I am so excited to share this cake with you today!
It was my husband birthday, this past weekend, and we decided to have friends over instead of doing a restaurant meal. Its so hard to talk to everyone when sitting at a long table. This was much better. Everyone was able to chat and move around the house. The kids were there and other friends were able to bring their little one. It was all good.
I made all the food, which was a lot of work, but worth it.
We started with Somer’s Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball. For a party full of omnivores this Cheese Ball disappeared! Also out for appetizers was a hummus plate with olives and pretzels and a bowl of mixed nuts. Simple.
For dinner I made a Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Stew with Chickpeas from Veganomicon and Balsamic Roasted Tofu with Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes by Melomeals.
I didn’t have time to take pictures of any of the food because I was too busy taking pictures of the cake I made. I’m so very proud of it.
I made all 4- 9″ chocolate cake layers the day before the party. The morning of the party I whipped up a ton of peanut butter buttercream. I though for sure I was going to have a lot of buttercream left over for another dessert but no. Not a drop was left and I’m not someone who loads on a ton of frosting. A few hours before the party I made a quick and thick chocolate ganache and poured it over the chilled cake. Chilling the cake helped the ganache harden while dripping so it didn’t pool on the bottom of the cake. I really wanted most of the ganache still on the top of the cake with some drips down the side. I’m really pleased with how the drips turned out!
The cake was almost 7 inches high and I swear it weighed more then my 3 year old son. I had to take a shelf out of our fridge to store it in there.
It was all worth it though. It was delicious and everyone was happy to eat it. In fact we are still eating it! With 15 people over we still had half a cake left. A really thin slice of this cake is more then enough. It could easily feed 25 people, I think.
I guess a more normal person would have written and posted about their main meal before their desserts but we all deep down know that desserts are better and prettier then Thanksgiving meals. :)
Again, we traveled a town over this Thanksgiving with my immediate family to my Mother In Laws house with her immediate family. My mom and I did a lot of cooking and had to transport everything over. It took me a while to figure out what to make that would be easy to bring over and heat up. My husbands one request is that it not be a faux meat type of thing. I for one love Field Roasts Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. Its perfect for when you have to bring your own main dish to someone else’s house. He however has different feelings.
I also wanted to make something that everyone could eat and wasn’t screaming THIS IS A VEGAN ENTREE! I settled on the Leek and White Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Its a favorite of ours. It was easy to transport and easy to reheat. Everyone enjoyed it. Plus I love the leftovers!
We had our leftover’s meal the day after. Which included more Leek and Bean Cassoulet, a doctored up stuffing and mustard roasted potatoes leftover from our son’s preschool thanksgiving party.
I’d like to talk about the stuffing I made for T’giving. For the past few years people have been raving about the bagged vegan stuffing mix you can buy at Whole Foods. I bought it this year. I was excited..then..I made it and was deeply disappointed. It was so bland. It desperately needed flavor. I was never going to buy it again! So for our leftover meal I decided to doctor up the leftover stuffing. I sauteed onions, garlic and a link of Field Roast’s Italian Sausage. The stuffing ended up being delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. So be warned. You have to add to this stuffing mix! Friends later told me that they alway’s doctor it up. I wish I had known that before making it as is.
The Sunday after T’giving we went to a potluck at my friend Dianne’s house, where she made a delicious doctored version of the Whole Foods Stuffing. Along with a Holiday Roast from Trader Joe’s. Both versions of the recipes can be found at the blog Meet The Shannons. I’m not usually into holiday roasts besides the Field Roast ones but I have to say I really liked the Shannon’s version that Dianne made! There was more food then pictured above but I didn’t get a photo of the second plate. Having a potluck after Thanksgiving is such a good idea to keep celebrating with like minded people.
My contribution to the potluck meal were…….donuts! I can’t stop making them!
::Dusting off the cobwebs here::
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love ALL THE FOODS and ALL THE DESSERTS! I overeat like I’m at an all you can eat vegan buffet brunch. I’m in tremendous pain afterwards. Its both worth it and not worth it but I put in the extra time at the YMCA the day before and after.
This year both of my families (mine and my husbands) were celebrating together at my mother-in-laws house. It was a tight squeeze…my sister and I sat at the kids table..it was fun. I made most of the desserts this year. I went in the opposite direction of what is usually made by my husbands grandmother.
Instead of an apple pie I made a Tart Tatin from Terry Hope Romero’s book Vegan Eats World. It was my first time making this so I was nervous. It starts with an olive oil crust that is pressed into a tart pan and then frozen before baking. Thank goodness it was a pressed crust. I was not in the mood to wrestle with a rolled out crust! The apples were peeled, quartered, and cooked down in a vegan butter and sugar sauce that turned into a caramel that was later hit with some booze at the end. The tart was a complete success. It is definitely going to be my go to apple “pie” dessert. I topped my slice off with some So Delicious CocoWhip. That stuff was delicious!
Instead of a pumpkin pie I made Pumpkin Donuts! I decided to go Donut over Pie for the kids. They wouldn’t have eaten either so this gave them something else to choose from. I’ve had a donut pan for years now and have never used it. I think I alway’s assumed donuts would be too labor intensive but cake donuts are as easy as cupcakes. They were really moist and delicious. I topped them with a chocolate ganache and sprinkles. I’m currently baking another batch of them for a Thanksgiving Potluck at my friends house.
The last dessert I made with my 7 year old daughter. We had chocolate ganache left over from the donuts so we dipped Sweet and Sara Marshmallows, which we stuck a lollypop stick into them first, into the chocolate and then dipped them into either coconut or sprinkles. These were super cute and everyone had fun eating them! A dessert for all ages.
Hope your Thanksgiving was full of awesome people, food and desserts!
Yesterday was the last day of VeganMoFo 2014! This past “mofo” was definitely one of my more successful ones over the past few years. I don’t know how other bloggers with kids are able to keep up with their blogs. Its not easy for me. Maybe now that my son is older and starting preschool any day now is what helped me have more time to blog this past month. Lets hope to keeping it easier for me to blog because I’ve really grown to love it again.
Today I’m going to tell you about a super simple Lentil Salad I made over the weekend. No cooking involved at all! Thanks to the help of packaged precooked lentils!
When we have family functions..etc..to attend I have to pack food. For me, for my kids and usually for my husband. Him being vegetarian means there is usually something for him to eat. My kids are also vegetarian but are picky children so if we are going to be out all day I pack snacks and sandwiches for them. Me..well as you know I’m vegan. There isn’t going to be much if at all anything for me to eat.
I usually just go the route of making some type of wrap for my husband and I. Its easy, it’s small, I’m not pulling out a full cooked for me at a restaurant or a someones house and they fit in my cooler backpack. Yes, a cooler backpack. A cooler you wear on your back! Its the best thing I’ve purchased for us in years because it can also hold all of my personal belongings and it just looks like a backpack. I’m in love.
Wanting something different then a hummus wrap or a seitan wrap, but still an easy to eat wrap, I grabbed a package of precooked lentil that I purchased at Trader Joe’s. I kept it real simple. The lemon and basil combination was just perfect with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw in some finely diced onions and quartered cherry tomatoes and you are good to go. This took me less then 10 minutes to prep and as it sat in my cooler the flavors developed even more making it taste amazing when I finally ate it hours later. I tucked some spinach leaves in the wrap for more healthy goodness. When I make this again to eat at home I would want to just eat is as is or add a big scoop of it on top of some raw greens for a nice salad. Either way is great.
Lentil Salad with Lemon and Basil
Using pre-packaged already cooked Lentils is a huge time saver in this recipe. Feel free to cook your own though! You might have to adjust the seasoning on it though since the Trader Joes's lentils are slightly seasoned.
- 1 package Trader Joe's cooked lentils (equals just over 1 pound if cooking yourself)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced basil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Real easy!
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Eat as is. Use is a wrap with some spinach or enjoy a big scoop of the salad on top of raw greens.
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One of my favorite bloggers, Cadry of Cadry’s Kitchen came up with a great idea for this years VeganMoFo…a postcard swap! Any one could join and all you had to do was send a postcard or letter to someone else. I remember the joy of getting a card, letter or invitation in the mail when I was younger and it’s definitely something that doesn’t happen much anymore. Most invitations are through pages like evite or even facebook. Want to write someone a letter..email is instant. Computers and the internet have made everything so convenient.
The opportunity to sit and write a letter to someone else, who I didn’t know, was really nice. Telling someone about yourself isn’t alway’s easy but it was fun. I shared a recipe for my Lemon Mustard Tofu, since the card was tofu themed. :) I love writing on paper with my favorite pens. I want to do more of it…beside recipe writing which for me is all done with pen/cil and paper. Writing about how much I liked it over on twitter has gained me a pen pal. I can’t to start writing to her.
This opportunity also gave me a chance to start using my art skills again. My whole life was about drawing and painting when I was a young kid to my early 20’s. I miss it. My creativity for art was transformed into a creativity for food! Since I didn’t have a postcard to send and wanted to send something with a vegan message on it I decided to make my own. I drew that sweet little tofu saying “hello!” up above. This mini project has also made me hope to be more creative in the near future with more then just food.
The day I received my mail from the swapper who got me was very exciting! I want more letters from strangers! Especially ones who share their favorite recipes. The person who wrote to me shared her love for Tomato and Mayo sandwiches which happens to be all I eat in the summer!