve been going down to OG for over 10 years now and so much has changed in the way a vegan/vegetarian can eat. Its been very exciting to see the changes that are happening to the area. Every year there is something new! I find myself bringing down less and less food since there is so much more for me to order at the local restaurants in the area. 

Vacation Brunch: vegan chickpea salad wrap

In the town of OG is a little breakfast/lunch place called The Starving Artist at Day’s. In the past few years they have added a few vegan items to their menu. I alway’s get the Chickpea Wrap. Its your classic mashed chickpea and veganaise salad. Its a real treat to be able to order something here besides a bowl of oatmeal! 

Soy Mint Chocolate Chip at Days in Ocean Grove. #vegan

The Day’s part of the Starving Artist is open at day and night and serves ice cream. They have a great selection of dairy free Sorbets with flavors like Blood Orange, Mango and a Cabernet “something” can’t remember. :) They also have 3-4 vegan ice creams! I alway’s get the Mint Chip. Its perfect. I tried the Cookie Dough one day and while it was good. The Mint Chip is superior. 

Yesterday's dinner. Korean Tofu Tacos from Mogo on the Asbury Park Boardwalk #vegan

Next to OG is Asbury Park. Thing have really exploded there on the vegan scene! An all vegan grocery is in the process of opening and they have an ice cream shop that serves vegan ice cream as well. There also a Day’s Ice Cream on the boardwalk! My favorite boardwalk place in AP is MOGO. Its a Korean Taco place that I’ve talked about before on here. I stopped there again this particular vacation for more tacos, of course. 

Love this place!

Off the boardwalk is Porta. They have 2 vegan pizza’s and a vegan pasta dish. I alway’s go for the pizza! My husband had the pasta this summer and it was delicious. 

Soul Seitan from Kayas Kitchen. Our annual meal there during vacation. So good! #vegan

We alway’s eat at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar, which is about 3 towns away. Its alway’s delicious and they have a wide variety of things to choose from even though they downsized their menu. There is definitely something for everyone here. I love the Soul Seitan dinner: Breaded gluten, mashed potatoes, gravy and seasoned veggies. I ate it all!

My husband ordered the dish named Lion of Judah. Cool name and delicious dish. I might even consider ordering it. The dish is made with chucks of lentil loaf, veggies, two type of beans and spicy jamaican mango sauce! 

For appetizers we had the Tempeh Buffalo Wings. It might be the most perfectly prepared tempeh ever! We alway’s get their Seitan Ribs. The BBQ sauce on the ribs is so tasty. 

There were so many other places that I wanted to try out but didn’t get to. Since it’s only an hour away we will hopefully get down there this fall/winter to eat at some of the newer places which I will of course write all about here! 

VeganMoFo: Spaghetti Aglio E Olio {Recipe}

Aglio E Olio recipe #vegan www.good-good-things.com

We are big pasta eaters. I would like to eat less but with the kids and all their activities sometimes it’s the easy way out when I haven’t preplanned our weekly menu or we don’t get home from Musical Theater class until 7:30 at night. (They are teaching my daughter songs from the movie Hairspray…I’m so excited!)

The quickest pasta recipe I have is for Aglio E Olio which is Garlic and Oil. I alway’s have these ingredients on hand. If I don’t then I deem it impossible to make anything for dinner and we get Thai take out that night. I use garlic, oil and red pepper flakes in almost everything I make. 

One clove of garlic! (Elephant Garlic)

What was fun when making my lastest Aglio E Olio dinner is that I used Elephant Garlic. Have you ever seen the cloves of Elephant Garlic? They are humungous! The clove pictured above would easily equal 6 regular sized garlic cloves. I had to quarter the clove before thinly slicing it. I used another clove last night for a different dinner and could actually small dice it like an onion! Crazy! 

I hope you enjoy my recipe!

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound spaghetti
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  5. 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. lemon zest (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir semi-constantly making sure not to burn the garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the red pepper flakes.
  3. Lower the heat to a lowest flame and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the saute pan and combine with the oil and garlic.
  5. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and zest a lemon over the top.
  7. Serve immediately!
Notes
  1. I sometimes like to sprinkle some Nutritional Yeast on top to give the dish a cheesy element. My kids always add the Nooch to theirs!
good good things http://good-good-things.com/

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