The Bored Vegetarian

Last weekend, Chris and I drove up to the Hudson Valley for a few days of fresh air, castles and art.  

I only get back to Washington about once a year to see my family and friends there.  It’s always a jam-packed visit and this trip was no different, especially with my insistence on visiting La Push on the coast.  We spent a week at La Push every summer growing up and they’re some of my favorite childhood memories.  We spent the majority of our trips back then looking for forgotten fireworks and building forts out of the piles of driftwood on the beach.  Grandpa Jack would take us out fishing in his boat during the afternoons and we’d spend the evenings by the fire roasting marshmallows.  

Though I hadn’t been back in 17 years, not a lot has changed.  The cabins are a bit nicer and without the graffitied loft ceilings and ember singed carpets, but the scent of moisture soaked, slightly rotting logs is the same.  The rocky paths are are the same, and I still know the best places to find the star fish and sea anemones.  I’m not sure there’s anywhere quite like it for me.  

Over the weekend, my friend Whitney and I took the 7 train to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens to explore the structures left behind from the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.  The Unisphere is still in good shape, but the observatory towers and pavilion are rusting away and being taken over by stray cats.

I was under the impression that the World’s fair expositions ceased to exist after a certain point, but apparently they still happen:  The next one’s in Milan in 2015. 

Why You’d Want to Live Here

LA and I have had somewhat of a contemptuous relationship since it stole away two of my closest friends a few months ago and have yet to return to them to Brooklyn, but as it was one of the cities I had yet to explore in my adulthood, it was time to go.  The weather didn’t quite behave (those who say it never rains in California lied…) but we got to explore tons of neighborhoods and most importantly, eat a lot of delicious food.  I came back feeling pretty inspired foodwise, which is one of the best things one can ask for. 

Nickel Diner (Downtown) : Try the strawberry donut.

Little Dom’s (Griffith Park/Los Feliz) : Eggs Fungi Poached with Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Bread, Fennel Pollen Hollandaise; Fried Potatoes

Cafe Gratitude (Venice, thanks for the recommendation, Nicole!) : Warning - their way of ordering (I AM ____________, to which the waitperson replies YOU ARE _________________) is a bit pretentious and off-putting, but it’s the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever had.

I AM VIVACIOUS: Live marinated Kale Chips with Hempseed Ranch

I AM HUMBLE: Indian Curried Lentils over Quinoa with Sauteed Seasonal Vegetable, Sweet Potato and Spinach, drizzled with Spicy Mint Chutney & Sweet Tamarind Sauce 

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe (Santa Monica) : Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Rutiz Kale with Sunny-Side Up Eggs (pictured above); All of the baked goods (we had blueberry ciabatta and roasted fig flatbread)

Jitlada (Hollywood) : Tom Kha Soup; Freshy Rolls; Native Fruit Green Curry with Coconut and Tofu

Wurstkuche (Downtown/Arts District) : Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage (apples, yukon potatoes & rubbed sage)

The Pie Hole (Downtown/Arts District) : I forget which we had, but it was tasty! 

Other highlights:

The Varnish (in the back of Cole’s, Downtown) : Delicious cocktails

Cosmos (Little Tokyo, Downtown) : Karaoke with a 2 drink min., tiny stage and rules like “no jumping, no gum.” 

Point Dume : Beautiful state beach (pictured above) 

Disneyland
 : Weird, nostalgic feeling (and a Dole whip)

(special thank you thank you to Brooke, Mads, Mei and Joel for showing me a good time) 

Where do I go next?  I’d like to plan a trip abroad and at least one in the US for 2013… advice?  

Havarti Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Spicy Guava Jam
I’ll admit that I cheated a little and bought canned jam, but I was hungry and was daydreaming of the guava paste I’d had with a cheese plate at Dumont last week…  The Goya guava jam I used is vegetarian - pectin is the thickening agent.2 slices of good Bread1/4 cup Guava JamCayenne Pepper (to taste)Sliced Havarti Cheese (I used a little less than 1/4 of a pound) 1-2 Tbsp Butter 
In a bowl, combine guava jam and cayenne pepper.  Taste as you add cayenne until it reaches the desired level of spiciness.  Spread a generous amount of jam on one side of both pieces of bread.  Layer with havarti cheese.  Put sandwich together and spread outside sides of bread with butter.  Grill each side to golden brown on medium/high heat in a saute or griddle.  Remove from heat, cool slightly and cut.  Some summer pics..

 


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Havarti Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Spicy Guava Jam

I’ll admit that I cheated a little and bought canned jam, but I was hungry and was
daydreaming of the guava paste I’d had with a cheese plate at Dumont last week…  The Goya guava jam I used is vegetarian - pectin is the thickening agent.

2 slices of good Bread
1/4 cup Guava Jam
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Sliced Havarti Cheese (I used a little less than 1/4 of a pound) 
1-2 Tbsp Butter 

In a bowl, combine guava jam and cayenne pepper.  Taste as you add cayenne until it reaches the desired level of spiciness.  Spread a generous amount of jam on one side of both pieces of bread.  Layer with havarti cheese.  Put sandwich together and spread outside sides of bread with butter.  Grill each side to golden brown on medium/high heat in a saute or griddle.  Remove from heat, cool slightly and cut.  

Some summer pics..

 

Berlin is incredible, even when it’s freezing cold.  More photos to come.

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