Back in October, my dear friend, Kris and I decided to head up to Portland for a short week. It all started back in the summer when Kris and I went to a local tattoo parlor here in the Verde Valley for our Vegan ‘V’ matching tattoos. The
Today we harvested the last of our plum tomatoes from the garden. Wanting to luxuriate in the last of our bounty, I was determined to make the most of the richness and umami flavor that can be imparted when a plum tomato meets high temperatures, as in roasting.
That being said, however, that were only five beauties; so it seemed sinful to turn on the oven for such a small batch. Ah, but alas! Not to be diverted from my goal. The perfect solution was the air fryer, which has become my go-to appliance on the kitchen counter.
The prep was simple – I cut the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise, laid them cut side up in the air fryer frying basket, sprinkled a dash of Himalayan pink sea salt, sesame seeds, garlic powder, and fresh ground white pepper on top, put them in the air fryer at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, and let the air fryer do its duty.
I absolutely adore entertaining and feeding people. But I also want to enjoy their company when they arrive rather than being held captive in the kitchen, thus missing out on all the lively conversation.
If you’re like me, I have just the answer for you! A vegan charcuterie platter and a make-ahead entrée.
Looking for a quick and easy dessert? It really doesn’t get much simplier than this one, especially with the wonderful fruits that are in season. A fresh fruit tart with a cookie crumb crust and a custard filling is just the thing to whip up when you need a dessert with only a couple hours notice.
I have been craving mushrooms for the past two months. I cannot seem, no matter how much I try, to get enough of them. All kinds, from the everyday button mushroom to the more exotic—such as lobster, enoki, chanterelles, hen of the woods, etc. Whatever I can find, I’m in. I’ve roasted them in the oven, sautéed them on the stovetop, relished ones done in the air fryer, all to my sheer and utter delight.
My friend, Terri, passed away more than several years ago. Like me, she had a love for vegan cooking and an equitable adoration for kitchen gadgets/equipment/tools. One of the beautiful items she left to me was this 9’x13’ metal cake pan with a green lid, with “Vegan Goodies” and pinecones/leaves etched into the top. It’s beautiful; and whenever I pull it out to bake in it, I am immediately brought back to fond memories of Terry.
As a sidenote, I’ll share one of my favorites with you. In 2010, we took the 7 hour drive up to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York for their July 4 Pignic. It was an idyllic weekend communing with all the beautiful farm animals that have been given a second chance and the ability to live out the remainder of their lives in peace, knowing love and compassion and no terror…a very different life from whence they came, factory farming. The weather was warm with a cooling breeze. We spent two full days on the farm and enjoyed their vegan barbeque and a couple of talks given by their more-than-adept staff.
What can be better than coming home from a successful trek from the local farmer’s market and scoring the absolute best produce? Well, coming home and preparing a simple, yet elegantly delicious dinner with what I scored!
Walking up and down Duval Street, live music abounds, pouring out of restaurants, clubs, and dives onto the streets. The joint that we seemed most drawn to, however, was Willie T’s. It was an open-air, outdoor patio with some of the tables under an overhang. The genre seemed to be predominantly, if not exclusively, solo guitar rock / sometimes margaritaville-like male singers. Each evening, we’d stop and stand on the sidewalk, taking in the sights and sounds. We quickly came to a consensus regarding our favorite—John LaMere. His shtick was classic rock band covers. Geez, could he ever pull of a Mellencamp (as in John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, now John Mellencamp)! It was not uncommon for me to break out in dance right there on the sidewalk! So, after our nightly sidewalk voyeuring, we decided that we would eat our final dinner at Willie T’s and arrive at the beginning of John LaMere’s set that evening.
We awoke one morning, ravenous and deciding that we wanted to forego the vacation-standard, go-to, made in the room, smoothie. What to eat became the question. It was the only rainy day, at least it started out as such, so we decided to take a trek over to the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, located in the Historic Seaport neighborhood. We fell into Two Friends Patio, one of the few remaining original Old Towne restaurants, established in 1967 and still family run. The place was hustling and bustling. Cutting straight down the middle of the restaurant, however, is an open walkway, so they had to close off some of the tables because of the rain. No one seemed to care, even those patrons who were graced with the occasional spray of rain. It really didn’t matter to us because, even though we had our all-weather jackets on, we were fairly damp already from the walk. We were hungry, that’s what mattered. And, they had a table with only about a 15 minute wait. Worked for us.