Monday, March 2, 2015

Palafox Market, Around Pensacola and my fave stir fry recipe!

Yes I know I haven't written a blog post in a while.  My intentions are always good, but I never end up writing one or never write enough to constitute a full post.  This week I have finally done it! I have accumulated enough experiences to share with whoever reads my blog!

In the past months I've had two weekends off, which is nice because it gives me time to do actually fun things.  It's bad because I'm poor and I would like the hours, but I make the most of it! The first weekend Peter and I planned on going to the farmer's market to just see what was up but we didn't make it out of the house before it closed at 2:00.  Instead, we went to walk on the beach because I have never stepped on it before.  We held up the line at the toll on the bridge because neither of us had $1 and the toll man didn't take cards.  He was not interested in my 63 cents that I scrounged up from the bottom of my bag and waved us through and told us to give him $2 next time- which I thought was nice of him.

The sand was SO WHITE and so soft! The last time I was on a beach was the heroin needle and condom scattered beach of Lago Patria.  This was a nice change of scenery.  I wish I didn't wear shorts because it was still pretty chilly but it was beautiful.  There are a lot of things that Pensacola does not have but what it DOES HAVE is a bad ass beach.

We decided to go to End of The Line cafe which is the only vegan restaurant in town other than Sluggo's.  Peter's sister Anne said it was good and it shows up on the Happy Cow app on my phone, and people rave about it.  We had a hard time figuring out what to order and Peter ended up getting a vegan Reuben sandwich and I got a caprese sandwich and it was pretty amazing.  It's nice not having to worry about what I'm eating.  

Peter's was better.  The portions were really good for what we paid and we went there again last weekend.  It's like right across the street from the Convention Center where coincidentally, Pensacon was going on.  It was like nerd central but some of the cosplay we saw walking around outside seemed pretty cool.  No one famous was there (which basically means no one I recognized) except Loras Tyrell, Gendry Baratheon and Podrick Payne from Game of Thrones.  ANYWAYS. This time I got a "Knuckle Sandwich" and Peter got the special which was this sub.  His was better again.  They have a cooking class every Sunday for $25 that I am really interested in signing up for.    
Knuckle Sandwich
One day I'm going to have to try their coffee and baked goods but this time we had to just go with the necessary.... sandwiches.  I love sandwiches so much.  As a kid... and part of the way into my adulthood, I could not eat sandwiches.  Something about them just grossed me out.  One time we ran out of hamburger buns so my mom tried to make me eat my veggie burger between two slices of bread and I was like, "Hell no, that's gross."  Sometime between then and now something has changed and I eat sandwiches basically every day.  This isn't great news for my bikini bod, but my stomach is happy.  

We finally made it to the farmer's market this past Saturday.  I was hoping it would be like the one I went to in Santa Rosa when I was visiting my Aunt Maggie in California and it was! It was actually bigger!  It's called the Palafox Market and all of Martin Luther King Square was lined with vendors selling all sorts of stuff! There were farm fresh veggies, fresh milk, mustard, so much salsa, jewelry and all sorts of arts and crafts.
I especially liked this one artist who used recycled steel to make these pretty flowers to put in your garden or yard or wherever.  She also had a few pieces of really beautiful metalwork on display.  After searching a little bit, I found out her name is Amy Hines and HERE is her website.  I bought a red flower that spins and we put it in my garden. I feel like it really brings it to the next level.  

We made it to the end of the market at the corner of Palafox and Wright Street and made our walk back.  We were stopped by this little old man who asked us if we liked to read.  At first I was a little scared that I was going to be sucked in by this old man's cuteness and then suckered into buying one of his books.  But this man, Frits Forrer had a really interesting story! As a child, he lived in Holland when it was occupied by the Nazi's for five years and endured bombings almost daily and then once the Americans took over he decided he wanted to become a fighter pilot for the US military and that's exactly what he did.  I didn't have any cash on me to buy his book, but I hope he's there the next time I make it to the market.  His website is HERE.  He's also written a bunch of other books, but the one Peter and I were most interested in was his account of being a Dutch boy during World War II in Five Years Under The Swastika.  

There were SOOO many things I wanted to buy so I know I need to save up for next time.  There was especially this one artist who made paintings on old windows of wine bottles and other things.  Obviously I liked the wine bottle ones the best.  I didn't take a picture because I am a terrible blogger and I've been trying to find his name but I'm working on it.  During my search, I found The Blue Morning Gallery (link HERE) which looks like somewhere I need to check out.  They do classes and stuff too. 

Okay, last but not least! I have a recipe that I made up! I make a stir fry about twice a week.  Ever since Peter got me that wok for my birthday, it is basically a crime not to use it every week.  Over the past few months I have been tweaking my stir fry sauce recipe until I perfected it.  This is the result! It only takes like 30 minutes from start to finish and it's so good! 

Peanut Butter & Miso Stir Fry 


For the Stir Fry 
8 oz of rice noodles or udon noodles
A handful each of vegetables of your choosing - I used carrots, broccoli, green onions, red peppers and mushrooms.  I also add spinach at the last stage.  
One package of extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
One tablespoon of sesame oil

For the Sauce
1/4 C Rice vinegar
1/4 C soy sauce 
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp asian chili paste
2 cloves of garlic 
1/2 inch section of ginger
1 tbsp light miso paste
1 tablespoon of corn starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water

Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in the food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.  If you don't have miso paste, you can omit it, but I feel like it really makes the dish.  I got some from for like 11 dollars.  Here's one HERE

Boil water for the rice noodles.  Once the water is boiling, remove it from heat and then add the noodles.  Let them soak for about 3/4 minutes.  You don't want them to be completely softened.  Drain them and then immediately rinse with cold water and set aside.  

Heat the oil in a wok and when shiny, add the tofu.  Stir fry for about eight minutes or until it reaches your desired fried-ness.  Then set aside.  

Add all of the vegetables and stir fry in the remaining oil until soft.  I like to add a little bit of water to the stir fry to steam it a little.  When all done, take off the wok and set aside.  

Then add the noodles into the wok and push around and stuff.  Add the sauce and stir fry until the noodles are soft.  Then toss with the tofu and vegetables (and add the spinach) and cook a little more until heated throughout.  

I like to garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro but you could really choose whatever! Enjoy! 

yum yum yum 

Blog Design by Caked Designs