pretty in pink vegan

pretty in pink vegan

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kitchen Gadget Nerd

 Those that are close to me know that the smallest thing will excite me but nothing excited me more than kitchen appliances. Some woman get highly offended when they are given appliances for gifts but not Cassi. Give me a kitchen toy and I am yours for life!! Right now my dream toy is a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer but before I obtained that I have been drooling over the Ninja Ultima Blender. Being the kitchen queen that I am you would think that I would want a Vitamax but we all know my love for all things Asian so the Ninja had my heart. Plus the price point is a bit cheaper and it does the same thing. The only thing that it is lack is the ability to make soup in the blender. It clearly says NO HOT LIQUIDS and that made me a sad bunny. None the less I LOVE my new Ninja and I have even named her Betsey. She is thick and powerful just like me.

Now of course I couldn't wait to try this baby out but what to make. A smoothie was just too simple and I wanted to put this baby to work so I opted for a soup. Yes, I know I can't cook in it but I could damn sure blend some shit in it. I wanted a soup with the hardest herbs I could find, so I decided on Coconut Lemongrass Soup. It gets no tougher than garlic, lemongrass and ginger. Two cans of coconut milk , a can of water and the herb and I let it rip!! Jesus H. Christ this girl is POWERFUL! It almost whipped the coconut milk into cream and for the life of me I couldn't find the herbs I know I put in there.

 Once I had everything blended I put it back on the stove to simmer with the zucchini and set to work on my noodles. While I was in Japan I picked a pack of PINK Soba Noodles. I mean they were pink, it had to happen. I did taste one raw just to make sure it wasn't sweet and to compare it against the regular ones I already had. ( They taste the same)

Once everything was simmered dinner was served. I had to tweak the recipe a bit because it didn't have the flavors I was looking for but all and all this soup was pretty good. Needless to say I am in love with my new blender and am pretty sure I am now going to find shit to blend just for shits and giggles. I am pretty sad that I have to say goodbye to my old blender because it is completely blinged out but it has done its job.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Hot Springs Food and Fun

So a lot of changes have taken place since I have returned from Japan and I am happy to report that they are all amazing and wonderful changes. Sadly my routine has been turned upside down and blogging fell by the wayside. ( I started a new job, got a boyfriend and my son left for the month of June) but never fear I think that I am back on track and I have a ton of things to blog about. Since I still haven't finished my posts on my week in Japan, once a week I'll throw in a Japan post just for the hell of it.

Over the weekend my wonderful, amazing boyfriend took me on a holiday to Hot Springs. Its about a 3 hour drive from Memphis but it is just far enough away to say we left town. I was not giving any details about the trip other than we are going to Hot Springs, pack shorts and we would be staying in a hotel. Normally I would be freaked out by the lack of control but I decided to just go with it and I am so glad that I did. The boyfriend did an amazing job of filling the weekend with things to do and he even drove! Our first stop once in Hot Springs was a place called The Winery for a wine tasting. This man knows me so well because after working 8 hours and sitting in a car for 3 hours mama needed wine. Since the wine is made locally in Arkansas I am being a positive Polly that is vegan. After the tasting the boyfriend and I decided on 3 wines, 2 for him and 1 for me. The wines at the The Winery were a bit too sweet for me but the Arkansas Red was just dry enough. Every time I visit a winery I get a logo glass to go on my wine table. I also couldn't resist this wine glass.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to seize the day and by seize the day I mean I needed coffee. Lucky for me there was a coffee shop right across the street from the hotel called JavaPrimo Coffee House. Double win for me because the syrups they use for flavoring were vegan! I ordered a raspberry soy latte, sadly I did not get a picture because mama's only focus was coffee. I was told the night before that we had a reservation at 10:30 am so I had to make sure we got there on time. He wanted to stop by the farmer's market but the guys at the coffee shop said on Saturday the market is art and crafts instead of fruits and veggies but they did suggest a estate sale that we checked out. After the estate sale we headed to our appointment. I repeat I have the most amazing boyfriend in the world. He booked a couple day at the spa. Hot Springs is know for their mineral springs hence the name of the city. The Qupaw Bath & Spa is amazing and the staff even pronounced our names correctly. (That means a lot to me because our names aren't hard to pronounce but people still get them wrong.) We started out our spa day with a private mineral bath, OMG this bath was amazing. Check out this info from the page:

“It’s all about the bubbles Oxygen-rich microbubbles, to be precise. The patented process supersaturates the water with billions of these little wonders, raising oxygen levels up to 70 percent higher than common tap water. Measuring only 50 microns in diameter, tiny microbubbles form a cloud in the water and gives you a delightful, effervescent sensation. The luxurious blanket of bubbles brings amazing benefits as it delivers a deep breath of nature’s miracle cleanser— OXYGEN. Developed with your skin in mind, MicroSilk creates microbubbles that reach gently into the pores, increasing skin’s metabolism while promoting skin cells growth and the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and scar formation. Microsilk improves overall skin cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating the skin.”
 After our soak it was on to a couple's massage of course I'll spare the detail but be assured there were no happy endings.

After spa time we hit the Street of Hot Springs. Literally there is one street that everything is located on which is perfect you park the car and just walk. Sadly Hot Springs is not a very vegan friendly city and Cassi did have a meltdown in a restaurant. I get that way when I go too long without food and my options are next to none. Lucky for us a woman heard my melt down and came to my rescue and suggested a place at the very end of the strip. Park Island Market & Cafe. Park Island is not completely vegan but they have a few vegan options and everything is organic. I ordered the Dos Pupusas which is Two Oaxaca Cheese stuffed Handmade Corn Tortillas one with Black Beans &one with a Cactus Veggie Medley served with Rice and a Ricotta Requeson. Don't worry they left out all the dairy! And the boyfriend ordered the veggie burger, not to be nice but because he is a vegan as well!! This makes things so much easier when it comes to dining. 

Sunday its was time to head home and since we already ate at Park Island we decided to wait until we got to Little Rock to eat . Thanks to a recommendation from Bianca we stopped at The Veg LLC. The Veg LLC is a new vegan eatery in River Market. I love the concept for River Market because it is like a giant food court. It looks like a great place for start up restaurants. The Veg LLC has a small menu but don't let that stop you, this food is amazing.I ordered the Chickpea "tuna" sandwich and the boyfriend ordered the Quesadilla with Sweet Potato Fries. The "tuna" sandwich consisted of whole chickpea, seasoning, celery, red onion and "mayo" In my non vegan days I was never a fan of mayo but I am finding now I can deal with it in small doses. As far as the boyfriend's quesadilla I was not able to sneak a bite but I over heard that it had hummus and salsa in it. He also raved about the sweet potato fries because they appeared to be grilled. So if you are in the Little Rock area go check them out.

All and all it was a great weekend. Memories were made, food was found d fun was had. I can't wait to get back and have a do over.