Monday, October 27, 2008

deep dish pizza and dinner at my bro's house

I promised pizza, and I do not disappoint!
chicago-style deep dish pizza

Yeah, that's right.  Deep dish pizza.  That's my cast iron skillet you see that pie of awesomeness nestled in.  Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had deep dish pizza?  Guh...a long, long time.  Even before I went vegan, I stopped eating this stuff because it's just so bad for you.  Like sooooo bad.  Greasy cheese.  And lots of it.  But not this one!  This is a pizza filled to the brim with: spinach, fresh basil, tomatoes, green peppers, shiitake mushrooms (mistake), onions, garlic, and a full recipe of cashew ricotta from Vcon slathered on top.  Just look:
you really only need one slice of this bad boy.

This would have been even better with olives and banana peppers, but I forgot to buy them.  Oh well.  That messy piece in the back is the first piece out of the pan...  it's not easy to get out.  I found the cashew ricotta to be a tad bit lemon-y (1/4 cup of lemon juice?  hmm) so I added some extra salt and a dash of beet sugar, which cured it immediately, and it was especially good after sitting in the fridge for a couple hours.  The crust has my usual additions of dried basil and garlic powder.  My only complaint was the mushrooms.  They just tasted...weird.  When I ate my second piece (for lunch the next day), I picked them all out.  Blegh.

On Sunday Michael and I went to my brother, Jonah's, house for dinner.  This was their first venture at vegan cooking, so they went on the delicious (and foolproof) route of veggie soup.  And it was SO good.  Terri (his lovely wife) made this up in her crockpot (genius!).  It's a tomato base, and if I remember correctly contained: green beans, carrots, corn, peppers, peas, and garbanzo beans.  She also added a little bit of salsa to add some flavor, which it totally did.  Michael picked up on the slight cilantro taste immediately, which he later clarified meant that cilantro, in small quantities, actually makes things taste good.  And boy did we love this soup!  
big pot 'o soup for a big group of people 

Terri also whipped up some lovely rolls:
i could not love bread more.  it's just not possible.

These were tender and fabulous and just absolutely perfect dipped into a big bowl of this:
so. frigging. good.

We finished off dinner with the last of Michael's birthday cupcakes (I love that my family doesn't care if baked goods are a week old, as long as they still taste good).  The cupcakes were enticing enough to get my niece to eat her veggie soup.  She promptly ate all the icing and then the dog snagged her cupcake.  I love families!  Endless entertainment.  The evening was rounded out with some watching of Jonah rock out to Rock Band and coloring + puppet making with my neice.  My nephew made the evening better just by being so darned cute (despite being impossible to put a diaper on).  

Must you have pictures?  Ok.  I hope J & T don't mind me putting up pics of their kids on my blog, but they're so darned cute that I can't stand it.  

Observe, the proper way to hold a baby:
And a slightly less proper, but still functional, way to do it:
can you believe he's only like 7 months old?  trenton, not michael.

And here is Allie, somewhat unhappily holding her new kitty, Lisa:
i'm hard pressed to decide who's cuter, here...  but allie wins in the end.

Until, that is, you see just how tiny and adorable Lisa is when paired next to a grown person:
i say 'grown' rather than 'grown-up' for a reason, hahaha...

Ah.  So as you can see, a lovely gathering.  My brother and his family are totally rad.  Next time, though, they're coming here and I'm gonna show 'em that vegans eat more than veggie soup ;)  (just kidding, guys, i eat a crapload of soup, honestly.)


Sal said...

holy crap that pizza looks ace!

I love bread too - the smell of the bread aisle at the supermarket gets me everytime!

Virginia said...

what a great post! on the pizza thing, i saw rachael ray make a deep dish pizza the same way using a skillet last week! i thought it was a great idea and made a mental note to try it sometime.

isn't that cashew ricotta great on pizza? it does taste better if you make it ahead and let it sit in the fridge and i always add extra salt.

yay for people making you vegan food! no one has ever tried to accommodate us before, you are lucky to have such an understanding family.

the kids are too cute and that is a big baby for only being 7 months old! your bf looks nervous holding him, though!

allularpunk said...

sal - the bakery at the grocery store always gets me too... too bad they put milk in everything, lame!

virginia - my family is totaly awesome and generally tend to be very interested in my vegan-ness, which is great! michael may look a little nervous in that photo, but he is so awesome with kids! once they're able to walk, he's more comfortable around them though :) also, i didn't see that rachel ray made a pizza in a cast iron skillet! psh. she stole my thunder.

Anonymous said...

aww Looks like you had a fun time, good! All the pictures of them ae adorable!
Speaking of adorable ( okay not really, more like amazing) , that pizza looks incredible!

jessy said...

hooray for deep dish pizza! it's been a loooong time since we've had one, too! oooooooooooo, and yours looks super stellar to the one millionth degree! yay! i still need to try that cashew ricotta - it sounds like the ultimate combination with the spinach, fresh basil, & onions. sadface on the icky shiitakes. i like those alright, but i can't imagine them on a pizza, ya know?! i probably could have picked them out as well. damn, that's one fantastical pizza, Jessica!

hooray for an awesome family day! that's too sweet (and so bad ass) that they made you guys some rock'n veggie soup. it sounds so freak'n tasty! i would have totally pushed people aside and stolen allll of those rolls. oh my gosh! mmmmmmmmmmmm!

and thank you for the pictures illustrating the proper way to hold a wee one! ahahahahaaa - that's just too awesome! oh, and ms Allie and the kitty are both adorable! and of course Trenton is as well (and his name is so rock'n!)! a day of rock band, puppet make'n, cupcake steal'n dogs, and coloring sounds too excellent! w00t!

aTxVegn said...

What a fabulous, fabulous post! I don't know if the pizza or those fluffy puffy rolls look better. And your family is great. I loved seeing those pictures.

Jeni Treehugger said...

Oh deep dish Pizza come to me!!!
That just looks soooooo good. Isn't it funny how shiitake is almost an anagram of mistake.
Baby cuteness and kitty cuteness all in one post!!!??? Today is going to be goooood.

Anonymous said...

the pizza...the bread...the kitty...nice gathering, for real!

Anonymous said...

What a great family you have :o)
That is the mother of all pizzas! I want pizza now (is it wrong to crave pizza at 9:30 in the morning?).
Thanks for posting such nice pictures ~ I could never tire of seeing kittens.

Anonymous said...

Oh that pizza!! And cute kids! And kitty cute!! You're killing me here woman!

Erin said...

You win the prize for best vegan deep dish pizza, ever! It's so loaded.

vegan addict said...

All the food looks delicious. I hope you will feel better soon...

The photos of you and Michael holding your nephew made me laugh, because I have two photos of Tim and I each holding my nephew, and the situation is the same: Kai (my nephew) looks as though he will slide right out of Tim's grip, and he is perfectly content and properly held in my arms... Too funny...