Tag Archives: christmas

Dealing with the cold – an Austin soup round-up & Vegan Christmas!

Is it just me or is this the coldest winter we have ever had? The beagles and I are suffering through it with lots of blankets, heating pads, tv, warm sweaters, and hot soup. I can’t even blog because it’s so cold in my office. I picked the wrong year to not go on a tropical vacation. I wish I could hibernate.

I have been seeing lots of soup specials around town. Counter Culture and Unity Vegan Kitchen seem to be doing weekly or daily specials so you can go in and get soup and a sandwich. Of course Casa de Luz always has daily soup specials too. The Juicebox in South Austin always has vegan soup too, I love their green goddess and if you get a green smoothie to go with it you can will St. Patrick’s Day to get here already.

The Steeping Room is another good spot to go to in the winter so you can also have hot tea. They make a lot of their delicious soups from a coconut base. And you can get an adorable tea sandwich to go with it.

I love the Tom Kha at Little Thai food, which I’ve gone on about before, I’ve been trying to make my own Tom Kha at home but it’s not quite as good. Another soup I’ve been enjoying, way down south, is the Al Tofu Noodle soup from Tuk Tuk. Hao Hao has a hot & sour soup that’s similar but I don’t think it’s as good. If you live in the area both places deliver so that’s pretty huge. I also finally found a pho that I really like (it’s definitely not the one from whole foods) at PhoNatic they  have a far south location and a far north location so for once central people are out of luck.

Then there are all the ramen spots, Daruma downtown, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, Michi Ramen, and the Dojo all up north, I do believe Tatsu-ya still only does vegan ramen on Sundays still but the rest have it every day.

Mr. Natural has a really good tortilla soup that you can order off their menu, you could even add Daiya cheese if that’s how you roll. Down the street from there Wasota has Egusi Soup with Fu Fu and you can even call ahead and have it ready when you come by. That’s really all I can think of, I’m sure their are tons of other Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian soups out there, if you come across a special one please let us know in the comments.

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In other news their are lots of parties on the horizon. BBQ Revolution and Red Rabbit Doughnuts are going to have a customer appreciation party this Friday the 13th at 7. Sweet Ritual is celebrating their 2nd birthday this Sunday the 15th with $1.50 cones all day! They also have a bunch of fun holiday themed ice creams you can take home. They are available all over town nowCounter Culture will also be throwing a holiday party with a white elephant gift exchange and cheese specials Tuesday Dec 17th. Just like at Thanksgiving, they will be doing holiday meals to go for Christmas in case you are going to a non-vegan event.  Vegans Rock Austin is going to have a holiday potluck on 12/22. Capital City Bakery is moving into their building and they have a bunch of holiday specials and you can order pies, cookie dough, and other treats for Christmas.

Brussels Sprouts Christmas Trees

Sometimes I get really ridiculous ideas for pictures like restaging an incident when my friends broke my dining room table, or the famous KFC bowl redone but this one in particular was a long time coming. I think it was two Christmases ago that I came up with the plan to form a tree out of mashed potatoes and Brussels Sprouts but I have yet to make it for the actual meal because I keep thinking of ways to make it more complicated; cranberry decorations! ravioli and beggar’s purses surrounding the tree like presents! a star anise topper! gravy whipped into a snow like foam! The possibilities are endless really but the problem is the more you add the more people think you are a lunatic. It is a fine line.

We did this simple test run to see if the tree would even hold up and it did quite well. First we made mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and herbs. Then sautéed the sprouts (cut in half) with onions and balsamic. Then formed a pyramid with the potatoes and pressed the sprouts into them. Next time we are going to make the potatoes a little thicker so that they hold together better and cook the brussels sprouts with a nice miso glaze so they aren’t so dry. I also think chilling them in the fridge would also be a good idea. Finally, we baked them in the oven about 5 minutes, just to make sure everything was toasty and warm and then plated them (carefully) with a spatula. Everyone gets their own tree! What could be better?

a merry little christmas

I stayed in Austin for American Christmas this year. Mr. Smurf said he used to be really good at wrapping presents but then somehow lost the ability.

We started the day with a cuddle puddle. I am under there.Dinger inspected the groceries to make sure everything was vegan.I made a ton of Indian food starting with Khandvi so we would have something to snack onI popped more spices and made more mixtures than ever in my life.I cut cauliflower and was reminded of this picture I saw of a human brain

The dogs napped together

I battered and deep-fried bananas and peppers but not banana peppers

and I set them in front of Ganseha who is known as a fan of deep fried goodness and feasting in general

and we ate a ton of food and will end the day with another session of hugs.

Happy Holidays!

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

I first saw this cartoon while I was watching an animated Smurfs Christmas marathon and making Christmas decorations. I looked up at the TV when it started and I don’t think I moved a muscle through the whole cartoon. This is what Christmas means to me, I have it on VHS and I used to force people to watch it. It was nominated both for a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award when it was made in 1939. Can you imagine that happening now?