Allie's B-day and Vegan Snacks

Do you ever wonder why we are so mean to the ones we love the most? Why is it that when we are hurt or frustrated or angry we are abusive towards the ones we hold dearest to our hearts? Oh, that’s just me? Sorry. Let me rephrase…

I often wonder why I am so mean to the ones I love most. Better? I believe it has to do with unconditional love. I know it is horrible to say, but I take out my anger on those that love me unconditionally because there love is just that, unconditional. I know that no matter what I say these people know and love me to my core, and while they might be mad at me for a day, a week, a month, they will still love me. All right, writing it makes me realize how horrible it all really is. I’m going to try and be better. If you by any chance sufferer from the same issue I do, and I’m not saying that you do, you should try and be better too.

Well, Saturday night I got more than a little snippy with those that love me. For my friend Allie’s birthday, I had all the girls over for a night of diner and dancing. Unfortunately, I did not plan enough time to prep for the night of dinner and dancing which resulted in me being more than a little overwhelmed when everyone started showing up and nothing was done. Way more. I was running around the kitchen like a chicken with my head cut off. And on top of that, I was making multiple vegan dishes because Lindsey King is vegan and apparently cooking for seven girls isn’t enough of a challenge.

I feel horrible about it. I was short and snippy and stressed. So… Allie, Sofie, Shireen, Jac, Lindsey and Lindsey, I am very sorry for being so snippy on Saturday. You loved me long before I love myself and thank you all for putting up with me. I hope I didn’t scare you from coming to dinner again.
But the night was not a total negativity fest. I did manage to turn my spirits around after taking a tumble in the shower and realizing that if I didn't get my act together I was going to ruin he night for everyone.

Oh ya, and Sofie fell in a trashcan. Fell. In a trash can. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

You see that below her? That's trash people. And I really hope that straw was in her mouth before she went down.

Oh ya, and the food wasn’t half bad.

Zucchini "pasta" with tomato sauce

Quinoa and beet salad (AMAZING)

And of course I had to throw in some lamb for us meat eaters.

Love and Beer Floats

Quinoa and Beet Salad

6 beets, trimmed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly slice
2 cups chopped fresh arugula
Cook beets in large saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Cool. Peel beets. Cut beets into thin wedges. Place in medium bowl.

Whisk vinegar, shallots and fennel seeds in small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/4 cup vinaigrette over beets; toss to coat.

Cook quinoa in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Place quinoa in large bowl. Add cheese, fennel and arugula and mix gently. Add remaining dressing and toss to coat. Transfer salad to large bowl. Arrange beets atop salad.

Zucchini "Pasta"

4 large zucchini or yellow squash
Kosher salt
5 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil,
plus more for drizzling
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped pine nuts,
plus more for topping
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Trim and peel the zucchini, then use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler to thinly slice lengthwise into wide ribbons (stop when you get to the seeds). Cut the ribbons into 1/4-to-1/2-inch-wide strips to make them look like fettuccine. Transfer to a colander and toss with 3/4 teaspoon salt; let drain in the sink, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.

Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes using a sharp vegetable peeler, then halve horizontally and squeeze out the seeds. Puree 1 tomato with the olive oil, garlic, jalapeno, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the remaining 4 tomatoes and add to the bowl; add the pine nuts, basil, oregano, and salt to taste.

Divide the zucchini among bowls and top with the tomato sauce. Top with more pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil.