31 December 2011

Vegan 100 Update and 2011 Notables

Besides apparently being an acceptable time for all major retailers to begin reminding the consumer world about the imminent arrival of Valentine's Day, the end of December is also customarily a time for reflection on the year that is about to end. With that in mind, I thought it appropriate to revisit the Vegan 100 list I posted around this time last year. I didn't make any deliberate attempts to eat items from the list, so there has been little headway. Here is the slightly updated version anyway. Italicized type indicates items I have tried, with an asterisk (*) specifying items tried within the past year.

1. Molasses
2. 
Cactus/Nopales*
3. 
Scrambled Tofu
4. 
Grilled Portobella Caps*

5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits

7. Arepa
8. 
Vegan Cole Slaw
9. 
Ginger Carrot Soup*

10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. 
Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. 
Almond Butter Toast
14. 
Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. 
Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. 
Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought)
21. 
Heirloom tomatoes

22. 
Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. 
Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper

27. Goji Berry Tea
28. 
Fennel
29. 
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. 
Starfruit
32. 
Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices*
34. 
Sauerkraut

35. Acai Smoothie

36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes NYC
38. 
Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. 
Falafel

40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw*
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings

44. 
Hemp Milk
45. 
Rose Champagne
46. 
Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. 
Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice…with Extra Ginger
50. 
Grilled Seitan*
51. 
Prickly pear*

52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk

53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. 
Ramps
55. 
Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. 
Organic Arugula
57. 
Vidalia Onion

58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. 
Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi

61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. 
Grape seed Oil
63. 
Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. 
Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava

67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. 
Fried plantains
70. 
Mache
71. 
Golden Beets*

72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. 
Liquid Smoke
74. 
Meyer Lemon

75. Veggie Paella
76. 
Vegan Lasagna (raw optional)
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong*

80. Lychee Bellini
81. 
Tempeh Bacon
82. 
Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh 

84. 
Vanilla Bean
85. 
Watercress

86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. 
Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. 
Flowers
89. 
Corn Chowder*

90. High-Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. 
Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa*
94. 
Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. 
Homemade Risotto
97. 
Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. 
Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought

100. Fresh-Plucked English Peas

A whopping nine additional items tasted within the past year make a running count of 65 (of 100) items tried, if I've done my basic arithmetic correctly. Perhaps I'll make a bigger dent in what's left of the list this year.

***
To officially close out blogging for 2011 and usher in the calendar change, I give you a roundup of noteworthy Bread Without Butter blog posts from each month in 2011. It's essentially my list of favorites from the last 12 months and in many cases, are seemingly popular with you dear readers, too.

October: Vegan MoFo V! (The tofu musubi tutorial seemed particularly popular, but I can't decide which post was my favorite.)
Many thanks to all of you wonderful readers for stopping by this humble nook in the blogosphere. I truly appreciate the time you take to read and comment on my food-related musings. I hope you'll continue to join  me for what is certain to be a year filled with even more vegan food exploration.

Best wishes for a happy new year! Have fun and celebrate safely, all.

28 December 2011

Baking and Giving

I hope those who celebrated enjoyed a merry Christmas and wish everyone a joyous holiday season. After returning from my brief trip to the Bay Area (always a bittersweet event) just prior to Christmas, I found a few shots of that holiday-related baking I mentioned in the last post to share with you all. Although they are neither novel nor particularly exciting, these Cinnamon Roses were apparently quite the success with their recipients. I likewise enjoyed them. Delicately buttery and kissed with gentle spice and sweetness, these lovely rolls were a delight to eat. I fed my mild obsession with vegan brioche by using Celine's recipe for Cinnamon Pull-Apart Brioche, shaping the dough into roses using the technique that actually inspired me to bake these rolls.
I also adapted this recipe for panettone, making a vegan double-batch to tote along to my sister's house. It was my first attempt at the traditional Italian holiday bread, which probably wasn't very traditional after the various substitutions made: coconut milk for dairy milk, coconut milk yogurt for eggs, vegan margarine for butter, and golden raisins for currants. I also added lemon and orange zest and chopped, dried cherries and apricots to the mix. The resulting loaves weren't particularly lofty, but still soft, flavorful, and appropriately festive. They definitely weighed down my carry-on bag--just one portion of my haul of baked goods--with the bread's heavenly smell as a curious travel companion.

22 December 2011

Warmth

There hasn't been much cooking happening around here lately. I have been in the Bay Area all week as a guest at my gracious sister's house yet again, so my food routine is abnormal (in good and bad ways). I did actually tote a colossal haul of baked goods with me to my northern California "home away from home"--specifically, panettone, cinnamon brioche roses, walnut maple biscotti, and Danish pastries--but don't have pictures to show of it. Too bad, because my Martha Stewart tendencies were definitely at work in the oh so precious wrapping. I may have a few shots of something on my camera back home, so you may see them one of these days.

In the meantime, the cold weather dictates that I fill up on inordinate amounts of soups and hot food in general, such as a recent variation on my posole with spinach and roasted butternut squash...
...and this jumble of radish, carrots, celery, kale, and shiitake in homemade vegetable broth.
Satsumaimo is always a treat when they're in season, being both reasonably priced and delightfully sweet when roasted. These particular tubers were some of the sweetest I've eaten this year.
***
And now for a gratuitous shout-out to my amazing friends (who don't actually read this blog, as far as I know). I always have heaps of love and gratitude for them--they're always a huge source of inspiration for me--but have been particularly aware and appreciative of their love, perspective, patience, and support lately. Maybe the holiday spirit is kicking in for me a little bit, too.