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Skatecation in Florida: 2 Orlando & South Florida

Published December 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Hers and His skates

My gear, Thomas’ dismantled inlines, and my vegan Dansko mary janes

Well, my 2 weeks of vacation finally came to an end yesterday. I was planning on going back to work on Friday, but they were slow and I was still in vacation mode, so when they called my Thursday, I figured, What the heck?! (I’ve never had a 2 week vacation from work before. It was pretty nice.) So since I’m all back and rested, I might as well tell you about the rest of our trip.

Last night in Florida!

Last night in Florida!

First, I didn’t end up skating in South Florida after all. I would really have liked to, but their practice was the last night we were there, and we ended up going out one last time with our friends and having a blast. I figured my own practice was only 2 more days, so I’d make it. I still think that it was worth lugging my gear to Florida to be able to skate the previous week though. One week off skates is fine. 2 weeks makes a tremendous difference!

Before we left Orlando, we did get a nice lunch at Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe in. Thomas and I had eaten there before but my parents hadn’t, and I was also after some of Raphsodic Bakery‘s good’s, which they happen to carry.

Caramel Pistacio?

Caramel Pistachio?

I shared the above cupcake with the table as an appetizer, and it was crumbly (I think gluten-free), but totally delicious. (I couldn’t remember the name very certainly.) For lunch I had what Thomas had last time we were there, the Sweet Potato Burrito $9.50. Funny enough, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of my own food. But hey, it looked like a burrito, came stuffed with (you guessed it!) sweet potato, quinoa, sweet onions, corn & sweet ginger cilantro sauce, with a yummy side of black bean dip. Definitely recommend.

Side Sampler $8

Side Sampler $8

Mom got the side sampler, and enjoyed it until she hit something spicy. She’s pretty sensitive to heat, where the rest of us douse things in hot sauce, so I went ahead and took the queso off of her hands. It came with black bean dip, sassy salsa, whirled peas guacamole, and the “subtly spicy” vegan queso.

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Dad had the black bean quesadilla. Even though he was supposed to be avoiding spicy foods and this was filled with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, peppers, cilantro, spices and some of that same vegan queso, this man eats the hottest peppers and sauces in the world with no problem, and this was pretty mild. He liked it, and I ate some of the leftovers later. They were pretty darn good.

Sunday holiday dinner!

Sunday holiday dinner!

The next day Thomas and I headed to the grocery store to get things for a little holiday dinner with my parents, sister and niece and nephew. Since I could only get the week after Thanksgiving off this year, I made a point for us to have a little make-up holiday dinner together. I made two Field Roast celebration roasts, (which everyone loved!) fresh roasted brussel sprouts and acorn squash, and finally LEARNED THE SECRET OF MY FATHER’S BLACK BEANS!

My father makes the best black beans I’ve ever had anywhere, and it’s not just because he’s my dad. They’re really that good. In college he used to freeze them so I could take them back to school with me. A couple of years ago I had him try to tell me the recipe so I could write it down, and that did not work at all. This time I made him actually show me what to do in the kitchen with SUCCESS! I already made a huge double batch two days after I got back. Half for my derby Christmas Party, and half for us. This is truly one of the best presents he’s ever given me! I LOVE YOU, DAD! The only thing I can tell you is, everything they tell you  in books about cooking black beans is wrong.

Most importantly of all, my father is doing GREAT! It’s going to take some time for him to get back up to speed, but his surgery was successful and he’s recovering well so far. The best Christmas present of all! 🙂

And just for good measure, here’s a picture of Midna, who was extremely happy to see her parents after 9 days apart:

Me and my princess!

Me and my princess!

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Brunch at Darbster, WPB/LW, Fl

Published November 7, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

On Saturday, I was down in South Beach celebrating with a soon to be bride for her bachelorette party, and by the end of the night, I ended up one very hungry girl. With only a little hummus as my dinner, and the two burritos I had for lunch being just a faint memory by the wee hours, I was absolutely famished. Literally, my stomach hurt from hunger! I ended up at the 24 hour pharmacy picking up some Triscuits and raw nuts to eat before bed. Sunday morning I woke up with a sense of purpose (and more hunger!); I was going to go to Darbster for Sunday brunch!

the bride to be!

See, I’ve been meaning to try Darbster’s brunch for EVER, but we never get out of bed early enough to get there before 2pm. I know, Thomas & I sleep like adolescents. That’s the beauty of having cats for children. They just let us do whatever we want. ; ) So being that I had no control over my wake up time, and that I was already dressed and in a car by noon, I figured this was the best chance I’d get, and I made the journey north. Here is my trek on a map, just so you realize how dedicated I was:

I had already decided before I got there that I was going to order at least 2 items since I may never be up that early on a Sunday again. I knew I wanted french toast or pancakes, and a more savory dish too. When I told the waitress I was going to order two things she said, “I’m not judging”. 😉 Which was actually really great, because I remember the first time I went there and ordered a bunch of food, the waitress (she wasn’t there for too long) kept telling me that I was ordering too much food. (Really?!) Aside from the one food phobic girl that waited on me that first time, I’ve had nothing but excellent service from super warm hearted people at Darbster, and that always makes the experience twice as nice.

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AM Quesadilla: hash brown, eggs, cheddar, salsa $10.00

So for my savory dish, I chose the AM Quesadilla. It was stuffed with tofu scramble, large cut home fries, mushrooms (not in the description, but at least fungi and I are starting to be friends now, so it was OK.) and just a hint of queso (Daiya cheddar), contrary to what you might expect. It came drizzled with vegan sour cream and presented with a nice dollop of guacamole and a side of salsa. I am the type of person that needs ketchup and hot sauce to make eggy dishes feel complete, but I refrained in order to get the flavor of the dish. Honestly, it wasn’t a really fair taste test though, because I had already eaten half of the yummiest vegan french toast I’ve had to date… I had a few more bites and then proceeded to annihilate said toast. I did however, take it home and eat it for dinner properly with ketchup and hot sauce. ; )

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Challah French Toast: cinnamon and nut crusted with maple syrup, fruit, whipped cream and sausages $10.00

Hi, this is vegan brunch heaven on a plate! This hits on SO MANY LEVELS! The french toast was perfect… toasty edges and a slight mush in the middle. Well flavored and topped with rice whip and sweet, sliced strawberries. It turns out I really didn’t need a savory dish to balance out my meal because it came with two plump, delicious veggie sausages that I proceeded to cut up into little pieces so that they could be a part of every amazing bite. The fruit salad was cut up into teeny little pieces that were bursting with flavor. This plate is masterful and enough to make even this dedicated weekend slumberer re-think her ways (at least occasionally!). I have a feeling I will be craving this fairly often! AWESOME.

Darbster is open for Brunch on Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Do yourself a favor and GO! Oh yah, and there’s live music on the deck. The dude even played Norwegian Wood (Beatles) which made my breakfast [in my Abbey Road t-shirt] that much better. ; )

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