Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holidays Recap

So, I got caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and haven't had a chance to post, but I'll try to catch everyone up on my vegan discoveries and experiments now. First of all, I must make mention of Thanksgiving, which was an amazing feast this year. We hosted it at our place for the fourth year in a row, and it was a wonderful day filled with laughter and silliness, including us all making turkey gobbling sounds at the top of our lungs (which one friend could hear as he approached the house from nearly half a block away)!

It was a potluck affair, with each person (11 total) bringing a vegan dish, although only three of us are vegan year round. I truly appreciate our friends joining us in a compassionate feast on such a foodie holiday, and in turn, I think that most if not all are impressed by how yummy a vegan Thanksgiving can be. We had Tofurkey of course, but also mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, beet salad, brussel sprouts, and assorted appetizers, including seitan stuffed mushrooms (my contribution, based on a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz), bruschetta, and potato pancakes. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie topped with pecans (I made this one), bread pudding, and apple crisp with vanilla soy ice cream.

For the pumpkin pie, I made a very simple vegan version from a recipe I found online here. I always just buy a pre-made pie crust; even in the mainstream grocery stores, many of these tend to be vegan. Then for the topping, we took about 1/2 cup of mostly pecans and a few walnuts, sauteed them in some Earth Balance, added maple syrup, brown sugar, and brandy to taste. After the pie had been in the oven for about 1/2 an hour, I added the topping and let it cook for 15 more minutes. As far as the other recipes, I will leave it up to the other attendees to post them in the comments if they'd like to share!

For Christmas, we had an intimate dinner party with 8 of our closest friends. Marc made an amazing "Beef" Stroganoff with homemade seitan, based on a recipe from "Vegan with a Vengeance." We also had carrots and cheesy pesto bread (the pesto recipe was also from V with a V), which was apparently also popular with the cat, who opened the covered dish of pesto in the kitchen and helped himself while we ate in the family room. Who knew cats loved garlic and basil so much?

For my birthday, Marc made me a delicious "tofuamisu" (vegan tiramisu), as well as various tapas, including artichokes, mushrooms, wild rice, potatoes, and carrots, which we washed down with a nice bottle of Moet Chandon. All in all, we were very well fed this holiday season! Hope you ate well also and happy new year!