Meet The Team / Stefania Butler
Stefania Pomponi Butler is proud to call herself a blogger. In addition to blogging CityMama (her labor of love), she gets paid to write for Blogging Baby (recently nominated for a Weblog Award) and slashfood, both Weblogs Inc./AOL publications. Stefania lives in San Francisco with her family. Stefania Pomponi Butler is proud to call herself a blogger. In addition to blogging CityMama (her labor of love), she gets paid to write for Blogging Baby (recently nominated for a Weblog Award) and slashfood, both Weblogs Inc./AOL publications. Stefania lives in San Francisco with her family.
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My local natural foods supermarket sells these rolls in the deli case and they are delicious, but they are not hard to make at home. My favorite version includes cooked udon noodles tossed with a little sesame oil (or peanut oil for milder flavor), a shmear of umeboshi paste (or wasabi), sliced avocado, some shredded carrots, sliced green onions, and a sprinkling of nori furikake or toasted sesame seeds for crunch.
Roll ingredients up in a sheet of nori then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill. (The chilling helps with slicing later.) Serve sliced or eat temaki-style (like a burrito!).
In the airport I was able to track down places that sold veggie sandwiches, lentil soup, vegan pastries, and fruit cups. Granted, I was traveling from San Francisco to Portland, Ore., two vegan-friendly cities. I don't know how I would have fared if I had traveled elsewhere. (I did keep an apple and some pretzels with me, just in case.)
Once we arrived in Portland, the brew pubs (O, how we love the Portland microbrews!) we chose for dinner both had Gardenburgers as vegan options. One of the restaurants also had a veggie pasta, but unless I'm makin' it, I just don't trust it. Soggy vegetables and over-cooked pasta? No thanks. I stuck to the known quantity: the Gardenburger.
We ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant and there were also plenty of choices from home fries to cereals with milk alternatives. No problem there.
Talkin' 'bout snacks after the jump!
- Delonghi Roto Fryer: I've been wanting one for a couple of years, now. It has a motorized basket that rotates the frying food so it absorbs less oil than in conventional deep-frying. What's not to love about fried...anything, really. $99.99
- Falcon Double Burner Griddle: Half griddle, half grill. Cast iron. Cook bacon and eggs or sausage and pancakes at the same time. $249.99
- Le Creuset Risotto pot: A shallow, wide-mouthed, enameled cast iron pot. Angled sides for easy stirring. $199.99
- Jumbo Floursack Towels: Extra-large, absorbent cotton dish towels. $15.99 set of six
- Butterfly Step Trash Can: I hate having to touch trash can lids when throwing scraps away. The thin profile on this can saves space. It even has an "air-dampener" for quiet close. $179.00
- Lagioule Flatware: It's just so cool-looking. Old-timey yet contemporary at the same time. Dishwasher safe, too. $189.99 for 20 piece set.
- Pie Keeper: Protects pie so you can store and transport them with ease. Also seals to keep pies fresh. $8.99
- Bistecca plates: Plates big enough to accomodate a double-cut porterhouse steak. Oh, yeah. $39.99 set of four.
Rainbow Grocery is where I found my favorite cookbook right now, Vegan Planet. I've been cooking from it for the past two weeks, and the recipes haven't disappointed me yet. One I particularly enjoyed was the Pesto Polenta with Mushrooms (recipe follows). It was bursting with bold flavors, although I have to admit that the polenta was crying out for a little butter and cheese. Aside from that, though, I enjoyed the dish and it would make a tasty and impressive dish for entertaining, vegan or not.
More after the jump!
Over the weekend, I had a friend over for brunch and I served assorted bagels with two different spreads: cream cheese for the omnivores and buttery Fuerte avocadoes (my personal preference) mashed with lime juice and nutritional yeast for me. I set out a big platter of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and spicy radish sprouts, and I only missed the lox a little. (Sigh!) I also served a big bowl of mixed berries, and to drink I offered chilled fruit juice and coffee.
A few days later, friends came to dinner and after perusing through my new, favorite cookbook, Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson, I decided on a menu of lemon risotto with peas and a "Pseudo" Caesar salad. For starters I sliced up a chewy Judy's Breadstick (a staple in my house) and served that with Annie's cashew-sesame-pimento spread. The spread is made locally in Santa Cruz, California and it was sublime.
Recipes and reviews after the jump!