Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vegan Dinner at Vaughan & Nicole's!

It's been awhile since I've hung out with my friends Vaughan and Nicole. We go way, way back. In fact, Vaughan and I started an animal rights group in Memphis back in 2003! We used to do PETA demos and vegan leafleting around town. But over time, that group morphed into more of a vegan social club, and we started doing fewer demos and more monthly vegan outings and occasional potlucks. That group fizzled out a few years back as new groups emerged. But we've stayed pretty tight over the years! I try to hang out with Vaughan and Nicole as often as possible, but we're all so busy!

Lucky for me, this weekend worked out where I got some quality Vaughan and Nicole time! Nicole and I did a Lululemon-sponsored 3-mile fun run and yoga class at Loflin Yard on Saturday morning, and then she invited me over for dinner Sunday night. Here's Nicole and I on Saturday before getting super sweaty on that "fun run" in mid-day 90-degree temps!

And here's Vaughan and Nicole on Sunday night with their dog Tiger. Not pictured is their daughter Vera and their cat Henry (they were both inside when this pic was taken).

I arrived at their house on Sunday night around 4:30 for a little cocktail hour outside in their gorgeous backyard. I had some white wine to start, and then Vaughan mixed me this bizarre but delicious cocktail made with lemon-echinacea juice, coffee liqueur, and vodka. You wouldn't think lemon and coffee would work together, but it does. And it's delicious!

Nicole made an Edamame-Avocado Dip that was to die for. It had chunks of avocado, red pepper, edamame, and red quinoa. We snacked on it outside with some kale-chia tortilla chips.

Tiger hung out with us while we sipped cocktails and munched on chips. He's such a good dog! Shortly after they purchased their house a couple years ago, Tiger showed up in their yard. He was injured and looking for love. And they took him in and got him treated. Now he's the star of the show!

We went inside to eat dinner at their dining room table overlooking the bird feeders in the backyard. We watched birds and squirrels while we dined on Nicole's yummy dinner of BBQ Riblets, Hash Browns with Turmeric, and Sauteed Broccoli. I'd forgotten how much I love those Morningstar riblets!! They're one of a few vegan products Morningstar makes, and they're so good.

For dessert, we had So Delicious Cappuccino Cashewmilk Ice Cream with Oreos! Nothing beats ice cream and cookies on a hot summer night.

It was such a lovely evening! And the food and cocktails were delicious! After dinner, we went back outside to check out their tomato plants, which have been putting out weird tomatoes that are black on the bottoms. After a little investigation, we found the culprits. Tomato hornworms! They were all over three of the tomato plants, but because their bodies blend in with the color of the plants, they were hard to spot. There are actually two in this pic, but one is hiding pretty well. Can you spot them both?

Anyway, sucks about their tomato plants. But the little guys were so cute! And they'll be gorgeous sphinx moths one day!


vegan peace said...

I love Tiger, and I love stories like that. Not that he was ever hurt, but that he found his forever family, it was meant to be! I like the riblets too, it's been so long since I've had them. I skip over morningstar farms most of the time because they're mostly vegetarian.

Jennifer said...

Do those caterpillars eat anything else? Maybe you can gently relocate them to another plant to suck the life out of XD

Anonymous said...

Your friends can purchase parasitic wasps to combat the dreadful hornworms at your local garden centre. Might be a little late for eradication, but still worth a try.(parasitic wasps are little dudes that don't sting people.)