I love cities. I love the hustle and bustle, the high energy, all of that. But every now and then, it's nice to go somewhere quiet and secluded to recharge and chill out hard. I'm lucky because my family owns a cute little cabin in a northern Saskatchewan provincial park, a place with tons of huge, beautiful trees, lots of water (for beachin'!), and plenty of wildlife (like loons!). Certainly not like my home in southern Saskatchewan, which is the epitome of flat.
This soup was intensely good despite looking like the fairly innocuous vegetable variety. Onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potato were cooked in vegetable broth for about 20 minutes, jazzed up with some poultry seasoning, and then a handful of chopped dill was added along with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. The lemon and dill really livened it up, making it taste very summery.
But I couldn't be mad eating an ice cream cone. Could anyone be? There's a quaint little ice cream place at the lake, but it's very non-vegan so I decided to take matters into my own hands and bring vegan cones and ice cream (cookie dough flavor). Best idea ever!
We whipped up a supper that looks like the kind of meal I ate growing up as an omnivore, but so much better. What you see is some meditteranean-style spaghettini with fried Gardein chicken and a side of lightly steamed and seasoned broccoli.
I fell in love with the pasta and I intend to re-make it this week, but raw. It's been ages since I've had zucchini pasta! The basic recipe was enough cooked pasta for two people, tossed with a couple tablespoons olive oil, about 1/4 cup basil cut in thin ribbons, 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives, whole cloves from 1 head of roasted garlic, and some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. It was so flavorful, unlike many other olive oil-based pastas I've had in the past.
The Gardein chicken (best vegan chicken I've had to date) was triple battered in a simple flour mixture and a soy milk/cornstarch mixture. The thing that made them really interesting was rolling the chicken in a rice paper wrap like in the cookbook "Vegan Cooking for Carnivores", which I recommend to anyone interested in straight-up beautiful comfort food. The only thing I would change would be battering the rice paper on the inside so it would stick to the chicken better - otherwise, it made for a great "skin"!
This is what happens when you drink beer and cook at the same time. Spaghettini straining disaster!
All of the good eating and cooking was interspersed with beach-going and game-playing. Here I am, enthusiastically losing a game of mini-golf! Are you starting to notice a theme of game-losing?
Yup, definitely a theme of losing - Scrabble, too. Happily, the letters I picked at the beginning of the game were pretty awesome. I want a god suit.
What cabin experience is complete without way too many crazy deluxe nachos (eaten while watching the Food Network)? First we put some nachos, mashed black beans and Daiya mozza under the broiler until the Daiya melted. Then, we topped that with salsa, pickled jalapeno slices, kalamata olives, diced tomato and cilantro. There was a ridiculous quantity of guacamole and salsa for the dunking (2 large avocados...we ate a lot of food). Every mouthful was exciting. So exciting that I couldn't stop eating.
Even though it's summer, having a crackly fire in the evening was a nice touch and made the weekend extra cabin-y.
It was a nice getaway, and now facing another workweek seems a whole lot easier. Still, I'm happy to be back in the city, like I always am after escaping civilization. I kinda like civilization! Lotsa cool people there. :)