The Brunch That Wasn’t

We planned for a busy day today.  A potluck style meetup at brunch-time, then driving down to Syracuse to see a good friend who was in town for the afternoon.

I had prepared our offerings, something for the adults to snack on, and something for the kids.  At least, something I knew my kid would snack on.  We were packed up, coats on, ready to go out the door, maps set with directions to the house, and I saw that I had 5 Facebook notifications.  5?  I just had to check before we walked out the door, I just had to.

I’m assuming you know where this is going.  Brunch got cancelled.  As happens frequently, especially in the winter months, there was a sick kid.  This time, the host’s sick kid.  Frankly, it made our day a little easier.  It was completely out of the way so it would have meant an extra hour of driving, but it was to be the first time meeting some other breastfeeding mamas in the area, which would have been nice.  Another time, I suppose.

So what did Simon and I do?  Well, first we cleaned the house.

No really, I know that sounds like some kind of joke I would make, but really, cleaning happened here.

Then we ate the snacks we made.

So far my experience with potlucks has been that everyone wants to bring dessert.  “I’ll bring cookies”, “I’ll make cupcakes”, “I’m bringing brownies”, etc.  Those who don’t bring dessert usually bring chips and dip.  That is totally fine, I love dessert, and I’m okay with chips and dip.  But I like food too.  So I almost always bring something more on the savory side.  This time, I was thinking something pizza-ish, but I know one of the girls is avoiding dairy because of her son’s dairy allergy.  So I made something new, Vegan Pizza Straws.

You Need:
1 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, oil reserved
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 small raw red pepper
5 cloves garlic
a few leaves of fresh basil or 1-2 Tsbp dried
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 package puff pastry
Sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)

You Will:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. For the Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade: Combine everything from the sun dried tomatoes to the vinegar in a food processor, and process until combined, but still chunky, adding some of the reserved oil if necessary. Adjust seasoning as needed.

3. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet to about 12″ x 16″. Cut into two halves measuring about 8″ x 12″. Spread 1/3 cup of the sundried tomato tapenade onto one of the halves, and cover with the other half. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (optional), and use a rolling pin to lightly press the nutritional yeast into the dough.

4. Cut the sandwiched dough into 24 long strips. They will be very thin! Twist them, and place them onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet. Press down the ends so the straws don’t untwist.  If you like, keep the unbaked straws in the fridge until they are ready to go in the oven.

5. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.

You will have some of the Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade left over.  I doubt you will be upset about it, feel free to use at your discretion!  These are super good, but I do suggest eating them relatively soon after making them.  You can try keeping them in a sealed container to keep them fresher, longer.

As Simon has gotten older, I’ve gotten a little more lax with what I will let him eat, so while we were lightly noshing pigging out on our snacks, he definitely enjoyed one of these.  But I made him something a little healthier as well.  He will be enjoying some Sweet Potato Puffs for the next few days.

I found the link to this recipe from a post on the Baby Led Weaning Facebook page.  The only change that I made was that I did not flip them, as directed.  When I took them out at 5 minutes to flip, they were far too soft.  When I took them out later they were too set,  which is why these are more puffs than cookies.  Simon wasn’t so sure about them based on how they felt in his hand, but once he realized how they taste in his mouth, he was in love.  He has been the sweet potato’s biggest fan lately.

So we might not have had the brunch we were expecting, but we still had a fun brunch with just the two of us, in a clean house.  Plus, we still got to visit with our friend in the afternoon.  A good day all around!