Place Settings Should Always Be Bread

I mean, any chance I have to add a carb or a butter to something I will take it.

A little while ago my friend sent me an Instagram picture from a French countryside styled shoot he had seen on Filosophi’s account - with Communiti Collective and the Blue Bee Orchard [there’s a few other collaborators too see them here] and I thought hey, I could do that! (he was coming over for dinner soon) Even for a just a regular dinner. Ok, but like, not that fancy. But still, fancy for a “hey! Do you want to come over for dinner?” type of dinner.

The French Countryside Instagram (a little too fancy to pull off for a regular dinner) Inspiration:

inspiration photos from Erin Bishop of Filosophi

Our new place

Kyle + I had to suddenly move in July + it was really stressful + Vancouver rentals are very, very expensive! But after searching for a while we are actually super happy with our new space + all the room we have + have been hosting friends in our backyard every chance we get. You read that right folks! BACK. YARD. Kind of. Patio. Whatever, it’s Vancouver and we have outdoor space.

So now that we’re hosting like real human adults I have figured out that it really doesn’t take too much to elevate a dinner from everyday to special + really the biggest thing is just to add a table cloth + cheese + linen napkins. El-e. Vated.

Although of note: I need a different size table cloth for this small round table, compared to my long rectangle table. Also you have to wash the napkins, so I really need more of them if I’m going to entertain this often. Because. I can’t keep up with the laundry.

The butter-laden vegan menu

We don’t cook with meat (I explain about it here), but we have nothing against butter, so we took these really tasty recipes and then made them even better by adding the best ingredient around. Who says vegan can’t be delicious?

I wrote about it a little more seriously here

On the menu:

Vancouver Farmer’s Markets:

butter lettuce, tomatoes, squash, bread. Holy shit. Farmers markets. So good. Also, did you know you can buy little wooden tolkens there with your credit card so you don’t even have to remember cash? You also get to support local + have everything taste better. So those are major plusses.

We love love love love Minimalist Baker We find most of her food easy to make, relatively simple ingredients, and very tasty. A fun thing to remember when you’re not vegan + are cooking vegan is that you can add eggs if things fall apart, sub butter for oil when you are hosting a relatively fancy dinner + want to impress, and add cheese when you want to add a little bit of flavour. We did the butter substitution on this evening.

Vegan Zucchini Gratin:

except we added in a shit ton of butter. In the onions. In the zucchini. I actually learned how to caramelize onions the best way from this Joy the Baker recipe, and definitely suggest following her instructions when you want to make a non-vegan version of anything with onions.

Classic Vegan Falafel:

Damn good. You can fry them in oil though, no need for the bonus butter. But I mean…


we made a tempanade that we can’t remember where the recipe is from, cheeses, a gorgeous balsamic vinegar we got from the Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co and wine.

And the best food I had all summer: mix and match tomatoes from Klippers Organics (all these guys need is a little sprinkle of salt + they might have surpassed all the ice cream I ate this summer for favourite flavour.)

the place settings

The thing that made it fancy though were these individual challah loaves. Lucky for me I have a personal baker friend who I can just text with a heyyyyyy you at the Farmer’s Market this week? Can I pop by and pick up a specialty, made only for me, item?

hot tip: add butter + Maldon salt to your bread + you’re going to die. Of happiness though.

But if you don’t happen to have a Livia Sweets in your life, you could still use regular sized bread, or seek out smaller breads, or maybe take a giant delicious foccacia and cut it into 4 pieces and wrap them up.

I ripped a thick cotton paper that I happen to have on hand, wrote names and then wrapped with some kraft paper + string and added a piece of sage. Gorgeous!

Added in a bundle of flowers from Greenleaf Floral

Added the best company

And done!