Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summmah Time!

Sure, I don't eat meat, but I still love a good backyard BBQ.  How could one not love a gathering of good friends, family, food, cool beverages and lovely summer weather?  Hmmm... 

We grilled out tofu and zucchini kebabs with a cilantro pesto that my sister made up, it was delicious! For a side, we had fresh sweet corn from the farmers market.  It was heavenly!  Instead of using Earth Balance to top my corn, I used olive oil infused with jalapino peppers.  Such a great kick, I love spicy stuff.  There is a local store in Green Bay that sells it; Savore.   They have a variety of different oils, vinegars, bulk pastas and teas.  If you're ever in the NE Wisconsin area, definitely check it out!  It's a great place.  

My Mom put on the best BBQ followed by a brownie throw down.  "Throw what?" you might ask, let me explain...  When I went vegan, I told my Mom that I could make anything vegan and make it taste good.  To prove this to her, I proposed that we 'throw down', like Bobby Flay on the Food Network.  So with in a week or so, we had it all organized: Cookie Throw Down 2008.  What happens is just like the television show - but cooler, of course.  I challenged my Mom, I made a batch of my best vegan cookies, and she made a batch of her best cookies.  We had our family and friends taste test both of them and critique them on taste, presentation, texture, etc.  

I was so flippin' nervous having my family taste my cookies and then my Mom's.  She has always been an awesome cook, plus she's been to pastry school.  Need I say more... I was sweatin' in my oven mitt.  Sure enough, when the scores came in, I won!  Wow-e was I tickled!  So, I was awarded an apron that has since traveled around from challenger to challenger.  

My two sisters challenged each other over the weekend.  I was so pumped because both of them made vegan brownies!  AND they were both phenomenal!  It was definitely hard judging them.  I had seconds of both, which ended up in an awful sugar head ache... Sigh... 

Chef Amy putting her final garnishes on her brownie, a beautiful caramel glaze and chopped walnuts.  

Reining Chef Emily puts her final touches onto her Peanut Butter Brownies. 

Amy took the apron this time with her cake-like brownie and caramel glaze.  Her vegan glaze really tied the brownies together, the walnuts added a nice salty crunch which the glaze balanced.  Em's brownies were pretty darn tasty, too.  I love PB and chocolate.  I might have mentioned once before that they're my two favorite things together.  They were tough brownies to judge!  

Throw Downs pretty much rock.  It's helped me bring quality vegan goodies to the table; showing my family that it's not all just sprouts and lettuce.  If you have an unsupportive family (I'm blessed that mine doesn't think I'm too crazy...) that doesn't understand your lifestyle, opt for a Throw Down!  Show them that vegan baking and cooking is delicious and easy!  

No comments:

Post a Comment