Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vegan Stuff In Florida!

People always say that Florida is a terrible vegan state. They might be right about that... but in my experience, Florida is where I eat the best food that I will eat all year.
My fiancé's dad lives on the Southern Gulf Coast, has a beautiful house, a boat on the water, and a serious knack for cooking Italian food. He's one of those great members of your family that will literally eat anything-- never questions what you put in front of him, just eats it and enjoys it. You've got to love omnivores that are close to you, especially the ones that don't criticize your diet, lifestyle, or cooking! In fact, they love your cooking, and that's exactly how he is. 


On this year's annual trip down to visit my fiancé's dad, he cooked us some amazing dinners-- beginning with a giant batch of fresh homemade tomato sauce. I helped, so I was allowed to know the secret to his success. Hint: it includes more heads of garlic than the Lernaean Hydra.


We did have pasta almost every night. But each night we mixed it up with an assortment of veggies, so I didn't feel too bad about eating all the pasta my heart desired-- though, when do I ever?


On the third or fourth night, I cooked! I made mashed potatoes in lieu of pasta (just once), and sautéed some mushrooms in marsala wine and served them over the potatoes. Alongside, I roasted some butternut squash and Alex's dad made his famous greens and beans-- the best thing on Earth.


I began each morning with some avocado toast with Alex's sister Mia, a fellow vegan. It was magical.


Sometimes with coffee, sometimes with OJ...


Sometimes on sourdough, sometimes on a bagel...


 One night we went out for Mexican food and got several margaritas. They are a once-in-a-while thing, but damn, frozen margaritas sure are one of the best pleasures in life. These are both for me, of course, followed by at least two more...


This is Brodie! We were babysitting for him while his mom was away. Brodie is a Husky-Border Collie mix and he is 14 years old, though has the spirit of a puppy. He is the sweetest, most friendly dog I have ever met. We had all met Brodie many times before this and this year he definitely seemed a bit older, a bit slower, a bit more tired... He still loves eating underwear just as much, though... It's sad to see Brodie get older and have a harder time enjoying his life, but he was easier to cuddle this time and he barked and jumped up a lot less. Poor Brodie... We love him and hope he enjoys the rest of his days. 


The last day of our visit I made some soft pretzels, a Florida tradition we started a couple years ago. I made twelve. They were gone in one hour. I love soft pretzels and so does everyone else apparently.


We also took the opportunity on our last day to go nuts and make tons of amazing food. My contribution was grilling and marinating veggies! I also managed to knock my glass of wine off the side of the grill and shatter it on the pavement. So I contributed that too. The squash has some dried tarragon, oregano, and thyme with salt and pepper, the portobellos are all different: one is teriyaki, one is marsala, one is balsamic and the other is olive oil with salt and pepper. I sliced and grilled some onions too.. you know, for thrills.


So here's the thing... We also made a whole other dinner too....


And ate both of them... 


And so we each had two plates in front of us that looked like this...


This is a beautiful view at dusk from the back door to his house. It's really such a beautiful place. We were definitely spoiled there. I look forward to going every single year, for the food, the fun, the drinks, the dog, the view, and especially for the nice time I spend with family. The best vacation I could ever ask for!






2 comments:

  1. All the food looks great, and the last photo is absolutely beautiful! Brodie looks like such a cutie; senior dogs are such sweethearts! And those soft pretzels sound like a fun tradition! :)

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    1. Thanks! Brodie is a good soul. He's a little easier to handle these days, so it's nice spending some quality time with him. Pretzels are the best tradition!

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