Clean Out The Pantry Party and Summer Goals Week 1

**Somehow most of my pictures turned out bad tonight!  But I wanted to fill you in, anyway.  So this will mostly be a word post.  Oh well, my photos aren’t usually that great anyway!**

Some of our dearest friends leave the county tomorrow.  They are taking an extended holiday with family overseas.  We had planned to get together to see them before they left so I thought “What a great opportunity to have a ‘clean out’ party!”

Since I’m in the midst of using up what I have, and they didn’t want things to go bad while they are gone, we combined to make a smorgasbord of a dinner!

I went through the freezer last night and found some things, including a package of falafel.  Now, I have to admit something.  I’ve never been a fan of falafel when I’ve tried to eat it which, I think, makes me a bad vegan.  But the truth is I’ve always tried to eat them plain so I decided, for my last shot at this, that I would make some sauces.

I made the cucumber sauce from The Vegan Mouse.  It used up almost all of what was left of my jar of vegenaise, which caused some sadness (since I have to drive over an hour to find it!), but this sauce was worth it (more about that later).  I also decided to try the tahini sauce recipe from Vegetarians in Paradise.  When I first tried the sauce my face puckered up and my immediate thought was “there is NO WAY the kids will eat this.”  I added 2 tablespoons of organic brown sugar and lots more salt and, in the end, it made for a very nice sauce.

I cut up a cantaloupe, diced some garden cucumber and then added some bottled Italian dressing, and made some more chocolate chocolate chip muffins from recipe testing.  These muffins, along with a pasta dish from recipe testing, have become T’s most requested foods of late.  So I was pretty ready for when the friends were to arrive.

The friends brought chips and salsa we ate while the kids swam and we settled down for some adult talk.  Then we all jumped in the pool for some volleyball with a beach ball.  I have to say that we weren’t any good but it was lots of fun!

For dinner we also added some cut up tomatoes with balsamic and olive oil, and some meat choices for the omivores from the friend’s kitchen cleaning out.  But it was the falafel and sauces that got all the attention.  One of the kids asked what they were and tried a piece with some cucumber sauce.  As she tasted it she was scooping more onto her plate.  The adults all bravely tried it (They are used to my experiments) and went back for more.  The sauces were put on top of the meat and there was talk about how we would need to eat this again when they return to the states.

I’m always proud of myself when an experiment works out!

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Week One of Summer Goals Recap:

Well,the first week of my summer is over so how am I doing on my goals?

  • I have had no soda, so I’m good on that one!
  • I posted at least 3 times and definitely hit my intended goal of cooking more.
  • I did one tiny weeding of the garden and one large weeding, but all in all that does make twice, so I did make that one.
  • I worked on my current mosaic project so I’m on the right track to accomplishing that goal.
  • No canning this week.  Does reading a canning cookbook count?

It was a pretty good start to the summer!  Now let’s see what other mischief I can get into!

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