Coffee Journal | Toby’s Estate, West Village, NYC

Toby's Estate, West Village, NYC

Toby's Estate, West Village, NYC

Toby's Estate, West Village, NYC

I have a short trip to New York planned for the end of the month. I know it’ll be early in the season, but I’m still a little wary of New York in the summer. I’m worried it’ll be hot and crowded and full of other tourists because the locals would have left the city, and I’ll have to stand in long queues to get anywhere fun. My friend V thinks my worries are overstated, and that I’m perhaps confusing summer in New York with summer in Paris.
I’m sure I’m just being a worrywart and I’ll probably have the greatest time. I have a rough itinerary which includes taking the A train up to the Met Cloisters, a photography date on Governors Island and a trip to the Bronx to check out the botanical garden. I’m hoping to spend time in the West Village too, and go back to this adorably chic corner café.

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Herb Pesto Vegetable Pizza

Herb Pesto Vegetable Pizza

Herb Pesto Vegetable Pizza

One thing I knew I was going to miss for sure when I gave up dairy was pizza. I didn’t want to give up gooey melted cheese on pizza; I just couldn’t imagine a lifetime of cheese-less pizza.
In the years since I’ve been trying to eat a wholly plant-based diet, I’ve eaten a lot of cheese-less pizza; some were just meh but I’ve had exceptional pizza too. I’ve eaten pizza so wonderful I hardly thought of the cheese it didn’t have, or it could be that I’ve forgotten the taste of cheese on pizza. Still, there are many inspiring alternatives to the traditional flatbread.
One very delicious way I make pizza these days is use pesto as the base and pile on a ton of fresh tasty vegetables. The result is an incredibly wonderful savoury pie we can’t get enough of, even the pepperoni and cheese folk love it!

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Mango Cardamom Cake

Mango Cardamom Cake

Mango Cardamom Cake

It’s mango season in all the places I usually pine for. I can’t take a tropical vacation right now, so it’s a welcome sight to see mangoes at the market. A few weeks ago we brought home a case of Ataulfo mangoes; creamy and smooth, and fragrant and so sweet and juicy we ate them standing over the kitchen sink. And when we’d had our fill, we cut some up in pieces for our salad, and then made this mango cardamom cake with the rest.

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Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Our summer balcony

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

The proper title for this post should probably be photos from my colourful balcony and how to make the perfect stovetop popcorn for an afternoon out on said balcony. Yeah, that is way too long!

Our little balcony in the city is summer ready again. This is how I know summer has begun, that we’ve dug ourselves (and the balcony!) out of the dregs of winter. We cleared the balcony a few weekends ago, scrubbed the dirt and grime off, and unearthed the candy pink hue paint job we gave it last summer. We filled the space with all the cute little plants we’ve come to love.

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Brazilian Style Black Beans

Brazilian Black Beans

Since my last post, I’ve been to the wonderful city of San Francisco and back. In those few short days, I had a picnic under the Golden Gate Bridge, toured a vineyard castle in the Napa Valley and roamed the halls of the newly reopened SF MOMA.
One night we had dinner and drinks in a dimly lit red-hued Mediterranean inspired restaurant in SoMa. We ordered a mezze of tasty vegetarian sides like baked cauliflower, salads, vegetarian kufteh, roasted eggplant, and hummus with crispy lavash. We had soup to start, a modest chard and bean soup so good I wanted to come home right away and recreate it over and over. It was so simple, delectably nuanced and flavourful that I want to tuck it in my recipe bank for when the cold season rolls around.
I’ve been on this kick lately, of trying to recreate meals I’ve had in restaurants and loved. The Brazilian style black beans, we had them for the first time last spring at a vegan restaurant in the Upper East Side.

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