Omaha Adventures & Hearty Vegan Giveaway Winner

Hello everybody! I am sure you are all extremely eager to find out who won the Hearty Vegan giveaway, right? Well I am posting the winner at the end of this post, after I fill you in on some fun adventures.

I spent the last week brunching with friends, testing recipes in Omaha, NE for Isa Moskowitz (did you know that she is writing the dessert section of the (forthcoming) new Forks Over Knives cookbook?), modeling a new PPK/Teal Cat Project t-shirt, and celebrating Tim’s 35th birthday. I love spending time eating with friends, working with Isa, and lounging around in my jammies eating cake with Tim. So far this year is off to a good start. Here are some photographic highlights:

Cinnamon Pear Pancakes from Blossoming Lotus in Portland, OR

Seitan Rancheros from Blossoming Lotus in Portland, OR

Apricot Fig Bars (Isa tester recipe)

Peach Muffins (Isa tester recipe)

Raspberry Jam Dots (Isa tester recipe)

Sweet Potato Enchiladas from Pepe’s Veggie-Mex Bistro in Lincoln, NE

Crystallized Ginger Muffin from Maggie’s Vegetarian Wraps in Lincoln, NE (ugly photo, delicious muffin!)

Above is an outtake from the t-shirt photo shoot, you can see the chosen photo here. Please consider purchasing one of these amazing t-shirts. Proceeds go to The Teal Cat Project so that they can continue helping kitties in need of some extra love. And we all love kitties, right?

Unfortunately, I returned home from Omaha in the late evening on Tim’s birthday. We had a quick dinner and caught up on our eight days apart. I made him a cake today, but there are no photos. It’s just nice to be back in his company once again!

And now… The winner of the Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites giveaway! I had so much fun reading about all of your favorite hearty meals. I myself love thick, filling soups. OK, here we go… Commenter #38, Sarah! Congratulations!! I will contact you via e-mail so we can arrange shipment of your book! To everybody else, stay tuned for more giveaways next month.



Filling Up With Falafel

My final days in Omaha filled my belly with more than just pie (coconut creme pie, mixed berry cobbler, and apple crumb mini pies to name a few). On one afternoon, Isa, John, and I took advantage of sunny skies, 70 degree temperatures, and a local falafel joint not too far from their house, Amsterdam Falafel & Kebab:

My love for pita, tahini, chickpeas, and curry made this meal a favorite during my stay in Omaha:

Falafel Sandwich!

Side of Curry Fries!

Wow. This meal was insanely delicious. I wish Portland had a vegetarian falafel joint within walking distance of my apartment. I am going to miss Omaha’s vegan food offerings. Every meal was special, from the sushi, to the baguette sandwich, to the falafel and curry fries. Thank you, Isa and John, for being such wonderful hosts!

3, 2, 1… Sushi!

Yesterday was spent baking heaps and heaps of cookies, brownies, cake, and cinnamon rolls for Vegan Omaha’s bake sale for Japan: Goodies for Good. The bake sale is this afternoon and I am so excited to see all the wonderful baked goods lined up on tables and ready to fill hungry tummies!

White Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies and Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

We also made regular chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate walnut cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, ginger cookies, cookies-n-cream brownies, double chocolate gluten-free brownies, and coconut raisin cinnamon rolls!!

Isa and I made a massive mess in her kitchen that progressively worsened as the hours passed:

In between emptying bags of flour and sugar some delicious food was consumed:

Lunch = Veggie Sandwich w/ Side Salad from Daily Grub in Omaha, NE

This sandwich consisted of pepita spread, sauteed red pepper, roasted sweet potato and fresh avocado inside a toasted baguette. I really enjoyed this sandwich! The baguette was chewy and the fillings paired well with one another. I am thinking about recreating this when I get back to Portland so I can remember Omaha with fondness!

Inside the Daily Grub – clean and simple with a chalkboard menu.

Would you believe that up until last night I had never tried sushi? It’s true! Growing up as a picky eater is partly to blame, but it’s mostly because I thought it would be gross. Why did I wait so long?!!

It’s quite possible that a sushi addiction may have blossomed after devouring the above beauties!

Let’s hope that today’s bake sale raises a lot of money for Japan! Keep your fingers crossed please!

Somewhere in Middle America

Hello, everybody! I hope that springtime is bringing plenty of warmth and sunshine to your part of the world. Right now I am in Omaha, NE and it is neither sunny nor warm. The weather forecast seems promising though, so I might see some blue sky before I head back to Portland later next week. Maybe!

I arrived in Omaha a few days ago to help Isa Moskowitz test dozens of pie recipes for her and Terry Romero’s forthcoming cookbook: Pie in the Sky. So far we have made an amazing variety of delicious pies including little lemon mousse pies, halvah tarts, coconut curry pie, blackberry cheesecake, chai spiced rice pudding pie, and basil peach pie. There are still a lot of pies to be made (and sampled!).

On Saturday we will be baking all day for Vegan Omaha’s Bake Sale for Japan, happening on Sunday, April 3rd. I will be making big batches of brownies and there’s a good chance some pie will make its way to the bake sale too!

I haven’t taken too many pictures, but here are some highlights:

Crunchy Munchee Salad with Hempini Dressing from McFoster’s. This salad was incredibly crunchy!! I enjoyed the dressing, which was a blend of hemp butter, Bragg’s, lemon juice, garlic, and peanut butter. I washed this salad down with a 4-ounce shot of fresh pressed ginger juice. It was strong, but I love how ginger tames my tummy.

A teeny slice of Little Lemon Mousse Pie (recipe will be in the book). Isa and I made these this afternoon and they turned out absolutely perfect!! They remind me of lemon meringue pies, but so much better (and vegan!). Plus, they are so dang cute!

Halvah Tarts! Considering I am a tahini addict, it’s not a surprise that I enjoyed my samplings of this treat. Tahini and chocolate, yes indeed!!!

Kirby. Not a pie obviously, but one of Isa’s three cats. Kirby joined me on the table for breakfast the other morning. He is so soft and cuddly.

Tomorrow brings more pie and perhaps more pictures! Stay tuned…