It was a very enjoyable Valentine's Day! Jordan and I didn't have the funds available to go out to a restaurant or fundraiser this year. But we more than made up for any imagined loss.
Before stuffing our bellies we went on a four mile walk together. It was such a nice day; it seemed a pity to spend all of it being indoors! And I must say, it was a good thing we did burn a few extra calories, because we ate far too much later on! :)
It took us hours to get our holiday dinner on the table; we went all out, tonight! But it finally came together beautifully...
I prepared an organic tossed salad of red leaf, red kale, and baby spinach, and all the organic trimmings: tomatoes, avocados, red cabbage, cucumber, carrots. Oh and I can't forget the dressing of equal parts organic flaxseed oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, with a dash of Bragg's Liquid Aminos. It was a dense salad, yet so sweet, flavorful, and refreshing!
Days before, we concluded that a whole-wheat spaghetti dish would be dinner's main course. But what kind of sauce would we choose? While cruising the blogosphere many weeks earlier, I chanced upon a tantalizing Alfredo recipe, courtesy of Matt at "My Veggie Kitchen". And tonight seemed like the perfect setting for Pasta Alfredo! The only problem was I'd never made this before! We decided to give it a try anyway. I quickly pulled up the recipe for easy reference. It was then I belatedly realized that we didn't have half of the listed ingredients. Oh well. We forged ahead without them, forced to make some adjustments on the journey. Matt's recipe called for cashews, but all we had was walnuts or hazelnuts. We picked walnuts. We didn't have shallots, but we an ordinary onion, which we utilized. We didn't have unsweetened soymilk, but we did have the "original" variety, so we used that. Lastly, we didn't have the wine. We didn't sub anything for that. After all our changes to the actual recipe, it's doubtful that our version tasted anything like Matt's! But we still liked it! We did note that it was missing something in it's flavor and texture. But it WAS missing something--a lot of somethings! :) Yet it was warm, creamy, and fun to eat; a buttery, saucy dish, completely out of the ordinary for us!
We hardly ever bake breadsticks. But tonight was special so we did! We followed my sister, Marcy's recipe. It was fun! We took turns kneading the dough, and stood at the counter together rolling it into traditional snakelike shapes. But then I had a brilliant idea... Bend the breadsticks into hearts! I pinched them in just the right places and Voila! Breadstick Hearts! They looked so cute! Unfortunately, that's about as great as they got. The recipe originally called for white flour and we used all whole-wheat. And since we don't bake bread very often, we have little understanding of the repercussions of swapping one flour for another. In hindsight, we probably should have added more liquid to the dough and slightly shortened the cooking time. Maybe the yeast never activated. Still, I'm still not sure that any of these ideas would have been the correct solutions. Sadly, the end result turned out to be quite heavy instead of light and fluffy; they never really did rise properly. And they were much drier than we'd have liked. But we managed to enjoy them. I remarked to Jordan that they would have made far better pretzels than breadsticks! At least they looked appealing! :)
We also added "Wagon Wheels" to the fare! Jordan peeled and cut the carrots, and set them on the stove to cook. They almost met a sorry demise, as we did not add adequate water to steam them for the allotted ten minutes; the "wheels" started scalding to the sides of the pan! Luckily, Jordan smelled smoke and we managed to rescue them before the whole pot of carrots turned black! Gratefully they still tasted yummy, even after that extra dash of drama!
To top everything off, with no help from me, Jordan whipped up his specialty dessert, "Jordan's Chocolate Cake"! Yummy! He actually baked the cake before our walk. He frosted it after we got back. He works so efficiently! (Unlike me!)
After working in the kitchen for nearly three hours, the meal was at last ready! I took pictures, Jordan lit candles, we said a prayer, and then finally,
...we stuffed ourselves silly!
It was a long time coming, but it was worth it! Good food and good company! What more could we ask for?!
I was so happy to be spending the evening with my very own Valentine! Jordan always works on Sunday night, so it was extra special of him to take work off to be home with me! And even though he didn't buy me a sparkly Hallmark card or boxes of chocolates or even flowers, none of that was what I really wanted--just him. His presence made the very best present! With Jordan by my side, walking and talking, cooking and eating, my evening was complete! Thank you, My Goo! I love you!
I hope your holiday, at home or abroad, was just as grand, or more so, than ours!
Happy Vegan Valentine's Dinner!