Evening Day 12 – a Celebration of Life

I’ve decided I want to give my posts a bit more exciting of a theme, so that’s what has happened today! It’s a celebration of life, mainly my best friend Kelly’s! Tonight she shared a special birthday dinner with me a la YumUniverse!!!

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I knew the menu would include Heather’s famous cupcakes, as well as her delicious quiche:

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2012/03/05/cocoa-kale-beet-cupcakes-cupcakes-with-vanilla-coconut-cream-frosting/

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2012/01/09/dairy-free-red-quinoa-broccoli-quiche/

I got up at the crack of dawn to get a head start on the meal. I was afraid to prep the quiche components in advance, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to bake it before work. I decide to make the cupcakes, because I had made them before, and I knew what I was in for. I purchased precooked beets to save time, and saved the juice and one tiny beet in hopes of using them for making the Valentine shortbread cookies on my day off tomorrow. I’ll let you know if it works out.

I was happy to finish the cupcakes before work! Phew! I popped a can of coconut milk in the fridge, hoping it might make it easier to separate the fat from the water. When it came time to whip up the coconut frosting tonight, I think it proved to be a success!

I quickly made my smoothie and flew out the door because I had to be at work early for a morning meeting. I didn’t prepare a lunch today, because I was invited to a luncheon training again. I spoke up to one of the people who invited me to the training, and asked if she could request I get something more substantial to eat than what they have served me in the past, like perhaps a grilled veggie wrap with hummus (because I know they have that to serve on their regular non-catering menu). She wholeheartedly agreed, and phone the manager. She voiced her concern over paying for a full meal when they usually served me a small plain salad. He said we shouldn’t complain about a free meal, and ultimately, it’s up to the chef to decide what we get as the vegan option. So, I was again at their whim. Fortunately for me today, I got a plate of wild rice, with grilled Brussels sprouts, green beans, and red peppers! Hurray! Much better! Baby steps, but at least it has now come to their attention that a plate of mixed greens does not equal a meal. It was a small victory!

I felt productive and less distracted at work again today. I’m really enjoying the clarity and focus that is resulting from my more balanced eating patterns. I’m getting a lot more accomplished, while not feeling burnt out. The workday went by quickly, and I was able to leave early, since I was there early. I had to get home and get that quiche in the oven!

By the time Kelly arrived, the quiche was baking, the kitchen was spotless, and I had also prepped the frosting for the cupcakes! I hadn’t paid attention to the size of my (non-gluten free…oops) crust, but it must have been smaller than what the recipe called for. So, I had lots of cashew purée left. I took the other crust out of the freezer, added some extra quinoa with some of the broccoli, and poured in the remaining purée, and baked up two quiches! Thank goodness, because they were EXTRAORDINARY. I’ve got another staple that I can be creative with and expand upon in terms of fillings! Kelly, Kegan, and I ate one quiche, and I packed up some leftovers for her to take home. I am looking forward to a delicious lunch tomorrow!

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Then, came dessert…

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Dinner was a smashing success! I love Kelly’s attention to detail in dissecting flavors and textures when we share food together, and I know she appreciates the experimentation that goes into trying new ingredients and flavors. She thoroughly enjoyed both things I prepared!

Happy Birthday Kelly! We’ve been friends for fifteen years, and I’m so glad you’ve remained my friend through all that time! And thank you for supporting me and appreciating all of my creative endeavors! Love you!

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