Why hello there.
It’s been a while.
I’ve been on the road and haven’t been cooking a lot in the past two weeks. Seattle, Boston, and finally back in Vermont in the snow.
I almost forgot how beautiful Vermont. Driving down Route 7 last weekend, through the snow-covered fields, past the Green Mountains in the distance and the camel who lives at the sheep farm by the side of the road was magical. Everything that is wonderful about this place that is 3,000 miles away from my home but feels so much like home all the same was evident on that snowy Saturday.
As much as being away from the West Coast reminds me how much I love the grunge rock-listening, birkenstock-wearing, umbrella -hating city where I was born, New England isn’t too bad either.
Before coming up to the Green Mountain State, I stopped to visit my sister and her roommates in Boston, where we made food, watched Too Cute on Netflix, and Zumbaed (…is that even a verb? regardless, anyone that has seen me dance can imagine how comical it was. Although really quite fun.)
One of my favorite parts of cooking is surprsing people by making them like something that they normally wouldn’t enjoy.
Per my sister’s request, I made the nightshade-free marinara sauce (http://againstallgrain.com/2012/09/08/tomatoless-meat-sauce/) from Against All Grain. The beet-based sauce was a huge hit, even amongst some self-proclaimed beet haters (myself included!). Even if tomatoes do agree with you, give it a try! It’s super simple to make and absolutely delicious. Just add about 5 times as much apple cider vinegar as the recipe calls for in order to get a truly tangy sauce…but in my family we really do like vinegar, so maybe we needed the extra.
The day after the sauce extravaganza we drove up through New Hampshire to Burlington, VT, which took about 4 hours (much needed coffee stop not included). By that point we were starving and went to my favorite place, Magnolia Bistro, for brunch. They pride themselves on vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, in addition to serving traditional (but mostly local and organic) fare, and had no problem whipping up delicious scrambles with extra Vermont Smoke and Cure sausage for us. If you’re ever in Burlington, it’s definitely worth a stop, and is right next to Church St, which is one of the main attractions in the city.
One week later in the Green Mountain state brings us to Valentine’s Day. Obviously, Valentine’s Day can be challenging, particularly if you have dairy allergies, but there is one failsafe option.
Easy, simple, and delicious. Seriously, I’ve never met someone that actively dislikes chocolate covered strawberries. They probably exist though.
We covered two boxes worth of strawberries.
They were delicious.
And the extras are the perfect afternoon snack after today’s noontime frolic in the snow. We decided that chocolate-covered strawberries aren’t just for Valentine’s Day; they’re for life.
Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the people that mean the most to you.