Posts Tagged party

Seussical Cupcakes

There are still plenty of sweet prizes available in my Team ASPCA raffle!  I’m only about halfway to my goal of $2300, so please consider donating for the animals!

I was thrilled that I was able to attend my sister-in-law Kiersten’s baby shower back in March on the east coast, since I don’t get to see my family very often.  Kiersten chose a Dr. Seuss theme for the nursery, so that was the shower theme as well.  I signed on to bake cupcakes, as I like to do!

My mom did an awesome job with the food and decor.

fruit skewers

green (deviled) eggs, no ham

veggies and hummus, which I ate much of

I wanted the cupcakes to be whimsical and unexpected, and, of course, delicious.  The first flavor I made was banana split, from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

We adorned them with cute picks that my mom made from Dr. Seuss stickers.  The cupcakes were a bit of work between all the components, but they were really tasty and very fun!

The second flavor was root beer float, dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2.  I felt pretty clever about this idea, but to be fair, I found it on the internet.

The labels didn’t stick on the liners with tape or glue, so it was fortunate that mom had a cupcake holder where we could just kind of tuck them in.  The frosting (“hair”) didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, but all things considered, I thought they were pretty cute.  To make them taste a little more special, I added a bit of butter extract (which is totally vegan) to the frosting, so it tasted more like vanilla cream.  The root beer cupcake recipe was from My Sweet Vegan, and turned out nicely after I added a bit more flour to the batter.  The root beer flavor wasn’t overpowering; those who didn’t know what flavor to expect had a hard time putting their finger on it, but once told they could definitely taste the root beer.

After snacking and some games, the lovely Kiersten opened presents.  I only wish that I could’ve spent more time at home, and now that baby Josie is here I can’t wait to meet her!

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VeganMoFo: Octoberfest Party

Dave and I like beer, and we like food, and we like having people over for beer and food, so we threw an Octoberfest Party!  I prepared by going to the party store, because I love the party store.

Steins, pint glasses and Das Boot, all lined up and ready for use.

My baby mug, with my first beer of the day.

Food table – Ignore the meat!

Rye bread and two kinds of mustard, spicy and sweet.

Regular sauerkraut, jalapeno sauerkraut, pickles and beets.

Tofurkey beer brats, grilled.  I bought a lot of the cute flag picks, so they went in everything throughout the day.

Trader Joe’s Pumpernickel Pretzels, which I am obsessed with.

German-ish potato salad.  I wasn’t going to make a vegan potato salad since Dave was making the “regular” kind with bacon, but he had some extra cooked potatoes so I tossed them with oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and celery seed.

Delicious braised red cabbage, which my friends Wayne and Raelene brought.

Black Forest Brownies.  I used the brownie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and the cherry sauce recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I added a bit of almond extract to both the brownies and sauce, because almonds and cherries are awesome together.

Pretty Fall-time flower arrangement.

I actually didn’t anticipate that this much of our feast would be vegan.  This was one tasty plate of German food!  I forgot to get an individual picture of the Lowenbrau Coleslaw, which is on the upper right of the plate.

After stuffing our bellies, we had a pretzel making session!  We had mixed up a double recipe of this Bavarian Pretzel recipe, and it rose while we were eating.  Everyone got a shot at making their own pretzel, while I reminded them how the process went, because by then we had all had a few beers.  “No!  Boil it, ten seconds on each side, THEN salt, THEN the oven.  Stop throwing flour at the cat!”  Pretzel making is serious business.

Whenever we make soft pretzels, Dave wants to make them as giant as possible, and these are the two he made.  They were pretty giant!  We boiled them in a wok instead of a pan, just so Dave could make them giant.

Our friend Matt made this precious pretzel, which reminded me of the Volkswagen logo.

Dave’s cousin Daniel made this pretzel which looks like…I won’t say…

Fantastic piles of pretzels!  They turned out really well, and were some of the best pretzels I’ve ever tasted!

Sadly, as usual, I didn’t get any good people pictures.  I gotta get better at that.  I have one picture of Dave in his finest German beer drinking outfit, but he’d probably kill me if I posted it ;)

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Vegan Wine & Cheese Party

A few months ago, the PPK Bay Area vegans had the brilliant idea of a wine and cheese party just before the holidays.  There are a lot of different vegan cheese available around these parts, so between those and homemade varieties we had a ton of cheese!

I brought the fondue in the back with bread, blanched broccoli and cauliflower, and apples for dipping.  In the front is homemade cashew cheese.

Dr. Cow, a homemade peppered goat cheese log, and We Can’t Say It’s Cheese.

Dr. Cow, bleu sheese, bacon cheddar cheezly, a brazil nut cheese ball and  Annie’s cashew cheese spread in the back.

Pigs in blankets.

Curried tempeh bites.

Bleu sheese dressing.

Cookies, homemade smoky cashew cheese and caviar.

Four types of homemade chocolates!

Persimmon puddings.

Vegan friends, some apparently in very serious conversations.

And the cutest Christmas snaggle-tooth ever, Molly.

Not pictured:  all the wine and spiked nog!

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Potlucks & Parties

This is gonna be another long one, so I’ll keep the text concise!  I present to you a collection of all food-centric events I have attended in the last few months.

In early September we celebrated Dave’s birthday.  We invited a bunch of people over and made a bunch of food.

The usual pretty veggie tray.

Tasty guac.

I usually like to go a little crazy with birthday cakes, but Dave requested vanilla with vanilla, so that is what he got.  Not my best decorating effort, but it tasted really good!

The next day I headed out to Dolores Park in San Francisco to meet with some PPKers for a Labor Day potluck picnic.  I had spent most of my time getting ready for the party, so my picnic donation was non-labor intensive – chili cheese dog casserole.  It was literally layers of hot dog bun, sliced veggie dogs, veggie chili and cheesy sauce baked in the oven, and it was actually quite good!  I didn’t get any individual food pictures cause it was kind of awkward since everything was on the ground.

First plate, clockwise from noon:  tofu noodle salad, bread with spinach dip, purslane potato salad, grilled tofu with pesto, chili cheese dog casserole, bbq black eyed peas, empanada, tempeh salad sandwich and corndog nugget with sweet and spicy mustard.

Dessert plate:  on bottom, orzo salad and chicken fried tempeh that weren’t there my first time through.  Cinnamon bun, apple pie, chocolate thumbprint cookie, banana bread, baklava, pear crisp and an oatmeal cookie.

It was a beautiful day with great food and great company.  Dolores Park is a very interesting place, full of interesting people.  We definitely saw one person get arrested!

We went to the Niners season opener, which meant tailgating.  Dave was making carne asada tacos, so I made a roasted corn coleslaw with chili lime dressing to go along.  The frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s was really good in it.

I also made marinated portobello tacos with grilled onions and peppers, hot sauce and cilantro.  This was a great tailgating meal.

I felt like doing a thematic dessert, and the best I could come up with was “Gold Rush Blondies”.  I forget which recipe I used now, but these tasty blondies had both chocolate and butterscotch chips.

The next weekend we were invited to a potluck birthday party for Dave’s uncle’s partner.  I wanted to take enough so that I would have a full meal if there wasn’t anything else I could eat.  I made Hannah’s Sesame Noodles, adding edamame.

I also made Fat Free Vegan’s Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches, but now I forget which veggies I used.  Some people said they couldn’t tell that it wasn’t “real” quiche.

The hosts have working on their house for years, and they have really great style and throw fun parties.  I joke with them that every time I go over there they’ve rearranged their furniture or bought something new.  Here we are hanging out in “the lounge”, which used to be a second bedroom that they’ve turned into a 70’s style hangout.  You can’t really tell from this picture, but this is a really cool room.

That’s me and Dave in the back and our friends Tom and Hope in the front.  They had some mighty powerful mai tais!

Last weekend I went down to Santa Cruz for a harvest-themed potluck at Amey’s house, again with the PPK crew.  The food was phenomenal, and I took lots of pictures!

Pretty salad

Pumpkin ziti

Stuffing

Persimmon spice pretzels

Potato coleslaw with cumin seeds

Buttercup gnocchi with mushrooms and butternut squash

Cranberry braised tempeh, and my terrible handwriting (recipe below)

First plate

Dessert!  Harvest pie with mooses

Amey’s beautiful caramels

Chocolate chip peanut butter banana bread

Puppy chow

Apple cake

Dessert plate, also featuring “Emporer’s Pie”, this amazing pie with vanilla-scented rum custard and satsuma curd.

Cranberry Braised Tempeh

The tempeh turns an interesting mauve color after marinating, but it is very moist and flavorful.  I adapted the recipe from the Bauman College Cookbook that we use at school, where it was adapted from the Delicious Living website.

16 oz tempeh
1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 shallots, chopped
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cinnamon stick
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs tamari
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated, or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1. Cut each block of tempeh in half horizontally, creating two thinner rectangles of equal size.  Cut each rectangle into quarters, and each quarter into two triangles.  Place the tempeh in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, place the cranberries in a small pan and add apple juice, shallots, orange zest and juice, sea salt and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes or until cranberries are soft.  Remove cinnamon stick.  Carefully pour the cranberry mixture into a blender and add the remaining ingredients (maple syrup through cayenne).  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
3. Place tempeh in a baking dish and pour cranberry sauce over the tempeh.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake the tempeh, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
5. Using tongs, transfer the tempeh to a serving platter.  Carefully pour the cranberry sauce into a saucepan.  If you wish, you can pour it through a strainer.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced to a saucy consistency, about 30 minutes.  Pour the cranberry sauce over the tempeh and serve.

Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (11.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 317.7
Calories From Fat (23%) 71.63
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.57g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.76g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 440.3mg 18%
Potassium 910.97mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 48.3g 16%
Fiber 2.72g 11%
Sugar 13.18g
Protein 18.31g 37%

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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and Day.  Mine was excellent  (were excellent?).  I first set out to attend “Peewee’s Veg Adventure”, a Peewee Herman themed potluck that was the brainchild of the Bay Area PPKers.  We planned the menu in advance, and every dish had a Peewee related name.  Awesome!

My contributions were “Footlongs for Mickey”…

(recipe from Vegan Lunchbox)

…and “Simone’s French Toast Bites”.

(VWAV Fronch Toast)

“Snack Time Popcorn”

“Peewee’s Peepshow Hashbrowns” (gross!)

“King of Stuffed Mushrooms” and “Jambi-laya”

“Fire in the Playhouse Bread with Cheesy White Bean Dip”

The cheesy white bean dip was kind of amazing.  I’m told the recipe is in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

“Connect the Dots Quinoa” and Cowvin Cookies from Sticky Fingers Bakery in the back.  Melisser won the cookies in some contest I think.

“Dinosaur Family Kale” and “Cowboy Curtis’ Cookie Sandwiches”

“Bowtie Pasta Salad” and “Pterri’s BBQ Not Wings”

“Globey’s International Speculoos Brownies” and “Ant Farm on a Log”

“Chairy Pie”

My plate – I didn’t get an individual picture of the “Copper Penny Salad”, and I forgot to get some of the bowtie pasta the first time through.  I definitely went back for seconds though.

Dessert plate

To finish up, a “Whacky Tapi-oca Pudding Shooter”.

I unfortunately had to leave the party before midnight to come back to my house and co-host.  There are more pictures from the Peewee party in this thread.

I definitely wanted a hearty brunch when I finally woke up on New Year’s Day, so I made tofu scramble with onions, peppers and mushrooms.  I made toast from the ends of the loaf I used to make the french toast bites, and topped it with leftover strawberry sauce.

For the past couple years I’ve wanted to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day, but until now I hadn’t made it happen.  According to Wikipedia, “Black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day in the Southern United States and in some other parts of the U.S…The traditional meal also features collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money.”  This time I was determined to have my black eyed peas!

The black eyed peas were sauteed with peppers, onions and garlic.  I cooked the brown rice in my rice cooker with tomatoes and cajun seasoning, and brightened it up with a splash of lemon juice at the end.  For the collards I used the Sauteed Collard Greens recipe from VCON.  This is basically how I like to cook my greens, but following the recipe I think they came out a bit tastier.  Especially because of the four cloves of garlic.  Instead of the stock I used water mixed with chicken broth seasoning, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2009!

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VeganMoFo: Halloween Potluck

Yeah, so VeganMoFo technically ended on Friday, but I’m counting this as my last MoFo post cause it happened on Friday and I didn’t have a chance to post until now.

I was very excited to be invited to Melisser’sHalloween potluck party!  I’d seen posts about her parties online before and they looked like fun, so I was looking forward to it all week.  I had a great time, and the food was fantastic!  It was so nice to look at a whole table-full of food and know that I could eat any of it.

(It looks like Melisser just beat me to posting about the party, so go check out her post too!)

I’ll start with what I made:  corn crackers (bats and black cats), wheat crackers (skulls and ghosts), and two kinds of uncheese cut into pumpkins, acorns and leaves.

The corn crackers are from this recipe.  I couldn’t find any blue corn meal anywhereso I used regular corn meal and added black food coloring.  I rolled them out a little bit thick, but they were very tasty.  Kind of like a thick corn chip.  The wheat crackers are from How To Cook Everything (not to be confused with How To Cook Everything Vegetarian), and they need work.  They were lacking in flavor (although the recipe does recommend adding herbs and such), and they puffed up and were chewy instead of crunchy.  Maybe I just didn’t bake them long enough.  The uncheeses are from The Uncheese Cookbook, Gooda and Pepper Jack.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, recipe here.  These were soooooo good.  BF said they are the best thing I’ve ever baked.  Make them!  I used the cream cheese icing from VCTOTW.

Caramel apples and faux Butterfingers (chocolate covered Chick-O-Stics), made by Melisser.

Buffalo tofu and blue sheese dressing, also by Melisser.  The dressing was out-of-this-world good.

Becca’s favorite baked beans.

Awesome molded mound of rice, tempeh taco meat and avocado, potstickers, and eggplant dip.

Mummy dogs!

My plate.

My bowl, also with pumpkin soup.

More dessert:  Candy Cane Jo Jo’s, faux Butterfingers, chocolate covered pretzels and a pb chocolate chip cookie.

Plateful of caramel apple pieces so we could all share.

There were lots of great costumes, but I think Melisser and her husband Ryan took the prize – they were Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and their itty bitty doggie Strummer was supposed to be the crocodile, but she kept shaking off her outfit.

She’s so ridiculously cute.  And small.  After she shook off her costume again, Melisser put on her hat which was knitted by Kittee herself!

Although I was never on the official participant list since I started late, I’m glad I did VeganMoFo.  It definitely got me back into blogging and cooking.  I started my new job yesterday, so I’m not really sure yet how much time I’ll be able to dedicate.  I’ll probably be back to blogging a couple times a week.  But, the good news is I’m back to packing laptop lunches every day.

P.S. Obama won!  Woohoooooo!!!  Now we’re crossing our fingers, waiting to hear the results of the prop 8 vote.  If it passes it will take away the right of same sex couples to marry, and I will not be happy about it.

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VeganMoFo: A Very Vegan Weekend

I’m still not doing so well with the whole VeganMoFo thing.  I’m sure I’m not the only one though, it’s the thought that counts.  Right?  At any rate, tomorrow we will have internets at the house and I will no longer have to go to the public library to get it!

Last weekend was a very, very vegan weekend.  It started Friday night with the VegNews Vegan a Go-Go party for Sarah Kramer’s new cookbook of the same name.  It was a small party, so I’m glad I got a ticket when I did.  The site was a salon by day, and it was really cool how they opened it up and turned it into a party room.  There were beers on ice in the hair washing sinks, and most everything else was cleared out save a few styling chairs.  I came hungry which was good, because the food was great.  It was the “passed around on trays” kind of party hors dourves, including “rocket dogs” (pigs in blankets), “knuckle sandwiches” (some sort of smooth eggish salad on toast), mushrooms pate and onion dip.  Drinks were “pink ladies” (vodka and lemonade), PBR, and root beer floats made with organic root beer and Maggie Mud ice cream.  Dessert was coconut islands and chocolate chip cookies.  The soundtrack was Sinatra.  There were door prizes (which I won none of), and Sarah Kramer did some Q&A.  She is just as adorable in person as you would think.  I came armed with my camera and intentions of taking food pictures, but the room was so packed I felt it was better not to try.  I did get a picture with Sarah though!

Saturday was the first day of The SF Vegetarian Society’s World Veg Festival Weekend.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.  There was food for sale, samples galore, food demos, talks, music, AR groups and other booths.  There were a few demos and talks I wanted to go too, but I got frustrated during the first demo I attended.  The chef (Jesse Miner) did a great job talking about heirloom beans, but some people in the crowd were asking incredibly basic question, some even completely off topic.  Jesse was extremely kind and patient.  I guess I was in a cranky mood, because I didn’t want to sit through any more talks.  We spend the rest of the time walking around and marveling at all the samples and information.  Oh, and eating.

I started with a taquito and beans, covered in SPICY avocado salsa.

My first treat of the day, a scrumptious brownie from Sugar Beat Sweets, which is run by Melisser of The Urban Housewife.

Miss Melisser, with her lovely assistant-for-the-day Mel, of Veglicious.

One of my favorite discoveries of the day:  Gone Nuts!  They make the most amazing flavored nuts, and had samples out of every kind.  I bought my favorites:  Maple walnuts (ridiculously better than they sound) and cacao almonds and raisins.  Supposedly they’re available in grocery stores around these parts, so I look forward to buying them again.

I ate a big cup of Maggie Mudd ice cream.  It was just as good as I thought it would be.  I forget exactly what the flavor were called, but on top is some sort of rum/caramel flavor which was extremely rummy.  Underneath was “Reversed Tarmack”.  All I remember is there was peanut butter and chocolate, and that’s all that matters.

Done with Veg Fest, we weren’t quite ready to leave.  Luckily the botanical gardens were right next door.  The gardens were large and beautifully layed out with lots of walking paths.  And the squirrels weren’t afraid to say hi.

I have to conclude that these squirrels get fed human food quite a bit, because they were begging the way a dog or a cat would!  A few of them sat up straight on their haunches like prairie dogs do, and one even raised a paw just like a dog begging for table scraps.

I went a little beserk with the plant picture taking, as I tend to do.  A few of my faves:

On the way out of Veg Fest I stopped back by Sugar Beat Sweets for some cupcakes.  I was going to a birthday party that night, so I got one for me, one for the birthday boy, and one for bf.  It was a gesture, really.  He doesn’t like cupcakes, so I knew I’d probably get to eat it…

In the front is PB&J, back is Mint Chocolate, and left is Orange Dreamsicle.  The birthday boy chose PB&J so in the end I ate half of the other two.  They were both great, but I have to say I was impressed with how good the Orange Dreamsicle cupcake was.  I didn’t think that would be a flavor I’d like that much, but it was downright great.

That does it for today!  Tomorrow I will be in possession of internets and then it’s full steam ahead.

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