Well, Sunday officially kicked off my birthday week and I did it with the help of my friends!
This week (well, actually… today), I turn thirty… something. Okay, fine, two. Thirty two. The best part about aging and living well is that you realize that a plant-based diet (paired with my favorite combo of pilates and running) is going to keep this body looking young and hopefully running for a very long time.
Today, I met up with my Nancy/Magnums — a wonderful group of friends who get together for each one of our birthdays and celebrate with lots of delicious food and wine! For each gathering, we (er… our head chef, Sonnie) sets a menu and his extremely organized and talented wife, Nancy Val, divies out the food assignments. And reminds us of the one bottle of wine per person rule. If you don’t each bring your own bottle of wine, don’t even think about showing up. What can I say? A rule is a rule and this is a darn good one.
(Note: I completely forgot to take pictures of the delicious food, but got lots of everyone eating and being merry)
The Nancies and Magnums have been so sweet to me since I eat mostly plants these days and designed a menu around that. Yay for the birthday girl… girls!! I forgot to mention that it was a double birthday celebration for Nancy Dawn (July birthday girl) and me!!
Chef Magnum Sonnie (right, with wife, Nancy-Val, son Townsend and goddaughter/niece Zoe) grilled up some summer veggies coated in his famous secret sauce (you know… Fried Green Tomatoes: “Secret’s in the sauce.”)
Nancy Dawn and Magnum Jason (pronounced Haa-soon) and their cute twins Zoe Zoe Bean and Harlow Bug mixed up a delicious cocktail: her signature sweet tea cocktail with fresh mint and lemon slices.
Nancy Amy and Magnum Larry (a.k.a. T.C. or B.M.C.) and their son Coop:
I brought my pesto pasta salad and crostinis with sundried tomato pesto. The recipe is below. But, first the important part: gifts! I received the most beautifully wrapped gift and inside the best gift for a vegan-cooking gal.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
From “Vegan with a Vengeance” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
- ½ cup tightly packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- a few dashes of fresh black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Place sundried tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring it to a low boil, then turn off the heat and let soak for about 15 minutes until soft
- In the food processor, add the sundried tomatoes (drained of water), garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Puree mixture
- Transfer into a bowl and stir in basil. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.