Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Birthday J!

We were in upstate New York this weekend, celebrating J's birthday with his relatives. Of course I made a special birthday spread -- Arroz Con Seitan from Viva Vegan!which is one of J's favorites dishes, and a Strawberry Bundt Cake from 500 Vegan Recipes 
I bought a bundt cake pan specifically for this recipe, and was concerned about flipping it out of the mold, but it went very smoothly. The cake itself had a very subtle strawberry taste that mingled nicely with the cardamom. But it was nowhere near as sweet as I like my desserts! Maybe I should have sprinkled it with powdered sugar and sliced strawberries as the cookbook suggested. Anyway, J, his mom, aunt and uncle all seemed to enjoy it, so that's all that matters.

Here's a picture of everyone having drinks and chips before the cake was served.
On Sunday we had lunch at my father-in-law's house. He's been very supportive of my switch to veganism, and made a huge vegan lunch for us: steamed carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, red and green peppers cooked with onions and garlic, a big bowl of cherry tomatoes, and a navy bean and onion salad. Everything was great!

Other highlights included a big pot of borscht I made for J and his mother, but the camera's been acting up again and every picture I took was blurry. Believe me, the next big purchase I plan on making is a new camera.

Before we left Pittsburgh for the weekend, I did manage to prepare some Napa Cabbage Kimchi from Ani's Raw Food Essentials. Kimchi is a traditional Korean pickle, usually made from cabbage or cucumber. Growing up in Hawaii, kimchi was practically a staple for most local famililes I knew -- mine included. I rarely buy kimchi anymore, especially after I discovered that some kimchi contain brined seafood, but I am always up to the challenge of making my own!
It takes 2-3 days for the cabbage to properly ferment, which meant we were able to try some of it tonight. Wow, this is good! Salty, spicy, and tangy, everything kimchi should be. I imagine it'll be even better tomorrow.

I'm interested in trying a few raw food recipes, especially now that it's so hot out, and Ani's Raw Food Essentials looks like the perfect place to start. Of course I'll take lots of pictures of what I make.

I'll end with a picture of my great husband, enjoying a beer at a restaurant patio on the lake. Happy birthday, J!

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