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Archive for March, 2010

Cafe Indigo

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

New Hampshire isn’t exactly known for its vegan fare. In the Northeast, that approbation probably goes to Massachusetts or Vermont. I don’t know. Nevertheless, if you look hard enough and listen well to the word-of-mouth, you can find a few little gems. One that shines particularly bright to my mind reflects that treasure hunt with its location, hidden away on the outskirts of Concord, NH in what feels like an office park.

My first introduction to Cafe Indigo was on the Sunday following a multi-day, state-wide power outage due to high winds. I’d spent the night at my friend Scott’s home and we met another buddy there for one of their twice-monthly brunches.

We were all duly impressed and Scott and I soon made plans to repeat the experience. Alas, our wires crossed a bit, so come Friday when I asked if we were still on, it was not to be. We rescheduled for the next one. Meanwhile, I’d worked myself up in anticipation and decided to go it alone.

I brought a chess magazine and just sat there enjoying some quiet time with a cup or two of coffee and a delicious meal. Somehow it felt apropos the issue I’d randomly chosen as reading material was focused that month on women in chess; this completely vegan bakery/diner is, after all, owned by three young female entrepreneurs!

Someday I’ll have to stop by during lunch, even if it is a little over an hour away. Here’s how the brunch works. First things first, of course, coffee. Organic choices, both with and without caffeine. From the menu you then pick a main dish. Last time I had the rancheros, this time the scramble (shown here half eaten).

tofu scramble, rosemary potatoes, vegan sausage, and pure maple syrup

While you wait, you have time to make a few “little of this, little of that” selections from the salad bar. Everything looks so amazing, you have to at least taste each one. (And yes, they live up the visual cues.)

sesame noodles, homemade hummus, bean salads, apple scone

Then, if you’ve left room — or more likely strategically had it before the main course arrived — there are desserts for which to live, including their famous vegan carrot cake. OMG! The chocolate cake was good too, but I was really looking forward to the even more moist chocolate cupcakes from my inaugural visit.

wheat free lasagne, chocolate cake, carrot cake

As before, I left stuffed. A “clean” fullness though. You know, the kind you feel only in your belly not in your arteries. ;) Highly recommended. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Meditation CD Giveaway

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

A while back — April 2008 to be exact — I created a binaural beat meditation CD, with the idea of following it up with a series on MeditativeHealth.com. Heck, I even put it on Amazon too, where you can see the original cover design.

Unfortunately, it never took off. I still listen to it myself though. Anyway, my bad luck story could be good news for you. Here’s why. If a merchant doesn’t make a sale on Kunaki within 180 days, they take the product in question off their system. Considering the half day you can easily spend getting the darn thing back up on their servers, it’s worth it to buy someone a copy to keep it alive.

Here’s how it’ll work. As when I gave away a year’s subscription to Environmental magazine, I’ll be using the atmospheric noise, random number generator at random.org to pick from the entrants. Just leave a comment that you’d like to enter (sorry only people in the U.S. to keep shipping costs down) then send me your mailing address using the contact form with the subject “my entry”. Don’t worry, it won’t be used for anything but sending the one person his or her CD.

Time is of the essence, so I’m picking the winner Monday night (March 22nd, 2010) before I hit the hay, sometime between 9 PM and midnight. I’ll leave a comment announcing who it was then close things off. And hey, if no one enters, I’ll just send it to a family member. :)

Butternut Squash Restaurant

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Here you have it, the last of the pictures from my visit with family in North Carolina. (Actually, I have a pic of the deer on my sister’s doorstep in this month’s newsletter). These are of the dishes we had at a small, fairly new, vegetarian restaurant in Chapel Hill’s University Square called Butternut Squash.

Front and side approaches

I had the VEGAN CLUB:

The description, “Baked tofu and smokey tempeh bacon with lettuce, tomato, red onion, stone ground mustard and vegan aioli” was definitely accurate, as it was a very smokey sandwich.

My Dad had the BLACK BEAN HEMP-NUT BURGER, “served with avocado, goat cheese, mustard, basil, aioli and sprouts.”

OK, so that one’s not vegan, with the goat cheese, but at least I’m not showing you my sister’s choice, the pasta primavera (hello cheese!).

The chocolate cake, however, was vegan (and the ice cream too).

The latter, that small scoop of ice cream, was a separate dessert dish on its own, and, to put it mildly, something of a disappointment in its size to price ratio. Other than that, a good and filling meal.

Interesting Weekend

Monday, March 1st, 2010

What a crazy, but ultimately fun, weekend. It all started Thursday night as New Hampshire was hit by a powerful wind storm which prompted Governor Lynch to declare a state of emergency. It was a scary and sleepless one to be sure — no power and every renewed gust had me convinced I’d be ducking trees as they crashed through the roof from any side. I stood at the ready (as much as you can be ready for such a thing) in the doorway to leap in either direction.

Having made it through the night, the damage was clear as more than a quarter million PSNH (Public Service of NH) customers were left without power. The rain of the preceding weeks had left the ground weak and unable to secure the roots of many an old tree. Others simply broke and toppled, onto lines and houses. At some point during the day, my phone joined the power outage. Luckily, I had my new cellphone which I’d procured for the trip to NC. Alas, the hotels and motels were either also without power or full. I roughed it in the car for a while that night, turning on the heat every couple hours, before eventually heading inside where I actually slept well in my old sleeping bag from the scouts. It had seen many a winter camping excursion in its day, including a couple times in an igloo, and while not quite as effective as it used to be, it nevertheless was up to the task of the mild (30-40°F) temperatures.

Saturday night, my good friend Scott and his wife took me in. We’d planned to meet up on Sunday for brunch anyway, so it worked out well though we were all exhausted and called it an early night. The next day, we were in for a lavish treat: one of the twice monthly buffet brunches at Cafe Indigo, the vegan bakery in Concord. The food was amazing, and the chocolate cupcakes were soooo moist! We all walked out of there twenty pounds heavier, $20 lighter. (Next time, I’ll bring the camera). And, I was in for another treat upon returning home to find the power had just been restored, as evidenced by the heater still struggling to bring the house back up to temp and my electric toothbrush’s flashing blue light.

Other notables of the weekend include the one-year anniversary on Friday, the 26th, of my last day at work, and my birthday… today, March 1st. :)

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