Since moving in February to our dream apartment all I want to do is hang out here, especially now that the weather is getting warm
er. I love our home so much. The big kitchen just makes you want to cook good food all of the time. I am really finding it inspiring living here. We also have a sweet private deck that I just love to hang out on. Eating dinner out here is going to probably become my favourite past-time this summer. And by ‘probably’, I mean definitely.
Since coming back from Mexico, Josh has eased up on his vegan diet. We still eat a lot of vegan at home but there is definitely more cheese and eggs happening now. A couple of weeks ago we had a Tilley fam-jam dinner party. We happen to be friends with both brother and sister Tilley so had them over with their significant others for dinner on a Monday night. We had a mismatch of things that I love, starting with my famous guacamole (nothing is really special about it but people seem to like it!) and a cheese platter. I chose some smoked gouda, triple cream brie and Wensleydale Cranberry with crackers, apricots and olives. Really, I could eat just that platter for dinner and be content.
For the actual meal, we had made a Butternut & Wild Mushroom lasagna with Pecan Parmesan and served it with a green salad. The above picture may now show much but let me tell you, this vegan lasagna is delicious. It’s layers include butternut squash, wild mushrooms, basil “cream” and “parmesan” . There is a lot of prep in making all of the ingredients so we put it together earlier in the day which meant that when our friends came, there was no work in terms of cooking to be done. Easy peasy. For dessert, I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Brownie Bites. Not only were they vegan but they were also gluten-free.
Last weekend was a long one here in Canada. Josh was working on the Sunday night so I had my friend Meghan over for a ladies night. I had wanted to make her a cocktail but since I have no experience with them other then drinking them, Josh showed me how to make a Manhattan using Crown Royal Black. I stirred them up, put in a big ice cube and Meegs said it tasted good.
We started out with some cheese – this time some soft Camembert – pretzels, olives and apricots. For dinner, I made another kind of lasagna. (Am I starting to get a little boring here?! But these are some of my favourite things!)
This Spanakopita Lasagna used to be my go-to recipe whenever I was having people over. It’s easy to make and it’s so delicious Everyone that I have shared the recipe with has loved it. This baby is definitely not vegan as it oozes with feta cheese. 🙂 As I said before, lasagnas are the perfect dinner party meal when you make them ahead of time. You just have to put it in the oven and dinner is ready which gives you plenty of time to hang with your guests and drink all of those cocktails.
This wasn’t dinner but it was breakfast instead that we ate on our awesome deck. Since Josh works nights and I work a lot of days, we have to take full advantage of our time together when we get the chance. Last weekend I made this Baked French Toast to have as a nice brunch for us when he woke up one morning after getting home at 5am. (Yikes!) I had prepped it the night before so that the custard soaked nicely into the bread. Instead of blueberries, I used raspberries and also added some sliced almonds. We ate the whole thing and had no regrets.