Thursday, July 17, 2014

Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco

Where do I even begin? 

There are tons of words I could use to describe this vegan, west-coast restaurant, but I will try to boil it down to one -- amazing. From the customer service to the scrumptious desserts, they quickly won me over. 

Friends told me I absolutely had to go there during my first trip to San Francisco in July, because it is "the best vegan restaurant in the country." While, I beleived them, I was a little skeptical about what all the fuss was over.  

Then, I had the first bite of my Braza De Reina Tamale, and I got it. I totally got it. 

Here is the description from the menu: chard & corn masa, toasted pumpkin seed, chile poblano & Christmas lima bean filling, sweet corn, roasted pepper & cherry tomato stew, lambsquarter greens, tomato-habanero sauce, avocado, radish & jicama salad, cumin toasted pumpkin seeds.

There were so many flavors, but none of them competed. They all meshed perfectly, and created the perfect balance. 

My friend who I was traveling with and is not vegan or vegetarrian, but was open to trying Millennium during our vacation ordered the Wellington, and said that was fab, too. 

If you're astonished that all of this delicious, tasy and well-platted food was all vegan, dessert will totally blow your mind. I certainly blew mine! 

Vegan. Yes, vegan. And, absolutely amazing! 

Oh, and of course what meal wouldn't be complete without a decaf cappuccino! 

Millennium is easily in my top 5 list of restaurants to eat at. My only complaint? It's so far away! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vegan Green Beans Almondine

I love steamed green beans. I have fond memories of sitting at my great-grandmother's house in Lake George snapping off the ends of fresh ones. Even everytime I am preparing them now, I think of her. 

So, when I saw a batch of these fresh green beans at the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Marrket while in Virginia last weekend, I just knew I had to make something with them. 

The other other thing I remember as a kid is always ordering string beans almondine when I went out to a rrestaurant my family frequented. 

What better way to combine both memories than this vegan green beans almondine. This version has a bit of lemon in it, but if you don'lt like lemon, just leave it out. Serve as a side dish or alone. Either way, it is sure to please. 

Vegan String Beans Almondine
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

fresh green beans, with the ends snapped off
1 lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I use soy-free Earth Balance) 
3/4 cup vegetable broth
sliced, raw almonds

Steam the green beans until tender. 

In the meantime, in a pan, heat melt the butter. Add in the vegetable broth and juice of the lemon, and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 3-4 minutes. 

Once the beans are cooked, place them in a serving dish, pour the lemon butter brotherr over them and sprinkle with raw sliced almonds. 

(After serving I season mine with a little fresh ground pepper and sea salt.) 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Golden Beets with Dinosaur Kale Over Pasta

I'm not sure about you, but I love finding inspiration everywhere.This Golden Beets with Dinosaur Kale Over Pasta was inspired by a visit to the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria, Va. during a weekend roadtrip with my best friend.

The veggies at the market were just beautiful. Tables and tables full of fresh produce with a large water fountain in the background made the perfect setting. 

It has a light lemon, wine sauce that fits perfectly with the slight sweetness of the beets. red onion a d garlic adds an extra depth. I served this over gluten-free ziti pasta, but feel free to pick your own. Finishe it with sea slat and freshly ground pepper. If you're not worried about it bring vegan, sprink some freshly shaven parmesan over it. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hot Habanero Salsa

Once making fresh salsa, you will never, well almost never, buy jared salsa again. 

This Habanero Salsa is spicy, healthy, vegan, gluten free and sugar free. As always season appropriately to fit your tastes. I sometimes use two habanero peppers to give it extra kick, but start with one and see how you like it. 

Same goes for the cilantro. I like the herb, so I always had extra. But, start with few sprigs and then add more to fit your taste.

Make ahead or serve immediately. 

Spicy Habanero Salsa
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

4 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1 (or 2) orange habanero pepper
Fresh cilantro 

Quarter the tomatoes, green pepper, onion and garlic, and place in a food processor. Cut the habanero in half and add in. 

Add in the salt and several sprigs of cilantro. 

Process until all the vegetables are finely chopped.

Serve with tortilla chips. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hometown Diner in Bolton Landing, New York

If there was ever a place where I thought I was on an episode of "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" it would be at the Hometown Diner in Bolton Landing. 

Truely a hidden gem, it is located just outside of the busy Bolton Landing business district. But, the food and atmosphere, I felt like I was in someone's house, are awesome. 

The two-page menu, which includes lunch and snack items in addition to breakfast, is simple, but unique. I couldn't decide between the homemader raisin bread french toast or the blueberry pankcakes. I finally settled on the pancakes after the waitress told me they were made with real blueberries. 

I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised when I cut into the pancakes to find more blueberries than I could ask for inside of them. Not too dry, or too thick or thin, the pancakes perrfectly hid the wild blueberries until you started eating them.

This place is going on the list of my favorites, and is absolutely worth a stop if you are staying in the area. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saratoga Coffee Traders

When it comes to Saratoga Coffee Traders, it is as simple as this, I love that place. 

Where to even begin? 

First, they have dog-friendly, outdoor seating, which made it perfect for my friend Jen and I, because we both had our dogs with us. 

Second, hello, vegan food! There were so many healthy options, both with and without meat, making it perfect for a vegetarian and a meat eat to grab lunch. But, what really impressed me was the hummus wrap I had, which was vegan. 

The third, and may be fourth, items I loved might actually be obvious, but the coffee. Since giving up caffeine, decaf coffee sometimes leaves something to be desired at some places, but certainly not here. It was fab. Oh, and did I mention the free second refill? 

Fourth, the location. With it being right on Broadway, there is a lot of people watching to be done, and just the overall ambiance was nice. It wasn't a stuck up crowd of wanna be hipster. Everyone was really friendly and chill, and they all pretty much liked dogs -- a definite plus! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Adirondack Winery's 6th Anniversary Celebration

Last week I was invited to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Adirondack Winery. 

I've attended their anniversary celebrations in the past, but this one was different. Instead of several nights of small parties and tasting held at their store. It was one big celebration at The Georgian overlooking a fozen, but beautiful Lake George. 

Everything from the decor to the food, boasted a wine theme, and really showed how much the winery has grown and expanded over the last few years. It was nice to be surrounded by hundreds of fellow Adirondack Winery fans, who appreciate supporting local businesses, and enjoy wine. 

Many of the people knew owners Sasha and Mike, whether it be from buying wine at the store, through their wine club or like me bringing every friend who comes to visit in for a tasting and getting them hooked on the appreciation of good wine. 

There were also prizes, like a subscription to their wine of the month club, as well as gift certificates to local restaurants and hotels. 

And, you might think why would someone want a certificate to a local hotel when they live right here. Well, that is because there were a lot of out-of-towners there -- a testimate to the Adirondack Winery's broad reach and appeal. 

For example, at my table there was a couple from Long Island, who traveled up for the weekend, just to attend the event. A tasting room right on Canada Street in Lake George Village combined with the ability to order wine and have it shipped ti states across the country, plus the wine club membership, the reach of the Adirondack Winery is outstanding. They are able to not only be a thriving local business, but attract customers from all over the country. 

I can't wait to see what they have in store for next year'ls 7th anniversary celebration, but in the meantime, here are some photos from the event. 

Everyone who attended received tasting tickets, raffle tickets, a wine list and a wine glass. 

Many of the food items had a wine theme. 

Me and Sasha, the presdent of the the Adirondack Winery. 
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