Tag: inspiration

soaking-almonds-myvegtable
Almond bath: the only two ingredients you need to make your own almond milk.

Paleo, vegan, lactose-intolerant, allergies: whatever your reason for dumping dairy, it will inevitably leave a nagging void in the milk department. Although nut milks seem to reign as the “other” milk of choice, those with nut allergies can rejoice as there are hempseed, rice, soy, coconut, and oat milks all trying to make their mark. They each have their own unique flavor; choosing one is a matter of taste and nutritional restrictions. Of the lot, almond milk is the go-to staple in my house.

The first time I saw an article about homemade nut milks, it was in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. Of course she makes her own nut milks: it’s such a Martha thing to do. I filed that one under “someday” in my mental file–like sooo many other things. As time passed, I started seeing it more and more on blogs and Facebook posts. I would have never thought I had the time to make homemade milk, but it turns out that soaking time aside, it took less than 10 minutes…10 MINUTES! I only needed four things to make my first batch: almonds, water, a blender and a nut-milk bag. This was so simple; it made me wonder why I didn’t Martha it up sooner.

Inspiration

egg-runny-myvegtable
My grown-up egg sandwich…

Oh, the simple egg. Used in just about everything, savory or sweet, it is the most versatile food on the planet–and one of those few things I don’t think I could live without! Back in my quiche post, we talked about the importance of a good egg; good quality will make all the difference in your dish! Topics on the Table today are the three ways I love eggs: fried, soft-boiled and hard-boiled. Let’s break them into sections–I just can’t resist a good pun!

Inspiration

zucchini-bread-myvegtable

Today is National Zucchini Bread Day! It is a great excuse to discuss my least favorite vegetable–which is technically a fruit: zucchini. I’m not exactly sure who designates these national food holidays, but given the fact that summer squash is starting to pop up everywhere, it makes perfect sense why today’s feature would highlight a way to use up the overabundance of zucchini that we will be seeing in the upcoming months.

Why don’t I like zucchini? Well, in a word, it’s bland. When it is cooked, its texture is nothing short of mush. Despite its lackluster qualities and the fact that few chefs do it justice, it’s amazing to me that zucchini has been crowned king of the token ingredients used in vegetarian dishes on soo many menus. Blah

I have big plans for zucchini; I want to find more ways to make it palatable, maybe even cravable. Despite my gripes, I need to give zucchini the proper credit: it is one of the most versatile ingredients. This squash can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, or grilled; it can be baked into breads and muffins; it can even be pureed into a soup. My favorite zucchini recipes cover the gamut from savory to sweet.

Inspiration

applepicking-myvegtable
Our apple booty: (from left to right: Gala, Honeycrisp, Gala).

I know what you’re thinking; you don’t even have to say it: “Breakfast again?!” It is said to “write what you know,” and I know breakfast foods–oddly enough, I rarely eat them in the morning. So much so, that when my son was younger, I made eggs for breakfast one morning; he promptly told me, “Mommy, eggs are for dinner, NOT breakfast!” This isn’t a post about breakfast per se; it is about apples–and lots of them.

Inspiration Travel

beets-whole-myvegtable
Red-leaf beets I found at the Saturday Morning Market.

Do you ever receive or share cooking tips with the cashier at your grocery store? It happens to me often. I have been given tips about how to ripen avocados–put them in a paper bag with an apple; how to grill a whole Brussels sprout stalk–just oil it up and throw it on; and many recommendations from cashiers on their favorite supermarket items. I’ve shared many tips as well and the most recent topic was beets. Beets seem to be one of those all or nothing kind of foods: people either love ’em or they hate ’em—it may just be their uniqueness that turns people away. If you are of the latter group, humor me as I attempt to sway your opinion of my favorite vegetable on the planet.

Inspiration

cauliflower-myvegtable
Cauliflower and curry go together like peanut butter and jelly.

One day they eat it, the next day they won’t. If you have kids, or have at least been around kids, you know that when it comes to feeding children, there is a certain degree of trickery involved–getting them to eat veggies is perhaps the most difficult feat. I’ve gone so far as to hide pureed veggies in other foods–mainly smoothies–and I’ve used cheese or ranch dressing to jazz up those hard to eat vegetables. No matter your strategy, it’s hard catering to the most fickle creatures known to man; accommodating a child’s ever-changing palate is one of the great challenges every parent will face.

Inspiration

cupcake-bday-myvegtable
Celebrating one year of blogging! Happy Bday My Veg Table!

Well, friends, here we are again; I am two days away from taking down my Christmas decorations: that officially marks the end of yet another year. While 2015 had its challenges, it was also full of some pretty great stuff.

One of the most exciting things this year got lost in the chaos of the holiday season; my blog celebrated its one year anniversary on November 18th! Happy Birthday MVT! Putting myself out there and creating this blog was such a personal leap for me. I knew I wanted to start something where I could chit-chat about food, but then I got stuck. It took over a year of brainstorming ideas and then finally working up enough courage to begin a blog; it’s hard to believe that now another year has passed since I hit “publish” on my very first post! I hope you all have enjoyed reading it as much as I have loved writing it!

Inspiration

xmas-cookies-myvegtable
And the winners are…

The most important decision I make every year around Christmastime has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with baking: which cookies will win a coveted spot on my annual cookie platter? Each year, I churn out anywhere from 12-18 dozen cookies for Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday tradition. It has been twenty years since I first started giving gifts from my kitchen. Back then, I thought it was genius idea since I had little money for gifts. As the years passed–and I could actually afford gifts–I opted to keep on baking as a little extra something. My family gets excited about our cookie platter every year; the anticipation grows until they get their very own take-home box–it’s even more fun to see if their boxes are emptied before they make it home.

How do I choose the winners? After I pore over the pages of my favorite holiday cookie magazines and family recipe cards, I take a potential list to a vote with my husband and son. There is one rule–each of the five cookie “food groups” must be represented: something chocolatey, something oatey, something fruity, something spicy, and something nutty. I usually throw in some kind of candy for fun. Two cookies never up for dispute are my Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles–which are unlike any snickerdoodle you’ve ever had–and Oatmeal Scotchies.

Inspiration

quiche-final-myvegtable

Where do the holidays take you? Christmas is all about family for us, but since my son was born, we no longer rush to multiple houses on Christmas Day; we compromised to make the day less chaotic. Christmas Eve is now spent with my in-laws: first, dinner at Carrabbas and then back to our house for presents and cookies. Christmas Day is always dinner at either my Mom’s or sister’s house. This year, it’s my turn to host my family for a Christmas brunch. Me…make breakfast food? I’m sure you’re shocked. At this point, I should be seriously thinking about renaming my blog Breakfast 24/7. At any rate, our holiday table will be a veritable buffet of my favorite brunchy foods–the catch is, they need to be practically effortless. This brings me to quiche–or as my son, Everett, used to call it, egg pie.

Inspiration

FLcranberry-myvegtable
Meet the Florida Cranberry…

I distinctly remember the day last year when I finished my Florida Cracker Cranberry Jam from Urban Canning Company. I was so bummed; I took a picture of my last bite of toast spread thinly with the last speck of jam that I could scrape from the jar. That was the first time that I actually felt aware of the seasonal nature of produce–and that’s a shame. I think we take for granted the variety of produce that we can get year-round, despite the fact that a true growing season is anything but year-round. Our produce is typically shipped in from all around the world just so that we can have everything that we need–whenever we need it. Not so with this local cranberry specimen: it’s so unusual, you won’t see it at your local grocery store and once it’s gone, you’ll have to wait until its season comes again.

Inspiration