Every time I think Emmett and I should break out of our holiday-weekend routine--which usually consists of hiking, eating, drinking, and chilling in the "pool"--a weekend like this Memorial Day comes along and I'm reminded that if ain't broke, don't fix it. Inspired by spring's bounty and my newest cookbook, Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry, I lined up a three-day feast that would make even the least excitable foodie raise an eyebrow. The highlight of this was the Open-faced BBQ Tempeh Sandwich topped with Carrot-Cayenne Coleslaw (from Vegan Soul Kitchen), served alongside my Artichoke, Spinach, and Kalamata Olive Potato Salad, and our newest specialty drink: the Watermelon-Cucumber Martini (modified from Vegan Soul Kitchen). Emmett said it was one of the Top 10 Meals I've ever made him...which says a lot since I've been cooking for him for almost 20 years! I made other delights this weekend, including Sangria, homemade pizza, soba noodles with broccoli and red pepper, a tofu scramble for breakfast, spontaneous gazpacho, spinach-arugula-spring greens salads, and fresh peach cobbler (to name a few) but really, we could have eaten the BBQ sandwiches all weekend long and been just as happy.
The other highlight of the weekend was our 6.5-mile hike through Bouquet Canyon to Sierra Pelona in the Angeles National Forest with our friend Tamra. We were totally taken by surprise by the number of wildflowers still in bloom, the undulating landscape which included lush chaparral (yes, lush!), soft prairie-like grasses, clusters of canyon live oaks that were 100+ years old, and views of the desert and three different mountain ranges ("I feel like I'm in Oz," Tamra said). We were actually hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail and met several people that were four to five weeks into their 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada (which means they'll be hiking 20-miles a day for about five to six months). Oh, and we saw a beautiful black rattlesnake (who promptly let us know he was there and was not happy with us being there).
So aside from washing all the windows inside and out and doing some yard work, this holiday weekend was like any other holiday weekend...and we're not complaining one bit!
Pictures from our Hike