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Oh my. Would you look at all that vegan sushi?

We had a party a little while back. I have always wanted to learn to make sushi, and found a friend who was willing to teach me, and a few friends who were willing to eat my homework.

We started with a big pot of cooked brown rice (because it’s healthier than brown rice, of course, and gave it a really hearty flavor), as well as some tofu strips fried in a little bit of canola oil:

My teacher brought a fabulous selection of roasted veggies. Those eggplants were the best!

We also had radish sprouts and avocado, as well as some roasted broccoli and sauteed portabella mushrooms to roll with. I would have taken pictures of the rolling procedure so as to teach you too, but after making my first roll, I was absolutely smitten. I loved the challenge of making neat and tidy little concoctions. I love how well contained the sushi roll is. I felt I had a gift for it, and wouldn’t stop to give anybody else a turn. Luckily we had two little rolling stations set up, so others were able to make a few rolls beside me.

Here are a few of my favorites (basically anything with a radish sprout or avocado gets that title): Broccoli with red pepper, tofu, and radish sprouts. WIN!

One of our guests made miso soup! She thought she might have gone overboard with the nori, but I don’t think so. Seaweed is really good for you! And look at those little baby mushrooms.

This was one of the best nights of my life. Learning something new (that I felt I was actually pretty good at right off the bat), eating A TON of food made from scratch that’s really good for you, and making something beautiful; all things I really enjoy. And, with people that I love! It was a pretty small party, but there were no leftovers. That’s just how we roll. AH-HAHAHA!

My husband won something recently…

He’d entered his name in a raffle at Cornbread Cafe, to benefit SARA– Shelter Animal Resource Alliance here in Eugene. I had no idea that he’d entered the contest, until he got all excited while checking his email. When I asked what all the fuss was, he said “I won something!” It just so happened to be a catered dinner for TEN! We were blown away by his luck.
He worked out the logistics with the super-sweet owner, Sheree. He was allowed to choose from their generous menu two proteins, some sides, and two desserts!  Since HE was the winner, I let him have most of the say… though I did insist that we have their Mac unCheese, because it’s one of my favorites.
Here’s what he chose:

Green salad with vegan ranch dressing that was TO DIE FOR.

BBQ pull-aparts, drowning in sweet and sticky sauce. I had to be careful with these because they go down so easily. There were just a few left over.

Southern Fried Tofu, which was surprisingly crispy as leftovers. This was a menu item I would have insisted on had Mike not already chosen it…

Mac unCheese, Mashed Potatoes, and Gravy. That gravy was magic. And I don’t even care for gravy. Much.

Here’s Cleo’s dish. What a lucky girl! She was all over the croutons dipped in the ranch before Sheree and Kristy even had the rest of the food unveiled in our living room. She cleaned up the rest of it pretty well. Then I swooped baby off to bath and bed, so that we could continue gorging ourselves:

And here we have the the perfect end to a perfect evening: Frozen peanut butter bars. OH MY LAWD. Our guests were all set to roll out our door when I remembered dessert… They were like frozen pudding pop meets Reese’s Pieces meets ice cream on top of a crumbly chocolate cookie. And vegan to boot! We were all having multiple mouthgasms as we ate. After this, we released our friends, and were left to moan and groan as we discussed our favorites, with our guts pressing against our stretchy pants that we’d been exiled to for the rest of the evening (make that week. We had a LOT of leftovers).
There was also a sweet potato pie awaiting us, but it was impossible. We couldn’t. It was something that Mike and Cleo and I would have to take care of on another day… the next day. For breakfast. What a relief when a friend and her son came to visit us from the coast; she was able to offer her assistance.
This was such a treat, and we feel so lucky that we were given this wonderful meal, as well as the opportunity to show some of our meat-eating friends just how delicious and filling vegan comfort food can be. And the fact that it benefited a wonderful charity made it all the tastier.
Cornbread Cafe is hoping to expand the catering side of their business  (they are REALLY GOOD AT IT- especially considering we were their first job!), as well as the distribution their food at several local stores. You can find their products here in Eugene at The Kiva, Red Barn, Sundance, and New Frontier Market. Currently, they are looking for a new restaurant space, but seem to be doing pretty well with the wholesale distribution of their goods. They do have a Facebook page– Like them and stay in the know about where and when you can find some of this food. It really is something you should treat yourself to- whether you’re vegan or not. Thanks Sheree and Kristy! xo!

clockwise from top/back: The Thin Mint, The Classic-Choco, Lime n’ a Coconut, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Island Chocolate, and Marvelous Maple

I know this has nothing to do with a New Year’s Resolution, but I just had to share this with you!
We have a new cupcakery in town! The Divine Cupcake has been selling their tasty morsels here in town for a few years, but they just opened their storefront a few weeks ago. The store is very cute and comfortable, with a seating area to enjoy your food and coffee in. And the cupcake case! Don’t even get me started.
I was super excited about it, but was unable to get there until a few days ago. It was a good thing that I waited, because once I started ordering, I just couldn’t stop! I picked out six different ones, so that we could have a sampler plate for our friends that we were expecting the following night. I put them in an airtight container, as my friend who was working there suggested, and they were excellent, very moist (can we please abolish that word from our dictionary soon, pleeeeeeease?) and not overly sweet. It was really hard looking at them for over 24 hours before we were able to enjoy them, but when the time came, it was all the better! There were four of us, so we just got 2-3 bites of each cupcake, but it was perfect! I expected that the Marvelous Maple would be my favorite, but was surprised at just how PERFECT that Lime n’ a Coconut was. It was one of our guest’s favorites too. Thin Mint was also really tasty, winning favorite to our other guest. Mike’s favorite was the Peanut Butter & Jelly. It had raspberry jam in the center, and had this really great texture- dense but still fluffy. Is that even possible? My only regret was not choosing a chai, or other spicy flavor. But that would have required another box…
The Divine Cupcake does weddings and other events, in addition to the everyday satisfaction of your sweet tooth. They also can make your cupcake wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and even sugar-free! Organic and vegan too. Does it get any better?

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