Zelie’s first birthday party was so fun. My dad was in town and we had about 30 people over to celebrate. It was such a contrast to Evangeline’s first birthday that it got me reflecting on all the changes and transitions that I’ve gone through in the past year or so.
We had Evange’s party at the beach in Santa Cruz with friends and family, and it was really just an excuse to hang out at the beach with our friends. No party decor or games, no presents. I was still working, and the thought of preparing enough food for everyone and trying to bake anything was just so overwhelming that I outsourced. I asked my amazing foodie friend to bake cupcakes and I went the Whole Foods catering route for some fancy sandwiches. Oh, and I was seven weeks pregnant with Zelie. So … no energy.
Zelie’s party was our first big shin dig in the new house we just bought. Sometimes I still can’t believe we own a house (in Indiana) but that’s another post forthcoming. I’ll do a little house tour when we’re more settled in, ie have some furniture. But it felt like a big deal to be able to really host something in our own space for the first time. I used serving platters from our wedding registry that had never seen the light of day. And in some ways, it kind of marked for me a one year anniversary of being a SAHM. I was able to come up with a menu for 30 people, shop for it, and cook it all without crying. I was even excited about it. I went the pulled pork route and borrowed crock pots and made 7 pounds worth of this and about 7 pounds worth of this. (And discovered in the process that my crock pot is an ancient piece of junk).
I baked a cake for the first time (and while the icing humbled me, I’m still v proud. Thanks for the rec, Seisha!). For Evange and her friends (because, really, what does a one year old do at a party) we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and it was so cute.
I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can host parties in the backyard! I envision lots of Spikeball, S’more, Sangria parties this summer. Come visit us!! 🙂
I feel like I’ve been on a good vegetarian kick lately, which feels funny to say because I was a vegetarian for six years, until Zelie’s pregnancy ended it. But it feels (all the feels, sorry) like adulting to learn to cook meat, and we still don’t eat much of it and I’m trying to buy local meat when I do, blah blah blah all that to say, Lent has been a good excuse to get back to my vegetarian “roots.” (My dad is from Argentina, my “roots” are not actually vegetarian at all). Anyway, here’s what we’ve been eating the last few weeks.
ALL DA SOUPS. This vegan cookbook (the only cookbook I own!) that I got from my lovely SIL is where I get all my soup recipes. I can throw in whatever vegetables I have lying around, it makes the apartment smell great, and nothing says YOU CAN SURVIVE THIS ETERNAL WINTER like some hearty, yummy soup. I make tortilla soup, peanut stew, lentil-cauliflower soup, 10 spice vegetable soup, and red lentil-kale soup on the regular.
BREAD. I just made bread this past week (to go with soup for dinner) using Sarah’s Rustic No-Knead Bread recipe and it was BOMB. Definitely my new go-to. It was so easy! No mixer! I made it the night before because in the past, dough hasn’t risen for me and I wanted to give it more time, but this doubled its size in two hours like it was supposed to! So I put it in the fridge overnight, let it sit out for an hour the next day before baking, and it turned out super delish. I was v pleasantly surprised. Thanks, Sarah!
BLACK BEAN BURGERS. I don’t really like hamburgers anymore, but I love me a good veggie burger. Maya made these for me after Evange was born and I finally tried my hand at them. They were easier than I expected and had really good flavor! Chris humors me (he doesn’t think they count as burgers) but on a no meat Friday, they are a winner.
HOMEMADE PIZZA. I used the Rushed Pizza Dough and Margherita Pizza recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, but this recipe from her blog is close. This was a fun attempt. My first round, I did half whole wheat flour and I think not enough water and it turned out super crumbly, but then tasted okay/not the greatest when baked. I made two more rounds with all white flour and the third was the best – it actually felt like pizza dough lol. The pressure was on to get it right because we had guests over, but pizza is pizza and it was all good.
Any vegetarian fave recipes to share? I need help transitioning my cooking away from hearty soups when spring/summer/warm weather ever arrives.