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One week, four foodie meetups

April 20, 2011

When Matt goes out of town on business (which occurs quite often), I tend to engage in a little more relaxation than usual. I go to bed a bit earlier and get up a bit later, graze all night instead of making full dinners, catch up on Law & Order: SVU episodes on DVR, et cetera. But while Matt was in Orlando all last week, I found myself doing the exact opposite and spending far less time than normal at home. Instead, I had four foodie meetups in four consecutive days.

On Monday afternoon, I met my friend Hillary (of The Anti-Chef) at Avenues Bistro in Leawood for happy hour. We started with a couple lillet-and-sodas. Lillet (lil-LAY) is a French aperitif wine which I’d never heard of before; it was sweet, fruity, and delightfully crisp.

Hillary and I also shared a Mediterranean platter, with hummus, tapenade, pita, and crostini.

The next night, I went to La Bodega, a Spanish tapas bar, to meet Megan of Healthy Hoggin’. She comes to KC on business fairly often, and we’ve been meaning to hang out for quite some time. Our schedules finally synced!

We sat on the patio, sipping wine and chatting nonstop about food, health, diets, workouts, blogging, and more, for a solid three hours. At one point, I ate this wonderful white bean/roasted red pepper purรฉe with [more] crostini.

Megan blogged about our meetup tooโ€”read it here. Hopefully we get to hang out again sometime in the not-too-distant future!

On Wednesday night, I headed north of the river to Green Acres Market for a presentation and discussion with everyone’s favorite vegan triathlete, Brendan Brazier.

After the talk, I had Brendan sign my copy of Thrive to both Matt and me; Matt was upset he had to miss this event.

I also got a photo with Brendan. He was super nice!

Finally, on Thursday night, my friend Rachel and I had a wine night; it’s a semi-regular occurrence with us. We shared a bottle of Merlot, and at one point I made Rachel try a shot of aloe vera gel, just for fun. Rachel, by the way, recently decided to go vegetarianโ€”I couldn’t be more proud of her!

Since Rachel brought the wine, I made the snacks. From left to right: creamy vegan spinach dip, Wasa crackers, raw seeded flatbread, and roasted red pepper-white bean hummus.

Phew! It was a jam-packed week of social occasions, but I enjoyed every night of it.

46 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2011 12:30 pm

    that mediterranean platter looks amazing!!! SO jealous you met Brendan!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:21 pm

      I’ll eat any appetizer that’s got hummus ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. April 20, 2011 1:12 pm

    Fun! I’d love to hear Brendan speak sometime.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:22 pm

      I’ve been waiting a long time for him to hit KC, so I’m glad he finally did!

  3. April 20, 2011 1:28 pm

    All that food looks AMAZING!! How fun:)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:22 pm

      Thanks Jenn! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. April 20, 2011 4:46 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous four days!! I ADORE Brendan Brazier and his book “Thrive” ~ it’s so clear and just makes soooo much sense!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:23 pm

      Agreed! It was one of my first introductions to raw food just a few years ago.

  5. April 20, 2011 5:24 pm

    Sounds like an awesome week!


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:23 pm

      It was! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. April 20, 2011 5:35 pm

    It’s good to be busy having fun. Jealous you met Brendan. Wish he’d come out to Seattle.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:24 pm

      Surely he’ll hit Seattle at some point…

  7. April 20, 2011 6:23 pm

    Glad that you have such a good time when Matt’s gone–I like to nest alone when Phil’s gone, but sometimes it ends up being more social too. Brendan is so nice, isn’t he–I met him in SF a few years ago.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:25 pm

      Brendan was very nice – a tad shy, perhaps, but very personable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. April 20, 2011 9:57 pm

    When can you come to TX so we can meet up? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:26 pm

      Hehe! I’m in Dallas several times a year, but I never seem to make it south of there. Maybe sometime I’ll find myself in San Antonio, OR we’ll both be in Dallas at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. April 20, 2011 10:26 pm

    Perfect timing! I just signed up for my first triathlon in July. Will definitely pick up Brendan’s book!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:27 pm

      Woohoo, go Kim! Brendan’s book will give you a lot of great tips!

  10. April 20, 2011 11:00 pm

    I love the Thrive book. I have an older copy as that cover looks new. He has some great ideas in there. Love his stuff.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:29 pm

      I have a first edition copy, but it’s little ratty ๐Ÿ˜› Brendan is full of awesome ideas.

  11. April 21, 2011 12:08 am

    So glad you’re fitting in some socialising and relaxing time into your life right now, love! Even if posts like these make me squirmy-sad inside beacuse oh! How I want to appear in one of these friendship-night-meet-up posts!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:30 pm

      Oh! how I want you to as well! Someday. Right?

  12. April 21, 2011 12:20 am

    wow, it looks like that was a GREAT week!!!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:31 pm

      It was! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. April 21, 2011 5:56 am

    We definitely need to do this on a semi-regular basis!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:32 pm


  14. April 21, 2011 10:53 am

    sounds like an awesome week im jealous you got to meet brendan I have been reading his book and LOVE his perspective on health!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:33 pm

      I do too! When Thrive first came out, I was marathon training, so it was a great resource for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. April 21, 2011 2:43 pm

    those are totally my kind of nights. Love the lillet! i’ll have to try that!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:33 pm

      Yeah, now I’ve got to get my hands on a bottle of it!

  16. April 21, 2011 4:48 pm

    I saw that picture of La Bodega and was like, woah I know that place!! Read your About Me… yay for other food bloggers in Kansas City!! Awesome! I’m happy I found this blog, I am also almost vegan. Most of the food blogs I read are vegan, so I’m always worried when I post a recipe using eggs or cheese LOL. Cheers!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:35 pm

      Yay, high-five for KC veg bloggers! Nice to “meet” you ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. April 22, 2011 4:44 am

    What a fun week! Yay for meetups, good food and friends ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:35 pm

      Cheers to that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. April 22, 2011 3:47 pm

    I’m jealous that you met Brendan. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Meetups would have to be a blast!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:36 pm

      I was lucky to fit four of ’em in one week!

  19. April 22, 2011 3:58 pm

    Yep, it’s pretty safe to go with the conclusion, that you are a superwoman. I still haven’t figured out how you fit so much into your schedule AND then find time to blog about it… superwoman!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:36 pm

      Hehe! Tanya, you rock. YOU’RE the wizard-magician, after all. ๐Ÿ˜›

  20. April 23, 2011 11:04 pm

    Great post – sounds like fun. It’s good to hear about other vegans creating a social environment that involves the lifestyle. That’s been happening more and more for us as we meet people thru the animal sanctuary we volunteer at. It’s both surprising (because we just never met other vegans until we looked outside our normal social circles) and reassuring.
    Now, grant me strength for my Easter brunch visit with the in-laws tomorrow.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:37 pm

      For the first time, I actually skipped Easter with the fam this year. I gotta say, it was kind of a relief… =X

  21. April 26, 2011 4:59 pm

    I’m a little late commenting, but I had such a great time at our meet-up! So jealous that you got to meet Brenden, too. I should be in KC a LOT over the next few months, so maybe we can schedule something again soon! There are many more KC places I need to explore with a fellow foodie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:38 pm

      I had a great time too! I’d love to do some more hometown-exploring with a blog buddy ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. April 27, 2011 12:51 pm

    I am so jealous of all these amazing sounding events! I want to create some vegan/raw blogger events around the Northwest. Hopefully I will get to meet you in Portland this summer! I am on the waiting list and praying I get in.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:38 pm

      Nice! Hope to see you at VVC, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. May 25, 2011 7:25 pm

    I was really shocked that there was no burn when I tried the aloe vera gel!! Craziness. There are some things I would never try if it weren’t for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I consider myself very lucky.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 25, 2011 7:54 pm

      Aww, you mean it? Thank you! Hehe. I’m glad you didn’t mind the aloe gel. In fact, you seemed to do better with it than I often do! ๐Ÿ˜›

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