{Snapshot Catchup: NYC}

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It has been uncomfortably cold in New York.  It makes me just want to stay in and snuggle under the covers to stay warm.  For this past weekend B and I got a bottle of wine and played chess while the wind howled outside. We did venture out for dinner one night, a new sushi/ramen restaurant in Tribeca, which was… ok, but definitely not Ippudo quality ramen. Their Lychee Sochu drinks were delicious though!

We also made one more trip out to The Groiler Club for their exhibition on “Rooms of Wonder”. Here’s a snipper from the NY Times on the exhibition: Many exhibitions convey the propulsive force of human curiosity, but few manage to do so as engrossingly and with as much immediacy as “Rooms of Wonder: From Wunderkammer to Museum, 1599-1899,” a lavish repast of illustrated rare books and ephemera at the Grolier Club. The appetite for knowledge about foreign lands, unfamiliar animals and all the workings of the world — both natural and man-made — permeates this show, which delves into the origins of the modern museum. Full article link here

Thank you for visiting and enjoy my snap shot catch up below!

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Ramen restaurant in Tribeca

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Bikram Yoga in Herald Square – gorgeous and clean yoga studio!

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The Groiler Club Exhbition – on the second floor is all the rare books that they collect, members only!

 

 

 

{Savory: Breadless Bread}

Behold!

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This “bread” doesn’t have a lick of flour in it. It is made purely from Macadamia Nuts! This does make it a bit on the fattening side, but as we all know, nuts have the kind of saturated fat that is good for you – as long as you eat it in careful moderation. This bread not only tasted delicious, but it SMELLED like bread, and cut like bread and even that that bread crust ring.

If you are hankering for some carbs and need bread but don’t want to actually eat anything made from grains, try this Macadamia Bread less Bread Recipe.

{Macadamis Breadless Bread}

  • 5 eggs (medium to large size)
  • 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts (made into butter per the instructions)
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (nuke 20 seconds to get a smooth butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

Place the macadamias into a typical large home-kitchen food processor and process on high to achieve a part butter, part chunky nut meal. While running on high still, drop one egg down the chute and wait for the sound to stabilize to smooth (about 20-30 seconds), then do the same with the second egg. Once the processor is running smooth again, add the remaining 3 eggs down the chute. You should have a very smooth batter by this point. Shut down the processor and add the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and baking soda. Turn it on low this time, and once everything is all mixed (20 seconds or so), introduce first the lemon juice down the chute, then the baking soda. Mix for a few more seconds.

Place the batter in a standard 8 1/2 bread pan, greased with butter, ghee or coconut oil. Bake at 350F (175-180C) for 35 minutes. Remove from the pan and set on an elevated rack to cool.

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{Sweet: Laduree M&M}

macarons

 

I love love LOVE macaroons and madeleines. I would say they are my two most favorite dessert. Macaroons are tiny but full of flavor and display in gorgeous riveting colors.  Madeleines pairs well with coffee or tea them fluffy versatile treats. They have just the right combination of spongey-cakey texture and the light flavor, never over power and overly sweet.

In New York, my favorite M&M combo is from Laduree, the french patisserie that opened its first flagship store right near my apartment!

The shop is exquisite, total girly girl’s dream shop. Full of pastel colors and dozens of multi colored macaroons. I do encourage you for a visit when you get a chance!

{Snapshot Catchup | Philadelphia}

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This is Philadelphia City Hall. Sometimes, when I try to look at this picture with fresh set of eyes, it looks like some small town in old world Europe.

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On my non-vegan day, I took B out to Tinto, a basque style tapas place owned by Iron Chef winner Jose Garces. I used to love this place. Not sure if eating vegan has changed my tastebuds, but the dishes were either too salty or too sweet. The thing that really had a party in my mouth was the pork belly (pictured above, top photo); but how can you go wrong with pork belly?

I’m now back in NYC and begrudgingly still running in the cold.

{Savory | Warm Me Up Sesame Miso Soup w/ Grilled Tofu}

It just keeps getting colder and colder! It’s gotten to the point where I have my space heater blowing hot air directly in my face. I’m now considering turning the oven for extra heat.  I can be dramatic like that.

For this soup I did add an egg. I was craving an egg, so in went an egg. And ofcourse, I ate it with kimchi.

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{Warm Me Up Sesame Miso Soup w/ Grilled Tofu}

Ingredients
1) firm tofu
2) 2 miso paste (but if you want saltier you can use more)
3) dried seaweed (optional)
4) watercress (optional)
5) quinoa (optional)*
6) peas (optional)*
7) egg (optional)
kombu seaweed
9) sesame oil

*the quinoa and peas I had as left over dinner last night and I just wanted to use up so I just threw it in my soup

1) dry off the tofu, cut into your preferred shape, and grill on either side until it has the type of grilling texture you think you like. Just make sure you really dry the tofu, or the wetness will cause oil splash back, which is annoying to clean up.

2) while tofu grilling, boil hot water for the soup, add in a few pieces of kombu. they say to use it only to flavor the soup and you shouldn’t eat it since its really thick texture..but sometimes I eat it…so up to you.

3) Once water is boiled turn down heat to low – add egg and grilled tofu.

4) Now, place the 2 tablespoon miso into a separate l bowl. Pour some of the soup water into this small bowl (I poured in about 2 ladle-fulls and soften the miso and whisk everything together. Once combined, pour contents of this small bowl back into main soup pot…. the reason to do this is it gives the miso that nice bloom in the soup, and doesn’t kill all the nutritional miso properties from over boiling it.

5) Take your serving bowl and put some watercress. Pour broth into bowl. float a few pieces (or a lot of pieces) of dried seaweed ontop.

Other topping considerations:
– chopped spring onion
– shitake mushrooms
– kimchi
– rice cakes

{Sweet | Souful Vegan Hot Chocolate}

Very occasionally, even when it is an “on” day, I still just throw it all to the wind. Today, I needed just that… hotchocolate

My heart and soul feels has been achey and I needed a treat-myself-gently day. Added to this, the 18 degree temperature made me just want to cuddle up inside and hibernate. So today, I gave myself the freedom to do…nothing.

My first treat of the day was my good morning flour free pancakes,watched videos, made my comforting miso vegan soup that I’ve made before, and I drank lots of dandelion tea.

I ended the day with a delicious mug of hemp-hazelnut-milk hot chocolate. Instead of soy or almond milk (which are also possibilities too!), I chose these two because I find them to be a little thicker and nuttier tasting, and I wanted that nutty richness paired with the chocolate. I wanted a thick creamy hot chocolate. To further enhance the creamy texture I also added just a tad of coconut cream, I had on hand. This isn’t necessary if you don’t have it, but if you do, just a dollop really helps the hot chocolate pop. Not too much though! Coconut cream is high in calories and I didn’t want the coconut flavor to outshine the smooth chocolate richness.

My soulful vegan hot chocolate was delightful!

Everyone needs a treat-their-soul-well-day. When it comes time for yours, might I suggest trying my hot chocolate? It is super flavorful and easy.

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{Soulful Vegan Hot Chocolate}

1/2 hemp milk

1/2 hazelnut milk

1/3 cup coconut cream

2 – 3 tablespoons of cacao powder

maple syrup to taste

cinnamon to taste

1) In a saucepan heat the hemp and hazelnut milk, until it is almost about to boil. Lower heat right then.

2) Add in the cacao powder and coconut cream and whisk, turning heat back up. Continue to whisk until all the bumpbs smooth out. I do not let it come to a boil, just right to the point before boil.

3) Add maple syrup and cinnamon taste.

{Snapshot Catchup | scenes from my run and lululemon}

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Lululemon is my one and old frenemy. I adore their stylish workout wear but dislike their high high prices. I’m always scoping out their we made to much section for any good deals. For once, I found one! I got their run mittens and neck warmer, two running pieces that I was missing and really needed for this cold weather. The hot pink is a bit to hot for me, but the mittens are functional and I adore the pretty blue of the neck warmer. Each were on clearance for $20!
{Snapshot Catchup}
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A giant row of beautiful trees alight with twinkling lights as I finish my run
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Harry Winston store all lit up for the holidays

{Tangy | 3 Spice Pickled Cucumber}

This is a really simple pickled cucumber side dish.  I like to pick at it when I make my white miso soup. The picked cucumber has a nice Asian flavor to it from the sesame oil, and its great because I can make it and stick it in the fridge and use it throughout the week.

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{3 Spice Pickled Cucumber}
Ingredients
  • cucumber
  • red pepper (optional)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin powder
  • sesame oil
  • tamari soy sauce
  • Mirin
Please slice the cucumber and red pepper and place in the bowl. To it add all of the seasoning powders. I purposely didn’t list the amount because everyone’s taste buds are different; may I suggest seasoning it to how you like it to taste. Some people prefer a strong onion flavor, others no onion at all and only garlic. Feel free to substitute any of the spices for another one you think will go better with the mix. This is highly customize-able!
To the mixture add sesame oil and tamari (again add as much to taste). The Mirin is the only part that I suggest not to be overly aggressive. I do not wish for it to over power all the other seasoning so add 2 teaspoons of it to add a a soft subtle tang.
Make sure everything is well mixed – or like me, place the lid on and give it a few aggressive shakes. Place the container in the fridge overnight to let all the flavors become friends. It will taste great the next day, and even more delicious the day after.
Enjoy!

{Savory | Comforting Miso Soup}

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“soup or salad”? the server usually asks whenever I order a sushi or sashimi combo. Typically those type of entrees come with a side choice of miso soup or salad. Often, I always choose the miso because soups are my style of comfort food.
For me, a hearty pot of miso soup really hits the spot on cold night and I can always save some for the next day.  Here are some benefits I find with miso soup:
- easy and quick to make
- filling
- high in protein
There are many types of miso’s on the market. For your reference, I pulled a snippet published by The Kichn on the different types of Miso:

White Miso: This miso is made from soybeans that have been fermented with a large percentage of rice. The actual resulting color can range from white to light beige, and the miso has a definite sweet taste. It’s best used in condiments like mayo or salad dressings, or in light sauces.

Yellow Miso: Yellow miso is usually made from soybeans that have been fermented with barley and sometimes a small percentage of rice. It can be yellow to light brown in color. This miso has a mild, earthy flavor and is better for general use in not only condiments, but soup, marinades, and glazes.

Red Miso: This is also typically made from soybeans fermented with barley or other grains, though with a higher percentage of soybeans and/or a longer fermentation period. It can range in color from red to dark brown. The deep umami flavor of red miso can overwhelm mild dishes, but is perfect for hearty soups, braises, and glazes.

Black Miso: Our information on black miso isn’t entirely clear. Some sources say this paste is made entirely from soybeans, others say that it’s made from soybeans fermented with hearty dark grains like buckwheat. Regardless, this sounds like the strongest flavored miso around
Everyone’s taste buds rejoice differently, so I’d recommend trying a few types to see which one delight’s you best!
I use yellow miso for my recipe.
{Beat The Cold! Comforting Miso Soup}
  • 1 – 2 sheets dried roasted seaweed (you will be cutting this up into squares or, like me hand rip them into squares)
  • Scallions
  • Extra firm tofu
  • 2 table spoons of miso paste – or follow the amount of miso to use on the packaging
  • Handful of shitake mushrooms (ofcourse you can use other kinds, I’ve used enoki and simple button mushrooms before)
  • Handful of kale (optional)
  •  ½ large carrot, peeled (optional)
  • 6 cups water
This will serve 4 people, but since I’m 1 person, I have lots of left over. Also, note all the “optional” items. Like many of the things I make, there is lots of room to add ingredients to personal taste.
Bring water to a boil, and add in the shitake mushrooms and simmer until soft, and then add in the kale and tofu until cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Now, place the miso into a small bowl. Pour in some of the soup water, and soften the miso. Pour everything back into the pot and stir until  the miso is well integrated into the soup.

Lastly, serve the dish by placing the shredded carrots ontop and float the torn dried seaweed and scallions on the surface of the delicious broth.

{Sweet | Dreamy Coconut Dairy Free Milkshake}

Coconut water is refreshing. Coconut milk is delectable! It is soft and creamy. But it is incredibly high in fat so please use sparingly!
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I do enjoy this pillow-y treat every so often. I add coconut water to it, a hint of vanilla and chia seeds to boost the flavor and the fiber.
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{Dreamy Coconut Milkshake}
  • 1 box of Arro Coconut milk
  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 teasppon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds – or less, you should eyeball this
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (optional)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Put everything in a blender and together and pour in a pretty glass bottle. Chill, drink, enjoy!