Summer 2017, The Official Farewell

It’s safe to say goodbye now, right?

I grew up on Long Island and “back to school” was always the day after Labor Day. I used to have mixed feelings. After all, who can resist the allure of a new Trapper Keeper and fall clothes that would be too hot to wear for a month? But I definitely loved summer. A mere two months of freedom, but wasn’t it endless once?  Beach days with my grandparents at Zach’s Bay, Disney vacations, huge Sunday family picnics at Eisenhower Park, Friday night baseball games, pool days in my backyard, parades, ice cream truck jingles, cupping lightening bugs in my hands and admiring the glow before releasing them… it’s a sunny, sandy, starry humid blur but probably familiar to anyone growing up on Long Island in the 70s/80s.

In New Orleans, while locals enjoy having a lot less tourists taking up all the dining reservations, a lot of us either leave the city or count down the days until Labor Day. And here we are. Happy Labor Day, bitches!

This summer has been a good one for me. There was the new boat, which allowed for a entirely new way to explore this intriguing area of swamps, wild life, abandoned boats and forts. We’ve admittedly wimped out a bit and haven’t used it due to late afternoon storms (the entire month of August was a bit of a wash out), but September’s cooler temps beckon so that we can go out earlier than 5pm.

Travels were steady, New York and Toronto in June and July, San Francisco in August and Nashville last week.

Food memories of the summer, though! It’s been a while since I did a vegan food share, hasn’t it? One standout moment recently was at an old favorite in a new location in the Bay Area, Millennium. You can read all the details in my Yelp review, but these photos might do the dishes justice (probably not!)

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Fresh Corn, Chard & Toasted Pumpkin Seed Tamal
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The most glorious, gorgeous Fattoush Salad I have ever experienced!
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I was all gaga over the Strawberry Trifle

Another standout experience was Toronto’s Planta.

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Frenchie pizza made healthy w/ arugula; made super rich with truffle oil
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Cauliflower tots- super decadent

Speaking of pizza, i.e., my favorite food, I had tons of it at my favorite Italian vegan cafe on Long Island, Three Brothers. Photos aren’t blog-worthy, (LIES. I ate it too quickly!) but check out this delicously colorful ‘za I had in Napa at Live Fire Pizza!

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Feast the rainbow!

And while we’re at it, I’m a little bit proud of the pizzas I’ve been making weekly this summer. Danny has been even trying to eat less animal products and is sharing some of my vegan dinners lately.

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Homemade pizza with Miyoko’s VeganMozz, olives, broccoli, fresh basil & tomatoes and Tofurkey vegan sausage

“What about dessert,” you say? How about this divine vegan tiramisu from Graze, Nashville?!

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Jesus himself might have wept when eating this tiramisu

Alright, I guess I should admit that I did eat dinner before indulging.

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savory Chickpea Cakes with Bay Seasoning

And this seitan steak and potatoes ain’t pretty but I would kill to know how they were able to get the seitan so succulent/crispy/tender (steak-like!)

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Seitan Steak & potatoes (the steak is that ugly dark triangle in the lower right corner. Ugly but incredibly delicious, so I have to share!)

Want to see some nachos, while we’re at it?

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Homemade, can’t you tell?

OK, so these nachos aren’t very pretty either. I really just want to share with you the holy grail of gooey vegan queso, made with tapioca starch so you get that stretch going. I put the nachos over a massaged kale salad and it was half junk food and half healthy.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with cooking and hope to do a blog post detailing this more, however, the reality is, this isn’t a cooking blog (there are just so many pretty ones out there). I prefer to detail my dining out experiences, especially given all the traveling that I do, but who knows. Perhaps an exploration of spending more time in the kitchen will be part of my fall pursuits.

Fall goals:

-blog at least twice per week

-work on my novel daily for at least an hour

-get back on my French and Italian lessons

-keep up the shorter (an hour or less), more intense workouts

-keep up the IF (Intermittant Fasting, subject for another blog post because it really makes sense for when I travel)

See you later this week!

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