Merry Christmas!

Vegan Hot ChocolateHi everyone,
I would just like to make a post dedicated to sincerely wishing my readership a very merry Christmas (or happy holidays, if you prefer)! Thank you all for following my blog–I appreciate your readership more than I can express in words!

In honor of today, I am sharing the following Christmas/winter playlist and some handpicked related articles below from my favorite places on the internet (I’ve also included some of my recipes for your reference).

If you have a quiet moment this holiday, feel free to check them out if you’re interested in reading about what’s usually on my mind during the Christmas season (and all year, really–yummy food and world peace are always relevant in my book).

I hope your holidays are filled with love and light, and I wish you and your families all the best for the upcoming new year.

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Smiling Moose Deli | sandwiches + soup + studying

Last December, I adopted College Park’s Smiling Moose Deli as my study abode for an afternoon. At first, I came to grab food, but when I realized that they had free wifi and outlets available, I set up my materials and wrote my final paper there. The place offered a nice, warm atmosphere for studying and several vegan options to choose from. I ended up ordering a few dishes to keep myself satiated while working.

This place is very clear about labels and friendly about answering questions. Any of the vegetarian dishes can be ordered vegan if you ask them to hold the dairy products. Here’s my full review, originally published on The Shorthorn, UT Arlington’s student news website, published on October 2, 2013.

Before closing, they offered me free coffee (plus soymilk!) since it was the end of the day. Sweet. I had other study plans that night, so the caffeine came in handy.

Pictured above: Build-Your-Own salad, the Veggie Mo, and Vegan Vegetable Soup. The soup was hearty, and the sandwich was filling, but it was not my favorite. I loved the salad I had a few weeks ago–I tend not to order salads, but I was really craving fresh veggies and this hit the spot. I loaded it with all the toppings I could think of (they do not charge extra for extra toppings). College Park has several other vegan options too–check out my reviews here.

Good luck with finals! Load up on healthy snacks! 😉

Chili Mac’n’Cheese

If you’re new to vegan comfort food, you probably have a burning question about the title of this blog post: How can mac’n’cheese be vegan?! What is this blasphemy? I refuse to acknowledge the possibility. (Can you tell I’ve gotten reactions like this before? hehe)

Calm down, take a breath and stay with me, my friend.  The possibilities are endless and wonderful. This Pinterest board lists tons of ways to make vegan mac’n’cheese, including pumpkin, cashews, tofu and even cauliflower. It’s an adventure!

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Icemageddon 2013 | chili + studying for finals

Last night, I had to stop studying because the lights went out at my house.

When an ice storm causes a blackout in your neighborhood, it’s difficult to do anything but bundle up in several blankets and go into hibernation mode. You get cold, you get hungry, and you definitely do not feel like finishing your research paper on urban food forests. Reviewing hundreds of plants for your plant I.D. and ecology final? Nooo. Drawing the final plan for your park project? NOPE.

However charming studying by candlelight may sound, burrowing in blankets sounds like a better plan. The conditions of this ice storm have dangerously contributed to your case of senioritis, and maybe a case of the common cold…

Thank goodness for the generosity and hospitality of friends who live ten minutes away in warm apartments.  Warmth and wifi make a much better study environment than an icebox of a house. A bowl of chili mac and cheese doesn’t hurt, either.

My friend said to bring snacks and ingredients, so my sister and I brought all the veggies and tofu from our fridge, to keep them from going bad. We’ve been studying all day and cooking up a storm in my friend’s cozy apartment!

I hope you are warm and safe with your loved ones!

I invite you to ‘like’ my page on Facebook and come back soon (probably in several hours) for some recipes: namely, chili mac and cheese and tofu scramble! While you are waiting, please feel free to check out the recent recipe posts I did for work in November–vegan hot chocolate and a cleansing cranberry citrus smoothie.

Hot Chocolate

hotchocolate
Did you know that hot chocolate and hot cocoa are two different things? Check out my hot chocolate recipe post on The Shorthorn’s site to listen to learn more about the art of hot chocolate. The photos and following post were originally published on The Shorthorn, UT Arlington’s student news website, on November 20, 2013.

Hot cocoa is for drinking by the mug-full. Hot chocolate is for slow, indulgent sipping. Both will make you feel warm and toasty.

I came up with the idea of writing about hot chocolate last week, when it was freezing outside. Although this week’s forecast looks pretty warm, I’m going to post this in anticipation for future cold weather.

This is probably my favorite post I’ve ever done for work. Everything was too much fun! If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes!