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Belated Holiday Thoughts and Tonight's Dinner – swell

Belated Holiday Thoughts and Tonight's Dinner

Baby Bok Choy with Almond Ginger Miso Sauce served with black rice and bell pepper slices

Baby Bok Choy with Almond Ginger Miso Sauce served with black rice and bell pepper slices

I feel like it’s been awhile…  Today my ladyfriend embarked on a two-week tour with her band (yes, I am lucky enough to have ended up with a drummer!).  Which means on the one hand, it’s going to be a little lonely around here for me and the kitties.  But on the other hand, I get to do things on my schedule and experiment a little more food-wise.  For me this usually involves trying to eat a lot of raw foods and/or kicking caffeine/alcohol, which is usually not as easy during a cohabitation with the rock’n'roll lifestyle.

So I’ve got some Rosemary Crisps and Garlic Chili Flax Chips (both recipes from Living Cuisine) in the dehydrator at this very moment and it smells AMAZING.  I can’t wait to wake up to that smell tomorrow morning (though I wish it wasn’t at 515am).  Green smoothies and some juice and big salads and soups, and if luck has it, some food experiments with a new kitchen appliance that should be arriving soon.

In the meantime, I had what I meant to make last night but which got preempted by a dinner out with my lady: some sauteed bok choy with an almond ginger miso sauce, inspired by Cupcake Punk’s delicous-looking post.  After a cathartic cupboard cleaning, I found some black rice I’d forgotten about.  That went on the side with some sliced orange bell pepper leftover from an earlier salad.  Yum!  I love simple things like this, though next time I might steam the bok choy and reduce or omit the sesame oil (so I feel healthier).


Jultomte made by my grandmother.

Also, xmas happened.  For the past few years I’ve been going to my girlfriend’s family in Wisconsin for the holidays, as I don’t have much of an immediate family.  We broke tradition and ate fresh spring rolls with a coconut lentil soup instead of something heavy for xmas eve, and for the extended family potluck dinner, I made sweet potato, black bean and spinach enchiladas based on the potato and kale enchiladas from Veganomicon.  Success!  Even midwestern omnis were digging it.

I didn’t bring my camera, so I have no photos.  But I do have a loose Swedish Christmas recipe for some strong and tasty glögg (a spicy mulled wine spiked with vodka and, in this case, dark beer).  Too late for the official season, but still mighty tasty for cold winter’s nights.

For the spice-infused vodka:

1 (small) bottle good-quality vodka (Svedka or Absolut if you wanna stay Swedish)

4-5 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced

1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed

8 whole cloves

peel from one orange (Seville is traditional, but I can’t find it here)

Add spices and orange peel to vodka bottle (you may need to take a shot or two to get some room in there).  Close lid and let rest at least overnight, or for a few weeks.  Sift out the spices and pour the spiced vodka back into the bottle.  (Getting out all the pieces isn’t totally necessary as the alcohol preserves them, but if you want them all out you might want to find a lidded jar with a wider mouth to steep the spices.)

For the Glögg:

1 bottle red wine (it doesn’t have to be fancy, and can be regular or jumbo-sized depending on how much you want to make)

1 c (or to taste) spice-infused vodka

1/2 c sugar

1 750mL bottle dark beer (such as Delirium Noel)

blanched almonds and raisins to serve (optional, but very traditional)

Combine the wine, sugar, and beer.  Heat gently to a low simmer and pour in the vodka.  Reheat gently and serve warm with blanched almonds and raisins in the cup (then eat them when you finish drinking the yumminess).

10 Responses to “Belated Holiday Thoughts and Tonight's Dinner”

  1. Shelby says:

    Yum, that dinner sounds so flavorful!

  2. DJ says:

    As an aficionado of mull-recipes, thanks for the Glogg recipe!

    That bak choi looks really good, too!!

  3. Courtney says:

    Merry Christmas! I am sorry your girlfriend is going to be out of town for New Years Eve/Day, but I hope you have a very happy New Year.

    Have fun experimenting and cooking–that is always fun!


  4. melisser says:

    Happy Holidays! I just bought some baby bok choy, so I’m digging your meal there.

  5. We enjoyed enchiladas for Christmas too! Happy Holidays.

  6. Liz² says:

    happy new year a-k!

    oh, that’s funny that you want my cooking, care to share any of your perfect-sounding food? someone needs to invent taste-o-vision. :P

    and happy christmas!

  7. shellyfish says:

    Happy New Merry Year & Christmas! I’m lovin’ the Glogg recipe!

  8. jennlynskey says:

    Great recipe for mulled wine. I haven’t tried black rice, but there have been a few posts with it lately. Your dish looks yummy!

  9. babystace says:

    Hi, I just followed a link to your site from another site on the foodie blogroll…I think I’m salivating over your food, lol. I’m a new vegan. Everyday I see something else I want to try and here are more goodies to put on the list!

  10. [...] and rather less huge on themed food for holidays (apart from Thanksgiving and the baking and beverages surrounding that one consumer holiday in December).  Since we got our grill, however – [...]

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