Sunday, March 2, 2008

Signs of Spring

True signs of spring for us are tax season, picnics and allergies.
As I've mentioned before, Jared works as a stockbroker. Under normal circumstances, it can be a stressful job. Throw in tax season and Jared's job can be down right bad. This week ended especially awful for Jared, so I made him one of the first things he eyed in My Sweet Vegan: Peanut Butter Bombs!!! Okay, okay, I had one or two myself and they were good, but Jared really needed them, I swear! Little did he know, I had a great Saturday planned too. (Sorry for the blurry pic, we were hypnotised by these delicious and naughty treats.)
I decided to surprise Jared with a picnic. For Saturday's picnic, I made some lower fat potato salad on Friday night. That's right, lower fat potato salad. Yes, I did use Yukon gold potatoes and a little Vegenaise BUT to make a very creamy dressing for the potato salad I used soy milk and lemon juice. The lemon juice thickened the soymilk and gave it a tangy bite. I also added celery, grated onion, mustard, salt, black pepper and Herbes de Provence. Of course, Jared saw the potato salad and got into it when he got home from work Friday so I told him of our picnic plans.
Saturday morning came and I surprised Jared with breakfast in bed. I made him banana waffles with mixed fresh berries and maple syrup. I first let the blackberries, blueberries and strawberries macerate in maple syrup while I made the waffle batter.
I made the Banana Nut waffles from Veganomicon, minus the nuts. On top I added the mixed berries with maple syrup and little whipped Earth Balance. These were so good.
After breakfast and lounging around a bit, I made sandwiches for our picnic lunch. I got some ciabatta rolls from the farmers market and slathered homemade pesto that I made with that lovely basil in my last post. I used the pesto recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. I also added cucumber, avocado (just a little), red onion and tomato.
So, we packed up our food, blanket and dog Sweetpea and headed over to Grant Park. We couldn't have asked for a better day. It was in the upper 60's and very sunny.
There was also these beautiful flowers surrounding us, (which I think were actually weeds . . . but, hey, sometimes weeds have the prettiest flowers) that reminded me that allergy season is around the corner.
Sure signs of spring, maybe, but I am feeling like a cold is in the making so winter may very well still have it's grip on me. Hopefully, it is just allergies come early.


Anonymous said...

awwww...your dog is super cute and fuzzy! those sammies you made looked tasty!

Happy Herbivore! said...

I dont know where to begin... you had me at the berries... and then the waffles... and then I'm forever yours after seeing that amazing green dish (the name has left me because I'm too busy thinking about the berries...)

Anonymous said...

Potato salad!! I'm going to have to steal me some.

Jillian of Bitchin' Vegan Kitchen said...

I made a yummy lower fat potato salad last summer by cutting some the veganaise with a container of plain soy yogurt and flavoring the salad with curry and mustard seeds popped with shallots so the Indian spices made the whole yogurt thing make sense instead of just being weird. It was surprisingly good for an experiment, and now that I'm talking about it I realy want some!

The waffles look really, really yummy by the way. Those berries look so good too! I can't wait until it gets warm up here too! I feel like such a slacker with my frozen waffles now though :)

Hannah said...

I hope that those peanut butter bombs helped a bit, they sure look good!

But seriously, over 60 degrees..?! I can't remember what that feels like! We're still buried underneath snow over here!

Jennifer said...

What a fun day enjoying the weather! It was beautiful here too, Brett and I took a walk and picked out our community garden plot. I have to admit, your picnic with all that tasty looking food sounds better!

Melody Polakow said...

OMG, your dog is soo cute!

Love your picnic fare.. I think it's fun to create lower calorie recipes.. and your potato salad sounds good. I use tofu mayo for mine usually. (the first time I taught a tofu class, we did potato salad and people were so shocked they were eating tofu hehe)

The berries look amazing.. you take good care of your man!

.. and those peanut butter bombs. holy shit.

missblueberry said...

Oh yes! Great waffle pictures! I live in Brussels - waffles galore - but no vegan waffles. I must admit that I have yet to strike out and make some of my own.

Yours look excellent.
Love your blog, which I just added to my blog roll. Feel free to add vegancowgirl.

Happy Waffles!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Those berries look so beautifully vibrant... but I am a little preoccupied with the picture of the chocolate peanut butter bombs!

jenna said...

wow! That sounds like such an amazing day and Jared is one lucky guy! I have had my eye on those peanut butter bombs and plan to make them as soon as I get a chance to bake on my own accord and not for school! They look delicious and the boyfriend is a peanut butter chocolate fiend.

Do you make your pesto in a food processor or blender? I don't have a food processor and tried once in a blender and found it quite difficult. I LOVE pesto though so I'd love to hear your hints!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

Jenna- I am a lucky lady to have such an amazing husband. It is a pleasure to be good to him!
for the pesto, I use my food processor because I have never had luck making anything in a blander except for shakes and smoothies. You should invest in a small food processor. You don't have to get a super big/expensive one for it to work. You could probably get a small one for around $30 that would make enough pesto for two people. OR you could get my all time favorite kitchen tool, the Immersion Hand Blender. I use this for sauces, salad dressings and to "cream" soups! I will never be without an Immersion Hand Blender.
Good luck Jenna!

VeggieGirl said...

Oh my, I've had my eye on that Peanut-Butter Bombs recipe... now I DEFINITELY need to make them soon!! And those waffles with the fruit topping?? I'll take the leftovers, please! :0)

Sweetpea is, well, a sweetie!! So precious :0)

{STAR} said...

Hey lady, Im swinging through now that I have a desk job again :) There is this super awesome coffee shop that has a dog park attached. Our dog, Rambo, loved it!! It is call Park Grounds. Check it out.. We should go sometime!!

Theresa said...

Peanut butter bombs, a picnic, and breakfast in bed? That must have been a stressful week! So great of you to take such good care of your lovah like that!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Spring is definitely on it's way!! I love this time of year... all the flowers, and new fruits and veggies I've been missing all winter.

How sweet of you to treat Jared after his tough week at work :-)

Alisa said...

Oh those PB bombs and waffles look awesome!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Where do I start?? Well, first--you are the sweetest wife ever! Everything sounds like such a great stress-reliever... The cookies, the picnic, the waffles! And wow--those waffles look incredible. Your dog is SO CUTE, too! :)

Last thing--I am REALLY jealous that a) Your weather is so nice right now, and b) Your farmers' market is up & running. I am counting down the days until ours starts!! (A couple months still with our stupid weather in the mid-teens!)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Aren't you the sweetest?! Ryan also picked out the PB bombs from MSV right away! hehe.

Anke said...

hi PPV, just checked out your blog. these waffles are amazing, too bad my hubby isn't much into breakfasts, much less in bed...

and these weeds look like dandelions, very healthy and totally edible. would make for nice green specs on the potato salad.

Liz² said...

that sounds like such a lovely day, picnics are great, aren't they? I can't wait to go out for my first one of the season!

textual bulldog said...

cute dog! and potato salad!!!! yummyyy. and i haven't had any in YEARS. V'con has a recipe i've been meaning to try, though...