Archive for the ‘parties’ Category

VeganMoFo Day 1: It’s Food, Just Really, Really Small

Recently my friend Mary hosted a mini food party. The original idea was just to make a few tiny, maybe complicated, things, but soon the guest list tripled, and we all panicked that there wouldn’t be enough food. Man were we wrong. There was so much food that even the champion eaters among us met their limits (and by “met their limits” I mean “retreated to the backyard in case they had to puke”). There’s something about making food very small that makes you think you can eat at least twice as much of it. But before the coma set in, everything was really delicious. Some of the highlights (desserts first, of course):

Mary’s chocolate-chip cheesecakes

Megan’s mini apple pies with vanilla ice cream, homemade caramel sauce, and peanuts

Mini root beer floats! With mini straws!

Mary’s lemon cheesecakes

Cass’s cinnamon rolls

Cass’s chocolate-chip cookies. Maybe the best chocolate-chip cookies I’ve ever had.

Megan’s mini trifles. Well, mini might be a bit misleading. The glasses may have been small, but it was still a lot of trifle. I don’t know how she makes that vegan whipped cream (it’s sort of half custard, half whipped cream) but it’s incredible.

Lemon and lime curd tartlets, by me. Awhile ago I threatened to make an entire pie out of just Bryanna’s lemon curd and Soyatoo. This was my not-so-pathetic answer to that desire. So sour, so good.

Megan’s mini burgers

Mary’s sushi, delicious as always

Mini tortilla cups filled with guacamole and garnished with mango and cherry tomato. Mine.

Cherry tomatoes stuffed with mixed olive tapenade, by me. These were a pain in the ass, to say the least. The next time I’m browsing through Martha Stewart’s Hor D’oeuvres Handbook and I say, “Ooh, those are cute,” I have to think about the crazy amount of work involved. Cutting the centers out of a couple of pints of cherry tomatoes takes forever. They sure were tasty though.

Mary’s grilled BLTs with basil mayonnaise

Candice’s twice-baked potatoes (really excellent, especially considering Candice had never even eaten a twice-baked potato before)

The leftovers. Yeah, we might’ve made too much food.

Teese Vegan Cheese

I’ve been lucky enough to be a guinea pig for Teese Vegan Cheese, and I think I’ve probably blown through at least five pounds already. Of course, I’ve had help eating it, but I have been more full of cheese lately than even in my life. It’s super melty (just look at that cheese toast above!), doesn’t mold in the refrigerator after two days like some other vegan cheeses (in fact, I’ve had some in the fridge for weeks now that’s still good), and tastes great (even though my cheese memories are about thirteen years old now, it tastes like what I think cheese should taste like). But the best part? It holds all the toppings on a pizza! The one thing that has always irritated me about vegan pizza is when you bite in and half the toppings slide off onto your plate (maybe my love of way too much sauce has a little bit to do with that too). So far pizza has been my main Teese use, but I’m still working on a gooey mac & cheese that I’ll post about soon.

The first Teese pizzas

I made the pizza-dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, which is basically the same as every other pizza-dough recipe I consulted but with extra sugar and olive oil. The crust was perfect, and the pizzas were delicious, with peppers, mushrooms, and olives.

The weeknight Teese pizza

We picked up some dough from Whole Foods, which they keep in the refrigerator. This isn’t so great for when you want pizza NOW, as the dough is impossible to stretch. Plus, it turned out too chewy for my liking, but Dan loved it. Still tasty though. Peppers, mushrooms, onions, olives, and store-bought veggie pepperoni (which I usually pick off).

Pizza party

When in the possession of large quantities of melty cheese, it’s definitely time for a pizza party. I made the VwaV dough again, only this time I made it too early and let it rise for over an hour too long, which made the dough too soft and resulted in holes (there were also some oven sticking disasters, which are best never mentioned again). For one batch of dough, I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour and added some agave nectar, and that batch turned out wonderfully, light and crispy and wheaty. The first pizza was my favorite: blanched red-skinned potatoes, roasted garlice, roasted asparagus, rosemary, and Teese. The combination was spectacular. I wish I’d made three more of the same.

This one was sort of hodgepodge (and not the prettiest pizza in its class). VwaV pizza sauce (DO NOT use canned tomatoes with added salt. It so super, super salty, and I even halved the salt called for), roasted garlic, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, olives, Teese.

This one has my homemade seitan pepperoni (adapted form the seitan o’ greatness recipe), which turned out pretty awesome. Everyone was snacking on it while we waited for the pizzas to bake.

Baked Seitan Pepperoni

1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 cup water
4 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, grated

Combine wet ingredients in one bowl and dry another, then add wet to dry and knead for a few minutes until elastic and somewhat tight. Divide into two logs and wrap tightly in foil (be careful not to rip the foil, but try to get the logs as tight as possible). Bake for 90 minutes at 350.

The pesto pizza seemed to be the hit of the night. Homemade pesto, roasted garlice, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, Teese. Tomato sauce is so over done. Pesto!

Leftover pizza

We had tons left over from the pizza party, so Dan and I had pizza again a few nights later. I used Whole Foods dough again, but after it warmed up a bit it was (slightly) easier to work with. But I think the non-stretchiness worked well, because this was the absolute anti-minimalist pizza. It turned out thicker than deep dish, with the bottom of the dough nice and crispy and the inside super doughy. We piled everything on here. Pesto, roasted garlice, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, mushrooms olives, seitan pepperoni. It was pretty incredible.

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