Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

I’m preparing Thanksgiving meal for a lot of people this year. Normally I’ll do acorn squash dishes, which are cute, but for a lot of people it might be difficult, and might not make a good main for people accustomed to a grand centerpiece. So instead, I’m focusing on fall colors, and thinking of a collection of dishes a little closer to a traditional thanksgiving meal. For the centerpiece I might go with oven roasted cauliflower covered in a ginger tomato sauce surrounded by umami infused chickpeas. This will make a beautiful and delicious plant-based center. Oh, and yeah, can’t forget the chili. That will steal the show.

But the center is only one portion of the entire feast. There will be a variety of tastes and I’ll be cooking for non-vegans, so I need to think of comfort foods. Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving comfort food. I’ve begun combing the interwebs for some recipes and here are two I found I’ll be experimenting with:

Regarding the second recipe, I’m interested in the pumpkin based goopy cheese. I think that has other applications.

I’ll let you know how they work.

 

 

 

 

 

Road trip to Pittsburgh

Just returned from a road trip to Pittsburgh, we were there to see the Arctic Monkeys. Driving from Media it was a long trip. Never realized how many trees Pennsylvania has. I didn’t count, but there are a lot – you’ll have to trust me on this.

The concert was fun. Although I’m not familiar with all of their songs, I feel I heard them all before somewhere–there music is instantly accessible and supremely catchy. I even bought a t-shirt that I will wear every now and then.

Had the opportunity to run through downtown Pittsburgh as well. It is a beautiful city. Trees and green are interspersed throughout in an organic way. I’d like to re-visit with some more time.

The road trip put Pennsylvania into perspective. Two football teams, one on each end of the state, and tons of green in between.

Back from Vacation

Recently visited Argentina for Spring break. We had a fantastic time, but it’s also great to be back. Below are some quick impressions on my experience there. I’ll have more to add in upcoming posts and photos are forthcoming.

Traffic

Traffic in Argentina is unbearable. A half hour drive in Buenos Aires can turn into a 2.5 hour exercise in patience. I like Septa (public transportation) – it’s relatively predictable and can be an easy scapegoat when late, as in Septa is having electrical issues again. But in Argentina, there really isn’t an excuse for being late. It’s just accepted, and I think traffic patterns have a lot to do with that.

Urban centers would benefit from having more bicycle lanes. Buenos Aires is flat and super congested. It can be a prime bike riding city. Making it more bike friendly would go a long way in taking some cars off the road. This is a quick fix that could go a long way.

Fruits and Veggies 

Fruits and vegetables taste the way they are supposed to taste. In the US, we get them imported, and by the time we get them they are frozen many times over. But there, an apple tastes like an apple, and carrots are wonderfully big and orange. And when cooked on a grill as in an asado, vegetables become the most delicious thing ever, especially onions.

Vegan in Argentina

It’s tough to be vegan in general, but in Argentina – wow, it’s really tough, especially for new vegans. In the US we are spoiled in that we can eat some foods from packages. There, mostly every packaged food (including potato chips) contains some form of milk. Tofu, tempeh, and plant based milks are all very hard to find. The fresh fruits are so good there, one can argue that packaged foods aren’t really necessary, however, if accustomed to comfort foods like Chao cheese, get ready for cravings. Oh, and no nooch!

I’ll post some photos of our trip to La Boca when I have a chance.

We also had an opportunity to visit La Ventana, which is a wonderful tango and gaucho show. Tango music is just lovely. Didn’t take any photos of that though, no cameras allowed.

Overall it was a blast. Thank you Argentina!

A Day at the Museum

Last month I took the girls to the Philadelphia museum. Here are the photos of the trip (Bernadette and Elizabeth deserve photography credits for these). My favorite wing is the modern wing, where they have Cy Twombly’s retelling of Homer’s Iliad, which uses a violent, and child-like approach to capturing the atrocities of war. It’s a magnificent piece. I’ve been to the museum often, but each time it’s better than the last. They do a great job of creating an atmosphere for the pieces they are showing, and recreating the time-period for some displays.

I leave you with an image of a happy cow.

Halloween Party

Here is a link to photos of a Halloween party hosted at the house.   I was Garth – not the best costume, I know, and Marina was the beautiful Cleopatra. Elizabeth originally wanted to be V, but ended up as Spiderwoman, I think. Either way, there was a guest on the table all cut open with pasta spilling out of his stomach, and a pumpkin with avocado spitting out of his mouth. How did this all happen–I don’t know. But Halloween is a holiday filled with mysterious mystic mysteries. Enjoy the photos.

2017 Visit to Renn Faire

On Saturday we had the opportunity to visit the PA Renaissance Faire. Elizabeth dressed up like the cutest pirate in the world, and Bernadette put on her elf ears. You can view the images by clicking here.

Renn Faire is always fun – it’s like a big medieval flea-market with unique shows and entertainers. In past visits we saw a lot of children and adults dressed up in their Dr. Who gear. Get it, people flying through time and space to end up in the medieval time period–but not this year–this year there were furries. And lots of them. Times change I guess.

My favorite shop was something called Cane Enabled, where they were selling antique and weaponized canes. I don’t know how and when I’d use one, but if I can think of a reason for a weaponized cane sometime in the next year maybe I’ll get one. They had the cutest un-weaponzed cane as well with a rabbit handle. I think it was an antique, either way it was adorable.

Next year I hope we can go more than once, or maybe even try a different renn faire out. My understanding is that there are quite a few in the PA area over the summer months.