Monday, December 29, 2008
Mama Rita & Jade also joined in the fun. One of things I served as an appetizer was bruschetta from Dynise's upcoming book, "The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal Free Recipes"
This earned rave reviews from everyone.
Michelle says "Yummy!"
Michelle & Joe helped with some of the dinner by making a couple of dishes at home and bringing them with them. If you notice a large cardboard box in the background of the photos (like here), it's not part of my usual decor - it's what they used to transport the food, which included a turkey that Joe roasted for the meat-eaters.
"Someone" who wasn't really in the mood to have a picture taken. HAHA!
Simon was excited to have everyone come visit, but very well behaved. Michelle & Joe both said he was the best behaved dog they had ever seen. He did his mom proud. Of course he had to have a cuddle from Jade.
And he wanted to show off one of his presents from Santa. A Leafs practice jersey. He is so ready for the next game.
Dinner was ready and everyone was anxious to eat!
The cranberry sauce on the table this year was also compliments of Dynise. Quince-Cranberry to be exact. This is a recipe I tested and it is so freakin' delicious, this will be my go-to cranberry sauce every year.
My plate, starting at 12:00 - stuffing (kept out of the bird) made by Joe, mashed potatoes with fake turkey gravy, Quorn roast, made by Michelle, quince-cranberry sauce, turnip puff made by Michelle, roasted carrots & in the middle, brussels sprouts with hazelnuts.
Everyone ate lots. Jade especially liked her dinner. Can't you tell by the look on her face. She's such a ham!
Michelle says enough is enough with the pictures already, let's just eat.
Jade's boyfriend, Aaron arrived to have dessert with us, which was yet another recipe test.
Berry Tart! Did Aaron like it?
Looks like it.
A great time was had by all and we looked forward to Boxing Day. It's so much more relaxing.
Simon spent a lot of the day chewing his new toy. "Santa" appears to be a Leafs fan. Let's hope the 2nd half of their season is better than the first. We've got tickets for the game on Jan. 3. Leafs vs. Ottawa. There's a big rivalry there so it should be wild!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
I've managed to get in quite a few recipe tests for Dynise's upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes. Here's a sampling of what I've made.
Sloppy Joes! These are freakin' delicious - better than any I've tried. Simple recipe, all ingredients are pantry staples & I had enough leftovers for lunch.
Here we have Risotto Milanese. I had a bit of trouble with this - mostly because I've never made risotto before. It's got a lot of saffron in it, so if you don't like saffron, this wouldn't be for you, but I like the flavour. I want to try this again & see if I can manage to get it right. So this is not a recipe issue, but the cook's screw up.
What kind of a tester would I be if I didn't sample some of the drinks?
John's Copacabana Caipirinha! I had a couple of sips out of the glass before I remembered to take a picture. Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil. It's a mixture of limes, sugar, ice & cachaça. Cachaça is a clear alcohol that is made from sugar cane. It's usually found on the shelf with rum. On a hot day (or a cold one) this sweet/sour drink is really refreshing.
I took a bottle of this wine, mixed in a bit of sugar & some fruit, let it sit over night and voila!
John's Summer Sangria. This was really nice. I've had sangria's before where inexpensive wine is used. It's really not that great. I figured since the wine is the main ingredient in this, why not use something relatively decent. This bottle at the LCBO is around $15.
It's hard to see the fruit pieces because the wine is so dark, but trust me, when you drink this down, you'll have lots of alcohol soaked fruit to eat.
Cold weather calls for comfort dishes. How about Balsamic-Roasted Vegetables? What a great way to get in a few veggie servings in one dish.This has been Jim's favorite so far Enlightened Vegetable Barley Soup. He raved about this and a week later is asking if I'd make it again. It is, by far, one of the best barley soups I've made. A secret little ingredient added to the broth makes it super-rich tasting. Want to know what it is? Ahhhhh! You'll have to wait for the book!