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Monday, May 20, 2013

VICTORIA DAY WEEKEND FAMILY MEALS AND VISITING

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Cinnamon Focaccia for Victoria Day brunch-- see below for details

I'm working on my flatbread experiments, plus a recipe for a virtual potluck blog post this coming Thursday, and testing a recipe or two for another author friend -- delayed due to 4 lovely days of  family visiting.

My youngest daughter and her husband and son came from Vancouver to stay for the whole long weekend.  We don't get to see them very often, so it was wonderful to spend time with them, despite the variable weather.  My daughter's siblings all came to spend time, as well, on different days.  So, there was lots of conversation and, of course eating.

Several days ahead, I made some of my no-knead crusty bread dough (4 loaves-worth) to store in the refrigerator and bake fresh when we needed it.  It came in handy!  Most of the meals I made over the weekend were decided on pretty much on the spot because my plans to make up the menus ahead of time were thwarted by time taken up by shopping, cleaning house, etc. (that's my excuse, anyway!).  But we managed to eat well, nonetheless.

I should have taken more pictures of the food, but I forgot to most of the time, in the rush to get everything  on the table at the same time and everyone to the table,etc.  But here are a few pics and menus...

For Friday night, my husband made his famous spaghetti sauce, so we had delicious pasta and green salad and crusty no-knead bread (from my book "World Vegan Feast") for dinner, and Chocolate Mudpie Cake with vegan Coffee Buttercream Icing for a little birthday celebration for my youngest grandson, who turned 9 a few days earlier.

Homemade crusty no-knead bread

Saturday morning we all had whatever we felt like for breakfast-- whether it be toast, cereal, fruit, etc., along with my husband's great coffee for lattes.
My daughter brought me a big bag of whole yellow dried peas from Vancouver (they are expensive around here, when you can find them), so I made some of my vegan French Canadian-Style Pea Soup for lunch...

We had what my son-in-law termed a "truly Canadian multi-cultural meal", since the soup was accompanied by Armenian flatbread that they brought from Vancouver, along with my homemade hummus and Turkish Muhammara (a delicious roasted red pepper, walnut, garlic and pomegranate molasses spread from my book "The Fiber for Life Cookbook"). 


We visited friends in the afternoon (sharing some of the leftover birthday cake with them), and before I knew it, it was dinnertime!  We had more pasta, in the form of bowtie pasta (farfalle) in a vegan creamy sauce with mushrooms, Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage vegan sausage and Soy Curls, wine, fresh spinach, garlic, basil and vegan parmesan, with some Daiya mozza stirred in.  It turned out very well for a made-up-on-the-spot dish.

Sunday was a glorious sunny day!  After a another simple breakfast (too much food the day before!), my oldest daughter came over from our sister island to the east, and we headed out for a family hike with the dogs.  The island is so green and lush right now and we saw eagles, hawks and ravens and, I hope, walked off a few calories!
Grampa and youngest grandson leading the family hike on Sunday

Ringo sunning his belly on a sunny Sunday afternoon... 

Lunch on Sunday was a spicy beans soup with sweet potato and kale, from this blog, which I made with red beans instead of blackeyed peas this time, along with more crusty bread...

Cousins playing cards...
 


Sunday's dinner was steamed brown basmati rice with two stir-fries-- asparagus, onions, portobello mushrooms and marinated tofu in a vegan "oyster sauce" (actually made with mushrooms)-flavored cooking sauce, and a spicy Chinese mock "roast duck" and bell pepper dish with black bean sauce.

This morning we had a brunch with my daughter and 3 granddaughters coming over from "the big island" (Vancouver island) and my son and his daughter.  I made my favorite tofu scramble, with the addition of a can of ackee that my daughter had brought from Vancouver.  Ackee is actually a Caribbean fruit that makes a wonderful egg substitute!  I don't get a chance to use it very often because it isn't available where i live, as far as I know.
                                                                            Ackee

With it we had oven-broiled hashbrowns, fresh pineapple and mango, and a spur-of-the-moment sweet bread-- cinnamon focaccia!
To make the focaccia, I filled two baking sheets with my refrigerated crusty bread dough, one loaf's worth for each pan, let them  rise for about an hour and brushed them with some melted vegan butter.  Then I sprinkled on a generous amount of brown sugar, some chopped pecans and cinnamon.  They baked at 450 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes.  Not one piece was left over!  You should try this-- it's so easy and delicious (not greasy or too sweet) and could be made with virtually any bread dough, I think.




My son chatting with his daughter and his sisters on a sunny holiday morning

Cousins chatting... 

Now the house is quiet and I'm off to my dance practice.  I'm going to miss my family until the next time we get together!

Enjoy!


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