Friday, July 31, 2009

Vacation Eats Two: Victoria BC, Seattle yums, and a Texas treat

Well, ladies and gents, let's start with the joy that was our trip to Victoria on this long and winding honeymoon! We got our tattoos as planned, and the experience was terrific. The folks at Tattoo Zoo were great, and we had a really wonderful experience from start to finish.



I found out about Tattoo Zoo from some of my favorite cookbooks, authored by the sparkly and inspiring Sarah Kramer. When we were planning a trip to the NW, the location Victoria, BC kept ringing a bell and I finally remembered that that's where Mrs. Kramer and her husband, tattoo artist extraordinaire, are located. We called the tattoo shop on a whim and were totally excited to make appointments for a robot bride & groom.


I did get a little starstruck, due to my favorite cookbook author and her cutie pup popping in while I was there, but I managed to keep it under wraps, as I was laying backwards on a table getting ink buzzed into my skin about a zillion miles a minute. Brad has the gorgeous retro robot lady on his leg, and I have the Hollywood handsome mechanical man on mine. The pics look a little dull, but they are crazy and brightly colored and awesome! I can't say enough good things about Gerry Kramer and the Tattoo Zoo gang. Getting a tattoo can be such an experience...good or bad, and these guys are running a terrific shop! We smile every time we look at the (currently crusty and healing) robot lovers on our legs!

Brad's leg:


Legs together!



Best tattoo experience for us both yet...and we have a lotta ink between us! Onto more food...We had some tasty vegan pizza at The Joint in Victoria, which is next to Tattoo Zoo. This pizza was really yummy. The crust was fluffy and the cheese was a nice noochy style sauce. It was a really good and unexpected alternative to fakey cheeses. I also had vegan pepperonis and regularly vegetable-based black olives :P


For dinner we propped up our aching legs in the hotel room and feasted on a crazy variety of vegan meat/seafood takeout from Lotus Pond in Victoria. The egg rolls...droooool!!! There was fake shrimp, fake ham, fake duck (I guess...I've never had real duck!), fake everything!


We headed back to Seattle on an evening clipper ship and started the next day with this masterpiece of a sweet at one of the cute coffee shops on 1st Ave. where we stayed.



After lots of days of funfunfun, we headed back towards home. Before driving back into real life, we had one last meal on vacation at the yummy Spiral Diner in Dallas, Tx. Behold...the Paul Reuben!



Brad had the Brutal Tacos. He would have preferred for it to be spelled Br00tal to reflect their hardcore-ness.


I ended the meal with a cookie sundae and some Tofurky Jerky for the ride home. There was lots of food and excitement in between all these highlights. The trip was terrific and it's definitely hard to settle back into work and such, but there is nothing like snuggling up at home with our pets and each other!!! <3>
P.S. Click here to check out Brad's corresponding post on vacation vinyl!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vacation Food Part 1: Oregon Does Vegan Oh So Well!!

Oh my gosh! For eight days, we ate ate ate! It was just too tempting when faced with such dazzling options across the Northwest! Suffice it to say that the days and weeks to come will involve a lot of light and healthy vegan cooking (Fatfreevegan here I come!) to make up for this treat-fest and it's aftereffects!!

The highlights of the Oregon part of the trip included:

Delicious vegan Reuben and a tasty soy Chai at The Cup & Saucer in Portland, OR




Vegan donut extravaganza (this one stretched over 3 or 4 days!) at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland





Beautiful surprise birthday cake and yummy truffle excursion at Sweetpea!




Homemade love in Troutdale! Yummy Indian spinach & tofu on rice. Sooo good!


Stay tuned for cross-country Reuben eating and more vacay food!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gossip @ Capitol Hill Block Party

Here's a snippet from the show we saw in Seattle.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Seaweed Salad Review

I got to try a new item at a local health food store, Fiesta Nutrition Center.
Here we have Macro Vegetarian/Vegan Seaweed Salad.
My previous seaweed salad experiences have been at restaurants or from a frozen package. I would say that the big difference with this seaweed salad is that it definitely tastes healthier. The seaweed is a good consistency, and the sesame seeds are great. The main thing I didn't like was that I kind of enjoy that tangy, sweet factor in the other seaweed salads I've had, and this one wasn't like that. It had straightforward and simple flavors.
Conclusion: good quality, healthy, but missing that magically zesty syrupy stuff that I enjoy so much!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh so saucy! Pico De Gallo

I am so excited to have made a delicious pico de gallo right in my own kitchen. I thought this was the impossible task, but it tasted so authentic!


Took the man right back to the taquerias of San Francisco he said...Fresh squeezed lime juice is a magical thing!



The recipe was a winner from one of Sarah Kramer's cookbooks. We made burritos with leftover veggies.

Caliente!
P.S. I made this post in advance, because today's my birthday and I'm probably scampering around Seattle as we speak! Yay!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Soapy!

I got some fun new soaps to show off!


The Venus of Willendorf, up close and personal.


Yum! Almost good enough to eat :)


What are your favorite kinds of soaps?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cafe Nervosa and Raw Spaghetti

Frasier is my all-time favorite show, and I have the nerd-o-rama honor of also owning the Cafe Nervosa cookbook. Cafe Nervosa is where the Crane brothers hang out all the time.


I made Basil Bisquits from said cookbook and munched delicately on them just like Frasier and Niles might! (I'll be in their lovely city very very soon!)



Also on the menu recently was raw "spaghetti" and marinara. I have made this several times lately, but I'm getting better every time. The noodles were zucchini and the marinara was Ani Phyo's recipe.
Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My New Cookbook

I am so excited about this vintage Etsy find. (I'm am not sure where I have been, but the other day was the first time I searched vintage Etsy! Oh the fun!) Having my own kitchen has made me excited about house-y, kitchen-y things. Etsy vintage has a lot of the kitchen stuff that I see at garage sales, thrift stores, and antique shops. The nice thing is that the pictures are so vivid and the descriptions are so fun to read. I love digging through piles of treasures, but it's also fun to search them by color and era!

I found this vintage French cookbook and had to add it to the Pixiepine arsenal. I am going to try and use the recipes by translating them one at a time. Anyone want to help ? ;)

The 1973 cookbook is called “100 Desserts, 50 Trucs” (“100 Desserts, 50 Tips”) and is written completely in French. The hot pink & orange graphics combo sold me too! I bought this book from an Etsy seller named Fauxbrit13, who has been a delight thus far. Check out her shop!






Monday, July 13, 2009

Food Thither And Dither

Is that code for nonsense? I hope.
Here are some random food bits from the last few days.
My mom's birthday cake! I made this extremely rich and delicious vegan coconut cake. I am a messy cake baker, but we all enjoyed it!


Next, one of my favorite ways to fill my belly. Fresh baked ciabatta bread, olive oil-n-herbs, and some red wine. Yum!


A familiar favorite: biscuits and gravy a la The Dirty South. I've been using a mix of unbleached white flour, whole wheat, and spelt to try and be healthier. It tastes really good too.



And finally, my under-researched but steadfast conclusion...raw tahini just doesn't do it for me. I am a die hard fan of the crazy good potency of tahini. The raw was so...bland. Anybody tried one with a kick?

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's SO HOT!!!!

I think it must be about a billion degrees outside. Suffice it to say, there is little to no desire to cook much of anything. The idea of turning on the oven....eeeeek!

This is what the Pixiepine Kitchen has been looking like lately:



I've bought a ton of fruits and vegetables to eat raw. The lemon bowl is overflowing because tangy, lemony sauces taste soo good on chilled veggies.
We have been having good salads. I'm taking advantaging of cooking-less time to explore the salad dressing and sauces sections in my cookbooks. Raw recipe books are especially great for light and zingy sauces. Below is a salad with a really good tahini lemon juice type sauce.


Here's a lovely honey mustard (I used agave nectar in place of honey) poppy seed dressing still bubbly from the blender.



This recipe is from The Complete Book of Raw Food. It's a huge cookbook full of goodness :)


Stay cool! One week till Mr. & Mrs. Pixiepine hit the Northwest! Honeymoon here we come!! (I'm gonna have a very cute new tattoo to show off too!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

French Kick

Bender en Francais courtesy of my local library!

I checked out Mireille Guiliano's books, French Women Don't Get Fat and French Women for all Seasons. These books are good fun. People seem to get very up in arms about them in reviews, but I thought they were really cute. The author is totally over-the-top, but hey, it's entertaining! She does make some great points about portion sizes and really enjoying meals.

I also checked out Amelie, which I have seen 4 billions times and could watch 4 billion more. Second film up was Claude Chabrol's Les Bonnes Femmes. Whew! I am too much of a happy-ending girl to love these broody French films, but the clothes and scenery are enough to keep me coming back always.

I loved the brunette, Bernadette Lafont. She reminded me of a vintage Kathleen Hanna, all surly and take-no-prisoners attitude in a killer dress.

These movies make me crazy! I am totally ready to chop my hair off again. I will wait a while, but it's an exciting prospect. Here's the pic of Jean Seberg that I took with me to the salon last time I went short...and I loved my haircut!


Au revoir!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Jambalaya...Sorta.

Ok...I didn't think I was a spicy food girl, but I guess it's all relative.

I made the healthy Jambalaya recipe that I posted a little while back, and boy did it take some Louisiana magic to get it up to par!

First a little help from Holy Mary of spiciness!


Then a little kitchen witchery beyond what the recipe called for! I also added vegan sausage crumbles. Look at all the magically vegan things you can add to food

Here's the final (well almost...I cooked it down some more) product.

My conclusion: leave the regional food up to the experts. Try Kittee's awesome NOLA recipes!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Win it!

My mom says if you share you get more.

So here.

:)

Artsy Fartsy

Happy July! It's my birthday month!

My art-coffee-mayhem partner has flown the coop to un-sunny Oregon...and I miss her terribly. It's been a year since she moved (can't believe that!) and I am finally feeling creative again. I've got a few painting projects in the works.

Lately I've crafted an old pair of tights into some cute over the knee socks/thigh highs. Yay! I also found a cool toy sink at the Goodwill and decoupaged it into sauciness worthy of my kitchen. It started out pee-pee yellow and ended up like this. I love the "chrome" sink and drainboard. It even has a tiny little drain plug on a chain. (Beware, friends who send me mail. Your gifts end up chopped and glued, but well loved!)

You can see my Hello Kitty toys and wind-up sushi as well :)

I also pink-ified our carport indirectly when I spray painted a shelf red for the kitchen. Here's my little cookbook area. My next idea is to somehow get a fishnet pattern onto that mannequin leg. Fun! Bonus Smorkin and hula hoop visibility.


Next project is to do something fun with my wine corks. Maybe something like this.




Cheers!