We’ve had a busy couple of days around here. Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of celebrating his 34th birthday at a Farm to Table Dinner at the gorgeous Poplar Ridge Farm (pictured). Let me tell you that this is the first time we have eaten outside of our home and been able to eat EVERYTHING served…in 28 days! What a nice treat. Not to mention that it was incredibly delicious.
The guest chef, Hollace Stephenson of TasteMakers of Charlotte, actually lives a lifestyle of eating vegan and mostly raw foods. In case you don’t know, vegetarian is when you don’t eat meat, but vegan is when you also don’t eat animal products (like eggs, milk, and cheese). So she of course made all 30 or so guests an entire vegan meal. I can count how many vegan meals I have eaten in my life on one hand…okay, maybe just on one finger. And while I have absolutely no desire to become vegan or even a vegetarian, it was a very eye opening and tasty experience for me (as I am hoping a 10 Days of Real Food experience might be for you).
We both truly enjoyed and savored every dish from the cold cucumber soup to the raviolis and chickpea cakes to the divine chocolate and ice cream dessert. The most shocking part of the evening was that instead of using traditional pasta to make the ravioli she actually enclosed the filling in extremely thin slices of raw turnips (never boiling it). I would have never thought to do that…and it was delicious! And since I am a big dessert lover that course was probably the best treat of all for me. She made little chocolate tortes that were naturally sweetened with dates (very similar to my chocolate powerball recipe), but took things a step further by making a chocolate sauce out of olive oil, cacao powder and maple syrup. It was served with naturally sweetened ice cream that was made with coconut instead of dairy and fresh picked blueberries. It tasted just like (and was just as good) as a more traditional chocolate and ice cream dessert. What a special birthday treat for us!
So after our busy couple of days and enjoyable dinner experience I woke up this morning to a house that was completely out of both eggs and homemade granola cereal. Since we normally eat cereal or something like pancakes/waffles/scrambled eggs I was very worried about what I would feed my children and myself for breakfast. So after staring at the pantry for a while I remembered that the girls love oatmeal, and it only requires oats and milk (or water). They quickly scarfed down the oatmeal that I topped with a little honey, cinnamon, and raisins and also both asked for seconds. I am not an oatmeal fan, so I lucked out by finding some leftover banana pancakes in the back of the fridge from earlier this week. I was happy to have an afternoon today with no plans so I could catch up on some much needed fridge restocking and cooking!