Friday Favorites

This week has flown by pretty fast. While I’m excited that most of my shows are back on the air, it makes me wonder where exactly summer went. Even more, I can’t believe we’re already halfway through September!

Here are some picture highlights of the week:

I saw this while I was driving through town and had to take a picture.

Enjoying a white chocolate mocha and a warm chocolate chip cookie at Tart by Tart bakery in San Francisco.

A look at one of the sari blouses I’m wearing during my brother’s wedding events.

The menu for a dessert truck at a local food truck gathering. I took home red velvet, salted caramel, and chocolate coconut cupcakes.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Fall is Approaching

The days are getting shorter, the air feels cool and brisk, and the leaves are changing colors. (True confession time: I’m a member of the “I will go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf” group on Facebook.)

The onset of Autumn is best welcomed with a warm, cozy home-cooked meal. The Indian meal of chole fits that exact description.

It’s one of the easiest Indian vegetables to make; all that is needed is garbanzo beans and a simple to make gravy. Here is a recipe.

The tandoori naan is courtesy of Trader Joe’s, and I love having a side raita (yogurt) and onions.

Also, I have to share my new favorite soda (also thanks to Trader’s Joe): Organic Blood Orange Soda. It’s similar to orange soda, yet tastes fresher and an added bonus: it has less preservatives.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you make in the fall?

Friday Favorites

Why do weeks before a long and fun weekend always seem to drag? Whatever the reason, this has been a good week: I’ve posted in my blog every day! It feels great to be writing again, especially about things that interest me as well as having my own little space to be creative in any way I wish.

Labor Day always signals the end of summer for me, despite being done with school. I’m headed out of town tomorrow and I’m excited for one last summer hurrah.

And now to borrow from one of my favorite bloggers, Cupcakes and Cashmere on this Friday, I will be sharing pictures about things that have made me happy this week.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

My first Essie nail polishes: on the left is Turquoise and Caicos and the right is Cute as a Button.

Sweet potato fries baking in the oven. Recipe to follow next week.

My Pikake Lei candle makes my room smell wonderful and transports me back to Hawaii.

My trinity bracelets that I picked up in New York earlier this year. They taught me that  a little contrast is always good.

There is no better afternoon pick-me-up than a cup of ginger chai and banana nut bread.

To be vegan or not?

This weekend was spent in Seattle and Vancouver, visiting family. The weather was surprisingly great (it only rained at night) and a majority of the trip was spent eating, sleeping, and talking..pretty much the best kind of vacation!

One of the meals was spent at Araya’s Place. Araya’s is a vegan Thai place in downtown Seattle. We opted for the buffet instead of ordering off the menu..and let me tell you, the food was amazing! Thai is one of my favorite cuisines and if I lived in Seattle there’s no doubt that I would be at Araya’s every week. For those that eat meat, you won’t even feel like you are missing anything.

Thai iced coffee, pad thai, fried rice, and green curry.

Araya’s had a lot of pamphlets about the vegan lifestyle, which got me thinking: could I be a vegan? I am already a vegetarian, so it would just mean cutting all dairy products of out my diet. To be honest, I don’t really care much for eggs..I never really crave them. Since I’ve picked up Ener-G Egg Replacer (a boxed, non perishable powder that you can find at Whole Foods or ordered online) I don’t even use eggs when I bake. So really all that I would be giving up is cheese, which I love. Oh, and milk. That would be a big one.

I think I will make an effort to become vegan (or at least eat less dairy products) because the paraphernalia I read indicated that even cage free, free-range, and organic egg farms still engage in inhuman activities to the hens.

Have you gone (or thought about going) vegan? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

In case you are interested, here are some egg replacements for baking:

Energ E Egg Replacer  – My personal favorite choice for egg replacer. It works well with everything, except brownies.

Potato Starch = 2 Teaspoons + 1 Teaspoon water for 1 egg

Corn Starch = 2 teaspoons + I teaspoon water for egg

Soy Powder = 1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons water for 1 egg

Ground Flax Seed = 1 Teaspoon + 3 teaspoon water for 1 egg

Banana = 1/2 banana for 1 egg

Applesauce = 1/4 cup applesauce for 1 egg

Happy Friday!

TGIF! The weekend is a mere hour and a half away for me. It’s been a long week and I am excited to unwind. Here’s why:

– It’s supposed to be in the mid-70s this weekend. In FEBRUARY. I love it. As much of the country was stuck in a snow storm this week, I am glad to live in not such an extreme climate. My parents always say “We pay for the weather” and it is so true!

– Our annual Super Bowl party: I am not a football fan at all, but this gives me an opportunity to bake. What’s on the agenda? Chocolate chip cookies and zucchini bread. Yes, zucchini bread..don’t knock it until you try it! It’s a recipe my mom got from way back when we used to live in the Midwest. It became a fast favorite with our family and my mom’s specialty, but she passed the torch to me. 🙂

We also have a lot savory goodness at the party, ranging from homemade salsa, seven layer dip, spinach dip, and of course our Indian favorites. So, while everyone is enjoying the game I will be sitting in the corner, happily enjoying all the food.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Good Vegetarian Food..it’s possible!

When I inform someone that I am a vegetarian and have been for most of my life, I get a look of dismay, followed by the question (and one of my biggest pet peeves), “Well, what do you eat then? Steamed vegetables?” No, I do not eat steamed vegetables..who in their right mind would?

It is possible to be a vegetarian and eat good food. For instance, when I go out for Thai food, I substitute tofu for any sort of meat. In Mexican food, I order with black beans as those are most likely not cooked in lard. I even eat fast food..Subway has a veggie delight sandwich, Burger King has the veggie whopper, Taco Bell has the seven layer (you can also substitute meat with beans for any other item) and In N Out has a grilled cheese animal style. And of course we are forgetting the delicious sides that come with these kinds of meals: egg rolls, guacamole, salsa, chips, fries, and onion rings. The list can go on..

And don’t even get me started on the yummy desserts! (The number one reason I could never be a vegan. That, and cheese.)

I have also discovered that vegetarian sushi is possible, and pretty tasty to boot! (I don’t eat fish. Another one of my pet peeves is people thinking I do, despite knowing I am a vegetarian!) My first experience with sushi was a year and a half ago, on a girls’ weekend in San Francisco. I had always wanted to try it, but never knew what to order. Luckily my friend, who is a vegetarian herself and a huge sushi fan, was with me. Since then I was hooked.

This week I went again to a local sushi place and they were very accommodating! My friend and I were able to make our own roll with cucumbers and avocado, with bits of tempura inside. It was delicious. A side benefit: most of the rolls on the menu were $10..ours was only $5.50!

This is the roll we ordered:

Vegetarians do not survive on steamed vegetables alone–there are plenty of wonderful options out there!

Mmm good!

I just got the wordpress app for my iPhone..I love it! Now I can blog on the go.

So, I cooked dinner tonight! And yes, everyone who ate my food is feeling just fine. 😛

I made bowtie pasta, with red and Alfredo sauce together and another with pesto. I also made salad and garlic bread on the side.

I love to bake, but I’m happy to say my cooking skills have been improving!

In other news, Glee comes back tonight! Who else is excited? I definitely am.

My creation.