Friday, April 8, 2011

Liquor Tasting and a Creamy Bean Soup Recipe Variation

Where has the week gone? I know I was busy this week but it seems like the week has flown by, not that I am complaining mind you. ;-)

Breakfast for Dan was his usual oatmeal with wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, wild blueberries (higher in antioxidants than cultivated blueberries) and walnuts. He never gets tired of this.

I had leftover Greek inspired bean soup over quinoa. I added a tablespoon of chia seeds to the quinoa in my bowl and topped the beans with fresh tomatoes and parsley. Thank goodness for intentional leftovers.

After I finished exercising I had a snack of banana with okara and almond butter (this nut butter never gets old for me). Then I decided to walk to the restaurant to talk to Ian, drop off the cuitlacoche and a few tempeh recipes to inspire him. I also thought he might like the cardamom tea I just bought (we both love cardamom) so I took that too.

While I was walking I took a few more pictures of the neighborhood to share. I tried to get some that show you how hilly the terrain is here. I love walking up and down the hills it is a much better workout than flat ground. However I will admit that by the time I get to the top of some these hills I am sucking wind big time. ;-)

I also liked these two pictures of garden entrances.  Aren't the tulip populars pretty when they are in full bloom.

I was not surprised to hear that Ian has used cuitlacoche before LOL but I had to try. We talked a bit and when I find things that I think are unusual I am going to pick them up for him when I buy some for me. I love to see how his mind works with food. Being around Ian is always great inspiration for me.

Next I hung out at the bar with a while drinking a pot of green tea. It was good to finally meet Taylor who I had talked to on the phone but never met. I was at the restaurant between the lunch and dinner shift which is fun. Everyone lets loose a little when there aren’t customers there which I always enjoy.

The liquor vendor came in while I was there with a few new items. Corey asked me to taste the new products too. I am really not kidding when I say we are part of the family. There is an interesting liquor that they will be carrying soon with hibiscus, cardamom (my favorite), ginger and sugar. The color is beautiful deep red/purple with a lovely aroma. Both Corey and I were thinking this would be good with Prosecco or sparkling water and either lime, orange or grapefruit. It sounds great right?

I stayed for about an hour and a half and hiked back up the hill home. Funny thing is getting there is easy (all downhill) but heading home is much tougher. LOL, I wonder why? ;-)

We are having dinner Friday night with Walid and Jackie at their place after work. Since they eat meat and Jackie had a great idea for dinner. She is going to make a big veggie stir fry which we will add different proteins to (shrimp from them baked tofu for us). We are also going to have crudités, hummus, salsa, whole wheat pitas, and baked chips. I am going to make a dessert, no idea what yet and a few other veggie items. Jackie asked me to bring my cheeseless queso dip which both she and Walid like. Sounds like a good spread doesn’t it?

We also decided that I would make soup to add to the menu just in case there wasn’t enough food LOL. She told me about a creamy curried red lentil soup that they buy which I knew I could make a variation of. I used my usual red lentil and tomato soup that Dan loves but pureed it with some raw cashews rather than coconut milk and finished it with lime zest, lime juice and cilantro. That is what we had for dinner tonight since I made a vat of soup like usual.

Happy thoughts:

There is so much to be thankful for that I am not sure where to start. That is always a good sign right? ;-)

• Thursday was a beautiful spring day. We had temperatures in the 60’s with a very gentle breeze. It made a nice walk through the neighborhood and to the restaurant and back. I also enjoyed having a pot of green tea (or two) while I was there.

• Thank you Corey for letting me taste the new liquor. It was delicious. Good thing we aren’t drinking much these days that stuff could be dangerous. I can’t wait to see how you use it.

• We have dinner with Walid and Jackie tonight and are also going out this weekend just the two of us. I love having time to spend with my friends and of course with my hubby.

• I am also thankful that this week is over. It has been a hectic week and not nearly as productive as it should have been. However now I have the weekend to make up for lost ground.

• Whenever I go out for walks I am reminded of how much I love old architecture. It is wonderful to live somewhere where the houses are old and all different. I also love the mature trees and the hilly streets. I hope you are starting to see Baltimore through my eyes rather than what is portrayed on TV. Baltimore really is a beautiful old east coast city but that isn’t news worthy I suppose.

Signing out:

Time for me to get moving and prepare the items I am taking to dinner tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing Walid and Jackie. I miss having them just a short walk away.

Talk to you guys again tomorrow. Hope your weekend starts off well.


  1. Heather,

    Thanks! At the moment I am running around trying to prep a lot of food for tonight. You can't have a get together without a lot of munchies right? ;-)

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi Ali,
    I'm interested to see what dessert you end up bringing because my mom and I have been talking about a healthy dessert to make for Easter. Since I dont think frozen softserve will work for 10 people, I'm doing a little sleuthing. The interesting ones I've seen so far are pudding/mousse with silken tofu and berries or hummus with cocoa powder/berries and fruit. Let me know what you come up with! I'm so glad to hear that you and your omni friends can have dinner together!

  3. Jill,

    I made two desserts for tonight actually because I couldn't decide. First I made chocolate dipped strawberries some rolled in nuts some plain. Next I took the leftover melted chocolate and made little candies (using a silcone ice cube tray) with fresh blueberries and finely chopped walnuts.

    I make a tofu chocolate mousse that Dan loves. I suggest you make the version that also has a peanut butter and bourbon swirl that is my favorite.

    talk to you later,

  4. the last two outside pictures look like something out of the secret garden! i rememeber living in NJ and exploring all the old ruined buildings, i DID like that part of living there:) i was thinking about your queso dip last night..thats freaky!!!
    oh i just read your dessert answer to twistjill, sounds good.

  5. Michelle,

    I will let you what everyone thinks of the desserts.

    LOL, I thought the same thing about the pictures looking like a secret garden. I am very lucky to live somewhere that reminds me a of a fairy tale village.

    That is weird that you were just thinking of my queso. Walid thinks it is better than the versions with cheese which I love. Who doesn't love being a rock star? LOL

    I hope you are doing well.

    have a great weekend,

  6. Another interesting post!
    Those pictures are lovely, Ali.
    Have fun tonight!
    Happy weekend!

  7. Teresa,

    Glad you liked it and thanks for letting me know. I really appreciate it. :-)

    I really love my little corner of Baltimore and like to share it with everyone. It really is too bad our city gets such a bad rap, I think it is lovely.

    I hope you have a good weekend too, hugs to you both,

  8. Pretty!

    I always get so excited for your posts. I get sad sometimes, though, because I really have to limit my tomato consumption and I know you love them. I guess this just means that it's time to step out of my nut/rice milk comfort zone and finally make some soy milk to that I can make all those okara recipes I've been putting off ;)

  9. Also, wow to the desserts! Please say you took pictures. I'm really interested in the candies.

    Hummus with cocoa?! That sounds really interesting.

  10. Henrietta,

    Thank you so much for letting me know you like my posts. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    Bummer on your problem with tomatoes. You are right I do love them but my background is southern Italian. In the soup I made tonight you could easily substitute roasted red peppers in place of tomatoes. When you like a recipe I post with tomatoes and want a substitute let me know. I am happy to tell you would else I would use.

    I love using the leftover okara from soy milk production. The okara sliders are really the bomb too. I think you will be surprised by how versatile okara is, I know I was. ;-)

    have a great weekend,

  11. Henrietta,

    I am taking my camera with me so there will be pictures of everything tomorrow. Who knows maybe someone other than me can take photos of the gang. LOL


  12. I haven't been by in awhile!

    Hanging out "at the bar" these days, are ya? ;)

    I want to live in your neighborhood! Have a great weekend!

  13. Lots of yum! It's nice you can walk around your neighborhood - I love walking and enjoying the atmosphere of the outdoors.
    Have a nice dinner!

  14. Jenny,

    LOL, sort of hanging out at the bar only I was mostly drinking gree tea. ;-)

    We are fortunate to live where we do. It is great to be able to walk to the grocery store and restaurant. Even though we are in technically in the city it can feel very suburban around here depending on which street you are on.

    I hope you had a great weekend and that you have a good week,

  15. Possum (N),

    Hey girl how are you? I love going for walks too. I can't imagine living somewhere that being outside wasn't an option. The nice thing about where we live is that I can walk to the grocery store, drug store, library, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Because of that I rarely drive which makes me happy. ;-)

    Have a wonderful week,


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