Favorite Things

I know I haven’t posted in a while.

I break the silence (perhaps only momentarily) with a list of 20 of my favorite things!

1. Family timeImage2. Photography

3. New book smell

4. The beach

5. Falafel

falafel... mmm

6. Ethiopian cuisine.. drool..

7. A hot shower in the middle of winter

8. English accents

9. Sherlock (BBC version)

10. Niles Crane

11. Homemade deodorant

12. Solo airport travel

13. Independent foreign films

14. Adapting/creating recipes

15. Horse breath

16. Puppy dog eyes

A.Dawn's T_day-7-2

17. Sk6ers

18. Nail polish

19. Tights

20. Boots

Hooray!  That was fun!

Your turn!

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Spice-ily Yours

My newest obsession.

It’s mega-dreamy.

Seriously.. I’ve been obsessed with Ethiopian cuisine ever since we visited Abyssinia Ethiopian in Chicago two months ago.

I promptly bought the zine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food and have been preparing Ethiopian food at least once a week ever since!

I have finally perfected injera and I’m planning to have a friend over to test it out this Friday! Hooray!!

Ethiopian cuisine? I adore thee and would be perfectly happy eating you every day of the week for the rest of my life! Check it out in your city!

Vegan in Oxford

Waaaaay back in March (it feels SO long ago – we’re due for another vacay), when Kyle and I were visiting a friend studying at Oxford University, we visited a quaint little pub.

A vegetarian/vegan pub that our friend claimed has the best vegan burgers – and he isn’t even vegan! After the first taste of my vegan burger smothered in a chutney over a thick bed of fries, I had to agree. I was hooked!

The Gardeners’ Arms has old record covers lining the walls, a cozy fireplace, old tables with armchairs as well as bar stools and there’s a little outside brick area to have a beer – eclectic and awesome. People trickled in and out. I think there was even a couple on their first date the next table over. TGA was the type of place where I could see myself becoming a regular Friday night patron. That’s a hell of a commute, though.

Oh!

Here are some more random photos from Oxford! =)


The tree in New College where they filmed the “ferret” scene from Harry Potter!


A candle for Uncle Jeff in Christ Church Chapel.


The Divinity School inside the Bodleian Library, the oldest library in the world. They also filmed all of the infirmary scenes from Harry Potter here.

Oh Oxford, how I miss thee. I hope to visit again someday!

Happy Wednesday!

Birthday for the Gramster!

Thursday (the 3rd) was my Grandma’s birthday! We celebrated on Saturday by gathering together at her place. Here’s just a sprinkling of her grandkids and great grandkids..

We gathered in a room just off the courtyard to take advantage of the beautiful fresh air. My cousins flew kites while I took photos..

We all gathered around and ate food my parents brought from home, including mom’s homemade tomatillo salsa and chips (my delicious nemesis). My contribution to the combination Cinco de Mayo/Birthday party celebration was homemade vegan tamales!

A combination of my tamale making skills learned from my cousin Norma, the recipe from Veganomicon and watching the “Taste of Peru” segment on Triple D (for the flavored masa idea), I came out with some slightly spicy, enchilada sauce flavored tamales!

There may be more soon. I have tamale husks wallpapering the walls..

Oh. And here’s a random shot from London! (I know it looks like a backdrop but I promise it’s real!)

Gravy Train

On my way home yesterday I picked up some mushrooms that were on manager’s special (along with 5 pounds of apples.. hey they were 89 cents a pound). Tonight I made dinner. After work – a feat in itself. I am usually way too hungry when I get home to actually cook and end up living on leftovers from my weekend cooking.

My new obsession, Appetite for Reduction, boasted a falafel recipe that was pretty simple to whip up. Unfortunately I forgot to add salt so they were only so-so. Next time I will remember the salt and they will be fantastic!

The real star of the meal was the mushroom gravy. Kyle’s parents bought me The Miso Book for Christmas and I finally got to make a recipe from it tonight.

Who knew gravy could be so delicious? Perfect served over some hot brown rice and falafel!

Kyle almost licked his bowl clean.

Happy Tuesday – and check out AFR and TMB! You won’t regret it!

Diner Groupie

For a late Valentine’s Day meal, Kyle took me to a restaurant I’ve been lusting after for almost a year.

The Chicago Diner!!

I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Diner, it is an all vegetarian/mostly vegan diner in Chicago. Everything on their menu can be made vegan. I think the only non vegan things they have are cheese and eggs, but they have the vegan equivalents.

For a Sunday, that fun little diner was PACKED! When we walked in, we gave the greeter our name and he directed us around back to their heated patio to wait. After about 15-20 minutes a waiter came to bring us inside. Instead of going around the front, he brought us in the back door and through the kitchen. Both Kyle and I love that we were brought through the kitchen – proof that they have absolutely nothing to hide from their customers!

After having a seat, our waiter (Brian) popped over to see what we wanted to drink. I explained it was our first time and we weren’t quite sure what we wanted yet. He was super nice, telling us to take our time and ask questions if we needed. For every table in the restaurant being packed with people I never once felt rushed.

On Brian’s recommendation, I went with the reuben and sweet potato fries..

umm.. heLLOOOOOOOOOO gorgeous..

Kyle went with the Dagwood and a side of sesame ginger kale salad

That kale salad was tasty!

On top of all that deliciousness we shared a vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookie dough shake!

The Chicago Diner forever has my heart!  I can’t wait to come back for another shake.. mmm..

I, of course, topped the meal off with some coffee!

Then we ran away from Sue..

Fin.

P.S. – Kyle’s NOT flipping me off in that picture.  I’m not sure what he’s pointing at, though..