Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dinner With Friends and Cute Cats

Like usual I had a very hectic Friday. I had so many things to do today that I bailed on most of my food on Friday, sorry. I will describe the first two meals at home and then go into more details about dinner.

I went for my usual morning walk but held it to two miles today since I was so short on time. Given the time constraint I opted to go up and down hills to get a little extra oomph in this morning. Darn those hills can be tough. ;-)

When I got home breakfast was green smoothie containing the usual suspects: raw kale, banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, wheat germ, water and ice.

After breakfast I walked to the grocery store to pick up provisions for the evening with friends. I had a few things that I knew I needed to make but dessert was up in the air. I considered a few dessert items: tofu chocolate mousse, avocado chocolate mousse, fresh fruit salad, and chocolate dipped pineapple with coconut. However the beautiful organic strawberries that I found out the market dictated that chocolate covered strawberries were a strong contender. I did also buy soft tofu in case I decided to go with the mousse.

Knowing that I would be eating too many calories for dinner I decided a giant salad was a great idea for my lunch. This one was simple consisting of organic mesclun, salsa, cucumbers, shredded carrots, red peppers, and raw pumpkin seeds.

Then it was time to prep everything that I was taking to Walid and Jackie’s for dinner. First up were the chocolate dipped strawberries some that I rolled in nuts. These are very simple you melt chocolate (either chips or candy bars ... it isn't hard to find vegan chocolate) and then dip the strawberries and roll them in chopped nuts. Refrigerate them on parchment until the chocolate is hard. This is a very simple preparation and everyone loves them.

Since I had leftover melted chocolate I made some quick chocolates with fresh blueberries that I finished with chopped walnuts. For the mold I used a silicon heart shaped ice cube tray from IKEA. The only mistake I made with these was not putting a little chocolate in the mold first, then blueberries and finishing them with more chocolate. These disappeared quickly so I don’t think anyone minded. Both Walid and Dan really liked the combination of blueberry and chocolate.

I also made a batch of my cheeseless queso which Jackie had requested since both she and Walid really like it. Next time we get together I am going to make this with Jackie because they would definitely make this even though they aren’t vegan. Can you get any higher praise than that for a healthy vegan dish? ;-)

In addition I thought we needed some artichokes tossed with dill because you can never have too many artichokes. I am fairly sure my love for artichokes is an Italian thing.

I baked some tofu to take with us since Jackie was making a veggie stir fry for the entrée. Later in the evening we water sautéed the veggies and they turned out great. Jackie and Walid added shrimp to their stir fry and we added tofu.

Jackie had put together some crudités, hummus, pita, marinated cauliflower, peppers, olives, salsa and grapes. Do you think we had enough food? LOL, we were laughing that we had enough food for double the number of people that we in the house. Oh well, leftovers are good right? The funny thing is that we never even got to the soup I brought. I left some of that so they could try it later.

There was lots of talking (nonstop actually) and carrying on like usual. We had a great time as evidenced by the fact that we didn’t get home until after 2:30 in the morning. Just imagine how long we would have stayed if Jackie didn’t have to work on Saturday? LOL

Here are a couple of pictures of her adorable felines (Buddy has long hair and Skipper short hair) who were also part of the festivities. I adore Jackie’s cats because they behave just like ours. The entire evening they were right in the middle of everything that was going on.  I think the pictures of the cats say it all. They are so laid back and content. For years I have said Jackie is the only person I would trust to watch my fur children.

This is a picture of our friend Walid who is one of the nicest men I have ever met. Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of Jackie and I, we were both too busy talking. Something tells me all the ladies understand that.

Here is Dan looking a little tired but it was after 1am by the time I took this so he should look tired.

Sunday we were both dragging all day after being up so late. At least Dan managed to sleep in later than I did. For some crazy reason I was up by 8 that morning. I will try to get up an abbreviated Saturday post later today. There isn’t much to share about Saturday other than a German inspired mushroom soup that was well received.

Happy thoughts:

• We both had a fabulous time Friday night. It was great to spend time with Walid, Jackie and the boys (Buddy and Skipper). There is nothing like spending time with friends.

• Saturday we were fortunate not to have anything pressing to do so that we could take it easy after so much fun Friday night. ;-)

• I am pleased with how the German inspired mushroom soup turned out on Saturday. Even though my husband and father both have German backgrounds I typically make my favorite Italian food. However I do like German flavors so I should make that more often if for no other reason variety.

• The farmers’ market was great Sunday morning. We are back to our usual routine of helping Rudy unload his truck. We came home with more plants for the herb and tea garden (basil and lemon balm) as well as leeks, baby collards, beets and organic hot house tomatoes. With the beets and collards I had to break out the juicer this morning. It is nice to be back into juicing season.

Signing out:

Since yesterday was extremely unproductive we have a lot to get done here today. I am hoping to get another post up about yesterday’s soup late today. At least I documented the recipe so I need to do now is the write the post. ;-)

If any of you want to follow me on Facebook send me an email at that way I will recognize your friend request. I hope you are having a great weekend. Talk to you again soon.


  1. Everything looks good and fresh. Those blueberry chocolates look good! The cats are precious too :)

  2. I don't think I have any Italian in me, but artichokes are my favorite food :-) Yum! Yours look and sound wonderful--I love dill.


  3. Carissa,

    Thanks we had a great time. Good eye ... Jackie and I did make everything between the two of us.

    I love her cats, which she refers to as "cat-dogs" since they are so friendly and engaged with all humans. With your love of animals I am sure you would enjoy them too. :-)

    have a great week,

  4. Courtney,

    So much for my Italian excuse...LOL. Adding dill to artichokes was something I picked up from Ian and it works well. If you try it I would love to know what you think of it.

    talk to you later,

  5. Oh that food looks so delish! I'm glad your farmers market is back. I should try ours again this summer and ask questions about pesticide usage. I don't think any of it is certified organic.


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