Vegetarian Baby Food at Green Vegetarian Cuisine

This morning I stopped by Green Vegetarian Cuisine to scope out the new baby food Chef Mike to starting to provide for his littlest customers.  The video is a little shakey, but I’ll get better over time, right? Click on the image below to check it out.

 Gourmet Baby Food | @Hip Vegetarian Cuisine

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Sustenio Family Style Vegetarian Dinner — pheNOMenal!

My husband and I had an amazing vegetarian dinner last night at Sustenio at the Elian Resort in La Cantera. Of course we didn’t know where we were going, and went to the wrong hotel — but we soon realized our error and trotted off in the right direction ——> the direction towards an absolutely pheNOM(NOM)enal dinner by Chef David Gilbert.

The meal was divided up into seven courses — but really was stretched more into nine. It lasted for 3 hours, and both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the company.

When the three desserts came out (yes, 3!), the were squeals from all around the table. The dessert was fabulous, as you’ll see below.

If you’re interested in attending one of Sustenio’s family style dinners, be sure to follow David Gilbert on Twitter (@BeyondtheKit), or check in with Geekettebits — who will probably post when the next dinner is available.  Seriously, the meal was well worth the price — and wait. I can’t wait for the next one.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

What we all loved about the menu was the chef’s notes scribbled on the back. I often referred back to it while I was eating.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) We sat at the chef’s table, giving us a direct view into the kicthen. (right) Potato Chips, a little salty, which made them perfect.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Pancakes with Smoky Sarrots, Bean Sprouts, and Herbs — served with Kim Chi. (right) Green Papya Salad — salty, sweet, sour and garlicky!

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

Heirloom Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Pepitas and Olive Oil. (right) Squash Soup with Curry Popcorn and Cilantro

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Fingerling Potatoes with Truffle and Watercress. (middle) Indian Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower, Cardamom Raisins, Jasmine Rice. (left) Asparagus.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

Cheese with South Texas Honey, Apple, Pomegranate, and 50 year Balsamic. (right) Family Style Dining — there was more than enough for everyone.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Black Truffle, Chocolate Mousse. (middle) Tres Leche-Grapefruit Granite. (right) Pumpkin Spice Semifreddo

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and {Giveaway Closed}

My boys love going grocery shopping and helping me load items into the cart. They also love pretending they are waiters in a restaurant.

That’s why I love the Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food set by Melissa and Doug.

This great creative toy is part of the Melissa and Doug “Terrific Twenty” List; and with the holidays just around the corner, the Melissa & Doug “Terrific Twenty” list compiles the “best of the best” holiday gifts for the 2012 holiday season, and we’re excited to share it here with you!

To celebrate, Melissa and Doug are having a 20 Days of Terrific Twenty” Giveaway on their Facebook page. Every day until Nov. 26, they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans.

And, best of all, I’m giving away a Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food to a lucky Hip Vegetarian follower.  This product is so popular that it’s currently sold out on the Melissa and Doug website — however when they restock, they’ll be sending it off to perhaps your small grocery shopper.

THE GIVEAWAY:
Entry is simple — Just fill out the Rafflecopter link.

This contest will be open until November 19, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. The winner will be given 48 hours in which to send me with their mailing address so that the prize can be forwarded to them.

Congratulations to Laura J. for winning through the Rafflecopter giveaway.

The Vegetarian received a toy in exchange for hosting this giveaway. All opinions contained within this post are my own. Thank you so much for reading and entering!

Mozzarella Rosemary Gnocchi

I love gnocchi. I’m not sure where I first tried it, but when I did it was love at first bite.  These little potato dumplings can be made with sweet potatoes, spinach, etc. My goal one day is to try to make gnocchi from scratch.  However for this recipe I used spinach gnocchi to help with the color contrast in the photo.

This mozzarella gnocchi recipe is super easy to assemble. Great for one of the quick meal ideas.

Mozzarella Gnoochi

1 lb pkg Gnocchi
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 Tbl Rosemary, chopped
Salt
Pepper

Cook gnocchi in boiling water according to package.  Drain and place in greased baking dish.

Add rosemary, salt and pepper to the cream and pour over the gnocchi.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake under the broiler until the top is bubbling.

Serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns

Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns | @HipVegetarian

Whole Wheat Caramel Sticky Buns

Whenever I visited my sister-in-law in Alabama, she would always serve us the best sticky buns that her mother-in-law Sharon would make from scratch and send over for us to enjoy.

Sharon is a queen when it comes to baking — especially around Christmas time. I love how all of her kids and grandchildren look forward to her creations works of art.

Then I realized that that I wanted to do something that my children look forward to, and will always ask, “My, Mom you make ‘that?’ Its’ my favorite.”

So I pulled a chapter out of Sharon’s book and decided to conquer the STICKY BUNS.

I am not successful when it comes to making bread. I don’t know what happened — I used to be when I was in seventh grade and whipped out whole wheat bread for my baking honor badge.

So I cobbled together some recipes I thought would work — my father-in-law’s whole wheat buns recipe, and two recipes out of the Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook for the “sticky” caramel and sugar concoctions.

To simplify the process, I mix the bread mixture in a bread machine and let it rise a couple of cycles before taking it out to assemble.

Whole Wheat Sticky Buns

PART ONE:
1 cup Water
1 Egg
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups All Purpose White Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 package Yeast or about 2 teaspoons

PART TWO:
2/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

PART THREE:
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

Dump all the ingredients from Part One into the bread machine with the flour and yeast on top. Then let it mix and rise once in the machine.

Punch down dough. Divide in half. Let rest 10 minutes.

While dough is resting. Lightly spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

In a small saucepan, place Part Two ingredients over medium heat until sugar, butter and syrup have melted into each other, creating a caramel mixture. Pour mixture into baking pan and sprinkle with pecans.

Mix butter, brown sugar & syrup

Caramel mixture & pecans

Going back to the dough, roll each portion out to 9″x13″.

Rolling out dough. Mine is never perfect.

Sprinkle with one-half of the sugar mixture from Part Three.

Rolling the dough after sprinkling the sugar mixture. I’ve added pecan meal to this batch.

Roll up — like a jelly roll starting from the long-seam side.

Roll up like a jelly roll.

Slice each roll into 12 pieces.

Place sections into pan, cover with a cloth, and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of the rolls. Immediately invert baked rolls from the pan.

The Bliss Experience

OK, after reading quite a few posts about BlissDom, I’ll be the first to admit — I chose the wrong sessions to attend. So I probably didn’t get the most out of this incredible blogging conference as I should.

However here are a few thoughts with what I did walk away with:

I used to plan conferences similar in the format / sponsorship supported as BlissDom. So I probably turned into more of an observer vs. the active participant that I should have been. This I will say, I was impressed. The sponsorship involvement down the schedule was impressive. The only glitch that I saw was at breakfast where the clean plates were placed in the middle of the buffet table instead of the end where the line entered. (It was hard to turn off my event planning/PR hat). However all the Bliss Chicks did a fabulous job!

@MagdaRow

Sometimes life brings you the oddest connections. This is so with Amanda (@MagdaRow), whom I found in the the BlissDom Facebook Newbie page. Turns out that she’s the sister-in-law to a good friend that I’ve known since I was 10 years old from summer camp/high school/college roommate. Such a small world, and for the short 24 hours we were together in Nashville, I felt like she could be a soul mate.

@IamChrisMann and I

Chris Mann is just a nice guy — and a smart guy to linger around so many bloggers for hours. He noticed me photo stalking him at Saturday night’s reception from afar. In my defense I just wanted to show my Facebook friends who are avid followers of The Voice, that he was at my conference. It didn’t matter if I was in the photo or not. He took notice, walked over and asked if he could take a photo with me. Then he proceeded to linger for a couple of minutes to chat with my friend Sherry and I. He has my vote.

As for the rest of the celebrities in attendance, the only one I was excited to meet was The Lorax. I seem to have thing for plump fuzzy characters who don’t hand out roses to middle age women.

While in line, I met incredible women with inspiring ideas. Like this coupon organizer/folder/bag.

I heard some incredible artists.

I can't wait for my @HersheysKisses Easter Basket to arrive in the mail. Hey, it's vegetarian, right? (so sorry for the out of focus shot. Trying to balance heavy bags made it hard to focus with the other hand)

I won a @famousfootwear gift card.

Special thanks to my roomie @PRcarrS for convincing me to attend BlissDom -- and then actually wanted to hang out with me. Otherwise I have just twiddled my thumbs in Texas.

I fell in love with @allorahandmade items.

So I guess the one thing I did take away from BlissDom is this — it’s all about making connections.  Hopefully that’s something I’ll be able maximize during 2012 so I can build up to an amazing BlissDom’13 experience.

So goodbye to all the wonderful ladies and one guy (@busydadblog) that I met in Nashville. I’ll be reconnecting with you online and hope to see you again in 2013!

Goodbye BlissDom'12!

The BlissDom’12 Connection

My Bliss Box arrived in the mail today. Goodies, free coupons from sponsor ConAgra Foods and an agenda to help me prep for my experience in Nashville.

It’s all about connections.

Over a year ago I was posting pictures of what I as having for dinner on Facebook for my friends. My good friend Kami kept encouraging me to start a blog. From there she introduced me to Rachel. Unbeknownst to Rachel, she became my blogging idol; so when I noticed A Southern Fairytale tweeting and blogging her plans to attend  BlissDom last year, I took notice.

Then a few months ago my old PR crony Sherry nudged me into thinking about attending BlissDom’12. “Let’s save money and run off to Nashville,” she said.  After quick deiberations about budget, driving vs. flying, how long could our husbands survive with two boys each, stay in dirt-bag hotels or at Opryland; we romanced our men into agreeing to let us head off to Tennessee sans children — as long as we agreed not to start a singing career.

So Nashville is where Sherry and I will be staring in our next adventure. We’ll discover our “bliss” in blogging, make new friends, meet “old” (social media) friends in person, encourage others, and be empowered.

All roads will intersect in Nashville in a couple of weeks. There are hundreds of ladies making plans to attend BlissDom’12. I’m told there will be laughter, tears, singing and dancing; but best of all we’ll be connecting.

Connecting with other bloggers sounds like bliss, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Welcome to the Family

I can’t believe I’ve never bought a hand blender before. So exited to use it on soups vs. scooping my soups into a blender. Is this fabulous piece of machinery all in my head, or is it worth the space in my cabinets?

Cuisinart Variable Speed Hand Blender