New Orleans

Four Years

Four years ago I finally made the decision to go vegan. After being vegetarian for 13 years and toying with the idea of being vegan for three years, I finally took the plunge in August of 2010. It has been one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve met some great people and eaten some delicious food over the past four years. And now I get to share that experience with two amazing people: E and Little H. 20140209-112103.jpg

E and Little H were born last October. We got off to a rough start with E spending almost 6 weeks in the NICU, but she was able to come home for Thanksgiving and has been doing great ever since. After many sleepless nights over the past nine months, I feel like we have somewhat of a routine now.

E and Little H have a great nanny, which has allowed me to go back to work part time, cook, train for a marathon, and occasionally take a nap. I’ve filled the blogging void with Instagram (follow me here), but I hope to get back into blogging at least once or twice a week now.

Besides baby smiles and laughs, the highlights of the last few months include:

1. Isa Does It. This cookbook is amazing. Most recipes are pretty quick, so it’s great for a week night. Everything we’ve tried has been delicious.

2. Getting back into running – the Woodstock Challenge 5K.

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3. A family trip to Wisconsin and a meeting of the cousins!

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4. A road trip to Nashville to celebrate the marriage of my best friend from high school.

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(The Wild Cow)

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(Khan’s Desserts)

5. A 24-hour trip to New Orleans for a bachelorette party

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6. Cookies – for Christmas, Chinese New Year, the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, and St. Patrick’s Day

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Mardi Gras 2013

To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, I made red beans and rice and tempeh étouffée. The red beans and rice was from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin; it was easy and pretty tasty. Apparently, quasi-vegan talk show host Ellen DeGeneres really likes it and she is from New Orleans, so I considered that a good endorsement.  My only complaint was the sausage; it’s not my favorite way to eat Field Roast sausages. I’d rather have more beans. Fortunately, the étouffée came out well, because the roux was labor intensive. I veganized a fancy Saveur crawfish étouffée recipe. Not a diet dish even if I cut down the margarine (12 tablespoons of butter!). I subbed two packages of tempeh, steamed and soaked in a broth all day (the broth was salty, so I cut out the salt in the recipe), margarine and vegan chick’n broth for the three non-vegan ingredients.

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Sadly no king cake this year, but I did make Mardi Gras sugar cookies.

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