Friday, May 6, 2011

Mac and Cheeze and Lunch with Shrimps

Yesterday I had a craving for that age old comfort food, macaroni and cheese.  Not that I needed comforting and not that I really have 'cravings,' I just wanted it.  I haven't made it in a while and I don't know why.  The sauce is super easy and is ready before the macaroni is done and rates an 8 on the Lazy Scale (with 10 being "Someone else makes it")
Imagine Ted Williams saying "mmm it's the cheeziest" and no he doesn't mean me
Those are panko crumbs on the top with a little bit of paprika.

Today I had lunch with some awesome people.  And no, they aren't shrimps, they are normal height!
Here is my BFF since we were 13.  Her name is Mary the same as mine which is what happens when you go to Catholic School.  Everyone is named Mary or some form of it.  I'm unique just like everyone else!
That's us on my 50th birthday, and I am saying "50 is O.K.!"
This is her niece and mine because I like to pretend I am part of her family.
Casey and her hubby
Are they so cute or what?? :D
And here is her hubby with their  adorable X a million babies
And here is her other niece Amber who was lucky enough to be born on my birthday!  Yay February 16th!   
I hate to overuse the words adorable and cute but they just are!

Anyway, us girls went to lunch today.  Baby Sophia slept through it all and Desiree had fun eating lemon wedges.  Steven did the same thing at that age - doesn't just the thought of it make you pucker up??  Anyway, instead of ordering my usual go-to restaurant meal (english muffin with  peanut butter, homefries, and fruit) I order shrimp and french fries.  Sometimes I just get rebellious and order shrimp.  Now,  a TRUE vegan would never do this, and I am expecting to lose my v-card (heheh), but here is my reasoning:
1.  I feel NO affection towards shrimp (shrimps?) I have never had pet shrimp unless you count sea monkeys
2. I don't feel like shrimp have moms and dads who love them
3. I'm not even sure if they qualify as 'being alive'.  Plus, they are ugly.  On the other hand, so are crabs and lobsters but I DON'T eat them.  Strange reasoning.  I have also eaten clams once in  the last year so maybe they fall under the same rules as shrimp?
Anyway, lunch was fun and I can't wait to do it again!
Accidentally Vegan

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go with my Mother to Salvatore's Grand Hotel for a luncheon.  It was given as a Thank You lunch by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, to donors.  They had a table of literature, and we saw a nice presentation during lunch.  They really do amazing work.  In case you don't know the story,  the Hospital was started by the actor, Danny Thomas.  It' a wonderful story and you can read it here
First they brought the salads and they were crazy good.  Very fancy.  I ate most of it, except for the bleu cheese crumbles on top.  Next they started bringing out the main entree.  Uh Oh.  Chicken!  I simply asked the server quietly if there was a vegetarian option and there was!  He brought out the most delicious pasta, all different shapes, tossed with an evoo and white wine sauce, with roasted artichokes, asparagus and tomatoes.  Everyone at the table was eying it!  Back off lady Mother!  When people at the table asked why I don't eat meat, I simply told them what I usually say, that I don't think animals should have to suffer so that I can eat. Keep in mind that I was the youngest at the table by at least 30 years, yet they were all sincerely interested.  I told them I also try to eat organic when I can, and the sweet little lady next to me  (she was 90!) said it was the preservatives that got her that far! LOL!   At this point I realized that I could have taken photos of the meal and no one would have minded.  Too late.
Here is the dining room, from the lobby
The lobby bar
Looking from the restaurant towards the lobby and hotel
The Maserati GranCabrio Sport parked out front (the owner's?)
Anyway, it was a great day, and a great cause.  
Sunset last night from my Mother's.  I think the rain is finally gone for good!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Buckwheat Bake Heard Round the World

I have seen these in the blog-o-sphere for a while now and finally had a chance to make one.  The original recipe came from here The Edible Prospective.  Ashley has some great recipes and lives in one of my favorite places, Fort Collins (remember our trip to FoCo, Patti? It was so much fun!)  But for some reason I wasn't really moved to make this until another of my favorite bloggers did,  Kath Eats.  Kath adapted it just a bit, and then I adapted it even more.  I don't have any buckwheat (Ashley uses buckwheat to be gluten free which is not an issue for me) so I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half organic whole wheat flour.  I also used a flax egg and almond milk instead of regular dairy.  I also added in a handful of vegan dark chocolate chips because really, why not?  And look!
I 'frosted' it with a little Monkey Maple peanut butter and shredded coconut but you could use whatever.   When I finally was motivated to make this, it was about 7:30 pm.  This literally takes about 5 minutes from  start to finish, thanks to microwave directions.  Super easy.  So I guess I made it as a dessert instead of as a breakfast item.  Warning - it was really too 'heavy' to eat at night.  But, the good news is that I wasn't hungry till 2:00 the next afternoon.  Whoa! Since this makes 2, I warmed up the spare and had that for a late lunch.  Whoops.  Bad idea as I wasn't able to eat dinner til maybe 8?  For most people, this staying power would be amazing but I have a pantry full of good things to eat and no appetite for them! But I really loved this Bake, it was super delicious and very adaptable and will be perfect on days I have to help with tree work, as it kept me extremely full but didn't weigh me down or sit in my stomach.  Definitely a recipe to stay in the rotation!  Try it today.
A shout out to my wonderful friends Jeff and Mary, who are celebrating 26 years!  Happy Anniversary!