Monday, August 27, 2018

A Family Affair!

Do you have any family members who live far away, but are also super fun? And then when they come to visit, it is extra super great? A while back, my mom's cousin Bruce came to visit, and he and his sister are both special like that to our family. 

Bruce lives in Portland, so it's not like we never see him... but it's usually just for a quick dinner or a little hello. But this time was super special because he came to Santa Cruz to speak at a 3-day symposium on Iranian performing arts up at the university here. So we had him in town for several days, and we got to attend the symposium (so cool!!) and hear his talk, AND I got to host a family dinner with Brucie as our special guest. I have been wanting to write this blog post forever, and then I thought "maybe I'll just forget about it..." but I didn't want to give up on it!

Bruce is an enthusiastic foodie, so it was an extra special treat to get to cook a meal for him. Of course I wanted to impress him! 

This was at the end of asparagus season (I told you it was a while ago!), and so I knew for sure that I wanted to make my favorite Asparagus and Cilantro Soup from The Real Food Daily Cookbook. This soup is so beautiful and so delicious. I just love it, and so did everyone at our dinner party! I guess I was so busy enjoying the soup that I forgot to take a picture of it... so instead I have a picture of these beautiful asparagus tips, delicately sliced in half, and ready to be blanched. The asparagus tips are used a garnish in the finished soup and they are so beautiful and bright green after being blanched. 

happy memories of asparagus days

Open-Faced Grilled Herb Tofu Sandwiches

I also made some open-faced Grilled Herb Tofu Sandwiches - also from The Real Food Daily Cookbook. This recipe is one of my old favorites, and is absolutely spectacular. The tofus are marinated in a fantastic mixture with fresh herbs and then grilled ( I used my panino press for perfect grilled tofuz! ). Then there are caramelized onions, a homemade sundried tomato pesto, and fresh greens. Doing these sandwiches open-faced was great because the bread wasn't overly dominant and all the fresh flavors really got to shine. It was also a good balance with the soup - protein, carbs, and a bit more hearty. 


I feel strongly about offering a good dessert at special dinner parties... And our special party was right around the same time as Mr. VE&T's birthday! So I asked him what he wanted for a bday dessert - he asked for Blueberry Pie! SO fun! I hadn't made a pie in quite a while... and I don't know if I've ever actually made a blueberry pie before. It was so much fun. I even used fresh blueberries. I used this recipe for my inspiration, and it turned out so well! I felt ambitious and wanted to try a lattice crust. It was a little nerve wracking, but it looked so pretty when it was all done and baked. And it was super delicious!
anxiously working on my lattice crust

Beautiful Bowl of Summer Fruit

My aunt's partner has his birthday the day before Mr. VE&T... but he doesn't eat sweets or sugar. I still wanted to do something special for him - so I just filled a large serving dish full of blueberries and strawberries. It was so beautiful and perfect and bountiful! I love pie, but it really is hard to beat a perfect piece of fruit all on its own. 

It was a really great dinner party - we all had so much fun together and loved sharing some special personal time with our beloved cousin Bruce! 

our sweet little fur crew. 
They are great.


  1. You always throw the most splendid gatherings, Amey!!! Everything looks so delicious from the asparagus to the herb tofu sandwiches to the fresh summer fruit and blueberry lattice pie. Plus, the drawings are a treat too! <3

  2. So beautiful! I love that fruit bowl.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That looks fantastic. Your lattice crust, beautiful.


I love comments, they really make my day! Thanks for reading my blog!