Yesterday Bob turned 23, which means he caught up with me in age. Hee hee. For Bob, it was a relaxed, lazy day, followed by an evening to remember. For me, it was a day to cook and cook and cook... but I was happy to do it.
I made Bob's favorite breakfast--pancakes. I used my basic recipe for nut and grain pancakes, adapting it to include whole spelt flour. For the strawberry topping, I just cooked down about 2 cups of frozen strawberries, along with a tablespoon of sugar and about a teaspoon of cinnamon, and adding a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.
Lunch was mostly Bob's doing--he's the pizza guy around here. We had some frozen pizza dough which didn't thaw out very well, so instead of a pizza we decided to make a calzone--who cares if a calzone looks sloppy? We filled it with marinara sauce, mushrooms, shredded spinach and fresh basil, and a quick tofu ricotta. And of course, some extra marinara sauce for dipping is always a must!
In the evening Bob's friends came over for... I hesitate to call it a "party" because we really didn't party that much. So let's just call it an "affair." Anyway, this affair included...
Three dozen cupcakes! Whew! I baked all day long. I told Bob to flip through Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and pick out ANY three recipes that he wanted--so he chose the Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes, the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, and the Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting. Here is the cupcake gallery:
Thirty-six cupcakes may sound like an awful lot, but it was a good call--by the time it was all said and done, we had four left! Bob's favorite, by a landslide, were the Mexican Hot Chocolate variety, and I would have to say that I agree (though I only had a bite of each one). They were so delicate and tender, and the complex flavors balanced each other quite well. I appreciated the simple topping, a dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. As far as presentation, Bob preferred the Toasted Coconut Cupcakes. You have to admit, they are cute as a button.
Bob recently met another vegan at work--a girl named Vesna. He invited her to come last night, too--and come she did, bearing vegan gifts! She made a chocolate tofu cheesecake, beautifully garnished with almonds and orange slices.
This dessert was quite rich, but perfectly delicious.
She also brought a vegetable spread called satarash. She is from eastern Europe, and this is a Hungarian dish that she picked up along the way. She told me how to make it, and I certainly plan to try it out soon--it's delicious! At the party I had it with baked tortilla chips. The ingredients included eggplant, green peppers, onions, tofu, and tomato sauce, as best I can remember. It was seasoned very well--I will have to play around with it when I try to make it.
After the party broke up, Bob and I walked downtown with Vesna to meet three guys who were supposed to be staying with her last night. They were traveling through Athens on their way home to Gainesville, Florida... and they're a folk/bluegrass band with an acoustic guitar, an acoustic bass, and a banjo. We sat on the street downtown and listened to them play, and I had such a wonderful time that I could have just sat there all night. Bob brought his guitar and played some Pixies for us too, and we all really enjoyed it. It was about 1:30 when we finally got in last night, but Bob and I agreed that it couldn't have been a more perfect ending to the day. Bob said it may have been his best birthday celebration ever.