Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A small nook tucked away in the Place des Arts.
While in Montreal for Memorial Day weekend, we ended up with freakishly cold and rainy weather. Luckily, the same day full of crappy weather was also Museum Day. Many of Montreal’s museums had free admission, and so we returned to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the new exhibitions and get out of the rain. TIP: there were no lines to get in versus other more “family friendly” museums with hours long lines.
The museum in located within the Place des Arts center that is full of shops, restaurants, a box office, and other arts venues. There’s a tiny nook just across from the museum entrance inside the Place des Arts that had a video installation that instantly grabbed my attention. Normally, video art is hot or miss with me. I either lose interest in .3 seconds or I lose all concept of time. This was one where I lost all concept of time. I watched it 3 times. Here’s the 4 minute video to watch for yourself.
The Clockmakers by Renaud Hallée, National Film Board of Canada
I think what drew me in was the combination of repeating geometric shapes with music that changed as the flipping gymnasts landed on various lines. The seating within the nook even echoed the geometric forms in the video. It was so simple yet so addictive. Looking back on all of the places I’ve traveled, it’s always the simple moments that I remember most.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Yay, it’s finally the time of year where there are more than a few veggies in season! I’m not a fan of a lot of winter veggies (looking at you beets) or leafy greens (I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t like kale), so summer is the season that I make up for a lack of…vitamins.
I whipped this salad together as a variation of one that the hubs makes. This version has more veggies, but his has goat cheese so it’s a win-win either way. Both versions were ways to make a FILLING salad with beans and grains on a rather warm day to minimize cooking (our AC is on the opposite end of the apartment). I’ll include his chickpea-goat cheese variation at the end of the recipe, too. Can I just say, Trader Joe’s 10 minute grains are SO handy. I’ve used the barley and bulgur, but they also have a farro if that’s your thing. You can easily switch up the grain and bean in this salad to have a new combination every week.
It makes two very large servings full of all the good stuff, and my version is vegan. You can serve it up immediately or chill it in the fridge, but I prefer the mix of warm and cool.
Once the farmers market start carrying more than potted herbs, I have a feeling I’ll be making this salad every week.
Edamame and Bulgur Salad with Summer Vegetables
Yield: 2 entrees or several sides
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
A quick, filling salad that can be adapted to suit what's on hand. This version is vegan.
1/2 cup quick cooking bulgur (I used Trader Joe's 10 minute bulgur)
1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup shredded red cabbage
2 radishes, sliced
5 mini yellow heirloom tomatoes, quartered
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sriracha
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Boil the water and add the bulgur and edamame. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes or according to package directions.
While the water is boiling, slice and shred your veggies and add them to your serving dish. Whisk together the cilantro, oil, and sriracha in a small bowl until blended.
Add the edamame/bulgur mixture to the veggies and pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.
VARIATION: Use drained chickpeas instead of edamame and add directly to chopped celery, onion, and tomatoes. Add hot bulgur and 2 heaping Tbsp of goat cheese and stir to melt the cheese to coat. Add salt, pepper, and dukkah to taste.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
In the West Wing on the National Gallery in Washington, DC, I spotted this guy painting in the Dutch art gallery. I’ve seen people sketching in museums but never painting. Great choice for working on his skills, too.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Clockwise from top right: vegan ginger peach bellini cupcake from Kickass Cupcakes, tamarind punch from Taco Party, cheese and scallion fritters and the Double Awesome from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, the line in front of Mei Mei.
On Saturday, a rotating festival of food trucks in New England congregated in Kendall Square in Cambridge. The location was great because you could take the T, there was shade, the layout spaced out the trucks, and there were some seating options if you couldn’t juggle all of your street food. Plus the weather was actually nice (yay!).
You had three options for the festival: you could become a VIP for just under $30 with a tent and samples, pay $7 for a wristband which gave you access to the (UPDATED:)
discounted regular price at each truck, or you could just show up and pay a slightly marked up price for each dish. We opted for the wristbands.
Really, you could get anything you wanted: ribs (like above), pizza, grilled cheese, Asian fusion, tacos, falafel, lobstah rolls…
I was an avid food truck diner in Nashville, but I haven’t been able to sample as many here mainly because the trucks tend to be in Boston more than Cambridge. There are a few sprinkled around Cambridge, but this festival gave me the chance to have a TON to pick from versus three or four.
Sliders from Compliments
Tempeh taco sample with avocado, red cabbage, and chimichurri. Just $2 with a wristband.
Nearly every savory truck had some sort of hot sauce option. Taco Party gave you LOTS of choices.
There were long lines for several trucks, especially those selling grilled cheese or ice cream sandwiches. Others had shorter lines because they were newer or had a niche like all vegan options. Nearly everything was made to order rather than having a stockpile to pass out, except for baked goods and drinks. Our game plan was to peruse our offerings before getting in line. Then we split up since we each had wristbands. While the hubs ordered grass fed beef sliders from Compliments, I waited for a tamarind punch and a sample of a tempeh taco from Taco Party. That tamarind punch was tasty! And I had embraced the irony of eating a slider while in line for a vegan taco.
Hipster lumberjack chalk art at Mei Mei.
Fritters on the left, Double Awesome on the right.
We followed those up with a stop at Mei Mei Street Kitchen for a Double Awesome (a scallion pancake with a poached-then-fried egg and Vermont cheddar) and some cheddar and scallion fritters. I would have preferred less cheese in the pancake as it was all I could taste, so I focused on the fritters. They were like the love child of a cheese straw and a hush puppy: delish!
The hubs and his mochiatto cupcake.
We capped it off with cupcakes from Kickass. I heart me some Kickass Cupcakes, especially their mint julep and chocolate-beer cupcakes. The hubs got a mochiatto (FULL of chocolate ganache), and I opted for a vegan ginger peach bellini one since I cannot pass up ginger anything.
Overall, it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Because of the lines, several trucks ran out of things before I could order them such as the ginger lemonade at Bon Me or nearly everything at Chubby Chickpea. More trucks to stalk in the future.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I visited the Bean just after a sudden downpour, but you’d never know it from the crowd around it.