Thursday, February 24, 2011

Loving Fall 2011 Already!

About another month before winter is out the door- am pretty over the snow, sleet & cold. Definitely ready for some sprightly spring weather, but this weekend surprisingly gave me some red hot fall/winter desire...

Was helping out my friend, Elizabeth & her fabulous vegan line, Olsenhaus at the NOW Showcase. Was really fun to hang & meet some cool people- designers & store owners are all about eco-friendly, sustainable fashion. And added bonus, got to see the hot new Olsenhaus fall line. Olsenhaus is debuting bags in the Awakening Collection/Fall 2011 and boy, am I coveting hard.

This gorgeous, ultrasuede giant tote is screaming to be in my closet or balanced in the crook of my elbow heading to brunch or clutched in my hand going away for the weekend...it's super roomy and the best part, it's got little feet- bags like these need feet, who wants to be setting down this gorgeousness on the filthy floor. Yes, I must admit I have some dirt issues...in my pre-vegan years, I used to set a cloth napkin on the floor at fancy Cipriani for my precious Celine bag. When I was 3yrs old, me the obnoxious, privileged American kid, would not set foot in Laos because it was dirt, not sidewalks- my parents carried me for two weeks.

Anyway, I love this bag, the Olsenhaus Bjorn Tote- reminds me of a way more compassionate & eco Hermes Birkin and for a fraction of the cost at $330. Some may balk at this price, but it's valid for the quality, eco-friendly, non-sweatshop production. I just love that there is yet another high-quality, fab vegan bag line! Yay!
Here's a peek at some of the other bags- one is embossed linen croc print....
This was the space the show was in over at The Terminal Building by the West Side Highway.
Look how hot this wooden platform wedge is- perfect for girls like me that need more height, but not wanting to balance on spindly heels which I happily did in my twenties....yep, age is catching up- but this Olsenhaus platform wedge is perfect for old ladies like me...
There were wallets, and heels and loafers...oh my! Even sequined "Toms" type loafers!

At the end of the day, there was a wine & cocktail hour, which also featured delicious snacks.There was super yummy salsas from The Brooklyn Salsa Company- especially yummy was Queens, The Tropical- it had coconut milk...yum!
I also got to sample Zhena's Gypsy Fair Trade Coconut Chai with soymilk, delicious!
There was also my favorite vegan snack ever, The Regal Vegan's Faux Gras, which is the most awesome stuff ever that's healthy & delicious. Made from walnuts & lentils, it is the cruelty-free version of disturbingly, cruelty-packed foie gras. It's also my favorite snack because Ella Nemcova, The Regal Vegan rocks & she really makes the most delicious food!
Wanted to post a pic, but Blogger is being troublesome...boo.
Would have taken more pictures walking around the show, but I was hobbling from hurting my bad knee at hot yoga a few days earlier, boo. But love that eco-friendly, sustainable fashion has a trade show to call their own. Now, can't wait for a vegan fashion trade show- bet that's coming soon!



Friday, February 18, 2011

Anniversaries Are For Eating

It is 60 degrees today here in NYC- so grateful for a winter break and to toast all things spring-y & lovely...I changed my blog to pretty shade of pink! Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day as well- Fcat & I don't celebrate Valentine's Day per se, we celebrate our anniversary which is actually the day before, whew. I dislike having to be out with a million other goggly-eyed couples, red roses in hand, paying for hiked up dinner prices...

I got to pick anniversary spot....


We started the day off with brunch at Pure Food & Wine. I love the space at PFW- it's intimate and warm- perfect for drinks & dining. Was excited to try their brunch- I've had raw food brunch before but was looking forward to PFW for quite awhile. We started with mimosas while we perused the menu.
Fcat went with the quiche which was recommended by the waitress. It was a bit smaller than we had expected. Honestly it was almost laughable how teeny it was. Fcat was incredulous. Luckily, it was really delicious. Fcat just wished that there was more of it- he finished it in four bites. We actually contemplated ordering an appetizer. Had we ordered an app with entree & dessert- it definitely would have been enough food. Raw meals are very filling, but Fcat's entree was definitely almost hors d'oeuvres sized.
My spinach florentine was a bit more substantial than the quiche, but that's not saying much...but then again, it was absolutely delicious. Spinach atop manna bread & marinated mushrooms with "hollandaise" sauce- all raw & all yum. I have made a raw eggplant manicotti meal before, so I can imagine how much work & time is involved in raw food prep, but I have to say- we won't be rushing back anytime some for brunch. Having had dinner here a few times which was great & fab, the brunch portions just seem smaller and still as expensive. If you want a great raw food experience that won't break the bank & still leave you satisfied, check out Quintessence in the East Village.The portions & food itself will make up for lack of ambiance & space.
Now what is definitely worth the money at Pure Food & Wine, is the mint sundae. It's so good that it led me to tweet & shout to the world that it was the gateway drug to raw food! Yep, minty, chocolatey yumminess from and not a drop of dairy or processed crap...wow.
Yes indeed, 6 years just fly by...we had the hostess snap this pic on our way out- Fcat has his snow hat on- that is not spray on helmet head...and me wrapped up in my Vaute Couture coat...
After brunch, we walked over to our favorite store, ABC Home, where we would buy everything if we could. Everything is so gorgeous & displays are done so well- makes me want everything!!
Love all the crystals they have- if it were up to me, our apt would be swimming in crystals & Buddhas, though if you ask Fcat, it already is...

Love white dishes...

We decided to catch a movie after- The Fighter was really great, though I always hate having to pay for movies that I get invited to screenings for...just happened to be out of town for The Fighter...We also missed the screening for Black Swan, The King's Speech, True Grit. I was going through my freaked out by bedbugs in NYC stage- didn't want to go to any movie theaters...we came out of The Fighter a little itchy, but it was all in my mind.

We had planned on heading home after all the popcorn I had during the movie, but then decided to treat ourselves to pizza at Pala, which is so perfect for the omni-vegan couple and gluten-free as well if you want to make it a threesome! Love that the vegan menu gets a whole page alongside the omni page.
I had a yummy ginger apple vodka cocktail.
We split an argula salad with Daiya cheese & apples. It was yummy.
We each got our own pizza, which of course we ended up ordering the same pizza, except one omni & the other vegan. Mine was Daiya cheese, Field Roast sausage & mushrooms....we didn't realize that there was no tomato sauce- so we had a side of marinara to dip into...perfect.
It was a perfect way to spend our anniversary- eating our way thru it. Yum! Have a gorgeous weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope everyone is stopping to smell the fair-trade, organic roses and letting your friends, family & fur companions know that they are loved.

Theo knows exactly how to appreciate the love, breathe in deeply!
And these two little well-fed strays, enjoy the sunshine & the love that's provided to them by the very generous people that share food & the porch & baby Jesus with them.
Have a heart & help adopt or rescue a shelter animal! Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the rabbit and this promises to be a year of gentle ease, prosperity and peace. During the new year celebrations, always make sure you get your share of lucky foods! The easiest way is to surround your home with tangerines & clementines. They symbolize luck & good fortune. And they can brighten up any decor- we've been keeping bowls of clementines around to cheer up the winter blahs & getting added yummy vitamin c as well. They are just the perfect dose of happy!
Another new year's tradition is getting the hong bao, which are red envelopes with money inside, given by older relatives- kids really make out like bandits here....
There are lots of lucky foods to eat. Since my family's new years's celebration was delayed, we had a quiet dinner at home with noodles (longevity), shitake (seizing opportunities), pumpkin (abundance, prosperity) & greens (close family ties).
We made sure to have mochi red bean cake for dessert- sweets & rice cake (safety, good fortune, sweeten the year).
For Chinese New Year, we don't really make resolutions- just celebration, but because I'm also American- I saw it as another chance to incorporate new changes...like giving up coffee. Coffee is super acidic to the system (I've been reading Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet & loving it!) which is not a good thing. We should strive for a more alkaline diet. So when I heard about Teeccino, an herbal coffee alternative, I had to try it. Chicory, dates, almonds, figs, barley and other yummy things....I got Teecino Hazelnut & I absolutely love it. It brews just like coffee, now don't expect it to taste like coffee because it doesn't, but I really enjoy it and it's good for you- the chicory contains inulin which is a prebiotic that helps to supports probiotics & healthy digestive system .
We also got a Vitamix- it's like the Cadillac of blenders. I love it & it's a wonderful way to get a ton of raw greens in via monster green smoothies. Blends everything super smooth in a minute or less- here's a whole thing of organic kale, organic frozen peaches, coconut meat & 2 dates (one of which I forgot to pit, but wasn't a problem for super blender!)- I was really concerned with the noise level but I've gotten used to it & the most importantly, the cats don't mind at all!
Yes, all these green smoothies & no coffee thing doesn't mean no to fun nights out- my friend, Elizabeth invited me to a book signing & reception for Jane Velez-Mitchell's Addiction Nation at fancy schmancy, A Voce at the Time Warner Center. Alas, the party was way overpacked & over booked- we stayed for a glass of champagne & had to go in search of some grub. We decided on V-Note. I had been here once before & wasn't completely impressed, but wanted to give it another shot. Bottom-line: it was decent vegan food, but am not rushing back here anytime soon with so many other options in NYC.

Here's the ceasar salad with soy chicken- the ceasar was yummy, the soy chicken not so much...
Elizabeth's "not crab" cakes were good- but it was really all about the sauce- (here we are trying to get a shot of her fabulous swarovski ring, but flash wasn't working out so well)
And this hideous monstrosity- was actually not bad. This dish really need to be worked on presentation wise, it came as giant piece of ravioli with globs of sauce covering the whole dish until I cut into it. This was a mushroom, lentil, walnut ravioli with cashew cream, spinach, capers. The pasta was too doughy & the inside of the ravioli wasn't really flavorful, but if you had a bite with the cream spinach & caper- then it was good. But honestly, this dish looks like crap.
Here's the chocolate ganache- which I thought would have some cake to it, but really more like a chocolate, peanut butter fudge with a scoop of vanilla vegan ice cream.
My tofu cheesecake was okay, the texture a little smoother than I prefer and the flavor was okay, but wouldn't cry if I couldn't have it ever again...
The setting at V-Note is nice but honestly, the food is just okay. The good thing was that they were fully booked for Friday night, but I really wish they would get their act together since they are part of Blossom & totally capable of serving amazing vegan food. Am sure they get plenty of omnis being on the Upper East Side, they have a great opportunity to show how delicious vegan food can be, please V-Note, get it together!
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, peace-filled & prosperous Year of the Rabbit and another year closer to a more compassionate world for all sentient beings.
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