Two (Too) Full Bellies

We’re back from the Let Live Conference Benefit Dinner! It was a truly special evening, set in a lovely, intimate atmosphere (at Sweetpea Baking Company) with amazingly kind folks preparing the meal and serving us. While the room in our stomachs quickly diminished with each new course, we still ate every last morsel of food. That’s how delicious it was!

Let me begin by admitting one of my loopy quirks (two actually): I get very nervous in rooms full of people. As a result, I managed to bump into our table not once, but twice. The first time resulted in spilling water all over; the second time resulted in knocking over the flower vase and spilling more water. Luckily only a few people noticed, and the table remained on all four of its wobbly little legs! The second quirk: I don’t enjoy having my picture taken, so you won’t see me enjoying my meal. Sigh… The menu:

The salad - Jicama Salad in Citrus Vinaigrette

The soup - Spicy Cream of Sweet Potato with Lime

The main course - Blackened Seitan With Corn Pudding And Chocolate Chili Mole

The dessert – Raspberry Brownie And Vanilla Ice Cream

And, the beverage – Homemade Ginger Lemonade

My favorite was the dessert (!!!), but the salad was a close second. Tim’s favorite was the main course. Honestly though, it was difficult to choose a favorite because everything was delicious. Thank you Isa, and all of your hardworking helpers for such an awesome evening, and for such a great cause too! Hooray for that! Here is a link to a few photographs: Look!

Benefit Dinner

Tonight my boyfriend and I will be attending the benefit dinner for the Let Live NW Animal Rights Conference being held here in Portland at the end of this month. Since we rarely take a night off from cooking, this will be an incredibly special treat, not to mention an opportunity to taste a delicious menu of food prepared by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and several others. I will be taking my camera with the hopes of photographing the food, so check back later! I have decided I will make attempts to swipe other diner’s desserts, but that may not go over very well and I could be asked to leave. We shall see! I will leave you with a photo of a super friendly dragonfly who wishes that he too, could go to the dinner. He’s vegan!

What’s Hiding Where?

Several months back, I posted about my dislike for vegetables as a child. Now, thanks to a more adventurous palate, my bond with all things vegetable has gone out of control (in a good way)! There are still some vegetables I am hesitant to eat, such as artichokes, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini. In an attempt to trick my taste buds into liking at least one of the aforementioned, I made the Zucchini Spelt Muffins from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Oh my goodness!! These were the most dandy yummy muffins I have eaten in a very long time (thanks for the recipe, Dreena)! And because the zucchini was hidden inside these muffins, I ate them without a thought. The recipe is packed with nutritious ingredients like flax meal, applesauce, zucchini, raisins, and walnuts. I added some lemon zest to complement all the flavors and it worked nicely. I also had to substitute whole wheat pastry flour for spelt, but they turned out beautifully nonetheless. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the excess shredded zucchini I have sitting in my fridge…I am open to suggestions, please!!!

And, because I am a kid-at-heart (and I am often mistaken for a teenager despite having crossed the 30+ line), I made the Kid’s Dynamo Hummus also from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I used to think hummus was for hippies when I was a stupid naive fool. Thank goodness I have come to my senses! I LOVE this hummus! I mean, it has cashews in it! It has flax oil too! I added lots of extra garlic and ate it with some homemade pita wedges. Who’s the hippie now?

I also made some basil pesto, but we all know what that looks like, so there is no photo. But hooray for summery pasta meals!

I Saw Some Sunshine!

Hiking and backpacking are two of my favorite outdoor activities. Early summer weather is usually perfect for enjoying both of these. However, as I have mentioned in previous posts, the weather in Portland has been stuck in a late wintry phase for quite some time. While I love cloudy days, I am ready to immerse myself in the outdoors…away from the city.

Last weekend the sun made an appearance for a day, and my boyfriend and I took full advantage! Letting Tim chose the hike often results in overgrown, unmaintained, or very crowded trails (but beautiful nonetheless!). This time around, he choose a hike in Silver Falls State Park. More of a leisurely stroll than an endurance-busting hike, this trail boasts ten waterfalls (and it is just over an hour from Portland, which is nice)! We packed a lunch and walked the seven-mile loop taking in views. We even saw a girl in a flowy skirt and flip flops, which seemed a wee bit weird since the trail is wet and muddy most of the time due to all the water. Snicker, snicker…

I plan on baking up a storm this weekend so hopefully I will have some tasty treat photos soon!

The Better Bread Baker

I’ve been threatened by somebody I live with. Either I post about his “pretty dang tasty flippin’ sweet cornbread” or I get kicked to the curb. Goodness, with that sort of fear riding on my shoulders I guess I better comply!

My boyfriend works from our apartment. On occasion, he will make dinner before I get home. This is awesome because I can sit back, relax, and eat a tasty meal after a long day at work. Most recently, Tim opened up Veganomicon and prepared a BBQ-esque meal: Skillet Cornbread, Cheater Baked Beans, and Smoky Grilled Tempeh over some sauteed spinach. He really is the master of baking bread, even though cornbread is a little different. I must admit, I get a wee bit jealous when the breads he makes turn out so perfect. I think it must be his patience. I always sneak peeks at the dough rising while Tim leaves it alone until it is time for the next step.

The cornbread tasted delicious. It was moist, slightly sweet, and perfect for absorbing the sauce from the tangy baked beans. I wish I had a photo of the entire meal, but it was so dark and gloomy that night, definitely not an optimal environment for a food photo shoot.