The Tri-Tip was a total success! It was delicious, and even my father enjoyed it. My boyfriend Serrano told me that even though he wasn't hungry he went back for seconds and thirds because it was so good.
For dessert, my mother helped me adapt the Maple Baked Apples with Dried Fruit and Nuts recipe from Epicurious from Claudia Fleming and Melissa Clark's cookbook The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. We changed it a bit, and it was very, very yummy. I recommend this recipe for any gluten and/or dairy free get togethers. It's also a really easy recipe to throw together.
If you serve this to gluten or dairy tolerant people like I did (I was the only intolerant person out of six), they'll still love it. For them, I served this with a small pitcher of whipping cream to pour on the dessert as they liked. For myself, I enjoyed the brown sugar liquid from the bottom of the pan, which was plenty yummy for me. The spices and the sugar gave the apples all the flavor they needed. I used original Earth Balance because it's my favorite, but for this recipe any type of margarine or vegan butter works.
Spiced Baked Apples
6 Apples, Cored
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 cup Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 cup Brown Sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. Cinnamon
Few dashes Allspice
Few dashes Cloves
2 tbsp. Earth Balance or margarine
Preheat oven to 400. Core apples and slice into round pieces a little less than half an inch thick. In a small bowl, combine Maple Syrup and Apple Cider Vinegar. Coat apples with Syrup and Vinegar mixture.
Layer apple slices in a baking pan or casserole dish so that they are unevenly distributed throughout. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. With a spoon, sprinkle the mix all over the top of the apples, covering as many of the apples pieces as possible. Slice Earth Balance or margarine pieces in different spots over the top of the apple pieces. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Uncover, and let the juices caramelize under the broiler for a minute. Serve and enjoy.