Saturday, March 31, 2007

Last March post- a mishmash and a giveaway

GIVE-AWAY UPDATE (4 April 2007, 12: 10 a.m.): Thank you, everyone, for trying to guess the object in the picture! Some of your more creative guesses made me giggle- you guys have imagination!

Some of you did guess correctly! I entered everyone who mentioned the word ... (drumroll, please) are you ready for this... TAMARIND in their response into a drawing. These included Aiyana (congratulations on having the first correct guess!), Nikki, Brooke, Kati, and Village Vegan.

And the winner is... Nikki! Congratulations! I will get your address and send you the package of goodies ASAP.

I have to say, I love tamarind, especially straight out of its pod as a sour-sweet-tangy snack. Of course, there are tons of recipes using Tamarind in sauce, paste, or liquid form. There are even tamarind candies. Try some today!

***

I have minutes before the clock strikes midnight and I have a lot of random pictures and things that I want to blog about. So this post lacks coherence or unity, but I hope it makes up for it with fun things to see!




A romantic dinner for two. As you all might have realized by now, I've absolutely fallen in love with fennel this past year. Here was a really simple, but very delicious meal: whole wheat penne pasta with a sauce of sauteed fennel, diced tomatoes, and black olives. To accompany it, some candlelight and a nice chianti. (No liver of fava beans, though- ha ha!) Although I like fennel raw (and it's a great digestive that way), the mellow, caramelized flavor it takes on when gently cooked is incomparable.



I don't know what to call this dish- not quite chilli, not quite soup or stew, but delicious. We took some homemade pinto beans, added crushed tomatoes, chopped onion, bell pepper and carrots, a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, bay leaves, coriander, and a few other spices, cooked them together and got something that is difficult to categorize, but easy to eat! The combination of spicy and earthy flavors came together well, and the ground coriander added a nice tang.



Here I am with Bijou... we were both feeling a bit silly on this day!

** GIVEAWAY!! **



Finally, last Sunday, Daiku and I went to the annual health fair, put on by our local health food store, NaturTyme. This was my first visit to the New York State fairgrounds! Yes, the state fair is held minutes from where I live, but I've never had an interest in visiting the "let's gorge on sausage and glorify the dairy industry" crap-fest that is the State Fair. Blech. The health fair was much more fun. There were talks, cooking demonstrations, even makeovers and massages! But best of all, there were hundreds of companies giving out samples of food, vitamins, and health and beauty products. Did I mention all the free food? Not only did Daiku and I get to munch on the spot (breakfast!), but we brought home an embarrassingly large stash, some of which you can see above.

Since we are up to our ears in vegan items- teas, shake mixes, supplements, chocolates, lotions, drink mixes, vitamins, power bars and more- I decided it would be fun to have a giveaway to share the wealth. To the winner, I will send a large package of fun little samples. If you want to participate, simply identify the subject of the picture below:


WHAT IS THIS...?

Once you know what this is, leave a comment, naming it and letting me know that you want to participate in the contest. On Tuesday, April 3 at midnight (EST), I will put the names of all the correct guessers in a hat and draw out a winner to send the samples to.

Ready, set, go. Good luck and happy April!


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31 comments:

springsandwells said...

Oh Bazu!
All the goodies from the health fair look SO fun! I really want to win your contest - but I have no idea at all what that thing is!! I'll have to keep looking and try to figure it out.

I love the pic of you and Bijou. What a couple of cuties!

springsandwells said...

is it some sort of dried fruit?
either that...
or something fried.

Tracy said...

I'm going to guess some kind of bug cocoon. And the cat pic is so sweet.....

scottishvegan said...

I love the photo of you and Bijou! So cute! That is definitely my kind of pasta dish. I will need to try this, I am beginning to quite enjoy fennel myself. The health fair sounds awesome and I can’t believe how many goodies you got!! I am sorry…I have no idea what the mystery object is!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, I'll guess it's a section of a blood orange.

aTxVegn said...

Well, I haven't learned to love fennel yet, but I'm glad you love it! The spicy beans I would eat a ton of!

What a haul at the health fair! I love events like that and wish there were more of them to attend. I have no idea what that photo is, but it looks like dried fruit. I hope it's something exotic you picked up at the fair.

springsandwells said...

Musty and I have analyzed it, and we both agree that it is some sort of plant matter. But that's all we can figure out so far.

Is it a seed pod or something? It drives me crazy!

Theresa said...

I'm thinking it's a bit of blood orange section as well. You'll have to give an update when you're finished and tell us all what the heck that picture is of!

As always, the food and kitty pictures are amazing, and you and Daiku seem to have endless amounts of fun!

aiyana said...

I believe this is a tamarind. yummy... in the carribean it is very common.
And I just recently bought a tamarind and ginger dipping sauce that was out of this world.

Vincent Guihan said...

I like fennel, too. I wasn't interested in trying it for a very long time (I don't like the taste of licorice all that much). But now I really like it grilled will sliced orange on in a tomato sauce. Your sorta-chili looks delicious!

Emmy said...

Your fennel pasta dish looks gorgeous. The soup/stew/chili dish sounds yummy...and what a great picture of it...nice contrast between the food and the green bowl :)

Awwww, what a cute and silly picture of you and Bijou. Precious!!!

Wow, you two made out like bandits at the health fair. Unfortunately I have no idea what the mystery item in the photo is.

Melody Polakow said...

My first thought was blood orange, but I don't think that's what it is. I really have no clue.

Love the pics here.. especially the first one. Looks like a great dinner. Oh.. and of course, you and the kitty.. even better than the food!

re Vegan Family Favs.. which recipes are yours? You know, I can't even find my book.. but I know it's around here somewhere. My other recipe in there is "The Good Stir Fry".. it's actually not really a stir fry, it's more of a thai stew thing, but my kids named it that because everytime I made it they would say, "this is sure a good stir fry" and asked for it by saying, "will you make The Good Stir fry".. It is really good, but rich and fattening.

Nikk said...

I have no clue what that is either. I think tamarind sounds very plausible.

The food looks fantastic!

maybepigscanfly said...

I just love that picture of you and Bijou... it's too cute!

I haven't yet given fennel a chance, but I keep telling myself that I must try it. I'm just always afraid that I'll mess it up then think that I don't like it. Well your fennel pasta does look delicious.

HHmmm as for the mystery picture. Really I can't even decide if it's food related or not, although I have a feeling its not food. But I can't think of what it might be then, so my only guess is to go with food- dried (or preserved) chili mango. (I'm probably way off).

-Teresa

Midwest Vegan said...

My first thought was that it's a moth/butterfly cocoon but that's probably not right. Can't wait to see what it really is.

I want to go to a health fair and get lots of free things!

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Wow, what a load of samples! I can't wait for the Living Green Expo in May. That's the last time we got a ton of loot. I love it as it's all good loot!

Hmmm...as far as the mystery picture goes...it reminds me of dried papaya, so I'll go with that as my guess.

-Crystal

Tiffany said...

My first guess was blood orange but it's hard to tell. Maybe a dried blood orange? Are those evena vailable? If so, I want one!

Courtney said...

Hmmm...you have convinced me to give fennel another chance! I have not liked it in the past, but I am going to give it another go.

I love contests/give aways! I never win anything, and I won't this time either, because I have no idea what that photo is! I will be interested to find out, though!

Courtney

Village Mama said...

After a whole bunch of google searches and long lost moments zooming in on this picture I'm left guessing, so my answer for the contest: dried sweetened grapefruit. Bazu, our collective answers probably have you and Daiku howling on the floor with laughter.

Jennifer C. said...

I'm going to work on a RAW fennel, tomato and olive sauce. That looks & sounds delicious!

Quite a haul you've got there from the health fair. I had to miss our local vegfest this year. :(

Vicki said...

oh, a giveaway -- how fun, and I'd love to win this, but it's a toughie. Art says it's a plant leaf ready to unfurl. I think it looks like a dried section of orange.
The photo with you & Bijou is absolutely adorable! There is nothing better than a romantic dinner for two! :o)

runswithdog said...

Looking at your haul, I am even more disappointed we didn't make it out there.

I have looked at that picture about a dozen times. No idea what it is. I can't wait to find out now.

Brooke said...

Tamarind!

Kati said...

Yummy food and cute kitty pic!

As for your contest: It does look a bit like tamarind, as others have said...but it also looks deep-fried...I am totally perplexed! I think you really stumped us here, Bazu!

Kris said...

I have no idea what it is, but your food certainly looks amazing! I love eating thick, rich soupy/stew concoctions.

Village Vegan said...

I think the picture is of tamarind. I wish we had such fun health fairs with give-aways here!

I loooooove fennel, too. I discovered it a few months ago, and I've been hooked ever since. I've never tried it raw, though. I guess I should give that a try!

Village Vegan said...

Oh, and not sure if you meant midnight last night, or midnight in a few hours, but I'll participate in the contest if it's still open: tamarind!

Vicki said...

Congrats, Nikki!! and thanks for the fun, Bazu! :o)

KleoPatra said...

Love the picture of you and Bijou! I missed this post but glad to see it now. Very nice, Bazu!

vko said...

You and Bijou see eye to eye.
What a great shot!

Anonymous said...

it's a tamarindddd