I only did one "leg" of my shopping adventures. I really just wanted to get enough food to make one of the recipes on my new menu, so I went to Superfresh and got a head start on about a third of my list. My menu is short but my shopping list is relatively long. The main reason for this is my desire to stock the shelves, fridge, and freezer with enough appetizing and affordable food that Mister won't eat pizza every single time he's hungry while I'm in California.
That's right. I'm going back to California on Friday, for my first ever Sister-Vacation.
We've gone on plenty of vacations together, obviously. I mean, we did live together growing up and all, so if my parents decided to go on vacation, they usually took us both with them. However, we've never done more on our own than just hang out for a day at the mall or go out for dinner and drinks. I've visited her at college and stayed with her when she graduated, but we've never actually gone somewhere together.
We're off to San Francisco and I am stoked. I'm reading and re-reading my VegNews magazines for ideas of where to go and what to do. Sometime in the next couple of days, I will make our reservation to dine at Millennium, a fine-dining vegan restaurant I've heard plenty about but never been to. Very excited for that. The other thing I am absolutely the most excited for (besides spending plenty of time with my sister) is our trip to Cinnaholic. I want to drool just thinking of it. Mountains of vegan cinnamon buns waiting to be turned into your own personal cinna-bundae (clever, yes?) with custom icings and toppings. It might be fruitful to walk back to San Fran after that...
It seems so long ago this was just a little, crazy idea hatched through text messages and now it's nearly here! I'm sure I'll ramble a little bit about the trip every day between now and Thursday, and then possibly go missing for a few days, then come back with a massive picture parade post, so let's move on to my mini-menu to carry us through until Mister gorges himself on pizza and sandwiches and I eat, drink, and breathe in everything I can on the West Coast.
1. Mexican Rice and Bean Bake from Vegan on the Cheap. I was going to make the Salsa Rice and Beans, but I continually and unfortunately neglect this tasty recipe in its favor almost every time, so I decided to mix it up a bit. It's not like I'm actually going to try baking the brown rice. Can you hear me laughing from wherever you are?
2. Better Bean Burgers also from Vegan on the Cheap. I was actually intending to make these tonight, but Superfresh was hiding the cheap black beans, so I will have to wait until I see the prices at Whole Foods tomorrow.
3. Pasta Shells with Black-Eyed Peas from The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook. I was poking through some old posts and I came across the first time I made this, so I decided it was time to repeat.
4. Pasta Primavera with Fresh Veggies and Herbs from The Vegan Table. Talk about a cookbook I've been neglecting! I nearly had to blow the dust off of it! Anyway, I wanted to make the last meal I cook this week to be something very big with lots of leftovers (for obvious reasons, I would assume) but more importantly, leftovers Mister would find attractive. I remember this making a huge yield, so I specifically sought out the cookbook for this recipe. Regardless, when I return from Cali, I'll have to devote a whole week to this book because I'd forgotten how many great recipes there are in there.
5. Chickpea Stew with Fried Polenta from The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook. As I was making this for dinner tonight, I found myself reflecting on how this is truly one of my favorite recipes. Because I've grown to love cooking so much and since I'm continually trying new recipes I find myself hesitant to declare "favorites" the way I imagine a mother avoids and appearance of liking one child more than another. Realizing, however, that food does not have feelings, I would like to let you in on a personal secret:
I love this one the most.