I just have to share this picture of our little Snoopy. He is little and likes to sit up high, particularly on top of the sofa back. He is currently the apple of my eye... and I just can't stop loving him. Especially now that he has stopped peeing on the floor. Ha ha!
Okay, now that we've got that important business out of the way... I can get on to the food. Last week we had our really good friends Laurie & Gil over for dinner. They are such delightful people, and we are super happy to have them as friends. It was great to see them, and I was excited to have a reason to spend all day cooking!
First I made a fantastic loaf of the NY Times No-Knead bread. Oh, I love that recipe so much! This loaf was half whole wheat pastry flour and half regular bread flower. Isn't it beautiful!?
Here's what I made I made for appetizers:
Fresh veggies cut up. Soaked red lentil hummus (a 100% raw recipe!). Black Lentil & Grilled Eggplant "Caviar". Garlic-rosemary-infused olive oil. Bread!
The dips were both very good, and were both from "The Artful Vegan" - a cookbook from Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco. Musty's mom got it for my birthday last year. To be honest, it's a pretty intimidating cookbook, and not always the easiest to follow. But, having enjoyed a few meals at Millenium - I knew it would be worth the effort!
Here's the entree I made for dinner! It's Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Vegetables, Golden Tomato-Lavender Sauce, & Kamut-Pine Nut Salad. Wow! It was full of fancy stuff. The white stuff is a roasted garlic-cashew cream with fresh herbs. It was a wonderful meal and worth all the work. Musty was in heaven... he kept saying "This is the fanciest meal you've ever made!" and our guests were happy too!
And of course - you gotta have dessert! I wanted to make Susan V's Upside-down Peach Cake... it was tempting me through the waves of cyberspace. As you can see, I used a combination of yellow & white peaches. Oooh, it was delicious! And also a big hit with everyone!
All in all, it was a wonderful meal, and it was fun to really put in some time and make something so special. I don't do that very often. I also got to do some neat new things - like use purple basil, make something with kamut, and put lavendar in my tomato sauce!By the way... I was remiss in not blogging about this sooner... My friends Sara & Fabrizio came over for dinner a while back... and when we served up dessert - I got so excited that I forgot to take a picture. It's Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Caramelized Walnuts. Whoa! it's rich and amazing - we couldn't believe it. I don't have the exact recipe but it's got bananas (roasted with brown sugar and a tiny bit of coconut oil), coconut milk, and candied walnuts. It's creamy and RICH... totally decadent. (Hi Sara! Where's the link to this recipe?)
Last weekend my super awesome friend JJTWH came down to Santa Cruz for a little visit time. It was so fun to catch up. She's a vegetarian, and a foodie, so we always have fun appreciating food together. We went to one of our favorite spots - the gorgeous, sweet, and always-delicious Black China Cafe. It's an all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch spot... with a few nice vegan options and some amazing vegan baked goods. This is their scrumptious Muffaletta Sandwich, served open face with a red pepper-garbanzo spread, tapenade, avo, & cherry tomatoes. MMMMM.
With vegan baked goods in abundance, we felt obligated to try some. I chose a slice of coconut cake. It was delicious - but in truth I was a little disappointed. There was at least 3x more frosting than cake... which is not my scene. I'd like a little cake with my cake, please! It's probably the only time I haven't been over the moon about one of their desserts. Still, the flavor was insanely great... not one complaint on that front!
Finally! This Fri-Sat-Sun we are up in Santa Rosa, displaying Musty's guitars at the big Healdsburg Guitar Festival - a huge show of handbuilt acoustic guitars. It's a very fun and very overwhelming event. It happens every two years... and this is only our second time participating. I'm so proud of Musty - his guitars are really beautiful and are really well-received.
I know we've all said it before, and we'll all say it again, but I am feeling SO grateful for my wonderful vegan blogger friends! Here's why... Last time we came to this show, I remember being SO HUNGRY. It's so busy, and it's pretty impossible to get away from the table. Plus, the only food option is barbeque - not really any vegan options. So, I was grateful when I saw Chris' idea of bringing calzones along as a travel food - the perfect solution!
So, the night before we left, I made up a BIG batch of calzones - 4 for us and 2 for my grandparents. They've got tomato sauce, chard, roasted veggies (eggplant, bell pepps, corn, and zukes), a little garlic-cashew cream sauce, tofu ricotta, and a bit more tomato sauce. They are GREAT! Thanks so much Chris... I was so happy to have a healthy, nourishing and filling lunch this afternoon! You saved the day.
Here's something most of you can probably appreciate. Tonight, after day one of the guitar show, we went out to dinner with some of Musty's guitar buddies. By happenstance, we ended up a steakhouse when we hooked up with some other friends who had already settled on that spot. They were all so sweet about it, and though it's certainly not my first choice - I'm willing to be agreeable. Here's what I was able to cobble together - a big stalk of steamed brocolli (that's for you, Diann!), some veggies sauteed in olive oil and herbs, and a baked potato (with ketchup). It was actually a pretty decent little meal. Please note that the restaurant was called "Hunter Steakhouse." whoa!