Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hearty Vegan Brunch and Burgers & Beers Benefit

Who: VN Associate Editor Jennifer Chen
What: A Hearty Vegan Brunch with VN staff and a Burgers & Beers Benefit
Where: San Francisco and Berkeley, CA
When: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Why: A glorious day of eating awesome vegan food

The Scoop: When the cookbook Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites by Joni Marie Newman & Celine Steen arrived at the VNHQ for review, we were floored by the hunger-inducing food. Tater Tot Surprise, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, and Coconut Crème Brûlée Baked Oatmeal were just a few recipes we were drooling over. So VN Assistant Editor Anna Peraino and I organized a staff-wide potluck based on our favorite brunch dishes from the cookbook. We, after all, have monster appetites. Here is our hearty menu:

VN Hearty Vegan Brunch Menu
Banana Split Waffles
Tater Tot Surprise
Coconut Crème Brûlée Baked Oatmeal
Cappuccino Muffins
Atella Rolls
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches*
Morning Mimosas*
*not featured in the cookbook

My brunch plate from top:
Tater Tot Surprise, Grilled Cheese, Banana Split Waffles, Atella Roll,
Coconut Crème Brûlée Baked Oatmeal, Cappuccino Muffin (center).

It was a beautiful and sunny day in Noe Valley where Anna, our host, lives. We piled our plates high with all the goodies we had prepared. Associate Publisher Colleen Holland made the Banana Split Waffles fresh and piping hot from the waffle iron while my husband, Brendan Hay, made his signature Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, the only recipe not from the cookbook, but a VN staff favorite. I savored every bite and when my very full plate (see above) was empty, I was ready for a hearty nap on Anna's couch. We were impressed with every single dish, and even made a non-vegan a believer in the power of vegan grilled cheese sandwiches (score!).

Joni Sweet and Lyndsay Orwig enjoying brunch.

After the brunch, I squeezed in a dog date at the Presidio with Art Director Sutton Long and her pup, Chloe, and my pup, Buddy, to walk off the billions of calories I had consumed. Believe it or not, then I headed to Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley to partake of vegan burgers and beers. Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary hosted a fundraiser at the brewery and I love any event where I can eat and support animals in need. Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary cares for abused farm and domestic animals and assists local humane societies and rescue groups.

What's better than vegan burgers and beers? Nothing.

It was a great event, and Brendan and I shared a brew while chatting about all the amazing vegan food we ate.


laura! said...

i am officially the most jealous person on earth!!!

BHay said...

It was indeed an awesome brunch and thanks for the shout out to my grilled cheese!

Christine said...

Thanks for supporting Harvest Home Sanctuary's event!