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Friday, December 11, 2009

A VEGAN 'THANKSMAS" FEAST; CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIRE, BREAD WORKSHOP, AND OTHER NICE THINGS

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Some of our vegan "Thanksmas" feast

I'm getting ready to head off to Vancouver for the weekend, and then down on the train to Seattle for a few days. So, I won't be blogging for a week, and I'll leave you with a mish-mosh of events, pictures, and food!

VEGAN "THANKSMAS" DINNER:
First of all, our vegan "Dinner Club", I guess you could call it (which consists of 5 vegan couples of a certain age, who get together randomly a few times a year to share good vegan food and conversation, and music, etc.) got together at the end of November for what our hostess, Ellen, called our vegan "Thanksmas" feast. Here are some images from that lovely dinner! Ellen is Scandinavian, so their home was warmly decorated and very Christmasy, and she went all out with vegan versions of family Christmas treats!


Christmas candles


Fireweed's delicious seitan rolls (in the 40's and 50's, these would have been called Seitan "Birds"!)


Rudy's mashed potatoes and a bowl of lovely Denman Island squash


Pelka and Robs's delicious Brussels Sprout Salad with walnuts, beside the squash bowl


Another delicious winter salad from Pelka and Rob, this one made with red cabbage and pecans


My contributions-- Tofu Pot Pie ( from my book Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause) and Sage and Onion Bread Stuffing (I also brought homemade Cranberry sauce-- both recipes from my book The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook).


An overloaded dinner plate!


Ellen's berry dessert topped with soy "ice cream" and a vegan truffle!


Vegan Scandinavian treats and truffles made by our lovely hostess!

Boy, were we full! (Or "full-top" as DH claims they say in Quebec!)

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A DINNER WITH FRIENDS, FEATURING DAIYA VEGAN CHEESE

We had some friends over last week and I served my Italian-American-style lasagna, but, instead of using my usual vegan bechamel sauce, I used my newly-purchased shredded white vegan Daiya cheese, which I bought from the Karmavore Vegan Shop in New Westminister, BC (by mail).

Everyone raved over it and I liked it, too, but I think I used too much! It was so rich that I think I will use half bechamel and half Daiya next time. Our omni guests couldn't get over it!



With the meal, we had wine, a lovely salad brought by 2 of our guests (avid gardeners), some braised butternut squash with basil, garlic and olive oil, baguettes, and then an Italian-style Apple Tart from my book Nonna's Italian Kitchen:


An Sweet Topping Innovation:
I made some almond milk to accompany our tea and coffee-- actually it was more like almond cream. I also needed a topping for the tart, so I left the almond pulp in half of the creme and strained the other half. I squeezed the pulp I had left from straining to get all the almond creme out, and then I added the pulp back to the other half of the recipe. (I had sweetened the creme slightly with maple syrup before straining.) The result was a thick, cloud-like, very almondy-tasting topping that everyone loved, and some nice smooth, pourable creme for our hot beverages.



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THE DENMAN ISLAND CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIRE

This took place last weekend. We didn't stay too long-- too crowded! That means it was well-attended, of course, and why not? It's always full of friends, food and wonderful arts and crafts. Our friend Leticia won the prize for the "Best Display" and we happened to be there when she was presented with it. She and her friend Tosha make wonderful handmade olive oil soaps-- chocolate, lemongrass and lavender, chai tea...they smell so good!

Leticia and her handmade olive oil soaps



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TRYING THE NEW GARDEIN "CHIK'N FILETS"

Vegan chef Tal Ronnen uses these "Chik'n Filets" in his new book, so I thought I'd give them a try. I made a sort of scaloppine with white wine and mushrooms-- very quick and easy.



They were good, meaty texture, etc., but I think I like my own seitan cutlets better!

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BREAD WORKSHOP AT THE DENMAN ISLAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Well, I did bring my camera, but forgot to ask my friend Holly, who was being my kitchen slave for the evening, to use it! But I had lots of dough to bake off at home the next day, so below are pictures of what I made in the class. (Everything I made in the class got eaten or taken home by the students, along with the recipes, of course!


Crusty No-Knead Artisinal Bread (recipe in my book World Vegan Feast)


Another loaf of Crusty No-Knead Bread with the Apulian Focaccia (both recipes in my book World Vegan Feast)



A loaf of vegan Julekage (Scandinavian Christmas bread with cardamom and fruit) made with my Vegan Low-fat Sweet Dough (recipe in my book World Vegan Feast)


Last, but not least, my 100% Wholewheat Bread


Enjoy! See you next week!

6 comments:

Tiffany C. said...

What a beautiful feast! The bread looks amazing as well. I love my carbs and have been particularly fond of baking yeast-risen bread recently, so I'm excited to try your focaccia recipe soon!

Michelle said...

Please help! I want to make the Sweet Yeast Bread badly, but I cannot find soymilk powder. Is there any substitute I could use for the same affect? Is it possible just to use soymilk and reduce water/liquids? Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Michelle, I have discovered that soy flour works just fine instead of soymilk powder!

Søren said...

It all looks fantabulous, Bryanna. So much wonderful food - and even with a Scandinavian Julekage [Danish, pronounced: YOO-ler-kay-yah] and pepparkakor [Swedish, pronounced PEP-par-kaw-kor]! So this was the first time you tried the much raved about Daiya cheese?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks,Søren! Always good to hear from you! I had tasted Daiya before, but this was the first time I had a chance to cook with it.

Natalie said...

I tried those "Chik'n Filets" and I also prefer your cutlets.