Sunday, December 31, 2006

NYC images, part 1 + happy New Year!

A few quick photos from my trip to New York City. This trip was a chance for me to catch up with Dorota, one of my best friends. It is strange to think that I live so close to NYC, but only get to visit every other month or so. Anyway, this week of bonding did us good!

The night before I left, Daiku and I had a farewell dinner. I got the recipe for this Thai-style curry from a British magazine called "You Are What You Eat" (Dec. 2006 issue, p. 94). Funny name for a magazine, huh? I had never heard of it, but this recipe, and many of the articles in the magazine, were really intriguing.

Here is their recipe for "Butternut, peanut, pea, and spinach coconut curry with cashew salad" with my modifications:

2 TB vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
1.5 TB Thai green curry paste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 handfuls skinless peanuts, chopped
1 lemongrass stalk
400 ml. unsweetened coconut milk
600 ml. hot water
2 green chillies, sliced (I used Hungarian red chillies instead of Thai bird chillies)
600 g. butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 TB Thai fish sauce (I omitted)
2 large handfuls peas (I used frozen peas)
250 g. small leaf spinach (not being used to metric measurements, I didn't realize that 250 grams of spinach is a LOT! so I used less, because I didn't have much)

Cashew Salad:

handful of toasted cashews, chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
handful of coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped

  • In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and sauté onion until it just begins to caramelize. Add curry paste and garlic, fry for one minute, stirring often.
  • Add peanuts and fry another minute, stirring well to ensure mixture doesn't stick
  • Meanwhile, remove base and head layers of lemongrass and thinly slice until you get to the woody part- but reserve the woody part
  • Add coconut milk, hot water, chillies, lemongrass slices and the reserved stalk, and bring mixture to a boil. Add squash and fish sauce. Simmer until squash is cooked. Add peas and cook for another 3 minutes, taste and season. Stir in spinach and turn off heat.
  • To make salad, mix the ingredients together. Serve curry with a little salad on top.
This stuff was magnificent! The squash in Thai curry was a first for me, but it came out really well. Try this recipe!

We ate the curry with a side of baby bok choi, steamed, then sautéed and sprinkled with sesame seeds. We also had some baked tofu (I gave Crystal's recipe another try, this time with firm tofu, and it came out beautifully)

Enough for leftovers on the train the next day. (Including Thai take-out leftovers) I had the coolest lunch on that Amtrak, hands down!

A lychee cocktail at Spice Restaurant. We all commented that the lychee kind of looked like a fetus!!

Sorry for the blurry photo: dinner at Spice. My friends Nicole (who was visiting from California) and Dorota were kind enough to order veggie things, so I could try them: spring rolls, potstickers, and Japanese Eggplant salad. Spice is a cute restaurant, with plenty of vegan options (including mock duck!)

Union Square Farmer's market. I used to walk through here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on my way to work. Check out these Romanesco Cauliflowers!

Yours truly munching on a whole wheat sourdough baguette at the market. I basically ate my way through the city for the whole week. (Hello, free samples everywhere?!)

Speaking of samples, here is Dorota at the Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man store. Not too many vegan options here, but it is a fascinating shop/restaurant to walk through- chocolate fountains, little plastic syringes for a "shot" of chocolate, chocolate truffles, pizza, ... They had samples of chocolate-covered pecans, the remains of which you see melting on Dorota's hands!

A crazy new Automat restaurant on St. Mark's place. There was only one vegan option (PB & J sandwich), but I was intrigued by the place: simultaneously old-school and futuristic. Fun to walk through.

These cups are among my favorite things that Dorota has ever brought back from Poland:

You'll be innocently drinking your Açai juice when you see something weird.

What is this?! You exclaim as you take a few more sips.

Ah! It was a froggy hiding in my cup! So cute.
I have one of these cups too, with a puppy instead of a frog.

The frog wishes you Happy New Year's Eve! I hope the upcoming year brings everyone peace, health, and love. Daiku and I have a tradition of staying home and cooking for New Year's Eve. I better go help cook.

So long, 2006. It's been real.



laura jesser said...

I have to say that those frog cups are ADORABLE!!!

So cool that you got to catch up with two friends, and it looks like you all had a blast! Spice Restaurant sounds so neat.

Your Thai curry looks delicious! I'm sure the whole train was jealous of your lunch--I would have been!

Brooke said...

I want a frog cup.

Those caulifowers are nifty looking!

Happy New Year!

Jackie said...

Wishing you and Daiku a terrific 2007.

Glad you had such a wonderful trip. NY must be such an exciting city.

Love the cups but wonder how many people drop them with fright :)

Judy said...

I love the TV show "You Are What You Eat". It's like a way better version of "Honey We're Killing the Kids", where GIllian McKeith goes into the homes of incredibly unhealthy (and usually overweight) families and revamps their diets. She teaches them about foods and nutrition, and how to cook healthy food. It's much more in-depth and health-centered than any North American counterpart. I didn't know there was a magazine too.
All the food looks great. I wish I lived close to NYC. Boo.
And those cups are adorable. I have seen some before with a little chick in the bottom, but the frog is much cuter.
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Great pictures. We keep talking about visiting NYC again - I think it's been about 3 years since we've been. Maybe in '07.

Love that frog cup too!

Anonymous said...

what a trip. You're making me want to go there asap. Love the frog and love the cauliflower.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to NYC and really want to go. Looks like you had a great time and ate some delicious food. So many cool places. How crazy is that Automat? Very futuristic but SAD. That lychee does look like a fetus. Creepy!

I have a little froggie mug very similar to your friend's. It makes me happy every time I drink out of it.

Happy New Year!!

springsandwells said...

Yay Bazu!
What a fun post. It's neat that you got a chance to catch up with your friend - and eat lots of great food. It has been many, many year since I've been to NY, and of course it sounds wonderfully fun. But it's a long way from Santa Cruz - so I'll just enjoy it vicariously via your blog for now!
Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

happy new year to you, too!
who knows, maybe we'll meet in toronto some day. you would love it there. lots of good vegan/vegetarian restaurants.
i had a wonderful new year's celebration at jivamukti last night. there's a jivamukti studio in toronto, too...;)

wheresmymind said...

awww...I want a froggy mug too!

Candi said...

LOL!! I was laughing at the fetus drink. That's a bit spooky! Lol!!

I'm glad you had fun with Dorota!! The chocolate shop looks fun... :P

Cute photo of you!!

I love the frog mug! I have a duck one, but the frog's eyes are much more funny that a duck head. Lol!

Happy New Year, Bazu!!

Urban Vegan said...

All those vittles look so mouth-watering, esp the boy choy & sesame. I've walked by that Bald Man's chocolate place a skillion times (on Broadway, righ past Union Sq, right?) and I've never stopped in. Next time, I will since your post has me curious!

Happy New Year, Bazu. You are so kind, cute & witty --I'm glad to be your blog pal.


aTxVegn said...

Happy New Year, Bazu! I'm so glad you're enjoying your holidays.

That Thai Curry dish looks so yummy and what I would give for a stroll through that chocolate shop! I feel left out that I don't have a cup with a critter in the bottom. I've never even seen one before!

Harmonia said...

The soup looks delightful, the other food look awesome as well, the pic of you is great, the froggie bowl is very sweet! Happy New Year! I'm back bloggin' - same place

Hope to "see" you soon!

Pixie said...

Thank you for sharing pics from your trip. Looks like you really enjoyed yourself. Funny, I lived in Northern NY (north of syracuse) for a couple of years and never went to the city myself. My husband was always trying to drag me there, but I was never interested. Oooh, I absolutely love that cup with the froggie hiding in there. That is too cute. Where can I find one?

Nikki said...

Wow! The food looks amazing as usual. I really like those cups. They are too cute! :)

NYC is so fabulous this time of year! I was able to get there last week and went to Candle Cafe. I cried-it was that good!

I also saw Liza Minelli. I was very excited about the whole thing. Too excited perhaps...

Anonymous said...

i absolutely love the cup, is so cute and crazy lol.