Sunday, November 28, 2010

another giant catch-up post!

I set myself up with a bunch of prepared posts last Sunday night, chronicling my vegan Thanksgiving adventures, as you've been reading. It was nice to not have to worry about blogging while getting ready for the holiday weekend, (we went out of town,) but due to my long "absence" from blogging, I have a lot of backlogged photos to write about!

First things first . . . I did THREE cooking projects with my preschoolers last week! We made:
1. roasted pumpkin seeds

2. applesauce (in the Crock Pot!)

3. English-muffin pizzas

Next . . . here's the dish we took to Thanksgiving dinner:

I made Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf with Cranberries, from Real Simple. This dish was indeed really very simple to prepare, and was well-received by all at my family's Thanksgiving dinner! Dan and I came home with NO leftovers, since our hosts, (my uncle and his wife,) wanted to keep the leftovers! Always the mark of a good dish, right?

Last . . . Dan, my parents, and I did some walking and shopping in downtown Wauwatosa, (where I grew up,) on Friday morning, and I picked up some AWESOME foodstuffs, from two great local establishments.

Our first stop was The Spice House:

This is it? Really?

The "original" location of The Spice House, (not even listed on their website,) this Wauwatosa store looks like a total hole-in-the-wall, but upon entering, you are greeted by that "spice store" aroma, and shelves and shelves packed, floor-to-ceiling, with every whole and ground spice you can think of, plus some unique blends!

I needed whole coriander and peppercorns, and also asked a staff person for her recommendation on a blend that would go well with roasted potatoes and other vegetables. She recommended their "Fox Point Seasoning" --

"Fox Point" is a blend of shallot, chive, garlic, onion, green peppercorns, and a little salt. I can't wait to try this one out! I made sure I planned on roasted potatoes with one of our meals this week -- produce first, right? :)

The second foodie stop we made was at Oro di Olivia, a store specializing in high-quality, imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars!

Upon entering the store, we started testing, tasting, and trying any oils or vinegars that caught our attention!

I remember trying so many different varieties, (coconut white balsamic, dark chocolate balsamic, pomegranate balsamic, espresso balsamic, mushroom and rosemary olive oil, blood orange olive oil, persian lime olive oil, strawberry balsamic, just to name a FEW,) but we settled on the following purchases . . .

We picked up a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar, and a bottle of HONEY GINGER WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR. Both of these I swear to you I could drink straight from the bottle, but I'm going to show restraint! I'm excited to try the fig on cooked greens this week, and the honey ginger on a simple green salad. Oh . . . and what's that golden-hued magic in the jar in the front of the picture? That is some harissa-infused olive oil, which our friends Anna and Langdon picked up the next day, and offered to share with us. I was swooningly-impressed by the flavor of this oil, but couldn't see us getting through a whole bottle; I'm stoked to try some drizzled over steamed veggies or a simple veggie-bean soup sometime soon! Thanks for sharing, you guys!


Thanks for reading all of that! I am mostly caught up with all of the food-related happenings in our house, but I have things simmering and cooking away as I type, so stay tuned for more!

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, and a nice time with friends/family!


Anonymous said...

Those vinegars sound AMAZING! I wish we had a store like that close by. Do they ship to Canada by any chance? I've been making all my salad dressing from scratch lately - I'd love to play around with some of the vinegars and oils. I'll bet you'll make some amazing dressings with those!

Anonymous said...

What did the kids think of the roasted pumpkin seeds?? Did they like them?


singerinkitchen said...

I just made vegan pizzas tonight! Yum~

c.a.y.l.a. said...

I just found your blog the other day and have been going through it. Ive been appreciating most of it and then my mind got blwn when I saw the spice shop from tosa and realized that you are from there and potentially someone I know or went to High school with. That being said, I love this blog.