It was a Thursday afternoon around 1:30 when the spirit just hit me and led me to text twelve of my grown-ass-woman-friends, “I want to have some girlfriend time, like a happy hour at my place this evening around 6:30. Bring your favorite snack, horderve (excuse the spelling) or dish and your favorite drink and come enjoy some of my other favorite folks on the planet. Kids are welcome.”
By 8:11 all six of the chairs at my dining room table were filled with beautiful, strong, brilliant, hilarious women who also happen to be homeschoolers, educators, holistic practitioners, chefs, wives, ex-wives, wives-for-the-second-time-around, and proud mamas of talented visual artists, musicians, dancers, athletes, and future scientists.
“I really need(ed) some girlfriend time,” a few of us expressed at different points in the evening. Two women were dealing with the recent loss of their mothers while another learned on the very day of our gathering that one of her favorite aunts had been diagnosed with stage four cancer. Over the course of a few hours, we shared challenges and talked about everything from menfolk to raising teenagers to racial and educational disparities to Gabby Douglas and Olympic history.
My new neice, a yorkie poo named Diamond, joined us around the table while five children, including my own two daughters, were banished to the basement with pizza, fruit kabobs, lemonade, and video games. As for the ladies, we sipped on mango lemonade, lavender lemonade, plain lemonade and white wine and dined on falafel brought in a beautiful bowl with lettuce and plum tomatoes at the center, hummus with flaxseed, tortilla chips, fruit kabobs of strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, and watermelon, and my very own vegan bruschetta.
Though impromptu, our spirit-led happy hour was all it needed to be for the ladies who came out–relaxing, affirming, and delicious.
Vita’s Vegan Bruschetta
medium glass bowl
griddle or skillet
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon agave nectar
3 large tomatoes (For added color, I used two red tomatoes and one orange one.)
¼ of a large red onion, coarsely chopped (That’s a little bigger than finely.)
¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
¼ cup capers
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
more olive oil
In the glass bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, and chopped garlic. With the exception of the sea salt and pepper, add the remaining topping ingredients to the bowl and, using a large spoon, gently and thoroughly turn and mix the ingredients. Add the sea salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture sit while you prepare the bread.
Slice the baguettes into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Pour a thin layer of olive oil onto a saucer, lightly coat one side of each baguette slice with olive oil, and then place the olive oil side down on a hot griddle or skillet to lightly toast. Then, turn the slices over to toast a little bit on the other side.
On a large wooden cutting board or platter, place the slices of bread with the toasted side up, and spoon the tomato mixture onto each slice or allow your guests to top their bread themselves.