A Special Time with Friends...

Last week Naoki and I had one of the most delicious veggie friendly meals at a wonderful friend and her husband's home in gorgeous Palo Alto.  Their cool condo had been beautifully redone with bamboo flooring and the balcony was extended into a sunroom that added square footage to their 1000 square foot property.  What really brightened up the place was the sunflower yellow wall that held a morning glory painting of a well-known artist's, whose name escapes me at the moment. 

For dinner we had yummy tempura zucchini with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce, and braised portabello mushrooms that were marinated to perfection.  As our main course, we had tofu steaks that had pretty little heaps of mashed potato, crisp greens, and grilled sweet onions.  Served on the side was a garden fresh mix of salad with juicy citrus and crisp pears.  A deep purple, sticky sweet rice was also served.  Everything was absolutely tasty and you could tell cooked with care.

We moved to the sitting area for a cup of light flavored chamomile tea from Korea and special treats prepared by my girlfriend.  More crisp Asian pears and sweet oranges served with tiny whale toothpicks added just the right sweetness, and to make it even more perfect, she prepared a cake that wasn't too sweet and had bits of pistachios that added crunch and a complimenting flavor.  See recipe below...

2 cups of sweetrice cake powder
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
half can of red bean (azuki bean)
1 tsp Baking soda
1tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
just mix all ingredients and bake it at 350 F for 45 minutes.

I hadn't seen my friend in two years, so this get-together was a very special one.  It was our first time meeting her absolutely charming, talented and interesting husband.  It was a blessing to meet a couple that pair together so well.  Both are musically inclined, share a passion for traveling and fine food, as well as seem to be very in love with each other (after being together for 10 years).

~ pictures to follow at http://jeanette.hada.us

Jeanette Lee Hada

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