Saturday, November 17, 2007

Local Craft Bazaars in and around DC

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I'm trying to buy handmade for those gifts that I'm not making this year. My biggest challenge seems to be children's gifts. I'm looking for interesting toys and games, things that are not just another wooden truck or name puzzle. I was so bored at the Sugarloaf craft fair today at the Montgomery county fairgrounds. Sugarloaf was pretty surreal--it felt exactly like the craft fairs I used to attend with my mom when I was a kid--maybe its even the same vendors, who knows? I bought only two things of note: an amazing pair of mittens made from recycled sweaters--unfortunately, the artist does not have a web site, and a yard of fabric from a woman who designs natural indigo-dyed cotton.

Since I'm still on the lookout, I've done a little research to see where in the DC area there might be some fun holiday craftiness going on. If you know of any additions to this list, let me know and I'll add it here.

Nov. 24th: Saturday • November 24 • 10AM-5PM: Bazaart: Artful Holiday Shopping Extravaganza! at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

Nov. 29: Patton Boggs Holiday Bazaar; Patton Boggs LLP, 2550
M Street NW, Washington DC; 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

Beginning December 7th, there's the DC Downtown Holiday Market

Dec 9th: Squidfire's Holiday Pop Mart at the Baltimore Lyric Opera House 12-7 p.m.

Dec 15th: Craft Mutiny Holiday Booty Market.

Kucinich at the latest debate

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Chickpea and Rice Soup


Riffing on a recipe on the PPK blog (part of the upcoming Veganomicon), which I've already pre-ordered, I'm making the following Soup:

1 Onion
A splash of olive oil
1 cup of carrots
1 8 oz. pkg. of crimini mushrooms
1/2 t. celery seeds
1 t. thyme
a pinch of rosemary (crushed)
2 T. mirin
1/3 c. miso
4 c. veggie broth
2 c. or more, water
1 can of chickpeas
2 cups cooked rice (I had some leftover--you can see on Isa's blog, she uses soba noodles)
1 pkg. frozen spinach.

Saute onions, add carrots, mushrooms, herbs, cook until onions are translucent. Add mirin, miso, broth and water. Add chickpeas. Cook until carrots are fork-tender. 20 minutes before serving, add rice and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Yummy Miso-Baked Tofu

Made this last night--it was delicious! I would make it again, but I'd omit half of the soy sauce. Also, we didn't broil it, we baked it at 450 for twenty minutes. It was perfect. The ingredients are all things you probably have in your kitchen, and it was *very* quick to make. I served it with steamed delicata squash and rice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hamilton Eats Local

I grew up right next to the Hamilton College campus in Clinton, NY where my parents still work. Today the college is participating in the Eat Local Challenge along with other colleges in the Northeast. They're holding a campus-wide picnic filled with local ingredients. My mom says they even found flour milled locally. She's headed over to the picnic right now. Hamilton College contracts with Bon Appétit, a national food service company who seems to have the most ecological, forward thinking approach to their work of any of the big mass market food providers. The head chef at Hamilton College, Ruben Haag says he regularly seeks works with about a dozen farmers from upstate New York. Pat Raynard, the general manager of Bon Appétit at Hamilton College was quoted in a press release saying, "I don't know of anyone else who is closing down campus and holding a huge picnic where the farmers will be on hand."

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trader Joe's Organic Humus

Has Trader Joe's changed the formula for it's organic humus? I bought some yesterday and I ate the whole container myself, almost in one sitting. It tastes like what my Syrian grandmother would have made if she liked humus. No, really, she didn't, I'm not sure why, she favored tabouleh. So, I learned to make humus from my mom, who I think got her recipe from a vegetarian cookbook. I'm very picky about humus--I don't like it chunky, and I don't like extra spices like cumin or anything like that.

But the Trader Joe's humus is perfect--it's thick, you can really taste the tahini, and the garlic, lemon and salt are all balanced beautifully. In fact, if I were to change it at all, I might just add a touch of olive oil, which you could do easily if you were going to serve it. I wish I had bought more, yum!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back from Seattle

Morel Mushrooms at the Market
Originally uploaded by plainsight
Selma and I recently went home to Seattle for a visit... It's amazing to be back on the Left coast where local food is really valued. The local neighborhood farmers market is 90% organic, all local, all food (no crafts, imports, etc.) and is so different from what we find here in Maryland (at least what I've found so far). There are also goodies like these morel mushrooms that are a particularly northwestern treat.

I'll be posting again soon about a great bakery and an amazing new Fair Trade chocolate sauce. Meanwhile, here's a photo round-up of our trip.

Seattle Trip Mosaic

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by plainsight
We went to see the new Disney movie over the weekend, and to use up what was left of the week's CSA box, I made this loose interpretation of ratatouille. "It doesn't look like the one in the movie, mom," Selma commented on the presentation of the dish in the movie, and added, "that one had a special sauce." Kids are so literal. She gobbled it up, regardless.

I omitted the tomatoes I usually put in my ratatouille, used only salt, olive oil, and basil for seasoning. Vegetables were yellow squash, onions, and zucchini, I added a can of white beans just before serving, and served over butterfly pasta.

Wikipedia says this about the origin of the word ratatouille:
The name of the dish appears to derive from the French touiller, "to stir", although the root of the first element "rata" is slang from the French Army meaning "chunky stew".
They also have a recipe in their Wikimedia Cookbook.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Birthday Cupcakes

Creamsicle Cupcakes
Originally uploaded by plainsight
Does it seam as if I only make one kind of cupcake? This one has been a favorite for a while now--and while I do have many vegan cupcake recipes I love, I haven't felt the need to make any other kind--these are just so moist, and yummy--orange and vanilla-y, chocolate buttercream--mmmm.... Maybe I should go have one. Blueberries from Blueberry Gardens, where we went picking this weekend.