Yesterday I had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with 2 of my oldest and dearest friends. It’s a great place for people of different food “tastes” to eat because they probably have the largest, most diverse menu ANYWHERE. I had the veggie burger (no surprise, there) and though I ended up scraping the cheese off (I DID remember to tell them to hold the mayo….) it was very good, as I remembered it to be. Made with grains and beets and I don’t recall what else, it stacks up nicely with the pickles, lettuce and onions. I have never asked if there is egg is the bun, because making myself crazy isn’t on my agenda.
For VFT dinner, I had planned on picking up some veggie sushi, making a pot of miso soup and tossing and Asian salad, thinking we were going to be a small crowd. Then Mitch alerted me that Derek (aka Dwreck) invited all his hundreds of Facebook friends, and also suggested pasta goes a long way. A very quick trip to Whole Foods for meatless meatballs and Daya mozzarella and with the Gardein chicken cutlets in the freezer, plenty of whole grain pasta and sauce (thank you BOGO sales) in the pantry, a big fresh salad, asparagus and some “everything” bread-sticks (Pillsbury, fancied up with tornado dust which is the stuff on everything bagels) it was a huge vegan feast, fit for Derek, Pete, Michele, Jeffrey, Chippy, Debbie, Alison and Vinny who I think goes by Rawdog. For a quick thematic appetizer, some popcorn spiced up with all the dried spices you would use in any Italian dish, and some bruschetta. Thanks to Debbie and Chippy for bringing a fresh focaccia, too. Dessert was Oreos and soy or almond milk, as well as a blueberry banana smoothie. I always keep frozen bananas (pealed and wrapped up in plastic) in the freezer. They make the best base for a smoothie, doing double duty as the ice. Last night I added frozen blueberries, some peanut butter, a little vanilla and a little agave nectar, and used plain soy milk for the liquid. Though Italian night always ends up being way too carb-y of a meal, the younger generation burns them off pretty quickly and it definitely goes a long way. Additionally, VFT is a celebration every week, and celebrations require breaking away from the norm. For me, I try to go heavy on the salad and veggies and light on the other stuff. Mitch and I also had some red wine, but those crazy kids don’t drink…Apparently they are naturally high on life as it was great to hear all the totally sober belly laughs coming from the table while they were eating their cookies and milk and Mitch and I were starting the clean-up. There is nothing like the youthful laughter for a couple of empty nesters. As long as they keep coming, I’ll keep cooking and filling their bellies because feeding hungry people is a passion of mine.
How often do you say “I’m hungry?” How often are you REALLY hungry? At the end of this month I will be attending a cocktail party at the Epstein home, that will be raising money to benefit the hungry right here in Ft. Lauderdale. I would like to announce that the Friday before, I will be hosting a fundraising class to help raise money to add to the pot at the the cocktail party. If you are interested in stretching, de-stressing and decompressing from your work week and welcoming in spring, come join me for a very yin, totally peaceful, yoga/Pilates class at Tamarac Fitness Center. The class will be Friday March 23rd and the time is tentatively 6:30-7:30. (I will firm this up and keep you posted). A suggested minimum donation of $10 is requested– members and non-members welcome! Your are welcome to pay cash or make a check out directly to the All Saints Mission. All the money raised will go directly towards stocking the soup kitchen for daily meals, stocking the pantry that is open to families on Sundays and making some major, much needed renovations on the kitchen, itself. Thanks to Ron and Wendie for allowing me to use their facility for this event. If you are unable to attend the class and would like to make a donation, of course it would be greatly appreciated! I am hoping the floor gets super crowded for this one as we breathe in peace and breathe out compassion. More to come on this one!
Well, most everyone is ready for the weekend so have a great Friday and thanks for tuning in!