veganmofoimageI am totally going to turn into one of those old ladies who stuff food into their guests’ mouths! I love feeding people, and now that I have someone who will actually let me feed them (unlike most of my family who hear the word “vegan” and are immediately against even the idea of trying a dish), I’m much happier trying new recipes out in the kitchen.

I’ve read somewhere that you should never serve a guest a new dish that you yourself haven’t tried. Rubbish! Almost every time I’ve cooked for my friend, or we’ve cooked together, it was something new. The best reason to try new dishes with a friend is that they can give you feedback about what could make a dish better, and the nice things said about your cooking is always fun! 🙂 And if the meal turns into a disaster – who cares? Share a good laugh over it.

Last night I tried two new recipes – Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad from FatFree Vegan Kitchen, and the Nutty Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Sarah Kramer‘s La Dolce Vegan.

First, the dinner. I absolutely love the FatFree Vegan Kitchen – it’s probably one of my favorite blogs. I love that I don’t have to worry about eating something that’s nutritionally wrecking for me. And the presentation and Susan’s ideas are always wonderful. I’ve had the recipe for her Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad saved in Evernote for a really long time. Even though I almost always have the ingredients on hand (I like to stock up on canned artichoke hearts just in case – is that weird?) I really have no idea why it took me so long to make it.

When I went grocery shopping earlier in the day, I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly and picked up a bunch of Italian parsley instead of basil, which the recipe called for. I was somewhat worried at first that it would taste off, but after whipping the pesto up in my food processor, I was relieved. It tasted great. I was surprised at how simple the recipe was to make. And a note to anyone making this recipe – don’t opt out of the toasted pine nuts. They added a wonderful finish to the pasta salad. And the fat in nuts is good fat!

003I’m sorry the picture isn’t great. This is actually the leftovers (I ended up with two bowls full plus what we ate for dinner!). I didn’t even think to take a picture of the plates last night. I made a simple spinach-carrot-celery salad topped with Goddess Dressing and toasted some whole wheat bread with Earth Balance and a bit of dried rosemary and thyme to go with it. Success! 🙂

Now onto the cookies. I was a wee bit disappointed, but considering this was the very first time I’d made cookies entirely by myself, it’s okay. They were a bit crumbly, and I guess I’m just not a big fan of oatmeal raisin cookies. I also think I might of cooked them for a few too many minutes.

001I have a feeling I’m going to start baking more often. I love the smell of the sugar and cinnamon and whatnot – baking sweets reminds me of holidays growing up.