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Another Winner!

And now, for the results of the random drawing (the Unicyclist is home, so I’m rooking him into it)….drumroll, please!


Join me in congratulating, MANGOCHILD!!  Huzzah!  Her ode to her favorite fruit is printed here.


Mango. A smile. A laugh as the juice trickles down my chin.
Mangos, yellow, red, and the deepest orange. Sunsets and sunrises at any time of the day.
Squishing the soft skin between my hands as the pulp mashes within, only to squirt out the top into my mouth and onto my friend’s face.
Sustaining me, soothing me, a joy throughout the years.
Scraping the pit with my teeth, drawing out each sweet bit of fruit until the fibers stick between my teeth. Scraping the skin with my teeth and laughing at the teeth marks left behind.
Joy in kachumber, in sweet mango sauce, in mango lassi and mango salads.
Nothing short of simple happiness.

W00t!  Your copy of Sundays at Moosewood will be on its way shortly!


New Year’s Contest WINNERS!

Well, it’s true—looking at the poll results, everyone’s poem was someone’s favorite, and all of them sure were enjoyable to read!  However, it is time to look at the results of the voting, and the voting is in.  Without further ado, the first place winner is….

…”Dont Kick da Beet!”  Congrats to DJ Kimmus and beetNick!  You are the new proud owners of Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites!

And, in second place, proud winner of  The Cookshelf Vegetarian, we have Jessica’s beautiful “Open Letter to a Carrot.”

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New Year’s Contest Voting Begins Today! (Plus, some gratuitous Hippo photos.)

What is this?  A “toy,” you say?  Never heard of it….

Okay, all you veggie-lovin’, tune-carryin’, beat-mixin’ marvels out there.  I LOVED your entries.  L-O-V-E-D loved them.  So much fun, so much talent on display!  Thanks to everyone for sharing.  I have to say, I really want some mp3s of the musical number and the rap.  I’m a-thinkin’ we just may have to request those from DJ Kimmus and Kirbysmom if they win, don’t you think?

Anywho, wonder of wonders, today is the day voting begins to choose the first and second place winners in our New Year Cookbook Contest!  If you haven’t been following them, we’ve got lyric poetry, raps, musical numbers, haiku, limericks, and more.  If you have been following them, which ones did you enjoy most?  What resonated with you, what made you laugh, which one were you still thinking about a day after you read it?  I’m pasting them all after the jump to refresh your memories, along with the link to the poll where you can cast your vote.

Please, vote for no more than two choices. However,  you are permitted to recruit your friends and family to stop on by to vote for your poem, or just give them a nudge to have them check out and enjoy the entire list.  The more, the merrier! Voting ends this Wednesday, January 7, at 11:59 pm Pacific time.

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Dark Days Challenge Recipe: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Note: If you’ve been gone or are new to the site, make sure to check out yesterday’s post for a New Year’s contest and giveaway! More info at the end of this post as well.

For some reason, the Unicyclist and I decided that this week would be a good one to tackle a more challenging dish for Urban Hennery’s Dark Days of Winter Challenge.

Perhaps the fact that it had been a full week of down time since the Christmas cookfest influenced our judgment.  Maybe it was the excitement of the new year, full of promise and potential.

Or maybe you can just chalk it up to pure lunacy.  That’s my vote, after having spent almost four hours in the kitchen yesterday trying to alternately craft/beat/and will perfect ravioli into existence.

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Resolution Much?: The First-Ever Simple Spoonful Giveaway!

Well, howdy and how are ya and Happy New Year to ya!  The Unicyclist and I had a mellow evening at home last night, watching a movie and enjoying each other’s company…and the company of Hippo.  Neither of us has ever been very big New Year party people.  The truth is, neither of us is a very big “party” person in general.  Because we like to think of the New Year as a celebration of the year that was and a marker of what we want from the year knocking at the door, it just doesn’t make much sense for us to get our new year on at a loud, crowded place where the alcohol runs freely and the party carries on into the wee hours.  So we do it our way, whether that’s a movie, a board game night with friends, or a camping trip.  And it’s good.

Since what we do on the eve of the old year and the day of the new are often reflective of what we want from the coming months, I thought today would be a good time to offer my readers something to start the year off well.  Plus, I really love spreading the love.  And I think having a blog is really fun, and I hope my readers think reading a blog is just as fun.  For all those reasons, I want to welcome you to the very first Simple Spoonful contest and giveaway!

What’s up for grabs?

Cookbooks!  Delicious, vegetarian (or pescatarian), healthy cookbooks for all those of you who were looking for more ideas and support in your quest to eat healthy in the new year.  I have three to give away, and I sure hope one of them goes to you.  Money seems to be tight for a lot of people these days, and if affording a healthy foods education is the only thing standing between you and a better diet, I hope this can help.

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Dark Days Challenge Recipe: Sweet and Savory Kabobs

Early this morning, awakened by the dulcet tones of one Mr Hippo singing to the sunrise, I got up, got dressed, and headed to the farmers’ market to see what I could scavenge for our Dark Days Challenge meal.  The fridge was a little bare, since our CSA pick-up last week was canceled due to the holiday.  However, the Unicyclist and I had an inkling of what we wanted: kabobs.  Rich and savory kabobs to slather with the leftover muhammara from our Christmas Eve shindig.  Last night over dinner, just as we’d decided this, the Unicyclist was struck with a bolt of inspiration.

“What about dessert kabobs?”

Brilliant.  And timely.  As everyone knows, nothing makes a party like food on a stick, so consider these recipes my belated Christmas gift to you.  Both the savory and the sweet kabobs we made would be a wonderful, healthful addition to any New Year’s Eve fiestas.

Let’s get into it.  First: the ingredients.

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Dark Days Challenge: Sweet Potato and Brie Omelet with Caramelized Onions

If you’re like me (and a lot of other people), the smell of onions cooking verges on intoxicating.  So many delicious dishes start this way that most of us have accumulated years and years of positive associations with the smell.  Needless to say, a pan full of onions caramelizing over a low heat was a doggone good way to start out this week’s Dark Days Challenge.

See how pretty and sweet and brown they are becoming?  That’s what happens when you are armed with patience, a good pan, and some clarified butter.  It’s only my second time caramelizing onions, but I think I’m becoming addicted.  I have a love affair with a lot of the allium family, in fact.  Garlic, onions, shallots, chives…mmmm…  Some stinky things are just so dadgum tasty!

Things are busy around here, as you may have surmised from the less-frequent postings.  That’s a combination of work deadlines and Christmas rush, though I’m starting some classes next week as well.  It’s hectic, but it’s good.  In any case, that busyness is what led me to choose something quick and easy for this week’s challenge.  It doesn’t get much easier than an omelet.

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Dark Days Challenge: Shepherd’s Pie

Well, let’s be honest up-front here. This was not a 100% local meal.  I honored the spirit of Dark Days, but not the cold, hard rules.

I confess: I used up some things that desperately needed using, since Shepherd’s Pie is such a wonderful haven for wayward mushrooms and forgotten produce that’s been living on the edge for some time.  I could have make it without these things (I did contemplate doing so, in fact), and it would have been equally delicious…but I didn’t.  And I think that’s okay. One of the reasons in favor of eating seasonal, local veggies is the benefit it has on the environment.  Making sure my borderline produce wasn’t wasted definitely fit with that goal.

Who were the non-local food fugitives in question?  A handful of crimini mushrooms, and a half-package of frozen peas that was getting freezerburn.  They were nice, but they didn’t make or break this dish.  It’s like chili, minestrone, stew, or any of that sort of thing: what ya got is what goes in the pot.  And it’ll be tasty.  Really.  Oh, the deliciousness that is a hearty cut of garlic-potato-topped vegetarian pastoral goodness.

There’s not a recipe for this, per se, so I’ll just give you the basic run-down on the process.  Make of it what you will.

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Tangy! Sweet! Sunny!

Don’t forget, readers!  If you haven’t voted for some cookie recipes at the online swap at 5 Second rule, get your potooties over there!  Lemon.  Sunshine.  Cookies. Trust me, if more people knew about these cookies, the world would be a happier place.

Vote!  Your taste buds will thank you, and your holiday guests will, too.

Update: Voting ended at midnight.  Sorry for the mix-up!  :(


Vote for Pedro!

No, really, vote for me! Forget Pedro.

I entered my lemon thumbprint cookies in an online cookie swap over at 5 Second Rule, and the voting has begun.  Family, you’ve eaten these cookies. You know what the deal is with those cookies.  Mmmmm….

Everyone else: imagine perfect little sunny spots of citrus in a shortbread cookie to brighten your winter.  I promise to share the recipe with all of you whether or not I win. However, you should still hop over to 5 Second Rule and vote for the Lemon Sunshine Cookies, plus whatever other two recipes make you drool and your knees start to quiver.

Go now!  Voting ends Wednesday.

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