Archive for entertaining
Y’all, school ate MY WHOLE LIFE. I was barely cooking, and I clearly wasn’t blogging. I thought things would go back to normal after midterms, but as you can tell by my disappearance in the middle of Soup Week, they DID NOT. But I survived the term and I am now on winter break. Which means: a) cooking, b) baking, and c) posting about stuff that’s been sitting around in my pictures folder since September. Yes. The excitement is palpable.
This photo isn’t from Saturday; it’s from a couple of nights ago.
We had grape juice and apple cider and two large bottles of Manischewitz wine, one of which was entirely done in, mostly by 3 of my friends. I did mix Manischewitz with Bombay Sapphire gin, to make a drink that the internet calls a Mazel Tov cocktail but that I prefer to call gin & Jews. Because that’s just funny.
In fact, this meal was so good that it’s what our family had the next night, too. I topped my latkes with french onion dip made with Tofutti’s Sour Supreme and Simply Organic’s French Onion Dip mix – OMNOMNOM.
This was all superb and happy and yum. However! The edible glory of the night was none of these things… because I made doughnuts. Fluffy yeasted heavenly sufganiyot (this recipe, specifically), covered in powdered sugar and served hot. I didn’t fill them with anything, as this was my first time making anything like this and I wanted to be sure everything worked with the simplest methods available before I got all fancy. And? These were incredible. Seriously. Each batch was gone before the next batch had left the pan. Everyone raved, and I was thrilled and proud. So where are the photos? They seem to have disappeared in the process of uploading them from the camera. I could cry my face off! I can’t find them anywhere! Sadly, the only photographic evidence I have is this photo of my flour- and sugar-dusted shoes and baggy tights:
Wonderful, joyful party. Happy Hanukkah!
I’m interrupting Soup Week for a one-off post about chocolate. I know, it’s tough to read about chocolate, but bear with me, and there will be more soup tonight. Heh.
My one and only offspring turned 16 (!!!) the Saturday before last. I offered to make him a cake or some cupcakes, and he sat down with some of my cookbooks to decide what he wanted. He brought me Veganomicon and said, “This!” while pointing to the recipe for Smlove Pie. Yes! I’d been wanting an excuse to make it!
He also wanted a chocolate-cinnamon cake of some sort (“Chocolate cake, mom. With lots of chocolate. And chocolate frosting. And some cinnamon would be good.”) I chose Veganmania‘s Best Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, adding some cinnamon to the dry ingredients. I topped it with a vegan chocolate buttercream, also with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled in. I sifted cinnamon over the top, and added green decorator’s sugar and chocolate sprinkles. It was, I have to admit, ugly.
HOWEVER. This cake is aptly named – it truly is the Best Vegan Chocolate Cake – rich, deeply flavored, dense, moist. DELICIOUS. The offspring was thrilled with it, and everyone raved. So: SUCCESS.
Also, make that cake. Make it right now. You won’t be sorry. I bow to you, VeganMania goddess.
Yeah, I’m totally going to cheat and call this a VeganMofo post – even though I’m posting it November 1, it’s about yesterday. So there.
HALLOWEEN! We had a party! I made some foods! Please view many, many photos!
Spooky vanilla cupcakes tinted either purple or green, topped with vanilla buttercream (recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World).
Mummies! Red velvet cupcakes with piped vanilla buttercream (again, recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World).
Vegan mummy cupcakes take over the world!
Spooky black bean hummus with garlic sauce and bone toast.
“Guacamoldy”! Made it in the food processor instead of mashing by hand, to make it a little bit more reminiscent of slime.
“Vampires of the world, beware” white bean aioli (from Veganomicon) with sourdough toasts (bone, moon, and bat).
Bats, and moons, and bones – oh my!
Oven-crisped whole wheat flour tortillas.
June Cleaver! Get it? Cleaver! Hee! With lethal chopping action and delicious vegan cupcakes!
Huzbean and a spooky bubbling cocktail.
June Cleaver does like her bloody poison.
Mrs. Cleaver shows Father Karras some “hospitality”. “That Regan girl had nothing on me, Father.”
Farewell, Halloween 2009! You were spectacular and I will miss you.
See more photos – and some video! – here.
We had some friends over for pumpkin carving and dinner tonight. It was fun, beautiful, and nourishing in many ways. We made jack o’lanterns, ate pumpkin cookies, watched the Powerpuff Girls, loved on their baby while getting to know their teenager, and deeply enjoyed every minute of it.
My kid guts his gourd.
My huzbean guts his.
Our friends brought over some Field Roast Italian sausages and chunks of roasted butternut squash. I roasted up two Delicata squashes we had in the fridge, and I turned it all into a delicious soup.
Gorgeous roasted Delicata squash. Yeah, I totally left a sticker on one during roasting. Whoops.
Squash and Italian Sausage Soup!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat the squash halves with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Season the inside with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes – check the Delicatas at 30 minutes, as they may roast more quickly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Discard the peel.
Heat the remaining oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked squash, broth, and water, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Return to pot, add the cider vinegar, and stir to combine. Add the cream, adjust seasonings to taste, and warm soup if necessary. Serve!
We also had a lovely salad and my favorite seeded baguette.
And a tasty Syrah with a happy bottle!
Me, and the baby, and, uh, a giant tub of Earth Balance. She was so happy to be wearing my Halloween barrette!
Our friends’ teenager’s bat pumpkin.
My husband’s freehanded jack o’lantern.
My kid’s stellar and creepy Joker pumpkin.
<3 <3 <3