The Endless Road Trip, Philly: A Waffle to End All Waffles

waffle

 

At Philly’s new V Street, the all-vegan menu is inspired by street food from around the world, fusing flavors from as far afield as Hungary, India, Peru and the Philippines into an amazing array of meat-free snacks like jerk trumpet mushrooms and harissa-grilled cauliflower mixed up with spiced avocado, olive salad and chermoula, an intensely flavorful North African marinade.

The cocktails are particularly off-the-wall—the “Cruz Control” mixes tequila with horchata, lime and tepache—a Mexican fermented pineapple drink—but the true crazy prize has to go to this dessert waffle: it’s layered with rich chocolate ganache, gooey bites of banana, vegan ice cream and a chunky miso caramel, with Sriracha peanuts and syrup poured over the whole thing. Yes, please.

(Photo: V Street)

Thai Butternut Coconut Soup

Thai Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup

Thai Butternut Coconut Soup

We”re nearing the end of soup season (which, to me, runs roughly mid-October through late-February) so I need to cram in some new recipes while I still have the chance! My two favorite types of soups are Asian-inspired, particularly Thai, and squash-based. So when my friend sent me a recipe on Pinterest incorporating both, I was IN. (And yeah I pinned it to my Soup-specific board, duh)

This fabulous recipe originally comes from the lovely blog Carlsbad Cravings. While I”ve made Thai-spiced butternut and/or sweet potato soups before, the addition of sriracha-roasted pumpkin seeds on top really brings this one to a whole other level. Actually, she used butternut squash seeds, but I had a bunch of naked pumpkin Superseedz in the pantry so I decided to use those and it came out great. Perfect if you are using pre-chunked or frozen butternut squash versus the whole gourd. (Which I actually was, too… pre-cut packaged organic squash because I was running late after work! No shame in my game on a busy weeknight.) I amped up the spice in this a bit and cut down the fat by using light coconut milk, and the result was absolute heaven.

Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Soup with Honey Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds

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Horror Movies, Here We Come: Halloween Popcorn and Cocktail

With Halloween falling in the middle of the week this year, and a Frankenstorm a-brewing, it’s definitely time for a classic horror movie fest. You’ll need Kubrick’s The Shining, Spielberg’s Jaws, and any Hitchcock film—plus a big bowl of popcorn and some frightfully delicious cocktails to get into the spooky spirit.

Our take on an espresso martini is inspired by the delicious version we order at Lucca on Hanover Street in Boston. It’s a combination of vodka, espresso, slightly sweet Kahlua and a splash of velvety Baileys Irish Cream. While sipping the eerily dark libation, we nibble on decadent sweet and salty popcorn that incorporates two of our favorite guilty pleasures: peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. The combination of the nutty, sticky sweet crunch of the popcorn with the exhilarating zing of the drink is the ideal combination for any movie gathering, especially on a chilly weeknight.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff Popcorn

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Top 10 Worst Things to Give Trick-or-Treaters

I miss trick-or-treating. Don”t tell me you don”t. If so, then you hate all things good in the world. You hide in your house with the lights off as kids fashion their prized costumes anxiously awaiting a sweet treat. You people suck, and probably have no perspective on the meaning of “It”s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” You”re a Halloween scrooge. Poo poo on you.

For the rest of us, the Holiday is upon is. Get ready to scare the bajesis out of the kiddo”s, hoping to make one of them pee or crap their pants. Then, you win them back with a sweet treat and you”re suddenly known around the block for it. I”m hoping to scare some kids, and I”ll be honest—I”ve eyed up the candies that are anxiously awaiting Halloween in the house, and I”m psyched for left-overs.

Last year we brought you a list of the top 10 trick or treat candy fails, but the truth is, it actually gets a lot worse than Tootsie Rolls and Mounds (shudder!) Here are your top ten tricks that you shouldn”t be handing out this Halloween:

10. Pretzels

Yeah, I like my fair share of salty goodies—but not on Halloween. Just because the pretzels are shaped like bats and pumpkins doesn”t mean they are meant for Halloween. Especially not to give out. At a party? Sure. To give out at your doorstep? Hellz no.

(Photo: walmart.com)

9. Chips

Chips…Cheez-Its…doesn”t matter. Are they sweet? No. Do they leave a residue on your teeth that requires extra-long tooth brushing? No. So what”s the point? If kids want chips then they can go to the closet of their house. I”m willing to bet there isn”t a wide variety of candy to choose from. Only chips and cereal.

(Photo: alwaysdirect.com)

8. Peanuts

Yes, this actually happened to me. Need I say more?

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The Cure for Feeling Poor: Stuffed PayDay Cookies

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong somewhere?  I think we all have.

You know what helps?  Cookies.  Cookies are magical and break down all social, political and economical barriers.  I wish I had some of these cookies last week when this happened.

So I spontaneously decided to head over to the Vera Bradley designer handbag store after work one day to shop for my mom’s birthday.  I entered the parking lot and started to have second thoughts.  Man, this mall was posh.  There was a strip of fancy boutiques and a freaking fountain (probably hand crafted in Italy or something).  I rolled through the parking lot in my car, which is an old, super-loud hand-me-down Buick from my grandmother.  Some ladies crossed the parking lot; they all had on white pants and flowing, flowery tunic shirts.  I looked down at my outfit.  Hmmm…starting to feel a little uncomfortable. My outfit consisted of workout capris, flip flops and a Paul Frank monkey shirt.  Let me explain.

My office has no dress code.  We do internal work that requires almost nobody visiting our office, so we wear what we want.  9 times out of 10 I am wearing workout clothes.  They are comfortable and sometimes I walk outside on my lunch break, so quit judging.

Yeah, so I sucked it up and went in the store.  No lie, I felt like Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman.  Except not a hooker, just a poor person.  Um, all those ladies in and around the shop clearly made it their job to be impeccably groomed and coifed.

Nobody was rude or anything, but I felt out of place and like people were probably wondering why I was there.  I guarantee that if I came in with a tray of these bad boys that all my fashion faux pas-ing would have been forgotten.

By the way, I get the irony that I felt poor and Pay Day cookies would have helped.  Life just happens that way sometimes.

Stuffed PayDay Cookies

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This is What Brunch at Per Se Looks Like

Per Se may be the best restaurant in New York, but it’s also a food blogger’s nightmare: no photos allowed!?! ES Spy Sara Huneke discovered a secret: opt for their $200 brunch instead of dinner, and you’ll have enough natural light flowing in to surreptitiously take drool-worthy smartphone shots.

Red wine-braised heirloom onions, arrowleaf spinach, broccolini, cauliflower, Meyer lemon and preserved horseradish.

Glazed white asparagus, yellow cling peaches, Belgian endive, Pearson Farm’s pecans, sorrel and Australian black winter truffle.

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100 Things to Do With Peanut Butter

You most likely learned long ago that peanut butter ain’t only good for PB&J sandwiches. George Washington Carver’s greatest invention can in fact spruce up everything from drinks to desserts. Actually, we’d be hard-pressed to come up with a dish that wouldn’t be better with a little Skippy. Peanut butter chili, peanut butter broccoli, peanut butter ice cream and peanut butter cocktails — it all works. Folks, there is peanut butter tuna salad to be found on this list. No lie.

Sincere apologies to those with allergies and all you non-Americans who just don’t get it. Otherwise, enjoy our list of 100 things to do with peanut butter:

Click on the photos for full recipes.

 

See also: 100 Ways to Use a Strip of Bacon

100 Ways to Cook With Guinness

 

From strawberries to sriracha, find the rest of our 100 Ways here.

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