My birthday was Friday, so I’m officially “in my thirties” now. No more of the “I just turned 30” crap. (Boo.)
Instead of relaxing, I spent my birthday getting sunburnt by pulling weeds and planting flowers, and I have to say: I definitely underestimated my flower gardens in a big way. After three hours of blood, sweat, and tears, I still didn’t get all the flowers in the ground. I may even have to admit defeat and make a couple of DIY baskets and just put mulch down because I had no idea there were going to be so many freaking rocks in the ground.
I’d post a picture so you could see all the pretty petunias in my back yard now, but owing to some lawnmower trouble, the boyfriend didn’t get the backyard mowed.
Sidenote: By “lawnmower trouble” I mean that we don’t have one, so you can see the trouble. We do have an electric weedwacker, but we didn’t acquire a long enough extension cord before it started raining.
After earning sunburn and almost heat stroke, we ventured forth in part to get an extension cord and also to get dinner. We went to a place in Cranberry Township called Double Wide Grill. The ambience of said place is a little horrifying because if you hadn’t guessed based on the name, they’re going for “Hick Chiq” which is just weird. I guess it’s what the yuppy rich folks of Cranberry Township call “slummin’ it.”
But the food. Oh my goodness the food.
First of all, while I had eaten there before back in my om-nom-nomivore days, I didn’t actually pay any attention to the vegan and vegetarian options this place offers.
That’s right, folks. Two pages of deliciousness. I’m so used to having to make due with a black bean burger or, failing that, some form of potato when we eat out that I literally couldn’t contain my excitement.
We started with some honey garlic seitan “wings”:
There were more than this on the plate, I promise, but I was too excited about it to remember to take a picture before we ate half of them.
Sidenote: I know honey isn’t vegan, but I’ve decided that I’m going to ignore that rule. The reason is that I can’t stomach the hypocrisy of “but the bees!” and then pointedly and deliberately murder any stink bugs I find in my house.
After we shared that appetizer (which the boyfriend said was weird but fine), then came the main course:
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak with fries!
Now, I don’t know in what world a cheesesteak is swimming in barbecue sauce, but I also don’t really care. That bun was overflowing with seitan steak, vegan cheese sauce, peppers, and onions, and I ate every single scrap of it, plus all the fries.
That makes twice in one day that I had seitan so I now I know it can be freaking yummy. There will be further seitan experiments in my kitchen now.
Moving on to Saturday, after I put in six hours of overtime in the home office, I headed up north to my home town for a cookout with some friends and family. I took my vegan cookies, and while I knew that there would be veggie burgers for me to eat (while everyone else ate fifty dead chickens worth of wings), I decided I wanted to be able to eat more than just a burger, so I made some vegan potato salad and brought that with me. Not only that but one of my friends made vegan stuffed mushrooms as well.
The end result was that while the veggie burgers weren’t very good (but the potato salad and the mushrooms were), there was enough food for me to resist the tantalizing smell of fried chicken wings.
Not going to lie; I was proud of myself. Also, the vegan cookies were a hit. So were my friend’s mushrooms, for that matter. Everybody had a good time and went home with a full belly.
Then came Sunday. What? Your birthday celebrations don’t span three straight days? You’re doing it wrong, I tell you!
On Sunday, my aunt, who traditionally cooks me a birthday dinner every year because she’s awesome like that, made me a vegan dinner, which makes her even more awesome.
We started out with falafel and vegan tzatziki sauce (which, by the way, is literally awesome sauce).
Now, I’ve had falafel before and I’ve never been super impressed with it. This, however, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Up until that point, it was the best thing I’d eaten since that mushroom pot pie in my previous post.
Next came the main course, somen noodles with veggies and a very spicy peanut sauce.
Fun fact: This one was actually hers because my over-eager self had already dug into mine and completely forgot to take a picture. I’d been planning on making this myself but she beat me to it. Plus, she sent me home with leftovers to boot!
Last, but certainly not least was dessert: Dark chocolate sorbet.
Take a moment and just look at that. I’ll wait.
I’m serious. It deserves a moment of appreciation.
Are you drooling yet? I am.
If you had asked me after the falafel if there was any possible way that whatever dessert was forthcoming could possibly compete with the falafel as my favorite dish of the meal, I’d have said heck no. I’m not really a sweet-loving kind of gal and while I certainly do like me some chocolate, I would never call myself a chocoholic.
This, though–this sorbet, this godly concoction of cocoa and Kalua and cinnamon and whatever else, this was literally divine. Like, if Heaven could be said to have a taste, it would taste like this.
It was so delicious that I don’t even have a witty or eloquent way to wrap up this blog post because I’m so lost in the memory of that literal scoop of heaven.
Just look at that picture some more and dream.