Thanksgiving 2012 – Appetizers

So, October went by, and most of November, and VeganMoFo happened again!  I briefly considered participating, but I knew I couldn’t make the time commitment to do it justice, so I left it to those who could.  If you haven’t yet, check out the blog roll or rss feeds.  I can’t wait to browse them myself.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was so fantastic that I’m splitting it into three posts.  First up, the appetizers.  Friends were coming over early to start watching football, and we were waiting a little longer than usual to eat dinner to wait for one guest’s flight to land, so we wanted to make sure there was plenty to snack on.

I saw these recipes for Goat Cheese Torta online a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and knew right away I wanted to make a vegan version.   I kind of mixed up the two recipes in my head and ended up with a good combination.

For the cheese mixture, I made a double batch or C’est La V’s cashew goat cheese, skipping the baking step at the end.  I then blended it with one tub of Tofutti Cream Cheese, fresh oregano, and some black pepper.  I lined a bread pan with plastic wrap and layered a quarter of the cheese, pesto (recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance), a quarter of the cheese, sundried tomato pate, another quarter of the cheese, olive tapenade, and the remaining cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and press it down a bit, refrigerate overnight, and turn onto a plate to serve.

When you cut into it, you can see the layers of deliciousness.  Mine wasn’t quite as prettily layered as the recipe photos, but I thought it still looked pretty nice.

The flavor?  AMAZING.  It was creamy, tangy, salty, fatty, herby, and every other good-sounding adjective.  Dave and one of our guests said that they wouldn’t have known it was vegan, which is always nice to hear when it comes to fake cheese.  The torta was mostly gone by the end of the day, which may have had a lot to do with me eating about a ton of it.

To keep things on the lighter side, I also put out a veggie tray with dip and grapes.  I found some really pretty produce at the farmers market, including purple cauliflower and multiple colored carrots.  The dip was Vegan Dill Dip, which I made true to the recipe except for using reduced fat Vegenaise.  The dried minced onion softened overnight and had a nice texture, and the only thing I would change next time would be to add even more fresh dill.

On the right is an antipasto platter, which Dave added to round out the spread.  (The appetizer table became the dinner buffet, which is why the serving dishes are hanging out in the back.)

For a pre-dinner drink, I made a pitcher of Cranberry Ginger Martinis.  I tied the fresh ginger and cranberries up in cheesecloth, and kind of estimated on multiplying splashes of this and that, and even after adding extra Sprite the drink was strong!  Good, but strong.  I made sure to put a few big ice cubes in each one and let them melt a bit first.

Next up, the main meal.

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7 Comments »

  1. Holy crap Erin, that cheese dip looks ridiculous! I definitely want to pin this. And I love me a strong bevvie – Mike has a bar and all the fancy cocktail shakers and whatnot, so I get spoiled with drinks like this on occasion. I’ve never tried (or seen) cranberry vodka before but I bet it’d be super yum!

  2. FoodFeud said

    What Allysia said. The cheese spread, wow. I’ve made raw cashew cheese once but nothing that looks that good. And ditto with the drink. I’d love to make that! Although I’m actually visiting Brookline next week so maybe I’ll just stop at the bar and have them make me one :)

  3. Mihl said

    That torta looks icredible with all those layers. And so creamy!

  4. susan said

    Still waiting on part 2 and 3. It may be next Thanksgiving at this rate. Cheeze looks amazing!

  5. […] My goal this year was to post about Thanksgiving dinner earlier than I did last year, which was in January.  That obviously did not happen!  Still, it was a great meal that I want to show you.  You can read about the appetizers here. […]

  6. Stephanie said

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  7. *drooling*, looks deli!

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