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.)