food is my life

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Labor day weekend resulted in way too much food. Thank goodness it was all fresh, vegan, and delicious. I had a three day weekend, so I went to California to spend time with family and friends. Most of my activities included cooking, eating, or talking about eating. Food really is a bonding experience. I'll start at the end of my trip...this beautiful, mind blowing cupcake pictured above. I am going to go as far as to say that this was the best vegan cupcake I have ever tasted. Actually the best cupcake (vegan or non-vegan) ever. It was from the Golden Mean Vegan Cafe in Santa Monica (http://www.goldenmeancafe.com), which my sister took me to yesterday. It exceeded my expectations. We tried the pizza of the day and the temales. Both were amazing and light meals. The portions were perfectly sized to feel satisfied but allowed room for dessert. The strawberry, vanilla, almond cake came first and was gone in probably one minute. I had ordered the blackberry cupcake to take home but we couldn't resist eating it on the spot. I ordered another one-my lunch today! If you live in LA, you need to try this restaurant. The previous evening was also an adventure in food bonding. My friend, Kate invited me and a couple of friends over to cook and catch up at her parents house, which is fully equipped with a gorgeous kitchen and an extensive garden. Armed with flashlights and pruning shears, we explored the garden which has about a million avocado trees, onions, beets, tomatoes, squash, melon, corn, apples, blueberries, peppers, herbs, grapefruits, lemons, oranges- to name a few. In the darkness we gathered the goods to make a mystery vegetable concoction. Next-the wine. Tali brought two Yellowtail red blends that I had never tried before. I preferred the Cabernet-Shiraz to the Shiraz-Merlot, but both are vegan-friendly, tasty, and did the trick. To be honest, I pretty much stuck to the wine and watched as my sister caramelized onions, Tali cut a gigantic beet, and Kate sliced some heirloom tomatoes. I contributed to the conversation though!

The meal was finally finished around 10:30 pm after two bottles of wine and a frazzled Smyth running around the kitchen trying to make the plates look fancy. I'm not sure what you would call the dish but it was definitely worth the wait. My plate was stacked with caramelized onions, sauteed beet greens, thinly sliced roasted red beets, roasted tomatoes, marinated tempeh, fresh basil and various other spices. I scarfed it down and waited for dessert as my more patient friends ate at a normal pace. Dessert was a chocolate lava cake prepared in a rice cooker (secret recipe that my sister will not divulge). I might have to kill her for it though because it was out of this world. I went back for seconds even though I was a bit too full. I think I worked off the extra cake during our late night dance party to the good ole 90's hits. A great night followed by round two of garden exploration the next morning. We loaded our baskets with fresh fruit and veggies and headed to out to experiment with Smyth's new juicer. Breakfast-beet, carrot, organge juice on the rocks.

A refreshing drink before yoga and a 6 hour drive back to Phoenix. And many good meals to come this week compliments of the Pritchett garden! A festive weekend of family, friends, and food!