No-new groceries check-in

I’m still three days away from pay day and I have bought zero new groceries, true to my goal.

Gotta say, I’m quite impressed with my own pantry-stocking skills. And the beginning of CSA season was admittedly a great help.

I cheated financially and went to dinner with a friend and got drinks with more friends last Friday night, but those were plans made before I knew I’d be strapped for cash. But because I’m using some creativity in the kitchen, I’ve still been spending very little.

Here are some highlights: More

Thanksgiving!

Doesn’t matter that I no longer eat turkey. Thanksgiving is still a fantastic holiday, perhaps even more so because my approach to it is so new and wonderful and I have more ownership and pride in my feast than ever before.

This was my second plant-based Thanksgiving, so a few things remained the same as last year as I dined with my omnivorous family in Olympia. Mom set aside some potatoes and stuffing for me to load with veggie broth instead of chicken broth and cream. I also brought my own pie, made my own gravy and threw together an appetizer and salad to share.

However, I tried a few new things. Whereas I drew most of my inspiration from Isa last year, this year I turned to the newest Happy Herbivore book, Holidays and Gatherings.

I had been paging through my H&G book for a few weeks now, but this was my first time using it. It is so great! It collects a lot of recipes from books past, so there aren’t tons of surprises for someone like me who has all of Lindsay’s recipe books. However, it organizes the recipes into the perfect holidays and occasions to cook them (even though I took from other chapters to work into my Thanksgiving) and also brings in some new delights.

When all was done, I was so pleased with the results. Check out the highlights:

What were some of your Thanksgiving revelations/highlights this year?

Dispatch from the CSA rabbit hole

Well hello there. I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I’ve continued to cook away in a constant struggle to keep up with all the beautiful goods coming through my kitchen via CSA.

Let’s review what I’ve come up with in the past several weeks.

First: Pickling!

I’m a pickle whore, no joke. My whole life. So it’s been fun to work up some quick pickles with the pickling cucumbers that I’ve received and especially the radishes when I don’t have time or ideas for anything special for them. The radishes are perfect to have on hand for salad fixins.

Next: Pastas! More

Brunch in my belly

Brunch is probably the best thing ever invented. A few times a month, Mike and I try to make it out to The Dish or Five-Point Cafe for brunch, or I like to meet a girlfriend somewhere.

As I’ve said before, weekday breakfast is a challenge for this sleepyhead. I can’t muster effort to do anything in the morning. Often I give up on trying to do my hair.

But on weekends or days off when I’m not out brunching or running around, I’ve taken to my own eat-in brunch. It’s nice. I’m cleaning out my fridge, I’m brewing up some coffee and there is no rush. And then there are leftovers, meaning I have a treat to take with me to work and get a good start to my day. (Boom.)

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

More

CSA OMG

Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

I have been busy in the kitchen, now more than ever.

And it’s because of my CSA.

I’ve never had a CSA subscription before. Too expensive for my miniscule salary, all that.

But now that I make a lil’ more money this year, I decided to subscribe to the cheapest farm subscription I could find in Seattle. A half-share. Because, you know, I’m a single person who can’t consume a whole share.

For the past month-and-a-half, I’ve been drowning in vegetables. More

What vegans eat

I always love vegan food porn where I can peep what other people eat, like what Bianca at Vegan Crunk does now and then.

So I’ll offer up my own food porn. Captured by my crappy cell phone camera. Sexxxxxi.

Par-tay

I like to host semi-regular parties at my house. It allows me to share love with my friends via exciting food and, let’s be honest, it prompts me to keep my apartment clean.

Last month I hosted a birthday/housewarming, well, for myself. (My parents always think it’s funny when I throw parties around personal milestones. That’s just what my friends do. “Hey, it’s my birthday, let’s go out and do karaoke!” It’s not so much self-glorification as it is an excuse to hang out with your besties.)

This would be my first fully vegan party. When I last hosted a party (almost a year ago now, because I went for a long time without a place of my own), I tried to meld my personal burgeoning veganism with more mainstream tastes, making beef tacos and chickpea tacos.

When I dumped the beef into the pan of hot oil, the oil splattered all over my body (I was wearing a strapless dress), face and eyes.

Hot pink burns and blisters visibly formed throughout the night and I crankily, only half-jokingly told my guests to eat up the beef tacos because I sacrificed my body for them.

I visited the urgent care doctor two days later for treatment. I pledged never to make meat just to appease a bunch of people again.

Anyway. This party. I wanted to stick to a vegan menu, but not make it over-the-top obvious that it was vegan. More

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